Cataract & LASIK Blog NW Indiana Eye & Laser Center

Sunday, March 19, 2017

AMD Risk from Sunlight Exposure



AMD Risk from Sunlight Exposure

There has been discussion about whether sun exposure can be a risk factor for developing AMD-a common senior eye problem. We know that excess exposure to sunlight can cause many untoward effects on the delicate tissues of the eye and the surrounding facial skin. Sun exposure is a known cataract risk factor, too much UV exposure can cause a “cornea sunburn” or “solar keratitis” and even damage the retina by causing a “solar retinitis”. Researchers reporting in the journal Retina evaluated the effects of current and past sunlight exposure and iris color on early and late Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Their conclusions were that sunlight exposure during working life is an important risk factor for AMD, whereas sunlight exposure after retirement seems to have less influence on the disease development. Therefore, preventive measures, for example, wearing sunglasses to minimize sunlight exposure, should start early to prevent development of AMD later in life.

If you are concerned about senior eye health and specifically your risk of AMD please consider wearing sunglasses to limit your exposure to sunlight beginning EARLY in life to preserve your eye health and vision. If you have not had a recent eye exam please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Satisfaction with LASIK vs. Contact Lenses


Satisfaction with LASIK vs. Contact Lenses
Patients who have been wearing contact lenses have made the choice to minimize their dependence on eyeglasses, but still have many of the inconvenient aspects of contact lens and care to contend with. For contact lens wearers, the decision to have LASIK represents the desire to experience a lifestyle and convenience with independence and freedom from the hassle of BOTH glasses and contacts. But, how does satisfaction with LASIK actually compare with contact lens wear? Researchers reporting in the journal Ophthalmology assessed patient satisfaction and perceived outcomes of 1800 patients split into two groups-one continuing to wear contact lenses and the other having LASIK, through annual surveys administered over a 3-year period. Most contact lens users had worn them successfully ≥5 years. The proportion expressing strong satisfaction with their current vision correction method decreased from 63% at baseline to 54% at year 3 in the contact lens control group, whereas 88% of former contact lens wearers and 77% of former glasses wearers were strongly satisfied with LASIK at year 3. Patients 40 years of age or younger when they had LASIK were somewhat more likely to be strongly satisfied than older patients. LASIK significantly reduced difficulties with night driving and nighttime visual disturbances among former contact lens users and former glasses users. The proportion with dry eye symptoms at 1, 2, or 3 years after LASIK was not significantly increased relative to baseline contact lens wear but was significantly increased relative to baseline glasses use, consistent with many glasses users having tried and abandoned contact lenses because of latent dry eye problems. Compared with continued contact lens wear, LASIK significantly reduced the self-reported rates of eye infections, ulcers, and abrasions each year.

The overall conclusions then were that compared with contact lens wear, current LASIK technology improved ease of night driving, did not significantly increase dry eye symptoms, and resulted in higher levels of satisfaction at 1, 2, and 3 years follow-up.

If you or someone you know is wearing glasses or contact lenses and would like be free of the hassle they create for seeing clearly at distance, please schedule a Free LASIK Consultation by calling Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Keratoconus, Risks & Systemic Disease

Keratoconus, Risks & Systemic Disease
Keratoconus is a progressive degenerative disorder of the cornea whereby structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than the more normal gradual spherical shape. Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light all often becoming troubling to the patient. Usually, we diagnose keratoconus during the adolescent years. If both eyes are significantly affected, the deterioration in vision can affect the person's ability to drive a car or read normal print.
In most cases, we can fit specialized contact lenses to correct vision sufficiently to allow the person to continue to drive legally and likewise function normally. Further progression of the disease may require surgery, for which several options are available and most popular, including intrastromal corneal ring segments, corneal collagen cross-linking, and in about 25% of cases, corneal transplantation. Estimates of the rates for keratoconus range from 1 in 500 to 1 in 2000 people. Recent information alerts us to a number of demographic, ancestry and systemic risk factors. These include that those of African ancestry have a 57% greater risk of a keratoconus and Latino persons have a 43% greater risk of being diagnosed compared with a Caucasian population. Asians had 39% reduced risks of keratoconus and patients with uncomplicated diabetes mellitus (DM) had 20% less risk. Other conditions found to have significantly increased risk of developing keratoconus include sleep apnea and asthma.

