Saturday, July 7, 2018

Smartphones & Dry Eyes in Kids


Symptoms of dry eyes and dry eye disease as well as ocular fatigue are known problems that can result from the excessive use of video display terminals. Kids today spend an awful lot of time texting on smartphones, playing games on smartphones and generally just engaged with various apps on smartphones. Researchers were interested in learning more about any increased risk and progression of pediatric dry eye disease that might be associated with smartphone use. Not unexpected was the conclusion that increased VDT use such as smartphones or computers in children was found to be associated with the occurrence of ocular surface symptoms of dryness and fatigue. Also somewhat expected was the clinical finding that the longer the kids used the smartphones the greater the symptoms and disturbance of the eyes’ surface. The authors then suggested being aware of excessive smartphone use in kids and educating them as to reducing their use of smartphones if they become troubled by eye fatigue or dryness symptoms.
If you have kids that are heavy users of smartphones or iPads or tablets of any type and they complain about dry eyes, grittiness, sandiness or have red burning eyes and even eye fatigue, please be aware that the VDT may be having a negative impact on the child and schedule an appointment so that we be sure there are no other eye problems. Call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Stroke Warning: Retinal Artery Blockage!


Retinal Artery Blockage May Warn of Impending Stroke
A certain retinal vessel disease may be a warning of an impending stroke! When an artery or vein in the retina becomes blocked or “occluded” it can be a sign of more serious health issues that need to be looked-quickly! A central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a disease of the eye where the flow of blood through the central retinal artery is blocked. Patients suffering from a central artery occlusion experience a sudden, severe, painless loss of vision in one eye. While there can be several different causes of the blockage, most often a central retinal artery occlusion is caused by unhealthy carotid arteries which supply the head and neck with oxygen. Unhealthy carotid arteries are those that have atherosclerosis, are narrowed and filled with a waxy fatty substance that forms plaques that can break off and end up in the retinal circulation. Retinal artery occlusion is a significant warning of a stroke risk and indeed more than 15% of the patients having a central retinal artery occlusion experience a stroke within 4 years after the artery blockage.

A retinal artery occlusion is a medical emergency as the loss of vision is fast an irreversible.  If you or someone you know experiences a quick painless severe loss of vision in one eye, please call us immediately and relay your symptoms to the person taking your phone and request an immediate appointment. Please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Fireworks Cause Eye Injuries


No Fireworks Are Safe, Even Innocent Sparkler Causes Thousands of Eye Injuries
We want everyone to have a safe and enjoyable Fourth of July season, but please be aware of the facts about fireworks. Fireworks injuries cause approximately 10,000 visits to the emergency department each year, most of them involve children who suffer thousands of eye injuries. Although the most disabling injuries occur with illegal firecrackers, most injuries are caused by legal fireworks parents buy for their children, such as sparklers, firecrackers, bottle rockets, and Roman candles. Every year thousands of patients need treatments who suffer a range of fireworks-related injuries, from cuts and bruises to damaged corneas and ruptured eyeballs. To help reduce the number of potentially blinding fireworks accidents this holiday, the American Academy of Ophthalmology is working to debunk common myths about fireworks injuries.

Here are five fireworks myths, debunked:

  1. Sparklers are safe for young children. Sparklers burn at 1800 degrees, hot enough to melt some metals. Sparklers were responsible for most of the injuries to children age 5 and younger.
  2. It’s safer to view fireworks than it is to light or throw them. Bystanders are injured by fireworks as often as the operators.
  3.  Consumer fireworks are safe. Sparklers and firecrackers each account for more than 1,400 injuries to the eyes.
  4. It’s safe to pick up a firework after it has been lit. Even though it looks like a dud, it may not act like one.
  5. It’s not the Fourth of July without consumer fireworks. The Fourth can be complete without using consumer fireworks. The safest way to view fireworks is to watch a professional show.  
If you experience a fireworks injury, we urge you to minimize the damage to the eye:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not rub the eye. Rubbing may make the injury worse.
  • Do not attempt to rinse the eye.
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye.
  • Do not remove objects from the eye,
  • Do not apply ointments or take pain medications before seeking medical help.

Monday, June 18, 2018

BOTOX® for Crossed Eyes?


Almost everyone knows that BOTOX® is a pretty popular treatment to smooth fine lines and wrinkles and help restore a youthful appearance. BOTOX® can also be helpful for migraine headaches, facial spasms, excessive sweating and a host of other problems. We also know that BOTOX® can also be helpful for treatment of crossed eyes! According to articles from the American Academy of Ophthalmology, recent studies as well as other expert reports, BOTOX® injections can indeed be a possible treatment option for certain patients with crossed eyes.

