Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Retina Pigment Spots & Colon Cancer

Retina Specialist Aaron Parnes, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine asked “What could having a colonoscopy for colon cancer risk possibly have to do with your eyes?” As it turns out-plenty! The retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is a layer of the retina which can sometimes be thicker than normal at birth-or “hypertrophic”. “During eye exams when we find these areas of retinal pigmented epithelial hypertrophy typically they do not cause any vision problems or symptoms and are pretty unremarkable,” commented Dr. Parnes.

Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy (CHRPE) is usually found before patients reach 30 years of age and although they may enlarge with time they usually do not lead to malignancies like colon cancer. However, there is an association between people with Gardner's Syndrome-Familial Colonic Polyposes-or polyps of the colon, and CHRPE. If your eye doctor has told you that you have Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy-perhaps called “Bear Tracks” or “Pigment Spots” or “Retina Freckles”, it is important to carefully explore and review your family history reasonable with a Gastroenterologist who will likely schedule you for a colonoscopy. CHRPE has a “statistically significant” correlation with hereditary colon polyps known as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, or FAP. It may be that the freckles are caused by the same genetic mutation that produces the polyps. A study published in 2010 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology concluded that patients with such freckles should be referred for colonoscopies.

Thus-when we are over 50 years of age, the reasons to have yearly eye exams includes not only detecting cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases, but regular eye examinations may very well be a reminder to be screened via colonoscopy to help detect early risks and potential indicators of colon cancer.

If you are someone you know would like to find out more about Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy, Bear Tracks, Pigment Spots or Retina Freckles please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visiting Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, December 16, 2013

Irish Macular Degeneration Risk

Maine Retina Specialist Jackie Nguyen, M.D. commented on the risk of age related macular degeneration among Irish descendants. “While we certainly know that there is a strong familial predisposition toward increased risk of macular degeneration, the new research demonstrating that Irish people are more genetically predisposed to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than other Caucasian populations is important,” commented Dr. Nguyen of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.

The study conducted by the Department of Genetics at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and  the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital Research Foundation, evaluated blood samples from more than 200 patients with AMD and compared them with samples from participants without the disease to identify genetic risk factors. The study shows that Irish people are at an elevated risk of developing AMD. It is also known that smokers are four times more likely to suffer from the disease.

If you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD or are of Irish descent you should please schedule an appointment by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visiting Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, December 9, 2013

Maine Specialist on Macular Degeneration Risk



Aaron Parnes, M.D., a Retina Specialist & Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine shared current research on predictive factors of age related macular degeneration (AMD) risk. “Recent research reported in the journal Ophthalmology evaluated the factors of age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, genetic variations, pre-existing retinal disease and drusen size to establish an algorithm for predicting the risk of patients in progressing to the move visually disabling advanced age related macular degeneration,” stated Dr. Parnes. “What we now know for sure is that the increased risk of progression is correlated with age, lower educational level, being a current or former smoker and having a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who did not progress. This is helpful in how we counsel, evaluate and follow patients at risk for macular degeneration.”

If you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD or any of the risk factors mentioned, you should please schedule an appointment by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visiting Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Maine Specialist Discusses Narrow Angle Glaucoma

“Given the seriousness of narrow angle glaucoma it is important for people to understand more about its risks and symptoms in order to avoid the potential for vision loss,” commented Glaucoma Specialist Robert Daly, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. Dr. Daly explained more about the type of glaucoma called narrow angle glaucoma. A narrow angle is an anatomical configuration in the eye that under certain conditions can result in high eye pressure. High eye pressure may lead to glaucoma. The presence of and the  diagnosis of narrow angles is not the same as a diagnosis of glaucoma as only a small percentage of patients with narrow angles actually develop narrow angle glaucoma. As with many eye conditions, problems and diseases, early detection, diagnosis and treatment can prevent the development of angle closure glaucoma,” further explained Dr. Daly.

The angle of the eye is located at the junction between the iris-the colored part of the eye-and the cornea which is clear curved dome in the front of the eye. Inside the eye-behind the iris-is a ring like structure called the ciliary body which continually produces fluid called aqueous humor. The aqueous fluid flows over the lens, then through the pupil and drains internally from the eye via the trabecular meshwork which is located at the “angle”. As long as aqueous is drained at roughly the same rate it is produced, the eye maintains a normal pressure. If aqueous cannot drain as quickly as it is made, the eye pressure will go up.

If the eye pressure goes up slowly due to too much fluid being produced or too little fluid be drained, it can result in open angle glaucoma. If the eye pressure goes up rapidly due to too much fluid being drained because the drainage angle is too narrow it can result in narrow angle glaucoma.

Dr. Daly further explained, “The crystalline lens inside the eye grows throughout life and actually increases in size. As its size increases it can move the iris forward and slowly narrow or crowd the angle. Narrow angles tend to be seen more commonly as we age and some eyes are more predisposed to narrow angles than others. Narrow angles are more commonly found in people over the age of 40, females, farsighted or hyperopic patients, and in people of East Asian, African and Inuit descent.”

