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Help for Itchy, Watery Eye Allergies

Spring is beautiful, except for pollen and itchy eyes! While many people enjoy the spring, millions of others live with hatred of those times when the trees, grass and weeds begin to pollinate. People who are sensitive to these allergens experience seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, the most common type of eye allergy. Allergic conjunctivitis-which causes red, itchy, watery eyes-results in the conjunctiva, the clear membrane like skin that covers the eye, becoming inflamed when triggered by an allergen. It is estimated that in the United States, some 20 percent of the population suffers from eye allergies making them anything but unusual. Further, the incidence appears to be on the rise. Some researchers believe that our increasingly clean, modern society which no longer requires our bodies to fight off multiple childhood infections has caused our immune systems to shift from an infection-fighting stance to more of an allergic stance. When the body’s immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to substances such as seasonal pollens and pet allergens, an allergic reaction can occur whenever they come in contact with your eyes.

If you or someone you know suffers when pollen season and spring arrives, resulting in red, itchy, watery eyes, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

Eye Injury in Children

Eye injury remains the leading cause of monocular blindness in children, despite the fact that 90% of injuries are potentially preventable.  Children playing with pets require supervision and education on how to treat pets. Children interact with animals in a variety of situations, and the associated dangers may be underestimated by parents and those supervising children. Eye injuries in children from pets can often be serious and cause severe eye problems-but they too are preventable.  It is not uncommon for children’s dog bite injuries to include corneal abrasions, corneal and sclera lacerations or punctures of the eye itself, all of which at a minimum require aggressive treatment and in many instances repeated surgery. Further, animals are capable of causing damage to the delicate tissue of the eyelids and surrounding tissue that can be cosmetically and visually devastating-also requiring multiple surgeries.

Typically, when very small children-age 4 and younger-are bitten by dogs, eye injuries occur about 15% of the time. The dog is usually one the child is familiar with, and second attacks by the same dog are likely to cause more serious injury. It is recommended that any dog that bites a child be removed from the household. With caution, education and supervision pets and children can be quite compatible but does require some care.

 If you or someone you know would like to learn more about children’s eye injuries, especially from pets such as dogs, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

Cataract Surgery Patient Satisfaction

The benefits of cataract surgery in restoring poor vision as well as quality of life are very obvious. As cataract surgeons we are also very pleased to report that cataract surgery has an extremely high level of overall patient satisfaction-in our practice as well as in national surveys collected by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) Institute for Quality Improvement. By 2030, 38 million Americans will suffer from cataracts, a number that will increase to 50 million by 2050, according to the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. According to the study, from the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) Institute for Quality Improvement, 99.7% of patients would recommend the procedure to friends or relatives suffering from cataracts. 96% of patients reported that their vision was better post-surgery, and 98 percent said they were comfortable during the procedure and right after their surgery. What’s more, 96% returned to normal activities of daily living within one week of their cataract surgery procedure. This is very typical of what we see at The Eye Clinic of Texas and the data clearly shows that patients find value in cataract surgery and are generally very pleased with the outcomes of the procedure,” said Bernard Milstein, M.D.

If you or someone you know suspects or has been told they have a cataract and would like to learn more about cataract surgery and lens implants, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

Treatment of Amblyopia

The best results are always achieved if the treatment of amblyopia is started as early as possible. If necessary, children with refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism can wear glasses or contact lenses when they are as young as one week old. Children with cataracts or other “amblyogenic” conditions need to be treated promptly in order to minimize the development of amblyopia. One of the most important treatments of amblyopia is correcting the refractive error with consistent use of glasses and/or contact lenses. Other mainstays of amblyopia treatment are to enable as clear an image as possible, for example, by removing a cataract, and forcing the child to use the non dominant eye by patching or blurring the better seeing eye with eye drops. Eye drops are used to “penalize” the good eye and force  the use of the weaker or amblyopic eye. We may be able to use eye drops instead of patching when the amblyopia is not very bad or when a child is unable to wear the patch as recommended. For mild to moderate degrees of amblyopia, studies have shown that patching or eye drops may be just about equally effective.  Generally, we start to see improvements in vision within weeks of treatment however for optimal results it will be necessary to be patient for many months.

