Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How Does the Retina Work?

The Retina, located at the back of the eye, contains specialized cells called photoreceptors which are sensitive to light of different colors. These allow us to see in both the light and the dark. There are two mail types of photoreceptors: rods, which operate in dim light and provide low acuity vision in scales of grey; and cones, which operate in bright light and provide high acuity, color vision.

The eye has adapted through evolution to be extremely sensitive to light. However, the bulk of the eye tissue in not responsive to light; rather, the muscles which surround the eyeball, as well as the iris, cornea and lens, all act to focus light on to the retina, a relatively small area at the back of the eyeball which contains photoreceptors.

At its simple level, the Retina consists of four layers of cells:
  • at the back of the retina is the outer, pigmented layer-these epithelial cells absorb light
  • next are aligned a layer of photoreceptors which are able to convert light energy into electrical energy
  • the electrical potentials the photoreceptors generate are transmitted to the bipolar cells
  • the bipolar cells in turn communicate with ganglion cells; these nerve cells receive information from photoreceptors which they pass on to ganglion cells
Thus light has first to travel through the ganglion and bipolar cells before it reaches the light-sensitive photoreceptors at the back of the Retina. The, all of this information is transmitted to the Optic Nerve and finally makes its way to the brain so that we can see.

If you have any questions about your Retina, please do not hesitate to call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 with any questions.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Finding the Best Cataract Surgeons in Connecticut

To find the best Cataract Surgeons requires a little bit of work and investigation but is always worth it. Finding an eye surgeon who is a Cataract Specialist can help you to be confident that you are getting the most current information, thoughts and techniques to deal with your cataracts.
Ask People You Trust for a recommendation. Ask your friends, co-workers and family-but most importantly ask you primary care physician who they would go to or who they would send a parent to for cataract surgery.

Don’t Limit Yourself to Insurance Lists. Just because a Cataract Surgeon is “in network” isn’t a reason to use them if you are able to identify a top cataract surgeon you wish to go to who isn’t listed. Paying a slightly higher co-pay or deductible may be very worthwhile to get the Cataract Surgeon of your choice. If the best Cataract Surgeon in your area happens to be in the insurance list then you are all set.

Use the Power of the Internet. Take a minute to search “cataract surgeons in (insert your town/city/state)” or “best cataract surgeon in (insert your town/city/state)”. This will at least give you a starting place to begin creating a list of eye surgeons to investigate further.

Visit the Cataract Surgeon’s Web Site. Once you have compiled a list, visit their web sites and get a feel for their practice culture and philosophy. While a web site by itself can’t tell you much about surgical skills, it can tell you about how well he or she presents information and explains detail to patients. This is important in how comfortable you may feel in that practice.

Schedule a Consultation and Meet the Cataract Surgeon. The only sure fire way to find out if you are comfortable and get a sense of trust from a cataract surgeon is to schedule a consultation and meet the surgeon personally. They should be able to clearly explain your eye health and vision as well as the cataract procedure and answer any questions you have in understandable language and terms. Whether or not you find the right cataract surgeon right off the bat it is never inappropriate to………

Get a Second Opinion. Making a decision about eye surgery is a big deal. Getting to a place where you feel confident, relaxed and comfortable is important. 

If you or someone you know has a Cataract or wishes to learn more about Cataract Surgery please call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bloodshot Eyes-What Causes Them?

Bloodshot eyes can be surprising and even alarming to patients. A lot of us notice sometimes that our eye gets red, bloodshot and some of us even say: "my eye is bleeding". What does it mean and where does it come from?

If you have repetitive events of subconjunctival hemorrhage it is advisable to be seen by either your general physician or an ophthalmologist. If have any questions or would like reassurance on your condition please call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 with any questions.Subconjunctival hemorrhage occurs most often in elderly persons with diabetes or hypertension but commonly no cause can be found. A predisposing cause appears to be events that produce a sudden rise in venous pressure, such coughing, straining, lifting, sneezing or vomiting. There is no treatment for this condition, which is entirely innocuous, other than reassurance.

