Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Eye Injury Risk from Laser Pointers

Laser pointers are very often used in classrooms, lecture halls, during presentations and even as toys. But did you know that laser pointers can be a potential source of eye injury? Specifically, the greater a laser pointer's output power, the more likely it will cause serious eye injuries. Having a better understanding of the “do’s & don’ts’ of laser pointers as well as the potential for eye injuries as related to their strength and power, can go a long way to making that laser pointer on your desk or in your child’s hand a safe and useful tool.

Laser Pointer Output Strength
As the power increases above five milliwatts, the time margin for safe exposure decreases and permanent eye and skin damage can occur quickly. However, the output power of laser pointers is not immediately apparent to the user. Laser pointers often lack appropriate labeling or are mislabeled, and definitive testing of individual pointers is beyond the reach of the average consumer. What we know for sure is that even the briefest exposure to high-powered blue handheld laser products can cause serious eye injuries.

Researchers reporting the results of a study in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that if a laser with less than five milliwatts of output power is directed at someone's eye, that person can blink or turn away without suffering an eye injury. However, the natural protective mechanisms of the eye – such as the blink reflex – are ineffective against lasers with an output power greater than five milliwatts, and severe retinal damage may occur, even after momentary exposure.

Here's what the FDA advises:
·         Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
·         Don't buy laser pointers for your children.
·         Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
·         a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations);
·         the manufacturer or distributor's name and the date of manufacture;
·         a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation; and
·         the class designation, ranging from Class I to IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.

The problem is that many laser pointers lack labels or have inaccurate labels and the researchers found that 60 percent of the sampled laser pointer products that the FDA tests are overpowered compared with what the label says. Those pointers may be powered in the 10s or 100s of milliwatts!

How do you know if your laser pointer is overpowered?
Ideally, consumers could buy a laser pointer with the certainty that it has less than five milliwatts of power, however this isn’t possible based on the poor labeling and compliance. The FDA says that if you have a laser pointer that isn't labeled or if you don't trust the labeling, consider the following:
·         If the pointer is small and runs on button batteries, its output probably is less than five milliwatts.
·         If it's pen-sized and runs on AA or AAA batteries, it's likely to be more powerful and may exceed five milliwatts.
·         If it's flashlight-sized and runs on a cluster of AA or AAA batteries or runs on lithium batteries, it likely exceeds five milliwatts.
·         Pointers sold with battery chargers probably drain their batteries quickly and are likely to be overpowered.
·         Some pointers are sold with a removable cap that spreads the beam into a pattern.  If used without the cap, the beam becomes a single beam that could exceed 5 milliwatts.
·         Look for keywords that sellers might use to indicate a pointer is highly powered without saying that it's over five milliwatts: powerful, bright, ultra, super, military, military grade, super bright, high power, ultra bright, strong, balloon pop, burn, burning, adjustable focus, lithium battery, lithium powered.
·         Look for videos or photos that show the laser burning, melting, balloon popping or show a bright, well-defined beam of light
·         Look for purchaser comments on websites that tout the brightness or power of the product.

Blue & Violet Laser Pointers Are the Most Dangerous!
Blue and Violet laser pointers are the most dangerous because the human eye actually is less sensitive to blue and violet. So, while a person would react quickly to a red or green laser, that person may not blink or turn away as fast from an equally powerful blue or violet light, creating a greater likelihood of injury.

If you or someone you know is concerned about laser pointer use and eye safety, please have them contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help answer questions.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Eye Injury Risk from Laser Pointers

Laser pointers are very often used in classrooms, lecture halls, during presentations and even as toys. But did you know that laser pointers can be a potential source of eye injury? Specifically, the greater a laser pointer's output power, the more likely it will cause serious eye injuries. Having a better understanding of the “do’s & don’ts’ of laser pointers as well as the potential for eye injuries as related to their strength and power, can go a long way to making that laser pointer on your desk or in your child’s hand a safe and useful tool.

