Monday, January 26, 2015

Postmenopausal Hormone Rx Reduces Glaucoma Risk

It has been reported that women entering menopause early-under age 45-are at increased risk of primary open angle glaucoma (POAG). It has been suggested that this is due to some protective effect of female hormones. Now, according to researchers publishing in JAMA Ophthalmology  taking estrogen only postmenopausal hormone (PMH) treatment may actually help reduce the risk for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG).

Research on Glaucoma & Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy
By reviewing data from 152,163 women 50 years or older the researchers found that 1.9 percent of enrollees developed POAG. Each additional month of use of PMH containing estrogen only was associated with a 0.4 percent reduced risk for POAG whereas each additional month of use of estrogen + progesterone or estrogen + androgen hormones did not affect risk for POAG. This is interesting information and will require further prospective clinical studies to understand fully but may offer some novel treatments for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), an insidious sight threatening eye diseases and the most common type of glaucoma.

If you or someone you know has questions or is concerned about their risk of glaucoma or needs an eye exam with glaucoma testing,  please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Use Visors to Avoid Hockey Eye Injury

Besides being a popular spectator sport throughout New England, hockey is an extremely popular school and club sport among middle school, high school and college athletes throughout the northeast.

Avoid Hockey Eye Injury with Visors
Eye injury is a series risk among hockey players and it requires that parents and players take some precautions based on research presented at Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The researchers found that wearing visors could cause a four-fold decrease in the risk of eye injuries. The researchers, based at the University of Toronto and Harvard Medical School, examined data from The Sports Network (TSN) and The Hockey News annual visor survey over the last 10 seasons from 2002 to 2013 in the NHL. The data clearly demonstrated that the risk of eye injury is 4.23 times higher for players who do not wear a visor. The study also found that the majority of eye injuries are caused by being hit by the puck (37%) or struck by a high stick (28%) or by a fight or scrum (18%), while the researchers could not identify the cause of injury for 17%. Interesting players without visors had a more aggressive style of play, measured by penalty minutes, hits and fights in a case-control study. There was also a weak, but positive correlation between eye injuries and penalty minutes. As hockey players develop, grow and get stronger their games and playing style become faster and more intense, and the risks continue to increase-thus it is important to maximize protection. This study firmly supports the common sense notion that wearing visors goes a long way to decreasing injuries among hockey players.

If you or someone you know plays hockey please share this information with them to help them decrease their risk of hockey eye injury, or please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Best Age for Contact Lens Fitting Success

Sometimes parents wonder what the best age is to fit their children with contact lenses in order to give them the most successful and safest wearing experience. Researchers reporting in Eye & Contact Lens: Science and Clinical Practice  studied differences  in current symptoms, compliance, ocular health and adverse events between current successful long–term contact lens wearers fit as children or as teenagers. They found that successful contact lens wearers fit as children are no more likely to report previous contact lens–related adverse events, problems with compliance, decreased wearing time, or worse ocular health than those fit as teenagers amd suggest that parents should not rely on age as a primary determinant in fitting children with contact lenses, but should rely on their eye doctor’s recommendations and evaluation of their child.

If you or someone you know has questions about the  best age to fit kids with contact lenses to enhance their successful wearing experience, should feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Monitor Diabetic Retinopathy after Weight Loss Surgery

Patients with diabetes withdiabetic retinopathy who have weight loss surgery need to carefully monitor any progression of their retinopathy after the bariatric surgery even if their blood sugar is normal. What does weight loss surgery have to do with diabetic retinopathy? Researchers reporting at the  American Diabetes Association on a small pilot study found weight-loss surgery might accelerate progression of diabetic retinopathy in some cases. In the study 17.5% of the diabetes patients screened about a year before and again after bariatric surgery suffered a progression of their diabetic retinopathy as compared with the 2% to 4% of the overall diabetes patients who develop retinopathy each year. The opposite impact might have been expected. If you have a condition such as diabetic retinopathy that is the result of the diabetes and the diabetes is in remission, it makes intuitive sense that the progression of the condition would be arrested. Although a few patients did appear to have regression of their eye disease most remained unchanged after surgery in the study.

