Friday, September 28, 2012

Congrats to Comet CrossFit

Has it been a year already? Wow, how fast has that gone?! Comet CrossFit, the family fitness center owned by Dr. White's sons is one year old. Randy and Dan White are the owner-trainers at Comet Crossfit in Amherst and this weekend marks their one-year Anniversary.

"I couldn't be prouder of the boys," said Dr. White. "They've been making their clients more fit, healthier, and just plain better at life! CrossFit is powerful stuff, and Randy and Dan have been doing a great job as trainers."

CrossFit Gyms traditionally mark significant milestones with charitable events, and Comet CrossFit is no different. Tomorrow Comet and all of its members will celebrate their Anniversary with a benefit workout of the day, or WOD, in support for the "Feel Your Boobies Foundation." Feel Your Boobies is an organization devoted to raising awareness of the benefits of breast self-exams in young women. FYB was founded by Beth White's cousin, herself a victim of breast cancer.

Dan White: "We couldn't be prouder of Mom's cousin Leigh and what she's done. We've been planning this for months." Randy White adds "anyone can donate to this great organization, and we'd really love to see all kinds of people come out and join us for our event!" The festivities will include a barbecue and party at the gym in Amherst.

Congrats to the White boys and Comet CrossFit from all of us at SkyVision Centers!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

What Is A Deductible?

"Why is there a bill for my visit? It's supposed to be covered by my insurance."

We hear some version of this every single day at SkyVision. If you have health insurance or vision insurance most of the services provided at SkyVision Centers are, indeed, "covered" by your insurance. If you've been listening to or watching the news at all lately you have probably heard a lot of mentions of something called a "deductible". It's your deductible that is often the cause of you receiving a bill for your visit, even for a covered service.

So just what is a deductible, anyway? Modern health insurance is very complex, but the concept of a deductible in health insurance is the same as it is in any other kind of insurance. Have you read your car insurance policy or homeowner's policy? They almost certainly have a deductible, too. A deductible is an amount of money that YOU have to pay for your health care, or to have your car fixed, or to repair damage to your basement from a flood BEFORE your insurance pays for anything.

Let's cover some basics. A "covered service" is something that your insurance company has agreed they will pay for AFTER YOUR DEDUCTIBLE IS MET. If your car is in $2500 accident and you have a $500 deductible, your insurance will pay $2000 of the $2500 that it takes to fix your car. Once you have paid $500 your deductible has been "met", which simply means that you have paid the amount of money that YOU are responsible for.

The same exact thing goes in health care. Starting usually on January 1st every year your deductible re-sets. If you have a $500 deductible the first $500 of covered services you receive will not be paid for by your insurance; you must pay the first $500, and after that your insurance will pay for your health care. Some insurance policies have very high deductibles, sometimes in the thousands of dollars. This usually means a lower monthly premium or payment for your insurance, but it also means that you must pay a bigger part of your bills out of your own pocket before your insurance starts to make payments.

In other words, there's a trade-off: lower monthly fees in return for a higher deductible, the amount of money you must pay FIRST before your insurance starts to pay for covered services.

Whether you buy your own health insurance, have Medicare, or receive insurance as a benefit from your job, you should always educate yourself about how your specific policy works. One part of this is to learn what your deductible is so that you can plan for that when you get a bill from a doctor or a hospital for medical care.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Exercise Powers Your Brain!

As you know by now, Dr. White is a HUGE exercise buff (that's him in the grey shirt on the rope!). 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'd 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!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I Like Wearing Glasses!

Some of the coolest things in all of eye care are about seeing well without wearing glasses. We have contact lenses of all types, Laser Vision Correction with LASIK and PRK,  and all types of lenses that we can put inside your eyes so that you can see well without wearing glasses. Heck, we even have things that will help you if you have "over-40" eyes and need to wear readers!

But some people actually LIKE wearing glasses! There are lots of really good reasons for this, too. Some people can't wear contact lenses, and others just can't even think about any type of surgery on their eyes. No problem! The technology behind eyeglasses and the lenses is just as advanced as it is for things like contacts and implants that go inside the eye.

On top of that wearing glasses can let you express yourself. Think of all the options to accessorize!! Some of us like to do that with sunglasses (remember all those pictures of Dr. White, Dr. Schlegel, and Dr. Kaye in their shades?!), and there are people who change their glasses with each different outfit. We LOVE people who do that!

There is one trend that we are trying to understand, though. The whole eyeglasses with not only no prescription, but NO LENSES has us a bit confused. Maybe LeBron can help up with this one.

Monday, September 24, 2012

RevitalVision: Coming Down The Homestretch For Dr. White!

As we've posted before, Dr. White switched his RevitalVision program from Sports Vision to Low Myopia. He wanted to reduce his use of distance glasses, especially during the day. This involved a "re-boot" of his schedule as he went back to Session 1 with his new program. Let's check in and see how he's doing!

