The Galveston and Houston eye doctors at The Eye Clinic of Texas wished to advise our community about the possible related risks from using improper contact lenses as part of Halloween fun when trying to alter the appearance of their eyes. “Halloween, decorative contact lenses and your eyes may not be a great combination,” remarked Allan Fradkin, M.D. “While Halloween can be a great time with interesting costumes and decorations, many participants try to turn their eyes from blue to some far out appearance or ghoulish look by using over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses that may enhance holiday fun, but can lead to serious vision-threatening problems,” Dr. Fradkin explained. According to the Food and Drug Administration, all contact lenses are regulated medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. Even someone with perfect vision would still require an eye exam and a prescription in order to wear any kind of contacts, including cosmetic lenses. 

Some websites advertise decorative contacts as if they were fashion accessories or toys with fanciful, playful packaging in order to attract teens and young adults, especially girls. The problem is not that people use decorative, noncorrosive lenses-sometimes called Plano-or zero-powered lenses, but that they buy the devices without a prescription through unlicensed vendors on the Internet or at flea markets and specialty shops. 

The buyer of these over-the-counter contact lenses faces a huge risk including scratched corneas, pink eye and more serious types of blinding infection as a result of a corneal ulcer. In 2005, a federal law was passed that classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye-care professionals. Illegal sale of contacts can result in civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. 

The safe and effective use of contact lenses-whether decorative or not-requires proper fitting and education about their care to prevent the potential for serious eye  problems from becoming a reality. If you or a friend would like to learn more about contact lenses of any type including decorative contacts 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 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.

The Eye Clinic of Texas Galveston and Houston Ophthalmologists wish to note that October has been designated Eye Injury Prevention Month by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. When most people go out to mow the lawn, jump-start the car or get ready to do some spring cleaning, the last thing they think about is protecting their eyes, but it should be first on their mind. It is a good idea to think about protecting your eyes from the extraordinary damage often caused by the most ordinary of activities. Many household chemicals, such as cleaning fluids, detergents and ammonia, are extremely hazardous and can burn the eye’s delicate tissues. When using chemicals, always read instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and make sure spray nozzles point away from you and others before spraying. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after use. Before using a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger, check for debris. Stones, twigs and other items can become dangerous projectiles shooting from the blades of a lawnmower, potentially injuring your eyes or those of innocent bystanders. Prevention is the first and most important step in avoiding serious eye injuries, so be sure to protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear. If you or someone you know have questions about preventing eye injury and eye safety please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937, visit The  Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik and schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is 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 Dr. Da-Thuy Van commented on insurance copays, coinsurance and deductibles. “Understanding insurance copays, coinsurance and deductibles is very confusing. With the ever-increasing cost of healthcare, many patients find themselves with higher copays, coinsurance and/or deductibles. It can be confusing to understand all of these terms but it is a very important that patients take part in understanding their medical bills,” explained Dr. Van.

A co-payment, or co-pay, is the flat amount the patient pays each time they see their medical provider. Your insurance establishes these fees up front and many insurance companies print this information on your insurance ID card. Coinsurance and co-payments are not the same thing. A co-payment is a set amount that you pay each time you see your medical provider. On the other hand, coinsurance is typically a certain percentage of the provider’s fee that is owed by the patient. For example, some insurance companies pay 80% and the patient is responsible for the remaining 20%. That 20% is the coinsurance that is due from the patient per the insurance company. The amount the patient owes will vary based on the fee for the service. A deductible is a fixed amount of money that the patient must pay before the insurance company begins making payment. For example, let’s say a patient has an insurance policy with a $100 deductible. If the insurance considers $300 of the services provided as “covered” services, the patient must pay $100 and the insurance will pay the remaining $200. Deductible amounts are typically calculated yearly so that means that beginning January 1st of each new calendar year, you must meet your deductible before your insurance will issue payment. If you have any questions insurance copays, coinsurance and deductibles, please contact The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937 and we will be happy to help.  

The Eye Clinic of Texas is 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.

“LASIK for astigmatism is not only possible-but we use it all the time as an excellent way to correct vision”, said Houston LASIK Surgeon Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas where he performs LASIK for patients with astigmatism from throughout the greater Houston area. “Astigmatism is something that is often confusing to patients. Also, in addition to being confused by what astigmatism is, a lot of people are under the incorrect impression that having astigmatism means you can’t have Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK to correct your vision,” commented Dr. Da-Thuy Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas.

