69 posts categorized "EyeCare Topics"

March 21, 2011

Food For Sight


The old adage is food for thought, but these days we are more interested in food for our sight. Just like there are foods to help your digestive system and foods for your heart there are also good quality and nutritious foods that are good for improving your eyesight.

While many are happy to make do with their less than perfect eyesight and will just accept the use of glasses or contacts to boost their sight, this just isn’t the frame of mind for others. You can be proactive and eat the following foods for the benefits that they have for eyesight. In conjunction with some eye exercises you will limit the need for glasses or contact lenses, at least for a little while.

Carrots contain vitamin A which is essential for healthy eyes and sight. This is found in the antioxidant beta carotene. Carrots are one of the best choices for getting your daily quotient of recommended vitamin A, but if they are not your favorites then you can also try cabbage and dark green lettuce instead.

Spinach is a wonder vegetable that helps protect you against eye diseases. The carotenoid lutein which is found in spinach helps to protect your eyes from cataracts and macular degeneration.

Fruits such as kiwis, oranges and certain berries are full of vitamin C. Vitamin C eliminates those free radicals which can cause damage to your eyes.

Soy is another of those recent wonder foods that have come into mainstream popularity over the past decades. Soy contains phytoestrogens, vitamin E and natural anti-inflammatory agents which are great at helping to promote healthy eyes.

Garlic contains sulfur which helps to make your lenses more resilient and stronger. If you don’t like the taste of garlic then feel free to try onions instead as they are also a great source of sulfur.

Eggs are absolutely amazing for eyes, no matter which way you choose to cook them. Eggs contain cysteine, sulfur, lecithin, amino acids and lutein. Not only do they promote good eyesight, they also help protect against cataracts.

Good quality dark chocolates contain flavonoids which protect blood vessels within the body including those in the eye. The strengthened blood vessels will increase the vitality of your cornea as well. Only pure good quality chocolate will work as it needs to have a high cocoa percentage. So eating a Hershey’s bar isn’t going to help you, even though you might find them rather tasty.

Some great tasting and healthy foods to improve your eyesight, and with the list including chocolate, everyone should be happy.

January 07, 2011

Something to Cry About: Scent of Women's Tears Decreases Male Labido

Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision.  Dry eye is a condition in which there are not enough tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Patients with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or have a poor quality of tears. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults.  Very little has been said about crying and tears, until now...

There is an interesting article in this month's Science titled: Human Tears Contain a Chemosignal.  According to the researchers out of Israel:

Emotional tearing is a poorly understood behavior that is considered uniquely human. In mice, tears serve as a chemosignal. We therefore hypothesized that human tears may similarly serve a chemosignaling function. We found that merely sniffing negative-emotion–related odorless tears obtained from women donors, induced reductions in sexual appeal attributed by men to pictures of women’s faces. Moreover, after sniffing such tears, men experienced reduced self-rated sexual arousal, reduced physiological measures of arousal, and reduced levels of testosterone. Finally, functional magnetic resonance imaging revealed that sniffing women's tears selectively reduced activity in brain-substrates of sexual arousal in men.

NPR also ran an interesting segment today on the article, titled Smell the Sadness.  You can listen to the segment below: 

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As a side note, researchers found that between birth and the age of 78 a woman will cry for more than 12,000 hours.  That's 1.36 years!!  Better buy some shares of Viagara maker's Pfiezer at that rate...

January 03, 2011

Will Nintendo 3DS Stunt Your Kids Eyes?

Warning: Nintendo 3DS could eff up your kids' eyes photo

First the answer... No!!  Here is another sign of the times to cover ourselves in a litigenous society...

According to CNN:

Nintendo is warning young children against playing 3-D video games on its upcoming handheld gaming system, the Nintendo 3DS. Kids age 6 and younger who play the 3-D games may have the growth of their eyes stunted..

The warning notes that parents can turn off the 3-D functionality of the handheld 3DS. They can also set passwords that keep kids from using that feature.

