New Treatment for Macular holes

Recent approval of Jetrea (Ocriplasmin) to treat symptomatic VMA (Vitreo Macular Adhesion) has opened up a new era in non surgical management of macular holes. Previously only a hospital based surgery was able to reverse the process of macular hole development but now a new drug can be injected into the eye painlessly in the office and within a few weeks the process reverses back to more normal vision levels....  more

FDA Approves ASRS Leader's ArgusŪ II Artificial Retina

On February 14, the FDA approved the Argus II artificial retina developed by ASRS Executive Committee and Board Member Mark S. Humayun, MD, PhD.

This breakthrough technology is the first ever to offer limited vision to patients with late-stage retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

 Second Sight Medical Products (Sylmar, CA) manufactures the Argus II implant, which has 60 electrodes and a tiny camera mounted on eyeglasses to capture images.

 The FDA approved Argus II for adults age 25 years or older with severe to profound RP. About 10,000 to 15,000 of the 100,000 Americans with RP will qualify for Argus II. Up to 4,000 patients a year can be treated with the device.

...  more

Macular degeneration and Aspirin?

Aspirin and Macular degeneration... is there an increase in the wet form of macular degeneration in those patients taking aspirin? The wet form develops quicker than the dry form. It may only be related to the fact that you are more likely to take aspirin if you have medical problems like stroke or heart attacks in the past and these conditions are more commonly associated with wet age related macular degeneration. ...  more

Digital eye sight checking

Submitted by Dr Peter Van Houten on Sun, 07/22/2012 - 13:05

Eye tests come into the digital age.


Welcome to the digital age! We have electronic medical records and digital diagnostic imaging, which have been developed and refined over the past 20 years.  Now  home monitoring of your eye health comes of age. The introduction of the SightBook "app" from on the iPhone brings monitoring your eye health in partnership with your eye care physician to the digital age. 

     Vision screening    

There are quite a few eye diseases that are best treated when the patient can recognize changes in vision early, before those changes become very obvious to the average person.  An example would be Age Related Macular Degeneration. This disease can be very slow to progress while it remains  the "dry" type, but suddenly there can be changes to the vision in one eye as it develops into the  "wet" type. These changes can go unnoticed by the patient as the other unaffected eye can compensate making the vision seem fine. If routine testing for changes in the diseased eye is done, then the changes in vision could be found earlier and the patient would have a better prognosis for treatment.  Do not wait for the eye to hurt as this change is painless. This SightBook "app" allows the patient to conveniently conduct some of this routine testing at home on an iPhone or iPod touch.

       Amsler grid

The app is available in the App Store on your iPhone or iPod touch and it is free. It also connects to your eye physician, as long as the eye physician has registered with the program.  Our patients can link up with Dr Van Houten by putting in the physician number "110".  This allows our patients to send abnormal results to our practice right away. The app helps patients monitor the health of their eyes in between scheduled appointments and will help indicate when they need a special appointment, but is not a substitute for periodic routine eye exams. Keep all your appointments as scheduled by your doctor as his or her experience in treating the disease is vital. It will also help track the eye medications and eye exam appointments. Though not a magic cure, this "app" can help the patient keep track of what is going on with the eye and detect when there is something happening that is unusual or new. Diseases are sometimes unpredictable and this is one way we can fight back!   

Keep checking and taking the vitamins and minerals.
Sincerely, Peter Van Houten, M.D. 

Dr Peter Van Houten's blog