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Corneal Transplant Recipient Getting Flu Shot? Ask Your Dr. This Question

2015-09-13 18_26_13-flu shots - Google SearchShould you protect your cornea from flu shot immunization rejection?

If you’re a corneal transplant recipient who gets flu shots, you may want to ask your corneal surgeon if you should use Tobradex (or equivalent) to avoid potential rejection due to the flu vaccine.  My particular instructions involve taking some drops a few day before my flu shot, and then for several times per day for a month afterward.  My doctor also recommended that I continue with Restasis as it provides some measure of rejection prevention.

This is done in an abundance of caution, I think.  But it’s worth a quick call to see if it might reduce your own chances for rejection.

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2015 in Recovery, Tips

 

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CDC: Contact Lens Wearers are Taking Chances with Their Eyes

2015-08-21 14_26_32-find contact lenses - Google SearchNearly all of the 41 million Americans who use contact lenses admit they engage in at least one type of risky behavior that can lead to eye infections, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers reported Thursday.

“Good vision contributes to overall well-being and independence for people of all ages, so it’s important not to cut corners on healthy contact lens wear and care,” Dr. Jennifer Cope, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC, said in an agency news release. “We are finding that many wearers are unclear about how to properly wear and care for contact lenses,” Cope said.

Four-fifths admitted keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended, and more than half said they add new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the contact lens case first. About half reported wearing their contact lenses while sleeping.

Each of these behaviors boosts the risk of eye infections by five times or more – CDC

Each of these behaviors boosts the risk of eye infections by five times or more, according to the CDC. The study was published in the Aug. 21 issue of the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The CDC outlined the following ways contact lens wearers can reduce their risk of eye infections:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them before touching contact lenses.
  • Remove contacts before sleeping, showering or swimming.
  • Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solutions each time you remove them.
  • After each use, rub and rinse the contact lens case with solution, dry the case with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off.
  • Don’t add fresh solution to old solution.
  • Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months, and carry a pair of backup glasses in case you have to remove your contact lenses.
 
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Posted by on August 21, 2015 in Tips

 

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Kindle Paperwhite for Limited Vision Persons

I’ve received several notes asking how things are going. All is well! Eye and vision are fine, but I’m having to use readers more often for small text.

I recently got a Kindle paperwhite…and I’d highly recommend that for Keratoconus patients! You can zoom up on most content and the contrast is amazing. The battery lasts forever and the choices of books is huge.  I wish I’d had this when my Karatoconus was really bad.

kindle-paperwhite-rsoft2012-01-2123-30-14600

You can get yours here.

kindle-paperwhite

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2014 in Diary Entries, Tips

 

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Have a Graft? In the Aisle Seat? Cover Your Eyes While Passengers Seating/Deplaneing!

luggage

I do a bit of business travel, and I always ask for the isle seat.  I also carry a small overnight bag and laptop bag, checking anything else.

Since my corneal transplant, I have become acutely aware of the hazard to my eye/graft caused by inconsiderate passengers coming through the isle or packing their luggage into the overhead bin.  The problem has gotten out of control with the airlines charging $25-50/bag for checking.  People are bringing everything they can onto the plane – even knowing that they’ll likely not fit (and require *free* gate checking, possibly delaying the flight.)

Twice in a recent trip did I get hit on the head by the bottom of a roll suite case, a laptop and in one case, some kind of strange musical instrument.

So, if you have a graft, I suggest that you cover your eye while people lumber down the isle with all manner of luggage.  I actually put my head down on my recent flight – taking a hit to the back of my neck!  I’m considering wearing my safety glasses!

photo: USA Today

 
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Posted by on July 25, 2013 in Interesting Stuff, Tips

 

Hundreds lose Vision Each Year to Fireworks in the USA

The 4th of July is tomorrow in the USA, and with it comes neighborhood and community fireworks displays.  Most of the people setting off fireworks have little to no training, and there are many injuries – including serious damage or destruction of the cornea.