Here is what you need to know about LASIK and astigmatism. First, astigmatism is one of the common types of refractive problems that cause blurry vision. Common refractive-or eye focus problems-include nearsightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia.

Astigmatism usually results from an unequal curvature of the cornea-the outermost clear dome in the front of the eye-that causes the eye to have two different curvatures and thus two different focal points. This can make images look more blurry at a specific orientation so that things horizontally are blurred or things vertically are blurred, depending on the direction of the astigmatism. Astigmatism can be very annoying visually and can even cause headaches and many visual symptoms apart from the blurriness itself. The visual distortions caused by astigmatism in healthy eyes are correctable with eyeglasses, contact lenses and Laser Vision Correction such as LASIK. During the early years after the initial FDA approval of Laser Vision Correction, the treatment of astigmatism was not yet approved and released in the United States. Shortly thereafter all of the FDA approved lasers were able to be programmed for astigmatism correction and received FDA approval to do so. Astigmatism has been correctable with Laser Eye Surgery for more than 15 years in the United States. “Today, as LASIK surgeons, we are able to accurately measure and treat all types of astigmatism with high degrees of precision and predictability,” said Dr. Van.

If you or someone you know has astigmatism and would like to be less dependent or possibly even free from the hassle of glasses and contact lenses for seeing at distance, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937 for a Free Evaluation for Laser Eye Surgery for the Laser Vision Correction of astigmatism.   

The Eye Clinic of Texas is 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 and Houston Ophthalmologist Allan Fradkin, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas shared thoughts about the need for school eye exams to avoid vision problems as we head back for a new school year. “We want parents to help get kids back to school on the right foot with a thorough eye exam,” stated Dr. Fradkin. “Parents should be aware that it is possible for their children to have a serious vision problem without even being aware of it.”

Making sure children have health eyes and are seeing well requires a comprehensive eye exam to look for eye problems and conditions such as lazy eye or amblyopia, crossed eyes or strabismus, droopy eyelid called ptosis, color blindness or deficiencies as well as the common refractive errors including nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism-all of which can impact learning and the ability to enjoy recreational activities safely.

In addition, The Eye Clinic of Texas wishes to announce that Prevent Blindness America has designated September as Children’s Eye Health & Safety Awareness Month. Eye and vision problems affect one in twenty preschoolers and one in four school aged children. Infants should be screened for common eye problems during their regular pediatric appointments and vision testing should be conducted for all children starting at around three years of age. If there is a family history of eye problems, or if an eye problem is apparent, it is important to bring it to the attention of an eye doctor so that they can advise the parents about when and how often their child’s eyes should be examined.

To learn more about children’s vision, eye health and eye problems please call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937 to schedule an appointment, visit The Eye Clinic of Texasor facebook.com/ecot.lasik.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is 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 and Houston Cataract Surgeons from The Eye Clinic of Texas want to share some thoughts about Cataract and Macular Degeneration. “Cataracts and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) share at least one common risk factor-AGE”, commented Houston Cataract Surgeon Dr. Da-Thuy Van. “Cataract formation and Macular Degeneration both increase in frequency and incidence with age and thus it is pretty common to have one, the other or both as we head through our 50’s, 60’s and 70’s. The question that many patients get confronted with is whether to have Cataract Surgery if they have Macular Degeneration. And if they do-will it make the AMD get worse and faster.”  The general consensus among Cataract Surgeons is that with proper preoperative diagnostic testing, examination, and consultation, patients who have Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) and who develop a Cataract are able to have Cataract Surgery after being counseled on what to expect with regard to overall vision improvements and lifestyle benefits. While ARMD is not a reason to avoid Cataract Surgery, realistic expectations must be established by and between you and your cataract surgeon. Further, the most current and widely accepted studies on AMD progression after cataract surgery found that there was no difference in the frequency of the disease among patients who had Cataract Surgery as compared to those who did not.

