About Cynthia Kiernan

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Cynthia Kiernan has created 392 blog entries.

Charles Bonnet Syndrome and Visual Hallucinations

Have you ever heard of Charles Bonnet?  He was a Swiss naturalist, philosopher, and biologist (1720-1793) who first described the hallucinatory experiences of his 89-year-old grandfather, who was nearly blind in both eyes from cataracts.  Charles Bonnet Syndrome is now the term used to describe simple or complex hallucinations in people who have impaired vision.  

Symptoms

People who experience these hallucinations know they aren't real.  These hallucinations are only visual, and they don't involve any other senses. These images can be simple patterns or more complex, like faces or cartoons.  They are more common in people who have retinal conditions that impair their vision, like macular degeneration, but they can occur with any condition that damages the visual pathway.  The prevalence of Charles Bonnet Syndrome among adults 65 years and older with significant vision loss is reported to be between 10% and 40%.  This condition is probably under reported because people may be worried about being labeled as having a psychiatric condition. 

Causes

The causes of these hallucinations are controversial, but the most supported theory is deafferentation, […]

2024-07-09T04:00:00+00:00July 9th, 2024|Blog|

An Eye on Fireworks Safety

Fireworks Eye Injuries Have Skyrocketed in Recent Years

Fireworks sales are exploding across the country through the Fourth of July. As retailers are blazing their promotions, we and the AAO are shining a light on this explosive fact–the number of eye injuries caused by fireworks has rocketed in recent years.

Fireworks injuries cause approximately 15,600 emergency room visits each year, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The injuries largely occurred in the weeks before and after the Fourth of July. The CPSC’s fireworks report showed that about 2,340 eye injuries related to fireworks were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2020, up from 600 reported in 2011.

To help prevent these injuries, the Academy has addressed four important things about consumer fireworks risks:

  1. Small doesn’t equal safe. A common culprit of injuries are the fireworks often handed to small children – the classic sparkler. Many people mistakenly believe sparklers are harmless due to their size and the fact they don’t explode. However, they can reach temperatures of up to 2,000 degrees […]
2024-07-02T04:00:00+00:00July 2nd, 2024|Blog|

Your Makeup Could Be Drying Out Your Eyes

Dry Eye Disease affects more than 5 million people in the United States, with 3.3 million being women and most of those being age 50 or over. And as people live longer, dry eye will continue to be a growing problem.

Although treatment options for dry eyes have improved recently, one of the most effective treatments is avoidance of dry eye triggers.

For some that might mean protecting your eyes from environmental triggers. To do that experts recommend using a humidifier in your home, especially if you have forced hot-air heat; wearing sunglasses when outside to help protect your eyes from the sun and wind that may make your tears evaporate faster; or being sure to direct any fans  – such as the air vents in your car – from blowing directly on your face. For others, it may mean avoiding medications that can cause dry eyes.

There is one other trigger that may need to be avoided that doesn’t get as much notice: the potentially harmful ingredients in cosmetics.

Cosmetics do not need to prove that they are “safe […]

2024-06-25T04:00:00+00:00June 25th, 2024|Blog|

Frame Your Face

Choosing a new pair of eyeglasses can be a daunting task.

Making a decision on what style glasses you will be wearing for the next year until your vision is checked again can be stressful. This is one of the many reasons opticians are here for you. In many ways, this may be the most important task for the optician, because keeping you happy with the way you look motivates you to wear your glasses daily.

Most people’s reaction is to play it safe with new glasses and stick with something relatively similar to what they are currently wearing.

While not necessarily a bad decision, this isn’t something opticians try to promote. Opticians often spend time meeting with frame representatives and browsing the Internet to keep up with the ever-changing trends in the world of eyeglass frames. And it’s a great feeling to successfully “update” your image with a new set of frames. Many patients are amazed at the difference a well-fit and -styled pair of glasses makes on their overall look.

There are many simple tips […]

2024-06-18T04:00:00+00:00June 18th, 2024|Blog|

What Is Causing My Eyes to Change Color?

It's pretty common for eye doctors to have older patients come in asking if the white part of their eye, the sclera, has a growth or is turning a gray color.

