Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Aspirin & Macular Degeneration (AMD)

There may be a relationship between frequent aspirin use and Macular Degeneration (AMD) according to researchers from the European Eye Study who reported some interesting findings on the October 2011 publication Ophthalmology which is the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. They found that frequent aspirin use may be associated with an increased risk of early or late “wet age-related macular degeneration”, with an “odds ratio” that increases upon frequency of consumption. However the study is somewhat limited in that there was an unknown amount of aspirin taken, as well as the possibility that participants may have taken aspirin after experiencing visual problems. So, at this time the study is interesting but inconclusive and certainly patients taking aspirin to offset the coronary risk profile or other vascular problems should NOT discontinue taking aspirin unless they have been directed to do so by their personal physician.

Patients who have question or concerns about Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) should feel free to contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937 for information or to schedule an appointment. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why NOT to Buy Eyewear or Glasses Online

Did you know that in Massachusetts the state regulates that eyewear is a medical device and by law it is required to be fit and dispensed (provided) by a qualified licensed Optician or a registered apprentice? On-line businesses do not follow this regulation, however they are permitted to provide eyewear because they are based outside of state and/or country lines. Your Optometrist or Ophthalmologist is required to provide you the needed binocular pupillary measurement, know as your PD. However, this is a generic measurement that may not result in a pair of eyewear with optimal visual performance, especially if you wear progressive (no-line) lenses or have a difficult prescription.

At D’Ambrosio Eye Care there are several measurements and considerations when customizing a pair of eyewear that includes a monocular pupillary or visual center measurement (VCP), your visual needs, prescription, lens type, frame style, wrap angle, vertex distance, pantoscopic tilt, base curve, head and facial features, the intended use for your eyewear and previous eyewear worn. When fitting eyewear we also make precision adjustments so you are looking through the optical center of the lens. Our Opticians also want your frame to fit properly so they do not slip on your nose, pinch the sides of your head, leave red marks or cause discomfort behind your ears or on your nose. Any of these concerns may cause headaches and/or decreased vision. The human face is not symmetrical left to right so using only your binocular PD will not place the pupils in the visual center of the lens and possibly cause distortion, unwanted prism and headaches. Taking this measurement yourself- as some online stores request you do is tricky-somewhat akin to trying to cut your own hair.

We did our own research on an online competitor and found that once you purchase your eyewear – that you choose without a licensed professional - you have only 10 days to contact them if something isn’t right and, if you are provided a warranty within that timeframe, you have to pay a restocking fee. So when something does go wrong or you need an adjustment they are not going to help you. D’Ambrosio Eye Care offers a no-fee 1-year warranty and we adjust your eyewear at no cost for the life of your purchase, when you purchase with us. Because…to us you are our patient, to them only a customer.

Please stop by any of our optical departments or contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937 for more information.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Finding the Best Cataract Surgeons in Massachusetts

To find the best cataract surgeons requires a little bit of work and investigation but is always worth it. Finding an eye surgeon who is a cataract specialist can help you to be confident that you are getting the most current information, thoughts and techniques to deal with your cataracts.

Ask People You Trust for a recommendation. Ask your friends, co-workers and family-but most importantly ask you primary care physician who they would go to or who they would send a parent to for cataract surgery.

Don’t Limit Yourself to Insurance Lists. Just because a cataract surgeon is “in network” isn’t a reason to use them if you are able to identify a top cataract surgeon you wish to go to who isn’t listed. Paying a slightly higher co-pay or deductible may be very worthwhile to get the cataract surgeon of your choice. If the best cataract surgeon in your area happens to be in the insurance list then you are all set.

Use the Power of the Internet. Take a minute to search “cataract surgeons in (insert your town/city/state)” or “best cataract surgeon in (insert your town/city/state)”. This will at least give you a starting place to begin creating a list of eye surgeons to investigate further.

Visit the Cataract Surgeon’s Web Site. Once you have compiled a list, visit their web sites and get a feel for their practice culture and philosophy. While a web site by itself can’t tell you much about surgical skills, it can tell you about how well he or she presents information and explains detail to patients. This is important in how comfortable you may feel in that practice.

