Info

The Pharmacist Answers Podcast

Have a question for the pharmacist? Get your answers here! Clear explanations about complicated medical topics that anyone can understand. Disclaimer: The information contained in this blog and related podcast are not to be taken as medical advice, they are for informational and educational purposes only. If you resemble anything that is mentioned in this blog or related podcast, contact your doctor. The information contained in this blog and related podcasts is the opinion of the author and does not relfect the views of her employer, Walgreens. If you want to know what Walgreens thinks, ask Walgreens!
RSS Feed Subscribe in iTunes
The Pharmacist Answers Podcast
2017
June
May
April
March
February
January


2016
December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January


2015
December
November
October
September
August
July


All Episodes
Archives
Now displaying: March, 2017
Mar 27, 2017

Color blindness = blind to color
But it doesn't mean that someone sees the world in black and white.
It's technically labeled as Red-Green color blindness, which means the world is seen in shades of yellow.
The cones in your eyes (a certain shaped cells in your retina) are built to pick up different wavelengths of  light (think ROYGBV).  So the cones that would pick up reds and greens are absent or broken.
Found to be a Y-chromosome trait, so it is more prevalent in males.
Rarely Blue-yellow color blindness is a thing.

Conjunctivitis = pink eye = inflammation of the conjunctiva
Conjunctiva = the layer that covers your whole eye
3 types:
- Viral - , itching, watering, burning, light sensitivity, very contagious, lasts ~ 7 days
- Bacterial - green/brown discharge (aka "goo"), foreign-body sensation, contagious, can cause damage if untreated, requires antibiotic drop
-Allergic - triggered by allergens, histamine reaction, can accompany a larger, more general allergy reaction, anti-histamine eye drops can help

Corneal abrasion = scratched or injured cornea
Symptoms: redness, watering, light sensitivity, foreign-body sensation
Can be dramatic or traumatic like being hit in the face or eye by something, or something as simple as rubbing an itchy eye or getting something out of their eye.
* If you end up with something in your eye, the best option is to flush it out with water or saline
Bacteria on your hands or the thing that scratched your eye can lead to a deeper infection, but most of the time, if you use caution, it will heal itself rather quickly.

**Solution for light sensitivity:  wear sunglasses at night

Detached retina = when the retina detaches from the back of the eye
*Sounds awful but it doesn't hurt
Retina - a web of nerves in the back of your eye that sends signals to the brain
Closing curtain sensation = part of the view of vision will become shadowed as the retina detaches gradually from one side to the other.  Floaters also show up if this is happening. (All floaters ARE NOT related to the retina.)
Sudden detachment can be caused by head injuries or sudden intra-ocular pressure drops (the fluid pressure inside your eyeball).  This sudden detachment is experienced as a flash of light and then sudden darkness.
Sudden or gradual detachment requires immediate medical attention and can be repaired with surgery and medical intervention.
Diabetic retinopathy do to chronic damage can lead to retina detachment.
*The risk of retina detachment occurring after an eye procedure (lasik surgery or cataracts surgery) is skewed for people with severe nearsightedness, possibly due to a genetic disposition of having a shorter retina.

Question:  Safe to use allergy eye drops long-term?
Answer:  Sure!  The only problem is that chronic use can lead to your body not responding to the same med over and over as well.  So, to avoid this, swap between drops and allergy tabs - based on if you're experiencing "eye only" allergies or a wider allergy response that involves the sinuses too.

Support us on Patreon

*NEW* Join the Pharmacist Answers Podcast Community on Facebook

Subscribe: iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay, TuneIn Radio

Like the Facebook page

"Radio Martini" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Mar 20, 2017

Your eyes work together so that the line of focus for each eye cross, and that is your most in focus image.  So as your eyes make tiny adjustments, you can focus on things close up or far away.

If you have a lazy eye, the muscles don't allow the eye to focus and coordinate with the strong eye.  This can lead to double vision or blurry vision.
Abmlyopia - I remember it because it sounds like "ambling" which can mean to meander or wander around.  Versions of this can be caused by torticollis, where a baby's head is tilted or twisted due to positioning in the womb.  The eye can either compensate for the difference or it'll just give up and let the dominant eye do all the work.  Correction of this issue usually involves patching the strong eye and making the weak eye do all the work.  The blurry or double vision can lead to headaches.  Overuse and fatigue (like long days at work) can make it worse.

Astigmatism = irregularly-shaped cornea  (not a stigmatism).  I think baseball vs football. A circular lens (baseball) focuses light to a single point. A football-shaped lens focuses light to a line, so that makes the vision blurry.  This is why people with astigmatism will squint.  Squinting is a way for your eyes to manipulate the amount of light coming in and alter the shape of the eye to clear up the image of what they're looking at.

Lasix procedures can correct astigmatism - the laser does micro-damage to the eye and it heals more circular in the eye.

