The Causes of Secondary Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve – which is an essential part of vision – and is often linked to increased pressure inside the eye. Secondary glaucoma, a type of this condition, arises as a complication of another medical issue or condition. Here’s a closer look at secondary glaucoma, including what it is and its causes and mechanisms.  

Understanding Secondary Glaucoma  

Secondary glaucoma is distinguished from primary glaucoma by its direct association with an identifiable underlying health issue or injury. While primary glaucoma typically develops due to genetic predisposition or age-related changes and lacks a direct cause, secondary glaucoma results from specific pathological conditions that affect the eye’s fluid dynamics or external trauma.  

The balance of aqueous humor production and drainage determines intraocular pressure (IOP) in the eye. Under normal conditions, this fluid is produced in the ciliary body, flows through the pupil, and drains via the trabecular meshwork at the angle where the iris and cornea meet. Any disruption in this flow or drainage can lead to increased IOP, the primary risk factor for optic nerve damage in glaucoma.  

The treatment and management of secondary glaucoma require an understanding of the underlying cause, as addressing this root issue is essential for effective control of the glaucoma itself.  

Common Causes of Secondary Glaucoma  

Eye Injuries  

Trauma to the eye can lead to traumatic glaucoma, a form of secondary glaucoma. Injuries such as blunt or penetrating trauma can disrupt the eye’s natural drainage system, causing fluid buildup and increased IOP. The onset of traumatic glaucoma may be immediate following the injury or can develop gradually over time.  

Inflammation  

Uveitis, an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye (uvea), can obstruct fluid outflow, leading to inflammatory glaucoma. This condition may occur in one or both eyes and is often associated with autoimmune disorders or infections.  

Use of Certain Medications  

Certain medications, particularly corticosteroids used to treat a variety of conditions, can induce glaucoma. Steroid-induced glaucoma is the result of the eye’s increased sensitivity to steroids, affecting its ability to drain fluid properly and maintain a healthy IOP.  

Other Eye Conditions  

Several other eye conditions can also lead to secondary glaucoma, including pseudoexfoliation syndrome, where extra material is produced and sloughs off the lens of the eye and clogs the drainage system. Another is pigment dispersion syndrome, where pigment granules from the iris are dispersed throughout the eye, similarly clogging the drainage angles. However, those are just two examples, as many other diagnoses can increase a person’s risk of developing the condition.  

Risk Factors  

Certain factors can increase the risk of developing secondary glaucoma. These include a history of eye injuries, systemic diseases such as diabetes or hypertension, and the use of medications known to affect intraocular pressure. Genetic predisposition may also play a role in an individual’s susceptibility to certain types of secondary glaucoma.  

 Find A Glaucoma Specialist Near Buffalo, NY 

Navigating secondary glaucoma requires a keen understanding of its multifaceted causes and risk factors. At ECVA, our commitment to your eye health extends beyond diagnosis to comprehensive care and support. If you seek proactive eye care, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today and let us guide you towards clearer vision and peace of mind. 

Treating Retinal Tears and Detachments

Retinal tears and detachments are serious eye conditions that can lead to severe vision loss or blindness if not treated promptly. The retina – a thin layer of tissue at the back of the eye – plays a crucial role in vision by converting light into neural signals that the brain interprets. When the retina tears or detaches, it is unable to function correctly, leading to vision problems. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available for both retinal tears and detachments.  

Retinal Tears  

Retinal tears often precede detachments and occur when the vitreous gel inside the eye pulls away from the retina, creating a break in the tissue. Recognizing and treating a retinal tear early can prevent the progression to a detachment. Here’s an overview of the treatment options.  

Laser Photocoagulation  

Laser photocoagulation is a widely-used treatment for retinal tears. The procedure involves directing a laser beam through the pupil to the tear site. The laser burns around the tear, creating scar tissue that seals the retina to the underlying tissue, preventing fluid from flowing through the tear and detaching the retina.  

Cryopexy  

Cryopexy – also known as cryotherapy – is another treatment option where intense cold is applied to the tear. This causes a scar to form, which secures the retina to the eye wall, similar to laser photocoagulation. Cryopexy is typically used when laser treatment is not possible due to the location of the tear or other factors.  

Retinal Detachments  

Retinal detachments are more severe than tears and require immediate medical attention. They occur when the retina is pulled away from its normal position and, if left untreated, can result in permanent vision loss.  

Pneumatic Retinopexy  

Pneumatic retinopexy is a minimally invasive outpatient procedure used for certain types of retinal detachments. A gas bubble is injected into the vitreous cavity of the eye, which then presses against the detachment, pushing the retina back into place. The patient must maintain a specific head position for several days to keep the bubble in the right position. Laser photocoagulation or cryopexy is then used to seal the retina to the back wall of the eye.  

Scleral Buckle  

The scleral buckle procedure involves placing a scleral buckle – a flexible band – around the eye to gently push the sclera (the white outer wall of the eye) toward the detached retina. This reduces the pulling or traction on the retina, allowing it to reattach to the eye wall. The buckle is usually left in place permanently and is not visible after surgery.  

Vitrectomy  

A vitrectomy is a more involved surgery that may be recommended for severe or complicated retinal detachments. This procedure involves removing the vitreous gel to prevent it from pulling on the retina and replacing it with a gas bubble, sterile saline, or silicone oil to hold the retina in place.  

Ultimately, retinal tears and detachments are urgent eye conditions that require prompt treatment to preserve vision. Fortunately, there are several options available. The choice of treatment depends on the specific circumstances of the tear or detachment, and decisions should be made in close consultation with an eye care provider who specializes in retinal issues.  

