Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Macular Degeneration is Coming to the Boomers

Here they come! The Baby Boom Generation is entering the 65+ age group. It's likely that everything we have seen happen to their parents and grandparents will also happen to the Baby Boomers.

A recent study was published looking at the incidence (how frequent) of Macular Degeneration in a group of people who have been followed for generations. 9.8%, almost 10 PERCENT of individuals in the Beaver Dam Offspring study who were over 65 years of age had some form of macular degeneration.

So, what does that mean for the Baby Boom Generation. Well, unless there is a breakthrough in preventative medicine roughly 10% of the 65 million Boomers will get some form of macular degeneration by the time they are over 65. 6.5 million cases of macular degeneration will need treatment.

It turns out that early detection and careful follow-up are very important when it comes to saving vision when macular degeneration is the problem. The biggest risk factors are 1) Family History 2) Gender: woman get it more than men 3) Eye color: it's more common in people with light colored eyes, and 4) Smoking. In other words, the only risk factor you can make a big difference in is smoking. That's a pretty good reason to quit!

Everyone over the age of 60 should probably have an annual exam, but if you have a family history or macular degeneration why not make an appointment at Skvysion and get checked out!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Attack of the Killer Ragweed!

You can't say we didn't warn you! It's BAAAACCCKKKK!! Ragweed season is here and it's here in a big way. We've had all kinds of folks in the office already with red, itchy eyes to go with their sneezing and wheezing and runny noses.

So what to do? The best thing, of course, is to call Skvysion Centers and come in for a visit. All three of our doctors, Dr. Darrell White, Dr. Scott Schlegel, and Dr. Greg Kaye are experts in the treament of eye allergies, especially environmental allergies like Ragweed. A visit can help us determine if you need a prescription anti-histamine eye drop, a stronger steroid drop, or if you can get by with just an Over-the-Counter drop.

The two prescription drops that work the best in our opinion are ELESTAT and PAT-A-DAY, both advanced generation, multi-action anti-histamine drops. Many people find that the OTC drop ALOWAY very effective in treating itching as a symptom, even though it doesn't necessarily affect the underlying cause of the itch. We like them all!

Got red, itchy, teary eyes? Call us for an appointment!

Friday, August 27, 2010

What Is An Implant?

We're thinking a lot about cataract surgery at Skyvision Centers recently. Cataract surgery is a very gentle experience. We do it as an outpatient procedure--you come in, get it done, and go home on the same day! You're awake for the surgery. We do it under local anesthesia because it's safer for you and better for our surgeon, Dr. White. Our anesthesia assistants will give you something through your veins to relax you, and the special drops we use numb up your eye.

The surgery itself typically takes less than 10 minutes if Dr. White is the surgeon! We remove the cataract, replace it with a clear plastic implant, and then you go home.

Wait...IMPLANT? What's an implant? Well, glad you asked! An implant is a tiny lens called an "Intraocular Lens" or IOL that is place inside the eye, usually behind your pupil, and it take the place of the cataract lens that was removed. When we discuss your cataract surgery in the office a part of the discussion is about the lens implant or IOL you will receive as part of the cataract surgery experience. Here's an Eyemaginations LINK about cataract surgery and implants.

The two basic types of cataract implants or IOL's are "Traditional" and "Lifestyle". Let's talk about Traditional implants today. A traditional implant is like the top part of your glasses, it will focus at a single distance and it will take care of much of your nearsightedness or farsightedness. Since the IOL is clear it will dramatically improve your vision, and wait until you see how bright and vibrant colors will be! Most people will wear glasses after cataract surgery using a Traditional IOL, especially for reading but also often for things like driving as well.

Cataract surgery is one of the most important and exciting medical developments EVER! If your vision is blurry from cataracts be sure to talk to us at Skyvision Centers where we use the most advanced IOL's available!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

When Should I Have My Cataract Removed?

Dr. White has been know to say that everyone who lives long enough will get a cataract. Indeed, everyone who lives long enough will need cataract surgery, and the only shame of NOT having cataract surgery is that you didn't LIVE long enough! If that's the case, when is the right time to have a cataract removed?

Cataract surgery has changed dramatically over the last several decades. The very idea of when to have your cataract removed is now radically different. Remember hearing from your parents or your grandparents that someone had to wait until their cataract was "ripe" enough? In the past cataract surgery was so dicey that doctors made people wait until they were essentially blind befor agreeing to do surgery. That's not the case today.

Cataracts cause your vision to change, to become more blurry, darker, or fuzzier. Sometimes your glasses prescription starts to change frequently. You might even find yourself taking your glasses OFF to read, sometimes called "second sight". Colors may start to look strange or different. When these vision changes start to affect your daily life it's time to start to think about cataract surgery.

Different people have different problems from their cataracts. Some folks find it harder to drive, especially at night. Reading can become more difficult, and the smaller or lighter the printing the harder it gets! We often hear that our patients use the small print at the bottom of the TV screen, or the box scores on baseball or football telecasts. The most important symptom or problem is the one that's most important to YOU!

If you are older than 55 and your vision is getting blurry, or someone has told you that you might have a cataract, come on in to Skyvision Centers and let us take a look! 

Friday, August 13, 2010

What is a Cataract?

We do lots and lots of cataract surgery at Skyvision Centers. In fact, Dr. White is one of the most famous cataract surgeons in Cleveland. But just what is a cataract, anyway? What does it do to your vision?

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens that sits in back of our pupil, inside the eye. Although some folks get cataracts from medicines or other diseases, cataract growth is usually an aging change that occurs over time. Dr. White like to say that EVERYONE who lives long enough will get a cataract; the shame of NOT getting a cataract is that you didn't live long enough!

A cataract gradually causes your vision to become blurry. It usually happens pretty slowly, sneaking up on you. There are no medical treatments for a cataract. Once your cataract starts to cause enough trouble that glasses won't fix the only solution is surgery. Take a look at this Eyemaginations LINK for a couple of videos on cataracts and cataract surgery. We'll bring you lots of information on your cataract surgery options right here!

Don't forget to visit our website for more information on cataracts.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Here Comes the Ragweed!

Oh oh! You heard that right...HERE COMES THE RAGWEED!! It's almost that time of year again, that time when the ragweed pollen gets released here in Cleveland and all of our allergies explode. Runny noses, itchy noses, red and itchy eyes, they're all right around the corner.

Here's how it works: the pollen is something called an ANTIGEN, a substance that turns our immune system to the "on" position. The pollen activates cells in our body that have histamine in them, and this activation causes those cells to release the histamine into our blood stream. It's the histamine that causes all of our symptoms.

So what do we do? Well, as far as your eyes are concerned we have two really good prescription eye drops that work very well. PAT-A-DAY is a one time per day eyedrop that works very well, especially if you don't have any dry eye problems. The other option is ELESTAT, a two time a day drop that works well even if you do have dry eye. We like both of them at Skyvision.

So if you have annual allergies from ragweed now is the time to come in for a visit. Don't let that pollen getcha this year!