Multivitamin Supplement and Cataracts

manAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Study:
Long-term daily multivitamin supplement use decreases cataract risk in men, study finds. Long-term daily multivitamin supplement use may lower cataract risk in men, according to a study of nearly 15,000 male physicians. Half took a common daily multivitamin, as well as vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene supplements. The other half took a placebo. The researchers followed the participants to identify how many participants in each group developed new cases of two common eye diseases: cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Results showed a 9 percent decrease in risk for those that took the supplements.

Identifying the Gene Mutations that Cause Myopia

Researchers at Duke Medicine believe they have found the gene mutations that cause the common eye disorder myopia (nearsightedness). The Researchers have discovered that when the genes that regulate copper and oxygen in eye tissue mutate, they can result in high-grade myopia, a condition that has been linked to an increased risk for issues such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Retinal detachment
  • Cataracts

These findings, however preliminary, are paving the way for future research into copper deficiency and its link to high-grade myopia. Researchers are hoping to find a link that will enable them to help prevent serious disorders by addressing copper deficiency rather than necessitating more invasive procedures.

Protecting Your Eyes

High-grade myopia effects only two percent of the population, but myopia itself is the most common eye disorder in the United States. While there is no cure for myopia, it can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, and often through surgical procedures such as LASIK and PRK.

If you suffer from myopia and are interested in learning more about your options, talk to your ophthalmologist to find the solution that is best suited to meet your particular needs.

To find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area, please visit our Eye Doctor Directory today.

Protect Your Eyes from the Summer Sun

As we enter the sunny summer months, it is time once again to consider the impact of sun damage to the eyes and the most effective ways to protect your vision well into the future. Excessive unprotected exposure to sunlight can result in painful and damaging burns to your cornea. It has also been identified as a risk factor for things including:

  • Cataracts
  • Macular degeneration
  • Pterygia

The best way to avoid the harmful effects on the sun on eyesight is by wearing protective glasses at all times when outside.

Skimping is a Bad Idea

Cheap sunglasses are available at nearly every gas station and grocery store in the country. Many of these discount brands are cost effective, but despite their claims of “broad UVA/UVB protection,” they may actually do more harm than good.

Your pupils dilate in lower-light conditions, allowing more sunlight to enter into the inner chambers of your eyes. Discount sunglasses make things darker, but often fail to live up to their claims of UV protection, allowing harmful rays of light to penetrate deep into your lens and retina.

Sunglasses purchased through an eye doctor may seem more expensive, but their quality and protection far outweigh their initial costs. When it comes to protecting your eyes from sun damage, you deserve the most effective option available.

If you are looking for the latest sunglasses styles to protect your eyes this summer, please visit our Eye Doctor Directory to find a well-stocked ophthalmologist in your area today.

Cataract Symptoms

Cataracts are one of the leading causes of blindness among people over the age of 65. The condition is marked by a clouding of your eye’s lens, which prevents light from focusing properly on the retina.

You will most likely not see any symptoms when cataracts first start forming in your eye’s lens. In this early phase, cataracts are so small that they do not block enough light for you to notice a difference in your vision. In addition, you will not experience ay pain, itching, swelling, or redness.

As cataracts continue to develop, the clouded portion of your lens will expand. This causes light to scatter, resulting in dimness or fogginess in your vision. Other cataract symptoms may include:

  • Night vision problems such as halos and glare
  • Increased light sensitivity
  • Fading colors
  • Frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription
  • Ghosting (double vision) in one eye

These symptoms may impact your ability to perform daily tasks, and they may even prevent you from driving at night.

In the early stages, cataracts can be treated by updating your eyeglass prescription. However, once they expand and block more of your vision, you will likely need cataract surgery to correct the condition. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective procedure which removes your eye’s clouded natural lens and replaces it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Failure to treat cataracts may eventually result in a loss of vision.

Please contact us today to find a qualified cataract surgeon in your area.

Blinded by Vodka, Cured by Whiskey

You probably know some of the causes of blindness such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. What you may not know is this: combining vodka and diabetes medication can take your sight as well.

