The Eye Care Insitute
March 2007
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The Eye Care Institute Named Official Eye Care Provider For The Kentucky Derby Festival

Kentucky Derby FestivalThe Kentucky Derby Festival is a long standing community event steeped in tradition, and it is one of the foremost celebrations of its kind in the world.  The Eye Care Institute is pleased to be named the Official Eye Care Provider for The Kentucky Derby Festival.  This relationship allows our practice the prestige of being the only eye care provider associated with the festival.  In addition to being involved in several of the events that take place during the Derby Festival, our practice will be outfitting the Derby Royal Court with the latest designer sunglasses from The Optical Shop at The Eye Care Institute For more information on the festival, visit

Eat Your Spinach

Mom was right, we should all eat our Spinach. Did you know that dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, and turnip greens contain Lutein. What is Lutein you ask? Lutein is a compound present in the macular region of the retina. Eating foods containing Lutein or consuming dietary supplements containing Lutein is the only way for your body to get Lutein.

An intake of 6 milligrams of Lutein per day may help protect your eyes from age-related diseases. Unfortunately, the typical American diet does not contain enough fruits and vegetables to give us the daily requirement of Lutein. Evidence shows that Lutein in food may help cut the risk of cataracts by up to 20% and macular degeneration by up to 40%.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the United States for individuals over the age of 65. Lutein is deposited in the macula of the eye through the foods we consume or dietary supplements. So, follow Mom’s advice, eat your fruits and vegetables. (Foods containing Lutein: spinach, kale, broccoli, turnip, collard, mustard greens, peas, corn, green beans, romaine lettuce, orange juice, orange, papaya, tangerine and eggs.) To learn more about Lutein visit

What is A Cataract?

Cataract EyeA cataract is the clouding of the eye's natural lens.  This lens, much like a camera lens, focuses light to allow us to see.  Clouding of this lens may occur as we age.  The clouding is caused by continued growth of the natural lens. As the lens cannot increase in size, it increases in density.  This affects the ability of light to pass through and to be focused by the lens, and it becomes more difficult to see.

At first the cataract may have little effect on vision.  As the cataract grows, one may notice that lights may seem bright or glaring, and colors may not appear as bright as they once did.  Symptoms vary depending on the type of cataract.

Just as there are different types of cataracts, there are various suspected causes of cataracts.  Studies suggest causes of cataracts such as exposure to ultraviolet light, diabetes, cigarette smoke, air pollution, heavy alcohol consumption, steroids, diuretics and major tranquilizers.  It is believed by some eye doctors that a diet high in antioxidants, such as beta-carotene (vitamin A), selenium and vitamins C and E, may hinder cataract development.  Protection from ultraviolet light may also be beneficial.

There are treatment options for cataracts once they become bothersome.  It may be possible to improve vision for a while when symptoms first occur.  New glasses, strong bifocals, magnification, appropriate lighting or other visual aids may be viable options.  Once the cataracts have progressed to the point of seriously impairing your vision and affecting daily life, surgery is often the best option.

Modern cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure which is usually performed with minimal anesthesia.  It is usually a relatively painless procedure with a very high success rate designed to regain vision lost from cataract formation.

Did you know???

The first cataract surgery was performed in India in the 5th Century BC by a surgeon named Susruta who did a procedure called "couching" in which the clouded lens is pushed back. This provided somewhat better, but by no means, normal or pain-free vision!

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