Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Increased Risk of AMD in Irish Families

Macular degeneration or AMD may have an even stronger family predisposition among Irish family members according to a report cited by Birmingham Alabama Ophthalmologist Marc Michelson, M.D. “We certainly are aware of the strong familial predisposition toward an increased risk of macular degeneration. Now, we are aware of additional research showing that Irish people are more genetically predisposed to develop age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than other Caucasian populations,” relayed Dr. Michelson.
The study conducted by the Department of Genetics at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital Research Foundation, evaluated blood samples from more than 200 patients with AMD and compared them with samples from participants without the disease to identify genetic risk factors. The study shows that Irish people are at an elevated risk of developing AMD. It is also known that smokers are four times more likely to suffer from the disease.

If you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD or are of Irish descent you should please schedule an appointment by calling Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision, 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243 and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 are leading eye care centers in Birmingham. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Eye Exam Test for Stroke Can Predict Risk

Birmingham Ophthalmologist Marc Michelson, M.D. explained that an eye exam test might help predict the risk of stroke. “Information about a new eye test that may help identify patients who are at high risk for stroke was published by researchers from the University of Zurich. The test called Ocular Pulse Amplitude (OPA) is able to detect carotid artery stenosis (CAS) or carotid artery narrowing, a condition that clogs or blocks the arteries that feed the front part of the brain which is a known risk factor for stroke. I am hopeful that we will soon be able to perform this test as part of a routine eye exam.”

Each year, approximately 795,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke, and more than 137,000 of these people die as a result. People with severe CAS are much more likely to suffer stroke.”We would like to catch and treat CAS before that can happen, but because CAS has no symptoms and an efficient test is not currently available the disease often goes undetected.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye exams, eye health and stroke prevention please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision is a leading Birmingham eye care practice with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Avoid Smoking for Best Eye Health


Helping my Birmingham patients maintain and preserve the best eye health means encouraging them to quit and avoid smoking,” said Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. Dr. Michelson emphasized, “It can be really tough for younger patients to understand the increased eye health risks later in life that smoking exposes them to.”

Smoking-even in your teens or twenties when your senior years seem far away, increases your future risks for cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The more a person smokes, the higher the risks. The good news is that after people quit smoking, their risks for these eye diseases become almost as low as for people who never smoked at all.

Smoking also raises the risks for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence your eyes’ health. And tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, is an irritant that worsens dry eye, a very uncomfortable eye condition that is most common in women after menopause. Smoking increases the risk of serious vision loss in people with other eye diseases. And when women smoke during pregnancy they are more likely to give birth prematurely, putting their babies at higher risk for a potentially blinding disease called retinopathy of prematurity as well as other health problems.

If you or someone you know want to quit smoking and would like help the American Cancer Society has a resource at www.cancer.org. If you would like to learn more about smoking and eye health problems please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision is a leading Birmingham eye care practice with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Protect Your Eye Health When Over 40

Birmingham eye doctor Tyler Hall, M.D. counseled that efforts to protect eye health needs to be a priority as we enter or 40’s. Dr. Hall explained, “As we enter our 40’s and beyond, middle age is a time when symptoms of many eye diseases may begin to emerge and when other diseases can develop without any symptoms at all. It is crucial for adults even without symptoms or known risk factors for eye disease to get a baseline eye examination at 40 for early detection, diagnosis and treatment of eye problems, conditions & diseases.”

Starting early will help to preserve eye health and vision. Some things to consider as we enter our 40’s:

Eye Health & Exercise

Our eyes need good blood circulation and oxygen intake, and both are stimulated by regular exercise. Regular exercise also helps keep our weight in the normal range, which reduces the risk of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. Remember to use sun safety and protective eyewear when enjoying sports and recreation.

Eye Health & Smoking

Avoiding smoking, or quitting, is one of the best investments you can make in your long-term overall and eye health. Even though as you enter your 40’s old age seems a long way off, smoking can increase your risks for cataracts and macular degeneration (AMD) as well as for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence our eyes’ health. Smoking increases the risk of severe vision loss for people with other eye diseases, such as glaucoma, as well. 

Eye Health & Sleep

As we sleep, our eyes enjoy continuous lubrication. Also during sleep the eyes clear out irritants such as dust, allergens, or smoke that may have accumulated during the day. Some research suggests that light-sensitive cells in the eye are important to our ability to regulate our wake-sleep cycles. This becomes more crucial as we age, when more people have problems with insomnia. While it's important that we protect our eyes from over-exposure to UV light, our eyes also need exposure to some natural light every day to help maintain normal sleep-wake cycles.

Eye Health & Systemic Health Problems

Systemic health problems like high blood pressure and diabetes that may be diagnosed or become more problematic in midlife can also affect eye health. One warning sign of both high blood pressure and diabetes is when the ability to see clearly changes frequently. Be sure to keep your eye doctor informed about your health conditions and use of medications and nutritional supplements, as well as your exercise, eating, sleeping and other lifestyle choices.

