Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finding the Best Cataract Surgeons in Birmingham

To find the best Cataract Surgeons requires a little bit of work and investigation but is always worth it. Finding an eye surgeon who is a Cataract Specialist can help you to be confident that you are getting the most current information, thoughts and techniques to deal with your cataracts.

Ask People You Trust for a recommendation. Ask your friends, co-workers and family-but most importantly ask you primary care physician who they would go to or who they would send a parent to for cataract surgery.

Don’t Limit Yourself to Insurance Lists. Just because a Cataract Surgeon is “in network” isn’t a reason to use them if you are able to identify a top cataract surgeon you wish to go to who isn’t listed. Paying a slightly higher co-pay or deductible may be very worthwhile to get the Cataract Surgeon of your choice. If the best Cataract Surgeon in your area happens to be in the insurance list then you are all set.

Use the Power of the Internet. Take a minute to search “cataract surgeons in (insert your town/city/state)” or “best cataract surgeon in (insert your town/city/state)”. This will at least give you a starting place to begin creating a list of eye surgeons to investigate further.

Visit the Cataract Surgeon’s Web Site. Once you have compiled a list, visit their web sites and get a feel for their practice culture and philosophy. While a web site by itself can’t tell you much about surgical skills, it can tell you about how well he or she presents information and explains detail to patients. This is important in how comfortable you may feel in that practice.

Schedule a Consultation and Meet the Cataract Surgeon. The only sure fire way to find out if you are comfortable and get a sense of trust from a cataract surgeon is to schedule a consultation and meet the surgeon personally. They should be able to clearly explain your eye health and vision as well as the cataract procedure and answer any questions you have in understandable language and terms. Whether or not you find the right cataract surgeon right off the bat it is never inappropriate to………

Get a Second Opinion. Making a decision about eye surgery is a big deal. Getting to a place where you feel confident, relaxed and comfortable is important.

If you or someone you know has a Cataract or wishes to learn more about Cataract Surgery please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center-205-930-0930.

Monday, January 30, 2012

LASIK Facebook Contest in Birmingham at Michelson Laser Vision

Michelson Laser Vision in Birmingham is pleased to announce to commencement of their “Awful Glasses LASIK Contest”. “LASIK Surgery is serious business-but it doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun along the way helping people as they wonder what it would be like to not have to wear glasses to see clearly at distance without them,” remarked Birmingham LASIK Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D., Medical Director of Michelson Laser Vision. “To that end we thought it would be fun to have people interested in LASIK share photos of themselves wearing their most awful glasses. We have quite a community of Facebook fans who have “LIKED” us and so we felt that Facebook would be a great place to socialize with folks.”

Michelson Laser Vision invites anyone over the age of 21 to participate in their “Awful Glasses Contest” by going to www.facebook.com/michelsonlaservision and locating the Awful Glasses Contest tab on the left hand navigation bar. Upon clicking and loading the contest page you can LIKE us and you will be asked to provide a photo of yourself with your “Awful Glasses” and are encouraged to write a little statement about why they are so awful. “We will be accepting entries throughout the entire month of February,” noted Michelle Michaels, Practice Administrator. “Then beginning on March 1, 2012 we will open the contest to allow your friends and relatives to vote for you. Whoever has the most votes by their friends and relatives will get to have LASIK at Michelson Laser Vision complements of our center!! So-be sure to tell your friends that you have entered and that they should vote for you.”

There is no entry fee or cost of any kind to enter the Awful Glasses Contest at Michelson Laser Vision. However, if you win you must come in for a no charge consultation and be deemed a suitable LASIK candidate by our medical staff. In the event you are not suitable you will be able to give your LASIK to someone of your choosing who is medically suitable.

Michelson Laser Vision is a leading Laser Eye Surgery Center in Birmingham staffed by a team of specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained cornea specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, technical and administrative staff who provide examination, consultation and treatment including LASIK, Bladeless LASIK and other types of Laser Eye Surgery for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

To learn more about Michelson Laser Vision visit http://www.michelsonvision.com/. To enter the Awful Glasses Contest visit www.facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

For additional information, contact:

Michelle Michael
Alabama Eye & Cataract Center
1201 11th Avenue S., Suite 501
Birmingham, Alabama 35205

SOURCE: Medical Management Services Group, L.L.C.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pterygium-A Common Growth on the Eye

A pterygium is a pinkish triangular-shaped tissue that originates from the inner part of the eye and grows onto the cornea (clear front window of the eye). After developing, a pterygium often becomes stationary or slowly migrates toward the pupil.  Rarely, it can grow quickly causing the vision to become severely blurred.  Once diagnosed, it’s generally good for patients to have annual eye examinations to determine if the pterygium is growing because of potential loss of vision.

