Browse By Topic: Readers Want to Know

Stem Cell Treatments for Dry Macular Degeneration—Cautious Optimism Advised for Patients

Treatments for Dry Macular Degeneration: An Unmet Need Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of legal blindness in Americans over 65. There are two distinct types of the disease, both of which result in the deterioration of the macula, the central part of the retina that allows a person to see fine detail. The wet form, which is considered the more aggressive of the two, affects about 10 percent of patients who may be helped by regular injections of


Readers Beware: In a Dangerous and Unregulated Stem Cell Treatment, Patients Lose Sight After Stem Cells Are Injected Into Their Eyes

A retina with wet AMD Of all the eye research developments reported on the VisionAware blog, it is stem cell research for eye disease that generates the most inquiries from our readers. Many readers request information about stem cells, assuming that this is an established and widely-performed treatment for eye disease; others ask for help in finding a doctor who will administer "stem cell treatments." In response to these inquiries, my message is always the same: "Although stem cell research for eye disease has produced a small number of interesting results, it is in its very earliest safety-testing


Our Readers Want to Know: What Causes Floaters and Should I Be Worried About Them?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search online]. Of particular concern to many readers are the presence and disease implications of floaters, as evidenced by the following searches: Do floaters go away after a while? I've had a sudden onset of a shower of floaters. What does this mean? I have floaters after laser treatment/eye injection/eye surgery. Is this a problem? Can floaters cause a retinal tear? An Answer from Mrinali Patel Gupta, M.D. <img


Our Readers Want to Know: Can I Continue Gardening with Vision Loss?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to hear from our readers and implement their suggestions for keeping VisionAware relevant, timely, and useful. Most recently, our reader interactions have included several inquiries about hobbies or recreational activities for adults and older adults with vision loss: I would like to help a social director in an independent living facility find activities that are appropriate for


Our Readers Want to Know: Can You Tell Me More About Nutritional Supplements for Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet] as well as answer specific reader inquiries via email. Every month, questions about macular degeneration (AMD), including risks, treatments, and helpful resources, consistently rank among the top inquiries: I am 76 years old and have dry AMD in my left eye and wet in the other, first diagnosed in 2009. Can supplements help me or am I wasting my money? I am currently using [a pharmacy


Our Readers Want to Know: Why Am I Having Visual Hallucinations Along with My Vision Loss?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. Since the earliest days of VisionAware.org, and more so during the past year, the following questions appear consistently within our top searches: I'm seeing things that I know aren't there. What is wrong with me? I'm nervous because I see people in my house, but I know they're not really there. Why is this happening? An Answer from VisionAware <img src="http://www.afb.org/image.asp?ImageID=3758" alt="Engraving of Charles Bonnet in profile.


Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses Can Be the Scariest Part of Halloween

Caption: Lady Gaga in Still from "Bad Romance" Halloween is right around the corner. You may be tempted to try out those "cool" decorative contact lenses that Lady Gaga wore in the "Bad Romance" video a few years ago. Maureen Duffy wrote about the dangers of these lenses in a post last fall. Vampire eyes or other cosmetic effects using contact lens may be very dangerous to your eyes. Here's what the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has to say


Our Readers Want to Know: What Is the Role of Lasers in Cataract Surgery?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. Since the earliest days of VisionAware.org, the following questions about cataracts and cataract surgery consistently rank within the top ten searches and are especially relevant during Cataract Awareness Month: Is it true that cataract surgery now can be performed entirely by laser? How can I find out more about laser surgery for cataracts? An Answer from Tina D. Turner, M.D. <img src="/image.asp?ImageID=3483" style="margin:0 10px 10px 0;" alt="Tina D.


Our Readers Want to Know: What Is the Difference Between an Ophthalmologist and an Optometrist?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. Since the earliest days of VisionAware.org, the following questions about eye doctors and eye care consistently rank within the top ten searches and are especially relevant during Healthy Vision Month: What are the different kinds of eye doctors? What is the difference between an ophthalmologist and an optometrist? Ophthalmology and Ophthalmologists <img


Our Readers Want to Know: What Is the Difference Between Low Vision and Legal Blindness?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. Since the earliest days of VisionAware.org, the following questions about the meaning of "legal blindness" consistently rank within the top information searches: What does legal blindness actually mean? Does legal blindness mean that someone is totally blind? My uncle says he is legally blind, but I think he has some vision. How can


Our Readers Want to Know: How Is a Vision Screening Different from a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. Since the earliest days of VisionAware.org, the following questions about eye exams consistently rank within the top information searches: How can I keep my eyes healthy and prevent eye disease? What is the difference between a full eye examination and a shorter vision screening? About Healthy Vision Month During


Our Readers Want to Know: What Are the Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. Every month, questions about macular degeneration (AMD), including risks, treatments, and helpful resources, consistently rank among the top twenty queries: My husband and I both have macular degeneration What are the chances of my children inheriting our eye problems? Can the right diet help to prevent macular degeneration? An Answer from Lylas G. Mogk, M.D. <img src="/image.asp?ImageID=3558"


Our Readers Want to Know: How Can I Travel Safely Outdoors if I'm Blind or have Low Vision?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. The following questions about outdoor travel with low vision or blindness consistently rank within VisionAware's top twenty information searches: What is orientation and mobility? How can I travel outside if I can't see? Is it safe to walk outside with just a white cane? An Answer from Dona Sauerburger, COMS <img src="/image.asp?ImageID=3521" style="margin:0 10px 10px 0;"


Our Readers Want to Know: What Is the Difference Between Hyperglycemia and Hypoglycemia?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. Since the earliest days of VisionAware.org, the following questions about blood glucose levels and diabetes consistently rank within the five most popular searches: How do blood glucose levels relate to diabetes? What is the difference between hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia? An Answer from Debra Sokol-McKay, MS, CVRT, CDE This week, during


Our Readers Want to Know: What Is "Reasonable Accommodation"?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware.org, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. The following questions about employment with a disability – specifically blindness or low vision – consistently rank within VisionAware's top twenty information searches: What does "reasonable accommodation" mean? How can I talk to my employer about reasonable accommodation? National Disability Employment Awareness Month <img src="/image.asp?ImageID=4955"


Our Readers Want to Know: When Should I Have Cataract Surgery?

Editor's note: One of the many benefits associated with an online information center and website, such as VisionAware, is the ability to track readers' search terms [i.e., information readers are seeking as they search the Internet]. Since the earliest days of VisionAware.org, the following questions about cataract surgery consistently rank within the five most popular searches: When should an individual have cataract surgery? How long is the recovery time after cataract surgery? An Answer from Tina D. Turner, M.D. This week, our answer comes from


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