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March 9, 2008, 4:54 PM CT

Lasik Patients Report More Than 95 Percent Satisfaction Rate

Lasik Patients Report More Than 95 Percent Satisfaction Rate
Worldwide, an average 95.4 percent of LASIK patients are satisfied with their new vision, as per the first review of the world body of scientific literature, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery announced recently.

With 16.3 million patients having had LASIK worldwide, and more than a decade of clinical study and technological innovation behind it, LASIK is considered among the most successful elective procedures available today.

"We find that there is solid evidence in the world's scientific literature to affirm that there is an exceptionally high level of satisfaction in patients who have had LASIK surgery. While no surgery is perfect, certainly the 19 peer-evaluated studies of the 2,199 patients studied show extremely high satisfaction rates," said Richard L. Lindstrom, M.D., president of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. "While patient satisfaction is extremely high, we recognize that there are patients who have unsatisfactory outcomes. As surgeons, we have taken the Hippocratic Oath. The well being of all of our patients is central to what we do and what we are. As such, and as the history of medicine has shown, we are committed to advancing our technology, patient selection, and surgical techniques so that we can continue to enhance the quality of our patient's lives," Lindstrom added.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


March 3, 2008, 9:18 PM CT

Dry eye syndrome after LASIK surgery

Dry eye syndrome after LASIK surgery
Researchers at Schepens Eye Research Institute have observed that people with a certain low level of tear production are more likely to develop chronic dry eye syndrome after LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis), laser refractive surgery to correct near- and far-sightedness than those with more plentiful tears. Their research, reported in the recent issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Vision Science, may offer reliable prescreening criteria for ophthalmologists and patients.

These findings should help ophthalmologists determine if pretreatment is necessary before surgery or if surgery is appropriate at all for an individual, says Dr. Darlene Dartt, director of the Military Vision Research Program at Schepens Eye Research Institute and the principal investigator of the study.

Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common problems treated by eye physicians. Affecting more than 10 million Americans, it is caused by problems with the tear film responsible for lubricating the eye. While it does not cause vision loss, dry eye syndrome can be painful and severely decrease quality of life for its victims who constantly search for relief with artificial tears and other medications.

LASIK surgery uses small laser cuts to reshape the surface of the cornea, eliminating far-sightedness or near-sightedness, and the need for glasses or contacts. A number of people choose LASIK for cosmetic reasons. In recent years, thousands of military personnel have opted for LASIK surgery because it can help them see better and identify objects and people in the field more quickly. It also relieves them of the worry about lost or damaged glasses.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


January 29, 2008, 10:08 PM CT

The eyes Tells It All

The eyes Tell It All
Using the radiocarbon dating method and special proteins in the lens of the eye, scientists at the University of Copenhagen and Aarhus can now establish, with relatively high precision, when a person was born. This provides a useful tool for forensic researchers who can use it to establish the date of birth of an unidentified body and could also have further consequences for health science research. The findings appear in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE on January 30.

The lens of the eye is made up of transparent proteins called crystallins. These are packed so tightly together and in such a particular way, that they behave like crystals, allowing light to pass through the lens of the eye so that we can see. From conception and up until a human being is 1-2 years of age, the cells in the lens build these crystalline proteins. Once this organic construction work is done, however, the lens crystallins remain essentially unchanged for the rest of our lives. This is a fact that scientists can now put to good use.

A minute quantity of Carbon (C-12) in the carbon-dioxide content of the atmosphere contains two extra neutrons and is therefore called Carbon-14 (C-14). This isotope is radioactive, but decays so slowly and harmlessly into nitrogen, that this small carbon element, which occurs quite naturally in nature, is in no way harmful to humans, plants or animals.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


January 17, 2008, 9:30 PM CT

Next Generation Optical Fibres

Next Generation Optical Fibres
Electron microscope image of the hollow-core fibre
Researchers have discovered a way of speeding up the production of hollow-core optical fibres - a new generation of optical fibres that could lead to faster and more powerful computing and telecommunications technologies.

The procedure, described today in the journal Optics Express, cuts the production time of hollow-core optical fibres from around a week to a single day, reducing the overall cost of fabrication.

Initial tests show that the fibre is also superior in virtually every respect to prior versions of the technology, making it an important step in the development of new technologies that use light instead of electrical circuits to carry information.

These technologies include faster optical telecommunications, more powerful and accurate laser machining, and the cheaper generation of x-ray or ultra-violet light for use in biomedical and surgical optics.

