health insurance

Obamacare was supposed to help patients become better healthcare consumers by allowing them to shop for high deductible health plans at lower cost. High deductible health plans are sold as a way for consumers to take greater control over managing their medical costs, but new research shows people on those plans are no better at price shopping for health care professionals or services than people on traditional insurance. The study surveyed more than 1,000 “high deductible” health insurance enrollees of which 71% believe out of pocket costs were important to consider when choosing a doctor. They compared this to 852 enrollees traditional of “low deductible” plans and they had the exact same perspective. The researchers also found that during their last use of medical care, the “high deductible” plan enrollees were no more likely than traditional plan enrollees to consider going to another professional for care or to compare out of pocket costs across health care professionals. They concluded that “having more skin in the game” makes no difference on how consumers shop for health care and insurance.

If you need help understanding your health insurance as it relates to any aspect of eye care service we provide 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.

family with glasses

 

A study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has shown that hyperopia in preschool children is associated with significantly worse performance on a test of early literacy. The results of the Vision in Preschoolers–Hyperopia in Preschoolers (VIP–HIP) study, which compared 4 and 5-year old children with uncorrected hyperopia to children with normal vision, found that children with moderate hyperopia-3 to 6 diopters of correction-did significantly worse on the Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL) than their “normal vision” peers. A diopter is the lens power needed to correct vision to normal. In general, the higher the diopter, the worse the hyperopia. This study suggests that an untreated vision problem in preschool, in this case one that makes it harder for children to see things up close, can create literacy deficits that affect grade school readiness. In most children with hyperopia, the condition is mild and has little impact on vision. A small number of preschool children have high hyperopia-more than 6 diopters-that is corrected with eyeglasses. It’s estimated that 4-14% have moderate hyperopia, which often goes undiagnosed and untreated. The results revealed significantly worse performance on the TOPEL among children with uncorrected moderate hyperopia, especially those who also had reduced near visual function, including clarity of binocular vision and depth perception.

If you or someone you know has a school age child who has not had an eye exam, please make sure they are evaluated for vision problems as this can affect their reading readiness, literacy and overall school performance. 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.

kid with apple on head

Whenever we see children who need eyeglasses-especially those who need correction for nearsightedness to see clearly at distance for the first time-parents always want to know if the prescription will get worse, and if the parent wears eyeglasses, did this cause the child to need glasses. We have always known that there seems to be a familial predisposition so that children of myopic parents tend to become myopic or nearsighted and need glasses. According to research published in the journal of the Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundationwhere a 22-year long study evaluated the parental influence on nearsightedness and its progression, there is no meaningful influence of the parent’s nearsightedness on boys, but there is a clear statistical influence on both the prevalence of nearsightedness and its progression among girls. Further, the cause of the nearsightedness seems to be related to corneal anatomy and its refractive power rather than the length of the eye.

It is important for all children to have regular eye heath and vision exams. Vision problems in kids can contribute to literacy problems and delays, overall learning problems and even the perception of attention and behavioral problems. 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.

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 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.

“I had never had an eye exam before in my life.  My wife made me schedule an appointment at The Eye Clinic of Texas to see Dr. Fradkin.  My pride would not allow me to accept that I was getting older and needed glasses to help me see up close.  Being a mechanic, it is important for me to be able to see small things and read the part numbers.  It became so frustrating having to ask someone to read the part numbers for me.  When I arrived at my appointment, I was greeted by a friendly staff.  The exam wasn’t as bad as I anticipated it to be and as I already expected, I needed glasses.  The optician, Tiffany, recommended an Oakley frame because it is durable and the nose pieces on it would prevent my glasses from falling down while I was working on cars.  Even though I did not want to accept that my vision deteriorated, I am extremely satisfied with the care I received at the clinic and appreciate the recommendation of the Oakley frame.  The glasses have worked well for me at my job.”-Aaron P., Mechanic

If you or someone you know would like to learn more or be fit with eyeglasses, sunglasses or digital high definition eyeglass lenses 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.

Eyelids & Dry Eye Problems

Sometimes we are surprised by the many conditions and circumstances that can cause you to have dry eye problems. We know that many common medications, including those for blood pressure and allergies can certainly cause dry eyes. We know that the hormonal changes associated with menopause can cause dry eyes as well as certain environmental conditions of dustiness, breeziness or dryness you might encounter. We also know that problems with eyelid inflammation, called blepharitis, or systemic inflammatory diseases as well as contact lens wear can contribute to dry eye symptoms. Now, according to research we reviewed in Cornea we also know that loose eyelids may also cause a disruption of the normal tear film and lead to dry eye complaints. In a study of some 138 patients, those who had loose eyelids were much more likely to suffer from sensations of grittiness, in adequate tear film quality and quantity and dry spots on their cornea-all key sign and symptoms of dry eye. The researchers concluded that eyelid laxity or looseness should be tested in anyone with dry eye complaints as it might be a source of the problem.

If you or someone you know is bothered by dry eyes 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.

IVF & Keratoconus Progression

What could in vitro fertilization and Keratoconus have to do with each other? As it turns out, quite a bit! 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. We carefully monitor our patients with Keratoconus because Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light-all of which can worsen if the disease progresses quickly. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Refractive Surgery alerted us to the fact that drugs used in IVF treatment increase estrogen levels, which may affect corneal biomechanics and induce progression of Keratoconus and thus we need to be even more carefully following those patients with Keratoconus who might also be starting IVF treatments. If they are determined to be of particularly high risk for progression, then we might recommend corneal cross-linking treatment to minimize the risk of keratoconus progression before starting IVF treatment.

If you or someone you know suffers from Keratoconus and is considering IVF, 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.

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.

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.