Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Maine Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Portland, Maine Ophthalmologists at Eyecare Medical Group wish to announce that November is National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. “With early detection, diagnosis and proper treatment we can accomplish a great deal is helping patients with diabetes avoid vision loss and the potentially blinding complications of diabetic retinopathy,” said Maine Vitreoretinal Specialist Scott Steidl, M.D.  “Our efforts in preventing diabetic vision loss are targeted at working with patients and their physicians to provide education and easy access to the necessary diabetic eye exams in a timely manner,” emphasized Jackie Nguyen, M.D., a Maine Vitreoretinal Specialist at EMG.

Diabetic retinopathy-which blinds over 8,000 Americans each year and its associated vision loss from can be prevented if it's caught and treated in time. A recent study found that 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.

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.

The key to successful treatment of diabetic retinopathy is early detection and intervention. If you or someone you know suffers from Diabetes please make sure that they are getting regular eye exams to help preserve their eye health and vision. Feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visit www.eyecaremed.com or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule a Diabetic eye examination.

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, October 25, 2012

Multiple Sclerosis & Vision Problems

Multiple Sclerosis can have many different ophthalmic manifestations and in fact, vision problems are often the first symptom of the disease.  Optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve, is often an early sign of MS; however, just because someone has optic neuritis does not mean they have, nor does it mean they will get, multiple sclerosis.

Optic neuritis is one of the most common vision problems associated with MS.  Optic neuritis is characterized by blurred vision, a graying or muting of color, and blindness in one eye.  Vision is usually recovered with intravenous or oral steroid treatment, and can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months time even without drug intervention.  Some physicians believe that if optic neuritis is present with no known underlying cause, a MRI should be performed to look for early signs of MS. 

Double vision and nystagmus, or uncontrolled eye movements, are other visual symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis.  Double vision generally resolves itself without any medical intervention.  Nystagmus can be persistent but can be treated with certain medications or by adding prism to glasses.  

If you have been diagnosed with MS and are having vision problems, it is important to contact your eyecare provider for a full exam. 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.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

About Conjunctivitis or “Pink Eye”

“Conjunctivitis is the term we use to describe inflammation of the conjunctiva, which is the very thin membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye-the sclera,” commented Maine Ophthalmologist Jordan Sterrer, M.D. at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland. “It is most commonly referred to as “red” or “pink” eye and can be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, allergies or environmental irritants.”


Symptoms of conjunctivitis may include:

Ø  Inflammation and Redness of the Eye
Ø  Increased Tearing
Ø  Soreness of the Eye
Ø  Foreign Body Sensation
Ø  Itchiness of the Eye
Ø  Excess Mucous or Pus
Ø  Crusting of the Eyelashes in the Morning


Viral conjunctivitis is much more common than the bacterial kind. It may last several weeks and is frequently accompanied by a respiratory infection, a cold or sore throat. Antibiotic drops or ointments usually do not help, but symptomatic treatment such as cold compresses or over-the-counter decongestant eye drops can be used while the infection runs its course.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is less common and characterized by considerable amounts of pus. Some bacterial infections are more chronic, however, and may produce little or no discharge except for some mild crusting of the eyelashes in the morning. Bacterial conjunctivitis can be treated with a variety of antibiotic eye drops or ointments. These treatments usually cure the infection in a day or two.

Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by allergies and often occurs in spring and fall. Itchy eyes are common with this variety, but can be treated with eye drops. It is important, however, to not use medications that contain steroids unless they are specifically prescribed your eye doctor. Names of steroids usually end in “-one” or “-dex.”

Conjunctivitis caused by a virus can be very contagious. If you have been diagnosed with viral conjunctivitis or suspect you might be suffering from this condition, practicing good hygiene can help prevent the spread of conjunctivitis if you are infected. You should:

Ø  Avoid re-using handkerchiefs and towels to wipe your face and eyes
Ø  Not share towels, pillowcases or makeup
Ø  Wash your hands frequently
Ø  Keep your hands away from your eyes
Ø  Replace your eye cosmetics regularly
Ø  Properly clean your contact lenses
Ø  Stay out of swimming pools and consider staying home from school or work


“Regardless of the cause, conjunctivitis generally should not cause a disruption in vision. More serious conditions, such as damage to the cornea, very severe glaucoma or inflammation inside the eye can also cause the conjunctiva to become inflamed and pink”, said Dr. Sterrer. If your case of “pink eye” affects your vision or you experience eye pain, you should see your eye doctor immediately.

