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.