Smoking: Connection to Macular Degeneration & Cataracts

A novel study in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, and the University of Newcastle found that smokers develop age-related macular degeneration five-and-a-half years earlier than non-smokers. Moreover, people who suffer from second-hand smoke are twice as likely to develop age-related macular degeneration. 

Jude Stern, head of Knowledge Management from the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness said, “Smoking increases your risk of developing serious eye conditions and permanent sight loss. Quitting smoking and having regular eye tests can help improve eye health and prevent avoidable sight loss.” 

The only way to restore vision after a cataract diagnosis is to surgically remove and replace the cloudy lens. Annually, roughly 94 million people have significant or extreme distance vision impairment or blindness due to undiagnosed cataracts. 

Cataracts are the world’s leading cause of blindness and can develop slowly without pain. 

People who use e-cigarettes are not safe, either: these devices can produce free radicals, damaging DNA and leading to cataracts or poor vision. Also, retinal function might be diminished by the use of e-cigarettes since they can reduce blood flow to the eyes, leading to an increased risk of eye cancer. 

Vinayak Prasad, head of the No Tobacco Unit at the World Health Organization said, “WHO urges everyone not to use tobacco and e-cigarettes to protect their overall health, including eye health.” 

There are several other tactics people can try to limit their risk of cataracts, including the following lifestyle changes: 

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce alcohol consumption
  • Limit UV exposure
  • Get routine eye exams
  • Control related conditions (hypertension, obesity, chronic kidney disease, diabetes)
  • Reduce your weight
  • Ingest antioxidants (omega-3, lutein, zeaxanthin, flaxseed, bilberry, turmeric, walnuts)

Cataracts might seem inevitable, but cutting your risk can be an easy way to mitigate a diagnosis. 

Are you suffering from cataracts? Contact the experts at Zen Eye Institute to schedule a consultation today. 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center is now Zen Eye Institute! We offer the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com

FDA Seeks to Improve Patient Communication

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued draft guidance to help ensure that information is available to both patients and health care professionals that clearly communicates the benefits and risks of LASIK devices. Manufacturers are prompted to include this data within their product labeling. In addition, the FDA recommends that manufacturers consider including information about how to use their devices safely and effectively and any clinical trials performed on their products.

The FDA has been concerned that patients may not get all the information they need about LASIK surgery, which can sometimes lead to complications. Patient safety is a top priority for the FDA; therefore, they brought forward this guidance to improve patient communication.

“It is important to provide patients with comprehensive labeling that clearly describes the risks involved with LASIK surgery, including potential adverse effects such as dry eye, pain and discomfort, and visual symptoms,” said Jeff Shuren, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

Dr. Shuren continues, “These proposed labeling recommendations, based on extensive consultation with stakeholders and patients, are intended to present information about LASIK in language that is easy to read and understand and include images that convey visual symptoms that could occur following LASIK.”  

This draft guidance is based on the FDA’s understanding of current industry practices for labeling LASIK devices and feedback from patient groups, industry representatives, and other stakeholders. The agency believes this guidance will help ensure that all the necessary information is available to the patients and health care providers to communicate without leaving any stone unturned about the benefits and risks of LASIK surgery.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Cataract Surgery with Irregular Corneas

Irregular corneas can throw a wrench into one of the most common, successful, and safest procedures throughout the United States: cataract surgery. Happy patients are ever present thanks to advances in lens design and preoperative refractive calculations. But there are challenges with patients who present irregular corneas, which can lead to cataract surgery complications. 

Irregular corneas are considered either obstructed, which means a scar in the visual axis is occluding the patient’s view, or distorted, which means the shape of the cornea is irregular. 

Surgeons must figure out what sort of asymmetry is present in the patient’s eye before they can perform a successful surgery. By mapping the cornea, surgeons can closely examine the surface to reduce adverse outcomes. 

Irregular astigmatism can result from damage to the cornea due to an infectious or inflammatory process that affects the shape. Ocular surface disease is the most common form of corneal irregularity, including tear film instability and dry eye disease. Dry eyes can dramatically affect refractive outcomes in patients. Other typical origins of irregular corneas include keratoconus, anterior basement membrane dystrophy, and Salzmann’s nodular degeneration. In patients with these conditions, the surgeon will need to see improvement on a topography prior to lens selection and surgery. 

