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. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Cataract Surgery Patient Story at NW Indiana Eye & Laser Center

Let me start off by saying that I don’t like going to doctors.  My vision was failing terribly so I decided to make an appointment.  I knew I had waited a very long time and kept putting it off.  Dr. Buck determined that I needed BOTH CATARACTS taken out.  With a lot of hesitation i scheduled the surgery and i am so happy that I did.  I can see things that I haven’t seen in years. Colors are brighter and I can finally play my weekly bridge game with confidence.  I am very happy with the quality of care I received from Dr. Buck and his staff.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

Diabetic Retinopathy Indicates Cardiovascular Event Risk

The presence and severity of diabetic retinopathy predicts the risk of future cardiovascular (CV) events such as stroke and heart attack.  In fact, there appears to be a close association! Researchers evaluated the relationship between diabetic retinopathy, its 4-year progression and CV outcomes including CV death or nonfatal myocardial infarction or stroke was analyzed in participants in the Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) Trial who also participated in the ACCORD Eye Study. The diabetic retinopathy was classified as either none, mild, moderate, or severe and whether it was worsening was also graded. The hazard of CV death or nonfatal myocardial infarction or stroke increased by 38% for every category of change in retinopathy severity and steps of progression further raised the hazard. Thus the researchers believe that both the severity of retinopathy and its progression are determinants of predisposition to CV outcomes.

If you or someone you know has a question about diabetic retinopathy and future risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke, 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, November 13, 2014

Monitor Diabetic Retinopathy Carefully after Weight Loss Surgery

Diabetic patients having weight loss surgery and who have diabetic retinopathy need to have their eyes monitored carefully after surgery to determine any progression of their diabetic retinopathy-even if their blood sugar is normal! What does weight loss surgery have to do with diabeticretinopathy?

Researchers reporting at the American Diabetes Association on a small pilot study found weight-loss surgery might accelerate progression of diabetic retinopathy in some cases. In the study, seven of the 40 or 17.5% of the diabetes patients screened about a year before and again after bariatric surgery suffered a progression of their diabetic retinopathy as compared with the 2% to 4% of the overall diabetes patients who develop retinopathy each year. The opposite impact might have been expected. If you have a condition such as diabetic retinopathy that is the result of the diabetes and the diabetes is in remission, it makes intuitive sense that the progression of the condition would be arrested. Although a few patients did appear to have regression of their eye disease most remained unchanged after surgery in the study. 

The patients who did progress had higher pre-surgical glucose levels and the greatest reduction in glucose levels afterward. A rapid reduction in blood glucose after the weight loss surgery-which is called “normoglycemic re-entry” or a temporary anemic episode after the weight loss surgery may actually be responsible for in the progression of preexisting diabetic retinopathy, but the mechanism is really unclear and requires a great deal of further investigation.

One fact for sure-even if after weight loss surgery your blood glucose is normal, people with moderate background diabetic retinopathy prior to weight loss surgery should be monitored closely post-surgery for evidence of progression.

If you or someone you know has a question about diabetic retinopathy progression after weight loss surgery and the need for eye exams to monitor diabetic retinopathy progression, 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, November 4, 2014

Eye Exams for Diabetic Problems Help Decrease Vision Loss

Having regular eye exams for diabeticeye problems is an important part of decreasing the risk of vision loss from diabetes. Diabetes affects more than 25 million people in the U.S. with some 8 million people ages 40 and older suffering from diabetic retinopathy- a leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. Although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease.

There is a dramatic spike in diabetic retinopathy cases which appears to be a consequence of the diabetes epidemic that we are experiencing in the U.S. The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time with Vascular Endothelial Growth Inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis® or Eyelea® and retinal laser treatment. The disturbing situation is that more than 30%of patients diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year. As part of Diabetic Eye DiseaseAwareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease.

Preventing Vision Loss from Diabetes
In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser to schedule an appointment for an eye exam.

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

Friday, October 31, 2014

Vitamins & Antioxidants Decrease Cataracts?

Vitamins and antioxidants may help decrease your risk of cataract as researchers have found that it may be possible that there is an association between your risk of cataracts and your intake and levels of of certain vitamins and antioxidants.

Researchers reporting their results in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition attempted to clarify some of the inconsistent reports regarding the association between blood antioxidants or vitamins and risk of age-related cataract by performing a Meta analysis of 13 different studies.
They found the lower the level of vitamin E, α-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, the greater the risk of age-related cataract in Asian populations but not in Western populations, whereas β-Carotene, lycopene, and β-cryptoxanthin had no significant association with risk of cataract. While these results look somewhat interesting, the question remains whether increasing intake through dietary supplements actually have any role in decreasing the risk of cataract formation.

