Various types of laser treatments for glaucoma are effective and represent a good treatment option for many patients. Laser treatment for glaucoma may be considered as first-line therapy in early to moderate-stage open-angle glaucoma when eye pressure or IOP is less than 35 mm Hg. Recent research presented at the World Glaucoma Congress also indicated that the SLT Laser may also be useful for glaucoma induced by the use of steroids and the ALT and SLT Laser may be useful in treating pigmentary glaucoma. But, we need to caution patients that there is NO cure for glaucoma and thus meticulous follow up and monitoring is necessary to ensure that patients continue to do well over time in order to preserve eye health and vision.

If you or someone you know has questions about glaucoma laser treatments,  please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, 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 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.

Genetic testing for many diseases-including eye diseases-is becoming available to more and patients today. Houston patients concerned about their risks of AMD are asking whether they should have genetic testing for AMD. While the presence of specific genes may indicate a increased for age related macular degeneration (AMD), according to researchers commenting in  Ophthalmology routine genetic testing to predict the development of age related macular degeneration (AMD) does not really predict how a person would respond to Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Inhibitor injections such as Lucentis® or Eyelea® and thus the genetic testing is not recommended. Further, the downside of routine genetic testing at present is that it can cause unnecessary anxiety, it can leave patients with promises that are not fulfilled and it may impact insurability and employability.

If you or someone you know has questions about genetic testing for age related macular degeneration (AMD) should please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, 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 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.

During your regular eye exam we thoroughly and carefully exam the tiny blood vessels in your Retina-especially for seniors and others who have high blood pressure, other vascular disease and diabetes. For patients with hypertension or high blood one of very important things we can tell from your eye health is you potential risk of stroke. In the past assessment of the signs of hypertensive retinopathy-the retinal vascular condition that results from high blood pressure-has been recommended for determining end organ damage such as kidney and heart problems.

According to researchers reporting in the journal Hypertension there is a clear predictive value of evaluating whether hypertensive retinopathy predicts the long-term risk of stroke in those with hypertension.  In this study, participants with hypertension aged 50 to 73 years had gradable retinal photographs, no history of diabetes mellitus, stroke, and coronary heart disease at baseline and data on incident stroke, were included from the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) Study. Retinal photographs were assessed for hypertensive retinopathy signs and classified as none, mild, and moderate/severe. Any history of stroke, cerebral infarction or hemorrhagic stroke were identified and confirmed. The results showed that after adjusting for age, sex, blood pressure and other risk factors, persons with moderate hypertensive retinopathy were more likely to have stroke. Even in patients with hypertension on medication with good control of blood pressure, hypertensive retinopathy was related to an increased risk of stroke! 

From this study we know that hypertensive retinopathy predicts the long term risk of stroke, independent of blood pressure, even in treated patients with hypertension with good hypertension control. Thus, if you have high blood pressure, it is often important for us to obtain photographs at your eye examination in order to document and assess hypertensive retinopathy signs that may be useful for assessment of your stroke risk.

If you or someone you know has questions about hypertensive retinopathy and high blood pressure, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, 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 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.

Anchovies in a row

Eating fish might help lower your risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Among our health conscious Houston seniors we are often asked about ways to help reduce risk of eye problems such as age related macular degeneration (AMD)-a common cause of vision loss in seniors. Recently, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that the disease may be associated with a high dietary fat intake. The results of their study found that eating fish, such as tuna, four times a week, may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The subjects of the study were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who did not have AMD at when the study commenced. After 12 years of follow-up, 567 people with a visual loss of 20/30 or worse were identified. Fat intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. The study found:

  • Those patients whose total dietary fat intake was in the highest quintile had over one and a half times the risk of AMD as those whose fat intake was in the lowest quintile,
  • Linolenic acid consumption was directly associated with the risk of AMD,
  • High intake of docosahexaenoic acid was associated with a modest reduction in the risk of AMD.
  • Those who ate four or more servings of fish a week were at a 35% lower risk of AMD when compared to those who ate fewer than three servings of fish a week.

