Thursday, July 24, 2014

Dry Eye Common after Cataract Surgery

Developing a dry eye after cataract surgery is actually pretty common especially since the incidence of mild to moderate dry eye in a cataract aged population prior to cataract surgery-and exacerbated by cataract surgery makes dry eye a rather frequent complaint among this group.

According to the Prospective Health Assessment of Cataract Patients Ocular Surface (PHACO) Study some 60-75% of a cataract aged population had a meaningful deficiency in their tear film testing. Further, although cataract surgery is quite friendly to the cornea, it does require and incision which has the potential to temporarily interrupt corneal nerves responsible for reflex tearing and tear film integrity as well. This along with some of the solutions used during the cataract procedure can indeed result in a dry eye. The symptoms one might experience could include fluctuations of vision, dryness, grittiness, tearing, burning and a general tiredness as well as an overall sandy feeling. 

The good news is that for the vast majority of patients with dry eye there are potentially helpful treatment options that include specialized artificial tear lubricants and solutions, tiny punctal plugs to help you retain tears and prescription medication that stimulates production of your own tears. In addition there are more technological approaches such as lasers and other methods to treating underlying blepharitis, eyelid gland problems or eyelid inflammation that can contribute to dry eye as well.

If you or someone you know has a question about dry eyes, dry eye symptoms and dry eye treatment with cataracts, cataract surgery, lens implants please feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & LaserCenter or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Eye Health Problem Concerns at High Altitude

High altitude activities sometimes pose a bit of concern to those who might be at risk for certain eye problems such as corneal swelling problems and angle closure glaucoma. Have you ever been concerned about your eye health at high altitude? Sometimes patients who spend a great deal of time in high altitudes-skiing, mountain climbing or even just touring-are concerned about the effects on their eyes, especially if they have some other eye problems or diseases related to hypoxia or not enough oxygen.

Researchers from the Tübingen High Altitude Ophthalmology (THAO) reporting in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science examined the effect of high altitude on the cornea and on the drainage angle of the eye-a key anatomical landmark for predicting narrow angle glaucoma risk. Using the advanced imaging technique of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) they studied corneal thickness changes and the depth and shape of the “anterior chamber angle” to determine the effects of high altitude. In normal healthy eyes, they found that a significant degree of reversible corneal swelling occurred with increasing altitude but no effect was noted on the size or shape of the eye fluid drainage angle. Since the corneal swelling was reversible it was not damaging. However, for patients with corneal dystrophy problems such as Fuchs Dystrophy, any endothelial dystrophy or compromise there may be some delay in the deswelling of the cornea. For patients who might be at risk for narrow angle glaucoma, the researchers reported that no change in angle depth or shape occurred at the higher altitudes-and thus there was no increase in angle closure glaucoma risk.

If you or someone you know has a question about their risk of eye problems such as corneal swelling and angle closure glaucoma at high altitude, please feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 4th Fireworks Eye Safety Precautions


Taking some common precautions this July 4th regarding fireworks eye safety can go a long way to preventing eye injury and potentially catastrophic vision loss. To enjoy the fireworks this July 4th, it’s best to leave their use and display to professionals. Eye safety is pretty critical with fireworks displays as we know that eye injuries are the second most frequent injury we see from emergency room each July 4th weekend. The best defense against kids suffering severe eye injuries and burns is to not let kids play with any fireworks. Do not purchase, use or store fireworks of any type. Protect yourself, your family and your friends by avoiding home use of fireworks and attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators, but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous.

If an eye accident does occur, there are a few things you should know:

·         Do not rub the eye.
·         Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
·         Do not apply pressure to the eye itself-but protecting the eye from further contact with any item, including the person’s hand.
·         Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the person to the emergency room at once.
·         Do not apply ointments or drops. They may not be sterile and may make the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.

Once you are seen in the emergency room please feel free to have them call Northwest Indiana Eye &Laser Center at 866-522-3937 as we always have an eye doctor “on call” to provide consultation and continued care for you.

