Thursday, June 28, 2012

Maine Ophthalmologist on Eye Health, Contacts & Swimming

Maine Ophthalmologist Samuel Solish, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland commented on eye health, contact lens wear and swimming. “Understanding how swimming can affect your eyes, eye health and vision is good to know this time of year as summer typically means lots of water activities for all of us”, said Dr. Solish. “Some things to consider include that unless you are wearing goggles it is best not to swim with your eyes open under water and, when possible, to avoid splashes of water into your eyes. The many types of pool chemicals that are used to keep pool water clean and free of contamination may actually be irritating to your eyes and in some instances can actually cause damage to the surface of the eye.” Dr. Solish further explained.

Maintaining the proper pH levels in swimming pools takes considerable monitoring and effort and as the pH varies so does the possibility of eye irritation. Your natural tears have a pH of 7.0, if the pH of the pool water is below or above that level that level, it will certainly cause your eyes to burn or sting. The proper pH level for swimming pools is in the range of 7.2 to 7.8. If the pH is maintained within this range, burning eyes shouldn't be a problem for swimmers.

“The literature is quite definitive that swimming with contact lenses can pose a real risk. The eye health risk of swimming with contacts somewhat depends on the body of water you are in. We have access to the ocean, lakes and rivers throughout Maine. Lake and river swimming is particularly risky because of the possibility of the microorganism Acanthamoeba adhering to your contacts.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis is a severe and potentially blinding infection and inflammation of the cornea. This same risk is present when wearing contacts in hot tubs or spas,” Dr. Solish stressed. While the risk of sight threatening infection is lesser in properly chlorinated swimming pools and the ocean, other problems may be encountered. In the pool--eye irritation is possible when chlorine sticks on the surface of your lens and in the ocean--your contact lenses can be dislodged when you encounter large waves. You need to carefully consider whether to wear contact lenses while swimming. Keeping your head out of the water and wearing goggles will help to greatly reduce risk. If you worry about not being able to see clearly without glasses or contacts and want to see clearly while in the pool or ocean, you may wish to consider LASIK as a vision correction method so as not to be dependent on eyeglasses or contacts for swimming. If you or someone you know has questions about swimming, swimming pools, eye health, vision and contact lenses please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020, visit www.eyecaremed.com or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.

Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Maine Eye Doctor on Bell’s Palsy

Maine eye doctor Jordan Sterrer, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland commented on Bell’s Palsy. “Permanent damage to the cornea can result from Bell’s Palsy if the eye is not properly cared for," explained Dr. Sterrer. Bell’s Palsy is a form of facial paralysis that results from a dysfunction of the facial nerve, or cranial nerve VII. Inflammation causes the nerves on one side of the face to stop working. The exact cause of the inflammation is unknown, although it is believed that many cases of Bell’s Palsy are a result of viral conditions, such as the Herpes virus that causes cold sores.   

Symptoms of Bell’s Palsy include drooping on one side of the face, drooling, numbness on one side of the face, pain in or behind the ear, loss of taste, the inability to close the eyelid all the way, and excessive dryness or tearing of the eye. Bell’s Palsy can be treated with antiviral medications if the physician believes the cause to be viral or steroids if the cause is believed to be inflammatory. Treatment specific to the eye includes the use of artificial tears and patching the eye while sleeping so the cornea does not remain exposed. It is also recommended to use an ointment on the eye at night to keep it lubricated. Patients may also need to use their fingers to manually open and close the eyelid throughout the day. Most patients recover from Bell’s Palsy in one to two months without any treatment with medications; however, a small number of people may have permanent muscle weakness on that side of their face.

If you have any questions about Bell’s palsy, please contact Eyecare Medical Group at 1-888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.
Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York, Maine.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection in Maine

“As we approach the summer months with most of us spending increased time outdoors and in particular on the waterfront, it is a good time to remind people about the need for ultraviolet (UV) eye protection on the Maine coast”, said Clement Berry, Chief Executive Officer of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland. “For the most part, patients know the harmful effects that ultraviolet (UV) rays can have on the skin, but many are not aware of the damage that they can cause to the eyes,” said Maine Corneal Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. “The most frightening aspect of UV damage is that it is cumulative, meaning the negative effects may not present themselves until years later”, commented Maine Cataract Surgeon Bruce Cassidy, M.D.

Today although almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause to their skin, most do not know or appreciate that ultraviolet light (UV) can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision. “Most of us wouldn’t dream of staying outside in the sun without putting on sunscreen lotion,” said Dr. Cassidy. “But we also need to remember to wear both UV-blocking lenses and a brimmed hat to protect our eyes as well.”

