Center for Sight, Fall River, Massachusetts

December 4, 2017

Laser Toy Eye Injury in Children

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

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

If you or someone you know needs information or help with a laser toy eye injury in children
please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment. 

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island. 

November 26, 2017

What Do You See During Cataract Surgery?

We always like to take the time to carefully explain all of the things patients having cataract surgery and lens implants might experience during their visit to the surgery center and even during their cataract surgery procedure. In this way we are hopefully helping them relax and have an easy and comfortable experience as we correct their vision. For just about all of our patients having cataract surgery, they are awake but very comfortable. Every once in a while a patient will be curious about what they will actually see during the cataract procedure since they are awake. As this can really vary greatly from patient to patient we were please to find the results of a study that can give patients some guidance of what they might experience.

Results
Patients having cataract surgery were asked to describe the quality of the visual experience as, pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. The group of 200 patients interviewed in the study included an almost even mix of men and woman around the age of 70 years old and as is to be expected, were a bit anxious before the surgery and were given an oral tablet to help them relax. They all reported seeing some gradation of colors including in descending order blue, red, pink, yellow, green, purple, turquoise, and orange with the most common color combination being red-blue light which was most likely from the operating microscope. Most-61% of the light and color experiences during surgery were reported to be pleasant, 38% were neutral and 1% found them transiently unpleasant. Overall the experience of light and colors seen during cataract surgery is mildly pleasant and in fact should reassure patients that the visual experience is actually somewhat calming and relaxing during surgery.

If you or some you know is concerned about having a cataract or needing cataract surgery and lens implants and worried about what they will see, please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment. 

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island. 

November 18, 2017

Injections vs. Laser Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy



Injections for Advanced Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy progresses in stages that reflect the severity of the disease. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more advanced stage and requires treatment. Therapeutic injections for proliferative diabetic retinopathy represent a sound treatment for some patients with this advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy where blood vessels in the retina begin to grow, or proliferate, many which are fragile and more likely leak and bleed. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a significant cause of vision loss if left untreated. Reporting on a clinical trial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers compared the visual outcomes in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy who underwent either anti-VEGF treatment or Panretinal photocoagulation laser treatment. They found in many respects the outcomes of the group receiving injections were better in that the average vision over the two years in the injection group was better than the laser group, and the patients with the injections had less peripheral vision loss, required fewer future surgeries and developed fewer complications in the macular area of the eye.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, it is important to have regular diabetic eye exams to prevent vision loss from diabetic eye disease complications called diabetic retinopathy. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.

If you need a diabetic eye exam please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment.

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island. 

November 6, 2017

Diabetic Retinopathy & Neuropathy

We have known for quite some time that with both Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus are at high risk for developing diabetic retinopathy, which is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in adults. Vision loss occurs because of microvascular damage to the retina. People with diabetes are typically not aware that they are also at risk for developing retinal diabetic neuropathy, which is the loss of nerve cells in the retina. For many years, scientists believed patients developed retinopathy and, as a result of the damage to the blood vessels, later developed neuropathy. Doctors were focusing on early detection and treatment of retinopathy to prevent blindness, which they thought would then prevent the damage caused by neuropathy.

In a new study researchers discovered that the sequence of events occurring in the retina is just the opposite. Unfortunately we now know that the nerve damage actually does come first, before the vessel damage. Even people with diabetes who never get retinopathy can still develop this damage, and after many years, damage may be severe, similar to glaucoma. As part of the diabetic eye exam we provide for patients, we often perform a test called Optical Coherence Topography (OCT) that actually allows us to carefully examine the retinal nerve fiber health

The best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment with regular eye exams. If you or someone you know is diabetic and needs an diabetic eye exam, please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment. 

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island. 

October 24, 2017

Dry Eye during Breast Cancer Treatment

Did you know that certain types of breast cancer treatment medications can cause dry eye symptoms? The class of medications called “aromatase inhibitors” (AIs) has been studied and found to cause dry eyes. Fortunately, we also know that this is a newly emerging, and easily treated side effect of AIs. But we need to know that you are taking one of the AIs in order to offer help for your dry eyes. Some of the medications in this class include Arimidex, Aromasin and Femara-although there are many others. Researchers used a validated questionnaire to assess the presence of Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). They found that DES is significantly more prevalent in women on AIs compared with controls. They recommend routine screening of patients on AIs with the Ocular Surface disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire with the aim of improving patient quality of life and possibly adherence.

If you or someone you know is being treated for breast cancer with aromatase inhibitors (AIs) and suffers from dry eyes, grittiness or is generally experiencing eye problems of fatigue or dryness, please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver to schedule an appointment. 

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island. 

October 15, 2017

Cataracts, Cataract Surgery & Driving

Blurry, cloudy vision from cataracts is a well known driving risk, especially for seniors where declining vision is often caused by cataract development. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery studied cataracts and the outcomes of cataract surgery and how these impacted crash risk, driving self-regulation practices, and driving performance. Not surprising there was clear consistent evidence that cataract negatively affects driving and that cataract surgery is beneficial to driving outcomes. What was not clear and requires further study is how specific vision measures such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity specifically affect crash risk and driving performance so that we can be optimally effective in prioritizing cataract patients for surgery.

If you or someone you know has been told they have a cataract and is having difficulty with driving especially at night or in dim illumination or with glare, please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver  to schedule an appointment. 

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island. 

October 9, 2017

Nutrition & Prevention of Eye Problems



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

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

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

Please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver to schedule an appointment.

Center for Sight is conveniently located at 1565 North Main Street, Suite 406, Fall River, Massachusetts 02720 for patients from Massachusetts or Rhode Island.