senior eye drops

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) can cause people to lose central vision and is a leading cause of vision loss in seniors. The prompt treatment of “Wet” Macular Degeneration is very helpful in preventing catastrophic vision loss for most patients. The “Wet” form of AMD is currently treated by repeated injections into the eye of drugs called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) inhibitors-that stop, reverse and prevent new blood vessel growth. The most common VEGF inhibitors include Lucentis®, Eylea® and Avastin® and often require monthly injections to be effective. Researchers from the University of Birmingham (UK) Institute Inflammation and Aging reporting in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science

have developed a method of delivering the AMD treatment drugs via an eye drop rather than by injection. The eye drop uses a molecule called a cell–penetrating peptide (CPP) to deliver the drug to the relevant part of the eye and hold future promise for treating Age Relater Macular Degeneration (AMD) with eye drops rather than injections.

If you or someone you know has a family history of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and is over 50 years of age or is a senior who has not had regular eye exams, please schedule and eye exam to help us help you avoid vision loss. 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.

active seniors biking

Does Physical Activity Help Protect Against Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)?

The benefits of staying active throughout life are constantly being reviewed and communicated to people of all ages-but especially seniors. The benefits include joint and muscle health as well as cognitive processes, mood and cardiovascular health to name a few. Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the main cause of irreversible severe vision loss in seniors.  A recent review article presented in the American Journal of Ophthalmology  suggested that physical activity is associated with lower odds of early and late AMD in Caucasians. These findings have important implications for staying active throughout life. However, the authors also felt that additional studies were needed to confirm and further characterize an actual protective effect of physical activity on the onset and/or progression of AMD.

If you or someone you know has a family history of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and is over 50 years of age or is a senior who has not had regular eye exams, please schedule and eye exam to help us help you avoid vision loss. 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 started having weird eyesight problems about a year before I actually came in to see Dr. Van.  I had difficulty driving at night and the glare and sensitivity to light I had made me very uncomfortable to drive.  I also began having trouble seeing things in a distance and near.  I assumed I needed new glasses since it had been awhile.  During the exam, Dr. Van diagnosed me with Cataracts and recommended Cataract surgery.  At first I was offended because I thought I was too young to have cataracts but Dr. Van reassured me I wasn’t alone and that it is quite common at my age.  I am so glad she recommended the surgery.  It was so quick and easy and I had minimal down time.  I no longer have trouble in my distance or near vision and I feel extremely safe driving at night!  Thank you Dr. Van and The Eye Clinic of Texas staff for making this such a great experience.”- Teri M.

If you or someone you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants 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.

Fruits & Veggies

Glaucoma: Diet, Health & Lifestyle: What You Need to Know!

As glaucoma is a chronic eye disease, we are often asked by glaucoma patients what diet, health and lifestyle factors can helpful or harmful to their eye health. There is a need to separate fact from fiction on recommendations and yet we can all take away some useful and practical information about the effect of diet, health and lifestyle on glaucoma.

Exercise and Glaucoma

One of the typical findings in glaucoma is that patients have an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP). Results from a number of studies indicate that aerobic exercise is associated with IOP lowering and according to the findings the change is greater among sedentary individuals than those who were already active and is independent of exercise duration or intensity. So, even a little aerobic exercise has a positive impact on lowering IOP! For anyone who feels they cannot incorporate exercise into their lifestyle-any kind of movement, even walking, may be beneficial. But, the key is consistency as you have to maintain your regimen because there is evidence showing as well that the effect of exercise on IOP does not continue when deconditioning occurs.

Diet and Glaucoma

There are many studies that suggest eating a healthy diet that includes a variety of fruits and vegetables-especially green leafy vegetables-is beneficial. This advice comes from studies showing that consumption of a diet rich in green leafy vegetables, or with a higher dietary nitrate intake (for which green leafy vegetables are an excellent source), seemed to protect against glaucoma. In general there is no harm in increasing your intake of green leafy vegetables–EXCEPT that for patients taking the blood thinner Coumadin® or warfarin, you need to be aware that green leafy vegetables are high in vitamin K and should you should discuss any increase in their green vegetable intake with their primary care doctor so that medication dosages can be adjusted if necessary.

Acupuncture and Glaucoma

Today, many patients express an interest in alternative therapies such as acupuncture for managing treating their glaucoma.  In general, according to the results of a well designed clinical study reported on acupuncture treatment for glaucoma in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, acupuncture is unlikely to be beneficial.

If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk of glaucoma or needs to schedule and eye exam including 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 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.

inhaler

For certain patients taking oral steroid medications for asthma or severe arthritis can actually elevate their intraocular pressure (IOP) and cause them to develop glaucoma. In the recent past, it has become very common to treat the symptoms of season allergies-such as a runny nose, itching and sneezing, with Flonase® (Fluticasone) which is administered with an inhaler. In fact Flonase® inhalers are now available “over the counter” without a prescription at your local pharmacy so that you can just buy them and begin treating yourself.  Is it safe to use Flonase® inhalers if you are at risk of high eye pressure and are you at even greater risk if you have ocular hypertension or already have glaucoma? According to the results of a clinical study, called the ICOUGH Study presented in the Journal of Glaucoma, there was no clinically significant increase in the average eye pressure in patients with well-controlled open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension after 6 weeks of twice-daily inhaled Flonase®. Thus, it is generally regarded as safe to use OTC inhalers of Flonase® without causing an increased risk of glaucoma.

If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk of glaucoma or needs to schedule and eye exam including 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 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.

glaucoma eye_2

Glaucoma is a major cause of vision loss worldwide. It affects more than 3 million people in the United States with nearly half being unaware they have the disease. During Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is reminding the public that early detection and treatment can help protect your sight.

