• What Is Astigmatism?

    How much do you know about astigmatism? Most people have very little understanding of this condition, but it’s a common problem. Like nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism is not an eye disease, but merely a problem with how the eye focuses light. Astigmatism causes blurry vision and often occurs alongside other vision conditions.

    Put simply, astigmatism means your eye shape is not completely round. It’s a condition with no known cause, and if it’s mild enough, it may not even give you any trouble. It can be present at birth, or it can happen after an eye injury or surgery, but it isn’t caused by sitting too close to the television or reading in low light. Most people have astigmatism to some degree, and it’s not really a problem unless it prevents you from seeing clearly.

    Astigmatism is diagnosed through an eye exam. Some doctors use retinoscopy to determine the amount of astigmatism a person has. This process involves shining a light into the person’s eye while putting a series of lenses between the light and the eye. On the other hand, many doctors have replaced this manual procedure with a test by an automated instrument that checks for astigmatism and other refractive errors. However your eye exam is performed, your eye doctor will probably follow up with a test called manual refraction, to refine the results of your preliminary examination. The doctor will place an instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes, and you’ll look through different lenses to determine which make your vision clearer. Once that’s established, your doctor can write an eyeglasses prescription. Sometimes, wearing glasses or contact lenses is a good solution for your astigmatism.

    Another option for the treatment of astigmatism is refractive eye surgery. This might be LASIK surgery, or your doctor might recommend PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). Each of these procedures reshapes the cornea using lasers. PRK does this by removing tissue from the superficial and inner layers of the cornea, while LASIK only addresses the inner layers.

    If you’re experiencing blurred vision or eye strain, particularly after reading, you may be suffering from astigmatism. If your vision is unclear for any reason, you should schedule an eye exam. When you’re looking for an experienced eye doctor in Derry, you should check out Spindel Eye Associates. Celebrating our thirtieth year of eye care, we proudly serve patients in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, providing personalized eye care using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

  • Post-LASIK Eye Surgery Care Tips

    LASIK eye surgery is a common procedure, and it only takes about five to ten minutes per eye. After you’ve had LASIK, you probably know you’ll need someone to drive you home. But what happens after that? Do you know what to expect in terms of vision and discomfort? What are the best ways to take care of yourself to facilitate healing and protect your vision?

    • The first six hours are considered the recovery period. The way people feel after the LASIK procedure varies widely, with some people finding the difference nearly miraculous, and others feeling that their vision is very hazy. Similarly, some people feel like nothing at all has happened to their eyes, while others report the feeling of sand or an eyelash irritating the eye. Whatever you feel right after LASIK, it’s probably not going to change drastically in the first two hours. By hour three or four, the sensitivity has diminished or vanished completely, and vision is clear
    • During the first week after surgery, be gentle with yourself. You’ll still need your eye drops, you will follow up with your doctor, and you should probably sleep wearing the eye shields your doctor will give you. You will probably be allowed to drive after the next day follow-up with your doctor, but you might want to take a couple of days off work anyway. Don’t wear eye makeup during that first week, and don’t exercise, swim, or go into a pool or hot tub. Wear sunglasses religiously for the first week, and take it easy on the reading; you don’t want to strain your eyes.
    • For a month after your surgery, take precautions. Do not play contact sports for at least a month after LASIK eye surgery. Don’t rub your eyes, either, because you could disrupt the healing process. Smoke can irritate your eyes

    The most important thing you can do to care for yourself after LASIK eye surgery is to follow-up with your doctor. Following your doctor’s instructions and going back in for check-ups is the best way to make sure your eyes heal correctly and you have the best possible results from your procedure. If you’re looking for an eye doctor in Derry, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating our thirtieth year of eye care, we proudly serve patients in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, providing personalized eye care using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

  • Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Treatment Options

    • First, what is a Meibomian gland? Meibomian glands are located in the eyelids and named after Dr. Heinrich Meibom, who first noticed and made drawings of them, all the way back in 1666. There are a lot of them: 25 to 40 Meibomian glands in the upper eyelid and 20 to 30 in the lower lid. They secrete oil onto the eye’s surface to help prevent tears from evaporating. When the amount or quality of this oil is compromised, or the gland itself becomes blocked or otherwise changes, MGD can be the result.
    • What puts you at risk for Meibomian gland dysfunction? As is the case with many other eye issues, the risk of MGD increases as you age. If you wear eye makeup and don’t thoroughly remove it from around your eyes, especially before bed, it can raise your risk of MGD. There may be a connection between contact lens wear and MGD, though most researchers agree that there’s not enough evidence yet to determine that conclusively.
    • What are the symptoms of MGD? Redness, gritty sensation, itchy feeling in your eyes, and blurred vision are the primary symptoms. You might also have irritated and inflamed eyelids. Many people with MGD have an uneven, rough-looking inner rim of the eyelid. Symptoms can get worse if the air is very dry, or if you spend a lot of time focused on a computer screen. To diagnose MGD, your doctor might apply pressure to your eyelid and observe the Meibomian gland’s secretions.
    • How is Meibomian gland dysfunction treated? MGD can be treated with warm compresses and eyelid massage, but that is not always effective. Two of the most effective treatments and newest are LipiFlow and Intense Pulsed Light.
      • LipiFlow: LipiFlow thermal pulsation system uses both heat and pulsed pressure in a two-part approach. While applying heat to the eyelids in order to melt the waxy deposits in the Meibomian glands, it applies pulsed pressure to the eyelid, opening the glands to thoroughly express their contents.
      • Intense Pulsed Light: In this procedure, the doctor applies shields, on the face and around the eyes to protect the eyes from the light. After applying a thin layer of cooling gel to the treatment area, the doctor will then use a small handheld device to flash intense pulses of light around the eyelids. The contents of the Meibomian glands are then expressed.

    If you’re looking for an eye specialist familiar with the most up-to-date treatments for Meibomian gland dysfunction, trust the experience and knowledge of the doctors at Spindel Eye Associates. Celebrating our thirtieth year of eye care, we proudly serve patients in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, providing personalized eye care using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

     

  • Diabetes and Eye Health

    You may have heard that, among its other complications, diabetes can lead to blindness. While it’s true that people with diabetes are more vulnerable to loss of vision, it’s not exactly the disease itself that causes the problem. Rather, diabetes makes people more susceptible to eye diseases, including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and macular edema.

    • Diabetic retinopathy is the most common diabetic eye disease. In fact, about one in three people over forty who have diabetes also have some signs of diabetic retinopathy. In this condition, high blood sugar levels cause damage to small blood vessels in the retina and, if it’s not treated early, this can cause blindness. Fortunately, early diagnosis and treatment of diabetic retinopathy can reduce the risk of blindness by 95 percent.
    • People with diabetes tend to get cataracts earlier than other people. Unfortunately, cataracts also progress faster in diabetics. Cataracts cloud the eye’s natural lens, causing blurry vision and glare. Sometimes, these symptoms can be managed with eyeglasses, but usually, cataracts are treated with surgery. For a person with diabetes, vision after cataract surgery largely depends on whether other eye diseases are also present.
    • Diabetic macular edema usually occurs in people who already have signs of diabetic retinopathy. This condition involves swelling of the macula, the part of the retina necessary for reading, driving, and seeing people’s faces. This swelling is caused by fluid seeping from blood vessels into the retina and can cause permanent damage that can lead to partial vision loss or blindness. Treatment for macular edema may include medications injected into the eye to stop the leaking, or lasers can be used to seal leaking blood vessels.

    If you have an eye problem associated with diabetes, you might not even know it. Many of these conditions do not cause symptoms until they’ve progressed to the point that jeopardizes your vision and is difficult to correct. Catching them in the early stages is the best way to protect your vision, and the only way to do that is through regular eye exams. That’s why it’s important to find an eye doctor who is experienced with vision problems caused by diabetes.

