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Everything You Need to Know About Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Awareness Months that aren’t necessary: Lima Bean Respect Day? How about Talk in an Elevator Day? Yes, these really are actual national awareness days, at least according to the internet. But not all awareness days are…silly. Some of them shine a spotlight on causes and conditions we really do need to know about.

For example, February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. At Eye Medical Clinic, we care about your eyes. We want you to have the best possible vision you can have and enjoy healthy eyes for a lifetime. So, we’d like to dedicate some space to talking about this sight-stealing condition.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a genetic eye disease associated with aging, where the central portion of the retina, called the macula, deteriorates. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people over age 50 in the United States. It affects your central vision and can have a negative impact on everyday activities, like driving, reading and even recognizing faces.

Millions of people are diagnosed with AMD each year. A comprehensive eye exam with a board-certified ophthalmologist like the ones here at Eye Medical Clinic is the right place to start if you are concerned about this condition. Our own retina specialist, Dr. Tamer Hadi, is here to guide you through managing this sight-stealing condition.

Two Types of Macular Degeneration

There are two types of AMD: dry and wet. Dry AMD is by far the most common type. Treatment for dry AMD begins with routine eye exams with your eye doctor, especially after age 60, with the goal of early detection. If detected, Dr. Hadi may prescribe a specific mix of zinc and antioxidants to help in slowing the progression of the disease. As a trusted retina specialist, you can trust him with your ongoing care and treatment.
Treatment for the less common wet AMD can include a number of options, including intravitreal injections that inhibit the growth of the abnormal blood vessels that cause the retina to swell and vision to become blurred or distorted. Dr. Hadi has extensive experience in these treatments.
This is important to know: macular degeneration is irreversible, so people who are at risk for age-related eye disorders need to be diligent about their eye care.

The main primary risk factor for AMD is age – the older you are, the greater your risk. Also, people with a family history of AMD are at higher risk, as are women and people of European descent.

Some additional lifestyle factors are also known to increase your risk for AMD:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Obesity
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Diet deficient in fruits and vegetables

If you are at risk for AMD, please contact us today. By identifying the early signs of macular degeneration, we can help prevent and treat this disease.

See Every Moment

At Eye Medical Clinic, our shared goal is to be the best, most trusted eye care provider in San Jose and beyond. With renowned and experienced vision experts and a highly trained clinical team, we provide the latest state-of-the-art diagnostic tests, treatments and procedures, customized to your needs, lifestyle and vision goals. Schedule an appointment with your Eye Medical Clinic team to learn more about how to protect and preserve your vision today and in the future.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

It is estimated that, currently, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030; a significant increase.

At Eye Medical Clinic, we are committed to educating our patients about this sight-stealing disease and providing the latest glaucoma treatments and management strategies.

All About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is called “the silent thief of sight” since there are typically no symptoms, and once vision is lost, it cannot be reversed. Glaucoma, in fact, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness. Among African American and Latino populations, glaucoma is even more prevalent.

Over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma.

Glaucoma comes in many different forms, but the two main types are open-angle and angle-closure. Both are marked by increased pressure within the eye. Open-angle glaucoma is far more common, accounting for more than 90 percent of diagnosed cases.

Glaucoma Treatments at Eye Medical Clinic

The goal of glaucoma treatment at Eye Medical Clinic is to preserve your current level of vision and to prevent any further vision loss. Treatment can vary, depending on the type of glaucoma diagnosed, the degree to which the condition has progressed, your underlying risk factors and other variables.

Glaucoma is more complex than most people understand. For this reason, it’s so important to choose a trusted and experienced doctor for your glaucoma management. For most patients with glaucoma, medication alone (eye drops) will be enough to control eye pressure. In some cases, several medications working together are necessary to maintain adequate pressure control. When medical treatment alone fails to sufficiently reduce the pressure, surgery is another option.

Glaucoma treatment options include:

MLT (Micropulse Laser trabeculoplasty)

MLT is a form of laser surgery that is used to lower intraocular pressure in open-angle glaucoma. It is used when eye drop medications are not lowering the eye pressure enough or are causing unwanted side effects. MLT can be performed as an outpatient procedure at Eye Medical Clinic, has very little downtime and most patients report little to no discomfort.

LPI (LASER PERIPHERAL IRIDOTOMY)

Laser peripheral iridotomy is a standard first-line treatment in closed-angle glaucoma. The procedure creates a tiny hole in the outer edge of the iris, leading to an opening of the angle in the majority of cases. After the angle is widened from the procedure, the trabecular meshwork (which directs fluid out of the eye) is exposed and fluid outflow is enhanced.

