Sunday, November 26, 2017

What Do You See During Cataract Surgery?

We always like to take the time to carefully explain all of the things patients having cataract surgery and lens implants might experience during their visit to the surgery center and even during their cataract surgery procedure. In this way we are hopefully helping them relax and have an easy and comfortable experience as we correct their vision. For just about all of our patients having cataract surgery, they are awake and quite aware of what is going on in the operating room. Every once in a while a patient will be curious about what they will actually see during the cataract procedure since they are awake. As this can really vary greatly from patient to patient we were please to find the results of a study that can give patients some guidance of what they might experience.

Patients having cataract surgery were asked to describe the quality of the visual experience as, pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. The group of 200 patients interviewed in the study included an almost even mix of men and woman around the age of 70 years old and as is to be expected, were a bit anxious before the surgery and were given an oral tablet to help them relax. They all reported seeing some gradation of colors including in descending order blue, red, pink, yellow, green, purple, turquoise, and orange with the most common color combination being red-blue light which was most likely from the operating microscope. Most-61% of the light and color experiences during surgery were reported to be pleasant, 38% were neutral and 1% found them unpleasant. Overall the experience of light and colors seen during cataract surgery is mildly pleasant and in fact should reassure patients that the visual experience is actually somewhat calming and relaxing during cataract surgery. 

If you or some you know is concerned about having a cataract or needing cataract surgery and lens implants and worried about what they will see 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.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Injections vs. Laser Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy

Injections for Advanced Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy progresses in stages that reflect the severity of the disease. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more advanced stage and requires treatment. Therapeutic injections for proliferative diabetic retinopathy represent a sound treatment for some patients with this advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy where blood vessels in the retina begin to grow, or proliferate, many which are fragile and more likely leak and bleed. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a significant cause of vision loss if left untreated. Reporting on a clinical trial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers compared the visual outcomes in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy who underwent either anti-VEGF treatment or Panretinal photocoagulation laser treatment. They found in many respects the outcomes of the group receiving injections were better in that the average vision over the two years in the injection group was better than the laser group, and the patients with the injections had less peripheral vision loss, required fewer future surgeries and developed fewer complications in the macular area of the eye.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, it is important to have regular diabetic eye exams to prevent vision loss from diabetic eye disease complications called diabetic retinopathy. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. If you need a diabetic eye exam 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, November 12, 2017

Diabetic Retinopathy & Neuropathy

Diabetic Retinopathy & Neuropathy
We have known for quite some time that with both Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus are at high risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, which is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in adults. Vision loss occurs because of microvascular damage to the retina. People with diabetes are typically not aware that they are also at risk for developing retinal diabetic neuropathy, which is the loss of nerve cells in the retina. For many years, scientists believed patients developed retinopathy and, as a result of the damage to the blood vessels, later developed neuropathy. Doctors were focusing on early detection and treatment of retinopathy to prevent blindness, which they thought would then prevent the damage caused by neuropathy.

In a new study researchers discovered that the sequence of events occurring in the retina is just the opposite. Unfortunately we now know that the nerve damage actually does come first, before the vessel damage. Even people with diabetes who never get retinopathy can still develop this damage, and after many years, damage may be severe, similar to glaucoma. As part of the diabetic eye exam we provide for patients, we often perform a test called Optical Coherence Topography (OCT) that actually allows us to carefully examine the retinal nerve fiber health

The best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment with regular eye exams. If you or someone you know is diabetic and needs a diabetic eye exam, 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.