Age-Related Macular Degeneration Linked to Air Pollution

The University College of London revealed their study findings that showed a link between air pollution and a heightened risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD.)

The most polluted areas tested in the study were at least eight percent more likely to report people having AMD. The leading cause of irreversible blindness among people over 50 in high-income countries is AMD. The projected amount of people affected by 2040 is 300 million. Some risk factors include old age, smoking, and genetic composition.

Brain conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and strokes have been implicated in those who breathe poor air conditions as well. In 2019, a study found air pollution was linked to an elevated glaucoma risk.

Professor Paul Foster, a lead author of the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology study, said, “Here we have identified yet another health risk posed by air pollution, strengthening the evidence that improving the air we breathe should be a key public health priority. Our findings suggest that living in an area with polluted air, particularly fine particulate matter, or combustion-related particles that come from road traffic, could contribute to eye disease. Even relatively low exposure to air pollution appears to impact the risk of AMD, suggesting that air pollution is an important modifiable risk factor affecting risk of eye disease for a very large number of people.”

The research was conducted with participants who were asked to report any formal doctor-diagnosed AMD. Structural changes in the thickness and/or numbers of light receptors in the retina were assessed in the participants using retinal imaging.

People in areas with high levels of fine particulate matter pollution were higher on the AMD scale. Even after taking other factors such as underlying health conditions and lifestyle, air pollutants (except coarse particulates) were associated with retinal structure changes. 

Though the study cannot confirm cause, as cautioned by the researchers, their findings align with evidence found worldwide. Ambient air pollution might be a culprit, through oxidative stress or inflammation.

Dr. Sharon Chua, of the UCL Institute of Opthamology, said, “Higher exposure to air pollution was also associated with structural features of AMD. This may indicate that higher levels of air pollution may cause the cells to be more vulnerable to adverse changes and increase the risk of AMD.”

If you have AMD or need a professional ophthalmologic evaluation, contact the office of Rohr Eye & Laser Center 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 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

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

Early Detection of Parkinson’s Disease Possible from an Eye Exam

Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine learning technology in addition to a simple eye exam could detect early signs of Parkinson’s disease, according to research presented by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

A progressive disease of the central nervous system, Parkinson’s affects millions of people across the world. Tremors, muscle stiffness, and impaired balance are generally key markers of the disease. Once these symptoms are present, patients are already experiencing significant disease progression. Parkinson’s disease also affects the microscopic blood vessels in the retina. These markers provide an opportunity for AI to inspect images of the eyes for signs of the disease meticulously.

In a study by the University of Florida, researchers enabled an AI machine to analyze photographs of the back of the eye in two patients with Parkinson’s disease and two control participants. The AI was a type of Support Vector Machine (SVM) that has been around since 1989.

The SVM AI was able to classify Parkinson’s disease based on the blood vessels in the retina. Smaller blood vessels showed that changes in brain physiology can be detected in the eye. This novel discovery varies from the more traditional approach of diagnosing Parkinson’s disease.

With an overall goal to catch Parkinson’s disease cases sooner in its progression, researchers believe the new AI technology will help them better understand the disease on the path to finding a cure or slow its progression.

Moreover, other diseases that affect brain structure, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis, could be identified in the future.

To schedule your next eye exam, contact the experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center 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 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

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

Eye Damage from Glaucoma Reversed in Mice

Scientists from Harvard Medical School have successfully restored vision in old mice by “reprogramming” cells to a younger state in which they can fix or replace damaged tissue. This accomplishment is the first to show it might be possible to safely reprogram complex tissues to a previous state. The researchers successfully reversed eye damage from glaucoma in mice; glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. Notable retina benefits included nerve regeneration and reversal of vision loss in animals with and without glaucoma.

Further studies will undoubtedly pave the way for tissue reprogramming to be tested on other organs, thereby reversing age-related diseases in humans. Further studies remain to be replicated prior to human experimentation; however, this novel discovery paves the way for reversing age-related human ailments.

The researchers theorized aging results from cells within the body containing the same DNA molecules but drastically varied roles. These cells only read genes specific to their type. The theory suggests that changes can cause cells to read the “wrong” genes and malfunction, which in turn causes the aging process to decline/reverse.

Aging reduces the efficiency of all cells and organs in our bodies; our brains are no exception. Circuit-forming neurons can adapt to change, regenerating in response to injury. This process weakens over time, which has long been known, but how these shifts lead to deterioration is still unknown.

Eye conditions that damage the optic nerve can result in glaucoma. Without healthy optic nerves, blindness can result. Abnormally high eye pressure is usually the cause of significant impairment. One of the leading causes of blindness in people ages 60 and up is glaucoma. The absence of specific warning signs combined with a gradual effect is usually a perfect storm for glaucoma’s presence to be noticed at an advanced stage.