Eye Health & Dry Eye

This uncomfortable condition becomes more common as people age. Women are more susceptible after menopause due to hormonal changes, but incidence also increases for men as they grow older. It is usually treated with over-the-counter or prescription eye lubricants. If dry eye is severe, surgery to reduce tear drainage may be needed. If you have contact lenses, follow the use guidelines and avoid wearing lenses longer than recommended. If dry eye persists, talk to your eye doctor about possible treatments. Definitely discuss dry eye treatment with your eye doctor if you are thinking about or planning to have LASIK or other refractive surgery. Some medications increase dry eye. If you are taking pain relievers, antidepressants, antihistamines, or have questions about your medications, please bring this to our attention during your eye exam. You may wish to consider following a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) as it may reduce or help prevent dry eye.

If you or someone you know is entering their 40’s, it is time to schedule regular eye exams to preserve eye health and vision. Please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision, 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243 and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 are leading eye care centers in Birmingham. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Diabetic Macular Edema Vision Loss & Lucentis® Injections

For Birmingham patients with diabetes who are at risk for diabetic macular edema, a significant cause of vision loss and an associated complication of diabetic retinopathy, Lucentis® eye injections work to treat diabetic macular edema, or swelling of the macula. Diabetic macular edema is a leading cause of vision loss associated with diabetes. Lucentis® has been used for some time to treat “wet” age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Lucentis® is the first drug FDA approved to treat diabetic macular edema. More than 500,000 people in the U.S. have diabetic eye disease and before Lucentis® had to have laser treatment to address this complication of diabetic retinopathy. “The use of Lucentis® to treat diabetic macular edema gives ophthalmologists a great tool and a significant advantage in managing vision loss from diabetes,” commented Tyler Hall, M.D of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham, AL.

If you or someone you know has questions or needs an eye exam to learn about diabetic eye disease or the problems from diabetic retinopathy such as diabetic macular edema please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision, 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243 and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 are leading eye care centers in Birmingham. 

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Birmingham Eye Exams for Diabetes Problems

“Birmingham patients should strongly consider having regular eye exams as this is the best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy,” said Alabama Eye & Cataract Center Ophthalmologist Marc Michelson, M.D “The diabetic  eye examinations for diabetic retinopathy need to be thorough and when necessary include advanced testing such as retinal photography, fluorescein angiography and ocular coherence tomography in order to really document how the retina and it’s blood vessels are functioning,” Dr. Michelson further explained. “Depending on the severity and the risk of progression of each patient’s diabetic retinopathy we will advise them of the frequency and intervals for their exams. But, patients with diabetes need to know that it is terribly important to keep their appointments.”

Vision loss from diabetes and especially catastrophic vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision, 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243 and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 are leading eye care centers in Birmingham.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Cataracts & Night Driving Problems

“Night driving problems without cataracts can be challenging,” commented Birmingham Cataract Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. “With cataracts, night driving problems are even more troubling because reduced lighting can cause you to misjudge distances and boundaries like the edge of the road as well as cataracts simply causing an overall dimming of your vision,” Dr. Michelson explained. “Patients who have been told that they have the beginning of a cataract and who are becoming fearful or uncomfortable driving at night should consider whether cataract surgery might be a good option to help regain their night driving comfort and safety level,” Dr. Michelson recommended.

If you or someone you know feels they have night driving problems that might be related to cataracts or has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery or lens implants please feel free to schedule an eye exam by calling Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision, 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243 and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 are leading eye care centers in Birmingham. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alabama Diabetic Eye Disease & Problems: Help to Avoid Them

“We have to work especially hard this year to help patients with diabetes avoid diabetic eye disease and problems,” stressed Alabama Eye & Cataract Center Ophthalmologist Tyler Hall, M.D. “Current data suggests there are some 26 million people with diabetes in the U.S. and almost 8 million people over 40 years of age with diabetic retinopathy. While we can’t cure diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients can help slow the progression of the disease and diabetic eye problems,” said Dr. Hall.
The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time. More than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy.

In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams by calling Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision, 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243 and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 are leading eye care centers in Birmingham. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Avoid Halloween Contact Lens Problems

“Birmingham Halloween celebrants should use avoid contact lens and eye health problems by remembering that contact lenses are a medical device and require proper prescription and fitting-even decorative non corrective contact lenses,” stressed Corneal Specialist Tyler Hall, M.D. Dr. Hall further explained, “Even someone with perfect vision would still require an eye exam and a prescription in order to wear any kind of contacts, including cosmetic lenses. Unfortunately each year we see the result of the Halloween participants who wish to change their eye color or make their eyes look devilish by using over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses. While this can be a good source of Halloween fun, it can also lead to serious vision-threatening problems.”

According to the Food and Drug Administration, all contact lenses are regulated medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. Some websites advertise decorative contacts as if they were fashion accessories or toys with fanciful, playful packaging in order to attract teens and young adults, especially girls. The problem is not that people use decorative, noncorrective lenses-sometimes called Plano-or zero-powered lenses, but that they buy the devices without a prescription through unlicensed vendors on the Internet or at flea markets and specialty shops.

The buyer of these over-the-counter contact lenses faces a huge risk including scratched corneas, pink eye and more serious types of blinding infection as a result of a corneal ulcer.

