Eyes, Blood Vessels and Sugar

As an eye doctor, I spend a lot of my day looking at my patients’ retinal blood vessels.  We do this with a Dilated Eye Exam or by using Optomap technology.  An Optomap is an excellent method of assessing blood vessels as this technology provides a panoramic view of the retina.  (www.optos.com)

Allow me to connect some dots:

1.   Eyes have some of the tiniest blood vessels in the human body

2.   Diabetes affects blood vessels.  The blood vessels most affected are the smallest blood vessels.

3.   That’s why Diabetes is a leading cause of permanent vision loss in the United States.

So cutting back on sugar is a good way to protect your eyesight.  From personal experience — the more sugar you eat, the more enticing sweets become.  Gradually decrease how much sugar you eat on a daily basis and you may find overly sweet foods just don’t taste that great anymore.  Really.

You may even end up eating less processed food as  foods that shouldn’t have a sweet taste — like spaghetti sauce, soup, frozen dinners, restaurant meals– start to taste sweet to you.

The easiest way to a healthier diet is to enjoy healthy food.  It’s easy to reduce sugar in your diet when you don’t think it tastes as great as it used to.  Eat less sugar and after a few months you won’t miss it. 

A special dessert to celebrate a special event is a great pleasure for many people.   But making excessive sweets a part of your daily life increases the risk of Diabetes–  and diminishes the the grand wonder of that perfect celebratory dessert on a special day.   Make your every day life healthier and your celebrations more special by eating sweets during celebratory events and not on a daily basis.  


Dr. Ally Stoeger provides annual eye examinations for all age groups, medical eye care, contact lens examinations and Lasik surgery co-management in the Gainesville-Haymarket area of Virginia. Her practice at GH Eye has a superb collection of  basic and high tech lenses and the latest in fashion frames for adults and children.   


Life After Lasik

When the “right patient” (we help you decide) meets the “right surgeon” (we team up with Dr. Andrew Holzman at TLC), Laser Vision Correction is liberating and wonderful.

But one of the things Lasik does not liberate you from is visiting your eye doctor.

5 Reasons Why People who have had Laser Vision Correction should schedule an Annual Eye Exam:

1. Retina Risk Your correction may no longer measure -5.00, or -3.25, or -7.50 — but your retina doesn’t know that! People who are moderately or severely myopic (near-sighted) have a higher susceptibility for retinal holes, tears and detachments. Whether they have had Laser Vision Correction or not, they should have a Dilated Eye Exam every one or two years (more frequently if there are risk factors)

2. Your Eyes Change. Just because you’ve had Laser Refractive Surgery does not mean that your eyes don’t change. You may benefit from a prescription for night driving. Or from a prescription that will make you more comfortable and efficient for using computers and digital devices. To be your best, see your best.

3. Your Body Changes. Many systemic conditions, and the medications used to treat them, can affect your eyes — whether you need glasses or not. People who are Diabetic, have Thyroid Disease, have a history of Cancer, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Auto-immune Disease, Hypertension and other medical problems should have a complete eye examination including a dilated view of the retina.

4. Glaucoma has been called the “silent thief of vision” because there are almost no symptoms prior to permanent loss of vision. For that reason, Glaucoma is typically diagnosed during an annual eye exam. Whether you have never needed glasses, or whether you do not need glasses because of laser correction, you are just as much at risk for Glaucoma as people who wear glasses.

5. Many people have dry eyes and /or allergies. When these conditions are not properly treated, both vision and comfort are affected. At GH Eye we treat dry eyes and allergies in pre-laser surgery patients and post-laser surgery patients.

As a service to our new patients, we can request pre-Lasik information from your previous eye doctor or laser surgeon. This is important information to keep on file in the event you require eye procedures (such as cataract surgery or a Lasik enhancement) later in life. If you have questions, give us a call!