General

Are 3-D Movies Bad for Your Eyes?

Are 3-D movies bad for your eyesWith more and more movies coming out in 3-D, a lot of our patients are asking us whether watching 3-D is bad for their eyes. Many parents are also concerned for their children’s developing eyesight. If big action 3-D movies are your thing, we’ve got good news for you. According to our eye experts, there is no medical evidence to support the idea that watching 3-D movies or playing 3-D games will harm your children’s eyesight or your own.

In fact, according to Susan Primo, O.D., M.P.H., of the Emory Eye Center, 3-D technology can actually help detect underlying visual problems in both children and adults that might otherwise go undiagnosed. This is because people who have visual problems may experience significant discomfort while watching a 3-D movie.

3-D films work by altering our binocular vision, or how both our eyes work together to see. If your eyes are irritated or tired after a 3-D movie, this is most likely a reaction to adjusting the way you see, much as you would with a new pair of glasses or contact lenses. Tired or irritated eyes usually are not an indication of a real problem.

However, factors that create poor binocular vision, such as a lazy eye, can be aggravated by 3-D. If watching a 3-D movie makes you dizzy or nauseated or gives you a headache, you should probably have your vision checked. Vision problems caused by weak eye muscles or poor eye coordination often can be corrected or improved with vision therapy.

If your child complains of serious discomfort when watching 3-D movies, go ahead and make an appointment with an eye care provider. Children, in particular, don’t always know when their vision isn’t what it should be, and the same problems that make 3-D viewing challenging can also cause your child to have difficulty in school or at sports. It’s good to catch the problem early, as younger eye muscles are easier to train through therapy.

Do 3-D movies bother your eyes? Do you think you may have an underlying visual problem? We’d like to hear about your experience. Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below.

A lens is a lens is a lens — Or is it?

Choosing lensesIt’s time to get new glasses, and you’ve got the frames all picked out—but what about the lenses? Remember, the purpose of the glasses frame is to hold the lenses. Put mediocre lenses in a nice frame, and you might look good, but you won’t see well.

At the Emory Optical Center, we’ll make sure you look great and see well. Our eyewear experts have extensive experience crafting custom lenses that address a variety of visual challenges, from simple near and far sightedness to presbyopia to advanced macular degeneration. In fact, ophthalmologists from all over the Atlanta area send patients to us, knowing their prescriptions will be done right.

If you wear progressive lenses, you’re probably aware that multifocal lenses have come a long way over the past decade. Long gone are the lines in the lens that identified bifocal wearers in the past. New progressive lenses feature a seamless design and can address multiple vision impairments.

One of most exciting technological advancements in lenses is the freeform manufacturing process, which uses precision software to cut multiple curves on both the front and the back of a lens according to the patient’s unique prescription. This results in a highly effective lens that dramatically increases the wearer’s peripheral field of view. The free-form process is different from the traditional lens process, in which the prescription is cut into one side of semi-finished lens blanks.

Who might benefit from a free-form lens? A good example is a patient with macular degeneration who needs a high-power, versatile progressive lens. In this case, we can create a mixed front-side, back-side bifocal that gives an extremely high power for intermediate vision as well as an extremely high bifocal for reading.

At the Emory Optical Center, we offer four tiers of progressive lenses, from a basic design to the latest free-form technology. Whether you see an Emory ophthalmologist or bring your prescription in from elsewhere, we’ll put you in the lens that best suits your visual needs and price point.

Have you recently purchased glasses, or are you about to? We’d like to hear about your experience. Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below.

About Brad Baird:
Brad Baird is the administrative consultant within Ophthalmology. Brad and the rest of the talented Optical Center team have been helping patients get the perfect fit for a combined total of more than 125 years.

Choosing the Right Pair of Glasses—More Art than Science

Choosing the right glasses and framesHave you ever wondered how to choose the right style of eye glasses? One of the most rewarding things we do here at the Emory Optical Center is to help people find glasses that look great on them. But how do you pick from all the choices available?

When you’ve been in the business for a long time, as we have, you can look at a face and know what will work. Some very basic guidelines are…

  • Round faces shouldn’t wear round glasses
  • A pear-shaped face is going to need a little accent on the top of the frames
  • A narrow face is more suited for round glasses (think John Lennon)

That said, fitting a frame to a face is not an exact science. There are other nuances, including subtle feature differences and coloring. And while the frame is key, lens shape can make a difference, too. If you’d like to hide a less-than-perfect feature like under-eye hollows or uneven eyebrows, different lens shapes can help mask those.

When we first sit down with you at the Emory Optical Center, we’ll ask what type of frame you have in mind. What we’ve found is that people often want a look they’ve seen on a celebrity, and often, that isn’t going to work for them. I’ll show you how the style you’re thinking of looks on you—you may be one of those people who look great in anything. But I’ll also be honest in pointing out any downsides, and, if you’re open to suggestions, we’ll find something that truly complements your facial structure.

If you’re not sure what type of glasses you want and you’re open to trying something new, we can really have some fun. A good optician can help you think outside the box when picking your frames. We’ll help you take a risk and try on glasses that are a bright color, maybe a little funky, or simply unique.

