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6 posts from October 2008

October 28, 2008




Bad calls have been plaguing professional sporting events of late:

·        In Game 4 of this years World Series, Jimmy Rollins was obviously tagged out in a third base rundown.  Umpire Tim Welke missed the call, saying Evan Longoria missed the tag.  Rollins went on to score the first run of the game.

·        In Game 3 of the World Series, Carl Crawford was called safe by first base umpire Tom Hallion on a bunt single in the seventh inning.  Replays showed that Crawford was out.

·        Edward Hochuli, one of the most respected referees in the NFL, blew a call last month that cost the San Diego Chargers the game.  In an interview, he discussed that he couldn't decide if he should wear his glasses or contact lenses because of the wind. 

·        Last years playoff series between the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames was plagued with many non calls including the huge hit Cory Sarich put on the Shark’s Patrick Marleau, which led to a cut over Marleau’s left eye and a bloody nose.

·        The non-call after Derek Fisher bumped Brett Barry at the end of last year’s game 4 playoff game between the Lakers and Spurs gave the Lakers the win by keeping the game from going into overtime.

Unfortunately, instant replay is not always available to correct bad calls.  In an effort to improve the incidence of bad calls, ophthalmologist Cary M. Silverman, MD, Medical Director of EyeCare 20/20 has offered his services to professional officials.  EyeCare 20/20 will be offering free LASIK surgery to any official of the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL who is a good candidate for the procedure.  “Being a sports fan, I would like to increase the likelihood that the game is won on the field, and not decided by the officiating. Improving the vision of the officials is a step in the right direction”, said Dr. Silverman.  Dr. Silverman has previously made the free LASIK offer to Ed Hochuli following his missed call earlier this season.

In a letter written to the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL official’s union, Dr. Silverman writes:


Dear Sir:


With the recent rash of missed calls adversely affecting games, you’re probably sick and tired of hearing fans and sports announcers complaining about officials making bad calls.

We all know that instant replay is not always going to correct all bad calls.  I feel strongly that we should minimize the chance of officiating errors in the first place. Correcting an official’s vision is certainly a step in the right direction. 


Why not consider LASIK for your officiating members? If there’s any segment of the population who can benefit from LASIK, its referees and umpires. Let’s let the players determine the outcome of the game!


We all make mistakes, it’s true. Powerful vision and redemption is a phone call away.  EyeCare 20/20 is offering free LASIK to any official of your union who officiates regular and post season games for the NFL, NBA, MLB, or NHL.


Come and get it. Call my Practice Administrator, Keri Muli at (973) 560-1500. Or visit my website: www.eyecare2020.com.

October 23, 2008

Use It Or Lose It! FSA Can Be Used For LASIK!




There's never been a better time then now to have LASIK and making the decision just got easier.

Is Time Running Out To Use Your Flexible Spending Account?

Did you know that Flexible Spending Accounts are one of the most versatile yet underutilized benefits offered to employees? By using tax-free Flexible Spending money to reimburse you for eligible medical expenses like LASIK, an FSA can reduce your out of pocket costs by hundreds even thousands of dollars.


Are You About To Enroll In a Flex Plan?

At EyeCare 20/20 our patients often say that LASIK is the best investment they've ever made. Think about it, what else can so dramatically change your life? From everyday routine activities to activities you were once unable to enjoy, everything could change.

With LASIK you can receive the greatest value: clearer vision without glasses or contact lenses.

Since this is the time of year that many people enroll in FSA programs, we at EyeCare 20/20 thought we would bring this option to your attention. You should contact your health plan administrator to find out more about your FSA program.

October 21, 2008

You've decided to have LASIK, now what?


Finally the long debated and awaited decision has been made to have LASIK. You can't wait to throw away your contacts and crush your glasses for the last time. Choosing a surgeon who will perform your laser vision correction surgery is an important decision, take time to ask questions and consider your choices carefully.