“Unlike open angle glaucoma which really produces no symptoms, symptoms that the angle is closing intermittently include episodes of blurred vision, perhaps seeing halos around objects, a headache-like pain around the eye or brow and even red eye,” explained Dr. Daly. “These symptoms can sometimes resolve spontaneously and may occur periodically over days or weeks. In addition, if the angle closes and does not reopen spontaneously, you may experience nausea and vomiting,” Dr. Daly continued, “If this happens you need to call us right away and tell us you need an immediate appointment.”

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about narrow angle glaucoma or is concerned about having narrow angles, please schedule an appointment by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020 or visiting Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Maine Retina Specialist on AMD & Lucentis®

Aaron Parnes, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland,Maine commented on age related macular degeneration (AMD) treatment results and predictive factors for best success and outcome with Lucentis® injections. “Looking at the data from our extensive clinical results as well as the long term clinical trials has shown that there can be considerable variability in patient responses to the Lucentis® injections we use to treat age related macular degeneration,” said Dr. Parnes. “The good news is that this information has been quite useful in establishing a number of diagnostic and treatment parameters that we use to optimize treatment and monitoring regimens to help patients get the best possible results,” Dr. Parnes explained.

Here are some important factors and considerations that we know today:
·         The initial visual acuity is not a good indicator for patients treated with monthly injections of Lucentis®. But, a poorer initial visual acuity seems to predict greater overall improvement.
·         Smaller areas of blood vessel growth seem to respond better to treatment.
·         If treatment begins BEFORE any hemorrhage has occurred there is usually a more favorable result.
·         The visual acuity found between the 3 and 5 month visit seems to predict about where the 12 month visit acuity will end up.
·         If there is a recurrence of subretinal fluid there is usually a negative effect on the long term visual recovery and functioning.

While there can be no guarantees, by using this information we can work to hopefully avoid the catastrophic vision loss from Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).  YOUR role is to be consistent in scheduling routine eye exams if you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD-and should you notice symptoms including distortion of your vision, waviness or curving of lines or straight surfaces or a sudden change or spots of any kind, please call Eyecare Medical Group for an immediate appointment. The key to maintaining eye health and vision is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

If you or someone you know has a family history of macular degeneration or is concerned about macular degeneration it is important to schedule regular eye exams by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visiting Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Maine Contact Lens Specialist on Self Esteem & Teens

“Contact lenses can be beneficial in helping teenagers with the difficult times for their self esteem and self image,” shared Contact Lens Specialist Dr. Ruth Stevens of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “Teens really get challenged during adolescence by the “Trifecta of Awkwardness-braces, acnes and glasses!” commented Dr. Stevens. 

Not being able to play sports or worrying about how they look can leave many teens feeling anxious, stressed out and unhappy. “We love fitting patients in this age group with contact lenses because we see that the teens who wear contact lenses benefit beyond simply correcting their vision. They typically improve in how they feel about their physical appearance, their acceptance among friends and of course their ability to play sports,” further explained Dr. Stevens. 

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about contact lenses or schedule an appointment for a contact lens fitting please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Diabetic Retinopathy Eye Exams in Maine

“Regular eye exams are the best way to help prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy,” said Maine Retina Specialist Aaron Parnes, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “The eye examinations for diabetic retinopathy need to be thorough and when necessary include advanced testing such as retinal photography, fluorescein angiography and ocular coherence tomography in order to really document how the retina and it’s blood vessels are functioning,” Dr. Parnes further explained. “Depending on the severity and the risk of progression of each patient’s diabetic retinopathy we will advise them of the frequency and intervals for their exams. But, patients with diabetes need to know that it is terribly important to keep their appointments.”

Vision loss from diabetes and especially catastrophic vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.

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, November 4, 2013

Avoiding Diabetic Eye Disease & Problems

Aaron Parnes, M.D., Retina Specialist & Vitreoretinal Surgeon at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine cited current information about diabetic eye disease, diabetic eye problems and diabetic retinopathy as Prevent Blindness America has designated November as National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. “The Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. report confirms that diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the United States. Although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease,” said Dr. Parnes.
The Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. identified that there are almost 8 million people ages 40 and older who have diabetic retinopathy. “This represents an 89 percent increase between the years 2000-2012,” noted Dr. Parnes. “It is terribly disturbing to see the dramatic spike in diabetic retinopathy cases, a consequence of the diabetes epidemic that we have in the U.S.,” Dr. Parnes explained.
The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time. 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.

In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, 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. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease, diabetic eye problems and diabetic retinopathy with regular eye exams by calling Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine. Feel free to call us at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, October 28, 2013

Cataracts & Night Driving Problems in Maine

Cataract Surgeon Bruce Cassidy, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine offered some thoughts about night driving and cataracts. “Patients constantly tell me that one of the most troubling things about their vision with cataracts is how disturbing they can be while driving at night,” said Dr. Cassidy. “Driving at night is already difficult enough as reduced lighting can cause you to misjudge distances and boundaries like the edge of the road as well as simply causing an overall dimming of your vision,” Dr. Cassidy further explained. “So, if you are becoming fearful of night driving with a cataract and you have been told that you have the beginning of a cataract it might well be time to consider whether cataract surgery might be a good option to help you regain your night driving comfort level,” Dr. Cassidy suggested.

