Thursday, January 20, 2022

6 Tips for Using Glaucoma Eye Drops Effectively

Did you know that less than 50% of glaucoma patients use their eye drops properly and risk vision loss? Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States. When glaucoma is treated in its early stages, vision loss can be prevented. Recent studies show that more than half of glaucoma patients do not adhere to their prescribed treatment plans due to factors including difficulty in applying eye drops, lack of medication education and forgetfulness. Here are 6 tips to help overcome glaucoma medication challenges:

·           Be honest with your eye doctor about your medication difficulties. Missed a dose? It may not seem to matter much, but research shows that skipping doses can cause your glaucoma to become more severe. Be candid with your eye doctor about any problems you face in taking your medicine regularly, and ask about the best way to make up for a missed dose. The more you tell your doctor, the better he or she can help you find ways to customize your treatment plan to make it more manageable for your lifestyle.

·           Ask for help from health professionals and loved ones. It can be difficult to keep track of which meds to take and when. Talk with your ophthalmologist or pharmacist about your medications, their impact and possible side effects. Also, use the buddy system and tell your friends, family and caregivers about your condition and treatments. Consider taking a loved one or caregiver with you to your eye appointments, so they can help you follow your treatment plan when you're at home. They may also be able to help you apply your eye drops at home.

·           Use memory aids. The most common reason for not taking eye drops is forgetfulness. Try simple memory aids like linking your eye drop schedule to other things you do routinely. For example, put your eye drop bottle next to your toothbrush or your pill box if you take other medications. Try using physical reminders such as marking off a calendar when you use your drops, or moving your eye drop bottle from one place to another after you've applied your drops. Also, take advantage of today's technology and set an alarm on your phone to help you make your medication a part of your daily routine, or look for free smartphone apps and other tools.

·           Perfect the "pocket." Giving yourself eye drops can be challenging. In fact, research has shown that nearly 30 percent of people taking glaucoma medication are not properly applying their eye drops. This should involve gently pulling and pinching the lower lid to make a pocket to catch your drops. Once the drops are in, close your eyes (do not blink) and apply pressure to the point where the lids meet the nose for two to three minutes.

·           Don't use pot as a glaucoma treatment. Don't fall for rumors that medical marijuana can replace glaucoma medications. Prescription medicated drops are much more effective at treating the condition and have fewer risks than marijuana. Marijuana can also affect memory, which could make it more difficult to remember your treatments.


Certain factors put people at higher risk of developing glaucoma. These include age, family history of glaucoma, African-American and Hispanic-American ancestry, diabetes and past eye injuries. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that all people get an eye exam by age 40, especially those who have a higher risk of glaucoma.  


If you or someone you know is over 40, or has other glaucoma risk factors please schedule a glaucoma eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or Facebook.


Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center 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, December 13, 2021

Can Dr. Google Diagnose Eye Problems?

 

A recent study reported at a Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology concluded that while eye health information they found online can be helpful in informing patients with eye problems about conditions, often these online symptom checkers do not arrive at the correct diagnosis and actually provide the wrong recommendation on what to do, recommending self-care at home instead of calling an eye doctor or going to the emergency room. The study examining the diagnoses generated by WebMD Symptom Checker showed the online tool was correct only 26 percent of the time in making the right diagnosis and recommendation. With the wide availability of telehealth eye visits even if you are unable to get to an eye doctor’s office you would still have the benefit of “real doctor” evaluation and discussion in evaluation and recommendations.

If you or someone you know needs information or urgent care please know we always have an eye doctor on call and are happy to assist or schedule a telehealth appointment. Call us at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or Facebook.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center 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.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Cataracts & Diabetes: Facts You Might Not Know

Did you know that having diabetes increases your risk of developing cataracts faster and earlier in life? The crystalline lens in your eye is nourished by the Aqueous Humor-the clear fluid that circulates in the front of the eye behind the cornea. The Aqueous Humor actually provides oxygen and glucose for the health of the crystalline lens. If you have diabetes and not maintaining good stable blood glucose control, the crystalline lens can become cloudy and less transparent, eventually forming a cataract and making things appear blurry, faded and even appearing with a yellow tinge. This is yet another reason diabetics should work to maintain a healthy lifestyle and blood sugar control.