Contact The Retina Specialists In WNY at ECVA 

Ensure your vision stays clear by addressing retinal tears or detachments promptly. If you have retina health concerns, taking action now can make all the difference in preserving your sight. Schedule your consultation with our specialists today and prioritize the health of your eyes. 

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Nutrition and Eye Health Tips from a Buffalo Ophthalmologist

You probably work out, eat well, and do your best to create a healthy lifestyle for your loved ones. But if you don’t, you might also be neglecting your eye health, which surprisingly is affected by the nutrition you consume, your hydration, and even the exercise you take on. The American Optometric Association says, “Researchers have linked eye-friendly nutrients, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E and zinc, to reducing the risk of certain serious eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts.”

As Buffalo ophthalmologists, Eye Care & Vision Associations (ECVA) is devoted to bringing you the information needed to take better care of your vision and health. This article will help you understand the critical link between nutrition and eye health.


What is the Link Between Nutrition and Eye Health?

Good vision is essential for overall well-being, and maintaining eye health involves more than regular check-ups with an ophthalmologist. Nutrition plays a crucial role in preserving eye health and preventing various eye conditions. Consuming a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients can significantly impact your eyes’ function and longevity.

Nutrients Benefiting Eye Health

Several key nutrients have been identified as particularly beneficial for eye health. These include vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. These nutrients help maintain the integrity of the eye structures, support vision, and protect against age-related conditions.

Common Eye Conditions Influenced by Nutrition

Certain eye conditions, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, and dry eye syndrome, are directly influenced by nutritional intake. For instance, antioxidants like vitamins C and E can slow the progression of cataracts, while omega-3 fatty acids can alleviate symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

Importance of a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods supports overall eye health. Fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats provide the essential nutrients required for maintaining good vision. Avoiding processed foods and excessive sugar also helps reduce the risk of developing eye-related problems.

Buffalo Ophthalmologists Share Key Nutrients for Health Eyes

Understanding the critical role nutrition plays in eye health, Buffalo’s leading ophthalmologists emphasize the importance of incorporating specific nutrients into your diet to maintain optimal vision and prevent eye diseases. By focusing on foods rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, you can significantly enhance your eye health. In this section, we will explore the key nutrients recommended by ECVA, your Buffalo ophthalmology team, highlighting their sources and explaining how they contribute to maintaining clear and healthy vision.      

Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene

Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining good vision and preventing night blindness. Conversely, a vitamin A deficiency can cause vision loss and blindness as well as complications with your heart, immune system, lungs, and skin. Vitamin A is essential for the production of rhodopsin, a protein in the eyes that allows you to see in low-light conditions. Deficiency in vitamin A can lead to night blindness and, in severe cases, to complete blindness. Incorporating foods rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene can support retinal health and improve night vision.

You can consume vitamin A in the foods you eat every day, such as liver, dairy products, and fish. Beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, is abundant in carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables.    

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in high concentrations in fish such as salmon, mackerel, and sardines. Plant-based sources include flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.

Omega-3 fatty acids play a significant role in maintaining the health of the retinal cells and reducing inflammation. They help alleviate dry eye syndrome by improving the quality of tears. Additionally, omega-3s have been shown to lower the risk of AMD, a leading cause of blindness in older adults, by protecting the retinal cells from damage.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in high concentrations in leafy green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, peas, kale, and collard greens. They are also present in corn, eggs, and citrus fruits such as tangerines and persimmons.

Many studies show these nutrients reduce the risk of chronic eye illnesses such as cataracts. These carotenoids act as natural sunblock by absorbing harmful blue light and ultraviolet rays. This protective effect reduces the risk of damage to the retinal cells, thereby lowering the risk of cataracts and AMD. Consuming foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin supports overall eye health and enhances visual performance.

Vitamin C and E

Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, and broccoli. Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

Both vitamins C and E have potent antioxidant properties that protect the eyes from oxidative stress, which can lead to cell damage. Vitamin C helps maintain the health of blood vessels in the eyes and may reduce the risk of cataracts. Vitamin E helps protect the eyes from free radical damage, supporting overall retinal health and reducing the risk of AMD.

Tips for Incorporating Eye-Healthy Foods into Your Diet

Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are excellent sources of lutein and zeaxanthin. Add these greens to salads, smoothies, or as a side dish to boost your intake. Colorful fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, and citrus fruits, are packed with vitamins and antioxidants essential for eye health. Including a variety of these in your meals ensures a broad spectrum of nutrients.

Tips for Meal Planning and Recipe Ideas to Boost Eye Health

Maintaining eye health through diet is easier than you might think. By thoughtfully planning your meals and incorporating a variety of nutrient-rich foods, you can ensure your eyes receive the essential vitamins and minerals they need. This section offers practical tips for meal planning and creative recipe ideas that will help you integrate eye-healthy ingredients into your daily routine. From vibrant salads to omega-3-rich dishes, these suggestions will make it simple and enjoyable to support your vision through delicious and nutritious meals.

  • Breakfast: Start your day with a smoothie that includes spinach, kale, a banana, and a handful of berries for a nutrient-packed breakfast.
  • Lunch: Prepare a colorful salad with mixed greens, orange slices, carrots, and a sprinkle of nuts and seeds. Add a piece of grilled salmon for a boost of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Dinner: Enjoy a serving of baked fish, such as salmon or mackerel, with a side of steamed broccoli and sweet potato.
  • Snacks: Choose snacks like carrot sticks with hummus, a handful of nuts, or an apple with peanut butter.

