Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome can affect vision.

Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is one of the most preventable causes of mental retardation in children. One third to on half of children born to alcoholic mothers show signs of fetal alcohol syndrome. It is estimated that the incidence is somewhere around three per 1,000 people.

FAS can affect the eyes causing severe vision development issues. Sometimes refractive error such as myopia or hyperopia can lead to blurred vision. Glasses can correct problems caused by nearsightedness or farsightedness. However, incomplete development of the optic nerve can lead to permanent visual impairment. Other problems may include malformations of the cornea or the iris. Up to half of children with FAS manifest Strabismus (eye turn). Other possible problems include cataracts and nystagmus (involuntary eye movement). Ptosis (saggy eyelids) is also a common sign seen in children with FAS.

FAS is a serious problem that can cause permanent damage to a child's eyes.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I am a little troubled about something recently. I have been trying to use twitter. It seems like a good tool to me. Little blips that go into the tweeting community with the possibility of being heard by someone who finds my little microblog useful. How do you get your voice hear? There are so many bleeps and blips out there I'm not sure how useful information is picked up? If I had more followers perhaps. I have a friend who has surpassed 1000 followers. I find that amazing. I do pick up followers here and there but I will be old and gray before I reach  that point at the rate I am going.

Perhaps I just need to be more active in the tweetly dee community. I think it is a fun concept, if you want to be my tweep come join me, my user name is clrvue.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Stem cell cure for damaged eye.

Russell Turnbull lost vision in one of his eyes by having ammonia squirted in his eye. The article outlines the stem cell treatment and the potential for vision restoration using this procedure.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Lacrisert takes a different approach to dry eye.

Artificial tears are often used in the treatment of dry eye. A new product on the market may help those with moderate to severe dry eye. According to a recent study "significant reductions in the mean severity of dry eye symptoms also were seen, including discomfort (24.9% reduction), burning (34.9%), dryness (41.9%), grittiness (29%), sensitivity to light (18.9%), and stinging (28.5%)."

Lacrisert works differently than artificial tears. Artificial tears supplement existing tears while Lacrisert helps stabilize the tear film. It is meant to work for a full 24 hours. Many people who use the product may be able to reduce or eliminate their use of artificial tears to relieve their dry eye symptoms. One touted benefit is the once per day application, decreasing the need to constantly insert drops. On the other hand 8% reported having blurred vision.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The world is becoming more blurry.

A recent population study by the National Institute of Health found that myopia (nearsightedness) has increased from 25% in 1971 to 41% in 1990-2004.

There are a number of reasons that this could be occurring. One thought is that increased near work and reduced time outdoors can be a leading factor in the increase of myopia. Kids are spending much less time outside. They are growing up in front of the computer and television. School work is demanding and competitive, leading to more near work than has been required in years past.

One way to combat myopic progression is with orthokeratology (ortho-k). Recent studies have indicated that ortho-k can slow the lengthening of the eye that causes myopia. This can be important as myopia not only causes blur but can increase risk of glaucoma, retinal detachment and blindness.

Fortunately, ortho-k is safe for children and the technique is becoming more popular as the benefits, such as freedom from glasses and contacts and the health benefits are better understood.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Show us your flexibility.

Do you want a way to give yourself a Christmas present? Budget is tight but you need glasses? If you have a flex spending account or a cafeteria plant then make use of those dollars. When the year is up those dollars expire and the money you set aside for health care expenses go away. The best part of this plan is that you can use them for vision services. You know you're not going to get the swine flu in the next two weeks so endulge. Get those Juicy Couture glasses that you've been craving and treat yourself to a very merry Christmas. Treat yourself.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Amblyopia or Lazy Eye

Amblyopia, often referred to as a lazy eye is generally develops in young children, before the age of 6. It affects just two to three percent of the population but left untreated can have a large impact on learning and development.
What is Amblyopia? Amblyopia is when central vision fails to develop properly, usually in one eye. Strabismus or untreated refraction can be common causes of this problem.

If left untreated Ambyopia can cause functional blindness, which means the eye can still see but the brain has essentially turned off because of the blurry vision.

Signs of Amblyopia include:
-Overall poor visual acuity
-Squinting or completely closing one eye to see

What causes Amblyopia? A strong uncorrected refractive error (nearsightedness or farsightedness) or strabismus. Trauma to the eye can also cause Amblyopia at any age.
It is very important to find and treat as early as possible, before the brain completely shuts down vision to the affected eye.

Treatment for Amblyopia:
Children can be treated with vision therapy which may include patching one eye, atropine eye drops, prescription eyeglasses, or even surgery.

Amblyopia will not go away on its own, and as always is better treated sooner than later.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

20 years of laser eye surgery.

A small article reminds us the history behind LASIK. "The surgery first took place in 1989 and since, thousands of people have undertaken the procedure.

According to the Times, 100,000 people every year have eye laser surgery, proving the popularity of the operation."

Lasik has been a great procedure for many people. It can free you from glasses and contacts. It has that wow factor of instantly curing a lifetime of blurry vision. Still, it is not for everyone. For those who are nervous about surgery and the potential complications therein they could choose orthokeratology. It is non-surgical, non-permanent and safe for children.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Aspirin may not benefit AMD

From Medpagetoday: "Theoretical benefits of regular aspirin use in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) failed to pan out in a review of data from a large cohort study of female health professionals." After 10 years of study there was not a significant difference in the incidence of AMD in those who took daily aspirin vs. the placebo group.

There may still be benefits with the more aggressive form of AMD but that has yet to be determined. Though aspirin may not reduce the risk of AMD, there are supplemental vitamins that can help reduce the risk. Vitamins A,C,E and Lutein are known to help prevent the progression of macular degeneration.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How to know if you have cataracts.

(HealthDay News) -- Cataracts are an eye condition characterized by a cloudiness of the eye's lens. They usually develop slowly as a person gets older.

The U.S. National Library of Medicine offers this list of cataract symptoms:

  • Vision that appears foggy or cloudy; as if there's a film over the eye.
  • Inability to see colors as vividly as before.
  • Seeing double.
  • Problems seeing well at night.
  • Seeing an aura or halo surrounding lights.
  • Increased sensitivity to glaring lights.
  • Difficulty in differentiating shapes or similar colors.

If you do have cataracts, don't panic. They are very common and easy to treat. I've had cataract surgery and it took about 15 minutes. There are several surgeons in town who do a great job with it.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Stem cell treatment for the eyes

US researchers have filed a request to conduct human trials for the treatment of Stargardt disease. Stargardts is a common form of blindness in children.
According to animal tests, stem cell treatment, consisting a single injection of stem cells, prevented further vision loss without adverse side effects. It works by replacing retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPE) which are a vital part of the retinal tissue that collects the light needed for functional vision."If you start to lose these RPE, the environment for the photoreceptors degenerates," Lanza said (on of the researchers)."By putting these RPEs back in you can prevent the loss of these photoreceptors and prevent blindness."

Trials could begin as early as next year.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

LASIK may not harm the corneal endothelium

In a small study, researchers investigated the effects of Laser ablation on the corneal endothelium. This means that surgeons could use donor corneas that have had LASIK in the past.This is a significant finding given the many eyes that have received laser refractive surgery.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Routine blood test may identify those at risk of diabetic retinopathy.