"This is a major improvement in the development of hollow-core fibre technology," said Professor Jonathan Knight from the Centre for Photonics & Photonic Materials in the Department of Physics at the University of Bath.

"In standard optical fibres, light travels in a small cylindrical core of glass running down the fibre length.

"The fact that light has to travel through glass limits them in a number of ways. For example, the glass can be damaged if there is too much light.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


January 17, 2008, 9:25 PM CT

Contact lenses with circuits

Contact lenses with circuits
University of Washington
A researcher holds one of the completed lenses.
Movie characters from the Terminator to the Bionic Woman use bionic eyes to zoom in on far-off scenes, have useful facts pop into their field of view, or create virtual crosshairs. Off the screen, virtual displays have been proposed for more practical purposes -- visual aids to help vision-impaired people, holographic driving control panels and even as a way to surf the Web on the go.

The device to make this happen may be familiar. Engineers at the University of Washington have for the first time used manufacturing techniques at microscopic scales to combine a flexible, biologically safe contact lens with an imprinted electronic circuit and lights.

"Looking through a completed lens, you would see what the display is generating superimposed on the world outside," said Babak Parviz, a UW assistant professor of electrical engineering. "This is a very small step toward that goal, but I think it's extremely promising." The results were presented today at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' international conference on Micro Electro Mechanical Systems by Harvey Ho, a former graduate student of Parviz's now working at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, Calif. Other co-authors are Ehsan Saeedi and Samuel Kim in the UW's electrical engineering department and Tueng Shen in the UW Medical Center's ophthalmology department.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


January 6, 2008, 10:19 PM CT

Contact lenses purchased over Internet

Contact lenses purchased over Internet
Purchasing contact lenses online may save consumers time, but the process could cause more problems in the long run, as per a new study published in the recent issue of Optometry: Journal of the American Optometric Association. This research, which was conducted by Joshua Fogel, Ph.D., and Chaya Zidile of Brooklyn College, observed that individuals who did not purchase their contact lenses from an eye doctor, but from an online site or store, are potentially placing themselves at greater risk. The findings indicated that online and store purchasers (consumers who get their contacts at a wholesale club or optical chain outlet) are less likely to adhere to healthy eye care practices, as recommended by their eye doctor.

As per the Contact Lens Institute (CLI), more than 30 million individuals wear contact lenses. With the Fairness to Contact Lens Consumers Act taking effect in 2004, mandating that the prescribing eye doctor provide a copy of the contact lens prescription at no charge to the patient, consumers have the option to purchase their lenses (with a valid prescription) elsewhere. With the Internet becoming a more recognized source for health and medical information, consumers are increasingly purchasing their contact lenses online.

We observed that a pattern exists regarding the method of contact lens purchasing and following recommendations from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said Dr. Fogel. Those who bought contact lenses at their doctors office followed many FDA recommendations more so than those who bought contact lenses elsewhere.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


December 28, 2007, 7:53 AM CT

Cost of glaucoma medications may impact treatment

Cost of glaucoma medications may impact treatment
In the United States, the management of glaucoma costs about $2.5 billion per year. Of the $1.9 billion in direct costs, glaucoma medications account for an estimated 38% to 52% of the total. In an article reported in the January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, scientists from The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center College of Medicine, Temple, Texas; analyzed the economics of medically managing glaucoma. The yearly costs to patients of various topical glaucoma medications were calculated and significant price differences and increases in cost over time were found.

The scientists looked at four classes of pharmaceuticals; -blockers, prostaglandins, α2-agonists and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. They compared both brand-name and generic formulations, reviewed how accurately the bottles were filled and how accurately the medications could be dispensed by patients. Using results from earlier studies, the increases in Average Wholesale Prices (AWP) were also reviewed from 1999 through 2006.

