Center for Sight, Fall River, Massachusetts

February 19, 2017

Lower AMD Risk with Cholesterol Medication?


Statin Cholesterol Medications & Macular Degeneration
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) continues to be a leading cause of vision loss in seniors-especially those with a family history or other risk factors such as smoking and other forms of vascular disease. While we have progressed a very long way in the treatment of Wet AMD through the use of anti-VEGF therapeutic injections such as Lucentis® and Eylea® , we are always hoping to find additional medications, vitamins or supplements that might be useful in preventing or delaying senior vision loss. There have been a number of clinical studies and reports about whether the use of the cholesterol lowering medications called “statins” are helpful in preventing or delaying AMD. Common statins include Lipitor®, Crestor®, Zocor®, Mevacor® and Pravachol®. Unfortunately, the most recent information we reviewed in a study reported in the Ophthalmology evaluated the association of statin use with progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and found that statin use was not statistically significantly associated with the progression of  AMD and showed no evidence of a beneficial effect on slowing AMD progression.

As with many eye problems, conditions and diseases, age related macular degeneration (AMD) can be best addressed with early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

If you or some you know is concerned about age related macular degeneration (AMD) and has not had a comprehensive 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. 

February 12, 2017

Macular Degeneration Biomarker

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) continues to be a leading cause of vision loss for seniors. The most effective way to avoid vision loss is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Now, researchers have found a functional “biomarker” that can help predict which patients might have a greater risk for developing age related macular degeneration (AMD). Dark adaptation refers to the time it takes for a person’s eyes to adjust to darkness after being exposed to bright light. The process of “dark adaptation” appears to be a predictor so that patients over 60 years of age who have slowed “dark adaptation” times are telling us that they are at greater risk. In fact according to a National Institute on Aging study of adults age 60 or older, those whose eyes are slow to adjust to the dark have a 2x greater risk of developing age related macular degeneration.

If you or someone you know is over 50, especially if they have increased risk factors for age related macular degeneration such as being a smoker, a family history, diabetes or other vascular disease 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.

February 5, 2017

Supplements Lower Macular Degeneration Risk Supplements Lower Macular Degeneration Risk

Supplements Lower Macular Degeneration Risk
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a very common senior eye problem and in fact is the most common cause of visual loss after the age of 65. AMD affects the cells in the center of the retina-the macula-which contains the majority of photoreceptors responsible for crisp clear vision. Drusen are deposits in the retina that can cause the macula to deteriorate and degenerate and may predispose you to AMD and allow for potentially undesirable new blood vessel growth in the macula. Research shows that antioxidants neutralize drusen and prophylactic treatment of drusen maculopathy with high doses of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc, used in the recommended forms and doses from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2). Can lower the risk of developing advanced AMD was reduced by 27% over a 10 year period.

If you are concerned about senior eye health and specifically AMD, when you visit us for your annual eye exam, we will discuss whether in your particular case taking supplements might be beneficial to preserve your eye health and vision. If you have not had a recent 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.

January 22, 2017

Cataracts & Vitamin D

Cataracts continue to be a leading cause of vision decline in seniors as well as aging baby boomers. Those patients who do not yet have a cataract often ask if it is possible to reduce their risk or avoid cataracts with vitamins or diet supplement. Since Vitamin D has been shown to have an antioxidant effect it might seem like a good bet to reduce cataracts. But, the data continues to be confusing with regard to Vitamin D and cataract prevention. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery studied the impact and relationship between serum levels of Vitamin D and the risk of age related cataracts. They were able to eliminate the effect of other cataract risk factors such as age, sex, smoking status, diabetes, hypertension, and sunlight exposure. The results showed that in men, but not in women, the odds of developing age-related cataracts decreased with statistical significance when the serum Vitamin D levels were in the highest 10% as compared to the when they were in the lowest 10%. But, it wasn’t a uniform trend throughout the range-only in comparison of the top to the bottom levels of serum Vitamin D levels. This, along with no real benefit for women makes the results warrant more study for now. Fortunately cataract surgery and lens implants offer a safe, effective and predictable treatment method with excellent results.

