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
David Calkins, Ph.D., Director of Research at the Vanderbilt Eye Institute published a study indicating that the brain may hold the key to the early signs of glaucoma. Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study indicates that glaucoma may be like other central nervous system disorders with its origins being in the brain.
Traditional thinking regarding glaucoma is that the either the high pressure slowly crushes the nerve fibers or the pressure decreases blood flow to the optic nerve. Should Dr. Calkins’ findings be confirmed in human studies it would cause a paradigm shift in the treatment and diagnosis of glaucoma. Dr. Calkin’s study demonstrates that glaucoma starts in the brain and then as the disease progresses the optic nerve starts to show evidence of the disease. Currently Dr. Calkins’ research is directed toward looking for medical therapies that can restore the connection of the nerve fibers between the brain and the retina.
I have to applaud Dr. Calkins and his team for thinking outside the box in their pursuit of answers to the second leading cause of blindness. The study was funded by the National Eye Institute, the Glaucoma Research foundation and Research to Prevent Blindness. More details on the study results are available on The Reporter, Vanderbilt Medical Center’s Weekly Newspaper.
With the advent of disposable contact lenses, cases of Contact Lens Acute Red Eyes (C.L.A.R.E) have been greatly reduced. With the new generation of contact lens materials, known as silicone hydrogels, extended wear contact lenses have made a resurgence. The incidence of vision last as a result from contact lens wear has been greatly reduced the chances of a patient losing vision as a result of contact lens wear, thus actually making 30 day extended wear contact lenses safer than LASIK.
Here is a good video that talks about the dangers of stretching your contact lenses.
The study comparing the safety of extended wear contact lenses vs LASIK did not restrict itself to patients that complied with the wearing schedule recommended by the contact lens manufacturer and the patient’s doctor. We find that if a patient complies with the prescribed wearing schedule then the incidence of contact lens related red eyes is very low.
Almost without exception if a patient comes in to our office with a red eye they almost always have exceeded their wearing schedule. So the moral story, discard your lenses following the prescribed wearing schedule and enjoy safe contact lens wear.