Sunday, August 18, 2019

Back to School Contact Lens Care


Contact Lens 101: A Back-to-School Must for Teens
Did you know that 25% of children and adolescent emergency room visits related to medical devices are for contact lens problems? Many of our children and teenagers start wearing contact lenses as they enter junior high or high school. Safe and enjoyable contact lens wear does require good hygiene and care in order to prevent a risk of infection. Young people are notoriously poor at caring for their contact lenses, creating a potential gateway for serious eye infections that can cause impaired vision or even blindness. Research has shown that poor contact lens care practices by teens and young people raise their risk of eye conditions such as infectious keratitis and corneal ulcers. In the most severe cases, they may require corneal transplants to restore sight. Fortunately, contact lens eye infections can be prevented by following simple contact lens care guidelines. Here are some practical safety tips that teens with contact lenses should follow to avoid eye infections.

New Quarter, New Case! Replacing your contact lens case every three months will help keep germs at bay. To make it easy to remember, swap out your case at the beginning of each quarter. Waiting to replace contact lens cases after 6 months increases the risk of eye infection by nearly 5.5 times!

Just Say NO to H20. You may be captain of the swim team, but you shouldn’t swim, shower or go in a hot tub wearing lenses. Water from the tap might be clean enough to drink or bathe in, but it’s still home to the parasite Acanthamoeba, which can cause severe eye infections resulting in vision loss. For the same reasons, NEVER use water to rinse or soak contact lenses or cases.

You Snooze, You Lose. Never sleep in your contact lenses. Even occasionally sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of moderate to severe eye infection by 6.5 times. Unfortunately, a poll of nearly 100,000 people by BuzzFeed found that about 70 percent of respondents occasionally or regularly sleep in their contact lenses.

It’s Too Late If You Wait. Symptoms of eye infections include redness, pain and light sensitivity and requiring examination and evaluation immediately. Waiting to get examined or treated could lead to vision loss.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more or has questions about contact lens hygiene and safety, please schedule an appointment at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. are leading eye care centers in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Improvement in Glaucoma Blindness Rate


Rate of Blindness Caused by Glaucoma Decreasing
Glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States and over 60 million globally. Although the disease is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, the probability of going blind from glaucoma has been significantly reduced due to advances in diagnosis and treatment. In office use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to study and measure the nerve fiber layer of the retina and optic nerve can detect damage to the optic nerve well before patients become aware of any visual loss from glaucoma. Modern laser treatments and implantable microscopic devices (MIGS-Micro-Invasive Glaucoma Surgery) can change the risk of blindness from glaucoma. Researchers from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine studied the change in the rate of blindness from glaucoma over 2 consecutive 20 year periods and found that the rate of blindness was decreased by half but still remained unacceptably high! The best ways to avoid vision loss from glaucoma are to know your risk factors-such as family history, African and Hispanic descent, smoking, diabetes and sleep apnea, and be sure to schedule regular eye exams with glaucoma testing within timeframes recommended by your eye doctor.

If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk of glaucoma, schedule an eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, , visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

ADHD & Focusing Problems in Children


Did you know that ADHD can cause focusing problems in children? Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common neurobehavioral disorders in children and cause many difficulties-including focusing problems. A clinical study reported in
Graefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology evaluated the relationship between the neurological system that controls attention and eye focusing. They found that children with ADHD have a less accurate focusing, or accommodative response and may affect attentional deficits, which could have a direct impact on the academic, cognitive, and visual performance of ADHD children.

If you or someone you know has a child with ADHD and would like to learn more about focusing problems in children or schedule an eye exam please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C.in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter

Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. are leading eye care centers in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Cataract Risk from Working Outdoors


Cataracts are a leading cause of decreased vision, especially in seniors. Patients always ask us if it is possible to prevent cataract from forming. There has been a great deal of research that has identified your exposure to solar radiation-or sunlight-as a main risk factor for developing a cataract. This is one of the reasons we urge patients to wear proper UV absorbing eyewear when they are exposed to sunlight. Further, patients who have outdoor occupations and are exposed to long hours of sunlight on a daily basis should be especially aware of the need for UV protection as they perform their daily work activities. A recent review of 15 different cataract studies regarding the relationship between cataract risk and sunlight or solar radiation exposure confirms the increased risk, and reinforces the need to limit sunlight exposure.

If you or someone you know spends a great deal of time outdoors or is exposed to sunlight as part of each day due to your work environment, please be sure to wear UV protecting eyewear. If you are concerned about developing a cataract please schedule an eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter

Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. are leading eye care centers in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Things to Know About Cataracts



Three Things Patients Should Know About Cataracts
Cataracts are an extremely common cause of vision loss-especially as we grow older. In the U.S. some 25 million people have cataracts which can often cause cloudy, blurry vision, dimming of vision, faded or dulling of colors, glare and difficulty with night vision or in dim lighting. These symptoms may indicate the presence of cataracts, which affect about 70 percent of people by age 75. The good news for people with cataracts is that they are corrected with cataract surgery and lens implants and restore excellent vision and a better lifestyle. Things you should know about cataracts include:

Age Isn’t the Only Risk Factor for Cataracts. Pretty much everyone will develop cataracts with age, many studies demonstrate that lifestyle and behavior can influence when and how severely you develop cataracts. Diabetes, extensive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and certain ethnicities have all been linked to increased risk of cataracts. Eye injuries, prior eye surgery and long-term use of steroid medication can also result in cataracts.