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 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, October 21, 2013

Maine Cornea Specialist on Contact Lenses for Halloween

“The risk of cornea infection and vision threatening problems from improper decorative Halloween contact lenses is not trivial,” shared Cornea Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “Halloween, decorative contact lenses and your eyes may not be a great combination,” stated Dr. Shah. “Each year we see the result of patients thinking Halloween contact lenses are a simple part of a costume. It is quite entertaining to turn your eyes from blue to some other color or ghoulish look by using over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses. While this can be a good source of Halloween fun, it can also lead to serious vision-threatening problems,” explained Dr. Shah. “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.”

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. 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, noncorrective 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 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, October 14, 2013

Maine Surgeon on Cataract Risk & Smoking

Robert Daly, M.D. a Maine Cataract Surgeon in Portland commented on the relationship between smoking and risk of cataracts. “Most patients I speak to today are well aware of the vascular risks of smoking. Many patients also are aware that smoking may also at increase the risk of glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. What may be news to smokers is that they are also at increased risk of cataracts,” stated Dr. Daly of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.

Patients who are current smokers or who have any history of smoking are at increased risk of getting a cataract according to researchers reporting in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. The researchers found that the overall current literature suggests that smoking was associated with increased risk of age related cataract, especially nuclear cataract and to some extent posterior sub capsular cataract. They further recommended that additional efforts should be made to confirm these findings and clarify the underlying biological mechanisms. A healthy lifestyle and diet are meaningful ways of maintaining eye health and vision-whether lowering your risk of cataracts, keeping the tiny blood vessels in the eye functioning properly or minimizing the associated risks of glaucoma-it’s important to avoid smoking as a lifestyle choice.

If you or someone you know feels they are at risk for cataract development, has a history of smoking or is currently a smoker, or has a question about cataracts, 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.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Maine Ophthalmologist on AMD & Stroke Risk

Jackie Nguyen, M.D. an Ophthalmologist at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine posed an interesting question-“What does your risk of having a stroke have to do with age related macular degeneration?” Possibly quite a bit as it turns out. Older adults with late-stage, age related macular degeneration (AMD) may have a significantly higher risk for hemorrhagic stroke than do individuals without the eye disease, as reported from the Rotterdam Study at the International Stroke Conference. There may be a common underlying process contributing to both Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and bleeding strokes, but more research will be needed to determine if that’s the case. Researchers found that the risk for any stroke was 56% higher in participants with late-stage AMD than in individuals without AMD after they controlled for the effects of age, sex, diabetes, blood pressure, use of antihypertensive medication, smoking, cholesterol levels, carotid artery plaques, body mass index, alcohol intake, and C-reactive protein levels.

“The single most significant finding in the study was that participants with late-stage AMD-either the wet or dry forms-had six fold higher risk for intracerebral hemorrhage or stroke than did participants without AMD,” noted Dr. Nguyen. ”This is a critical piece of information and one we need to be responsive to and keep patients and their physicians abreast of.” 

If you or someone you know suffers from or is concerned about age related macular degeneration (AMD), especially if they are concerned about their risk of stroke or have a family history of stroke please feel free to schedule an eye exam at 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, September 30, 2013

LASIK Hidden Costs at Discount Centers

“Patients thinking about LASIK need to be knowledgeable about the way discount centers are often a bit misleading about hidden LASIK costs,” commented Erica Mitchell, Refractive Surgery Coordinator at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “Beware of low LASIK prices as they are often burdened with hidden costs you don’t know about at discount LASIK centers,” she said. “LASIK costs are affordable for almost anyone who wishes to minimize their dependence on or even eliminate the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses to see at distance. BUT-there are many patients who shop for the best price for LASIK and end up getting an unpleasant surprise,” noted Maine LASIK Surgeon Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group. “Reputable and trusted LASIK surgeons tend to quote fees for LASIK that are comprehensive fees-that is they include everything you need to have LASIK and its associated evaluations and follow up care-regardless of your prescription,” continued Dr. Shah.

Discount LASIK centers that offer the lure of the best price for LASIK often quote a price for LASIK that is right on the edge of being deceptive in that it uses the lowest price to draw you in for an evaluation and get you excited about the possibility of having LASIK but then presenting you with hidden costs and fees. These hidden costs and fees can include an additional fee for your prescription that was not within the advertised range, it can include an extra hidden cost of LASIK for astigmatism, it can include an additional hidden cost for follow up care, it may include an extra hidden cost for custom wavefront LASIK or an add on hidden cost for enhancements-and on and on. Hidden costs and fees for LASIK are somewhat typical of the sales and marketing practices of certain discount centers. LASIK is surgery. “You should choose a LASIK surgeon based on their reputation as recommended by friends and relatives and NOT based on the best price. Choosing a LASIK surgeon based on the best price alone could set you up for a number of hidden costs you can’t even understand and end up costing you more in the long run,” summarized Ms. Mitchell.

If you or someone you know has a question about LASIK or would like to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Maine Ophthalmologist on AMD & Stroke Risk

Jordan Sterrer, M.D. an Ophthalmologist at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine posed an interesting question-“What does your risk of having a stroke have to do with age related macular degeneration?” Possibly quite a bit as it turns out. Older adults with late-stage, age related macular degeneration (AMD) may have a significantly higher risk for hemorrhagic stroke than do individuals without the eye disease, as reported from the Rotterdam Study at the International Stroke Conference. There may be a common underlying process contributing to both Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and bleeding strokes, but more research will be needed to determine if that’s the case. Researchers found that the risk for any stroke was 56% higher in participants with late-stage AMD than in individuals without AMD after they controlled for the effects of age, sex, diabetes, blood pressure, use of antihypertensive medication, smoking, cholesterol levels, carotid artery plaques, body mass index, alcohol intake, and C-reactive protein levels.

