Tuesday, August 30, 2011

LASIK Consultation Importance

Making the decision to have refractive surgery should be an easy and positive experience. At Michelson Laser Vision, Inc., it is important that every patient feel comfortable and confident about their surgery. A one-on-one initial consultation is available for you to ask specific questions about your eyes and to learn about the various procedures available to treat them.  Our refractive surgery coordinator will initiate a screening evaluation to first determine if you are a candidate for refractive surgery.

The initial consultation is the patient’s first glimpse at the quality of service and skill offered by Dr. Michelson, Alabama’s leading expert in laser vision correction.  We encourage patients to perform internet searches and inquire about LASIK, but real comfort with your decision is achieved by forming a trusting relationship with Dr. Michelson and the staff at Michelson Laser Vision, where the patient is our priority.  A one-on-one meeting, encountered in your initial consultation, is a necessary ingredient in making a decision to perform laser vision surgery.  Like any surgery, LASIK is customized to fit your specific needs.  An initial consultation, as well as a thorough examination, will leave you feeling confident and optimistic about your decision to have LASIK.

If you are considering LASIK, let us help you determine the best options for your individual visual needs. Contact Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. at 205-969-8100 for a complimentary consultation.

Friday, August 26, 2011

What’s New in Contact Lenses?

Over the past decade, radical advances have been made in contact lens technology.  It is common knowledge that contacts help correct distance vision in patients with hyperopia or myopia. However, in recent years, contacts have been developed for patients with presbyopia, as well.  There is also a market for specialty contact lenses designed for patients who have keratoconus, corneal injuries, corneal transplants, and high degrees of corneal astigmatism.  All varieties of contact lenses are available to help reach a patient’s specific visual goals.  Patients may undergo contact lens trial fittings to ensure proper fit and to achieve their best vision possible.  Once optimum vision and comfort are established, the patient is ready to purchase their new contact lenses.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do Cataracts come back?

Once a Cataract is removed it cannot come back. But sometimes there can be a clouding of vision after Cataract Surgery that can give patients the impression that a Cataract has “regrown”. The crystalline lens of the eye is where a Cataract forms. The crystalline lens has a soft protein center and is surrounded by a capsule. A Cataract forms because the protein becomes cloudy. During Cataract Surgery Dr. Michelson uses microscopic instruments to break up and remove the cloudy material as this is what blurs your vision. However, Dr. Michelson usually leaves the “capsule” in place and will actually place the intraocular lens implant (IOL) to correct your vision, inside the capsule. In some patients the capsule become “opacified”-called “posterior capsular opacification”- sometime after surgery leaving the patient’s vision cloudy and often with glare sensitivity, much like the symptoms they had from the Cataract. Fortunately, Dr. Michelson can use a YAG Laser to quickly, safely and effectively create an opening in the capsule along the visual axis which restores the vision almost instantly. This procedure called a “YAG Capsulotomy” takes only a few minutes and is performed using simple eye drop anesthesia without discomfort.

Please feel free to contact Alabama Eye & Cataract Center to schedule an appointment and learn more about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants by calling us at 205-930-0930.

Friday, August 19, 2011

LASIK and Monovision

Presbyopia is truly the defining point of becoming middle-aged. Occurring generally by the mid-forties, the eyes slowly looses their focusing power for near objects ushering the dreaded need for reading glasses. Small type print becomes almost impossible to discern without the use of readers or magnifiers. Suddenly, hundreds of pairs of reading glasses spring up in every nook and cranny because you never remember where you left your last pair. LASIK may offer a solution to remedy this problem, not only correct your distance vision, but also to eliminate dependence on reading glasses. You may ask, “Can LASIK also help my near or close up vision?” The answer may be yes, but it will depend on a variety of factors that can only be determined by a thorough evaluation. One solution may be monovision.

Monovision, or blended vision, may be the key to allow patients to see near or tiny print without the need for reading glasses. Monovision is really blended vision where one eye (usually the dominant eye) is corrected for distance, and the non-dominant eye is corrected for near vision. Not everyone will be able to tolerate monovision because the brain may not adapt to each eye focusing at two separate focal points. However, many people function perfectly fine with monovision and do not require glasses for near or distance vision. Therefore, it is important to simulate monovision with contact lenses prior to LASIK to determine if this option will meet your vision needs.

If you are presbyopic and tired of wearing bifocals, consider the option of monovision to alleviate your need for eyeglasses and contacts completely. Dr. Michelson, Alabama’s leading LASIK expert, and the physicians and staff at Michelson Laser Vision, Inc., are trained to help you reach your visual goals. Call today to schedule a complimentary consultation at 205-969-8100.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How Safe is LASIK Surgery?

The two most important factors determining the safety of Laser Eye Surgery are the laser and instrumentation to be used to perform the treatment and even more so, the skill and experience of the LASIK Surgeon.

“I began performing Laser Eye Surgery for the Laser Vision Correction of nearsightedness as part of the original FDA clinical trials to demonstrate safety and efficacy of the Excimer Laser. As a matter of routine practice we began performing Laser Vision Correction upon Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of the Excimer Laser on October 20, 1995. The Excimer Laser was specifically FDA approved for LASIK in 1998. So as of 2011, Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction has been performed for just over 15 years and the LASIK procedure has been performed under FDA approval for just over 12 years. It is estimated that some 20 million patients worldwide have had LASIK”, commented Birmingham Corneal Specialist and LASIK Surgeon Marc Michelson, M.D.

