Thursday, July 28, 2011

Eye Exams-How Often Should I Have One?

The purpose of the comprehensive eye examination is to detect and diagnose abnormalities and diseases. The procedure includes an external and intraocular exam by the ophthalmologist with appropriate instruments together with a series of tests and measurements if needed.

The frequency of an eye exam depends on the patient’s visual history and general medical health. Young adults, 20 to 39 years of age, are generally at low risk for ocular problems and therefore need a comprehensive eye exam every 3 to 5 years. If they wear glasses and contact lenses eye check is recommended once a year.  Asymptomatic patients between 40 to 64 years of age should be examined every 2 to 4 years, particularly to check their presence of presbyopia (the need for reading glasses). That does not apply to those who have family history of eye diseases or blindness. After age 65, an eye examination is recommended every 1 to 2 years because of the variety of age-related and other eye abnormalities that may develop. Patients with medical conditions that may affect vision, such as diabetes, should be examined more frequently.

If you have not had an eye exam recently or simply would wish to confirm your eyes are healthy and that your glasses or contact lens prescription is correct please schedule an appointment with Doctor & Associates at one of our three locations: Westport, Norwalk or Wilton-203-227-4113.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dry Eye Syndrome-Help for Dry Eyes

Dry Eye Syndrome is a common diagnosis also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca which is inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva caused by dry eyes.
Treatment of dry eyes consists primarily of the liberal use of artificial tears during the day and gel drops or ointments at night. Prescription medication for dry eyes is Restasis, emulsion drop that reduces conjunctival inflammation and may help generate more tears. Other choices for more severe cases of dryness include punctual plugs that are inserted in the puncta (punctum is the tiny opening on the upper eyelid margin-upper punctum, and lower eyelid margin – lower punctum near the nose, through which tears pass) to help increase tears. Vitamin A may offer some help in patients with severe dry eyes.

There are different causes of dry eyes. The most common ones are related to contact lens wearers because lenses normally put a stress on the tear film. The tear film has several functions:
Ø  Hydrates and protects the ocular surface
Ø  Protects against infection
Ø  Reduces friction on blinking
Ø  Removes waste and cell debris
Ø  Enhances oxygen to the cornea

The environment can exert a strong influence on tear film stability. Pollution, toxic fumes, and high levels of dust can disrupt the tear film as well. Patients often indicate sensitivity to cigarette smoke, air conditioning, central heating, or some combination of these. Blinking also plays an important role in dry eyes. It should be relaxed and frequent. Proper blinking is crucial to replenish the tear film. Poor and incorrect blinking has been related to dry eyes and blurry vision.
If you have dry eyes and your current treatment is not helping you with your problem please call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Recovery from Cataract Surgery

“Cataract Surgery performed today is a much different procedure than in the past-much more patient friendly”, said Fairfield County Cataract Surgeon and Corneal Specialist Leslie Doctor, M.D. “First, I am able to do Cataract operations for the vast majority of my patients at the Wilton Surgery Center which is a comfortable close to home eye surgery facility. Second, I perform what is called “topical small incision phacoemulsification” so that I only need to use eye drops for anesthesia and I don’t even need a suture or a stitch,” said Dr. Doctor.

Thus, there is really minimal if any “recovery” from the anesthesia used and no discomfort from stitches. Patients are usually feeling “back to normal” by the end of the day of their surgery or certainly by the next morning. Because Dr. Doctor only creates a tiny incision-often just a few millimeters-through which the cataract is removed and the intraocular lens is implanted the wound healing is very quick. Finally, depending on the type of lens implant that is used 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 Dr. Doctor’s instructions, you should be able to resume all of your normal activities with a couple of days.

If you think you have a Cataract or have been told you have a Cataract and would like to learn more about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants please feel free to schedule an appointment by calling Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vitamin A, Antioxidants and Eyes

Every food we eat provides the body with a range of nutrients, each with its own role to play. By eating right and making healthy choices you could help your vision as well.

Vitamin A plays an essential role in vision, particularly night vision. Night blindness and inability to see well in dim light is often associated with a deficiency of vitamin A. There are two sources of dietary vitamin A. Active forms are immediately available to the body and are obtained from animal products known as retinoids including retinal and retinol. Precursors, also known as provitamins, are converted to active forms by our body and obtained from fruit and vegetables containing yellow, orange and dark green pigments, known as carotenoids or beta-carotene. Excellent sources of vitamin A are carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, mango, apricots, sweet peppers and beef liver.

