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Cataract surgery helps AMD patients; steroid improves DME; online eye health forum
Date:11/2/2009

e topics of highest interest to people who access eye health information on line, John C. Hagan, MD, and colleagues analyzed 4,485 questions over six months (September 1, 2008 to March 1, 2009) posted on the "Ask a Doctor: Ophthalmology" and "Eye Care Community" forums sponsored by the Academy on MedHelp (www.medhelp.org ), one of the 10 largest health information websites. Dr. Hagan and three other ophthalmologists provide free, timely advice to a large and growing number of people with eye health and vision problems through these forums. Serious problems, such as life-threatening retinoblastomas in babies, have been caught and treated in time thanks to these forums, as have thousands of other eye and vision problems.

Concerns related to the retina topped the list at nearly 20 percent of all questions; many people asked about "flashes," "floaters," or retinal detachment. About 19 percent of questions were related to the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye that helps focus light to make vision possible. Cataract and implanted lens questions were next in prevalence, followed by brain-eye problems (neuro-ophthalmology), children's eye alignment (strabismus), eye cancers, and general discomfort or blurry vision. Two-to-three percent of questions related to each of three vision correction topics: refractive surgery (LASIK and others), eyeglasses, or contact lenses. A smaller number were related to eye care products or medical insurance. The analysis also found many people submit postings to express their gratitude for the medical advice provided.


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Contact: Mary Wade
mwade@aao.org
American Academy of Ophthalmology
Source:Eurekalert

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