Why a pterygium develops is not entirely known; although, several risk factors have been identified.  These include family history, excessive ultraviolet (UV) exposure, and working in dry dusty environments.  In areas where sunlight is strong, wearing sunglasses and/or hats with brims is important, especially if a pterygium has already formed. For most patients, the pterygium causes no symptoms other than being able to see it in the mirror.  Occasionally symptoms of redness, irritation, and dryness may develop which can often be managed with lubricating over the counter (OTC) eye drops.  Occasionally prescription eye drops containing medicine are needed. If a pterygium continues to grow, causes blurred vision or symptoms of persistent irritation, it can be removed.  Many removal techniques have been developed; however, current research indicates a specific technique known as P.E.R.F.E.C.T. for Pterygium® (Pterygium Extended Removal Followed by Extended Conjunctival Transplant) is the most effective method in preventing recurrence and delivering superb cosmetic results. 

Few eye surgeons utilize this technique as it is technically challenging and more time consuming than other techniques.  At Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, we utilize the P.E.R.F.E.C.T. technique as we believe the results are worth the time and effort. If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Pterygium or the various treatment options, please schedule an appointment with Birmingham Corneal Specialists Marc Michelson, M.D. or Tyler Hall, M.D. at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center by calling 205-930-0930.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aspirin & Macular Degeneration (AMD)

There may be a relationship between frequent aspirin use and Macular Degeneration (AMD) according to researchers from the European Eye Study who  reported some interesting findings on the October 2011 publication Ophthalmology which is the official journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. They found that frequent aspirin use may be associated with an increased risk of early or late “wet age-related macular degeneration”, with an “odds ratio” that increases upon frequency of consumption. However the study is somewhat limited in that there was an unknown amount of aspirin taken, as well as the possibility that participants may have taken aspirin after experiencing visual problems. So, at this time the study is interesting but inconclusive and certainly patients taking aspirin to offset the coronary risk profile or other vascular problems should NOT discontinue taking aspirin unless they have been directed to do so by their personal physician. Patients who have question or concerns about Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) should feel free to contact Alabama Eye & Cataract Center-205-930-0930 for information or to schedule an appointment.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Latisse®: Longer Lashes Real Results

If you need some help growing your own fuller, darker and longer eyelashes Latisse® might be the answer! Latisse® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) is the prescription used commonly for thinning eyelashes, or hypotrichosis. Our eyelashes serve a biological purpose, which is to keep potentially harmful debris out of our eyes. However, eyelashes also seem to serve a cosmetic purpose. For thousands of years, the eyes have been accentuated. Trends have evolved from dark eyeliner as seen on Egyptian pharaohs, to false lashes made big by Hollywood stars in the sixties. Today, the popular trend is to grow your own fuller, darker, and longer lashes, and you can do it now with Latisse!

Alabama Eye and Cataract Center and Michelson Laser Vision have started selling Latisse® to patients. Some of the staff members have also started using the product, and have witnessed real results, as documented by their own before and after pictures. Most people start to see results within six weeks. Latisse® is a safe topical drug, but it does have risks, and it must be provided through a prescription by a physician. Be wary of spas and department stores selling this product.

If you are interested in trying Latisse, please stop by or call Alabama Eye and Cataract Center 205-930-0930, or Michelson Laser Vision 205-969-8100 and we will be happy to discuss your options for fuller lashes. Please visit us at facebook.com/michelsonlaservision too!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

About Your Eyes & Being Pregnant

What does being pregnant have to with your eyes? Sometimes quite a bit. During pregnancy your body undergoes fluctuations in hormone levels, changes in fluid retention and even an increase in your overall blood volume. These types of changes can result in your eyes changing in various ways. Fortunately eye changes due to pregnancy are usually temporary and resolve after the baby is born or after the cessation of breast feeding. Typically vision changes are minor and don’t require a change in eyeglasses, however there are some eye changes that do require care and attention.

If you were thinking about having LASIK you should delay your actual LASIK Surgery procedure until at least three months after your delivery or three months after you stop nursing. This is necessary because the thickness of your cornea may fluctuate during pregnancy and will reduce the accuracy of the LASIK correction. Also, hormonal fluctuations are often the cause of dry eye. This can make you uncomfortable by itself and can certainly make wearing your contact lenses more difficult. If you experience dry eyes during pregnancy be sure to consult your eye care provider so that “pregnancy-safe” lubricating eye drops or other alternative treatments for dry eye can be prescribed. Sometimes simply eating foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, flax seeds and walnuts, may help resolve dry eye and also supports general good health.

On a more serious note, if your vision becomes noticeably blurry, it may signal high blood pressure or pregnancy-related diabetes. If you experience dry eyes, changes in vision or especially very blurred vision during pregnancy it is important to schedule an appointment to see Birmingham Corneal Specialist & LASIK Surgeons Marc Michelson, M.D. and Tyler Hall, M.D at Michelson Laser Vision by phoning 877-871-3937.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Alabama Eye and Cataract Center Staff: Alicia Freeman

Alicia Freeman joined Alabama Eye and Cataract Center as an ophthalmic technician in July 2011. With extensive experience and knowledge in the eye care field, Alicia fell into her role very quickly and efficiently. She was instrumental in the creation and implementation of our new Alabama Eye and Cataract Center Optical Shop, and has dedicated herself to teaching fellow technicians how to maximize the optical experience for our patients. Alicia’s warm and generous personality has resonated among the staff and patients, and her eagerness and confidence has been appreciated. Join us in welcoming Alicia to our staff!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Keratoconus-A Thin Bulging Cornea

