Thursday, February 28, 2013

Skyvision's New App - Skyvision Staff Getting In On The Fun!

Ok, so you're trying to reach your eye doctor to make an appointment or order some contact lenses. How do you do it? Phone book? Yellow pages? Google? Well, if you have an iPhone or a smartphone with the Android software (like a Droid, for example) now there's an easy way to do that, at least if you are trying to reach Skyvision Centers in Cleveland.

There's an APP for that!

The Skyvision Staff has some fun with the new app!

That's right!  Go to the Apple App store or the Google Android Market and download a FREE App for Skyvision that will allow you to contact us through your phone (without making a call!) to schedule an appointment, get a medicine refill, or ask a medical or billing question. All right from your smartphone!

We know you love your phone, and that it's convenient to do as much as possible without making a call or heading to a computer, so we've come up with a way for you to take care of all of your eyecare needs RIGHT FROM YOUR PHONE.
Yup...that's right...There's a Skyvision App for that!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Protect Your Vision From AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration)

PBA designates February AMD Awareness Month

Prevent Blindness America (PBA, Chicago) has again designated February as Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) Awareness Month in an effort to point out the symptoms, risk factors, and treatment options for older adults who experience low vision or are candidates for vision loss. AMD is the leading cause of blindness in adults 65 years of age or older.

Healthy Lifestyle Changes can Help Protect Vision from Age-related Macular Degeneration

CHICAGO(Jan. 31, 2013)– More than 2 million Americans, ages 50 and over, have AMD, a 25 percent increase from the last decade, according to the 2012 Vision Problems in the U.S. report from Prevent Blindness America.  And, AMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness for those ages 65 and older.
Prevent Blindness America has declared February as Age-related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness America offers a dedicated online resource for patients and caretakers to learn more about the disease.  The website,, provides a variety of tools and information on everything from risk factors, treatment options, and even a downloadable Amsler Grid, (a tool that can help identify vision abnormalities linked to AMD). 
Those with AMD may experience the following symptoms:
  • Straight lines, such as a flag pole or streetlight, may appear wavy
  • A dark or empty spot may block the center of vision
  • Written words or type may appear blurry
There are two forms of AMD: "dry" and "wet. Dry AMD is the most common form of the disease. It involves the presence of drusen – fatty deposits that form under the light-sensing cells in the retina. Vision loss in dry AMD usually progresses slowly. Wet AMD is less common, but more rapidly threatening to vision. Wet AMD causes tiny blood vessels under the retina to leak or break open. This distorts vision and causes scar tissue to form. Although there are treatments for AMD, there is no cure.
“Fortunately, steps we can take today to maintain our overall health can directly benefit the eyes,” said Hugh R. Parry, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness America.  “We encourage all adults to make an appointment with their eye doctor today to develop a plan to protect vision for a lifetime.”
To maintain healthy eyes and lower the risk of eye disease, Prevent Blindness America recommends that everyone:
  • Visit an eye doctor regularly
  • Stop smoking
  • Eat healthy foods, including foods rich in certain antioxidants
  • Stay active
  • Control the blood pressure
  • Protect the eyes from the sun by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and a brimmed hat
For more information on AMD and other eye disease, please contact Prevent Blindness America at (800) 331-2020 or

Friday, February 22, 2013

SkyVison and CrossFit

We've had the opportunity to meet some really nice folks from Dr. White's CrossFit community, and even to do some LASIK surgery for a few! This is a really cool company that's just filled with great people. Dr. White wanted to make sure that everyone who reads this blog hears about CrossFit. Did you know that Dr. White's sons own Comet CrossFit in Amherst?! Comet Crossfit

Not only is CrossFit a fitness company, it is one of the most generous organizations in all of the United States. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were raised by CrossFit and CrossFitters last year in support of St. Jude's Children's Hospital. Just this month the "Hope for Kenya" fundraiser brought in more than $250,000 to build schools and water treatment facilities in Kenya.

And get this: our own Kirstin Hyland (along with Mrs. White) created a HUGE quilt in memory of Joe Lengel, the owner of CrossFit Toledo who was slain at his gym last year. Kirstin will present the quilt at CrossFit Toledo this weekend!