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.
The safe and effective use of contact lenses-whether decorative or not-requires proper fitting and education about their care to prevent the potential for serious eye  problems from becoming a reality. If you or a friend would like to learn more about contact lenses of any type including decorative contacts please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye& Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Monday, October 14, 2013

LASIK: Hidden Costs at Birmingham Discount Centers

Birmingham LASIK patients are often surprised by the hidden costs they find when seeking LASIK at discount centers. “LASIK costs are affordable for almost anyone who wishes to minimize their dependence on or even eliminate the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses to see at distance. BUT-there are many patients who shop for the best price for LASIK and end up getting an unpleasant surprise,” noted Melindi Morton of Michelson Laser Vision.  “The most reputable, trusted and best LASIK surgeons quote LASIK prices that are comprehensive fees-that is they include everything you need to get the best results. Typically these fees include all evaluations, examinations, consultations and follow up care-regardless of your prescription,” continued Ms. Morton.

Some discount LASIK centers in and around Birmingham will offer the lure of the best price for LASIK and often quote a price for LASIK that is right on the edge of being deceptive. Often they use the lowest price to draw you in for an evaluation and get you excited about the possibility of having LASIK. Then they start including “add ons” and present you with hidden costs and fees. These hidden costs and fees add on an additional fee for your prescription that was not within the advertised range. The low LASIK price can add an extra hidden cost of LASIK for astigmatism. The best LASIK price they present to get you in may require an add on additional hidden cost for follow up care. It may include an extra hidden cost for custom wavefront LASIK or hidden cost for enhancements-and on and on. Hidden costs and fees for LASIK are somewhat typical of the sales and marketing practices of certain discount centers. LASIK is surgery. “You should choose a LASIK surgeon based on their reputation as recommended by friends and relatives and NOT based on the best price. Choosing a LASIK surgeon based on the best price alone could set you up for a number of hidden costs you can’t even understand and end up costing you more in the long run,” summarized Ms. Morton.

If you or someone you know has a question about LASIK or would like to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation please feel free to call Michelson Laser Vision at 205-969-8100, visit Michelson Laser Vision or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision to schedule an appointment.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Physics May Help AMD Vision Problems

Principles and techniques of optical physics may help patients with vision problems from AMD,” said Birmingham Eye Doctor Dr. Marc Michelson of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center.”Sometimes even with quick diagnosis and treatment of macular degeneration, patients with AMD experience some compromise in functioning due to optical distortion problems. The application of optical physics may let us help with this disturbing distortion and twisting of their vision resulting from macular degeneration,” explained Dr. Michelson.

Nobel Laureate Walter Kohn described a potential application of what is a dynamic “translator” for the particular distortion a patient experiences either in handheld computers or an optical corrective lens. “We routinely use the Amsler Grid, a graph-paper-like pattern to diagnose AMD-Dr. Kohn suggested that the Amsler grid could also be used to develop an optical correction,” said Dr. Michelson. When people with healthy eyes look at the Amsler Grid, they see its straight horizontal and vertical lines, with a dot at center.  Patients with AMD, however, often perceive a distortion about two or three centimeters in diameter in the center.


Dr. Kohn has initiated the development of software that lets an AMD patient, using a mouse, pull the virtual lines until he or she perceives the grid as “perfect,” yielding reversal of the specific distortion a person experiences. Dr. Kohn then uses these results to create a correction for that patient. In one experimental device, a handheld computer scans the printed page, using software to perform dynamic compensation, distorting the text to make it readable for patients. In addition, Dr. Kohn uses of a slab of optical material to fabricate the visual correction so that AMD patients could hold the optical slab of refractive material over text, pictures or reading material, just like the magnifying glass people use for seeing small type—only the surface of Kohn’s slab resembles ocean currents or waves that reverse the distortion. “These are very exciting ideas and offer promise to help us deal with the visual distortion caused by macular degeneration,” offered Dr. Michelson.

If you or someone you know has a question or would like to learn more optical physics, age related macular degeneration or AMD or need to schedule and eye exam for AMD, please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Smoking Can Increase Cataract Risk

Birmingham Alabama Cataract Surgeon Marc Michelson, M.D. reviewed findings that patients who are current smokers or who have any history of smoking are at increased risk of getting a cataract. “According to researchers reporting in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science the current literature suggests that smoking was associated with increased risk of age related cataract, especially nuclear cataract and to some extent posterior subcapsular cataract,” explained Dr. Michelson of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. “While we need further studies and confirmation of the biological mechanism of why this occurs patients who are smokers should consider quitting and those who are not should avoid smoking. A healthy lifestyle and diet are meaningful ways of maintaining eye health and vision-whether lowering your risk of cataracts, keeping the tiny blood vessels in the eye functioning properly or minimizing the associated risks of glaucoma-it’s important to avoid smoking as a lifestyle choice,” stressed Dr. Michelson.

Dr. Michelson further explained, “Most patients I speak to today are well aware of the vascular risks of smoking. We know that smokers are also at increased risk of glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. What may be news is that smoking increases your risk of cataracts.”