The researchers concluded that dietary fat intake was associated with an increased risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD) and that this may have been due to the presence of Linolenic acid in the fat. They added that a high intake of fish, a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid, may reduce this risk.

If you or someone you know has questions about age related macular degeneration (AMD), reducing the risk of AMD by eating fish and reducing certain dietary fat please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, 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 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.

Understanding age related macular degeneration (AMD) is important for seniors, anyone over 50 with a family history of macular degeneration and those with known risk factors such as vascular disease, use of aspirin, high levels of alcohol consumption and those people with higher fat diets. More than 2 million people age 50 and older have late AMD which represents a considerable increase from just 10 years ago. This may be due to the aging of the U.S. population with the baby boomers wanting but being unable to maintain the lifestyle they wish due to AMD.

Types of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) & Vision Loss
AMD causes central vision to blur, but leaves peripheral vision intact. It is progressive and painless. There are two types of AMD, a “Dry” form and a “Wet” form. It is estimated that 85-90% of people with AMD have the Dry form which results in a gradual vision loss. Fortunately, only 10 percent of people with AMD have the Wet form which progresses much quicker and can cause catastrophic vision loss.

Treatment of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
While there is limited treatment warranted for Dry AMD as it is only slowly progressive, the successful treatment of Wet AMD requires early detection, quick diagnosis and then immediate access to treatment with vascular endothelial growth inhibitor (VEGF) injections such as Lucentis® and Eylea®.

Reducing the Risk of AMD & Vision Loss from AMD
The key to preventing vision loss from AMD is clearly early detection, diagnosis and intervention. Time is of the essence as once hemorrhaging has affected the macula-vision loss from scarring is catastrophic. Patients can often reduce their risk of developing AMD by not smoking as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables, avoiding foods with Trans fats, exercising and controlling blood pressure and weight.

If you or someone you know has questions about age related macular degeneration (AMD), the risk of AMD or the need for early detection, diagnosis & treatment of age related macular degeneration should please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, 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 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.

GlaucomaThe early onset of menopause may actually increase your risk of glaucoma. According to a study at the Netherlands Ophthalmic Research Institute in Amsterdam women who go through menopause early may be at risk of developing glaucoma. In a study of more than 3,000 women, those who went through a natural menopause before the age of 45 were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with open-angle glaucoma as women who went through menopause at age 50 or older. The results indicate that female hormones may be protective against open-angle glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.  Of interest is that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is thought to reduce fluid pressure inside the eye. Similarly, as hormone levels rise during pregnancy, fluid pressure inside the eye decreases significantly, the researchers noted. This is the first study to examine the relationship between female sex hormones, as indicated by age of menopause, and open-angle glaucoma.

If you or someone you know has questions about the increased risk of early menopause and glaucoma, their individual glaucoma risk or needs an eye exam for glaucoma please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas or facebook.com/ecot.lasik to schedule an appointment.

The Eye Clinic of Texasis 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 7155 Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77573, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 711 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Each January, Prevent Blindness America works with eye doctors to raise awareness about glaucoma, the risk factors for glaucoma and how to prevent vision loss from glaucoma. Houston patients should be especially sensitive to the fact that in African-American and Hispanic populations, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. There is a considerable increase in the number of patients being diagnosed with glaucoma each year. This may simply reflect our aging population or the fact that people are being more diligent about getting regular eye exams. We know that glaucoma risk factors can include family history of glaucoma-especially among siblings, certain diseases like diabetes and other vascular diseases, sleep apnea and even the hormonal changes from early menopause can increase your risk of glaucoma. We also know that there is an increase is risk as patients transcend through their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. The key step in preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnosis and treatment and thus the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision especially for our aging population. We strongly recommend that siblings of glaucoma patients be screened each and every year as their risk of developing glaucoma is some 5 times higher than the typical population.