Laser Pointer Output Strength
As the power increases above five milliwatts, the time margin for safe exposure decreases and permanent eye and skin damage can occur quickly. However, the output power of laser pointers is not immediately apparent to the user. Laser pointers often lack appropriate labeling or are mislabeled, and definitive testing of individual pointers is beyond the reach of the average consumer. What we know for sure is that even the briefest exposure to high-powered blue handheld laser products can cause serious eye injuries.

Researchers reporting the results of a study in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that if a laser with less than five milliwatts of output power is directed at someone's eye, that person can blink or turn away without suffering an eye injury. However, the natural protective mechanisms of the eye – such as the blink reflex – are ineffective against lasers with an output power greater than five milliwatts, and severe retinal damage may occur, even after momentary exposure.

Here's what the FDA advises:
·         Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
·         Don't buy laser pointers for your children.
·         Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
·         a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations);
·         the manufacturer or distributor's name and the date of manufacture;
·         a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation; and
·         the class designation, ranging from Class I to IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.

The problem is that many laser pointers lack labels or have inaccurate labels and the researchers found that 60 percent of the sampled laser pointer products that the FDA tests are overpowered compared with what the label says. Those pointers may be powered in the 10s or 100s of milliwatts!

How do you know if your laser pointer is overpowered?
Ideally, consumers could buy a laser pointer with the certainty that it has less than five milliwatts of power, however this isn’t possible based on the poor labeling and compliance. The FDA says that if you have a laser pointer that isn't labeled or if you don't trust the labeling, consider the following:
·         If the pointer is small and runs on button batteries, its output probably is less than five milliwatts.
·         If it's pen-sized and runs on AA or AAA batteries, it's likely to be more powerful and may exceed five milliwatts.
·         If it's flashlight-sized and runs on a cluster of AA or AAA batteries or runs on lithium batteries, it likely exceeds five milliwatts.
·         Pointers sold with battery chargers probably drain their batteries quickly and are likely to be overpowered.
·         Some pointers are sold with a removable cap that spreads the beam into a pattern.  If used without the cap, the beam becomes a single beam that could exceed 5 milliwatts.
·         Look for keywords that sellers might use to indicate a pointer is highly powered without saying that it's over five milliwatts: powerful, bright, ultra, super, military, military grade, super bright, high power, ultra bright, strong, balloon pop, burn, burning, adjustable focus, lithium battery, lithium powered.
·         Look for videos or photos that show the laser burning, melting, balloon popping or show a bright, well-defined beam of light
·         Look for purchaser comments on websites that tout the brightness or power of the product.

Blue & Violet Laser Pointers Are the Most Dangerous!
Blue and Violet laser pointers are the most dangerous because the human eye actually is less sensitive to blue and violet. So, while a person would react quickly to a red or green laser, that person may not blink or turn away as fast from an equally powerful blue or violet light, creating a greater likelihood of injury.

If you or someone you know is concerned about laser pointer use and eye safety, please have them contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help answer questions


D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Spring Eyeglass Trunk Show


D’Ambrosio Eye Care is pleased to announce their Spring Eyeglass Trunk Show providing the opportunity for eyeglass wearers to see and try on the latest spring eyewear lines and to learn about high technology eyeglass lenses from leading designers and eyeglass lens manufacturers. Guests will get great savings on selections and purchases made during the show!

Spring is a time we all like to freshen up our look and getting a new pair of eyeglasses in the latest spring fashions is a great way to do that. This season we are featuring eyeglass frames from Juicy Couture, Carrera, Liz Claiborne, Jimmy Choo, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Denim, Banana Republic & Polaroid Sunwear to name a few. The Transitions® Lenses are a really popular choice as we enter the warmer weather and people want the convenience of the color changing lenses as we spend more time outdoors. Our opticians, frame stylists and staff will be available to assist guests in eyeglass lens selection in order to select the best looking, best fitting and best performing eyeglass choices. Choosing new eyeglasses is really worthwhile at our Spring Eyewear & Eyeglass Trunk Show because anyone attending who orders eyeglasses at the trunk show will be given a 35% discount on complete eyeglasses and lenses.


