What does obesity have to do with age related macular degeneration (AMD) you ask?

It is well known that being overweight is related to a number of overall health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, orthopedic problems, heart disease and even cancer. Having extra pounds (particularly around the abdomen) is just bad for your health. A lesser known fact is that obesity can increase one’s risk of vision loss from conditions such as macular degeneration.

Certain controllable factors can contribute to vision loss. These include smoking, high blood pressure and diets high in fat. When these risk factors are combined with obesity, can increase the risk of macular degeneration significantly. In fact, two Israeli ophthalmologists reviewed more than twenty studies involving thousands of patients across the world to determine the connection between weight and eye health. Their study found a consistent link between obesity and the occurrence of eye disease.

Their review and analysis found that:

  • Obese patients were more than twice as likely to lose more vision than those with normal BMI’s.
  • The bigger a person’s waist, the higher their risk of vision loss.
  • Eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration are more likely to progress more quickly in obese individuals.
  • Exercising at least three times a week cut the risk of AMD getting worse by 25%.

In fact, another study known as the Beaver Dam Eye Study looked at the relationship between exercise and AMD and concluded that increased walking of more than 12 blocks per day decreased the incidence of wet macular degeneration by 30% over 15 years!

If you or someone you know has questions about AMD or age related macular degeneration risk factors, or needs to schedule an eye exam appointment, 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.

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.

Scott D. comments on his cataract surgery experience……

“Dr. Milstein restored my vision recently.  I had early developed cataracts. My left eye was so severe that I lost most my vision completely. Being able to see again is a feeling that is hard to describe. I just had my second surgery done yesterday and I am already happy with my vision. I do have some haze this morning but it is clearing up. The fact that I can see without glasses to drive has me giddy.  I had the standard monofocal lens implanted in both eyes and they so quickly have adjusted together. I am already noticing a vast improvement. The only side effect of going to the clinic is I have an addiction to the tootsie pops that Dr. Milstein gives you at each visit. This is a great clinic and Dr. Milstein is great doctor for all your eye care needs.”

If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, cataract surgery or lens implants or needs to schedule an appointment for a cataract evaluation, 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.

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.

The early onset of menopause is a known risk factor for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) with the associated hormonal changes seeming to play an important role. This begged the question of whether postmenopausal hormone therapy could actually play a role in reducing the risk of glaucoma and act in a protective fashion.

Research on Glaucoma Risk & Postmenopausal Hormones

According to researchers publishing in JAMA Ophthalmology taking estrogen only postmenopausal hormone (PMH) treatment may help reduce the risk for primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG). By reviewing data from 152,163 women 50 years or older the researchers found that 1.9 percent of enrollees developed POAG. Each additional month of use of PMH containing estrogen only was associated with a 0.4 percent reduced risk for POAG whereas each additional month of use of estrogen + progesterone or estrogen + androgen hormones did not affect risk for POAG. This is interesting information and will require further clinical studies to understand fully but may offer some novel treatments for primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), an insidious sight threatening eye diseases and the most common type of glaucoma.

If you or someone you know has questions about glaucoma, glaucoma risk factors and the role of postmenopausal hormone therapy in glaucoma risk, or needs to schedule an appointment, 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. 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.

Having a basic familiarity with the risk factors for age related macular degeneration (AMD) is important for patients-especially seniors-as AMD is a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. The key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor.

Know the Top AMD Risks

  • Being over the Age of 60
  • Having a Family History of AMD
  • Cigarette Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension

If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment for a complete eye exam and evaluation. Based on your eye exam and risk factors we may recommend certain preventive measures which can reduce your risk of vision loss from this disorder.

There are some AMD risk factors that can positively impact by making good lifestyle choices. These include not smoking, eating a heart healthy low fat diet rich in green leafy vegetables and limiting alcohol consumption. Some choices may not be possible such as reducing the long term use of aspirin. For patients at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent. Other risk factors such as genetic factors cannot be changed. However, knowing your family medical history is one way to learn whether you may be genetically predisposed to a disease.

Know the Symptoms of Wet AMD

With early detection, diagnosis and treatment with Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Inhibitor injections such as Lucentis® and Eylea® it is possible to avoid or minimize vision loss from Wet AMD. People who are at risk should know the symptoms of Wet AMD, as this type of AMD is the most likely to cause sudden, rapid, serious and even catastrophic vision loss. Symptoms of wet AMD can include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion”, “bending of straight lines and objects”, or even “distortion of facial features”.

If you experience any of these symptoms, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas right away and explain your symptoms and request an immediate appointment. Current treatments for Wet AMD provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. Earlier diagnosis of wet AMD gives a better chance of successful treatment.

If you or someone you know has questions or needs to schedule an appointment, 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.

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.

As January 2015 come to an end, The Eye Clinic of Texas wants to remind patients and their families that as Prevent Blindness America has designated January as National Glaucoma Awareness Month. This is a reminder that if you have not already done so, you should remember to schedule a regular eye exam with glaucoma screenings as this is a key to early detection, diagnosis and treatment and goes a long way to maintaining eye health and vision. While we have made enormous progress in reducing glaucoma blindness, the fact remains that some 13%-15% of patients with glaucoma still do go blind. The best way to avoid vision loss from glaucoma is to help us find it early so that we can achieve the best treatment results and outcomes for you should it be necessary.

If you or someone you know has questions about glaucoma, glaucoma eye exams, glaucoma risk factors or needs to schedule an appointment, 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.