In specific cases for patients with regular astigmatism, the solution can be simple: pick out a toric lens. Unfortunately, this is not an option for many corneal disease patients. Scleral lenses are an option for patients who have irregular astigmatism. These come in both hard and soft forms, and a newer option such as the Prose device, which boasts more specific patient customization.

Before the patient can have cataract surgery, treatments for corneal issues should be addressed and fully healed. If any of the underlying issues (dry eye, for example) return, a more intense regimen is administered to ensure the disease turns around more quickly. 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

LASIK Procedures Double Since Pandemic

Laser eye surgery gained popularity during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the American Refractive Surgery Council (RSC). Compared to 2020, the RSC saw 32 percent more laser vision correction procedures in 2021. 

According to the RSC, “The total procedure volume for 2021 topped 833,000 for the first time since RSC began tracking LASIK, SMILE, and PRK procedures in 2015, demonstrating a significant consumer shift toward refractive surgery options to glasses and contacts.” 

Some factors contributing to the rise in LASIK popularity include more people working from home, foggy glasses while wearing a mask, dry eyes, an increase in contact lens wearers, and more. Since more people started prioritizing their health, self-care also experienced a boom. Money once saved for travel and entertainment is now being allocated for self-care. 

Moreover, patients who experience LASIK have been more inclined to tell friends and family about their positive experiences, which trickles down the referral pipeline. 

Younger adults seem to be driving the increase in LASIK patients, with the average age being 34 years old, a seven-year difference from the early 2000s. 

Since Laser Sight Technologies Inc.’s Kremer Excimer Laser System was granted U.S. approval in 1998, an initial boom in the early 2000s was followed by a slow pace during the Great Recession. In early 2004, online searches for LASIK peaked and bottomed out earlier this year. When the pandemic hit, searches spiked, and now the industry is set to hit $4.1 billion in sales by 2027, more than doubling 2018’s total. 

Quarantines and social distancing caused weight gain and much more self-consciousness due to up-close-and-personal video chats. Spikes in Botox injections, breast implants, and repairing droopy eyelids were also seen during the pandemic. 

If more people are working out of the office, they have ample opportunity to recover in the privacy of their own home after certain procedures. Whereas before, it was almost taboo to take time off, now, people can get these procedures done without anybody at work knowing about it. 

But it’s not just elective surgeries seeing the spike; knee, hip, and ankle replacements are also picking up after the initial Covid wave. LASIK has an advantage over the other procedures, as the recovery period is quite minimal. After a brief consultation, patients can have surgery the same day and notice better vision within a few hours. 

Now is the time to schedule your LASIK eye procedure appointment. Call the experts at Rohr today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Improving Eye Health with Nutrients

Healthy, strong eyesight is vital to our everyday lives, though many of us take extra precautions against eye damage. To help improve eye function, shield against harmful Ultraviolet (UV) rays, and minimize the chances of developing degenerative diseases, check out the following nutrients. 

Vitamin A
One of the most common causes of blindness throughout the globe is Vitamin A deficiency. Essential for sustaining photoreceptors, a deficiency of Vitamin A can result in night blindness, dry eyes, or worse, blindness. Vitamin A is found in liver, egg yolks, dairy products, kale, spinach, and carrots.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Yellow carotenoid antioxidants, these macular pigments are concentrated in your retina and act as a natural sunblock. They protect your eyes from harmful blue light. Ingesting these nutrients can lower the chances of macular degeneration by as much as 43 percent. Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in spinach, Swiss chard, kale, parsley, pistachios, green peas, egg yolks, sweet corn, and red grapes. 

Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids such as EPA and DHA are essential for optimal eye health. DHA helps to optimize eye function and is crucial for eye development in infants, so a deficiency can impair vision in children. The combination of EPA and DHA can increase tears, thereby reducing dry eyes. They also prevent other eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. These nutrients can be found in oily fish.

