Cataract & LASIK Blog NW Indiana Eye & Laser Center

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Laser Toy Eye Injury in Children

Inexpensive and extremely powerful lasers that are incorporated in toys are now available for purchase on the Internet. Laser pointers used for presentations or as toys typically have outputs of 5 milliwatts (mW) or less, usually in the red wavelength. These lasers are generally harmless to the human eye in short exposures. Ophthalmic lasers for treating diabetic retinopathy typically have a power output of 50 to 100 mW and come in a variety of wavelengths, depending on the clinical application. If misused, the lasers are capable of causing severe eye damage. Such lasers are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not available for public use. However, foreign companies sell lasers over the Internet that have outputs of up to 200 mW or more in dangerous green wavelengths.

These lasers can cause eye injuries plus confusion for eye doctors. Children who suffer eye damage from lasers may be misdiagnosed with genetic eye disorders and undergo expensive and unnecessary testing. It’s never advisable for children to play with lasers, but it’s especially worrisome that these devices are becoming more dangerous. The increased accessibility and stronger power of these devices most likely explains the sizable number of cases of eye damage in children being reported over the past two years.

If you or someone you know needs information or help with a laser toy eye injury in children
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, December 4, 2017

Driving Cataract Surgery Story

“My wife and I are snowbirds and drive to Florida every October and stay through April.  It was time for me to renew my driver’s license before we left on our yearly trip.  I went to the DMV and didn’t pass the vision test. I was very worried that we wouldn’t’ be able to make it to Florida.  I made an appointment and found out that I have cataracts.  I wanted to get scheduled as soon as possible so we could get it over with before our trip.  While I had to wait a little bit for a surgery date I was able to get the surgery taken care of before the snow hit here up north.  After both eyes were done and I was all healed I went to take my driving test and I passed the vision test with flying colors!  I was so ecstatic to know that we will make it to Florida safely this year.”

If you or some you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser for  Free LASIK Consultation.  

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

Sunday, November 26, 2017

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 an diabetic 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. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Diabetes & Unexpected Health Problems

Diabetic eye disease and eye problems are well known by most patients because their primary care physician and eye doctor tell them repeated about the need to for tight blood sugar control in order to prevent eye problems. But most patients with diabetes are unaware of some unexpected health problems that can be related to diabetes and can be easily overlooked.

Cognitive, Memory & Brain Function Decline
It is not uncommon for Type 2 Diabetics to experience diminished ability in memory recall and focus, as well as organizing, planning and completing tasks. Research shows that people with diabetes have abnormal blood flow to the brain, which affects function and activity. This explains why, with age, diabetics may experience slower mental performance. This is another reason why managing your diabetes  requires a proactive effort to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions for proper diet, exercise, medications, lifestyle and glucose levels, as well as scheduling regular follow up visits and keeping all appointments.

Hearing Loss
Did you know that diabetics are twice as likely to experience hearing loss as they age? The National Institutes of Health also reports that 30 percent of pre-diabetics, with higher-than-normal glucose levels, can experience hearing loss. The disease can affect the small blood vessels in the inner ear, causing impairment. Protect hearing by regularly monitoring blood sugar levels.

Gum & Periodontal Disease
Did you know that diabetics are more prone to developing periodontal disease, an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss? A study of 9,000 people at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health discovered that individuals with higher levels of periodontal disease were more likely to become diabetic within the next two decades, as compared to those without the disease. Periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, making it even more difficult to control diabetes. Be proactive and prevent oral health and gum problems by brushing twice daily, flossing once each day and using an antiseptic mouthwash daily.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea
About 50 percent of diabetics experience obstructive sleep apnea. People who are obese and have a collar size of more than 17 for men or 16 for women are more likely to suffer from apnea when they sleep. Researchers reporting in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine noted that people with severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea may have a 30 percent higher risk for developing diabetes. OSA is an increases risk factor for many eye problems including glaucoma.

While these are some unexpected diabetic health problems, the avoidance and management of diabetic retinopathy is critical. 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 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, November 6, 2017

Story from Florist about Cataracts

“For 20 years I have been a florist.  Day in and day out I deal with lots of different colors.  I started noticing over the course of a few months that things seemed very dark and dim.  I don’t wear glasses except just to read so I wasn’t sure it was a vision issue.  I made an appointment and found out that I had cataracts. I always thought that “old” people could only get cataracts.  I guess I was wrong! I had them removed by Dr. Buck and I am amazed at how bright everything is! Colors are bright and bold and I even think my floral arrangements look better!”

If you or some you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center, Google+ or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser for Free LASIK Consultation. 


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

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Stroke Recovery Takes Time

It is not uncommon for us to see patients who experience vision and eye problems from having suffered a stroke. These can often include double vision, loss of peripheral vision and even loss of sections of their visual field which can affect safe comfortable mobility, and sometimes just reduced vision. It is important, and we tell patients, that recovering from a stroke doesn’t end with the first weeks of acute care and the period of functional rehabilitation that follows. Negative effects of a stroke can present themselves well past the initial event. In healthy older adults, exercise training and a social network that allows both intellectual and social engagement have been shown to be effective measures for helping recovery from a stroke. Using your eyes and vision may be fatiguing even for normal recreational activities but is very important to recovery.

If you or someone you know has had a stroke and needs an eye exam we are happy to help. 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. 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Nutrition & Prevention of Eye Problems

Age Related Macular Degeneration, Dry Eye Syndrome and Cataracts are very common senior eye problems. While we rarely think about nutrition problems in the U.S., there is global information that tells us what CAN happen if we allow people to develop nutritional deficiencies and thus what types of supplements and vitamins might be helpful in preventing these eye problems According to research presented in the Journal of Clinical Dermatology on the role of vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants in age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome and cataract, there is useful information and it helps us advise our patients on a daily basis. When we look around the world, we find that visual impairment is a global epidemic. In developing countries, nutritional deficiency and cataracts continue to be the leading cause of blindness, whereas age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are the leading causes in developed nations. The World Health Organization has instituted VISION 2020: "The Right to Sight" as a global mission to put an end to worldwide blindness. In industrialized societies, patients, physicians, researchers, nutritionists, and biochemists have been looking toward vitamins and nutrients to prevent AMD, cataracts, and dry eye syndrome (DES).

We know that nutrients from the AREDS2 -lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, EPA and DHA as set forth by the National Institutes of Health remain the most proven nutritional therapy for reducing the rate of advanced AMD. We also know that Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, have been found to improve dry eye syndrome in randomized clinical trials. Finally we know that there continue to be conflicting results with regard to multivitamin supplementation on the prevention of cataract.

When you visit us for your regular eye exam, we may very well ask you about your nutrition and what vitamins and supplements you already take. If you are in a risk group for AMD or have complaints about dry eye symptoms we may also recommend supplements or vitamins to help you. 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.