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All Posts Tagged: macular degeneration

Saipan Women Face Higher Risk of Blindness Than Men

Saipan Women Face Higher Risk of Blindness Than Men

American Academy of Ophthalmology urges women to make eye health a top priority

Studies show there is a gender gap in eye disease. Women are more likely than men to suffer from sight-threatening conditions such as age-related macular degeneration(AMD), cataracts and glaucoma. In support of Healthy Vision Month in May, Marianas Eye Institute and the American Academy of Ophthalmology remind women to make vision a top priority.

Women make up 65 percent of macular degeneration cases; 61 percent of glaucoma and cataract patients are women, and 66 percent of blind patients are women. Why the inequity? There are a few theories. On average women live longer and many eye problems are age-related. Some eye conditions, such as dry eye, are more common in women, young and old. Social and economic factors affect women’s access to eye care, especially in developing countries. Whatever the cause, there are a few unique vision problems women need to watch out for more than men. Dry eye occurs at double the rate in postmenopausal women. In general, women are more susceptible to autoimmune diseases than men, many of which affect vision, such as lupus, Sjogren’s syndrome and hyperthyroidism. Also, pregnancy can cause vision changes due to the hormones pregnant women experience.

The good news is most vision loss is preventable. Marianas Eye Institute and the Academy offers five simple steps to take control of your eye health today:

  • Get a comprehensive medical eye exam at age 40. Early signs of disease or changes in vision may begin at this age. An exam by one of Marianas Eye Institute’s specialists is an opportunity to carefully examine the eye for diseases and conditions that may have no symptoms in the early stages.
  • Know your family history. Certain eye diseases can be inherited. If you have a close relative with macular degeneration, you have a 50 percent chance of developing this condition. A family history of glaucoma increases your glaucoma risk by four to nine times. Talk to family members about their eye conditions. It can help you and your eye specialist evaluate your risk.
  • Eat healthy foods. A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Eye-healthy food choices include citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables and cold water fish.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking increases the risk for eye diseases such as cataract and age-related macular degeneration. Smoking also raises the risk for cardiovascular diseases which can indirectly influence your eye health. Tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, also worsens dry eye.
  • Wear sunglasses. Exposure to ultraviolet UV light raises the risk of eye diseases, including cataract, fleshy growths on the eye and cancer. Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.

“Eye exams aren’t only about checking a person’s visual acuity or sharpness, but also determining the overall health of their eyes,” said Rebecca J. Taylor, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “We encourage women as well as men to get regular eye care. By making vision a priority today, we can help protect our sight as we age.”

“We know that women in the CNMI drive most of their family’s healthcare decisions. They are often the leaders in their families,” said Russ Quinn, CEO of Marianas Eye Institute. “Yet the statistics clearly show that women are at higher risk for eye disease, and we encourage them all the CNMI’s women to make sure their own care receives priority,” he said.

Marianas Eye Institute is known as a regional leader in eye care, providing total eye care for the family, including express glasses, contact lenses, medical eye care, surgery and laser. Marianas Eye Institute is staffed by Dr. Dennis Williams, who has been listed in “America’s Top Ophthalmologists”, and Dr. Mark Robertson, a magna cum laude optometrist, along with eight other highly talented and nationally certified eye care ophthalmic technicians, opticians, and contact lens technicians. Located on Beach Road in Garapan, across 13 Fishermen Monument, Marianas Eye Institute is open Monday through Saturday and accepts new patients as well as walk-ins. Anyone interested in women’s eye health can call 235-9090.

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Saipan Eye Clinic Shines

Saipan Eye Clinic Shines with New Technology

Marianas Eye Institute, your Saipan eye clinic, in its ongoing commitment to bringing cutting edge technologies and the highest quality eye care to the region, has purchased the “best in class” Visucam 524 retinal camera made by the renown optics and engineering company Zeiss. The Visucam 524 allows for the highest quality of care in diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration.

The Visucam 524 takes photos of the inner layers of the eye – the retina – which are affected by a broad range of diseases. “For years we have been the only clinic in the CNMI performing fluorescein angiograpy – a test that can record blood flow through the delicate blood vessels of the eye, which is particularly important in diabetic patients,” said Russ Quinn, the Saipan eye clinic’s CEO. “The Visucam 524 adds the additional capability of detecting early stages of macular degeneration and other retinal diseases though something called ‘auto fluorescence’, which is an important non-invasive tool in detecting and following diseased retina” he explained.

The Zeiss camera boasts a 24 mega-pixel sensor which produces brilliant detail-rich images to effectively aid in detecting and monitoring a broad range of retinal diseases. Training for the new camera was provided by Zeiss representative, Joanna Givens who traveled the Saipan eye clinic. She was impressed with the skill of the clinic staff, and commented that “the eye care technicians all took beautiful photos. They are well trained at getting just the right angles.”

Marianas Eye Institute’s Certified Ophthalmic Assistant, Thelma Tenorio, commented, “These images are amazing. You can really see so much more detail with this new camera. This will definitely help the doctors detect any problems early on.”

The Visucam 524 retinal camera sets a new standard with its ultra-high resolution images and superior clarity, which ensure that difficult to detect diseases can be identified by the doctors at Marianas Eye Institute. The camera comes with sophisticated software for processing and viewing the images. One of the most practical elements of the software is a feature that allows the doctors at this Saipan eye clinic to view the full images as an overview, and also to magnify portions in order to see the smallest details.

“Many years ago, Retinal Physician Magazine recognized Marianas Eye Institute as ‘one of the best-equipped eye clinics in the Asia-Pacific region’”, said Quinn. “We are committed to maintaining that standard so our patients know that they have access to the best in the region. This camera ensures that all the people of the CNMI, but particularly those with diabetes, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, will benefit from advances in the field.”


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Macular Degeneration in Saipan

This isn’t a bad photo.  It’s what the world can look like if you have Macular Degeneration.  Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness among older people, but new treatments have dramatically changed the course of this disease over the last 10 years, making AMD more manageable than ever before. AMD is not common in Saipan, but when it strikes, it can be devastating.  Our Saipan eye clinic is experienced in treating AMD, and if your vision is getting blurry, or distorted, it could be a sign of AMD.  Come to Marianas Eye Institute immediately to see our Saipan optometrist or ophthalmologist.  The sooner we catch the problems, the better the chances of keeping your vision.

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