Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Contact Lenses & Swimming in Birmingham

Patient wearing contact lenses in Birmingham should be aware that contact lenses really should not be worn for swimming, taking showers, in bath tubs or in hot tubs as this poses safety risks to patients. “We commonly hear patient questions about wanting to wear their contacts while in a pool or hot tub or even while in the shower. This is not a good idea and can significantly increase the safety risks of contact lens wear”, said Corneal Specialist Marc Michelson, M.D. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recommended that contact lenses not be exposed to any form of water. Although rare, a sight-threatening eye complication, Acanthamoeba Keratitis, is caused by an organism present in all forms of impure water (i.e., swimming pools, tap water, saunas, wells, and showers). Acanthamoeba, and certain forms of bacteria present in water, can become attached to the contact lenses, possibly resulting in an infection. It would be preferable to insert your contact lenses after showering. If lenses are being worn while showering, it is recommended to keep your eyes firmly closed. If you accidentally wear your contact lenses while in the bathtub or hot tub, care should be taken to avoid water being splashed into the eyes. If your eyes are exposed to water, instill a lubricating drop to help loosen the lens on the eye, remove the lens with clean, dry hands, then clean and disinfect it the lens, or discard it. Never sleep in a lens that has been exposed to water without first cleaning and disinfecting it. If lenses were removed prior to getting in a hot tub, they must be properly cleaned and disinfected before being re-inserted.

“Contact Lenses are really quite safe to wear if your follow proper care guidelines and instructions. However, if water restrictions such as swimming, bath tubs and showering are part of your daily routine, you do need to keep your lenses out. Many more patients-even very successful contact lens wearers-finds this to be a hassle and are now interested in discussing LASIK as an option,” said Dr. Michelson. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about LASIK or scheduling a Free LASIK Consultation please call Michelson Laser Vision at 877-871-3937.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Birmingham Corneal Specialists & Infections

“As Birmingham Corneal Specialists we get to see a lot of patients referred by other eye doctors for all types of corneal infections and Keratitis,” remarked Marc Michelson, M.D., Medical Director of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. “We take any corneal infection as a serious matter,” said Dr. Michelson. “What patients need to know is that under normal healthy circumstances the cornea is pretty resistant to infection. However, if the outermost layer-called the corneal epithelium is damaged, it opens a path to penetration by bacteria, viruses and fungi. Even a simple poke in the eye from a branch or a finger, a tiny piece of metal or even from a dirty or damaged contact lens can allow a corneal infection to occur,” said Dr. Michelson.

The typical signs and symptoms of s corneal infection or Keratitis may include redness, pain, sensitivity to light, eye watering and possibly the appearance of a white spot might be visible where the infection is originating from. If not diagnosed and treated quickly corneal infections can cause erosion, corneal ulceration, scarring that can impair vision and even necessitate a corneal transplant. If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these signs or symptoms-especially if they have had any trauma to their eyes-please call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center at 205-930-0930 and request an immediate appointment with Corneal Specialists Marc Michelson, M.D. or Tyler Hall, M.D.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Computer Use & Eyestrain in Birmingham

“Excessive computer use can impact your eyes more than you think and even cause considerable eyestrain,” commented Birmingham Ophthalmologist Marc Michelson, M.D., Medical Director of Alabama Eye & Cataract Center. There are some important things to know about computer and video display terminal use, your eyes and eyestrain. Staring at your computer screen, smartphone, video game or other digital devices for long periods won’t cause permanent eye damage, but your eyes may feel dry and tired. Although there are no long-term studies at this time, we do not believe there is any reason to be concerned that 3-D movies, TV or video games will damage the eyes or visual system. Normally, you blink about 18 times a minute, but only blink half that often while using computers and other digital screen devices, whether for work or play. Reading, writing or other intensive “near work” can also cause eyestrain of a similar nature.

