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Get Relief with Autologous Serum Eye Drops

Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition that occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. It can cause redness, irritation, discharge, and eye fatigue. If left untreated it can damage your corneas. While lubricating drops and artificial tears help the majority of patients, others continue to look for relief, especially if they have severe dry eye syndrome. Autologous serum eye drops (ASED) are a possible treatment for stubborn cases of dry eye.

What are Autologous Serum Eye Drops?

Autologous means that the recipient and donor are the same person. Therefore, Autologous Serum Eye Drops (ASED) are made from a person’s own blood.

ASEDs are not tear substitutes. They are often used alongside other dry eye treatments such as lubricating eye drops, artificial tears and in-office treatments.

ASEDs consist of elements that artificial tears can’t replicate, making them highly effective and well-tolerated. They promote healing and healthy growth of the ocular surface and contain Vitamin A, albumin, antibodies and special growth factors, known as epidermal growth factors, important for healthy eyes.

How are Autologous Serum Eye Drops Made?

Autologous serum eye drops are made by drawing a tiny amount of blood from a patient into a sterile tube, allowing the blood to clot for at least 10 hours.

For 15 minutes, the blood is then spun allowing it to separate. The blood serum is collected and combined with sterile saline. It is then divided into a few small dropper bottles. According to the severity of your dry eye, the serum to saline ratio will vary. Like other eye drops, the serum is clear.

This process of creating the drops takes up to three hours. Several months’ supply of drops are received, depending on your dosing frequency.

The eye drops are placed in the freezer for up to 6 months to remove the risk of growing harmful microorganisms and maintain optimal freshness.

The serum drops consist of certain growth factors and nutrients that may be missing in very dry eyes.

If you have been frustrated trying to find relief for your dry eye, consider ASED. Contact Advanced Eyecare Center in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach to learn more about ASED and how they can change the way you see.

At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach eye doctors.

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How Sleep Apnea Affects The Eyes

Did you know that some eye conditions are associated with sleep apnea? According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and Health Canada reports similar prevalence. It’s a sleep disorder where people stop breathing — often multiple times per night — while sleeping.

If you have sleep apnea: it tends to take longer for your tears to be replenished, you’re more likely to have ocular irritation, you have a higher chance of developing floppy eyelids, and you’re at increased risk for glaucoma.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

There are different types of sleep apnea. The most common one is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During OSA, your airway becomes partially blocked due to relaxed muscles in your nose and throat. This causes apnea (the absence of breathing) or hypopnea (abnormally shallow, slow breathing). It’s twice as common in men, and is more likely to affect people with obesity, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s oxygen supply, which can lead to potentially serious health consequences.

While snoring is a common symptom, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Interrupted sleep can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability or depression, headaches in the morning, difficulty concentrating and thinking, and a sore throat.

Which Eye Conditions Are Associated With Sleep Apnea?

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, leading to vision loss and sometimes blindness. In some cases, it might be due to a drop in blood oxygen levels, which happens when you stop breathing. However, CPAP machines, one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea, can also cause glaucoma.

So, people with sleep apnea — even if it’s being treated — need to get their eyes checked on a regular basis for glaucoma.

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome (FES) is an eye condition where a person has an unusually large and floppy upper eyelid. It can cause eye redness, irritation, discharge, or blurry vision — and over 90% of people with FES also have sleep apnea.

Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is an eye condition that occurs when there is a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve. Patients typically complain of significant vision loss in one eye without any major pain. Approximately 70-80% of patients with NAION have been found to have OSA.

Retinal Vein Occlusion

Also referred to as an ‘eye stroke,’ retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. A recent study of 114 RVO patients found that sleep apnea was suspected in 74% of the patients that had previously been diagnosed with RVO.

Other Eye Health Issues Associated With Sleep Apnea

Some other ocular conditions that are more common in patients with sleep apnea include: papilledema, keratoconus, and central serous chorioretinopathy. Furthermore, in addition to glaucoma mentioned above, CPAP machines are associated with dry eye syndrome and bacterial conjunctivitis.