Sometimes chain optical stores recommend their customers buy the most expensive frames and lenses. At the Emory Optical Center, our goal is to make you look good and feel good (and see well, of course). If your glasses aren’t the right fit or shape, they are useless to you. We’ll work together to find the perfect fit.

Come see us at one of our two Emory Optical Center locations, at The Emory Clinic, Building B, 1365B Clifton Road, N.E., or on the 9th floor of the Medical Office Towers, 550 Peachtree Street.

Had a great experience or tips that you’d like to share about finding the perfect frames? Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below. You’ll make our day.

About Brad Baird:

Brad Baird is the administrative consultant within Ophthalmology. Brad and the rest of the talented Optical Center team have been helping patients get the perfect fit for a combined total of more than 125 years.

Emory Optical Center Locations:

The Emory Clinic, Building B
1st floor, 1365B Clifton Road, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Optical Center: 404-778-4226
Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Appointments for Eye Exams:
404-778-2020; 404-778-5000 (after office hours)

Medical Office Tower, Emory University Hospital Midtown
(formerly Crawford Long Hospital)
9th floor, 550 Peachtree Street, NE
Optical Center: 404-686-8714
Hours: 9 AM - 5 PM
Appointments for Eye Exams:
404-778-2020; 404-778-5000 (after office hours)

April is Sports Eye Safety Month!

Proctective eyewear, sports eye safetyIf you play a sport like racquetball, you understand the importance of good eye protection. Unfortunately, many people are unaware that they can injure their eyes while playing a variety of other, supposedly less dangerous sports.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has designated April 2011 as Sports Eye Safety Month to help increase public awareness of wearing protective eyewear when participating in team sports. Protecting your eyes from injury will go a long way toward maintaining healthy vision throughout your life.

According to the AAO:

  • An estimated 40,000 sports eye injuries occur every year. The majority of victims are children, many of whom suffer permanent visual impairment.
  • Baseball and basketball account for the largest number of injuries among young athletes.
  • Little League pitchers can achieve pitching speeds up to 70 mph. That’s fast enough to seriously damage an eye.
  • In basketball, serious eye injuries caused by flying fingers and elbows can be prevented by wearing appropriate protective eyewear.
  • Many other popular sports, such as tennis, soccer, football, golf, water sports, and hockey, put unprotected players at risk for serious eye injury.

Many children’s sports leagues, schools, and teams don’t require children to wear eye protection during games. If you’re a parent, be sure to set a good example by wearing eye protection whenever you play a sport, and make sure your kids wear their eye protection when they play.

Studies have shown that more than 90% of eye injuries can be prevented, simply by wearing the right protective eyewear. Specific eyewear is available for just about any activity—the experts at the Emory Eye Center can recommend the appropriate eyewear for your sport and make sure you have the right fit. If you’ve suffered an eye injury, be sure to have an ophthalmologist examine the eye as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor.

Have you experienced an eye injury while playing a sport, or have you prevented a serious injury by wearing the appropriate eye protection? We’d like to hear about your experience. Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below.

 

Introducing Dr. Kim

In this post I’d like to introduce you to a very gifted physician on the Emory Vision team.

John Kim, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Emory University. His areas of expertise include refractive surgery, the management of corneal and external eye diseases, and cataract surgery.

After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Kim received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and served as chief resident while completing his ophthalmology residency training at the Eye and Ear Institute of the University of Pittsburgh. Following four years in private practice, he completed a fellowship in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery at the Cincinnati Eye Institute.

Dr. Kim is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Cornea Society.

He’s performed laser refractive surgery since 2000, and he recently wrote a chapter in a widely respected book on LASIK.  Today he serves on the Refractive Surgery Management and Intervention Self–Assessment committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Kim lives in Atlanta with his wife, Gloria and their three lively young boys: Andrew (7), Joshua (3) and Luke (2).  His favorite hobby is playing sports with his sons, and he’s an avid golfer. In fact, he delights in hearing his patients share details of their improved ability to see the ball (and the entire golf course) after LASIK surgery.

As you can see, we have good reason to be incredibly proud of our talented team of physicians at Emory Vision.

Final Countdown to LASIK

I ordered these great new shades this week. I realized I absolutely have to have sunglasses the day of my surgery, so I went ahead and ordered them with two day shipping. I mean, my eyes will be freshly operated on—how can I expose them to unfiltered UV’s? Don’t they look cool?

I’m sure that if I actually need sunglasses for the ride home, Emory will probably supply some for me, or let me know if I need to bring my own. Regardless, it was a good excuse to order some new (non-prescription) sunglasses.

I also went through my stuff looking for old glasses. Even after the frames have broken, or the prescription has gone a little out of kilter, I keep the old ones around so that if I misplace my current ones, I can use the ugly old ones. They won’t do me any good after this week.

Over the past few days, I’ve started doing this weird countdown. This is the last time I’ll go to Your DeKalb Farmer’s Market with glasses. This is the last meeting I’ll lead with glasses. I really, really hope this is the last time I drive the Perimeter in rush hour, with glasses… you get the idea. It’s kind of like the last week of middle school, when you’re getting ready for a big change. I vividly remember really wanting to be in high school, and later wondering how I possibly lived through those miserable years in that dump of a middle school. All the cool kids were in high school– that’s where I was heading. It’s funny how I have the same sort of feeling now, as I get closer to having LASIK surgery.

