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

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lucentis for Diabetic Eye Disease

“Clinical results from the two-year study of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drug Lucentis were quite positive when used to treat Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), which is a cause of significant vision loss in patients with diabetes”, commented Milton Kahn, M.D. a New Jersey Retinal Specialist at Eye Care & Surgery Center. “Patients with Diabetic Retinopathy in the form of DME who received the drug experienced rapid and sustained improvement in vision compared to those who received a placebo injection.”

Diabetic Macular Edema or DME is the swelling of retina in people with diabetic eye disease called Diabetic Retinopathy, which causes damage to the blood vessels of retina. The DME patients suffer fluid leak from the damaged blood vessel to the central portion of retina, causing it to swell leading to blurred vision, severe vision loss and blindness.

Of the 26 million U.S. people with diabetes, a portion of up to 10 percent tends to develop DME during their lifetime, and up to 75,000 new cases of DME are estimated to develop each year. Currently, DME patients are treated with laser surgery that helps seal the leaky blood vessels to slow the leakage of fluid and reduce the amount of fluid in the retina.

Lucentis is approved for use by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of “Wet” Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and for Macular Edema following Retinal Vein Occlusion. In 2011, Lucentis was approved for treatment of visual impairment due to DME in Europe.

If you or someone you know suffers from diabetes or is even prediabetic they should have regular eye exams in order to protect their eye health and vision. Significant vision loss from Diabetic Retinopathy can often be prevented by early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Please call Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908-789-8999 to schedule an appointment.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How Do Skin Peels Work?

As an Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon, I see many patients searching for the best way to reverse the aging process and erase the damage that has been done to their skin. There are several methods available to accomplish different degrees of correction.

For my patients looking for a non-surgical method, I discuss skin treatments to address their challenging areas. One treatment in particular has proven to provide an overall rejuvenation of the skin; a full line of skin treatments from eyelid creams to medical grade chemical peels.

Then choosing a peel, it is best to discuss your objectives, skin sensitivities, past skin conditions and your daily activities with your clinician in order for them to make an informed recommendation on the proper peel regime for you. Though there are several chemical peels available, I have chosen a multi-tiered package for my patients that allow me to truly customize their treatment and results. The chemical peel package offers three levels of peels for treatment of fine lines and wrinkles in patients. The Level 1 or Illuminize peel is for patients with sensitive skin types or those that have skin that is more at risk for hyperpigmentation. The Level 2 and Level 3 peels (Vitalize and Rejuvenize) are stronger peels that have a longer and deeper effect. All sets of peels have no downtime but patients can expect to have mild skin peeling approximately 48 hours after the peel is administered. During that period, the old skin layer is flaked off to expose the newer skin layer underneath. The contents in the peeling solution are Alcohol, Salicyclic Acid, Resorcinol, Lactic Acid, Panthenol, Isoceteth-20. Additionally retinoic acid is used to pretreat the skin before treatment. This combination is used to increase skin glow and radiance and improve skin color, clarity and texture by increasing cell turnover in the skin. Most patients receive a treatment every 2 months.

All peels work differently. Discuss all your options with your clinical skin advisor before making any decisions and ask to see before and after photographs of their treated patients.

Thank you to Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Chris Thiagarajah, for being our guest blogger today.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month

Eye Care & Surgery Center wishes to announce that Prevent Blindness America has designated July as National Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month.

Contrary to what you might think, there is no safe way for nonprofessionals to use fireworks. It is only safe to enjoy the splendor and excitement of fireworks at a professional display. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks are involved in approximately 10,000 injuries per year that are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Of those, 2/3 occurred during the one month period surrounding the July 4th holiday. It is important to note that:

• Eyes were the Second Most Commonly Injured Part of the Body!
• Males Were Injured 3x More than Females.
• Approximately 25% of Injuries are to Children Under 15.

Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July. But there are precautions parents can take to prevent these injuries. The best defense against kids suffering severe eye injuries and burns is to not let kids play with any fireworks. Do not purchase, use or store fireworks of any type. Protect yourself, your family and your friends by avoiding fireworks. Attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators, but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous. If an eye accident does occur, what should I know?

• Do not rub the eye.
• Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
• Do not apply pressure to the eye itself- but protecting the eye from further contact
with any item, including the child's hand.
• Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain.
Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing
bleeding. Take the child to the emergency room at once.
• Do not apply ointments or drops. They may not be sterile and may make the area around
the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.

Once you are seen in the emergency room please feel free to have them call Eye Care & Surgery Center at 908.789.8999 as we always have an eye doctor “on call” to provide consultation and continued care for you.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Blepharitis–What is it?

Blepharitis is the most common inflammation of the eyelids. It may be asymptomatic or can cause irritation, burning, and redness of the lids or conjunctiva. People with a tendency towards dandruff, oily skin, acne rosacea or dry eyes are more frequently affected. Blepharitis can begin early in life affecting children and continue throughout life as a chronic condition or it can manifest itself later in life.

Each person has normal bacteria present on the surface of their skin and most people will never be bothered by it. This same bacteria, on certain individuals, tends to thrive at the base of the eyelashes. Irritation may result from an abnormality or over-activity of the nearby oil glands (meibomian glands) causing scales and particles to form along the lashes and eyelid margins.

The effects of blepharitis are different for each person. Some people are affected with only minor irritation and itching from the scales or bacteria, but others may be affected with redness and/or a burning sensation. An allergic response to the scales or bacteria that surround them may develop.

Treatment - Caring for Blepharitis
Treating blepharitis is more controlling the symptoms than curing the condition. Often times blepharitis cannot be cured, but it is possible to control the condition by following the instructions below:

1. Using a warm, moist washcloth, place it over the closed eyelids for a several minutes at least twice a day. It may be necessary to remoisten it as it cools down. This will be helpful to soften and loosen scales and other particles on the eyelids. This treatment also helps to prevent the development of a chalazion, which is an inflamed lump within an eyelid oil gland.
2. It is important to gently rub the base of the lashes about 15 seconds per lid with a cloth-covered finger, cotton swab or commercial lint-free pad.
3. If your doctor has prescribed an antibiotic ointment, apply a small amount at the base of the lashes using a cotton swab or fingertip. This is generally done at bedtime.

If the blepharitis is not able to be controlled by the above measures, it may be necessary to add one or all of the following medications:

1. Artificial tears may be helpful to relieve dry eye symptoms. These eye drops are available without a prescription.
2. Steroids may be used to decrease inflammation short-term.
3. Antibiotics will be helpful at decreasing bacterial content of the eyelids. In severe cases it may be necessary for long-term use of tetracycline. This medication is taken orally and is routinely used by patients with a skin condition called rosacea.

REMEMBER: To control blepharitis, it is necessary for the patient to actively cleanse the lashes daily by applying warm compresses as described and remembering that medications alone are not adequate.

Thank you to Dr. Ivan Jacobs, our guest blogger today, for sharing his insights and knowledge with us.