The statement also asks everyone who plays the 3-D gaming system to take periodic breaks from the games as often as every hour or 30 minutes.

The warning follows many others on the potential health effects of three-dimensional entertainment. TV makers have issued warnings about young people, pregnant women and even drunk people viewing 3-D TV, noting that the medium may cause nausea, dizziness, and seizures.

I spoke today with EyeCare 20/20's pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr Lauren Rispoli, today about this.  Dr. Rispoli said there is absolutely no scientific basis to make these claims, there is no way a 3-D device can stunt a child's eyes! 


December 30, 2010

My Top 10 LASIK Blog Posts of 2010


Hard to believe its the end of 2010.  Boy, has this year flown by...  It's time again to list my top 10 blog posts of the year.  Here they are:

  1. One-Sided Reporting:  Diane Sawyer of ABC News Covers LASIK With Bias Reporting.  This was by far my most read blog post of the year.  It was very popular within the ophthalmology community and was discussed in a number of blogs and publications.
  2. Vision Harvest 2010.  This is a series of posts promoting our second annual free cataract surgery initiative.  It was a great success with over 25 people receiving free cataract surgery this year.
  3. Get LASIK and Help Build a Well. The Charity Water Project.  This was our first offer combining charitable giving with a discount for LASIK surgery.  These efforts have been quite successful with over $6,000 going to various charities since July!  We will continue to tie charitable giving with LASIK discount offers in 2011.  Stay tuned!
  4. Avastin vs. Lucentis in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration  By: Wendy Bedale.  The Avastin:Lucentis controversy has also been a popular topic on my blog.  Wendy Bedale was kind enough to allow me to reprint her excellent paper describing the history of this treatment for macular degeneration.
  5. Traumatic Dislocation of LASIK Flaps 4 and 9 Years After Surgery.  An article that I wrote about a rare late complication of LASIK that was published in the Journal of Refractive Surgery.
  6. LASIK for the Gold.  Our LASIK for the Gold program allowed a number of winter athletes to receive LASIK surgery.  Our athletes won 7 medals in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.  Several more will competing in the 2012 Summer Games in London!
  7. An Ode to LASIK.  Another borrowed post from Sonja Johnson, who sings the praises for LASIK.
  8. My Dad Turns 80 and I Find Out His ReSTOR Eyes Are Better Than Mine! An "aha" moment, when I discover my dad sees better without glasses than me..
  9. Video Testimonials.  ANother ongoing category where I interview patients who discuss the results of their various surgical procedures.
  10. 5 Reasons Not to Get LASIK at a Corporate LASIK Center.  This says it all, a case for personalized care..


I hope you all have enjoyed reading this blog.  I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you in 2011.  We at EyeCare 20/20 can only hope that the next year brings everyone much health and happiness.  If there is anything you would like me to discuss, please feel free to drop me a note at [email protected]


November 15, 2010

Cataract Prevention? Vitamins are Not The Answer!

According to WebMD

Vitamin C is one of the safest and most effective nutrients, experts say. It may not be the cure for the common cold (though it's thought to help prevent more serious complications). But the benefits of vitamin C may include protection against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and even skin wrinkling. 

Vitamin E is key for strong immunity and healthy skin and eyes. In recent years, vitamin E supplements have become popular as antioxidants. These are substances that protect cells from damage.  Many people use vitamin E supplements in the hopes that the vitamin's antioxidant properties will prevent or treat disease. Early lab studies of vitamin E supplements were promising. But studies of vitamin E in people have been disappointing.

There was an interesting article in this months issue of Archives of Ophthalmology titled: Age-Related Cataract in a Randomized Trial of Vitamins E and C in Men.