A study of the levels of hemoglobin levels may show increased risk of proliferative-retinopathy for those with jevenile-onset diabetes. "This is the first study, to our knowledge, to show high hemoglobin levels to be predictive of the long-term incidence of proliferative diabetic retinopathy," the researchers wrote in the November issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.

According to the study, hemoglobin levels and diastolic pressure were the only predictive factors of retinopathy. They said their findings on high hemoglobin levels and retinopathy "may have important clinical relevance, as they may both identify new pathogenetic pathways to proliferative diabetic retinopathy and influence clinical treatment."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Study indicates Macular Degeneration doesn't get worse with Caract surgery.

Until now it is commonly held that cataract surgery can speed the development of macular degeneration (AMD). A new study, however, indicates that this may be more linked to age than to each other.

"Because both conditions are strongly age-related, many individuals with cataract also have AMD," wrote Li Ming Dong, of Stony Brook University School of Medicine in New York, and colleagues. "There has been a long-standing controversy among clinicians as to whether cataract surgery is contraindicated in eyes with non-neovascular AMD. A major concern has been whether cataract surgery increases the risk of progression to neovascular AMD (an advanced form of the disease involving formation of new blood vessels) in eyes at risk of progression such as those with intermediate AMD."

 "Our findings suggest that previous reports of the association or progression of non-neovascular AMD to advanced AMD after cataract surgery could be biased," the researchers wrote. They concluded that their findings do not support the hypothesis that cataract surgery contributes to the progression of AMD.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fresh air fund provides summer vacations for kids who need it.

From what I'm told, Fresh Air Fund was able to help campers with their vision by partnering with ONESIGHT. I thought I'd give them a little publicity at their request.

THE FRESH AIR FUND, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer vacations to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. Nearly 10,000 New York City children enjoy free Fresh Air Fund programs annually. In 2009, close to 5,000 children visited volunteer host families in suburbs and small town communities across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada. 3,000 children also attended five Fresh Air camps on a 2,300-acre site in Fishkill, New York. The Fund’s year-round camping program serves an additional 2,000 young people each year.

Fresh Air Fund History

In 1877, the Reverend Willard Parsons, minister of a small rural parish in Sherman, Pennsylvania, asked members of his congregation to provide country vacations as volunteer host families for children from New York City tenements. This was the beginning of The Fresh Air Fund tradition of caring for NYC’s neediest children.

The simplicity of our program is its strength. Looking back to 1877, we can reflect on how much has changed, and how much has stayed the same. In 2009, close to 5,000 New York City children experienced the joys of summertime in Friendly Towns and at five Fund camps in upstate New York.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Costume contacts can be dangerous

KESQ reports on the dangers of decorative contacts for your costume. These contacts may be a great addition to your costume and Clear View can prescribe you decorative contacts such as Wild Eyes. The article warns however that it can be hazardous without the supervision of a qualified optometric physician.

"You leave yourself absolutely open to eye infections, possibly permanent scarring on your cornea that could decrease your vision forever," says Optometrist Don Adkins with Actavision in Indian Wells. According to current FDA law, all contact lenses, including the ones only used for decorative purposes, are considered medical devices and are require a prescription.

This is an important step because of the risks involved. Eye infections and permanent vision loss are a concern if these contact lenses are not prescribed under the care of an optometrist. Decorative contacts can be the perfect addition to your outfit. The important thing is to be cautious and follow the instructions your doctor gives you when you receive your prescription. Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Myopia may lower risk of Diabetic eye disease.

MedpageToday reports that nearsightedness may be related to reduced risk of diabetic retinopathy. According to Lurence S. Lim, MD, who reported at a recent Ophthalmology meeting, the more myopic the eye, the lower the risk of any type of diabetic retinopathy. They suspect the larger shape of myopic eyes may be protective against diabetes. "As the eye gets longer, the retina gets stretched out and can atrophy. While this would cause vision problems under other circumstances, atrophy lowers the metabolic needs of the retina -- a plus under diabetic conditions with reduced blood flow supplying oxygen to the retina," says Dr. Lim.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Debunking eye myths

BC news reports on eye myths. The article debunks 11 common eye myths. Here's a short summary of the myths discussed in this article.

Myth: Squinting a lot damages your vision.
The truth is squinting may mean you need glasses but it will not increase your need for spectacle correction.

Myth: Reading in poor light will harm your vision.
It may be harder to read in dim light but is is no worse than taking a picture in dim light damages a camera.

Myth: Sitting too close to the TV is bad for you eyes.
Sitting close to your computer may contribute to dry eyes which can cause temporary problems but not permanent damage.

Myth: We will have the same eye problems as our parents.
Many vision problems have a genetic component but that only increases your risk. It does not guarantee the same problems.

Myth: There's nothing you can do about your vision getting worse as you get older.
Though cataracts is a part of the aging process there are many things you can do about preventing cataracts such as a balanced diet or avoiding cigarettes. 

Myth: Eating carrots will improve your vision.
Vitamin A deficiency may cause a decrease in vision but such is rare in the United States. If you have  enough vitamin A in your system then eating more carrots will not enhance your vision.

Myth: Eye exercised can improve your vision.
Eye exercises to eliminate glasses or prevent presbyopia (short arm syndrome) have no merit. However, vision therapy, a series of exercises design to help focusing or eye alignment issues have shown great success. Clear View can help determine if vision therapy is beneficial for your child.

Myth: Using glasses over a long period of time will cause vision to deteriorate, causing dependence on glasses.
Wearing glasses constantly does not change your eye to create a dependence on them. Nevertheless, enjoying clear vision may become so enjoyable  that you do want to wear your glasses constantly.

Myth: Not wearing your glasses will cause your vision to get worse, faster.
It  may cause eye strain but it will not change your prescription.

Myth: Children will outgrow a crossed eye without intervention.
Children who have crossed eyes should see the eye doctor. Many of the causes of a crossed eye or strabismus can be treated and are best treated as early as possible. Effects on vision development are drastic and better handled when diagnosed at an early age.

Myth: It's OK to skip my child's first eye exam if they don't seem to have any problems
There are many vision problems in children that are not easily identified without a qualified physician. For instance amblyopia, where one eye doesn't see as well, can be masked by the fact that we have two eyes to work with. A proper evaluation at 9 months and again at 3 and 5 years are essential to intervening to identify issues that can be vision threatening or worse.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Visual field testing may indicate a variant of Alzheimer's

MedPage Today (10/26, Phend) reported that "when vision centers in the brain fall prey to an uncommon type of Alzheimer's disease, the early symptoms that stump a standard eye exam can be caught with a few simple tests," according to a study presented at an ophthalmology meeting. Researchers found that "one-sided defects on visual field testing were a giveaway in 80 percent of cases with the visual variant of Alzheimer's disease." MedPage added, "In the 10-patient case series they presented...a quick in-office assessment of higher cortical functioning was useful, as well."

Monday, October 26, 2009

I-pod giveway ends on Friday. Call us for an eye exam if you want to qualify. 674-3502

Protect your child's vision.

The following was an excerpt from a recent article at Review of Optometry:

Some fundamental concepts about vision make it truly unique. One such fundamental is that vision is a learned skill that develops over time. Unlike hearing, which is fully developed at birth, vision is rudimentary. When born, babies are routinely given an auditory evoked potential test, which is effective at detecting hearing loss. Vision can be tested at this time, but a visual evoked potential test cannot detect all vision problems.

