Therapies, Medications and Surgery

2012-04-25 / Health / Comments Off on Therapies, Medications and SurgeryComments

There is no way to prevent amblyopia or the condition that causes it, but early diagnosis and treatment is often successful in reversing them. Part of restoring normal vision is correcting the predisposing cause of the amblyopia. To correct a misaligned eye, the physician will choose from a menu of options, which includes glasses, special lenses called prisms, eye drops or surgery. If an unequal refractive error is to blame, the amblyopia may be corrected with glasses or a contact lens, which makes the image on the retina appear clear. For eyes blocked by cloudy tissue, treatment will depend on which part of the eye has become cloudy. If a cataract covers the lens, surgery is typically needed. If the cornea is cloudy, treatment may involve observation over time. The physician will treat more rare conditions, such as tumors, glaucoma or lid disorders, with drops, surgery or observation, as appropriate.

Treating amblyopia — the fact that the eyes are not working together for normal vision and depth perception — is another part of restoring normal vision.

Physicians treat amblyopia by blocking the vision of the better-seeing eye in order to strengthen and improve the weaker amblyopic eye. This may be accomplished with an eye patch, which sticks like an adhesive bandage to the skin around the healthy eye. The healthy eye could also be covered using an occluder lens, which is a black contact lens that prevents light from entering the eye. Another option is using eye drops to enlarge the pupil of the better-seeing eye to blur its visual image. These treatments may occur before, during or after treatment for the condition causing the amblyopia.

Occluder contact lenses may be a better treatment than an eye patch if your child’s skin is sensitive, he or she is socially conscious about the patch, or he or she keeps removing the patch. The parent typically places the occluder contact lens in the child’s eye. After lens placement, check the child frequently to make sure the lens remains properly placed. After lens removal, check the lens for tears or breaks. Discourage the child from rubbing his or her eyes. For younger children, it may help to give them something that will keep their hands busy, such as blocks or other toys.

Do not insert a lens into your child’s eye if there are any abnormalities in the lens or if the eye is obviously red or sore. Occasionally, doctors treat amblyopia by using special drops to blur, or penalize, the vision in the better-seeing eye.

However, since this only blurs vision, as opposed to other methods that completely block the light coming into the eye, this method may be less successful.

A child who has been successfully treated for amblyopia is not out of the woods until approximately age 9. Frequent vision checks may be necessary to adjust treatment and prevent a relapse.

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Stomach Hormone

2012-04-17 / Infections / Comments Off on Stomach HormoneComments

Q.I have had diarrhea for about seven months. After many tests, the only thing unusual is a high level of some hormone from the stomach in my blood. I have never heard of a “stomach hormone.” Can you provide details? Read the rest of this entry »

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2012-04-17 / Health / Comments Off on AmphetaminesComments

Amphetamines are stimulants commonly referred to as “speed” or “uppers.” They are taken to provide the user with a false sense of energy, and they can do serious physical damage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pilates Yoga’s Cousin

2012-04-09 / Fitness / Comments Off on Pilates Yoga’s CousinComments

The Pilates Method, an exercise system with roots in yoga, was developed in the 1920s by physical trainer Joseph H. Pilates. It focuses on improving flexibility and strength without building bulk. Wendy LeBlanc-Arbuckle, director of the Pilates Center of Austin and longtime yoga practitioner, has seen Pilates help many arthritis patients over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

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What Shape Is Your Diet. Part 2

2012-04-05 / Diet / Comments Off on What Shape Is Your Diet. Part 2Comments

Many athletes also express concern about getting the recommended 2-4 servings of fruits every day, as well as 3-5 servings of vegetables. As one runner remarked “I’m lucky if I eat that much in a week..” Although the amount sounds overwhelming, the portions need to be explained: One small 6 oz glass of juice counts for one serving; thirsty athletes commonly drink 12 ounces per swig! Read the rest of this entry »

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What Shape Is Your Diet. Part 1

2012-04-05 / Diet / Comments Off on What Shape Is Your Diet. Part 1Comments

Meal plans seem to come in shapes. Whereas square meals and a well rounded diet were once fashionable, the pyramid reflects nutrition in the ’90s. Many athletes, however, eat a linear diet; bagels, bagels, bagels; pasta, pasta, pasta. This lack of variety can result in unbalanced diets that lack the nutrients needed for top performance. Read the rest of this entry »

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More on Medications in Pregnancy

2012-04-01 / Women's Health / Comments Off on More on Medications in PregnancyComments

Last week, I talked about drugs and medications in pregnancy including over-the-counter remedies, birth control pills accidentally taken while pregnant, and epilepsy medicine. This week I will touch on high blood pressure medications, psychiatric drugs and herbal remedies. As I’ve said before, there are many books devoted to this topic and each medication comes with a packet of information, including facts about its effects in pregnancy.
High blood pressure is pretty common in pregnancy and there are a number of medications used to treat it. A category of drugs called ACE inhibitors should not be taken at any time during pregnancy. When taken in the first trimester, ACE inhibitors may cause malformation of the baby’s kidneys. Taken in the second and third trimester, it can cause the baby’s kidneys to shut down entirely. Read the rest of this entry »

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