While it’s important to include eye-healthy foods in your diet, moderation and portion control are key. Overeating, even healthy foods, can lead to weight gain and other health issues. Aim for balanced meals and be mindful of portion sizes to maintain overall health.

Lifestyle Factors to Support Eye Health

In addition to nutrition, several lifestyle factors can significantly impact your eye health. Incorporating healthy habits into your daily routine can further support and protect your vision.

Hydration and its Impact on Eye Moisture and Health

Staying hydrated is essential for maintaining eye moisture and preventing dry eye syndrome. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day helps keep the eyes lubricated, reducing irritation and discomfort. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water daily and consume hydrating foods like cucumbers, melons, and oranges.

Limiting Process Foods/Sugary Snacks for Overall Eye Health

Eating too many processed foods is linked to all kinds of illnesses—but it harms your eyes, too. Processed foods and sugary snacks can contribute to poor eye health by increasing the risk of diabetes and other conditions that affect vision. High sugar intake can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, damaging the blood vessels in the eyes. Limiting these foods and focusing on whole, unprocessed foods helps maintain stable blood sugar levels and supports overall eye health.

Importance of Regular Exercise for Maintaining Circulation and Eye Health

Regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining good circulation, which is vital for eye health. Exercise helps improve blood flow to the eyes, ensuring they receive adequate oxygen and nutrients. It also reduces the risk of developing conditions like diabetes and hypertension, which can adversely affect vision. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.

Schedule an Appointment with the Top Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY If You’re Having Concerns About Your Eye Health

Maintaining eye health requires a multifaceted approach that includes proper nutrition, a healthy lifestyle, and regular check-ups with an ophthalmologist. By following these nutrition and lifestyle tips, you can take proactive steps towards maintaining your eye health and enjoying clear vision for years to come.

However, if you have concerns about your vision or eye health, it’s essential to seek professional medical advice.

ECVA offers full-service ophthalmology in Buffalo, NY. We start with comprehensive eye exams to diagnose potential issues early, and can recommend personalized treatments and nutritional guidance. Don’t wait until problems arise—schedule an appointment today with the leading ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY, to ensure your eyes remain healthy and your vision stays sharp. Call us today 1-716-631-EYES (3937).

What Is the Safest Glaucoma Surgery?

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve and is often caused by abnormally high pressure in your eye. Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness. Fortunately, several surgical options are available for managing glaucoma, each with its own benefits and risks.  

For most patients, finding the safest effective option is typically the goal. Here’s a look at the available glaucoma surgeries, including which option is generally considered the least risky.  

Glaucoma Surgeries  

Trabeculectomy 

Trabeculectomy has been a standard glaucoma treatment for decades. This surgical procedure involves creating a new drainage pathway for the aqueous humor (the fluid inside the eye) to lower intraocular pressure. While trabeculectomy is effective, it is associated with potential complications such as infection, bleeding, and scarring, which can affect the surgery’s success and the patient’s vision.  

Glaucoma Implant Surgery

Glaucoma implant surgery involves placing a small device inside the eye to help drain fluid and reduce intraocular pressure. While this method is effective, especially in cases where trabeculectomy has failed or is not advisable, it carries risks. These include implant malposition, erosion of the overlying tissue, and potential damage to the cornea, leading to a decrease in vision quality.  

Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery  

Minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) has gained popularity as a safer alternative to traditional glaucoma surgeries. These procedures use microscopic-sized equipment and tiny incisions, aiming to reduce intraocular pressure by improving aqueous humor outflow. MIGS procedures are less invasive, have fewer complications, and offer a quicker recovery time, making them an attractive option for many patients with mild to moderate glaucoma and their physicians.  

MIGS includes several types of surgeries, like the insertion of micro-stents or the use of lasers, to enhance the eye’s natural drainage pathways. These procedures are often combined with cataract surgery, providing an additional benefit for patients with both conditions.  

Choosing the Right Treatment

Deciding on the most suitable glaucoma surgery involves considering various factors, including the type and severity of glaucoma, the patient’s overall health, and the potential risks and benefits of each procedure. While MIGS offers a safer and less invasive option, it might not be suitable for all patients, particularly those with advanced glaucoma.  

The key to choosing the right glaucoma treatment lies in a thorough consultation with your eye care provider. Ophthalmologists can provide detailed assessments, discuss the available options, and recommend the most appropriate course of action based on individual needs and circumstances. It is crucial for patients to have open discussions with their doctors, understand the potential outcomes, and follow their guidance for the best results.  

Ultimately, while various surgical options are available for managing glaucoma, MIGS stands out as a safer and preferred method for many patients, especially those with mild to moderate conditions. However, the choice of surgery is highly individual and should be made after careful consideration and consultation with an eye care professional.  

Find The Right Glaucoma Treatment For You In The Buffalo Area 

Ready to take the next step in managing your glaucoma? Schedule a consultation with ECVA to discuss which glaucoma treatment option is right for you.  

From Cataracts to LASIK: A Comprehensive Guide to Ophthalmological Procedures in Buffalo, NY

Buffalo, New York, boasts a vibrant community of ophthalmologists dedicated to providing top-tier eye care services. Eye Care & Vision Associates (ECVA) is proud to be a member of this robust medical community. From addressing common conditions like cataracts to offering advanced refractive LASIK surgeries, Buffalo ophthalmologists remain committed to enhancing our patients’ vision and quality of life. In this guide, we’ll delve into the various ophthalmological procedures available in Buffalo, covering everything from cataract surgery to LASIK and beyond.

