Is Arm Length the Reason Women Need Reading Glasses Sooner than Men?

Scientific analysis finds gender difference is not related to the eye’s focusing power

Studies have consistently reported that women require reading glasses or bifocal lenses earlier than men. According to a recent Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science paper, the gender difference Continue reading

Kids with Blocked Tear Ducts at Higher Risk for Lazy Eye

Early comprehensive eye examination encouraged in the Journal of AAPOS

Amblyopia, sometimes referred to as “lazy eye,” is a cause of poor vision in children. It occurs in about 1.6% to 3.6% of the general population. Early treatment is critical, as the first few years are the most important in the development of eyesight. If amblyopia is not treated in the first 6 to 10 years, poor vision becomes permanent and cannot be corrected. Continue reading

The Important Necessity of Eye Exams for Older Adults

Older adults are at higher risk for eye disease and vision problems, so you’ll want to take very seriously any unusual symptoms someone you’re concerned about may be having with his vision. That’s because early detection and treatment can greatly reduce the risk of partial or complete blindness. Routine eye exams are crucial, too, as some eye diseases arrive without any warning.

How often should an older adult’s vision be screened?

For those 65 and older, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends complete eye exams every year or two. If a person hasn’t seen an eye doctor recently, it’s important to schedule an appointment. Even if he isn’t having any symptoms or any trouble seeing, it’s possible to have an eye disease. There are often no obvious early symptoms of glaucoma, for example, and the disease progresses slowly. In fact, experts estimate that almost half of those with glaucoma don’t know they have it.

A person may need more frequent exams (perhaps even more often than once a year) if he has certain medical conditions, like diabetes or high blood pressure, which may put him at higher risk for some eye diseases. The eye doctor might want to see him more often, too, if he:    Continue reading

Vitamins E and C Have Little Effect on Age-Related Cataract

Long-term, regular use of vitamins E and C has no apparent effect on the risk of age-related cataract in men, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. oxidization damage,

“An estimated 20.5 million persons 40 years and older in the United States show some evidence of age-related cataract,” the authors write as background information in the article. “Because oxidative damage is a prominent feature of cataracts, one focus of nutrition research has been the link between dietary intake of nutrients with antioxidant potential, particularly vitamins E and C, and the risk of cataract.”

To evaluate the effects of vitamin E and vitamin C on cataracts, William G. Christen, Sc.D., from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, and colleagues studied 11,545 apparently healthy U.S. male physicians 50 years and older. Men were randomly assigned to receive vitamin E or placebo and vitamin C or placebo. Those in the vitamin E group received 400 international units (IU) of vitamin E daily or placebo and those in vitamin C group received 500 milligrams of vitamin C on alternate days or placebo. After an average of eight years of treatment and follow-up, 1,174 cataracts and 801 cataract extractions (surgery to remove cataract and repair the eye lens) were confirmed.

There were 579 cataracts in the vitamin E treatment group and 595 cataracts in the placebo group. Analyses of the effects of vitamin E on cataract subtypes indicated no significant effects of the treatment on nuclear, cortical or posterior sub capsular cataract. The authors determined that “there was no apparent benefit of vitamin E at any point during the trial.”

In the vitamin C segment, there were 593 cataracts in the group receiving treatment and 581 in the placebo group. Similar non-significant findings were observed for each of the three cataract subtypes. Additionally, the authors found that “the effect of vitamin C on cataract and extraction [removal] did not differ appreciably within categories of known or possible risk factors, other than a possible, but statistically non-significant trend toward increased risk in those with a reported history of cardiovascular disease.”

“In summary, these randomized trial data from a large population of middle-aged and older, generally well-nourished men indicate that long-term supplementation with high-dose vitamin E and vitamin C, either alone or in combination, has little effect on rates of cataract diagnosis and extraction.”