Monday, February 16, 2015

Top AMD Risk Factors

As February is designated Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, D’Ambrosio Eye Care  wanted to share important information about the Top 5 Risk Factors for Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe vision loss among Americans ages 65 and over. Knowing your risk factors, being aware of your family history, and scheduling regular eye exam appointments with your eye doctor can help reduce your risks for vision loss from macular degeneration. The key to preventing vision loss from age related macular degeneration is early detection, diagnosis and treatment as recommended by your eye doctor.

Know the Top AMD Risks
Ø  Being over the Age of 60
Ø  Having a Family History of AMD
Ø  Cigarette Smoking
Ø  Obesity
Ø  Hypertension

If you have any two of these risk factors, you should schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam and evaluation.

Managing AMD Risk Factors
There are some AMD risk factors that a person can change such as smoking and diet to reduce the risk of vision loss from AMD, but other factors such as genetics are just a part of who you are. It is important, if possible, to know your family medical history regarding eye problems such as AMD. A sound way to reduce your AMD risk is to quit smoking or better yet,  never start. For patients at high risk for developing late stage AMD, taking a dietary supplement of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, has been shown to lower the risk of AMD advancing to advanced stages by 25 percent. Eating green leafy vegetables and reducing alcohol consumption are also helpful in preventing AMD.

Know the Symptoms of Wet AMD
Wet AMD is the type of macular degeneration most likely to cause rapid and serious vision loss. Thus, people who are at risk should know the symptoms of Wet AMD as with early detection, diagnosis and treatment it is possible to avoid or minimize vision loss from Wet AMD.
Symptoms of Wet AMD can include sudden, noticeable loss or distortion of vision, such as seeing “wavy” lines, “distortion”, “bending of straight lines and objects”. If you experience any of these symptoms, please call our office right away and explain your symptoms and request an immediate appointment.

Current treatments for Wet AMD such as injections of VEGF Inhibitors including Lucentis® and Eylea® provide an excellent chance of stopping vision loss and may actually restore some vision when macular degeneration develops. Earlier diagnosis of wet AMD gives a much more favorable chance of successful treatment.

If you or someone you know has 2 or more of the top AMD risk factors, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help you manage your risk of AMD.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Obesity Increases AMD Risk

Obesity is a well know risk factor for diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and orthopedic and joint problems. Recently, researchers reviewing the Beaver Dam Eye Study evaluated the risk of age related eye disease such as age related macular degeneration (AMD) with obesity. They discussed their review in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science where they reported the results of eye exams that were used to evaluate the presence and severity of cataract and macular degeneration as well as measurements of height and weight over a 15 year period of time. Their findings show that for females who were non smokers, there was indeed and increased risk of early and late stage age related macular degeneration (AMD) with an increasing Body Mass Index (BMI).

If you or someone you know is concerned about macular degeneration and AMD risk factors they should consider the role of obesity and they are encouraged to schedule regular eye exams at D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare, as early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the key to avoiding vision loss from age related eye problems such as AMD.

D'AmbrosioEye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lifestyle for Eye Health & Vision

Bin Wu, MD
Making good choices about your lifestyle can go a long way to helping you maintain your eye health and vision. The first step is to know more about what kinds of things you personally can do.

Making sure to schedule regular dilated eye health and vision exams-at intervals your eye doctor recommends-is the first step to maintaining eye health and good vision. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment when necessary allows us to find eye diseases, conditions and problems so that we can address them before they are sight threatening. Many eye diseases do not have early warning signs, but signs and symptoms can be identified during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Know Your Family History of Eye Problems
Many eye health and vision problems and eye diseases tend to run in families. This suggests that if an eye disease is present in any family member it may put you at greater risk of that eye problem. This is particularly the case for eye diseases such as glaucoma and age related macular degeneration (AMD). Stay abreast of the eye diseases and conditions as they exist in your family, AND BE SURE TO TELL US ABOUT THEM WHEN YOU COME IN FOR AN EYE EXAM.

Nutrition and Diet Affect Eye Health & Vision
Make sure to pay attention to what you eat and try to include a steady diet of foods high in important nutrients that support good vision, such as the following:

o    Vegetables: collard greens, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and dark, leafy greens, such as kale and spinach
o    Nuts: sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts
o    Fruits: strawberries and blueberries
o    Omega-3 Fatty Acids: tuna, halibut and salmon
o    Beans: chickpeas, kidney beans and legumes

Watch Your Weight & Exercise
Being overweight exposes you to a greater risk of diabetes. In fact there is an epidemic of diabetes in the U.S. today. Diabetic eye problems include a greater risk of glaucoma, cataracts and sight threatening diabetic retinopathy. Exercise-even moderate amounts of daily exercise reduce your risk of developing MANY eye diseases and problems.

