Saturday, July 18, 2009

Popular dietary supplement may help prevent cataract

From the Eye Care Blog:

July 16th, 2009
LONDON - Evidence from tissue culture experiments show that popular dietary supplement carnosine may help prevent and treat cataracts, which is a leading cause of vision loss worldwide.
Enrico Rizzarelli from the University of Catania (Italy) who led the study and colleagues note that the only effective treatment for cataracts is surgical replacement of the lens, the clear disc-like structure inside the eye that focuses light on the nerve tissue of the eye.
Cataracts develop when the main structural protein in the lens, alpha-crystallin, forms abnormal clumps. The clumps make the lens cloudy and impair vision. Previous studies hinted that carnosine may help block the formation of these clumps.
The scientists exposed tissue cultures of healthy rat lenses to either guanidine - a substance known to form cataracts - or a combination of guanidine and carnosine.
The guanidine lenses became completely cloudy, while the guanidine/carnosine lenses developed 50 to 60 percent less cloudiness, said a release of the American Chemical Society (ACS).
Carnosine also restored most of the clarity to clouded lenses. The results demonstrate the potential of using carnosine for preventing and treating cataracts, the scientists said.
The study will be published July 28 in Biochemistry.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Feast Your Eyes on This!

Excerpts from the Eye Care Blog:

Chefs including host of the Food Network's Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller and author of "Robin Rescues Dinner" have submitted delicious recipes that everyone will love and that are good for your eyes, in a recent meet organised by EyeCare America.

Checkout whether your food is healthy for your eyes by visiting and downloading the free cookbook.

Approximately 1 million Canadians suffer from Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a devastating eye disease and a leading cause of vision loss in people 65 years or older in the Canada.

What is Age-related Macular Degeneration?

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is a degenerative condition of the It is the most common cause of vision loss in the United States in those 50 or older, and its prevalence increases with age. AMD is caused by hardening of the arteries that nourish the retina. This deprives the sensitive retinal tissue of oxygen and nutrients that it needs to function and thrive.As a result, the central vision deteriorates.

How is Age-related Macular Degeneration caused?
Sometimes the delicate cells of the macula are damaged and stop functioning. The exact cause is not known although it tends to happen as people get older. This is called age-related macular degeneration. The most common types of macular degeneration are the dry [atrophic] and the wet [exudative]. The dry type is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula. The wet type results from the formation of abnormal blood vessels under the macula which leak fluid or blood and blur the central vision. Children and young people can also suffer from an inherited form of macular degeneration called macular dystrophy, which can sometimes affect several members from the same family.

What are the symptoms of AMD?

Symptoms of macular degeneration:
Blurred or distorted central vision
Colours look dim
Words on a page look blurred
Straight lines appear distorted
Dark or empty areas appear in the center of vision

This makes activities like reading, writing and recognizing small objects or faces very difficult.
Although there is no cure for AMD, recent studies show that eating foods rich in antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3 fatty acids, beta carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc, may reduce the risk of AMD, or slow its progression in some people.

So keeping in mind, the chefs submitted the following list of food items to suit the requirement of eyes.
  • Most fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, green peppers and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin E can be found in vegetable oils (safflower and corn oil), almonds, pecans, wheat germ and sunflower seeds.
  • For beta-carotene, try deep orange or yellow fruits and vegetables such as cantaloupe, mangos, apricots, peaches, sweet potatoes and carrots.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, and asparagus are the primary sources of lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Good sources of zinc include beef, pork, lamb, oysters, eggs, shellfish, milk, peanuts, whole grains and wheat germ.
  • Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids are leafy green vegetables, nuts, fish, and vegetable oils such as canola, soy, and especially flaxseed.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The laser that can halt blindness and offer hope for millions

By David DerbyshireLast updated at 8:00 AM on 06th July 2009

A revolutionary laser treatment could save the sight of millions, British experts claim.
The process is said to stop the onset of age-related macular degeneration, one of the commonest forms of blindness, which leaves victims unable to read, drive or live independently.
It can be carried out in just ten to 15 minutes by any ophthalmologist. While it does not cure sight loss, its creators say it could prevent a generation from having to put up with declining vision in old age.