    If you’re looking for an eye specialist near Derry, Spindel Eye Associates is here for you. Celebrating our thirtieth year of eye care, we proudly serve patients in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, providing personalized eye care using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

  • Trifocals…Really?

    All of us have heard about bifocals and their segmented design: a lens split cleanly with a definitive line marking the different prescriptions for farsightedness and close reading. While they get a bad rap, bifocals can be genuinely helpful for most people who need them, and they can be a great solution to those with presbyopia. But what if they just don’t cut it? The problem with bifocals is that they only target two vision areas, near and far, and can leave some things in the middle blurry. Spindel Eye Associates wants to tell you about a great solution: trifocals.

    Trifocals vs. bifocals

    Bifocals are some of the most common prescription glasses sold around the world. They help correct presbyopia, a condition generally brought on by natural aging, where you begin to lose your ability to clearly see things that are close. They come in different styles and lens designs, where the prescriptions take up different areas of the lens. For instance, executive bifocals—or the Franklin bifocal, as they’re sometimes called—split the two prescriptions in a straight line all the way across, not quite halfway up the lens. However, the biggest issue with bifocals is that they can leave things in between the near and far prescriptions blurry and unfocused.

    With trifocals, the lenses in your glasses have three prescriptions: near, far, and intermediate. The intermediate prescription can be placed in a few different places on your lens to accommodate your vision needs and preferences, and it allows you to see more comfortably in a way that’s more similar to your natural eyesight before the presbyopia set in.

    While bifocals limit your view of the world into two distances and a blurred middle, trifocals allow you a full range of sight at all distances. They give you a sight that is more natural than bifocals do because they allow for a broader range of depth and clarity, while maintaining your peripheral vision.

    Trifocal designs

    In every pair of trifocals, the intermediate segment is situated directly above the near power segment. The intermediate segment uses about half of the magnifying power of the near segment, allowing you to see things a bit further away that would still be blurred by the distant segment. Trifocal lenses come in two different layouts, giving you the freedom to choose which one gives you the optimum visual results you need. The flat-top trifocal lens is perhaps the most popular, and it fits the near and intermediate segments into a neat D-shape. This allows for good peripheral vision as it doesn’t span across the whole of the lens, and it’s an easy design to get used to. The executive trifocal lens is similar to the executive bifocals in that the prescriptions span all the way across the lens. The intermediate segment is thinner than the other segments on this design, but it allows a broader range of corrected vision.

    Using our knowledge and experience, Spindel Eye Associates can help you choose a design that works best for you.

    See more with trifocals from Spindel Eye Associates.

  • When Should My Child Get Her First Eye Exam?

    As a parent, you want the very best for your children, but more than anything, you want them to be healthy and happy. To this end, you take your baby for regular pediatric check-ups, dental exams, and even specialists, if they’re recommended. But what about her eyes? We know that eye health is important, but sometimes it takes a backseat to the rest of the medical issues you worry about with a new baby.

    Spindel Eye Associates has been treating and examining children’s eyes for years. To bring this expertise to you, we’ve gathered some important information on how often and when your child should get eye exams.

    If your child is at risk

    Several factors can put your child at higher risk for developing visual issues. It’s important that you be aware of these factors and mention them whenever you take your child to her eye exams. These risk factors include:

    • Premature birth
    • Low weight at time of birth
    • Intraventricular hemorrhage of a grade III or IV
    • If the mother had an infection while pregnant
    • Difficult labor or assisted labor
    • Family history of certain eye diseases and conditions
    • Central nervous system dysfunction, either known or suspected

    If your child has any of these risk factors, the first eye exam should happen before the age of six months and then as frequently as recommended, depending upon your child’s risks and what your child’s eye doctor suggests.