The Spring Eyeglass & Eyewear Trunk Show at D’Ambrosio Eye Care will be held 479 Old Union Turnpike Lancaster, MA 01523 on Saturday April 11, 2015 from 9:00 AM until 1:00. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Better Diagnosis & Treatment Reduce Glaucoma Blindness

About Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a condition where the eye does not drain fluid properly, resulting in high pressure in the eye that can damage the optic nerve. In the United States, 2.7 million people age 40 and older have the condition. If left untreated, glaucoma reduces peripheral vision and eventually may cause blindness.
 
Dr. Wu
There is good news for those with glaucoma or at risk of getting glaucoma. New advances in diagnosis and treatment are thought to lower the chance of vision loss, and in fact the risk of blindness from glaucoma has dropped by nearly half according to researchers from Mayo Clinic.
According to the Mayo Clinic study, the likelihood of losing sight in one eye was 28 percent for patients diagnosed with glaucoma between 1965 and1980. That number fell to 13.5 percent for patients diagnosed between 1981 and 2000.

At D’Ambrosio Eye Care our doctors and staff spend a great deal of time educating  patients about their risk of glaucoma and encouraging patients to have regular eye exams with glaucoma testing as this is the best way to detect glaucoma early and initiate treatment as quickly as possible. Our doctors use a combination of advanced technology for the earliest possible detection and diagnosis of glaucoma including Optical Coherence Technology (OCT) as well as high resolution digital photography for diagnostic purposes. This early diagnosis along with in office laser treatments for glaucoma has contributed to our ability to prevent vision loss and blindness from glaucoma. Despite these advances, 15 percent of those diagnosed with glaucoma still do go blind. We can’t over emphasize the importance of getting regular eye exams to detect glaucoma in the early stages so that we can prescribe vision preserving treatment as soon as possible.

If you or someone you know is concerned about glaucoma, has any risk factors for glaucoma or needs to schedule a glaucoma eye exam, please feel free to contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Eye Injury Facts & Myths

Getting the facts about eye injury can possibly help you to prevent and avoid eye injuries. While there are many choices you can make to keep your eye health and vision in good shape, knowing some of the risks of eye injury and wearing proper protective eyewear make it possible to prevent 90 percent of those injuries! What is troubling is that according to a survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 35 percent of people say that they always wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance and even less wear protective eyewear while playing sports.

Eye Injury Facts & Myths
  • Who is more likely to have an eye injury-men or women? Men!
  • Are eye injuries more common on the job or at home? Nearly half of all eye injuries occurred in the home! In fact more than 40 percent of eye injuries were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
  • Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals, dust or objects.
  •  Among people who have had eye injuries, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury!

If you or someone you know is concerned about eye injury and wants to learn more about preventing eye injuries and protective eyewear, please feel free to D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Boston Marathon & LASIK

I was diagnosed with an eye ulcer in December 2012. After this diagnosis, I was only able to wear contacts on an extremely part-time basis (just a few hours a week). This made training for the 2013 Boston Marathon interesting as I had to wear glasses for most of my training. I felt less certain about my safety as I did not have the peripheral vision in glasses that contacts enabled me. Leading up to my LASIK, I was excited at the idea that I would not need any equipment to see. I was also nervous because my eyes are the only ones I have and what if I was the fluke and something bad happened. During the surgery, I still felt nervous. The surgery itself goes against everything that your brain thinks is normal. My second eye definitely fought it more, but it was a very quick procedure. Dr. D’Ambrosio and the staff were very calm and relaxed throughout the procedure which was comforting. Immediately after the surgery, when I sat up, I could see my mom in the waiting room. By see I mean I could see my mom clearly, not just blobs of color that I knew was her. That is something I had not been able to do in 20 years. Now, it is so nice to run and not have to deal with foggy glasses, and be able to see if I can cross the street without having to turn my whole torso.