Wear Protective Eyewear
Eye injury prevention is relatively easy-if you wear the appropriate protective eyewear when taking part in sports or home activities that expose you to risk. It is estimated that some 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by taking a minute to review the need for protective eyeglasses before doing home projects, trimming branches or shrubs, using saws, tool or weed whackers-and on and on. In addition, when spending time outdoors or near the water, wear sunglasses designed to block out 99 to 100 percent of the sun’s UV-A and UV-B rays.
Be smart and be safe.

Stop Smoking
Not only does smoking cause a host of cardiovascular and systemic vascular problems, but smoking is now recognized as increasing the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and, all of which could lead to vision loss. We also now know that if you do smoke, there is considerable benefit in stopping!

Avoid Computer Eyestrain
CRT or video display terminals used for computers are well known to expose you eye fatigue, headache and more troubling-dry eye problems. When working on the computer or using a smartphone or tablet, practice the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eyestrain-that is, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. If you have any sensation of dryness, grittiness or “something in your eyes”, use an eye surface lubricant or eye drop to replenish your tears.

If you or someone you know has questions about how lifestyle choices can help preserve eye health and vision, please contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help you manage your choices.

D'AmbrosioEye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Monday, January 26, 2015

LASIK Story from Jen

I had PRK almost 2 years ago and it was one of the best decisions I have ever made! I went in for my consultation at D’Ambrosio Eye Care and the entire process was explained to me - it really helped to calm some of my fears. The day of the procedure was easier than ever expected. The staff was amazing and walked me through every step. They talked me through the procedure and it was done before I knew it. My vision was better almost immediately after. D’Ambrosio Eye Care saw me through all my post-op appointments and continued to follow my progress. My vision is 20/20 now and I could not be happier!

Jen L.


If you or someone you know has questions about LASIK or would like to schedule a free LASIK consultation please contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can schedule  convenient time for you.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Eye Injury from Airbags in Car Accidents

Just about all cars on the road today have both airbags and seat belts. This combination of air bags and safety belts are important safety features that have saved nay lives and helped to prevent injury. But, did you know that airbags and improper use of safety belts can actually lead to eye injury!

A recent report in Survey of Ophthalmology suggests that the incidence of eye injury and facial trauma from airbags is increasing. How can this be happening? Airbags were originally designed as a supplemental safety system to seatbelts, to protect the head from hard surfaces in frontal crashes. It is critical that all passengers wear their seatbelts even if your car has airbags in the front, back and sides of the passenger cabin because the seatbelts restrict and prevent you from being quickly and forcefully thrown forward and colliding with the rearward inflating and accelerating airbags as they are deployed during a car accident. Airbag deployment and passenger collision with airbags has been reported to cause eye injuries including corneal abrasions, alkali burns and the serious effects of eye compression such as retinal tears, retinal and vitreous hemorrhages, retinal detachment and even cataracts. SO-the message is clear. For eye protection and safety in motor vehicle accidents, all occupants of cars should wear safety belts at all times even if your vehicle has airbags!

If you or someone you know has questions about eye injury from airbags please contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Glaucoma Symptoms You Should to Know

If you have any risk factors for glaucoma or have been told that you have ocular hypertension or any other history that predisposes you to glaucoma you should know about the symptoms of glaucoma.

Symptoms of Primary Open Angle Glaucoma
Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is the most common form of glaucoma. Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is a slow, insidious and progressive sight stealing eye disease which has no symptoms that affected patients can readily be aware of. This is especially important as among African-American and Hispanic populations where 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.

Symptoms of Angle Closure Glaucoma
Angle Closure Glaucoma can be divided in two main types: Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma and Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma. Although Angle Closure Glaucoma occurs much less frequently than Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, it is important to understand it because it has the ability to produce considerable vision loss in a short period of time. Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma is one of the only types of glaucoma that produces distinct symptoms that include pain, light sensitivity, redness, and blurred vision, colored haloes around lights and nausea or vomiting.

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 D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Dropless Laser Cataract Surgery

At D’Ambrosio Eye Care we work to bring patients access to world class cataract surgery through innovation that improves eye surgery results and makes it more comfortable and convenient for our patients. Dropless Laser Cataract Surgery is a further step in the right direction. Unfortunately some patients don’t use their eye drops after cataract surgery ad lens implants like they’re supposed to and some may not even get or use the drops at all. Many patients can’t afford or don’t remember to use their eye drops after cataract surgery. Sometimes, they or their caretakers are limited by physical factors such as arthritis. Further, compliance can be a comfort issue for some patients because they are sensitive to the preservatives in the post operative eye drops. The good news is that with Dropless Laser Cataract Surgery, we  now have the ability to place the medications inside their eyes at the time of their cataract and lens implant surgery, eliminating the need for them to use most if not all of their after surgery medications.

