Aspirin May be Tied to Vision Loss

A new study just out showed that took a baby aspirin were twice as likely to have wet age related macular degeneration. The study did not show that the aspirin caused the macular degeneration and the authors did not recommend that patients stop aspirin therapy. Here is a good video discussing the study.  Aspirin may be tied to vision loss

Great Video of The Last Shuttle Flight STS-135 Put to the Music of “What Kind of a World do You Want”

Love the video and love this song. Check it out and make sure you watch it in HD, full screen………. enjoy

Amazon Fire a New Generation e-Reader is it the iPad Killer

I’m really excited to try out Amazon’s newest tablet computer the Amazon Fire. I love my Kindle Keyboard however it is not yet the perfect e-reader. In looking at the new specs for the Amazon Fire this new offering may come pretty close. Amazon has also updated it’s entire e-reader line with three other e-readers at much lower price points. The Kindle, the Kindle Touch and the Kindle Touch 3G all of which have no keyboard. The Kindle Fire incorporates a multi touch screen like the iPad, however it is the same overall size as the Kindle Keyboard , albeit slightly thicker with a color screen.

I dont’ really see the Kindle Fire as an iPad2 competitor. This model is really more of a Barnes and Noble Nook killer. The Fire will allow users to access basically everything Amazon has to offer in their store plus Android Apps, streaming music and movies, email and the Web. I do see Amazon coming out with a version that will directly compete with Apple’s iPad, possibly by Christmas 2012. In order to compete with the iPad, Amazon will have to add a few more capabilities such as 3G connectivity, front and rear facing cameras, more internal storage and a microphone. Some people don’t like the size of the iPad and adding those capabilities in both the 7″ and 10″ inch screen sizes will be a great combination.

Not everyone wants an iPad to read books on, frankly I find the iPad much to heavy and large to easily read a book. It would be nice however to be able  to read magazines in color and to easily visit a link in a blog or PDF, the Amazon Fire will allow us to do this very well.

So as soon as I get my hands on an Amazon Fire in November I’ll give a more complete review along with how it may or may not help patients with low vision. The Amazon Fire and the other new Kindle’s will ship on November 15. You can pre-order yours here.

Rub and Rinse Contact Lens Cleaning Method Shown to be More Effective Than No Rub Technique

A study out of Australia has confirmed what eye doctors have long suspected. Rubbing your contact lenses and briefly rinsing them prior to overnight storage and disinfection is more effective at removing bacteria from the lens surface than merely placing the contacts in the case (no rub technique). Numerous multipurpose no rub contact lens solutions have been approved by the FDA  and shown to be an effective method of disinfecting contact lenses however this study shows that applying a few drops of the multipurpose solution, rubbing and then rinsing the lenses is much more effect at removing bacteria from the lens surface.

This study was done “in-vitro” meaning that it was a lab study where patients did not actually wear these lenses but the lenses were seeded with bacteria and then after the lenses were cleaned and disinfected the lenses were then testing to see how much bacteria was removed.

So the moral of the story is after removing your soft contact lenses add a few drops of the multipurpose contact lens solution, rub both sides of the lens then rinse the lens and place it in the case to disinfect overnight.

Reference Data: Zhu H, Bandara MB, Vijay AK, Masoudi S, Wu D, Willcox MD. Importance of rub and rinse in use of multipurpose contact lens solution. Optom Vis Sci. 2011 Aug;88(8):967-72.

Retinal Photos May Aid in Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease

It is often said that the eye is the window to one’s soul, early data suggests that retinal photos may become that window used as an early detector of Alzheimer’s disease. The preliminary results of an Australian pilot study were unveiled in Paris yesterday at the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. Not many details were released however it appears that retinal photographs were used to determine the ratio of the diameter of the retinal arteries to the retinal veins (called the A/V ratio). The investigators then found a positive correlation between the A/V ratio and the amount of beta amyloid deposits in the brain. Beta amyloid deposit or plaques are known to exist in higher concentrations in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

If further study of this correlation confirms the author’s findings then this could lead to an inexpensive and relatively easy way of giving patients and doctors  an early indicator of which patients are more likely to later develop Alzheimer’s Disease.

Ever Wonder What Happens to Those Glasses You Donate to the Lion’s Club?

Here is an excellent video on a mission trip from VOSH Indiana to Villanueva, Honduras. VOSH stands for Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity. The Lion’s Club collects old eye glasses from doctor’s offices all over the US. These glasses are then catalogued and sent on mission trips with optometrists to underserved areas all over the world. This video shows what happens on a VOSH mission trip from the beginning to the end.

I was lucky enough to go on one of these trips to Costa Rica many years ago with VOSH Illinois, an unforgettable experience. I hope to go again soon.

Total Eye Care has a YouTube Channel

Total Eye Care’s YouTube Channel is up check it out and let us know what you think.

Importance of Protective Eyewear During the Summer

Here is a video on the importance of protective eyewear during the summer as well as seeking regular eye care throughout the year.

New iPhone App for the Visually Impaired

EyeNote™ LogoThe US Bureau of Engraving and Printing has developed EyeNote™  a free, new iPhone app to aid the visually impaired or blind in identifying US paper currency. Essentially, the app is designed to allow the user to hold the bill in one hand and the iPhone in the other while scanning the paper currency. After a few seconds the iPhone will tell the user the denomination of the currency in English or Spanish. EyeNote™ can also operate in privacy mode with a different number of beeps signaling the value of the currency.

The app runs independent of a data connection. EyeNote™ can not differentiate between genuine and fake currency.  EyeNote™ works on the following devices

  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3Gs
  • iPhone 4
  • 4th Generation iPod Touch
  • iPad2EyeNote QR Code URL

Scan the QR code to the right with your iPhone to go to the iTunes EyeNote™ page.

Dr. Diana Opens Her New Website for the Chronically Ill

Dr. Diana Driscoll PhotoIt’s been in the works for a couple months now, Dr. Diana’s new website www.PrettyIll.com is now live. Check it out. I think you all will be really impressed by all of the information available there with much more information still to come. The website will feature information, mostly in video format, for patients facing chronic illness such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Postural Orthostatic Hypertension and Dysautonomia to name a few.

The PrettyIll.com website will also be the hub for a number of studies that Dr. Diana is starting. The first of which is Vascular Fundus Changes in Patients With High Probability of Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency, a study that is being done at Total Eye Care. The second study is Head Circumference Growth in Children with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Who Develop Dysautonomia later in life. There are other future studies planned as well. I hope you check out the new site and leave a comment!