Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Understanding Vitamins for Macular Degeneration

Understanding Vitamins for Macular Degeneration


       AREDS vs AREDS2

In 2001, Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) researchers reported that a nutritional supplement called the AREDS formulation could reduce the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

In 2006, the same research group, based at National Institute of Health’s National Eye Institute, began a second study called AREDS2 to determine if they could improve the AREDS formulation. They tested the following: adding antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids, removing beta-carotene, and lowering the dose of zinc.

What is the original AREDS formulation?
-500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
-400 international units of vitamin E
-80 mg zinc as zinc oxide
-15 mg beta-carotene
-2 mg copper as cupric oxide

What modifications were tested in AREDS2?
-10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin
-1000 mg of omega-3 fatty acids (350 mg DHA and 650 mg EPA)
-25 mg zinc
-No beta-carotene

Why did they change the AREDS2 formulation?
Why add lutein/zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids? Previous studies had found that dietary intake of lutein/zeaxanthin and omega-3 fatty acids is associated with a lower risk of developing advanced AMD.

Why eliminate beta-carotene? During the AREDS trial, two large trials funded by the National Cancer Institute found that beta-carotene may increase lung cancer risk among people who smoke. Lutein and zeaxanthin are in the same family of nutrients as beta-carotene and are believed to have important functions in the retina. Therefore, the researchers theorized that lutein/zeaxanthin might be a safer and possibly more effective alternative than beta-carotene.

Why reduce zinc? Although zinc was found to be an essential component of the AREDS formulation in the original trial, some nutritional experts recommended a lower dose.

Watch Fellowship Trained Retina Specialist, Dr. Katia Taba talk about AREDS vitamins! 

You can buy AREDS2 formula eye vitamins at all of The Optical Gallery locations at The Eye Associates.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery vs. Traditional Cataract Surgery

vs. Traditional Cataract Surgery


Amazing breakthrough technology in medicine is happening every day, and ophthalmology is no different. One of the latest ophthalmic advancements has been in cataract surgery.

Gone are the days of going to the hospital and wearing ‘coke-bottle’ eyeglasses. Today’s cataract surgery patients are in and out of surgery within a couple of hours, with no need for stitches or needles. Only eyedrop anesthesia is used.

The biggest advancement has been with the use of a laser to do the cataract surgery. The Eye Associates was the first in this area to get an Alcon LenSx Laser, and many patients are choosing Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery instead of traditional cataract surgery.

The traditional cataract surgery procedure involves the creation of small incisions made with a blade manually by the cataract surgeon. Our surgeons are very skilled and have done thousands of surgeries this way with great results, but they just can’t match the precision of a computer.

By adding the computer control of the Alcon LenSx Laser, Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery automates the most challenging steps of cataract surgery for the eyes, such as performing corneal incisions, opening the capsule, and softening, breaking up the cataract. This results in a higher degree of precision. The laser also has an advanced imaging system that provides both real-time video as well as three-dimensional visualization, enabling the cataract surgeons to custom design a treatment plan that is individually tailored for each patient.

It should be noted, however, that not everyone is a candidate for Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery. And while Bladeless Laser unquestionably offers a higher degree of precision, traditional cataract surgery has been providing successful outcomes for over 30 years.

How do I know which would be better for me?
Traditional Cataract Surgery or Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery?

-If you are on a budget and want to reduce your out-of-pocket cost, then traditional cataract surgery is a good choice for you.

-But if you want to have a higher probability of not wearing glasses after cataract surgery, then the Bladeless Laser is the way to go.

-And if you have astigmatism, then the Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery is the better choice.

If you would like to see an actual Bladeless Laser Cataract Surgery video narrated by cataract specialist Cathleen McCabe, MD, one of our experienced cataract surgeons here at The Eye Associates, click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2RE3ofebI8&list=UUtwSepgGY2fJH_VZD4iDIxA

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tired of Glasses and Been Told That You Are Not a Candidate for LASIK?

              Now there’s good news for you! Thanks to a procedure called Clear Lens Replacement, you have another option. Clear Lens Replacement, or CLR, is a surgical procedure designed to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses for people with farsightedness or nearsightedness, and even those with astigmatism. Unlike other refractive procedures like LASIK that changes the shape of the cornea, CLR corrects your vision by removing the natural crystalline lens in the eye and replacing it with a new artificial lens, called an Intraocular Implant or IOL. The CLR procedure is similar to cataract surgery; however, the removed lens is clear instead of cloudy as in cataract surgery. Another great benefit is that once you have CLR, you will never get cataracts nor ever require cataract surgery.