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. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Use Decorative Halloween Contact Lenses with Caution

Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center advises patients to use decorative cosmetic contact lenses for Halloween with caution as the Food and Drug Administration, regulates all contact lenses as medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. Even someone with perfect vision would still require an eye exam and a prescription in order to wear any kind of contacts, including decorative cosmetic lenses for Halloween.

Beware Buying Halloween Decorative Contact Lenses
Some websites advertise decorative contacts as if they were fashion accessories or toys with fanciful, playful packaging in order to attract teens and young adults, especially girls. The problem is not that people use decorative, non corrective contact lenses, but that they buy the devices without a prescription through unlicensed vendors on the Internet or at flea markets and specialty shops.

Eye Health Problems with Halloween Decorative Contact Lenses
The eye health problems one can experience with cosmetic decorative contact lenses purchased over-the-counter contact lenses create a huge risk including corneal abrasions, “pink eye” conjunctivitis and even more serious types of corneal infection such as infectious keratitis with a corneal ulcer that can result in profound vision loss.

The safe and effective use of contact lenses-whether decorative or not-requires proper fitting and education about their care to prevent the potential for serious eye  problems from becoming a reality. If you or a friend would like to learn more about contact lenses of any type including decorative cosmetic contacts 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 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Diabetic Macular Edema Treatment Injections

Diabetic Macular Edema is a common cause of vision loss in diabetics suffering from the effects of diabetic retinopathy. We are fortunate to have a number of treatment options including injections of Vascular Endothelial Growth Inhibitor (VEGF) drugs such as Lucentis® & Eyelea® that are helpful to treat and reverse the effects of Diabetic Macular Edema.

Researchers reporting in the British Journal of Ophthalmology shared helpful information about the importance of the VEGF inhibitor injection frequency and duration in the treatment of diabetic macular edema. The study confirmed that patients need to be patient as their ophthalmologists plan and schedule their examinations, testing and visits as sometime the best results can only be achieved multiple injections over some period of time. In general good long term results are achieved by about 4 months of injection treatment, but 20% of patients with persistent Diabetic Macular Edema at 12 months achieved a dry macula with considerable restoration of vision with sustained treatment through 24 months suggesting that persistent Diabetic Macular Edema at 4-12 months should not be used as a stopping criterion for treatment.

If you or someone you know has a question about diabetic retinopathy including diabetic macular edema with Lucentis® or Eyelea® injections 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 to schedule an appointment.

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

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

LASIK Story: Plumbing & Motorcycles

I had LASIK done 2 months ago and I am so pleased with the results. I wore monovision contacts for years with success and was a little hesitant HAVING MONOVISION lasik done.  I am a plumber by day and ride motorcycles on the weekends so I needed my vision to be great for all of the different things I do.  Dr. Buck assured me that I would be a wonderful candidate for the procedure and could get me scheduled as soon as a couple of weeks.  So I made the appointments and took the plunge.  I was very confident in the care that i was given and it is so nice to be treated like your family every time you walk in the door.  I would tell anyone to have lasik done.  Don’t wait as long as I did!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Age of Fitting Contact Lenses & Success

We really enjoy fitting children of all ages with contact lenses at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser center. Sometimes parents wonder what the best age is to fit their children with contact lenses in order to give them the most successful and safest wearing experience. Researchers reporting in Eye & Contact Lens: Science and Clinical Practice  studied differences  in current symptoms, compliance, ocular health and adverse events between current successful long–term contact lens wearers fit as children or as teenagers. They found that successful contact lens wearers fit as children are no more likely to report previous contact lens–related adverse events, problems with compliance, decreased wearing time, or worse ocular health than those fit as teenagers and suggest that parents should not rely on age as a primary determinant in fitting children with contact lenses, but should rely on their eye doctor’s recommendations and evaluation of their child.

If you or someone you know has a the best age to fit children and kids with contacts lenses, 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 to schedule an appointment.

