Friday, June 1, 2012

Columbus Ophthalmology Welcomes Two New Surgeons To Our COA Family!

 Brandon C. Cho, M.D., M.S.
Columbus Ophthalmology Associates proudly welcomes Brandon C. Cho, M.D. to our COA Family.  
Dr. Cho received his medical school degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine in Columbia, South Carolina.  He recently completed his fellowship in ophthalmic plastic and orbital surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Ophthalmic Specialty
  • Eyelid &Orbital Reconstructive Surgery
  • Cosmetic Eyelid & Brow Surgery
  • Treatment & Surgery of the Thyroid Eye Disease
  • Tumors of the Eyelids and Orbit
  • Adult and Pediatric Tearing
  • Treating Adult and Pediatric Patients
He is married with two sons and enjoys martial arts, ice hockey, and golf.

Thomas C. Litzinger, M.D.

Columbus Ophthalmology Associates also proudly welcomes Thomas Litzinger, M.D. to our COA family. Dr. Litzinger received his medical school degree from The Ohio State University and completed his ophthalmology residency at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California.  He recently completed his corneal transplant fellowship at Duke University.

Ophthalmic Specialty
  • Corneal Transplant Surgery
  • Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK)
  • LASIK Laser Vision Correction
  • Intacs® & Surgical Teatment for Keratoconus
  • Management of Acute Corneal Disease
  • Advanced Cataract Surgery
Dr. Litzinger has been involved in several mission trips. He enjoys sports and exercise, photography, art and spending time with family and friends.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Seasonal Eye Allergies

What are eye allergies?
Allergies affect about 20% of the world’s population. Allergies can affect the eye in about one third of this group. An eye allergy can be the eye’s overreaction to a substance that it thinks will do harm. The most common symptoms of this disease are itching accompanied by redness and watering of the eyes. Sometimes a thin, mucous discharge is present.

What causes eye allergies?
Seasonal ocular allergies are due to a response on the surface of the eye to an antigen (pollen, dust, and mold). A series of events causes the release of histamines. Histamine is the chemical responsible for the symptoms that patients may experience with seasonal ocular allergies.

What type of therapy is used for an eye allergy?
Therapy for allergic conjunctivitis has evolved a great deal in the past several years. Initially, patients were treated by decongestants or vasoconstrictors, as well as antihistamines, or a combination of products. In severe cases topical steroids have been used to decrease the inflammation on the eye. A new agent known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) inhibit the synthesis of chemicals known as prostaglandins. These medications are not steroids, but are an alternative and when administered by mouth can help relieve pain and inflammation in the joints. Ibuprofen is a commonly used anti-inflammatory drug. These drugs are now available in drops and are used in combination with, or in place of, steroids to treat and relieve ocular itching due to seasonal allergies. Mast cell stabilizers are another medication used by your eye care specialist to reduce ocular allergy symptoms and recurrence. These drugs are often used as maintenance therapy and need to be taken regularly for them to be most effective.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Prolonged Computer Use Can Affect The Eyes

A variety of eye symptoms are associated with prolonged use of a computer terminal. Most patients experience dryness and itchiness of the eye as well as fatigue. In most cases, some simple remedies will alleviate these symptoms.

Most computers are a little farther away than normal reading distance. Therefore, an adjustment in the design of glasses may help. There are special ‘desktop glasses’ that specifically aid for mid-range and near tasks and have been beneficial to many patients.

Periodic breaks are very important. You should stare off into the distance about 4-5 minutes during the work day to prevent what is known as accommodative spasm. When we look close, our eyes have to accommodate to change focus. Prolonged accommodation can result in the eyes “locking in” at the closer distance. This can cause headaches and may lead to blurred vision in the distance or difficulty changing focus from one visual point to another.

The use of an ocular lubricant will keep the ocular surface moist and clean. This reduces the red, watery and itchy symptoms that occur with computer use.

Many of the eye symptoms associated with the prolonged use of computers can be decreased by updating your glasses prescription, periodic rest breaks and the use of ocular lubricants.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

As part of Glaucoma Awareness month in January, we strongly recommend that those at risk should have a complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist at least every one to two years. Although glaucoma cannot be cured, early detection and treatment can help preserve vision.

Glaucoma is a condition in which the optic nerve, responsible for transmitting visual information from the eye to the brain is damaged. Although the nerve damage is usually associated with elevated pressure inside the eye, other factors can be involved. Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually may begin with the loss of peripheral vision and then advance to a reduction in central vision. With its painless and gradual loss of vision, glaucoma may have no early warning signs, but it can be detected through a comprehensive dilated eye exam. However, vision loss from glaucoma can be prevented if it is detected and treated in time.

Who has a higher risk for glaucoma?
· Everyone over the age of 60
· African-Americans over age of 40
· People with a family history of glaucoma
· Hispanics
· People with other health conditions, such as diabetes
· Individuals that have experienced a serious eye injury.

