Monday, March 21, 2016

Eyes Can Help Monitor Huntington’s Disease

About Huntington’s Disease
We now know that certain eye tests may help serve as “biomarkers” for the progression of Huntington’s Disease as well as help understand whether some of the new medications prescribed might be helping to slow its progress. Huntington's Disease is an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown and degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington's disease has a broad impact on a person's functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking and psychiatric disorders. Most people with Huntington's Disease develop signs and symptoms in their 30s or 40s, but the onset of disease may be earlier or later in life. Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of Huntington's Disease, but treatments can't prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline associated with the condition.

Eye Problems with Huntington’s Disease
One of the earliest and most recognizable eye problems of Huntington’s Disease is a change in eye movements or “saccades” where there is a lag initiating an eye movement to look at something and/or an involuntary reflex saccadic movement that the person can’t control. This loss of eye movement control is quite common. Recent research using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) testing that we do right in our offices allows us to study the health of the retinal nerve fiber layer and the health of the nerve fibers around the center of vision, called the macula. What we know is the thinning of the nerve fiber layer on OCT, along with a loss of the macular volume is an indicator of the progression of the disease and can serve to monitor that progression.

If you or someone you know has Huntington’s Disease or questions about eye problems with Huntington’s Disease 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, March 14, 2016

Diabetic Eye Exams: Don’t Delay!

About Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye problems include an increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma, neurological eye muscle problems and the potential for serious vision loss from diabetic retinopathy a retinal vascular disease. Vision loss from diabetic eye disease is manageable and in many instances preventable but requires early diagnosis and treatment to be effective. This means ALL patients with diabetes must be diligent in having eye exams at intervals recommended by their eye doctors and/or their primary care physicians, internists or endocrinologists.

About Diabetes
According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics 21.7 million U.S. adults aged 18 and over (9.2%) have been diagnosed with diabetes and this percentage increases with age. One in five adults aged 65 and over (20.5%, or 8.7 million) has diagnosed diabetes, compared with 11.0% (11.3 million) aged 40–64 and 1.9% (1.7 million) aged 18–39.

About Delay in Seeking Diabetic Eye Exams
There seems to be a trend in that the more recently you are in having your diabetes diagnosed, the longer you delay in seeking and annual diabetic eye exam. This is troubling in preventing vision loss and avoiding diabetic eye problems. Among all adults, the percentage who visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months increased with years since diabetes diagnosis. About half, 50% of those diagnosed with diabetes within the prior 5 years had visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months, compared with 57.3% of those diagnosed 5-10 years ago and 61.2% of those diagnosed 10 or more years ago. Among adults with diagnosed diabetes, the percentage who had visited an eye doctor during the past 12 months increased with age: 38.2% for those aged 18–39, 53.8% for those aged 40–64, and 66.5% for those aged 65 and over. Thus, among adults with diabetes, both age and years since diagnosis may play a role in visiting an eye doctor in the past 12 months.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, please take the time to schedule and eye exam in order to prevent the risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease and diabetic eye problems-most of which are preventable with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. 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, March 7, 2016

Thought About a LASIK Screening?

Many people have a desire to be free of their glasses or contact lenses and will inquire about LASIK surgery. During a screening visit we take time to evaluate your eyes and determine the type of activities and visual demands that you require. While LASIK surgery has been well established as a safe and effective means of providing vision correction, not every person is a candidate for the procedure. In addition to evaluating your baseline vision, it is important to ensure you do not have any undiagnosed medical problems that might affect the long term health of your eyes. This can include the presence of cataracts, glaucoma, corneal scars, or retinal degeneration. As LASIK surgery is performed on the Cornea, we also perform several scans of your cornea to evaluate its thickness and curvature. Depending on these parameters we can determine if your cornea has the ideal shape to obtain the best visual outcome. While most people will meet our strict criteria, there are some people who are not candidates for laser refractive surgery. Fortunately, we are able to offer alternative options for vision correction surgery, including Implantable Collamer Lenses and Clear Lens Exchange. All refractive surgery is rewarding to perform and LASIK is no exception. The excitement in their voice and the expression on their faces at their postoperative visits makes my job extremely rewarding and fun.

If you or someone you know has questions about LASIK Screening feel free to call Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or to schedule an appointment.