Driving safely in Houston after cataract surgery may reflect some interesting trends with regard to differences between men and women as illustrated by a recent study. An interesting study on cataract surgery and driving was reported in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology whereby motor vehicle accidents involving men decreased by 15.3% in the 12 months following cataract surgery but the frequency of postoperative crashes didn’t change significantly for women. Delaying cataract surgery often results in patients modifying their lifestyles and activities. This is especially the case as people restrict their driving in response to health and vision changes. “We need to hear from patients about their driving habits and whether they have had to change them as their cataracts develop-then we can help,” said Dr. Da-Thuy Van, a Cataract Surgeon at The Eye Clinic of Texas serving greater Houston & Galveston.

If you or someone you know has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery, lens implants or driving 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 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.

SmokingGreater Houston patients who are smokers should consider that smoking may increase your risk of developing cataracts according to current research and thought. “Pretty much all smokers today understand that there are well documented vascular risks of smoking. Many smokers know that they are also at increased risk of glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. What may be news to those who smoke is that they are also at increased risk of cataracts,” stated Cataract Surgeon Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The Clinic of Texas with offices serving greater Houston & Galveston.

Patients who are current smokers or who have any history of smoking are at increased risk of getting a cataract according to researchers reporting in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. The researchers found that the overall current literature suggests that smoking was associated with increased risk of age related cataract, especially nuclear cataract and to some extent posterior sub capsular cataract. They further recommended that additional efforts should be made to confirm these findings and clarify the underlying biological mechanisms. A healthy lifestyle and diet are meaningful ways of maintaining eye health and vision-whether lowering your risk of cataracts, keeping the tiny blood vessels in the eye functioning properly or minimizing the associated risks of glaucoma-it’s important to avoid smoking as a lifestyle choice.

If you or someone you know feels they are at risk for cataract development, has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery or lens implants please feel free to schedule an eye exam 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.

Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) is more common in individuals who have had cataract surgery. While there may not be an obvious “cause and effect” relationship but there are a number of possible factors may contribute to this. Cataract Surgeon Dr. Da-Thuy explained why cataract surgery patients often experience Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) after a cataract operation.

  • The vitreous changes that lead to vitreous liquefication and instability and ultimately PVD are age-related, as are cataracts and the need for cataract surgery.
  • Removal of a cataract can allow mechanical space shifts in the vitreous gel and perhaps increase the odds of PVD.
  • Biochemical changes actually occur following cataract surgery and these appear to increase the likelihood of PVD, particularly if the posterior lens capsule is opened.
  • Unusual complications of cataract surgery can disrupt the integrity of the vitreous gel and increase the odds of PVD.

“What we know clinically as a practical matter is that it is pretty typical for some 50% or more of patients undergoing cataract surgery to experience a Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD), with some patients noticing visual symptoms including a “cobweb” or some floaters,” explained Dr. Van. “If the visual symptoms become excessive or are accompanied by a curtain or veil in your vision, or perhaps distortion of your vision, we want to hear from you immediately.”

If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about cataracts, cataract surgery or Posterior Vitreous detachment (PVD) 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 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 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.

Patients having cataract surgery at The Eye Clinic of Texas don’t have to be concerned with undue restrictions on leaving Houston and flying and air travel after their cataract operation. “Having cataract surgery doesn’t need t present a major barrier to air travel of flying,” stated Bernard Milstein, M.D. “My cataract patients-especially as they seem to be getting younger-are continuing very active lifestyles. Often they need to get on an airplane or take advantage of air travel arrangements after cataract surgery and don’t want to be hindered.”

Most cataract surgeons require their patients to be examined the first day after cataract surgery and again at about 5-8 days after a cataract operation. This is the period of time where rare, but potentially serious, complications would likely be detected, if they were to occur. Beyond this period of time it is more a matter of making sure that you have access to continued follow up care at your cataract surgeon’s direction. If you are contemplating a trip after your cataract surgery you should discuss this with your cataract surgeon and we can give you any additional advice you might need regarding air travel as it would apply to your post operative instructions.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about cataract surgery, air travel and flying 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 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 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.