The visual system undergoes profound developmental changes in the first years of life—especially during infancy and toddlerhood. Therefore, early diagnosis and treatment of visual problems can improve motor, cognitive and social development.1

Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States and the most prevalent handicapping condition in children.2 As many as 2% to 5% of preschool children—nearly four million children nationwide—are estimated to have impaired vision.3

A report by the National Eye Institute indicates that visual impairment in children is associated with developmental delays and the need for special educational, vocational and social services into adulthood.4 Of the 20 million children in America under age five, only 14% have had an eye exam. So, nearly 18 million children have not received an eye exam before entering school.5

Optometrists can take a proactive approach in addressing this alarming statistic. One of the newest avenues to provide infant examinations is the InfantSEE program. Managed by Optometry’s Charity—The AOA Foundation, InfantSEE is a program through which optometrists provide eye examinations for babies during their first year of life—a critical time when any findings may be treated proactively. The program is designed for babies between six and 12 months of age. Nine months is the ideal age to examine an infant. By nine months of age, the child is easy to examine, cooperates well, and also has undergone significant visual developmental milestones.

All children, and babies in particular, give you a finite amount of time to examine them before their attention shifts to something else. The problem is that you don’t know how much time you have! So, the key is to move through the examination efficiently. Also, try to obtain as much information as quickly as possible. So, here are some tips that may help when you find a very young patient in your exam chair.
Nine months is an ideal age to have your child's eyes tested for the first time.
Vision disorders are the fourth most common disability in the United States and the most prevalent handicapping condition in children.
5 days left to secure ur chances at winning an ipod. If u meed an eye exam call today. 674 3502

Sunday, October 25, 2009

If a bunch of cats jump on top of each other is it still called a dog pile?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

When u buy glasses at Clear View we'll give u 1/2 off the second pair.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Going through a deposition is a most unpleasant experience.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The new Tura frames came in today. New hotness.
Fish oil is a good supplement to help with dry eyes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

If you get allergies, Zatidor is a good otc eye drop.
Orthokeratology can keep your kids from being legally blind when they are adults through myopia control.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Control your prescription with contacts

The UK's Daily Mail (10/20, Hodgekiss) reports that children who wear overnight lenses, which "work by gently pressing on the cornea, reducing its curvature," may experience "far less sight deterioration than those who'd worn regular contact lenses." The Mail notes that US researchers are two years into a study, known as SMART, to test the overnight lenses in children. "Around 300 children aged eight to 14 are taking part in the five-year study," and after the first year, "the children in the overnight lens group had no prescription change; in the control group the average increase was 0.4 diopters."

Monday, October 19, 2009

FDA studies potential LASIK problems

The Los Angeles Times (10/19, Healy) reports that the FDA, the Defense Department, and the National Eye Institute "announced last week that they are launching a three-year effort to gauge how many, and which, patients suffer troubling symptoms after undergoing" Lasik. "In the first phase of the FDA-led effort to measure Lasik's effects, the agency is drafting a Web-based survey of patients who have undergone the procedure." Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said that "the study likely will identify which patients are at higher risk of poor outcomes and 'could lead to a reduction' in those whose eye problems are made worse by the procedure." The FDA also "issued letters reminding 17 walk-in surgical centers performing Lasik surgery of their obligation to report poor outcomes and patients' surgery-related medical complaints."
States' healthcare experiences said to offer lessons for reform.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Be cautious with Halloween contacts

FRIDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- This Halloween, don't put anything in your eye unless it has been prescribed by an eye doctor.

That's the warning from the American Optometric Association (AOA), which is concerned about people wearing decorative contact lenses to enhance their costumes.

While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates decorative lenses as a medical device, some of these products are illegally marketed and distributed directly to consumers through the Internet, beauty salons and other sources. The AOA warns that only a proper medical evaluation from an eye doctor can determine whether someone is a candidate for contact lenses and that the lenses fit properly.

"Purchasing contact lenses without a prescription can result in serious eye health and vision damage, since consumers are not properly educated on cleaning and disinfecting, nor in proper removal and application of the contact lens," Dr. Paul Klein, chairman of the AOAs Contact Lens and Cornea Section, said in a news release from the organization. "Without a prescription and wearing instructions from an eye doctor, consumers who wear these contact lenses put themselves at risk of serious bacterial infection, or even significant damage to the eye's ability to function, with the potential for irreversible sight loss."

Risks associated with the use of decorative contact lenses include conjunctivitis, swelling, allergic reaction and corneal abrasion due to poor lens fit. This could result in several types of eye problems and vision impairments.

"Even though they carry no prescription and may be worn for short periods of time, decorative contact lenses carry the same risks as corrective contact lenses," Klein said. "Because of this, it's important for consumers utilizing these lenses to familiarize themselves with the information available from an eye doctor, so as to reduce the risk of infection."

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's important to find retinal detachments early

In the UK's Daily Mail (10/13), reporter Janette Marshall details her personal experience with a torn retina, the "first warning sign" of which "was a sudden onset of frequent flashes like cartoon lightning streaks," followed by numerous floating black spots. Eric Ezra, director of vitreoretinal surgery at Moorfields Eye Hospital, explains that "early diagnosis and treatment" of a torn retina "is essential." Without immediate treatment, "a torn retina can cause the entire retina to detach from the back of the eye, causing loss of sight," sometimes within "a matter of days or even few hours."

Monday, October 12, 2009

Electronic Medical Records are good for patients

In an op-ed in the San Jose Mercury News (10/11), Raj Bhandari, MD, and Terry L. Austen, of the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Medical Center, wrote that electronic medical records (EMRs) "improve the quality of care," giving "physicians, nurses, and technicians a patient's comprehensive medical history at the point of care," while increasing "efficiency and" containing "costs by reducing duplication and improving patient safety." EMRs can also allow patients to "use their home computers to increase convenience by making appointments online, ordering prescription refills that are delivered to their home, viewing their lab results through secure webpages, and emailing their physicians." Bhandari and Austen concluded, "Notes jotted on paper and placed in multiple files where doctors rarely see them are a remnant of a fragmented, inefficient model of medical care."

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

How to prevent pink eye.

(HealthDay News) -- Conjunctivitis, commonly called pinkeye, is a highly contagious infection.

The Nemours Foundation offers these suggestions to protect your child and help reduce pinkeye's spread:

* Teach your child to wash hands frequently, using soap and warm water.
* Tell your child to never share products such as eye makeup, washcloths, eye drops, pillowcases or towels.
* Limit exposure to allergens by keeping windows closed (when outdoor allergen levels are high) and vacuuming often.
* After you've cared for a child with pinkeye, wash your hands thoroughly, and discard anything used to clean the eyes.
* Carefully wash in very hot water, and separate from other washables, any towels or linens that the infected child used.

Friday, October 2, 2009

People with AMD may be at risk for heart disease

MedPage Today (10/1, Fiore) reported that, according to a study published online in Ophthalmology, "patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) have" a 50 percent "increased risk of coronary heart disease." Researchers from the Singapore National Eye Center "conducted a population-based cohort study of 1,786 patients who didn't have heart disease and 2,228 patients without stroke at baseline." Patients "were between the ages of 69 and 97." The investigators "found that those with early macular degeneration had a higher cumulative incidence of heart disease than those without (25.8 percent versus 18.9 percent)." Notably, "there was a significantly higher cumulative incidence of heart disease for those with specific signs of early macular degeneration -- soft drusen, hyperpigmentation, and RPE depigmentation."

