“While we certainly know that there is a strong familial predisposition toward increased risk of macular degeneration, the new research demonstrating that Irish people are more genetically predisposed to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than other Caucasian populations is important,” commented Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas.

The study conducted by the Department of Genetics at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital Research Foundation, evaluated blood samples from more than 200 patients with AMD and compared them with samples from participants without the disease to identify genetic risk factors. The study shows that Irish people are at an elevated risk of developing AMD. It is also known that smokers are four times more likely to suffer from the disease.

If you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD or are of Irish descent you should please schedule an appointment by calling The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

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 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 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 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Dr. Da-Thuy Van alerted patients about the possible relationship between eye pain and certain osteoporosis medications. “We see many patients today taking osteoporosis medications such as Fosamax®, Boniva® and Actonel®”, commented Dr. Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas “Patients on these medications need to be aware of the potential for eye inflammation and associated eye pain.”

According to a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, users of oral bisphosphonates such as Fosamax®, Boniva® and Actonel® were 45% more likely to develop uveitis and 51% more likely to develop scleritis compared with patients who had never used these medications.

If you take medicine for osteoporosis, you will also need to get enough calcium and vitamin D, eat a healthy diet, and exercise regularly. A large part of treating or reducing the effects of osteoporosis is getting enough calcium and vitamin D. “If your physician does start you on any type of osteoporosis medication you should not ignore the symptoms of eye pain no matter how mild they might seem. Even at your regular eye exam, make sure to tell your eye doctor if you have started bisphosphonates medication such as Fosamax®, Boniva® and Actonel®. We need to know as sometimes the associated side effects of these osteoporosis medications can be subtle-but they are important,” noted Dr. Van.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye pain, osteoporosis medication or eye inflammation please feel free to call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texasis 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 7155 Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77573, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 711 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Allan Fradkin, M.D. commented on how the application of optical physics might be helpful to patients with AMD, or age related macular degeneration, in regaining some functioning vision to overcome the visual distortion caused by AMD. “While the key to maintaining eye health and vision as we age-especially regarding macular degeneration-is having regular eye exams, there are still a growing number of patients who experience a disturbing distortion and twisting of their vision resulting from macular degeneration,” explained Dr. Fradkin.

Nobel Laureate Walter Kohn described a potential application of what is a dynamic “translator” for the particular distortion a patient experiences either in handheld computers or an optical corrective lens. “We routinely use the Amsler Grid, a graph-paper-like pattern to diagnose AMD-Dr. Kohn suggested that the Amsler grid could also be used to develop an optical correction,” said Dr. Fradkin.

When people with healthy eyes look at the Amsler Grid, they see its straight horizontal and vertical lines, with a dot at center.  Patients with AMD, however, often perceive a distortion about two or three centimeters in diameter in the center.

amsler-grid

Dr. Kohn has initiated the development of software that lets an AMD patient, using a mouse, pull the virtual lines until he or she perceives the grid as “perfect,” yielding reversal of the specific distortion a person experiences. Dr. Kohn then uses these results to create a correction for that patient. In one experimental device, a handheld computer scans the printed page, using software to perform dynamic compensation, distorting the text to make it readable for patients. In addition, Dr. Kohn uses of a slab of optical material to fabricate the visual correction so that AMD patients could hold the optical slab of refractive material over text, pictures or reading material, just like the magnifying glass people use for seeing small type—only the surface of Kohn’s slab resembles ocean currents or waves that reverse the distortion.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about how optical physics may provide help for AMD patients with visual distortion, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

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 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 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 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Those Houston seniors concerned about their aging eyes will be pleased to learn that there has been a significant decrease is vision loss in older Americans according to a study in the journal Ophthalmology-the official publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “The prevalence of activity-limiting visual impairment is decreasing and has been decreasing-and this is really great news for seniors. While the study wasn’t terribly specific, I believe that better cataract surgery and lens implants, better diabetes treatment and control and a sharp decrease in smoking all play a role in why seniors now have better overall chances of preserving their eye health and vision,” commented Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The  Eye Clinic of Texas.

Modern cataract surgery-with advanced technology lens implants has become routine and complications are pretty rare. Years ago, people waited until a cataract was so bad that even a poor surgical result was better than living with a cataract. Today, when the presence of a cataract impairs either the quality of vision or the quality of life, the techniques and procedures allow for safe and effective cataract surgery to be performed.

Today, only 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes as compared to 1 in 3 in the 1980s. Smoking is a major risk factor for macular degeneration, which is one of the most common vision impairing eye diseases in seniors.

Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and age and obesity are leading risk factors for diabetes. Even though diabetes rates in the U.S. continue to climb, better therapies are now available to prevent and treat diabetes-related eye health vision problems.

