Eye Care & Surgery Center NJ Bladeless LASIK Laser Cataract Surgeon Blog

Monday, January 31, 2011

Nutrition and Eye Health

Eat Right to Help Eye Health
Our goal at Eye Care & Surgery Center is to help preserve and protect eye health and vision. Most of us are aware that our diet is important in keeping our heart and arteries healthy. So it should come as no surprise that eating right can also potentially be beneficial for our eyes. "Eye health and vision depend on the tiny blood vessels in the retina and other parts of the eye carrying nutrients and oxygen to the tissue-especially in the retina", relayed Milton Kahn, M.D., Eye Care & Surgery Center retinal specialist. "Keeping those blood vessels healthy and providing nutrients and minerals is an important part of preserving vision as we age. As part of an overall healthy diet, several key nutrients appear to be particularly important to preserving sight as we get older", said Dr. Kahn.

Vitamin C, Vitamin E & Zinc

About 10 years ago the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) reported that people given vitamin E, vitamin C, beta carotene, and zinc in supplements were less likely to develop advanced age-related macular degeneration, or AMD. The combination was most effective at slowing the progression from intermediate to advanced AMD, which is one of the leading causes of age-related blindness. Because of those findings, many people diagnosed with early signs of AMD today are routinely prescribed a pill that combines these nutrients. You may or may not benefit depending on your overall health and eye condition. PATIENTS SHOULD NOT BEGIN TAKING SUPPLEMENTS WITHOUT FIRST DISCUSSING IT WITH THEIR EYE DOCTOR AND INTERNIST OR FAMILY PHYSICIAN.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Two other nutrients -- lutein and zeaxanthin -- are also linked to a lower risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. A 2008 Tufts University study of 1,802 women 50 to 79 years old found that those who consumed the most lutein and zeaxanthin in their diets were 23% less likely to develop cataracts than those who consumed the least. Rich sources of these two compounds include kale, spinach, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The newest nutrient linked to better vision with age is omega-3 fatty acid, which is found predominantly in fish oil. In a study of 2,520 people, researchers at Johns Hopkins University reported in 2010 that people who consumed fish high in omega-3s fatty acids often were significantly less likely to have advanced age-related macular degeneration. Omega-3s may also protect against cataracts, according to 2010 findings by researchers at the Clinical University of Navarra in Spain. Researchers don’t understand exactly why omega-3s may protect against eye diseases. One guess is that these healthy oils may reduce inflammation and thereby protect against cell damage.

Pills vs. Food

Although antioxidant supplements are routinely prescribed to people with early signs of macular degeneration, there’s little agreement on whether supplements will help otherwise healthy people preserve their vision. Most of the evidence to date is very mixed. In one recent study, for example, a multivitamin seemed to protect against some forms of cataracts but actually raise the risk of other forms. PATIENTS SHOULD NOT BEGIN TAKING SUPPLEMENTS WITHOUT FIRST DISCUSSING IT WITH THEIR EYE DOCTOR AND INTERNIST OR FAMILY PHYSICIAN.

Nonetheless, one of the most important ways to protect your vision from age-related diseases is by eating a healthy diet. Healthy food choices are good choices. The results of a 2010 study by French scientists found eating more vegetables -- including cabbage, broccoli, pepper, corn, or spinach -- improved the condition of the retina in people with age-related macular degeneration.

Should you have questions or need more information about nutrition, diet and how they impact your eye health and vision, please feel free to ask any Eye Care & Surgery Center eye physician including Drs. Kahn, Jacobs, Confino, Thiagarajah and Furlan. They are always happy to answer your questions.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Liposome Spray for Dry Eye

Dry, scratchy or irritated eyes? the problem may be with your lids, not just the eye itself. New Lipsome spray with vitamins A, C and E, mist the lid and has been proven to eleviate the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eyes. They may be used with contact lenses.
Some women experience dry eyes and lids do to hormonal changes. The change in balance of the moisture throughout the body may produce an excess of oil and debris that can accumulate about the eyelids. Liposomes are microscopic molecules that have been used for years in cosmetic and drug delivery. Vital nutrients have been added to provide comfort for lids.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Implants to Correct for Reading

