Cataract & LASIK Blog NW Indiana Eye & Laser Center

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Prevent Nearsighted Progression

About Nearsighted Progression
Anyone who has a child or teenager who is becoming more and more nearsighted each year wants to know if there are ways we can prevent the progression of myopia. Over the years there has been discussion of trying to under correct the nearsightedness, rather than prescribing the full correction, in order to slow down nearsighted prescription changes. Researchers reporting in Grafe’s Archives for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology studied the effects of undercorrection of myopia on myopia progression and eye length elongation in a population of 12-year-olds. They followed more than 2,000 children for 1 year and used careful analysis to consider the effects of how much near work, how much outdoor activity and the amount of time glasses were actually used as well as the degree of nearsightedness. They tested them by measuring their cycloplegic auto refraction, axial length of the eye, visual acuity and near vision focusing lag. The results demonstrated that over a period of 1 year, prescribing an undercorrection or full correction of myopia by wearing spectacles did not show any differences in myopia progression. Whether this would be the same result for younger children, or if the correction was prescribed in contact lenses or over a longer period of time is not certain but initially suggests that it is not helpful to under correct nearsighted children with glasses to slow myopic progression.

If you or someone you know have questions about nearsightedness, types of correction for nearsightedness including glasses, contact lenses of even LASIK, please call us 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.

Eye Problems and Psoriasis

Psoriasis and Retinal Vein Occlusion
What does having psoriasis have to do with eye and retina problems? As it turns out having psoriasis is associated with a higher risk of developing an eye problem called Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO), a condition where one or more veins in the retina become blocked with a high risk of vision loss and many complications.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin.
It typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear on any location. Some people report that psoriasis is itchy, burns and stings. Psoriasis is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression. If you develop a rash that doesn't go away with an over-the-counter medication, you should consider contacting your doctor. Further, if indeed you are diagnosed with psoriasis, you should make sure to have regular eye exams and tell us that you have this condition.

If you or someone you know suffers from psoriasis, you should schedule regular eye exams and be sure to tell your eye doctor about your condition. 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, November 6, 2016

Cataract Surgery Lens Implants and Driving


Cataract Surgery, Lens Implants & Driving
People with cataracts often are unaware of the subtle changes in lifestyle and mobility that they adopt as they await the “right time” for cataract surgery. Almost always, people who have cataract surgery immediately feel an improved quality of life from the restored freedom of clear vision, especially for those who wish to continue to drive. A recent study also tells us that the choice of lens implant can play a role in restoring driving habits. When you schedule an appointment for a cataract evaluation or if you are visiting us for a cataract eye exam before surgery, please be sure to discuss and advise us of your driving habits and desires-especially night driving-so that we can counsel you on the different types of lens implants that we might use to help you return to a comfortable, convenient, safe and active driving pattern along with the other activities that the cataract might have limited for you.

If you or someone you know has a cataract or wishes to learn more about cataract surgery and lens implants especially as related to driving and mobility, please schedule a cataract eye exam 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

Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Cataract Surgery Experience

After finding out that I had cataracts I was happy to find out that my astigmatism would be able to be corrected. I had been wearing glasses since I was a kid and couldn’t wait to get rid of them. I scheduled the surgery and with in no time I was back at work without glasses. While I need reading glasses to see a magazine or book, I can see great for everything else!

If you or someone you know suffers from cloudy, blurry vision with night vision problems or fading of colors you should be checked for cataracts and learn more about cataract surgery and 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 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, October 16, 2016

Special Eye Exams Predict Diabetic Retinopathy Damage

 

Recently reported information in Retina Today from research conducted at the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute demonstrated that for people with diabetes who are showing evidence of diabetic retinopathy, it is of important predictive value for us to carefully evaluate lesions not simply the center of the retina, but more importantly those in the periphery of the retina, as these changes generally tell us that the disease will progress more rapidly. What we now know is that these peripheral lesions, which are not detected by traditional eye imaging, correlate very closely with the loss of retinal blood flow called retinal “non-perfusion” which tells us that there is damage to the small blood vessels or capillaries in the retina.

Thus, if you are diabetic and we are following you for retina changes and diabetic retinopathy we may recommend that we take both the routine retina photographs and fluorescein angiography of the central retina as well as the peripheral retina. If this extra measure of safety is required we will advise you of this extra step at the time of your diabetic eye exam.

Fortunately, with early detection, diagnosis and treatment the last decade or so has given us many major success stories for the treatment of diabetic eye disease, including diabetic macular edema (DME), with drugs that target a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). It’s possible that such anti-VEGF drugs might also help to treat peripheral lesions and slow or even eliminate the risk of progression.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, having regular eye exams and testing to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is an important part of your care. Please schedule a diabetic eye exam by calling Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser 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, October 9, 2016

Aging Eye Problems

About Aging Eyes
Aging eye problems are a fact of life for adults growing older just like wrinkles, slowing metabolism and graying hair. Eventually, your eyes are affected by age so it’s important to understand how your eyes change with age and what you can do to preserve your eye health and vision. Some aging eye changes and problems are expected and normal and others indicate the presence of eye diseases that need to be detected, diagnosed and treated or changes that need to be addressed to preserve vision. For these reasons having regular eye exams at the intervals recommended by your eye doctor is key-especially after the age of 40 years old.

