Sunday, May 19, 2019

Robert’s Cataract Surgery


“My laser cataract surgery was performed on each of my eyes, two weeks apart.  Prior to my surgeries, I did not have much vision in one eye and the other also had limited vision.  It was no longer safe for me to drive and I would not be able to pass the driver’s license exam.  Although I had two serious surgeries in the past, I was very concerned about having surgery performed on my eyes.  From this experience, I learned that lens implant surgery is a relative “piece of cake”.  You are aware of what’s going on during the procedure, however, there is no pain during or after the surgery and the surgery is approximately ten to fifteen minutes long.  Shortly thereafter you are on your way home.  Thanks to these surgeries, I can now see out of both eyes and can safely drive having passed the driver’s license vision test.  The only glasses I need now are reading glasses.  Dr. D’Ambrosio and his entire staff are professional, courteous and make you feel at ease at all times.  Put your faith – and your eyes – in Dr. D’Ambrosio’s skilled hands and don’t worry as he and his staff are the best-of-the-best.”--Robert

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 D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Worcester, MA 01609.

Sunday, May 12, 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 D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609

Sunday, May 5, 2019

New Eyewear for Motorcycle Season


New Eyewear for Motorcycle Season
May is the time of year where the sand has been cleared from the streets and people start riding their motorcycles on the warm spring days. Their bikes get shined up, they go get a new inspection sticker, why not a new pair of riding glasses? We carry 7 Eye by Panoptx®. Even if you do not need prescription motorcycle glasses you can still come in and purchase non-prescription eyewear. 7 Eye by Panoptx® carries all sorts of solutions for a rider or passenger. They have removable inserts for wind protection, lenses that go from clear to dark for the all day rider and many of the styles are quite fashionable and worth a look. They have male and female styles. If you do need a prescription and struggle to see off in the distance and up close to see your gauges, they offer many prescription lens choices as well.

Visit D’Ambrosio Optical Center to learn more, or visit us at D’Ambrosio Optical Center, Google+ or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help select fashionable, comfortable and durable eyeglasses and eyewear for your entire family.

D'Ambrosio Optical Center provides personalized service fitting and selection of eyewear 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Megan & LASIK


“I booked my consultation and surgery on back-to-back days and I could not have been happier with my choice.  EVERYONE at D’Ambrosio Eye Care was amazing, thorough and made me feel important.  I had been to another office for my consultation before and I’m SO happy I went with D’Ambrosio Eye Care!  Katie (LASIK Coordinator/Surgical Scheduling) especially was so helpful and everyone I came in contact with made this process so much better. Thank you for all you do!”
-Megan D

If you or some you know is tired of the hassle of glasses or contact lenses for seeing at distance and would like to find out if LASIK might be a good vision correction option, please call D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609.

Monday, April 15, 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 problems. When cataracts interfere with convenience and safety of your daily activities, cataract surgery can significantly improve your vision and comfort. We expect, and it is normal, for cataract surgery patients to sometimes complain of postoperative dry eye symptoms such as dry, foreign body sensation and short term blurriness if their tears are inadequate. From our experience, often patients may blame the surgery  for the apparently “new” development of dry eye symptoms and generally do not realize that their problem stems from ocular surface disease or other causes rather than the surgical procedure. Patients who actually do experience dry eye symptoms after cataract surgery should be reassured that it diminishes over time and we will help you be comfortable with both prescription and nonprescription eye drops as well as other treatment options if they are 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 D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Risky Contact Lens Behaviors



According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) there are more than 41 million contact lens wearers above 18 years of age and the majority engage in behaviors that put them at risk for serious eye infections. Further, there are more than 3.5 million adolescents 12-17 of age of which 85% admit to at least one behavior that exposes them to increased risk of a contact lens related eye infection. The clearly risky behaviors include sleeping in lenses, exposing lenses to water, not adhering to replacement schedules, and reusing disinfecting solution. Contact lens related eye infections, which can lead to serious outcomes, including blindness, are preventable with good hygiene and wearing habits such as replacing the storage case regularly, not sleeping or even napping in lenses, not swimming in lenses and especially not exposing them to lake or pond water and preferably not even tap water.

If you or someone you know is a contact lens wearer please make sure they use the necessary behaviors and care of their lenses to prevent risking an eye infection. To learn more call us at D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609.

Sunday, March 31, 2019

April Showers Bring May Flowers



Sometimes it is just bright enough to squint but not bright enough for sunglasses, especially during the day when it is raining. Transitions® brand lenses come in all styles; from a hint of tint to help with bright indoor light to even lenses that will darken while driving. Transitions® Drivewear® lenses help during those moments where sunglasses are too dark like a rainy day. Next time you are in to purchase a new pair of clear lenses, ask our Opticians about Transitions® Drivewear®.