"I just finished session 16 of the Low Myopia program. My vision specialist had me start to use a very small correction with glasses after session 14, a -0.50. Wow...was it getting hard to see those Gabor Patches before that! Smaller and smaller, dimmer and dimmer--that was really hard work. At that point my results had gone from the high 80's and low 90's to the low 80's and high 70's, but now I'm back up around 90 again. It's STILL hard work, though!

The vision specialist and the program suggested that I start wearing my distance glasses LESS after session 14 and I AM seeing a difference. I was walking one of our dogs last night and I could read street signs and see details on cars from more than a block away! This is pretty much on track with what I've read, what my patients have been saying, and what the RevitalVision people predict."

There are a few more sessions to go. I'm sure I'll have more good news to share soon! "

Way to go Dr. White!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dr. Darrell White Speaks About Revitalvision in Live Webinar tonight for Eyemaginations

Dr. Darrell White will be going live tonight at 6 pm!  

He was asked by Eyemaginations to be the presenter for the 
"Eyemaginations Premium Webinar Series: RevitalVision".

Revitalvision Website

He will be speaking and answering questions to fellow eye practitioners across the U.S. about Revitalvision the training system that "trains the brain to see better".

Friday, September 14, 2012

Dry Eye And Blinking

Blinking is how we spread tears across the surface of our eyes. The eyelids function like little squeegees or windshield wipers. The tears that we make minute-to-minute to lubricate our eyes are spread from up and out to down and in on our eyes. In a perfect set-up the front of the eye remains moist with a smooth tear surface for the entire time between blinks.

A normal adult blinks about 12 times every minute. Regular tears stay on the eye for 10-12 seconds before they break up, so if you blink 12 times a minute you always have a smooth, complete tear layer covering your eyes.

Certain activities cause us to blink less. Reading, looking at a computer, or driving in the rain all require more concentration. During these activities the blink rate decreases, sometimes by as much as half! If your tears do not stay smooth between blinks you can then have all of the symptoms that we associate with Dry Eye. Burning, tearing, a foreign body sensation, and blurring all occur when we blink too infrequently. Reading doesn't cause your eye to become dry, but because we naturally blink less when we read (or use a computer) reading can cause the symptoms of dryness to be worse.

There are many solutions to this, and the one that is best for you depends on things that can only be seen during an eye exam. If you have these types of symptoms when reading you may have a type of Dry Eye that is made worse when you blink less.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What Everyone Should Know About Cataract Surgery

Here are some thoughts on preparing for Cataract Surgery from Connie, our sugery counselor:

"Having worked with hundreds of patients now who I have counseled through their pre- operational instructions;  it is the darn eye drops that cause the most stress and inconvenience for people.  Imagine that!    

The most performed surgery in the U.S. and one that is so streamlined now that literally 24 hours later the patient is back to their regular routine . . . and if we receive complaints they typically are about the eye drops they have to take for up to 30 days after the surgery, not the procedure, not the doctor or surgery center, not how they are seeing but . . . the eye drops!

We educate our patients before meeting the doctors, during their examination and after the examination with the surgical counselor.  We send educational videos via email or send them home with written information.  Education is the key to a successful procedure so the patient feels comfortable, not only with the doctor but the procedure.

Feeling good when they leave the office, patients leave with 3 prescriptions for eye drops they will be taking throughout the pre and post operative period.  Then, they go to the pharmacy and the whole experience leaves our practice and the pharmacist gives them the news on how much the drops will cost them.  Out of the hands of the doctor!  But, after the prescriptions are filled and they go home, the regimen is started.  

Then the patient comes into the surgery center and the procedure lasts a few minutes and a couple of hours later the patient goes home and clearly sees better!  The post operative visits begin and drops are continued for up to 30 days after the procedure.

I am writing this for those who are nervous about cataract surgery. It truly is the eye drops that I get most of the questions about.  So, don't despair, if you are getting ready for cataract surgery, we will take good care of you, you just have to be prepared for the eye drops!"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nearsightedness: Nature or Nurture?

Does it seem like there are more nearsighted kids running around than there used to be? If it does it's because there ARE more nearsighted kids! Why is that? Is the some sort of genetic change, an evolution thing? Are nearsighted parents having more children than farsighted parents? Or is it something in the environment? Some new exposure that older people didn't have that is now promoting nearsightedness in our kids?

It turns out that the answer to all of these questions is YES! Nearsightedness, or MYOPIA, is genetically programmed into some people. Children DO inherit the tendency to become nearsighted from their parents. Dr. White likes to say that the acorn never falls far from the tree! Being able to see things up close is probably an evolutionary thing, a part of the changes in the human brain that provide an advantage for survival.

What is probably different nowadays is the fact that even some kids who have a mild tendancy to become nearsighted almost always do just that. In generations previous someone might end up with little or no nearsightedness even though they had the genentic tendency to do so. Here is where the nurture or environmental part of the equation comes into play, but not in the way you might think. There is no THING that our kids are exposed to. No chemical or substance in their surroundings. It is rather the ACTIVITIES that they are now exposed to in a greater amount that probably explains the increase in nearsighted kids.