Usually, the culprit is senile scleral plaque, which is commonly seen in people over the age of 70. It is a benign condition and more commonly seen in women.  This condition is symmetrically found on both sides of the eye and is due to age-related degeneration and calcification of the eye muscle insertion into the eye.  In one study, the size of the senile scleral plaque increased as the person aged and was not associated with any medical conditions.  People are asymptomatic, as the plaques do not affect vision and no treatment is needed.

Another commonly asked question is: Why is the colored part of my eye turning white?  

The colored part of the eye is the iris, which is covered by a clear layer called the cornea.  It is actually the edge of the cornea that attaches to the white part of the eye that becomes […]

2024-06-11T04:00:00+00:00June 11th, 2024|Blog|

What to Know About Dropless Cataract Surgery

After cataract surgery, there are two main issues we try to control: preventing infection and controlling inflammation.  Traditionally, we prescribed antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection, as well as steroid eye drops to control post-operative inflammation. But eye drops can be hard for some patients to put into their eyes. Now we have some alternatives to using drops after surgery.   

There are some antibiotic solutions we can place inside the eye at the end of the cataract surgery that have been shown in most studies to do as good or better a job preventing infection as using antibiotic eye drops before and after surgery.

The FDA approved steroid delivery methods to reduce post-operative inflammation that have the potential to eliminate post-op steroid eye drops in most (but not all) patients who are undergoing cataract surgery. Two of these products are called Dexycu and Dextenza.

Dexycu is a white bolus of steroid medication that is injected inside the eye after cataract surgery. It will not be visible in most patients because it is injected behind the iris, or the […]

2024-06-04T04:00:00+00:00June 4th, 2024|Blog|

The Solution for Your Contact Lens Care

Oftentimes, contact lens wearers will skimp on their lens care because some of the solutions are costly and it seems like a good way to save some hard-earned cash. But this is not a good idea.

Cutting corners can result in infections or irritations, and after one or two copays to your eye doctor's office you probably will have spent more than what you saved in a year by cutting corners–plus you have to deal with your discomfort and inability to wear your contact lenses while you are being treated.

The reasons you clean your contacts is to give increased lens comfort, prolong lens oxygen permeability, and to protect your eyes from infection. The reason you have to disinfect your contact lenses is – as nasty as it may sound – that your eyeball and eyelids are covered in essential bacteria that are kept in check by your body’s immune system. When you remove your contact lens at night it is covered in these essential bacteria. If you don't kill them overnight this will allow the […]

2024-05-21T04:00:00+00:00May 21st, 2024|Blog|

6 Reasons to Wear Great Sunglasses

Sunglasses are more than just a fashion statement – they’re important protection from the hazards of UV light.

If you wear sunglasses mostly for fashion that’s great–just make sure the lenses block UVA and UVB rays.

And if you don’t wear sunglasses, it’s time to start.

Here are your top 6 reasons for wearing sunglasses:

#1–Preventing Skin Cancer

One huge way that sunglasses provide a medical benefit is in the prevention of skin cancer on your eyelids. UV light exposure from the sun is one of the strongest risk factors for the development of skin cancers.  

Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.

About 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers are associated with exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun.

Your eyelids, especially the lower eyelids, are also susceptible to UV light and they do develop skin cancers somewhat frequently.

Many people who now regularly apply sunscreen to help protect them from UV light often don’t get that sunscreen up to the edge of […]

2024-05-14T04:00:00+00:00May 14th, 2024|Blog|

7 Tips for Your Best Eye Exam

The eye holds a unique place in medicine. Your eye doctor can see almost every part of your eye from an exterior view. Other than your skin, almost every other part of your body cannot be fully examined without either entering the body (with a scope) or scanning your body with an imaging device (such as a CAT scan, MRI, or ultrasound).

This gives your eye doctor the ability to find many eye problems just by looking in your eye. Even though that makes diagnosing most problems more straightforward than in other medical specialties, there are still many things you can do to get the most out of your eye exams. Here are the top 7 things you can do to get as much as possible out of your exam.

1) Bring your corrective eyewear with you. Have glasses? Bring them. Have separate pairs for distance and reading? Bring them both. Have contacts? Bring them with you and not just the lenses themselves but the lenses prescription, which is on the box they came in. What […]

2024-05-07T04:00:00+00:00May 7th, 2024|Blog|