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To Our Valued Patients,

With the evolving situation of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and under the guidelines of the Health Officer of the Alameda and Contra-Costa Counties, our offices are open to provide eye and vision care.

Please keep in mind that in order to maintain social distancing protocols and to limit further transmission of the virus, we will be working with a reduced staff and seeing a fewer number of patients as compared to our “normal” schedule. Priority will be given to the most urgent medical cases. We will be implementing a number of measures (including altered check-in/check-out procedures, limiting the number of patients in the office and waiting room, face covering for all persons, temperature screening, etc) that will change your experience in the office. In addition, we will be ramping up our already strict disinfection policies and we will continue to monitor and abide by all local, state and, federal guidelines. Please bear with us through this new reality as these changes are designed to protect you and our staff.

We hope to see you soon and appreciate your trust in us to continue to meet your eye care needs. Stay safe and stay healthy!

The Turner Eye Institute Team

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Ophthalmology

How to Reduce Your Risk of Cataracts

Lively Older Man Riding His Bicycle, Laughs And Enjoys Life. SenWhat Are Cataracts?

Healthy eyes properly focus on objects thanks to their crystalline lens. After the age of 50, many people experience protein buildup, which gradually causes the lens to become opaque, which leads to cataracts. The resulting fogginess and blurriness reduce vision since the cataract scatters light, causing less light to reach the retina. Unless the cataract is surgically removed and replaced with a clear lens, blindness can ensue.

Cataracts can develop due to aging, genetics, diabetes, head trauma, eye injuries, even excessive smoking, and drinking.

The most common signs of cataracts are:

  • Sensitivity to strong light
  • Diminished nighttime vision, especially while driving
  • Frequently needing to update your eyeglass prescription
  • Faded colors
  • Seeing duplicate images
  • Seeing halos around lit objects

Keeping Cataracts at Bay

According to the National Institutes of Health’s National Eye Institute, by 2050, 50 million Americans will have cataracts. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce or delay the prospect of falling into that demographic.

Eat a diet rich in certain antioxidants and nutrients:

Lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamins C and E, and zinc decrease the risk of cataracts and other eye diseases.

Foods containing these nutrients include green leafy vegetables; eggs; salmon; cantaloupes, corn, carrots and peppers; apples, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, kiwi, mangoes, peaches, and tomatoes; hazelnuts, almonds, and peanuts; sunflower seeds; oils: soybean, canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, and wheat germ; and vitamin-fortified cereals.

In addition to improved nutrition, the following preventative steps can help keep cataracts at bay:

  • Avoid processed, fried, and junk foods.
  • Quit/avoid smoking and drinking alcohol
  • Wear protective eyewear and wide-brimmed hats to reduce exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays
  • Keep diabetes under control by maintaining healthy blood sugar levels.
  • Monitor your blood pressure.
  • Visit Dr. Chirag R. Patel routinely for eye exams. Early detection may save your sight!

If you’ve sustained eye injuries, had eye surgery, or been prescribed steroids for prolonged periods, make sure to let Dr. Chirag R. Patel know, as these can all cause cataracts.

Make an appointment with Dr. Chirag R. Patel to assess and reduce your risk of cataracts. If cataracts are affecting your vision, speak with Dr. Chirag R. Patel to discuss surgical options for their removal.

 

Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute assists patients in San Leandro, Concord, Castro Valley, Alameda, and throughout California.

References:

 

Signs That You Might Have Cataracts

Middle Aged Couple Multifocal ContactsThe crystalline lens, which sits inside the eye, allows us to focus on objects near and far. The lens is thin, soft, and clear throughout our youth, but the gradual buildup of protein that begins in our 40s or 50s makes the lens thick, rigid, and opaque. Left untreated, the cataract will disrupt vision, and can eventually cause blindness.

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • foggy or blurred vision, with less light reaching the retina
  • sensitivity to light, especially strong sunlight
  • difficulty seeing at night, especially while driving, when the headlights of approaching cars appear dispersed
  • frequently needing to update your eyeglass prescription
  • colors becoming less vivid and more yellow
  • images appearing in duplicate, even with only one eye open
  • halos around lit objects

Besides aging, cataracts can develop due to

  • genetics
  • medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • head trauma
  • eye injuries
  • excessive smoking and drinking
  • Poor nutrition

What Can be Done About Cataracts?

Wearing sunglasses, ingesting Vitamins C and E, and eating antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and nuts can delay the onset of cataracts.

If you suspect you may have cataracts, the first step is to contact Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute, where Dr. Chirag R. Patel will conduct a thorough examination, including dilating your pupils to check for possible protein buildup on your crystalline lens. If you have cataracts but can still see well, you might benefit from a strengthened eyeglass prescription.

When updating your prescription ceases to help, cataract surgery is the best solution. In that case, Dr. Chirag R. Patel will speak with you about the advantages of cataract surgery. If the examination finds cataracts in both eyes, the procedures will almost certainly be performed on separate days to allow each eye to recover independently.

