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.

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.

About Contact Lens Case Safety

There is good news for contact lens wearers from the American Society for Microbiology 55th Interscience Conference of Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC/ICC). New research has developed a “microbiosensor”-novel sensor device that alerts contact lens wearers when it is unsafe to put contact lenses in their eyes. This new device could reduce the incidence of severe eye infections which occur when dirty contact lenses are worn. This technology has potential for use as a both a research tool in clinical studies to monitor levels of bacterial growth associated with contact lens wear, and as a new approach to reducing and even preventing eye infections associated with contaminated contact lenses. While contact lenses are quite safe and effective properly fitted and cared for, there are a significant number of patients who just don’t take great care and misuse their solutions and especially their cases. Most often, they simply don’t keep their cases clean or replace them or don’t replace the solution in the case each and every day they wear their lenses. These kinds of risky behaviors expose the contact lens wear to increased eye safety risk of infection.

If you or someone you know wears contact lenses, has questions about contact lenses or wishes to be fit with contact lenses 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.

Did you know that having thyroid disease can cause eye problems? And,  thyroid eye problems can be quite different depending on your age. In general, younger patients under the age of 40 are more likely to have thyroid eye disease characterized by “eye bulging”, clinically called proptosis, along with a retraction or “pulling back” of their eyelids. Older patients, those above 40 years old are more likely to have thyroid eye disease characterized by double vision or “diplopia” from eye muscle problems as well “optic neuropathy” or damage to their optic nerve. In most cases younger patients have milder signs and symptoms of eye problems.

If you or someone you know has thyroid disease or experiences any of the signs or symptoms of bulging eyes, double vision or reduced vision, it is important to immediately schedule an eye exam and share your diagnosis of thyroid disease with your eye doctor or the symptoms you are experiencing. 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 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.

About Nearsighted or Myopic Progression

Myopia is a common disorder, affecting approximately one-third of the U.S. population. High myopia is associated with an increased risk of sight-threatening problems, such as retinal detachment, choroidal degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Slowing the progression of myopia could potentially benefit millions of children in the U.S. To date, few clinical approaches for myopia control and slowing myopic progression have proven to be consistently effective. Treatment options such as undercorrection of myopia, gas permeable contact lenses, and bifocal or multifocal spectacles have all been proven to be ineffective for myopia control, although one recent clinical trial using executive top bifocal spectacles on children with progressive myopia has shown to decrease the progression to nearly half of the control subjects. The most effective methods are the use of orthokeratology contact lenses, soft bifocal contact lenses, and certain eye drops not specifically approved for this use. We encourage parents children experiencing rapid myopic progression to discuss which if any of these options might be helpful or appropriate for their children.

If you or someone you know has a question about myopic progression or the ways to slow nearsighted prescription increases, feel free to discuss your concerns with us and 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.

dry eye

About Dry Eye and Hair Loss

What do dry eye and hair loss have to do with each other? As it turns out, recent research suggests there may very well be a link through your immune system. Alopecia means hair loss. When a person has a condition called Alopecia Areata the hair falls out in round patches on the scalp or elsewhere on the body. Alopecia is not contagious and it is not due to anxiety as some people think. Alopecia is actually due to your immune system attacking the hair follicles and resulting in hair loss. This disease is most occurs in otherwise healthy people. We now know that people with alopecia often suffer from dry eye disease. Researchers examined a series of patients who were previously diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and compared them to a control group who did not have the hair loss problem. They had each patient complete an Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and evaluated their tear film using a Schirmer Test for tear quantity, a tear break-up time test and corneal staining stage tests. Dry eye disease (DED) was diagnosed in 84% of Alopecia Areata patients and in 15% of the controls, and there was a significant difference between the groups. They believe that a certain type of cell mediated autoimmunity has a key role in BOTH Alopecia Areata and dry eye disease and that the inflammatory mechanisms causing Alopecia Areata may trigger dry eye disease or vice versa. Based on this research it is recommended that all patients with Alopecia Areata be examined and evaluated for dry eye disease.

If you or someone you know suffers from Alopecia Areata hair loss and wishes to be evaluated for dry eye disease and 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.