If you or some you know is concerned about their cataract risk or needs a cataract 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.

January 14, 2017

Glaucoma Risk Increases with Latino & African Ancestry

Glaucoma is an eye disease that if untreated can damage the optic nerve, impair vision and cause blindness. It is particularly sight threatening in that in its most common form it doesn’t strike the patient with any warnings or symptoms. Thus, becoming familiar with glaucoma risk factors is worthwhile for all patients. While we have known for quite some time about the increased risk among family members and certain ethnic and racial backgrounds, those patients of Latino or African, ancestry are clearly at greater risk for high pressure within the eye and thus should be aware of the need for routine eye exams and glaucoma testing at the direction of their eye doctor. Researchers from the UIC College of Medicine analyzed data from 3,541 participants 40 and older from the Mexican American Glaucoma Genetic Study, part of the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study and found that as the percent of African ancestry went up, intraocular pressure rose.

According to a report in the journal Ophthalmology, African ancestry carried more risk for high intraocular pressure than high body mass index, older age and high blood pressure-factors known to contribute to increased pressure inside the eye. The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

If you or some you know has known glaucoma risk factors including diabetes, high blood pressure, is a smoker, has a family history of glaucoma, obesity or suffers from sleep apnea and you are of Latino or African ancestry, it is quite important that you have regular eye exams and glaucoma testing.

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.

January 8, 2017

Genes for Glaucoma Identified

Genes for Glaucoma Identified
Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have led an international effort to identify three genetic associations that influence susceptibility and risk of primary open angle glaucoma which is the most common and insidious type of glaucoma. They studied more than 4,000 cases and 30,000 controls for primary open angle glaucoma using human genomes collected through the NEIGHBORHOOD consortium, a National Eye Institute collaborative. The researchers identified relationships between primary open angle glaucoma and three genetic associations and we believe that this will provide key insights that may ultimately be used to develop gene-based testing and treatment strategies for glaucoma.

In order to prevent vision loss, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is best managed through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Having a genetic code that tells us whether you will be subject to the disease will go a long way in preventing damage to the optic nerve and thus compromised vision. As we move forward, regular eye exams with glaucoma texting-especially for those with known risk factors including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, smoking and being of Latino or African ancestry-are important to maintain eye health and vision.

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.

January 1, 2017

Marijuana Use with Glaucoma

A survey of patients with glaucoma showed that the perception of the legality and acceptability of marijuana use was significantly associated with intentions to use marijuana for the treatment of glaucoma, even though research has indicated it is of limited benefit, according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology. It is estimated that 2.2 million adults in the United States are affected by glaucoma. Many alternative therapies including acupuncture and marijuana are being explored but have not shown promise. Research has shown several limitations associated with the use of marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma. Driven mainly by public support, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana, citing mainly the 1999 Institute of Medicine report that found possible therapeutic benefits for the use of marijuana in various debilitating medical conditions, including glaucoma. Given these legal changes, not infrequently, ophthalmologists are approached with patient inquiries about treatment of their glaucoma with marijuana. Researchers at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, evaluated factors associated with intentions by patients to use marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma. The study included a survey of patients with glaucoma or suspected to have glaucoma. The survey looked at demographics, perceived severity of glaucoma, prior knowledge about marijuana use in glaucoma, past marijuana use, perceptions toward marijuana use including legality, systemic adverse effects, safety and effectiveness, and false beliefs, as well as satisfaction with current glaucoma management and treatment costs. The data and results that the intent to use marijuana for glaucoma treatment was driven by perceptions of legality of marijuana use, false beliefs regarding marijuana, satisfaction with current glaucoma care, and relevance of marijuana and glaucoma treatment costs.

Clearly there is need for greater information and education based on the false perceptions of marijuana as having significant therapeutic value in glaucoma therapy. 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.