If you have questions about Conjunctivitis or "Pink Eye" or need to schedule an appointment 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.

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, October 16, 2012

Eye Refractions Billing & Cost in Maine

“It is pretty easy for patients to get confused about the billing and cost of eye refractions at eye exams,” commented Eric Mitchell of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “So-we thought we should take a minute to provide some information and clarify about eye refraction billing, charges and insurances.”

One of the most basic parts of an eye exam is checking the refraction of your eyes or an eye refraction test. This allows us to determine what your best possible vision is at that point in time while wearing a prescription optical lens and gives us the basis for prescribing a prescription optical lens. The most common type of eye refraction is called a Manifest Refraction and is performed without the use of eye drops so that we can examine the eye in a natural state. If you have ever had and eye exam you are probably familiar with the “which is better, one or two” test-this is a Manifest Refraction.

Another type of eye refraction is called a Cycloplegic Refractions which is performed after the instillation of eye drops to temporarily immobilize the Ciliary Muscle of the eye. This temporarily prevents you from accommodating or “focusing” up close and is used when there is a need for an even more precise measurement of refractive error. In addition the eye drops will also dilate the pupil so the eye doctor can easily see the back of the eye to examine the retina, optic nerve and blood vessels in order to evaluate their health.

From an insurance standpoint, eye refractions are considered part of a routine eye exam.  Because refractions are normally used to determine refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, and therefore prescribe glasses or contact lenses, many insurance companies, particularly Medicare and Medicaid, do not pay for them.  It's important to understand that when patients are having their eye exam, refractions are a necessary part of a routine eye exam and must be paid for out of pocket.

If you have questions about the cost of your refraction or billing questions about refraction please call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020, visit www.eyecaremed.com or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup and we will be glad to assist.

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, October 9, 2012

Maine Eye Doctor on Halloween & Contact Lenses

Maine eye doctor Jordan Sterrer, M.D. commented on being cautious about Halloween, decorative contact lenses and your eyes. “Halloween is a fun time and season for kids and teenagers-but each year many Halloween participants seek to turn their eyes from blue to some far out appearance or ghoulish look by using over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses that may enhance holiday fun, but can lead to serious vision-threatening problems,” explained Dr. Sterrer, a Maine Ophthalmologist at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland. According to the Food and Drug Administration, all contact lenses are 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 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, noncorrosive lenses-sometimes called Plano-or zero-powered lenses, but that they buy the devices without a prescription through unlicensed vendors on the Internet or at flea markets and specialty shops.

The buyer of these over-the-counter contact lenses faces a huge risk including scratched corneas, pink eye and more serious types of blinding infection as a result of a corneal ulcer

In 2005, a federal law was passed that classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye-care professionals. Illegal sale of contacts can result in civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.
 
The safe and effective use of contact lenses-whether 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 decorative contacts please call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.

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, October 2, 2012

Maine Doctor on Eye Injury Prevention

Maine eye doctor Jordan Sterrer, M.D., commented on eye injury prevention as October has been designated Eye Injury Prevention Month by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “Given the many possibilities and the wide range of eye injuries that we see at Eyecare Medical Group, we are hopeful that patients will take a moment and consider how to think about simple steps and precautions in their daily activities,” said Dr. Sterrer. “Wearing protective eyewear is a common sense approach when mowing the lawn, jump-starting the car or doing that fall garage cleanup project,” he remarked. “With proper eye protection it is likely that patients can avoid the risk of eye injury and possible vision loss from these common activities,” Dr. Sterrer noted.

Many household chemicals, such as cleaning fluids, detergents and ammonia, are extremely hazardous and can burn the eye's delicate tissues. When using chemicals, always read instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and make sure spray nozzles point away from you and others before spraying. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after use.

Before using a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger, check for debris. Stones, twigs and other items can become dangerous projectiles shooting from the blades of a lawnmower, potentially injuring your eyes or those of innocent bystanders. Prevention is the first and most important step in avoiding serious eye injuries, so be sure to protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear.

To learn more about Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine you can call us 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 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.