Blog

Two choices for cataract therapy

Traditionally eye doctors tell their patients that they have “some” cataracts. This may refer to the earliest traces of haze in the crystalline lens of the eye or to a significant opacity, which is visually debilitating. Well, there are two approaches to cataracts that are progressing.

A 2013 study from Australia documented that people with cataracts who had undergone cataract surgery were 40% less likely to die from any cause in the ensuing 15 year period . So, the surgical option provides a better physical and emotional outlook. But it may not be the only option.

read more >

Investing in Eyeglasses in Poor Nations Would Boost International Economy

Eliminating the worldwide shortage of eyeglasses could cost up to $28 billion, but would add more than $200 billion to the global economy, according to a study published last month in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.

The $28 billion would cover the cost of training 65,000 optometrists and equipping clinics where they could prescribe eyeglasses, which can now be mass-produced for as little as $2 a pair. The study was done by scientists from Australia and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

read more >

Device Offer Partial Vision for the Blind

The first of the new high-tech treatments for patients with AMD, Retinitis Pigmentosa and Stargardt’s Disease has been approved in the US. The Retinal Implant will restore partial sight to those who have lost central vision. The other two procedures, Stem cell therapy and Corneal Microstimulation are in the offing. Stay tuned for the latest news and click the picture to read the recent New York Times article.

Also Dr Abel has been invited to speak on Nutrition and the Eye at the Royal college of Surgeons in London march 16. At that time he will catch upon the latest approved treatments in the UK.

read more >

February AMD Month

We have an aging demographic in the developed world, so we can expect more people will have aging vision. But that doesn’t have to happen! It is a good time to take inventory of your eyes and vision. Let’s start by recognizing the four major reasons that threaten our sight.

read more >

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)

OCT is break-through technology, which will enable ophthalmologists and other neuroscientists to detect abnormalities in the retina, optic nerve and the brain. A harmless laser generates light waves of 850 nanometers, which scan the retina in thousands of bursts per second. The instrument can measure local or diffuse disease in blood vessels, one-cell tissue layers and the optic nerve. These findings may lead to the early diagnosis of such diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The OCT also allows identification of retinal toxicity from systemic medicines and can be used to benchmark changes in diabetes, inflammation and macular degeneration.

read more >

The Nature of Man

Particularly human…isn’t it interesting with all the genetic studies that the eye, once again, becomes most important? Dr. A feels genetic therapy will one day replace drugs in treating cancers and other chronic diseases.

read more >

Closing Eyes Briefly After Verbal Learning Boosts Memory and Improves Learning

Here is an interesting article about embedding a visual or oratory image in your brain. Instead of closing your eyes and thinking about it for 10 minutes, do so for 10 seconds.

read more >

New Tricks for Old Diseases

You should always have a menu of choices, even if they include drops, laser or surgery. Even in glaucoma, we would say there are several less invasive and more natural options. Glaucoma illustrates the fact that there may always be less invasive and more natural options. The following are some of these options.

read more >

Three Blind Mice

Three blind mice,
See how they run
They were just fitted with a new device,
and their life has just begun!

read more >

Smart Glasses To Go Mainstream

Google’s secretive X lab developed what they call “smart glasses”. These glasses take out the bulk of technology and provide the wearer with wireless media. For example, the wearer can take videos and see text just by a glance. The glasses represent a growing trend for wearable computing. Check out this fascinating article in the Economist!

read more >

Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Associated With Increased Risk of Retinal Detachment

This group of antibiotics has been commonly prescribed for pneumonia, sinusitis, GI problems, and cystitis. Now, I have learned, that they may increase your chances of developing a retinal detachment. Recently, we have found out, that in addition to developing a retinal detachment, this group of antibiotics also relaxes ligaments.

read more >

Dry Eye Patient Don’t Have To Suffer

Severe dry eye patients can cause chronic discomfort , blurred vision and only limited relief with multiple eye drops. Other treatments include Restasis, topical antibiotics, steroids and punctal plugs. Well, I want to remind you that a long time treatment, Lacrisert has been overlooked by most eye care professionals. Lacrisert is a cellulose insert which, when deposited between the lower eyelid and eyeball can provide a soothing tear film for 16 to 18 hours. This prescription item has shown its effectiveness and safety in long-term studies. Not only is it a convenient way to preserve the vital tear film, but it contains no preservatives that may create irritation over time.

