Facts You Didn't Know About Your Iris

Facts You Didn't Know About Your Iris

Created on: Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates


Facts You Didn't Know About Your Iris

People may often be distinguished by the color of their eyes such as blue,
green, brown or gray. This part of the eye that exhibits color is called
the iris. It sits just behind the cornea and functions as a light regulator.

Consisting of muscle tissues and pigments, the iris causes the pupil to
constrict or dilate. This action determines the amount of light that passes
through the iris and contributes to the clarity of your vision.

Iris Disorders

Your iris is as vulnerable to infections and disorders as the other parts
of your eye. As a result, if affected, your vision may be compromised.
There are disorders or defects that are caused by accidents leading to
damage. There are also congenital iris defects.

Accidents can damage your iris, whether it is hitting your eye with a
pointed object or a non-pentrating object. When the iris is damaged, too
much light passes through, causing difficulty in focusing on a particular
object. It is like looking straight at a glaring headlight with difficulty
to see things clearly.

Below, are a couple of congenital disorders that affect the iris:


This rare congenital complex eye disease is characterized by an
underdeveloped iris. This occurs in utero, during pregnancy, and medical
science points to a genetic defect as the culprit. Although aniridia is a
name used to describe an isolated ocular disease, it is also a group of
disorders, which is a feature of several malformation syndromes.

Aniridia means "absence of the iris." Patients with this disease have poor
vision and increased sensitivity to light. It also gives rise to other eye
conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts. About 1 in 50,000 to 100,000
newborns are afflicted with this disease.

Research indicates that an affected person inherits the "mutation" from one
parent. In one case study, approximately two-thirds of cases displayed this
result. The remaining cases had no family history of aniridia.

Iris Coloboma

Generally known as a congenital defect, iris coloboma is characterized by a
black hole present in the eye. It gives the pupil an irregular shape,
making it appear like it was cut. A less severe form of this defect causes
blurred vision, ghost images and decreased visual acuity.

Iris coloboma can also be caused by other factors such as eye surgery or a
severe trauma. It is estimated that around 0.5 to 0.7 for every 10,000
newborns are afflicted with this defect.

Early diagnosis of these iris-related defects in children is extremely
important because it affects their development years. Seek the advice of
professional eye care specialists to determine proper treatment. For proven
and advanced eye care treatment solutions, schedule an appointment with
Eastside Eye Associates/Tribeca Eye Physicians at 212-861-6200 or
212-693-7200 today. You will benefit from their 30 years of experience in
this field combined with state-of-the-art technology in eye treatment.

Healthy Eating Habits for Healthy Eyes

Healthy Eating Habits for Healthy Eyes

Created on: Tuesday, March 04, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates


Healthy Eating Habits for Healthy Eyes

Good, balanced nutrition does wonders for your body and overall well-being.
Did you ever wonder what certain foods do for your eyes? There's the belief
that carrots are the best to keep your eyesight sharp. But did you know
that there are other beneficial foods?

Here are some great sources with nutrients contributing to the health of
your eyes.

Although native to central and southwestern Asia, spinach has made its way
to the western world. These days, it's used as an ingredient in gourmet
meals. But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be served during meals at your
own dining-room table.

Spinach is packed with essential nutrients, especially lutein. This is a
carotenoid vitamin, which the body absorbs best when taken with a high-fat
meal. It is related with vitamin A, the nutrient that is often associated
with eye health.

These delectable fruits are low in fats but high in phytonutrients. They
are also a rich source of vitamin A and vitamin E. More important,
strawberries contain health-promoting lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene.

We know how difficult it is to feed kids vegetables, so this fruit is a
good alternative source of nutrients to keep their eyes healthy. These are
best eaten raw but adding them to various recipes will appeal to your

Who says turkey is just good for Thanksgiving? As a rich source of zinc,
turkey should also be on the menu on a regular basis. The retina, which
contains the "neural elements for reception and transmission of visual
stimuli," needs zinc.