If you or someone you know is at risk for keratoconus or wishes to be evaluated for keratoconus please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Macular Degeneration Biomarker



Biomarker for Macular Degeneration
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) continues to be a leading cause of vision loss for seniors. The most effective way to avoid vision loss is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Now, researchers have found a functional “biomarker” that can help predict which patients might have a greater risk for developing age related macular degeneration (AMD). Dark adaptation refers to the time it takes for a person’s eyes to adjust to darkness after being exposed to bright light. The process of “dark adaptation” appears to be a predictor so that patients over 60 years of age who have slowed “dark adaptation” times are telling us that they are at greater risk. In fact according to a National Institute on Aging study of adults age 60 or older, those whose eyes are slow to adjust to the dark have a 2x greater risk of developing age related macular degeneration.

If you or someone you know is over 50, especially if they have increased risk factors for age related macular degeneration such as being a smoker, a family history, diabetes or other vascular disease, please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Lower AMD Risk with Cholesterol Medication?

Statin Cholesterol Medicine & AMD
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) continues to be a leading cause of vision loss in seniors-especially those with a family history or other risk factors such as smoking and other forms of vascular disease. While we have progressed a very long way in the treatment of Wet AMD through the use of anti-VEGF therapeutic injections such as Lucentis® and Eylea® , we are always hoping to find additional medications, vitamins or supplements that might be useful in preventing or delaying senior vision loss. There have been a number of clinical studies and reports about whether the use of the cholesterol lowering medications called “statins” are helpful in preventing or delaying AMD. Common statins include Lipitor®, Crestor®, Zocor®, Mevacor® and Pravachol®. Unfortunately, the most recent information we reviewed in a study reported in the Ophthalmology evaluated the association of statin use with progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and found that statin use was not statistically significantly associated with the progression of AMD and showed no evidence of a beneficial effect on slowing AMD progression.

As with many eye problems, conditions and diseases, age related macular degeneration (AMD) can be best addressed with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. If you or some you know is concerned about age related macular degeneration (AMD) and has not had a comprehensive eye exam please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Blood Thinners and AMD Hemorrhages

Many seniors take blood thinners for various types of cardiovascular and other vascular disease as a preventative measure for avoiding a heart attack or stroke. This same senior population is also at greatest risk for age related macular degeneration-including wet or hemorrhagic macular degeneration (AMD). Thus, the question of whether taking anticoagulants might be increasing the risk of and progression of AMD is important and reported on in a study published in Ophthalmology . The results showed that taking anti-platelet or anticoagulant medication was not significantly associated with macular hemorrhage and increased AMD risk unless the patient also had hypertension.

If you or someone you know is taking blood thinners and at risk for age related macular degeneration (AMD), please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Glaucoma Impacts Driving Safety

Moderate or advanced glaucoma can affect driving safety according to research noted in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Patients with bilateral moderate or advanced glaucoma are at risk for unsafe driving. For this reason we now suggest a very careful evaluation for those glaucoma patients who might be at risk so that we can evaluate driving safety of these patients. Glaucoma, especially in more advanced stages can reduce peripheral vision as well as contrast and make driving particularly difficult-especially in dim illumination. Our goal is to help all patients avoid vision loss from glaucoma by asking that you schedule regular eye examinations with glaucoma testing as often your eye doctor suggests. This will depend on the overall health of your eyes, your family history, your general health and many other glaucoma risk factors your eye doctor may identify. The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnoses and treatment.

If you or someone you know would like to schedule and eye exam and glaucoma testing please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser.

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.