read more >

Testing for Omega-3 Levels

Omega-3 fatty acids have long been known to decrease risk of heart diesase, ward off serious conditions like Alzeheimer’s disease, depression and arthiritis and even help prevent colon cancer. Did you know that 70% of Americans are deficient in omega-3s? Recently, a test for all adults was created and can be performed by a doctor to determine your fatty acid levels. Ideally, omega-3s should be 8% of your total fatty acids, with a minumum level of 4%. The test can cost between $100 and $200, and while not covered under insurance yet, doctors are hopeful this annual test will become routine for many as it can be a very strong motivator to lead a healthy lifestyle. Generally, you should eat fish at least four times a week to get the maximum benefits of oily fish. Fish supplements are perfectly fine as well, and there are many “burp-free” varieties on the market. Getting enough omega-3s is crucial in maintaing a healthy heart and healthy life.

read more >

TV linked to Unhealthy Diets

A recent article in the New York Times discussed the link between watching TV and an unhealthy diet. A survey was conducted and found that there were varieties amongst the race, sex and ages of children and what type of foods they snacked on while watching TV. Girls watch less TV than boys, older children eat more fast food than younger children, and white children eat more fruits and vegetables. It is important for parents to limit TV time and provide healthy snack options for their children. Check out the NY Times article.

read more >

What’s Vision?

What’s Vision?

Vision is more than seeing. Eyesight may be seeing, but vision is integrating and understanding the images. Eyes must provide an accurate position in time and space, and your brain integrates all of that input along with other information.

Vision most definitely affects development. Children’s orientation to the world is related to being able to coordinate eyes, hands, feet and brains. Therefore, posture and emotional states are important for progressive orientation to new environments.

read more >

From the Minds of Babes

Dr. Spelke, a Harvard cognitive psychologist, uses gaze patterns in infants in order to understand the infants mind. She can tell when the child looks at an object, what presumptions and expectations are taking place. She believes that early learning patterns lead to personality development and ability to think rationally later in life. We all know that children’s minds are plastic. Now we have a spokesperson who is helping to identify the mechanism of development of consciousness. Click the picture to link to the New York Times article.

read more >

What Is A Clinical Trial?

Clinical trials are research studies where patients help doctors find ways to improve health. Each study tries to answer a specific scientific. There are four types of trials: treatment, which involve new medications, therapies and approaches; prevention, which tests drugs or supplements believed to lower risk; screening, which tests the best way to uncover a disease; and quality of life trials, which explore ways to improve comfort.

Most clinical trials are classified into one of three phases. Phase I is a small study that looks at how a new drug should be given, how often and at what dose. Phase II trials evaluate how well the drug works. Phase III trials tests a new therapy, drug or procedure in comparison to the current standard. This is the largest trial. Check out the link to the full article in the News Journal.

read more >

Blurred Vision Up In The Air

You may not have realized that altitudes may change your vision. This happens to mountain climbers, astronauts and people who have had certain eye surgeries. It occurs because the eye is really a bag of water with two lenses (cornea and crystalline lens) which focuses the light.

So being under pressure changes in the air pressure around us may change the shape of our eyes.

read more >

Drugs and Drinks Can Cloud Your Brain

British researchers reported in July of 2011 that a number of common medications may affect memory and mood. Dr. Chris Fox has reported that drugs that block the action of an important neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, will affect a range of bodily functions, including memory.
These anticholenergic-type drugs include the heart drug digoxin, the blood thinner warfarin, codeine, and predisone. The most severe effects can be seen with Paxil, Benedril, Oxybutynin (for overactive bladder), and Clozapine (for Schizophrenia). A number of over the counter medications for allergy, antihistamines, and Tylenol PM has anticholenergic effects.
Many seniors are concerned that they may be developing cognitive loss and dementia, when it very well may be reversibly attributed to their daily medications. So it’s important to review your medications periodically and tell you physician about drugs prescribed by other doctors. Lastly, ask your pharmacist to determine if any of your medications contain anticholinergic activity.

read more >

Vitamin A, Omega-3 and Lutein: Powerhouse Nutrients

According to the January 24, 2012 Issue of the Neurology Journal, researchers found that certain vitamins and omega-3 levels are correlated to healthier cognitive function. Researchers measured blood levels in 104 men and women, whose average age was 87. After controlling for age, sex and many other factors, the scientist discovered that the people with the highest levels of the four vitamins, vitamin B, C, D and E, had larger brain volume, and scored highest on the cognitive tests. Also, higher omega-3 levels correlated to better cognitive functioning and improved blood vessels in brain, but not to higher brain volume. Impaired mental ability and smaller brain volume in turn was linked to high levels of trans fats. The lead scientist, Gene Bowman, could not prove that taking supplements of these vitamins can cure dementia, but what is the harm in healthy eating?

