Center for Sight, Fall River, Massachusetts

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.

December 4, 2016

Why Do Children Need Glasses?

Why Do Children Need Glasses?
Kids can need glasses to correct common refractive errors that can blur their vision-like nearsightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia or astigmatism, or they need glasses to help correct an eye muscle imbalance, or strabismus such as “crossed eyes’ or esotropia or provide help with a vision development problem such as “lazy eye” or amblyopia. The reasons children can need to wear glasses really depends on the nature of their vision development and eye coordination and focusing ability. The reasons can be somewhat different than for adults in certain cases. Depending on the problem they may have to wear the glasses through their developmental years and could “outgrow” the need in certain development instances.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about why kids need glasses or need to schedule a children’s 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 27, 2016

Dry Eye Discomfort Slows Reading

Dry Eye Slows Reading Speed
Anyone who experiences the symptoms of dry eye is familiar with dryness, discomfort, burning, light sensitivity and even watering that can mark the presence of dry eye disease. But, did you know that dry eye problems and disease can impact visual function? Researchers reporting in Cornea compared visual function using reading tests including the Radner Reading Test, the International Reading Speed Texts [IReST], and the Wilkins Reading Test and studied cognitive function, fatigue, dry eye symptoms, reading acuity, reading rate and blink rate. The results showed significantly lower reading rates in all reading tests in patients with dry eye and a significantly increased fatigue level when reading in dry eye patients.

If you suffer from symptoms of dry eye such as dryness, burning, light sensitivity or watering and have noticed an uncomfortable slowing of your reading ability and even greater eye fatigue or tired eyes when reading, 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 14, 2016

Diabetic Eye Exams: Don’t Delay!

About Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye problems include an increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma, neurological eye muscle problems and the potential for serious vision loss from diabetic retinopathy a retinal vascular disease. Vision loss from diabetic eye disease is manageable and in many instances preventable but requires early diagnosis and treatment to be effective. This means ALL patients with diabetes must be diligent in having eye exams at intervals recommended by their eye doctors and/or their primary care physicians, internists or endocrinologists.

About Diabetes

According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics 21.7 million U.S. adults aged 18 and over (9.2%) have been diagnosed with diabetes and this percentage increases with age. One in five adults aged 65 and over (20.5%, or 8.7 million) has diagnosed diabetes, compared with 11.0% (11.3 million) aged 40–64 and 1.9% (1.7 million) aged 18–39.

About Delay in Seeking Diabetic Eye Exams
There seems to be a trend in that the more recently you are in having your diabetes diagnosed, the longer you delay in seeking and annual diabetic eye exam. This is troubling in preventing vision loss and avoiding diabetic eye problems. Among all adults, the percentage who visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months increased with years since diabetes diagnosis. About half, 50% of those diagnosed with diabetes within the prior 5 years had visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months, compared with 57.3% of those diagnosed 5-10 years ago and 61.2% of those diagnosed 10 or more years ago. Among adults with diagnosed diabetes, the percentage who had visited an eye doctor during the past 12 months increased with age: 38.2% for those aged 18–39, 53.8% for those aged 40–64, and 66.5% for those aged 65 and over. Thus, among adults with diabetes, both age and years since diagnosis may play a role in visiting an eye doctor in the past 12 months.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, please take the time to schedule and eye exam in order to prevent the risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease and diabetic eye problems-most of which are preventable with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. 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, 2016

Eye Problems from ADHD Medication


If you, your child or someone you know takes ADHD medication it is important to understand the possible side effects that might impact eyes, cause eye problems and alter vision. The most common prescription medication we see children and even adults taking for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is methylphenidate which has a number of trade names such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Methylin and Daytrana. While the common side effects of loss of appetite, nervousness and difficulty sleeping are easily recognized, researchers reporting in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus raised some concern that this treatment may be associated with increased risk of angle closure glaucoma and a disturbance of eye refraction and optical prescriptions. They initiated a study to investigate the effects of methylphenidate treatment on refraction, intraocular pressure (IOP), and the anterior chamber in children with ADHD. This was a pilot study where children diagnosed with ADHD were examined before the start of methylphenidate treatment and again 3 and 9 months after the start of treatment. Their examinations included an eye exam with ordinary as well as cycloplegic refraction-one performed with eye drops and high resolution imaging study of the anterior chamber of the eye where the delicate structures related to glaucoma could be viewed and measured.

ADHD Medication Eye Study Conclusions
The researchers found that methylphenidate does not seem to affect refraction, or optical prescription in most children with ADHD. But, after 9 months of treatment there was a reduction in the eye anterior chamber depth, which has been described as a powerful predictor of angle closure glaucoma. As this was a pilot study more work is needed to really understand any increased risk.

What You Need to Know and Do
If you, your child or someone you know is taking methylphenidate of any type for ADHD, it would be worthwhile scheduling a routine eye examination so that we can measure the refraction, the intraocular pressure (IOP) and anterior chamber angle and depth. We do this regularly during your eye exam. BE SURE TO TELL US YOU ARE TAKING METHYLPHENIDATE. If your eye exam is normal we will most likely ask you to have a repeat exam in a year. BUT, if at any time there s a change in your vision, pain, redness, glare or light sensitivity we want you to call right away and schedule an immediate appointment for that day.

If you or someone you know is being treated for ADHD with methylphenidate medications such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Methylin and Daytrana, it is important to have a routine eye exam to avoid any risk of eye problems, 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.