    If your child is not at risk

    If your child doesn’t have any of these risk factors, he or she should get the first eye exam around 6 months old, followed by an exam at the age of 3. Kids should have another eye exam before they begin kindergarten and then every two years or so after that if they have no corrective needs and continue to be free of symptoms of eye issues. If your child’s doctor suggests more frequent eye exams, follow his or her recommendation. Some key symptoms of developing eye problems include:

    • Delayed motor development
    • Rubbing eyes more often than normal
    • Inability to maintain eye contact or hold a gaze while looking at an object
    • Blinking more often than they should
    • Redness or irritation that persists for more than a few hours
    • Complaints of pain in or around the eyes
    • Poor hand-eye coordination for their particular stage of development
    • Inability to track a moving object with their eyes

    Early detection is key

    As with most health issues for adults and children, early detection of a problem can be key in the treatment and prognosis. If you notice your child having symptoms, or if you know that your child is at high risk for eye diseases and conditions, make sure you take him or her to the eye doctor as recommended, so that professionals like Spindel Eye Associates can ensure your child’s eyes are healthy.

    Test your baby’s eyes at Spindel Eye Associates.

  • The Pros and Cons of Transition Lenses

    Transition lenses, or photochromic lenses, are the lenses that darken in the sunlight and lighten in softer light or the dark. These lenses have been around for a decade or more, and they offer the convenience of sunglasses without having to wear them over your prescription glasses or having to constantly switch between the two. But is it really as good as it sounds? Is it worth it?

    Spindel Eye Associates knows that these are pressing questions for you, so we’ve compiled a little information to help you make a well-informed decision.

    The pros

    The benefits of having transitional lenses can seem obvious, but not all of them are apparent. Here are some of the biggest pros to getting a pair of transitional lenses:

    • Cost effective – Photochromic or transitional lenses can actually be quite cost effective. With transitional lenses, you end up not having to buy two pairs of glasses: prescription sunglasses and normal glasses. You get the best of both, rolled into one simple solution.
    • Convenient – Transitional lenses are very convenient because they save you from having to carry around two pairs of glasses and having to switch between them to meet different needs. With transitional lenses, you can wear sunglasses while driving and still be able to read important street signs.
    • Limits risk of losing glasses – Carrying around two pairs of glasses means that you’re much more likely to lose or misplace one of them. Having only one pair makes it easier on you.
    • Protects your eyes – Transitional lenses do more than function as sunglasses. They actually filter out a good deal of the harmful UV rays emitted from the sun, leading to healthier and happier eyes.
    • Different styles – Transitional lenses come in a myriad of styles, shades, and tints suitable for anyone’s tastes, so it won’t limit your fashion sense: It will encourage it.

    The cons

    So does the bad outweigh the good? We’re here to help you find out. These are some of the drawbacks of photochromic lenses:

    • Ineffective in cars – Photochromic lenses darken in reaction to UV rays, which your windshield blocks. Because of this, transitional lenses won’t darken very well in the car.
    • Differences in brands – Another issue that can arise with photochromic lenses is that different brands have different levels of darkness and different reaction times. Speaking with your eye doctor about this can help you find the brand that works best for you.
    • Affected by cold weather – Transitional lenses are also affected by colder weather, meaning they take a bit longer to react to UV rays in winter.
    • Might not be polarized – Most transitional lenses aren’t polarized, which could result in harsh glares. Check with your eye doctor to see what option is best for you.

    How to decide

    Consulting with your eye care professional about transitional lenses is the best way to decide what will work for you. Finding your optimum eye care choice may involve a lot of details and discussion, but it will lead to you being happier with the outcome. Spindel Eye Associates knows from years of experience that getting to know your needs and visual goals is an essential step to great results.

    Test transitional lenses at Spindel Eye Associates.

  • Am I Too Old for LASIK?

    If you’re tired of the hassle of glasses or contact lenses, you’re not alone. Are you considering LASIK corrective surgery? Are you healthy and want to be able to do the things you enjoy—such as golf, fishing, gardening, horseback riding, or painting—without worrying about losing your glasses or your contacts slipping on your eye? If you’re over 60, you’re probably worrying that your age will interfere with your plans to get LASIK. Spindel Eye Associates has treated many seniors with LASIK surgery, and we have important information to help you decide if you’re a good candidate.

