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How Sleep Apnea Affects The Eyes

Did you know that some eye conditions are associated with sleep apnea? According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and Health Canada reports similar prevalence. It’s a sleep disorder where people stop breathing — often multiple times per night — while sleeping.

If you have sleep apnea: it tends to take longer for your tears to be replenished, you’re more likely to have ocular irritation, you have a higher chance of developing floppy eyelids, and you’re at increased risk for glaucoma.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

There are different types of sleep apnea. The most common one is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During OSA, your airway becomes partially blocked due to relaxed muscles in your nose and throat. This causes apnea (the absence of breathing) or hypopnea (abnormally shallow, slow breathing). It’s twice as common in men, and is more likely to affect people with obesity, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s oxygen supply, which can lead to potentially serious health consequences.

While snoring is a common symptom, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Interrupted sleep can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability or depression, headaches in the morning, difficulty concentrating and thinking, and a sore throat.

Which Eye Conditions Are Associated With Sleep Apnea?

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, leading to vision loss and sometimes blindness. In some cases, it might be due to a drop in blood oxygen levels, which happens when you stop breathing. However, CPAP machines, one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea, can also cause glaucoma.

So, people with sleep apnea — even if it’s being treated — need to get their eyes checked on a regular basis for glaucoma.

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome (FES) is an eye condition where a person has an unusually large and floppy upper eyelid. It can cause eye redness, irritation, discharge, or blurry vision — and over 90% of people with FES also have sleep apnea.

Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is an eye condition that occurs when there is a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve. Patients typically complain of significant vision loss in one eye without any major pain. Approximately 70-80% of patients with NAION have been found to have OSA.

Retinal Vein Occlusion

Also referred to as an ‘eye stroke,’ retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. A recent study of 114 RVO patients found that sleep apnea was suspected in 74% of the patients that had previously been diagnosed with RVO.

Other Eye Health Issues Associated With Sleep Apnea

Some other ocular conditions that are more common in patients with sleep apnea include: papilledema, keratoconus, and central serous chorioretinopathy. Furthermore, in addition to glaucoma mentioned above, CPAP machines are associated with dry eye syndrome and bacterial conjunctivitis.

Talk To Your Doc

Get eye exams regularly to rule out eye disorders and prevent potential vision loss, especially if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. At August Wallace Eyecare Associates in Longview we encourage you to share your medical history with us so we can better diagnose and treat any eye conditions or ocular diseases you may have, and help you keep your eyes nice and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. August Wallace

Q: What Causes Sleep Apnea?

  • A: Sleep apnea occurs when in-part or completely stop breathing when sleeping. This causes your lungs to strain harder for oxygen, and makes the brain send signals that jerk your body awake to resume proper breathing.

Q: What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

  • A: A common sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Snoring that is loud enough to disturb the sleep of the patient as well as others around, even across the walls. That said, not everyone who snores suffers from obstructive sleep apnea.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Longview, Texas. Visit August Wallace Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

What You Should Know About Night Blindness

If you don’t see well while driving at night, there’s a chance you have night blindness. Night blindness, or nyctalopia, is the inability to see well at night or in dim lighting. It’s not considered an eye disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem.

Our eye doctor in Longview can help diagnose, manage and treat your night blindness with specialized digital eye exams, so that you can enjoy being out and about at night again.

Here are 4 things you should know about night blindness:

Causes of Night Blindness

The inability to see well at night can be the result of a condition such as:

  • Vitamin A Deficiency — Vitamin A helps keep your cornea, the layer at the front of your eye, clear; it’s also an important component of rhodopsin, a protein that enables you to see in low light conditions. Although uncommon in North America, deficiency of this vitamin can induce night blindness.
  • CataractsA buildup of protein clouds the eye’s lens, leading to impaired vision, especially at night and in poor lighting conditions.
  • Diabetic RetinopathyDamage to the eyes’ blood vessels and nerves can result in vision loss, including difficulty seeing at night.
  • GlaucomaThis group of eye diseases is associated with pressure build-up in the eye that damages the optic nerve. Both glaucoma and the medications used to treat it can cause night blindness.
  • MyopiaAlso called nearsightedness, myopia makes distant objects appear blurry, and patients with it describe a starburst effect around lights at night.
  • KeratoconusAn irregularly shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may involve sensitivity to light and glare which tend to be worse at night.
  • Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)A progressive genetic eye disease which can be associated with other diseases, RP leads to night blindness and peripheral vision loss.
  • Usher SyndromeThis genetic condition causes both hearing loss and vision loss, including night blindness and RP, mentioned above.

