Dr. Almallah's Corner

SERVING TOMS RIVER, BRICK, MARLBORO AND NEARBY AREAS IN NEW JERSEY

Nowhere is the value of vision research more evident than in the case of the blinded Irishman who had his sight restored with the help of a special procedure called Osteo-Odonto-Keratoprosthesis (OOKP). This surgery utilizes a hollowed-out tooth as a supportive structure for an implanted corneal lens. In this case, the man’s cornea was badly burned after an explosion of red-hot liquid aluminum at a recycling plant. While the man thought that he might be blinded for life, he was made aware of the unique surgery. Using his son’s tooth (as well as the root and part of the bone), surgeons created an artificial eye by drilling a hole in it and transplanting an eye lens and cornea.
 This is not Voodoo science. It is a clinically approved operation. This case is a great instance of what modern ophthalmology can do for you. At SUSSKIND & ALMALLAH EYE ASSOCIATES, P.A., we are always ready to assist you with your vision needs and answer any questions concerning your eye health. We believe everyone should have a professional eye examination on a regular basis to protect the priceless miracle of sight. Please call 732-349-5622 to schedule an appointment we are currently accepting new patients.

While erectile dysfunction (ED) medications such as sildenafil (Viagra) have completely changed the way impotence is treated, it should be pointed out that some men who take ED pills develop visual disturbances (usually in the form of blurred vision, impaired color vision, or a bluish haze). While these problems may be mild and temporary, they are reason enough for the FDA to say that pilots should not take ED pills within six hours of taking flight. ED pills have also been linked with “nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy” (NAION), a poorly understood disorder that can cause blindness due to blocked blood flow to the optic nerve. Men with a history of NAION should not use ED pills. Eye care providers can easily screen patients who are concerned about this optic nerve anatomical risk factor. At SUSSKIND & ALMALLAH EYE ASSOCIATES, P.A., we stress the importance of preventive eye health care. For answers to frequently asked questions regarding the eye and NAION, as well as other eye problems, we invite you to email or call us at 732-349-5622.

Nearsighted patients over age 45 who are considering LASIK should know that the laser eye surgery may create the need for reading glasses once their distance vision is corrected. Generally speaking, nearsighted people can read without glasses but need glasses for viewing distant objects. While laser surgery will usually allow them to focus on the horizon unaided, they lose their ability to read without glasses. In essence, their uncorrected near vision is traded for uncorrected distance vision.  “Monovision” may address this dilemma, in which one eye is corrected for distance and the other is laser-sculpted to allow a person to read.  Thus, the patient unconsciously uses one eye for reading and the other for distance vision without any perceptible imbalance.
Are you nearsighted? Amazing technological advances are always welcome to help your vision. Your eye MD is a medical doctor with additional specialized training in all aspects of eye care – medical, surgical and optical.

April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, which should serve as a reminder that maintaining ocular health is of paramount importance. Not only do two-thirds of cases of visual impairment occur among women, three-quarters of visual impairment is considered to be preventable or correctable. The first step toward maintaining good vision and effectively treating eye disease involves prevention. Bear in mind that diseases such as glaucoma usually occur without the notice of the patient. Thus, it is only through regular and thorough vision screening that diagnoses are made and treatment is begun before potentially unalterable damage occurs. No woman should be so busy that she cannot schedule a comprehensive eye exam that could lead to circumventing needless vision loss.
If you think you’re at risk for glaucoma, and haven’t had a medical eye examination in the past two years, you may want to call SUSSKIND & ALMALLAH EYE ASSOCIATES, P.A.

A promising and effective new form of technology, which was originally developed by a NASA senior scientist, may point to the future of cataract detection. The low-powered laser device was first intended to help astronauts with experiments that involve growing crystals in space. However, when the scientist’s own father developed cataracts that required surgery, his son thought about applying the technology toward determining when eyes become vulnerable to developing cataracts. The laser device detects alphacrystallin proteins in the eye, which are responsible for maintaining eyelens transparency. When levels of alpha-crystallin decrease, eye lenses begin to cloud up. By using the NASA-inspired device to check levels of the protein, ophthalmologists hope to someday offer patients insight into their cataract vulnerability. A cataract can occur in either or both eyes. It cannot spread from one eye to the other.

Although it affects less than 10 percent of patients with glaucoma, angle closure
glaucoma is the most serious form of the disease. It is caused by an anatomical problem, a narrowing in the angle of the interior chamber, the passageway that leads to the trabecular meshwork at the root of the iris. As a result of this narrowing, aqueous fluid cannot flow freely out of the eye through the trabecular meshwork, causing a “back up” and raised pressure within the eye. Eventually, when the eye pressure rises to a very high level, a person will experience a painful, red eye as well as nausea and a severe headache. These symptoms should prompt immediate medical attention for treatment to preserve vision.  Glaucoma refers to a group of disorders that lead to damage to the optic nerve, the nerve that carries visual information from the eye to the brain. Damage to the optic nerve causes vision loss, which may progress to blindness.

