About Cynthia Kiernan

This author has not yet filled in any details.
So far Cynthia Kiernan has created 381 blog entries.

Why You Shouldn’t Try to Get By with Just Contact Lenses

There is an old adage in the eye care industry–Glasses are a necessity, contact lenses are a luxury. Ninety-nine percent of the time this is absolutely true. In the absence of unusual eye disorders or very high prescriptions that don’t allow a person to wear glasses comfortably, contact lenses should only ever be worn if there is a good, sturdy, updated set of prescription glasses available, too. This is due to the fact that there are often emergencies where people cannot wear their contact lenses.

In the 21st century, contact lens technology has gotten to the point where we have drastically cut down on the number of adverse events related to contact lens wear. However, human beings were not meant to wear little pieces of plastic in their eyes. Contact lenses are still considered a foreign body in the eye, and sometimes with foreign bodies, our eyes might feel the need to fight back against the “invader.” As such, issues like red eyes, corneal ulcers, eyelid inflammation, dry eyes, and abnormal blood vessel growth can result […]

2024-04-16T04:00:00+00:00April 16th, 2024|Blog|

The Lowdown on Low Vision

Recent Census Bureau data shows a population of approximately 71 million baby boomers (the generation born from 1946-1964). What does that have to do with low vision you may ask? Approximately 40 million people worldwide have some sort of blindness, and aging increases the incidence of macular degeneration and other vision impairment that qualifies them as “low vision” persons.

Low vision is a condition of the eye in which the vision falls below 20/70 in the better seeing eye. It impairs the recipients, rendering them unable to perform daily tasks that others take for granted. With this rising aging population, the awareness of low vision therapy, diagnosis, and treatments are more widely available.

Low vision treatment can help people recover from decreased visual function due to retinal disease, brain injury, neurological damage, and other causes.

It is not only the elderly population that is affected–approximately 20% of low vision patients are children under the age of 18. Childhood genetic disorders of the eye such as retinitis pigmentosa, albinism, Bests disease, ROP, rod/cone disorders, and glaucoma are […]

2024-04-09T04:00:00+00:00April 9th, 2024|Blog|

Why Dilation Reversal Drops Are Not Currently an Option

Getting your eyes dilated can be inconvenient – dilation makes your eyes light sensitive, which can make it difficult to read books or use phones and computers for a few 4 hours.

So wouldn’t it be great to have another drop to reverse the effects of dilation?

On Dec. 31, 1990, dapiprazole, under the trade name Rev-Eyes, was approved by the FDA and thought to be the answer to all the post-dilation problems. It was marketed for treatment of medically-induced dilation by stimulating pupillary constriction and restoration of accommodative function for reading.

In clinical practice, dapiprazole took between one to two hours to return pupils to pre-dilation size.

Side effects such as stinging upon instillation, conjunctival hyperemia (redness of eye), headache, and a few instances of ptosis (lid drooping), with a possible additional dollar cost to patients, seemed to lessen dapiprazole’s overall clinical benefit.

Reading ability returned in approximately 43 minutes with dapiprazole vs 66 minutes without the drop (Optom Vis Sci 1994 May; 71(5):319-22). The main complaint that people had after using dapiprazole was the […]

2024-04-02T04:00:00+00:00April 2nd, 2024|Blog|

Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, and You

We are frequently asked if it’s wise to have cataract surgery if you have Macular Degeneration.

Let’s start with some background.

  1. Cataracts and Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are both leading causes of visual impairment in the elderly population.
  2. Cataracts develop when the normal clear lens gets cloudy with age. This is correctable with cataract surgery, which involves replacing the cloudy lens with a clear, artificial lens.
  3. While cataracts affect the front part of the eye, AMD causes damage to the retina, which is the inner back lining of the eye.

There have been concerns about cataract surgery causing progression of AMD. It has been thought that there was an inflammatory component to AMD and the normal inflammatory response after cataract surgery may lead to AMD progression.

But studies have looked at patients who underwent cataract surgery compared to patients who didn't have cataract surgery and the progression of AMD was not significantly different between the two groups. However, those patients with AMD who underwent cataract surgery had a significant improvement in vision.

AMD patients […]

2024-03-26T04:00:00+00:00March 26th, 2024|Blog|

Eye Safety for the Upcoming Solar Eclipse

Mark your Calendars!!! On Monday, April 8, a solar eclipse will be visible across the entire continental United States and most of Canada.

A solar eclipse occurs when the moon blocks any part of the sun, and with this one, the vast majority of North America will experience at least a partial eclipse.

A lucky few million people along a path from Texas to Kentucy to Ohio to Maine and eastern Canada will experience a brief total eclipse when the moon completely blocks the sun for up to 4 minutes. During this time, it will look like dusk along that path.

This total eclipse will make the solar corona visible, and stars and the planets may also be visible during this time.