In some cases, treatment for amblyopia isn’t successful and it is difficult to stop treatment but is recommended when there is any real benefit. Children who have amblyopia in one eye and good vision only in their other eye can wear safety glasses and sports goggles to protect the normal eye from injury. As long as the good eye stays healthy, these kids function normally in most aspects of society.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about the treatment of amblyopia or needs a kids eye exam, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

BernardAMilsteinMDphoto

Our own Bernard Milstein, M.D. of The Eye Clinic of Texas just returned from the American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery, a yearly meeting for ophthalmologists and representatives of the major ophthalmic corporations involved with cataract and laser eye surgery for vision correction. The meeting, which is by invitation, was attended by 125 ophthalmologists and an equal number of industry representatives. The Chief Executive Officers of Alcon, AMO, Bausch & Lomb, Allergan, and Zeiss, the major ophthalmic companies, attended and made presentations. This is a unique meeting where practicing ophthalmology opinion leaders have an opportunity to meet and interact with the key industry leaders in a free exchange of ideas, with the hope of fostering innovation in eye care.

The American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery started approximately 30 years ago when David Dulaney, M.D., an ophthalmologist from Phoenix, invited a number of his friends who were on the forefront of laser vision correction such as bladeless lasik and cataract surgery to meet and discuss the challenges and opportunities they were encountering. The meeting has grown, but it has retained much of its pioneering quality.

Dr. Milstein shared his thoughts about this interesting meeting. “I have attended this meeting for approximately 10 years and have been invigorated by the constant exposure to new ideas and new concepts. This year was no exception. The discussion was centered on new intraocular lens implants and the exciting changes that were occurring in the laser vision correction arena,” explained Dr. Milstein. “It was comforting to be included by the CEO of Zeiss as one of the 18 major centers that was involved with Zeiss in the development of the SMILE procedure and their VisuMax Laser in the United States. I was quite pleased to be included in the group of 18 physicians who are considered to be the team leaders for refractive surgery,” shared Dr. Milstein.

If you have not had an eye exam with glaucoma testing and are taking these medications, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

Alice H. was kind enough to share her thoughts about cataract and cataract surgery:

“The glare in my vision while driving at night was so terrible that I quit going to my Bridge card game because I was too terrified to drive at night and afraid I might hurt myself or someone else.  After surgery I can see so well near and far thanks to Dr. Milstein and his staff!  I have now joined my bridge group again and no longer afraid to drive at night!”

If you or someone you know experiences cloudy, blurry vision and difficulty with night driving and faded colors you might wish to learn more about cataracts, laser cataract surgery and lens implants by scheduling a cataract eye exam at The eye clinic of Texas by calling us at an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

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About Headaches and Childrens’ Eye Problems

It is pretty common for parents to bring their children in for an eye exam because they are complaining of headaches. Headaches are a frequent complaint of kids but fortunately they are usually not serious. Some of the more common causes of headaches in kids include migraine, the stress and tension of school, certain foods with nitrate or MSG preservatives, physical trauma, sinus infections and of course eye problems. Parents can be concerned with the serious but truly rare occurrence of brain tumors causing headaches but this is usually accompanied by other complaints of dizziness, weakness of arms and legs and a loss of coordination.

Evaluating Kids with Headaches

As part of evaluating any child with headaches I always want to be sure that there has been a complete and thorough examination by their pediatrician who may need to order additional tests or even a referral to a neurologist. Then I will need to perform a complete eye exam including evaluation of the pupils, a refraction to determine any refractive error or  need for glasses, eye alignment and binocularity testing and sometimes possible a visual field examination. Generally I will put drops in the child’s eyes to dilate the pupils, so that the optic nerves can be properly examined and the refractive error can be most accurately measured.

Eye Problems That Can Cause Headaches

If your child has uncorrected hyperopia or farsightedness, it requires extra effort to focus clearly while reading.  This can sometimes lead to fatigue and headache.  Glasses can reduce the effort required to see clearly at near and improve the headache, if significant hyperopia exists.  Mild hyperopia is normal in children, however, and generally does not cause headaches or other symptoms.

When we read or perform other near activities, our eyes pull in toward each other, this is called convergence. The decreased ability to pull the eyes toward each other when viewing near objects (convergence), particularly while reading, may cause headaches.  This is called convergence insufficiency, and symptoms include the doubling of images or words, blurred vision, fatigue, and headaches which worsen with prolonged reading.  At home eye exercises, sometimes with the help of computer software, can help treat convergence insufficiency. Glasses are sometimes prescribed, but costly in-office eye exercises are rarely necessary.