What Do Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY Do?


Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY, are medical doctors specializing in diagnosing, treating, and managing eye diseases and disorders. They undergo extensive training to perform a wide range of procedures to preserve and improve vision. Not to be confused with optometrists, who provide eye exams, ophthalmologists are doctors of medicine (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO) specializing in diagnosing and treating eye disorders and diseases. Buffalo ophthalmologists can handle a variety of eye-related conditions, such as:

When to See a Cataract Ophthalmologist in Buffalo


Cataracts are a common age-related condition characterized by clouding the eye’s natural lens, leading to blurry vision and difficulty seeing clearly. Here are the typical symptoms of cataracts:

  • Clouded, blurred, or dim vision: You may notice that your vision becomes hazy or less sharp. Objects might appear less distinct.
  • Trouble seeing at night: Cataracts can make it challenging to see clearly in low-light conditions, such as during the night.
  • Sensitivity to light and glare: Bright lights or glare from sunlight or artificial sources can be bothersome.
  • Need for brighter light: You might need more light than usual for reading or other activities.
  • Seeing “halos” around lights: Some people with cataracts perceive halos or circles around light sources.
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass or contact lens prescription: As cataracts progress, your corrective lens prescription may need more frequent adjustments.
  • Fading or yellowing of colors: Colors may appear less vibrant or reflect a yellowish tint.

Remember that cataracts usually develop gradually, and most age-related cataracts progress over time. If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to seek evaluation by an eye care professional. Regular eye exams can help detect cataracts early and guide appropriate management.

If you suspect cataracts or have concerns about your vision, consider scheduling a comprehensive eye examination with a Buffalo ophthalmologist. They can provide personalized advice and recommend appropriate treatment options if necessary.

What are Cataracts and How Do They Affect Vision


Cataracts are a common eye condition that affects the lens of the eye. More than 20 million Americans over the age of 40 have this condition.

The eye’s lens is the transparent window through which you see the world. A cataract clouds that lens, making your vision like looking through a frosty or fogged-up window. Clouded vision can make reading, driving at night, or seeing expressions on people’s faces more difficult. If you have cataracts, you may experience clouded or blurred vision and problems seeing at night. You may see halos around lights and be sensitive to bright light or glare. How you perceive colors may be affected, and you may experience headaches. If you have any of these symptoms, seeing an ophthalmologist in Buffalo is essential. Cataracts are a progressive disease that can lead to blindness if left uncorrected.

Most cataracts develop due to natural changes in the eyes as we age. However, other risk factors, such as a family history of cataracts, diabetes, or even the long-term use of certain medications, such as steroid eye drops, can cause this disease to develop.

Cataracts can be treated effectively through surgery, by replacing the natural lens with an artificial lens. If you experience any symptoms, consult ophthalmologists in Buffalo for proper evaluation and care.

Overview of Cataract Surgery


More than six million Americans have had successful cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is a common and highly effective procedure that removes and replaces the clouded lens with a clear artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). During the surgery, the ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the eye, breaks up the cloudy lens using ultrasound technology, and inserts the new IOL.

Benefits and Outcomes of Cataract Surgery


Cataract surgery is known for its remarkable success rate in restoring clear vision and improving quality of life. On average, 95% of patients experience clearer vision after their surgery, and complications from the procedure are very low. Post-surgery patients often experience enhanced visual acuity, reduced dependence on glasses or contact lenses, and improved overall well-being following the procedure.

When to See an Ophthalmologist for LASIK Surgery in Buffalo


LASIK surgery is a popular refractive procedure designed to correct common vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. If you’re tired of relying on glasses or contact lenses to see clearly, it may be time to explore LASIK options with an experienced ophthalmologist in Buffalo.

LASIK and Its Role in Vision Correction


LASIK, or Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis, utilizes advanced laser technology to reshape the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye, to improve refractive errors and achieve clearer vision without corrective lenses.

How LASIK Works to Reshape the Cornea


To understand the LASIK procedure, you must understand a bit of eye anatomy, chiefly, understanding the cornea.

The eye cornea, often referred to simply as the cornea, is the transparent, dome-shaped outer layer covering the front of the eye. It is the eye’s primary refractive surface, responsible for focusing incoming light rays onto the retina, located at the back of the eye. The cornea plays a crucial role in the eye’s optical system, contributing to most of the eye’s focusing power.

During LASIK surgery, the ophthalmologist creates a thin flap in the cornea and uses a laser to reshape its underlying tissue, correcting the refractive error and improving visual clarity. The flap is then repositioned, allowing for rapid healing and minimal discomfort.

Who is a Candidate for LASIK Surgery


Ideal candidates for LASIK surgery are individuals over 18 years old with stable vision and healthy corneas. A thorough evaluation by an ophthalmologist will determine whether LASIK suits your specific needs and vision goals.



LASIK Procedure Details and Recovery Process


LASIK surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and takes only a few minutes per eye. Most patients experience immediate improvements in vision and can resume normal activities within a day or two following surgery, with minimal downtime.

Beyond Refractive Surgeries: Other Ophthalmological Procedures in Buffalo


In addition to cataract and LASIK surgeries, ophthalmologists in Buffalo offer a range of other procedures to address various eye conditions and disorders.

Glaucoma Surgery


Glaucoma surgery aims to reduce intraocular pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve, helping preserve vision and slow disease progression.

Corneal Transplants


Corneal transplants involve replacing damaged or diseased corneal tissue with healthy donor tissue to restore vision and alleviate symptoms such as pain and visual distortion.