“The single most significant finding in the study was that participants with late-stage AMD-either the wet or dry forms-had six fold higher risk for intracerebral hemorrhage or stroke than did participants without AMD,” noted Dr. Sterrer. ”This is a critical piece of information and one we need to be responsive to and keep patients and their physicians abreast of.”

If you or someone you know suffers from or is concerned about age related macular degeneration (AMD), especially if they are concerned about their risk of stroke or have a family history of stroke 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, September 16, 2013

Maine Specialist on Open Angle Glaucoma Symptoms

Samuel Solish, M.D.
Maine Glaucoma Specialist
But Dr. Solish, how can I have glaucoma-I see well and I have no symptoms?” is a question that many patients have asked with great surprise at their glaucoma diagnosis,” commented Maine Glaucoma Specialist & Ophthalmologist Samuel Solish, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.

Glaucoma is a sight stealing eye disease in which the most common form-primary Open Angle Glaucoma-has no symptoms that affected patients can readily be aware of. This is especially important as among African-American and Hispanic populations glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. Further-primary open angle glaucoma-is hereditary. The Nottingham Glaucoma Study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated the risk that siblings of glaucoma patients would themselves develop glaucoma within their lifetime. The study demonstrated that there was a strong likelihood that family members of glaucoma patients were at greater risk and that siblings were 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma by age 70. “This is why we strongly recommend that siblings of glaucoma patients and glaucoma suspects be screened for glaucoma, each and every year, said Dr. Solish.

There is a real need for regular eye examinations and glaucoma screening by an eye doctor in order to help you preserve your eye health and vision. If you or someone you know has a question about glaucoma, glaucoma symptoms, glaucoma risk or to schedule a glaucoma eye exam please feel free to call
Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020
or visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Maine Cornea Specialist on Eye Infections & Acne Medication

“What do eye infections and acne medications have to do with each other?” asked Maine Cornea Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “Recently, a study on eye infections and acne medication was presented in Archives of Dermatology where researchers collected data on nearly 15,000 teens and young adults taking isotretinoin to treat acne and compared their rates of eye infections to group that had acne but not taking the drugs and to a third group that didn't take the drugs and didn't have acne,” stated Dr. Shah. Isotretinoin is also sold under the brand names Roaccutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan and Sotret.

Within a year of starting the medication, nearly 14 percent of those in the acne medication group developed an eye infection or dry eyes, compared with almost 10 percent in the group that had acne but did not take the medications and about 7 percent in the group that didn't have acne. Compared to the acne-free group, those taking isotretinoin were at 70 percent increased risk of an eye infection over the course of a year. The mean age of participants was about 16.5 years old. “The most common problem was conjunctivitis, an inflammation or infection of the membrane lining the eye and eyelids. Other problems included hordeolum or stye which is an inflamed oil gland on the edge of the eyelid, chalazion which is a tender, swollen lump in the eyelid due to a blocked oil gland, blepharitis-an inflammation of the eyelash follicles and dry eyes,” further explained Dr. Shah. 

Isotretinoin treats acne by reducing oil production from the sebaceous glands, among other effects. But isotretinoin also disrupts function of the meibomian glands, or oil glands inside the eyelids. The meibomian glands help keep the eyes lubricated. Less lubrication may mean the eyes are irritated, itching and burning, prompting people to rub them and introduce bacteria. “The good news is that most side effects of the drugs can be prevented using artificial tears to keep the eyes lubricated,” said Dr. Shah. If you or someone you know has a question about acne medication, eye infections or eye problems such as dry eyes, stye, chalazion or blepharitis please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, or visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Maine Doctor on Eye Pain & Osteoporosis Medication

Maine eye doctor Jordan Sterrer, M.D. alerted patients about the possible relationship between eye pain and certain osteoporosis medications. “We see many patients today taking osteoporosis medications such as Fosamax®, Boniva® and Actonel®”, commented Dr. Sterrer, an Ophthalmologist at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.

“Patients on these medications need to be aware of the potential for eye inflammation and associated eye pain.” According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, users of oral bisphosphonates such as Fosamax®, Boniva® and Actonel® were 45% more likely to develop uveitis and 51% more likely to develop scleritis compared with patients who had never used these medications. If you take medicine for osteoporosis, you will also need to get enough calcium and vitamin D, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. A large part of treating or reducing the effects of osteoporosis is getting enough calcium and vitamin D. “If your physician does start you on any type of osteoporosis medication you should not ignore the symptoms of eye pain no matter how mild they might seem. Even at your regular eye exam, make sure to tell your eye doctor if you have started bisphosphonates medication such as Fosamax®, Boniva® and Actonel®. We need to know as sometimes the associated side effects of these osteoporosis medications can be subtle-but they are important,” noted Dr. Sterrer.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye pain, osteoporosis medication or eye inflammation 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, August 26, 2013

Safe Driving & Cataract Surgery in Maine

Samuel Solish, M.D. a Maine Cataract Surgeon & Glaucoma Specialist commented on safe cataracts, safe driving and the impact of cataract surgery, particularly with regard to differences between men and women. “An interesting study on cataract surgery and driving was reported in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology whereby motor vehicle accidents involving men decreased by 15.3% in the 12 months following cataract surgery but the frequency of postoperative crashes didn't change significantly for women,” noted Dr. Solish of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “We know all too well that delaying cataract surgery often results in patients modifying their lifestyles and activities. This is especially the case as people restrict their driving in response to health and vision changes. We need to hear from patients about their driving habits and whether they have had to change them as their cataracts develop-then we can help,” said Dr. Solish.