              State-of-the-art ultrasound instruments are used to measure your eye for the correct lens power, taking your lifestyle and desired activities into consideration. These custom measurements are entered into sophisticated formulas to calculate your personalized treatment plan and IOL power. If you wear reading glasses, you even have the choice of a high tech multifocal IOL, designed to allow patients to see distance AND near. For people over 40 who have begun to lose "accommodation” and now need reading glasses, bifocals, or progressive lenses, CLR is a much better choice than LASIK. In the past, CLR patients would automatically receive a single focus IOL. These single focus IOLs provided patients with good functional distance vision, but offered little benefit for a full range of distance, intermediate and near vision. Typically, reading glasses or bifocals were used for near vision, making most patients dependent on glasses even after the surgery. But now with the FDA approved high tech lens implants, we are able to offer patients the possibility of not needing glasses to see distance or up close. People often remark that their vision is better than it ever was before, since we are able completely customize their treatment.

Clear Lens Replacement has been performed extensively in Europe for years with excellent results. The number of CLR procedures performed in the United States has dramatically increased in the last few years due to the elevated interest in vision correction procedures.

              Clear Lens Replacement is also sometimes call RLR (Refractive Lens Replacement) and RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange) and is an alternative you may not have considered previously. While not everyone is a candidate for this procedure, Dr. Cathleen McCabe or Dr. Brian Foster can help you determine the best choice for you and your eyes. If you would like to be evaluated for Clear Lens Replacement, please call The Eye Associates at 1-866-865-2020. We even offer FREE CLR screenings!

Hear how CLR changed this young man's life: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w9jJmQ_0qhA

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Friday, May 30, 2014

What is Vision Therapy and could it help my child read better?

Not all visual problems can be solved with glasses and contact lenses. Sometimes the problems are related to the visual function and performance of your eyes. Vision therapy, sometimes called visual training or orthoptics, is an individualized treatment that teaches you a more efficient way to perform visually. Much like physical therapy improves your physical abilities, vision therapy (VT) combines the art and science of vision care to improve your eye’s visual function.

Some common everyday symptoms relieved with vision therapy include:
·         eye strain
·         visually induced headaches
·         inability to concentrate when doing visual tasks
·         loss of place when reading or reversals
Often people are not even aware of these symptoms because they subconsciously avoid visually demanding tasks.

 The benefits of VT include improvement of processing information and the ability to sustain good visual function over longer time periods. This is especially helpful to children in the classroom as well as adults using a computer or reading. Without efficient visual skills, the simple act of reading can be frustrating and transfer into learning disabilities in both children and adults. VT can also serve as a key component of the healing plan following a stroke or head injury.

Other disorders that can benefit from vision therapy:
·       problem with eye movement
·       difficulty using both eyes together
·       crossed eyes
·       lazy eye
·       problems with focusing eyes
·       problem making sense of information that you see
·       trouble with hand and eye coordination
·       people with traumatic brain injury or ones that have had a stroke

How to get started with Vision Therapy

Dr. Mary Jo Baize, vision therapy optometrist at our Sarasota location, will first start with an eye exam performing some clinical testing to determine the presence of any visual deficiencies that cannot be helped with eyeglasses. If deficiencies are found and vision therapy is indicated, she will recommend a specific individualized VT treatment plan for you.

Vision therapy typically involves a combination of in-office treatments as well as vision therapy exercises at home.  Some of the devices include specially adapted computers along with important feedback from the patient. The goal is for visual skills to be developed until they become automatic and subconsciously integrated with everyday activities. One of the most important ingredients for having success with VP is the patient’s dedication to the program.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Why are your eyes watering, itching and blurry?

dry eye doctor, ophthalmology, diseases, eye treatment, dry eye syndrome

Sounds like Dry Eyes to me! Here are some more symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome:
eyes sting and itch
eyes with excessive tearing
burning sensation in eyes
irritated, red eyes
sandy/gritty feeling in eyes
eyes sensitive to light
Dry Eye Syndrome was hard to diagnose in the past because there was not an easy, accurate way to measure the osmolarity of tears (or in other words… just how dry your eyes really are). Also there was not a good dry eye treatment. Today we have many treatments that include Restasis prescription eyedrops, punctual plugs, conjunctivochalasis treatment (known as CCH), and even eyelid revision surgery. But before we can recommend a treatment, we need to find out how dry your eyes are. 

