Dr. Rigoberto Rios Leon, a new ophthalmologist at Lakeside, was our featured speaker on October 11, talking about "Eye Health".
It was an eye opener for most of us, as Dr. Rios stressed the importance of looking after our eyes.
He said that people are using their eyes more and more these days, staring at cell phones, tablets, and computer screens for many hours per day. Especially children and young people; some of those seem to do nothing else anymore.  Kids should not use devices for more than 2 hours per day to prevent eye problems in the future, he said.
People get dry eyes and then buy eye drops, but Dr. Rios is warning that, unless you get a lubricant, simple eye drops are not going to help you. It only removes the redness. In fact it can do you harm because a side effect of eye drops is that it increases the blood pressure. Also, things that people do to produce tears are no good. Best is to get a lubricant. "Systane" is a good lubricant.
People should always wear sunglasses here to protect their eyes , Dr. Rios said. They don't even have to be expensive, get them as dark as possible. Polarized sunglasses are the best.
Dr. Rios also addressed several eye diseases and conditions. Glaucoma is a silent killer for the eyes, and the damage caused by glaucoma is not reversible.
If you have a family history, you have 50% change of getting glaucoma. The first treatment is special drops; they can help for a long time.
Cataracts on the other hand, are reversible. The old lenses can be removed and replaced with new ones. Some people go back to the eye doctor and complain that the lenses have become blurry. But that does not mean that their eyesight has deteriorated, which they are afraid of. The lenses just need to be cleaned. Cataracts can increase by sun exposure.
Melanoma is also a common disease of the eye.
A retinal vitreous detachment is very uncommon. Only one in 10.000 cases. A posterior vitreous detachment is a quite common.
Melanoma is another common disease of the eye.
A macular degeneration is becoming more common. It is related to age. The patient loses central vision, which is a malfunction of the central retina. The treatment is an injection into the eye, and taking vitamins. If one of your parents had it, you have 35-40% change of getting it.
Lastly, Dr. Rios talked about eyeglasses. Many people ask about multifocal lenses as a possibility for them. Whether that is a good option for them depends on their lifestyle; do they drive at night for instance, or do they read a lot, and what they find most convenient. Trifocal lenses are very interesting, and the market is looking into them, but they are still expensive. In any case, the newest invention is not always the best, he said.
Finally, Dr. Rios asked to bring any old eyeglasses into his practice, as he gives donated eyeglasses to people who cannot afford them.
Dr. Rios has his practice at Bugambilias #17 (next to Fit for Life Gym), in Mirasol. Tel. 376-766-1521.