Visit D’Ambrosio Optical Center to learn more, or visit us at D’Ambrosio Optical Center, Google+ or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help select fashionable, comfortable and durable eyeglasses and eyewear for your entire family.

D'Ambrosio Optical Center provides personalized service fitting and selection of eyewear 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sleep Apnea, Eye Diseases & Problems


What does sleep apnea have to do with eye problems and diseases? Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a common condition that affects some 3-7% of the overall population in the U.S.. You are even at greater risk for OSA if you are middle aged or older, male, overweight or obese, have a family history of OSA,  are menopausal,  have any nasal or sinus irregularities or are a smoker or consume alcohol. If you know anyone with OSA you know they have poor nighttime sleep and are very tired, sleepy and fatigued during the day. Did you know that OSA also increases your risk of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke and even diabetes? Results of the SLE.E.P.Y. Study show OSA either increases your risk for several eye disorders and problems including glaucoma, eyelid, corneal and retinal problems such as macular disease or seems to be associated with them at a much higher rate than the normal population.

If you or someone you know suffers from Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) they should be sure to have regular eye exams. Please schedule an eye exam at D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Jessica’s LASIK Experience




Best decision I ever made!  Honestly, not sure why it took me so long to get LASIK, but I’m happy with the outcome.  From the consultation, to the follow up appointments, the staff have been amazing with answering questions and making your you’re following the after care (instructions). I would highly recommend D’Ambrosio Eye Care for anyone considering LASIK or just an overall eye care doctor.  Thank you!”-Jessica A.

If you or some you know is tired of the hassle of glasses or contact lenses for seeing at distance and would like to find out if LASIK might be a good vision correction option, please call D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Street, Suite 606, Worcester, MA 01609.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Eat Chocolate for Good Vision!



Did you know that eating chocolate is good for your vision? Not just any chocolate but dark chocolate! According to a study in JAMA Ophthalmology, eating dark chocolate resulted in small improvements in visual acuity and contrast sensitivity for at least 2 hours. While this might seem kind of silly there is a reason to believe the result is due to the presence of substances called flavanols which may enhance blood flow to the central and peripheral nervous systems, and actually improve cardiovascular function. Since your eyes and in particular the retina is a highly vascular structure it is no real surprise that the flavanols could have an impact. Certainly more research needs to be done-but in the meantime keep eating that dark chocolate!

D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Taking Aspirin Makes AMD 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 aspirin as part of their overall care by their primary care or other specialty physicians. Seniors are also well 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 gave us good insight into the conclusions that overall, the types and size of studies showing the positive benefits of aspirin use for cardiovascular health were quite a bit better that the smaller limited studies showing a possible adverse effect of aspirin use in relation to AMD. The benefits of aspirin usage 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 D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609

Monday, February 4, 2019

Sunglasses for Snow Glare




Have you ever heard of snow glare? Snow acts like a reflector of the suns blinding solar glare; similar to being on the ocean or by a pool.  If you plan to be out on the slopes, sledding or even cleaning off the driveway you will be better protected and less squinty with some quality sunglasses. Come check out our Oakley and Maui Jim collections. They have lens solutions for several sporting situations or just those situations where you need to see better in bright light. Ever wonder why it is so hard to drive Route 2 East without a few traffic jams?? It is not all the fault of cell phones users, people driving East experience blinding glare that prevents them from seeing properly.

Visit D’Ambrosio Optical Center to learn more about sunglasses for snow glare, or visit us at D’Ambrosio Optical Center, Google+ or facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare so that we can help select fashionable, comfortable and durable eyeglasses and eyewear for your entire family.
D'Ambrosio Optical Center provides personalized service fitting and selection of eyewear 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Cataract Patient Story from SJ


“The entire staff was professional and caring.  Katie (in Surgical Scheduling) took care of me, explaining the process, surgery (laser cataract surgery with multi-focal lens implants) and appointments.  She was thorough and knowledgeable in answering all my questions; patient and cheerful, always.  Katie followed up with my phone call, promptly, with answers to more questions.  I felt completely supported and cared for.  On my follow-up appointments, she and the staff always greet me with smiles, making me feel welcome and among “friends”.  This entire surgical process, “soup-to-nuts”, was a very positive and pleasant experience.”-SJ

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 D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331 and 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Street, Suite 606, Worcester, MA.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Closed Angle Glaucoma Diagnosis Improvements

Dr. D'Ambrosio, Jr.

