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Monday, January 26, 2015

NW Indiana LASIK Patient Story

I had worn contacts since I was in third grade. I was very skeptical about having lasik done. I had the mentality that if something would go wrong it would happen to me. After many years of talking myself out of it I finally made an appointment with Dr. Buck and I am glad I did.  He made me feel so at ease and confident that I was getting the best care possible. Now I am 7 months glasses free and loving every minute of it. I even think it has improved my golf game!

If you or someone you know has a question about LASIK or would like to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation, please feel 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 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Avoid Eye Injury from Airbags in Car Accidents

While it might not be immediately obvious, airbags can cause eye injury during car accidents if you don’t use BOTH seatbelts and airbags as they were intended.  Airbags TOGETHER with seat belts are important safety features in cars today-but only when used properly.

Research on Eye Injury from Airbags
According to a study in Survey of Ophthalmology the incidence of eye injury and facial trauma from airbags is actually increasing. You ask, “Why is this happening?”  Airbags were originally designed as a part of a supplemental safety system to seatbelts in order to protect against head trauma that would result from hitting hard surfaces during car accidents.  Seatbelts restrict and restrain forward movement that can be quite forceful stop you from being quickly and forcefully thrown forward and colliding with the rearward inflating and accelerating airbags as they are deployed during a car accident. Thus, it is critical that all passengers wear their seatbelts even if your car has airbags in the front, back and sides of the passenger cabin!


Types of Airbag Eye Injury
Airbags have been reported to cause eye injuries such as corneal abrasions, alkali burns and the serious effects of eye compression such as retinal tears, retinal and vitreous hemorrhages, retinal detachment and even cataracts. SO-the message is clear. For eye protection and safety in motor vehicle accidents, all occupants of cars should wear safety belts at all times even if your vehicle has airbags!

If you or someone you know has a question about preventing eye injury from airbags in car accidents and why it is necessary to always wear seatbelts even with airbags, please 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 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Tips to Maintain Eye Health & Vision

By learning about tips to maintain eye health and vision, you can make the best lifestyle choices to provide meaning benefits to preserving your eyes and sight. You and what you do make a difference!

Have Regular Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exams
Making sure to schedule regular dilated eye health and vision exams-at intervals your eye doctor recommends- is the first step to maintaining eye health and good vision. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment when necessary allows us to find eye diseases, conditions and problems so that we can address them before they are sight threatening. Many eye diseases do not have early warning signs, but signs and symptoms can be identified during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Know Your Family History of Eye Problems
Many eye health and vision problems and eye diseases tend to run in families. This suggests that if an eye disease is present in any family member it may put you at greater risk of that eye problem. This is particularly the case for eye diseases such as glaucoma and age related macular degeneration (AMD). Stay abreast of the eye diseases and conditions as they exist in your family, AND BE SURE TO TELL US ABOUT THEM WHEN YOU COME IN FOR AN EYE EXAM.

Nutrition and Diet Affect Eye Health & Vision
Make sure to pay attention to what you eat and try to include a steady diet of foods high in important nutrients that support good vision, such as the following:

o    Vegetables: collard greens, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and dark, leafy greens, such as kale and spinach
o    Nuts: sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts
o    Fruits: strawberries and blueberries
o    Omega-3 Fatty Acids: tuna, halibut and salmon
o    Beans: chickpeas, kidney beans and legumes

Watch Your Weight & Exercise
Being overweight exposes you to a greater risk of diabetes. In fact there is an epidemic of diabetes in the U.S. today. Diabetic eye problems include a greater risk of glaucoma, cataracts and sight threatening diabetic retinopathy. Exercise-even moderate amounts of daily exercise reduce your risk of developing MANY eye diseases and problems.

Wear Protective Eyewear
Eye injury prevention is relatively easy-if you wear the appropriate protective eyewear when taking part in sports or home activities that expose you to risk. It is estimated that some 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by taking a minute to review the need for protective eyeglasses before doing home projects, trimming branches or shrubs, using saws, tool or weed whackers-and on and on. In addition, when spending time outdoors or near the water, wear sunglasses designed to block out 99 to 100 percent of the sun’s UV-A and UV-B rays.
Be smart and be safe.

Stop Smoking
Not only does smoking cause a host of cardiovascular and systemic vascular problems, but smoking is now recognized as increasing the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and, all of which could lead to vision loss. We also now know that if you do smoke, there is considerable benefit in stopping!

Avoid Computer Eyestrain
CRT or video display terminals used for computers are well known to expose you eye fatigue, headache and more troubling-dry eye problems. When working on the computer or using a smartphone or tablet, practice the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eyestrain-that is, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. If you have any sensation of dryness, grittiness or “something in your eyes”, use an eye surface lubricant or eye drop to replenish your tears.

