Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Eyes & Color Vision for Connecticut Patients

Retinal Cones & Rods
In Connecticut we have beautiful scenery and colors around us, many patients ask us about their eyes and color vision and how it works that we can see. We are able to see in color because there are three different kinds of cones (which are photoreceptors responsive to light of different colors), each of which is sensitive to light of different wavelengths (colors). The three cone types each contain a different photopigment; a photopigment is a molecule which is responsive to light of specific wavelengths and which can change the electrical excitability of the photoreceptor cell. The three cones are called blue, green and red codes. It should be pointed out that these names do not necessarily correspond to the color of light that activates them best.

For example, green cones are the best of the three groups of cells at responding to green light, though they are activated the most by yellow light.

We are able to distinguish between different colors because light of specific wavelengths will activate blue, green and red cones to different degrees. The cones send impulses to the brain at a rate proportional to the degree they are activated-the brain interprets the ratio of the nerve impulses arising from the three types of cone as representing a specific color.

If you have any questions about the color vision or need your color vision to be tested please call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113.
Red-green color blindness is a relatively common inherited condition that affects one in 12 men and one in 100 women. Affected individuals have a deficiency in either red or green cones, which makes it impossible for them to differentiate between red and green and between orange and yellow.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Connecticut LASIK is Affordable!

Connecticut LASIK is affordable at Doctor & Associates serving Fairfield County with offices in Westport, Norwalk & Wilton CT. Believe it or not, LASIK is affordable for just about anyone at Doctor & Associates! That’s because we work to find ways to work with you to help you achieve your personal vision correction goals. Here are a few ways lots of our patients choose when they have LASIK at Doctor & Associates in Fairfield County.
Easy Payment Plans
Many of our patients use our easy payment monthly payment plans. We can arrange the amount you pay each month to fit your budget-AND you do not even have to put any money down! You can have your LASIK procedure today WITH NO MONEY DOWN-and with 0% interest if you would like!

Flex Plans-Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Many employers offer Flex Plans-Flexible Spending Accounts or FSA’s. These plans allow you to have money taken out of your paycheck over time to pay for LASIK. What is even more appealing about Flex Plans is that money is withheld in Pre-Tax dollars allowing you to get extra tax savings. It is best to come in for a free consultation to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK-and then we can tell you exactly how much to have taken out of your paycheck!

Health Spending Accounts (HSA)
Health Spending Accounts are another way our patients can use Pre-Tax dollars to pay for LASIK and elective Lens Implants. If you have an HSA, it is best to come in for a free consultation to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK so we can tell you how much to allocate.

Insurance & Discount Fee for Service Plans
More and more health insurance or vision insurance plans are offering partial coverage or a discount for LASIK to their participants. We will be happy to review your plan. Even if we are not a direct provider on your plan, if you have coverage, we will make every attempt to honor your benefit allowance when you come to Doctor & Associates.

Tax Refunds
Tax refunds often provide a nice source of unexpected cash that you can invest in yourself! If you know that you are going to be getting a tax refund, come in for a free consultation and find out if you are a candidate for LASIK. We can even use a very short term payment plan to help you get treated today and pay with your tax refund tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Art, Vision & Eyes in Connecticut

What do art, vision and your eyes have in common? Vision is defined in Webster's College Dictionary as “the act or power of sensing with the eyes; sight." To an artist, vision is much more than simply seeing. It represents a marriage of eye and brain: an interpretation of color, light, line and form, clarity, tone, proportion, depth and dimension. Most of us use their eyes not only to see in order to be able to function on a daily basis but to admire certain views when going to the theatre or a concern, sightseeing places of interest, admiring certain architecture, etc. As sight diminished, we see and record the world in a different light. Most of us do not notice the change because it is usually a slow and gradual change. We can easily notice that as we analyze the works of some famous artists. A look at the worlds of many well-known artists raises a multitude of questions in the eyes of the astute observer. Did the painter deliberately change his style as he matured? Are the changes in color or technique related to changes in the way in which the artist was seeing things? If so, what was happening to his vision? Was it presbyopia, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or macular degeneration? Unfortunately, the absence of medical records or other documentation precludes us from accurately diagnosing their disorders and they remain only conjecture. The works of many artists (like Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas and many other) were profoundly influenced by their eye conditions, a great many of which are treatable today.

We are very lucky to be born in a decade where Ophthalmology can offer various treatment options to many diseases that were not curable before. We should value that, protect our eyes and remember that vision is very precious. Please take a good care of your sight and do not forget to schedule your routine eye examinations. Please call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 if you need any help with scheduling an eye exam or visit us at facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Eye Refractions Billing & Cost

One of the most basic parts of an eye exam is checking the refraction of your eyes or an eye refraction test. This allows us to determine what your best possible vision is at that point in time while wearing a prescription optical lens and gives us the basis for prescribing a prescription optical lens. The most common type of eye refraction is called a Manifest Refraction and is performed without the use of eye drops so that we can examine the eye in a natural state. If you have ever had and eye exam you are probably familiar with the “which is better, one or two” test-this is a Manifest Refraction. Another type of eye refraction is called a Cycloplegic Refractions which is performed after the instillation of eye drops to temporarily immobilize the Ciliary Muscle of the eye. This temporarily prevents you from accommodating or “focusing” up close and is used when there is a need for an even more precise measurement of refractive error. In addition the eye drops will also dilate the pupil so the eye doctor can easily see the back of the eye to examine the retina, optic nerve and blood vessels in order to evaluate their health.