Talk To Your Doc

Get eye exams regularly to rule out eye disorders and prevent potential vision loss, especially if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. At Advanced Eyecare Center in Manhattan Beach we encourage you to share your medical history with us so we can better diagnose and treat any eye conditions or ocular diseases you may have, and help you keep your eyes nice and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions with Michael Hansen O.D.

Q: What Causes Sleep Apnea?

  • A: Sleep apnea occurs when in-part or completely stop breathing when sleeping. This causes your lungs to strain harder for oxygen, and makes the brain send signals that jerk your body awake to resume proper breathing.

Q: What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

  • A: A common sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Snoring that is loud enough to disturb the sleep of the patient as well as others around, even across the walls. That said, not everyone who snores suffers from obstructive sleep apnea.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Redondo Beach, California. Visit Advanced Eyecare Center for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

What Are the Benefits of Wearing Scleral Lenses to Relieve Dry Eyes

Dry eye syndrome is nowhere near a rare phenomenon. About 5 million Americans over the age of 50 suffer from this irritating condition, complaining of itchy, stinging or painful eyes. The most common go-to for relief is usually artificial tears eye drops, but their effects are only temporary. For an alternative treatment that brings long-lasting relief, our eye doctors in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach recommend scleral lenses for many patients. Our practice offers comprehensive scleral lenses fittings to ensure a perfect fit.

How do scleral lenses alleviate dry eye symptoms?

There are many benefits of scleral lenses for dry eyes, which often make them a better choice for patients than soft contact lenses. Let’s look at why:

  • Constant Moisturizing – scleral lenses are constructed in a way that leaves a gap between the eye surface and the lens, which is filled with a lubricating saline solution that constantly hydrates the eye.
  • Healthy Materials – sclerals are made from high-oxygen permeable materials that promote healthy corneas. Modern materials also improve wettability of the lenses and minimize irritating protein deposits.
  • No Corneal Rubbing – because they vault over the cornea and rest on the sclera (as opposed to soft lenses), scleral lenses don’t cause corneal irritation. Also, blinking causes your eyelids to rub against your cornea. But when wearing sclerals, a protective shield is formed between your eyes and eyelids.
  • Less Eye Drops – the need for applying lubricating eye drops throughout the day is minimized. But if necessary, eye drops can still be used to enhance comfort at night after removing scleral lenses.
  • Clear Vision with More Comfort – sclerals provide crisp vision as they protect and lubricate eyes. Redness and painful dry eye symptoms are reduced or eliminated.

Do dry eyes prevent you from wearing contact lenses, disturbing your daily life with painful eye irritation? Visit our eye doctor in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach to discuss the benefits of scleral lenses and to book a scleral lenses fitting.

At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach eye doctors.

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Are Face Masks Causing Dry Eye Symptoms?

woman wearing a mask 640Face masks and social distancing have become the first line of defense in COVID-19 prevention.

While these protective measures are essential to combating the virus’ spread, eye doctors are seeing an increase in dry eye cases among people who wear masks. If you are seeking relief, contact us.

What is Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE)?

Mask-associated dry eye (MADE) was first described by an ophthalmologist in May 2020 based on the higher rate of dry eye he was seeing in his practice among patients who wore masks. Patients with existing dry eye reported worsening symptoms when wearing a mask.

When a face mask doesn’t fit securely, it can push air from the nose and mouth upward, onto the eyes, causing the tear film — the liquid layer that coats the eyes’ surface — to evaporate more quickly. This leads to MADE.

Dry eye leaves the eyes feeling sore, gritty, dry and irritated. Left untreated, dry eye can cause damage to the cornea.

There are many causes of dry eye, including eye and health conditions, age, gender and certain medications. Insufficient blinking when looking at a digital device or book, poor indoor air quality and pollution can all play a role. Situations that increase how quickly the tear film evaporates can quickly and significantly dry the eye’s surface, leading to more pronounced symptoms.