“Women seeing me for their eye exams experiencing near vision or presbyopia related focusing problems are often surprised to learn that the need bifocals or reading glasses earlier than men,” noted Ophthalmologist Dr. Da-Thuy Van of The Eye Clinic of Texas with offices serving greater Houston & Galveston. Researchers reporting the journal Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science (IOVS) found that women tend to need bifocals sooner to correct their near vision and the onset of presbyopia-the age related near vision focusing problem. The studies show that presbyopia, the inability to see at a close distance that occurs with age, is more common in women. While men and women need bifocals as they age, the need is more common among women and tends to hit them at younger ages than men. It is believed that while men and women appeared to actually have the same focusing ability when looking at nearby objects, because women are generally shorter than the men, with proportionally shorter arm lengths, they needed to hold objects closer to their faces when reading and thus required the near vision presbyopia correction of bifocals, reading glasses or even bifocal contact lenses sooner.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about near vision, focusing problems or presbyopia 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 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 Ophthalmologists from The Eye Clinic of Texas noted that the use of Lucentis® injections to treat diabetic macular edema vision problems gives us a great tool and a significant advantage in managing vision loss from diabetes. The key to preservation of eye health and vision for diabetics is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

For patients with diabetes who are at risk for diabetic macular edema, a significant cause of vision loss and an associated complication of diabetic retinopathy, Lucentis® eye injections work to treat diabetic macular edema, or swelling of the macula-this leading cause of vision loss associated with diabetes. Lucentis® has been used for some time to is to treat “wet” age-related macular degeneration (AMD) Lucentis® is the first drug FDA approved to treat diabetic macular edema. More than 500,000 people in the U.S. have diabetic eye disease and before Lucentis® had to have laser treatment to address this complication of diabetic retinopathy.

If you or someone you know has questions or needs an eye exam for diabetic eye disease or the problems from diabetic retinopathy and diabetic retinopathy 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 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 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.

“Patients should be aware that there are a number of eye problems and infections that can occur from using certain acne medications,” said Dr. Da-Thuy Van, an Ophthalmologist at The Eye Clinic of Texas serving greater Houston & Galveston. “If you are using medication for acne and experience any of these problems you need to come in for an eye exam and tell us so we can help.” What do eye infections and acne medication have to do with each other? Recently, a study on eye infections and acne medication was presented in Archives of Dermatology  where researchers collected data on nearly 15,000 teens and young adults taking isotretinoin to treat acne and compared their rates of eye infections to group that had acne but not taking the drugs and to a third group that didn’t take the drugs and didn’t have acne. Isotretinoin is also sold under the brand names Roaccutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan and Sotret.

Within a year of starting the medication, nearly 14 percent of those in the acne medication group developed an eye infection or dry eyes, compared with almost 10 percent in the group that had acne but did not take the medications and about 7 percent in the group that didn’t have acne. Compared to the acne-free group, those taking isotretinoin were at 70 percent increased risk of an eye infection over the course of a year. The mean age of participants was about 16.5 years old.

“The most common problem was conjunctivitis, an inflammation or infection of the membrane lining the eye and eyelids. Other problems included hordeolum or stye which is an inflamed oil gland on the edge of the eyelid, chalazion which is a tender, swollen lump in the eyelid due to a blocked oil gland, blepharitis-an inflammation of the eyelash follicles and dry eyes,” further explained Dr. Van.

Isotretinoin treats acne by reducing oil production from the sebaceous glands, among other effects. But isotretinoin also disrupts function of the meibomian glands, or oil glands inside the eyelids. The meibomian glands help keep the eyes lubricated. Less lubrication may mean the eyes are irritated, itching and burning, prompting people to rub them and introduce bacteria. “The good news is that most side effects of the drugs can be prevented using artificial tears to keep the eyes lubricated,” said Dr. Van.

If you or someone you know has a question about acne medication, eye infections or eye problems such as dry eyes, stye, chalazion or blepharitis 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 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 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.

“Adult eye health needs to be a priority as we enter our 40’s as middle age is a time when symptoms of many eye diseases may begin to emerge and when other diseases can develop without any symptoms at all,” commented Dr. Da-Thuy Van, an Ophthalmologist at The Eye Clinic of Texas serving greater Houston & Galveston. It is crucial for adults even without symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease to get a baseline eye examination at 40 for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of eye problems, conditions & diseases. Starting early will help to preserve eye health and vision. Some things to consider as we enter our 40’s:

Eye Health & Exercise

Our eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen intake, and both are stimulated by regular exercise. Regular exercise also helps keep our weight in the normal range, which reduces the risk of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. Remember to use sun safety and protective eyewear when enjoying sports and recreation.

Eye Health & Smoking

Avoiding smoking, or quitting, is one of the best investments you can make in your long-term overall and eye health. Even though as you enter your 40’s old age seems a long way off, smoking can increase your risks for cataracts and macular degeneration (AMD) as well as for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence our eyes’ health. Smoking increases the risk of severe vision loss for people with other eye diseases, such as glaucoma, as well.