If you or someone you know feels they are at risk for cataract development, has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery or lens implants please feel free to schedule an eye exam by calling
Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

LASIK, Contact Lenses & Dry Eyes

“Contact lenses of all types can cause dry eyes and this should be addressed as part of your LASIK consultation,” said Birmingham LASIK Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. of Michelson Laser Vision. This is important information to know about contact lenses and dry eyes for contact lens wearers considering LASIK. “Dry eyes can be a very real problem for both rigid and soft contact lens wearers. Researchers reporting in the Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice showed that both rigid and soft contact lenses negatively impact the tear film surface quality,” said Dr. Michelson. “This research is important to keep in mind when contact lens wearers present for LASIK consultations since the evaluation of the tear film quality and quantity is a critical consideration of determining the patient’s candidacy for any type of Laser Vision Correction-but especially for LASIK surgery,” further explained LASIK Specialist Dr. Michelson “Given that a considerable number of our patients having LASIK are contact lens wearers, we need to be aware that some of the tear film abnormalities that we find during a consultation are actually due to their contact lens wear. Fortunately, with a sufficient amount of time without contact lens wear many contact lens wearers who want LASIK will recover a normal tear film surface quality and be able to proceed with Laser Vision Correction,” noted Dr. Michelson.

Contact lens patients considering LASIK or any type of Laser Eye Surgery for vision correction are encouraged to find the best LASIK Surgeons in their area and have a thorough evaluation, examination and consultation in order to find out if they are good candidates.

If you or someone you know has a question about LASIK, contact lenses, dry eyes or would like to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation please call Michelson Laser Vision at 205-969-8100, visit Michelson Laser Vision or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cataract Surgery: What if You Wait Too Long?

The specialist eye doctors at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center shared information about waiting too long to have cataract surgery. ‘I always explain to patients that the decision of when to have a cataract removed and replaced with lens implants is really a very personal decision,” said Birmingham Cataract Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. “Some of my cataract patients are just not comfortable with the slightest degree of blurry vision or glare sensitivity. Yet, others surprise me with how tolerant they are. So, I generally tell patients that their cataracts should be removed when they feel that they have visual discomfort or inconvenience-or if they have any safety issues with navigating each day’s activities with confidence,” Dr Michelson explained.

What patients should know though is that waiting too long for cataract surgery can result is some unintended consequences and possible risks. “For example, as a cataract matures, it does become denser and somewhat more difficult to remove. This requires more energy to be delivered through the microscopic instruments we use to remove the cataract and may lead to prolonged inflammation or even intraoperative complications,” stated Dr. Michelson.  “For certain we don’t want the cataract to become so dense, swollen and cloudy that it causes a type of glaucoma or impair our view of the retina,” Dr. Michelson stressed. “In these instances your cataract surgeon is likely to recommend proceeding with cataract removal even though you may not think you are quite ready.”

If you or someone you know has a cataract or is need of cataract surgery and lens implants please feel free schedule an eye exam in Birmingham at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Safe Driving after Cataract Surgery

“Safe driving after cataract surgery is greatly improved-but not exactly as expected,” commented Cataract Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. “An interesting study on cataract surgery and driving was reported in Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology whereby motor vehicle accidents involving men decreased by 15.3% in the 12 months following cataract surgery but the frequency of postoperative crashes didn't change significantly for women,” noted Dr. Michelson. “We know all too well that delaying cataract surgery often results in patients-especially seniors-modifying their lifestyles and activities. This is especially the case as people restrict their driving in response to health and vision changes. We need to hear from patients about their driving habits and whether they have had to change them as their cataracts develop-then we can help,” said Dr. Michelson.

If you or someone you know has a question about cataracts, cataract surgery, lens implants or driving please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Cataract Surgery & Lens Implants: When Can I Exercise?

Patients having cataract surgery and lens implants at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center often are concerned about when they can exercise after their eye surgery. Birmingham Cataract Doctors reviewed guidelines for resuming exercise after cataract surgery and lens implants. “Our cataract surgery and lens implant operation allows for a quick practical and visual recovery,” stated Tyler Hall, M.D., a Cataract & Cornea Specialist. “This is important to so many patients-especially as they want to be able to resume their daily activities and lifestyle quickly. One area we always discuss with patients is how long they need to wait or restrict their exercise routine,” Dr. Hall further explained. “Certainly exercise guidelines may vary slightly depending on your cataract surgeon and on the specific details of your cataract surgery, but in general within 24 to 48 hours you should be able to do light walking. Avoid any heavy lifting or bending from the waist to get objects from the floor until you get approval to do so from your cataract surgeon. Swimming and water activities should be avoided for at least the first week after surgery because getting water in your eyes could increase the risk for infection. However, most patients are completely back to their exercise routines within one month after surgery.”

If you or someone you know has questions about cataract, cataract surgery, lens implants and exercise restrictions please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision are leading Birmingham eye care practices with offices at 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243, and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cataract Surgery Reduces Hip Fracture Risk

Interesting information on how and why cataract surgery can prevent and reduce the risk of hip fracture was offered by Alabama Eye & Cataract Center Cataract Surgeons. According to a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association cataract surgery may offer patients with cataracts a distinct advantage in preventing hip fractures.