What Causes Dry Eye When Wearing a Mask?

Wearing a face mask significantly reduces the spread of air when breathing out from the mouth and nose. Instead of moving out, the air moves upwards towards the eyes’ surface. This forces a stream of air over the surface of the eye, causing the tears to evaporate more quickly.

This is the same reason that eyeglasses fog up when wearing a mask.

When masks are worn for long periods of time, this repeated evaporation may lead to dry spots on the eyes’ surface.

 

How to Prevent or Alleviate MADE?

Here are some simple measures to help reduce dry eye while wearing a mask:

  1. Ensure your mask fits well, and consider taping the top edge to prevent air from rising from your mouth toward your eyes.
  2. Limit your time in air-conditioned or heated environments when possible. Also, take regular breaks from digital devices.
  3. Consult your eye doctor, who will examine your eyes and prescribe the best treatment.

Having to wear a face mask to prevent COVID-19’s spread may cause dry eye, but relief is available. Contact Dry Eye Center At Advanced Eyecare Center if you are experiencing dry eye symptoms. We will determine the underlying cause of your dry eye and offer you the best solution so you can get back to having comfortable eyes and vision.

 

Dry Eye Center At Advanced Eyecare Center serves patients from Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Torrance and Palos Verdes, throughout California.

 

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The Best Foods for Your Eyes

We all know that eating nutrient-rich foods, drinking plenty of water, and exercising can boost our health. So it’s no surprise that these same activities also support eye health. Research has shown that regularly consuming certain vitamins and nutrients can actually prevent or delay sight-threatening eye conditions and diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. 

Here’s a list of the best vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that can help keep your eyes healthy for a lifetime. 

We invite you to consult with our eye doctor, Dr. Hansen, to discuss which nutrients are most suited to your specific eye health and needs. 

Vitamins and Nutrients That Support Eye Health

*Always best to speak with your primary care doctor before taking any vitamins or supplements, and to ensure you consume the correct dosage for your body.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can cause a host of eye health issues, including dry eyes and night blindness. In fact, vitamin A deficiency is a leading cause of blindness worldwide.

Vitamins A and A1, which are essential for supporting the eye’s photoreceptors (the light-sensing cells) in the retina, can be found in foods like carrots, leafy greens, egg yolks, liver, and fish. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Eating Omega-3 rich foods like fatty fish can support eye health in a few ways. DHA and EPA, 2 different types of Omega-3 fatty acids, have been shown to improve retinal function and visual development.  

Omega-3 supplements can also ease dry eye symptoms. A randomized controlled study found that people who consumed Omega-3 supplements experienced improved tear quality, which resulted in reduced tear evaporation and increased eye comfort.  

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that accumulate in the lens and retina and help filter out damaging UV rays and blue light. One study showed that individuals who had the highest levels of these nutrients in their diets had a 43% lower chance of developing macular degeneration than those who had consumed the least amount.  

Spinach, egg yolks, sweet corn, and red grapes are some of the foods that contain high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin. 

Vitamin C 

High amounts of vitamin C can be found in the aqueous humor of the eye, the liquid that fills the eye’s anterior chamber and supports corneal integrity. This has prompted scientists to consider this vitamin’s role in protecting eye health. 

Research suggests that regularly taking vitamin C (along with other essential vitamins and minerals) can lower the risk of developing cataracts, and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration and visual acuity loss.

While vitamin C appears to support eye health in a variety of ways, it’s still unclear whether taking this supplement benefits those who aren’t deficient. Vitamin C can be found in various fruits and vegetables, like bell peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits, broccoli, and kale. 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect fatty acids from becoming oxidized. Because the retina has a high concentration of fatty acids, sufficient vitamin E intake is crucial for optimal ocular health. 

Vitamin E can be found in almonds, flaxseed oil, and sunflower seeds. 