During cataract surgery, Dr. Chirag R. Patel will replace the affected lens with an artificial lens. It is done on an outpatient basis, is virtually painless, and has a very high rate of success.

At Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute, we care for patients with cataracts from San Leandro, Concord, Castro Valley, Alameda, and throughout California.

References:

If You Want Perfect Vision For Summer, Start Thinking LASIK Now!

woman enjoying summerWhether you have big summer plans or prefer a more low-key vacation, having clear vision without having to wear contacts or glasses will give you the freedom to experience the world in a whole new way. If you’ve been contemplating LASIK for a while and pushing it off, perhaps the following reasons will convince you this is a great time to consider this successful option for getting rid of your glasses once and for all. Could it be the right time to visit Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute for a consultation regarding your LASIK candidacy and start your path to life without eyeglasses?

Why Is It Best To Have LASIK Done Before Summer Vacation?

Make Your Travels Comfortable

If you wear glasses or contacts, you know the struggle involved in traveling with eyewear. You want to sleep on the plane or in the car but don’t know the best place to safely keep your glasses. Following LASIK, you’ll no longer have to worry about losing a contact lens or breaking a pair of glasses.

Hassle-Free Vision

When you wear glasses or contacts, the list of eye-related items to pack in a suitcase can be daunting. In the past, you may have packed an extra pair of glasses, prescription sunglasses, extra contact lenses, storage solution, lens cases and cleaning solutions. With clearer vision after LASIK, you’ll be able to cross these items off your packing list.

Even if your summer plans involve little more than playing some ball with your kids and lounging by a pool, not having to worry about breaking or misplacing your eyewear can make these activities more pleasant and less stressful.

Enjoy The Great Outdoors

One of the most compelling reasons to undergo LASIK before the summer is quality of life. You’ll be able to see underwater while swimming and participate in watersports without the need for prescription goggles or the fear that your glasses might break or your lenses might pop out. Then there’s the ability to simply notice every small detail of your vacation with vivid clarity.

Perfect For College Students, Too

An additional, yet important, benefit of choosing LASIK before the summer is that college students will have enough time to recover and adjust to their new vision before the new academic year begins. The surgery is generally free of complications and requires very little down-time, but blurry vision can sometimes be a short-term side effect. While this doesn’t apply to the majority of patients, giving yourself enough time to completely recover before school starts in the fall will set you up for success.

Get Your LASIK Screening By Calling Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute

There are so many reasons to choose LASIK now, before summertime. But all those reasons boil down to an overall increased quality of life, which is what our practice offers with LASIK. If you are ready for improved, hassle-free, and effortless vision, call Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute today.

With summer’s warm weather just around the corner, you might be planning for more time out in the fresh air.

If you’re a glasses or contact lens wearer, you know that they can be uncomfortable for doing sports, swimming, and being in windy conditions.

LASIK surgery can give you the freedom to engage in whatever outdoor activities you like without needing to wear glasses or contact lenses.

Visit our practice to evaluate your LASIK candidacy and begin your journey to hassle-free vision.

Can a Nutritious Diet Prevent Age-Related Cataracts?

slice orange fruit and strawberries 1116558Age-related cataracts are extremely common — so common, in fact, that more than half of all adults develop cataracts in one or both eyes by age 65. Left untreated, cataracts can gradually cause vision loss, even blindness. You can take steps to prevent this. By consuming foods or supplements rich in antioxidants, you may be able to slow the development and progression of cataracts.

What are Cataracts?

Cataracts refer to the clouding of the eye’s natural lens due to light passing through to the retina in a scattered, rather than focused, manner. This leads to changes in vision, resulting in blurry vision and faded colors. This also impacts one’s ability to clearly see at night.

Cataracts come in three forms: nuclear, cortical, and posterior capsular, each of which depends on their locations on the lens.

Age-related cataracts are caused by tissue breakdown and protein clumping on the lens. Exactly why this happens isn’t yet clear. Cataracts must be taken seriously. Unaddressed, they can lead to vision loss or even blindness.

Once a cataract has developed, there is no cure except to have it surgically removed

How Are Cataracts Diagnosed?

To diagnose cataracts, an optometrist will assess the patient’s visual acuity, color vision, and evaluate their sensitivity to bright light. Dr. Chirag R. Patel will also examine the front of the eye using a microscope, called a slit lamp, and check the retina for signs of cataracts.

Once cataracts have been diagnosed, the condition must be carefully monitored with regular eye exams. Because vision deteriorates over time, eyeglass or contact lens’ prescriptions will need to be frequently adjusted.

It is strongly advised to regularly wear sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats to avoid the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays on the eyes. Furthermore, since cataracts cause poor night vision, with halos around street lights and car headlights, people with cataracts may need to stop driving at night.

