“There is a good possibility that when having a routine eye exam in Houston we will be able to provide a test that helps determine your risk of stroke,” commented Dr. Da-Thuy Van, an eye doctor at The Eye Clinic of Texas serving greater Galveston & Houston. “Researchers from the University of Zurich reported data in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology  showing that results of a test called Ocular Pulse Amplitude (OPA) can reliably detect carotid artery stenosis (CAS) or carotid artery narrowing, a condition that clogs or blocks the arteries that feed the front part of the brain which is a known risk factor for stroke. I am hopeful that we will soon be able to perform this test as part of a routine eye exam,” said Dr. Van.

Each year, approximately 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke, and more than 137,000 of these people die as a result. People with severe CAS are much more likely to suffer stroke.”We would like to catch and treat CAS before that can happen, but because CAS has no symptoms and an efficient test is not currently available the disease often goes undetected,” explained Dr. Van.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye exams, eye health and stroke prevention 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 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

Patients having eye exams in Houston who are told that they have “Bear Tracks”, “Retina Freckles” or “Pigment Spots” should be aware that there may actually have an increased need for colonoscopy to screen for polyps and colon cancer. You may wonder what having a colonoscopy for colon cancer risk possibly have to do with your eyes?  As it turns out-plenty! The retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is a layer of the retina which can sometimes be thicker than normal at birth-or “hypertrophic”. “During regular eye exams when we find these areas of retinal pigmented epithelial hypertrophy they typically they do not cause any vision problems or symptoms and are pretty unremarkable,” commented Houston eye specialist Dr. Da-Thuy Van an Ophthalmologist at The Eye Clinic of Texas.

Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy (CHRPE) is usually found before patients reach 30 years of age and although they may enlarge with time they usually do not lead to malignancies like colon cancer. However, there is an association between people with Gardner’s Syndrome-Familial Colonic Polyposes-or polyps of the colon, and CHRPE. If your eye doctor has told you that you have Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy-perhaps called “Bear Tracks” or “Pigment Spots” or “Retina Freckles”, it is important to carefully explore and review your family history reasonable with a Gastroenterologist who will likely schedule you for a colonoscopy. CHRPE has a “statistically significant” correlation with hereditary colon polyps known as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, or FAP. It may be that the freckles are caused by the same genetic mutation that produces the polyps. A study published in 2010 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology concluded that patients with such freckles should be referred for colonoscopies.

Thus-when we are over 50 years of age, the reasons to have yearly eye exams includes not only detecting cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases, but regular eye examinations may very well be a reminder to be screened via colonoscopy to help detect early risks and potential indicators of colon cancer.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy (CHRPE) 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

Sun & UV eye protection in Houston requires some careful considerations, especially as we enter the summer months and in consideration of May being designated Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection Awareness Month. Allan Fradkin, M.D., a Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist at The Eye Clinic of Texas commented on UV protective eyewear and precautions people should take. “The summer months in Houston are a great time to be outdoors-walking, hiking, swimming-going to the beach-and just enjoying our community. But, with more exposure to the sun and ultraviolet or UV rays on a daily basis, we need to be reminded to use proper UV eye protection”, remarked Dr. Fradkin.

Almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause to their skin, however most people do not know or appreciate that ultraviolet light (UV) can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision. Exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems and in some instances is thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as cataract, age related macular degeneration(AMD), certain cancers on the delicate skin around the eye, Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even Photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea.

Some precautions regarding UV eye protection include:

  • Always wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses without UV protection may shade the eyes but actually cause the pupils to dilate, allowing in even more harmful rays.
  • Wear a brimmed hat along with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Choose wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes.
  • Be aware that although some contact lenses may offer UV protection, they cannot protect the entire eye and the skin around it.
  • Choose sunglasses made of unbreakable polycarbonate, especially for children and for those who lead active lifestyles.
  • Be sure to ask your doctor about the photosensitizing side effects of any medications that you might take.
  • Always wear eye protection when using a tanning bed. According the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tanning beds can produce UV levels up to 100 times more than the sun, which can cause serious damage to the external and internal structures of the eye and eyelids.

Today we have wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses available to choose from. Eye protection from UV needs to be complete but doesn’t have to be overly expensive. High quality sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also important to have UV protection in everyday eyewear, which is readily available with a number of UV blocking eyeglass lens materials, specialized coatings and photochromic lenses.

Patients visiting Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas can speak with our staff who will be able to provide the proper counseling and fitting of UV protecting lenses and eyewear. These eye care professionals can offer a wide variety of UV blocking lenses, coatings and color changing lenses to keep you safe.

If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about ultraviolet (UV) eye damage and injury and how to select protective eyewear please feel free to call Texas EyeWear at 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

Smoking

Houston patients concerned about their eye health should be aware that smokers increase their risk of many eye health problems.Especially for younger patients-it is tough to convince them of the increased eye health risks posed by smoking,” stated Galveston & Houston eye doctor Dr. Da-Thuy Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas. “Not smoking from the start is the best choice for eye health-but quitting at any time is one of the most beneficial investments you can make in your long-term eye health. Smoking-even in your teens or twenties when your senior years seem far away- increases your future risks for cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). And the more a person smokes, the higher the risks. The good news is that after people quit smoking, their risks for these eye diseases become almost as low as for people who never smoked,” said Dr. Van.

Smoking also raises the risks for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence your eyes’ health. And tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, is an irritant that worsens dry eye, a very uncomfortable eye condition that is most common in women after menopause. Smoking increases the risk of serious vision loss in people with other eye diseases. And when women smoke during pregnancy they are more likely to give birth prematurely, putting their babies at higher risk for a potentially blinding disease called retinopathy of prematurity as well as other health problems.

If you or someone you know want to quit smoking and would like help the American Cancer Society has a resource at www.cancer.org. If you would like to learn more about smoking and eye health problems please feel free to 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

Bernard Milstein, M.D., a Galveston & Houston LASIK Surgeon at The Eye Clinic of Texas helped potential Houston LASIK patients explore whether they could be good candidates even if they had glaucoma.  “We would consider performing LASIK for certain select patients with glaucoma on an individual case by case basis depending on the stability of their glaucoma and the overall health of their optic nerve as related to the glaucoma,” remarked Dr. Milstein. “We may use a suction ring or device for a short time during the LASIK procedure and this can cause a temporary elevation of intraocular pressure or IOP-something we are cautious about in patients with glaucoma,” Dr. Milstein further explained.

Generally, unless the glaucoma is severe it is possible that LASIK could be an option for most patients. Other types of laser eye surgery for vision correction such as PRK might be preferred. In some cases it might actually be beneficial to have lens replacement surgery using advanced technology lens implants for vision correction.

If you or someone you know has glaucoma or is a glaucoma suspect and is considering LASIK, we would be happy to provide a free consultation to help determine if they are a LASIK candidate or perhaps a better candidate for another type of refractive surgery. Please feel free to schedule an appointment 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Allan Fradkin, M.D. shared some tips for maintaining healthy eyes and vision and wearing contact lenses. “We remind patients that contact lenses are a medical device and even those worn purely for cosmetic purposes, should be prescribed and properly fit by a licensed eye care professional,” explained Dr. Fradkin. “Too many patients forget this and end up buying and wearing contact lenses without proper medical guidance and a valid prescription. Then, often without even realizing it, they put themselves at risk for serious, even blinding eye infections.”

Following the instructions given to you by your eye doctor-carefully and completely can go a long way to help avoid contact lens problems and complications. “Our experience clearly shows that by not following instructions on proper wear and care, contact lens wearers are more likely to have discomfort and may actually put themselves at greater risk for infection or other serious complications, such as microbial keratitis,” said Dr. Fradkin. “We often find that improper storage, handling and disinfection of contact lenses really predispose patients to unnecessary risk.”

Some good contact lens care, handling and disinfection tips to follow include:

  • Always wash your hands with soap before inserting or removing your contact lenses.
  • Always empty the storage case of disinfection solution after removing your lenses, and fully refill with fresh solution before storing them.
  • NEVER clean your case with tap water.
  • REGULARLY-even daily- clean your case.
  • REGULARLY-at least monthly- replace your case.

If you or someone you know has questions about contact lens care, handling and disinfection 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 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

“By using the proper protective eyewear for sports, athletes can take a necessary step toward preventing eye injury,” noted Galveston & Houston eye doctor Allan Fradkin, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas. “April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and the American Academy of Ophthalmology asks eye doctors to remind our community that 40,000 people suffer from eye injuries related to sports every year. These eye injuries from sports can be devastating, and the only way to prevent them is by wearing protective eyewear,” said Dr. Fradkin.

Many sports create risk for eye injuries which can include abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lids, retinal detachments and internal bleeding. The most serious risks involve permanent vision loss along with infection. In addition, patients who have sustained eye injuries are at greater risk for developing glaucoma.

Athletes need to use the eye protection that is available for most sports, including basketball, baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, fencing, paintball, water polo, golf and others. “I counsel and reassure my patients that wearing properly fitted protective eyewear will not harm your performance, and it may well save your eye health and vision,” said Dr. Fradkin. Something to be aware of is that most sporting leagues don’t require children to wear eye protection, so parents should take special care to ensure their children wear eye protection.

”Tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear. The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection. Athletes need to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour.

If you or someone you know has questions or would like help in selecting, fitting or choosing sports protective eyeglassesplease 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 with Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas.

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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

“From time to time we get the opportunity to provide a LASIK consultation for a Houston patient who asks if they might just be too old for LASIK surgery,” shared Galveston & Houston LASIK Surgeon Bernard Milstein, M.D. “I recently examined a 72 year old gentleman who wanted to know if he was too old for LASIK,” shared Dr. NAME. “In reviewing his general health he was in good shape-and after his eye exam I was comfortable that his eye health, corneal health and tear film were quite good. His retinas were normal and he had a bare trace of a cataract in one eye that had been there and stable for 3 or 4 years but it corrected to 20/20 with his -7.00 D eyeglass correction. Most importantly he couldn’t tolerate contact lenses and was a fairly active tennis player and hiker-so we scheduled him for LASIK,” explained Dr. Milstein. “We did however explain that he was going to need to either wear reading glasses or consider having monovision to help with his near vision presbyopia focusing problem that we all have after 40 or so.”

As long as they have a tangible reason for wanting LASIK so that it will improve their lifestyle, people thinking about having Laser Eye Surgery can do so without worrying about being too old for LASIK as long as they have healthy eyes, a health cornea, sufficient tears and are free of cataracts or retinal diseases.If you are someone you know would like to find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK please callThe 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

Galveston & Houston LASIK Surgeon Dr. Da-Thuy Van commented about the increasing number of motorcycle riders interested in LASIK. “Contact lenses and certainly eyeglasses can be a real challenge for motorcycle riders-so many more motorcycle enthusiasts consider LASIK these days. We want our motorcycle lovers having LASIK in Houston to enjoy motorcycle riding, but we always try to remind them that eye safety and also dry eyes should top the list of things they think about as part of their readiness checklists along with the condition of their gear and bikes,” Dr. Van further explained. 

Harley

It is important to recognize the need for eye protection from the sun, bugs, small rocks and pebbles and especially the wind, which can really contribute to dry eye symptoms. LASIK patients as well as other recreational motorcycle riders sometimes overlook or are just not aware of the potential for eye irritation and motorcycle dry eye caused by the wind, exhaust fumes, pollen and pollution-as well as the summer sun and heat. 

At your LASIK consultation the staff will be exploring your lifestyle needs and activities. As a potential LASIK patient we want to take the time necessary so that we can carefully counsel you in order to get the best results and help meet your expectations. Please take the time to tell us about your motorcycle riding interest as well as all of the ways in which you are hoping to benefit from LASIK.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK or even have a Free LASIK Consultation, 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.

Houston Cataract Surgeon Bernard Milstein, M.D. reflected on a not infrequent question posed by cataract patients about waiting too long for cataract surgery. “Dr. Milstein-what happens if I wait too long for my cataract surgery-can that be a problem?” Dr. Milstein advised, “The decision of when to have a cataract removed and replaced with lens implants is really a very personal decision. Some patients are simply not comfortable with the slightest degree of blurry vision or glare sensitivity, whereas others surprise me with how tolerant they are. So, I generally tell patients that their cataracts should be removed when they feel that they have visual discomfort or inconvenience-or any safety issues with navigating each day’s activities with confidence.”

What patients should know though is that waiting too long for cataract surgery can result is some unintended consequences and possible risks. “For example, as a cataract matures, it does become denser and somewhat more difficult to remove. This requires more energy from the instruments we use to break up or fragment the cataract and may lead to prolonged inflammation or even intraoperative complications,” stated Dr. Milstein.  “For certain we don’t want the cataract to become so dense, swollen and cloudy that it causes a type of glaucoma or impair our view of the retina,” Dr. Milstein stressed. “In these instances your cataract surgeon is likely to recommend proceeding with cataract removal even though you may not think you are quite ready.”

If you or someone you know has a cataract or is need of cataract surgery and lens implants and might be concerned about waiting too long for surgery 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 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 area that provides all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services. Our Board Certified Ophthalmologists perform Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK, Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants using advanced technology IOLs to correct complex problems such as astigmatism and near vision focusing problems including presbyopia, diagnosis and management of glaucoma, diagnosis and management of diabetic retinopathy, diagnosis and management of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Pediatric Ophthalmology. Texas EyeWear at The Eye Clinic of Texas provides personalized consultation and fitting of eyeglasses and eyeglass lenses for greater Houston, Galveston, League City and Texas City area patients.