Schedule a Consultation and Meet the Cataract Surgeon. The only sure fire way to find out if you are comfortable and get a sense of trust from a cataract surgeon is to schedule a consultation and meet the surgeon personally. They should be able to clearly explain your eye health and vision as well as the cataract procedure and answer any questions you have in understandable language and terms. Whether or not you find the right cataract surgeon right off the bat it is never inappropriate to………

Get a Second Opinion. Making a decision about eye surgery is a big deal. Getting to a place where you feel confident, relaxed and comfortable is important.

If you or someone you know has a cataract or wish to learn more about cataract surgery, please call D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism can be very helpful for patients. Many people suffer from blurred vision caused by astigmatism. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea or the natural lens of the eye are unable to focus a clear image due to an irregular surface. Most people with astigmatism have an oval cornea, shaped like a football, instead of round like a basketball. In the past, patients may have been told that they could not wear contact lenses because they have astigmatism. This is no longer the case. Almost all cases of astigmatism can be treated with some type of contact lens.

Soft toric contact lenses are the most popular type of contact lens used to treat astigmatism. Good initial comfort is the main advantage of this type of lens, and the availability of trial contact lenses helps the initial fitting process. Soft Toric lenses are available in a disposable modality so long term convenience, health, and comfort are improved.

Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses are also used to treat astigmatism. Patients will have more initial awareness when wearing rigid gas permeable lenses compared to soft lenses, but long term comfort is usually good after the patient becomes accustomed to them. RGP contact lenses are able to treat greater amounts of astigmatism than soft lenses.

Hybrid contact lenses have a rigid gas permeable center and a soft lens skirt surrounding it. This type of lens tries to combine the sharp vision potential of a rigid lens with the comfort of a soft lens. The correct type of toric lens depends on the patient's prescription, corneal shape and visual needs, and they are available at D’Ambrosio Eye Care.

For more information about contact lenses and what type may be best for you, or to schedule an appointment for an eye examination, contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

About Your Eyes & Being Pregnant

What does being pregnant have to with your eyes? Sometimes quite a bit. During pregnancy your body undergoes fluctuations in hormone levels, changes in fluid retention and even an increase in your overall blood volume. These types of changes can result in your eyes changing in various ways. Fortunately eye changes due to pregnancy are usually temporary and resolve after the baby is born or after the cessation of breast feeding. Typically, vision changes are minor and don’t require a change in eyeglasses, however there are some eye changes that do require care and attention.

If you were thinking about having LASIK you should delay your actual LASIK Surgery procedure until at least three months after your delivery or three months after you stop nursing. This is necessary because the thickness of your cornea may fluctuate during pregnancy and will reduce the accuracy of the LASIK correction. Also, hormonal fluctuations are often the cause of dry eye. This can make you uncomfortable by itself and can certainly make wearing your contact lenses more difficult. If you experience dry eyes during pregnancy be sure to consult your eye care provider so that “pregnancy-safe” lubricating eye drops or other alternative treatments for dry eye can be prescribed. Sometimes simply eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, flax seeds and walnuts may help resolve dry eye and also supports general good health.

On a more serious note, if your vision becomes noticeably blurry, it may signal high blood pressure or pregnancy-related diabetes.

If you experience dry eyes, changes in vision or especially very blurred vision during pregnancy, it is important to schedule an appointment to see us at D’Ambrosio Eye Care by calling 800-325-3937. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Eye Turns or Strabismus

Eye turns (strabismus) in children can have multiple repercussions. “There are a number of functional problems that kids can have with strabismus (eye turns). If one eye turns regularly, the vision may not develop properly in that eye; if a turn is always present, depth perception will not develop. Another important, but often overlooked, negative effect from strabismus has to do with the social impacts that an eye turn has on children” stated Oren L. Weisberg, M.D., Pediatric Ophthalmologist at D’Ambrosio Eye Care.

Dr. Weisberg continued, “A recent article reinforces our understanding of this. In the study, pictures of children were digitally altered to give them an exotropia (an eye turn outward). A group of children aged 8-12 years then looked at the pictures and were asked to rate their willingness to sit next to such kids compared to pictures of kids without eye turns. Kids of all age groups studied were less willing to sit next to a child with exotropia. Other studies have also shown that strabismus can negatively affect kids in social situations”.

