Cost is always a consideration when thinking about LASIK. It is no wonder that our Houston patients considering LASIK do take the time into evaluating cost. Whether buying a car, clothes, a computer, or medical care such as LASIK, cost is a factor in making the final decision. We know that when people can have refractive surgery at no cost, an amazing number of them will elect to have the procedure. The armed forces actually provides free refractive surgery and they are unable to keep up with the demand. When it was offered to incoming freshmen at Annapolis at no cost, 70% of those who could have the procedure, elected to do so. When it was made available to people who were covered by insurance policies that paid for the procedure, it is similarly very popular. So cost is always a factor.

At The Eye Clinic of Texas, we have been involved with LASIK for many years and have been able to keep our costs as low as possible. We are able to do that because we have an excellent relationship with our equipment manufacturers who know that we are very interested in controlling costs – so that we can pass those savings on to our patients – and they make every effort to support us.

Our cost is also lower than most because we are not in the middle of Houston and our overhead is less. It is important to us that we make LASIK affordable to everyone because we believe in the procedure.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about the of All Laser LASIK at The Eye Clinic of Texas or to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation please call us at 800-423-3937 or e-mail Amy Trittel at atrittel@ecot.com.

You can prevent sports related eye injuries with proper eye protection and protective eyewear. April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and the American Academy of Ophthalmology asks eye doctors to remind Houston residents who are athletes or who participate in sports of any type that 40,000 people suffer from eye injuries related to sports every year. These eye injuries from sports can be devastating, and the only way to prevent them is by wearing protective eyewear. The range and risk of sports eye injury can span corneal abrasions, eyelid bruises, retinal detachments and inner eye hemorrhage. The more serious risks can involve permanent vision loss as well as permanent disability.

Amateur athletes, school athletes and anyone participating in sports really needs to use eye protection. Specific designs are available for most sports, including basketball, baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, fencing, paintball, water polo, golf and others. Athletes and sports participants should understand that wearing properly fitted protective eyewear will not harm their performance or interfere with their activity-and it may well save their eye health and vision. 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection. Stay safe with sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour.

If you or someone you know has questions or would like help in selecting, fitting or choosing sports protective eyeglasses, 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.

asprinAspirin is one of the most widely used over-the-counter medications but it may actually increase your risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Aspirin is used as an effective remedy for headaches, body aches and fever and by millions of people at high risk of heart attack due to atherosclerosis as a preventative measure, thanks to aspirin’s anticoagulant properties.

As part of The Beaver Dam Eye Study 5,000 participants (aged 43 to 86 years) were followed for more than 20 years and received eye examinations every five years with participants being asked if they had regularly used aspirin at least twice a week for more than three months. Researchers found that regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was associated with late AMD, with estimated incidence of 1.76 percent, compared to 1.03 percent in non-aspirin users. Researchers concluded that these associations, though small, were statistically significant. Regular aspirin use 10 years prior to eye examination was significantly associated with the “wet” form of AMD, which accounts for 10 percent of all AMD cases, but is responsible for the majority of catastrophic vision loss associated with the disease.

Another study from a 15-year Australian population-based group completed a questionnaire that assessed aspirin use, heart disease status and AMD risk factors. In addition, they received four eye examinations during the 15-year study period. Regular aspirin users developed wet AMD—an astounding 24.5 percent. Even after adjusting for other risk factors like age, sex, smoking, history of heart disease and body mass index, regular aspirin users still had a higher risk of developing wet AMD. Researchers concluded, “Regular aspirin use is associated with increased risk of incident neovascular [Wet] AMD, independent of history of cardiovascular disease and smoking.”

Alternatives to Aspirin

If you’re a regular aspirin user, you should get a thorough eye exam as soon as possible to determine your AMD status. This is extremely important because AMD often doesn’t show any symptoms until well after the condition has taken hold.

If you or someone you know has questions about the risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD) and taking aspirin, 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.

Are Dry Eyes, Birth Control Pill Use & Contact Lenses Related?

What does having dry eyes have to do with wearing contact lenses and birth control pills? As it turns out there is a relationship between dry eye symptoms in woman using oral contraceptives who wear contact lenses. A study published in Cornea examined the relationship between oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use, contact lens wear and dry eye signs and symptoms in healthy young women. As it turned out, there were no differences in dry eyes between the phases of the menstrual cycle and no evidence that tear osmolarity-or saltiness-was affected by OCP or contact lens use in the young women. However, the study found that the combination of OCP use and contact lens wear together may increase the severity of dry eye symptoms.

If you or someone you know has questions about  dry eye symptoms, contact lens wear and taking birth control pills or oral contraceptives,  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.

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.