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

New treatments for an 'old' eye disease.

SUNDAY, Sept. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Already a leading cause of vision loss among people older than 60, age-related macular degeneration is expected to skyrocket in numbers over the coming decades as the U.S. population grows older.

However, a series of new treatments now under study or in development should mean that eye specialists will be well-prepared to treat the coming surge of macular degeneration cases.

These include refinements of treatments that have proven effective against some forms of the disease as well as new therapies targeting forms of macular degeneration that have so far proven impossible to treat.

Age-related macular degeneration involves the breakdown of the macula, which is located in the retina and helps provide clear central vision. As the macula deteriorates, people see a blurred spot in the center of their vision that grows over time.

Macular degeneration comes in two forms, wet and dry. Current treatments for the wet form of the disease -- in which abnormal new blood vessels in the eye cause leakage and bleeding -- have proven quite successful. The wet form is more rare but can cause rapid vision loss if not caught early.

Researchers have discovered a combination therapy of vitamins and antioxidants that reduces the risk of progressive vision loss by more than 20 percent, said Dr. David W. Parke II, executive vice president and chief executive of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Other progress against the wet form of the disease has come through the use of drugs that target vascular endothelial growth factor, or VEGF, a substance in the body that promotes the growth of new blood vessels.

"We now have treatments where, when we catch people early in the course of the disease, the chance of vision loss is less than 10 percent over a two-year period," said George Williams, chairman of ophthalmology and director of the Eye Institute at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich. Those treatments also provide a 20 to 30 percent chance of significant vision improvement over the same period.

No effective treatments have been found for the dry form of macular degeneration, which causes less catastrophic vision loss but accounts for 85 percent of all macular degeneration cases, according to the U.S. National Eye Institute. The dry form occurs when the light-sensitive cells in the macula begin to slowly break down.

New advances in the treatment of the wet form involve further research into vitamin combinations that can help slow the progress of macular degeneration, Parke said. An ongoing trial is looking into whether diet or supplements can better improve a person's chances of retaining clear vision late in life.

"Around the world, there are culturally different rates of progression," Parke said. "The question becomes, how much of this is dietary?"

Research also has focused on the two drugs currently used to target VEGF, with a head-to-head study now looking into which of the two is more effective. "It's a very important trial, and I think all involved are looking forward to seeing if these drugs have a lot of differences," Parke said.

Other anti-VEGF drugs are in the pipeline, Williams said, and studies are testing ways to combine anti-VEGF medications with radiation or laser therapy to produce better results.

Cutting-edge research also may have found another way to tackle the wet form of macular degeneration. In the June 14 issue of Nature, doctors reported that blocking the activity of a specific protein can reduce the same blood vessel growth that leads to the wet form.

"We now have the opportunity to develop drugs that target this protein that may be safer and more effective than our current treatments," Parke said.

As far as the dry form of macular degeneration, eye experts are exploring ways that drugs used to treat other nerve-damaging diseases such as Alzheimer's might be able to help save people's eyesight, Williams said.

"We're fairly optimistic that within three to five years we'll have a treatment for the dry form of macular degeneration," he said. "We know what happens is the nerve cells that sense the light are dying off. The thought here is if we attack the process that makes them die, we can save the vision."

Monday, September 21, 2009

Eat your vegetables and wear sunglasses.

(Healthday News) -- If you're planning to retire to Florida or Arizona for health reasons, be sure to pack your sunglasses.

That's the message from a new study that found that older people with low levels of certain antioxidants present in many fruits and vegetables, and who are exposed to short-wavelength blue light from the sun, are more likely to develop certain types of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But the damage can start decades before you turn 65.

"We recommend that people use eye protection, including sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats, if going outside and especially in bright sunlight" and during the middle period of the day, said Astrid E. Fletcher, lead author of the study published in the October issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

"Our advice on nutrition," she added, "is that people should ensure that they follow the five-a-day recommendations. In particular, they should see that their diet includes leafy green vegetables, citrus fruit, vegetable oils and nuts, as these are good sources of the antioxidant vitamins of relevance to the retina."

Dr. Julie Belkin, an ophthalmologist with University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, said, "Sunglasses are recommended anyway, and most people who have a normal, balanced diet will get adequate levels of those antioxidants. But there are vitamin supplements if you have other risk factors or other eye findings that put you at risk."

While the authors of the new study found that the link between blue-light exposure and low antioxidant levels was stronger in middle age, compared to younger years, other experts said it's unclear when the damage takes place.

"We don't really know how many years it takes" for AMD to develop. "For some people, it could be a few years in the sun is bad, and for others, a few decades is bad," said Dr. Robert Cykiert, an associate professor of ophthalmology at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.

Previous studies had suggested that blue light may damage the retina and set eyes on the path to developing AMD, a leading cause of vision loss in Americans aged 60 and older.

Studies have also shown that antioxidant enzymes such as vitamins C and E, the carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), and zinc can protect against blue light. But no one had really looked at how blue light and antioxidants might interact to affect the risk for AMD.

After studying nearly 4,500 older Europeans (average age 73.2 years), the study authors, from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, found no overall association between blue-light exposure and neovascular (early) AMD.

However, blue light exposure was associated with neovascular AMD in 25 percent of the people with the lowest antioxidant levels.

"This is the first time they've looked at this in so many patients, but it makes sense from a physiological standpoint," said Dr. David M. Kleinman, an assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of Rochester Eye Institute. "In addition to there being some things we can't control, like genetic predisposition, really taking care of ourselves in a certain way will really help reduce vision loss from AMD."

That includes exercising and controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, added Kleinman, a retina specialist who studies macular degeneration.

A second study in the same issue of the journal found that, overall, visual impairment is more common in people with diabetes than in those without the disease.

The news is especially worrisome given the veritable epidemic of diabetes: In 2005, an estimated 14.6 million Americans had been diagnosed with diabetes, on top of 6.2 million undiagnosed individuals. The number of people with diagnosed diabetes in the United States is expected to reach almost 50 million by 2050.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes, but other eye problems can occur as well, including cataracts and glaucoma, according to the study by researchers at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Some 11 percent of U.S. adults with diabetes have some form of visual impairment, 3.8 percent uncorrectable and 7.2 percent correctable. Almost 6 percent of those without diabetes have some form of visual impairment, 1.4 percent uncorrectable and 4.5 percent correctable, the study found.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Eyelids are a common place for skin cancer

California's San Gabriel Valley Tribune (9/18, Jansen) reports that the eyelid "is one of the most common sites for skin cancer, accounting for as much as 10 percent of all skin cancers. Left untreated," cancers there "could lead to significant injury and even blindness." The Skin Cancer Foundation explained that "with their delicate structure and greater exposure to the sun, the eyes and surrounding areas are particularly prone to cancers," and people who have "fair skin, light eyes," or "who are older have an increased risk of skin cancer and eye diseases." The "most common" form of cancer of the eyelid is "basal cell carcinoma." To prevent eyelid cancer, people should wear sunscreen, wear wide-brimmed hats, and "wear sunglasses with 99-100 percent UV protection year-round."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tooth surgery restores sight.