There are many risk factors to consider regarding glaucoma; additionally, preventative measures can be implemented to ensure vision loss is not taking place or worsening.

For more information, read the full article in Nature. Contact the experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center today to schedule an eye exam and measure your ocular pressure. Glaucoma recognized early can be slowed or prevented.

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.

The Most Beneficial Foods for Eye Health

Drinking plenty of water, eating nutrient-rich foods, and exercising can improve our lives and increase health benefits. Eye health is also supported through these same activities. Regularly consuming specific vitamins and nutrients can prevent or delay sight-threatening eye conditions and diseases which include macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma.

Fish: omega-3 fatty acids are present in oily fish such as tuna, salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines, anchovies, and herring. Studies have shown that dry eye can be reversed by fish oil consumption.

Nuts, seeds, and legumes: beyond omega-3 fatty acids, nuts also contain a high Vitamin E level, which can protect the eye from age-related damage. Examples include: Brazil nuts, hemp seeds, walnuts, lentils, flax seeds, cashews, chia seeds, and peanuts.

Citrus fruits: boasting high amounts of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights age-related eye damage, citrus fruits such as lemons, oranges, and grapefruits can improve eye health.

Leafy green vegetables: kale, spinach, and collard greens are highly beneficial for eye health since they contain lutein, Vitamin C, and zeaxanthin.

Carrots: beta carotene and Vitamin A are both highly present in this vegetable, and both play an essential role in eye and vision wellbeing.

Sweet Potatoes: getting their orange color from beta carotene just like carrots, sweet potatoes also contain Vitamin E, which is an antioxidant helpful to increase eye health.

Beef: high levels of zinc are linked to beef consumption, which can delay age-related sight loss and macular degeneration. The eye itself contains high levels of zinc, especially in the retina.

Eggs: lutein, zeaxanthin, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and zinc are present in eggs. These are all vital nutrients to combat age-related vision loss.

Water: to reduce dry eyes and dehydration, drink plenty of water daily.

Try consuming these foods to increase your overall eye health. For more information or to ask a professional for advice regarding ocular issues, contact the specialists at Rohr Eye & Laser Center 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 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

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

What to Think About Before LASIK

After tons of research and consideration, you may have finally decided that LASIK eye surgery could be the right choice for your eyes. Before jumping on board, however, there are a few things that you should consider. Here are five tips that you should keep in mind when thinking about LASIK eye surgery:

  1. Choosing the right surgeon. There are many doctors available, so it’s essential to find the one with the right skills and experience. Also, trust and reputation are significant factors, so try to find a referral from a friend or family member.
  2. Follow pre-surgery instructions. Your surgeon will provide you with a list of must do’s and don’ts the day before the procedure.
  3. Recovery time. LASIK surgery will not require extended recovery (approx. 4 to 8hrs). Most people can drive, go back to work, and live their daily lives, as usual, the very next day.
  4. Post-Op. Once the surgery is complete, your LASIK surgeon will ask that you go home and rest after the procedure. You can develop severe eye irritation if you don’t sleep and rest your eyes after LASIK surgery. So, be sure to get plenty of shut-eye!
  5. Do NOTS after surgery! Patients are asked not to rub their eyes, wear makeup, or have the ceiling fan turned on directly after surgery.

Concerns of Idaho Laser Eye Surgery Requirements

A house bill in the Optometric Physician Licensing Act is currently in debate in the state of Idaho that is causing concern to many eye surgeons. This bill would allow optometrists to perform certain laser eye surgeries after they have met an experience requirement of at least five laser procedures supervised by an ophthalmologist. They also would be required to pass the laser and surgical procedure exam administered by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry. Eye M.D.s of Idaho feel this is a dangerous move and will increase the risk to residents in Idaho and would lower the standards of eye surgery. To read more on this bill and the concerns it presents, visit this website.

First All-Laser LASIK in new Southern Utah Surgery Center

A new breakthrough is entering into the LASIK market as the Southwest Surgery Center, based in southern Utah, will reveal its new all-laser LASIK surgery setup in a new state-of-the-art facility. As outlined in this St. George News article, the facility will be using this new technology in the hopes to benefit its patients with lower risk and shorter recovery time than the more traditional laser eye surgeries. The facility itself focuses on more outpatient eye surgeries and services that try to shorten recovery times and allow patients to get back to their lives quicker and with more comfort. The facility will also be open for patients and their surgeons to use for other related outpatient services.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  More information can be found online at https://michiganlasik.com.