The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently welcomed Dr. Russell Stackhouse, an ophthalmologist with Coastal Vision Center in Fernandina Beach. Stackhouse specializes in eye diseases such as Age-related Macular Degeneation (AMD), the number one cause of blindness in patients age 50 and older. A disease of the retina, AMD destroys central vision. Dr. Stackhouse said nearly every older American is at risk of developing AMD. While there is no cure, you can take precautions: always wear sunglasses, don't smoke, control your blood pressure and take vitamins that are formulated for the eyes.


Dr. Stackhouse then spoke about cataracts, which occur when the eye's lens hardens and turns cloudy with age, causing blurred vision. The first symptoms of cataracts include difficulty reading, frequent eyeglass prescription changes and trouble driving at night. He added that everyone will eventually develop cataracts with most patients seeking to have them removed at 60 to 70 years of age. Today's laser-assisted surgery is an out-patient procedure, the patient is awake throughout and should be able to see clearly the next day. He closed by saying new advances in eye care and procedures are coming all the time.


(Pictured: From Left, Dr. Stackhouse, Dr. McClane)