The AcuFocus corneal inlay is an investigational device being tested for the correction on presbyopia, the natural aging of the eye causing us to require reading glasses.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Laughter Is Good For Your Health

•Hormones: Laughter reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, epinephrine (adrenaline), dopamine and growth hormone. It also increases the level of health-enhancing hormones like endorphins, and neurotransmitters. Laughter increases the number of antibody-producing cells and enhances the effectiveness of T cells. All this means a stronger immune system, as well as fewer physical effects of stress.

•Physical Release: Have you ever felt like you "have to laugh or I'll cry"? Have you experienced the cleansed feeling after a good laugh? Laughter provides a physical and emotional release.

•Internal Workout: A good belly laugh exercises the diaphragm, contracts the abs and even works out the shoulders, leaving muscles more relaxed afterward. It even provides a good workout for the heart.

Today's Chuckle:

A Minnesota couple decided to vacation to Florida during the winter. They planned to stay at the very same hotel where they spent their honeymoon 20 years earlier. Because of hectic schedules, it was difficult to coordinate their travel schedules. So, the husband left Minnesota and flew to Florida on Thursday. His wife would fly down the following day.

The husband checked into the hotel. There was a computer in his room, so he decided to send an e-mail to his wife. However, he accidentally left out one letter in her e-mail address, and without realizing his error, he sent the e-mail.

Meanwhile.....somewhere in Houston, a widow had just returned home from her husband's funeral. The widow decided to check her e-mail, expecting messages from relatives and friends. After reading the first message, she fainted.

The widow's son rushed into the room, found his mother on the floor, and saw the computer screen which read:

To: My Loving Wife
Subject: I've Arrived
Date: 16 May 2003
I know you're surprised to hear from me. They have computers here now and you are allowed to send e-mails to your loved ones. I've just arrived and have been checked in. I see that everything has been prepared for your arrival tomorrow. Looking forward to seeing you then! Hope your journey is not as uneventful as mine was.
P.S. Sure is hot down here!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Lens Implant Cost - Cataracts

We have come to the end of our Cataract journey. The question I get asked the most about the lens choices are "what will this cost me?" As cataracts are a medical condition, most insurances will pay for the surgeon fees, the facility fee,the anesthesiologist fee and the implantation of a monofocal lens. We always suggest you check with your carrier for in and out-of-network benefits. There are typically aditional out of pocket costs for the premium lens technologies that allow the patient to rid themselves of glasses or that correct for astigmatism. Not all surgeons who perform cataract surgery are trained on the implantation of this advanced technology. Question the surgeon about the best technology for your lifestyle. Costs may vary from facility to facility and surgeon experience.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Femtosecond Laser Cataract Surgery

Cataract Surgery precision may be further improved with the use of the Femtosecond Laser. Femtosecond Laser technology is on the near term horizon to improve Cataract Surgery by phacoemulsification. The femtosecond laser has been specifically modified to help create precise corneal incisions, anterior capsulotomies (removing the front part of the Cataract), and nuclear fragmentation (dividing the Cataract into small pieces), prior to completing the operation with phacoemulsification. By using the accuracy of the laser, Cataract Surgery, Lens Replacement Surgery and Intraocular Lens Implantation (IOL) promises to be even more predictable and to have better outcomes than presently possible.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Night Vision Issues Related to Cataracts

One of the chief patient complaints from people developing cataracts is an issue with glare and light sensitivity while driving at night. Some patients describe halos around light or blinding light with oncoming headlights. If night driving issues are paired with a feeling of diminished visual acuity, often times these symptoms are related to cataracts, the clouding and yellowing of the crystalline lens.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Cataracts & Astigmatism