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Eat Fish to Decrease AMD Risk


Many patients entering their 50’s-and especially seniors-are curious about ways to lower their risk of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), as Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a common cause of vision loss in our aging population. Recently, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the disease may be associated with a high dietary fat intake. The results of their study found that eating fish, such as tuna, four times a week, may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The subjects of the study were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who did not have AMD at when the study commenced. After 12 years of follow-up, 567 people with a visual loss of 20/30 or worse were identified. Fat intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. The study found:
  • Those patients whose total dietary fat intake was in the highest quintile had over one and a half times the risk of AMD as those whose fat intake was in the lowest quintile,
  •  Linolenic acid consumption was directly associated with the risk of AMD,
  •  High intake of docosahexaenoic acid was associated with a modest reduction in the risk of AMD.
  •  Those who ate four or more servings of fish a week were at a 35% lower risk of AMD when compared to those who ate fewer than three servings of fish a week.

The researchers concluded that dietary fat intake was associated with an increased risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD) and that this may have been due to the presence of Linolenic acid in the fat. They added that a high intake of fish, a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid, may reduce this risk.

If you or someone you know has a family history of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) or wishes to learn more about how to decrease their risk of AMD by eating fish, 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 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Transitions® DriveWear®

DriveWear® Lenses are capable of sensing and reacting to varying light conditions both outside and behind the windshield of the car. From bright sunlight accompanied by intense, blinding glare, to overcast inclement conditions, DriveWear® Lenses provide the wearer with the appropriate visual solution.

DriveWear® Lenses provide glare protection through polarization and enhance and protect vision through photochromics which respond to both visible and UV light. By combining the strengths of two of the most important technologies in eyewear today, Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center is pleased to offer you the lens of tomorrow, DriveWear®.

If you or someone you know wishes to learn more about DriveWear®, 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 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Glaucoma Risk Increases with Early Menopause

Your risk of glaucoma may increase if you experience menopause at an early age. According to a study at the Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute in Amsterdam women who go through menopause early may be at risk of developing glaucoma. In a study of more than 3,000 women, those who went through a natural menopause before the age of 45 were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma as women who went through menopause at age 50 or older. The results indicate that female hormones may be protective against open-angle glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. Of interest is that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is thought to reduce fluid pressure inside the eye. Similarly, as hormone levels rise during pregnancy, fluid pressure inside the eye decreases significantly, the researchers noted. This is the first study to examine the relationship between female sex hormones, as indicated by age of menopause, and open-angle glaucoma.

If you or someone you know has a question about cataracts, cataractsurgery, 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. 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Bright Red Eye?

Patients sometimes call NorthwestIndiana Eye & Laser Center complaining of a “bright red eye” or “bleeding eye.” It seems to occur with a cough or a sneeze-or sometimes with some heavy lifting-or for no reason at all-and it doesn’t cause any discomfort or pain, blurry vision or discharge. What could it be? We will of course ask you to come in so we can evaluate the problem, but it is possible that it is a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

What is Subconjunctival Hemorrhage?
Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a benign disorder that is a common cause of acute eye redness or a “bright red eye.” The major risk factors include trauma and contact lens usage in younger patients, whereas among the elderly, systemic vascular diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis are more common. In patients in whom subconjunctival hemorrhage is recurrent or persistent, further evaluation, including a workup for systemic hypertension, bleeding disorders, systemic and ocular malignancies and drug side effects, is warranted.

If you or someone you know experiences a “bright red eye” please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & LaserCenter or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaser to schedule an appointment.

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

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Reduce Cataract Risk by Running or Walking

Great news for patients concerned about their cataract risk-you may be able to reduce your risk of developing cataracts with either moderate exercise such as walking or more vigorous exercise such as running according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports.

Previous studies had demonstrated that the risk of cataracts formation was found to be lower in runners over time. In this Berkeley study when the incidence of cataracts was adjusted for sex, race, age, education, smoking, and intakes of meat, fruit and alcohol, lower cataract risk was significantly associated with both running and walking with no significant difference in risk reduction between running and walking, or between men and women. Further, the cataract risk appears to decrease linearly with increasing exercise energy expenditure.

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 to schedule an appointment.

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

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Cataract Surgery Patients Live Longer

People with cataract related vision loss who have had cataract surgery to improve their sight are living longer than those with visual impairment who chose not to have the procedure, according to research published in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. In fact, the researchers found a 40 percent lower long-term mortality risk in those who had the cataract surgery

This research is from data gathered in the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a population-based study of vision and common eye diseases in an older Australian population. Adjustments were made for age and gender as well as a number of mortality risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, body mass index and measures of frailty and other disease. Follow-up visits took place after five and ten years since the baseline exam.