Progression of Diabetic retinopathy after Weight Loss Surgery
The patients who did progress had higher pre-surgical glucose levels and the greatest reduction in glucose levels afterward. A rapid reduction in blood glucose after the weight loss surgery-which is called “normoglycemic re-entry” or a temporary anemic episode after the weight loss surgery may actually be responsible for in the progression of preexisting diabetic retinopathy, but the mechanism is really unclear and requires a great deal of further investigation. One fact for sure-even if after weight loss surgery your blood glucose is normal, people with moderate background diabetic retinopathy prior to weight loss surgery should be monitored closely post-surgery for evidence of progression.

If you or someone you know has questions about diabetic retinopathy and weight loss or bariatric surgery and the  need for careful monitoring should feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Patient Understanding of Diabetic Retinopathy Limited

The patient understanding of diabeticretinopathy, it’s risks, it’s diagnosis, treatment and outcomes is rather limited. A recent study exploring patients’ understanding of the risk factors, cause and controllability of their own diabetic retinopathy revealed considerable misunderstanding, gaps in knowledge and potentially damaging beliefs about the cause and treatment of diabeticretinopathy.

Focus groups and interviews were conducted with patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), nearly half of whom had severe proliferative DR-a serious complication. Most of these patients had also undergone laser treatment. At the conclusion of the study, patients were found to have had a reasonable understanding of the basic risk factors for DR, such as diabetes control, but they were less clear about specific risk factors such as blood pressure and lipid control. Most patients attributed their DR either to poor diabetes control or to failings of the health care system, rather than having a basic understanding of the small blood vessel disease including circulatory and oxygen deprivation that results from the damaged blood vessels in the retina. Some patients believed that their DR was a result of health aspects beyond their control or environmental factors, whereas others were unsure about the cause.

Improving patients' understanding of the major risk factors for DR as well as helping them have a better understanding of the causes of diabetic retinopathy and being able to grasp expectations of realistic outcomes of laser and other treatment may improve patients' coping mechanisms, adaption to disease and ocular outcomes.

If you or someone you know has questions about risk of diabeticretinopathy, diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy or treatment of diabetic retinopathy, please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Avoid Diabetic Eye Disease & Problems

Eyecare Medical Group highlights this time to acknowledge that Prevent Blindness America has designated November as National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Diabetes affects more than 25 million people in the United States and is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. There are some 8 million people ages 40 and older who have diabetic retinopathy and thus are at risk for vision loss if not properly cared for. Although there is no cure for diabeticeye disease or diabetic retinopathy, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease. The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time. More than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year. As part of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease.

In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or schedule an appointment.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Halloween Contact Lenses Require Caution

Eyecare Medical Group wishes to advise patient to use caution when considering non prescription decorative contact lenses for cosmetic use as part of their Halloween costumes. Patients need to remember that the Food and Drug Administration,  considers all contact lenses regulated medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye care professional. Even someone with perfect vision would still require an eye exam and a prescription in order to wear any kind of contacts, including cosmetic decorative non prescription contact lenses. Some websites advertise decorative contacts as if they were fashion accessories or toys with fanciful, playful packaging in order to attract teens and young adults, especially girls. The problem is not that people use decorative but that they buy the devices without a prescription through unlicensed vendors on the Internet or at flea markets and specialty shops. This exposes them to a significant risk of eye problems including scratched corneas or corneal abrasion, “pink eye” conjunctivitis and even corneal infections such as keratitis that can lead to corneal ulcers and vision loss. The safe and effective use of contact lenses-whether cosmetic decorative or not-requires proper fitting and education about their care to prevent the potential for serious eye  problems from becoming a reality.

If you or a friend would like to learn more about contact lenses of any type including cosmetic decorative non prescription contacts please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.