Monday, April 14, 2014

Retinal Vein Occlusion:What is It?

This is a color composite image of a patient with a branch retinal vein occlusion. A color composite is comprised of multiple images which the computer software "stitches" together to form a wide angle image. A vein occlusion typically occurs where an artery crosses a vein, called an arteriovenous crossing. If a patient has high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol, pressure can be exerted on the vein, which has more malleable walls than an artery. Given enough pressure, the vein can be fully occluded.

An occlusion results in pressure build up the corresponding smaller venules, and they break and leak plasma and blood into the intraretinal tissue, which can result in blurred vision. A branch retinal vein occlusion is named such when a "branch" of the central retinal vein is occluded. The central retinal vein "branches" out when it reaches the optic nerve head, much like a trunk of a tree. If the occlusion happens within the optic nerve, the entire eye is affected, as the central retinal vein is supplied by the entire venous system of the eye. The actual compression is not treated, but the resulting edema, or swelling, from the occlusion can be treated with in office intravitreal injection.

If you or someone you know has questions about retinal vascular disease or an type of retina problem or disease, please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Best Cataract Surgery Results When Both Eyes Done

While having cataract surgery in one is likely to improve vision and visual functioning, the best results are found in patients who undergo second eye cataract surgery. Researchers reporting in the journal Ophthalmology studied the impact that cataracts and cataract surgery have on clinical measurements of vision, reading speed, objective mobility performance and subjective visual functioning. In this study, 29 participants had cataract surgery on both eyes, 90 participants had cataract surgery in one eye and 1620 participants had no cataract surgery. The results showed that patients who had the cataract surgery in both eyes demonstrated better visual performance, better mobility-based task performance and even scored better on the Activities of Daily Vision Scale (ADVS). Thus, even though patients might find a great improvement after having cataract surgery in only one eye, the data indicate that having cataract surgery on both eyes provides the best visual functioning.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, cataract surgery and lens implants, please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit EyecareMedical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Genetic Testing for AMD Macular Degeneration

Genetic testing for Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is now available-but should you have it? While the presence of specific genes may indicate a increased risk for Age Related Macular Degeneration, according to researchers commenting in the Ophthalmology routine genetic testing to predict the development of age related macular degeneration (AMD) does not really predict how a person would respond to treatment with Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Inhibitor injections and thus the genetic testing is not recommended. Further, the downside of routine genetic testing at present is that it can cause unnecessary anxiety, it can leave patients with promises that are not fulfilled and it may impact insurability and employability.

If you or someone you know has questions about age related macular degeneration (AMD) and whether to have genetic testing to assess your risk of AMD, please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Congenital Polar Cataract


This is an image of a posterior polar cataract, taken with a slit lamp camera. This cataract is a rare form of a congenital cataract. Because of its location, which is on the posterior capsule of the lens, it is a complicated procedure to remove, much more so than a standard cataract surgery. It is also in the center of the patient's vision, so it is definitely visually significant.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataract surgery please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, March 10, 2014

What is the Eyelid Lump Hordeolum?

Hordeolum is a common, painful inflammation of the eyelid that is usually caused by a bacterial infection that affects the oil glands in the eyelid and results in a lump. Often, the infected lump drains and heals by itself with no treatment but sometimes it can spread to other glands in the eyes and can become long lasting. It can also turn into a cyst which is called a chalazion. Hordeolum can be internal, on the inside of the eyelid, or external, on the outside of the eyelid near the eyelashes. Hordeolum on the outside of the eyelid is known as a stye. Hordeolum also can be acute and appear suddenly and heal in a short time, or chronic and long lasting and occurring over time. Common treatments for hordeolum include warm compresses applied at home, prescription and non prescription lid scrubs, antibiotics, steroids, lid massages and others types of treatment.

If you or someone you know has questions about eyelid lumps and bumps such as hordeolum, stye or chalazion please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Vascular Disease Can Make Glaucoma Treatment Difficult

Normal Tension Glaucoma is a less frequently found-but important type of glaucoma-that is characterized by patients having “normal” intraocular pressure but still experiencing eye damage such as loss of their visual field or “side vision” and optic nerve damage.

Researchers at the World Glaucoma Congress reported that certain patients who suffer from Normal Tension Glaucoma who also have vascular disease or even a predisposition to vascular disease such as a family history of stroke, the presence of cardiovascular disease or migraine may not be as easy to treat in avoiding the progression of Normal Tension Glaucoma. In fact, these factors related to vascular disease may indicate less effectiveness of eye pressure (IOP) treatment putting patients at greater risk. The the Collaborative Normal Tension Glaucoma Study is the landmark study for guiding treatment-in which 65% of patients in the untreated group of that study never showed any progression during 7 years of follow-up. But, for those at greater risk due to some other vascular disease we have to be diligent in our examinations and testing to help preserve eye health and vision.

If you or someone you know has vascular disease or is concerned about their risk of glaucoma please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, February 24, 2014

Eating Fish Can Lower AMD Risk

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss in seniors. Eating certain types of fish as part of your regular diet might just help you lower your risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that AMD may be associated with a high dietary fat intake and thus eating fish, such as tuna, four times a week, may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The subjects of the study were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who did not have AMD at when the study commenced. After 12 years of follow-up, 567 people with a visual loss of 20/30 or worse were identified. Fat intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. The study found:
  • Those patients whose total dietary fat intake was in the highest quintile had over one and a half times the risk of AMD as those whose fat intake was in the lowest quintile, 
  • Linolenic acid consumption was directly associated with the risk of AMD
  • High intake of docosahexaenoic acid was associated with a modest reduction in the risk of AMD. 
  • Those who ate four or more servings of fish a week were at a 35% lower risk of AMD when compared to those who ate fewer than three servings of fish a week.
The researchers concluded that dietary fat intake was associated with an increased risk of age related maculardegeneration (AMD) and that this may have been due to the presence of Linolenic acid in the fat. They added that a high intake of fish, a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid, may reduce this risk.

If you or someone you know has a family history of age related macular degeneration or wishes to learn more about their risk of AMD, please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.