If you or someone you know has questions about fireworks eye safety and eye injuries please feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & LaserCenter offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Critical Retina Exam for Best Cataract Surgery Results

If you have been told that you have a cataract and are thinking about having cataract surgery and lens implants because it is disturbing your vision, daily activities or lifestyle, you should expect to have a thorough and critical retinal exam in order to carefully correlate the degree of vision loss with the density and position of the cataract. When cataract patients report a decrease in vision, it is important for us to correlate the visual symptoms and visual acuity to the degree of cataract present. If you have a considerable amount of vision loss but only mild cataracts, the actual cause of the vision loss must be identified. In many cases, a careful examination of the retina can reveal underlying pathology such as epiretinal membranes, retinal wrinkling or macular pucker with edema or retinal swelling. In fact, some studies report a prevalence of epiretinal membranes in 7% of patients older than 60 years and in 20% of patients aged 75 years or more-the prime demographic for cataract surgery. Therefore, before you have cataract surgery with Scott Buck, M.D., you should expect to have whatever level of examination and testing he requests in order to help you get the best results.

If you or someone you know has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery, lens implants or driving please feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Macular Degeneration Risk Increased with Aspirin

While aspirin is one of the most widely used over the counter medications, patients should be aware that the regular use of aspirin can increase the risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Aspirin use is widespread because it is an effective remedy for headaches, body aches, fever and millions of people at high risk of heart attack due to atherosclerosis use daily aspirin therapy as a preventative measure, thanks to aspirin’s anticoagulant properties.

The Beaver Dam Eye Study followed nearly 5,000 participants for more than 20 years performing eye examinations every five years. At each exam, participants were asked if they had regularly used aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months. 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. Researchers concluded that these associations, though small, were statistically significant. Even more significant was that regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was significantly 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 attributed to the disease.

Further, data from a 15-year Australian population-based cohort had participants complete a detailed questionnaire that assessed aspirin use, heart disease status and AMD risk factors. In addition, they received four eye examinations during the 15-year study period. After analyzing the data regular aspirin users developed wet AMD—at a rate of 24.5 percent! 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 higher risk of developing Wet AMD. Researchers concluded, “Regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of incident neovascular [Wet] 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. Please feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Glaucoma Help with iStent® Microscopic Implant

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center eye surgeon Scott Buck, M.D. is pleased to be able to offer cataract patients with glaucoma an improved approach for treating their glaucoma. iStent® is an advanced technology microscopic implantable stent that can help reduce eye pressure for cataract patients with glaucoma. 

iStent

“Our challenges in helping glaucoma patients preserve vision stems from the fact that some 90% of glaucoma patients do not actually follow our instructions for using their glaucoma eye drops and we find that just about 50% actually stop taking their medication after 6 months. This is a real problem because if the eye pressure is not well controlled it increases the risk of permanent vision loss,” explained Dr. Buck. “By implanting the tiny-microscopic  iStent® (click to see implant video) we see the possibility that patients will need to use fewer eye drops for their glaucoma treatment and it is possible that that they might not need to use prescription eye drops at all,” further explained Dr. Buck.

The iStent® is FDA-approved for use in conjunction with cataract surgery to reduce eye pressure in adult patients with mild-to moderate open-angle glaucoma currently being treated with glaucoma medicine. In clinical trials, iStent® has been shown to safely reduce eye pressure, which is the primary cause of open-angle glaucoma.

If you or someone you know has a question about glaucoma, glaucoma eye exams or iStent® please feel free to call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

LASIK Instead of Eyeglasses in the Kitchen

I wore contacts and glasses for years and hated them.  I am an executive chef at a restaurant and always having to deal with sweating and steam in the kitchen glasses weren’t really an option.  Contacts always dried my eyes out so terribly I was constantly putting drops in. I have been a patient of Dr. Buck’s for years and decided I would look into LASIK.  I didn’t know much about the procedure but once I had the evaluation and was a candidate I decided this was the best thing for me.  Dr. Buck and his staff explained everything to me in detail and answered all my questions.  I had the procedure done three months ago and can’t believe how wonderful it is! I would recommend it to anyone.