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

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lens Coatings for Glasses-Which Are Best for Me?

There are many types of lenses and coatings available when purchasing glasses. It is sometimes difficult, if not being advised by a licensed optician, to know which coating(s) are going to provide the clearest and most effective vision. The first step in making an educated decision is to understand the different coatings/lenses and what each provides.

Polycarbonate Lenses
This lens has scratch resistant coating, is lightweight and is shatter resistant. This is a must for children and for active people playing contact sports where you can get hit.

Scratch Resistant Coating
This coating helps prevent the lenses from getting scratched easily. However it is not 100% scratch proof.

Ultra Violet Coating
Eyeglass lenses can be coated to diminish the amount of UV radiation that passes through. This coating is recommended to protect the eyes from UV rays which can cause several serious eye problems.

Anti-Reflective Coating (AR Coating)
This coating reduces distracting glare particularly to patients who have trouble with driving at night. AR coating eliminates scattering of light, thus eliminating confusion and glare especially for light sensitive patients.

Photochromic Lenses
The lens tint adjusts from clear to dark, depending on changing light conditions.
This is helpful for patients with prescription lenses who hate switching from eyeglasses to sunglasses.

Polarized Lenses
This is considered the best sunglass lens because it reduces glare and provides high contrast vision with maximum UV protection available. It is great for driving and any outdoor activity.

Lynette Cababa is the Optician in our Warren Location. We are very grateful she agreed to be our guest blogger today.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cornea Cell Count: Why is it Important?

The inner lining of the cornea is a layer of tissue called the endothelium. It consists of a layer of cells that resemble a “tile floor” under the microscope. This lining is important because it serves as a water “pump”, pumping water out of the cornea back into the eye, which is necessary to maintain the cornea’s clarity. The number of cells per unit area, or density, determines how well the cornea can perform this important function.

Using an instrument called a specular microscope, an “endothelial cell count” can be performed to look at the density, size, and shape of the cells. The density of the cells can be affected in certain diseases, such as Fuchs Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy and can be monitored. The density may also affect the decision making of related eye surgeries such as cataract surgery, where the cornea could be further damaged and de-stabilized, requiring a corneal transplant. A variation in size of cells called “pleomorphism”, can be seen in other diseases, and polymegathism, (a variation in the size of endothelial cells), can be seen in contact lens wearers and may represent a sign of disturbed metabolism. If contact lens wear is reduced or discontinued, a return to proper cell shape can be observed.

In summary, your doctor may use your cell count to document a disease process, aid in planning the treatment of a corneal disease, document the delivery of medical treatment and the response to that treatment, and for patient education.

Our Guest Blogger: Dr. Joel Confino, M.D.: Cornea Specialist at The Eye Care & Surgery Center of Westfield, Warren and Iselin New Jersey

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Glaucoma and Generic Medications

Brand name drug development is important in all fields of medicine. Without patent protection, pharmaceutical companies cannot spend the hundreds of millions of dollars required to develop new medications. After a period of time however, the patent on these medications expire and the medication is allowed to be manufactured in a generic equivalent formulation. As a result, the cost drops on the brand as generic manufacturers are able to produce these equivalents. Fortunately, the majority of commonly prescribed glaucoma brand medications now have generic equivalent. It is important to realize that generic equivalents are chemical copies but the clinical equivalence is not guaranteed. However, it appears presently, that the generic medications are equal in efficacy to the branded medications.

An example of some of the generics that are available currently for Glaucoma medications are: Timolol (beta blocker) the generic equivalent of Timoptic, initially developed by Merck. It is usually in an aqueous form or gel forming solution (GFS). Trusopt (topical carbonic anhydrase inhibitor), also developed by Merck, is now dorzolamide. Alphagan (alpha agonist) from Allergan is now brimonidine. Xalatan (prostaglandin) from Pfizer is now latanaprost. Cosopt (timolol with dorzolamide) is now called timolol-dorzolamide.

Whether your pharmacy dispenses the branded or generic medication is usually dependent on your insurance plan’s directions. However, it is still possible to get branded medications if for some reason the generic substitution is less than adequate.

Thank you Dr. Ivan Jacobs M.D-Glaucoma Specialist: The Eye Care & Surgery Center.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recovery from Cataract Surgery

“As with any type of surgery, our patients always want to know what to expect in terms of recovery after Cataract Surgery”, said Ivan Jacobs, M.D. of The Eye Care & Surgery Center. Cataract surgery today is really quite advanced and generally pretty “patient friendly”.
Here is what Cataract patients should know and expect at The Eye Care & Surgery Center.
“If you are in good general health it is most likely that your Cataract operation will be performed in our ambulatory surgery center. This eye surgery facility is comfortable, efficient and close to home for most of our patients. Usually, your entire Cataract Surgery procedure should take only 2-3 hours from the time you check in until the time you check out”, stated Joel Confino, M.D.Advanced Cataract Surgery today is most often performed with “topical eye drop anesthesia”-that is, for most patients the only anesthesia required are some eye drops along with a tablet to help you relax. There is really minimal if any “recovery” from the anesthesia used”, commented Dr. Jacobs.

According to Dr. Jacobs patients are usually feeling “back to normal” by the end of the day of their surgery or certainly by the next morning. Dr. Confino shared, “With the advanced Cataract Surgery technique of “small incision phacoemulsification” there is only a need to create a tiny incision-often just a few millimeters-through which the Cataract is removed and the Intraocular Lens is implanted. This tiny incision is so small so as not to require any “stitches” or sutures in many cases.” Thus the wound healing is very quick. Finally, depending on the type of lens implant that you have it is highly likely that your distance vision will be dramatically improved within 24 hours. In fact many patients actually are comfortable driving the next day after their Cataract operation. If you have a multifocal or accommodating lens implant to correct both your distance and near vision, it might take a bit longer to appreciate the full clarity of the near vision correction. So, it is pretty likely that you will be back to work in a few days and depending on your specific instructions. Generally, you should be able to resume all of your normal activities with a couple of days.