Take this opprotunity to learn about CrossFit  Crossfit Website

Monday, February 18, 2013

Visual Impairment and Reading

We take care of may people who have various degrees of visual impairment. The most common of these is Age-Related Macular Degeneration, or AMD. People with AMD typically have more difficulty with their distance vision than they do up close, but as it gets worse it can start to affect their ability to read. In the earlier stages of AMD the best visual aid for reading is a very good reading light! We still like Halogen lamps because they have a very bright, flat white light. Some of the newer LED lights are also very good (we do NOT like any of the mini-fluorescent bulbs for reading at all).

The introduction of all of the electronic readers has been simply marvelous for all kinds of visually-related reading problems. You no longer have to seek out large print versions of books, magazines, or newspapers. Now you just increase the size of the print on your Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, or iPad. Most of the e-Readers still require a good light source. If you are using a Kindle or Sony Reader, for example, you should still try to find a nice Halogen lamp to use when you are reading.

There is now some very good research that shows that an e-Reader that is BACKLIT allows people who have a visual impairment like AMD to read faster and more accurately. The Apple iPad is the best known. and probably most versatile of the backlit readers. We have had great feedback from those patients who have taken our advice and tried the iPad. Over the next several months the SkyVision staff will be test-driving the iPad apps that are designed to help folks with AMD read better.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Dr. White Presents at Caribbean Eye! Part II

We hear that Dr. White was his usual entertaining self during his presentation of "Osmolarity 401: Advanced Use of Tearlab Osmolarity" at the 2013 Caribbean Eye meeting in San Juan, Puerto Rico! All of the staff at SkyVision Centers has seen the pictures of Linda Blair, both as the "Exorcist" and as the very beautiful woman she is today. While we are all really interested to know how the audience reacted to those pics, what we REALLY want to know is how did Dr. White ever do a complete talk in only 7 minutes?!

After introducing our SkyVision strategy for using the TearLab system for diagnosis Dr. White moved onto the topic of treatment. This is really what sets us apart when it comes to osmolarity. "What people describe as a normal test result we simply view as a 'low' reading on the osmolarity scale," said Dr. White. "Someone who has all of the symptoms that we associate with Dry Eye may or may not have a true dry eye problem in the face of a low osmolarity. If they have other signs of DES we might simply be dealing with the dysfunctional tear syndrome: plenty of tears that just don't work well enough."

The most important thing in the diagnosis and treatment of Ocular Surface Disease, the more general term for Dry Eye, is a patient's symptoms. We use symptoms to determine when to treat, and we then use a patient's symptoms to help us determine how the treatment is going. The osmolarity helps us to choose how we treat.

Dr. White: "If the osmolarity is high we will choose one of the more hypotonic tears like Thera Tears or Blink. These patients usually fall into the group that is best treated with Restasis. On the other hand, someone with Dry Eye symptoms who has a low osmolarity but has other signs of dryness will do better with a tear that is designed to stabilize the tear surface, like Systane Balance or Optive Advanced. These folks tend to do well with a medicine like Azasite."

So there you have it! We'll try to find those pictures of Linda Blair!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dr. White Presents at Caribbean Eye! Part I

Dr. White was invited to present the SkyVision Centers advanced Dry Eye protocol at the Annual Caribbean Eye Meeting last weekend. The program directors were especially interested in how we use tear osmolarity in determining diagnosis and treatment. The title of Dr. White's talk was "Osmolarity 401: Advanced Use of TearLab Osmolarity."

"TearLab has a fantastic tool that deserves to be much more widely utilized," noted Dr. White. "For at least 2 years we have been pushing the envelope, trying to see just how much information we can glean from the results of this extremely accurate instrument. It turns out that for some patients the presence of a low reading is a very important result, one that allows us to choose a treatment that is much more targeted to that individual's needs."

TearLab's breakthrough several years ago was to show that elevated osmolartiy, saltiness, was present in Dry Eye, and that the higher the osmolarity the more severe the dryness. At SkyVision we have determined that patients with a pure dysfunctinal tear syndrome will have all of the symptoms of a dry eye, and yet they will have a "normal" osmolarity score.