It is helpful in avoiding computer related eyestrain if you first position yourself about 24” from the screen you are viewing and with your eye gaze is slightly downward. It also helps to reduce glare from the screen by lighting the area properly and if possible use a screen filter if needed. It may seem silly but post a note that says “Blink!” on the computer as a reminder. Then, use the “20-20-20” rule. Every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds. It is also helpful to use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry. Make sure that you take regular breaks from computer work, and be sure to get enough sleep at night. Now, if you wear contacts for the computer screen it’s important that you use and care for them properly in order to avoid eye irritation, swelling, infection and vision problems. Also, give your eyes a break and wear your glasses instead of your contacts sometime. Consider a special prescription and lens coating for computer use to help manage eyestrain and fatigue. If you wish to learn more about computers, vision, eyestrain and your eyes please feel free to call Alabama Eye & Cataract Center at 205-930-0930.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

About Bulging Eyes in Birmingham

Birmingham Ophthalmologist Marc Michelson, M.D. commented on bulging eye problems. 

“Bulging eyes is the familiar description of the eye conditions known as exophthalmos or proptosis. Besides possibly being a bit odd looking, bulging eye conditions can also cause a number of problems, such as not being able to completely close your eyes during sleep or even during normal blinking, which can lead to dry eye symptoms, discomfort and ultimately damage the eye’s surface, resulting in scarring. Sometimes eye bulging can restrict or interfere with normal eye movements. We need to be able to properly diagnose the difference between eyes that are simply “prominent” as compared to eyes that actually “bulging.” In instances of true bulging eyes, we need to carefully determine the cause so that we can offer an appropriate treatment as necessary,” stressed Dr. Michelson.

Causes of bulging eyes can include:
  • Graves Disease, that results in hyperthyroidism and too much thyroid hormone;
  • Inflammation of the tissue around the eye and inside the bony orbit of the eye called Cellulitis;
  • Certain tumors behind, inside or around the eye;
  • Hemorrhages behind the eye and injury to the eye.
If you or someone you know suffers from bulging eyes please feel free to schedule an examination at Alabama Eye & Cataract Center at 205-930-0930.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Birmingham LASIK is Affordable

Believe it or not, LASIK in Birmigham is affordable for just about anyone at Michelson Laser Vision! That’s because we work to find ways to work with you to help you achieve your personal vision correction goals at Michelson Laser Vision. Here are a few ways lots of our patients choose when they have LASIK at Michelson Laser Vision in Birmingham.

Easy Payment Plans
Many of our patients use our easy payment monthly payment plans. We can arrange the amount you pay each month to fit your budget-AND you do not even have to put any money down! You can have your LASIK procedure today WITH NO MONEY DOWN-and with 0% interest if you would like!

Flex Plans-Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
Many employers offer Flex Plans-Flexible Spending Accounts or FSA’s. These plans allow you to have money taken out of your paycheck over time to pay for LASIK. What is even more appealing about Flex Plans is that money is withheld in Pre-Tax dollars allowing you to get extra tax savings. It is best to come in for a free consultation to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK-and then we can tell you exactly how much to have taken out of your paycheck!

Health Spending Accounts (HSA)
Health Spending Accounts are another way our patients can use Pre-Tax dollars to pay for LASIK and elective Lens Implants. If you have an HSA, it is best to come in for a free consultation to find out if you are a candidate for LASIK so we can tell you how much to allocate.

Insurance & Discount Fee for Service Plans
More and more health insurance or vision insurance plans are offering partial coverage or a discount for LASIK to their participants. We will be happy to review your plan. Even if we are not a direct provider on your plan, if you have coverage, we will make every attempt to honor your benefit allowance when you come to Michelson Laser Vision.

Tax Refunds
Tax refunds often provide a nice source of unexpected cash that you can invest in yourself! If you know that you are going to be getting a tax refund, come in for a free consultation and find out if you are a candidate for LASIK. We can even use a very short term payment plan to help you get treated today and pay with your tax refund tomorrow.