Retinal Surgeries


Retinal surgeries treat conditions affecting the retina, such as retinal detachment, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, and may involve techniques such as vitrectomy and laser photocoagulation.

Factors to Consider Before Undergoing Ophthalmological Procedures in Buffalo


Before undergoing any ophthalmological procedure in Buffalo, it’s essential to consider several factors to ensure the best possible outcomes and minimize risks.

Candidacy Criteria, Risks, and Potential Complications


Understanding your candidacy for a specific procedure and the associated risks and potential complications is crucial for making informed decisions about your eye care. While eye surgery generally has a low complication rate, talk with your Buffalo ophthalmologist about your options and the risks involved.

Importance of a Thorough Consultation with an Ophthalmologist in Buffalo


A thorough consultation with an experienced ophthalmologist in Buffalo will help determine the most suitable treatment plan tailored to your needs and vision goals.

Tips for Selecting a Qualified and Experienced Surgeon

When selecting an ophthalmologist for your eye care needs, look for qualifications, experience, and a track record of successful outcomes. Personal recommendations and online reviews can also provide valuable insights into the surgeon’s reputation and patient satisfaction.

Schedule a Consultation with the Top Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY Today


Choosing an ophthalmologist in Buffalo requires carefully evaluating the best practice and surgeon to help with your condition. If you’re considering cataract surgery, LASIK, or any other ophthalmological procedure in Buffalo, NY, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with one of the top ophthalmologists in the area, Eye Care & Vision Associates (ECVA).We deliver the highest quality healthcare in the region from multiple office locations that make it convenient to visit us.

Investing in your eye health today can lead to a lifetime of clear vision and improved quality of life. Find out why our patients partner with ECVA to take care of their eyes at all the stages of their lives. Contact our ophthalmologists today.

Family looking at eyeglasses

When Is a Cornea Transplant Necessary? Understanding the Basics

Cornea transplants – a beacon of hope for individuals facing severe corneal damage or disease – stand as a testament to the incredible advances in ocular medicine. This life-changing procedure, known medically as keratoplasty, offers a second chance at clear vision for those who have exhausted other treatments without success.  

From understanding the underlying causes that necessitate such a surgery to navigating the journey of recovery, understanding the critical aspects of cornea transplantation is essential. Here’s a look at why cornea problems occur, what cornea transplant procedures involve, and more.  

The Causes of Cornea Problems  

Cornea problems can arise for a variety of reasons, leading to impaired vision and, in severe cases, necessitating a cornea transplant. One of the primary causes of corneal damage is keratoconus, a progressive condition where the cornea thins and starts to bulge into a cone-like shape, distorting vision.  

Viral and bacterial infections can also lead to corneal scarring, reducing vision clarity. Additionally, physical injuries or chemical burns to the eye can cause similar scarring, disrupting the cornea’s transparency and function.  

Other cornea issues stem from degenerative conditions or inherited corneal diseases. Fuchs’ dystrophy, for example, is a slow-progressing disease that affects the inner layer of the cornea, leading to swelling, cloudiness, and, ultimately, vision impairment. Finally, complications from previous eye surgeries can result in corneal damage, making further intervention necessary.  

What to Expect with a Cornea Transplant  

A cornea transplant, also known as keratoplasty, involves the surgical replacement of a diseased or damaged cornea with healthy donor tissue. The procedure can be full-thickness (penetrating keratoplasty), where the entire cornea is replaced, or partial-thickness (deep anterior lamellar keratoplasty), targeting only the front or back layers of the cornea. The choice of procedure depends on the specific condition of the cornea.  

The process begins with a thorough examination and evaluation by an ophthalmologist to determine the suitability for a transplant. During the surgery, which is performed under local or general anesthesia, the surgeon removes the damaged corneal tissue and replaces it with a clear donor cornea, which is then sutured in place.  

Post-surgery, patients can expect a recovery period that varies in length, often several months, during which vision gradually improves. Regular follow-up visits are crucial to monitor the healing process and to manage any potential rejection of the donor tissue.  

Post-Transplant Care and Recovery  

Following a cornea transplant, patients are required to take prescribed medications – including anti-inflammatory and antibiotic eye drops – to assist in healing and prevent infection. The eye may initially feel irritated or sensitive to light, and it is essential to avoid rubbing or pressing on the eye, as well as engaging in activities that could impact the healing process, such as heavy lifting or contact sports.  

Vision recovery varies from person to person; some may notice an improvement within a few weeks, while others might take several months to achieve stable vision. Ultimately, the long-term success of the transplant hinges on the body’s acceptance of the donor cornea, and while rejection is possible, it can often be managed effectively with prompt medical treatment.  

WNY’s Top Eye Surgeons Are at ECVA

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you are wondering if you’re a good candidate for a cornea transplant or simply haven’t visited your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

How is a Laser Used in Laser Eye Surgery?

Laser eye surgery represents a groundbreaking leap in pursuing perfect vision, offering a sophisticated alternative to traditional eyewear and contact lenses. This transformative procedure harnesses the precision of laser technology to reshape the cornea, addressing refractive errors that blur our view of the world.  

Whether you’re nearsighted, farsighted, or dealing with astigmatism, laser eye surgery opens the door to enhanced visual clarity. Here’s a look into the heart of laser eye surgery, including how it works, the conditions it can remedy, and the myriad benefits it bestows upon those who choose this path to clearer vision.  