A sight for sore eyes: Professor John Marshall announced a new laser technique which could prevent millions of older people from going blind

People with a family history of the disease could have pre-emptive treatment in their thirties.
The technique is said to be safe and painless and could save the NHS millions of pounds in treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD). It could even stop the disease getting worse in existing patients.
Medical charities welcomed the breakthrough but warned that it might not be available to the public for several years.
AMD is caused by damage to an area about 5mm across at the centre of the retina called the macula, which is responsible for our central vision.
The disease is the leading cause of blindness in the over- sixties, and around 200,000 Britons are registered as blind or partially sighted because of it.

There is no treatment for the most common 'dry' form. The more aggressive 'wet' version, in which new blood vessels cause bleeding and scarring behind the retina, can be stabilised with drugs.
The technique is the brainchild of Professor John Marshall, an ophthalmologist at King's College London who pioneered laser surgery to correct shortsightedness.
Professor Marshall, who hopes the treatment could be available in a couple of years, said: 'It is really exciting news. It won't bring back damaged eyesight but it may prevent AMD.'
The technique rejuvenates the 'Bruch's membrane' - a thin layer that lies behind the retina.
This provides the retina's light-sensitive cells with nutrients and removes waste created as a by-product of the way retina cells renew themselves.
But the membrane's cells eventually lose the ability to take waste away, allowing deposits to build up.
It can then become so damaged that the retina's lightsensitive cells start to die off. In a trial involving more than 100 diabetics, Professor Marshall found that using a laser stimulated the membrane's tired, ageing cells into action.
After the cells were ' energised' by the laser, they began to clean up the waste again.
Patients also said the treatment led to a ' marked improvement' in their sight.
The non-invasive operation uses a laser modified to give pulses of light that do not damage the eye's light-sensitive cells or cause any dangerous heating of the target area.
Professor Marshall will now treat up to 200 people with AMD in one eye as part of a second trial. Such patients usually get the disease in the other eye within three years.
He wants to see if the laser prevents the good eye losing its sight. 'If you can delay the onset by three, four, six, seven or ten years, it's proof of the principle,' he said.
Tom Pey, of Guide Dogs for the Blind, which funded the research, said: 'This is potentially a huge breakthrough for millions. The science behind it is proven.'
The Macular Disease Society said: 'If this works, then it's very exciting. However, it will be years before this could be ready for use.'

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Optomap Retinal Exam Can Help Detect Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Retinal Holes, Eye Tumors and More…Featured on The Doctors TV Show

Excerpts from Visionary Eye Care Blog:
The Optomap Retinal Examination is currently available at the Bedford Eye Care Centre in Sunnyside Mall in Bedford, N.S.

This incredible technology allows your Eye Doctor to scan the internal lining of your eye called the retina and save this image on the computer for year to year comparisons. The retina has about 1 million nerve fibers in it and is an extension of your brain. The retina is also the ONLY place in the human body where a doctor can observe working nerve fibers and blood vessels WITHOUT cutting into the body. Subtle eye health changes can be documented, monitored and compared each year.

Your retina can show early signs of systemic problems that can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and more. Your retina can also demonstrate eye health issues such as Glaucoma, Retinal Detachment, Macular Degeneration and Eye Tumors and/or Eye Cancer.

The TV show called “The Doctors” aired a segment discussing the Optomap Retinal Scan and the benefits of this technology during your yearly eye examination to preserve BOTH your eye health and your systemic health.

At the Bedford Eye Care Centre, we have found the Optomap Retinal Scanner to be invaluable in the detection and documentation of many eye and systemic diseases. I have personally found a number of pathologies that I would not have been able to see well enough without the assistance of this incredible technology. It also allows me to more accurately follow the progression of a disease or improvements after treatment. In addition, it’s wonderful to be able to educate the patient properly about their eye condition by showing them their image and we also email the images to specialists when making referrals.