Denis Duthie, a tutor at West Plymouth’s Western Institute of Technology in Taranaki, New Zealand, was celebrating his parent’s 50th wedding anniversary with a bottle of vodka gifted to him by his students. This relatively benign action ended in a loss of sight when the alcohol in the vodka interacted with his diabetes medication. At first, Mr. Duthie assumed he had simply drank too much and decided to sleep it off, but when the problem persisted the following morning, he sought medical assistance at his local hospital.

During his examination, doctors noticed a “smell of nail polish” coming from Mr. Duthie. Diagnostics found that he was actually suffering from formaldehyde poisoning which, in this case, was due to the interaction between the vodka and Mr. Dutie’s diabetes medication resulting in the production of methanol.

Methanol Poisoning

When your body metabolizes dangerous quantities of methanol it results in too much acid in your bloodstream. Excessive amounts of acid in the bloodstream can damage or kill important cells in your optic nerve. Left unchecked, methanol poisoning can cause permanent damage to the optic nerve, resulting in a complete loss of vision.

Fortunately, this wasn’t the case for Mr. Duthie, but the solution may surprise you. Doctors at Taranaki Base Hospital needed to act quickly to prevent Mr. Duthie’s body from metabolizing more methanol. Their solution? Whiskey.

The ethanol in unadulterated liquor such as whiskey prevents the body from metabolizing methanol. Sadly, Mr. Duthie did not get to enjoy his shot of Johnny Walker Black Label. The doctors decided the fastest and most effective way to administer the ethanol was through a tube in Mr. Duthie’s stomach. Five days later, Mr. Duthie’s vision was restored.

Alcohol is not commonly associated with helping vision, but in the case of Denis Duthie, whiskey cured more than the blues. This is not, however, a suggestion to drink whiskey to treat vision disorders. If you are suffering from any vision disturbances, you should visit your ophthalmologist for a throughout examination and professional treatment.

If you would like more information about preventing blindness and maintaining optimal vision, please find an experienced eye doctor in your area through eyes.com today.

Study Links Increase in Vision Loss to Rise in Diabetes

For those who don’t already know, diabetes can cause blindness, especially long-term. A new study from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine’s Wilmer Eye Institute states that vision loss has increased a whopping 20 percent in a decade. They blame the rise in diabetes for this rise.

Nonrefractive vision impairment, like glaucoma and cataracts, requires surgery or laser therapy, and is often caught too late. When diabetes strikes younger people, these vision impairments are likely to come at a much younger age. When people have diabetes for ten or more years, vision loss risks skyrocket. And according to the study, adults younger than 40 who have had diabetes for ten or more years, doubled from 0.3 to 0.7 percent during testing from 1999 to 2002 and 2005 to 2008.

The study acknowledges that there is no proof that diabetes is the singular factor in the rise of vision loss, however the association is certainly there, and the only indicator that got worse and worse as the study went on.

What this means for the future is more people who are dependent on others in getting around, restricted driver’s licenses, as well as other problems that simply come from younger people who are considered overweight or obese.

It was also noted that everyone with diabetes in England is screened regularly for vision problems, which can eliminate blindness related to the disease. However, only about half of diabetics in the US are screened regularly.

If you have diabetes and need to have your eyes checked, find an experienced eye doctor in your area through eyes.com today.

Cataract Surgery Recovery

Cataract surgery enjoys a high success rate in restoring vision, and it is also accompanied by a relatively brief recovery period.

Your ophthalmologist will review your cataract surgery recovery guidelines with you in detail prior to your procedure. In most cases, patients are able to resume normal, low-impact activities the day following surgery and notice the full results of their vision improvement within a month.

Cataract surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under local or topical anesthetic, so you will need someone to drive you home after your cataract surgery. A protective eye shield will be placed over your eye. While you may be able to remove this shield several hours later, you will need to replace it over your eye any time you are asleep for the week following cataract surgery.

Your vision may seem cloudy or blurry when you first remove your eye shield; this is normal, since it takes time for your body to adapt to the new intraocular lens that has been placed. Although most people are able to return to their normal, daily activities within a day or two after cataract surgery, there are a few key tips to follow to help ensure a smooth, comfortable recovery:

  • Apply antibiotic eye drops as prescribed to you by your eye doctor
  • Avoid strenuous activities such as intense exercise or heavy lifting for a few weeks
  • Take care to protect your eyes from wind, dust and other irritants for a few weeks following cataract surgery
  • Do not swim or use a hot tub within the first week after cataract surgery
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes

Most patients will experience the full results of their vision improvement within a week to six weeks following cataract surgery. It’s important to remember that everyone heals at a different rate, and individual experiences during recovery may vary.

