Maine LASIK Cataract Eye Care Surgery Blog Portland EMG

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Glaucoma Impacts Driving Safety

Moderate or advanced glaucoma can affect driving safety according to research noted in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Patients with bilateral moderate or advanced glaucoma are at risk for unsafe driving. For this reason we now suggest a very careful evaluation for those glaucoma patients who might be at risk so that we can evaluate driving safety of these patients. Glaucoma, especially in more advanced stages can reduce peripheral vision as well as contrast and make driving particularly difficult-especially in dim illumination. Our goal is to help all patients avoid vision loss from glaucoma by asking that you schedule regular eye examinations with glaucoma testing as often your eye doctor suggests. This will depend on the overall health of your eyes, your family history, your general health and many other glaucoma riskfactors your eye doctor may identify. The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnoses and treatment.


Please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.



Sunday, January 8, 2017

Genes for Glaucoma Identified

Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have led an international effort to identify three genetic associations that influence susceptibility and risk of primary open angle glaucoma which is the most common and insidious type of glaucoma. They studied more than 4,000 cases and 30,000 controls for primary open angle glaucoma using human genomes collected through the NEIGHBORHOOD consortium, a National Eye Institute collaborative. The researchers identified relationships between primary open angle glaucoma and three genetic associations and we believe that this will provide key insights that may ultimately be used to develop gene-based testing and treatment strategies for glaucoma.

In order to prevent vision loss, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is best managed through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Having a genetic code that tells us whether you will be subject to the disease will go a long way in preventing damage to the optic nerve and thus compromised vision. As we move forward, regular eye exams with glaucoma texting-especially for those with known risk factors including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, smoking and being of Latino or African ancestry-are important to maintain eye health and vision.

Please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Retinitis Pigmentosa Help

About Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a progressive inherited disease of the eye, in which the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells located in the retina degenerate. This results first in the loss of night and peripheral vision, eventually progressing to the loss of central vision and total blindness. It is the leading cause of inherited blindness in the developed world.

The disease, which affects approximately 1.5 million people in the world, has no cure, but thanks to research done at the University of California-Santa Barbara, a new stem cell therapy may soon be available that protects photoreceptor cells from the damaging effects of the gene mutation. So far, only a small number of legally blind patients with RP have begun a trial. The trial is the first attempt to use stem cells to prevent the loss of vision from RP. An experimental injection of retinal stem cells is placed in the eye with the hope that the growth factors from these cells will protect the retinal cells and prevent them from dying, thus preserving the patient’s remaining vision.

If you, a family member or someone you know would like to learn more about Retinitis Pigmentosa or many new stem therapies being developed for diseases of the retina, please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Eye Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease & Multiple Sclerosis


Eye Testing for Alzheimer’s Disease & Multiple Sclerosis

If you have had a thorough eye exam and thought to be at risk for glaucoma, diabetic macular edema from diabetic retinopathy or other retinal diseases you may have had a test called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) in our office. Optical Coherence Tomography or OCT is a high technology imaging test that allows us to produce high resolution cross sectional views of the structures of your eye without ever touching it. In some ways this is analogous to CT Scans that are used to “image’ organ systems in other parts of your body. According to recent research by using OCT we may also be able to use OCT changes as “biomarkers” for diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis. OCT allows us to very carefully scan nerve fibers in the retina-the  retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) and the ganglion cell layer (GCL) which are often compromised in the neurodegenerative diseases. We are carefully reviewing the research and waiting to learn if in fact in office OCT testing might be useful either in the diagnosis and/or the monitoring of Alzheimer’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.


If you or someone you know is at risk for any type of neurodegenerative disease and has not had a comprehensive eye exam they should schedule an appointment and be sure to relay to the doctor or staff all of your concerns, please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Field Hockey Eye Injury Reduced with Mandatory Eyewear


Avoid Sports Eye Injury with Protective Eyewear
According to research on data from the High School Reporting Information Online database and from a Virginia school district that includes 25 high schools, recorded between 2009 and 2013, analyzed and published in the journal Pediatrics, the use of mandatory protective eyewear by female field hockey players has reduced incidences of eye and orbital injuries, as well as severe face and head injuries. Among female U.S. high school field hockey players, a national mandate for protective eyewear has been associated with a greater than threefold reduced risk of eye and orbital injuries and a decreased incidence of severe eye and orbital as well as head and face injuries. This information supports a policy change and implementation of the mandatory use of protective equipment in field hockey at all amateur levels.

If you or someone you know have questions about protective eyewear for sports, or need to be fitted with protective eyewear to avoid the risk of sports eye injury, please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.



Monday, October 31, 2016

Diabetes: A Top Vision Loss Risk Factor for Hispanics

Results from the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study (LALES) confirm that diabetes is a top risk factor for vision loss among Hispanics. LALES and other large studies have found that people who have diabetes are more likely to develop serious and potentially blinding diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, cataract and glaucoma. Hispanics are more likely to develop diabetes than other groups.