There are treatments available for patients with strabismus. This can include eyeglasses, patching, eye drops and sometimes surgery. If any turns are noted a complete eye exam by a provider who has experience working with children is important. During that visit all options for treatment can be reviewed.

If you feel your child has an eye turn, please call 800-325-3937 to schedule an appointment. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

LASIK for Contact Lens Problems & Intolerance

“Contact lens problems and intolerance seem to be motivating more and more patients to schedule LASIK consultations these days”, said Massachusetts Corneal Specialist JoAnn C. Chang, M.D. of D’Ambrosio Eye Care.

In fact, contact lens problems and intolerance are the reasons a great many patients seek LASIK Surgery and Laser Vision Correction. “The most common reason for contact lens intolerance that we see is a condition called Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis or GPC”, commented Dr. Chang.

When we wear contact lenses, no matter how successful or diligent we are in their care and replacement, they become coated with mucous and protein from our tears. After a number of years of wearing contacts it is not uncommon to develop an allergy to the protein on the contact lens. Initially this may result in patients having some dry eye symptoms and prompt them to use lubricating eye drops. However, as the GPC contact lens problem continues to progress, patients begin to notice some itch and stringy mucous type discharge from their eyes. After a while the contacts just become too uncomfortable and gritty and patients become intolerant and just can’t wear their contacts.

During a severe episode of GPC, patients may be restricted from wearing their contacts in order to reduce the allergic inflammation of the lids. In some cases, patients are no longer able to wear contacts again at all. Patients with a chronic GPC may decide to have LASIK to correct their vision, so that they no longer need to depend on contacts on a daily basis.

LASIK can be a great option for you to rid yourself of the hassle of contacts and allow you to continue a “glasses free” lifestyle for seeing at distance.

If you or someone you know suffer from any type of contact lens problem and would like to learn more about LASIK, and whether you are a good candidate, please call D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937 for a Free LASIK Consultation. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Detached Retina-What Causes It?

You may have heard of someone having a detached Retina and wondered what that is and what might have caused it to occur.

First, let’s talk about the Retina. The Retina is located at the back of the eye and is made of many layers of cells and nerves that sense light and capture a picture. The picture then is sent to the brain. The eye is like a camera, with the light being focused by the front of the eye. Like a camera that uses film, the retina is like the film lining the back of the camera with the lens focusing light onto it.

When the Retina detaches, it loses its normal position and separates from the wall of the eye. When it is not in the proper position it cannot function properly and vision will be blurred. This is a serious problem, a blinding eye problem, and needs to be treated to try to prevent permanent blindness.

So, how does the Retina become detached? There are a few different causes.

The middle of your eye is filled with a clear gel called the vitreous and it sits close to the retina. Over the years, the vitreous liquefies, in both young people and old. It often changes position and separates away from the Retina. This generally doesn’t cause a problem. Sometimes it may pull away and cause a hole or a tear the Retina. This tear can occur in one or more places. This can allow fluid to pass through the hole or tear, causing the retina to lift away from the back of the eye, similar to wallpaper peeling from a wall.

Are there any warning signs? New flashing lights, new floaters, or a shadow in the side of your vision could be the first signs of a retinal tear or retinal detachment, but not always. If you see any of these, it is recommended you contact your ophthalmologist for further examination.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please contact D’Ambrosio Eye Care, by phoning 800-325-3937.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Glaucoma Awareness Month in Massachusetts

D’Ambrosio Eye Care wants to focus patient’s attention on glaucoma this month as January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. “This is an important time to spread the word about this sight-threatening disease. Our understanding of this disease, along with the ways in which we can diagnose and treat it, has improved considerably,” commented Massachusetts Glaucoma Specialist Bin (Benjamin) Wu, M.D. of D’Ambrosio Eye Care.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness overall. Of particular note is that glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.

Over 4 million Americans, and nearly 70 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision.

The most common type of glaucoma—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. “While we already knew that there was a strong likelihood that family members of glaucoma patients were at greater risk, the Nottingham Study found 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,” said Dr. Wu.

If you, a relative or someone you know, is at risk for glaucoma based on age, heredity or health, please call D’Ambrosio Eye Care at 800-325-3937 to schedule an eye exam and glaucoma screening. Early diagnosis and treatment goes a long way to preserving eye health and vision. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/dambrosioeyecare.