About Aging Eye Problems

Presbyopia
Beginning in the late 30s and early 40s, the crystalline lens in your eye loses flexibility, making it difficult to focus and read up close. Your “arms seem “too short.” This condition is called presbyopia, which literally means "aging eye", and is most often treated with reading glasses, progressive lenses or bifocals depending on how you need to use your eyes for various tasks throughout the day, for work or recreation.

Dry Eye
Dry eye often develops with age and is a common problem for women during pregnancy and menopause. These hormonal changes cause changes in the eye’s tear production. Certain medications can also cause dry eye. If you have dry eye, you may be prone to an eyelid irritation called blepharitis, a common cause of irritation or swelling of the eyelids. The cause of your dry eye-either too few tears being produced or too rapid evaporation of tears will need to be diagnosed and then your eye doctor can prescribe a range of treatments including eye drops that add artificial tears, prescription eye drops that help you make more of your own tears called Restasis®, tiny punctal plugs to help you retain more of your own tears, anti-inflammatory eye drops and many other treatment options to get you help for dry eye symptoms and discomfort.

Diabetic Retinopathy
People in their 50s, 60s and 70s with diabetes are most at risk for this disease. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels inside the retina swell, leak fluid or close off completely due to damage from elevated blood sugar levels. But, you can take steps to prevent diabetic retinopathy with tight control of blood sugar, low fat diets, regular exercise and controlling blood pressure levels. It is also critical to see your eye doctor regularly for diabetic eye exams as with early detection, diagnosis and treatment the vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be slowed and often prevented.

Cataracts
Cataracts are very common in older people. As you age, proteins in your crystalline lens begin to clump together and cause the lens to be cloudy. This is the development of a cataract where the lens has become less transparent, causing blurry, cloudy or dim vision and increased glare and haloes around lights. Many people with the condition describe it as similar to looking out of dirty windshield. Cataracts can interfere with daily activities like driving at night and distinguishing colors. While treatment of early cataracts with changes in eyeglass prescription may provide some benefit, the only really effective treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery where the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a permanent artificial lens implant which can correct the cataract as well as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even presbyopia.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that damages the fibers that transmit visual information to the brain. This damage often leads to loss of side vision or peripheral vision. If left untreated, glaucoma will certainly lead to progressive vision loss and ultimately total blindness. Glaucoma is most common in people age 55 and older. One of the problems with glaucoma, especially the most common type of glaucoma, called chronic open-angle glaucoma, is that there are typically no symptoms in the early stages. Many people who have the disease do not know they have it. This is why it is important, especially as you get older, to have regular medical eye exams at intervals that depend on your risk factors-such as smoking, sleep apnea, age, diabetes, high blood pressure, early menopause-as recommended by your eye doctor.

Floaters and Flashes
As people grow older, the gel, called the Vitreous-that fills the inside their eye starts to shrink, forming clumps, liquid or strands. These strands and clumps can appear as “floaters” that appear as small specks or lines moving in your field of vision. As it shrinks, the gel can also pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing you to see “flashes” which appear as flashing lights or lightning streaks in your vision. While this is normally harmless, in some cases it can lead to retinal detachment and cause serious vision loss and even blindness. If you experience new floaters and flashes, it’s important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible, especially if you are over age 45, are nearsighted or have had eye injuries in the past.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is a senior eye problem that affects the central vision, limiting a person’s ability to read and recognize faces. This can be caused by a thinning and deterioration of the macula which is the center of the retina or by the growth of abnormal blood vessels under the retina. AMD can lead to blindness if not treated and it continues to be the leading cause of blindness in Americans over 65. Fortunately with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, vision loss from AMD is preventable or at least manageable so that we can reduce vision loss and in many cases, recover vision.

If you or someone you know is concerned about ageing eye problems such as presbyopia, dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts 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, October 5, 2016

Glaucoma Acupuncture Treatment


Acupuncture for Glaucoma?

With so many advances in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma, could it be possible that acupuncture could be a beneficial treatment option for glaucoma patients? Researchers reporting in the American Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated whether the use of acupuncture was an effective treatment for primary open angle glaucoma-the most common type of glaucoma that we diagnose and treat. The researchers carefully considered the effect of acupuncture on intraocular pressure (IOP), best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), visual field testing and using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), the health and integrity of the nerve fiber layer around the Optic Disc-all important criteria we use for diagnosing and managing glaucoma. Their study showed that acupuncture has no overall effect on changes in IOP throughout the day and that IOP actually increases immediately after an acupuncture treatment. Further, they found no effect on best uncorrected visual acuity, OCT or visual field tests and thus concluded that acupuncture may offer other health benefits but was not an effective treatment option for glaucoma.


If you or someone you know would like to learn more about diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma or needs a glaucoma eye exam and testing please call us 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.