It turns out that the more up-close visual work a child does while growing, the greater the likelihood that he or she will become nearsighted. Think about how much more reading kids are doing now, and much younger at that. Now add in all of the gadgets and "screens" they use, again at a much younger age. Computers, video games of all sorts, cell phones and tablets. All of these increase that amount of stimulation for that genetic tendency to become nearsighted to kick in!

Tha opposite appears to be true as well. We have seen at least a dozen studies that show that kids who play outside, especially in the sunshine, end up less nearsighted than kids who are inside all day. Is this because of exposure to sunlight, or because they are not in front of a screen while they are playing? Nobody knows the answer to that particular question.

In the end moderation in all things is probably still the best policy. Go ahead and encourage your kids to read and read a lot. But also send them outside to play!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Bifocals: How Do They Work?

Bifocals   . . . .

Yes, many people wear bifocals yet, even more want to know what exactly a bifocal lens is and how does it work?   There are bifocal lenses with a line, there are bifocal lenses with no line, called progressive lenses.   Watch this video by Dr. Darrell White at the SkyVision Centers Dr. Whiteboard for the answers!

Dr. Whiteboard Video onYouTube - Bifocals

Thursday, September 6, 2012


We're always looking for the next big thing in eye care and this might be it: No-Flap LASIK surgery for myopia and astigmatism.

For several years Refractive Surgeons like our Dr. Darrell White have been using a Femto-Second laser to make the LASIK flap. This flap is then lifted up and the actual laser re-shaping of the cornea, the window of the eye, is then done with another laser called an Excimer Laser. After the prescription has been molded onto the cornea the flap is then replaced and heals.

This new development is very cool! A femto-second laser made by Zeiss creates a space in the cornea, kind of like a flap, but the opening is not completed all the way around like a true flap. A small opening is made on one side of this space. A second pass of the laser then cuts a "lenticule", a small thin layer of the internal cornea. This cut is individualized to the patient's prescription. The lenticule is then removed from the small opening on the side of the original laser incision leaving only about 4mm that needs to heal!

Voila! A no-flap LASIK!!

At the moment this procedure is only approved for use in Europe, but Zeiss has applied  for it to be used here in the U.S. You can be sure that Dr. White and Skyvision Centers will be on the cutting edge once it gets to Cleveland!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A New Test For Pinkeye

It's Pinkeye season in Cleveland! Well, it's pretty much ALWAYS Pinkeye season around here, or so it seems. Pinkeye, or conjunctivitis, is an infection of the front of the eye. It is caused by either a bacteria or a virus and causes things like discomfort, discharge, and a drop in your vision. It's called Pinkeye because the most obvious symptom is a red eye! (No, we're not going to post an icky picture of Pinkeye here). While it's easy to diagnose conjunctivitis, it's not necessarily all that easy to diagnose what caused it.

Until now!

We are putting in place a new protocol to diagnose the underlying cause of some cases of infectious conjunctivitis. Using the Adeno+ from RPS we can now identify whether a case of Pinkeye is caused by the most common viral cause with an accuracy of greater than 90%. A quick sample is taken of your tears and 10 minutes later we get a result that tells us if your conjuctivitis is caused by an adenovirus.

This is especially important now that we have a medicine which appears to be effective against some of the viruses that cause conjunctivitis. If we are able to show that your Pinkeye is caused by a virus we will be able to prescribe a medicine that is more targeted to your case and save you from using an antibiotic (used for bacterial infections) that you do not need. We will still prescribe any additional medicines that may be necessary to improve your comfort as your infection is treated.

One more way that we are bringing the latest and most advanced care for even the oldest and most common problems you may face!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Are you getting yours? Omega-3 fatty acids, that is. It turns out that almost everyone doesn't get enough of these essential fatty acids in their diet.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained most easily through dietary supplements. Fish oil capsule and Flax Seed oil capsules are probably the most accessible options. Omega-3 fatty acids can help to prevent heart disease and stroke, especially in men. They have been shown to decrease joint and muscle pain in people who suffer from diseases like Fibromyalgia.

In the eye world Omega-3 fatty acids are important in the care of Dry Eye of all kinds, especially EVAPORATIVE Dry Eye caused by problems with the glands in your eyelids that produce the oil in your tears. Also, there is lots of research that suggests that increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids you take in can reduce the severity of Macular Degeneration. Taking Fish Oil, Flax Seed Oil, or a specialty formulation like Doctor's Advantage products can do the trick!

Does it matter what kind you take? What brand or what form of Omega-3 fatty acids you use? Of course it does! Purity of the Omega-3 sources is important, and some forms simply work better than others. The Skyvision Centers doctors have done their homework and we offer the Doctor's Advantage forms of nutritional supplements right here in the office.  You can also opt to have your Omega-3's delivered right to your home!

There are some healthy things that are pretty easy, like making sure you are getting Omega-3 fatty acids every day!