USA Today (9/17, Marcus) reports that on Wednesday, physicians from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine announced that "they had performed a vision-restoring surgery that used" a "60-year-old patient's tooth" to restore her sight. Over the Labor Day weekend, physicians there performed surgery that allowed Sharron Thornton "to see for the first time in nine years." Following the surgery, Thornton "was able to see 20/60" instead of "only shadows," surgeon Victor Perez, MD, explained.
The Miami Herald (9/17, Tasker) reports that during the operation, "surgeons removed one of" Thornton's "teeth, drilled a hole in it, inserted a plastic lens into the hole, and implanted the tooth-lens combination into her eye." As a result of this procedure, "the first such operation in the United States," Thornton can now "recognize faces and read a newspaper with a magnifying glass." Her physicians say "she should get better vision once she is fully healed and fitted with glasses."
"The tooth and the lens were implanted under the patient's skin in the cheek or shoulder for two months so they could bond, then they were carefully implanted in the center of the eye after a series of procedures to prepare the socket," the AFP (9/17) reports. A statement from the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute explained, "A hole is made in the mucosa for the prosthetic lens, which protrudes slightly from the eye and enables light to re-enter the eye allowing the patient to see once again."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Triamcinolone may restore vision

HealthDay (9/15, Dotinga) reported that, according to a study published in the Sept. issue of the journal Ophthalmology, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison said "they've found the first long-term treatment for people who suffer vision loss when the large veins in their eyes become blocked." The group discovered that "injections into the eye of a corticosteroid" called triamcinolone "improved vision in patients."
Reuters (9/15, Stern) reports that central retinal vein occlusion is a common complication of diabetes, occurring when blood clots hamper or impede circulation in retinal tissue. Following age-related macular degeneration, it is the second most common cause of vision loss.
CQ HealthBeat (9/16, Reichard) reports, "After one year, treated patients were five times more likely to be able to experience a vision gain of three or more lines on a vision chart," which is "the equivalent of reading letters half as small as before treatment."

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Have you had your eyes checked lately?

SATURDAY, June 6 (HealthDay News) -- Though good vision is what allows the perception of the colors, shapes and sights of the world, Americans appear to be fairly lackadaisical when it comes to protecting their eye health, according to surveys done by U.S. eye groups.

People who wear eyeglasses or contact lenses constitute 81 percent of the population, according to a survey done by the American Optometric Association.

But one of every five of them hasn't seen an eye doctor or eye-care specialist in more than two years, the recommended period between eye checkups, the survey found.

It's even worse for people who don't use corrective lenses. Of that group, three of every five haven't had a vision exam in more than two years.

Doctors believe this is because most vision problems aren't readily apparent and because people have enough on their plates without also having to schedule an eye exam.

"We're getting pulled every which way these days," said Dr. Andrew Iwach, an associate clinical professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, San Francisco, and a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. "We're busy. For most of us, our vision is probably pretty good, we're getting along fine, and so we don't worry about it. And that comfort may lead to complacency."

A survey by the academy seems to support that belief. Only 28 percent of people surveyed felt they were at risk for any sort of eye disease, and just 23 percent said they were very concerned about losing their vision.

The problem with these perceptions is that most eye diseases come on subtly. Once someone recognizes vision loss, it's usually too late to have pursued many avenues of treatment, said Dr. Kerry Beebe, an optometrist in Brainerd, Minn., and a spokesman for the American Optometric Association.

"What we hear most of the time is, 'I'm not having any problems. My eyes don't hurt, and I think I see pretty good,' " Beebe said. "They don't realize a lot of eye diseases don't have any symptoms in the early stages, which is where you'd like to treat those kinds of problems."

For example, vision loss for people with glaucoma occurs at the edges of the visual field, Iwach said.

"By the time you realize something is wrong, a lot of vision loss has occurred," he said. "But if we catch it earlier, there's a lot we can do."

And, he says, eye doctors and eye-care specialists also might be able to catch other things that are wrong simply by peering into and testing someone's eyes.

"The eye is very unique," Iwach said. "It's the only place in the body we can see a bare vein, artery and nerve. We can actually see the back of the eye and the optic nerve. This can give us clues and tips that there might be other systemic diseases going on."

For example, some problems of the eye can serve as early warning signs of diabetes, he said.

The American Optometric Association recommends that adults get their vision checked at least every two years, even if they don't perceive any problem with their sight. Children should have their vision tested at 6 months of age, 3 years old and right before they enter first grade and then every two years thereafter.

The association's survey found that eight of 10 kids aren't getting that first vision test by age 1. "Parents figure they must see fine, they aren't complaining, and I don't see a problem," Beebe said. "But kids have no base to compare what they're supposed to be seeing. They can't tell something's wrong."

You also should see an ophthalmologist at least once by age 40, according to new guidelines set by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have specialized in eyesight and are the best-trained of all eye-care providers. "It puts us in an ideal position to make assessments of risk," Iwach said.

Having had that baseline examination by 40, an ophthalmologist is then in a good position to track a person's sight as age-related problems such as cataracts or macular degeneration threaten sight.

"We so rely on our eyes," Iwach said. "We so enjoy our vision and what it brings to us. It doesn't require much maintenance, but if we don't provide at least a minimum amount of scheduled maintenance, it can lead to later vision loss."

Friday, September 11, 2009

New drug for itchy eyes approved.

The AP (9/9) reported that on Sept. 8, "the Food and Drug Administration approved" Ista Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s "treatment for itchy eyes in patients with allergic conjunctivitis." Called Bepreve [bepotastine besilate ophthalmic solution], the "eye drops are approved for use by patients" two years of age and older.
According to the Dow Jones Newswire (9/10, Cummings), "Ista said Bepreve and its anti-inflammatory eye drug Xibrom [bromfenac ophthalmic] will share the top spot in the company's promotional activities." Reuters (9/9) and the Orange County Business Journal (9/9, Reed) also covered the story.

Choose wisely when buying sunglasses

SUNDAY, June 21 ()HealthDay News) -- Price and style -- not protection from the sun's harmful rays -- are most people's main considerations when buying sunglasses, a new survey has found.

But that's not a good thing, health-wise, says the American Optometric Association, which conducted the survey.

"Overexposure to UV [ultraviolet] rays has been linked to a variety of problems, including age-related cataracts and degeneration of the cornea," Dr. Gregory W. Good, an optometrist and association spokesman, said in a news release from the group. "Other disorders that can occur are abnormal growths on the eye's surface and even sunburn of the eyes. These conditions can cause blurred vision, irritation, redness, tearing, temporary vision loss and, in some instances, blindness."

He recommends that people wear quality sunglasses that offer proper UV protection and a wide-brimmed hat whenever they're outside. Some contact lenses, Good noted, contain a UV blocker that helps protect the eyes.

To prevent UV-related eye damage, the association recommends that people:

* Wear UV-protective eyewear even on cloudy days and in the winter.
* Select quality sunglasses or contact lenses that block out 99 to 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B radiation and screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light.
* Make sure that sunglass lenses are perfectly matched in color and free of distortions or imperfections.
* Select gray-colored lenses because they reduce light intensity without altering the color of objects, which means they provide the most natural color vision.
* Get regular eye exams to monitor eye health, maintain good vision and keep up-to-date on the latest in UV protection.

It's also especially important, the association said, for young children and teens to have UV-protective eyewear because they typically spend more time in the sun than adults, putting them at greater risk for eye damage.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Eye implant helps patients with retinitis pigmentosa to see.