Zinc

Healthy eyes naturally contain high levels of zinc. A zinc deficiency can cause night blindness, and thus increasing zinc intake can improve night vision. Zinc also helps absorb Vitamin A, an essential antioxidant. 

Make sure to avoid taking high doses of zinc (beyond 100 mg daily) without first consulting your eye doctor. Higher doses of zinc have been associated with side effects such as reduced immune function. You can increase your zinc intake naturally by consuming more oysters, meat, and peanuts. 

Phytochemical Antioxidants

Phytochemical antioxidants are chemicals produced by plants that contain several health benefits. Some studies show that these plant-based chemicals may enhance vision and eye health as well as prevent age-related eye diseases and complications by alleviating ocular oxidative stress. Oxidative stress within the eyes contributes to several eye conditions, including  dry eye syndrome. Consuming more produce with these antioxidants can help balance the anti-oxidant and pro-oxidant system, resulting in healthier eyes. 

Personalized Eye Nutrition 

If you or someone you know is looking for ways to boost or maintain eye health, speak with an optometrist near you about what supplements and vitamins are best for you. For an eye doctor in Manhattan Beach, give us a call at 310-620-1345.

 

Looking for Relief from Dry Eyes? LipiFlow May Be the Answer!

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is a common cause for dry eyes, and LipiFlow can be the solution

Do your eyes itch or sting? Do you need to rub them constantly for relief? Do your eyes feel tired even when you’re well-rested, or gritty even if nothing got in your eye? If these symptoms sound familiar, you’re probably one of many people who suffer from dry eye syndrome. This common, irritating eye condition occurs when your eyes either don’t produce enough tears or when the composition of your tears isn’t optimal for keeping the eye surface lubricated.

Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is one typical problem that can lead to dry eyes. Meibomian glands are in your eyelids, and when they get blocked – you feel it! MGD can reduce the amount of fatty oils in your tears, which allows tears to evaporate too rapidly. Eye care professionals estimate that about 86% of all cases of dry eye syndrome are due to MGD.

LipiFlow treats MGD

The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System, by Johnson & Johnson, is a high-tech medical therapy that can unblock Meibomian glands, stimulate their function, and provide lasting relief from the painful symptoms of dry eye. We welcome all dry eye sufferers to visit our eye care centers in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, to see how LipiFlow can help!

Experiencing LipiFlow

This breakthrough therapy device is built with a console and single-use sterile activator. Before the procedure, our eye doctor will apply numbing eye drops – so your experience will be painless. Then, a contoured eyepiece will be placed gently over your cornea, covering the delicate surface of your eye to protect it.

Once LipiFlow is activated, peristaltic energy pressure and mild heat will be used to gently massage your eye. Built-in sensors regulate the temperature and pressure pulses precisely. This perfect combination of massage and heat liquefies and expels any blockages in your Meibomian glands.

The whole LipiFlow process takes a total of about 12 minutes, and it’s all done in the comfort of our optometry offices in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California.

LipiFlow safely restores your comfortable vision

No worries; LipiFlow is FDA-approved, drug-free, and considered extremely safe. Multi-point sensors and continuous feedback are used to monitor and regulate the heat automatically. Pressure is applied intelligently, with a sequence of pulses that doesn’t permit any unnecessary pressure on your eye. There’s minimal discomfort and maximum gain.

Is LipiFlow right for you?

Book an eye exam with our dry eye specialists in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, and we’ll perform a specialized eye exam to determine the cause of your dry eye syndrome. Based on the results, we’ll discuss whether LipiFlow could be a helpful remedy for your personal condition.


At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach eye doctors.

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Dry Eyes & Light Sensitivity

Are you photophobic? Dry eye treatment can help

Chronic dry eyes are usually accompanied by burning, redness, grittiness, and hypersensitivity to light. This condition, called photophobia, doesn’t always occur with dry eyes – but it isn’t a rare symptom either. Many patients who visit our eye care centers in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, complain about light sensitivity when they suffer from dry eye syndrome.

What is photophobia?