Myths Surrounding LASIK Surgery

If you’re considering LASIK surgery and consulting your friends and colleagues about it, you may hear a range of opinions. Do you know which is fact or myth? I’m Rhonda Brown, and I’m a certified ophthalmic technician and patient advocate at Emory Vision. In this post, I’ll help you separate LASIK fact from fiction.

MYTH: LASIK should be done once your eyes change in your 40s. As we age, we find it harder to read – a condition called Presbyopia. LASIK has come a long way, and doctors can now treat one eye for distance and one eye for near vision— a process we refer to as ‘blended vision’.  While it isn’t 100% perfect, patients have remarkable improvements in functioning vision for seeing both near and far. Some patients may need glasses for limited tasks such as night driving or reading a menu in low light. However, after surgery, at least 95% of life activities can be enjoyed without glasses.

MYTH: If you have astigmatism, you’re not a candidate for LASIK. This is a common misconception, and definitely a myth.  Having astigmatism means that the eye’s front surface, or cornea, is shaped more like a football rather than a basketball.  In most cases, LASIK can reshape the eye to make it look more like a basketball, which is ideal for improving vision. Technological advances now allow newer lasers to safely treat it.

MYTH: You should get a “lifetime guarantee” on your LASIK procedure. You wouldn’t ask for a lifetime guarantee on your heart valve, would you? The same is true for LASIK. Although it’s elective, it’s still a surgical procedure, and doctors are working with soft tissue that can respond, heal and age differently from person to person.  If a center is offering a lifetime guarantee, consider whether its doors will be open 5 years from now. Sometimes these guarantees are only good if you have poor vision in both eyes – or only for a specific window of time, which is why it’s so important to read the fine print.

TRUTH: LASIK isn’t for everyone. This is true. If you are looking for a guarantee of perfect vision, you may not be an ideal candidate. No one can promise an exact outcome for LASIK surgery, and certain conditions affecting the eye prevent some people from being an ideal candidate. However, according to statistics, nine out of 10 patients can see 20/20 or better following LASIK.

And now I’d love to hear from you—what LASIK-related myths have you heard about? I would be happy to debunk them for you.

Video: Dr. Randleman & Daren

Who Is J. Bradley Randleman, MD?

Dr. Randleman of Emory Vision will be performing surgery on Daren Wang, our Live LASIK candidate, so I thought it would be fitting to tell you a bit about Dr. Randleman’s background.

Since practicing and teaching at Emory, he has trained over 50 physicians in refractive surgery, cataract surgery and corneal transplantation. Additionally, he’s authored 50-60 scientific publications, as well as a handful of book chapters on LASIK and various topics in ophthalmology.

Dr. Randleman has contributed over 50 hours of national lectures and presentations, and he’s the Associate Editor of for The Journal of Refractive Surgery.

Recently, Dr. Randleman’s outstanding skills were recognized on a national level when he was awarded the Secretariat Award from the American Academy of Ophthalmology for his contributions to the field. He was also awarded the prestigious Claes Dohlman Society Award, an honor that is bestowed in the US only once a year to an individual who demonstrates academic and surgical excellence in Cornea and Refractive Surgery training.

Over the span of his career, Dr. Randleman has performed thousands of LASIK procedures. Despite his busy schedule, he always makes a point to meet with his patients personally to analyze their vision and the health of their corneas.

Outside of Opthalmology, Dr. Randleman’s passions include photography and traveling the world.

We feel very fortunate to have Dr. Randleman on the Emory Vision team. Sufficed to say, Daren Wang is in extraordinarily capable hands!

In the near future, I’ll devote a blog post to John Kim, MD, and Maria Woodward, MD—two equally talented physicians that complete our Emory Vision team.

Notes on a LASIK Consultation

So I just got back from my Emory Vision consultation. I had a lot of questions about the process, side effects, bad results, and the like. But first off, I did a bunch of tests. You put your chin on a chin rest, and then you stare ahead at lights, or dots, and you can’t blink for a few seconds. I think they should install some periscope handles under the testing equipment, just because it’d be cool.

They map your corneas and retinas, and the visuals reminded me of 2001: A Space Odyssey. I did not encounter HAL9000 though.

All joking aside, it was fascinating to go through the process, and the Emory Vision staff was a great source of information. I had read a piece in a magazine about problems with LASIK, and I was kind of anxious about whether to go through with the whole thing after reading some of the stories. But after the testing process, they determined that I was a good candidate for the procedure. I spoke with Rhonda Brown for a while and asked a bunch of questions, and she really put me at ease. Dr. Randleman came in, and we talked and decided that blended vision was a great option for me. Then they assembled a set of Thomas Dolby looking test glasses for me to put on so they could gauge the effect that blended vision would have on me.

Don’t I look cool?

We talked at length about what I could expect on surgery day and afterward, the improvements to the technology over the years, and the limitations of the procedure. I am so ready to be rid of these glasses.