Symptoms of Nyctalopia

Since night blindness is a symptom of some serious vision problems, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly to ensure that everything is in good working order. Contact your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice that you don’t see as well in dim light as you used to, such as when driving at night or when adjusting from being outdoors in the sunshine to being indoors.

Symptoms of Night Blindness Include:

  • Reduced contrast sensitivity
  • Difficulty seeing people outdoors at night
  • Difficulty seeing in places with dim lighting, like a movie theater
  • Trouble adapting to the dark while driving
  • Excessive squinting at night
  • Trouble adjusting from bright areas to darker ones

Treatments for Night Blindness

Your eye doctor will want to diagnose the cause of your night blindness in order to treat it. For example, in the rare case of vitamin A deficiency, it can be treated with vitamin supplements and vitamin-A rich foods; myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Other conditions may require medications or surgery.

If night blindness is caused by a birth defect, Usher syndrome, or retinitis pigmentosa, low vision aids and devices can help you make the most of your remaining vision.

Prevention

While there is no proven way to prevent night blindness resulting from genetic conditions or birth defects, consuming healthy, nourishing foods and taking certain vitamin supplements may prevent or slow the onset of some eye conditions that cause night blindness.

If you experience poor vision at night or in dim lighting, we can help. Contact August Wallace Eyecare Associates in Longview to schedule your appointment today.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. August Wallace

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Longview, Texas. Visit August Wallace Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Think you can’t wear Contact Lenses? Meet Dr. Wallace in Longview, TX

dr august wallace eye exam with patient 6At August Wallace Eyecare Associates in Longview, TX, our optometrist, Dr. August Wallace, performs various contact lens fittings for patients of all types, from children through adults. However, unlike the standard optometrist, Dr. Wallace also handles special cases that require a more delicate, experienced approach.

Patients who experience an eye emergency often believe that they can refer to urgent care to stop eye pain. Unfortunately, no drug or medication can actually reduce eye pain – the eye doesn’t have the same nerve endings like the rest of the body. Although drowsiness could mask some of the problems, eye pain is better suited with a bandage contact lens. Dr. Wallace utilizes these specialty contact lenses to immediately slow or stop eye pain within a short while. Plus, as an expert in eye care, Dr. Wallace can diagnose and administer the proper steps to restore your vision to normal.

While a bandage contact lens can solve eye pain, there are patients who face a number of symptoms, such as haloes, blurry vision, dizziness, and occasional eye pain due to an irregular cornea. Advance cases of a corneal irregularity are often due to the eye disease, keratoconus. An unhealthy cornea, the outer surface of the eye, means that contact lenses that rest on the surface of the eye are not suitable. Standard contact lenses could move out of place and even case corneal scarring due to the uneven surface. Therefore, Dr. Wallace utilizes scleral lenses or hybrid lenses to help patients with corneal irregularities find relief and achieve amazing clarity.

If you’ve been told that you can’t wear contact lenses, schedule a contact lens evaluation with Dr. August Wallace in Longview, TX.

Halloween Contact Lenses? Just Say No

halloween lenses

Halloween Contact Lenses in Longview, TX

Cosmetic contact lenses can transform your humdrum Halloween costume into a dramatic, eye-catching expression. Whether you want to be a creepy cat, zombie ghoul, bloody vampire, or simply black out your irises, costume contacts are the perfect finish to any costume. Insert a pair of novelty contact lenses and watch every gaze turn your way.

Although we don’t sell specialty colored contact lenses, be sure to consult with one of our optometrists for guidance about what colored contacts are safe for your eyes.