read more >

The Eye as an Indicator of Health

With aging of the eye, there is a reduction of light going into the eye. With this reduction, there is less light going to the pineal gland, which alters the normal circadian rhythm of the body. The circadian rhythm controls hormone production, especially cortisol, blood pressure, and the sleep cycle. The loss of normal control in these areas brings significant health risks, including heart disease and diabetes.

read more >

The Future of Macular Degeneration is Here

Preliminary studies have demonstrated improved vision in patients with dry macular degeneration. Some patients improved from seeing hand motion only, to seeing the big “E” on the eye chart. This means that with telescopic and magnification lenses, people can return to enjoying their usual activities in life. It is anticipated with further resolution of the stem cell technique, that there will be even better results.

read more >

Dr.A’s Article: The Eye of the Storm

See my letter called “Eye of the Storm”, under the Letter heading, appearing in the Wesleyan University Magazine. I share some of the latest ophthalmic research that may shed new light on Alzheimer’s disease and make for a more rapid diagnosis.

read more >

We Always Knew Vitamin D Was Good For The Brain, Now We Know It’s Good For Eyes

According to an article published online on January 2, 2012 in the journal Neurobiology of Aging reports an eye-rejuvenating benefit for a short course of vitamin D supplementation in aged mice.

Professor Glen Jeffery and his associates at the Institute of Ophthalmology at University College London supplemented old mice with vitamin D3 for six weeks while an untreated group served as controls. In addition to improved vision, the team found a reduction in number and changes in the configuration of retinal macrophages—immune cells that can sometimes cause excessive inflammatory damage—in animals that received the vitamin, as well as a decrease in retinal amyloid beta accumulation, which is a marker of aging. In humans, inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation are associated with an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

read more >

Delete the Diet Soda

Recently the ADA, the American Diabetic Association, withdrew its support of artificial sweeteners. Researchers have found that folks who drink two or more diet sodas (or the equivalent in artificial sweeteners) developed larger waist size and weight gain. It seems that this goes against the belief that such drinks will help you lose weight. However, they actually make a person more hungry.

read more >

Higher Nutrients Support Brain Health

Bowman and associates reported in the Neurology journal that certain vitamins, either in the diet or as supplements, reduce brain shrinkage with age. In the study, 104 men and women with an average age of 87 were tested for a wide variety of nutrients and 42 had MRIs to measure brain size.

read more >

Oxidation, Aging and Gene Therapy

A recent article in the Economist magazine reported on gene therapy in an experiment on aging in mice. There is a certain gene that prevents a cell from multiplying a fixed number of times (authors presume 60) and then kills the cell. These are called Hayflick-limited cells and when they die they release toxic oxidation products, which affect their neighboring cells. Well, Baker and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic administered a gene that would counteract cell death and thus allowing nearby tissues to remain healthy longer.

read more >

Leukemia Treatment Provides New Insights Into T-cells


Leukemia treatment provides new insights into therapy. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have found that extracting T-cells from patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) could be grown in tissue culture. Subsequent replacement for those cells attack the cancerous cells both in the blood and the bone marrow. The doctors had genetically modified the T-cells to both multiply and selectively destroy the abnormal blood cells.

By altering T-cells, many different diseases can be counteracted through enhancing immunity. This can be applied to iritis, uveitis, herpes, and optic neuritis, all of which may otherwise become recurrent for chronic diseases.

read more >

Dr. A featured in Advanced Ocular Care


Dr. A appears in Advanced Ocular Care discussing sunlight and its effects on the eye. Long-term exposure of sunlight has been known to have detrimental effects to the eyes, and can lead to many common ocular disease manifestations.

read more >

Dr. A highlighted in Advanced Ocular Care


Dr. A is highlighted in “Let’s Get Personal” in Advanced Ocular Care. Dr.A discusses his many publications, including the upcoming sequel “Last Sighting”, “Lumi’s Book of Teeth” and the third edition of his book, “The Eye Care Revolution: Prevent and Reverse Common Vision Problems”. Dr. A also stresses the importance of a healthy work-life balance.

read more >

Eye Strain and Pain

So many of my patients present with vague headaches and pain around the eyes. Well, it usually originates at the back of the neck. Lifting, cradling the phone, straining, grimacing during an examination, whiplash and even emotional tension can cause a knot at the base of the skull on either side of the cervical spine. This knot causes the eye pain and headaches and only needs to be recognized to be relieved. You may know it as a tension headache.

read more >

Eye Test May Give Clues To Alzheimer’s Disease

Over 5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps 35 million worldwide. A 2010 report indicated that the earliest signs might be noted in the liver, indicating a long-term nutritional issue may be associated. Australian researchers have correlated the width of retinal blood vessels (which can be easily photographed) with the amount of plaque in the brain. A company called Neuroptix has developed a scanning eye laser that can actually measure the amount of the amyloid protein in the lens. So, eye doctors will soon have the tools to look into the eye and diagnose the early onset of the disease.

read more >

Backpack…Pencils…Notebook…Eye Check?