Prepare turkey sandwiches or mix this sumptuous meat with salads and other
greens. Look for a delicious turkey burger recipe, which your family will

There are many health benefits associated with nuts. Besides staving off
hunger pangs when on a diet, they are great sources of vitamins C and E.
Vitamin E is commonly used in treating patients (deleted cataracts) skin
disorders and some respiratory diseases.

There is a variety of food providing nutrients to keep your eyes looking
and feeling healthy. So you don't need to limit yourself to snacking on

But food is just a part of the whole process of caring for your eyes. A
healthy lifestyle involves smoking cessation and moderation when drinking

A regular check-up with your eye doctor is also a good way to prevent any
possible eye disorders or diseases. Your doctor may be able to detect early
signs of deteriorating health and related conditions, which could be
treated early.

For better eye health, visit the specialists at Eastside Eye Associates and
Tribeca Eye Physicians. It is better to know the health condition of your
eyes today than wait for symptoms to develop. Call 212-861-6200 or
212-693-7200 to schedule an appointment now!

Essential Eye Gear to Maintain Health and Safety

Essential Eye Gear to Maintain Health and Safety

Created on: Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates

Essential Eye Gear to Maintain Health and Safety

In the rush of work and leisure activities, we can forget to wear protective eye gear, which can help us avoid permanent damage. From construction workers to weekend warriors renovating their homes, safety goggles are an essential precaution. Even during recreational activities, remembering to wear sunglasses with the proper UV protection can have a major impact on the health of our eyes.

Sunglasses With Proper UV Protection

After sitting at a desk all week, you may long to spend time outdoors during the weekend. To unwind, maybe you like to go bike riding or simply take a long drive on a favorite scenic route. If you ran out the door without your sunglasses, you may find the strong sunlight completely blinding—and hazardous to your eye health and safety.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), the sun's UV radiation can cause the following:

●      Cataracts

●      Benign growths on the eye's surface

●      Cancer of the eyelids and skin around the eyes

●      Photokeratitis (“snow blindness”), which is a temporary but painful sunburn of the eye's surface

During the wintertime, you may not think that sunglasses are important. However, from the beach to the ski slopes, protecting your eyes is critical during every season of the year.

The AOA recommends looking for sunglasses, which at a minimum:

●      Block at least 99% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation

●      Screen out 75% to 90% of visible light

●      Are gray for correct color perception and free of distortion and imperfection


If you always seem to forget your sunglasses, simply make it a habit to leave them with other essentials near your door. When you grab your coat, keys and bag, make sure that they are tucked in place before you’re ready to go. As an alternative, buy several pairs of sunglasses with proper UV protection; then, place them in the pockets of coats, which you wear regularly throughout the week.


Goggles for Work and Home-Renovation Projects


If you work on a construction site, you already know the importance of protecting your eyes with safety goggles. Homeowners tackling remodeling and other upkeep projects may forget to take this vital precaution.


Here are just a few of the projects, which require the use of goggles for eye safety:


●      Trimming trees

●      Sawing sheets of wood

●      Heating various materials


When time is short to complete projects during the weekend or an evening, you may hurry to complete remodeling work on your home. Wearing safety goggles may feel uncomfortable or seem unnecessary if you just need to use power tools for a couple of minutes. However, an accident can happen in a split second and force you to pay a high price by impairing your vision.

Expert Eye Care

At Eastside Eye Associates and Tribeca Eye Physicians, we care about the health and protection of your eyes. If you need prescription sunglasses or other safety tips including the use of goggles, our experts can help. To schedule an appointment, call us at 212-861-6200 or 212-693-7200 now.

Why Your Eye Twitches

Why Your Eye Twitches

Created on: Monday, February 17, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates

Why Your Eye Twitches

Your crush finally talks to you in class, and you just stare. Suddenly, you
feel a twitching in your eyelid. Horrified, you ask yourself, "did he just
see that?"

Eye twitching or eye spasms usually occur in the upper eyelid. It is a
repetitive, uncontrollable or involuntary pulsation. It is usually
painless but definitely annoying. It can happen to anyone: men and women,
old and young.