Look Scary, Be Safe

When you wear special effects (SFX) contact lenses, you aim to look scary – but not have a scary experience with your own vision! Many patients might think that it’s safe to buy contacts for Halloween from any website or store without a prescription from an eye doctor. Yet to avoid serious damage to your eyes, a licensed optometrist must administer a complete eye exam to take precise measurements and ensure the proper contact lenses are prescribed – contacts are considered medical devices after all. We provide full contact lens exams, and we carry regular contact lenses as well for your everyday use.

Contact lenses are not one-size-fits-all. A poor fit can lead to eye infections, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers, and other severe eye injuries and conditions. Many cosmetic masking lenses are thicker than standard contacts, which makes them less permeable to oxygen. Therefore, depending upon the individual eye condition, some people cannot wear these contacts safely. Keratitis, one type of dangerous eye infection associated with wearing contact lenses improperly, can cause permanent vision loss.

Remember, costume contacts can turn your Halloween into a horrid nightmare if you don’t have a valid and current (less than a year old) contact lens fitting and prescription from your eye doctor. Our Longview, TX optometrist will examine your eyes to recommend the safest contact lens fit.

halloween akron ohCleaning Your Costume Lenses

While laundering your Halloween costume and accessories may not be possible, new contact lenses must be cleaned and disinfected just like normal lenses. Bacteria can spread and grow rapidly on contacts, in as little as 24 hours of wearing them.

If you experience symptoms of eye pain, redness or reduced vision that doesn’t go away quickly, contact us to schedule an immediate eye exam in our Longview, TX office. Many eye infections and injuries are treatable at the beginning, and there’s no reason to take risks with your vision.

Beware of Anime Lenses

These theatrical lenses may give you a striking presentation – like an illustrated character or doll – yet they are particularly unsafe for your eyes. With extra-large diameters, anime circle lenses are not medically approved or available by prescription. For the lasting health of your vision, our Longview, TX eye care specialist warns you to stay clear of buying these costume lenses!

Fantastic Collection of Contacts in Longview, TX

If you know exactly what you want, share your idea with our optometrists. We’ll gladly guide you in finding the best contact lenses for your eyes. If you’re not sure yet of your costume, our opticians can make suggestions to ensure that your eyes appear sensational.

What Happens If Cataracts Are Left Untreated?

glasses senior woman portraitA cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, which leads to loss of vision. Cataracts are part of the aging process and are very common in older people.

If you have cataracts, they will get worse over time, and your vision will get worse. Important skills can be affected, such as driving, and loss of vision affects the overall quality of life in many ways, including reading, working, hobbies, and sports. If left untreated cataracts can cause total blindness.

The main treatment for cataracts is eye surgery. Sometimes changing your eyeglass prescription will help improve your vision, but often it will not. Eye doctors recommend having cataract surgery before your cataracts start seriously affecting your vision. If you wait too long, your cataracts can become “hyper-mature”, which makes them more difficult to remove, and can cause surgery complications. In general, the best outcomes for cataract surgery take place when surgery is performed soon after vision problems develop. It’s best not to wait too long to have the surgery performed.

The best way to decide how to treat your cataracts, and when, is to discuss your options with your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will be able to give you the information you need to make a decision about your treatment options, as well as give you information about the best eye surgeons in your area. Your eye doctor is familiar with your medical history and treatment, and is in the best position to give you information and advice about treating your cataracts.

 

 

Will I need glasses after Cataract Surgery?

bigstock Happy Senior Man And Woman 1280X853

Clear Vision after Cataract Surgery

Following cataract surgery, a number of options are available to provide you with clear vision. Advanced lens implants may reduce your dependence upon eyeglasses and contact lenses, or you may prefer eyewear.

To explain, during cataract surgery, your eye doctor will concentrate on two specific issues:

  1. Resolving cloudy vision caused by cataracts
  2. Vision problems caused by the lens power and shape of your eye

Private insurance plans and Medicare typically cover the expense of cataract surgery, along with a single-focus intraocular lens implant – in which a clear lens replaces your opaque lens. However, as your eye doctor performs this surgery, you can also opt to have an additional procedure to improve your vision focus. This can eliminate or reduce your need for eyewear.