If you or someone you know has questions about Cataracts & Macular Degeneration 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 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 and Houston eye specialists commented on the relationship between glaucoma and metabolic syndrome based on a recent publication. Reporting in the July 2011 publication Ophthalmology, the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, researchers suggested that the risk of developing Open Angle Glaucoma (OAG) may be increased if you suffer from Metabolic Syndrome. Patients with diabetes mellitus, systemic arterial hypertension or high blood pressure, hyperlipidemia or high cholesterol and triglycerides and obesity have elevated risks of developing Open Angle Glaucoma. They concluded that “Given that approximately one-fifth of the U.S. population has metabolic syndrome, and that both metabolic syndrome and OAG increase in prevalence with age, our data suggest that as the U.S. population ages, the disease burden of OAG may increase in the coming years” The authors performed statistical analysis to determine patients’ risk of developing OAG in conjunction with individual and combined types of metabolic syndrome. Data were adjusted for social and demographic factors, systemic medical conditions and other ocular diseases. The adjusted data showed that subjects with diabetes alone had a 35% increased risk of developing OAG, and those with hypertension alone had a 17% increased risk. Those with diabetes and hypertension combined had a 48% risk. Those with hyperlipidemia alone had a 5% decreased risk. Obese subjects had a 14% increased risk. Patients with diabetes, hyperlipidemia and hypertension combined had a 26% increased risk and the risk of developing OAG were higher in African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans than in Caucasians, the authors reported.

If you or someone you know has questions about Glaucoma Risk 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 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.

There may be a relationship whereby women who develop Cataracts are less prone to developing Ovarian Cancer according to researchers. It is widely recognized that the major health benefit of exposure to Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation from the sun is the production of Vitamin D, which is helpful in protection against several human cancers, including Ovarian Carcinoma. On the other hand, Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation from the sun is a recognized risk factor for Cataract development. Researchers reporting in the November 2011 publication Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention studied 709 women with primary invasive ovarian carcinoma and 1101 controls to examine the association of Ovarian Carcinoma risk with a history of Cataract.  Some interesting findings were that older age, a history of Type 2 Diabetes and skin cancer were significant risk factors for developing a Cataract. Further, a history of Cataract was reported by 14% of cases and 17% of controls and was significantly associated with a reduced Ovarian Carcinoma risk. These findings add indirect evidence to the hypothesis that lifetime Vitamin D exposure may be inversely associated with risk of Ovarian Carcinoma. Additional studies are needed to further investigate the potential behavioral and biological factors that might influence association of cataract with ovarian cancer. If you or someone you know has questions about Cataract & Ovarian Cancer Risk please feel free to call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937 to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is 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.

The Galveston and Houston Ophthalmologists at The Eye Clinic of Texas are pleased to announce the launch of its new mobile web site. Patients who use an iPhone or Android-really any mobile smartphone or computer tablet like an iPad and need to schedule eye exams, LASIK consultations, cataract and lens implant evaluations and appointments for any type of eye disease or problem including glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration-will be able to easily find and contact us on their mobile devices today. It’s really very easy to reach us on your smartphone-just search The Eye Clinic of Texas on your smartphone you can click right through to see it!

To review The Eye Clinic of Texas mobile web site, use your smartphone to search The Eye Clinic of Texas.  For greater detail and more in depth information visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or to just be social come see us at facebook.com/ecot.lasik

Galveston & Houston Cataract Surgeon Dr. Da-Thuy Van provided important information for patients with diabetes indicating that cataract surgery can be successfully performed for diabetic patients. “We know all too well that diabetes is a known risk factor for developing cataracts and diabetic patients are also at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy-a serious threat to vision and a leading cause of new blindness,” stated Dr. Van.

Researchers believe that the abnormal carbohydrate and sugar metabolism that is the hallmark of diabetes causes the sugars and metabolic byproducts to damage the crystalline lens of the eye and form a cataract. “It is not uncommon for diabetic patients to need cataract surgery often at an earlier age than others who are not diabetic. Even though diabetes is known to cause difficulty with wound healing, the type of small incision cataract surgery I perform at the Eye Clinic of Texas performed today actually poses no additional risk to diabetic patients as compared to diabetic patients,” explained Dr. Van.

It is important that diabetics considering cataract surgery have a careful evaluation of the retina-especially the macula-using ocular coherence tomography (OCT) to identify the presence of diabetic macular edema (DME), a known finding in diabetic retinopathy that can cause less then optimal results after cataract surgery. In addition, in certain situations some cataract surgeons take an added precaution of placing an injection of VEGF inhibitor such as Avastin™ or Lucentis™ into the vitreous of the eye to prevent new blood vessel growth. Other than these considerations diabetic cataract surgery can offer patients good results. Early diagnosis and treatment is the key to preserving eye health and vision with diabetes. See your eye doctor regularly as he or she requests.

If you or someone you know has questions about diabetes and cataract surgery or would like to schedule an eye exam or cataract consultation 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.

The Eye Clinic of Texas is 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.