Sample pictures:
Macular Degeneration Retinal Detachment

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Saturday, July 4, 2009

Latisse. Making your eyelashes thicker & longer.

Who would have guessed that an anti-glaucoma drug would now be used to make your eyelashes thicker and longer?
One of the side effects of bimatoprost, an anti-glaucoma drug is an increase in length and fullness of eyelashes. Patients are often warned of this side-effect before taking the medication.
However, what may be a side-effect to one person, can be a benefit to another!
In December, 2008, the FDA in the US approved the drug for cosmetic use. Instead of putting the drop in your eye to lower eye pressure, you paint it along the skin on the upper lid margin near the lashes to improve the appearance of eyelashes.
Study results showed the eyelashes of patients that were treated with Latisse typically grew 25% longer, 106% thicker and 18% darker. A small amount of patients (3.6%) experienced eye itching and red eyes.
You can expect to see longer, fuller, and darker eyelashes in as little as eight weeks, with full results in 16 weeks. To maintain desired results, continued treatment with Latisse is required. Therefore, if you discontinue using Latisse, your eyelashes will gradually return to where they were before you started using the product.
The drug is still not approved in Canada, but Health Canada is investigating its release in our country.
Here is some information from the manufacturer, Allergan:



Get ready for an innovation in lashes.
LATISSE® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03% is the first and only prescription treatment approved by the FDA for inadequate or not having enough eyelashes, growing them longer, fuller and darker.
LATISSE® works effectively.
LATISSE® makes lash growth possible because of its active ingredient: bimatoprost. Although the precise mechanism of action is not known, research suggests that the growth of eyelashes occurs by increasing the percent of hairs in, and the duration of, the anagen (or growth) phase. Lashes can grow longer, thicker and darker because bimatoprost can also prolong this growth phase.
Clinically proven results you can see over time.
LATISSE® is FDA approved and effective. It's a once-a-day treatment you apply topically to the base of your upper eyelashes. Patients in a clinical trial saw results in as few as 8 weeks with full results after 12 to 16 weeks.
It's an innovation backed by research.
While LATISSE® is a treatment for inadequate or not enough eyelashes, it was developed through years of research by Allergan, a pharmaceutical leader with over 60 years of expertise in prescription eye care products.
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Bedford Eye Care Centre Celebrates its 25th Anniversary

The Bedford Eye Care Centre is pleased to be celebrating our 25th year of providing eye care services in Bedford. In 1984, Dr. Toby Mandelman moved to Nova Scotia from Ontario and started a small practice in the Sun Tower. "I always had a vision of creating one of the top optometric clinics in Canada", says Dr. Mandelman. Through her commitment to providing an exceptionally high level of patient care, her practice soon grew, and in 1992 the office was moved to the Mezzanine level of the Sunnyside Mall. Dr. Angela Dobson joined her in 1994, followed by Dr. Avila Cox in 1998. It was soon time to grow again and the office was completely remodeled and expanded in 2001. Dr. Raman Parkash joined the practice in 2006 and the name Bedford Eye Care Centre was adopted.

Much has changed since 1984. Enter the office now and you will see highly sophisticated instruments, allowing us to ensure a very thorough examination of the eyes. In 2007, we added an Optomap retinal scanner to our eye examination instrumentation. "The Optomap gives us an unprecedented wide-angle view of the entire retina, allowing eye diseases to be identified at earlier stages", notes Dr. Dobson. Glaucoma detection has also been greatly improved with the addition of the GDX instrument that allows us to detect damage to the nerve layer in the retina, resulting in earlier treatment of this potentially blinding disease. "It is comforting to know that we can now detect and treat most eye diseases at such early stages, that few of our patients will have to deal with vision loss," adds Dr. Cox.