Ultimately, you and your eye doctor will decide together upon the most appropriate choice for your personal needs. To make the right decision, it is important to be informed how each option will affect your vision. Here are a few case examples to give you a clearer picture of the possibilities:

Mia:

A true bookworm, Mia is always reading when she is not working in data entry. She has healthy eyes with a mild astigmatism and dislikes wearing eyeglasses. She was just diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. After cataract surgery, Mia would be very pleased to reduce her dependence upon eyeglasses.

A perfect choice for Mia would be multifocal contact lenses, which enable near and far focus without any cumbersome eyeglasses.

Another option would be a procedure described as a “corneal relaxing incision”. During her cataract surgery, Mia’s eye doctor would make an additional incision in the cornea to reshape it.

Ethan:

Ethan is an avid outdoorsman who has mild astigmatism in both eyes and wears eyeglasses for sharp vision. Recently, he was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. He is not bothered with wearing glasses for reading or close tasks, yet he would love to bike, swim and jog without his prescription glasses.

An ideal vision correction for Ethan would be an intraocular lens implant that resolves astigmatism. Called a toric lens, this implant can focus his distance vision and thereby reduce the need for eyeglasses when engaging in outdoor physical activities. Most likely, he will still need reading glasses to see fine print and the computer screen, as a toric lens does not help with both near and distant vision.

Matthew:

Matthew was never a fan of reading glasses. Therefore, for over 15 years, he has worn monovision contact lenses successfully to provide distance for presbyopia. Monovision lenses correct one eye for distance and one eye for near vision. After his cataract surgery, he would like to continue wearing monovision contacts. However, this is not his only option.

Multifocal lenses can be implanted in both of Matthew’s eyes, thereby giving sharp focus for both near and distance in both eyes. Alternatively, his eye doctor can implant one lens for distance and one for near – following the monovision method. The best candidates for this option are generally patients who are accustomed to wearing monovision lenses, such as Matthew. The final choice is a personal one, based on his preferences.

Jerry:

Jerry has worn eyeglasses since he was a young child, and he is the proud owner of many stylish frames. In addition to providing clear eyesight, Jerry’s eyeglasses function as his trademark fashion accessory.

After cataract surgery, he is a good candidate for basic single focus lens implants. These implants will improve Jerry’s visual acuity without eyeglasses, yet he will still need eyewear to focus well on both distance and near tasks. This option is a great match for his personal preferences.

The type of vision correction you choose after your cataract surgery depends upon your ocular condition, individual lifestyle preferences and the professional recommendation of your eye doctor. Quality vision is the objective of every cataract procedure, and there is more than one way to reach this goal!

Progressive Frames or LASIK: Which Would You Choose?

senior woman wearing glasses longview txEye doctors today can help most patients who have vision problems stemming from presbyopia. Glasses and laser surgery are both options that are available to correct vision in this circumstance. Each option to correct vision has some advantages and disadvantages.

Progressive Frames

Glasses are an effective and common way to correct most vision problems, including presbyopia. Stylish, sophisticated and funky glasses are available for every occasion and personality.
Advantages:
Glasses are easy to wear, convenient, and comfortable. Progressive eyeglasses have become a common way to treat presbyopia, as you have one pair of glasses for reading, computer work, and distance, as opposed to needing different glasses for near and far vision. The newest lens technology makes lenses light and accurate. A wide selection of coatings for lenses are available, such as anti-reflective coatings, photochromatic coatings, and polarized coatings. Special glasses can be created for those who have special needs for work or sporting events.
Disadvantages:
Glasses without high index lenses that have strong prescriptions can be thick, and heavy, and less comfortable on your face than not wearing glasses. Glasses can fog up in the cold, and lesser quality lenses can have spots that appear blurry.

Laser surgery

Laser surgery has been an available vision correction option for about twenty years. Various procedures are available, and your eye doctor will decide what method is best for you. Generally, patients can see clearly shortly after the procedure. The most important requirement for an optimal procedure is that you are a good candidate for laser surgery to begin with. The surgical procedure is often performed as out-patient surgery, and usually only takes a few minutes.
Advantages:
You will not need glasses after the laser surgery. Modern laser correction procedures correct presbyopia. For people who hate glasses and can’t wear contact lenses, laser surgery can be a great solution. The other requirements for laser surgery are that the eye be fully formed (adults only can have this surgery), your refraction has not changed in two years, and and the cornea needs to be a certain thickness. As long as you use an experienced eye doctor, laser surgery is very low risk.
Disadvantages:
As with any surgery, laser surgery is an invasive procedure, which is performed on a basically healthy eye. Some side effects and complications could include temporarily dry eyes. These symptoms can last up to twelve weeks. Also, it’s possible that the procedure, while successful, won’t completely correct your vision, and you may need to continue to wear glasses.

