Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Prevention of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic diseases among children and adults in the United States.  In diabetics, as we all know, there is too much sugar in the blood. When the blood sugar is constantly or frequently high, many complications occur: eyesight can suffer, heart attacks, strokes, and other blood vessel problems can occur. When blood sugar is maintained at a normal level (between 80 and 120) most of the time, the complications of diabetes can be reduced. Controlling blood sugar is the most important thing a person with diabetes can do to prevent or reduce the complications of diabetes.

Type one diabetes usually begins at a young age and patients must take insulin to survive and control blood sugar. They should test their own blood sugar with a blood sugar-monitoring device several times daily so they can adjust their diet, exercise, and insulin doses to keep the blood sugar under control. They should follow a diet controlled in carbohydrates and low in fat and cholesterol. Regular exercise is also very important as it helps reduce blood sugar.

Type two diabetes usually starts in adult life and is often not dependent on insulin. Maintaining normal weight and a diet low in calories, fat, and cholesterol is the key. Blood sugar can be controlled either with diet alone or in combination with pills to lower blood sugar. In some cases, insulin treatment is also necessary.

In addition to the importance of diet and exercise, there are other factors that can affect diabetes. High blood pressure increases the likelihood of complications and therefore should be strictly controlled and kept normal at all times.

All people with diabetes, especially those who have had diabetes for a long time, should have regular eye examinations with an ophthalmologist on a yearly bases or even more often. Please call for the appointment at one of Doctor & Associates' offices at 203-227-4113.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Macular Degeneration Symptoms & Diagnosis

Macular Degeneration is related to aging and therefore is called age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Patients with macular degeneration may begin to notice problems with eyesight sometime after the age of fifty. AMD could be hereditary so blood relatives should have their eyes examined every year after the age of fifty.

AMD usually starts with the appearance of yellow-colored spots in the macula. These spots, caused by the buildup of fatty deposits, are called drusen. Drusen do not usually change vision very much and only a few people with drusen alone develop severe AMD with loss of vision. When macular degeneration does lead to loss of vision, that loss usually starts in one eye but later may affect the other eye. When a person loses vision in one eye, the loss of vision may not be noticed because the healthy eye can still see detail. It is only when AMD severely affects both eyes that it will become difficult to do the kind of work that requires central vision, vision that can discern fine detail.

A person with advanced AMD, who has lost the ability to see detail with each eye, rarely loses peripheral vision and will still be able to get along fairly well. Macular degeneration almost never causes total blindness. Majority of patients can see well enough to take care of themselves and continue those activities that do not require detail central vision. The ability to look slightly off center usually improves with time, although eyesight will never be as good as before the macula was damaged.

If you are concerned about macular degeneration or have relatives who have it please call Doctor and Associates to evaluate the condition of your eye health.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Keratoconus is a degenerative corneal disease in which the center of the cornea thins and assumes the shape of a cone. It is usually bilateral and is often found in patients who have hay fever, atopic dermatitis, eczema or asthma. Keratoconus creates irregular corneal astigmatism that defies correction by ordinary spectacles. Rigid contact lenses (RGP) have been used to correct the visual defect. If the patient is unable to be fitted properly with contact lenses because of very high irregular astigmatism, some surgical procedures are offered to restore vision.

The symptoms of keratoconus are decreased vision, monocular diplopia (one eye double vision) or ghost images, distortion and halos. Even when visual acuity is good, it is normal for keratoconics to describe visual distortions. Studies show that keratoconus patients have dysfunctional vision despite adequate visual acuity with contact lenses.

If you are concerned about having keratoconus or have a family member who experiences similar symptoms Doctor & Associates will be happy to help. Dr. Leslie Doctor is a Cornea Specialist who completed Fellowship in Cornea and Refractive Surgery in the Ohio State University. Please feel free to call us at 203-227-4113 with any questions.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Cataract & Prostate Cancer Treatment

Patients being treated for prostate cancer with Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) may have a higher risk of developing cataracts according to a study from Karmanos Cancer Institute. 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 found a significantly greater risk of Cataract development.

If you think you have a prostate problem and are on Androgen Deprivation Therapy (ADT) and would like to be evaluated for Cataracts or 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.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

LASIK Evaluation-What to Expect

Having LASIK may be an excellent vision correction option for you. However, the only completely reliable way to determine whether Laser Vision Correction or Laser Eye Surgery of any type is going to help you achieve your personal vision correction goals is to have a thorough consultation.

