High-Tech Eye Care Right Here At Home


Did you know that fair-skinned people are at higher risk for macular degeneration, and that cataracts will affect everyone if they live long enough? It's impossible for even the most educated consumer to keep abreast of every new revelation or advance in technology. That's why there are specialists.

And Dr. Mary E. Davidian, who founded Highland Ophthalmology Associates in Newburgh a decade ago, wants it known that a patient needn't travel to Manhattan to ensure state-of-the-art care and cutting-edge technology. Davidian and her staff bring Manhattan to Mid-Hudson.

Davidian is a board-certified medical doctor and fellowship trained cornea specialist and refractive surgeon. She's on staff at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary in Manhattan, where she also teaches residents. That affiliation, coupled with her participation in ophthalmologic societies, connects her with those in the vanguard.

Dr. Thien (Tim) Huynh, joined the group last July. He received his fellowship training in glaucoma at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and specializes in the early detection and treatment of that disease.

Add to the mix two optometrists qualified in primary eye care and an optician, who crafts glasses and cuts lenses, and the result is an all-care practice that can diagnose and treat just about every visual/eye abnormality. "We offer the full spectrum of eye care right here at home," Davidian says.

And here's an eye on what you need to know.

Cataracts are a clouding of the natural lens, resulting in blurry vision. "They're a normal part of the aging process," Davidian says, putting anyone age 60 or older at risk. Steroid use, eye trauma and diabetes can also increase their likelihood.

Years ago, the complication rate from cataract surgery was high, Davidian says, so doctors often held off surgery until the cataract was "ripe", meaning the patient was legally blind. "Today, an ultrasound probe is inserted through a tiny self-healing incision and used to break the cataract into small pieces, allowing for a quicker recovery time," she says. "A lens is then implanted."

Single power and newer multifocal lenses are available, meaning they have multiple powers to address distance and near vision - and everything in between.

Glaucoma, or high pressure in the eye, results when the normal eye fluid does not drain properly. Left untreated, blindness results. "A person can have perfect blood pressure and abnomal eye pressure," says Huynh. "There are no symptoms, no pain or discomfort." Once diagnosed, the disease cannot be reversed. The treatment goal is to prevent progression. Oftentimes the new breed of eye drops are successful. If not, Huynh might perform delicate microsurgery called a trabeculectomy, which allows fluid to drain through a microscopic hole. Another option is the insertion of a tiny filtering tube between the cornea and the iris.

Macular degeneration is the degeneration of the macula, or the central part of the retina. Those with that lack of pigment - in the skin and in the eyes - are more susceptible. Studies indicate that wearing sunglasses and taking antioxidants are helpful.

Macular degeneration can be categorized "wet" or "dry". Wet means blood vessels are leaking, causing a dramatic decrease in vision. There has been success with injections that cause the regression of the vessels. "In this case, we make the diagnosis and set the patient up with one of our retina colleagues," Davidian says.

The cornea is the clear front that covers the iris and pupil. Scars or swelling can cause the cornea to distort light, resulting in glare or blurred vision. Inherited dystrophies, trauma and infections (sometimes caused by sleeping in contact lenses) can affect the cornea. A corneal transplant is considered when vision or swelling cannot be corrected, giving patients the chance of improved sight.

For optimum eye health, annual exams are crucial, the doctors say.

For more information please call us at (845) 562-0138.