Tuesday, April 26, 2011

RevitalVision and Macular Degeneration: How Does It Work?

We are always trying to find new and better ways to help our patients see. Our goal is to provide the best experience you can possibly have while achieving the best vision you can attain. We strive every day to be the best place in all of Cleveland to receive your eyecare.

As part of our quest we are not only constantly on the search for new programs and products, but we are also continuously testing existing things to see if they can help MORE people in MORE ways. An example is RevitalVision. Dr. White had a meeting with some of the executives and scientists at RevitalVision last year and shared his opinion that their program would help people with early stages of macular degeneration. A recent study report from Israel confirms Dr. White's prediction!

How would this work? Well, we know that RevitalVision's programs produce an improvement in vision of around 1.5-2 lines lower, or better, on an eye chart. We also know that it will improve contrast sensitivity, how sharp and crisp your vision is, by a factor of at least 2 -- a doubling of sharpness. This change is permanent and will always allow an individual with decreasing eye health to see better than they would have otherwise. Think just for a minute how huge it would  be if you had slipped to 20/50 and couldn't get a license, but after RevitalVision training your were back to 20/30 or so?!

Look to us at Skyvision to not only bring the latest developments in vision and eyecare to Cleveland, but also to make them better!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Exercise: Medicine For Your Brain!

As you know by now, Dr. White is a HUGE exercise buff. In fact he just completed all of the course work and passed his test and is now a full-fledged Crossfit Trainer! Here's an article he's like to share about the brain health benefits from exercise. By the way, this is a big part of the science background underlying the teaching methods in Crossfit Kids.

Exercise - long known to promote heart and bone health, among other benefits - increases the growth of brain cells and improves brain function, according to research reviewed today at the American College of Sports Medicine's 15th-annual Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition.

Terry Eckmann, Ph.D., briefed attendees on recent findings, saying the protein known as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is "like Miracle-Gro for the brain." BDNF, Eckmann explained, helps to grow new neurons in the hippocampus and helps the transmission of information across the synapses (or connections) between neurons.

Fueling these enhanced brain processes, quite literally, are elevated levels of oxygen and glucose which the cardiovascular system - strengthened by exercise - can deliver to the brain. The brain uses about 20 percent of the body's oxygen and glucose.

Scientists have also found that repetitive gross motor movement strengthens the branching of dendrites, which conduct electrochemical stimulation among neurons. "Dendrites receive messages from surrounding brain neurons, and the more dendrites, the more information can be transmitted and stored," said Eckmann.

Recent studies show that students with higher fitness levels score higher on academic tests and show an improved ability to focus. Scientists have also documented the ability of exercise to help prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

"Exercise is medicine and can make a difference in disease prevention and management."

So make sure you get up off your couch and MOVE! You don't have to do Crossfit, but you may want to give that some thought. Heck, even Charles Barkley is now on the Crossfit bandwagon!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Generic Xalatan Hits The Market

We've written in the past about the potential problems that can come up when you change from a branded drug to a generic. Not all generics are equal to the brand they replace. Some of them have side effects that have been solved by newer versions of the drug, and some of them are much less convenient to take (4 times a day instead of once, for example) than the newer, brand versions.

But sometimes the generic is acually pretty good! The second generic version of the glaucoma drug Xalatan is now on the market, and this is an example of a good generic choice. From Eyewire:

Mylan Receives Approval for Generic Version of Xalatan Ophthalmic Solution

From Mylan Inc.
FDA Approval

Mylan Inc. announced that its subsidiary Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. has received final approval from the FDA for its Abbreviated New Drug Application for Latanoprost Ophthalmic Solution, 0.005%, the generic version of Pharmacia and Upjohn's Xalatan Ophthalmic Solution, an eyedrop that lowers pressure in the eye.

Mylan President Heather Bresch said: "We are very pleased to introduce this product to the market as it represents Mylan's first ophthalmic solution. This signifies a new internal development capability for the company, and we currently have in development a number of additional products in this important category."

Latanoprost Ophthalmic Solution had U.S. sales of approximately $711 million for the 12 months ending Dec. 31, 2010, according to IMS Health. Mylan is shipping this product immediately.

At Skyvision Centers Cleveland offices we are always on the lookout for the best possible solutions to your eyecare. Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and buy the non-generic, brand medicine, but it looks like you are in luck if you have to take Xalatan!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Skyvision Customer Service Field Trip

It's time for another field trip! We have a bunch of new, really GREAT staff members who are totally on board with our Skyvision PATIENT-CENTERED concept of providing eye care. It's time for us to help them take it to a whole 'nother level, time for the unique learning experience that is the Skyvision Centers Customer Service Field Trip.

It's really hard to learn what it means to provide the very best experience that a customer of patient can receive if the only learning you ever do is someone telling you how. Or even if you only get to see it on your job from your more experienced co-workers. At Skyvision, the clear leader in customer service in all of Cleveland, we think our staff should experience for themselves what it means to receive the very best customer service there is, so we created the Customer Service Field Trip.

