Monday, February 24, 2014

Eating Fish Can Lower AMD Risk

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss in seniors. Eating certain types of fish as part of your regular diet might just help you lower your risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that AMD may be associated with a high dietary fat intake and thus eating fish, such as tuna, four times a week, may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The subjects of the study were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who did not have AMD at when the study commenced. After 12 years of follow-up, 567 people with a visual loss of 20/30 or worse were identified. Fat intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. The study found:
  • Those patients whose total dietary fat intake was in the highest quintile had over one and a half times the risk of AMD as those whose fat intake was in the lowest quintile, 
  • Linolenic acid consumption was directly associated with the risk of AMD
  • High intake of docosahexaenoic acid was associated with a modest reduction in the risk of AMD. 
  • Those who ate four or more servings of fish a week were at a 35% lower risk of AMD when compared to those who ate fewer than three servings of fish a week.
The researchers concluded that dietary fat intake was associated with an increased risk of age related maculardegeneration (AMD) and that this may have been due to the presence of Linolenic acid in the fat. They added that a high intake of fish, a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid, may reduce this risk.

If you or someone you know has a family history of age related macular degeneration or wishes to learn more about their risk of AMD, please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Information & Facts about Macular Degeneration

Eyecare Medical Group notes that February is National Macular Degeneration Awareness month and reminds our community to learn about AMD. AgeRelated Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of vision loss among seniors-a growing population in Maine. AMD is progressive and painless as it causes central vision to decrease, but leaves peripheral vision intact.

Types of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Age Related MacularDegeneration occurs in two types- a “Dry” form and a “Wet form. Some 85-90% of people with AMD have the Dry form which results in a gradual dimming of vision and slow progressive vision loss. While only 10% of people with AMD have the Wet form, it tends to progress much more rapidly and is responsible for catastrophic vision loss without early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

Reducing Your Risk & Vision Loss from Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
Patients can often reduce their risk of developing AMD by not smoking, limiting their alcohol consumption, eliminating the regular use of aspirin as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables, avoiding foods with trans fats, exercising and controlling blood pressure and weight. In addition, once you are over 50, it becomes increasingly important to have a thorough, comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years-and even more often if you have any family history of AMD or at the recommendation of your eye doctor. The key to preventing vision loss from AMD is clearly early detection, quick diagnosis and then immediate access to treatment with vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis® or Eylea®.

If you or someone you know has questions about age related macular degeneration (AMD), AMD risks and treatment, please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.

Monday, February 3, 2014


Samuel Solish, M.D.
Eyecare MedicalGroup has launched a new web site with important patient information to help patients learn about eye diseases and surgery and in particular includes information about advances in technology, treatment and procedures that are especially helpful for senior eye problems. “With our growing senior population in Maine we want to be sure that patients have current information about age related eye problems such as cataracts, agerelated macular degeneration (AMD) and glaucoma,” stated Glaucoma Specialistand Cataract Surgeon Samuel Solish, M.D.

Bruce Cassidy, M.D.
 “The Eyecare Medical Group eye surgeons all felt strongly that we needed to use our web site to share information with patients who are at risk of suffering vision loss from cataracts. By understanding more about cataract surgery and lens implants, we are hopeful that patients will not allow vision loss from a cataract to interfere with their daily activities, driving, mobility and overall quality of life,” commented Bruce Cassidy, M.D., a Cataract &Refractive Surgeon. “Further, it’s important that patients with cataracts have access to the latest information on lens implants we can use to correct both astigmatism and near vision focusing problems,” Dr. Cassidy further explained.
Scott Steidl, M.D.
“When it comes to helping patients avoid vision loss-especially seniors and those suffering from diabetes-being able to use our web site to learn about age related macular degeneration (AMD) and its risks, symptoms and treatment with the newer injectable drugs like Lucentis® and Eylea®, as well as the need for diabetics to have regular eye care and dilated retina exams are topics we highlighted as they are pretty critical,” noted Retina Specialist and Vitreoretinal Surgeon Scott Steidl, M.D.

“We know that a considerable number of patients use the web to learn about LASIK surgery. What we also know is that it is important for them have
Ravi Shah, M.D.
information about the corneal diseases, conditions and problems that might preclude them from being good LASIK candidates-so we do this on our new web site,” explained Ravi Shah, M.D., a Corneal Specialist andLASIK Surgeon. “While not overly frequent in occurrence, Fuchs’ Dystrophy and Keratoconus are both corneal dystrophies that can have significant impact on patients’ ability to function day to day-and conditions for which we now have treatment options including new types of cornea transplants for both and the promise of corneal cross linking procedures for Keratoconus,” further explained Dr. Shah. “We encourage these patients to learn more by visiting our web site.”

To learn more about Eyecare Medical Group in Portland Maine you may visit the new web site at

Aspirin & Your Risk of Macular Degeneration

Aspirin is one of the most widely used over-the-counter medications-but, aspirin may increase your risk of macular degeneration (AMD)! Aspirin is often taken for headaches, body aches and fever, and even patients at high risk of heart attack due to atherosclerosis take daily aspirin therapy as a preventative measure, thanks to aspirin’s anticoagulant properties.

But beware-in The Beaver Dam Eye Study researchers found that regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was associated with late AMD, with estimated incidence of 1.76 percent, compared to 1.03 percent in non-aspirin users. Even more meaningful was that regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examinations was closely associated with the “wet” form of AMD, which accounts for 10 percent of all AMD cases, but is responsible for the majority of catastrophic vision loss attributed to the disease. While this might seem like a small numbers-they are statistically significant. Further, more recently researchers analyzed data from a 15-year Australian population-based cohort where they found that even after adjusting for other risk factors like age, sex, smoking, history of heart disease and body mass index, regular aspirin users still had a considerably higher risk of developing wet AMD and thus concluded that regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of wet neovascular AMD, independent of history of cardiovascular disease and smoking.

If you’re a regular aspirin user, you should get a thorough eye exam as soon as possible to determine your AMD status. This is extremely important because AMD often doesn’t show any symptoms until well after the condition has developed. If you or someone you know has questions about aspirin use and their risk of macular degeneration(AMD), please feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group or to schedule an appointment.