Nonselective -blockers remain the most inexpensive class of glaucoma medications. For all categories of drugs, calculated yearly cost ranged from $150.81 for generic timolol maleate 0.5% (-blocker), to $697.42 for Cosopt (combination formulation), to as high as $873.98 for a three-times-daily dose of Alphagan P 0.15% (α2-agonist). Among brand name -blockers, yearly cost ranged between $203.47 for Timoptic 0.5% and $657.24 for Betoptic S. Generic -blockers consistently were more economical than their brand-name counterparts. Yearly cost of prostaglandin analogs ranged from $427.69 for Travatan to $577.62 for Lumigan. The two carbonic anhydrase inhibitors, Azopt and Trusopt, yielded similar economic profiles. The generic selective α2-agonist brimonidine tartrate 0.2% costs approximately $352.89 and $529.34 per year for the respective two and three drops daily per eye regimens.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


December 28, 2007, 7:47 AM CT

LASIK works well in highly myopic patients

LASIK works well in highly myopic patients
Laser surgery to correct vision problems has been in use since the early part of 1990s. Photorefractive Keratotomy (PRK) is typically used to correct low to moderate myopia, while laser in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is preferred for high myopia corrections. Eventhough over 18 million LASIK procedures have been performed worldwide, there is still some controversy regarding the maximum correction possible and efficacy with this technique. In an article reported in the January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Ophthalmology, scientists from Miguel Hernandez University, Medical School, Alicante, Spain; and Ankara University School of Medicine, Ankara, Turkey; report on a study of high myopia patients ten years after LASIK surgery. The findings show that LASIK for myopia over -10 D is a safe and effective procedure in the long-term.

196 high myopic eyes of 118 patients, preoperatively needing at least 10 diopter (10 D) corrections to achieve 20/20 vision, were reviewed ten years following surgery. Uncorrected vision was 77% of best-corrected vision (BSCVA) before surgery. BSCVA improved 1 line. Only 5% of eyes lost more than 2 lines of BSCVA and 40% avoided the use of glasses. 119 (61 %) of eyes were within 2.00 Diopters at 10 years. Only 2 eyes (1%) developed corneal ectasia. The retreatment rate was 27%.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


November 29, 2007, 10:42 PM CT

New treatment for age-related macular degeneration

New treatment for age-related macular degeneration
With 8 million people at high risk for advanced age-related macular degeneration, scientists from Harvard and Japan discovered that the experimental drug, endostatin, may be the cure. A research report reported in the December 2007 issue of The FASEB Journal, describes how giving endostatin to mice significantly reduced or eliminated abnormal blood vessel growth within the eye, which is ultimately why the disease causes blindness.

Our study provides intriguing findings that may lead to a better therapy of age-related macular degeneration, said Alexander Marneros, the first author of the report, but clinical studies in patients with age-related macular degeneration are still necessary.

In this study, scientists describe testing the effects of endostatin on mice lacking this naturally occurring substance. The mice without endostatin were about three times more likely to develop advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) than normal mice. Then the scientists administered endostatin to both sets of mice. In the mice lacking endostatin, the number of abnormal blood vessels that cause AMD were reduced to normal levels. In control mice with normal levels of endostatin, the number of abnormal blood vessels were practically undetectable.

With Baby Boomers reaching advanced ages, new therapys are desperately needed to keep age-related macular degeneration from becoming a national epidemic, said Gerald Weissmann, MD, Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. This research provides hope for those at risk for blindness, and it gives everyone another glimpse of how investments in molecular biology will ultimately pay off in terms of new therapys and cures.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source


November 7, 2007, 9:32 PM CT

How the brain sends eyeballs bouncing

How the brain sends eyeballs bouncing
All vision, including reading this sentence, depends on a constant series of infinitesimal jumps by the eyeball that centers the retina on target objectswords or phrases in the case of reading. Such jumps, or saccades, are critical to vision because only the small central region of the retina, called the fovea, produces the clear image necessary for perception. Such saccades take place several times a second and are generated within a brain region known as the frontal eye field (FEF).

In studies with monkeys, Robert Schafer and Tirin Moore have taken an important step in understanding how circuitry of the FEF generates saccadeswith the FEFs attentional circuitry governing the motor circuitry that produces saccades. The scientists published their findings in the November 8, 2007, issue of the journal Neuron, published by Cell Press.

In a preview of the paper in the same issue of Neuron, Stefan Everling wrote that the scientists findings are exciting, because they demonstrate that attention and action interact more closely in the FEF than previously thought, and they suggest a mechanism by which attention can modulate saccade motor commands. Everling is at the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

In their experiments, Schafer and Moore took advantage of a well-known optical phenomenon involving the influence of the motion of a drifting grating on saccades that target the grating. The moving grating causes a motion-induced bias of saccades; for example, if the eye makes a saccade to a grating that is drifting upward, that saccade to the grating is biased to land higher than it would if the grating were stationary.........

Posted by: Mike      Read more         Source



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