Previous research had indicated that older persons with visual impairment were likely to have greater mortality risk than their age peers with normal vision, and that cataract surgery might reduce this risk. These studies – unlike the Blue Mountains Eye Study – compared people who had undergone cataract surgery with those in the general population or with those who had not had cataract surgery, and did not link vision status to the surgical status.

The association between correction of cataract-related visual impairment and reduced mortality risk is not clearly understood, but plausible factors may include improvements in physical and emotional well-being, optimism, greater confidence associated with independent living after vision improvement, as well as greater ability to comply with prescription medications.

Cataract is a leading cause of treatable visual impairment that will affect more than half of all Americans by the time they are 80 years old. Cataract surgery to remove the opaque lens and replace it with an artificial lens implant is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S. today and is regarded as a very successful procedure of cataract treatment. Today, at Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center we provide cataract surgery in conjunction with advanced technology lens implants to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even the near vision focusing problems of aging to help patients be independent of eyeglasses after their cataract surgery.

If cataracts have made completing everyday tasks difficult, if you are having difficulty with night driving or feel your are not quite as mobile as you would like-cataract surgery should be discussed with Cataract Surgeon Scott Buck, M.D. to help determine the best course of action.

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. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Cataract Awareness Important for Seniors

Developing an awareness of cataracts and cataract symptoms is important for seniors as we observe that poor vision in seniors is often associated with premature or accelerated mental decline and creates challenges in terms of mobility and safety that can also put patients at increased risk for orthopedic injury-especially hip fracture. So, helping seniors restore vision with cataract surgery has an important place in securing senior health, well being, mobility, safety and mental state.

More than 20 million Americans age 40 and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans over 65 have some degree of cataract development. In fact cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss among seniors.

A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens of the eye preventing light rays from passing through it easily. This results in a clouding and blurring of vision. Patients should understand that cataracts are not a growth or a film over the eye. For many patients cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first. But, as the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision. The most common symptoms that bother patients with cataracts can include blurring of vision, sensitivity to light and glare, double vision in one eye, poor night vision, fading or yellowing of colors and frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions.

When cataracts begin to interfere with daily activities or with patient comfort, mobility and safety, they can be treated with cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries in the United States. Today, we have a full range of lens implants available that allow us to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even near vision problems after cataract surgery, as well as distance vision, without requiring bifocals or reading glasses for the vast majority of patients.

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 to schedule an appointment.

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

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Patient Understanding of Diabetic Retinopathy Limited

Patient understanding of diabeticretinopathy is rather limited according to a recent study exploring patients’ knowledge of the risk factors, cause and controllability of their own diabetic retinopathy. The study revealed considerable misunderstanding, gaps in knowledge and potentially damaging beliefs about the cause and treatment of diabeticretinopathy.


Focus groups and interviews were conducted with 57 patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), nearly half of whom had severe proliferative DR-a serious complication. Most of these patients had also undergone laser treatment. At the conclusion of the study, patients were found to have had a reasonable understanding of the basic risk factors for DR, such as diabetes control, but they were less clear about specific risk factors such as blood pressure and lipid control. Most patients attributed their DR either to poor diabetes control or to failings of the health care system, rather than having a basic understanding of the small blood vessel disease including circulatory and oxygen deprivation that results from the damaged blood vessels in the retina. Some patients believed that their DR was a result of health aspects beyond their control or environmental factors, whereas others were unsure about the cause.

Improving patients' understanding of the major risk factors for DR as well as helping them have a better understanding of the causes of diabetic retinopathy and being able to grasp expectations of realistic outcomes of laser treatment may improve patients' coping mechanisms, adaption to disease and ocular outcomes.

If you or someone you know has a question about diabetic retinopathy, 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 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.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vascular Disease Makes Glaucoma Treatment Difficult

The presence of or the family history of certain vascular disease can make the treatment of Normal Tension Glaucoma more difficult. Normal Tension Glaucoma is a less frequently found-but important type of glaucoma-that is characterized by patients having “normal” intraocular pressure but still experiencing eye damage such as loss of their visual field or “side vision” and optic nerve damage.

Researchers at the World Glaucoma Congress reported that certain patients who suffer from Normal Tension Glaucoma who also have vascular disease or even a predisposition to vascular disease such as a family history of stroke, the presence of cardiovascular disease or migraine may not be as easy to treat in avoiding the progression of Normal Tension Glaucoma. In fact, these factors related to vascular disease may indicate less effectiveness of eye pressure (IOP) treatment putting patients at greater risk. The the Collaborative Normal Tension Glaucoma Study is the landmark study for guiding treatment-in which 65% of patients in the untreated group of that study never showed any progression during 7 years of follow-up. But, for those at greater risk due to some other vascular disease we have to be diligent in our examinations and testing to help preserve eye health and vision.