Occasionally a subconjunctival hemorrhage is part of a general bleeding disorder but it must be emphasized that such an event is rare. If you have no other symptoms but bloodshot eye it most likely means that you have a subconjunctival hemorrhage.  Subconjunctival hemorrhage is caused by a ruptured conjunctival blood vessel. It usually produces an irregular red patch because of pooling of blood under the conjunctiva. Its appearance is alarming because it is accentuated by the white of the sclera. Invariably, a collection of blood, like any other bruise under the skin, spreads and seems to enlarge as the blood is disseminated. Eventually the blood pigment breaks down to its component parts until it is absorbed. This process can take anywhere from 7 days to 3 weeks, depending on the size of the hemorrhage.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Aspirin & Macular Degeneration (AMD)

There may be a relationship between frequent aspirin use and Macular Degeneration (AMD) according to researchers from the European Eye Study who  reported some interesting findings on the October 2011 publication Ophthalmology which is the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. They found that frequent aspirin use may be associated with an increased risk of early or late “wet age-related macular degeneration”, with an “odds ratio” that increases upon frequency of consumption. However the study is somewhat limited in that there was an unknown amount of aspirin taken, as well as the possibility that participants may have taken aspirin after experiencing visual problems. So, at this time the study is interesting but inconclusive and certainly patients taking aspirin to offset the coronary risk profile or other vascular problems should NOT discontinue taking aspirin unless they have been directed to do so by their personal physician. Patients who have question or concerns about Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) should feel free to contact Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 for information or to schedule an appointment and visit us at facebook.com/doctorandassociates.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eye Trauma in Children

Eye trauma in children is more common than most people realize. Injuries that occur in and around the eye threaten vision and must be addressed with immediately. Some head injuries can cause an ocular problem down the road.  Holes and tears in the retina can develop slowly and retinal detachment can occur later in life. To avoid any of these problems, a parent should inform an Ophthalmologist of any incident of head injury or any other eye accidents.

Here are some common types of eye trauma we see in children:
  1. Your child was playing in a sandbox, suddenly cries and rubs his or her eyes. This behavior should alert you to a foreign body entering and lodging under the lid. You should wash the injured eye with cotton or a gauze pad with warm water. It is best to have a bottle of sterile eye irrigating solution so that you could irrigate the eye. A foreign body can cause damage to the child's cornea. The corneal abrasion that often results can be very painful. It is important to see an Ophthalmologist, remove the foreign body if necessary and start treatment.
  2. Black eyes are not uncommon. They frequently occur from a punch in the eye, a toy thrown in the eye, a fall, an insect bite, etc. We realize from this partial list of unfortunate possibilities that bringing up children can sometimes prove hazardous to their eyes. They challenge us to always be alert and respond quickly to signs of possible danger. It is important to call an Ophthalmologist and discuss the issue over the phone. Based on symptoms and presented situation the doctor will advise how soon the child needs to be seen.
  3. Eyelids are swollen or red could be another observation of a parent. Apply cold compresses but do not wait until the lid improves. Call your eye physician and be prepared to provide a complete history. Based on your description the next step will be decided by the doctor.
Parents can appreciate the fact that trauma to the eye must always be taken seriously. Careful evaluation of the eye is very important. If you are concerned about your child's eye or your child happens to be in a similar situation do not hesitate to call us at Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113 with any questions.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

LASIK for Contact Lens Problems & Intolerance

“Contact lens problems and intolerance seem to be motivating more and more patients to schedule LASIK consultations these days,” said Connecticut Corneal Specialist Leslie Doctor, M.D. of Doctor & Associates.

In fact, contact lens problems and intolerance are the reasons a great many patients seek LASIK Surgery and Laser Vision Correction. “The most common reason for contact lens intolerance that we see is a condition called Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis or GPC,” commented Dr. Doctor.

When we wear contact lenses, no matter how successfully or how diligent we are in their care and replacement, they become coated with mucous and protein from our tears. After a number of years of wearing contacts it is not uncommon to develop an allergy to the protein on the contact lens. Initially this may result in patients having some dry eye symptoms and prompt them to use lubricating eye drops. However, as the GPC contact lens problem continues to progress patients begin to notice some itch and stringy mucous type discharge from their eyes.

After a while the contacts just become too uncomfortable and gritty and patients become intolerant and just can’t wear their contacts. During a severe episode of GPC, patients may be restricted from wearing their contacts in order to reduce the allergic inflammation of the lids. In some cases, patients are no longer able to wear contacts again at all. Patients with a chronic GPC may decide to have LASIK to correct their vision, so that they no longer need to depend on contacts on a daily basis.