The Philadelphia Inquirer (9/8, Avril) reports that two months ago, surgeons at the Wills Eye Institute "implanted a small array of electrodes in the back of" Michael "Adler's left eye." Now, "in the last few weeks -- with the aid of a small video camera in his sunglasses that transmits images to his retinal implant -- he has begun to gain some limited vision." To date, "surgeons have implanted the devices in the retinas of 32 people around the world. All have a severe form of retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited disease that causes retinal degeneration." The "retinal implant bypasses damaged cells in the eye, transmitting signals to the same part of the brain that registers images in people with normal vision." While "the resulting black-and-white images are very low-resolution, consisting of just 60 pixels," they do allow Adler to "see the outlines of doors and sidewalks, and he can pick out plates on the dinner table."

Eye exams for children are important

Wisconsin's Appleton Post-Crescent (9/7, Dums) reported, "Children often cannot communicate they are having vision problems because they do not realize they are having them." Screenings "at a pediatrician's office or at school" often "miss problems that kids are having that they can't verbalize," said Carin LaCount, OD, who explained that uncorrected vision problems may even "hamper learning." She recommended that "children get their eyes examined by an optometrist." Dan Nowak, OD, pointed out that as children's "bodies change, their eyes change." Annette Wilde, OD, noted that "eye exams can begin as early as six months and can be free, if done by eye doctors participating in the public health program InfantSee." After that "early exam, children's eyes should be checked at three years of age, kindergarten, and then every year," Dr. Wilde said. In particular, children who have "a family history of vision problems" need to see an optometrist. (courtesy AOA)

Dry eyes become more prevalent after age 50.

FRIDAY, June 12 (HealthDay News) -- Here's more bad news for men turning 50: After their half-century mark, about 4 percent of males develop dry eye disease, making it one of the most common eye conditions and reasons for seeing an eye doctor in the United States, researchers say.

Dry eye disease causes a persistent dryness, itching or burning sensation in the eyes, according to the North American Neuro-Ophthalmology Society. Some people with dry eye disease also say that it feels like they have sand or grit in their eye.

While research has shown the condition is more common among women, about 1.68 million men over age 50 in the United States have it, Debra A. Schaumberg of Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston and colleagues noted in the June issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

Among men, increasing age, high blood pressure, benign prostatic hyperplasia (a noncancerous enlargement of the prostate) and the use of antidepressants increase the chances of developing dry eye disease, the study authors explained.

"It is an important public health problem, causing increased risk of ocular infections and bothersome symptoms of ocular discomfort, fatigue and visual disturbance that interfere with crucial activities, such as reading, working on a computer and driving a car," Schaumberg and colleagues wrote.

In the study, the researchers analyzed data on 25,444 men who participated in the Physicians' Health Study I and II, landmark studies begun in 1982. The men were asked if they had ever been diagnosed with dry eye disease and also whether they had symptoms, including dry or irritated eyes.

About 3 percent reported a previous diagnosis of dry eye, while 6.8 percent said they had constantly or often experienced at least one symptom such as dryness or irritation. About 2.2 percent reported both symptoms constantly or often, the study found.

The prevalence increased with age, and while the researchers estimated about 3.9 percent of men between 50 and 54 have dry eye, at age 80 or beyond, about 7.7 percent of men have dry eye. The total age-standardized prevalence among men aged 50 and older was 4.34 percent, according to the study.

As the baby-boomer generation ages, the authors said they expect to see more cases of dry eye.

"These data, derived from studying more than 25,000 men, show a significantly lower prevalence of dry eye disease than was found in a similar study using the same methods in U.S. women, among whom the prevalence was estimated at 3.23 million women," Schaumberg's team wrote. "Nonetheless, there is a significant increase in the prevalence of dry eye disease with age among men, as is the case among women, and there is a predicted growth to 2.79 million U.S. men affected by dry eye disease in 2030."

Aside from discomfort, dry eye can also cause blurry or double vision.

Some people get relief by drinking more water to relieve mild dehydration, switching medications, discontinuing wearing contact lenses or by using artificial tears sold over-the-counter at drugstores.

Physicians may also prescribe anti-inflammatory eye drops for patients with severe dry eyes.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Old makeup is risk for eye infections.

The UK's Daily Mail (9/4) reports that a recent survey by Mintel revealed that three out of four women may be "putting their health at risk by using old cosmetics for several years, even if they begin to smell or" change color. According to "beauty analyst" Alexandra Richmond, "like food, cosmetics can expire and become dangerous to use." Since 2005, the EU has required that "all cosmetics that could deteriorate after opening" must "carry advice on when they will expire." In the UK, consumers "can simply look" for the "Period After Opening" symbol on packaging to determine "how many months the product will last." Many women "ignore this," however, and "continue to use mascaras and eye pencils after their six-month lifespan." Pointing out the dangers of this practice, Dr. Chris Flower, of the UK's Cosmetic, Toiletry and Perfumery Association, said that "eye-area cosmetics can become infected and cause problems for the eyes." (courtesy AOA)

Thursday, September 3, 2009

When your kids need glasses

(HealthDay News) -- Some children may resist wearing eyeglasses, despite the resulting improvement in vision, school work and even extracurricular sports.

The Cleveland Clinic offers these suggestions to help your child accept a new pair of glasses:

  • Choose frames that fit well, and don't pinch, slip or feel too heavy.
  • Ensure that your child's lenses are the right prescription.
  • Encourage your child to wear the new glasses a little bit at a time, gradually wearing them for longer periods.
  • Ultimately, make putting on and taking off glasses a part of your child's daily morning and bedtime routines.
  • Encourage your child with praise every time he or she is wearing the glasses.

-- Diana Kohnle

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Cool device may offer 'vision' to the blind

The UK's Daily Mail (9/2) reports that the BrainPort vision device, developed by scientists at Wicab, may help the blind to see by "using their tongue." The device consists "of an inch-long video camera hidden in a pair of sunglasses, which the user wears. Signals from the camera are sent along a cable to a handheld control unit, about the size of a mobile phone, and then to a lollipop shaped stick, which is placed on the tongue." Next, "the control unit converts the image into a low resolution black, white and grey picture, which is then recreated as a square grid of 400 electrodes -- around the size of a postage stamp -- on the lollipop." Even though "users initially 'feel' the image on their tongue, with practice the signals activate the 'visual' parts of the brain for some people." The Daily Mail notes that BrainPort "could be approved for sale" in the US "by the end of the year." (courtesy AOA)

Back to school vision exams for kids.

MONDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Parents should add an eye exam to their children's back-to-school list, experts say.

Studies show that 86 percent of children start school without ever having an eye examination, even though youngsters can't learn if they can't see properly.

According to the American Optometric Association's 2009 survey, which assesses the knowledge and understanding of issues related to eye and visual health, 88 percent of respondents were unaware that one in four students has a visual impairment.

"Because a child's vision may change frequently, regular eye and vision care is crucial to a student's classroom success," said Dr. Michael Earley, optometrist and the AOA's vision and learning specialist, in an association news release. "Unfortunately, most parents are not including eye exams as part of their child's back-to-school health check-up."

According to the survey, 58 percent of parents did not take their child for an eye exam before age 3. The AOA recommends that the first eye assessment takes place at 6 months of age, followed by comprehensive eye exams starting at age 3, and then repeat exams every two years, unless directed otherwise by an optometrist.

Previous studies have found that 60 percent of children labeled as "problem learners" may actually have undetected vision problems and are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as having attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, the association noted.

Treatment is more likely to be successful if vision problems are detected and treated early, according to the news release.