"As a relatively new practitioner, I was excited to be joining the Bedford Eye Care Centre as this practice made a commitment to staying up-to-date and provided services not often seen in other clinics," enthuses Dr. Parkash. Specialty services include computerized training for patients with eye muscle imbalances, prescribing specialized magnifiers for visually-impaired patients and children's vision, including well baby checks for 6 month old infants.

All the doctors are skilled at fitting contact lenses, including the very latest technology such as bifocal contact lenses that correct astigmatism. "There have been some amazing advances in lens materials and designs that allow more patients than ever to enjoy wearing contact lenses, safely and comfortably," comments Dr. Dobson. The doctors are also trained in fitting the CRT (Corneal Refractive Therapy) contact lens by Paragon. CRT lenses are worn overnight, gently reshaping the eye to allow clear vision all day without the use of daytime contact lenses or glasses. The Bedford Eye Care Centre employs a full-time certified contact lens fitter, Vanessa Young to help look after our contact lens patients. "I love working with the doctors and being able to provide the highest level of products and care to our patients," says Vanessa.

"Since our opening in 1984, patients have been coming to our optical boutique for the very latest in fashionable frames," notes Dr. Mandelman. Our optical team attends international frame shows, importing frames from around the world, some of which are exclusive to our office. "We pride ourselves on providing a personalized frame selection, ensuring that you will be thrilled with your eyeglasses," adds optician Renee Barrett. There have also been many exciting developments in lens technology, including digital lenses, providing our patients with 'high-definition' vision.

With 4 optometrists and 20 staff, our office has grown exponentially since our opening in 1984. One of our greatest assets is our team of dedicated and friendly staff. "All of our staff are carefully chosen and trained to ensure that you are taken care of by warm, caring people who pride themselves on their work and professionalism," says Dr. Cox. "All of the people in our office, work towards one goal... making sure that our patients continue to be our number one priority," adds Dr. Parkash.

"After 25 years, I can honestly say that my dream has become a reality, as the Bedford Eye Care Centre has become one of the top optometric centres in Canada. One of my greatest pleasures has been to form life-long relationships with my patients, watching their children grow and taking care of their babies in turn. It's also been very satisfying to see many of my young patients become optometrists and colleagues of mine," says Dr. Mandelman.

We have a lot of people to thank, including our suppliers who believed in our practice in the early years and helped us to grow and prosper. We are also grateful to the other health professionals we partner with daily, including the family physicians and ophthalmologists who help us provide the best possible care for our patients.
And, of course, our success would not have been possible without the support of the wonderful people in our community. You are the reason that we work so hard to continually improve and provide you with an exceptional eye care experience.
We look forward to continuing to care for the eyes of our community for at least another 25 years!

Dr. Toby Mandelman, Optometrist
on behalf of the doctors and staff of Bedford Eye Care Centre

Click on the following link to see a 'Trip Down Memory Lane', a slideshow of our offices over the years! 902.835.2020

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Video Testimonial – A Mother Speaks From the Heart About Her 5 Year Old Son and How an Eye Exam Changed His Life

May 21, 2009
Excerpt from Visionary Eyecare
This story is so similar to many I've experienced in my own office. A so-called 'problem' child comes in for an eye examination and ends up doing great in school after getting some badly-needed glasses! I even had a patient who had never had an eye exam until his 20's and had dropped out of school as a youngster and felt he was a failure in life. After finally getting glasses he so desperately needed, he went back to school and is now gainfully employed, happy and married with 3 beautiful daughters. Incidentally, all three girls inherited his problem, but were treated early and really enjoy going to school.
Toby Mandelman, Optometrist

