Sunday, May 19, 2019

Contact Lenses that Adjust to Sunlight?



Did you know that there are now FDA approved contact lenses that adjust to sunlight? These contact lenses darken automatically when you wear them in bright sunlight and then lighten in darker lighting conditions, just like the eyeglass lenses you have known about for years. They are available under the name ACUVUE® OASYS Contact Lenses with Transitions® Light Intelligent Technology. This convenient feature may be helpful for certain patients who are particularly light sensitive but shouldn’t be regarded as a substitute for UV protecting sunglasses which offer a great deal more protection.

If you would like to learn more about ACUVUE® OASYS Contact Lenses with Transitions® Light Intelligent Technology 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, May 12, 2019

Cataract Surgery Helps Avoid Car Accidents



Improved Vision After Cataract Surgery Helps Avoid Car Accidents
Did you know that the improved quality of vision obtained after cataract surgery can lower your risk of a car accident by 9% according to new information published in the journal Ophthalmology? Cataracts typically develop with age and result in a clouding of the lens inside the eye. As the natural lens of the eye gets progressively more cloudy and more opaque, the cataract limits the amount of light entering the retina. This will reduce contrast, clarity and clear vision. People who develop cataracts complain of symptoms that might include decreased visual acuity, impaired color vision, glare from light sources, dim vision, and in particular difficulty seeing at night. Not all cataracts need to be removed. But when a cataract impairs your safe mobility-especially for driving-it is time to consider cataract surgery and lens implants. Results from the JAMA Ophthalmology study results show that drivers with cataracts who get surgery to have them removed may lower their risk of getting into traffic crashes.

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, 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, May 5, 2019

Eye Problems in Women with Neurological Conditions




Eye Problems in Women with Neurological Conditions
Women are more likely to experience neurological problems, such as migraines and multiple sclerosis which are typically associated with eye problems and potential complications. When patients are seen during eye exams complaining of headaches or sudden visual problems, we have to be more aware that there are certain neurological conditions that target women. These can include:

Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple Sclerosis is a neurological disorder that affects woman more than men and often first becomes noticeable with eye problems such as optic neuritis with decreased vision and pain when moving your eyes as well as possibly double vision.

Migraines
Although migraines can occur at any point, after puberty, women are more likely to suffer from these vision-affecting headaches by a factor of two. Many patients with migraines come in for an eye exam complaining of visual phenomena or aura, which can range from zigzag lines or aura to fragmented vision or complete visual loss. These types of symptoms are associated with “classic migraines.”

Thyroid Eye Disease
Thyroid eye disease, also known as Graves’ disease, affects women in their 50s and 60s and may be associated with thyroid problems and brings patients in complaining of dry eye symptoms such as irritation and redness. In more advanced cases Graves’s patients could have bulging eyes and double vision as well due to poor eye muscle movement.

Learn more about neurological diseases and disorders that affect your eyes 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, April 21, 2019

Steps to Lower Your Risk of Eye Disease




5 Steps to Lower Your Risk of Eye Disease

By age 65, one in three Americans will have a vision-impairing eye disease. Many sight-robbing conditions can be effectively treated if detected early enough, in many cases limiting or eliminating the damage to eyesight. Four eye diseases, age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts-account for most cases of adult blindness and low vision among the population in the U.S. Because these eye diseases cause no pain, they often have no early symptoms, consequently they do not automatically prompt people to seek medical care. Fortunately, a thorough eye exam can detect these eye diseases in their earliest stages allowing early treatment which can be vital in slowing or halting disease progression. In the case of cataracts, normal vision can be restored by modern cataract surgery in most cases. A thorough eye exam can also detect other health conditions, such as stroke, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases, sexually transmitted diseases and some cancers. Here are some steps to helping preserve your eye health and vision:

Get a Comprehensive Medical Eye Exam at Age 40 -Early signs of disease or changes in vision may begin at this age. If you have not already had one, a comprehensive medical eye exam is an opportunity to carefully examine the eye for diseases and conditions that may have no symptoms in the early stages.

Know Your Family History -Certain eye diseases can be inherited. If you have a close relative with macular degeneration, you have a 50 percent chance of developing this condition. A family history of glaucoma increases your glaucoma risk by four to nine times. Talk to family members about their eye conditions. It can help you and your eye doctor evaluate your risk.

Eat Healthy Foods -A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and cold water fish.

Stop Smoking -Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Smoking also raises the risk for cardiovascular diseases which can indirectly influence your eye health. Tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, also worsens dry eye.

Wear Sunglasses-Exposure to ultraviolet UV light raises the risk of eye diseases, including cataract, fleshy growths on the eye and cancer. Always wear a hat and sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection while outdoors.

