keratoconusKeratoconus 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 The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving HoustonGalvestonLeague City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 775737111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

 

SMILE Bladeless Flapless Laser Vision Correction-Another Alternative to LASIK!

SMILE is a type of bladeless flapless Laser Vision Correction we can use to correct your vision to see clearly at distance. At The Eye Clinic of Texas we perform SMILE with the Zeiss VisuMax® Femtosecond Laser-which is the laser we have been using for several years to perform Bladeless All Laser LASIK-by using very specialized software and techniques. SMILE stands for “Small Incision Lenticule Extraction” which is the clinical description of what we actually do to correct nearsightedness. We use the VisuMax® Laser to separate a thin lenticule-a microscopic lens like disc-of corneal tissue from within the cornea. This disc is then removed through a very tiny incision and the net effect on the corneal shape corrects your nearsightedness. Unlike Bladeless All Laser LASIK there s no flap created and no cornea tissue is ablated or vaporized. This can be useful for anyone with dry eyes, any corneal surface problems and those who might participate in contact sports and need to avoid a “flap” Laser Vision Correction treatment. For some patients, SMILE may provide a better outcome. For others, LASIK is still the best option. When you come to The Eye Clinic of Texas for a free consultation we will thoroughly examine you and make recommendations on which Laser Vision Correction procedures are right for you and which ones will give you the best results for your individual situation and lifestyle needs.

Learn more by scheduling a Free Consultation for SMILE Bladeless Flapless Laser Vision Correction at The Eye Clinic of Texas by phoning us Toll Free at 800-423-3937.

AMD Risk from Sunlight Exposure

There has been discussion about whether sun exposure can be a risk factor for developing AMD-a common senior eye problem. We know that excess exposure to sunlight can cause many untoward effects on the delicate tissues of the eye and the surrounding facial skin. Sun exposure is a known cataract risk factor, too much UV exposure can cause a “cornea sunburn” or “solar keratitis” and even damage the retina by causing a “solar retinitis”. Researchers reporting in the journal Retina evaluated the effects of current and past sunlight exposure and iris color on early and late Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Their conclusions were that sunlight exposure during working life is an important risk factor for AMD, whereas sunlight exposure after retirement seems to have less influence on the disease development. Therefore, preventive measures, for example, wearing sunglasses to minimize sunlight exposure, should start early to prevent development of AMD later in life.

If you are concerned about senior eye health and specifically your risk of AMD please consider wearing sunglasses to limit your exposure to sunlight beginning EARLY in life to preserve your eye health and vision. If you have not had a recent eye exam please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

meds 1

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 The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving HoustonGalvestonLeague City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 775737111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

Teri M told us about her cataract surgery experience…

“I initially came to ECOT for a routine eye exam to update my glasses.  I had a few complaints like glare and halo when I drove at night and I also felt like I saw a fog in my vision.  I thought my glasses were just old since I hadn’t had an eye exam in many years.  Upon my exam, it was determined that I had cataracts and needed surgery.  It wasn’t something I was prepared to hear that day, especially since I thought I was having just a regular exam.  After speaking with the surgery counselor and again with Dr. Van, I felt confident in ECOT care and had my first cataract surgery last June.  WOW is all I could say.  I was seeing things that I hadn’t seen so bold and vibrant since I was a kid.  I absolutely could not wait for the second surgery which was 2 weeks later.  Once both eyes had been operated on, I now only need glasses to read.  I started driving at night again.  I am so happy now that I was diagnosed with cataracts on that visit because you don’t realize how bad your vision is or was until after surgery and my vision is excellent!

If you or someone you know is concerned about symptoms of cataracts such as cloudy vision, glare sensitivity or difficulty with night driving or would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving HoustonGalvestonLeague City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 775737111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

cholesterol meds 2

Reduce Macular Degeneration Risk with Cholesterol Medications

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 Ophthalmologyevaluated 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 The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

marijuana v. glaucoma

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 The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving HoustonGalvestonLeague City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 775737111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

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 The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving the greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

african eye

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 The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving HoustonGalvestonLeague City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 775737111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.

glaucoma and driving

 

Driving Safety with Glaucoma

Moderate or advanced glaucoma can affect driving safety according to research noted in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Patients with bilateral moderate or advanced glaucoma are at risk for unsafe driving. For this reason we now suggest a very careful evaluation for those glaucoma patients who might be at risk so that we can evaluate driving safety of these patients. Glaucoma, especially in more advanced stages can reduce peripheral vision as well as contrast and make driving particularly difficult-especially in dim illumination. Our goal is to help all patients avoid vision loss from glaucoma by asking that you schedule regular eye examinations with glaucoma testing as often your eye doctor suggests. This will depend on the overall health of your eyes, your family history, your general health and many other glaucoma risk factors your eye doctor may identify. The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnoses and treatment.

If you or someone you know would like to schedule an eye exam and glaucoma testing, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  or facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, the largest ophthalmology clinic in the nation. We are a leading eye care practice serving HoustonGalvestonLeague City and Texas City with offices at 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 775737111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas.