Maine LASIK Cataract Eye Care Surgery Blog Portland EMG

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Injections vs. Laser Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy


Injections for Advanced Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy progresses in stages that reflect the severity of the disease. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more advanced stage and requires treatment. Therapeutic injections for proliferative diabetic retinopathy represent a sound treatment for some patients with this advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy where blood vessels in the retina begin to grow, or proliferate, many which are fragile and more likely leak and bleed. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a significant cause of vision loss if left untreated. Reporting on a clinical trial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers compared the visual outcomes in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy who underwent either anti-VEGF treatment or Panretinal photocoagulation laser treatment. They found in many respects the outcomes of the group receiving injections were better in that the average vision over the two years in the injection group was better than the laser group, and the patients with the injections had less peripheral vision loss, required fewer future surgeries and developed fewer complications in the macular area of the eye.


If you or someone you know has diabetes, it is important to have regular diabetic eye exams to prevent vision loss from diabetic eye disease complications called diabetic retinopathy. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. If you need a diabetic eye exam 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 12, 2017

Diabetic Retinopathy & Neuropathy


Diabetic Retinopathy & Neuropathy
We have known for quite some time that with both Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus are at high risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, which is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in adults. Vision loss occurs because of microvascular damage to the retina. People with diabetes are typically not aware that they are also at risk for developing retinal diabetic neuropathy, which is the loss of nerve cells in the retina. For many years, scientists believed patients developed retinopathy and, as a result of the damage to the blood vessels, later developed neuropathy. Doctors were focusing on early detection and treatment of retinopathy to prevent blindness, which they thought would then prevent the damage caused by neuropathy.

In a new study researchers discovered that the sequence of events occurring in the retina is just the opposite. Unfortunately we now know that the nerve damage actually does come first, before the vessel damage. Even people with diabetes who never get retinopathy can still develop this damage, and after many years, damage may be severe, similar to glaucoma. As part of the diabetic eye exam we provide for patients, we often perform a test called Optical Coherence Topography (OCT) that actually allows us to carefully examine the retinal nerve fiber health


The best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment with regular eye exams. If you or someone you know is diabetic and needs a diabetic eye exam, 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.


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Shopping for Health Insurance & Deductibles


Obamacare was supposed to help patients become better healthcare consumers by allowing them to shop for high deductible health plans at lower cost. High deductible health plans are sold as a way for consumers to take greater control over managing their medical costs, but new research shows people on those plans are no better at price shopping for health care professionals or services than people on traditional insurance. The study surveyed more than 1,000 “high deductible" health insurance enrollees of which 71% believe out of pocket costs were important to consider when choosing a doctor. They compared this to 852 enrollees traditional of “low deductible” plans and they had the exact same perspective. The researchers also found that during their last use of medical care, the “high deductible” plan enrollees were no more likely than traditional plan enrollees to consider going to another professional for care or to compare out of pocket costs across health care professionals. They concluded that “having more skin in the game” makes no difference on how consumers shop for health care and insurance.

 If you need help understanding your health insurance as it relates to any aspect of eye care service we provide please do not hesitate to ask us by calling 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.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Cataracts, Cataract Surgery & Driving

Blurry, cloudy vision from cataracts is a well known driving risk, especially for seniors where declining vision is often caused by cataract development. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery studied cataracts and the outcomes of cataract surgery and how these impacted crash risk, driving self-regulation practices, and driving performance. Not surprising there was clear consistent evidence that cataract negatively affects driving and that cataract surgery is beneficial to driving outcomes. What was not clear and requires further study is how specific vision measures such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity specifically affect crash risk and driving performance so that we can be optimally effective in prioritizing cataract patients for surgery.

If you or someone you know has been told they have a cataract and is having difficulty with driving especially at night or in dim illumination or with glare 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 16, 2017

Dry Eye during Breast Cancer Treatment

Dry Eye Problems during Breast Cancer Treatment

Did you know that certain types of breast cancer treatment medications can cause dry eye symptoms? The class of medications called “aromatase inhibitors” (AIs) has been studied and found to cause dry eyes. Fortunately, we also know that this is a newly emerging, and easily treated side effect of AIs. But we need to know that you are taking one of the AIs in order to offer help for your dry eyes. Some of the medications in this class include Arimidex, Aromasin and Femara-although there are many others. Researchers used a validated questionnaire to assess the presence of Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). They found that DES is significantly more prevalent in women on AIs compared with controls. They recommend routine screening of patients on AIs with the Ocular Surface disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire with the aim of improving patient quality of life and possibly adherence.

If you or someone you know is being treated for breast cancer with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and suffers from dry eyes, grittiness or is generally experiencing eye problems of fatigue or dryness 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 9, 2017

Stroke Recovery Takes Time



It is not uncommon for us to see patients who experience vision and eye problems from having suffered a stroke. These can often include double vision, loss of peripheral vision and even loss of sections of their visual field which can affect safe comfortable mobility, and sometimes just reduced vision. It is important, and we tell patients, that recovering from a stroke doesn’t end with the first weeks of acute care and the period of functional rehabilitation that follows. Negative effects of a stroke can present themselves well past the initial event. In healthy older adults, exercise training and a social network that allows both intellectual and social engagement have been shown to be effective measures for helping recovery from a stroke. Using your eyes and vision may be fatiguing even for normal recreational activities but is very important to recovery. 

If you or someone you know has had a stroke and needs an eye exam we are happy to help. 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 2, 2017

Nutrition & Prevention of Eye Problems


Age Related Macular Degeneration, Dry Eye Syndrome and Cataracts are very common senior eye problems. While we rarely think about nutrition problems in the U.S., there is global information that tells us what CAN happen if we allow people to develop nutritional deficiencies and thus what types of supplements and vitamins might be helpful in preventing these eye problems According to research presented in the Journal of Clinical Dermatology on the role of vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants in age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome and cataract, there is useful information and it helps us advise our patients on a daily basis. When we look around the world, we find that visual impairment is a global epidemic. In developing countries, nutritional deficiency and cataracts continue to be the leading cause of blindness, whereas age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are the leading causes in developed nations. The World Health Organization has instituted VISION 2020: "The Right to Sight" as a global mission to put an end to worldwide blindness. In industrialized societies, patients, physicians, researchers, nutritionists, and biochemists have been looking toward vitamins and nutrients to prevent AMD, cataracts, and dry eye syndrome (DES).

We know that nutrients from the AREDS2-lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, EPA and DHA as set forth by the National Institutes of Health remain the most proven nutritional therapy for reducing the rate of advanced AMD. We also know that Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, have been found to improve dry eye syndrome in randomized clinical trials. Finally we know that there continue to be conflicting results with regard to multivitamin supplementation on the prevention of cataract. 

When you visit us for your regular eye exam, we may very well ask you about your nutrition and what vitamins and supplements you already take. If you are in a risk group for AMD or have complaints about dry eye symptoms we may also recommend supplements or vitamins to help you. 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.