LASIK can be a great option for you to rid yourself of the hassle of contacts and allow you to continue a “glasses free” lifestyle for seeing at distance. If you or someone you know suffers from any type of contact lens problem and would like to learn more about LASIK and whether they are a good candidate please call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 for a Free LASIK Consultation in Connecticut.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Drivewear® Lenses

Drivewear® Lenses from Younger Optics combine two of the most innovative technologies in the optical industry today; Transitions Photochromic technology and NuPolar® polarization, providing its wearers with 100% UV protection.

As photochromic lenses, Drivewear® Lenses adjust their color to meet your needs in different lighting situations. Interestingly enough, Drivewear® Lenses react to both visible and ultraviolet light. This means that there is always color to the lens.  In low light situations, the lenses are a green/yellow designed to utilize useful light information. While driving in brighter lighting conditions, the lenses change to a copper, reducing excess light. In this state, the lenses will highlight reds (such as stop signs) and greens (such as traffic lights).When outdoors, the lenses are a reddish-brown, achieving their maximum darkness and offering the upmost comfort in bright lighting conditions.  As polarized lenses, Drivewear® Lenses also filter unwanted blinding glare, allowing for faster reaction time and making driving safer.

Drivewear® Lenses are available in both CR-39 and polycarbonate materials. These lenses can be produced for single vision, conventional bifocal and progressive lens wearers. There are 1 billion drivers worldwide, and that number increases every year. Anyone of driving age is an ideal candidate for Drivewear® Lenses. 

If you have any questions regarding Drivewear® Lenses please do not hesitate to call Eyewear at Willows at 203-227-9380 or request an appointment at facebook.com/doctorandassociates.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

About Your Eyes & Being Pregnant

What does being pregnant have to with your eyes? Sometimes quite a bit. During pregnancy your body undergoes fluctuations in hormone levels, changes in fluid retention and even an increase in your overall blood volume. These types of changes can result in your eyes changing in various ways. Fortunately eye changes due to pregnancy are usually temporary and resolve after the baby is born or after the cessation of breast feeding. Typically vision changes are minor and don’t require a change in eyeglasses, however there are some eye changes that do require care and attention. 

If you were thinking about having LASIK you should delay your actual LASIK Surgery procedure until at least three months after your delivery or three months after you stop nursing. This is necessary because the thickness of your cornea may fluctuate during pregnancy and will reduce the accuracy of the LASIK correction. Also, hormonal fluctuations are often the cause of dry eye. This can make you uncomfortable by itself and can certainly make wearing your contact lenses more difficult. If you experience dry eyes during pregnancy be sure to consult your eye care provider so that “pregnancy-safe” lubricating eye drops or other alternative treatments for dry eye can be prescribed. Sometimes simply eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, flax seeds and walnuts, may help resolve dry eye and also supports general good health.

On a more serious note, if your vision becomes noticeably blurry, it may signal high blood pressure or pregnancy-related diabetes. If you experience dry eyes, changes in vision or especially very blurred vision during pregnancy it is important to schedule an appointment to see us at Doctor & Associates by calling 203-227-4113.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Glaucoma Awareness Month at Doctor & Associates

Doctor & Associates wants to focus patient’s attention on Glaucoma this month as January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. “This is an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease. Our understanding of this disease along with the ways in which we can diagnose and treat it have improved considerably,” commented Connecticut Ophthalmologist Leslie Doctor, M.D. of Doctor & Associates.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness overall. Of particular note is that Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.
Over 4 million Americans, and nearly 70 million people worldwide, have Glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision.
The most common type of Glaucoma—Primary Open Angle Glaucoma—is hereditary. The Nottingham Glaucoma Study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated the risk that siblings of Glaucoma patients would themselves develop Glaucoma within their lifetime. “While we already knew that there was a strong likelihood that family members of Glaucoma patients were at greater risk, the Nottingham Study found that siblings were 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma by age 70. This is why we strongly recommend that siblings of Glaucoma patients and Glaucoma suspects be screened for Glaucoma, each and every year,” said Leslie Doctor, M.D.

If you, a relative or someone you know is at risk for Glaucoma based on their age, heredity or health please tell them to call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 to schedule and eye exam and Glaucoma screening. Early diagnosis and treatment goes a long way to preserving eye health and vision.