Preventing Vision Loss in Hispanics
Preventing diabetes or catching and treating it and any related eye diseases in their early stages would go a long way to improving Hispanics' vision health. Hispanics are the fastest-growing group in the United States and thus it is important to have routine eye exams especially if you are diabetic and Hispanic. LALES researchers believe that is our Hispanic population receives thorough exams and care as needed, the burden of vision loss in US Hispanics could be reduced.

If you are Hispanic and especially if you have diabetes, having regular eye exams is critical to reduce your risk of vision loss. Please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.



Sunday, October 23, 2016

Aging Eye Problems

About Aging Eyes
Aging eye problems are a fact of life for adults growing older just like wrinkles, slowing metabolism and graying hair. Eventually, your eyes are affected by age so it’s important to understand how your eyes change with age and what you can do to preserve your eye health and vision. Some aging eye changes and problems are expected and normal and others indicate the presence of eye diseases that need to be detected, diagnosed and treated or changes that need to be addressed to preserve vision. For these reasons having regular eye exams at the intervals recommended by your eye doctor is key-especially after the age of 40 years old.

Aging Eye Problems
Presbyopia
Beginning in the late 30s and early 40s, the crystalline lens in your eye loses flexibility, making it difficult to focus and read up close. Your “arms seem “too short.” This condition is called presbyopia, which literally means "aging eye", and is most often treated with reading glasses, progressive lenses or bifocals depending on how you need to use your eyes for various tasks throughout the day, for work or recreation.

Dry Eye
Dry eye often develops with age and is a common problem for women during pregnancy and menopause. These hormonal changes cause changes in the eye’s tear production. Certain medications can also cause dry eye. If you have dry eye, you may be prone to an eyelid irritation called blepharitis, a common cause of irritation or swelling of the eyelids. The cause of your dry eye-either too few tears being produced or too rapid evaporation of tears will need to be diagnosed and then your eye doctor can prescribe a range of treatments including eye drops that add artificial tears, prescription eye drops that help you make more of your own tears called Restasis®, tiny punctal plugs to help you retain more of your own tears, anti-inflammatory eye drops and many other treatment options to get you help for dry eye symptoms and discomfort.

Diabetic Retinopathy
People in their 50s, 60s and 70s with diabetes are most at risk for this disease. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels inside the retina swell, leak fluid or close off completely due to damage from elevated blood sugar levels. But, you can take steps to prevent diabetic retinopathy with tight control of blood sugar, low fat diets, regular exercise and controlling blood pressure levels. It is also critical to see your eye doctor regularly for diabetic eye exams as with early detection, diagnosis and treatment the vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be slowed and often prevented.

Cataracts
Cataracts are very common in older people. As you age, proteins in your crystalline lens begin to clump together and cause the lens to be cloudy. This is the development of a cataract where the lens has become less transparent, causing blurry, cloudy or dim vision and increased glare and haloes around lights. Many people with the condition describe it as similar to looking out of dirty windshield. Cataracts can interfere with daily activities like driving at night and distinguishing colors. While treatment of early cataracts with changes in eyeglass prescription may provide some benefit, the only really effective treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery where the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a permanent artificial lens implant which can correct the cataract as well as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even presbyopia.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that damages the fibers that transmit visual information to the brain. This damage often leads to loss of side vision or peripheral vision. If left untreated, glaucoma will certainly lead to progressive vision loss and ultimately total blindness. Glaucoma is most common in people age 55 and older. One of the problems with glaucoma, especially the most common type of glaucoma, called chronic open-angle glaucoma, is that there are typically no symptoms in the early stages. Many people who have the disease do not know they have it. This is why it is important, especially as you get older, to have regular medical eye exams at intervals that depend on your risk factors-such as smoking, sleep apnea, age, diabetes, high blood pressure, early menopause-as recommended by your eye doctor.

Floaters and Flashes

As people grow older, the gel, called the Vitreous-that fills the inside their eye starts to shrink, forming clumps, liquid or strands. These strands and clumps can appear as “floaters” that appear as small specks or lines moving in your field of vision. As it shrinks, the gel can also pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing you to see “flashes” which appear as flashing lights or lightning streaks in your vision. While this is normally harmless, in some cases it can lead to retinal detachment and cause serious vision loss and even blindness. If you experience new floaters and flashes, it’s important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible, especially if you are over age 45, are nearsighted or have had eye injuries in the past.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a senior eye problem that affects the central vision, limiting a person’s ability to read and recognize faces. This can be caused by a thinning and deterioration of the macula which is the center of the retina or by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina. AMD can lead to blindness if not treated and it continues to be the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 65. Fortunately with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, vision loss from AMD is preventable or at least manageable so that we can reduce vision loss and in many cases, recover vision.

If you or someone you know is concerned about ageing eye problems such as presbyopia, dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.