Halloween is a fun time of year! We all enjoy the candy and the costumes, but the American Academy of Ophthalmology has sent out a recent warning to all of its members and the press reminding people to be cautious about decorative contact lenses. Topping off a costume with blood-drenched vampire eyes or lizard lenses may be unique and fun, but getting the lenses without a prescription can be dangerous.
A recent communication from the Academy of Ophthalmology included the following information: “Most people believe that decorative lenses don’t require the same level of care or consideration as corrective contact lenses because they can be purchased over-the-counter or on the Internet. This is far from the truth,” said Thomas Steinemann, MD, professor of ophthalmology, MetroHealth Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “In fact, permanent eye damage can occur from using over-the-counter lenses. We want to discourage all consumers, especially teens, from buying contact lenses in beauty salons, novelty shops or in Halloween stores.”
“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. Consumers should only buy decorative contact lenses from an eye care professional or a seller who asks for a prescription.”
But probably the most important thing to think about is if you do wear contact lenses, from any source, if they are causing any irritation, remove them immediately. People get into problems with contacts when they fail to take simple precautions and keep the lenses in their eyes even though they are uncomfortable.
Have a safe and wonderful Halloween, Trick or Treat!

PEDIATRIC EYE PROBLEMS-

A child should have his or her first eye exam by the age of three unless there is a family history of childhood problems or certain conditions are noted. The next exam should be done before kindergarten and every two years thereafter.

Certain problems demand an earlier visit to the eye doctor. Among these are a white color in the pupil of the eye (could be cataract or tumor), eyes that are not aligned with each other (potential lazy eye or amblyopia), droopy eyelid (could prevent lack of vision development), recurrent red eye (infection ), obvious inability to focus on objects or pick things up easily (refraction problem of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism), chronic tearing (tear duct blockage), and light sensitivity (glaucoma).

The Eye Clinic of Texas is happy to announce that our new Texas City office is now open.  Our new address is 7111 Medical Center Dr.  Suite 110,  Texas City, TX  77591.  We are located inside the Mainland Medical Arts Pavilion.  We are open Monday through Friday from 8:15am to 5:00pm.

 

MedPAC Considers Medicare Payment Cuts for Specialists
Officials from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent Congressional advisory committee, today said MedPAC is considering recommending that physicians, along with hospitals, pharmaceuticals and Medicare Advantage, pay the more than $300 billion cost to repeal the SGR. If adopted by Congress, this funding plan would freeze Medicare payments to primary-care physicians at their current rate and cut Medicare payments to specialists by 18 percent, spread over three years. In the past, MedPAC said cuts of this magnitude would result in serious access problems for Medicare beneficiaries, and instead recommended small, positive payment increases for physicians. MedPAC will present its recommendations to Congress in October.

Medical Associations to Congress: Pass Medicare Physician-Pay Fix Now!
The Academy has joined a coalition of other medical associations in an American Medical Association (AMA) grassroots campaign calling for a permanent Medicare physician pay fix. The coalition is advocating for repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that is used to update Medicare physician pay. Physicians are scheduled for a 30 percent Medicare pay cut on Jan. 1, unless Congress intervenes. The coalition is urging the new joint House and Senate committee, charged with recommending $1.2 trillion in federal deficit savings, to include a permanent SGR fix in its plan. Congressional leaders are not commenting, or are pessimistic that the committee will include the more than $300 billion fix in its recommendations. The coalition, however, pointed out that every significant Congressional budget proposal has included replacing the SGR formula in its comprehensive deficit reduction plan. Continue reading on the AAO Eye on Advocacy blog at  www.aao.org

Our new Texas City office is nearing completion and we are on schedule to open the doors on Monday, September 26th.  The new address is 7111 Medical Center Drive, Suite 110.  The office is located next to the Mainland Medical Center professional building.

Our Economy Is Good

There is no question that our national economy has been in the doldrums for the past several years and some might say that it has been worse than that, but Texas, and particularly Houston, has been fortunate to have been spared the worst. Those of us who live and work in the Clear Lake area have been wrestling with the end of the Shuttle Program at Johnson Space Center and the loss of jobs that this has entailed. While this has been troubling, a recent communication from Bob Mitchell, President of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership is very encouraging.

It seems that NASA, while discontinuing the Shuttle Program, is embarking on a new and ambitious effort to expand the commercialization of space and some of those projects are being developed right here. There are at least two companies that have been funded, who will hire about 250 people to pursue space projects in Clear Lake.

In addition to space related opportunities, Bob points out that many of our other local industries; chemical, electronic, and medical, are expanding and hiring some of the engineering talent that so abounds in this area as a result of the Space Program.

There are a number of other projects and expansions that are slated for this region and in particular, Ellington Field, that hold promise for continuing the economic vitality of Houston and The Bay Area in particular. We are indeed fortunate to live and work in such a vibrant community.

 

Introducing Botox and Juvederm

Non-invasive cosmetic procedures can reshape and enhance normal facial features that will help with self esteem. As we age, our skin elasticity decreases and that can lead to wrinkles and loss of volume. For those unwanted wrinkles, there’s BOTOX®. For loss of volume, there’s dermal fillers.

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is administered by a healthcare professional as a simple, nonsurgical treatment. It is injected directly into the muscles between the brows injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in people 18 to 65 years of age for a short period of time (temporary). BOTOX® is a purified protein that works by blocking overactive nerve impulses that trigger excessive muscle contractions. This reduces muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form between the brows. Individual results may vary.

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of the “11s,” the moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines). It works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles. This reduces muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form between the brows.
JUVÉDERM® XC is the smooth gel filler that your doctor uses to instantly smooth away wrinkles around your mouth and nose. With just one treatment, you’ll get smooth and natural-looking results that last up to a year.†

Everyone’s skin ages differently and JUVÉDERM® XC may be used to rejuvenate multiple problem areas.* From smile lines to vertical lip lines, you can smooth away unwanted wrinkles and restore natural contours. Learn more about the individual treatment areas by rolling over the list below.

Young, healthy-looking skin contains an abundance of a naturally hydrating substance called hyaluronic acid (HA). But as you age, sunlight and other factors can reduce the amount of HA in your skin. The lack of HA causes your skin to lose structure and volume, creating unwanted facial wrinkles and folds – like those parentheses lines around your nose and mouth.

Using a dermal filler like JUVÉDERM® XC is a safe and effective way to replace the HA your skin has lost, bringing back its volume and smoothing away facial wrinkles and folds.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring molecule. Much like a sponge, its primary function is to bind and absorb water, which creates volume in the face. In this way, Hyaluronic acid can be thought of as the body’s internal moisturizer. But, as we age, HA diminishes, which contributes to the presence of lines and folds. JUVÉDERM® XC injectable gel works to correct this by restoring hyaluronic acid in your skin, helping to diminish wrinkles and nasolabial folds.

If you have qustions or would like more information about Botox or Juvederm, call 800-423-EYES.