Although the word photophobia technically means “fear of light,” this condition is really a sensitivity or intolerance to light that can cause uncomfortable or painful symptoms, including migraine-like headaches. The type of light is irrelevant, people can be bothered by sunlight, fluorescent, and incandescent light all the same.

Light sensitivity is not a disease. It is a symptom of another condition that can irritate the eyes, such as dry eye syndrome.

What’s the connection between dry eyes and photophobia?

A dry ocular surface has irregularities that scatter the light entering the eye, which may be a reason for the development of photophobia. Infection and inflammation can cause these corneal irregularities.

While scientists are not entirely sure which area of the brain causes and controls light sensitivity, recent studies also indicate that retinal disorders may be related. That’s another reason why we recommend visiting our eye doctor in Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach, California – to make sure your photophobia not a sign of a more serious eye problem that requires treatment.

Treatment for photophobia

When photophobia is a symptom of dry eyes, the primary therapy goes to the root of the problem and involves finding the most effective dry eye treatment. Our eye doctor may therefore treat your problem with medicated eye drops, anti-inflammatory medications, drugs to trigger tear production, or even moisturizing eye inserts that release lubrication gradually into your tear film. By treating your dry eyes, we will be able to eliminate your light sensitivity.

Coping with photophobia

One of the best ways to manage this condition is to wear sunglasses! Check out our optical collection in Manhattan Beach and Redondo Beach, California, to pick up a pair of sunglasses to match your style and needs. Sunglasses with polarized lenses can be a good option.

Rose-colored sunglasses are often most useful, because they help to block the blue light that causes the most discomfort when you have light sensitivity. Our eye doctors at Advanced Eyecare Center caution though, don’t wear your sunglasses indoors! Doing this can actually increase your eyes’ sensitivity to light. For the same reason, if you have dry eyes – avoid dimming all of your interior lights. Sometimes, gradually exposing yourself to more light can help improve the symptoms of photophobia.

Dry eyes with light sensitivity? Visit for an eye exam

Both dry eyes and photophobia can be very irritating conditions that reduce your enjoyment of day-to-day life. Sometimes, the pain associated with light sensitivity can become extreme. If you suffer from any symptoms of dry eyes or photophobia, book an eye exam at one of our optometry offices in Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach, California.


At Advanced Eyecare Center, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 310-620-1345 or book an appointment online to see one of our Manhattan Beach or Redondo Beach eye doctors.

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Your Benefits Can Be Used For Dry Eye Treatments

Dry Eye Africam American Man 640×350Are your eyes red, watery, itchy and burning? There’s a chance you may have Dry Eye Disease (DES).

Check whether you have unused eyecare benefits left in your HSA (health savings account) or FSA (flexible spending account), as these may expire on December 31st. If so, skip the trip to the drugstore and visit Dr. Michael Hansen at Dry Eye Center At Advanced Eyecare Center to receive unparalleled dry eye relief. Depending on your insurance plan, your benefits may also be applied to a family member.

The first step in making use of your soon-to-expire vision benefits is to call Dry Eye Center At Advanced Eyecare Center and schedule an eye exam.

During your comprehensive eye exam, Dry Eye Center At Advanced Eyecare Center will assess your condition and offer a variety of dry eye treatments ranging from supplements to soothing eye masks and prescription eye drops. Each dry eye treatment is tailor-made to your specific needs.

Your flex benefits can cover

  • Comprehensive eye exams
  • Contact lenses
  • Glasses
  • Prescription sunglasses

Even Dry Eye Treatments

  • Prescription ointments or eye drops
  • Soothing eye masks
  • Tear duct plugs (Punctal plugs)
  • Steroid eye drops

— among other options.

Hurry before time runs out! Call us at Dry Eye Center At Advanced Eyecare Center to make the most of your vision benefits or to ask any questions you may have about your HSA or FSA.

Dry Eye Center At Advanced Eyecare Center serves dry eye patients in Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Torrance, and Palos Verdes, and throughout California.

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