Please feel free to contact us with your questions or to schedule an appointment regarding Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants by calling The Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Glaucoma Medications: Compliance is Key

As a glaucoma specialist I often prescribe medication to lower patients' eye pressure. Glaucoma is a disease that can lead to permanent vision loss when the pressure in the eye is too high. Most patients with glaucoma do not have any symptoms until it is very advanced. The vision loss from glaucoma occurs very slowly over the course of many years. Once treatment for glaucoma is established, the goal is to keep the disease process stable. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease but there are different treatment options available.

Often a patient will stop taking their glaucoma medication because they don’t see a difference with the treatment or feel they are getting worse with the drops. In fact, sometimes the eye drops can cause burning, redness or a transient blurring of vision causing patients to discontinue their treatment without discussing it with their eye doctor. It is essential that the patient discuss these side effects with their doctor and look for an alternate drop or treatment if they are unable to tolerate their current regimen. It is important to understand that even if you feel that the medication may not be working well to continue to treat the glaucoma.

Some patients have trouble remembering to take their medications. Using the drops once in a while can cause wide fluctuations in pressure that may be harmful for the optic nerve. The only way to prevent further damage is by using them as prescribed. If you have trouble remembering the drops then speak with your doctor so you can come up with a schedule that may be easier for you to remember.

I always ask my patients to be honest about how and when they are taking their medications. Some patients take their drops only when they go to the doctor. This can be confusing for the physician because the patient’s exam and tests may show that the glaucoma is worse but the eye pressure readings during the visit seem adequate. The doctor then may decide that the goal eye pressure should be lower and may recommend more medication, laser or surgery.

Glaucoma medications are important to save your sight but they only work if you take them. If for any reason you are having trouble taking them please discuss this with your doctor. They can help find a solution for you.

Guest Blogger: Roslyn Stahl, M.D. Glaucoma and Cataract Surgeon at The Eye Care & Surgery Center

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Protecting Your Eyes While Swimming-What Precautions to Take

It is recommended not to swim with your eyes open under the water and, when possible, to avoid splashes into your eyes. Pool chemicals and pH levels will affect your eyes when they are open, while you are swimming. Anyone spending an extended period of time in the water should protect their eyes by wearing goggles. If you worry about not being able to see clearly without glasses or contacts and want to see while in the pool, you may want to consider prescription goggles.

It is a common misconception that the chlorine in the pool will cause a swimmer's eyes to burn. In order for chlorine to be the cause, the chlorine level would have to be extremely high. The more likely reason people’s eyes sting or burn after swimming is the pH is not in balance. Keeping in mind that the tears produced by human eyes has a pH of 7.0, if the pH of the pool water is below that level, it will certainly cause the eyes to burn. The proper pH level for swimming pools is in the range of 7.2 to 7.8. If your pool's pH is kept within this range, burning eyes shouldn't be a problem for swimmers in your pool.

Swimming with your contact lenses on, is possible but very risky. The health risk associated is merely dependent upon the body of water you are in. When swimming on lakes and rivers, there is a huge possibility for a microorganism called acanthamoeba to adhere to your lens, causing infection and inflammation of your cornea (acanthamoeba keratitis). Swimming around pools and ocean waters on the other hand, decreases your susceptibility to microbial infection, but other problems may evolve. In the pool--eye irritation is possible when chlorine sticks on the surface of your lens; in the ocean--your contact lenses can be dislodged when you encounter large waves. You can still wear your lenses, but do so with proper precautions. Obviously keeping your head out of the water will reduce risk greatly.

Remove the contact lenses and consult an ophthalmologist immediately if you experience symptoms such as redness, pain, tearing, increased light sensitivity, blurry vision, discharge or swelling.

Thank you to our guest blogger Milton Kahn M.D, for sharing safety tips to help enjoy our summer to the fullest.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Cataract & Prostate Cancer Treatment

Researchers reporting in the Annals of Epidemiology (November 2010) identified that the risk of developing Cataracts may be higher in patients being treated for prostate cancer with Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT). The side effects of ADT such as weight gain, insulin resistance and blood lipid level problems have been linked to Cataract formation. Although further prospective study is necessary to truly understand the findings, researchers from Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit used the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Medicare database to analyze cataract formation in prostate cancer patients and concluded that a significantly greater risk was presented when patient being treated for prostate cancer were on ADT.

Please feel free to contact us with your questions about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants by calling Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Children's Eye Health Month

Eye Care & Surgery Center wishes to announce that August has been designated as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month by Prevent Blindness America. “Eye and vision problems affect one in twenty preschoolers and one in four school aged children”, said New Jersey Pediatric Ophthalmologist Louis Furlan, M.D. at Eye Care & Surgery Center. “Parents should be aware that it is possible for their children to have a serious vision problem without even being aware of it.”

Infants should be screened for common eye problems during their regular pediatric appointments and vision testing should be conducted for all children starting at around three years of age. If there is a family history of eye problems or if an eye problem is apparent, it is important to bring it to the attention of and eye doctor so that they can advise the parents about when and how often their child’s eyes should be examined.

Among the conditions an eye doctor will look for are amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid), color deficiency (color blindness) and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism). We are fortunate to have Louis Furlan, M.D. at Eye Care & Surgery Center who is a fellowship trained in Pediatric Ophthalmology and a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of children’s eye problems.