If you or someone you know has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery, lens implants or safe driving 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.

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 Groupis 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, August 19, 2013

Maine Cataract Surgeon on Hip Fracture Prevention

“What does cataract surgery have to do with preventing hip fractures?,” asked Maine Cataract Surgeon Bruce Cassidy, M.D. “What we know from recent studies is that cataract surgery may offer patients with cataracts a distinct advantage in preventing hip fractures according to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association,” stated Dr. Cassidy of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.

When looking at the risk of hip fracture among more than 1 million people on Medicare aged 65 with cataracts, researchers found people who had cataract surgery had a 16% lower risk of hip fracture one year after the procedure. Visual impairment from cataracts-whether from blurry vision, glare, halos or decreased contrast-is a known risk factor for falls. Thus when we improve vision for patients with cataracts, their mobility is typically improved as well as their confidence and the safety with which they navigate. A hip or pelvis fracture is the sentinel event that leads to a progressive decline in quality of life and usually signifies increased mortality and morbidity. Accidental falls and the resulting bone fractures are a major cause of disability and death among the elderly. “The key here is that there is a demonstrated need for timely cataract surgery for seniors in order to manage the risk of challenged mobility with resulting fractures. We are quite fortunate-and it is really rewarding-to be able to provide cataract patients with modern patient friendly cataract surgery on an outpatient basis that utilizes tiny incisions, eye drops for anesthesia and a quick visual recovery,” summarized Dr. Cassidy.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataract, cataract surgery, lens implants or hip fracture prevention please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine 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.


Monday, August 12, 2013

Maine Specialist on Contact Lens Tips for Healthy Vision

Maine Contact Lens Specialist Dr. Ruth Stevens shared some tips for wearing contact lenses and maintaining healthy vision. “Contact lens wearers should remember that contact lenses are a medical device and even those worn purely for cosmetic purposes, should be prescribed and properly fit by a licensed eye care professional," explained Dr. Stevens of Eyecare medical group in Portland, Maine. "Too many patients forget this and end up buying and wearing contact lenses without proper medical guidance and a valid prescription. Then, often without even realizing it, they put themselves at risk for serious, even blinding eye infections." 

Following the instructions given to you by your eye doctor-carefully and completely can go a long way to help avoid contact lens problems and complications. "Our experience clearly shows that by not following instructions on proper wear and care, contact lens wearers are more likely to have discomfort and may actually put themselves at greater risk for infection or other serious complications, such as microbial keratitis," said Dr. Stevens. “We often find that improper storage, handling and disinfection of contact lenses really predispose patients to unnecessary risk.”

Some good contact lens care, handling and disinfection tips to follow include:
  • Always wash your hands with soap before inserting or removing your contact lenses. 
  • Always empty the storage case of disinfection solution after removing your lenses, and fully refill with fresh solution before storing them.
  • NEVER clean your case with tap water. 
  • REGULARLY-even daily- clean your case.
  • REGULARLY-at least monthly- replace your case.
If you or someone you know has questions about contact lens care, handling and disinfection please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine 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.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Maine Cataract Awareness Month

Maine Cataract Surgeon & Glaucoma Specialist Robert Daly, M.D. provided information about cataracts, cataract surgery and lens implant that is important for everyone, especially seniors and aging baby boomers to be aware of and to know more about. “Today, it seems as if we all know someone who has a cataract or has had cataract surgery and lens implants,” noted Dr. Daly of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland. “This is probably because more than 20 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans over 65 have some degree of cataract development. In fact cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss among seniors. The good news is that with modern cataract surgery and lens implants we can readily help people achieve very good vision and thus live active daily lives.”

Many patients do not actually know that 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. Patients should understand that cataracts are not a growth or a film over the eye. For many patients cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first. But, as the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision. The most common symptoms that bother patients with cataracts can include blurring 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.

“What many people do not realize is that the poor vision in seniors is often associated with premature or accelerated mental decline. Further, the challenges reduced vision creates in terms of mobility and safety can also put patients at increased risk for orthopedic injury-especially hip fracture. So, helping seniors restore vision with cataract surgery has an important place in securing senior health, well being, mobility, safety and mental state,” said Dr. Daly.

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. 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 in Portland Maine 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.


Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Maine Eye Doctor on Women & Bifocals

Maine eye doctor Dr. Ruth Stevens, an Optometrist at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, shared research on why women need bifocals for correcting near vision and presbyopia sooner than men. “Researchers reporting the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS) found that women tend to need bifocals sooner to correct their near vision and the onset of presbyopia-the age related near vision focusing problem,” stated Dr. Stevens. “The studies show that presbyopia, the inability to see at a close distance that occurs with age, is more common in women. While men and women need bifocals as they age, the need is more common among women and tends to hit them at younger ages than men. It is believed that while men and women appeared to actually have the same focusing ability when looking at nearby objects, because women are generally shorter than the men, with proportionally shorter arm lengths, they needed to hold objects closer to their faces when reading and thus required the near vision presbyopia correction of bifocals, reading glasses or even bifocal contact lenses sooner.”