When looking at the risk of hip fracture among more than 1 million people on Medicare aged 65 with cataracts, researchers found people who had cataract surgery had a 16% lower risk of hip fracture one year after the procedure. “Visual impairment from cataracts-whether from blurry vision, glare, halos or decreased contrast-is a known risk factor for falls. Thus when we improve vision for patients with cataracts, their mobility is typically improved as well as their confidence and the safety with which they navigate,” commented Birmingham Cataract Surgeon Tyler Hall, M.D. Dr. Hall further explained, “A hip or pelvis fracture is often the tipping point that leads to a progressive decline in quality of life and can signify increased mortality and morbidity for seniors. Accidental falls and the resulting bone fractures are a major cause of disability and death among the elderly.”

“The key here is that there is a demonstrated need for timely cataract surgery for seniors in order to manage the risk of challenged mobility with resulting fractures. We are quite fortunate-and it is really rewarding-to be able to provide cataract patients with modern patient friendly cataract surgery on an outpatient basis that utilizes tiny incisions, eye drops for anesthesia and a quick visual recovery,” added Cataract Surgeon Marc Michelson, M.D.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataract, cataract surgery, lens implants or hip fracture prevention please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision, 327 Summit Boulevard, Birmingham, Alabama 35243 and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, 1201 11th Avenue S, Suite 501, Birmingham, Alabama 35205 are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Air Travel & Flying after Cataract Surgery

Birmingham Cataract Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. explained, “As seniors and aging baby boomers continue to be more mobile, air travel and flying after cataract surgery are important considerations for many patients who have their cataracts removed and lens implants inserted to correct their vision.” Dr. Michelson further noted, “My cataract patients-especially as they seem to be getting younger-are continuing very active lifestyles. Often they need to get on an airplane or take advantage of air travel arrangements after cataract surgery and don’t want to be hindered.”

Most cataract surgeons require their patients to be examined the first day after cataract surgery and again at about 5-8 days after a cataract operation. This is the period of time where rare, but potentially serious, complications would likely be detected, if they were to occur. Beyond this period of time it is more a matter of making sure that you have access to continued follow up care at your cataract surgeon’s direction. If you are contemplating a trip after your cataract surgery you should discuss this with your cataract surgeon and we can give you any additional advice you might need regarding air travel as it would apply to your post operative instructions.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about cataract surgery, air travel and flying please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Can Cataract Surgery Cause Vitreous Detachment?

Birmingham Cataract Specialist Tyler Hall, M.D. explained why cataract surgery patients often experience Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) with “cobwebs and floaters” after a cataract operation. Dr. Hall noted, “Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD) does indeed appear to be more common in individuals who have had cataract surgery. There may not be an obvious "cause and effect" relationship but there are a number of possible factors that contribute to this.” 
  • The vitreous changes that lead to vitreous liquefication and instability and ultimately PVD are age-related, as are cataracts and the need for cataract surgery.
  • Removal of a cataract can allow mechanical space shifts in the vitreous gel and perhaps increase the odds of PVD.
  • Biochemical changes actually occur following cataract surgery and these appear to increase the likelihood of PVD, particularly if the posterior lens capsule is opened.
  • Unusual complications of cataract surgery can disrupt the integrity of the vitreous gel and increase the odds of PVD.
“As a practical matter, our clinical experience indicates that it is pretty typical for some 50% or more of patients undergoing cataract surgery to experience a Posterior Vitreous Detachment (PVD), with some patients noticing visual symptoms including a “cobweb” or some floaters,” explained Dr. Hall. “If the visual symptoms become excessive or are accompanied by a curtain or veil in your vision, or perhaps distortion or bending of your vision, we want to hear from you immediately.” 

If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about cataracts, cataract surgery or posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Alabama Cataract Awareness Month

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham, AL reminds patients of all ages-especially seniors-about cataracts, cataract surgery & lens implants as August is Cataract Awareness Month. The Prevent Blindness America data indicate that more than 24 million Americans over 40 now suffer from cataracts-representing a 19% increase since the year 2000. “For our Alabama senior population this is even more meaningful as more than half of those over 65 are reported to have cataracts-that’s the not so bad news. Not so bad because today with modern cataract surgery and advanced technology lens implants we can help our seniors obtain excellent vision and maintain their lifestyle and activities,” noted Birmingham Cataract Surgeon Marc Michelson, M.D.

There are still some patients who don’t fully understand that a cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens and not a film over the eye, as some believe. Most often, cataracts start out slowly and have little effect on vision at first. But, as the cataract becomes denser, so does the impact on vision. The most common symptoms that bother patients with cataracts can include blurring of vision, sensitivity to light and glare, double vision in one eye, poor night vision, fading or yellowing of colors and frequent changes in glasses or contact lens prescriptions.

“What many people do not realize is that the poor vision in seniors is often associated with premature or accelerated mental decline. Further, the challenges reduced vision creates in terms of mobility and safety can also put patients at increased risk for orthopedic injury-especially hip fracture. So, helping seniors restore vision with cataract surgery has an important place in securing senior health, well being, mobility, safety and mental state,” said Dr. Michelson.