If you or someone you know has questions about glaucoma, their individual glaucoma risk or needs an eye exam for glaucoma please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, 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.

The Eye Clinic of Texasis 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 7155 Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77573, 1100 Gulf Freeway, Suite 114, League City, Texas 77573, 711 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110, Texas City, Texas 77590 and 2302 Avenue P, Galveston, Texas 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

LASIK is affordable for patients from throughout Houston with Flex Plans at The Eye Clinic of Texas. January is a popular month for New Year’s resolutions which often include self improvements like LASIK. While the amount of your Flex Plan may be limited to $2500, we are pleased to tell you that you can have LASIK in BOTH eyes within this Flex Plan allowance with Drs. Milstein and Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates. Drs. Milstein and Van have been performing LASIK for Houston patients-with the most advanced technology-since 1997. If you or a family member has Flex Plan funds to use, this is a good time to make LASIK affordable.

Many employers offer Flex Plans-Flexible Spending Accounts or FSA’s. These plans allow you to have money taken out of your paycheck over time to pay for LASIK. What is even more appealing about Flex Plans is that money is withheld in Pre-Tax dollars allowing you to get extra tax savings.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK or find out if they are a good candidate for LASIK at The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, they can schedule a Free LASIK Consultation by calling us 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 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 77550.

“While we certainly know that there is a strong familial predisposition toward increased risk of macular degeneration, the new research demonstrating that Irish people are more genetically predisposed to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than other Caucasian populations is important,” commented Galveston & Houston Ophthalmologist Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas.

The study conducted by the Department of Genetics at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital Research Foundation, evaluated blood samples from more than 200 patients with AMD and compared them with samples from participants without the disease to identify genetic risk factors. The study shows that Irish people are at an elevated risk of developing AMD. It is also known that smokers are four times more likely to suffer from the disease.

If you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD or are of Irish descent you should please schedule an appointment by calling 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 with offices at 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 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 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.

Allan Fradkin, M.D. commented on how the application of optical physics might be helpful to patients with AMD, or age related macular degeneration, in regaining some functioning vision to overcome the visual distortion caused by AMD. “While the key to maintaining eye health and vision as we age-especially regarding macular degeneration-is having regular eye exams, there are still a growing number of patients who experience a disturbing distortion and twisting of their vision resulting from macular degeneration,” explained Dr. Fradkin.

Nobel Laureate Walter Kohn described a potential application of what is a dynamic “translator” for the particular distortion a patient experiences either in handheld computers or an optical corrective lens. “We routinely use the Amsler Grid, a graph-paper-like pattern to diagnose AMD-Dr. Kohn suggested that the Amsler grid could also be used to develop an optical correction,” said Dr. Fradkin.

When people with healthy eyes look at the Amsler Grid, they see its straight horizontal and vertical lines, with a dot at center.  Patients with AMD, however, often perceive a distortion about two or three centimeters in diameter in the center.

amsler-grid

Dr. Kohn has initiated the development of software that lets an AMD patient, using a mouse, pull the virtual lines until he or she perceives the grid as “perfect,” yielding reversal of the specific distortion a person experiences. Dr. Kohn then uses these results to create a correction for that patient. In one experimental device, a handheld computer scans the printed page, using software to perform dynamic compensation, distorting the text to make it readable for patients. In addition, Dr. Kohn uses of a slab of optical material to fabricate the visual correction so that AMD patients could hold the optical slab of refractive material over text, pictures or reading material, just like the magnifying glass people use for seeing small type—only the surface of Kohn’s slab resembles ocean currents or waves that reverse the distortion.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about how optical physics may provide help for AMD patients with visual distortion, 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 with offices at 7155 Old Katy Road, Houston, Texas 77024, 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 77550 that provide all aspects of general, medical, surgical, laser and optical eye care services.