If you are someone you know would like to find out more about near vision focusing problems, presbyopia and bifocals at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine feel free to call us 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.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Maine LASIK Surgeon on Contact Lenses for Swimming



Maine LASIK Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. commented on the risks and benefits of LASIK vs. contact lenses for swimming. “In general, contact lenses and swimming-or really any waters sports or recreations are not a good combination,” stated Dr. Shah of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “Our clinical experience and the recommendation of the FDA is that contact lenses not be exposed to any form of water in order to avoid eye health risk. For this reason, anyone who swims or participates in water sports or activities should give consideration to LASIK as the preferred method of vision correction today,” explained Dr. Shah. 

It is generally known that wearing contact lenses for swimming and water sports and activities poses a risk of Acanthamoeba Keratitis, a potentially catastrophic eye infection of the cornea. Acanthamoeba Keratitis is caused by an organism present in all forms of impure water such as swimming pools, tap water, saunas, wells and even showers. "Contact lenses are really quite safe to wear if your follow proper care guidelines and instructions. However, if water restrictions such as swimming, bath tubs and showering are part of your daily routine, you do need to keep your lenses out. Many more patients-even very successful contact lens wearers-find this to be a hassle and are now interested in discussing LASIK as an option,” said Dr. Shah.

If you or someone you know has questions about swimming with contact lenses or participating in water sports with contact lenses or would like to learn more about LASIK or even schedule a Free LASIK Consultation please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule Free LASIK Consultation.

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, July 16, 2013

Maine Surgeon on Cataract Surgery Recovery Expectations

Bruce Cassidy, M.D.
Maine Cataract Surgeon Bruce Cassidy, M.D. shared information about what patients should expect as they recover from cataract surgery. “At Eyecare Medical Group we routinely perform cataract removal and lens implants using a very tiny incision, with no needles and usually only eye drops for anesthesia,” explained Dr. Cassidy. “For the great majority of our patients the postoperative course is very comfortable and unremarkable. Typically, most patients don't require pain medications and at most have a slight foreign body feeling from the incision which usually clears in a few hours. The vision the next day can range from being excellent or at times a bit cloudy, depending on the amount of residual swelling in the cornea. Patients with mild cataracts generally have very little swelling. Very dense cataracts require more energy to remove, and this can produce more swelling in the cornea. This swelling usually clears quickly and most patients see quite well in a few days,” Dr. Cassidy further explained. “Depending on the type of lens implant you have had there may be a little adaptation. For example, if you have had a near vision presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implant there may be re-learning of how to see far and near. Most patients adapt pretty quickly.”

If you or someone you know has questions about cataract, cataract surgery, lens implants or the recovery from any type of eye surgery please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine feel free to call us 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, July 9, 2013

Maine Retina Specialist on AMD & Drinking Alcohol

Maine Retina Specialist Scott Steidl, M.D. reviewed new data suggesting a relationship between macular degeneration (AMD) and drinking alcohol above moderate amounts.“A number of early studies highlighted the risk of heavy drinking on eye health but there was little evidence until now about the association between moderate drinking and age-related macular degeneration,” said Maine Dr. Steidl of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology drinking more than the recommended daily amount of alcohol may increase the risk of eye disease such as age related macular degeneration (AMD). A standard glass of wine or beer each contains about 15g of alcohol. “It appears from this study that consuming more than 20g of alcohol a day was associated with an increase in early age-related macular degeneration of about 20 per cent in men and women compared with non-drinkers,” noted Dr. Steidl.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye health, macular degeneration and drinking alcohol please feel free to call If you or someone you know is entering their 40’s, it is time to schedule regular eye exams to preserve eye health and vision. Please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine, 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, July 2, 2013

Maine Fireworks Eye Safety for July 4th

Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine is alerting our community of the need to be cautious and diligent regarding fireworks eye safety for the July 4th holiday. “For the best and the safest enjoyment of the fireworks this July 4th, leave their use and display to professionals. Eye safety is pretty critical with fireworks displays as we know that eye injuries are the second most frequent injury we see from emergency room each July 4th weekend,” said Jordan Sterrer, M.D.

Around the Fourth of July, fireworks and celebrations often go together. There are precautions everyone can take to prevent eye injuries. The best defense against kids suffering severe eye injuries and burns is to not let kids play with any fireworks. Do not purchase, use or store fireworks of any type. Protect yourself, your family and your friends by avoiding fireworks. Attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators, but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous. However, if an eye accident does occur, there are a few things you should know:
  • Do not rub the eye. 
  • Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing. 
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye itself-but protecting the eye from further contact with any item, including the person’s hand. 
  • Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the person to the emergency room at once. 
  • Do not apply ointments or drops. They may not be sterile and may make the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.
Once you are seen in the emergency room please feel free to have them call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020 as we always have an eye doctor “on call” to provide consultation and continued care for you.
 