Meibomian glands discharge sebum through tiny ducts along the edges of the eyelids just behind the eyelashes. This oily substance joins a layer of tears, called “tear film,” which nourishes, lubricates, and cleans the outer surface of the eye and protects it from infection. Trouble arises when the duct through which the Meibomian gland drains becomes blocked due to narrowing of the opening or hardening of the sebum. When this happens, the sebum backs up into the gland, causing inflammation and producing a cyst that grows inward toward the inside surface of the eyelid. The walls of the gland may thicken into a firm, rubbery nodule, or “chalazion.” While most cysts disappear without treatment, others may require medication and/or surgery.

Symptoms may include a red lump in your eyelid, pain near the lump, or also swelling of part or the entire eyelid. Be sure that you tell us if you have any changes in your vision. Let us at SUSSKIND & ALMALLAH EYE ASSOCIATES, P.A. help you determine what is best for your situation. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call us at 732-349-5622. We’re here to help. We are committed to providing you with the best possible eye health care. We have the experience and expertise to answer you ocular health questions.

Pre-Lasik Evaluation

As popular as LASIK eye surgery for the correction of refractive errors has become, not everyone is a good candidate for the procedure. With this in mind, a thorough pre-surgery appraisal should take about an hour. It should include tests that measure the quality and quantity of the patient’s tears; the size of his or her pupils in dim and regular light; and the thickness, shape, and surface quality of the corneas. Results that reveal an unreasonable risk (such as corneas that are too thin) may be good reason to explore other options. Patients’ medical histories are also vital in that conditions and drugs that affect healing (such as diabetes and corticosteroids) can render LASIK a poor choice.

Let us help you to find out if Lasik is an option for you. At SUSSKIND & ALMALLAH EYE ASSOCIATES, P.A., we stress preventive health care for the entire family. Your eyesight is priceless – protect it! With regular eye care by a qualified ophthalmologist, patients today can avoid vision-threatening diseases and see the world clearly – through a healthy pair of eyes. Please call 732-349-5622 to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive eye examination. Patient education and awareness are keys to prevention and early detection of eye health problems.

Age-relatedmacular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in the United States, is a chronic condition in which the portion of the retina responsible for central vision and seeing fine detail deteriorates.  While age, low levels of certain nutrients, exposure to sunlight, cigarette smoking and obesity are all factors in the development of AMD, new studies confirm that genetics also plays a big role.  Brothers and sisters of people with AMD have a three-to-six fold higher risk of developing AMD compared with the general population.  Further research by geneticists may lead to an accurate means of determining an individual’s risk of developing AMD.  Until then, an assessment of risk factors and regular exam must suffice. 

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help prevent or delay visual progression.  Preventative eye care is important to everyone because eye conditions and diseases that can destroy you and your family’s vision can strike at any time in life, from newborn to old age.

Glaucoma Treatment Effectiveness

It seems that the potential for irreversible glaucoma-related vision loss can be averted with early diagnosis and treatment.  Recently, two studies show just how effective treatment can be.  One report says that traditional surgery for glaucoma produces far better results than using glaucoma drainage devices.  The second report found that even patients with end stage glaucoma can be successfully treated.  The surgeries reviewed in the first report included primary trabeculectomy (PT), trabeculectomy after scarring from previous surgery or trauma (TS), or the implanting of a glaucoma drainage device (GDD), all of which are designed to improve drainage from the eye and reduce the inner-eye pressure often associated with glaucoma.  For the second study, the effectiveness of laser trabeculectomy was also assessed. 

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States, especially for older people.  But loss of sight from glaucoma is preventable if you get treatment early enough.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, half of all eye injuries occur as people perform everyday chores such as cleaning, cooking, yard work, and tasks in the garage. However, relatively few people think to wear protective eyeglasses that might prevent a majority of these very unfortunate accidents. With this in mind, Prevent Blindness America recommends that every household purchase at least one pair of protective eyewear that is approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The eyewear should have a Z-87 logo stamped on its frames. By having this protective eyewear readily accessible, homeowners are more likely to wear it while using power tools and working with chemicals that pose real dangers.

Early diagnosis and prompt treatment can help prevent or delay visual progression.  Preventative eye care is important to everyone because eye conditions and diseases that can destroy you and your family’s vision can strike at any time in life, from newborn to old age.

The experience of headaches and/or eye strain while a child does homework may be due to a largely overlooked vision problem known as “convergence insufficiency” (CI). In fact, as many as one out of every 20 students experiences this problem, in which the eyes do not turn together properly to read and must work harder to focus up close. As a result, youngsters with CI may experience headaches, eye strain, double vision, or reading problems. Because standard vision screenings administered by schools and pediatricians will not catch the problem, diagnosis by an ophthalmologist, who can measure convergence with some simple tests, is necessary. Professional treatment consisting of office-based eye exercises and at-home techniques for reinforcement is effective.

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