This article assesed whether supplementation with alternate-day vitamin E or daily vitamin C affects the incidence of age-related cataract in a large cohort of men. 11,545 apparently healthy US male physicians 50 or older without a diagnosis of cataract at baseline were randomly assigned to receive 400 IU of vitamin E or placebo on alternate days and 500 mg of vitamin C or placebo daily. After 8 years of treatment and follow-up, there were 579 cataracts in the vitamin E–treated group and 595 in the vitamin placebo group. For vitamin C, there were 593 cataracts in the treated group and 581 in the placebo group.

The study concluded that long-term alternate-day use of 400 IU of vitamin E and daily use of 500 mg of vitamin C had no notable beneficial or harmful effect on the risk of cataract.

There are a few things you can to to slow down cataract formation:

  • Wear sunglasses
  • Quit smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight

And, if you do develop visually significant cataracts, not to worry.  Cataract surgery is the most common procedure performed in the US with 1.5 million performed annually.  Combined with the implantation of an IOL (intraoccular lens), the results are excellent..

November 11, 2010

Eye Can Hear! Dual Sensory Impairment & EyeCare 20/20...

I see it every day in my office, a patient with cataracts and decreased vision who also has difficulty with their hearing.  It seems to me that a decline in vision goes hand in hand with a decline in hearing.

According to Lighthouse International:

Vision and hearing impairments are among the most common age-related conditions affecting the elderly. While there is an emerging literature regarding the profound functional, social, and physical and mental health consequences of either a vision or hearing impairment in later life, there is a dearth of existing knowledge regarding both short- and long-term consequences of dual sensory impairment for older persons. Yet, with the aging of the population, the numbers of older people experiencing a concurrent age-related loss in vision and hearing can be expected to grow substantially. Even current estimates of the prevalence of dual sensory impairments among the elderly range from 4% to 21%, depending upon used definitions and/or sources of data.

Here are some interesting statistics:

  • Approximately 30 million Americans are hearing impaired.
  • Hearing loss is the third most prevalent chronic condition behind arthritis and high blood pressure.
  • 1 out of 4 people over the age of 65 has a hearing loss and 50% over the age of 75 have a hearing loss.
  •  You could be at risk if you work or spend a lot of time around noise without protecting your ears. Professions at risk may include: musicians, construction workers, military personnel, firefighters and police officers.
  • Hearing loss can be caused by a number of factors – the aging process, heredity, disease, noise and build-up of earwax, among others.
  • Noise can be dangerous. If it is loud enough and lasts long enough, it can damage your hearing.
  • If you experience a number of warning signs or if people often tell you that you’re not hearing well, you may have a hearing loss.

Some warning signs of hearing loss include:

  • People seem to mumble more frequently.
  • You experience ringing in your ears.
  • You often ask people to repeat themselves.
  • Your family complains that you play the TV or radio too loudly.
  • You have been told that you speak too loudly.
  • You have trouble understanding all of the words in a conversation.

A big topic of conversation at this years AAO meeting was the implementation of hearing evaluations in ophthalmology offices.  Well, today at EyeCare 20/20 we have decided to do something with what we call Dual Sensory Impairment.  As part of the annual eye exam im patients over 50, we will also do a brief hearing screening.  We will than go over the results, and if a problem is detected, we will offer a free full hearing evaluation by a liscensed Hearing Care Practitioner.  We have also installed a full service BellTone hearing aid center in our office to deal with our patients hearing issues.


For more information on Dual Sensory Impairment at EyeCare 20/20, click here.  Or, to take a hearing self test, click here.

October 29, 2010

Beware of Cosmetic Contact Lenses for Halloween!

I got an e-mail from my son today.  His friend tried to get a pair of contact lenses on line for a party he is going to in South Beach.  Problem was he couldn't get the contact lenses without a Doctor's Rx!  He wanted to know if I could get him the lenses before the party...  This brings up an important point, contact lenses are not a costume, they are still medical devices that are applied to the eyes.  They need to be fit and cared for properly!  Unfortunately I needed more than a day's notice to get him the lenses, I guess a new costume in in the works..