The Role of Lasers in Eye Surgery  

The advent of laser technology has revolutionized the field of ophthalmology, offering precise, less invasive procedures for correcting various eye conditions. At the core of laser eye surgery is the use of specialized lasers to reshape the cornea—the clear, dome-shaped surface of the eye. This reshaping corrects refractive errors by allowing light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina, thereby improving vision.  

One of the most common laser eye surgery techniques is LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis), which involves creating a thin flap in the cornea and then using an excimer laser to correct visual clarity issues by reshaping the underlying corneal tissue. This procedure is highly effective for correcting myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism.  

Common Conditions Treated with Laser Eye Surgery  

Laser eye surgery is primarily used to treat refractive errors, which are the most common types of vision problems. Myopia (nearsightedness), where distant objects appear blurry, can be corrected by flattening the cornea to reduce its refractive power. Hyperopia (farsightedness), characterized by difficulty focusing on close objects, is treated by steepening the cornea to increase its focusing ability. Astigmatism, which causes distorted or blurred vision at all distances due to an irregularly shaped cornea, is corrected by smoothing the irregularities to create a more symmetrical corneal shape.  

Beyond refractive errors, laser eye surgery is also employed in the treatment of certain corneal diseases and conditions. For example, Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK) can remove corneal scars and reduce corneal irregularities, enhancing visual clarity. Additionally, diabetic retinopathy or wet macular degeneration treatment may involve thermal lasers to address leaking blood vessels.  

Advantages of Opting for Laser Eye Surgery  

Choosing laser eye surgery for vision correction comes with numerous benefits. First, the precision of laser treatment results in a high degree of accuracy in correcting refractive errors, leading to significantly improved vision for most patients. Many patients achieve 20/20 vision or better after the procedure, reducing or even eliminating their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. This can greatly enhance the quality of life, offering freedom from the physical and financial burdens associated with corrective eyewear.  

Additionally, laser eye surgery is known for its rapid recovery times. Procedures like LASIK allow patients to experience improved vision almost immediately, with most returning to their normal activities within a day or two. The minimally invasive nature of the surgery, combined with advanced techniques that promote quick healing, contributes to its popularity among patients seeking effective and efficient vision correction solutions.  

Laser Eye Surgery In Buffalo, NY

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patients’ eyes are our priority. If you’re considering laser eye surgery and want to see if you’re a good candidate or if you simply haven’t visited your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Optometrists vs. Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY: What is the Difference

Protecting your vision and the health of your eyes is essential. However, there are two types of professionals available: optometrists and ophthalmologists. While both dedicate their lives to preserving and enhancing vision, they possess distinct roles, training, and areas of expertise. Understanding the differences between these two professions is crucial for making informed decisions regarding eye health.

Both Buffalo ophthalmologists and optometrists offer valuable services. Let’s explore the skills and disparities between the two and when to visit each.

What is the Role of an Optometrist in Buffalo, NY

Optometrists play a pivotal role in the primary care of your eyes, focusing on vision care and the health of these structures. Here’s a breakdown of their responsibilities, scope of practice, and services offered:

  • Definition and Role of an Optometrist

Optometrists are healthcare professionals who specialize in examining, diagnosing, and treating various eye conditions and diseases. They are trained to prescribe corrective lenses, such as glasses and contact lenses, and medications for specific eye problems. Optometrists also guide maintaining optimal eye health through lifestyle changes and preventive measures.

  • Scope of Practice

Optometrists are proficient in conducting comprehensive eye exams to assess visual acuity, eye coordination, and overall eye health. They diagnose refractive errors like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism and prescribe appropriate corrective measures. Additionally, they manage conditions such as dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy, often collaborating with other healthcare professionals for comprehensive patient care.

  • Services Offered

Optometrists offer an array of services, including routine eye exams, vision correction, contact lens fitting and prescriptions, treatment of eye infections and injuries, management of chronic eye conditions, and pre- and post-operative care for certain eye surgeries.

What is the Role of an Ophthalmologist in Buffalo, NY

In contrast to optometrists, ophthalmologists are medical doctors specializing in diagnosing, treating, and managing eye diseases and disorders. Let’s explore their role, scope of practice, and services provided:

  • Definition and Role of an Ophthalmologist

Ophthalmologists are physicians who undergo extensive medical training, including medical school, internship, residency, and often fellowship in a subspecialty of ophthalmology. They are qualified to provide comprehensive eye care, from routine eye exams to surgical interventions for complex conditions.

  • Scope of Practice

Ophthalmologists are trained and equipped to diagnose and treat a wide range of eye diseases and disorders, including cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal diseases, corneal conditions and more. They perform surgical procedures such as cataract surgery, LASIK, retinal detachment repair, and corneal transplants, among other procedures. Ophthalmologists may also specialize in areas such as pediatric ophthalmology, neuro-ophthalmology, or oculoplastic surgery.

  • Services Offered

Ophthalmologists provide comprehensive eye care services, including diagnostic testing, medical treatment, surgical interventions, and ongoing management of eye conditions. They offer specialized expertise in treating complex eye diseases and performing advanced surgical procedures to restore or improve vision.

Key Differences Between Optometry and Ophthalmology in Buffalo, NY

While optometrists and ophthalmologists share a common goal of preserving eye health, several distinctions set them apart:

  • Educational Background and Training

Optometrists typically complete a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree program, which involves four years of undergraduate study followed by four years of optometry school. Ophthalmologists, on the other hand, are medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) who undergo extensive medical training, including medical school, residency, and often a fellowship in a subspecialty of ophthalmology.

