Monday, February 23, 2015

Obesity & Macular Degeneration Risk

Obesity is a well documented risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and many other systemic conditions. Researchers reviewing the Beaver Dam Eye Study evaluated the risk of age related eye disease such as age related macular degeneration (AMD) with obesity. They discussed their review in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science where they reported the results of eye exams that were used to evaluate the presence and severity of cataract and macular degeneration as well as measurements of height and weight over a 15 year period of time. Their findings show that for females who were non smokers, there was indeed and increased risk of early and late stage age related macular degeneration (AMD) with an increasing body Mass Index (BMI).

If you or someone you know has questions about age related macular degeneration (AMD) or your specific risk factors for AMD or needs an eye exam for macular degeneration,  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, February 16, 2015

Cataracts Cause Night Driving Problems

Seniors and others who have been diagnosed with cataracts need to be aware of the night driving problems that even mild cataracts cause. In addition, if you are experiencing night driving problems, it is important to have an eye exam with a cataract evaluation in order determine whether you have the start of a cataract. For many patients, the night driving problems from a cataract seems to be the first real symptom of a cataract.



About Night Driving Problems with Cataracts

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 schedule an eye exam by calling Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visiting Eyecare Medical Group or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup to schedule an appointment.

Driving at night is considerably more difficult for most people as dim lighting and darkness can cause you to misjudge distances between cars and the sides of the road. For many patients night driving problems may cause you to begin noticing a general blur of your vision, clouding or hazy vision, dimming of colors and even some double vision-even in daylight. These are symptoms of cataracts that often accompany night driving problems from a cataract. If you find that you don’t really feel comfortable driving at night, it may be that you have the beginning of a cataract. If you experience these symptoms, it would be important to schedule an eye exam and find out for sure. Then, depending on how troubling or unsafe you feel, we will be happy to discuss whether it might well be time to consider whether cataract surgery as an option to help you regain your night driving comfort level.



Sunday, February 8, 2015

Be Aware of Macular Degeneration (AMD) Risk Factors

Dr. Aaron Parnes, MD, Vitreoretinal Specialist
Seniors and others concerned with age related vision loss should become familiar with the risk factors associated with age related macular degeneration (AMD). Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. Knowing your risk factors, being aware of your family history, and scheduling regular eye exam appointments with your eye doctor can help reduce your risks for vision loss from macular degeneration. The key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor. 

Know the Top AMD Risks
Ø  Being over the Age of 60
Ø  Having a Family History of AMD
Ø  Cigarette Smoking
Ø  Obesity
Ø  Hypertension

If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor a complete eye exam and evaluation. Your doctor may recommend additional specialized testing if necessary as well as certain preventive measures which can reduce your risk of vision loss from this disorder.

Reducing AMD Risk Factors
There are some AMD risk factors that a person can change such as stopping smoking and eating a low fat diet rich in green leafy vegetables along with reducing alcohol consumptions that can reduce the risk of vision loss from AMD. Other risk factors such as genetic factors cannot be changed. However, knowing your family medical history is one way to learn whether you may be genetically predisposed to a disease. For patients at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent.

Know the Symptoms of Wet AMD
People who are at risk should know the symptoms of Wet AMD, the form most likely to cause rapid, serious and catastrophic vision loss. With early detection, diagnosis and treatment it is possible to avoid or minimize vision loss from Wet AMD. Symptoms of Wet AMD might include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion”, “bending of straight lines and objects”.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please call Eyecare Medical Group at 888-374-2020 immediately and explain your symptoms and request urgent appointment. Current treatments for Wet AMD using injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth (VEGF) inhibitors drugs such as Lucentis® and Eylea® provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. Earlier diagnosis of wet AMD gives us a better chance of successful treatment.

If you or someone you know has questions age related macular degeneration (AMD)risks and symptoms or needs an eye exam for AMD should 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.