Maine LASIK Cataract Eye Care Surgery Blog Portland EMG

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Buying Tips for Eye Safe Toys this Holiday Season


We wanted to share some tips for buying “eye safe” toys as you make your list for this holiday season. Certainly, the kids and the toy manufacturers know what is popular, but often they are unaware of potential safety issues-especially eye safety issues. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are typically more than 250,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in annually with more than 75% affecting children under 15 years of age. A serious eye injury from a toy can ruin a family's holiday and, more seriously leave a child with permanent vision loss.

Top Five Tips for Choosing Eye Safe Toys
1.     Avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts.
2.     Make sure children have appropriate supervision when playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause injury.
3.     If you plan to give sports equipment, provide appropriate protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses. Check with your eye doctor to learn about protective eyewear recommended for your child's sport.
4.     Check labels for age recommendations and be sure to select gifts that are appropriate for a child's age and maturity.
5.     Keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children.

We wish you a happy holiday season. If you need help with guidance on toys or protective eyewear for children, please call your local optometrist to schedule an appointment. If specialty care, treatment or cataract surgery is required, please ask to be referred to one of the physicians at Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, or visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.


Sunday, November 18, 2018

Vision Loss is the Worst Disability


Most people would rather lose a limb than lose their eyesight, according to the results of a nationwide poll. Indeed, if given a choice, most people would prefer to lose their hearing, their memory, or their ability to speak rather than losing their vision, according to the survey results published in the journal JAMA Ophthalmology.

The survey polled 2,044 Americans from across all ethnic, racial, and economic demographics. Nearly 88% of respondents viewed eye health as critical to overall health, and 47% considered vision loss to be the worst possible health condition that could happen them, even worse than Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, or AIDS/HIV. Among the possible consequences of vision loss, respondents ranked quality of life as the greatest concern, followed by loss of independence.
While 81.5% of Americans reported having an eye examination, many were not well aware of the diseases and conditions that lead to vision loss. Nearly two-thirds of respondents reported awareness of cataracts (65.8%) or glaucoma (63.4%), but only half were aware of macular degeneration, and 37.3% were aware of diabetic retinopathy. As many as 25% of all respondents weren’t aware of any eye conditions that could cause loss of vision.
If you or someone you know does not have regular eye health and vision exams, please call your local optometrist to schedule an appointment. If specialty care, treatment or cataract surgery is required, please ask to be referred to one of the physicians at Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, or visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.



Sunday, November 11, 2018

Early Detection of Juvenile Diabetic Retina Problems

Diabetic retinopathy is best treated and managed with early detection and diagnosis. This can be especially important for children with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. The earlier we can detect and diagnose the diabetic eye problems, the better we can prepare to help prevent vision loss. Most often diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed during a dilated exam of the retina during an eye exam. However, we also have a very sensitive non-invasive “kid friendly” imaging system in our office called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) that can help us detect the very earliest types of changes from diabetes-even before they might be visible during a dilated retinal exam.

According to a clinical study reported in the journal Ophthalmic Surgery, Laser and Imaging Retina Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus causes and degenerative effect on certain nerve cells in the retina even before the breakdown of blood vessels occurs with diabetic retinopathy. From this research, it is thought that OCT may be more useful than just a dilated retinal exam in kids with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus.

If you or someone you know has a child or young adult with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, please make sure they are having regular eye exams as diabetic retinopathy is manageable and vision loss preventable with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Please call your local optometrist to schedule an appointment. If specialty care, treatment or cataract surgery is required, please ask to be referred to one of the physicians at Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, or visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.



Sunday, November 4, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Can Help Prevent Diabetic Eye Problems

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness globally. Yet, many diabetic patients still do not schedule regular diabetic eye exams as requested by their physicians. Referral to an eye doctor for early diagnosis and treatment is the key to preventing vision loss in diabetics. Performing retinal screening examinations on all diabetic patients is an unmet need, and leads to many undiagnosed and untreated cases of DR. Recently researcher-clinicians reported their work to develop an artificial intelligence automated algorithm for retinal photographs that would help with referral from primary care physicians to ophthalmologists of eyes with DR for further evaluation and treatment. The study suggests that this method of screening would aid in reducing the rate of vision loss, enabling timely and accurate diagnoses.

If you or someone you know is diabetic please be sure to have regular eye exams as diabetic retinopathy is manageable and vision loss preventable with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Please call your local optometrist to schedule an appointment. If specialty care, treatment or cataract surgery is required, please ask to be referred to one of the physicians at Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020, or visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.


Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Laser Treatment or Eye Drops for Glaucoma?


