Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Patients Need Better Understanding of Diabetic Retinopathy

In order to better preserve eye health and vision, patients with diabetes need some help in order to have a better understanding of diabetic retinopathy. A recent study exploring patients’ understanding of the risk factors, cause and controllability of their own diabetic retinopathy revealed considerable misunderstanding, gaps in knowledge and potentially damaging beliefs about the cause and treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Focus groups and interviews were conducted with patients with diabetic retinopathy (DR), nearly half of whom had severe proliferative DR-a serious complication. Most of these patients had also undergone diabetic laser treatment. At the conclusion of the study, patients were found to have had a reasonable understanding of the basic risk factors for DR, such as diabetes control, but they were less clear about specific risk factors such as blood pressure and lipid control.

Most patients attributed their DR either to poor diabetes control or to failings of the health care system, rather than having a basic understanding of the small blood vessel disease including circulatory and oxygen deprivation that results from the damaged blood vessels in the retina. Some patients believed that their DR was a result of health aspects beyond their control or environmental factors, whereas others were unsure about the cause.

Improving patients' understanding of the major risk factors for DR as well as helping them have a better understanding of the causes of diabetic retinopathy and being able to grasp expectations of realistic outcomes of laser treatment may improve patients' coping mechanisms, adaption to disease and ocular outcomes.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about diabetic eye problems including diabetic retinopathy please call Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visit Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County or facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment.

Doctor & Associates is a leading Fairfield County Connecticut eye care practice with offices at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Prevent Sports Eye Injuries

Anyone who participates in recreational or competitive sports of any type really needs to consider proper eye protection to prevent sports eye injuries. More than 40,000 people suffer from eye injuries related to sports every year. With proper eye protection and wearing protective eyewear it is possible to limit the risk of eye injuries from sports. The range and type of sports eye injuries can include abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the eyelids, retinal detachments and internal bleeding. The most serious risks can be catastrophic and may involve permanent vision loss along with lifelong disability.

The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear. The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection. Athletes need to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour.

If you or someone you know has questions or would like help in selecting, fitting or choosing sports protective eyeglasses, please call Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visit Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County or facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment.

Doctor & Associates is a leading Fairfield County Connecticut eye care practice with offices at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851
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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Bright Red Eye: What Could It Be?

Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a benign eye disorder that is a common cause of acute ocular redness or a “bright red eye”. Patients sometimes call our practice complaining of a “bright red eye” or “bleeding eye”. It seems to come on with a cough or a sneeze-or sometimes with some heavy lifting-or for no reason at all-and has no pain, blurry vision or discharge.

We will of course ask you to come in so we can evaluate the problem, but it is possible that it is a subconjunctival hemorrhage. The major risk factors include trauma and contact lens usage in younger patients, whereas among the elderly, systemic vascular diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, and arteriosclerosis are more common. In patients in whom subconjunctival hemorrhage is recurrent or persistent, further evaluation, including a workup for systemic hypertension, bleeding disorders, systemic and ocular malignancies and drug side effects, is warranted.

If you or someone you know experiences a “bright red eye” please call Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visit Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County or facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment.

Doctor & Associates is a leading Fairfield County Connecticut eye care practice with offices at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851
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High Altitude Eye Health Problems

“Our Fairfield County community has lots of residents who are very active outdoors people,” commented Leslie Doctor, M.D. “Patients who spend a great deal of time in high altitudes-skiing, mountain climbing or even just touring-sometimes express concern about the effects on their eyes, especially if they have some other eye problems or diseases related to hypoxia or not enough oxygen,” she said. Have you ever been concerned about your eye health at high altitude?

Researchers from the Tübingen High Altitude Ophthalmology (THAO) reporting in the journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science examined the effect of high altitude on the cornea and on the drainage angle of the eye-a key anatomical landmark for predicting narrow angle glaucoma risk. Using the advanced imaging technique of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) they studied corneal thickness changes and the depth and shape of the “anterior chamber angle” to determine the effects of high altitude. In normal healthy eyes, they found that a significant degree of reversible corneal swelling occurred with increasing altitude but no effect was noted on the size or shape of the eye fluid drainage angle. Since the corneal swelling was reversible it was not damaging. However, for patients with corneal dystrophy problems such as Fuchs Dystrophy, any endothelial dystrophy or compromise there may be some delay in the deswelling of the cornea. For patients who might be at risk for narrow angle glaucoma, the researchers reported that no change in angle depth or shape occurred at the higher altitudes-and thus there was no increase in angle closure glaucoma risk.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about eye health problems at high altitude feel free to schedule an eye exam at Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visit Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County or facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment.