Keratoconus is a type of Corneal Dystrophy in which the Cornea becomes thin and bulges. Although Keratoconus is a relatively rare corneal disease, its impact on vision and overall lifestyle can be quite significant as it progresses. Vision correction in the early phases is often possible with eyeglasses and contact lenses. In the intermediate phases specialized contact lenses are often necessary to provide good vision and physical tolerance. As Keratoconus progresses and reaches its later phases, corneal surgery including transplantation may be required in order for patients to conduct normal activities and enjoy normal lifestyles. Newer types of corneal surgery and treatment may include implantation of prescription inserts and a non surgical approach called Corneal Cross Linking or CXL that enhances corneal collagen cross linking through the photoactivation of riboflavin. By carefully monitoring the progression of Keratoconus and applying the necessary treatment options it is possible to help patients maintain good vision and functioning.

Keratoconus is generally first diagnosed in young people at puberty or in their late teens and progresses through the third or fourth decade of life. It tends to progress more rapidly in young patients. Keratoconus occurs about equally in men and women. The signs and symptoms of Keratoconus may change as the disease progresses and may include a) blurred or distorted vision b) monocular double vision c) rapidly changing eyeglass prescriptions especially with high degrees of astigmatism d) increased sensitivity to bright light and glare e) problems with night vision f) headaches from eyestrain and in the most severe situation e) hydrops, a painful condition in which the back of your cornea ruptures and fills with fluid, causing a sudden clouding and loss of vision.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Keratoconus or the various treatment options please schedule an appointment with Birmingham Corneal Specialists Marc Michelson, M.D. and Tyler Hall, M.D. at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center by calling 205-930-0930. You may also request an appointment at facebook.com/michelsonlaservision.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Eyeglasses & Eyewear in Birmingham

For close to home and convenient eyeglasses and eyewear in Birmingham visit the Optical Shop at Alabama Eye and Cataract Center, P.C. As many of you are now aware, we have recently opened an in-house optical shop at Alabama Eye and Cataract Center, P.C., located at UAB Highlands. It was an idea we pondered on, but the implementation of the shop has proven to be much appreciated by our patients and staff. Patients no longer have to take their eyeglass prescription to a big box retailer. After their exam, they can view our selection, try on frames, and even suggest a special order. Our technicians and opticians enjoy working with patients with whom they’ve grown to know, and understand their styles and personality. We listen to you, help you find exactly what you’re looking for, and you don’t have to run around town looking for it! 

We have had the wonderful opportunity to work with several reputable vendors who are bringing us the newest and trendiest styles, as well as traditional and more conservative looks. Our selection ranges from options for our fashion-conscious patients, to those who are more concerned with satisfying their eyeglass needs on a budget. Some of our top brands are Coach, Vera Wang, Dana Buchman, Joan Collins, Takumi, Silhouette, KLIIK, Kensie and FYSH. We also have the nearly indestructible TurboFlex with EasyTwist patented technology. You can browse while you are waiting, and never have to wonder where you have to go next to get your glasses made. Your glasses will be dispensed locally, and they are usually ready in two days from the time you place your order.

During your next appointment, we invite you to stroll thru our new optical shop and see what inspires you. We also have fashion sunglasses available (prescription and non-prescription available) so you can protect your eyes, and do it in style! If you, a relative, or someone you know would like to know more about eyeglasses and eyewear at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center, P.C. please feel free to call us at 205-930-0930.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Glaucoma Awareness Month in Birmingham

Alabama Eye & Cataract Center wants to focus patient’s attention on Glaucoma this month as January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. “This is an important time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease. Our understanding of this disease along with the ways in which we can diagnose and treat it have improved considerably,” commented Corneal Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D., Medical Director of Michelson Laser Vision and Alabama Eye & Cataract Center in Birmingham, Alabama.

“Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. Moreover, among African American and Latino populations, Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness overall. Of particular note is that Glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians,” reported Alabama Eye & Cataract Center Corneal Specialist Tyler Hall, M.D.

Over 4 million Americans, and nearly 70 million people worldwide, have Glaucoma. Experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it. Combined with our aging population, we can see an epidemic of blindness looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision.

The most common type of Glaucoma—Primary Open Angle Glaucoma—is hereditary. The Nottingham Glaucoma Study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated the risk that siblings of Glaucoma patients would themselves develop Glaucoma within their lifetime. “While we already knew that there was a strong likelihood that family members of Glaucoma patients were at greater risk, the Nottingham Study found that siblings were 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma by age 70. This is why we strongly recommend that siblings of Glaucoma patients and Glaucoma suspects be screened for Glaucoma, each and every year”, said Dr. Hall.

If you, a relative or someone you know is at risk for Glaucoma based on their age, heredity or health please tell them to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center at 205-930-0930 to schedule and eye exam and Glaucoma screening. Early diagnosis and treatment goes a long way to preserving eye health and vision.