Dr. White presented our findings. "A high osmolartiy pretty much always means that you have a dry eye of some sort. A low osmolarity might meant that you really are normal! However, when you have all of the symptoms for a dry eye, and our exam shows the clinical signs of a dry eye, a low osmolarity guides us to the proper treatment of your particular type of Ocular Surface Disease! A low osmolarity is the new "abnormal."

In Part II we'll share what Dr. White had to say about using TearLab to determine how to treat a Dry Eye.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Eye-opening Facts and Myths about Eye Health

If you live long enough, you will get a cataract.

Cataracts can limit the ability to see bright colors, read and, most frighteningly, drive a car – especially at night. Although more than 20 million Americans 40 years and older have a cataract in one or both eyes, there is a surprising lack of knowledge about the condition among U.S. adults. In fact, a recent survey found that 22 percent of Americans did not think that they were at risk for developing cataracts in their lifetime, when in reality, more than half of all Americans will either have a cataract or have cataract surgery by age 80. 

This graphic illustrates similar myths and misconceptions about cataracts and eye health, along with some eye-opening facts. 

© 2013, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Patient Education Comes in Many Forms at Skyvision

We are committed to our patients here at Skyvision and part of that committment includes their education.   Education here at Skyvision comes in many forms.   In could be through face to face communication with one or more of our experienced staff members, or it could be through some take home literature we feel will help give you more information or help you share with a family member.   Another way we communicate is through the use of educational videos.  

Skyvision also uses videos in several ways. We show videos to our patients in our exam rooms through the use of LUMA by Eyemaginations. We also send home videos by Eyemaginations via email so patients and family members can view them together in the comfort of their own home.  This type of visual education has proven extremely effective.

Let's take a disease such as Macular Degeneration. If a patient needs to be started on supplements or see our retina specialist, it is much easier for the patient to understand after viewing the animation that explains the disease process. This creates a big “wow” factor for patients because it shows that we are technologically savvy while at the same time making it easier for them to understand their disease.

Our very own Dr. Darrell White has made many, many educational videos in a casual and entertaining setting titled The Doctor Whiteboard. His very latest videos "just out" from The Doctor Whiteboard are a series of 6 videos about Macular Degeneration. The Doctor Whiteboard videos are frequently posted to Skyvision Centers on facebook or are available on SkyvisionCenters105 - YouTube .

We are always striving to provide our patients with the latest information regarding their eye conditions or interests in a variety of ways!

Friday, February 1, 2013

LASIK: What Matters Most?

Does technology matter in LASIK and other forms of Laser Vision Correction? Of course it does. After all, the technology underlying modern vision correction using lasers is nothing short of fantastic. Every year there are evolutionary changes in how doctors perform LASIK and PRK. Unlike in the earliest days of the makers of laser equipment leapfrogged each other with every new development we are now in the phase of tiny incremental improvements. Which laser is used is not really a predictor for your success.

How about making the LASIK flap? Doesn't the technology matter there? Most flaps are now being made with a different type of laser called a Femto-Second Laser for so-called "All-Laser LASIK". In the earlier days of LASIK mechanical keratomes using ultra-sharp blades were used to create the LASIK flaps. At the same time that laser flaps were being developed these mechanical flap-makers were also undergoing continuous improvement. A landmark study was published in December 2011 comparing LASIK results using Femto-Second lasers and mechanical flap makers. There was NO DIFFERENCE in visual outcomes and NO DIFFERENCE in complication rates for either. How your flap is made is not really a predictor for you success.

So what matters when it comes to your LASIK success? If the particular laser doesn't make a difference, and whether your flap is made with a laser or a keratome doesn't affect your outcome, what is it that makes a difference?


The technology for laser vision correction and the creation of the LASIK flap is now relatively uniform across platforms and between companies. The most important variable is your surgeon. Experience counts. Quality counts. The track record counts. Dr. Darrell White is the dean of laser refractive surgeons in Cleveland. He has the longest continuous track record dating back to the very first lasers in town in 1994, and he has been achieving class-leading results all along!

What matters most in LASIK is your surgeon.