If you or someone you know has vascular disease or is concerned about their risk of glaucoma, please call Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center at 219-464-8223, or visit Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center or facebook.com/nwindianaeyeandlaserNorthwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center offices are located at 522 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354. 

Monday, May 5, 2014

LASIK Vision Quality Better than Ortho-K Contacts

The quality of vision after LASIK is better than that provided by Ortho-K contact lenses. LASIK is a type of laser eye surgery that provides a method of vision correction to help people with common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism see clearly at distance without being dependent on glasses or contact lenses. Ortho-K or Orthokeratology is a method of contact lens fitting used to temporarily reshape the cornea to allow people to see at distance and be independent of eyeglasses and contacts for periods of time throughout the day.

Recently researchers reporting in the journal Cornea compared the differences in visual performance between Ortho-K contact lenses and LASIK for the treatment of low-to-moderate myopia nearsightedness. The results in this study suggest that LASIK provides better vision quality outcomes than Ortho-K for the treatment of low-to-moderate myopia.

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

UV Protection Important for Eye Health & Vision

UV protection for your eyes and the delicate tissue around them is quite important for maintaining eye health and vision. While we all know not to spend too much time in the sun without sunscreen for our skin, sometimes we overlook the precautions needed to protect our eyes from the harmful effects of UV from the sun. Especially during summer months when we spend a great deal of time outdoors-walking, hiking, swimming-going to the beach-and just enjoying our community, we need to be reminded to use proper UV eye protection.

UV Protection & Eye Health
Ultraviolet light (UV) can cause significant damage to eye health and vision. Exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems and in some instances is thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as cataract, age related macular degeneration (AMD), certain cancers on the delicate skin around the eye, Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even Photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea.

There are common sense precautions one can take to avoid UV damage:
  • Always wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses without UV protection may shade the eyes but actually cause the pupils to dilate, allowing in even more harmful rays.
  • Wear a brimmed hat along with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Choose wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes.
  • Be aware that although some contact lenses may offer UV protection, they cannot protect the entire eye and the skin around it.
  • Choose sunglasses made of unbreakable polycarbonate, especially for children and for those who lead active lifestyles.
  • Be sure to ask your doctor about the photosensitizing side effects of any medications that you might take.
  • Always wear eye protection when using a tanning bed. According the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tanning beds can produce UV levels up to 100 times more than the sun, which can cause serious damage to the external and internal structures of the eye and eyelids.

Today we have wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses available to choose from. Eye protection from UV needs to be complete but doesn’t have to be overly expensive. High quality sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also important to have UV protection in everyday eyewear, which is readily available with a number of UV blocking eyeglass lens materials, specialized coatings and photochromic lenses.

Patients visiting Northwest Indiana Eye & Laser Center can speak with our staff who will be able to provide the proper counseling and fitting of UV protecting lenses and eyewear. These eye care professionals can offer a wide variety of UV blocking lenses, coatings and color changing lenses to keep you safe.

If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about ultraviolet (UV) eye damage and injury and how to select protective eyewear 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, April 22, 2014

Should You Have Genetic Testing for Macular Degeneration?

With the availability of genetic testing for many diseases, a question patients are beginning to ask is whether they should have genetic testing for Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). While the presence of specific genes may indicate a increased for age related macular degeneration, according to researchers commenting in the January 2013 publication Ophthalmology routine genetic testing to predict the development of age related macular degeneration (AMD) does not really predict how a person would respond to Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Inhibitor injections and thus the genetic testing is not recommended. Further, the downside of routine genetic testing at present is that it can cause unnecessary anxiety, it can leave patients with promises that are not fulfilled and it may impact insurability and employability.

If you or someone you know has a question about genetic testing for Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), 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, April 8, 2014

Athletes Need to Prevent Sports Eye Injury

Regardless of the sport being played, athletes need to use caution and wear protective eyewear in order to avoid sports eye injury. Tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The range of eye injuries can include corneal abrasions, eyelid bruises, retinal detachment and even internal eye bleeding. The most serious risks can result in permanent vision loss along with significant disability. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear.  

The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Patients should be reassured that wearing properly fitted protective eyewear will not harm their performance and it may well save your eye health and vision Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection. Athletes need to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour.