Once the condition has reached an advanced stage, the cataract will have to be surgically removed and replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL).

Diet and Nutritional Supplements Can Help Against Cataracts

Research suggests that antioxidants play an important role in staving off cataracts. In one study of 30,000 women aged 49 and older, those who consumed the most antioxidants had a 13% lower risk of developing cataracts than the group of women who consumed the least.

Certain foods and supplements rich in antioxidants may protect against free radicals — unstable atoms that cause cellular damage — that attack the lenses of the eyes and contribute to the formation of cataracts. Four powerful nutrients, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin, can delay the onset and even decrease the risk of developing cataracts.

Foods containing these nutrients include:

Lutein and zeaxanthin

Kale, spinach, egg yolks, salmon and certain yellow and orange vegetables, such as cantaloupes, corn, carrots and peppers

Vitamin C

Apples, bananas, grapefruit, oranges, peaches, spinach, tomatoes

Vitamin E

Nuts: hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts (including peanut butter)

Seeds: sunflower seeds

Oils: soybean, canola, corn, sunflower, safflower, wheat germ

Green leafy vegetables: spinach, broccoli

Fruit: kiwi, mangos, tomatoes

Vitamin-fortified cereals

To preserve eye health and reduce the risk of cataracts, you’ll want to avoid processed, fried and junk foods.

Consult Dr. Chirag R. Patel to learn about nutrition’s role in avoiding cataracts and which other steps you can take to maintain eye health.

Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute serves patients from San Leandro, Concord, Castro Valley and Alameda, in California.

References:

https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/cataracts.htm#:~:text=Antioxidant%20vitamins%20and%20phytochemicals%20found,and%20E%2C%20lutein%20and%20zeaxanthin.

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/nutrition/nutrition-and-cataracts

https://www.aop.org.uk/advice-and-support/for-patients/eye-conditions/cataracts

https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/cataract#:~:text=A%20cataract%20is%20a%20cloudy,in%20infants%20and%20young%20children.

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/cataracts-treatment

https://www.reviewofoptometry.com/article/how-to-help-prevent-cataract

https://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/lutein.htm#:~:text=The%20best%20natural%20food%20sources%20of%20lutein%20and%20zeaxanthin%20are,and%20zeaxanthin%20include%20egg%20yolks.

 

Can You Undergo Cataract Surgery and LASIK Surgery?

Happy Middle Aged CoupleHave you had LASIK surgery as a young adult and are now wondering whether it may compromise your eligibility for cataract surgery later in life? You can put your mind to rest; it is indeed possible for someone to undergo both LASIK and cataract surgery — though only in that order. Someone who’s had LASIK can have cataract surgery later in life, but someone who’s had cataract surgery, in most cases, is no longer a candidate for LASIK or other refractive surgeries.

If you have any questions about your eligibility for either surgery or regarding any other ocular health matter, call Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute for all of your eye care needs.

Understanding LASIK Surgery and Cataract Surgery

To better understand why cataract surgery is possible following LASIK surgery, it’s important to know the basics of both procedures.

LASIK surgery and other refractive surgeries are performed on the cornea — the dome-shaped, clear tissue at the front of the eye. During LASIK surgery, a laser reshapes the cornea so it refracts, or bends, light waves more precisely onto your retina (the light-sensitive tissue lining the back inner portion of the eyeball), resulting in clearer vision.

Cataract surgery, however, is performed on the eye’s natural lens — which is positioned just behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). The lens is responsible for focusing the light that passes through the eye onto the retina to produce a clear, crisp image. A healthy lens should be transparent and clear. Those with cataracts experience a clouding of the lens which disturbs normal vision. During cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a synthetic lens, improving the clarity of your vision.

Cataract Surgery Without Having Had LASIK

The artificial replacement lens is designed to correct vision and replace prescription glasses. For those who have not had refractive surgery, vision correction through cataract surgery is usually uncomplicated and has a predictable outcome. After cataract surgery, many patients experience clear distance vision without the need for spectacles, although many will still need their reading glasses.

Cataract Surgery Following LASIK Surgery

The modern equipment used by Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute takes very accurate measurements of the eyes, even many years after having undergone LASIK surgery. However, it is still highly recommended for those who have had LASIK surgery to provide the surgeon with all previous eye health records so that the appropriate lens implant be used for cataract surgery. If you do not already have them, you can request these records from the doctor who performed your LASIK surgery. If obtaining these records is not possible, cataract surgery can still be an option, though the postoperative refractive error may not be as predictable.

Contact Us For All Your Eye Health Concerns

Whether you’ve had LASIK or not, you still may have questions about your vision and ocular health. At Ophthalmology Center at Turner Eye Institute, we’re here for you. Speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members about all of your vision and eye-related concerns.

Dr. Chirag R. Patel serves patients from San Leandro, Concord, Castro Valley, Alameda, and throughout California.

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