Closed Angle Glaucoma Diagnosis with Machine Learning Artificial Intelligence
Closed Angle Glaucoma is a sight threatening medical emergency that can cause catastrophic vision loss in a short time if not treated quickly. It is possible to use a number of tests during your eye exam to determine whether you might be at risk. If you are, we can provide an in office laser treatment to easy decrease your risk of Closed Angle Glaucoma. One of these tests is Optical Coherence Tomography, also called AS-OCT short for Anterior Segment Optical Coherence Tomography which allows us to create digital images that are cross-sectional pictures of the eye’s anterior chambers. Researchers are now developing a fully automated database for screening for AS-OCT screening for Closed Angle Glaucoma using machine learning artificial intelligence that will make the diagnosis very reliable and consistent and readily performed by our staff as part of your eye exams if you are at risk.

If you are someone you know has not had a recent eye exam and glaucoma testing please schedule an appointment at D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Tips to Help Prevent Glaucoma Vision Loss


10 Tips to Reduce Your Chance of Losing Vision from Glaucoma
Recent studies have identified a number of lifestyle factors that actually influence eye pressure which is a major risk factor for glaucoma. By either avoiding or embracing certain habits you can have a positive effect on your risk of glaucoma.

Get Regular Exercise. A recent study showed that people who engaged in moderate to vigorous physical activity appear to have a 73 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. This is because blood flow and pressure inside the eye may change with exercise, which may affect glaucoma risk.

Eat a Diet Rich in Fruits & Green Leafy Vegetables. One study showed that people who ate more leafy vegetables have a 20 to 30 percent lower risk of developing glaucoma. Why? Nitrates in green vegetables can be converted to nitric oxide, which can improve blood flow and help regulate pressure inside the eye.

Drink Tea, BUT Coffee Only in Moderation. A recent study last month showed that people who consumed at least one cup of hot tea daily had 74 percent decreased odds of having glaucoma compared with those who did not consume hot tea. A little coffee is fine, but excessive caffeine intake is not ideal. One study found that drinking 5 or more cups of caffeinated coffee increased the risk of developing glaucoma. How can tea help? Antioxidants and the flavonoids contained in tea may improve the body’s ability to prevent the harmful effects of free radical damage.

Consider a Magnesium Dietary Supplement. We now know that an adequate intake of dietary magnesium may be beneficial for patients with glaucoma because of improved circulation.

Brush, Floss & See Your Dentist Regularly. A recent study showed that tooth loss may be linked to increased glaucoma risk due to because periodontal or gum disease stimulating and inflammatory response that can contribute to glaucoma.

Don’t SmokeStudies clearly show that smoking cigarettes increases the risk of glaucoma, and has an overall negative impact on eye health.

Maintain a Healthy Body WeightStudies show that people with a higher body mass index (BMI) are at increased risk for diabetes, and having diabetes puts people at risk of glaucoma. Having a too low BMI is also associated with increased glaucoma risk.

Avoid Inverted Yoga PositionsStudies show head-down positions can increase eye pressure and are not recommended for glaucoma patients.
Avoid NecktiesResearchers say that a too-tight necktie may increase the risk of glaucoma by increasing blood pressure inside the eyes.
  
Get Regular Eye Exams & Glaucoma Testing. Especially if you have a family history of the condition you are at greater risk and need more frequent eye exams and testingResearchers have recently identified certain genes that increase the risk of glaucoma. Those at higher risk of glaucoma include people of African descent, people with diabetes, and those with a family history of glaucoma. You are at greatly increased risk if you have a parent or brother or sister with glaucoma. 

If you or someone you know is concerned about their glaucoma risk and is considering making lifestyle changes, before making changes please be sure to schedule an eye exam at D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609

Monday, January 7, 2019

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


Does a Pterygium or "Surfer's Eye" Increase Melanoma Risk?  
A pterygium (pronounced “tuh-RIJ-ee-uhm”) is an elevated, wedged-shaped bump of tissue on your eyeball that starts on the sclera or white of your eye-most often on the side near your nose and can extend to the cornea. Although A pterygium is commonly referred to as "surfer's eye” because being around bright sunlight for long periods of time-particularly the harmful UV reflected light from water such as the ocean-can increase your risk. But 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 30- to 50-year-olds, 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.

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 that 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 an eye exam at D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937, visit D’Ambrosio Eye Care, Google+ 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, 865 Merriam Avenue, Suite 119, Leominster, Massachusetts 01453, 100 Powder Mill Road, Acton, Massachusetts 01720, 413 Main Street, Athol, Massachusetts 01331, 74 Main Street, Gardner, Massachusetts 01440 and 255 Park Avenue, Suite 606, Worcester, Massachusetts 01609.