Be safe, be seen on Halloween

29 10 2015

Halloween is here and there will be lots of kids running around  in the dark.  Take precautions with your kids and make sure they are visible to cars.   Here are a few tips:

  1. Children should be given a flashlight to help them see where they are going in the dark and also to be seen by others easier.
  2. Consider using face paint instead of masks to help children see to get around better.  At least make sure the eye holes are large enough so as not to obstruct their vision.
  3. Reflective tape can be attached to costumes and clothing to make them more visible as well.
  4. If a sword, cane, or stick is a part of your child’s costume, make sure it is not sharp or too long. A child may be easily hurt by these accessories if he stumbles or trips.
  5. Do not use decorative contact lenses without an eye examination and a prescription from an eye care professional.  While the packaging on decorative lenses will often make claims such as “one size fits all,” or “no need to see an eye specialist,” obtaining decorative contact lenses without a prescription is both dangerous and illegal.  This can cause pain, inflammation, and serious eye disorders and infections, which may lead to permanent vision loss or blindness.
  6. Teach children how to call 9-1-1 (or their local emergency number) if they have an emergency or become lost.
  7. You might want to go out early before total darkness as well to make it safer for your children.
  8. And put your pets, especially cats,  somewhere safe.  Unfortunately, people do mean things to animals.  Better to be safe as well as protecting kids from animal bites since there will be lots of pet anxiety that night with all the activity and noise.

For the safest environment and a more positive atmosphere,  instead of trick or treating, consider bringing your kids to the Fall festival at the Moore County Community Building in Dumas  Halloween night.   Activities to include bouncy castles, concession foods, games, crazy cardboard maze, free give aways, prizes, & TONS of CANDY!!  And all the dentists say, “Yes!”

 

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 25 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas and like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source You also can visit our website www.visionsource-dumas.com for more information.   Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”

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The Sum of All Fears

20 10 2015

How many people saw the movie with Ben Affleck and Morgan Freeman called, “The Sum of All Fears ?”   Terrorists build a nuclear bomb and blow up Baltimore during a football game and Ben Affleck has to try to stop WW3 with the Russians.  Scary as it is because it is realistic, for most people the sum of all fears is going blind.   A recent poll found that Americans rank “losing eyesight” highly among the worst health concerns that could affect them.  I have always heard speaking in public is the number one fear of adults.  But that you can overcome, as I did.  Short of a miracle, blindness is forever.

Blindness occurs at different levels however.  When people say someone is blind, that doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t see anything at all, like pitch black darkness.  If you are legally blind, that just means you see worse than 20/200 even with the best pair of prescription glasses possible.  You might be able to see cars and trees but they are so blurred you can’t make out the details, even if you get up closer.  Some people have “no light perception” where they cannot even see a light at all.   That only makes up about 15% of people considered legally blind.  A better term for a lot of these people who have some vision, while not very clear, is “visually impaired.”

With the large increase in the aging population now that the baby boomers are becoming senior citizens,  we see a lot more macular degeneration.  It is the leading cause of blindness in those over 65 years old.   The central retina deteriorates and causes vision loss in the central vision making reading difficult or even impossible.  In worst cases people can’t see straight ahead to drive or even a person’s face they are talking too disappears in the central blind spot.  The often can see something out of the corner of their vision, like a chair on the side of the room but when they turn to look directly at it, it disappears.

People with a visual impairment like this often can be helped with low vision devices.    Whether a hand held magnifier, high powered reading glasses or a closed circuit television, there are different tools available for those with low vision.   They are like tools.  Some times a pair of pliers can be used for lots of different tasks, but sometimes you just need a pair of needle nosed pliers to do the job well.  Or the same can be said for shoes.   Sometimes casual shoes or tennis shoes  work, sometimes dress shoes are needed but sometimes you need to have some good work boots.

Low vision devices are no different.   When ordinary spectacle glasses and bifocals just don’t help enough to see anymore,  sometimes we need a different tool for the job.   A hand held magnifier may work great for a short glance at a medicine bottle.   Trying to read your mail might require a magnifier on a stand that you don’t have to hold and try to focus just right.  Reading a letter or looking over papers for more than 5 minutes would probably do better with the CCTV that can magnify what the person is looking at and display on a monitor screen 40X bigger.