Injectable intraocular drugs can simplify the post-operative process and provide safeguards against bacterial infection and inflammation. They reduce dependence on expensive, topical post-operative eye drop therapy resulting in a significant decrease in the overall cost of the surgical procedure. With Dropless formulations, patients may no longer need to administer multiple topical drops daily thereby largely eliminating patient non-compliance issues. Dropless Therapy has tremendous potential benefit to patients, particularly the physically and economically disadvantaged, along with caregivers, surgeons, staff, and the healthcare system alike.


If you or someone you know has questions about cataract, lens implants or Dropless Laser Cataract Surgery please call us at 800-325-3937 to schedule a convenient appointment.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Glaucoma Eye Exams Are Important!

Prevent Blindness America designates January as National Glaucoma Awareness Month and D’Ambrosio Eye Care wants to highlight the importance of eye exams and glaucoma testing to provide early detection, diagnosis and treatment for glaucoma when necessary. We also want to let baby boomers and seniors know that glaucoma risk increases considerably after the age of 40, and once over 60 years of age you are 6 times more likely to get glaucoma, even without any family or medical history. Your risk is further increased 4-9 times if you have any family history of glaucoma.

Eye exams for glaucoma should begin by checking your visual acuity with and without your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Then, the tonometry test should be performed where we measure your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) which gives the eye doctors the first piece of important information in determining whether you might have glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy is another examination procedure used to detect and diagnose glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy is a method of carefully examining the inside of the eye-especially the optic nerve-in order to detect glaucoma. It is necessary to have some eye drops placed in your eyes in order to dilate your pupils so that the doctors can make a clear and direct observation of the optic nerve.

If either the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or the optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary in order to complete the glaucoma examination. These may include Visual Field Perimetry, Gonioscopy, Optic Nerve Computer Imaging and Pachymetry. Should you need any of these tests we explain them fully to you and answer your questions so that you understand how they permit us to diagnose glaucoma.

If you are under 40 years of age and do not have any family history of glaucoma or ocular hypertension-and have no other glaucoma risk factors and are not of African-American or Hispanic descent, then having a glaucoma eye examination every two years should be sufficient. If you have any glaucoma risk factors including high blood pressure, diabetes, sleep apnea, are a smoker, entered menopause early, have a family history or are over 40-especially if you are of African-American or Hispanic descent, then a glaucoma eye exam each year is recommended.

If you or someone you know has any risk factors for glaucoma you are encouraged to schedule an eye exam at D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling us at 800-325-3937, visiting D’Ambrosio Eye Care or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Dropless Laser Cataract Surgery

“During the past 30 years cataract surgeons have positively impacted patient satisfaction through advances in technology, procedures and techniques to improve the safety, efficacy and predictability of cataract and lens implant surgery. Today, Dropless Laser Cataract Surgery appears to give us the opportunity to address some key needs of our cataract patients-those of non-compliance and the inconvenience of having to use eye drops after cataract and lens implant surgery,” explained Francis D’Ambrosio Jr., M.D., Medical Director and Founder of D’Ambrosio Eye Care. 

“In terms of compliance, we all have patients that don’t use their eye drops like they’re supposed to and some may not even get or use the drops at all. Many patients can’t afford or don’t remember to use their eye drops after cataract surgery. Sometimes, they or their caretakers are limited by physical factors such as arthritis. Further, compliance can be a comfort issue for some patients because they are sensitive to the preservatives in the post operative eye drops. The good news is that with Dropless Laser Cataract Surgery, I now have the ability to place the medications inside their eyes at the time of their cataract and lens implant surgery, eliminating the need for them to use most if not all of their after surgery medications,” explained Dr. D’Ambrosio Jr. “As a cataract surgeon who works to make eye surgery more comfortable and convenient for patients as well as improving outcomes and results, I am excited to be able bring Dropless Cataract Surgery to Massachusetts patients. This technique along with our integration of the femtosecond laser for cataract surgery gives us the ability to provide world class eye surgery to central and western Massachusetts residents in a close to home and convenient location.”

About Dropless Cataract Surgery
Injectable intraocular drugs can simplify the post-operative process and provide safeguards against bacterial infection and inflammation. They reduce dependence on expensive, topical post-operative eye drop therapy resulting in a significant decrease in the overall cost of the surgical procedure. With Dropless formulations, patients may no longer need to administer multiple topical drops daily thereby largely eliminating patient non-compliance issues. Dropless Therapy has tremendous potential benefit to patients, particularly the physically and economically disadvantaged, along with caregivers, surgeons, staff, and the healthcare system alike.

D’Ambrosio Eye Care is a leading central Massachusetts eye care practice providing eye examinations for adults and children, laser cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses and optical services. For those patients in need of eye surgery, as a founding member of the Gardner Cataract & Laser Center, D’Ambrosio Eye Care eye surgeons are able to provide eye surgery in a convenient, close to home and cost effective ambulatory surgery center.

D'Ambrosio Eye Care provides eye care for patients throughout greater Boston, central and western Massachusetts with office locations at 479 Old Union Turnpike, Lancaster, Massachusetts 01523, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.