Blepharitis - inflammation of eye lids.  Can result in dry eye.
It can affect the outside (eye lashes side) or the inside (lubrication gland size).  This is NOT a stye.  Caused by a chronic build-up of bacteria, skin flakes, dried eye lubrication.
Some skin conditions can make a person more susceptible to blepharitis - Rosacea (overgrowth of skin bacteria), severe dermatitis, including psoriasis.  It's recommended to use really good eye hygiene before having a doctor intervene.  Using warm compresses to keep dried skin and "eye crusties" soft and glands open so they don't get clogged.  Using clean cotton swabs or clothes instead of your hands to touch or wipe things out of your eyes, so you don't transfer bacteria.  Doctor's can insert a catheter into the tear ducts to keep it open and less likely to keep it clogged.  There's not a cure to make it go away for good.

Cataracts - the lens of the eye gets cloudy due to proteins clumping up.  People have described trying to see with cataracts like trying to look through wax paper.  Risk of cataracts normally increases with age.  The risk for cataracts can be increased even more by chronic diseases (diabetes, high blood pressure), poor health habits (obesity, smoking, alcohol use), long-term use of certain medications (steroids, hormone replacement therapy).  The current treatment for cataracts is lens replacement.  The old treatment would be just removing the proteins, but depending on a person's longevity, they may get cataracts again in their lifetime.

Support us on Patreon

*NEW* Join the Pharmacist Answers Podcast Community on Facebook

Subscribe: iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay, TuneIn Radio

Like the Facebook page

"Radio Martini" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Mar 13, 2017
Remember: if a vitamin is good for one place in your body, it’s probably good for a lot of places in your body.
 
Thiamine (B-1) - thiamine is used heavily in your liver, to help metabolize alcohol.  Most well-known deficiency in alcoholics.  Thiamine also helps nerves produce several neurotransmitters, as well as protects your nerves from inflammatory chemicals (the chemicals in your body that trigger swelling and pain).  You don’t want inflammation in your optical nerves.  You also don’t want the signals from your eyes to your brain and back to be slow.
 
Folic acid:  important for pregnancy women and fetal development, deficiency can cause a type of anemia.  It’s main job is to help make accurate copies of the DNA and RNA when cells are dividing and multiplying.  You don’t want typos in your DNA!  This is important for your eyes because the cells of your eyes is because they are some of the fastest reproducing and dividing cells in your body.
 
Omega-3 Fatty acids:  Beneficial for heart health, found in oils.  Oils in your body are lubricating.  Omega-3 fatty acids are building blocks for the cholesterol that is build into cell membranes that keep the fluid and slippery. The body also uses O3FA to produce the natural lubrication in your eye.
 
N-Acetylcystine (NAC): an amino acid (building block of protein).  Glutathione - your body’s naturally produced antioxidant.  NAC is used when the cells build and store glutathione.  Glutathione focuses mainly on oxygen-based free radicals.
 
Alpha Lipoid Acid (ALA): another antioxidant.  Found in sources of natural oils - seeds and nuts.
 
Lutein and Zeaxanthin: 2 nutrients that are found in red, orange, and yellow fruits and vegetables (and that actually cause them to be those colors in the first place).  Their main goal in your eyes are to prevent blue light damage.  Blue light is a short wavelength with a higher speed and energy than the lower colors of light.  This energetic light can damage cells in your eyes, so the orange nutrients blocks this energetic waves so you can still see the blue colors, but it’s more chill and doesn’t cause damage to the retina.  These nutrients concentrate in the macula.
 

Support us on Patreon

*NEW* Join the Pharmacist Answers Podcast Community on Facebook

Subscribe: iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay, TuneIn Radio

Like the Facebook page

"Radio Martini" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Mar 6, 2017
*Disclaimer: most vitamins and minerals are used in and good for ALL of your body
 
Vitamin C - helps make collagen, allows iron to be absorbed, and acts as a neurotransmitter co-factor (helps in the process of creating and sending messages)
 
Vitamin E - antioxidant (call-back —> traps up free radicals so they don’t damage cells in important organs)
 
Beta-Carotene - a pre-cursor to Vitamin A (this happens in your liver), Vitamin A works with proteins in your eyes to create light-sensitive molecules to aid in color vision and seeing in dim light
 
Zinc - helps Vitamin A know where it’s needed in the body and helps it get there
 
Selenium - helps the body absorb Vitamin E
 
Calcium - vital for muscle and nerve conduction (think electricity) 
 
No lone rangers here!
 
Many foods are fortified in modern countries and have vitamins added to them that may not be naturally occurring in the raw ingredients.
 
If you’re eating a well balanced diet and still deficient in something, take a supplement of the thing you’re deficient in, not a whole multi-vitamin.
 
If you’re getting regular check-ups with your doctor, they should be testing for many things, including many vitamin levels, to check for deficiencies. 
 
Being “tired” isn’t always fixed by taking vitamins.
 
Bonus: depending on what nutrient is missing to cause anemia, the red blood cells will have a certain appearance.
 
Some vitamins are fat soluble so they hang out in your adipose tissue, and can cause problems if you get them in too large amounts.
 

Support us on Patreon

*NEW* Join the Pharmacist Answers Podcast Community on Facebook

Subscribe: iTunes, Stitcher, GooglePlay, TuneIn Radio

Like the Facebook page

"Radio Martini" Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)  Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

1