It's good to know that he was unable to get his lenses without the Rx.  Several years ago, it would have been much easier, and riskier to get these lenses.  In fact I did an interview way back in 2004 with CBS News and Sapna Parikh (who is now on Fox.)  I love this interview.  Why?  Because my daughter Arielle and her friend Chelsea are both part of the story!  It is great to see them when they were so young, they are now 20!

Hope you all enjoy the story!


October 14, 2010

Chicago, Here I Come!

Just getting ready to pack my bags for a working weekend in Chicago.  I will be attending the annual AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) meeting.  This meeting, along with the ASCRS (American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons) meeting in the spring, are the two "big" eye meetings of the year.

Personally, I plan on getting certified in using the Toric ICL by Staar, looking for new equipment, checking out EMR (Electronic Medical Record) systems, and reconnecting with old friends and colleauges.  If anything intersting crops up, I will either blog or tweet about it.  @aao_ophth has asked me to use #aaochi10 hashtag on twitter to follow tweets and pearls live at the conference!    

October 05, 2010

After 22 Years FDA Continues to Drop the Ball on Eye Drop Packaging Mix Ups

22 Years ago I had a letter published in the Archives of Ophthalmology titled:  Corneal Abrasion From Accidental Instillation of Cyanoacrylate Into the Eye.  This letter described a 38-year-old woman was referred from a local emergency department to my office after accidentally putting instant nail glue into her left eye.  She had been taking gentamicin sulfate (antibiotics) drops to treat conjunctivitis, and had inadvertently mixed up the bottles, which looked similar to her.  I also stated that: There have been many accounts of accidental ocular instillation of cyanoacrylate adhesives. In 1982, a similarity in packaging of ophthalmic medications and the adhesive containers was noted to be a consumer safety problem. This case will illustrate that, five years later, this consumer safety problem still exists.

Well, this been 22 years since that letter, and the problem still exists today!  MyFox Phoenix did a story yesterday titled:   Woman Mistakes Superglue for Eye drops FDA to investigate medical mishap

She reached for eyedrops and instead used superglue -- and it happens a lot more often than you might think.

Irmgard Holm had cataract surgery last year. She mistakenly reached for what she thought was one of her half dozen eyedrop medications -- but the burning sensation that followed let her know something was seriously wrong.

It was superglue.

"The bottles are identical and I am not young anymore, but I am not senile," says Holm.

I guess the FDA is more concerned with the likes of Morris Waxler and his "LASIK-Bashing" than to concern itself with a true safety issue.  Its not too difficult to prohibit the bottling of substances toxic to the eye in similar containers! 

FDA, get with the program!!

September 27, 2010

1 to 2 Drinks a Day Lowers Cataract Incidence, I'll Drink to That!

In last month's American Journal of Ophthalmology was an interesting article, Alcohol Consumption and the Long-Term Incidence of Cataract and Cataract Surgery: The Blue Mountains Eye Study. This study evaluated if there was any correlation between alcohol consumption and cataract formation in over 3,500 people over the age of 49 years.

The results were very interesting:

  • After adjusting for age, gender, smoking, diabetes, myopia, socioeconomic status, and steroid use, total alcohol consumption of over 2 standard drinks per day was associated with a significantly increased likelihood of cataract surgery.
  • Abstinence from alcohol was also associated with increased likelihood of cataract surgery when compared to a total alcohol consumption of 1 to 2 standard drinks per day.

The conclusion:

A U-shaped association of alcohol consumption with the long-term risk of cataract surgery was found in this older cohort: moderate consumption was associated with 50% lower cataract surgery incidence, compared either to abstinence or heavy alcohol consumption.

This study seems to support the belief that moderate consumption of alcohol is beneficial to our health.  If you are looking for a good source for a wine deal, check out Cinderella Wine.  They offer a daily that expires at midnight.  What a great name! 

Just remember, stop after that second glass!!