Month: June 2014

Vision Health Check From The Movies?

The Hargrave Eye Center’s latest post:

You probably didn’t know that watching a 3-D movie could be an important indicator of underlying vision issues.  The American Optometry Association (AOA) reports that 3-D movies have the ability to identify vision problems that could otherwise not be noticed because the technology of a 3-D movie allows viewers to process the information in a completely different way.

So what are these indicators?  According to Your Houston News, there are three things that can help you find out if you could have an underlying vision issue.



Having the ability to understand the depth perception of 3-D is one of the most enjoyable aspects of watching the film.  If you struggle to see the depth provided by 3-D films it may mean something is wrong.


If the 3-D images are starting to drive you bonkers and make your head spin, this could mean that your eyes are poorly aligned and you may fell queasy or sick because of it.


Having discomfort in your eyes could mean that your eyes are strained to the point where they can’t work together to process the information appropriately.

All of these symptoms can be handled and identified through a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor.  If you are having any of these symptoms be sure to schedule an appointment right away.  This eye exam can do more for you then just identify symptoms.  It can also help detect eye diseases and can help the rest of your body out as well.  Eye doctors are great at identifying systematic health conditions that are necessarily associated with the eyes like diabetes, elevated cholesterol, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and Crohn’s disease.  In fact, UnitedHealthcare found that 6 percent of chronic conditions were identified by eye doctors first and for specific cases like diabetes and multiple sclerosis, eye doctors identified these diseases first 15 percent of the time.

There are over 10 3-D movies coming out this summer so if you check one out make sure you are paying attention to how your eyes are reacting.

from Hargrave Eye Center | Dr. Sylvia Hargrave

Corneal Transplant Case

The Hargrave Eye Center’s latest post:

Corneal transplants are very important and it is great to hear a story from individuals about when the transplant successfully improves lives.  The Aberdeen News, from Aberdeen, South Dakota, reported of such a case and the summary is below.

In 2012, Terry Mages, an organ donor, could not give her organs when she passed away because she had cancer.  However, her corneas could be used, since blood does not run through them.  Another Aberdeen resident, Bob Karst, received a corneal transplant from a 44 year old Nebraska man who was on life support.  Before receiving the transplant his vision has been deteriorating each year because of a disease and it had gotten to a point where he could barely tell light from dark.  However, since the transplant, he said his vision has been near normal.

hargraveeyecenter_diagramKarst was concerned that the disease would spread to the other eye but was lucky that it didn’t.  He had been on the waiting list for three months before he received the call that they had found a match for him.  Karst still worked normally and drove a car, relying heavily on his good eye before the transplant but afterward his range of vision was greatly increased.

Terry Magnes’ husband Randy is a former surgical technologist at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital in Aberdeen and he mentioned that there are many reasons a cornea can begin to fail.  The damage could result from an eye injury, a virus or bacteria can make the eye cloudy because of a clear shield developing over it, or a disease could mis-shape the cornea which restricts the vision or eliminates it entirely.  Although Karst found out who the donor was for his new cornea, typically the recipient of the donation doesn’t find out who it’s from for privacy protection.  There is also a small amount of transplants happening because, although people are organ donors, they don’t realize that the corneas can be donated.  It is something that St. Lukes’ Hospital hopes will be realized with the cornea transplant technology increase.

from Hargrave Eye Center | Corneal Transplantation


The Hargrave Eye Center’s latest post:


How floaters affect vision

Floaters are tiny lines, specks or squiggles that float around your field of vision.  A recent Boston Globe response to a user who asked if they should worry about their floaters let them know that floaters are often benign but every once in awhile they can result in a serious a medical problem.  Director of vitreoretinal service at Opthalmic Consultants of Boston, Jeffrey Heier says that what the individual is seeing when floaters occur is a shadow across the retina by debris or a clump of cells that consist of a gel-like substance in the back of the eye called the vitreous.  This vitreous can shrink over the course of your life and liquefy which leaves the floaters behind.  This is more likely the older you get.

Sometimes floaters are considered prominent and this could be an indicator of a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD).  This is when the liquefied vitreous is separated from the retina.  In most serious cases, the PVD can be responsible for tearing the retina or even detaching from the rear of the eye entirely, a case that would result in permanent loss of vision.  It is important to see a doctor if the floaters are brand new, in mass quantities, there appears to be a prominent floater, or if you often get flashes.  If the retina is torn it is possible to repair it with freezing therapy or laser therapy but a detachment will require surgery more often then not.

If the floaters are benign they typically sort themselves out and go away without any therapy or surgery, however, some individuals see these floaters stick around and their daily activities are often affected by it.  Laser surgery has become more available then ever for floaters but the safety of the procedure and each procedure’s effectiveness has been considered inconclusive.

from Hargrave Eye Center | Vision