April 28, 2012
Only an eye care professional can diagnose cataracts, but it may be time to schedule an eye exam if you notice any of these common signs:
- Blurry or fuzzy vision
- Trouble seeing at night
- Double vision (single objects appear as two)
- A glow or halo effect around lights
- Changes to color vision (colors are less vivid, maybe brownish)
For more info:
May 14, 2011
Dr. Robert Abel, Ophthalmologist, was the guest on the People’s Pharmacy on Staurday, May 14, 2011. It was Show # 813, Preserving Your Vision.
Most of us take our vision for granted until it starts to give us trouble. Dry eyes can be a consequence of too much time in front of a screen. Are there other lifestyle factors putting us at risk for vision problems?
Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are major causes of vision loss. What can we do to prevent their development?
Guest: Robert Abel, Jr., MD, is an ophthalmologist with Delaware Ophthalmology Consultants. His books include The Eye Care Revolution and The DHA Story and most recently the novel Lethal Hindsight. His website is www.eyeadvisory.com
He gave excellent advice on Glaucoma, Macular Degeneration, eye nutrition and Cataracts.
The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. Podcasts can be downloaded for free for six weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.
May 28, 2010
Natl. Eye Institute data -
Eye diseases greatly increase in frequency after 80 years of age.
Summary of Eye Disease Prevalence Data
Prevalence of Cataract, Age-Related Macular Degeneration, and Open-Angle Glaucoma Among Adults 40 Years and Older in the United States*
May 27, 2010
Now that Summer is near, we should be careful about the long-term and short-term damage sunlight can do to our eyes.
- Photokeratitis – sunburn of the cornea
- Damage to the retina, including macular degeneration
- Cancer of the eyelids
April 2, 2010
From EyeSmart News, by the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Diabetes is a disease that affects the body’s ability to produce and/or use insulin in amounts sufficient to control blood-sugar levels. There are three types of diabetes: type 1, type 2 and gestational, which may develop when a woman is pregnant:
- Type 1: Usually diagnosed in children and young adults and previously known as juvenile diabetes. In this form, the body does not produce insulin.
- Type 2: The most common form of diabetes. Either the body does not produce enough insulin or the body’s cells ignore the insulin.
- Gestational: Blood-sugar levels (glucose) become elevated during pregnancy in women who have never had diabetes before. Gestational diabetes starts when the mother’s body is not able to make and use all the insulin it needs during pregnancy.
People with any type of diabetes can develop hyperglycemia, which is an excess of blood sugar, or serum glucose. Although glucose is a vital source of energy for the body’s cells, a chronic elevation of serum glucose causes damage throughout the body, including the small blood vessels in the eyes. As a result, if you have diabetes, you run the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, in which damage occurs to the delicate blood vessels inside the retina at the back of the eye. You are also at increased risk for developing cataracts (clouding of the normally clear lens in the eye), or glaucoma (a disease that results in damage to the optic nerve).
More than 24 million Americans have diabetes and the number is growing, but only half of them get the recommended annual dilated eye exam. Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in working-age adults, but 90 percent of vision loss can be prevented. An annual dilated eye exam can help prevent vision loss in people with diabetes.
October 29, 2009
Cataract surgery improved vision in patients with any stage – from mild to advanced – AMD in the first study to include an adequate number of advanced AMD patients. Data was obtained from the multicenter, prospective Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), which was organized primarily to evaluate the effects of high-dose vitamin and mineral supplements on cataract and AMD. As the American population ages AMD prevalence is expected to rise, and many patients will concurrently develop cataract; both diseases can cause blindness if untreated.
“Earlier epidemiology had suggested cataract surgery might worsen AMD, so the data from the AREDS cohort study were evaluated to answer this important question,” said Emily Y. Chew, MD, who led the study for NEI.
The cohort, comprising 1,939 eyes (1,244 patients) with various stages of AMD, was evaluated for visual acuity (sharpness) after cataract surgery. On average, patients with AMD, ranging from mild to advanced, gained visual acuity after cataract surgery; the best gains were in patients with vision worse than20/40 before surgery. No difference in improvement was noted between patients with “wet” (neovascular) or “dry” (central geographic atrophy) AMD. About one year later vision gains remained statistically significant in the 865 eyes available for follow-up. Results for the primary focus of AREDS, regarding the effect of nutritional supplements, showed that high doses of vitamins C, E and beta-carotene did not affect the development or progression of cataract, but this vitamin combination plus zinc did reduce the risk of progression to advanced AMD by 25 percent in the five years of the study.
October 29, 2009
Results of an important new study show that implantation of blue light-filtering intraocular lens (IOLs) at the time of cataract surgery increases a nutritional component of the eye, which may afford protection against the development and/or progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The study, conducted by leading ophthalmology and vision researchers from the Macular Pigment Research Group at the Waterford Institute of Technology, is published in the October 2009 issue of the high impact journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS)
“Blue light-filtering lenses filter and block damaging blue light from reaching the retina, which holds the potential of reducing vision loss and improving the quality of life for millions of older patients,” said the study’s chief investigator, John M. Nolan, Fulbright Scholar, BSc, PhD, deputy director, Macular Pigment Research Group, Waterford Institute of Technology, Waterford, Ireland.
October 24, 2009
The goal of the Mayo Clinic Low Vision Service is to help you make the most of the vision you have.
Low vision means having impaired vision that cannot be corrected by glasses, surgery or medication. The most common cause of low vision is macular degeneration, an age-related disease that affects the central portion of your visual field. Other common causes include glaucoma, cataracts and diabetes.
Low vision affects every person differently and requires looking beyond conventional vision-improvement approaches to focus on the patient’s particular problem.
Services include a low vision eye exam and assessment, advice on best low vision aids for your eyes and available treatment.
Most services are at Rochester, Minnesota, 507 – 284 – 2744
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time Monday through Friday
Service is also available at
Phoenix, Arizona: (800) 446 – 2279
Jacksonville, Florida: (904) 953 – 0853
August 31, 2009
A Reminder: Basic vitamin supplements for eye damage & AMD prevention should include Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Most studies indicate that the necessary daily dose to see long term benefit is 50mg of Lutein and 10mg of Zeaxanthin. Other ingredients that should be included are mixed carotenoids and vitamin E, Beta-carotene and Lycopene.
Remember to wear sunglasses to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.
August 4, 2009
August is Cataract Awareness Month, and the American Academy of Ophthalmology encourages Americans to know their risks, especially people who smoke, have diabetes, or have a family history of cataract.
Most age-related cataracts develop gradually. As a result, you may not immediately notice changes in your vision when cataracts first develop. Also, the amount and pattern of cloudiness within the lens can vary. If the cloudiness is not near the center of the lens, you may not be aware that you have a cataract.
In time, you may have symptoms such as:
- Painless clouded, blurry or dim vision;
- Increasing difficulty seeing at night or in low light;
- Sensitivity to light and glare, seeing haloes around lights;
- Colors seem faded or yellowed;
- The need for brighter light for reading and other activities;
- Needing frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription; or
- Double vision within one eye.
Once I know I have cataracts, what should I do?
- Have an eye exam every year if you’re older than 65, or every two years if younger.
- Protect your eyes from UV light by wearing 100 percent UV blocking sunglasses and a hat.
- If you smoke, quit; smoking can increase cataract progression.
- Use brighter lights for reading and other activities; a magnifying glass may be useful, too.
- Limit night driving once night vision, haloes or glare become problems.
- Take care of any other health problems, especially diabetes.
- Get the right eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct your vision; when it becomes too difficult to complete your regular activities, consider cataract surgery.