Back to School time is a good time to take a careful inventory of our eyes and our body. The following tips are quite useful for not only improving your performance and that or your children, but also to maintain our journey to wellness throughout our lives. Remember too, that just as your children are learning lessons that will stay with them for a lifetime while at school, the lessons about taking care of their bodies, with your help, will become a part of their lifestyle.

read more >

The Personal Energy Crisis

Rest and renewal for our personal well being and our work life is essential. This editorial talks about learning to manage your energy. Here is an interesting article from the New York Times.

read more >

Why Give Your Memory to a Machine?

We are relying more and more on the Internet for our ability to recall. Search engines are replacing the way we were supposed to use our brains and eroding our ability to visual and restore thoughts.

Columbia University researchers have shown that people are more likely to remember things that they can’t easily find online. It appears that the internet is flattening the world and eroding our hippocampus.

read more >

Smart Contact Lenses for the Future

The first contact lens that can measure eye pressure, blood sugar, or deliver medication, has hit the market. The Triggerfish has been designed to manage and even treat glaucoma, by using an implanted ring in a contact lens. Glaucoma is characterized by periodic elevation of eye pressure, which is actually measured by the curvature of the cornea. This electromechanical technology, incorporated in the lens, can determine levels of eye pressure elevation and enhance therapeudic management.

read more >

Brain Injuries in Veterans

Approximately 300,000 American soldiers have sustained traumatic brain injuries in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though most have come from explosions, the location of the injury has been previously difficult to determine as it could not be detected by CAT Scan or routine MRI. Therefore, it was difficult to know how to treat the chronic mental or physical problems.

You wonder how this related to the eyes. I am currently working with a group that is able to analyze eye movements in order to identify the location of traumatic brain injuries. If we are able to connect a structural finding with a functional movement, we should provide our veterans with better and more accurate care.

read more >

Vitamin D Reduces the Risk of Macular Degeneration

Macular degerenation is not only the scurge of old age, but is becoming more prevalent in younger people who spend more time outdoors, don’t wear sunglasses, and have a diet high in saturated fat. This could be any of us in our senior years. Therefore, it is great news to know that good nutrition may be effective in counteracting the degerenation of your retinal receptors.

read more >

TV, Tweeting, and Children’s Eyes

It is obvious to all of us that children are spending more time indoors watching television or playing multimedia games and socializing across the web. Many times these activities become an obsession and take away from homework completion and outdoor activities. The eye is certainly the window to the brain, and can reveal many things.

read more >

Be Prepared for Summer Fun

is a time to enjoy the great outdoors, but unfortunately, is the time when we are most exposed to flying objects. This blog relates some of the areas of concern and recommends eye protection.

read more >

Great News for Multiple Sclerosis


In the last forty years, traditional therapy for Multiple Sclerosis has been the administration of interferon, immunomodulators, and steroids. Recent data demonstrate the profound effectiveness of high levels of Vitamin D3 in the prevention and relapse reduction of MS.

read more >

Finally a Cure for Vertigo

Believe it or not, a tube full of mineral oil with a mobile ball called DizzyFIX has effectively cured two of my patients with long-standing vertigo.

read more >

Preserving Your Vision

Most of us take our vision for granted until it starts to give us trouble. Dry eyes can be a consequence of too much time in front of a screen. Are there other lifestyle factors putting us at risk for vision problems?
Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are major causes of vision loss. What can we do to prevent their development?
Most of us take our vision for granted until it starts to give us trouble. Dry eyes can be a consequence of too much time in front of a screen. Are there other lifestyle factors putting us at risk for vision problems?
Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are major causes of vision loss. What can we do to prevent their development?

read more >

Dr. A featured in Health-e Times

“DHA: Critical at Any Age”
As a society, we are starving our children. Yet this newest generation to the planet is so obese that children are developing Type 2 diabetes in unprecedented numbers at younger and younger ages. The fast, tasty, easy processed foods that bedeck our glittering food emporia are mostly empty calories that fatten our children while robbing their brains, nervous systems, eyes, and very spirits of the nourishment they need to flourish. And yet, in our fat-phobic obsession to be thin and have slender children, we have labeled all fats as the enemy.

read more >

The Dark Side of Ophthalmology

Complimentary medicine is more than vitamins and supplements. It concerns water, diet, breathing and even sleep. In addition to our general well being, we need at least five hours of restful sleeping to refresh our eye. More than twelve million people may be affected by sleep disturbances and even sleep apnea, which is where the tongue and throat muscles actually relax too much in supine position.

