Sunday, February 10, 2019

Taking Aspirin Makes AMD Worse?




Does Taking Aspirin Make Macular Degeneration Worse? 
Most seniors and other people who suffer from vascular, heart, blood clotting problems or even arthritis are well aware of the benefits of taking a daily aspirin. In fact many people have been prescribed low dose aspirin as part of their overall care by their primary care or other specialty physicians. Seniors are also aware that age related macular degeneration (AMD) continues to be a leading cause of vision loss. Until recently there was some confusion and disagreement regarding whether it was safe or even risky for those who have AMD to take aspirin as it could increase bleeding risk in the retina and worsen AMD. A very careful review of information was reported in the journal Retina and provided insight concluding that the clinical studies showing the positive benefits of aspirin for cardiovascular health were quite a bit better that the limited studies showing a possible adverse effect of aspirin use in relation to AMD. The benefits of low dose aspirin include preserving the duration and quality of life by decreasing stroke and heart attack risk. These benefits seem to far outweigh the theoretical risks of possibly exacerbating wet AMD, which we can now control reasonably well with anti-VEGF injection therapy with Eylea®, Lucentis® and other available medications.

If you or someone you know takes aspirin and has or has been recently diagnosed with age related macular degeneration (AMD) it appears safe and beneficial to follow your physicians prescribing instructions and not worry about any increased risk of worsening AMD. If you have questions or need to 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.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Prevent Falling in Glaucoma Patients


Patients who have glaucoma, especially those with poor vision and very limited visual fields, need to exercise care and prevention, and take steps to avoid falling. These patients are a high risk group and are prone to have bone fractures when they do take a fall. In a recent study reported in the American Journal of Ophthalmology it was determined that most common causes of falling were tripping and slipping due to uneven flooring and poor vision. Almost 75% of falls occur in the home and more than 40% of people who fall suffer some type of injury. 

There are some common sense steps we can take to help prevent falling and thus prevent injury. These include:

>Clean up clutter and remove or repair any tripping hazards such as newspapers, pet items, loose rugs and damaged floorboards or tile.
>Install adequate lighting by placing stronger bulbs in fixtures to be sure hallways and rooms are very well illuminated.
>Install grab bars on stairs and in bathrooms as well as installing non-slip mats in showers and tubs.
>Always wear shoes to avoid the risk of slipping and if shoes are just too uncomfortable, be sure to buy non slip socks.
>Take your time getting up from chairs or sofas and move slowly at first.

These simple fall prevention interventions, particularly those for minor home modification, should be an adequate starting point to prevent falls. If you or someone you know has glaucoma
Or suffers from poor vision, know that they are at greater risk for falling. Be sure they have a thorough eye exam by scheduling 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.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Pterygia “Surfer’s Eye” & Melanoma Skin Cancer Risk

Dr. Jennifer Michelson, M.D.

Does a Pterygium or "Surfer's Eye" Increase Melanoma Risk?  
A pterygium (pronounced “tuh-RIJ-ee-uhm”) is an elevated, degenerated, wedged-shaped bump of tissue on your eyeball that starts on the conjunctiva or white part of your eye-most often near your nose and can slowly grow and extend to the cornea. A pterygium is commonly referred to as "surfer's eye" due to excessive exposure to bright sunlight for extended periods of time.  Harmful UV radiation reflected from surface of ocean water increases the risk of developing a pterygium. There are other causes as well and you don't have to be a surfer or ever see the ocean to get a pterygium. Ultraviolet radiation from the sun appears to be the primary cause for the growth of pterygia but exposure to dust and wind along with dry eye disease are very common causes. Pterygia usually develop in the 30 to 50 year age range and are rarely are found in children. If you have a light skin complexion and light eyes you have a greater chance of getting a pterygium.  If a pterygium grows and extends onto the cornea, irregular astigmatism and blurred vision may result requiring a surgical correction.

Recently, researchers reporting in the British Journal of Ophthalmology reported the results of a study that considered whether people who had pterygia were at greater risk of melanoma skin cancer. They felt that since pterygia seemed to me more common in light skinned, light eyed people who were exposed to a lot of sunlight, that maybe they had greater melanoma skin cancer risk. They found that having a pterygium indicates a significantly increased risk of developing a melanoma of the skin and eye care providers who see patients with developing pterygia should advise these patients of this increased risk and recommend regular skin surveillance with a dermatologist. Further, we know that if a pterygium becomes inflamed and affects the cornea, excision- pterygium surgery-may be necessary to avoid vision changes from corneal distortion or even scarring.

If you or someone you know has a pterygium, please schedule and schedule and 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, January 13, 2019

Glaucoma Eye Drop Side Effects


Glaucoma is traditionally treated with one or more types of specially medicated eyedrops. Today however, modern laser treatments for glaucoma may be a good option to reduce or even eliminate their need for eye drops for many patients. Many eyedrops for glaucoma may have side effects that can include redness, changes in the color of your eyes and eyelids. In addition, glaucoma eye drops may cause systemic side effects including changes in blood pressure, irregular pulse, and changes in heart rate, decreased exercise tolerance, breathing problems in patients with asthma or COPD, and even impotence in men. Some patients also report dry eyes from glaucoma eye drop medication.

Always be sure to tell your primary care physician about all of the eye medicines you take including glaucoma eye drops even if you are not experiencing any side effects. If you are experiencing any of these side effects, please be sure to schedule an appointment so that we might be able to offer alternative treatments which might include and in office laser treatment.

To learn more about glaucoma or schedule a glaucoma 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.