 400 Americans lose vision in one or both eyes each year because of eye injuries caused by fireworks.

Some facts:

  • Approximately 8,500 Americans are treated in emergency rooms each year for fireworks-related injuries. Of these, it is estimated that 20 percent are eye injuries.
  • 4150420449_811289d8b9_zAs many as 400 Americans lose vision in one or both eyes each year because of eye injuries caused by fireworks.
  • Children, 16 years and younger, account for 60 percent of fireworks eye injuries in the United States.
  • 80 percent of fireworks injuries occur around the Fourth of July holiday, between June 29 and July 5.
  • More than 40 percent of injuries happen to bystanders.
  • By far, the most dangerous type of firework is the bottle rocket. The bottle rocket flies erratically, frequently injuring bystanders, and the bottle or cans used to launch them often explode, showering fragments of glass or metal in all directions.
  • Sparklers burn at 1,800 F (hot enough to melt gold) and cause third degree burns.
  • The typical victim is a male, ages 13-15, at home with a group of friends, no adults present. The typical firework is a bottle rocket, which leads to severe eye damage. The treatment is immediate surgical intervention; multiple follow-up surgeries. The probable outcome: permanent visual loss; frequently, loss of an eye.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology warns that fireworks related injuries are dangerous and provides these guidelines for fireworks

  • Never handle fireworks without protective eyewear and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
  • Never let young children play with fireworks of any type. If older children are permitted to handle fireworks, ensure they are closely supervised by an adult and wear protective eyewear.
  • Clear the area of flammable materials and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians.

For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows:

  • Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows.
  • Do not touch unexploded display (show) fireworks; instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

If an eye injury occurs, don’t touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage. Also, don’t flush the eye out with water or attempt to put any ointment on it. Instead, cut out the bottom of a paper cup, place it around the eye, and immediately seek medical attention!

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2013 in Tips

 

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Pre Holiday Update – New Contacts Prescription

Okay this will be a short one as I’m heading home to be with family for the holiday.

After having the most recent set of sutures out, the shape of my eye shifted (as predicted) so I needed new lenses.  This presents a challenge for fitters, but one thing has made the difference… The “auto-refractor”…a device that helps contacts fitters get “close” quickly using a computerized measurement.  If your eye care provider is not using one, ask about it.

Using that piece of equipment has helped my fitter get closer to my vision needs than she seems to be able to do with manual adjustments.  Then, after the device has spit out its numbers, she refines it to the last degree by hand.  My numbers shift rather radically over time.  I previously went to see my fitter within a few days of the suture removal, and then again today (3 weeks later.)   My vision had shifted even more – so next time I will wait longer before making a fitting appointment.

I did have one nagging quality issue with the lenses – two of them got little notches around the rim for no apparent reason.  It created a mild itch, and when I looked up under the light, I could see it.  Luckily, the manufacturer will stand behind them.  This has me inclined to have an additional backup on hand.  Otherwise I’m thrilled.

A new set of lenses is on order now, to be to me after the first of the year.

Happy Holidays!

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2012 in Diary Entries, Tips

 

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New – DALK Transplant Chronology

Quick post to let you know that I just made a new page which covers the chronology from my first Dr. appt to one year after the surgery.  Same posts, but in chronological order.

http://corneanews.com/about-kerataconus/chronology/

 

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Tip for Corneal Suture Removal Antibiotics – Saving a few bucks

When you are in recovery from corneal transplant, your doctor will begin removing sutures – a few at a time each visit (providing everything is going well.)  Each time you leave you’ll be asked to drop antibiotics for 3-4 days several times per day.   A tiny amount, all in all.

The tip I have is this… ask the doctor or assistants if you can have a sample antibiotic (left by drug reps) rather than a prescription.  The samples have just the right number of drops for 4×3 or 3×3 and are meant to be given away for free.  This can save you the cost of the antibiotics and a trip to the drug store.   Even ask them to give you several bottles to be used on the subsequent visit (they have a decent shelf life.)

The doctors can get more, trust me.

This might save you $30-40 per visit.Antibiotics for Corneal Transplant Suture removal

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2011 in Surgery-Story, Tips

 

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