In between visits to the eye doctor, parents and teachers should watch for signs of eye problems. Schedule an eye exam if you notice that your child:

* Loses their place while reading
* Avoids close work
* Has a tendency to rub their eyes
* Complains of frequent headaches
* Turns or tilts their head when looking at something
* Makes frequent reversals when reading or writing
* Uses a finger to keep their place when reading
* Confuses or omits simple words when reading
* Seems to consistently perform below potential
* Struggles to finish their homework
* Squints while reading or watching television
* Experiences behavioral problems
* Holds reading material too close to their face

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Good vision is crucial to your child's success.

HealthDay (8/31, Thompson) reported that, "according to the American Optometric Association's 2009 survey, which assesses the knowledge and understanding of issues related to eye and visual health, 88 percent of respondents were unaware that one in four students has a visual impairment." In fact, "studies show that 86 percent of children start school without ever having an eye examination, even though youngsters can't learn if they can't see properly." In a news release, Michael Earley, OD, "the AOA's vision and learning specialist," explained, "Because a child's vision may change frequently, regular eye and vision care is crucial to a student's classroom success." The AOA noted that "60 percent of children labeled as 'problem learners' may actually have undetected vision problems and are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as having attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder." (courtesy AOA)

Clear View Eye Care is fully equipped to help your child with their vision exam and treatment. We have numerous kid frames, vision therapy equipment and friendly staff who are prepared to make your child comfortable at our office. We recommend your child's first exam within the first year of life. Call us today.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Orthokeratology - No risk guarantee

We think orthokeratology has such amazing benefits for your vision that we are offering a no risk guarantee. Try orthokeratology and if we can't give you happy daily vision through the day without glasses or contacts we will offer you a refund plus your choice of contacts, glasses or LASIK.

Orthokeratology is a revolutionary process where molds are worn at night to reshape your eyes during sleep. The molds are removed in the morning and clear vision is enjoyed during the day. It is safe for children and can even stop your prescription from getting worse.

Here's how it works. Call our office to receive our FREE consultation. If you qualify, you can receive orthokeratology for 1/2 the cost of LASIK. If it doesn't work for you you will receive your money back (minus the exam which is paid for by insurance anyway). You can then choose from free contact fitting ($90 value), 40% off glasses (up to $800 value) , or a $200 LASIK discount.

Learn more about orthokeratology at our website.

Our exlsuve line : Prodesign

The history and philosophy of Prodesign as outlined by the company.

ProDesign was originally founded in 1973 but ProDesign today is a completely different company compared to back then. Design philosophy, basic values and corporate identity have changed remarkably since the entire organisation was restructured in 2000 and it is difficult to make direct comparison between then and now.

Today, ProDesign is an ambitious company establishing a growing position in world markets through the ability to quickly recognize and pick up trends, supplying prompt deliveries, efficient inventory management, and support through our Danish headquarters and offices in Hamburg and San Francisco.

Clean Danish design is the basis of our products but we always add a twist of something surprising – something unexpected. We aim to balance classic and clean with bold and bright to continuously keep classic styles updated. The most important thing is always to create eyewear that dresses the face. The frame and the face must interact to obtain a beautiful and harmonic look. We never strive for creating a design object that demands all the attention but rather a piece of eyewear that completes and enhances the lines of the face

Like other Danish eyewear designers ProDesign works a lot with powerful effects and is fascinated by the way the right detail can completely change the look of a frame. To pick a certain effect, appoint it your characteristic feature and make it as powerful as possible without overdoing it. This can be a challenge when you also want to preserve the clean and simple lines of Danish Design. This is however what it is all about – challenging our creativity to create a perfect frame every time.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Most contact lens solutions don't kill Acanthamoeba

In the Los Angeles Times (7/22), Shara Yurkiewicz wrote, "Most contact lens solutions do not kill the type of amoeba that causes severe eye infections,[Acanthamoeba] according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention." Investigators there examined "three species of amoebae that frequently cause the infection. They added solutions containing dormant, inactive forms (cysts) from each of these species to 11 different brands of contact lens solutions." Next, "the cysts were soaked in lens solution for between four to six hours (depending on the manufacturer's soaking time instructions) or 24 hours." The researchers then "watched for two weeks to see which cyst solutions resulted in the growth of active, disease causing amoebae." Notably, "out of 11 solutions tested, the only two that disinfected against the bugs after four to six hours were the two that contained hydrogen peroxide." AOACLS section

Eyeglasses make you smart

Nebraska's Journal Star (8/24) reported that eyeglasses are no longer "the fashion don't for kids they once were, as wearers and manufacturers have realized they can be another accessory used to make a style statement." These days, youngsters "are not relying on glasses merely for their utility, but what they say about them." Some children believe that glasses make them look more intelligent. Jeffrey J. Walline, OD, PhD, of the Ohio State University College of Optometry, "has studied both how children with glasses perceive themselves and how peers view them." He said that "other than intelligence, glasses didn't affect how kids viewed one another in relation to sports skills, socialization, honesty, shyness or attractiveness in his testing." Dr. Walline explained, "'Smart kids wear glasses' is the way the media portrays it, and kids pick up on it."

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hyperopic orthokeratology

Some new developments in orthokeratology allows us to perform orthokeratology on those who are far sighted. The wave contact lens system has been working to develop this new methodology to make it more predictable. It works much like myopic ortho-k but simply steepens the cornea instead of flattening it.

I have my first experience with this coming up. I am excited to see the results.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Microneedle patch for painless AMD treatment

The Time (8/19, Sharples) Wellness blog reported that, according to a study presented Aug. 19 at a chemical society meeting, researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University "have developed a patch that has five rows of tiny 'microneedles' about as wide as human hairs that can be used to painlessly administer vaccines and other medications." Testing the device on mice, the investigators found that an influenza "vaccine, administered via the patch, yielded the exact same level of protection as a traditional shot." The team hopes "to begin a trial in humans in 2010." Notably, "this specific patch is the only one so far that has been designed not only to administer drugs through the skin, but also via the surface of the eye," which is "promising news for patients" with age-related "macular degeneration, which can require regular shots into the eye as part of treatment."
HealthDay (8/19, Preidt) reported that the patch, by offering "a painless alternative to hypodermic needles," could someday "make flu shots a thing of the past, and treatment of diseases such as diabetes safer and more effective." Study author Mark Prausnitz, PhD, explained, "Although it would probably first be used in a clinical setting, our vision is to have a self-administered flu vaccine patch." Instead of visiting a physician to get a flu shot, patients could "stop by the pharmacy or even get a patch in the mail and self-apply. We think that could very much increase the vaccine coverage since it would be easier for people to be vaccinated," Prausnitz stated. The patch could prove beneficial to patients with AMD, he pointed out, helping them to avoid the "real safety concerns about that kind of repeated injection into the eye."
Detailing how the medicine-coated patch is able to work painlessly, the UK's Daily Mail (8/20) reports that "it reaches far enough through the skin to deliver the drug, but not deep enough to hit the nerves that cause" discomfort. (courtesy AOA)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

If you have diabetes get your eyes checked.