    It’s not your age, it’s your health

    When eye doctors consider older patients for LASIK surgery, age is taken into consideration, but the final decision largely depends upon a number of other factors, such as your current health and likelihood of developing cataracts. The important factors include:

    • Your current health – Your current health can have a big impact on how risky and effective the LASIK procedure will be for you. If you have diabetes or glaucoma, the risks might be more than the surgery is worth. Prime candidates will have no or few preexisting conditions, and their vision will have been stable for a year or two prior to the LASIK procedure.
    • Current medications – The medications that you’re currently taking also can play a big role in the risks of the surgery. If you aren’t currently taking anything, that’s fantastic, but certain medications can have symptoms or side effects that make surgery unnecessarily riskier or complicate the results. One medicine in particular that treats arrhythmia can have devastating consequences on your eyes, such as corneal ulceration, optic neuropathy, and corneal microdeposits, which can complicate the procedure as well as render it ineffective. It’s important to always disclose any medications that you are taking with your doctor, so he or she can help you make the right call.
    • Cataracts – The likelihood of your eyes forming cataracts increases with age, especially from age 60 and older. If you don’t have cataracts yet, your doctor will probably assess your likelihood of developing cataracts before making the decision because having LASIK surgery can complicate the lens transplant that corrects cataracts if they do develop in the future. Often, if you’re at high risk for cataracts, your doctor might suggest waiting, or if you already have cataracts developing, your doctor will probably suggest a cataract removal and then clear lens exchange as the modality of treatment, as this will heal the cataract, as well as help to restore your vision.

    Speak with your doctor

    All in all, your age will affect your candidacy for the procedure, but it will by no means exclude you from it. If you’re a relatively healthy person whose vision has stabilized, and you don’t have cataracts or other preexisting eye conditions or diseases, you will likely be a better candidate than a younger person who has diabetes, a poor diet, and is on medication that could affect the surgery. The bottom line is that you should discuss the risks and benefits of LASIK surgery with an eye care specialist, such as Spindel Eye Associates.

    Get your LASIK consultation at Spindel Eye Associates today.

  • All about Bifocal Contact Lenses

    Contact lenses have long been hailed as a more attractive, convenient, and carefree alternative to glasses. But what most people don’t realize is that you can now get contact lenses in bifocal forms that target presbyopia and refractive errors. With different materials and designs, finding the best bifocal contact lens fit is possible. Spindel Eye Associates are experts who offer prescription bifocal contact lenses. Below is some key information about bifocal contact lenses.

    Different designs

    There are two different categories of bifocal contact lenses, differentiated by how the lens is laid out: simultaneous vision designs and segmented designs. While both categories are beneficial and help correct your vision, you may find that one seems more comfortable and natural to you than the other. It’s not unusual for people to have their own preferences on which design works best for them.

    • Simultaneous vision designs – Simultaneous designs have specific regions of the lens designated for seeing near and far, and they come in two subsets: concentric lenses and aspherical lenses. Your eyes will adjust naturally and use whichever power it needs at a particular moment. Concentric lenses have distant viewing power in the very center of the lens, with alternating near and distant viewing powers in concentric rings from the center. Aspherical contact lenses also have distance sight in the center of the contact, but it gradually fades outward into other viewing powers.
    • Segmented designs – Segmented design takes the typical bifocal glasses approach and applies it to contact lenses. This means that the top and middle of the contact is usually for distant viewing powers, while the bottom portion of the lens works as a magnifying glass for near viewing. This design is also called alternating or translating design. Unlike simultaneous vision designs, these lenses are flat on the bottom, allowing your eye to move behind the lens to see through the prescription you need from moment to moment, whereas simultaneous vision designs allow the lens to move with your eye.