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. Typically, the disease initially has no signs or symptoms. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause irreversible blindness.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that everyone have a comprehensive eye exam at age 40. This exam provides eye doctors an opportunity to carefully examine the eye including the optic nerve for signs of damage and other possible problems that may affect vision. Individuals at greater risk for developing glaucoma include people:

  • over age 40;
  • who have a family history of glaucoma;
  • of African, Asian or Hispanic heritage;
  • who have high eye pressure detected during an eye exam;
  • who are farsighted or nearsighted;
  • who have experienced eye trauma or eye injury;
  • whose corneas are thin in the center;
  • or who have health problems such as diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure or poor blood

Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are critical to managing this disease and preventing vision loss and blindness. If you or someone you know has not had a recent 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 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.

laser toys for kids

Inexpensive and extremely powerful lasers that are incorporated in toys are now available for purchase on the Internet. Laser pointers used for presentations or as toys typically have outputs of 5 milliwatts (mW) or less, usually in the red wavelength. These lasers are generally harmless to the human eye in short exposures. Ophthalmic lasers for treating diabetic retinopathy typically have a power output of 50 to 100 mW and come in a variety of wavelengths, depending on the clinical application. If misused, the lasers are capable of causing severe eye damage. Such lasers are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not available for public use. However, foreign companies sell lasers over the Internet that have outputs of up to 200 mW or more in dangerous green wavelengths.

These lasers can cause eye injuries plus confusion for eye doctors. Children who suffer eye damage from lasers may be misdiagnosed with genetic eye disorders and undergo expensive and unnecessary testing. It’s never advisable for children to play with lasers, but it’s especially worrisome that these devices are becoming more dangerous. The increased accessibility and stronger power of these devices most likely explains the sizable number of cases of eye damage in children being reported over the past two years.

If you or someone you know needs information or help with a laser toy eye injury in children 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.

diabetic retinopathy with vegj

Injections for Advanced Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy progresses in stages that reflect the severity of the disease. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a more advanced stage and requires treatment. Therapeutic injections for proliferative diabetic retinopathy represent a sound treatment for some patients with this advanced stage of diabetic retinopathy where blood vessels in the retina begin to grow, or proliferate, many which are fragile and more likely leak and bleed. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is a significant cause of vision loss if left untreated. Reporting on a clinical trial in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers compared the visual outcomes in patients with proliferative diabetic retinopathy who underwent either anti-VEGF treatment or Panretinal photocoagulation laser treatment. They found in many respects the outcomes of the group receiving injections were better in that the average vision over the two years in the injection group was better than the laser group, and the patients with the injections had less peripheral vision loss, required fewer future surgeries and developed fewer complications in the macular area of the eye.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, it is important to have regular diabetic eye exams to prevent vision loss from diabetic eye disease complications called diabetic retinopathy. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss from diabetic retinopathy. If you need a diabetic 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.

Diabetic eye disease and eye problems are well known by most patients because their primary care physician and eye doctor tell them repeated about the need to for tight blood sugar control in order to prevent eye problems. But most patients with diabetes are unaware of some unexpected health problems that can be related to diabetes and can be easily overlooked.

Cognitive, Memory & Brain Function Decline

It is not uncommon for Type 2 Diabetics to experience diminished ability in memory recall and focus, as well as organizing, planning and completing tasks. Research shows that people with diabetes have abnormal blood flow to the brain, which affects function and activity. This explains why, with age, diabetics may experience slower mental performance. This is another reason why managing your diabetes  requires a proactive effort to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions for proper diet, exercise, medications, lifestyle and glucose levels, as well as scheduling regular follow up visits and keeping all appointments.

Hearing Loss

Did you know that diabetics are twice as likely to experience hearing loss as they age? The National Institutes of Health also reports that 30 percent of pre-diabetics, with higher-than-normal glucose levels, can experience hearing loss. The disease can affect the small blood vessels in the inner ear, causing impairment. Protect hearing by regularly monitoring blood sugar levels.

Gum & Periodontal Disease

Did you know that diabetics are more prone to developing periodontal disease, an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss? A study of 9,000 people at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health discovered that individuals with higher levels of periodontal disease were more likely to become diabetic within the next two decades, as compared to those without the disease. Periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, making it even more difficult to control diabetes. Be proactive and prevent oral health and gum problems by brushing twice daily, flossing once each day and using an antiseptic mouthwash daily.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

About 50 percent of diabetics experience obstructive sleep apnea. People who are obese and have a collar size of more than 17 for men or 16 for women are more likely to suffer from apnea when they sleep. Researchers reporting in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine noted that people with severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea may have a 30 percent higher risk for developing diabetes. OSA is an increases risk factor for many eye problems including glaucoma.

While these are some unexpected diabetic health problems, the avoidance and management of diabetic retinopathy is critical. The best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment with regular eye exams. If you or someone you know is diabetic and needs an diabetic 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.

It is not uncommon for us to see patients who experience vision and eye problems from having suffered a stroke. These can often include double vision, loss of peripheral vision and even loss of sections of their visual field which can affect safe comfortable mobility, and sometimes just reduced vision. It is important, and we tell patients, that recovering from a stroke doesn’t end with the first weeks of acute care and the period of functional rehabilitation that follows. Negative effects of a stroke can present themselves well past the initial event. In healthy older adults, exercise training and a social network that allows both intellectual and social engagement have been shown to be effective measures for helping recovery from a stroke. Using your eyes and vision may be fatiguing even for normal recreational activities but is very important to recovery.

If you or someone you know has had a stroke and needs an eye exam we are happy to help. 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.