A Few Types of Eye Spasms

*Minor eyelid twitch: This seldom occurs and disappears just as fast.
Although considered less serious, it is often associated with the following:

Lack of sleep

*Benign essential blepharospasm: This type commonly occurs in women more
than men. It is still considered harmless, but the frequency of occurrence
is quite high. There is excessive blinking and/or eye irritation. The
conditions associated with it are almost the same as that of a minor eyelid
twitch. These are:

Irritants such as bright light, wind or air pollution

A worsening of this conditions may cause your eyes to have increased
sensitivity to light. There are cases where the spasms are so intense that
eyelids stay shut for up to several hours. If this occurs, it may result infacial spasms.
Studies suggest that this type is a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If your parents are afflicted with it, you are at high risk of developing the same.

*Hemifacial spasm: This is a rare type of eye spasm. It involves the eyelid
muscles and the muscles around the mouth. When it occurs, it usually
affects only one side of the face. It is thought that the most common
reason may be due to an artery putting pressue on the nerve to the facial

For some patients, eye twitching is a side effect of taking certain
medications that treat psychosis and epilepsy. In very rare instances,
frequent eyes spasms are seen as signs of disorders that affect the brain
nerve disorder. Such disorders include:

Bell's palsy
Parkinson's disease
Tourette's syndrome

Whether it's a minor eye twitching or a serious one, don't take chances.
Visit the specialists at Eastside Eye Associates and Tribeca Eye Physicians for more information on your condition. Call 212-861-6200 or
212-693-7200 to schedule an now!


Common Eye Problems Associated With Aging

Common Eye Problems Associated With Aging

Created on: Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates

Common Eye Problems Associated With Aging

Your body's health and fitness often change when you get older. There is a gradual loss of strength and stamina, especially when exercise is not part of your regular routine. The same goes for your senses. There may be gradual or abrupt deterioration of the normal levels of functionality as you age.

Poor vision and hearing are often associated with aging. But there are certain eye problems that manifest themselves as you get older. These are:

● Glaucoma: Too much fluid pressure inside the eye leads to the development of this eye problem. It can be the result of a blockage that happens between the cornea and the iris, the colored part of the eye. When treated immediately upon detection, there is a reduced threat to the patient's vision. But in severe cases when a patient is unable to seek medical help, glaucoma can cause blindness.

However, the detection of glaucoma can be difficult. This is one reason why a lot of people suffer permanent vision loss due to this eye problem. The case becomes severe before any treatment is done. Eye drops are often prescribed to patients with glaucoma. Treatment for more serious conditions may require oral medications and surgery.

● Cataracts: Older people are prone to cataracts. This is the cloudy substance that covers either a part or the entire lens inside the eye. The gradual deterioration in health in older people impacts their vision. The lens of the eye becomes opaque, and light has difficulty passing through it. This makes it difficult to see images clearly. Thus, suffering visual impairment. Cataracts form gradually. When vision becomes blurry, it is best to see an eye doctor immediately. Surgical removal of the cloudy lens and replacement with an intraocular lens, restores vision.

● Age-related macular degeneration: This is an eye problem that is directly associated with aging. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) affects the central part of the retina. This is the central vision, which when affected, could lead to difficulty in performing simple everyday tasks such as reading or driving. Before treatment can be performed, the eye doctor needs to determine if the patient's AMD is wet or dry.

When straight lines appear wavy, you may be suffering from wet AMD. This involves eye fluid leakage that is the result of abnormal blood vessels behind the retina. When these start to grow under the macula, that is when wet AMD sets in. The process can seriously scar this part of the eye and lead to the loss of the central vision.

On the other hand, dry AMD involves the accumulation of drusen in the macula. These are deposits under the retina, which are yellowish or white in color. The presence of drusen is normal but can impact one's vision in large amounts. This takes time, so older people are more susceptible to this eye problem. As the most common of the two types of AMD, dry AMD slowly progresses, but the result is the same: loss of central vision.

Careful monitoring by your eye doctor with dilated funduscopic eye exams, macular vitamins and/or eye injections, may help slow the progression of AMD.

