Monday, April 29, 2013

Maine Surgeon on UV Eye Protection


Maine eye surgeon Jordan Sterrer, M.D. commented on the need for Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection in light of May being UV Eye Protection Awareness Month.  “As May marks Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection Awareness Month, we wanted to review some of the UV protective eyewear and precautions people should take,” commented Dr. Sterrer of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “The summer months are a great time to be outdoors-walking, hiking, swimming-going to the beach-and just enjoying all that Maine has to offer. But, with more exposure to the sun and ultraviolet or UV rays on a daily basis, we need to be cautious and to use proper UV eye protection”, remarked Dr. Sterrer.

Almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause to their skin, however most people do not know or appreciate that ultraviolet light (UV) can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision. Exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems and in some instances is thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as cataractage related macular degeneration(AMD), certain cancers on the delicate skin around the eye, Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea. “One of the most concerning aspects of UV eye damage and injury is that it is cumulative and often doesn’t become noticeable to patients for many years,” noted Dr. Sterrer.

Some precautions regarding UV eye protection include:
  • Always wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses without UV protection may shade the eyes but actually cause the pupils to dilate, allowing in even more harmful rays.
  • Wear a brimmed hat along with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Choose wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes.
  • Be aware that although some contact lenses may offer UV protection, they cannot protect the entire eye and the skin around it.
  • Choose sunglasses made of unbreakable polycarbonate, especially for children and for those who lead active lifestyles.
  • Be sure to ask your doctor about the photosensitizing side effects of any medications that you might take.
  • Always wear eye protection when using a tanning bed. According the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tanning beds can produce UV levels up to 100 times more than the sun, which can cause serious damage to the external and internal structures of the eye and eyelids.
Today we have wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses available to choose from. Eye protection from UV needs to be complete but doesn’t have to be overly expensive. High quality sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also important to have UV protection in everyday eyewear, which is readily available with a number of UV blocking eyeglass lens materials, specialized coatings and photochromic lenses.

If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about ultraviolet (UV) eye damage and injury and how to select protective eyewear please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visiting 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.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Maine LASIK Surgeon on Glaucoma


“We would consider performing LASIK in Maine for certain patients with glaucoma-but it is really quite an individual determination. It depends a great deal on the stability of the glaucoma and whether and how much damage to the optic nerve the disease has caused,” remarked Maine LASIK Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Ravi Shah, M.D. of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “During the LASIK procedure we use a suction ring or device for a short time and this can cause a temporary elevation of intraocular pressure or IOP-something we are cautious about in patients with glaucoma,” Dr. Shah further explained.

Generally, unless the glaucoma is severe it is possible that LASIK could be an option for most patients. Other types of laser eye surgery for vision correction such as PRK might be preferred. In some cases it might actually be beneficial to have lens replacement surgery using advanced technology lens implants for vision correction.

If you or someone you know has glaucoma or is a glaucoma suspect and is considering LASIK, we would be happy to provide a free consultation to help determine if they are a LASIK candidate or perhaps a better candidate for another type of refractive surgery. Please feel free to schedule an appointment by calling Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine at 888-374-2020, visiting 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.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Maine Glaucoma Specialist on Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana is promoted as a treatment for many diseases, including glaucoma Maine Glaucoma Specialist & Ophthalmologist Robert Daly, 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. Daly. “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.


Monday, April 8, 2013

Sports Eye Protection for Athletes in Maine



Maine Ophthalmologist Jordan Sterrer, M.D. shared information about sports eye protection and the risk of eye injuries for athletes. “April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and the American Academy of Ophthalmology asks eye doctors to remind our community that 40,000 people suffer from eye injuries related to sports every year. These eye injuries from sports can be devastating, and the only way to prevent them is by wearing the appropriate protective eyewear,” said Dr. Sterrer of Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine.



Many sports create risk for eye injuries which can include abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lids, retinal detachments and internal bleeding. The most serious risks involve permanent vision loss along with infection. In addition, patients who have sustained eye injuries are at greater risk for developing glaucoma.
Athletes need to use the eye protection that is available for most sports, including basketball, baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, fencing, paintball, water polo, golf and others. “I counsel and reassure my patients that wearing properly fitted protective eyewear will not harm their sports or athletic performance, and it may well save their eye health and vision,” said Dr. Sterrer. Something to be aware of is that most sporting leagues don’t require children to wear eye protection, so parents should take special care to ensure their children wear eye protection.”

Tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear. The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection. Athletes need to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour.

If you or someone you know has questions or would like help in selecting, fitting or choosing sports protective eyeglasses 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, April 1, 2013

Air Travel & Flying after Cataract Surgery

Maine Cataract Surgeon Robert Daly, M.D commented on air travel and flying after cataract surgery. “Having cataract surgery doesn’t need to present a major barrier to air travel or flying,” stated Dr. Daly of Eyecare Medical group in Portland, Maine. “My cataract patients-especially as they seem to be getting younger-are continuing very active lifestyles. Often they need to get on an airplane or take advantage of air travel arrangements after cataract surgery and don’t want to be hindered.”

Most cataract surgeons require their patients to be examined the first day after cataract surgery and again at about 5-8 days after a cataract operation. This is the period of time where rare, but potentially serious, complications would likely be detected, if they were to occur. Beyond this period of time it is more a matter of making sure that you have access to continued follow up care at your cataract surgeon’s direction. If you are contemplating a trip after your cataract surgery you should discuss this with your cataract surgeon and we can give you any additional advice you might need regarding air travel as it would apply to your post operative instructions.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about cataract surgery, air travel and flying 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.