There are other “tools” that can be used around the house for low vision patients to make their life easier and to help keep their independence.  Examples are large number phones, large number playing cards, voice assisted devices, large letter pill organizers, etc…  They can also help with counseling and other referrals to help stay independent as much as possible.  We can refer those with low vision starting at 20/70 best corrected visual acuity  to the Texas Department for the Blind Services for help from the state.  They can come to your home for an assessment of your needs around the house and see what they can provide.  The nearest local office is in Amarillo and their phone number is 806-351-3870 if you have questions about how they can help.  It’s your tax dollars so don’t feel bad about asking for help if you need it.  That is what they are there for.

The best way to avoid going blind is to have regular, annual eye wellness exams.   Most people with medical eye problems still see fine, until the end stages when it’s too late and all the damage is done.   Even if you think you see great, have your eye’s health examined every year.    Better to prevent problems and catch them early then waiting and then it’s too late.

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 23 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website www.visionsource-dumas.com for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”





Don’t be in Denial of West Nile

7 10 2015

West Nile Virus disease is here to stay in Dumas, Moore county and the Texas panhandle.  More cases are reported every week most likely due to the wetter than normal summer this year.

Ten years ago, we had never heard of it.  We were more likely to get sleeping sickness or malaria than something esoteric like West Nile Virus.  West Nile is a virus that originated in the Middle East and has made it’s way to the US and is moving westward.  It can infect humans, birds and horses from a mosquito bite and it can be deadly if it gets into the nervous system.   People with weakened immune systems are at most risk but it can even knock down a seemingly healthy person.

It really hit home this last month when one of my employees came down with a brain infection (encephalitis) from a mosquito bite in her backyard here in town.   She is recovering slowly after being unconscious for over a week and on a respirator and feeding tube.   Short of a miraculous healing, it will take many, many months to recover.  I have two patients that I have also seen that have the after effects of the disease.  One doesn’t have any eye problems but the other has damage to his optic nerve of the left eye, leaving him with permanent damage to his vision.

By the time people are having eye problems, they are probably in the hospital.  I have yet to see anyone in my office with early symptoms and I hope not to.  The problems that happen with the eye can have devastating complications to the vision.  Inflammation or infection can occur inside the back chamber of the eye (vitritis), in the retinal tissue (retinitis and choroiditis) as well as inflammation to the optic nerve (optic neuritis).   All can cause permanent vision loss.

Since eye problems from West Nile Virus are usually not the first sign of illness, I write about it more to create awareness of this relatively new disease to our area since it can be devastating to the body and even fatal.

Early signs and symptoms take 2-14 days incubation after a recent mosquito bite.  They vary from person to person such as fever, headaches, neck ache, joint pain, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue and less commonly a rash on the check, back or legs.   The severe form that affects your nervous system can cause disorientation, seizures, brain infections and even death in 1% of cases.

I would encourage city, county and state agencies as well as school officials to increase awareness of the disease and prevention.  Contact them and ask what they are doing to kill mosquitos to prevent the disease.   Spraying alleys and enforcing ordinances for residences with trash and high weeds around houses and vacant lots are important.   You yourself can make sure to apply insect repellant that contains the chemical DEET when going outside and especially on your children.   Avoid putting on moisturizer creams and fragrances that might attract mosquitos as well as not going out after dark when they are most active.  Consider wearing pants and long sleeve shirts too.  Make sure to remove standing water out of old tires, buckets and flowerpots, etc., which can be used as breeding sites.

If you look at the maps that show incidences of infection, Moore county is not indicated.  ( Centers for Disease Control )   I would speculate that cases are reported from the hospital they are being treated at when diagnosed, not WHERE they were bit and infected.  In the case of my employee, she hadn’t traveled anywhere and knew she had been bit in her backyard garden a few days earlier when she got really sick.   So take care out there.   We don’t have to live in fear, we just need to be aware and be smart to help prevent the spread of the disease.   Even though we live in the middle of nowhere, Moore county is not immune.

 

Courtesy of Dumas Vision Source, PLLC and Dr Tory W. Moore, Optometric Glaucoma Specialist and Diplomate of the American Board of Optometry.    Serving the Dumas, Texas,  Moore County and upper Texas Panhandle area for 25 years.   Call (806) 935-2020 for appointment or visit our optical gallery without an appointment.  Visit our website www.visionsource-dumas.com for more information.  Like our Facebook business page:  Dumas Vision Source  and you can also connect on Twitter @eyedocdumas

Tory Moore, OD  – “A Hometown Eye Doctor You Know and Can Trust!”

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