Anyone can be afflicted with these eye conditions, but older individuals are at higher risk of developing them because of age. For all your eye concerns you can rely on Eastside Eye Associates and Tribeca Eye Physicians to help you. Call 212-861-6200 or 212-693-7200 today!

Five Common Eye Myths

Five Common Eye Myths

Created on: Friday, January 31, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates

Five Common Eye Myths

Since childhood, you’ve learned about the importance of taking care of your eyes.  Some of these precautions may prevent children from developing bad habits.  Others, however, do not have a scientific basis.

Here are five of the most common eye myths:

Myth 1

Don’t sit close to the television when watching programs because this will damage your eyes:  It is natural for kids to sit close to the TV when watching their favorite cartoons.  However, you shouldn’t worry that this position will damage their eyes in the long run.  Children can tolerate watching or even reading at a very close distance.  They can do this for hours without feeling the strain.  As your kids get older, they outgrow this habit.  

Myth 2

Never read under a dim light or in a poorly lit room:  Although these conditions may make reading a challenge, dim lights never hurt or damage the eyes.  Our ancestors survived using candlelights and kerosene lamps to light up their houses.  With this lighting, they could sew, cook and read. 

Myth 3

If sitting close to the TV spared you from eye damage, working in front of the computer will not:  Since the dawn of computers and even game consoles many sight-related problems have been attributed to them.  But this is not the case.  If you are too focused on your work or game, your normal blinking rate is reduced.  Your eyes need to be moistened, and blinking is the most natural way to do this. Dry eyes can be irritating.  Just remember to rest your eyes after a few minutes of working at your computer.

Myth 4

Kids with misaligned or crossed eyes will outgrow these eye problems:  Infants and toddlers may cross their eyes, which may be a sign of serious eye conditions.  Strabismus, amblyopic and lazy eyes are common but serious eye problems.  Once these are detected, immediate medical attention is needed.  Don’t wait and hope that these will go away because they won’t.  In fact, they may even get worse without the proper treatment.

Myth 5

A carrot a day keeps the eye doctor away:  It is not the carrot itself that makes your eyes stronger.  Carrots are just one of the vegetables that are high in beta-carotene and vitamin A, a nutrient that strengthens your sight.  A good way to make sure you have good vision is to eat well-balanced meals, eat green leafy vegetables and take extra care not to injure your eyes.

Eye myths serve as precautions, but it is important to know the facts.  For the best eye care, call the specialists at East Side Eye Associates and Tribeca Eye Associates.  They can help you see life from a clearer perspective!  Call 212-861-6200 or 212-693-7200 today.



Dealing With Cataracts

Dealing With Cataracts

Created on: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates

Dealing With Cataracts

Is your vision becoming blurred or cloudy? If you are older than the age of 40, then you may be suffering from cataracts. This eye condition causes visual impairment in older people. A cloudy substance (made up of protein) covers the lens, making it difficult to see clearly.

Normally, people with cataracts can still live their daily lives. They become accustomed to the cloudy substance, which gradually increase over time. However, when the eye lens becomes too clouded, vision is increasingly impaired.


Cataract Types and Causes


There are three classifications of cataracts, which an eye doctor uses as the basis for treatment. These include the following:


      Anatomical location of the lens

      Degree of clouding



Eye lenses are naturally made up of a combination of water and protein. The most common causes of cataract include:


      Age: As people get older, the protein in the eye clump together and becomes the cloudy substance that characterizes cataracts. This continuously increases until surgical treatment is done.


      Eye injury that penetrates the lens: A blunt force that seriously affects the lens could cause a secondary cataract, which may or may not progress or increase in density. You should seek immediate medical help after an injury.


      Diabetes: This debilitating disease can accelerate the development of cataract. It is a medical complication that is seriously considered before treatment is done. A cataract patient first undergoes medical tests to establish if he or she has diabetes.


      Genetics: Certain genetic illnesses can also cause cataracts. These include Down syndrome, myotonic dystrophy and Wilson’s disease. Congenital infections from rubella, syphilis and herpes simplex could also lead to this visual impairment. A congenital cataract occurs as the result of genetic disorders or any physical abnormality in an infant.


