Posts Tagged ‘Glaucoma’

What Causes People To Have Two Different Colored Eyes Aka Heterochromia?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

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Eye color is one of the first traits we notice when we meet someone new.

If you’ve ever met someone with two different colored eyes, then you’ve seen what heterochromia looks like. Only three out of every five hundred people have it, though, so it’s not that common (but you might have seen an odd-eyed cat or dog). Heterochromia happens in a few different ways and has a few different causes.

Genetic Versus Traumatic Heterochromia

In most cases, heterochromia is the simple result of unusual genetics, a harmless mutation changing the way the pigment develops in one or part of one iris. There are a few famous examples in movies and TV, such as Dominic Sherwood and Anthony Head, who both have blue eyes with a brown patch in one, and Josh Henderson and Alice Eve, who each have one blue eye and one green.

Even people who aren’t born with heterochromia can still develop it as the side effect of injury or disease. Surgery or trauma can cause a change in the appearance of one eye. David Bowie was a famous example of this due to his one permanently dilated pupil. Diseases like diabetes, eye tumors, or glaucoma can also affect the appearance of one eye differently than the other. This is the case for Mila Kunis, who suffered eye inflammation in one iris for years.

The Types of Heterochromia

Heterochromia comes in a few varieties, as we’ve already hinted at with our celebrity examples. It can be complete heterochromia, segmental, or central. Complete heterochromia (or heterochromia iridum) is where each iris is a different color. Segmental heterochromia (heterochromia iridis) is where a patch of a different color appears in one iris.

The most common form of heterochromia, central heterochromia, is where the two irises match each other but have rings of a different color around the pupils — such as when someone has green eyes but a thin ring of hazel around the middle. The results aren’t quite as instantly striking as mismatched eyes, but they still look pretty cool.

Mismatched Eyes in Culture

Different cultures have interpreted heterochromia in different ways throughout the ages. Eastern European pagans believed that being born with different colored eyes meant they had witch eyes. Some Native American cultures, meanwhile, believed it meant the person had “ghost eyes” with the ability to see into heaven and earth.

Whatever Their Color(s), Let Us Take a Look at Your Eyes!

If you weren’t born with heterochromia but have noticed a change in the color of one or both of your eyes, it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment so that we can take a look and find out the cause. If it’s an untreated side-effect from an injury or a symptom of a health condition, we can help!

Our patients have beautiful, unique eyes!

Smoking Can Lead to Vision Loss

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

smoking can lead to vision loss Levin eye care center

The most common health effects that come to mind when we think of smoking are lung cancer and bad teeth, but it doesn’t stop there because smoking can lead to vision loss and blindness.

Smoking is harmful to every system in the body, and it’s also harmful to our vision. A smoking habit can do more damage to our eyesight than disease can, in a few different ways. In a recent Rutgers Study researchers found that smoking can damage vision and your ability to see color.

Smoking: a Risk Factor for Every Age-Related Eye Disease

Studies have shown that smoking increases the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and even Dry Eye Syndrome. Let’s take a closer look at a few of these.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

AMD is the deterioration of the macula (the central part of the retina where we see the sharpest detail), causing irreversible blindness. Compared to nonsmokers, smokers have triple the risk of developing AMD, and they’re more likely to begin developing it up to ten years earlier than nonsmokers do on average.

Cataracts

Smoking doubles the risk of cataracts, the world’s leading cause of blindness. For heavy smokers, it triples the risk! Cataract symptoms begin with blurred or double vision, light sensitivity, faded colors, and reduced night vision. Fortunately, cataract surgeries are extremely common and safe, so this type of vision loss usually isn’t irreversible.

Retinopathy

Retinopathy is an eye disease closely associated with diabetes, but smoking increases a person’s chances of developing diabetes by up to 40 percent, thereby increasing the risk of retinopathy as well. Poorly controlled blood sugar damages the blood vessels in the retina, causing them to leak blood into the eye. If the damage is severe enough, it can eventually starve the retina of oxygen and lead to blindness.

Smokers Aren’t Always the Only Ones Affected

Secondhand smoke combines the smoke from the end of the cigarette with what the smoker exhales. In addition to harming the vision of the smoker, it can put the eyesight of others at risk too, along with many other health effects. The most vulnerable are young children and infants.

Vaping: Not a Safe Alternative

Vaping is often touted as the “healthy” alternative to smoking, but many of the chemicals in e-cigarette liquid have been linked to increased risks of these same vision-threatening diseases we’ve discussed. If vaping is healthier than regular cigarettes, it isn’t by much. 

Break the Habit to Save Your Vision

Smoking can lead to vision loss but the most preventable because we can control whether or not we do it. It’s never too late to quit, either. Quitting reduces the risk of macular degeneration by six percent after just one year, and it also reduces the risk of developing cataracts! We, as your eye care specialists, care deeply about your health. If you need resources to help quit smoking, we would be happy to offer our suggestions.

Good overall health promotes good eye health!

Glaucoma : Why Early Diagnosis Can Save Your Vision

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Glaucoma test Levin Eye Care Center

Human eyesight is an incredibly complex system, and a problem like glaucoma anywhere along the way can lead to seriously compromised vision.

One such problem is glaucoma, a group of eye conditions that affect millions of people in the US, making it the second most common cause of vision loss and blindness in the country. In most cases, glaucoma is the result of damage to the optic nerve from increased pressure in the eye.

Intraocular Pressure: A Delicate Balance

The human eye is filled with fluid — aqueous humor in the front chambers, vitreous humor in the larger rear chamber behind the lens. In a healthy eye, the pressure of this fluid remains within a safe range because the amount of aqueous humor being produced is roughly equal to the amount flowing out through the pupil. In an eye with glaucoma, this drainage system does not work the way it should.

Common Risk Factors

While everyone has some risk of developing glaucoma, certain factors can make it more likely. Glaucoma is far more common in people over 60, particularly African Americans and Hispanics. People of Asian descent are at greater risk of angle-closure glaucoma.

A major risk factor for glaucoma is heredity. Someone with a sibling who has glaucoma is ten times more likely to develop it than someone who doesn’t. Other risk factors include eye injury and steroid use.

Why Early Diagnosis Matters

Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible and there is currently no cure for the disease, but medication and/or surgery can halt its progress as long as it is diagnosed in time. The key to early diagnosis is regular eye exams, especially for those with a high risk of developing the condition. Make sure you’re familiar with your family’s eye health history, and don’t forget to keep us in the loop!

Your lifelong healthy vision is our top priority!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.