“When cataracts begin to interfere with daily activities or with patient comfort, mobility and safety, they can be treated surgically. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most frequently performed surgeries in the United States. Today, we have a full range of lens implants available that allow us to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even near vision problems after cataract surgery, as well as distance vision, without requiring bifocals or reading glasses for the vast majority of patients,”, further explained Dr. Michelson.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataract, cataract surgery or lens implants please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Symptoms of Open Angle Glaucoma

Birmingham patients are often shocked to learn that they have open angle glaucoma as this “sneak thief” of vision really has no symptoms or warning signs. “Not infrequently patients will ask me, “But Dr. Michelson, how can I have glaucoma-I see well and I have no symptoms?” commented Marc Michelson, M.D. a Birmingham Ophthalmologist & Corneal Specialist at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center.


The most common form of glaucoma-Primary Open Angle Glaucoma-has no symptoms that affected patients can readily be aware of. This is especially important as among African-American and Hispanic populations glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. Further- Primary Open Angle Glaucoma-is hereditary. The Nottingham Glaucoma Study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated the risk that siblings of glaucoma patients would themselves develop glaucoma within their lifetime. The study demonstrated that there was a strong likelihood that family members of glaucoma patients were at greater risk and that siblings were 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma by age 70. “This is why we strongly recommend that siblings of glaucoma patients and glaucoma suspects be screened for glaucoma, each and every year, said Dr. Michelson.

There is a real need for regular eye examinations and glaucoma screening by an eye doctor in order to help you preserve your eye health and vision. If you or someone you know has a question about glaucoma, glaucoma symptoms, glaucoma risk or to schedule a glaucoma eye exam please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Acne Medication Eye Problems

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center Ophthalmologist Tyler Hall, M.D. counseled patients using certain acne medications about eye problems and infections associated with these medications. You might wonder what eye infections, eye problems and acne mediations have in common. “Recently, a study on eye infections and acne medication was presented in Archives of Dermatology where researchers collected data on nearly 15,000 teens and young adults taking isotretinoin to treat acne and compared their rates of eye infections to group that had acne but not taking the drugs and to a third group that didn't take the drugs and didn't have acne,” stated Dr. Hall. Isotretinoin is also sold under the brand names Roaccutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan and Sotret. 

Within a year of starting the medication, nearly 14 percent of those in the acne medication group developed an eye infection or dry eyes, compared with almost 10 percent in the group that had acne but did not take the medications and about 7 percent in the group that didn't have acne. Compared to the acne-free group, those taking isotretinoin were at 70 percent increased risk of an eye infection over the course of a year. The mean age of participants was about 16.5 years old.

“The most common problem was conjunctivitis, an inflammation or infection of the membrane lining the eye and eyelids. Other problems included hordeolum or stye which is an inflamed oil gland on the edge of the eyelid, chalazion which is a tender, swollen lump in the eyelid due to a blocked oil gland, blepharitis-an inflammation of the eyelash follicles and dry eyes,” further explained Dr. Hall. 

Isotretinoin treats acne by reducing oil production from the sebaceous glands, among other effects. But isotretinoin also disrupts function of the meibomian glands, or oil glands inside the eyelids. The meibomian glands help keep the eyes lubricated. Less lubrication may mean the eyes are irritated, itching and burning, prompting people to rub them and introduce bacteria.

If you or someone you know has a question about acne medication, eye infections or eye problems such as dry eyes, stye, chalazion or blepharitis please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Excessive Alcohol Increases AMD Risk

Excessive drinking of alcohol can increase the risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD) according to a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology. “By drinking more than the recommended daily amount of alcohol there is an increased risk of eye disease such as age related macular degeneration (AMD),” commented Birmingham eye doctor Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. A standard glass of wine or beer each contains about 15g of alcohol. “It appears from this study that consuming more than 20g of alcohol a day was associated with an increase in early age-related macular degeneration of about 20 per cent in men and women compared with non-drinkers. While a number of earlier studies highlighted the risk of heavy drinking on eye health but there was little evidence until now about the association between moderate drinking and age-related macular degeneration.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye health, macular degeneration and drinking alcohol please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cataract Surgery Recovery: What You Can Expect

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center patients considering cataract surgery will be pleased when they learn what to expect from their cataract surgery recovery in terms of comfort and vision. Birmingham Cataract Surgeon Tyler Hall, M.D. shared information about patient expectations of cataract surgery recovery. “At Alabama Eye & Cataract Center we typically perform cataract surgery and lens implant operations using a very tiny incision, with no needles and usually only eye drops for anesthesia,” explained Dr. Hall. “For the great majority of our patients the postoperative course is very comfortable and unremarkable. Most patients don't require pain medications and at most have a slight foreign body feeling from the incision which usually clears in a few hours. The vision the next day can range from being excellent or at times a bit cloudy, depending on the amount of residual swelling in the cornea. Patients with mild cataracts generally have very little swelling. Very dense cataracts require more energy from the microscopic instruments we use to remove the cataract this can produce a bit more swelling in the cornea which usually clears quickly so that most patients see quite well in a few days,” Dr. Hall further explained. “Depending on the type of lens implant you choose to correct you vision there may be a little adaptation. For example, if you have had a near vision presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implant there may be re-learning of how to see far and near. Most patients adapt pretty quickly.”

