Friday, September 6, 2013

Study: cataract patients who undergo surgery live longer

Study: cataract patients who undergo surgery live longer
A new study has found that people with cataract-related vision loss who undergo surgery for the condition have a 40% lower long-term mortality risk than those who opt not to have surgery, the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) said in a press release about a recently published study in its journal.
Researchers evaluated a total of 354 cataract patients aged 49 years and older enrolled in the Blue Mountains Eye Study between 1997 and 2007. Some had undergone cataract surgery while others had not. Subjects were evaluated five and 10 years after baseline exams.
The association between correction of cataract-related visual impairment and reduced mortality risk is not clearly understood, but plausible factors may include improvements in physical and emotional well-being, optimism, greater confidence associated with independent living after vision improvement, as well as greater ability to comply with prescription medications, AAO said. The study acknowledged that participants with cataract-related visual impairment who did not have cataract surgery could have had other health problems preventing them from undergoing surgery, and that these other health problems could partly explain the poorer survival among non-surgical participants.

My practice focuses on diagnosis, evaluation and treatment of cataracts.  If you or your family member need an evaluation, feel free to call our office and schedule a consultation at (949) 650-1863.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Kids! Get outdoors and get rid of glasses!

There has been additional evidence that the more time children spend outside the better chance they have to stay out of glasses.  Majority of school age children need to wear glasses to correct nearsightedness or myopia.  Myopia gets worse during the teenage growth spurt.  It is imperative for elementary school children to have at least an hour of outdoor playtime.  A review of scientific literature found a significant protective association between increasing time spent outdoors and prevalent myopia in nearly 10 000 children and adolescents aged ≤20 years.  Each increase in hours per week of time spent outdoors was associated with a 2% reduced odds of myopia (nearsightedness).  An increase in 7 hours of time spent outdoors per week (1 hr/d) equates to less nearsightedness.

 There are a myriad of possible mechanisms by which spending time outdoors may protect against the development and progression of myopia (nearsightedness). They include increased release of retinal dopamine in response to sunlight (dopamine inhibits axial elongation in experimental myopia,and the protective effect can be blocked by the dopamine antagonist spiperone), increased light intensity outdoors (leading to pupil constriction, increasing depth of focus, decreasing blur, and slowing of eye growth), and the low accommodative demand (focusing) for distance vision. 

Bright light has been shown to be protective of myopia in animal experiments using ultraviolet-free light.  Based on that evidence, one might support an old myth not to read in poorly lit rooms.  More focusing power is required to read in poorly lit rooms and it is the focusing muscle (ciliary body) if placed in overdrive will lead to development of nearsightedness.

Because there is no protective association between indoor sports and myopia, unlike outdoor sports, it suggests that physical activity may be a surrogate for outdoor activity. This is supported by a cohort study with 2 years of follow-up in 156 university students where physical activity time was higher in nonmyopes and associated with hyperopic refraction (0.175 D per hour of physical activity per day; P = 0.015) after adjustment for potential confounders, although there were no differences in objectively measured physical fitness levels between myopes and nonmyopes (P = 0.321).

Get your kids outside and take advantage of the great summer weather!  Just don't forget the sunglasses!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Incoming ...ball! Protect your eyes while staying active!

In my clinic I frequently see patients who were unfortunate to experience a direct hit to the eye from a stray baseball, raquetball, tennis ball, or a golf ball.  I had seen devastating injuries from players being elbowed during a regular amatuer basketball game.  The list of sports that can threaten your vision and eye health can go on and on.  Fortunately, over the years, the sport industry has learned to protect the players but it is the player himself who opts out of protection gear is the one who suffers.

For those of us who choose to wear glasses and do not wish to undergo LASIK or wear soft contact lenses, you should know about a website  I have no financial interest in this business.  I detest spending hundreds unnecesary dollars on glasses.  Therefore, I endorse this website because it provides affordable protective gear for an active person.  One can order prescription goggles in both distance and bifocal correction.  It is, in fact, one of my patients who recently was hit by a raquetball, who recommended this site to me.  He did not wear protective raquetball goggles because he usually wears his large executive style bifocal glasses.  Now he can protect his eyes with polycarbonate lenses that have a built in bi-focal prescription for a fraction of the cost of your neighborhood optical store.

One can also look at magnetic clip on sunglasses that can turn any prescription pair into a protective layer against damaging UV-A and UV-B rays.  I encourage you to get outside this summer, put on your glasses and titanium based sunblock such as Australian lizzard or MD 41 and enjoy yourself!