Smartphone Use Linked to Presbyopia Symptoms in Japan

Presbyopia Symptoms  pic
Presbyopia Symptoms
Image: technology.inquirer.net

Dr. Anthony Roberts, founding physician at Shady Grove Ophthalmology, treats patients with a wide variety of vision difficulties. Dr. Anthony Roberts offers Lasik as well as nonsurgical therapies for myopia and is extensively experienced in the treatment of presbyopia.

Presbyopia, or farsightedness, is traditionally a condition of middle and older age. In a healthy and young eye, the ciliary body adjusts the thickness of the crystalline lens so that a person can focus on an object close to the body. Around the age of 40, however, the ciliary body muscle begins to break down and the crystalline lens begins to harden.

Lately, however, ophthalmologists and opticians in Japan have begun to notice an increase in presbyopia symptoms among young adults. A recent survey suggests that while only 0.5 percent of individuals aged from the late teens to 34 reported such symptoms in 2012, more than 6.6 percent did so in 2013. Eye care professionals believe that this increase may be largely due to this population’s near-constant use of smartphones, which invite a sustained focus on a small screen.

Staring at a close object causes the ciliary body to stiffen, thus decreasing the ability of the eye to adjust when switching from near to far vision and back again. Known as adjustment tension, this process is most often temporary but may become permanent in more severe cases. Some ophthalmologists have responded to this trend by calling for a reduction in the extended use of mobile devices and an increased focus on personal eye care.

Dr. Anthony Roberts: How LASIK Eye Surgery Works

Operating from Shady Grove Ophthalmology in Rockville, Maryland, Dr. Anthony Roberts has performed more than 50,000 refractive procedures. He earned his MD from the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine.

LASIK, which stands for laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, is a procedure in which a surgeon uses a cutting device known as a microkeratome to create a hinged opening on the surface of the cornea. The surgeon removes tissue from the inner layer of the cornea with a laser and replaces the outer flap when finished. Some patients report a faint burning-hair smell as the laser eliminates tissue. The surgery often requires less than 30 minutes.

Following LASIK surgery, 80 percent of patients can see well enough to eliminate contact lenses or glasses from their day-to-day lives. While the surgery can be used to address myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and presbyopia, patients who experience the best LASIK results are those with low-grade myopia.

Dr. Anthony Roberts on Treating Macular Degeneration (part 2 of 2)

Dr. Anthony Roberts, a Washington-area ophthalmologist who runs Shady Grove Ophthalmology in Rockville, Maryland, answers questions about research on macular degeneration and treatments for the condition.

Once a person is diagnosed with macular degeneration, how do doctors treat the disease?

According to Dr. Roberts, there is no treatment to reverse dry macular degeneration, but some research suggests that increased intake of Vitamins A, C, and E as well as copper and zinc may slow the disease’s advance. Drugs and laser therapy can also halt further degeneration. In severe cases, lens implants may restore some clarity to a patient’s vision. Regular check-ups are important, so that people who suffer from dry macular degeneration can monitor the progression of the disease.

If you’re at risk for either variant, it’s important to see your eye doctor on a yearly basis.

Is there any hope that researchers will be able to cure macular degeneration?

According to Dr. Roberts, researchers continue to study the disease and its causes. Recently, scientists discovered 20 genes that can predict whether a person has macular degeneration, how advanced the disease is, and what variant is present. Scientists hope to target these genes to create a new generation of macular degeneration tests and treatments.