Can Laser Treatment Replace Eye Drops for Glaucoma?
Chronic Open Angle Glaucoma, which is the most common type of glaucoma, has no cure. Glaucoma is lifelong eye disease that will require you to be treated throughout your life in some manner. This may require using one or more eye drops on a daily or even more frequent basis, by having laser treatments or even surgery-or some combination of treatments, in order to maintain stability and prevent vision loss. in some manner. A recent study that might be of interest to those stable glaucoma patients who in fact use one or more eye drops each day was published in the journal Acta Ophthalmologica demonstrated that a form of glaucoma laser treatment called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty was able to complete replace the need for eyedrops in 77% of stable glaucoma patients and still maintain excellent control of intraocular pressure! In most other patients, the laser treatment was able to reduce the number of different eye drops used or the number of times a single eye drop needed to be used to maintain stable eye pressure. This is very helpful for most glaucoma patients as it reduces medication side effects and helps those who might have a tough time instilling eye drops or remembering to use them at the prescribed time each day.

If you or someone you know has glaucoma and uses eye drops each day and wishes to explore the possibility of glaucoma laser treatment or anyone concerned about their risk of glaucoma and might need to schedule an eye exam we welcome you to please call your local optometrist to schedule an appointment. If specialty care, treatment or surgery is required, please ask to be referred to one of the physicians at Eyecare Medical Group.



Monday, October 15, 2018

Eye Health Tips for College Students


Going to college and perhaps living in a dormitory can be an exciting and hectic time for students. But, it’s worth mentioning some common-sense tips to preserve eye health and avoid eye problems for college students. College students can be susceptible to a host of vision and eye problems such as injury, infection and increased nearsightedness that can be avoided with a little bit of “smarts” and awareness.

Don't Shower or Swim with Contact Lenses. Acanthamoeba is a parasite that lives in water and can cause a rare but serious eye infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis. According to the CDC, 85 percent of Acanthamoeba eye infections occur in contact lens wearers, one of the main risks being exposure of lenses to water. To avoid this dangerous infection, do not wear contact lenses in showers, hot tubs or when swimming in lakes or pools. Also, never use water to clean or store contact lenses; only use sterile contact lens disinfecting solution and a clean contact lens case. 

Get Out. We all want you to get good grades, but spending much of their time studying indoors, puts you at risk of becoming more nearsighted, or myopic. A recent study found that more than 50 percent of college graduates are nearsighted, with vision worsening for each year in school. Other research shows that spending more time outdoors can protect vision from getting worse. Take a break-get outside when possible.

Wash Your HandsConjunctivitis, or “pink eye” spreads fast in schools and dorms. We know of a report where an outbreak struck more than 1,000 Ivy League college students! Avoid rubbing the eyes and wash hands with soap to avoid catching and spreading pink eye, not to mention other infections.

Give Your Eyes a Break. Dry eye from intense long hours of computer or video display terminal use can be a real problem for college students. To help avoid dry eye symptoms of burning, gritty red eyes, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. Because dry eye can also cause painful corneal ulcers, which are open sores on the front part of the eye, blink regularly and fully to keep eyes moist.  

Don't Share Makeup. Harmless as it may seem, sharing makeup is a surefire way to spread infection such as herpes keratitis among friends. Infection-causing bacteria grow easily in creamy or liquid eye makeup. Stick to your own makeup and throw it away after three months. If you develop an eye infection, immediately toss all of your eye makeup.  

Stay in the Game. Did you know that nearly 1 in 18 college athletes will get an eye injury playing sports? Common injuries, like scratches on the eye surface and broken bones near the eye socket, happen most often in high-risk sports such as baseball, basketball and lacrosse. Athletes should consider wearing polycarbonate sports glasses to help keep stray balls and elbows from hitting their eyes.

In college, taking care of their eye health may be the last thing on your mind but we wanted to share some common-sense tips. If you or someone you experience an eye health or vision problem please call your local optometrist to schedule an appointment. If specialty care, treatment or surgery is required, please ask to be referred to one of the physicians at Eyecare Medical Group.



Sunday, October 7, 2018

Buying Online Internet Eyeglasses


Anyone who wears glasses and uses a computer is often presented with the availability and options of buying their eyewear online. When asked, most people say they are interested in internet eyeglass purchases because it seems to be convenient. Many others say it’s because they can get a good deal A recent study in the journal Optometry & Vision Science compared the overall quality and fit of eyeglasses bought online with eyewear purchased from optometry practices. The study found that patients preferred spectacles bought from optometry practices rather than those bought online, in spite of lens quality and prescription accuracy being similar. A greater number of online spectacles were deemed unsafe or unacceptable because of poor spectacle frame fit, poor cosmetic appearance, and inaccurate optical centration. This appears to especially be the case for Progressive Addition Lenses (PAL) or “Progressives” as when these lenses are not fit and positioned properly they can cause a great deal of unusual distortion and discomfort.

If you or someone you know has questions about eye health and vision please call your local optometrist to schedule an appointment. If specialty care, treatment or cataract surgery is required, please ask to be referred to one of the physicians at Eyecare Medical Group, 53 Sewall Street, Portland, Maine 04102 at 888-374-2020,  or visit Eyecare Medical Group, Google+ or facebook.com/eyecaremedicalgroup.