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery (MIGS)

MIGS lower eye pressure in a much safer manner with rapid recovery and minimal restrictions. Instead of creating an artificial drain in the eye, they unclog the natural drainage system of the eye and enhance drainage.
Eye Medical Clinic is pleased to offer the revolutionary iStent Microstent. The tiny iStent is placed in the eye during cataract surgery, saving patients time and money! The device is so small, it can’t be felt. In other words, you won’t even know it’s there! iStent can effectively lower eye pressure by improving the outflow of fluid from the eyes.

There are several advantages offered by the MIGS procedures like iStent. They are minimally invasive, nonpenetrating procedures that do not create a permanent opening in the wall of the eye. Additionally, most can be performed either as stand-alone procedures or at the time of cataract surgery with similar recovery, postoperative drop regimen and restrictions of activity as cataract surgery alone.

A large majority of patients can not only achieve independence from glasses but minimize or eliminate/minimize glaucoma eye drops.

See Every Moment with the Vision You Deserve

At Eye Medical Clinic, our board-certified ophthalmologists have the training and experience to treat your glaucoma safely and effectively. After careful evaluation of the type and severity of your glaucoma, age, lifestyle and a host of other factors, we will recommend a personalized treatment plan that is customized for your individual needs. Schedule an appointment today.

Finish 2020 with the Vision You Deserve

If your eye doctor has told you it’s time to consider cataract surgery, you may be thinking, “Welllll, maybe I should wait.” After all, the pandemic is still affecting the lives of people across the world. But the truth is, now is actually a great time to have cataract surgery and for more reasons than you might think.

Cataract surgery is an exciting opportunity, and we like to say it’s something you should actually look forward to! At Eye Medical Clinic, we love to guide our patients through this journey to restored, and possibly even improved, vision. Let’s talk more about why now is an ideal time to have cataract surgery at Eye Medical Clinic.

Extra Measure of Safety

If safety is a concern to you at this time, you’re not alone. Many of our patients have asked us about this very thing! Here is what we tell them. All our cataract surgeries are performed at a trusted partner ASC (ambulatory surgery center). And an ASC is probably the safest place to receive care; perhaps even safer than a hospital. Why? Because ASCs do not treat sick patients. They are highly regulated healthcare facilities held to extremely high safety standards at the federal and state level.

Maximize End-of-Year Savings

Need another reason to consider moving forward with cataract surgery at this time? We’ve got a great one! By the final months of the year, most people have met their annual deductible, making it a great time to schedule needed medical procedures like cataract surgery (before deductibles reset in January).

With your deductible met, your supplemental insurance may very well help pay for more of your procedure costs. Not sure how all that works? We can help.

Customized Care with Personalized Vision

At Eye Medical Clinic, we really do want you to See Every Moment. Our experienced vision experts will meet with you one-on-one to assess the health of your eyes, learn about your lifestyle, hobbies and goals after surgery to decide on a plan together. It is our goal that you leave your consultation feeling confident and excited about your upcoming surgery and potential new vision.

See Every Moment, Your Way

Now, more than ever before, you have the opportunity to make a lifestyle decision about your vision after cataract surgery. Eye Medical Clinic is at the forefront of major advancements in lens exchange procedures that let you live the way you want. We also offer a variety of Premium Lens Implants (Multifocal and Extended Depth of Focus) that can replace your cataracts and possibly even eliminate the need for progressive glasses, bifocals or contact lenses. Specifically, Premium Lenses are designed to give patients high-quality vision at several distances, and in any light condition, including low light.

Premium IOLs are appropriate for the majority of patients who also seek a return to the vision of their youth. Most of these patients report no longer needing distance or reading glasses to see clearly in any and all light conditions. Candidates for Premium Multifocal IOLs include patients who have any of the following conditions: Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, Presbyopia and Cataracts, either with or without astigmatism.

While there are no lens options that can guarantee 20/20 vision at all distances, most patients who choose a Premium Lens Implant are happily glasses-free for most daily activities.

Trust your eyes to the San Jose cataracts specialists at Eye Medical Clinic. Our team is anchored by board-certified, fellowship-trained ophthalmologists who have completed countless successful cataract surgeries. Schedule an initial cataract consultation today and learn more about the amazing advances in Premium Lens technology. Play golf with 20/20 in 2020 and walk into the new year with the confidence that comes from Seeing Every Moment.

Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. At Eye Medical Clinic, we also want to highlight that it’s Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Diabetes is a debilitating and potentially sight-stealing disease, so this topic is important to talk about!
You might be surprised to learn that diabetes affects more than 34 million people in the United States. That’s more than one in 10 Americans living with diabetes!

Must-Knows of Diabetic Eye Disease

Diabetic Eye Disease is a significant possibility for anyone who suffers from diabetes. There are several different kinds of diabetic eye disease, but all of them have the potential to result in vision loss and even blindness.
At Eye Medical Clinic, we know that preserving your vision is an important part of maintaining your health and well-being. Our own Dr. Tamer Hadi regularly sees many diabetic patients to monitor their eye health. As a Retina specialist, he knows exactly what to look for, as many diabetic eye diseases don’t have symptoms in their earliest stages. Here are his top tips to know:

  1. 1. If you have diabetes, you could develop diabetic eye disease at any time. Elevated blood sugar levels from diabetes can damage small blood vessels throughout the body, including those that nourish the retina. Often the earliest damage goes undetected by patients. In other words, it’s possible to develop diabetic eye disease without having ANY symptoms.
  2. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in working-age Americans. As the disease progresses, blood vessels become blocked, damaged, and leak, preventing areas of the retina from receiving vital blood and nutrients. This leads to a host of problems, often starting with retinal swelling (diabetic macular edema), which blurs the fine vision needed for reading and recognizing faces, progressing to poor circulation and retinal damage (ischemia and hemorrhages) which prompts the development of growth factors that cause ABNORMAL new blood vessels (neovascularization) to grow on the retina (proliferative diabetic retinopathy). New vessels may bleed into the center of the eye, cause scarring, retinal detachment, or high pressure and pain by blocking the drainage system of the eye. All of these can be devastating for vision.
  3. Other vision complications from diabetes include glaucoma and cataracts. People with diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts at a younger age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as are non-diabetics.
  4. Diabetic eye disease can be treated! It’s true, if you have diabetic eye disease, the reality is, you are at risk for losing vision. But great strides have been made over the years to minimize complications from diabetes. Regular eye exams, early detection, and timely disease management can help protect from and even reverse vision loss! And it all starts with knowledge and prevention. Educate yourself on the following symptoms and risk factors.

Symptoms

Diabetic eye disease may occur in one or both eyes and may include the following symptoms:

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty with color perception
  • The appearance of spots – often called “floaters” – in your vision
  • A shadow across the field of vision
  • Risk Factors

Anyone who has diabetes is at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Additional factors can increase the risk, including:

  • Disease duration – the longer you have diabetes, the greater the risk of developing diabetic eye disease
  • Poor control of blood sugar levels
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Pregnancy

Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema

Each treatment plan is highly individualized and will be based on your age, medical history, lifestyle and degree of damage to your retina. In its earliest stages, diabetic retinopathy may not require treatment beyond regular monitoring by your Eye Medical Clinic doctor.
Medical management in the clinic typically includes intravitreal injections for diabetic macular edema and laser therapy to seal or shrink leaking blood vessels in a process called photocoagulation. In severe cases, the retina can become detached due to diabetic retinopathy and may require surgery.

Prevention

Patients with diabetes often ask if there is anything they can do to keep from getting diabetic eye disease or to prevent vision loss once it occurs.
If you have diabetes, the National Eye Institute suggests that you keep your health on TRACK

Take your medicines as prescribed by your doctor
Reach and maintain a healthy weight
Add physical activity to your day
Control your ABCs—A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol
Kick the smoking habit

Regular dilated eye exams reduce the risk of developing more severe complications from the disease. It is extremely important for diabetic patients to maintain the eye examination schedule put in place by the retina specialist. How often an examination is needed depends on the severity of your disease. Through early detection, the retina specialist can begin a treatment regimen to preserve your vision.

Commit to an Annual Sight-Saving Exam

Researchers found that more than half of patients with diabetes skip an annual comprehensive eye exam. This should not be! Annual comprehensive eye exams are critical as they can reveal hidden signs of disease, resulting in more timely treatment. This is why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends people with diabetes have them annually or more often, as recommended by their ophthalmologist.

“If you have diabetes, regular monitoring by a Retina specialist
is one of the best things you can do to prevent vision loss.”

Tamer Hadi, MD, board-certified ophthalmologist at Eye Medical Clinic

At Eye Medical Clinic, we want our patients to enjoy a high quality of life while also managing their diabetes. Our experienced clinical team has extensive experience in the diagnosis and management of diabetic eye disease. If you have diabetes, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Eye Medical Clinic today, and protect yourself from preventable vision loss.