Can I have my astigmatism fixed along with my cataracts?
A common question we hear from patients. Dependent on the degree of astigmatism and what type of astigmatism (lenticular or corneal), you may have the option of correcting both with one lens implant.
Toric Lens Implants are a type of Lens Implant that can correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is an optical aberration that is caused by the cornea being shaped more like a football, than spherical like a baseball. For Cataract patients who have astigmatism, and who do not wish to wear eyeglasses to see clearly at a distance, choosing a Toric Lens Implant can help them be independent of glasses for tasks such as driving, that require clear distance vision. In addition, for those who desire the clarity provided by an Aspheric Lens Implant (IOL), there is an Aspheric Toric IOL that offers an enhanced aspheric optical zone that improves image quality and increases contrast sensitivity for Cataract patients with astigmatism.
Toric Lens Implants do not correct Presbyopia, and thus even with Toric Lens Implants to correct astigmatism after Cataract Surgery, most patients still require reading glasses to be able to comfortably perform near vision tasks such as reading.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Recovering From Cataract Surgery

Welcome to day 2 of our trip through Cataractville. Today we will explore recovering from Cataract Surgery. To experience the easiest recovery after Cataract Surgery as well as to have a successful and uncomplicated Cataract Surgery, it is important to FOLLOW YOUR SURGEON’S INSTRUCTIONS.

It is completely normal for each patient’s recovery from Cataract Surgery to be slightly different. Each person is unique in their overall health, healing process and tolerance to eye surgery. However, there are some basic expectations that are pretty common for almost all people having Cataract Surgery.

With the advancements in technology and lens implants, the recovery for Cataract Surgery is very fast. The procedure is done on an "out-patient" basis. Most patients are driving themselves the next day to their post-operative visit.
Patients will prepare for surgery by taking antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops the day before their procedure and will remain on drops for three weeks post-operatively.
The patient will typically leave the surgery center wearing sun glasses that we advise to keep on if outside for one week and indoors in a brightly lit room. Some surgeons instruct their patients to sleep in an eye shield the first night to protect the eye.
The eye must remain dry for one week post-operatively. When bathing we ask that the face be washed with a wash cloth avoiding the operative eye. No make-up, moisturizers or lotions are to be used near the eye for one week as well. We suggest not washing the hair for several days after surgery.
Some patients experience grogginess as the the effects of the anti-anxiety medications given before surgery. These symptoms usually end before the patient leaves the surgery center. We ask the patient just relax for the rest of the day and allow the eye to heal.
In the days and weeks following surgery, some patients experience a ring or halo around lights. Dependant on the lens implant, this may or may not diminish over time. Usually the brain will adapt and the rings will no longer be apparent to the patient.
Try not to touch or rub your eyes for the first week after surgery. It may be necessary to be fir with new eyeglasses after surgery as your prescription will now have changed. Your surgeon will advise you.
Hopefully you have found this information helpful and somewhat comforting.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cataract Surgery

Happy New Year All! To begin 2011, i would like to address some frequently asked questions about cataracts and cataract surgery. For the next six days, I will unwrap the the mysteries surrounding 6 Main concerns when considering Cataract Procedures:

1. What complications can arise from having Cataract Surgery?
2. What is the recovery time
3. Are there lens implants that correct for Astigmatism?
4. Post-operative expectations
5. Will I still need glasses after cataract surgery?
6. Lens implant cost and insurance