Doctor & Associates is a leading Fairfield County Connecticut eye care practice with offices at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Connecticut Surgeon on Dry Eye after Cataract Surgery

FairfieldCounty Cataract Surgeon Leslie Doctor, M.D. shared insight into dry eye problems after cataract surgery. “As a corneal specialist I tend to listen carefully and take meticulous care to educate my cataract patients about dry eye after cataract surgery. Patients of cataract age and especially those having cataract surgery should know a little bit about dry eye as this is a somewhat common but temporary condition they may experience,” said Dr. Leslie Doctor.

According to the Prospective Health Assessment of Cataract Patients Ocular Surface (PHACO) Study some 60-75% of a cataract aged population had a meaningful deficiency in their tear film testing before cataract surgery! Further, although cataract surgery is quite friendly to the cornea, it does require an incision can temporarily interrupt corneal nerves responsible for reflex tearing and tear film integrity. This along with some of the solutions used during the cataract surgery procedure can result in a dry eye. The symptoms one might experience could include fluctuations of vision, dryness, grittiness, tearing, burning and a general tiredness as well as an overall sandy feeling. The good news is that for the vast majority of patients with dry eye there are potentially helpful treatment options that include specialized artificial tear lubricants and solutions, tiny punctal plugs to help you retain tears and prescription medication that stimulates production of your own tears. In addition there are more technological approaches such as lasers and other methods to treating underlying blepharitis, eyelid gland problems or eyelid inflammation that can contribute to dry eye as well.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about cataract surgery and dry eyes please feel free to call Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visit Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County or facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment.

Doctor & Associates is a leading Fairfield County Connecticut eye care practice with offices at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Welcome Tineke Chan, M.D. to Doctor & Associates



Doctor & Associates welcomes Comprehensive & Pediatric Ophthalmologist Tineke Chan, M.D. Dr. Chan provides routine eye exams, consultation and treatment for complex eye conditions, problems and diseases including cataracts, cataract surgery and lens implants as well as seeing pediatric patients in need of diagnosis and treatment of strabismus eye turning problems and amblyopia lazy eye problems, children’s tear duct problems and eyelid positioning problems. She brings an important set of experiences and expertise to Fairfield County in children’s eye problems.

Dr. Chan earned her Medical Degree at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School-University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) and completed a Residency in Ophthalmology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine followed by a Fellowship in Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Dr. Chan served as an Instructor in Ophthalmology at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University where she taught ophthalmology residents in both general and pediatric ophthalmology clinics as well as serving as a preceptor for ophthalmology residents at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, RI.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lower Your AMD Risk by Eating Fish

“It might seem a bit odd, but the research suggests that we can lower our risk of age related macular degeneration by eating more fish,” shared Leslie Doctor, M.D. “Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a very common cause of vision loss in seniors. Recently, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that age related macular degeneration (AMD) may be associated with a high dietary fat intake. The results of their study found that eating fish, such as tuna, four times a week, may reduce the risk of macular degeneration,” explained Dr. Leslie Doctor.
The subjects of the study were participants in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study who did not have AMD at when the study commenced. After 12 years of follow-up, 567 people with a visual loss of 20/30 or worse were identified. Fat intake was assessed with a food frequency questionnaire. The study found:
  • Those patients whose total dietary fat intake was in the highest quintile had over one and a half times the risk of AMD as those whose fat intake was in the lowest quintile,
  • Linolenic acid consumption was directly associated with the risk of AMD,
  • High intake of docosahexaenoic acid was associated with a modest reduction in the risk of AMD.
  • Those who ate four or more servings of fish a week were at a 35% lower risk of AMD when compared to those who ate fewer than three servings of fish a week.
The researchers concluded that dietary fat intake was associated with an increased risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD) and that this may have been due to the presence of Linolenic acid in the fat. They added that a high intake of fish, a rich source of docosahexaenoic acid, may reduce this risk.
 
If you or someone you know has a family history of age related macular degeneration or wishes to learn more about their risk of AMD or how to lower their risk of AMD through diet, please schedule an eye exam at Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113, visit Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County or facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment.
 
Doctor & Associates is a leading Fairfield County Connecticut eye care practice with offices at 129 Kings Highway North, Westport, Connecticut 06880, 195 Danbury Road, Wilton, Connecticut 06897 and 148 East Avenue, Norwalk, Connecticut 06851.