  • Scope of Practice and Services

Optometrists primarily focus on vision care and routine eye health, offering services such as eye exams, vision correction, and management of common eye conditions. Ophthalmologists have a broader scope of practice, encompassing medical and surgical management of eye diseases, specialized treatments, and surgical interventions for complex conditions.

  • Patient Care and Referral Process

Optometrists often serve as the first point of contact for patients seeking routine eye care or experiencing common eye problems. They may refer patients to ophthalmologists for specialized treatment or surgical interventions when necessary. Ophthalmologists collaborate with optometrists and other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care for patients with complex eye conditions.

  • Collaborative Efforts

Optometrists and ophthalmologists frequently collaborate to ensure optimal patient outcomes. They may work closely together to co-manage patients undergoing surgical procedures, monitor the progression of certain eye conditions, or provide interdisciplinary care for patients with systemic health issues affecting the eyes.

When to Visit an Optometrist in Buffalo

Optometrists are your go-to professionals for routine eye care, vision correction, and management of common eye conditions. Consider scheduling an appointment with an optometrist for the following reasons:

  • Routine Eye Exams and Vision Correction

Regular eye exams are essential for maintaining good eye health and detecting potential problems early. Optometrists can assess your vision, screen for eye diseases, and prescribe corrective lenses to improve visual acuity.

  • Contact Lens Fitting and Prescription

Suppose you wear contact lenses or consider them an alternative to glasses. In that case, optometrists can perform a comprehensive eye exam and fit you with contact lenses that suit your prescription and lifestyle.

  • Management of Common Eye Conditions

Optometrists can diagnose and manage various eye conditions, including dry eye syndrome, conjunctivitis (pink eye), allergies, and minor injuries. They can provide treatment options or refer you to an ophthalmologist for further evaluation if needed.

When to See an Ophthalmologist in Buffalo

Buffalo ophthalmologists specialize in diagnosing and treating complex eye diseases, performing surgical interventions, and providing specialized care for advanced conditions. Consider consulting an ophthalmology practice in Buffalo for the following reasons:

  • Diagnosis and Treatment of Eye Diseases and Disorders

Suppose you have been diagnosed with an eye disease or disorder such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy. In that case, an ophthalmologist can provide expert evaluation, medical treatment, and ongoing management.

Buffalo ophthalmologists excel in diagnosing and treating a myriad of eye diseases and disorders. They utilize advanced diagnostic tools and techniques to accurately assess conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and retinal detachment. Once diagnosed, ophthalmologists develop personalized treatment plans tailored to each patient’s needs, which may include prescription medications, laser therapy, or surgical interventions. Their expertise in managing complex eye conditions ensures patients receive the highest quality of care to preserve vision and enhance overall eye health. Consulting an ophthalmologist to diagnose and treat eye diseases and disorders ensures comprehensive evaluation and effective management strategies.

  • Surgical Interventions

Ophthalmologists are skilled in performing a wide range of surgical interventions to address various eye conditions. From routine procedures like cataract surgery to more complex surgeries such as retinal detachment repair and corneal transplants, ophthalmologists utilize advanced surgical techniques and technology to achieve optimal outcomes. Additionally, they specialize in refractive surgeries like LASIK and PRK to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Patients can trust in the expertise of ophthalmologists to deliver safe and effective surgical care, helping to restore vision, alleviate discomfort, and improve overall quality of life. Seeking surgical intervention from an ophthalmologist ensures access to specialized expertise and state-of-the-art treatment options.

  • Specialized Care for Complex Eye Conditions

Ophthalmologists provide specialized care for complex eye conditions, offering expertise in diagnosing and managing challenging cases that require intricate treatment approaches. These conditions may include rare disorders, advanced stages of common eye diseases, or cases with complicating factors that necessitate specialized attention.

For example, if you have a complex or rare eye condition requiring specialized expertise, such as pediatric eye disorders, neuro-ophthalmic conditions, or ocular oncology, an ophthalmologist with expertise in that area can provide tailored treatment and management. In pediatric ophthalmology, ophthalmologists are adept at diagnosing and treating eye conditions unique to children, such as amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (misalignment of the eyes), and congenital cataracts. These doctors employ specialized techniques and tools to assess visual development and address issues that may impact a child’s vision for life.

Ophthalmologists specializing in ocular oncology provide comprehensive care for patients with eye tumors, including melanoma, retinoblastoma, and ocular lymphoma. They employ advanced diagnostic imaging, genetic testing, and treatment modalities such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or surgical removal to manage these complex conditions.

In addition to these subspecialties, ophthalmologists may focus on cornea and external diseases, glaucoma, retina and vitreous, or oculoplastic surgery. Each subspecialty requires additional training and expertise to deliver specialized care tailored to patients with unique needs related to complex eye conditions.

In addition to these subspecialties, ophthalmologists may focus on areas such as cornea and external diseases, glaucoma, retina and vitreous, or oculoplastic surgery. Each subspecialty requires additional training and expertise to deliver specialized care tailored to the unique needs of patients with complex eye conditions.

Patients with complex eye conditions benefit from the multidisciplinary approach adopted by specialized ophthalmologists, who collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide comprehensive care. By harnessing the latest advancements in technology and treatment modalities, ophthalmologists strive to improve outcomes, preserve vision, and enhance the quality of life for individuals facing challenging eye conditions. Seeking specialized care from an ophthalmologist ensures access to the expertise and resources necessary to manage complex eye conditions and optimize visual health effectively.

