Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Understanding BOTOX® Might Help Treat Type 2 Diabetes

Understanding the mechanism of action of BOTOX® might be helpful in the diagnosis and treatment of Type 2 Diabetes. What do BOTOX® and Type 2 Diabetes have to do with each other you ask?

BOTOX® Cosmetic is best known as an injection for helping patient smooth fine lines and wrinkles in order to look their best. BOTOX® is also used as treatment for a number of medical conditions including migraine, urinary incontinence, profuse sweating and crossed eyes, among others. In each of these cases, BOTOX® works because it has a paralyzing effect: that is, it relaxes specific muscles, which then provides the desired effect. BOTOX® accomplishes this effect by blocking certain proteins called SNARE (Soluble NSF Attachment Protein Receptor) proteins. It turns out that SNARE proteins in the beta cells of the pancreas help the pancreas secrete insulin, thus blocking these proteins in the pancreas could lead to insulin resistance which is the hallmark of Type 2 Diabetes. Understanding this mechanism will hopefully provide researchers with new ways to diagnose and treat Type 2 Diabetes in the future.

If you or someone you know has questions about how understanding of BOTOX® mechanism of action might help in the diagnosis and treatment of Type 2 Diabetes, 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.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Diabetic Retinopathy Predicts Future Cardiovascular Events


The presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy may predict future cardiovascular (CV) events such as heart attack or stroke. The relationship between diabetic retinopathy, its 4-year progression, and CV outcomes including CV death or nonfatal myocardial infarction or stroke was analyzed in participants in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Trial who also participated in the ACCORD Eye Study. The diabetic retinopathy was classified as either none, mild, moderate, or severe and whether it was worsening was also graded. The hazard of CV death or nonfatal myocardial infarction or stroke increased by 38% for every category of change in retinopathy severity and steps of progression further raised the hazard. Thus the researchers believe that both the severity of retinopathy and its progression are determinants of predisposition to CV outcomes. The retina may provide an anatomical index of the effect of metabolic and hemodynamic factors on future CV outcomes. 

If you or someone you know has questions about diabetic retinopathy and your risk of cardiovascular events, 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.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Do Vitamins & Antioxidants Decrease Cataract Risk?

While not definitive, it may be possible that there is an association between your risk of cataracts and your intake of certain vitamins and antioxidants according to researchers reporting their results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Until now, studies have been inconsistent regarding the association between blood antioxidants or vitamins and risk of age-related cataract. By performing a meta analysis of 13 different studies researchers found the  lower the  level of vitamin E, α-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, the  greater the  risk of age-related cataract in Asian populations but not in Western populations, whereas β-Carotene, lycopene, and β-cryptoxanthin  had no significant association with risk of cataract. While these results look somewhat interesting, the question remains whether increasing intake through dietary supplements actually have any role in decreasing the risk of cataract formation.

If you or someone you know has questions about vitamins, antioxidants and your risk of cataracts, 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.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Laser Treatment for Pinguecula

Laser treatment for Pinguecula may be an option where other types of treatment have not been satisfactory according to researchers reporting in the journal Cornea. A Pinguecula is a common, non-cancerous growth of the clear, thin tissue covering the eye called the conjunctiva. The growth is raised slightly from the surface of the white part of the eye called sclera. While the exact cause is unknown long-term sunlight exposure and eye irritation may be factors. Welding is a major job-related risk. Usually no treatment is needed however keeping the eye moist with artificial tears may help prevent the area from becoming inflamed. Sometimes the temporary use of mild steroid eye drops can also be helpful. Occasionally the growth may need to be removed for comfort or for cosmetic reasons especially if it grows over the cornea and impairs vision. When this happens, the growth is called a pterygium.

Researchers in the study treated Pinguecula with argon laser photocoagulation. The patients and eye surgeons graded the cosmetic outcome on a 5 point-grading scale with 5 being excellent, 4 being good, 3 acceptable, 2 poor and 1 very poor. The overall cosmetic results were excellent or good in 90.5% of laser-treated cases and the laser treated cases had minimal scarring or hemorrhage. They concluded that argon laser photocoagulation is an effective and safe method for removing a Pinguecula for cosmetic purposes and the laser method facilitates control of the extent and depth of removal and thus minimizes conjunctival defects and other complications.

If you or someone you know has a question about laser treatment for Pinguecula 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.


Thursday, August 7, 2014

Seniors Need Greater Awareness of Cataract Symptoms

Eyecare Medical Group wishes to alert seniors and others at risk for cataracts about the need for greater awareness of cataract symptoms as poor vision in seniors is often associated with premature or accelerated mental decline and reduced vision can create real challenges in terms of mobility and safety, with patients being at increased risk for orthopedic injury-especially hip fracture. So, helping seniors become more familiar with the symptoms of cataracts and restore vision with cataract surgery has an important place in securing senior health and well being.

A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye preventing light rays from passing through it easily. This results in a clouding and blurring of vision. Cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first but as the cataract becomes denser, so does effect on vision. The most common symptoms that bother patients with cataracts can include blurring or clouding of vision, sensitivity to light and glare, double vision in one eye, poor night vision, fading or yellowing of colors and frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions.


If and when cataracts begin to interfere with daily activities or with patient comfort, mobility and safety, they can be treated surgically. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries in the United States. Today, we have a full range of lens implants available that allow us to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even near vision problems after cataract surgery, as well as distance vision, without requiring bifocals or reading glasses for the vast majority of patients.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataract, cataract surgery or lens implants 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.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Critical Retina Exam Important Before Cataract Surgery

Having a thorough and critical retina exam is important before having cataract surgery. When cataract patients report a decrease in vision, it is important to correlate the visual symptoms and visual acuity to the degree of cataract present. If you have a considerable amount of vision loss but only mild cataracts, the actual cause of the vision loss must be identified. In many cases, a careful examination of the retina can reveal underlying pathology such as epiretinal membranes, retinal wrinkling or macularpucker with edema. In fact, some studies report a prevalence of epiretinal membranes in 7% of patients older than 60 years and in 20% of patients aged 75 years or more-the prime demographic for cataract surgery. Therefore, before you have cataract surgery expect to have whatever level of examination and testing your cataract surgeon requests in order to help you get the best results.

 Retina Cross View
Retina Cross View
If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, cataract surgery and the need for a critical retina exam before surgery should 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, July 21, 2014

Posterior Capsular Opacity


This is a dramatic image of a posterior capsular opacity. Frequently, after cataract surgery, a membrane can form on the posterior portion of the lens capsule. This lens capsule is necessary to hold the lens implant in place after the lens is removed. Treatment for this membrane is done with a technique called YAG Laser Capsulotomy right in the office and is painless and short in duration and restores vision almost instantly. Using tangential lighting, we were able to illustrate not only the membrane, but show the different densities and canals within the membrane.


If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, cataract surgery and the need for a critical retina exam before surgery should 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.