If you have not had a comprehensive medical eye exam be sure to schedule one by calling 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, April 15, 2019

Oral Health Can Affect the Retina


Did you know that not taking care of your teeth and gums can increase your risk of blood vessel damage in the retina? Periodontitis is a chronic inflammation of the gums that results from bacterial buildup and the surface and between your teeth. It is easily prevented with through oral hygiene such as brushing your teeth and flossing properly to avoid accumulation of bacteria on your teeth and gums. If left untreated it can result in loosening or even loss of teeth. But, a study in the Journal of Periodontology found that there was an association between periodontontitis and the health of the retinal blood vessels in terms of their narrowing and constriction in a similar manner as results from hypertension and vascular and inflammatory diseases. The researchers speculated that over time this could lead to “leaky blood vessels” and indicate that periodontitis might lead to increased risk for other diseases.

To learn more about tooth and gum disease such as periodontitis ask your dentist. If you have periodontitis and have not had a regular 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, April 7, 2019

Aging, Cognitive Decline, Vision & Hearing



Many people believe that normal aging and getting older results in an almost certain loss of cognitive abilities, and there is nothing that can be done to slow or halt this decline. Research doesn’t actually support this line of thought, especially with regard to maintaining good vision and hearing. Researchers  studied a group of people 50+ years of age from the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing (ELSA) and the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) and found that there is a clear pattern whereas seniors who work to avoid sensory impairment, in particular vision and hearing, do not experience the same magnitude or speed of cognitive decline as those who have a single sensory impairment and more so a dual sensory impairment. The message is quite simple-seniors and those at risk for age related memory loss and cognitive decline need to be sure to maintain their eye health, vision and hearing.

If you or someone you know-especially those in the senior age group-has not had a thorough eye health and vision exam, please schedule an appointment at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

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

Sunday, March 31, 2019

Dry Eye after Cataract Surgery


We perform cataract surgery and lens implantation for more and more patients each year as cataracts continue to be a leading cause of decreased vision, especially in seniors. Also very common in the same age group of patients is dry eye which can be caused by ocular surface disease, eyelid problems such as meibomian gland disease and blepharitis, taking certain medications and many other systemic conditions. When cataracts progress and blur vision enough to interfere with convenience and safety of your daily activities, cataract surgery can be performed to significantly improve your vision and comfort. We expect, and it is normal, sometimes for postoperative cataract surgery patients to complain of dry eye symptoms.  These symptoms may include a dry, foreign body sensation and fluctuating blurriness if the tears are inadequate or unstable. From our experience, often patients may blame the cataract surgery for the apparently “new” development of dry eye symptoms.  Patients generally do not realize that their dry eye problem stems from pre-existing ocular surface disease or other causes rather than the cataract surgery itself.  Patients who experience dry eye symptoms after cataract surgery should be reassured that their symptoms will diminishes over time, and there are multiple treatment options available to help reduce any discomfort from the dry eye condition. Both prescription and nonprescription eye drops as well as other treatment options may be necessary.

If you or someone 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 schedule an appointment at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

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

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Glaucoma Status Affected by Certain Medications



Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common type of glaucoma and is generally treated by eye drops, laser treatment and/or surgery to help reduce the eye pressure or intraocular pressure (IOP). Certain systemic medications that you take for anxiety or depression that are in the class called “SSRI,” such as Zoloft, Prozac, Celexa and Paxil, or blood pressure medications in the class called “calcium channel blockers,” such as Norvasc, Cadizem, Procardia and Calan may be associated with your glaucoma risk. SSRIs are strongly associated with a reduced risk of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma whereas calcium channel blockers were strongly associated with an increased risk. According to researchers reporting in Ophthalmology, the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, this is important and useful information to us as we assess your risk of glaucoma, but is helpful to researchers seeking new medications for the treatment of glaucoma as it might indicate novel approaches with medications used for other systemic diseases.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about glaucoma risk and systemic medications 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.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Avoid Eyebrow Tweezing & Plucking Infections!


Plucking or tweezing to shape eyebrows into a flawless, face-framing arch is a common grooming process used by many people-both women and men. Did you know that eyebrow hair removal of any type-plucking, waxing, tweezing, threading or even shaving-can be a source of serious infection called “preseptal cellulitis” and should be done with care and consideration of good hygiene in order to avoid infection risk. A study reported in the journal Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery examined patients who had eyebrow infections-either preseptal cellulitis or infected cysts-and identified both the type of bacteria and the patient history and event that resulted in the infection. More than 2/3 of the patients who had eyebrow infections had actual abscesses that were caused by forms of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (24%) and other very damaging bacteria. If you are going to personally have your eyebrows groomed please be aware of using good hygiene techniques including hand washing, washing and swabbing the eyebrow area before and after with alcohol, wiping and soaking all tools such as tweezers with alcohol before you use them. These are serious causes of eyebrow infection with potentially very damaging results.

If you or someone you know has an eyebrow infection or ingrown eyebrow and has been plucking, tweezing, waxing or threading please schedule and appointment at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, Google+ or www.facebook.com/alabamaeyeandcataractcenter.

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

Sunday, 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.