Cataracts Cannot Be Prevented, But You Can Lower Your Risk. Always wear UV blocking sunglasses and hats with brims when out in sunlight. Eating more Vitamin C-rich foods may delay how fast cataracts form. Absolutely, avoid smoking cigarettes, which have been shown to increase the risk of cataract development.

Cataract Surgery Helps Improve More Than Your Vision. During cataract surgery, we replace the natural clouded lens with a permanent artificial lens implant or called an intraocular lens, or IOL, which should improve your vision significantly and allow us to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism that you may have had before your procedure. In addition, we can help you choose a lens implant that also provides you a range of clear vision for arm’s length and near tasks such as for reading or using the computer. Besides the vision benefits, cataract surgery has been shown to improve your overall quality of life and reduce the risk of falling by providing more comfortable and safer mobility. 

If you or some you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please schedule an appointment at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. are leading eye care centers in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Tips to Help Prevent Glaucoma Vision Loss


10 Tips to Reduce Your Chance of Losing Vision from Glaucoma
Recent studies have identified a number of lifestyle factors that actually influence eye pressure which is a major risk factor for glaucoma. By either avoiding or embracing certain habits you can have a positive effect on your risk of glaucoma.

Get Regular Exercise. A recent study showed that people who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity appear to have a 73 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. This is because blood flow and pressure inside the eye may change with exercise, which may affect glaucoma risk.

Eat a Diet Rich in Fruits & Green Leafy Vegetables. One study showed that people who ate more leafy vegetables have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. Why? Nitrates in green vegetables can be converted to nitric oxide, which can improve blood flow and help regulate pressure inside the eye.

Drink Tea, BUT Coffee Only in Moderation. A recent study last month showed that people who consumed at least one cup of hot tea daily had 74 percent decreased odds of having glaucoma compared with those who did not consume hot tea. A little coffee is fine, but excessive caffeine intake is not ideal. One study found that drinking 5 or more cups of caffeinated coffee increased the risk of developing glaucoma. How can tea help? Antioxidants and the flavonoids contained in tea may improve the body’s ability to prevent the harmful effects of free radical damage.

Consider a Magnesium Dietary Supplement. We now know that an adequate intake of dietary magnesium may be beneficial for patients with glaucoma because of improved circulation.

Brush, Floss & See Your Dentist Regularly. A recent study showed that tooth loss may be linked to increased glaucoma risk due to because periodontal or gum disease stimulating and inflammatory response that can contribute to glaucoma.

Don’t SmokeStudies clearly show that smoking cigarettes increases the risk of glaucoma, and has an overall negative impact on eye health.

Maintain a Healthy Body WeightStudies show that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) are at increased risk for diabetes, and having diabetes puts people at risk of glaucoma. Having a too low BMI is also associated with increased glaucoma risk.

Avoid Inverted Yoga PositionsStudies show head-down positions can increase eye pressure and are not recommended for glaucoma patients.

Avoid NecktiesResearchers say that a too-tight necktie may increase the risk of glaucoma by increasing blood pressure inside the eyes.
  
Get Regular Eye Exams & Glaucoma Testing. Especially if you have a family history of the condition you are at greater risk and need more frequent eye exams and testingResearchers have recently identified certain genes that increase the risk of glaucoma. Those at higher risk of glaucoma include people of African descent, people with diabetes, and those with a family history of glaucoma. You are at greatly increased risk if you have a parent or brother or sister with glaucoma. 

If you or someone you know is concerned about their glaucoma risk and is considering making lifestyle changes, before making changes please be sure to schedule an eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter

Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. are leading eye care centers in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Google Artificial Intelligence Can Help Diabetic Eye Exams



According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) more than 29 million people in the U.S. have diabetes and are therefore at risk for diabetic retinopathy and its associated vision loss and potential blinding complications. All diabetics should have regular eye exams with thorough retina exams. The task of diabetic eye exams is enormous and soon will be assisted by Google Artificial Intelligence disease detecting software. Researchers, reporting in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology showed that by using Google software to analyze images and then having retina specialists provide input to refine the algorithms, it allowed the computer software disease detection software to become roughly as effective at the retina specialists. This technique of using machine learning “neural networks” to refine disease detection is hopefully able to bring even more effective early detection and diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy to those at risk.

If you or someone you know has diabetes please be sure to have regular eye exams as early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss from diabetes. Schedule a diabetic eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. are leading eye care centers in Birmingham located at UAB-Highlands, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 and staffed by UAB Medicine eye doctors and eye specialists.