Our Commitment to Safety with COVID-19

Eye Medical Clinic is happy to welcome you back beginning June 1st (by APPOINTMENT ONLY). We are committed to our patients’ health and safety, so we’re implementing new protocols in accordance with established guidelines. If you have a scheduled appointment, we ask that you follow these steps.

  1. Complete ALL paperwork prior to your appointment. This will be sent to you by the staff so you have time to complete. (New patients only)
  2. Limit the number of people accompanying you to your appointment (1 adult per child, 1 caregiver per adult when medically necessary.)
  3. Adhere to social distancing rules (6 feet)
  4. Refrain from/limit talking during your appointment
  5. Prior to entering the clinic, put on a face covering and wear it for the duration of your appointment (click here for the proper way to wear face covering)
  6. Before leaving for your appointment, check your temperature at home. Anything higher than 100.0, please reschedule your appointment.
  7. Upon arrival, please wait in the designated area. Please use the entrance door located facing the parking lot.
  8. Contact Lens Wearers: Please bring your own contact lens solution and case to your appointment. We will not be providing communal solutions at this time.

The Eye Medical Clinic Staff will:

  • USE FOGGING TREATMENT TO PROFESSIONALLY DISINFECT OUR ENTIRE OFFICE USING EPA REGISTERED DISINFECTING AGENTS.
  • PROVIDE A SAFE ENVIRONMENT. WE HAVE IMPLEMENTED SYMPTOM SCREENING FOR PATIENTS AND STAFF.
  • LIMIT THE NUMBER OF PATIENTS IN THE OFFICE TO MAINTAIN SOCIAL DISTANCING (6 FEET). SPEAK AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE WHILE IN CLOSE PROXIMITY AND REQUEST THE PATIENT TO MINIMIZE SPEAKING AS WELL.
  • WEAR MASKS AND FACE SHIELDS WHEN THEIR TASK REQUIRES THEM TO BE CLOSER THAN 6 FEET.
  • CLEAN EVERY SURFACE. WE HAVE ENHANCED OUR CLEANING PROCEDURES TO DISINFECT AND SANITIZE ALL CLINICAL SETTINGS, WAITING ROOMS, OPTICAL DEPARTMENT, AND PUBLIC AREAS. WE WILL METICULOUSLY DISINFECT BETWEEN EACH PATIENT.
  • SANITIZE ALL ITEMS BETWEEN USE…OFFICE SUPPLIES, EQUIPMENT, FRAMES, ETC.

Patients will be required to:

  • DISCLOSE IF THEY ARE EXPERIENCING ANY SYMPTOMS SUCH AS FEVER OR RESPIRATORY ILLNESS AND/OR IF THEY OR HAD CONTACT WITH SOMEONE CONFIRMED OR HAS SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19 IN THE PAST 2 WEEKS. (please call and reschedule your appointment if the answer is yes to any and call your PCP about testing)
  • SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT PRIOR TO COMING TO OFFICE. NO WALK-IN APPOINTMENTS: APPLIES TO BOTH OPTICAL AND CLINIC
  • WEAR FACE COVERINGS AT ALL TIMES. (READ HOW TO PROPERLY WEAR FACE COVERING HERE)
  • ADHERE TO OUR REDUCED VISITOR POLICY
  • USE HAND SANITIZER PRIOR TO ENTERING THE WAITING AREA
  • ASK FOR ASSISTANCE WITH FRAMES/GLASSES AND AN OPTICIAN WILL REMOVE FROM CASE. PLEASE LIMIT THE AMOUNT OF FRAMES YOU TRY ON.
  • BRING ALL CURRENT EYE DROPS AND CONTACT LENS SOLUTIONS WITH YOU TO YOUR APPOINTMENT.

A Notice About COVID-19

Dear Patient,

As we all navigate the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation together, we want to share with you the extra precautions we’re taking at Eye Medical Clinic to serve you. We will continue to keep you, our valued patient, at the center of our planning and decision making. We encourage you to be informed and prepared surrounding the outbreak of coronavirus.

Keeping Our Office Safe

We’ve always been proud of the cleanliness and operations of our clinics, and we know that keeping them clean and sanitized is even more important now. 

If You’re Feeling Ill

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, please contact our office. We will discuss your symptoms and determine if it is necessary to reschedule your appointment.

In the meantime, we suggest taking the same preventative measures always recommended during cold and flu season.