If you or someone you know has questions about fireworks eye safety and eye injuries please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine 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.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Eye Health for Maine Adults Over 40

“Eye health needs to be a priority for Maine residents as adults enter their 40’s,” noted Ophthalmologist Jordan Sterrer, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “As we enter our 40’s and beyond, middle age is a time when symptoms of many eye diseases may begin to emerge and when other diseases can develop without any symptoms at all. It is crucial for adults even without symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease to get a baseline eye examination at 40 for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of eye problems, conditions & diseases,” said Dr. Sterrer. Starting early will help to preserve eye health and vision. Some things to consider as we enter our 40’s:

Eye Health & Exercise
Our eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen intake, and both are stimulated by regular exercise. Regular exercise also helps keep our weight in the normal range, which reduces the risk of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. Remember to use sun safety and protective eyewear when enjoying sports and recreation.

Eye Health & Smoking
Avoiding smoking, or quitting, is one of the best investments you can make in your long-term overall and eye health. Even though as you enter your 40’s old age seems a long way off, smoking can increase your risks for cataracts and macular degeneration (AMD) as well as for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence our eyes’ health. Smoking increases the risk of severe vision loss for people with other eye diseases, such as glaucoma, as well.

Eye Health & Sleep
As we sleep, our eyes enjoy continuous lubrication. Also during sleep the eyes clear out irritants such as dust, allergens, or smoke that may have accumulated during the day. Some research suggests that light-sensitive cells in the eye are important to our ability to regulate our wake-sleep cycles. This becomes more crucial as we age, when more people have problems with insomnia. While it's important that we protect our eyes from over-exposure to UV light, our eyes also need exposure to some natural light every day to help maintain normal sleep-wake cycles.

Eye Health & Systemic Health Problems
Systemic health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes that may be diagnosed or become more problematic in midlife can also affect eye health. One warning sign of both high blood pressure and diabetes is when the ability to see clearly changes frequently. Be sure to keep your eye doctor informed about your health conditions and use of medications and nutritional supplements, as well as your exercise, eating, sleeping and other lifestyle choices.

Eye Health & Dry Eye
This uncomfortable condition becomes more common as people age. Women are more susceptible after menopause due to hormonal changes, but incidence also increases for men as they grow older. It is usually treated with over-the-counter or prescription eye lubricants. If dry eye is severe, surgery to reduce tear drainage may be needed. If you have contact lenses, follow the use guidelines and avoid wearing lenses longer than recommended. If dry eye persists, talk to your eye doctor about possible treatments. Definitely discuss dry eye treatment with your eye doctor if you are thinking about or planning to have LASIK or other refractive surgery. Some medications increase dry eye. If you are taking pain relievers, antidepressants, antihistamines, or have questions about your medications, please bring this to our attention during your eye exam. You may wish to consider following a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) as it may reduce or help prevent dry eye.

If you or someone you know is entering their 40’s, it is time to schedule regular eye exams to preserve eye health and vision. Please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine, 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 18, 2013

Exercise Reduces Macular Degeneration Risk

“What do eye health, macular degeneration and exercise have in common?” asked Maine Retina Specialist Scott Steidl, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. Actually, there might be quite a bit. The Beaver Dam Eye Study as reported in the British Journal of Ophthalmology suggests that regular exercise can decrease the risk of the eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

“AMD is one of the most common causes of vision loss among seniors and those over 50 years old. It effects central vision, which is important for driving, reading, seeing faces, said Dr. Steidl.

Participants of the study were composed of about 4,000 women and men who were followed for more than 15 years, conducting eyes tests and recording their levels of exercise. They were aged 43 to 86 and were assessed every five years starting in 1988. Considering other factors like age, weight, and blood fat levels, those participants who were active lowered their chances in developing AMD by up to 70% when compared to those who barely had any exercise. Those who regularly walk were found to have lowered their chances to 30%.

But how much exercise is enough? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recommended 90 minutes every day. This should be enough if you have an active job or walk during the say but would probably require you to do more if you have a sedentary lifestyle. It may help if you wear a pedometer, just to know how much you are walking. You can also try other forms of exercise such as cycling, golf, gardening, swimming, and other sports activities. Cleaning your house can even be of great help.

So how much does exercise to help eye health? It is a little too hard to tell exactly how exercise exactly affects eye health but here are some facts to give you some idea:
  • Exercise can lower eye pressure helping to reduce the risk of glaucoma.
  • Exercise can help prevent half of the cases of type 2 diabetes, a known risk for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.
  • Exercise improves the health of the cardiovascular system by lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL levels. Macular degeneration has been known to be caused by some factors of heart disease.
  • Exercise can make us less likely to perform risk taking activities which can damage our health as well as that of others.
If you or someone you know has questions about exercise, eye health ad macular degeneration please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine 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.


Monday, June 10, 2013

Lucentis® to Treat Macular Edema from Diabetes


“The use of Lucentis® to treat diabetic macular edema gives us a great tool and a significant advantage is managing vision loss from diabetes,” commented Retina Specialist Jackie Nguyen, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “As we well know, the key to preservation of eye health and vision for diabetics is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.”