In a medical column in Florida's Palm Beach Post (8/17), Andrew A. Moshfeghi, MD, of the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, explained, "The longer you have diabetes, the greater your risk of developing diabetic eye disease, which is the leading cause of blindness in young and middle-aged adults." Dr. Moshfeghi pointed out that "diabetic eye disease" may include "diabetic retinopathy -- damage to the blood vessels in the retina," as well as glaucoma and cataracts. He provided tips for patients with diabetes to "promote good eye health," including eating well, maintaining "a healthy weight," getting "regular physical activity," taking medicines as prescribed, monitoring "blood sugar daily" and keeping "daily blood sugar less than 140," quitting smoking, and getting "a dilated eye exam once a year." Eye examinations are particularly important, he wrote, because "finding eye problems early and getting treatment right away will help prevent more serious problems later on."

Monday, August 17, 2009

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in Australia

Australia's ABC News (8/16) reported that, according to Australia's Indigenous Health Minister, Warren Snowdon, "glaucoma continues to be one of the leading causes of blindness" in that country, with an estimated 300,000 people suffering from the disorder. Snowdon pointed out that approximately half of these people "do not even know they have the" disease, "and therefore do not seek treatment," which may lead to blindness.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A new link between Diabetes and Eye disease

Rancho Cordova, Calif., July 14, 2009 – A recent study conducted by VSP® Vision Care and the Columbus Research Foundation (CRF) showed that 98 percent of study participants who had a grayish-white ring around the cornea, an eye condition called corneal arcus, also had metabolic issues related to diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure or high cholesterol which can lead to cardiovascular disease.

"This study demonstrates how important innovative approaches to healthcare are, and how comprehensive eye exams should be used as a screening for prevalent metabolic conditions," noted Dr. Steven Leichter, Medical Director of CRF. “Greater partnership between relevant healthcare providers may enhance the efficiency of our healthcare system and, in the end, reduce healthcare costs."

The study conducted in partnership with the CRF between April and September, 2008 with 2,000 patients, aimed to show the benefits of early detection through eye exams in overall health. In addition to an eye exam, VSP eye doctors screened patients for other health risks and referred at-risk patients to the CRF for diagnosis and additional testing.

“When you take into consideration that only 21 percent of adults receive a preventive health exam annually, while 61 percent of American adults with vision coverage receive annual eye exams, vision care plays a crucial role in the early detection of chronic diseases,” said Susan Egbert, Director of Utilization and Quality Management, VSP Vision Care.

Until now, health professionals have assumed that the occurrence of arcus is related to high cholesterol. However, this study shows there is a newly discovered and even stronger relationship between arcus and high fasting blood sugar that needs to be explored further. In fact, follow-up testing for patients who had arcus showed that:

* Eighty-eight percent had high fasting blood sugar.
* Forty-five percent had an elevated hemoglobin A1c.
* Sixty-six percent had an elevated body mass index.
* Sixty-four percent had high blood pressure.
* Twenty-one percent had elevated LDL cholesterol.

“Through this collaborative study, VSP Vision Care has found a breakthrough that will improve the lives of millions of Americans by connecting eye diagnostics with overall health, showing the numerous benefits of eye exams and early disease detection,” said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, founder of the Center for Health Transformation (CHT). Gingrich and the CHT facilitated the partnership between VSP and the CRF through their Georgia Project.

In addition, at-risk patients with a vision related concern who were referred to the CRF kept their appointments 100 percent of the time. At-risk patients, who had no vision related issues, only kept their appointments 54 percent of the time. This study reaffirms that vision is a strong motivator for patients to seek additional health screenings and medical care to better manage their chronic conditions. Source

FDA studies life after LASIK

The Chicago Tribune /US News & World Report (8/11, Shulman) reported that "in response to a" recent "Food and Drug Administration public forum on FDA advisory panel has recommended ways to make warnings of the risks more clear," suggesting that "photos depicting what people with visual impairment actually see be made available to those considering the surgery, as well as information on conditions, such as large pupils and severe nearsightedness, which would disqualify a person from the procedure, and statistics on side effects." The agency, along with "a number of organizations, including the National Eye Institute," has "formed a task force to study quality of life post-LASIK and figure out how to minimize problems." Nevertheless, "patient satisfaction hovers around 95 percent" with the procedure, according to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. The FDA pointed out that "only about one percent of patients report worse vision and have permanent side effects," such as "eye pain, dry eye, and poor night vision."(courtesy AOA)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Implants that can help AMD

The UK's Daily Mail (8/11, Hurst) describes the experiences of Roger Biss, "one of the first people in the world to have a new operation which actually restores sight." Biss, who has the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), recently underwent surgery which involved "putting a tiny implant in" the "eye to magnify whatever" he "was looking at, so the images wouldn't just fall on" his central "blind spot, but on a surrounding bit of healthy eye, which would be able to send signals to" the "brain about what" he "was seeing." Biss was operated on by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz, inventor of the Lipshitz macular implant. In the "first time the operation had been done in Europe or America," Dr. Lipshitz implanted the device in Biss' left eye during an outpatient procedure. Biss no longer has a blind spot in that eye and can watch television again. To date, "only a dozen patients have had the operation...but results are extremely encouraging," according to ophthalmic surgeon Andrew Luff. (courtesy AOA)

Clear View Eye Care can diagnose and manage macular degeneration. We are excited about these new and continued developments in treating one of the leading causes of blindness.

Monday, August 10, 2009

New frames

Clear View just got in some new frames today. We have some new rimless frames and some fancy new plastic frames also. These are quality frames with unique style. Each frame is handpicked by our office to make you look good and get the most for your money. Check out the pictures.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Benefits of Multifocal contact lenses

I came across this interesting article from Bausch and Lomb demonstrating the benefits of bifocal contact lenses:

Valuing freedom, confidence, and a sense of control, today's emerging presbyopes thrive on doing the things they love to do.

Bausch & Lomb Multi-Focal contact lenses allow them to live actively and confidently, without the discomfort and annoyance reading glasses may cause.

Multifocal contact lenses benefit emerging presbyopes in a number of ways:

Changing vision can reduce emerging presbyopes' ability to perform certain tasks, which in turn can hinder their confidence and sense of freedom

Bausch & Lomb Multifocal benefit: With the ability to see at every distance, patients can still do what they want to do, helping them maintain a positive self-image

Only 28% of presbyopes with correction other than multifocal contact lenses say their vision correction "doesn't get in the way of daily life"1

Bausch & Lomb Multifocal benefit: 81% of multifocal contact lens wearers say their lenses don't disrupt their lives1

Reading glasses can remind emerging presbyopes of their age, making them self-conscious, uncomfortable, and feeling unlike themselves.

Bausch & Lomb Multifocal benefit: Multifocal contact lenses can eliminate the need for reading glasses, keeping patients confident and independent. Source

Multifocal contacts are a very interesting option for people. I love to fit these lenses because it can give functional vision at distance and near with little time needed for adaptation. There can be some compromise in clarity vs. glasses when doing soft Multifocals but can be a great way to keep a long term contact lens wearer in contacts after 40. It is also a great option for those who have never worn glasses and now need some help up close.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Kids should have an eye exam by age 3

The Windsor Star examins the need for eye exams in young children. "Young children should have a thorough eye examination." It goes on to explain that "two particular conditions that are of concern at a young age include eye muscle problems such as 'crossed eyes' (strabismus) and 'lazy eye' (amblyopia)." Both of these conditions are easy to treat if detected early.

Dr. Todd Wilbee goes on to explain that children often do not complain of vision problems and are often not aware of problems thay may have. Signs that their vision may be suffering include low performance in school, losing place while reading and holding material very close. Teachers can also be a great resource for detecting vision problems.