If you or a child you know has crossed eyes and wishes to learn more about treatment options, please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

“Pink Eye” Antibiotic Overuse for Conjunctivitis


Based on our own experiences as well as recommendations of the American Academy of Ophthalmology you should be aware that non eyecare practitioners tend to overprescribe antibiotics for a common eye infection that typically clears up without medication. A recent study suggests that most people with acute conjunctivitis, or pink eye, are getting the wrong treatment. About 60 percent of patients are prescribed antibiotic eyedrops, even though antibiotics are rarely necessary to treat this common eye infection.

About the Pink Eye Conjunctivitis Study
Researchers at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center looked at data from a large managed care network in the United States. They identified the number of patients who filled antibiotic eyedrop prescriptions for acute conjunctivitis. Then they evaluated the characteristics of patients who filled a prescription compared with those who did not. Of approximately 300,000 patients diagnosed with acute conjunctivitis over a 14-year period, 58 percent filled a prescription for antibiotic eye drops. Among them, 20 percent filled a prescription for an antibiotic-steroid combination. Antibiotic-steroid drops are inappropriate for most patients with acute conjunctivitis because it may prolong or exacerbate certain types of viral infection.

Even more troubling, the authors found that the odds of filling a prescription depended more on a patient’s socioeconomic status than the patient's risk for developing a more serious eye infection. For example, patients who wear contact lenses and those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS.

Pink eye affects 6 million people in the United States each year. There are three types: viral, bacterial, and allergic conjunctivitis. Antibiotics are rarely necessary to treat acute conjunctivitis. Most cases are caused by viral infections or allergies and do not respond to antibiotics. Antibiotics are often unnecessary for bacterial conjunctivitis because most cases are mild and would resolve on their own within 7 to 14 days without treatment.

The study also found:
  • Primary care providers (family physicians, pediatricians, internal medicine physicians, and urgent care providers) diagnose a majority (83%) of patients. Only a minority were diagnosed by eye care providers such as ophthalmologists or optometrists.
  • Patients diagnosed by a primary care or urgent care provider were two to three times more likely to fill prescriptions for antibiotic eye drops than patients diagnosed by an ophthalmologist.
  • Patients who filled antibiotic prescriptions were significantly more likely to be white, younger, better educated, and more affluent than patients who did not fill prescriptions.
The authors say there are several reasons why antibiotics are over prescribed. It is a challenge to differentiate bacterial conjunctivitis from the viral and allergic forms. All three types may have overlapping features, such as a red eye, thin discharge, irritation, and sensitivity to light. Health care providers may tend to “err on the side of caution” and prescribe antibiotics “just in case.” Patients are often unaware of the harmful effects of antibiotics and may falsely believe that antibiotics are necessary for the infection to resolve.

If you or someone you know develops “pink eye” conjunctivitis please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Flashes & Floaters Need Attention

If you experience flashes or light or suddenly start seeing floaters, it’s best not to ignore these events, but rather to quickly schedule an appointment to see us, as although most of the time flashes and floaters are benign, sometimes they can be a sign of a sight threatening problem.

If you have no experienced any trauma to your eye or head, it is often the case that flashes and floaters are due to a Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD). PVD is a very common eye condition. It's caused by natural changes to the vitreous gel which takes up the space inside the eye. Although PVD causes some frustrating symptoms it doesn’t cause pain, harm the eye or cause permanent loss of vision. Sometimes, a PVD can either be accompanied by or a warning sign of retinal tears which can lead to retinal detachment and vision loss. Retinal detachment must be diagnosed and repaired quickly.

If you experience a sudden onset of flashes and floaters please call us immediately and schedule an appointment so we can examine the vitreous and retina and be sure there are no tears or risks of retinal detachment. Call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Laurie T Shares Her Cataract Experience


Dr. Marc Michelson has been taking care of all my vision needs for many years and I'm glad it was him I chose when I first considered options for my nearsightedness. After carefully looking into the possibilities, I decided on intraocular lens implants. This means Dr. Michelson replaced my clear lens with an artificial lens with my prescription. The surgery is like cataract removal, only I didn't have cataracts. What I have now at age 63 is perfect vision; 20-20 reading and 20-15 far! Among my peers, I am the only one I know not dependent upon any glasses at any time. Having been nearsighted since age 6, so dependent that I had to feel around the bedside table for my glasses before I could get out of bed, this is still like a miracle to me. I have had my lenses for almost 10 years, and I couldn't be happier.

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 call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center 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.