Even with the eye ulcer, training for a marathon, and know a handful of people who have had LASIK, I was still nervous about the procedure, and a little freaked out that I would be awake for the procedure. It took me just about a year to finally decide to do it. I wish I had mentally come to terms with it sooner. Life is more enjoyable not having to worry about glasses, contacts, solution, etc. It is also nice when traveling and waking up in the middle of the night in a new place and navigating in the dark.

Michelle T.



If you or someone you know is interested in LASIK or would like to schedule a Free LASIK consultation please call us at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Digitally Manufactured Progressive Lenses

As a patient all the new terms, advertising and lingo can be confusing. The way progressive (non-line) lenses are made has changed and it isn’t a gimmick. You may hear terms like free-form, direct to surface, high definition, digitally surfaced or digitally enhanced. Even lens brands and designs that were already on the market when this technology came out can now be digitally surfaced.

Your eyeglass professional, your licensed optician, will be able to help you navigate through all the new terminology so that you are educated enough to make informed decisions about your lenses. Lenses that outperform when compared to others do tend to be more costly so you always want to feel you know why you are spending the added dollars. Where you need to be more cautious is when you are purchasing a lens based on just price - even if it is a digital lens.

A digital process cannot improve a poorly designed or old designed lens and those types of digitally surfaced lenses are not worth the added dollars. Newer designed progressive lenses manufactured with digital technology do provide better end results compared to the older ways of manufacturing. Lens companies are able to provide a more accurate and more custom lens in a wider range of materials and lens features. These lenses provide crisp, sharp vision, much like when you compare HD TV’s to one another. We always recommend protecting your investment and vision by pairing your new progressive lenses with non-glare. Not only does it protect the surface of your lenses but it always enhances the way you look to others by eliminating glare and these lenses allow more light to reach your eye and since light helps create vision that is a good thing! Here at D’Ambrosio Eye Care our #1 selling digital progressive lens is the Varilux Physio DRx ™. This lens provides more natural vision, wider fields of sharp clear vision, less head movements and for first time progressive wearers that like those trendy smaller frames, these lenses are able to be fit into those too! Don’t sacrifice your style or vision for price the next time you are out shopping for a new pair of progressive lenses.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Top AMD Risk Factors

As February is designated Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, D’Ambrosio Eye Care  wanted to share important information about the Top 5 Risk Factors for Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. Knowing your risk factors, being aware of your family history, and scheduling regular eye exam appointments with your eye doctor can help reduce your risks for vision loss from macular degeneration. The key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor.

Know the Top AMD Risks
Ø  Being over the Age of 60
Ø  Having a Family History of AMD
Ø  Cigarette Smoking
Ø  Obesity
Ø  Hypertension

If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and evaluation.

Managing AMD Risk Factors
There are some AMD risk factors that a person can change such as smoking and diet to reduce the risk of vision loss from AMD, but other factors such as genetics are just a part of who you are. It is important, if possible, to know your family medical history regarding eye problems such as AMD. A sound way to reduce your AMD risk is to quit smoking or better yet,  never start. For patients at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent. Eating green leafy vegetables and reducing alcohol consumption are also helpful in preventing AMD.

Know the Symptoms of Wet AMD
Wet AMD is the type of macular degeneration most likely to cause rapid and serious vision loss. Thus, people who are at risk should know the symptoms of Wet AMD as with early detection, diagnosis and treatment it is possible to avoid or minimize vision loss from Wet AMD.
Symptoms of Wet AMD can include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion”, “bending of straight lines and objects”. If you experience any of these symptoms, please call our office right away and explain your symptoms and request an immediate appointment.

Current treatments for Wet AMD such as injections of VEGF Inhibitors including Lucentis® and Eylea® provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. Earlier diagnosis of wet AMD gives a much more favorable chance of successful treatment.

If you or someone you know has 2 or more of the top AMD risk factors, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help you manage your risk of AMD.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.