Patients are fortunate to have wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses available to choose from. Eye protection from UV needs to be complete but doesn’t have to be overly expensive. High quality sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also important to have UV protection in everyday eyewear, which is readily available with a number of UV blocking eyeglass lens materials, specialized coatings and photochromic lenses. 

“We know that extended exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems, conditions and in some cases thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as Cataract, Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), certain cancers on the delicate skin around the eye, Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even Photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea,” said Dr. Shah.

“We would be pleased to recommend qualified Optometrists and Opticians throughout Maine who are able to provide the proper counseling and fitting of UV protecting lenses and eyewear. These eye care professionals can offer a wide variety of UV blocking lenses, coatings and color changing lenses to keep you safe”, said Clement Berry, Chief Executive Officer of Eyecare Medical Group.

To learn more about Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine you can call us at 888-374-2020, visit www.eyecaremed.com or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup

Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Meet Jim Fickett, COA!

Jim Fickett has been working at Eyecare Medical Group for the past 11 years. He works for Dr. Robert Daly and has since he started at EMG. Jim loves working with Dr. Daly and his staff, “Dr. Daly makes it easy for me to work for him. He advocates for me, I have no problems talking to him, and he’s a wonderful teacher”.  Jim feels fortunate to work in the area that he does here at EMG.  “Because Dr. Daly is a general ophthalmologist, I have a lot of experience with different things, like plastics, cataracts, cornea, and glaucoma. There is very little about the eye that I’m not at least familiar enough with so I can help patients out a little, or direct them to where they need to be” says Jim. 

When asked what his favorite part of his job is, Jim says “I love to scrub in the OR and then see the patient the next day, when they are without glasses and their vision is great”.  He says that the OR is the place where he feels like he’s helping the doctor the most, and that he’s most hands on with fixing the patient.  His favorite type of surgery to assist with is complex cataracts.  “With a regular routine cataract, I’m basically just handing Dr. Daly instruments.  But with a complex cataract surgery, I have to think more and anticipate what Dr. Daly is going to need. At that point, we’re a team.”

In 2003, Jim had LASIK with Dr. Elizabeth Serrage.  LASIK changed my life forever. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself- or EMG has ever done for me” said Jim.  Before LASIK, Jim was very myopic and had been a long time contact lens wearer. LASIK has also helped Jim with his favorite hobby- softball. In his personal time, Jim plays in 3 softball leagues, and he’s on a roster for a 4th.  He’s played softball all over New England and in several national tournaments.  

Thanks for all of your hard work, Jim!!!

Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Maine Cataract Surgery & Lens Implant Cost

Maine Cataract Surgeon Bruce Cassidy, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland commented on the cost of Cataract Surgery and Lens Implants. “The cost of Cataract Surgery and Lens implants can get a little confusing. Almost all insurances and Medicare cover the bulk of the cost of Cataract Surgery and basic Lens Implants. HOWEVER, deductibles, co-pays and the extent to which certain services are or are not covered can affect the actual amount you might need to pay out of pocket,” noted Dr. Cassidy. “Our administrative staff and billing personnel are quite expert at helping our patients navigate through any confusion.”

Some things to know about the cost of Cataract Surgery and Lens Implants: 
Preoperative Testing and Consultation
With the exception of co-pays and deductibles specific to your insurance plan the eye examination, consultation and measurements necessary for Cataract Surgery and basic Intraocular Lens (IOL) implantation are covered services. If there are specialized tests that might be required such as more precise types of testing for multifocal lens implants or toric lens implants, you may need to pay for these tests out of pocket as your insurance and Medicare may only cover the basic testing. If this is the case these extra tests may range in cost up to a few or several hundred dollars depending on the scope of the necessary testing.
Surgery Center Facility Fee
The surgery center facility fee is generally covered by insurances and Medicare although there may be a small co-pay or deductible with certain plans. This fee will cover the use of the facility including the operating room, the nursing staff, the instrumentation and equipment and all related operating room supplies. Depending on the types of anesthesia used it is possible that there will be an additional fee-mostly covered by your insurance or Medicare-for the administration of anesthesia and the staff.
Cataract Surgeon’s Fee
The Cataract Surgeon’s fee is generally covered by insurances and Medicare although there may be a small co-pay or deductible with certain plans.
Lens Implant Fee
The cost of a basic Monofocal lens implant is generally covered by insurances and Medicare within the facility fee. However, should you and your Cataract Surgeon elect to use an astigmatism correcting toric lens implant or multifocal lens implant there will be an out of pocket fee as most insurances and Medicare do not cover these more advanced types of Lens Implants.
If you or someone you know has questions about the cost of Cataract Surgery and Lens Implant please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.
Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Maine Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.
Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Maine Lyme Disease & Your Eyes