Vitamin C
This antioxidant is indispensable for eye health, as the levels of Vitamin C have been found to be higher in the eye than any other bodily fluid. People with cataracts generally have decreased antioxidants; those taking vitamin C supplements are less likely to develop cataracts. Fruits and vegetables, including bell peppers, citrus fruits, grapes, kale, and broccoli are high in vitamin C.  

Zinc
This nutrient is an essential enzyme and is suspected to be involved in the formation of visual pigments in your eye. Those who are night blind might suffer from zinc deficiency. Macular degeneration can be slowed by supplementing zinc, and visual sharpness can also be improved. Zinc can be found in oysters, meat, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts. 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/ 

Human Eyes Revived After Death by Scientists

A study published in Nature outlines how scientists at the University of Utah and Scripps Research restored life in human eyes after death. A team of researchers tracked activity in both mouse and human retinal cells soon after their passing. After only a few hours and a couple of tissue adjustments, scientists were able to revive the cells’ ability to communicate. 

B-waves, which are specific electrical signals, are typically seen in living retinas and indicate active communication between cells. Scientists were able to reignite the deceased eye cells with light stimulation. 

This novel discovery is the first of its kind, leading scientists to speculate further about death when pertaining to the central nervous system.

Biomedical scientist, Fatima Abbas from the University of Utah, said, “We were able to wake up photoreceptor cells in the human macula, which is the part of the retina responsible for our central vision and our ability to see fine detail and color. In eyes obtained up to five hours after an organ donor’s death, these cells responded to bright light, colored lights, and even very dim flashes of light.” 

Visual scientist, Frans Vinberg from the University of Utah, said, “We were able to make the retinal cells talk to each other, the way they do in the living eye to mediate human vision. Past studies have restored very limited electrical activity in organ donor eyes, but this has never been achieved in the macula, and never to the extent we have now demonstrated.”

Retinal cells prodded by the researchers reacted to light for just about five hours after passing; however, the b-wave signals immediately ceased due to a lack of oxygen. 

The study authors wrote, “Since the retina is part of the CNS, our restoration of the b-wave in this study raises the question of whether brain death, as it is currently defined, is truly irreversible.”

Vinberg said, “The scientific community can now study human vision in ways that just aren’t possible with laboratory animals. We hope this will motivate organ donor societies, organ donors, and eye banks by helping them understand the exciting new possibilities this type of research offers.” 

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: https://www.cpsmi.com/

Aphantasia Could Be Diagnosed Based on Pupil Size

Pupil size fluctuates to let just the right amount of light into the eye. Vision is improved by contracting the brightness and dilating in the dark. New research shows that beyond light changes, pupil size might also change based on perceptual and cognitive circumstances. 

Mental imagery was shown to facilitate pupillary responses to light in this study published in the Association for Psychological Science (APS). 

Another study, published in the Journal of Vision (JoV), suggests the pupil constricts in response to a high-light luminance object in a photo, such as the sun. 

A condition known as aphantasia is diagnosed as the inability to produce mental images in the mind. Aphantasia can stem from birth or manifest later in life, despite being otherwise healthy. Researchers studied pupillary responses of people who experience aphantasia to better understand how the brain’s visual and ocular reflexes work.

The study, published in eLife, compared the pupillary responses of people with and without aphantasia. 

Professor Julia Simner leads the MULTISENSE lab at the University of Sussex and was not involved in the study. After analyzing the data, she said, “The fascinating finding reported here is that people imagining light or dark objects show the same type of pupillary action as we would normally find when the eyes are exposed to light and dark objects in the real world. This suggests that their imagination is treated [as] a simulation of the real world. [Meanwhile,] people with aphantasia — who imagine in a more abstract way because they cannot build a picture in their mind’s eye — don’t show the same effect.”

The study participants were asked to imagine 32 white or gray shapes while their pupil size was measured. Other experiments were conducted, as well as a questionnaire. Researchers concluded that people without aphantasia reacted to perceived and imagined luminous images, which affected their pupillary size. Those with aphantasia did not note a change in pupillary size when perceiving or imagining luminous images. 

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Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 to learn more.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

EverTears Innovative Dry Eye Treatment Expands

An effective treatment for dry eyes has emerged from a collaboration between an industry leader in dry eye treatment and an innovative medical device startup. Mann Eye Institute and ThermaMEDx partnered to evaluate EverTears, a novel combination of a self-heating eye compress with a pre-moistened cleansing pad.