But looking directly at the sun before it is completely covered is unsafe. Although there is a limited chance of eye damage if you are in the proper area during the total eclipse it is not worth the risk of retinal damage to even take a quick look at the eclipse if it is […]

2024-03-19T04:00:00+00:00March 19th, 2024|Blog|

12 Terrible Eye Jokes

  1. Why did the guy try to avoid eye surgery by rubbing ketchup in his eyes?  He had heard that Heinz sight was 20/20.
  2. Patient: “Doc, I get a stabbing pain in my eye every time I take a sip of coffee."  Doctor: “Have you tried taking the spoon out of the mug?"
  3. What do you call a penguin with no eye?  A pengun!
  4. At what elevation is your vision the best?  See Level.
  5. Why don’t optometrists use tape measures?  They’re really good at eyeballing it.
  6. What did the eyeball say to the eyelid?  "I wish you wouldn't keep me in the dark!"
  7. Why did the pirate walk into the bar?  He had his patch on the wrong eye.
  8. Cop: “Let me know if you see the suspect with one eye.” Bystander: “I already saw him run that way, but I was using both my eyes.”
  9. Man 1: “I stopped seeing my girlfriend two days ago.”  Man 2: “Really?  What happened?” Man 1: “She accidentally poked me in the eyes.”
  10. Woman 1: “I used to date […]
2024-03-12T04:00:00+00:00March 12th, 2024|Blog|

Why Are My Eyes Red?

There are many things that can cause your eye to turn red.

The eye looks red when the blood vessels that are in the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that covers the white of your eye and the backside of your eyelids) becomes dilated.

Those blood vessels often dilate when the eye gets irritated. This irritation can originate from a problem occurring inside the eye or factors from outside the eye.

The most common external factors that can cause the eye to become red are exposure to infectious organisms (mostly viruses and bacteria), environmental irritants (smoke, chemicals, sunlight), or allergens.

Infectious organisms can cause infectious conjunctivitis, or what is more commonly referred to as “pink eye.” This condition often presents with the eye being red and a mucous discharge being produced, often to such a degree that the eyelids are crusted over upon awaking in the morning. Infectious conjunctivitis can be extremely contagious and it is often advised that you severely limit your exposure to others while the problem is active. Infectious conjunctivitis caused by bacteria can […]

2024-03-05T05:00:00+00:00March 5th, 2024|Blog|

Pregnancy Can Change Your Eyes

We all know that during pregnancy, a woman's body goes through a great deal of change hormonally and physiologically.  But did you know her eyes change as well?  Below are some of the most common effects pregnancy can have on the eye.

  • Corneal changes. In some cases, pregnancy can cause the cornea, the front window of the eye, to change curvature and even swell, leading to shifts in glasses and contact lens prescriptions. In addition, changes in the chemistry of the tear film can lead to dry eyes and contact lens intolerance. It is for these reasons that it is generally not recommended to have any new contact lens fitting or new glasses prescription checks until several months postpartum. We want to get the most accurate measurements possible.
  • Retinal changes.  Many different conditions can affect the retina during pregnancy. If the pregnant woman has diabetes, diabetic eye disease can progress by 50%. In women with preeclampsia, a condition where blood pressure rises significantly, over 40% of women can show changes in the retinal blood vessels, […]
2024-02-20T05:00:00+00:00February 20th, 2024|Blog|

Help for Those with Low Vision

Recent Census Bureau data shows a population of approximately 70 million baby boomers (the generation born from 1946-1964). What does that have to do with low vision you may ask? Approximately 40 million people worldwide have some sort of blindness, and aging increases the incidence of macular degeneration and other vision impairment that qualifies them as “low vision” persons.

Low vision is a condition of the eye in which the vision falls below 20/70 in the better seeing eye. It impairs the recipients, rendering them unable to perform daily tasks that others take for granted. With this rising aging population, the awareness of low vision therapy, diagnosis, and treatments are more widely available.

Low vision treatment can help people recover from decreased visual function due to retinal disease, brain injury, neurological damage, and other causes.

It is not only the elderly population that is affected–approximately 20% of low vision patients are children under the age of 18. Childhood genetic disorders of the eye such as retinitis pigmentosa, albinism, Bests disease, ROP, rod/cone disorders, and glaucoma are […]

2024-02-13T05:00:00+00:00February 13th, 2024|Blog|

Basics of Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration, often called ARMD or AMD, is the leading cause of vision loss among Americans 65 and older.

AMD causes damage to the macula, which is the central portion of the retina responsible for sharp central vision. AMD doesn't lead to complete blindness because peripheral vision is still intact, but the loss of central vision can interfere with simple everyday activities such as reading and driving, and it can be very debilitating.

Types of Macular Degeneration

There are two types of macular degeneration: Dry AMD and Wet AMD.

Dry (non-exudative) macular degeneration constitutes approximately 85-90% of all cases of AMD. Dry AMD results from thinning of the macula or the deposition of yellow pigment known as drusen in the macula. There may be gradual loss of central vision with dry AMD, but it is usually not as severe as wet AMD vision loss. However, dry AMD can slowly progress to late-stage geographic atrophy, which can cause severe vision loss.

Wet (exudative) macular degeneration makes up the remaining 10-15% of cases. Exudative or neovascular refers […]

2024-02-06T05:00:00+00:00February 6th, 2024|Blog|