This is a story of how an eye exam can actually change the course of a child’s life.
Jennifer is a loving mother of an 5 year old little boy. Her son is absolutely adorable and a really good child yet, in school he was being labeled a “difficult / problem child” and a “disturbance in the classroom”. He often did not want to pay attention in school, frequently “acted out” and even threw his books. He just did not seem to be interested in reading or learning – at ALL.
As a mother, she knew that this behavior in school seemed a bit odd and out of character for the sweet, loving boy that she knew her son to be at home. The comments from the school really alarmed Jennifer that something was definitely wrong.
Her young son had passed his Pediatrician’s vision screening, AS WELL AS the school vision screening but, acting on motherly instinct – she ignored the comments that “his vision is fine” and took him to see the Optometrist, Dr Dawn Bearden, for a routine eye exam. Eye Doctor, Dr Bearden, manages the Visionary Eyecare (Independent Doctor of Optometry) offices next to Lenscrafters in Pembroke Pines and Sunrise and also next to Pearle Vision in Davie.

During the routine eye examination – Dr Bearden discovered that Jennifer’s son was able to read the eye chart with just a little bit of blur but, he needed eyeglasses to correct the strain that he was feeling while reading. Once the strain was relieved from wearing the glasses full time…the child suddenly became more attentive in school and began reading ALL THE TIME.
Actually, he loved reading SO MUCH that he won an award from his kindergarten teacher for reading!! He even received an award from the school’s Principal for “Most Improved Reader”…he actually read 26 books within 30 days. WOW!!

Jennifer is now a HUGE advocate to have children get eye exams from an eye doctor and for parents NOT to be lulled into complacency by their child passing a vision screening. Her child could have gone through life in the classroom being labeled a “problem” and a “disturbance” simply because he could not see well and his eyes were being strained in school.
Jennifer states the following in her video:
No matter how well a parent THINKS their child sees well or if a child is labeled a “problem” in the classroom because he does not pay attention…it may just be because he can’t see well.
The eye exam has made a HUGE difference and my son has excelled, he is doing wonderful and his behavior is like “night and day”!“I’m a big ADVOCATE…get your child checked by a (eye care) professional!!”

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cosmetic Eye Fashion – Eye Tattoos and Eye Jewelry

Here is an interesting blog from Visionary Eyecare:

OK…now we’ve seen some interesting things as optometrists…but, this stuff really takes the cake!
Eyeball Jewelry and Eyeball Tattoos….now we’ve seen everything!
These cosmetic eye fashion procedures take the phrase “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder” to a completely new level….
Apparently, there is a company called JewelEye that makes cosmetic 3.5mm eye jewelry platinum implants in the shape of a heart or a half moon. The implant is inserted beneath the conjunctiva (which is the “skin” that covers the white of the eye) yet, on top of the sclera (which is the “white” of the eye).

Although Dutch eye surgeons at the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery perform this 15 minute patented procedure (they say that they actually have a waiting list), in 2004 the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) spoke out against this type of cosmetic implant. An AAO member stated that these implants may cause scar tissue or allow bacteria to get under the conjunctiva which could erode the sclera (the white of the eye) or cause other vision threatening infections. The AAO commented that if these problems occurred – then it could become very difficult to remove the implant.
Another problem is that the conjunctiva is loosely attached to the sclera – so by placing an implant under the conjunctiva…in time, the implant may move around and not stay in place. This could irritate the patient’s eye and possibly cause vision problems.

And another cosmetic eye procedure is the Eyeball Tattoo. Much like the JewelEye implant…the tattoo ink is inserted bewteen the sclera and the conjunctiva (the white of the eye and the skin that covers it) with a needle.

This procedure looks like it is being done in a tattoo parlor – which is a not a sterile operating room. The risk of infection is very high – which can lead to visual impairment.
Also, a needle being used that close to an eye in a surgically untrained hand can be very dangerous. One slip and the needle could scratch the front of the eye (the cornea). Worse yet, the needle could penetrate the eye – causing a retinal detachment which is vision threatening OR it could cause an infection inside the eye – which could lead to loss of the eye.


Again, most eye doctors would advise NOT to have this procedure done - the multitude of RISKS FAR OUTWEIGH any positive cosmetic benefit.