    Different materials

    Similar to the single-vision contact lenses everyone knows and loves, bifocal contact lenses come in several different materials, so you can choose the one that feels most natural on your eye. The materials for bifocal contact lenses are either soft or rigid gas permeable, though there are now hybrid lenses with a combination of both materials for comfort and practicality. Also available is a silicone hydrogel material, a fascinating breakthrough that has been lauded for its comfort and natural feel because it allows much more oxygen to reach the eye than other lens materials.

    Are they right for you?

    Successful bifocal contact lens wearers have been shown to be more open, agreeable, and conscientious, and bifocal lenses themselves offer the freedom, convenience, aesthetic appeal, and simplicity that single-vision lenses offer. The fitting process for bifocal contact lenses tends to take longer and can sometimes end up being more expensive than standard contacts. Because of this, finding the design that works best and feels the most natural can take a few fittings. While some lens materials may require you to trade a little visual capacity for comfort, such as the softer ones, it is often unnoticeable. And switching to hybrid or rigid gas permeable lenses typically resolves any complaints.

    Spindel Eye Associates recommends discussing the benefits of bifocal contact lenses with your eye doctor, who can help you make the best decision for you. If you have any questions about bifocal contact lenses, don’t hesitate to give Spindel Eye Associates a call. We’d be happy to answer any questions or concerns.

    Try bifocal contacts at Spindel Eye Associates today.

  • Top 5 Foods for Optimum Eye Health

    What you eat plays a major role in your eye health. Over time, it can actually stave off certain diseases and conditions, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and declining vision due to macular degeneration. Your body thrives from a well-balanced and healthy diet containing a blend of foods that you need. But your eyes especially benefit from antioxidants found in healthier foods, such as fish, certain vegetables, and some fruits. Spindel Eye Associates wants everyone to have the best vision possible, so we’ve compiled this list of the top five foods that promote healthy eyes.

    The list

    • Fish – Fish, especially cold-water fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, are excellent foods to include in your diet due to their high content of omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are the best food source for these omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to the prevention of dry eyes and cataracts, while also promoting healthy visual development.
    • Citrus fruits and berries – Oranges, lemons, grapefruits, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries—some of these favorite fruits can be the key to healthy eyes. They contain essential vitamins and minerals to promote healthy vision, mainly vitamin C. Vitamin C helps the development and health of vascular structures in your eyes, preventing cataracts and macular degeneration.
    • Leafy greens – Kale, spinach, collard greens, and even green veggies, such as broccoli and peas, contain the all-star duo of lutein and zeaxanthin. These two important elements work together to promote overall eye health, including reducing macular degeneration.
    • Red, orange, and yellow veggies – These contain vitamins A and C, as well as carotenoids, carrots and other red, yellow, and orange vegetables, such as peppers, which are important to the eyes. Vitamins A and C are proven to help overall eye health, while preventing night blindness and cataracts. Carotenoids are thought to actually reduce the risk of developing other serious eye diseases and conditions.
    • Eggs – Eggs are packed with protein and nutrients, including the ever-important vitamin A and lutein. They reduce the risk of night blindness and macular degeneration, helping to preserve your vision and eye health.

    Eating healthy

    The key takeaway is that a healthy, balanced diet, including foods such as these, is essential to preserving your sight and health. Citrus fruits and fresh berries are high in antioxidants that your eyes need, and broccoli, peas, peppers, whole grains, lean beef, and even dairy products have all been shown to be beneficial for your eyes. Dairy is good because it contains zinc, which helps with night vision and cataract prevention, and certain nuts, seeds, and legumes harbor vitamin E, which also helps prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

    The true key to great eye health is to eat a healthy diet and take care of your body, along with scheduling regular eye exams and taking care of any eye issues as soon as symptoms arise. Vitamin supplements can be used to help an irregular or unbalanced diet, but you might be missing out on other key nutrients that healthy foods provide. Spindel Eye Associates in New Hampshire knows how important your sight is to you, and we can help you achieve great vision.

    See if your eyes are healthy at Spindel Eye Associates.