To some extent, seniors have helped preserve eye health and vision by taking the step of having regular eye exams which are quite important for everyone as they age, especially people with diabetes and other health conditions that can lead to vision loss.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about aging eyes and senior vision care, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texasis 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 7155 Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77573, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 711 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Contact lenses can help self esteem for teens according to Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Allan Fradkin, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas. “Contact lenses can play an important role in helping adolescents-especially teenagers-with some difficult times for their self esteem and self image. Teens and tweens are often quite challenged during adolescence by the “Trifecta of Awkwardness-braces, acnes and glasses!” commented Dr. Fradkin. “I know all too well from my own kids, the peer pressure and insecurity created by concerns about appearance at these ages,” Dr. Fradkin stated.

Not being able to play sports or worrying about how they look can leave many teens feeling anxious, stressed out and unhappy. “We love fitting children in this age group with contact lenses because we routinely see that teens who wear contact lenses benefit beyond simply correcting their vision. They typically improve in how they feel about their physical appearance, their acceptance among friends and of course their ability to play sports,” further explained Dr. Fradkin.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about contact lenses or schedule an appointment for a contact lens fitting please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

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 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 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 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Allan Fradkin, M.D., Galveston & Houston eye doctor at The Eye Clinic of Texas reviewed an iPhone app to help contact lens wearers. “A new app is available for use on iPhones and iPads that provides a convenient way to keep track of how many times you have worn your reusable contact lenses. No more having to wonder if it’s time to replace your contacts. This is a nice way to help keep your contact lenses safe and your eyes healthy,” commented Dr. Fradkin. “Proper lens replacement is critical to your eyes’ health when wearing contacts. The app is available at iTunes for contact lens wearers to have a look at.”

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the iPhone and iPad app for contact lenses, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

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 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 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 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Regular eye exams are the best way to help prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy,” said Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Dr. Da-Thuy Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas. “The eye examinations for diabetic retinopathy need to be thorough and when necessary include advanced testing such as retinal photography, fluorescein angiography and ocular coherence tomography in order to really document how the retina and it’s blood vessels are functioning,” Dr. Van further explained. “Depending on the severity and the risk of progression of each patient’s diabetic retinopathy we will advise them of the frequency and intervals for their exams. But, patients with diabetes need to know that it is terribly important to keep their appointments.

Vision loss from diabetes and especially catastrophic vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visiting The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

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 7155 Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77573, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 711 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

“Throughout Houston and Galveston we want to be sure patients with diabetes work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems,” remarked Ophthalmologist Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas. Prevent Blindness America has designated November as National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. “What we know from the most recent Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. report is that diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. Further, according to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the United States. Although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease,” said Dr. Milstein.

The Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. identified that there are almost 8 million people ages 40 and older who have diabetic retinopathy. This represents an 89 percent increase between the years 2000-2012. “While it is not surprising that the incidence of some eye diseases and problems is increasing with the aging of the baby boomer population, it is terribly disturbing to see the dramatic spike in diabetic retinopathy cases, a consequence of the diabetes epidemic that this country is experiencing with no end in sight,” Dr. Milstein explained.

The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it’s caught early and treated in time. More than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year. As part of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease.

In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising.

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

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 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 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 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Houston cataract patients should have a clear understanding that if they experience night driving problems it may very well be due to their cataracts. “Patients constantly tell me that one of the most troubling things about their vision with cataracts is how disturbing they can be while driving at night,” said Dr. Da-Thuy Van, a Houston Cataract Surgeon at The Eye Clinic of Texas. “Driving at night is already difficult enough as reduced lighting can cause you to misjudge distances and boundaries like the edge of the road as well as simply causing an overall dimming of your vision,” Dr. Van further explained. “So, if you are becoming fearful of night driving with a cataract and you have been told that you have the beginning of a cataract it might well be time to consider whether cataract surgery might be a good option to help you regain your night driving comfort level,” Dr. Van recommended.

If you or someone you know feels they have night driving problems that might be related to cataracts or has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery or lens implants please feel free to schedule an eye exam by calling The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

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 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 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 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

But Dr. Fradkin, how can I have glaucoma-I see well and I have no symptoms?” is a question that many patients have asked with great surprise at their glaucoma diagnosis,” commented Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Allan Fradkin, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas.

Glaucoma is a sight stealing eye disease in which the most common form-primary Open Angle Glaucoma-has no symptoms that affected patients can readily be aware of. This is especially important as among African-American and Hispanic populations glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. Further-primary open angle glaucoma-is hereditary. The Nottingham Glaucoma Study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated the risk that siblings of glaucoma patients would themselves develop glaucoma within their lifetime. The study demonstrated that there was a strong likelihood that family members of glaucoma patients were at greater risk and that siblings were 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma by age 70. “This is why we strongly recommend that siblings of glaucoma patients and glaucoma suspects be screened for glaucoma, each and every year, said Dr. Fradkin.

There is a real need for regular eye examinations and glaucoma screening by an eye doctor in order to help you preserve your eye health and vision. If you or someone you know has a question about glaucoma, glaucoma symptoms, glaucoma risk or to schedule a glaucoma eye exam please feel free to call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texasis 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 7155 Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77573, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 711 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.