Thursday, February 08, 2007



Heart disease, ocular health share important common ground in women. “I think we’re all aware that the eye really can be the first manifestation of systemic disease, whether it be cardiovascular disease or other systemic diseases,” Ivana Kim, MD, said.

Studies have shown that women are more likely than men to show arteriolar narrowing with an increased risk for secondary ocular vascular complication and possible vision loss.

“If we saw significant changes suggestive of hypertension, then I would make sure that the patient was aware, first of all, what their blood pressure was, whether or not they had been diagnosed with hypertension,” Dr. Kim said.

“Narrowing of the carotid artery caused by atherosclerotic plaque that can predispose you to stroke can also predispose you to have a blockage of a retinal arteriole, either central or branch, and can lead to vision loss,” Dr. Kim said. “It’s like having a stroke in the eye basically.

Dr. Kim pointed out that cardiovascular disease and AMD have many of the same risk factors and preventive measures. “For a long time we’ve felt there have been similarities between the risk factors for macular degeneration and heart disease,”

"we’re finding that a lot of things that people recommend for lowering your risk of heart disease may also be good for lowering your risk of macular degeneration,” Dr. Kim said.
She added, “Dietary factors, such as intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart, also seem beneficial in terms of lowering your risk of macular degeneration.”

“The message that we tell our patients when they ask what can they do to keep their eyes healthy is the same as what their primary care doctors are recommending to keep their heart healthy: Exercise, try to avoid obesity, don’t smoke,” Dr. Kim said. “If you have diabetes, make sure it’s under good control, eat a healthy, balanced diet, lots of fruits and vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids.”

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Glaucoma Risk Assessment Calculator

A new glaucoma risk estimator has been developed using data from untreated patients in the Ocular Hypertension Treatment Study and the European Glaucoma Prevention Study. It uses five baseline features to determine the risk that a patient with ocular hypertension will develop glaucoma over the next 5 years. It has demonstrated good accuracy but should be considered an aid to clinical judgment and not a substitute.
See the above link for this FREE glaucoma tool.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Acute endophthalmitis following intravitreal bevacizumab (Avastin) injection

I've actually had the misfortune of seeing this twice!
Avastin is a miracle drug in the treatment for exudative macular degeneration. However, as with all medical treatment, potential complications like this must be diagnosed as soon as posssible.

Corneal Refractive Therapy (Orthokeratology)

SOURCE: Optom Vis Sci. 2005 Jun;82(6):512-8.

CONCLUSIONS.: CRT lenses significantly reduced myopia, improved visual acuity and subjective vision, and flattened central corneal curvature. Maximal effect was achieved after 10 days and was maintained for the rest of the study period.

Corneal Refractive Therapy (Orthokeratology)

Source: Cornea. 25 Supplement 1:S59-S63, December 2006.
Hiraoka, Takahiro MD; Okamoto, Fumiki MD; Kaji, Yuichi MD; Oshika, Tetsuro MD

Conclusion: Corneal irregular astigmatism and higher-order aberrations significantly increased even in clinically successful orthokeratology, and the increases correlated with the magnitude of myopic correction. A large myopic correction by orthokeratology should be avoided to not decrease corneal optical quality.