If you or someone you know has questions about cataract, cataract surgery, lens implants or the recovery from any type of eye surgery please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 4th Birmingham Fireworks Eye Safety

Fireworks eye safety needs to be a real priority for the July 4th holiday. “July 4th celebrations in Birmingham involve family, friends, food & fireworks,” remarked eye surgeon Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. “To get the most and safest enjoyment of fireworks this July 4th, it’s best to leave their use and display to professionals. Eye safety is pretty critical with fireworks displays as we know that eye injuries are the second most frequent injury we see from emergency room each July 4th weekend,” said Dr. Michelson. There are some guidelines and precautions Birmingham residents can take to prevent eye injuries from fireworks. The best defense against kids suffering severe eye injuries and burns is to not let kids play with any fireworks. Don’t purchase, use or store fireworks of any type in or around your house. Attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators, but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous. However, if an eye accident does occur, there are a few things you should know:
  • Do not rub the eye.
  • Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
  • Do not apply pressure to the eye itself-but protecting the eye from further contact with any item, including the person’s hand.
  • Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the person to the emergency room at once.
  • Do not apply ointments or drops. They may not be sterile and may make the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.

Once you are seen in the emergency room please feel free to have them call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center at 205-930-0930 as we always have an eye doctor “on call” to provide consultation and continued care for you.

If you or someone you know has questions about fireworks eye safety and eye injuries please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision. Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Exercise Can Reduce AMD Risk

“Macular degeneration or AMD is one of the most common causes of vision loss among seniors and those over 50 years old. If we can get people to exercise we may be able to reduce AMD risk,” said Birmingham eye specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. “AMD affects central vision, which is important for driving, reading, seeing faces, said Dr. Michelson of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. So you ask, what do eye health and exercise have in common-actually quite a bit? The Beaver Dam Eye Study as reported in the British Journal of Ophthalmology suggests that regular exercise can decrease the risk of the eye disease called age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Participants of the study were composed of about 4,000 women and men who were followed for more than 15 years, conducting eyes tests and recording their levels of exercise. They were aged 43 to 86 and were assessed every five years starting in 1988. Considering other factors like age, weight, and blood fat levels, those participants who were active lowered their chances in developing AMD by up to 70% when compared to those who barely had any exercise. Those who regularly walk were found to have lowered their chances to 30%.
But how much exercise is enough? The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recommended 90 minutes every day. This should be enough if you have an active job or walk during the say but would probably require you to do more if you have a sedentary lifestyle. It may help if you wear a pedometer, just to know how much you are walking. You can also try other forms of exercise such as cycling, golf, gardening, swimming, and other sports activities. Cleaning your house can even be of great help.
So how much does exercise to help eye health? It is a little too hard to tell exactly how exercise exactly affects eye health but here are some facts to give you some idea:
  • Exercise can lower eye pressure helping to reduce the risk of glaucoma.
  • Exercise can help prevent half of the cases of type 2 diabetes, a known risk for significant vision loss from diabetic retinopathy.
  • Exercise improves the health of the cardiovascular system by lowering triglycerides and increasing HDL levels. Macular degeneration has been known to be caused by some factors of heart disease.
  • Exercise can make us less likely to perform risk taking activities which can damage our health as well as that of others.
If you or someone you know has questions about exercise, macular degeneration or AMD and eye health please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Contact Lenses Build Teen Self Esteem

Contact lenses build teen self esteem according to Birmingham Optometrist Dr. Catherine Murphy of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. “The teen and tween years are really tough for some in kids with lots of challenges to their self image and self esteem,” commented Dr. Murphy. “Teens and tweens are often plagued by the “Trifecta of Awkwardness-braces, acnes and glasses,” she explained “The peer pressure and insecurity created by concerns about appearance at these ages can be just awful.”

Not being able to play sports or worrying about how they look can leave many teens feeling anxious, stressed out and unhappy. “I enjoy seeing children in this age group and fitting them with contact lenses because it becomes pretty apparent that teens who wear contact lenses benefit beyond simply correcting their vision. They typically improve in how they feel about their physical appearance, their acceptance among friends and of course their ability to play sports,” further explained Dr. Murphy.  

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about contact lenses or schedule an appointment for a contact lens fitting please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Cataract Lens Implants for Astigmatism Correction

Cataract lens implants for astigmatism correction after cataract surgery are an important part of helping patients see clearly without needing glasses for distance vision. Birmingham Cataract Surgeon Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center commented on correcting astigmatism after cataract surgery with toric lens implants. “Most cataract patients know from their eye exams or eyeglass prescriptions that they have some amount of astigmatism. Sometimes they don’t realize that it is important for their cataract surgeon to correct that astigmatism in order to get the best visual results after cataract surgery. If we don’t correct that astigmatism they just won’t see as well as they should at distance without needing glasses or even a second procedure called and LRI,” explained Dr. Michelson.

Astigmatism is a common refractive eye condition that that is most often due to an uneven curvature of the cornea. If the cornea were perfectly shaped, it would have a spherical round even shape, like a basketball. In eyes that have astigmatism, the cornea is typically curved more like an oblong, football-like shape, similar to the shape of the back of a teaspoon. “Depending on the degree and orientation of the unequal curvatures, astigmatism can cause mild or even severe blurry vision,” explained Dr. Michelson.

