Monday, March 2, 2015

Computer Screens Cause Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye problems and dry eye symptoms can be caused by many systemic diseases, medications, eye diseases, environmental conditions and even changes in hormone balance. But now, we know that prolonged use of computer screens and really video display and VDT terminals of any type can cause dry eye problems and symptoms.

Research on Dry Eyes & Computer Screens
According to researchers publishing in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, users of video display screens or computer terminals are at greater risk for symptoms of dry eyes and dry eye disease (DED). In this study a group of 672 young and middle-aged Japanese office workers who used video display terminals (VDT) completed questionnaires and underwent dry eye testing. Of the 672 workers, 76.5% had definite dry or probable dry eye disease with the percentage being higher in woman than men and higher in office workers over 30 years of age especially if they used computers more than 8 hours per day. Thus, DED is common among young to middle-aged VDT or computer screen users. Thus, it is recommended that anyone using VDT or computer screens of any type for moderate to long periods of time or even those who notice increased dryness or grittiness should take measure to try and keep the eye surface moist ad intact such as the use of lubricants, artificial tears or even more aggressive measures if the extensive use of the VDT or computer screens is a daily event.

If you or someone you know has questions about dry eyes and computer screen or video display terminal use,  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 23, 2015

Obesity & Macular Degeneration Risk

Obesity is a well documented risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and many other systemic conditions. Researchers reviewing the Beaver Dam Eye Study evaluated the risk of age related eye disease such as age related macular degeneration (AMD) with obesity. They discussed their review in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science where they reported the results of eye exams that were used to evaluate the presence and severity of cataract and macular degeneration as well as measurements of height and weight over a 15 year period of time. Their findings show that for females who were non smokers, there was indeed and increased risk of early and late stage age related macular degeneration (AMD) with an increasing body Mass Index (BMI).

If you or someone you know has questions about age related macular degeneration (AMD) or your specific risk factors for AMD or needs an eye exam for macular degeneration,  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 16, 2015

Cataracts Cause Night Driving Problems

Seniors and others who have been diagnosed with cataracts need to be aware of the night driving problems that even mild cataracts cause. In addition, if you are experiencing night driving problems, it is important to have an eye exam with a cataract evaluation in order determine whether you have the start of a cataract. For many patients, the night driving problems from a cataract seems to be the first real symptom of a cataract.



About Night Driving Problems with Cataracts

If you or someone you know feels they have night driving problems that might be related to cataracts or has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery or lens implants please feel free to schedule an eye exam by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visiting Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.

Driving at night is considerably more difficult for most people as dim lighting and darkness can cause you to misjudge distances between cars and the sides of the road. For many patients night driving problems may cause you to begin noticing a general blur of your vision, clouding or hazy vision, dimming of colors and even some double vision-even in daylight. These are symptoms of cataracts that often accompany night driving problems from a cataract. If you find that you don’t really feel comfortable driving at night, it may be that you have the beginning of a cataract. If you experience these symptoms, it would be important to schedule an eye exam and find out for sure. Then, depending on how troubling or unsafe you feel, we will be happy to discuss whether it might well be time to consider whether cataract surgery as an option to help you regain your night driving comfort level.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Be Aware of Macular Degeneration (AMD) Risk Factors

Dr. Aaron Parnes, MD, Vitreoretinal Specialist
Seniors and others concerned with age related vision loss should become familiar with the risk factors associated with age related macular degeneration (AMD). Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. Knowing your risk factors, being aware of your family history, and scheduling regular eye exam appointments with your eye doctor can help reduce your risks for vision loss from macular degeneration. The key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor. 

Know the Top AMD Risks
Ø  Being over the Age of 60
Ø  Having a Family History of AMD
Ø  Cigarette Smoking
Ø  Obesity
Ø  Hypertension

If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor a complete eye exam and evaluation. Your doctor may recommend additional specialized testing if necessary as well as certain preventive measures which can reduce your risk of vision loss from this disorder.

Reducing AMD Risk Factors
There are some AMD risk factors that a person can change such as stopping smoking and eating a low fat diet rich in green leafy vegetables along with reducing alcohol consumptions that can reduce the risk of vision loss from AMD. Other risk factors such as genetic factors cannot be changed. However, knowing your family medical history is one way to learn whether you may be genetically predisposed to a disease. For patients at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent.

Know the Symptoms of Wet AMD
People who are at risk should know the symptoms of Wet AMD, the form most likely to cause rapid, serious and catastrophic vision loss. With early detection, diagnosis and treatment it is possible to avoid or minimize vision loss from Wet AMD. Symptoms of Wet AMD might include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion”, “bending of straight lines and objects”.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020 immediately and explain your symptoms and request urgent appointment. Current treatments for Wet AMD using injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth (VEGF) inhibitors drugs such as Lucentis® and Eylea® provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. Earlier diagnosis of wet AMD gives us a better chance of successful treatment.

If you or someone you know has questions age related macular degeneration (AMD)risks and symptoms or needs an eye exam for AMD 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, 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 facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup 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 facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup 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 facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.