If you or someone you know has questions or would like help in selecting, fitting or choosing sports protective eyeglasses, 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, is located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Hypertensive Retinopathy Predicts Stroke Risk

During your regular eye exam we thoroughly and carefully exam the tiny blood vessels in your Retina-especially for seniors and others who have high blood pressure, other vascular disease and diabetes. For patients with hypertension or high blood one of very important things we can tell from your eye health is you potential risk of stroke. In the past assessment of the signs of hypertensive retinopathy-the retinal vascular condition that results from high blood pressure-has been recommended for determining end organ damage such as kidney and heart problems.

According to researchers reporting in the journal Hypertension there is a clear predictive value of evaluating whether hypertensive retinopathy predicts the long-term risk of stroke in those with hypertension.  In this study, participants with hypertension aged 50 to 73 years had gradable retinal photographs, no history of diabetes mellitus, stroke, and coronary heart disease at baseline and data on incident stroke, were included from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Retinal photographs were assessed for hypertensive retinopathy signs and classified as none, mild, and moderate/severe. Any history of stroke, cerebral infarction or hemorrhagic stroke were identified and confirmed. The results showed that after adjusting for age, sex, blood pressure and other risk factors, persons with moderate hypertensive retinopathy were more likely to have stroke. Even in patients with hypertension on medication with good control of blood pressure, hypertensive retinopathy was related to an increased risk of stroke!

From this study we know that hypertensive retinopathy predicts the long term risk of stroke, independent of blood pressure, even in treated patients with hypertension with good hypertension control. Thus, if you have high blood pressure, it is often important for us to obtain r photographs at your eye examination in order to document and assess hypertensive retinopathy signs that may be useful for assessment of your stroke risk.

If you or someone you know has a question about hypertensive retinopathy, high blood pressure or hypertension eye problems and your risk of stroke, 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, is located at 502 Marquette Street, Valparaiso, Indiana 46383 and 1001 South Edgewood Drive, Knox, Indiana 46354.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Laser Treatments for Glaucoma

Glaucoma is most often treated with eye drops, but today we know that laser treatment for glaucoma is regarded as a safe and effective treatment for glaucoma and may be considered as first-line therapy in early to moderate-stage open-angle glaucoma when eye pressure or IOP is less than 35 mm Hg. Recent research presented at the World Glaucoma Congress also indicated that the SLT Laser may also be useful for glaucoma induced by the use of steroids and the ALT and SLT Laser may be useful in treating pigmentary glaucoma. But, we know that laser treatments for glaucoma are not a cure and that meticulous follow up and monitoring is necessary to ensure that patients continue to do well over time in order to preserve eye health and vision.

If you or someone you know has a question or wishes to learn more about glaucoma treatment options 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 to schedule an eye exam and glaucoma evaluation.

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

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sleep Apnea Increases Glaucoma Risk

You might be surprised to learn that sleep apnea can increase your risk of developing glaucoma and sleep apnea is actually a risk factor for glaucoma! What do sleep apnea and your risk of developing glaucoma have in common? Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that blocks breathing during sleep for more than 100 million people worldwide. In obstructive sleep apnea, the airway becomes blocked, causing breathing to stop for up to two minutes. Symptoms include loud snoring and persistent daytime sleepiness. Glaucoma affects nearly 60 million worldwide.  If untreated, glaucoma reduces peripheral vision and eventually may cause blindness by damaging the Optic Nerve.

Researchers, reporting in the journal Ophthalmology, the official publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that obstructive sleep apnea is not simply a marker for poor health, but is actually an independent risk factor for open-angle glaucoma. The relationship between the two conditions is significant, given the large numbers of people worldwide who suffer from them. Based on this finding, we want to alert obstructive sleep apnea patients of the associations between obstructive sleep apnea and open-angle glaucoma to raise the issue and encouraging treatment of those who need it.

If you or someone you know has a question about sleep apnea and your risk of glaucoma, 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, March 3, 2014

Cataract Risk Reduced with Running or Walking

Your risk of developing cataracts might be reduced with either moderate exercise such as walking or more vigorous exercise such as running according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports by researchers at the Life Sciences Division of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In previous studies the risk of cataracts formation was found to be lower in runners over time. In this Berkeley study when the incidence of cataracts was adjusted for sex, race, age, education, smoking, and intakes of meat, fruit and alcohol, lower cataract risk was significantly associated with both running and walking with no significant difference in risk reduction between running and walking, or between men and women. Further, the cataractrisk appears to decrease linearly with increasing exercise energy expenditure.

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.