Cataract Surgery complications and problems after Cataract removal are generally pretty rare and are usually less than 5% in an otherwise healthy group of patients. In patients with additional eye diseases such as Glaucoma or Diabetic Retinopathy the complication rate may increase. Nonetheless the overall success rate for Cataract Surgery is generally regarded as being between 85-92% with overall patient satisfaction being in the 95% range. As with any surgery, patients should be familiar with possible complications so that they can bring any unusual symptoms or signs to the attention of their Cataract Surgeon in order to help avoid potential complications of Cataract Surgery, Cataract Surgery problems or unusual side effects after Cataract removal.
Some short term Cataract Surgery problems and complications are those that we will define as occurring during or very soon after the actual surgical procedure-perhaps within the first 24 hours after surgery.
For the vast majority of patients the tiny incision placed during Cataract Surgery is self sealing. Sometimes the Corneal incision does not seal properly and may require the surgeon to apply a contact lens or a pressure bandage or in certain cases place a stitch in order to help the incision seal.
Though quite rare as there are no blood vessels in the clear portion of the cornea where the incision is made,some slight bleeding may occur in the front of the eye at which time your surgeon can easily cauterize it and stop it immediately.
If it was necessary to use an injection around your eye in addition to or in place of anesthetic eye drops due to some factor regarding your overall health, you may experience some temporary bruising around your eye. Although unusual, it does happen from time to time.
Inner Eye Infection after Cataract Surgery is extremely rare occurring in one out of several thousand Cataract Surgery procedures. To prevent infection, Cataract Surgeons typically have patients use antibiotic eye drops a day before and for a week after surgery. Antibiotics are also administered before during and after the actual procedure.
During your Cataract Surgery the cloudy or opacified lens material is removed from your eye. The membrane that surrounds the lens is left in place to support the Intraocular Lens Implant. Occasionally it is possible that the posterior lens capsule will tear or rupture during your surgery. If this happens the surgeon will alter his placement of the lens so that the IOL can be properly set into position.
Retinal Detachment after Cataract Surgery is unusual. However if you are extremely nearsighted you may be at greater risk for Retinal Detachment in general and especially when you have any type of eye surgery including Cataract Surgery. The symptoms of Retinal Detachment include floaters, flashing lights, a shadow in your vision, a bubble or curve in your vision, a sensation that a curtain or a veil is being pulled in front of your vision and a possible loss of your vision. If you experience ANY of these symptoms after Cataract Surgery you should call your Cataract Surgeon immediately.
In general secondary Glaucoma after Cataract Surgery is very unusual. However if there is other bleeding or inflammation it can predispose you to developing secondary Glaucoma after Cataract Surgery. In most instances Secondary Glaucoma after Cataract Surgery is temporary and can be treated with eye drops, laser treatment or a combination of both.
In the event the surgeon finds it necessary to use sutures or stitches,it is possible to distort the shape of the Cornea and induce astigmatism. Sometimes swelling of the Cornea alone can cause astigmatism to be induced. If swelling alone caused the induced astigmatism then it will gradually go away as the swelling diminishes. If the astigmatism was caused by the use of stitches, then once they are removed it is likely that the Cornea will return to its original shape.

Long term Cataract Surgery problems and complications are those that we will define as occurring from one week to as long as six months after Cataract Surgery.

While it is very rare, the artificial Lens Implant (IOL) used to correct your vision after Cataract Surgery can move slightly becoming decentered or move a greater amount and become dislocated. A decentered or dislocated Lens Implant (IOL) may cause you to experience blurry vision, haloes, glare, double vision, fading vision, fluctuating and varying vision or shimmering vision. If this should occur your Cataract Surgeon will most likely reposition the Lens Implant (IOL) or replace it with a different Lens Implant.
During the first three months or so after Cataract Surgery it is possible for the Macula, the visual center of the Retina, to be susceptible to microscopic swelling. Swelling of the Macula is likely to cause you to experience a decrease or blurring of your central or straight ahead vision. This can be mild or it can be significant. In most cases, Cystoid Macular Edema is treated with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication given as an oral and/or eye drop prescription.
The most common complication of Cataract Surgery is opacification of the posterior lens capsule resulting in the formation of a Secondary or After Cataract, which occurs after as many as 30% of Cataract Surgery procedures. When this occurs you will experience a gradual blurring of your vision. Fortunately your surgeon is able to use a YAG Laser to perform a quick painless procedure called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy in which a small opening is created in the cloudy membrane allowing your vision to be restored.
Problems and complications of Cataract Surgery are unusual if not rare. The overall success rate and patient satisfaction with Cataract Surgery make it a very safe and effective treatment for Cataracts.