Now, you really can't take anyone to another medical institution or practice because you really can't top Skyvision when it comes to a patient's experience. We take our staff to 4 different consumer services experiences, 2 restaurants and 2 retail, and give them a chance to experience something that's very good and to compare it with something that's OFF THE CHARTS GOOD.

We expect our next Customer Service Field Trip to occur in early May in and around Cleveland. Look for lots of pictures here and on Facebook, the then look for more great patient experiences at Skyvision that are OFF THE CHARTS GOOD!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Kaenon Polarized Sunwear

Everyone at Skyvision Centers is pysched to see the new Kaenon Polarized sunglasses which are arriving in our Westlake office this week. This is some really exciting stuff! Great fashion, highly functional and very highly protective in all respects.

Kaenon has a new polarizing filter, "Glare 86", that is designed to filter out 99% of unnecessary light waves entering the eye. These are the light waves that are reflected from water, pavement, or snow, and they are the main cause of disruptive glare on sunny days. Allowing only essential light through produces clear vision, accurate depth perception, and true color!

We can't wait for these new sunglasses to hit the Skyvision Optical because we think we'll have more people looking at them than anyone else in Cleveland! Heck, there's even a rumor that Dr. White's son, Randy, might get to be a Kaenon-sponsored Crossfit Kids Trainer. How cool would THAT be?!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Stem Cells Make "Retina in a Dish"

There are so many diseases of the eye where permanent damage is done, and the loss of vision is permanent. Even more tragic are those diseases where a child never gets a chance to develop useful vision due to some inherited disorder. The eye care world is filled with compassionate researchers who seek to end these tragedies.

We recently came upon this from NATURE about growing retina cells from stem cells. Imagine if you could inject cells into the center of the macula in a person who can no longer see from macular degeneration. Or how about a 20 year old who has progressively lost useful vision from the terrible disease Retinitis Pigmentosa. How wonderful it would be to have the ability to restore sight to these people!

While this research is far from complete, and the results are not ready to go into action against disease, this type of investigation is so very hopeful in the continuous fight against the kinds of vision loss that can destroy quality of life. At Skyvision Centers we applaud these efforts, and we pledge to be Cleveland's go-to place for the latest news about saving vision!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Inspire to be Acquired by Merck

Inspire Pharmaceuticals, the independent manufacturer of the drug Azasite, has announced that it will be acquired by the giant company Merck. The announcement came this morning. The all-cash purchase price is based on the closing stock price of Inspire on April 4, 2011, and represents a 26% premium over that price. Inspire very recently become a company solely devoted to ophthalmic drugs after the unexpected failure of its pulmonary compound in a Phase III study.

Inspire has developed one of the truly groundbreaking medicines in the treatment of Ocular Surface Disease (OSD). Azasite is FDA approved for the treatment of bacterial conjunctivitis. Some two years ago the doctors at Skyvision Centers evaluated the characteristics of Azasite and determined that it was a tremendous medicine for the treatment of Blepharitis and other meibomian gland diseases. They have been in the forefront in evaluating the use of Azasite for treating evaporative Dry Eye Syndrome and were among the first doctors in America to do so. (Such use is an "off-label" use of the medicine).

Dr. White is hopeful that the sales and research staff at Inspire will be retained en masse. "As a group everyone at Skyvision has been uniformly impressed by each and every Inspire employee we have encountered. We are very hopeful that Merck will recognize the incredible value that these people provide to physicians and their patients."

[No Skyvision Centers doctor has any ownership interest in either Inspire of Merck]

Monday, April 4, 2011

Skyvision Centers Smartphone App!

Hooray! The Skyvision centers Smartphone App is now available for FREE download from both the iPhone App Store and the Android Market! Our App is designed to make it easier for you to make an appointment, order contact lenses, or check on an optical order. You can ask billing or insurance questions directly to the business office, too.

Each week we are adding features to the Skyvision App. We will add educational videos like our "At the Dr. Whiteboard" series over on YouTube (channel Skyvisioncenters105), and we will keep you up to date on the news inside Skyvision. Very soon we will announce partnerships with other local businesses, folks who wish to give YOU discounts on their goods and services.

Make sure you download not only our FREE app, but also a QR code reader...we've got something up our sleeve!

The Skyvision Centers Smartphone App, the first of its kind in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio, is now available for BOTH the iPhone and all Android phones. Download it today!

Friday, April 1, 2011

Saffron for Macular Degeneration

"Spice up your vision" could be the future rallying cry for patients with Macular Degeration (AMD)! A small pilot study was recently published that looked at the anti-oxident and protective properties of Saffron supplementation and found that it might by helpful.

The study looked at a group of patients with early Dry AMD and used a very sophisticated method of testing macular function, the "focal electroretinaogram" (F-ERG), as well as visual acuity. The Saffron-treated group showed greater stability and function onf F-ERG, and patients in the treated group saw one line lower on the eye chart.

It's definitely too early to say for sure whether or not Saffron will be a viable treatment for Dry AMD, but wouldnt' it be cool if it was?! In Cleveland the "Spice of Your life" might also "Spice Up Your Vision!!"