Thursday, July 28, 2011

Dry Eye and LASIK

After LASIK some patients may experience dry eyes. Dry eyes may result in blurred vision and mild discomfort. Dry eyes following LASIK can generally be managed with artificial tears but some patients may require more intensive therapy. Fish oil tablets containing Omega-3 fatty acids taken by mouth will generally relieve the symptoms of dry eyes following LASIK. Additionally, patients may be placed on Restasis eye drops to improve tear production and help relieve symptoms.

It is important that you inform your doctor if you have previously been diagnosed to have dry eyes prior to considering LASIK surgery. Patients with tear gland dysfunction- caused by Sjogren’s syndrome, scarring on the surface of the eye or Omega-3 deficiency may not be considered good candidates for LASIK. Other potential contraindications include:

• increased eye exposure as a result of thyroid dysfunction
• eyelid oil gland dysfunction
• inflammation of the eyelid
• decreased corneal sensation- resulting from wear of contact lenses,
  diabetes, viruses, and corneal surgery procedures

A patient considering LASIK should have a thorough examination to ensure they do not currently suffer from acute or chronic dry eye. If a patient does have this condition, a dry eye therapy regime should be implemented until the symptoms subside. Discuss this information with your LASIK surgeon to determine which regime will best fit your eye care needs.

If you suffer with dry eyes, this condition may not keep you from becoming a viable LASIK candidate. Our experienced physicians and staff at Michelson Laser Vision will take every measure necessary to treat your dry eye condition in preparation for LASIK. If your condition improves to a level that is considered satisfactory, Dr. Michelson will determine if it is safe to proceed with LASIK surgery. Feel free to contact our office at 205-.969-8100 to schedule a free consultation.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Alabama Eye and Cataract Center Staff: Verda Logan

Verda is a Front Desk Receptionist at Alabama Eye and Cataract Center. She joined Dr. Michelson’s practice three years ago with 34 years of experience in the medical industry. Her work in medical transcription, coding, and administration, has exposed her to a wide range of responsibilities within a medical practice. Verda says her favorite part of her job is talking to and connecting personally with patients, and her position now allows her to have that one on one experience. When a patient checks out after their appointment, they leave not only with a feeling of confidence in the practice, but also with a true sense of hospitality.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Eye Tests: Don’t be Intimidated

Many patients are nervous about going to the doctor, even for a routine check-up. Some fear that a disease or untreatable problem may be discovered. Rest assured, you will be made to feel comfortable and at ease during your eye exam by the physicians and staff at Alabama Eye and Cataract Center located at UAB Highlands! A comprehensive eye exam will provide accurate and detailed information about your eyes with a comfortable and stress-free experience.

Dr. Michelson utilizes the most advanced and reliable equipment and techniques available today. Just as you see the world with your eyes, we can capture detailed information about your eyes to evaluate and diagnose many eye conditions. Advanced optical cameras, like the Oculus Pentacam, allow us to analyze your cornea or cataract, if one is present. The topographer is another camera that maps out the surface of the cornea, identifying any astigmatism or aberrations that are present. These devices are utilized to help choose a lens implant when considering cataract surgery. Glaucoma no longer involves a fist-clenching puff to the eye, but rather a light being shined into the eye, while the patient sits relaxed. We have even had patients say that the visual field test is like playing a game! These are all non-invasive tests that deliver remarkable results.

Dr. Michelson and his staff will determine the necessary evaluations for your condition, and make sure that you are smiling through it all! You can be at ease knowing the dedication we have to our patients, and the confidence we have in our practices.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

LASIK Consultation-What to Expect

“When you come to Michelson Laser Vision for your consultation we carefully evaluate you, your eye health and your eyes to make sure you are a good candidate who is going get the best possible results”, said Marc Michelson, M.D., Medical Director of Michelson Laser Vision.

The only reliable way to determine whether Laser Vision Correction or Laser Eye Surgery of any type is going to help you achieve your personal vision correction goals is to have a thorough consultation.

Your LASIK consultation should consist of a number of clinical tests including:

 Measurement of your uncorrected visual acuity

 Measurement of your visual acuity with your current eyeglasses or contact lenses

 Optical measurement of the current prescription that you are wearing in your eyeglasses and/or a review of your current contact lens prescription

 A thorough review of your medical and eye history including all prescription and non-prescription medication that you have been or are currently taking

 A refraction-automated or manual-to determine your current prescription

 A topography measurement to digitally map the shape of your cornea

 A pachymetry measurement of the thickness of your cornea

 A measurement of pupil size

 A microscopic evaluation of the health of your cornea and tear film including testing for dry eyes.

From this testing it can be determined whether you should proceed to the final level of testing whereby the actual preoperative measurements are taken for your treatment and a thorough examination of the Retina and Optic Nerve can be performed.

In addition to the actual clinical testing, your LASIK evaluation will include a full discussion of LASIK risks, benefits and complications and a thorough analysis of the personal goals and objectives that you feel are important to your success. The best way for you or someone you know to find out if they are a good candidate for LASIK is to have an evaluation, examination, and consultation at Michelson Laser Vision. Please feel free to schedule an appointment by calling us at 205-969-8100.

