Sunday, January 31, 2016

Contact Lens Eye Problems: Avoid Risky Behaviors

Avoid Contact Lens Problems
Eye health and vision problems from contacts lenses can be prevented by avoiding known risky behaviors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost all of the 41 million estimated contact lens wearers in the United States may be engaging in at least one behavior known to increase their risk of eye infections. Nearly one-third of contact lens wearers who participated in a national survey reported going to the eye doctor for red or painful eyes related to wearing contact lenses. More than 99 percent of survey respondents reported at least one risky behavior. The majority of wearers reported:
  • Keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended
    (82.3 %)
  • "Topping off” solution in the case by adding new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the case out fully before adding new solution (55.1%)
  • Wearing their lenses while sleeping (50.2 %)
Each of these behaviors has been reported in previous studies to raise the risk of eye infections by five times or more!

An online survey was administered to a sample of contact lens wearers to determine how often contact lens wearers engaged in behaviors that could put them at risk for an eye infection. CDC collaborated with the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) group, a multi-university group of researchers, to conduct the survey. A separate survey was used to estimate the number of contact lens wearers – about 41 million adults. Taken together, the survey results indicate that millions of Americans could be at risk for serious eye infections because of poor contact lens hygiene behaviors.

We know that contact lenses can be worn safely if wearers are mindful of using good hygiene. To prevent eye infections, contact lens wearers should:
  • Wash hands with soap and water and dry them well before touching contact lenses
  • Take contacts out before sleeping, showering or swimming
  • Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time they remove them
  • Rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off after each use
  • Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months
  • Avoid “topping off” solution in lens case (adding fresh solution to old solution)
  • Carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses have to be taken out
If you or someone you know has questions about contact lens care, hygiene, safety and how to avoid eye infections from contact lens wear, please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or to schedule an appointment.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Meet Corneal Specialist Adam Sise, M.D.!

My name is Adam Sise and I am a Corneal Specialist at Eyecare Medical Group. My wife and I both grew up in New Hampshire and we are very excited to be back in New England after spending the past 10 years between Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Miami for my medical training. Prior to this I studied in St. Andrews, Scotland where I received my undergraduate degree in Physiology. This is also where I learned to play the highland bagpipes. I have played with various bagpipe bands and competed in several highland games around the country. I look forward to playing tunes with the local piping community and in the Maine Highland Games. My pursuit of playing bagpipes has mirrored my medical training in that both require constant dedication and a desire to continually learn. This is best summarized in the quote by Neil Munro from The Lost Piobaireachd 1896. "To the make of a piper go seven years... At the end of his seven years one born to it will stand at the start of knowledge". The practice of medicine is a lifelong journey, and I look forward to helping every patient I can along the way.

If you or someone you know would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Sise please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or to schedule an appointment.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Glaucoma Acupuncture Treatment

Acupuncture for Glaucoma?
With so many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, could it be possible that acupuncture could be a beneficial treatment option for glaucoma patients? Researchers reporting in the American Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated whether the use of acupuncture was an effective treatment for primary open angle glaucoma-the most common type of glaucoma that we diagnose and treat. The researchers carefully considered the effect of acupuncture on intraocular pressure (IOP), best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), visual field testing and using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), the health and integrity of the nerve fiber layer around the Optic Disc-all important criteria we use for diagnosing and managing glaucoma. Their study showed that acupuncture has no overall effect on changes in IOP throughout the day and that IOP actually increases immediately after an acupuncture treatment. Further, they found no effect on best uncorrected visual acuity, OCT or visual field tests and thus concluded that acupuncture may offer other health benefits but was not an effective treatment option for glaucoma.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma or needs a glaucoma eye exam and testing please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or to schedule an appointment.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Glaucoma Risk from Stomach Infection

Glaucoma Risk & Stomach Problems
What does a stomach infection have to do with your risk of getting glaucoma? Surprisingly, as it turns out, researchers identified a significant association between Helicobacter pylori infection and the risk of getting primary open-angle glaucoma, according to a study published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science. Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) is a type of bacteria that causes infection in the stomach. It is found in about two-thirds of the world's population. It may be spread by unclean food and water, but researchers aren't sure. It causes peptic ulcers in your stomach and can also cause stomach cancer. If you have symptoms of a peptic ulcer, your doctor will test your blood, breath or stool to see if it contains H. pylori. Fortunately, it is readily treated with a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medicines and treatment is quite effective.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with a stomach ulcer, has symptoms of a stomach ulcer or acid reflux from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) you should be tested for H. pylori, but you should also have regular eye exams and glaucoma testing. Please call please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or to schedule an appointment.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Angle Closure Glaucoma with Certain Medications

About Angle Closure Glaucoma
Angle Closure Glaucoma is a type of glaucoma caused by a blockage or complete closure of the drainage structure of the eye called the trabecular meshwork. The trabecular meshwork is actually a fine filter, and if it is blocked or obstructed by any alteration in the size or shape of the surrounding structures, or by change in the size or shape of the tissue itself, it will cause the intraocular pressure (IOP) to elevate. In instances where the meshwork becomes blocked abruptly, it will cause a sudden rise in the intraocular pressure (IOP), resulting in Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma. Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma is characterized by this sudden rise in pressure which will cause pain, redness, light sensitivity, colored haloes around lights, nausea or vomiting, and blurred vision, and if left untreated permanent loss of vision.

Medications Can Cause Angle Closure Glaucoma
In patients who may already be at risk for Angle Closure Glaucoma because they have certain tissue and anatomical features inside their eyes, certain medications can significantly increase their risk. Two medications that are worth mentioning are the antidepressants Wellbutrin (Buproprion) and Topamax® (Topiramate). While both of these are often used to treat mild to moderate depression, they are also used to help patients stop smoking! Researchers reporting a study in Archives of Ophthalmology found that the risk of angle-closure glaucoma in patients younger than 50 years was twice as high in patients taking Wellbutrin and more than 5 times higher in patients taking Topamax®.

If you or someone you know is being treated for depression or has been prescribed Wellbutrin or Topamax® to help stop smoking, please make sure you tell your eye doctor and ask about your risk of Angle Closure Glaucoma, as well as become familiar with the symptoms above. If you have not had an eye exam with glaucoma testing and are taking these medications, please call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or to schedule an appointment.