For All of Your Eye Health Needs Contact the Top Optometrists and Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY

If you seek out ophthalmology in Buffalo, call on the experienced, caring professionals at Eye Care & Vision Associations. We are highly dedicated to preserving and enhancing your vision. We offer a variety of locations and are staffed by top clinicians along with a caring and professional administrative and support team. You can reach us at 716-631-EYES (3937).

Neurological Disease and the Eye

The intricate connection between the eye and the brain unfolds a compelling narrative in medical science, particularly in detecting and understanding neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Understanding how conditions affecting the brain manifest within the eye makes it easier to see how an eye care professional can play a role in the early diagnosis of specific neurological conditions. Here’s what you need to know.  

The Eye-Brain Connection: A Window to Neurological Health  

The eye is often heralded as a window to the soul, but it is also a window to the brain’s health. Groundbreaking research has illuminated the link between neurological conditions, notably Alzheimer’s disease, and ocular manifestations. The retina, an extension of the central nervous system, shares many characteristics with brain tissue, making it an accessible and non-invasive site for detecting early signs of brain pathology.  

In Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, the accumulation of amyloid-beta plaques, a hallmark of the condition, is not confined to the brain but is also present in the retina. These retinal changes, observable through advanced imaging techniques, mirror the neurodegenerative processes occurring in the brain, offering a unique vantage point for early detection.  

Who Is at Risk?  

Neurological diseases casting a shadow over the eye do not discriminate, but specific populations are more susceptible. Age stands out as a significant risk factor, with older individuals facing a higher likelihood of conditions like Alzheimer’s.  

Genetic predisposition also plays a crucial role, with specific gene mutations elevating the risk. Additionally, lifestyle factors – including diet, exercise, and exposure to environmental toxins – further influence one’s vulnerability to these neurological conditions.  

The Role of Ophthalmologists in Early Diagnosis  

Ophthalmologists are at the forefront of this diagnostic revolution, equipped with cutting-edge tools to detect subtle retinal changes indicative of brain diseases. Through comprehensive eye exams, they can identify signs such as thinning of the retinal nerve fiber layer or the presence of abnormal blood vessels, which may point to the early stages of neurological disorders.  

This early detection is paramount, as it opens the door to timely intervention, potentially slowing the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s. Additionally, regular eye exams can unveil other health issues, underscoring the eye’s role as a critical indicator of overall well-being.  

Ultimately, the convergence of neurology and ophthalmology heralds a new era in the early diagnosis of brain diseases. As research unravels the connections between the eye and the brain, the potential for ophthalmologists to contribute to early detection and intervention grows. Understanding the risk factors and recognizing the signs through the eye’s lens enhances our ability to combat these debilitating diseases and underscores the eye’s profound significance in gauging our neurological health.  

Need an Ophthalmologist in Buffalo? 

Whether you’re concerned about subtle changes in vision, or simply seek comprehensive eye care, our team is dedicated to your well-being. Schedule an appointment at your nearest ECVA clinic today. 

Safely Viewing the April 2024 Solar Eclipse in Buffalo, NY

As the April 2024 solar eclipse approaches, excitement builds in Buffalo, NY, where observers anticipate a breathtaking event. According to NASA, the partial eclipse will commence at 2:04 p.m., with totality beginning at 3:18 p.m. However, it’s crucial to prioritize eye safety during this awe-inspiring moment. Buffalo, NY, finds itself in the path of totality, offering a rare opportunity to witness the sun completely obscured by the moon. Here at ECVA, we’re dedicated to guiding you on safely viewing this extraordinary phenomenon. 

Where to Get Eclipse Glasses in Buffalo 

Thanks to Erie County’s support, free eclipse glasses are now at the Buffalo Museum of Science (limit: two per person). You can also get them at all 37 branches of the Buffalo & Erie County Library System. Call your library ahead to check availability. If buying your own, choose reputable sellers like RainbowSymphony.com. Make sure the glasses are certified for solar viewing and meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standard for direct observation of the sun. 

Dangers of Unprotected Viewing 

Staring directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause severe eye damage or even permanent blindness. The sun’s intense rays can burn the retina, leading to solar retinopathy, a condition where the cells of the retina are damaged by solar radiation. Therefore, it’s crucial to emphasize that looking at the eclipse without proper eye protection is extremely dangerous. 

Why Can’t I Wear My Sunglasses to Watch The Eclipse? 

 While sunglasses are essential for shielding your eyes from harmful UV rays during regular daylight, they are not suitable for viewing a solar eclipse. Regular sunglasses do not provide adequate protection against the intense brightness of the sun during an eclipse. Staring at the sun through them can still cause significant damage to your eyes. 

Using Specialized Eclipse Glasses 

The safest way to view a solar eclipse is by using specialized eclipse glasses. These glasses are equipped with solar filters that block out harmful ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light rays. When choosing eclipse glasses, ensure they meet the ISO 12312-2 safety standard to guarantee sufficient protection for your eyes. Additionally, inspect the glasses for any damage or scratches before use, as compromised lenses can allow harmful light to penetrate. 

Making Your Own Solar Eclipse Viewer 

If you’re unable to procure specialized eclipse glasses, you can create a simple solar eclipse viewer using household items. One method involves constructing a pinhole projector using cardboard or paper. By poking a small hole in one piece and allowing sunlight to pass through onto another surface, such as a piece of paper or the ground, you can safely observe the eclipse’s progress without looking directly at the sun. 

Our Focus is on Care 

Whether you’re using specialized eclipse glasses or crafting a DIY solar eclipse viewer, take the necessary precautions to safeguard your vision. Let’s make this celestial event a memorable and safe experience for everyone in Buffalo, New York.