There are a number of eye disorders that are recognized to be associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). I will share some of this information with you, starting with the symptoms, the signs, the systemic mechanisms and finally the specific eye problems.

read more >

NY Times Focuses On Eye Strain

“Do E-Readers Cause Eye Strain?”

This article underscores the fact that when working with computers and LCD screens, it is important to take periodic breaks to relieve eye strain. Most people don’t realize that constant computer work, tweeting/texting induces progressive nearsightedness. There are so many nearsighted young adults, that the military is offering free LASIK. Nonetheless, 2 minute breaks make all the difference!

read more >

Itching for Answers

With the coming of Spring and Summer comes the rebirth of the plant world. And with that, for many of us, come itchy eyes and runny noses. Allergies generally indicate that we have become increasingly sensitive to airborne and contact allergens. Allergens are proteins that cause a sensitivity reaction in tissues [...]

read more >

Dr. A featured in Delaware Today

“Looking For Clues”

The workings of the body and the health of the eyes remains a mystery to most people.  Dr. A’s medical thriller is an education in eye health, encouraging you to become a medical detective.

read more >

Top Ten Foods for Sight

1. Cold water fish (sardines, cod, macarel, tuna): Cold water fish are excellent source of DHA which provides structural support to cell membranes and is recommended for dry eyes, macular degeneration, and sight prevention.

2. Spinach, kale, and green leafy vegetables are rich in carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxathin. Lutein, a yellow pigment, protects the macula from sun damage and from the blue light.

read more >

Personal Eye Health Featured in NY Times

“What We’re Not Looking After: Our Eyes”

Vision is 80% of our sensory connection to the world and is fundamental in developed societies.  The New York Times recognizes the need for good eyesight in order for you to be able to read its product.

read more >

Ginkgo Biloba for Eye Health

Ginkgo biloba is the only tree that survived the Northern Ice Age. It has no known pathogens and its leaves and berries have a compound that acts as a cerebrovascular dilator. This means that Ginko extract can increase the blood flow to the brain, head and eyes. Since glaucoma damage may [...]

read more >

Preservatives in Your Eye Drops

As you might expect, multiuse eye drops must contain a preservative in order to avoid contamination. The most common preservative Benzalkonium chloride (BAK) has been around for over 50 years and is in most of our eye drops. In low concentrations it stops bacteria from multiplying, while in higher concentrations [...]

read more >

BBC Reports On Eye Chip For Blindness

“Implanted Chip ‘Allows Blind People to Detect Objects’”

Dr. A’s Eye Advisory has brought you breakthrough news on bionic eyes! Check out this amazing article on implanted chips providing sight to the blind!

read more >

Getting Rid of That Bad Boy Blephartis

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. The usual causes are dryness, staph bacteria and too much oil. The tear film is comprised of mucus, oil and water. The lachrymal glands produce the bulk of the tears which is liquid. The oil glands inside each of the eyelids secrete the oil to [...]

read more >

Vitamins Reduce The Risk of AMD

Once again another study supports vitamin supplementation reducing the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration. Fletcher and colleagues reported last year that seniors who had significant sunlight exposure (short blue wavelengths in particular) and low blood levels of antioxidants increased the risk of AMD almost 4 times. Whereas, those [...]

read more >

The Heartache of Heartburn

Stomach acid is essential for absorbing nutrients as well as reducing harmful bacteria and candidias from the digestive track. Typically, physicians are prescribing antacid medication such as H2 antagonists in order to reduce acid reflux also known as GERD. But are the long term use of these agents really good [...]

read more >

Risk vs Benefit

Since 1975, the mortality rate from all cancers, excluding skin cancer, has gone down 8%. In that same period of time, the mortality rate from heart disease has gone down 60%. The reason for this lies in the fact that research funds have been directed toward treating disease and end-stage [...]

read more >

Not a Wet Eye in the House

Everyone experiences dry eyes from time to time whether it’s in an airplane, a dry bedroom an office building or even all of the time. Dry eyes are related to the fact the tear film is not sufficient under particular circumstances. People often stare while driving or using a computer, may [...]

read more >

The Eyes Have It

Our eyes are the windows to the rest of the body. Their health is dependent on the health of all of our parts. In fact, the liver processes foods, stores important nutrients, removes toxins and is the key organ for eye health. The eyes are not only the conveyer of vision [...]

read more >