Thursday, January 26, 2012

A cell Phone App For Skyvision!

Did you know that you can contact individual divisions at Skyvision Centers in Westlake? If you have a smartphone from Apple, or any phone using the Android operating system you can directly be in touch with scheduling, billing, and the optical. You can even ask questions!

Simply go to the iTunes app store on your iPhone, or to the Market on your Android phone and search for "Skyvision". The app is FREE.

And when you get to our office in the suburbs of Cleveland don't forget to "Check in" using your Facebook account, and then go right to Facebook and 'like' Skyvision Centers!

The Skyvision Centers Smartphone App! One more way we are bringing you a chance to "See What's Next (R)"!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Stem Cell News

From the Wall Street Journal Health Blog:
"Very early results from research into embryonic stem cell treatments suggest that the therapy was safe in use against macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness. The findings, though preliminary, are the first published results involving embryonic stem cells in human patients.
In the report, which covered two patients followed over four months, the patients reported some visual improvement that may — or may not  — spring from the treatment. But much more research needs to be done before the therapy can be deemed a success.
Writing in the Lancet, researchers from biotech firm Advanced Cell Technology and the University of California, Los Angeles reported turning human embryonic stem cells into the key cells lost in macular degeneration, known as retinal pigment epithelial cells. Two legally blind patients then had these cells surgically implanted into one eye.
The patients — one with dry age-related macular degeneration and one with a related condition called Stargardt’s macular dystrophy — showed no signs of the safety problems that have been a concern about embryonic-stem-cell-derived therapies. “There were no tumors, and there was no immune rejection” after patients were tapered off of immunosuppressive drugs, said Steven Schwartz, an author of the study and chief of the retina division at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute.
The patients also reported visual changes that “could be a sign of improvement,” said Dr. Schwartz. For instance, the Stargardt’s patient, in her 50s, went from discerning only hand motions to being able to count fingers. She also reported improved color vision.
But Dr. Schwartz cautioned that the improved vision reported by the patients might be chalked up to the placebo effect, the surgery, the immunosuppressive drugs or “all of the above,” he said. “Objectively, there is no consensus in how to measure vision in low-vision patients,” he said.
The clinical trials studying the drugs in the two different forms of macular degeneration will eventually include 24 patients at different centers, followed intensively for a year and then tracked for years afterwards, said Robert Lanza, an author of the study and chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, which is developing the therapy and funded the research. He said if studies in these patients with advanced disease pan out, eventually the aim is to target patients at much earlier stages of macular degeneration."

Macular Degeneration is one of the most active areas of research in all of eye care. There are 65 Million Americans in the Baby Boomer generation who are now starting to turn 65 years old. Other research has shown that up to 9.5% of all individuals over 65 may develop Macular Degeneration, almost 6.5 Million people! We will continue to be on top of research at Skyvision Centers so that we can continue to bring you the very latest, cutting edge treatments. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Wonders of Cataract Surgery!

Skyvision Centers in Westlake is Cleveland's leading eyecare center for advanced cataract surgery! Does someone in your family have cataracts? Have YOU been told that you have cataracts? Cataract surgery is the single most frequently performed operation in the United States. It is among the safest and most successful surgeries there is. A recent article in a medical journal found that 98.2% of patients surveyed in a study were satisfied with their results and their medical management with their cataract surgery!

Cataract surgery is very gentle surgery. Our surgeon, Dr. Darrell White, does your surgery with you awake with just a little bit of sedation; this is safer for you medically and actually better for Dr. White, too. The surgery itself is typically pain free and you go home very shortly after the operation is over. A few eyedrops each day and a very few minor restrictions on your activity for a little bit are all that is usually involved afterwards.

You even have some choices with your cataract surgery. You can choose when you will have to wear glasses after the surgery with your choice of lens implants or IOL's. If you choose one of our advanced Lifestyle IOL's for both sharp distance vision and reading vision you might NOT WEAR GLASSES AT ALL!

So if you or someone you know in the Cleveland area has been told that they have cataracts give us a call at Skyvision Centers in Weslake for COMPLETE CATARACT CARE!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Dry Eye 101

" My eyes hurt!"
 "My eyes feel like they're burning up!"
 "It seems like my eyes are always red."
 "When I'm reading at night or working on the computer my eyes get really tired. My vision starts to get blurry."
 "I tear all the time. My friends always want to know what's wrong."
 "It feels like there's something in my eye all the time."

 And of course, the obvious, "my eyes are dry!"

 These are the kinds of things that patients say when they come to the eye doctor and have a problem with dry eye. Sometimes it's hard for your eye doctor or the staff in the office to figure out that what you are really complaining about is that your eyes are dry. This really isn't as much of a problem Skyvision because we have become experts at treating dry!  In fact, Dr. White lectures all over the country, teaching other eye doctors how to diagnose and treat dry eye.