      Medications: If you are taking certain types of medications such as a corticosteroid during a prolonged period, you may be prone to developing cataracts earlier than the normal age of occurrence.


Eating a healthy diet and living an active lifestyle can help lower your risk of developing cataracts. Although this condition is not life threatening, it can make it difficult for you to live with a cloud over your eyes each day. Cataracts can impose additional risks to your safety such as stepping off of curbs, so it is important to schedule an examination to assess your condition now.


Advanced Procedures


Today’s advanced cataract procedures are a far cry from thousands of years ago. If a patient needs cataract surgery, an outpatient visit generally allows a return home only a few hours after the procedure. Shortly after the surgery, many patients experience significant improvements in their vision and the sense of increased “brightness,” which quickly enhances the ability to read.


With the experts at Eastside Eye Associates and Tribeca Eye Physicians, cataracts are treated using state-of-the-art surgical equipment, which makes the procedure fast and pain free. What’s more, a speedy recovery makes it possible for patients with cataracts to enjoy better vision quickly. Call 212-861-6200 or 212-693-7200, and schedule an appointment today!


First-Aid Treatment for Injured Eyes

First-Aid Treatment for Injured Eyes

Created on: Thursday, January 16, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates


First-Aid Treatment for Injured Eyes

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Accidents can happen anytime, especially involving kids. When left alone, they get into all sorts of things, believing they are invincible. More often than breaking their bones, kids suffer eye injuries that leave them seriously hurt.

The impact of eye injuries on kids, or anyone for that matter, is tremendous. The sense of sight is very important during childhood development, when children start to recognize and relate to the world around them. An eye injury can deal a great blow on the rest of the kid's life.

Similar to suffering injuries in other areas of the body, there are first-aid treatments that can be administered to those who suffer eye injuries. But remember that these only bridge the gap until professional help arrives. Applying first aid reduces the risk of further damage. However, caution is advised. The one who administers the treatment should at least have experience applying first aid or have the confidence to follow first-aid instructions.

Causes of Eye Injuries and Treatments

Children are very curious. Many are fearless when it comes to exploring their environment on their own. They try to taste and feel all that comes their way. This is one reason why anything that should not be ingested should be placed on top shelves.

Chemical Exposure

Cleaning solutions such as detergent liquids and floor polish should be out of children's reach. These expose children and their eyes to chemicals that are very harsh and life threatening when consumed. When your kids are exposed to chemicals, do the following:

  • Avoid rubbing the eyes.

  • Immediately wash out the eye with lots of water. Use whatever is closest from a sink, shower or other source. Make sure this water is not exposed to dirty elements, which could worsen the injury.

  • Call for medical help while you are doing this or after 15 to 20 minutes of continuous flushing.

  • Don't put a bandage over the eye. Gently cover it with a soft cloth, but don't apply too much pressure.

Eye Injury From Physical Activity

Kids often play rough and hurt themselves in the process. They end up with bruises and black eyes, which can throb. This could feel like the eye is popping out of the socket and leave your child hurting for days. When this happens, you should:

  • Apply a cold compress, but don't put pressure on the eye.

  • Have your kid take over-the-counter pain-relief medications. But make sure your child does not have allergic reactions and a history of taking these medications.

  • Ask your kid if his or her eye hurts. If pain is present, this requires immediate medical attention, especially when there is visible bruising, bleeding or a change in vision.

Foreign Particle in Eye

Playing in the sandbox can be fun, but it can also be a cause for concern when tiny particles blow in the wind and into your kid's eyes. When this occurs, remember to:

  • Avoid rubbing the affected eye because doing so will only embed the particles deeper and cause serious eye infection.

  • Pull your kid's upper lid down, and ask him or her to blink repeatedly.

  • Rinse with eyewash, if particle is still present.

  • If rinsing doesn't help, ask your child to close his or her eye, bandage it lightly and see a doctor.

Make sure to consult an eye specialist when your child sustains eye injuries while playing. Anything that harms the eye can be life altering, and you should not take chances. Call the experts at East Side Eye Associates (212-861-6200) and Tribeca Eye Associates (212-693-7200).