  • Wash your hands frequently. Use an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Maintain social distancing. Keep a distance of about three feet between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands pick up viruses easily because of all the surfaces they touch. Once transferred through the eyes, nose or mouth, you can become sick.
  • If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early. 
  • Stay home if you don’t feel well. 

Recent Travel/Exposure

If you or a family member have traveled to a high-risk area in the past 14 days, we ask that you please let us know so that we can reschedule your appointment. Or if you may have been exposed, we’ll need to reschedule your appointment. We also recommend that you speak with your primary care physician.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.

Sincerely,

The Eye Medical Clinic Team

We Specialize in Opening Eyes and Brightening Outlooks with Blepharoplasty

Drooping eyelids can interfere with vision and make for tired-looking, aged eyes. At Eye Medical Clinic, we offer a unique approach to eyelid surgery that can restore a bright-eyed, youthful appearance.

What is Blepharoplasty?

The medical term for eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty is designed to correct the drooping or sagging skin of the eyelids.

What can blepharoplasty accomplish? Glad you asked! Blepharoplasty can:

  • Remove excess skin and fat from upper lids
  • Reduce upper eyelid fold
  • Sharpen eyelid crease
  • In some cases, improve vision (functional upper eyelid blepharoplasty)
  • Create a more youthful, refreshed appearance

Who is a Good Candidate for Blepharoplasty?

With age, the skin and muscles of the eyelid can begin to sag and droop. Additionally, the fat that surrounds and cushions the eyeball can bulge forward through the skin of the upper lid. Excess skin, muscle and fat can weigh down the upper lid and in some cases, impair vision. If you have any of the following, eyelid surgery might be right for you:

Tired looking eyes
Upper eyelid skin hanging over normal lid crease
Smaller or more saggy-appearing eyes

About the Surgery?

At Eye Medical Clinic, our blepharoplasty procedure address both functional and aesthetic concerns for upper eyelids.

Functional Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty addresses upper eyelid droopiness that is significant enough to interfere with vision and daily tasks like reading and driving.

  • Removes excess skin and fat hanging over normal lid crease
  • Medicare and private insurance will cover at least a portion
  • Consultation, exam and testing can help determine coverage eligibility

How is Blepharoplasty Performed?

During an upper blepharoplasty, small incisions are made within the natural crease of the eye, so excess skin and fat can be removed. We can discuss the best approach for you at a consultation.

Blepharoplasty at Eye Medical Clinic is performed in-office using local anesthesia. You may also opt for light sedation during the procedure but you will still be able to return home the same day. Patients report very little discomfort. You will be asked to return five to seven days post-op to have your sutures removed. Most people return to most daily activities including work within a week of blepharoplasty surgery.

Who Will Perform My Blepharoplasty?

John Sullivan, MD is a board-certified ophthalmologist with vast experience in cataract, reconstructive, cosmetic and plastic surgery. He holds a clinical professor faculty appointment in the ophthalmology department at the University of California-San Francisco where he shares teaching responsibilities training ophthalmology residents and oculoplastic fellows.

Schedule an initial consultation today with the experts at Eye Medical Clinic. We will share all of our eye-opening options to give you a clear idea of what will benefit your vision and lifestyle. At Eye Medical Clinic, we have been dedicated to helping the people of Santa Clara Valley with all their eye care needs for more than 70 years.

Eye Medical Clinic Providing Aid to Wildfire Victims

Eye Medical Clinic Providing Aid to Wildfire Victims

Join us!

As the Camp Fire continues to impact northern California as the deadliest and most destructive in the state’s history, our team at Eye Medical Clinic is immediately providing aid for those impacted by the fire.  

To assist affected and displaced individuals, families, and first responders, we are:

  • Providing free eye exams to anyone suffering from exposure to smoke or other irritants because of the fire, through December 8th, 2018.  
  • Offering free repair or replacement of prescription eyeglasses to anyone whose glasses were broken or lost due to the wildfire. We will try to accommodate as many patients as possible.  Some restrictions will apply.
  • Accepting donations of water, non-perishable foods, hygiene kits, diapers, and baby formula and will distribute them to aid organizations, including the Red Cross, to help affected individuals and families.

If you’d like to make a donation, we’re located at 220 Meridian Avenue in San Jose.  Call (408) 869-3402 or visit www.EyeMedicalClinic.com/california-fires for more information.  

“At times like this, we must do everything we can to care for our neighbors who are suffering.”
-Dr. Mona Bagga, Ophthalmologist at Eye Medical Clinic  

Schedule Appointment