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What is Binocular Vision Dysfunction & How is it Treated?

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In today’s digital age, eye strain is more common than it has ever been because many people spend hours each day in front of a computer. BVD patients are considerably more prone to eye strain and other vision-related problems like migraines, headaches, and tired eyes. Therefore, this is an even bigger problem for BVD patients.

Binocular vision dysfunction, or BVD for short, happens when both eyes struggle to work together effectively because of a small misalignment of the line of sight between the two eyes. As a result, your eye muscles are under a lot of strain as the brain works to achieve a single clear image from these conflicting signals.

Many patients experience the unsettling symptoms for years before receiving an accurate prognosis.  However, if you think you may suffer from BVD, Vision Specialists has created this questionnaire to help you find out. 

What symptoms indicate a problem with binocular vision?

You might have all, some, or even none of the following signs and symptoms if you have BVD:

  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Losing your place while reading
  • Anxiety
  • Reading Headaches or migraines
  • Neck/shoulder discomfort (from a head tilt)
  • A poor sense of depth
  • Balance and/or coordination issues
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Episodes of anxiety while driving
  • Agoraphobia (uneasiness in large places)
  • Disorientation
  • Feeling car sick

What Is Going On?

The small misalignment of the eyes in BVD patients makes it very challenging for the brain to align the images in the manner required to produce a single, sharp image. This misalignment puts a lot of tension on the eye muscles as they work to fix the issue.

The list above contains just a few unpleasant and occasionally crippling physical and neurological symptoms that can develop due to BVD. Many patients see their doctor in search of treatment, unaware that their eyes, rather than their vestibular system, are the underlying cause of their dizziness or vertigo.

A common symptom of BVD is difficulty reading and understanding what is being read. It is difficult to diagnose this disorder because some people only exhibit one BVD symptom while others exhibit many symptoms.  Additionally, many of the BVD symptoms aren’t obvious eye problems but can be mistaken for neurological or psychological symptoms instead.

The Origins of BVD

A number of things, including head injury, facial asymmetry, aging eye muscles, and traumas that harm the nerves that control the eye muscles, can cause BVD to develop. Even though it frequently doesn’t show symptoms until later in life, BVD can also be inherited. Therefore, diagnosing such a condition can be challenging.

Using Prismatic Lenses to Treat BVD

Prescription prism glasses and customized eyewear for computer, driving, everyday use and for sports use are some ways of treating BVD.  While some optometrists (eye doctors) experiment with prism, a specially trained optometrist is the best option for diagnosing and treating your BVD called a Neurovisual optometrist.

After a comprehensive Neurovisual evaluation, a prism prescription made specifically for you is placed into the lenses of your eyeglasses,  providing effective treatment for the symptoms of BVD. These will efficiently correct the misalignment that the patient typically suffers. They do this by shifting the image slightly that both eyes see two images that line up with the each other.

However, patients will require different amounts of prism, with adjustments done over a period of sessions. The good news is that the majority of patients can anticipate feeling up to a 50% improvement in their symptoms right away.  Once the fine-tuning is complete, the majority of patients will experience an average of about an 80% reduction in their BVD symptoms. This has the potential to significantly improve their quality of life.

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Health

How Long Does TMJ Pain Last?

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For anybody that has experienced temporomandibular joint pain, they can attest to just how uncomfortable and debilitating it can be. With all the food we consume, the drinks we enjoy, and the conversation we make as humans, the jaw joint is almost constantly in use as we go about our day. The pain is considered debilitating because it limits or completely restricts individuals from being able to eat, drink, and talk. You can see how that would sometimes ruin your day – or weeks to months!

Too much strain on the jaw joints and the adjacent muscle groups that help us chew, talk, and swallow, is the usual cause of TMJ disorder or a painful TMJ flare-up. Excessive use of chewing gum and overeating can cause temporary TMJ problems, but simply controlling your diet and ditching the chewing gum will allow for relief within a day or two. Grinding your teeth in your sleep is the real problematic culprit. Anybody who suffers from nighttime teeth grinding is subject to frequent TMJ pain and flare-ups. If left untreated, the flare-ups will become more extensive damage that comes with significantly worse and more lengthy periods of pain.

Bruxism

The teeth grinding at night is a diagnosed behavior bordering on a disorder called bruxism. Bruxism can cause many problems for your teeth and your gums, including rapid tooth dulling, enamel destruction, damage to bridges and crowns, and enhanced tooth and gum decay. Beyond those obvious problems you can visibly see, there are issues bruxism causes hiding beneath the surface of your gums. The constant pressure applied to the jawline will eventually cause TMJ disorder. Most people don’t even know they have bruxism until it’s too late unless their partner hears them grinding their teeth in their sleep or a sleep study is conducted. 