Diabetes and Retinal Disease: Facts, Detection and Treatment

Diabetes and Retinal Disease: Facts, Detection and Treatment

Created on: Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates

Diabetes and Retinal Disease: Facts, Detection and Treatment

If you or a loved one suffers from diabetes, it’s important to know how diabetes can impact eye health. Those who suffer from diabetes may have cataracts or glaucoma. An even more serious threat to their vision is a retinal disease called diabetic retinopathy.

The retina is a very thin layer of tissue, which lines the inside of the eye. The retina is responsible for absorbing light rays that enter the eye. Then, these signals are sent to the brain.

Diabetic Retinopathy: A Leading Cause of Blindness

The National Eye Institute has identified diabetic retinopathy as one of the leading causes of blindness. Diabetic retinopathy is damage that occurs to the blood vessels in the retina. It is the most common eye disease for those with diabetes.

 Over time, diabetes will impact retinal health. A person may suffer from diabetes for decades before the first sign of retinopathy occurs.

     First stage: Background diabetic retinopathy. Weakened blood vessels in the retina that leak and form tiny, dot-like hemorrhages often lead to the first phase of retinal disease. As the vessels leak, they cause swelling in the retina, which also causes decreased vision. 

     Second stage: Proliferative diabetic retinopathy. As the disease progresses, circulation problems in the retina cause it to become oxygen deprived. Fragile vessels form in an effort to maintain oxygen it is losing. These new vessels hemorrhage easily. Eventually, blood begins to leak into the retina, causing spots (or “floaters”) and an even further decrease in vision.

     Later stages of diabetic retinopathy. As the disease progresses, scar tissue can develop, causing problems such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.

Effective In-Patient Procedures for Retinal Problems

If you or a loved one has diabetes and are experiencing vision problems, Eastside Eye Associates/Tribeca Eye Physicians can help. With more than 30 years practicing ophthalmology, we use state-of-the-art technology to detect and treat retinal problems.

The experienced ophthalmologists and optometrists at East Side Eye Associates (212-861-6200) and Tribeca Eye Associates (212-693-7200) specialize in all of these conditions. To improve your vision while you work at your computer, call us now.

Nutrition and Your Eye Health: The Power of Antioxidants

Nutrition and Your Eye Health: The Power of Antioxidants

Created on: Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Author: Eastside Eye Associates

Nutrition and Your Eye Health: The Power of Antioxidants

 Several years ago, the benefits of antioxidants in protecting against certain cancers were revealed. Now it’s also known that antioxidants are important to your eye health.

By adding certain foods and nutritional supplements to your diet, you can activate the power of these antioxidants. They can help reduce the chances of developing certain eye diseases or slow their progress if you develop them.

Antioxidants and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

One disease that is impacted by antioxidants is age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults older than age 50 worldwide. The macula, a tiny part of the retina responsible for central vision, succumbs to changes and no longer functions properly.

Researchers at the National Eye Institute found that the following nutrients have improved vision and slowed the progress of the disease in AMD patients:



       Vitamins C and E



Cataracts and Antioxidants

Cataracts are a leading cause of loss of vision in the American elderly. Cataract extraction (removal) is the most common surgical procedure performed in the country, with more than 2 million extractions performed each year. Cataracts form when the lens of the eye is damaged, causing it to become cloudy.

Nutritional links to the disease have been identified. Studies by the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, the Nurses Health Study and the Longitudinal Study of Cataract found that vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin slowed cataract formation.

Fruits, Veggies and Vitamins

You can start incorporating more of these vision-protecting antioxidants into your diet by eating five servings of veggies and fruits a day. This recommendation by the National Cancer Institute and U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide beneficial amounts of vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin. Eating two servings of nuts or seeds provides a good source of vitamin E.

If you don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits, vegetables and vitamin E food sources, you can pick up multivitamins and nutritional eye health supplements to protect your eye health.

The experienced ophthalmologists and optometrists at East Side Eye Associates (212-861-6200) and Tribeca Eye Associates (212-693-7200) specialize in all of these conditions. To improve your vision while you work at your computer, call us now.







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