From an insurance standpoint, eye refractions are considered part of a routine eye exam.  Because refractions are normally used to determine refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism, and therefore prescribe glasses or contact lenses, many insurance companies, particularly Medicare and Medicaid, do not pay for them.  It's important to understand that when patients are having their eye exam, refractions are a necessary part of a routine eye exam and must be paid for out of pocket. If you have questions about the cost of your refraction or billing questions about refraction please call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 and we will be glad to assist.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Difficulties with Night Time Driving

Night driving is difficult for many people. Driving in the dark is much different from driving during the daylight hours. The human eye's field of vision is much smaller without the help of natural light. Sunlight provides the strongest light source. When it goes down at night, there are a variety of man-made lights that help drivers safely navigate the roads. Our eyes will adjust to lower levels of light (pupils dilate in darkness and constrict in brightness), but they have difficulty functioning properly when switching from bright to dark, or vice-versa. This can happen quite a lot on the roads at night when you look directly into the headlights of oncoming traffic. 

Driving either just before sunrise (dawn) or immediately after sunset (dusk) are also very dangerous time periods on the roadways, and many car accidents occur during these times. The problem is that while the sky is still well lit, the roads begin to get dark. This causes a disparity between light and dark and can cause vision problems for drivers. Car accident statistics are jarring at night. Despite 60 percent less traffic on the roads, more than 40 percent of all fatal car accidents occur at night. If you must drive at night and feel less than confident, the following tips will help you improve your night vision and reach your destination safely.

Here’s what you can do to see as well as possible when driving at night.
  • Make sure that your eyes are examined regularly by an ophthalmologist and that your eye prescription for glasses and contacts is up-to-date.
  • Wear a pair of glasses with antireflection coating on the lenses.
  • Do not wear sunglasses after dusk.
  • Clean your windshield inside and out.
  • Make sure your headlights are clean.
  • Use your high-beams when you can.
  • Dim your instrument lights to reduce brightness when you look at them.
  • Adjust your rearview mirror to “night” setting to dim the glare of headlights when cars are behind you.
  • Keep an extra two car lengths away from the car ahead of you at night.
If you have any concerns about your night time vision, please call us at 203-227-4113.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Laser for Vision Surgery: How Does it Work?

The Excimer laser for vision surgery was first developed by IBM in 1975 for etching microchips. In 1981 other investigations were made and clinical aspects of the Excimer were applied to the cornea. Clinical trials around the world have documented predictability, stability and safety of PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) for low and moderate degrees of myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia.

The Excimer laser uses a mixture of argon and fluorine gases in a mirrored tube to produce a cold, ultraviolet beam of light that vaporizes tissue by breaking molecular bonds a few molecular layers at a time. This process allows for vaporization or ablation of tissue without burning or disturbing the underlying tissue. Ultraviolet laser beams break up tissue by excitation of the atomic links-a photochemical process. The result is a precise cut with very straight edges and no discoloration or dehydration of surrounding tissue.  The Excimer laser is so precise that it can remove tissue 0.25 um at a time.  The treated area of the cornea is so smooth and the ablation amount is so accurate that very precise modification of the corneal curvature is possible. Before Excimer laser surgery was performed in sighted humans, a wealth of information on the procedure was gathered from testing performed first on animal eyes and later on blind human eyes. In addition to its use in eye surgery, the excimer laser is also used by heart specialists as a way of clearing out clogged coronary arteries.

Doctor & Associates performs Laser Eye Surgery for Vision Correction in our Westport office using the Wavelight Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Excimer Laser System. Please do not hesitate to call our office at 203-227-4113 if you have any other further questions regarding Laser Vision Correction.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

About Your Eye Health Risk & Smoking

Smoking can have a great effect on your eyes-especially in terms of your risk of Cataracts and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Avoiding smoking, or quitting, is one of the best investments you can make in your long-term eye health. Smoking-even in your teens or twenties when your senior years seem far away-increases your future risks for Cataracts and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). The more a person smokes, the greater the risks. In general if you quit smoking the risks of these eye diseases decreases to approximately the same level as if you never smoked at all. Keep on mind that smoking also increases your risk of cardiovascular disease which also can affect your eyes. Besides the vascular problems mentioned smoking and even being around smokers and their second hand smoke increase the likelihood of dry eye. Learn more about eye health and smoking at Doctor & Associates-203-227-4113 and please visit us at Facebook.com/doctorandassociates to schedule an appointment on-line!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Age Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in Americans older than 50, affecting more than two million people. Although AMD is incurable, there are new treatments that can at a minimum prevent further vision loss from the disease and in many cases actually help recover lost vision,” commented Connecticut Ophthalmologist Leslie Doctor, M.D.

AMD causes central vision to blur, but leaves peripheral vision intact. It is progressive and painless. There are two types of ARMD: Dry and Wet. Approximately 90 percent of people with AMD have the dry form which results in gradual vision loss. Although only 10 percent of people with ARMD have the wet form, it generally progresses much quicker than the dry form. Wet AMD is characterized by the growth of abnormal retinal blood vessels that leak blood or fluid, causing rapid and severe central vision loss.

Patients can often reduce the risk of developing ARMD by not smoking as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables, avoiding foods with trans fats, exercising and controlling blood pressure and weight. 
“We are fortunate to be able to offer Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) drugs that inhibit the development of unwanted blood vessels that cause wet ARMD as these agents are effective in helping to prevent further visual loss and even improve vision, said Dr. NAME

Patients older than 50 are encouraged to have a comprehensive, dilated eye examination every one to two years to ensure that ARMD is detected and treated early. The key to successful treatment is early detection and intervention. If you or someone you know is at risk for AMD please have the call Doctor & Associates at 203-227-4113 to schedule and eye exam.