Carl Sweat, a co-founder of ThermaMEDx, said that EverTears is designed to provide a convenient, affordable, over-the-counter dry eye solution that is similar to standard, in-office treatments. With precise heat and eyelid cleaning, the novel patented technology provides relief for dry eyes and restores the eyes’ natural tear film. 

Dr. Dana Ondrias, Mann Eye Institute CEO and Executive Director, said, “Just as our founder, Dr. Mike Man, was one of the first doctors in America to perform refractive surgery in 1981, our dedicated staff embraces innovative solutions that advance patient care. Our doctors and staff began administering EverTears treatment for dry eye patients last year and we’ve been pleased with both patient feedback and improvement in their underlying MGD.” 

Ben Nobles, co-founder of ThermaMEDx, said, “Texas is the epicenter of dry eye disease in America and innovative organizations like Mann Eye Institute are at the forefront of bringing the latest technologies to their patients. We are committed to support the implementation of EverTears as the best treatment for dry eyes related to meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).”

Have concerns regarding the health and vision of your eyes? Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Rohr today!

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Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

LASIK Implantable Lens Alternative on the Horizon

After years of seeking FDA approval for its implanted vision-correcting lens, Staar Surgical has successfully reached a regulatory milestone. The Evo/Evo+ Visian implanted collamer lens is designed to treat myopia (nearsightedness) with or without astigmatism and is an alternative to other vision correction options such as glasses or contacts.

Staar first applied for FDA review in 2019 but was given a denial early that year. In August 2019, the FDA approved a clinical study of the lens. Premarket has been approved, and the device has already been implanted in more than one million patients in more than 75 countries outside of the United States. 

Roughly one-third of the United States population (100 million people) between the ages of 21 and 45 who have myopia over -3.0D could be eligible to receive the device.

The Evo device is implanted between the iris and the crystalline lens in the posterior eye chamber, making it a swift procedure that does not require a preoperative peripheral iridotomy, where a laser is used to create a hole in the iris. 

Unlike LASIK surgery, Evo/Evo+ does not require the removal of corneal tissue and is removable by a doctor if necessary. Since myopia is becoming more common, the newly FDA-approved solution to vision loss is necessary. Forecasts imply almost half of the world’s population could be nearsighted by 2050.

Staar has been in the ophthalmic surgery field for more than 30 years, as they design, develop, manufacture, and market implantable lenses for the eye.

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Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing team at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com

Sleep Apnea Affects More Than Your Mood

According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea causes many people to stop breathing while sleeping, often multiple times per night. Those who suffer from this condition generally have ocular irritation, risk of floppy eyelids, dry tear ducts, and an increased risk of developing glaucoma.

There are different types of sleep apnea, the most common being Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), which causes the airways to be partially blocked because of relaxed muscles in the nose and throat. Apnea (the absence of breathing) or hypopnea (slow, shallow breathing) is twice as common in men. It also generally affects people with obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and/or heart disease.

When the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow regular breathing, sleep apnea occurs, causing lower-quality sleep. The body’s oxygen supply is also greatly affected, which can typically lead to serious health conditions. Contrary to the popular misconception, not all those who snore suffer from sleep apnea.

Interrupted sleep can cause a variety of issues such as fatigue, daytime tiredness, irritability, depression, headaches, difficulty concentrating, distractedness, or sore throats.

When it comes to the eyes, sleep apnea can cause several major issues:

  • Glaucoma: increased pressure within the eye can damage the optic nerve, leading to vision loss or blindness.
  • Floppy Eyelid Syndrome (FES): marked by an unusually large and floppy upper eyelid, FES can cause eye redness, irritation, discharge, and blurry vision.
  • Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION): symptoms occur when there is significant vision loss in one or both eyes without any pain, caused by a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve.
  • Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO): also called an eye stroke, it is categorized by a blockage within the small veins that carry blood away from the retina.

Other eye conditions correlated to sleep apnea include papilledema, keratoconus, and central serous chorioretinopathy.

Getting regular eye exams can prevent vision issues; contact Dr. Rohr’s office to schedule an appointment.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.