If you or someone you know has a question about the best tips to maintain eye health and vision and wants to benefit from the making good lifestyle choices, please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser to schedule an appointment. Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Glaucoma Eye Exams in the New Year


As we begin 2015, January marks national Glaucoma Awareness Month. With this in mind we want to take a minute to remind patients, their families and friends about the importance of regular eye exams and testing for glaucoma.  The most effective way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. This is why we stress the importance of glaucoma eye exams-especially for those who have risk factors such as any family history of glaucoma or high eye pressure (IOP) diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease of any type, the early onset of menopause, sleep apnea and those who are smokers-all of which increase your risk of developing glaucoma.  This is even more important if you are of African-American or Hispanic descent as this can further increase the risks.

About Eye Exams for Glaucoma 
Eye exams for glaucoma should begin by checking your visual acuity with and without your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Then, the tonometry test should be performed. This is a method of measuring your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and gives the eye doctors the first piece of important information in determining whether you might have glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy and high magnifications slit lamp biomicroscopy are other exam procedures used to evaluate the health of the optic nerve and detect glaucoma. It is necessary to have some eye drops placed in your eyes in order to dilate your pupils so that the doctors can make a clear and direct observation of the optic nerve.

Glaucoma Tests
If either the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or the optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary in order to complete the glaucoma examination. These may include Visual Field Perimetry, Gonioscopy, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and Pachymetry. Should you need any of these tests we will fully explain them to you and answer your questions so that you understand how they help us to diagnose glaucoma. If you are under 40 years of age and do not have any of the above risk factors, then having a glaucoma eye examination every two years should be sufficient.

If you have any glaucoma risk factors, or are over 40, then a glaucoma eye exam each year-or even more often if we see anything troubling- is recommended.If you or someone you know has a question about glaucoma, glaucoma eye exams or glaucoma tests please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser to schedule an eye exam. Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Glaucoma Micro-Stents with Cataract Surgery

The insertion of glaucoma micro-stents to control eye pressure might be an option for patients with cataracts and having cataractsurgery. Microinvasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS) utilizes tiny stents to help control the eye pressure or intraocular pressure. In the U.S., over 20% of patients undergoing cataract surgery have a concurrent diagnosis of glaucoma, which represents approximately 700,000 patients each year who may be candidates for this type of glaucoma treatment. Most patients with glaucoma are treated with eye drops to lower their pressure, have laser treatments for glaucoma and if necessary have surgery for glaucoma treatment. The problem with eye drops for glaucoma is that patient compliance is often not consistent and may be as low as 50% after the first year-thus additional treatment options such as laser treatment for glaucoma of MIGS might be a better way for some patients to keep their eye pressure under control.

If you or someone you know has a question about glaucoma micro-stents with cataract surgery, 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, December 8, 2014

Fuchs Dystrophy Severity Increases with Risk Factors

The severity of Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy (FECD) is increased with the presence of certain risk factors.

About Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy
Fuchs’ Dystrophy is a type of corneal disease that affects the inner most layer of the cornea-the endothelium. Fuchs’ Dystrophy is slowly progressive and can be found in both eyes and is slightly more common in women than men. While it is possible to observe Fuchs’ Dystrophy in people in their 30’s and 40’s, it usually does not compromise vision until people are in their 50’s or 60’s. The endothelial cells are responsible for pumping water out of the cornea and helping to maintain the corneal transparency. While the reason is poorly understood, in Fuchs’ Dystrophy, the endothelial cells die, which make the endothelium less efficient in its pumping activity. This results in the cornea swelling and distorting vision.

Risk Factors & Severity of Fuchs Dystrophy
Researchers reporting in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science studied the effects of smoking, and other risk factors, on the development of advanced Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) and on central corneal thickness (CCT). As predicted, being female increased the odds of developing advanced Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) by 34% and smoking increased the odds by 30%. Besides reporting that smoking was associated with an increased risk of developing advanced FECD, diabetes was also associated with increased in corneal thickness-reflecting greater risk of corneal swelling.

If you or someone you know has a question about Fuchs Dystrophy, 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, December 1, 2014

BOTOX® & Type 2 Diabetes: How are they Related?

What do BOTOX® and Type 2 Diabetes have to do with each other you ask?  A new study reports that it appears a better understanding of the proteins affected by injections of the wrinkle relaxer BOTOX® could help scientists develop new ways to treat Type 2 Diabetes.

BOTOX® Cosmetic is best known as an injection for helping patient smooth fine lines and wrinkles in order to look their best. BOTOX® is also used as treatment for a number of medical conditions including migraine, urinary incontinence, profuse sweating and crossed eyes. In each of these cases, BOTOX® works because it has a paralyzing effect- it relaxes specific muscles, which then provides the desired effect. BOTOX® accomplishes this effect by blocking certain proteins called SNARE (Soluble NSF Attachment Protein Receptor) proteins. It turns out that SNARE proteins in the beta cells of the pancreas help the pancreas secrete insulin, thus blocking these proteins in the pancreas could lead to insulin resistance which is the hallmark of Type 2 Diabetes. Understanding this mechanism will hopefully provide researchers with new ways to diagnose and treat Type 2 Diabetes in the future.

If you or someone you know has a question about the way BOTOX® works and how it may help research the diagnosis and treatment of Type 2 diabetes,  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.