Still not sure which is best for you, eye glasses or laser surgery? Schedule an appointment with Dr. August Wallace in Longview to discuss the options.

Multifocal Contacts: The Next Solution

multifocal-contact-lenses-longview-tx
If you are noticing a loss of near vision, then you probably have presbyopia. Maybe you want to enjoy the advantages of contacts, but also want to be able to ditch your reading glasses when reading or writing? Multifocal contact lenses may be exactly what you are looking for!

They come in many different types and designs, depending on your needs and preferences. They are available in both soft and rigid gas permeable lens materials. Hybrid lenses are also an interesting option for those looking for a contact lens that combines a soft outer skirt for comfort with a rigid gas permeable center for visual sharpness.

For more information, and to see if multifocal contact lenses are a good fit for you, contact Dr. Wallace today.

August Wallace Eyecare Invites Patients to Their New Longview Location

Screen Shot 2017 02 05 at 11 28 31 PMWith an enthusiastic crowd in attendance, August Wallace Eyecare Associates held a Ribbon Cutting ceremony for their new building on December 15, 2016. This momentous occasion marked the opening of a new, modern optometry clinic run by Dr. August M. Wallace, OD, and staffed by his friendly, first-rate team. In a show of community appreciation for this outstanding optometry practice, a colorful welcome banner decorated the exterior of the building, located in front of the Hampton Inn and Suites. Serving the neighborhoods of Longview, Hallsville and Marshall, Texas, Dr. Wallace specializes in primary eye care for patients of all ages.
Schedule an Eye Exam

Dr. Wallace has been providing expert eye care services since 2007. After progressing from making eyeglasses in a New Orleans optometry office to becoming an optician and then an optometric technician, he realized his true goal was to become an eye doctor. In 2007, he earned his Doctor of Optometry and BS in vision science degrees from Nova Southeastern University in Miami, Florida. Since then, Dr. Wallace gained valuable experience from his work at various private optometry practices, always striving towards the establishment of his own practice.

The grand opening of August Wallace Eyecare Associates advanced clinic at 3032 N. Eastman Rd, in Longview, TX, marks the actualization of a family dream. Helen Wallace, Dr. Wallace’s wife, is co-owner and manager of the practice. With the latest diagnostic tools and optometric technology, a total range of eye care services is provided. Dr. Wallace’s comprehensive eye exams inspect the entire visual system closely, including visual acuity, efficiency and processing skills. He treats and manages eye disease, giving full preoperative and postoperative care for cataract and glaucoma surgeries, as well as for refractive procedures, such as LASIK and PRK.

Dr. Wallace is dedicated to educating patients so they can make informed decisions about personal eye and vision health. As a family-friendly practice, he welcomes children from six months old and adults of any age. A great deal of his training was spent with our nation’s older veterans, giving him a unique expertise in age-related eye conditions. As a resident of Longview and a member of the Mobberly Baptist Church, he is dedicated to all members of the Texas community that he loves!

Dr. Wallace’s new Longview office features an extensive collection of contemporary eyewear. Patient satisfaction is the top priority, and the opticians work together with each patient to fit the most appropriate frames. Specialized requirements, such as protective eyewear and maximizing low vision, are fulfilled with the best solutions. In addition to stylish eyeglasses for adults and children, all types of contact lenses are available.

The doors are open at the new Longview, TX, location of August Wallace Eyecare Associates, and patients are invited to enter anytime. Appointments for eye examinations and ocular treatments can be set in advance with the office staff.

Contact:
August Wallace Eyecare Associates
info@aweyecare.com
3032 N Eastman Rd
Longview, TX 75605
PH: (903) 663-2020
Schedule an Eye Exam