For patients with diabetes who are at risk for diabetic macular edema, a significant cause of vision loss and an associated complication of diabetic retinopathy, Lucentis® eye injections work to treat diabetic macular edema, or swelling of the macula-this leading cause of vision loss associated with diabetes. Lucentis® has been used for some time to is to treat “wet” age-related macular degeneration (AMD) Lucentis® is the first drug FDA approved to treat diabetic macular edema. More than 500,000 people in the U.S. have diabetic eye disease and before Lucentis® had to have laser treatment to address this complication of diabetic retinopathy. 

If you or someone you know has questions or needs an eye exam for diabetic eye disease or the problems from diabetic retinopathy and diabetic retinopathy including diabetic macular edema please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine 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.


Monday, June 3, 2013

Lucentis® to Treat Macular Edema from Diabetes


“The use of Lucentis® to treat diabetic macular edema gives us a great tool and a significant advantage is managing vision loss from diabetes,” commented Retina SpecialistJackie Nguyen, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “As we well know, the key to preservation of eye health and vision for diabetics is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.”

For patients with diabetes who are at risk for diabetic macular edema, a significant cause of vision loss and an associated complication of diabetic retinopathy, Lucentis® eye injections work to treat diabetic macular edema, or swelling of the macula-this leading cause of vision loss associated with diabetes. Lucentis® has been used for some time to is to treat “wet” age-related macular degeneration (AMD) Lucentis® is the first drug FDA approved to treat diabetic macular edema. More than 500,000 people in the U.S. have diabetic eye disease and before Lucentis® had to have laser treatment to address this complication of diabetic retinopathy.

If you or someone you know has questions or needs an eye exam for diabetic eye disease or the problems from diabetic retinopathy and diabetic retinopathy including diabetic macular edema please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine 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, May 28, 2013

Maine Eye Doctor on Smoking & Eye Health

Maine eye doctor Samuel Solish, M.D. reviewed the eye health problems and risks associated with smoking.  “For many patients appreciating the  long terms increased eye health risks of smoking-especially when they are younger is a lot to ask,” stated Dr. Solish. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “Avoiding smoking, or quitting, is one of the best investments you can make in your long-term eye health. Smoking-even in your teens or twenties when your senior years seem far away- increases your future risks for cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). And the more a person smokes, the higher the risks. The good news is that after people quit smoking, their risks for these eye diseases become almost as low as for people who never smoked,” said Dr. Solish.

Smoking also raises the risks for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence your eyes’ health. And tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, is an irritant that worsens dry eye, a very uncomfortable eye condition that is most common in women after menopause. Smoking increases the risk of serious vision loss in people with other eye diseases. And when women smoke during pregnancy they are more likely to give birth prematurely, putting their babies at higher risk for a potentially blinding disease called retinopathy of prematurity as well as other health problems.

 If you or someone you know want to quit smoking and would like help the American Cancer Society has a resource at www.cancer.org. If you would like to learn more about smoking and eye health problems please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com.

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.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Maine Glaucoma Specialist on Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is promoted as a treatment for many diseases, including glaucoma Maine Glaucoma Specialist & Ophthalmologist Samuel Solish, M.D. discussed medical marijuana and glaucoma. “Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve becomes damaged over time, reducing peripheral vision. If not properly diagnosed and treated it can lead to blindness. One cause of the optic nerve damage in glaucoma is higher-than-normal pressure within the eye, called intraocular pressure or IOP,” explained Dr. Solish. “Currently glaucoma treatment for the most part is to lower IOP levels with eye drops, laser treatment, oral medications and sometimes surgery depending on the type of glaucoma and how severe it is.”

The idea that marijuana can be helpful in treating glaucoma dates to the 1970s. Studies conducted then showed that smoking marijuana lowered the IOP of people with glaucoma. As a result of this research, additional studies were conducted examining whether marijuana or its active ingredient, a compound known as THC, could be used to keep IOP lowered. This research was supported by the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health. The research found that when marijuana is smoked or when a form of its active ingredient is taken as a pill or by injection, it does lower IOP. However, it only lowers IOP for a short period of time-about three or four hours. This short period of time is a major drawback for the use of marijuana as a glaucoma treatment. Because glaucoma needs to be treated 24 hours a day, you would need to smoke marijuana six to eight times a day around the clock to receive the benefit of a consistently lowered IOP. Because of marijuana's mood-altering effect, smoking so much of it daily would leave you too impaired to drive, operate equipment or function at the peak of your mental ability.

The effect that marijuana has on your ability to function is not the only side effect from the drug, however. Marijuana cigarettes contain hundreds of compounds that damage the lungs. Research has shown that regular and frequent use of marijuana, particularly in high doses, can cause problems with short-term memory and concentration. As scientists learn more about glaucoma, they have also come to understand that IOP is not the only factor that damages the optic nerve. Recent studies characterize glaucoma as a neurologic disease similar to Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. And, there is increasing evidence that reduced flow of blood to the optic nerve may also cause damage in patients with glaucoma. Unfortunately, marijuana not only lowers IOP, but it lowers blood pressure throughout the body. As a result, it has the potential to lower the blood flow to the optic nerve, effectively canceling out the benefit of a lowered IOP.

So, while marijuana can temporarily lower your IOP, it's not recommended for treating glaucoma. Prescription medications, laser and surgical treatments have been tested and proven as effective treatments for the glaucoma.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye exams, glaucoma and medical marijuana feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine 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.