If you would like to learn more about surgery to correct cataracts, please contact Eyes.com to find an experienced eye doctor near you.

Antioxidant Shows Promise in Preventing Degenerative Vision Problems

A research group at the Missouri University of Science and Technology are testing an antioxidant that may prevent cataracts and other degenerative eye disorders, including macular degeneration.

Age-related eye problems are thought to currently affect at least 30 million Americans, and macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in those over age 65. Although there are treatments that can slow the progression of age-related vision disorders, there is currently no cure for cataracts and macular degeneration.

However, early research led by Dr. Nuran Ercal has shown success with eyedrops that contain the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine amide in treating certain degenerative eye disorders. This particular antioxidant is thought to be effective in part because it is rich in glutathione, which helps stave off the cellular damage caused by conditions like macular degeneration.

The research team recently received a three-year grant to continue study. Preliminary testing showed the antioxidant eyedrops to slow cataract growth in rats with cataracts and prevent cataracts from forming in rats without the condition.

Further study will focus in part on whether the solution can also reverse the effects of degeneration. The potential for treatment in humans is not yet known, but researchers hope that ongoing success in animal subjects will eventually lead to human applications.

If you would like to learn more about macular degeneration, cataracts or other degenerative vision disorders, please contact eyes.com to locate an experienced eye doctor near you.

Are You Too Old For LASIK?

There is no definite upper age limit for LASIK. Your general health and the health of your eyes are much bigger factors in deciding your LASIK candidacy than your age. As you get older, however, you will probably face different age-related vision problems that LASIK cannot correct, such as presbyopia and cataracts.

Cataract surgery must be performed before LASIK surgery is possible. If you are past your early 40s and are starting to experience presbyopia symptoms, you may still need to use reading glasses after undergoing LASIK. Since presbyopia is a problem with your lens, not your cornea, LASIK cannot directly treat it, although it can still correct your distance vision.

A different LASIK option for older patients is monovision. This treatment, which can be achieved with LASIK techniques, is designed as an alternative to reading glasses. With monovision, one of your eyes is corrected for distance vision, while the other is corrected for near vision. Your brain decides which eye should be used depending on the object you are focusing on.

If you have further questions about LASIK candidacy, find an experienced ophthalmologist in your area today to schedule an initial consultation.

Researchers Analyze Cataract Prevention with Antioxidant

Researchers from the Missouri University of Science and Technology are working with an antioxidant that they hope will prevent or cure degenerative eye diseases, including cataracts.

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the US, since virtually everyone experiences cataracts at some point in their lives. However, researchers hope that by using eye drops containing the antioxidant N-acetylcysteine amide (NACA or sometimes AD4) they can slow, prevent, or even cure cataracts without surgery.

The advantage of NACA is that it can pass cellular membranes at lower concentrations so it can potentially be used at lower doses than related compounds, which can decrease the risk of side effects and make dosing easier and more convenient. The compound’s antioxidant power comes from glutathione, the primary cellular antioxidant, recognized by Dr. Oz among others for its potentially therapeutic power.

Previous research on NACA compound by members of this team has contributed to the development of a promising Alzheimer’s treatment, which is being evaluated but has not yet been approved.

To test the impact of NACA on cataracts, the researchers exposed rats to L-buthionine-S,R,-sulfoximide, a compound that causes cataracts to form. Rats given the BSO formed cataracts, but rats given both the BSO and NACA did not form cataracts. Researchers hope that with the help of a three-year grant from the National Eye Institute, they can further develop the work to establish an appropriate dosage and identify any possible side effects.

The use of this powerful antioxidant is one of many promising avenues of research for cataract prevention and cure, but until these are realized, cataract surgery remains the only treatment available.

If you are suffering from cataracts and want to learn more about the most advanced treatment options available, please contact a local eye doctor today for a consultation.