What is Tear Osmolarity and what does it have to do with my dry eyes?
One of the latest in dry eye technology is the TearLab Osmolarity System. The TearLab is the first objective and quantitative test for diagnosing dry eye patients. By using the TearLab, The Eye Associates can quickly and painlessly measure a small sample of tears to determine dryness. This helps your dry eye doctor understand the ‘level’ of Dry Eye Disease (also known as Dry Eye Syndrome) to decide the best treatment plan.
The TearLab testing provides you with a unique tear number. The higher the number means the less quality tear film, the more inflammation, and the greater chance of damage to the ocular surface of the eye. 

Does it work for dry eye testing?
Yes. There was a 300 patient dry eye study presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology that said that the TearLab outperformed both the old-standard Schirmer's testing and corneal staining tests for correctly identifying mild to moderate dry eye patients. Why is that important? Because it is important to start treating this disease in the early stages before any damage has been done to the eyes.

Accredited Dry Eye Center 
We are proud to announce that The Eye Associates has been named an Accredited Dry Eye Center.
Dr. Richard Hector, Dr. Brian Foster, Dr. Cathleen McCabe, Dr. Scott Han, and Dr. Edwin Detweiler use the TearLab Osmolarity System as part of their advanced dry eye treatment plan. If you would like to make an appointment at The Eye Associates at Sun City Center, Ellenton, Sarasota, and Bradenton, just call 1-866-865-2020.

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Thursday, May 15, 2014

Eye Glasses Sunglasses The Eye Associates

 The Truth about Glasses and Sunglass Lenses

Many people think that eyeglass lenses are all the same, but are your eyes the same as everyone else’s? Here at The Eye Associates, we take your eyes, your eyeglasses, your sunglasses and the way you see out of them, very seriously. We know that you come to us expecting that we will give you the best vision possible…... and we do that with Zeiss eyeglass and sunglass lenses. 

I bet you have already heard the ‘Zeiss’ name, as they have been a leader in the precision lens industry for over 160 years. They won technical Academy Awards for Lord of the Rings and Jurassic Park movies, and they were even part of the NASA space program for man’s first steps on the moon! Now you can have that same level of high technology and advanced engineering with Zeiss eyeglass and sunglass lenses. How amazing is that?

We are proud to say that Zeiss chose The Eye Associates to be a Zeiss Certified Practice in our Bradenton, Sarasota, Ellenton and Sun City Center locations. What does that mean to you, the patient? Zeiss brought in their top trainers to teach our board certified optical technicians and Florida licensed opticians about Zeiss precision optics and how to fit such an advanced product. They even took The Eye Associates’ staff to visit their lab to see how high quality eyeglass lenses are made using a precision computer and a pinpoint accurate diamond cutting process. 

Why you should chose Zeiss lenses? Because you will simply see better! A great deal of science, technology, and craftsmanship goes into every pair of Zeiss eyeglass and sunglass lenses. In fact, scientists at Carl Zeiss Vision are constantly developing new mathematical algorithms to improve the optical performance of their lenses. Just as you may have seen a poor quality window with distortions or a mirror that isn’t clear, poor quality eyeglass lenses can have distortions too. For example, poorly made progressive no-line bifocal lenses, known as progressive multifocals, can cause you to stumble, require you to move your head from side to side, and can actually cause blurry vision. The advanced technology of Zeiss progressive eyeglass lenses gives patients a thinner, lighter lens with a wider field of vision and perfect optics with no distortions. They will look great in your favorite frame. Standard progressive lenses are mass produced with a single, fixed lens design but Zeiss offers a completely custom lens, called the Individual 2, that is designed precisely for your prescription and your eyeglass frame choice. This manufacturing process is up to 6 times more accurate and gives you up to a 50% larger field of vision than ordinary progressive lenses. Our goal at The Eye Associates is to give our patients HD vision! And as Zeiss says: Better vision = Better quality of life.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

True or False Eye Q Test – Rheumatoid Arthritis medications does not affect the eyes.

FALSE Hear Dr. Jacqueline Burkhardt talk about medications and RA. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tthZaNC5TdE

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