It’s a real pleasure to be able to share with you my second interview with Dr. Trattler, in which he addresses the aging eye.
If you are over the age of 40 and have noticed subtle changes in your vision, this interview will be a real “eye opener”!
I was in my late 30’s when I noticed my first clue that something was changing a bit with my vision. I had problems reading the small print on cosmetic packaging, and words running together with some of the copy I’d have to read when recording commercial voiceovers. As a makeup artist, and television staff announcer this was a real issue for me. I was very surprised how an eye examination and glasses with the proper visual correction was a near “Miracle”!
Going through my 40’s , I noticed that my eyes didn’t focus as quickly when I’d change from looking at something close up then at something far away. When I started working on the computer it really took it’s toll on my eyes. Thankfully due to my yearly eye exams, I had healthy eyes that were experiencing normal age related changes. In my late 40’s, and to date, I now, additionally have a specific pair of glasses for use on the computer which is really helpful!
There’s a general complaint that’s quite common during the allergy season that we’re currently experiencing right now. It seems everyone you talk with is affected, these days, with either runny, itching or burning eyes, and possibly all three symptoms!! That can cause a lot of discomfort. Is it just allergies or possibly an eye issue? Dr. Trattler will answer questions about that in the interview!
One important comment from Dr. Trattler before the interview! Dr. William Trattler, MD, of the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute cautions, “your eye health could fade fast if you don’t take measures to protect them.”
On that note, here’s my interview with Dr. William Trattler, MD:
Question #1 : Allergy season is here and many of us may have dry, burning eyes. What should we do?
Dr. Trattler: Over the counter anti-allergy drops work very well. For some, prescription medications may be a better option. Check with your eye doctor for recommendations on drops that may help.
Question #2: If I have dry, itchy, red eyes all year long, could I have dry eye or allergies?
Dr. Trattler : You could have allergies or Dry Eye. Itchy, dry or watery eyes are also a symptom of Dry Eye, which is a condition that impacts the visual system, causing blurry and fluctuating vision. It is important to identify Dry Eye and speak to your doctor about initiating a treatment for it. There is a prescription medication for Chronic Dry Eye called RESTASIS.
A doctor would try to determine which one you have or if you have both.
Question #3: Do eyes become increasingly tired with age?
Dr. Trattler: The sensation of having “tired” eyes comes from actually having dry eyes.
If you spend many hours focusing your eyes while using the computer or other electronics, you may not be blinking as much as you should and therefore, not keeping your eyes properly moisturized, causing them to dry out a bit and feel strained.
Here’s a tip to use while at the computer from Dr. Trattler:
Adjust the top of the computer screen so that it’s set at eye level. If you’re looking slightly down at the screen, rather than up at it, less of the eyeball is exposed to the drying effect caused by reduced blinking and other factors.
Question #4 : Will I need glasses, even if I had perfect vision in my younger years?
Dr. Trattler : Yes, many people see beautifully when their younger but then when they hit 40, start to lose some of that clarity. This is caused by Presbyopia, a condition that makes the lens of eyes less elastic and affects your ability to focus. There is currently no method of slowing down the onset of Presbyopia but there are therapies and other technologies under development that can help.
Question #5 : Will I need to see my eye doctor yearly?
Dr. Trattler : Once you’re in your forties, I recommend you get a yearly eye exam to check for diseases. For example, Glaucoma is a disease that can lead to loss of vision and yet, not show any symptoms.
Question #6 : What is the difference between an ophthalmologist, and an optometrist and which eye professional should I see if I’m over 40?
Dr. Trattler : You can see either as they handle the same conditions and are completely appropriate for performing routine exams. The difference is an Ophthalmologist can perform surgery.
Question #7 : What types of standard eye tests should I expect when I see my eye doctor? Also, I’ve heard that the newer optomap retinal scan is as thorough as the traditional dilation of a patient’s eyes. Is this true and what exactly is a doctor able to ascertain from these tests?
Dr. Trattler : We’ll do standard eye tests that measure vision, including nearsightedness and farsightedness. We’ll also check the pressure in the eye which is critical and make sure the eye looks generally healthy. Often, we will dilate the eyes to get a better look at the back of the eye. The optomap allows for a very comprehensive photograph of your eyes and is used to get a wide-angle view of the back of the eye which can help us pick up on conditions. A doctor may use this technology to look at the eye and he or she may also dilate the eyes in addition.
VICKI: Thank you so much Dr. Trattler for taking the time for this interview. I know our readers will take heed with all of your great suggestions and information, and I truly look forward to our next interview, and ongoing education and options about caring for our eyes!
In closing, it’s my hope that the interview with Dr. Trattler has instilled the importance of of how priceless our vision is ! I make a point to never miss an eye exam! After reading Dr. Trattler’s interview that shared so much valuable information about your eyes, I hope that you’ll be inspired to become very diligent when it comes to the ongoing care of your eyes, and have them checked annually, as well!
About Dr. Trattler:
Dr. Trattler received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Dartmouth College and his Doctorate of Medicine degree from University of Miami School of Medicine where he graduated in 1992 with Distinction in Research. He completed his ophthalmology residency at University of Pennsylvania, Scheie Eye Institute and then spent an additional year for subspecialty training in Cornea and Refractive Surgery at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.During his Corneal Fellowship, Dr. Trattler performed research on dry eye and oil gland problems of the eye. He is able to apply a variety of techniques to help those individuals with significant dry eye problems.
Dr. Trattler has been invited to lecture across the U.S. on various topics such as: Optimizing visual results with both cataract and laser vision correction, Therapeutic options for patients with dry eye and blepharitis, and the latest treatments in ocular allergy and infections. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Trattler is a Volunteer Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
( Dr. Trattler’s Image, and “About” information was obtained from provided PR-Fact sheets. Information about my eye care was from my personal experience.)