 Your tears are actually an emulsion, a complex mixture of three different parts: salt water, mucin, and oil. Tears are actually like the vinaigrette you put on your salad. Your tears work best when the three parts are mixed just right, just like salad dressing! You need just enough of the three parts, and the proportions of the ingredients have to be just right, too.

 In general there are two types of tear problems that can lead to the symptoms of dry eye. We call them "quantity" and "quality". If the microscopic glands in your eyes are not producing enough tears, if your tear "quantity" is too low, you can have any of the symptoms above caused by dryness. This is actually pretty easy to understand -- not enough tears equals a dry eye.

 The "quality" part of dry eye is a little more difficult to get a handle on. If you have too little of any of the components that make up your tears, your tears just may not work well enough. In addition, even if you have the right amount of each component, if any of the three parts (mucin, salt water, and oil) is not working well enough, the entire mix may be ineffective. In other words, you may have plenty of tears, but they may just do not work well enough. Kind of like trying to put out a fire with kerosene-- its wet, but it won't put out the fire. Sometimes it even makes the fire worse. You, too, have a dry eye.

 So if any of the statements at the top sound like you, perhaps it's time to come visit us at Skyvision Centers. We are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of dry eye!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is Glaucoma Awareness month in the United States. Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve, the part of the eye that brings vision information from the eye to the brain. It is usually, but not always associated with high eye pressure. The normal eye pressure is 11-21. Some people who have very high pressure will never develop Glaucoma, but unfortunately some people with "normal" pressure will develop all of the vision problems associated with the disease.

The most common type of Glaucoma, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma, causes a slow, painless loss of side vision before any central vision problems come up. Vision loss is permanent, so the name of the game is prevention!

The most common risk factor for the development of Glaucoma is a family history, especially if your family member had severe vision loss from Glaucoma or developed it a very early age. Not everyone in a family will get Glaucoma, but the risk could be as high as 30%! Make sure you know your family eye history.

Every person should have a complete eye exam that includes a dilated pupil examination of the optic nerve. If there is high pressure or any question of abnormalities you may be asked to under further testing. Be aware of Glaucoma, this month and every month!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Over 40 Eyes

My arms are too short! I need more light to read! I never had to wear glasses for my entire life -- why do I have to wear glasses now?!

Over 40 eyes, otherwise known as presbyopia, is what happens to us when we get older. Even people who have had perfect vision of the course of their life we'll eventually need some help seen things up close. It's just a part of getting older, as natural as a teenage boy growing out of his sneakers. The only way to avoid it is to check out, and that's pretty lousy strategy!

When we focus on things up close three things happen. First, our eyes come closer together. Next, our pupils get smaller. Finally, the lens inside our eyes gets fatter. The whole process is called accommodation. We accommodate to see things up close throughout our entire life. Kids have massive powers of accommodation, but we slowly lose this power as we get older.

Somewhere in our late 30s or early 40s the muscles inside our eyes get a little weaker in the lens inside our eyes gets a little harder. This makes it more difficult for us to see things up close. People who are hyperopic, or farsighted, actually have to use their powers of accommodation for all of their vision, even seen things a mile away. Folks like this often end up in reading glasses much earlier than the rest of us.

So what do we do? Well, even we wear those cheapo glasses we buy the drugstore, or we get a personalized pair of reading glasses, or we wear bifocals (See Here)! Some of us even choose to have surgery, replacing our natural lenses with implants like the Crystalens. We'll talk lots more about this as time goes on.

So if you are having trouble reading this maybe you should come see us at Skyvision Centers!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How Often Should My Eyes Be Examined?'ve graduated from school and now you are an adult. Congratulations! When, and how often, should you have your eyes examined? Well, if you are healthy and you don't need any glasses at all, you can probably be seen every 3 or 4 years until you reach 40 or so. After that once every 2 years is reasonable. At the age of 60 the Skyvision doctors think everyone should have a complete eye exam every year.

If you wear glasses to see near, far, or both it's best to be seen every two years until the age of 60, and then every year after that. For people who wear contact lenses, EVERYONE needs to be seen at least once per year. Contact lenses sometimes have "silent" problems, and the only way to know if you are safe to continue wearing them is by seeing your Skyvision Centers doctor every year.

There are some special rules for  people with specific eye or medical problems. For example, if you have diabetes you need to have a complete, dilated eye exam at least once per year. We will send a note to your treating doctor with the results. Other medical problems or treaments like the use of Plaquenil or treating Hepatitis C have special requirements. Of course, if you have an eye disease like Glaucoma or Macular Degeneration you should follow your doctor's recommedations regarding follow-up exams.

Remember to keep your eyes safe! Don'f forget your eye exams!!