Eye Health & Sleep

As we sleep, our eyes enjoy continuous lubrication. Also during sleep the eyes clear out irritants such as dust, allergens, or smoke that may have accumulated during the day. Some research suggests that light-sensitive cells in the eye are important to our ability to regulate our wake-sleep cycles. This becomes more crucial as we age, when more people have problems with insomnia. While it’s important that we protect our eyes from over-exposure to UV light, our eyes also need exposure to some natural light every day to help maintain normal sleep-wake cycles.

Eye Health & Systemic Health Problems

Systemic health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes that may be diagnosed or become more problematic in midlife can also affect eye health. One warning sign of both high blood pressure and diabetes is when the ability to see clearly changes frequently. Be sure to keep your eye doctor informed about your health conditions and use of medications and nutritional supplements, as well as your exercise, eating, sleeping and other lifestyle choices.

Eye Health & Dry Eye

This uncomfortable condition becomes more common as people age. Women are more susceptible after menopause due to hormonal changes, but incidence also increases for men as they grow older. It is usually treated with over-the-counter or prescription eye lubricants. If dry eye is severe, surgery to reduce tear drainage may be needed. If you have contact lenses, follow the use guidelines and avoid wearing lenses longer than recommended. If dry eye persists, talk to your eye doctor about possible treatments. Definitely discuss dry eye treatment with your eye doctor if you are thinking about or planning to have LASIK or other refractive surgery. Some medications increase dry eye. If you are taking pain relievers, antidepressants, antihistamines, or have questions about your medications, please bring this to our attention during your eye exam. You may wish to consider following a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) as it may reduce or help prevent dry eye.

If you or someone you know is entering their 40’s, it is time to schedule regular eye exams to preserve eye health and vision. 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 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 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 eye doctors counseled being cautious and careful when it comes to fireworks eye safety around the July 4th holiday. “Eye safety and eye injury prevention does need to be considered as we all enjoy the magnificent fireworks displays in and around greater Houston while celebrating the July 4th festivities,” commented Dr. Da-Thuy Van an eye doctor and eye surgeon at The Eye Clinic of Texas. It’s best to leave the use of fireworks to professionals who are well versed in eye safety and avoiding eye injury. This is more significant than one might think as eye injuries are the second most frequent injury we see from emergency room each July 4th weekend,” said Dr. Van.  “In particular, keep kids away from fireworks-they are not toys or playthings.”

If an eye accident does occur, there are a few things you should know:

  • Do not rub the eye.
  • Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye itself-but protecting the eye from further contact with any item, including the person’s hand.
  • Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the person to the emergency room at once.
  • Do not apply ointments or drops. They may not be sterile and may make the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.

Once you are seen in the emergency room please feel free to have them call The Eye Clinic of Texas at 800-423-3937 as we always have an eye doctor “on call” to provide consultation and continued care for you.

If you or someone you know has questions about fireworks eye safety and eye injuries 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 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 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.

Greater Houston patients concerned about their risk of macular degeneration should be encouraged by The Beaver Dam Eye Study as reported in the British Journal of Ophthalmology which suggests that regular exercise can improve and decrease the risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD). What doeye health and exercise have in common-actually quite a bit?

“AMD is one of the most common causes of vision loss among seniors and those over 50 years old. It affects central vision, which is important for driving, reading and seeing faces,” said Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas serving greater Houston & Galveston.

Participants of the study were composed of about 4,000 women and men who were followed for more than 15 years, conducting eyes tests and recording their levels of exercise. They were aged 43 to 86 and were assessed every five years starting in 1988. Considering other factors like age, weight, and blood fat levels, those participants who were active lowered their chances in developing AMD by up to 70% when compared to those who barely had any exercise. Those who regularly walk were found to have lowered their chances to 30%.

But how much exercise is enough? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recommended 90 minutes every day. This should be enough if you have an active job or walk during the say but would probably require you to do more if you have a sedentary lifestyle. It may help if you wear a pedometer, just to know how much you are walking. You can also try other forms of exercise such as cycling, golf, gardening, swimming, and other sports activities. Cleaning your house can even be of great help.

So how much does exercise to help eye health? It is a little too hard to tell exactly how exercise exactly affects eye health but here are some facts to give you some idea:

  • Exercise can lower eye pressure helping to reduce the risk of glaucoma.
  • Exercise can help prevent half of the cases of type 2 diabetes, a known risk for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.
  • Exercise improves the health of the cardiovascular system by lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL levels. Macular degeneration has been known to be caused by some factors of heart disease.
  • Exercise can make us less likely to perform risk taking activities which can damage our health as well as that of others.

If you or someone you know has questions about exercise, macular degeneration and eye health 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 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 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.