Vitamin A also acts in the body as an antioxidant, a protective chemical that may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Antioxidants are compounds or substances that help to prevent damage done to the body as a result of chemical reactions involving oxygen. They protect other compounds from oxygen by itself reacting with oxygen. Blueberries are delicious fruit that are very rich in antioxidants. Other good sources of antioxidants are broccoli family, carrots, citrus fruit, cocoa or chocolate, flaxseed, grapes or grape juice, honey, raspberries and tomatoes.
Please make correct choices in choosing nutritious foods and help your vision and your body to feel its best.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

New Toric Implant for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common refractive error among many children and adults. Astigmatism is usually caused by a toric cornea-one in which the surface curvature is not uniform. When rays of light are not refracted equally in all directions a point focus on the retina will not be attained.  There are many ways of correcting astigmatism: glasses, contact lenses and refractive surgery.
Doctor & Associates is always seeking new ways to improve our patients’ vision and reduce their dependency on corrective lenses. We are pleased to announce that FDA approved an expanded range of high cylinder power correction with toric lens implants. Now we are able to correct up to six diopters of astigmatism. It is great news for older adults who have developed cataracts and now experience even blurrier vision. With new astigmatism correcting implants patients can improve their vision by removing cataracts and at the same time enjoy their vision without glasses for distance.

Dr. Leslie Doctor performs cataract surgery in the Wilton Surgery Center. It is a ten to fifteen minute procedure that does not require a lot of time off. Typically patients remain in the facility for about one hour and a half. The cataract is removed with an ultrasound through two small 2.75mm incisions. The recovery after the procedure is relatively quick and most patients can go back to work two days after the surgery.

If you are interested in astigmatism correction or learning more about toric lens implants or have any questions regarding cataract surgery please do not hesitate to call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Should I have LASIK or PRK?

“For properly selected patients both PRK and LASIK can provide excellent results”, said Leslie Doctor, M.D., Corneal Specialist & LASIK Surgeon in Fairfield County.

The results of numerous long-term clinical studies show that both LASIK and PRK provide almost identical visual results. However there are some subtle differences as well as some not so subtle differences we like patients to know.

Patients who have LASIK may have very slightly reduced contrast sensitivity in dim illumination. If one uses extremely sensitive clinical measuring methods they can sometimes find a slight reduction in “low contrast” vision. Often it is so slight that the patient does not notice it except in the testing conditions or in very extreme instances of reduced contrast situations such as driving at dusk in the rain. Thus it is a limited problem for most patients.

The real differences between PRK and LASIK are based on the fact that PRK is a “surface laser treatment” and LASIK is a “lamellar laser treatment”. PRK is performed on the surface of the cornea whereas LASIK is performed between the layers of the cornea. To do a LASIK surgery requires first creating the “layer” or “flap” and then applying the laser to change the shape of the cornea. To do a PRK procedure it is a single step procedure-just applying the laser.  Whenever there are more steps in a surgical procedure there is always a greater possibility of risks, side effects and complications.

Fortunately the risks, side effects and complications of LASIK are relatively few and minor if you are indeed a good candidate and under the care of a top laser surgeon. So, PRK does offer a safer risk profile because it is a single step procedure. However one of the not so subtle differences is that because it is a lamellar procedure, LASIK does not disturb the surface of the cornea during treatment. This provides patients with a much faster visual recovery and significantly less discomfort than PRK. This is why from a consumer perspective patients have tended to want LASIK eye surgery more than PRK. LASIK patients can get back to pretty many normal activities within a couple of days without any real pain-just some mild discomfort-and with good vision. Most LASIK patients are able to pass a driver’s test with 24-48 hours of their laser treatment. PRK patients often experience moderate discomfort that can last a few days and depending on the degree of their prescription can take a week or so to achieve good functional comfortable vision.
To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK, PRK or any Laser Eye Surgery for vision correction it is necessary to have an evaluation, examination and consultation. You can schedule an appointment with Corneal Specialist & LASIK Surgeon Leslie Doctor, M.D. by calling Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Fairfield County Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month

Doctor & Associates 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 Doctor & Associates as we always have an eye doctor “on call” to provide consultation and continued care for you.