First there may be no symptoms, but as the disease progresses a person with glaucoma may notice:
· Blurred vision
· Loss of peripheral vision
· Difficulty focusing on objects
· Presence of halos around lights

Glaucoma is a lifelong condition. Patients and their doctors work together to agree on a treatment plan that offers the patient the best chance of preserving his or her vision.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sports Eye Safety

Everyone loves sports and they love to look fashionable. While protective eye gear may never be the latest craze, it is very important to protect your eyes. Wearing eye gear can help prevent the possibility of permanent vision loss, a scratched cornea or fractured eye socket.

Every year, more than 40,000 adults and children suffer eye injuries while participating in sports. Sports with the highest risk for eye injury are basketball, baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, soccer, paint-ball and racket sports. Athletes participating in high-risk sports, especially young athletes should wear appropriate sport-specific protective eyewear as recommended and properly fitted by an eye-care professional.

Eyewear properly fitted and worn does not hinder performance in any way, and can help to prevent sports eye injuries. It is highly recommended to prevent an eye injury that protective polycarbonate lenses be worn. Polycarbonate lenses are unbreakable and make excellent protection for the eyes. People with one eye should carefully consider the risks of contact sports. Wearing eye protection is essential for people with only one eye.

Goggles or sports glasses can protect the eyes while playing basketball, soccer, racket sports and handball. Helmets with eye shields are recommended for football, ice-hockey and other contact sports. For high-speed sports such as skiing and biking, it is important to wear special frames sturdy enough to protect the eyes from impact or debris.

Prescription glasses used during sports should be made from polycarbonate which is 20 times stronger than typical eyeglass material. Polycarbonate can withstand impact from a ball or other projectile traveling at fast speed. Contact lenses offer no protection, and street wear glasses are inadequate to protect against any type of eye injury.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome is among the most common eye conditions in the United States. In healthy eyes, a thin layer of tears coats the outside surface of the eye, keeping it moist and washing away bits of debris that might fall into the eyes.

Dry eye syndrome occurs when people do not produce enough tears to keep the surface of the eye moist and clean. People with dry eyes often experience dryness, stickiness, stinging or burning of their eyes. The eyes are often red and irritated. The eyes may water excessively in an effort to soothe the irritation, but these reflex tears are usually not adequate to fix the problem. Dry eyes make it difficult to wear contact lenses and can reduce the vision due to break-down of the corneal surface. The tear film normally decreases with age and this is especially common in women after menopause. Certain medications, such as decongestants, tranquilizers, drugs used for high blood pressure and antihistamines can further disrupt the tear layer. Some medical conditions such as arthritis and thyroid disorders also increase the likelihood of dry eyes.

Artificial tears are the first line of therapy for dry eye syndrome. These are available without a prescription at your local pharmacy. Restasis® is a prescription medication taken twice a day in a drop that has been proven to treat moderate to severe dry eye syndrome. Restasis® helps by reducing the inflammation and by helping to increase tear production. This allows the surface of the eye to return to a normal state and reduce the symptoms of itchiness, dryness, blurred vision and sensitivity to light.

As dry eye suffers often experience heightened sensitivity in the wind, protective eye wear can also be helpful to improve symptoms. Wrap-around sunglasses can help keep moisture in and the wind and irritants out of the eye. These can be purchased in our Optical Shoppe.

Friday, January 28, 2011

How does diabetes affect the eyes?

Diabetes Mellitus impairs the body’s ability to utilize sugars. This systemic disease affects the walls of small blood vessels throughout the body. When not well controlled, diabetes can affect the eye in several ways.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy affects the delicate retina by causing a deterioration of the blood vessels. The retina is the portion of the eye that acts much like the film in a camera. All light images are carried from the retina to the brain by the optic nerve.

Background diabetic retinopathy is a milder form of the disease. Only a few vessels are enlarged and form small balloon-like sacs called micro-aneurysms. These leaky vessels can cause small hemorrhages and fluid deposits on the surface of the retina. This is the earlier stage of the disease and vision is not usually seriously affected. If the leakage, however, causes fluid to collect in the center of the retina, known as the macula, straight ahead images can be blurred and a loss of central vision may result. About one half of all diabetics will have some form of retinopathy by 10-15 years of their disease.

A more serious form of the disease is called Proliferative Retinopathy. Abnormal blood vessels grow which are very fragile and can rupture causing large hemorrhages to leak into the vitreous gel that fills the back part of the eye. These large blood clots block light passing through the pupil and can significantly reduce vision. Significant scar tissue and loss of vision can result from detachments of the retina.

It is recommended that diabetic patients have at least a yearly examination of the retina by a doctor experienced in treating diabetic eye disease. If retinal disease is present, your doctor may see you more frequently. In some cases, photography may be necessary to locate leaking blood vessels. This technique is known as fluorescein angiography.

Early treatments of leaking blood vessels are performed by the Argon laser. Small bursts of laser energy can seal leaking vessels. The laser has significantly reduced vision loss in diabetic patients. Successful treatment, however, depends on early detection and monitoring. Likewise, patients must maintain good control of their diabetes to prevent further damage to their eyes.