If you or someone you know has diabetes and experiences changing vision or is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving please call and schedule an eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or Facebook.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center 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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Types of Cataracts: Facts You Might Not Know

 


Did you know that there is more than one type of cataract? The most common type of cataract, typically found in people over 40, forms mainly in the center of your eye’s crystalline lens and is called a nuclear cataract. Another type of cataract is called a cortical cataract which is a wedge-shaped clouding that develops at the edge of the lens instead of the center. Yet another type, called a posterior capsular cataract generally forms at the back of the lens, blocking light rays from reaching the retina. You should know that posterior capsular cataracts usually develop faster than nuclear and cortical cataracts. But all three types can be corrected with cataract surgery to remove them, and then your vision corrected with lens implants. Your cataract surgeon can recommend different types of lens implants so that your eyeglass prescription for distance vision and astigmatism are corrected at the same time as your cataract surgery, and many people can even have their need for bifocals or reading glasses greatly reduced or eliminated with lens implants as well.

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 please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or Facebook.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. leading eye care center 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, November 22, 2021

Mary P Tells Her Cataract Story

 


“Dr. Michelson saved my vision. Of equal importance to me, he is the most thorough, kind and pleasant doctor I have ever seen. He will continue to see you until he is certain everything is right. His staff is friendly, compassionate and truly cares about you. I cannot say enough say enough about my great experiences with Dr. Michelson and his entire staff.”-Mary P

If you or some you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or Facebook

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. leading eye care center 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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Cataract Surgery Improves Driving Safety

 

Did you know that cataract surgery actually improves driving safety? The ability of cataract surgery to restore sight is well known. Patients say they’re stunned by the vibrancy of color after surgery and the improvement in night vision. Depending on the type of lens implant (IOL) selected to correct your vision after cataract surgery many patients no longer even need to wear glasses, reading glasses or bifocals after cataract surgery. Researchers reporting at a recent meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology used a driving simulator to test patients’ vision before and after cataract surgery. They found that near misses and crashes decreased by 48 percent after surgery! While visual acuity-how well you see the eye chart-is quickly measured after cataract surgery, it’s an incomplete assessment of how visually able you might be to drive. Cataract surgery appears to improve quantity of vision, or visual acuity, as well as contrast sensitivity leading to better night vision and improving drivers’ safety on the road.

These results highlight the importance of timely cataract surgery in maintaining safety and continued mobility and independence in seniors. If you or someone you know is experiencing cataract symptom such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please schedule a cataract evaluation. Call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or Facebook.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center 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.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Sleep Apnea & Diabetic Eye Problems?

 


If you have diabetes, did you know that having severe sleep apnea may increase your risk of developing diabetic macular edema, a complication of diabetes that can cause vision loss or blindness? Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) also appears to be more difficult to treat in patients with severe sleep apnea according to reports from researchers at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts, disrupting sleep and causing blood oxygen levels to drop. This drop in oxygen appears to unleash a host of changes in the body that may play a role in injuring blood vessels. People with sleep apnea are at risk of developing hypertension, heart attacks, stroke and type 2 diabetes. When people with diabetes have poor control over their blood sugar levels, the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eye can become damaged. Sometimes, tiny bulges protrude from the blood vessels, leaking fluid and blood into the retina. This fluid can cause swelling or edema-called Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) in an area of the retina that allows us to see clearly. Researchers believe that sleep apnea may contribute to the development and worsening of diabetic retinopathy by increasing insulin resistance, elevating inflammation and raising blood pressure, all of which can damage the blood vessels at the back of the eye.

If you or someone you know is diabetic and especially if you suffer from sleep apnea, please be sure to have an annual eye exam and be tell your eye doctor that you suffer from sleep apnea as it is a risk factor Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). Please call us to schedule a diabetic eye exam at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham at 205-930-0930, visit Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or Facebook.

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center is a leading eye care center 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.