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 was extremely nervous about having LASIK eye surgery. I cannot stand my eyes being touched and I couldn’t even wear contacts because the thought of putting them in my eyes scared me!  After having the surgery, I kicked myself because I should have had LASIK a long time ago.  There truly is nothing to it, I didn’t feel a thing!  Dr. Van and her staff are truly great.”

Taryn P.

If you or someone you know has questions about Zeiss VisuMax All Laser LASIK or would like to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation, 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.

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.

The excellent advances in glaucoma diagnosis and treatment still require patients to play an active role in their care by scheduling regular eye exams with the appropriate level of glaucoma testing based on their examination, risk factors and doctor’s recommendations. Glaucoma risk factors that may make additional testing or more frequent exams necessary include diabetes, high blood pressure, vascular disease, an early onset of menopause, sleep apnea, any family history of glaucoma-especially among siblings, excessive alcohol use and smoking, as well as race since if you are of African-American or Hispanic descent, you have greater risk of glaucoma.

Glaucoma Eye Exams–Eye exams for glaucoma should begin by checking your visual acuity with and without your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Then, the tonometry test should be performed. This is a method of measuring your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and gives us the first piece of important information in determining whether you might have glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy and high magnification contact lens exams are examination procedures used to detect and diagnose glaucoma by carefully examining the inside of the eye-especially the optic nerve-in order to detect glaucoma.  It is necessary to have some eye drops placed in your eyes in order to dilate your pupils so that the doctors can make a clear and direct observation of the optic nerve.

Glaucoma Testing–If either the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or the optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary in order to complete the glaucoma examination. These may include Visual Field Perimetry, Gonioscopy, Optic Nerve Computer Imaging and Pachymetry. Should you need any of these tests we explain them fully to you and answer your questions so that you understand how they allow us to diagnose glaucoma.

If you are under 40 years of age and do not have any meaningful risk factors, then having a glaucoma eye examination every two years should be sufficient. If you have any glaucoma risk factors, then an annual exam or as frequently as directed by your eye doctor is necessary to maintain eye health and vision. If you or someone you know has questions about glaucoma, glaucoma eye exams or testing, or needs to schedule an appointment, 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.

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.

Patients who suffer from sleep apnea may be at greater risk of glaucoma. What do sleep apnea and your risk of developing glaucoma have in common? Sleep apnea is a chronic condition that blocks breathing during sleep for more than 100 million people worldwide. In obstructive sleep apnea, the airway becomes blocked, causing breathing to stop for up to two minutes. Symptoms include loud snoring and persistent daytime sleepiness. Glaucoma affects nearly 60 million worldwide.  If untreated, glaucoma reduces peripheral vision and eventually may cause blindness by damaging the optic nerve. Only half of the people who have glaucoma are aware of it because the disease is painless and vision loss is typically gradual. Researchers, reporting in the journal Ophthalmology, the official publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that obstructive sleep apnea is not simply a marker for poor health, but is actually an independent risk factor for open-angle glaucoma. The relationship between the two conditions is significant, given the large numbers of people worldwide who suffer from them. Based on this finding, we want to alert obstructive sleep apnea patients of the associations between obstructive sleep apnea and open-angle glaucoma to raise the issue and encouraging treatment of those who need it.

If you or someone you know suffers from sleep apnea you may be at greater risk of glaucoma and need to have regular eye exams. 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 77550.

People with cataract related vision loss who have had cataract surgery to improve their sight are living longer than those with visual impairment who chose not to have the procedure, according to research published in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Infact, the researchers found a 40 percent lower long-term mortality risk in those who had the cataract surgery.

This research is from data gathered in the Blue Mountains Eye Study, a population-based study of vision and common eye diseases in an older Australian population. Adjustments were made for age and gender as well as a number of mortality risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes, smoking, cardiovascular disease, body mass index and measures of frailty and other disease. Follow-up visits took place after five and ten years since the baseline exam.

Previous research had indicated that older persons with visual impairment were likely to have greater mortality risk than their age peers with normal vision, and that cataract surgery might reduce this risk. These studies – unlike the Blue Mountains Eye Study – compared people who had undergone cataract surgery with those in the general population or with those who had not had cataract surgery, and did not link vision status to the surgical status.

The association between correction of cataract-related visual impairment and reduced mortality risk is not clearly understood, but plausible factors may include improvements in physical and emotional well-being, optimism, greater confidence associated with independent living after vision improvement, as well as greater ability to comply with prescription medications.

Cataract is a leading cause of treatable visual impairment that will affect more than half of all Americans by the time they are 80 years old. Cataract surgery to remove the opaque lens and replace it with an artificial lens implant is one of the most common surgeries performed in the U.S. today and is regarded as a very successful procedure of cataract treatment. Today, at The  Eye Clinic of Texas we provide a safe, reproducible and gentle cataract surgery procedure in conjunction with advanced technology lens implants to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even the near vision focusing problems of aging to help patients be independent of eyeglasses after their cataract surgery. If cataracts have made completing everyday tasks difficult, if you are having difficulty with night driving or feel your are not quite as mobile as you would like-cataract surgery should be discussed with Drs. Milstein or Van to help determine the best course of action.

For adults with glaucoma who read slower when reading silently for long periods of time and are more likely to have their reading speed decrease over time, possibly as a result of reading fatigue –the iPad, nook or Kindle ipad-ebookse-reader may be of help! According to a recent study published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science  glaucoma patients benefit from e-readers due to greater contrast ad font size adjustments that make the displays easier to use. This study suggests that technological solutions such as e-readers along with the apps that are developed for them may very well help glaucoma patients read more comfortably.

If you or someone you know has questions about how iPad, Nook & Kindle E-Readers may help glaucoma patients read more comfortably 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 77550