Your LASIK consultation should consist of a number of clinical tests including:
Ø  Measurement of your uncorrected visual acuity
Ø  Measurement of your visual acuity with your current eyeglasses or contact lenses
Ø  Optical measurement of the current prescription that you are wearing in your eyeglasses and/or a review of your current contact lens prescription
Ø  A thorough review of your medical and eye history including all prescription and non-prescription medication that you have been or are currently taking
Ø  A refraction-automated or manual-to determine your current prescription
Ø  A topography measurement to digitally map the shape of your cornea
Ø  A pachymetry measurement of the thickness of your cornea
Ø   A measurement of pupil size
Ø  A microscopic evaluation of the health of your cornea and tear film including testing for dry eyes.

From this testing it can be determined whether you should proceed to the final level of testing whereby the actual preoperative measurements are taken for your treatment and a thorough examination of the Retina and Optic Nerve can be performed.
In addition to the actual clinical testing, your LASIK evaluation will include a full discussion of LASIK risks, benefits and complications and a thorough analysis of the personal goals and objectives that you feel are important to your success.
To find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK please feel free to schedule a consultation with Corneal Specialist & LASIK Surgeon Leslie Doctor, M.D. by calling Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Eye Health and Systemic Diseases

The importance of an eye examination with an ophthalmologist is crucial especially if you have a systemic disease, which are diseases that affect one or more of the major systems of the body.

The most common systemic diseases are: diabetes mellitis, thyroid disorders, hypertension, sjogrens syndrome, myasthenia gravis and rheumatoid arthritis.

-          Diabetes affects a variety of organs and is the most common disease in the United States among children and adults. Diabetes can develop a state of poor retinal circulation and accumulate fluid in the macula that can significantly decrease vision.
-          The thyroid gland helps to regulate the body's metabolism. Certain thyroid disorders could cause various degrees of swelling of the eyelids and orbital tissues which can potentially cause severe dry eyes problems and blurry vision.
-          High blood pressure impairs blood circulation which may produce problems in the vessels supplying retina, choroid and optic nerve. Hypertension can lead to small hemorrhages in the retina even without visual changes.
-          Sjogrens syndrome causes dry eyes that may result in the cornea condition known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca. Symptoms include a burning sensation, grittiness or foreign body sensation.
-          The ocular symptoms of myasthenia gravis include ptosis (droopy eyelids) and diplopia (double vision). Patients may also complain of limited eye movement.
-          Rhematoid arthritis may cause dry eyes, scleritis (inflammation of the sclera), episcleritis (inflammation of the superficial tissue overlying the sclera) and corneal ulcers.

If you have any of the systemic diseases and have not seen an ophthalmologist recently Doctor & Associates would be happy to evaluate the health of your eyes and check the effect of systemic disease on your vision-203-227-4113.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Children’s Vision & First Eye Exam

It is important to take a good care of children's eyes and not miss any opportunity for improvement since children have all their life ahead of them and must keep their eyes at their best.

Newborns eyes are always examined by a physician at birth and if necessary they have an eye examination by an ophthalmologist. If no problems are found children remain under observation of their parents.

During the first year caregivers should observe their infants being able to follow objects and toys. Majority of babies are born slightly farsighted or have hyperopia, which explains why babies tend to hold their toys closer to their faces. This usually changes as they grow older depending on their genetic inheritance. Children, whose family has a strong history of nearsightedness or myopia, should be examined sooner than later. A baby that cannot see well is usually shy and stays very attached to his or her parents. These babies can be examined for a need of glasses with the help of retinoscope, which is an instrument that helps to determine the power of the eye. The ophthalmologist uses a series of lenses and a hand held instrument to observe a reflex. If myopia is considered to be significant, glasses are prescribed regardless of the age of the patient.

If no problems with your child's eyes are known it is always advisable to have a first eye examination before school starts to assure your child can see clear in the class and performs well at school.

Doctor and Associates provides eye exams for children as well as adults. If you have any questions regarding your child's eyes please do not hesitate to call us at 203-227-4113.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fairfield County Children's Eye Health Month

Doctor & Associates 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. 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 we 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). Please feel free to phone Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 to schedule a consultation and examination.