Center for Sight, Fall River, Massachusetts

March 19, 2017

Keratoconus, Risks & Systemic Disease



Keratoconus, Risks & Systemic Disease

Keratoconus is a progressive degenerative disorder of the cornea whereby structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than the more normal gradual spherical shape. Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light all often becoming troubling to the patient. Usually, we diagnose keratoconus during the adolescent years. If both eyes are significantly affected, the deterioration in vision can affect the person's ability to drive a car or read normal print.

In most cases, we can fit specialized contact lenses to correct vision sufficiently to allow the person to continue to drive legally and likewise function normally. Further progression of the disease may require surgery, for which several options are available and most popular, including intrastromal corneal ring segments, corneal collagen cross-linking, and in about 25% of cases, corneal transplantation. Estimates of the rates for keratoconus range from 1 in 500 to 1 in 2000 people. Recent information alerts us to a number of demographic, ancestry and systemic risk factors. These include that those of African ancestry have a 57% greater risk of a keratoconus and Latino persons have a 43% greater risk of being diagnosed compared with a Caucasian population. Asians had 39% reduced risks of keratoconus and patients with uncomplicated diabetes mellitus (DM) had 20% less risk. Other conditions found to have significantly increased risk of developing keratoconus include sleep apnea and asthma.

If you or someone you know is at risk for keratoconus or wishes to be evaluated for keratoconus 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.

March 15, 2017

Satisfaction with LASIK vs. Contact Lenses


Satisfaction with LASIK vs. Contact Lenses
Patients who have been wearing contact lenses have made the choice to minimize their dependence on eyeglasses, but still have many of the inconvenient aspects of contact lens and care to contend with. For contact lens wearers, the decision to have LASIK represents the desire to experience a lifestyle and convenience with independence and freedom from the hassle of BOTH glasses and contacts. But, how does satisfaction with LASIK actually compare with contact lens wear? Researchers reporting in the journal Ophthalmology assessed patient satisfaction and perceived outcomes of 1800 patients split into two groups-one continuing to wear contact lenses and the other having LASIK, through annual surveys administered over a 3-year period. Most contact lens users had worn them successfully ≥5 years. The proportion expressing strong satisfaction with their current vision correction method decreased from 63% at baseline to 54% at year 3 in the contact lens control group, whereas 88% of former contact lens wearers and 77% of former glasses wearers were strongly satisfied with LASIK at year 3. Patients 40 years of age or younger when they had LASIK were somewhat more likely to be strongly satisfied than older patients. LASIK significantly reduced difficulties with night driving and nighttime visual disturbances among former contact lens users and former glasses users. The proportion with dry eye symptoms at 1, 2, or 3 years after LASIK was not significantly increased relative to baseline contact lens wear but was significantly increased relative to baseline glasses use, consistent with many glasses users having tried and abandoned contact lenses because of latent dry eye problems. Compared with continued contact lens wear, LASIK significantly reduced the self-reported rates of eye infections, ulcers, and abrasions each year.

The overall conclusions then were that compared with contact lens wear, current LASIK technology improved ease of night driving, did not significantly increase dry eye symptoms, and resulted in higher levels of satisfaction at 1, 2, and 3 years follow-up.

If you or someone you know is wearing glasses or contact lenses and would like be free of the hassle they create for seeing clearly at distance, please schedule a Free LASIK Consultation by calling 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 27, 2017

Blood Thinners and AMD Hemorrhages

Blood Thinners and AMD Hemorrhages
Many seniors take blood thinners for various types of cardiovascular and other vascular disease as a preventative measure for avoiding a heart attack or stroke. This same senior population is also at greatest risk for age related macular degeneration-including wet or hemorrhagic macular degeneration (AMD). Thus, the question of whether taking anticoagulants might be increasing the risk of and progression of AMD is important and reported on in a study published in Ophthalmology . The results showed that taking anti-platelet or anticoagulant medication was not significantly associated with macular hemorrhage and increased AMD risk unless the patient also had hypertension.

If you or someone you know is taking blood thinners and at risk for age related macular degeneration (AMD) please call us at 508-730-2020, visit Center for Sight, Google+ or www.facebook.com/centerforsightfallriver to schedule an appointment.

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.