Acute infections, allergic and inflammatory diseases of the eyes can also cause headaches.  These problems are often accompanied by redness of the eye and/ or the eyelid as well as light sensitivity or photophobia. Acute glaucoma can cause headaches, but rarely affects children.  Pseudo tumor Cerebri is a condition caused by increased intracranial pressure or too much fluid around the brain, and this causes headache and swelling of the optic nerves, but does not typically cause redness of the eyes. During the complete eye exam we perform we will be able to rule out these problems as a cause of headaches in your child. If we do not find any ocular causes of your child’s headache we may refer them back to his/her pediatrician and/or to a neurologist to look for other possible causes of the headaches.

If you have questions about causes of kids headaches or children’s eye problems, or need assistance please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

About Nearsighted Progression

Anyone who has a child or teenager who is becoming more and more nearsighted each year wants to know if there are ways we can prevent the progression of myopia. Over the years there has been discussion of trying to under correct the nearsightedness, rather than prescribing the full correction, in order to slow down nearsighted prescription changes. Researchers reporting in Grafe’s Archives for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmologystudied the effects of undercorrection of myopia on myopia progression and eye length elongation in a population of 12-year-olds. They followed more than 2,000 children for 1 year and used careful analysis to consider the effects of how much near work, how much outdoor activity and the amount of time glasses were actually used as well as the degree of nearsightedness. They tested them by measuring their cycloplegic auto refraction, axial length of the eye, visual acuity and near vision focusing lag. The results demonstrated that over a period of 1 year, prescribing an undercorrection or full correction of myopia by wearing spectacles did not show any differences in myopia progression. Whether this would be the same result for younger children, or if the correction was prescribed in contact lenses or over a longer period of time is not certain but initially suggests that it is not helpful to under correct nearsighted children with glasses to slow myopic progression.

If you or someone you know have questions about nearsightedness, types of correction for nearsightedness including glasses, contact lenses of even LASIK, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

Quality of Life after Cataract Surgery

When we think of the impact that cataracts have on people, it is pretty easy to identify that vision decline or loss comes mainly from the blurry cloudy vision that cataracts cause, but also the night vision problems from the glare and haloes associated with cataracts. What is much more important than the vision loss itself is the negative impact on patient’s quality of life. Recent research published in Acta Ophthalmologica studied the effect of patient quality before and after having cataract surgery. The researchers compared patients with no known cataracts of the same age, health and lifestyle to those who had cataracts before and after cataract surgery.  When compared with the general population, cataract patients had much lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL) than those without cataracts as measured by five dimensions: seeing, moving, hearing, performing their usual activities and general discomfort and symptoms. Then at 12 months after cataract surgery there was significant improvement in the quality of life index (HRQoL) across these same dimensions. While this seems obvious, it is a reminder that cataracts and vision loss affect more than just vision and reason to avoid suffering if you feel that your vision might be impacting your quality of life.

If you or someone you know suspects or has been told they have a cataract and would like to learn more about cataract surgery and lens implants, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.

About Retinitis Pigmentosa

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a progressive inherited disease of the eye, in which the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells located in the retina degenerate. This results first in the loss of night and peripheral vision, eventually progressing to the loss of central vision and total blindness. It is the leading cause of inherited blindness in the developed world.

The disease, which affects approximately 1.5 million people in the world, has no cure, but thanks to  research done at the University of California-Santa Barbara, a new stem cell therapy may soon be available that protects photoreceptor cells from the damaging effects of the gene mutation. So far, only a small number of legally blind patients with RP have begun a trial. The trial is the first attempt to use stem cells to prevent the loss of vision from RP. An experimental injection of retinal stem cells is placed in the eye with the hope that the growth factors from these cells will protect the retinal cells and prevent them from dying, thus preserving the patient’s remaining vision.

If you, a family member or someone you know would like to learn more about Retinitis Pigmentosa or many new stem therapies being developed for diseases of the retina, please call The Eye Clinic of Texas, an affiliate of Houston Eye Associates, at 800-423-3937, visit The Eye Clinic of Texas, Google+  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.