Maine Ophthalmologist Jordan Sterrer, M.D. commented on the effects of Lyme Disease and your eye. “Lyme Disease affects all the systems of the body-including the eyes-and can be devastating to an individual if not treated properly and in a timely manner,” says Dr. Sterrer, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “We are all familiar with the common symptoms of Lyme Disease, but few people are aware of the eye and ocular manifestations that the disease can have.” Lyme disease is a bacterium transmitted by a tick bite and is most commonly characterized by a bull’s-eye rash that develops after contact. The tick much be attached to the skin for at least 24 hours for the infection to develop. Left untreated, the clinical manifestations of Lyme Disease occur in 3 stages. Early infection, stage 1, is the localized bull’s-eye skin rash. Few other symptoms accompany this stage; however, ocular manifestations such as conjunctivitis and photophobia, or light sensitivity, can be present. Stage 2 is the early infection stage and where the severe ocular effects of the disease can begin, although these symptoms can take several weeks to months to appear. These include double vision, or diplopia, optic neuritis, blurred vision, Bell’s palsy, and uveitis. Stage 3 is the late persistent infection stage. Symptoms during this stage are more severe and eye conditions such as episcleritis, keratitis, iritis, panuveitis, exudative retinal detachment and branch retinal artery occlusion can be present.

Treating the ocular effects of LD requires treating the disease itself as well as the effects on the eye. Early treatment with antibiotics is the best way to prevent issues later. However, if the disease isn’t discovered until it’s already in the later stages, any symptoms that arise as a result will also need to be treated. Lyme Disease is most often treated with antibiotics but the stage of the disease will depend on whether or not it is treated with oral or IV medications, and what type of antibiotics will be used, as well as how long the treatment course will be. Any ocular issues that occur as a result of LD will need to be treated as they would if the disease was not present. Patients and ophthalmologists should be aware that treatment may take much longer than if LD was not present.

"Because of the mild winter and spring we’ve had here in Maine, ticks are predicted to be exceptionally bad this year. It is important to take all the proper precautions to prevent exposure to Lyme Disease. The best way to do this is to wear long pants and insect repellent, and to avoid areas where ticks are present when at all possible. If you are in heavily wooded areas or areas with tall grass or lots of shrubs, it is important to thoroughly check yourself for ticks. Showering as soon as possible after being outside also limits your chances of getting a tick bite,” noted Dr. Sterrer.

If you have questions or concerns about Lyme Disease and your eyes please schedule an appointment at Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020 or visit http://www.eyecaremed.com/ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.

Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Maine Corneal Specialist & Shingles Eye Infections

Maine Corneal Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland commented on Shingles Eye Infections. “Herpes Zoster Shingles eye infection or Keratitis is actually caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox, called Varicella-Zoster virus,” commented Dr. Shah. “It is entirely possible that after having chicken pox as a child, the virus remains in the nerve cells of your body in an inactive state and due to a number of possible reasons, the virus can reactivate later in life and travel through the nerves in your body causing a painful blistering rash,” he further explained. “We become concerned if the Varicella-Zoster virus travels to your head or neck because it can affect the eye and thus cause a corneal infection or Keratitis.”

It is critical to have Herpes Zoster Keratitis diagnosed quickly as the infection can penetrate deeply into the cornea and it can cause scarring and vision loss. The Herpes Zoster “Shingles” eye infection can also result in a loss of corneal sensation, which can be permanent and very undesirable. It may be necessary to prescribe both oral medications and eye drops to try and resolve the infection and prevent serious damage from occurring.

It is possible for anyone who has been exposed to the chicken pox Varicella-Zoster virus to get shingles. However, it seems to mostly affect those of advanced age and those with weakened or suppressed immune systems. Further, corneal problems from shingles may occur many months after the facial shingles appear to have resolved so it is important to schedule regular follow up appointments for eye examinations as instructed by your doctor.

If you or someone you know has had Shingles or Chicken Pox and is experiencing any type of eye problem please call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020 and request an immediate appointment or visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.

Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetic retinopathy and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.