Those who have anxiety issues or high amounts of stress in their lives are significantly more likely to develop or suffer from bruxism. As we know, bruxism is directly related to stress and anxiety. Thus, fixing or managing stress and anxiety through therapy, counseling, meditation, and medication helps improve bruxism. Stopping the bruxism before TMJ disorder is developed is the only way to avoid significant pain.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

TMJ disorder is the name given to describe the pain and problems caused in the temporomandibular joint. Once the TMJ is damaged, the longer the damage is untreated, the more harm is done, so stopping the strain as soon as possible is key to shortening the rehabilitation process. There are several symptoms associated with TMJ flare-ups, but the most common list includes toothaches, headaches, facial swelling, and a limited range of motion. Sometimes people will experience painful ear aches, pain in the neck/shoulder area, and even lockjaw. While it’s possible to manage all pain to some extent with over-the-counter painkillers, it’s suggested that you visit your dentist or orthodontist the moment you suspect bruxism is causing these problems.

That said, it’s not always bruxism that causes the TMJ pain. Poorly aligned teeth will create poor chewing habits that aren’t natural for the human jaw. These habits will develop TMJ disorder if the underlying problem, the misaligned teeth, continues to go untreated. In some cases, unhealthy resting positions of the mouth, like overbite and underbite, will cause TMJ pain.

We encourage anyone suffering from TMJ pain not to let the issue linger a moment longer. Get in to see a dentist today, especially if it’s been a while! Drs. Chad & Alexandra Schnabel of Savannah Dental Solutions has been dealing with bruxism and the aftermath it causes in patients for many years. They know that waiting only causes more damage and will work with your schedule to get you in as quickly as possible. They offer early morning and late afternoon time slots for appointments because we know that you have a busy schedule and don’t want to suffer with the TMJ issues for longer than necessary.  

Hesitating will cause longer recovery times and cost you more money in the end, so call the office at 912-354-1366 to make an appointment today.  

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Health

Pneumatic Tubes Resolve In-House Hospital Transport Concerns

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Pneumatic tubes are a common system in everyday life. We’re most often familiar with them in places such as banks and pharmacies, but they are also used in other places such as  hospitals. 

Pneumatic tube systems have been used as a safe and effective way of in-house transport since their invention in the 19th Century. Although some medical facilities already use pneumatic tubes, the COVID pandemic highlighted the need for them in every hospital. 

Some of the greatest difficulties facing hospitals during COVID was the need for additional speed, and the lack of staff available. Valuable and skilled staff spend hours of time transporting things like labs, pharmaceuticals, and blood. Using a pneumatic tube system means these staff could spend that time with patients. 

Pneumatic tube systems are easily installed into the walls of the hospital. Terminals are located in various locations throughout the hospital and carriers can reach the furthest ends of the facility in less than 5 minutes.  

In other words, pneumatic tubes provide efficient transport of blood, labs, and necessary drugs more quickly than human couriers. They also do so without using the valuable time of skilled staff. 

In the post COVID world, where infection control and speed are top priorities, pneumatic tubes are a common sense solution.

Medical Facilities Need Operational Technology More Than Ever
Source: Swisslog Healthcare
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Health

How To Healthily Deal With The Stress Of A New Job In A New City

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Moving to a new city for a job can be a part of a series of events that change the trajectory of your life and career. You want to be able to thrive in a new position as struggling can make a bad impression. The ability to step into a role and produce at high levels instills confidence of your employer that you can thrive under any conditions. The ability to move for a role also puts you ahead of others that might want to stay in a particular city for family reasons. Coping in the wrong ways can impact your sleep negatively along with your mental health. The following are tips to help you cope with the stress of moving to a new city in healthy ways. 

Short-Term Rental With Rented Furniture

Furniture rental is a great option when you are first moving to a city. You do not want to do the cliche thing of sleeping on the floor without any real furniture for the first few months. This can allow you to slowly furnish your place as you slowly return the rentals one by one. You would be surprised at the options that are available for rental. 

Invest In A Weekly Massage 

A weekly massage is an investment in your mental and physical health. The ability to look forward to something can be enough to get you through a tough week. At sedentary jobs you will also want to avoid back and neck problems which are extremely common. Finding a masseuse that understands your needs might take a bit of trial and error but it will be worth it. 

Taking Time Weekly To Truly Unwind 

Diving into your new job is one thing but you should not have it rule your entire life. You need to avoid burnout like the plague as this can hamper long-term productivity. It might seem counterintuitive to schedule time to relax but for those that are very productive, this might be the only way to turn your brain off. Taking a walk in nature with a phone on silent or your headphones in can be quite a therapeutic activity.

Get Into The Habit Of Exercising Daily 

Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress on a daily basis. You are not going to find a healthier way of managing stress than hitting the gym. The truth is that you can invest in home fitness equipment that can do all of the same things that the gym can. This is without a monthly membership and chatty gym members that think the gym is a social place rather than a place to get workouts done. Finding a form of exercise that you do not mind doing can bring you peace while getting into incredible shape. 

The stress of a new city and finding new friends might seem a bit overwhelming. Cope in a healthy manner so you can allow yourself to truly succeed in a new role in your new city.

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