Patients with cataracts and who are in need of cataract surgery have three choices when considering how to correct their astigmatism. First, patients can simply choose to be dependent on wearing eyeglasses after cataract surgery in order to correct astigmatism. Second, if appropriate, some patients may opt to have an additional surgical procedure called Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI) or third, patients can elect have an astigmatism correcting toric lens implant in which the astigmatism correction is incorporated into the lens prescription just as in eyeglasses. “Toric lens implants are placed in the eye in exactly the same manner as ordinary lens implants at the time of cataract surgery and correct the astigmatism as part of the cataract surgery operation,” further explained Dr. Michelson. If you or someone you know has cataracts or is considering cataract surgery, and has astigmatism please feel free to learn more about astigmatism correction after cataract surgery by calling Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear..

Monday, June 3, 2013

Birmingham Doctor on Glaucoma & Marijuana


Birmingham eye doctor Tyler Hall, M.D. explained the use of medical marijuana to treat glaucoma and other diseases. “First, patients need to know that glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve becomes damaged over time-most often from an elevated intraocular pressure (IOP)-or high pressure in the eye which initially decreases or limits their peripheral vision. If we do not detect, diagnose and treat it early enough glaucoma can lead to blindness,” explained Dr. Hall. “The most common approach to treat glaucoma s to lower the intraocular pressure with eye drops, laser treatment, oral medications and sometimes surgery depending on the type of glaucoma and how severe it is,” he further explained.

The idea that marijuana can be helpful in treating glaucoma dates to the 1970s. Studies conducted then showed that smoking marijuana lowered the IOP of people with glaucoma. As a result of this research, additional studies were conducted examining whether marijuana or its active ingredient, a compound known as THC, could be used to keep IOP lowered. This research was supported by the National Eye Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health. The research found that when marijuana is smoked or when a form of its active ingredient is taken as a pill or by injection, it does lower IOP. However, it only lowers IOP for a short period of time-about three or four hours. This short period of time is a major drawback for the use of marijuana as a glaucoma treatment. Because glaucoma needs to be treated 24 hours a day, you would need to smoke marijuana six to eight times a day around the clock to receive the benefit of a consistently lowered IOP. Because of marijuana's mood-altering effect, smoking so much of it daily would leave you too impaired to drive, operate equipment or function at the peak of your mental ability.

The effect that marijuana has on your ability to function is not the only side effect from the drug, however. Marijuana cigarettes contain hundreds of compounds that damage the lungs. Research has shown that regular and frequent use of marijuana, particularly in high doses, can cause problems with short-term memory and concentration.

As scientists learn more about glaucoma, they have also come to understand that IOP is not the only factor that damages the optic nerve. Recent studies characterize glaucoma as a neurologic disease similar to Parkinson's or Alzheimer's. And, there is increasing evidence that reduced flow of blood to the optic nerve may also cause damage in patients with glaucoma. Unfortunately, marijuana not only lowers IOP, but it lowers blood pressure throughout the body. As a result, it has the potential to lower the blood flow to the optic nerve, effectively canceling out the benefit of a lowered IOP. So, while marijuana can temporarily lower your IOP, it's not recommended for treating glaucoma. Prescription medications, laser and surgical treatments have been tested and proven as effective treatments for the glaucoma.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye exams, glaucoma and medical marijuana feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LASIK with Glaucoma: Is it Possible?

Birmingham Alabama LASIK Surgeon Marc Michelson, M.D. commented, “There are many patients wearing eyeglasses that also have glaucoma or even elevated intraocular pressure and are glaucoma suspects, who would prefer to have LASIK and not be dependent on their glasses for seeing clearly at distance. We would consider performing LASIK for certain patients with glaucoma-but it is really quite an individual determination and depends a great deal on the stability of the glaucoma and whether and how much damage to the optic nerve the disease has caused,” explained Dr. Michelson of Michelson Laser Vision. Generally, unless the glaucoma is severe it is possible that LASIK could be an option for most patients. Other types of laser eye surgery for vision correction such as PRK might be preferred. In some cases it might actually be beneficial to have lens replacement surgery using advanced technology lens implants for vision correction.

If you or someone you know has glaucoma or is a glaucoma suspect and is considering LASIK, we would be happy to provide a free consultation to help determine if they are a LASIK candidate or perhaps a better candidate for another type of Laser Eye Surgery for vision correction or Lens Replacement Surgery please schedule a Free Consultation in Birmingham by calling 205-930-0930, visiting Michelson Laser Vision or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.


Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Contact Lens iPhone App for Birmingham Patients


“Birmingham contact lens wearers should take a look at the iPhone app to help them remember their contact lens replacement schedule,” commented Birmingham Optometrist Dr. Catherine Murphy at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. The contact lens app is available for use on iPhones and iPads and provides a convenient way to keep track of how many times you have worn your reusable contact lenses. No more having to wonder if it's time to replace your contacts. This is a nice way to help keep your contact lenses safe and your eyes healthy,” commented Dr. Murphy. “Proper lens replacement is critical to your eyes' health when wearing contacts. The app is available at iTunes for contact lens wearers to have a look at.

If you or someone you know has questions about contact lens care, handling and disinfection please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visiting Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center are leading eye care centers in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists & Corneal Specialists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser eye surgery such as LASIK for laser vision correction, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and fitting of eyeglasses and eyewear.