Friday, July 15, 2011

LASIK and Astigmatism Misinformation

Many patients are misinformed that astigmatism prevents them from having laser vision correction. Actually astigmatism is very easily treated with LASIK allowing patients to see without eyeglasses or contact lenses. A great example is a patient who was told he was not a candidate for laser vision correction because of astigmatism. He had an excess of 2.00 Diopters of astigmatism and underwent LASIK by Dr. Michelson with the Wavelight Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Excimer Laser. The Wavelight Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Excimer Laser is the latest in laser technology capable of correcting up to 6.00 diopters of astigmatism in a single treatment.

The day following the LASIK procedure, our patient was elated with visual acuity of 20/15 in both eyes. The astigmatism was completely eliminated and his vision was better than 20/20.

Dr. Michelson and his highly trained staff ensure that patients who are interested in LASIK are indeed excellent candidates before undergoing laser vision correction surgery. If you think you have too much astigmatism to have laser vision correction and you want to truly determine if you are in fact a good candidate for LASIK surgery, contact Michelson Laser Vision at 205-969-8100 to schedule a screening evaluation. As always the consultations are free and you have nothing to lose, but possibly so much to gain.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Alabama Eye and Cataract Center Staff: Alena Samal

Alabama Eye and Cataract Center brings excellence from around the world! Ophthalmic Technician, Alena Samal, graduated with honors from Minsk Medical College in Belarus, a small country in Europe. Her advanced degree in Nursing led her to work as an Ophthalmic Nurse for seven years before moving to the United States in 2008. She joined the staff at University of Alabama in Birmingham, assisting in research for the Department of Neurology. In November of 2010, Alena joined Dr. Michelson’s practice to further her experience and interest in Ophthalmology. Her expertise in the field allowed her to quickly adapt and support the staff, while her kind personality has made a positive impression on patients. Alena hopes to someday attend optometry school and earn a degree as a Doctor of Optometry.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month in Birmingham

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center and Michelson Laser Vision wish to announce that Prevent Blindness America has designated July as National Fireworks Eye Safety Awareness Month.

Contrary to what you might think, there is no safe way for nonprofessionals to use fireworks. It is only safe to enjoy the splendor and excitement of fireworks at a professional display. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks are involved in approximately 10,000 injuries per year that are treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms. Of those, 2/3 occurred during the one month period surrounding the July 4th holiday. It is important to note that

• Eyes were the Second Most Commonly Injured Part of the Body!
• Males Were Injured 3x More than Females.
• Approximately 25% of Injuries are to Children Under 15.

Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially during the Fourth of July. But there are precautions parents can take to prevent these injuries. The best defense against kids suffering severe eye injuries and burns is to not let kids play with any fireworks. Do not purchase, use or store fireworks of any type. Protect yourself, your family and your friends by avoiding fireworks. Attend only authorized public fireworks displays conducted by licensed operators, but be aware that even professional displays can be dangerous. If an eye accident does occur, what should I know?

• Do not rub the eye.
• Do not attempt to rinse out the eye. This can be even more damaging than rubbing.
• Do not apply pressure to the eye itself- but protecting the eye from further contact with any item, including the child's hand.
• Do not stop for medicine! Over-the-counter pain relievers will not do much to relieve pain. Aspirin (should never be given to children) and ibuprofen can thin the blood, increasing bleeding. Take the child to the emergency room at once.
• Do not apply ointments or drops. They may not be sterile and may make the area around the eye slippery and harder for the doctor to examine.

Once you are seen in the emergency room please feel free to have them call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center or Michelson Laser Vision as we always have an eye doctor “on call” to provide consultation and continued care for you.

Friday, July 1, 2011

LASIK and PRK Recovery

When most of the general population considers laser eye surgery procedures for refractive correction, LASIK is what comes to mind. LASIK however, is not the only method of refractive corrective surgery. LASIK stands for Laser In-Situ Keratomileusis. During LASIK an incision is made “under” the corneal flap using either a femtosecomd laser or microkeratome. The corneal flap helps to alleviate the amount of discomfort the patient experiences, and recovery time is usually one day, which is the day of the procedure. Photorefractive Keratectomy, otherwise known as PRK is an alternative to LASIK that does not require the generation of a corneal flap. In PRK, the “surface” epithelial layer of the cornea is removed. After removal, the excimer laser is applied to the cornea to reshape the cornea and change eye’s focusing power. The epithelial surface layer regenerates in a few days. Because of the slower epithelial regeneration, patients have a longer recovery period of an estimated 3 to 4 days. The amount of time for the patient to regain their best visual acuity is about four to five days. In contrast, after LASIK surgery, patients report having a visual acuity of 20/20, or even 20/15 within 24 hours of having surgery. PRK patients may have about two weeks of vision fluctuations before obtaining their visual acuities of 20/20 or 20/15. The delayed visual acuity for PRK patients is due to the time of surface regeneration after the surgical procedure. The final outcomes between LASIK and PRK however, are not significantly different. There are many patients who might be better candidates for PRK over LASIK.

Dr. Michelson will help you choose which method best suits your eyes and your needs.

When having refractive surgery evaluation it is important to understand which procedure you qualify for and why. During a consultation at Michelson Laser Vision, the staff and physicians will explain the various procedures and why you may be a candidate for either procedure. To schedule your complimentary consultation to understand the differences with your vision and visual needs, contact our office at 205-969-8100.