LASIK is generally considered one of the most successful and safe surgical procedures of any type of eye surgery. In skilled hands nearsighted patients can expect to achieve 20/40 vision more than 98 percent of the time and uncorrected vision of 20/20 or 20/25 90 percent of the time. The safety record is equally as impressive in that rarely is there vision loss of 20/40 or worse after LASIK which occurs in about only 3 per 1,000 cases and serious complications, such as infection or corneal damage occur even more infrequently in fewer than 1 in 1,000 cases.

There is more to safety than simply the laser device itself. As a practical matter FDA approval does not indicate that a LASIK Surgeon is going to provide a thorough evaluation and consultation, guarantee that LASIK Surgeons will provide a complete review of the possible risks and complications of LASIK or that the LASIK Surgeon will use the appropriate screening and decision criteria to be sure that a patient is in fact a good candidate for LASIK or any Laser Eye Surgery. Thus with regard to LASIK safety, choosing the best LASIK Surgeon is the most important decision a patient makes in deciding to have LASIK and is a significant part of making LASIK a safe and effective procedure. You should not choose a LASIK Surgeon based on slick advertising or low price. You should choose a LASIK Surgeon based on reputation in the community, the length of time they have been performing LASIK and the comfort and rapport established during your consultation. While the equipment used may provide a slight advantage or disadvantage in safety, it is ALWAYS the skill and experience of the surgeon that contributes the most to the overall safety of Laser Eye Surgery for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

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.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

LASIK Frequently Asked Questions

When considering LASIK surgery, there are many questions and concerns that you will have in your quest to have perfect vision without glasses or contact lenses. A free consultation is a phone call away at Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. for anyone desiring to receive additional information and education about LASIK, refractive surgery, and the risks involved with laser vision correction. Here are some of the more frequently asked questions and answers:

• Does everyone see 20/20 after surgery?

If you can see 20/20 or better with glasses or contacts you will have the potential to see 20/20 or better after LASIK. There are risks associated with the procedure. If you are selected as a good candidate for LASIK at Michelson Laser Vision, Inc, those risks are very low. The percentage of patients who obtain 20/20 or better after LASIK by Dr. Michelson currently exceeds 98%. The patient’s best visual acuity determines how well the patient will see after surgery. In other words, if you are incapable of obtaining 20/20 vision LASIK can only improve you to the best level of your potential before surgery.

• Does having LASIK force me have to wear reading glasses sooner?

No. In people who have perfect vision, beginning in their mid-forties, reading glasses become necessary to see close up due to changes of the lens of the eye making it more difficult to change focus from distance to near. This is called Presbyopia. LASIK surgery eliminates nearsightedness, farsightedness, and/or astigmatism allowing you to have perfect vision. The timing of the development of Presbyopia will determine when reading glasses are required for near vision.

• Does LASIK cause Cataracts?

No. LASIK is performed on the corneal surface of the eye. The laser energy is totally absorbed in the first few microns of corneal tissue and does not penetrate into the eye. Cataracts are only formed in the lens of the eye when the lens becomes cloudy or opaque resulting in diminished vision especially at night. LASIK however, does not prevent one from developing cataracts which will then require cataract surgery with an intraocular lens implant.

• Are all LASIK procedures the same?

No. There are two methods to perform LASIK. The creation of a thin corneal flap is performed to allow the laser to treat the cornea. The flap can be generated by a mechanical blade called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser. The femtosecond laser fires at a pulse rate of a millionth of a billionth of a second creating an extremely thin and reproducibly precise corneal flap. Otherwise known as “Bladeless LASIK” the femtosecond laser is the choice of corneal flap generation for LASIK at Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. Reproducibility and precision are the ingredients for excellent outcomes.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Meet Veronica N. Oltmanns, O.D.

Veronica N. Oltmanns, O.D. was born in Newport News, Virginia. She attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk and graduated with a B.S. in Biology in 1996. She attended Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia where she graduated with a Doctor of Optometry degree in 2000. It was there that she met her husband. Upon graduation, the married couple returned to Newport News.

Dr. Oltmanns began her Optometric career at 20/20 Eyecare, Inc. After two years she then joined Clearvision Optometry advancing her clinical experience in comprehensive eye care and contact lenses. In June of 2007, Dr. Oltmanns, her husband, and two children moved to Gainesville, Florida where her husband Dr. Matthew Oltmanns, began his residency Ophthalmology at the University of Florida. Dr. Oltmanns joined the faculty at the Gainesville Veterans Administration Hospital, and while working in the Ophthalmology clinic she gained invaluable experience with a multitude of clinical ocular pathology. In June of 2010, the Oltmanns moved to Birmingham, Alabama where she began working with Marc Michelson, M.D. of Alabama Eye and Cataract Center, P.C. at UAB Highlands and Michelson Laser Vision, Inc. These two practices specialize in laser vision correction (LASIK), vision restoration with cataract surgery and management of complicated anterior segment surgery of the eye. Dr. Oltmanns is available for appointments for both new and existing patients for general eye exams, cataract evaluations, LASIK evaluations and a variety of eye-related problems and diseases.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Children's Eye Health Month in Birmingham

Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center wishes to announce that August has been designated as Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month by Prevent Blindness America. Eye and vision problems affect one in twenty preschoolers and one in four school aged children. Parents should be aware that it is possible for their children to have a serious vision problem without even being aware of it. Infants should be screened for common eye problems during their regular pediatric appointments and vision testing should be conducted for all children starting at around three years of age. If there is a family history of eye problems or if an eye problem is apparent, it is important to bring it to the attention of and eye doctor so that they can advise the parents about when and how often their child’s eyes should be examined.

Among the conditions an eye doctor will look for are amblyopia (lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), ptosis (drooping of the upper eyelid), color deficiency (color blindness) and refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism). Please feel free to phone Alabama Eye & Cataract Center at 205-930-0930 to schedule a consultation and examination.