How does one find a good LASIK surgeon? There are various associations you can call to find a list of board certified doctors and doctors with the appropriate qualifications in your area. Make sure to expand your search area beyond your immediate surroundings because it is always easier to narrow down your search rather than expand it. Start with The Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance, this web site will provide you with various resources and the ability to locate doctors in your area. The Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance is the only organization in the United States to impartially monitor quality in refractive surgery. It is an independent, non-profit consumer oriented health organization that certifies refractive surgeons who meet CRSQA's standards of quality care. Dr. Silverman is one of only a handful of surgeons in New Jersey (and one of less than 100 in the entire United States) who has passed this rigorous process and been recognized as a CRSQA Certified Refractive Surgeon. A surgeon seeking certification must submit to close scrutiny. With the acceptance of a surgeon's application, CRSQA verifies the surgeon's credentials and experience. You should also visit the American Board of Ophthalmology  for information on certified surgeons in your area. Ask friends and family if they recommend a surgeon based on personal experience.

It's important that you interview possible surgeons to see who suits your preferences, remember where you feel comfortable is where you should go. Ask how long they have been in practice, find out how many patients they have performed refractice surgery on. Training and experience produce better results and fewer complications. Ask the surgeon what his/her credentials are regarding refractive surgery and LASIK in particular. You should always be up front and ask if there's any reasons you wouldn't have excellent results with LASIK. There are a number of possible refractive surgery options now available for patients who were once not a candidate for LASIK; such as LASEK, Epi-LASIK, and refractive lens procedures utilizing the Alcon ReStor multifocal lens or the Visian ICL. Find a LASIK surgeon who is accessible and will be available when you need them, before, during and after the surgery; seek out a surgeon who can effectively communicate with you.

Throughout your research you will notice many advertisements for doctors who perform LASIK, but there are a few things you should always beware of. Make sure your decision is not made based on cost and don't settle for the first eye care center, doctor, or procedure you come across in your investigation. It's important to compare the experience and results of the surgeon and the center, as well as the care you receive rather than cost when doing your research. Remember these decisions you are making are about your eyes and refractive surgery with a well renowned surgeon will be to your benefit for the rest of your life.

The Council for Refractive Surgery Quality Assurance (CRSQA) recommends asking some of these questions, with suggested responses, when considering a LASIK surgeon:

     * How long have you been performing refractive surgery? Not less than three years.

     * How many procedures have you performed in the last 12 months? Not less than 250.

     * What percentage of refractive surgery candidates do you decline? The only wrong answer is "none".

October 17, 2008

Flashers and Floaters- Eye Annoyance

If you're seeing a floating spot you are not alone. Many people experience these floating spots and don't know what they are. They can be alarming and mostly annoying, but fortunately they're usually harmless.How Do They Occur?

As you get older, you may suddenly begin to see a large floater. "As part of the normal aging process, the vitreous jelly in your eye gets more watery and begins to separate from the back of the eye or retina. After separating, the vitreous jelly moves forward, floating in the middle of the eye cavity, causing the sensation of a larger floater", says Cary M. Silverman, M.D., ophthalmologist and Medical Director of EyeCare 20/20. This process is called vitreous detachment and is most common after the age of 55.

What Are The Symptoms?

Floaters can appear suddenly and have many shapes and sizes. They can look like little bugs, threads or cobwebs. They usually flit away when you try and look at them and are more noticeable in bright light. Sometimes floaters are accompanied by a sensation of flashing lights.

How Are They Treated?

Normally floaters are harmless and don't require treatment. Although, they may never go away completely, they tend to become less noticeable with time.

"Very rarely, the vitreous jelly pulls on the retina hard enough to tear it, " explains Dr. Silverman. "This is a potentially serious problem that usually requires treatment. Without treament, fluid could leak through the hole and cause the retina to detach, and detached retinas usually requires surgical treament."

The warning signs of a retinal hole or detachment include seeing many new flashing lights or showers of many floaters, blurred vision, or a curtain-like blockage of vision. It is unlikely that you will experience these symptoms. But, if you do, it is very important to call your doctor right away.

Dr. Silverman reminds all of his patients, "For most people a floater is a nuisance requiring no treatment at all."

October 16, 2008

Keeping an eye on safety can make Halloween less scary.

On Halloween, an assortment of ballerinas, clowns, ghosts, and other goblins will have their eyes on just one thing, candy. Roaming dimly lit neighborhoods is part of the fun for children in pursuit of treats, but it can also be dangerous. "Trick-or-treaters and parents need to remember that on Halloween, to be safe, you must be seen, " said Cary M. Silverman, M.D., Medical Director of EyeCare 20/20 in East Hanover, New Jersey. "Studies have shown that a child's risk of injury as a result of being hit by a car doubles around Halloween.




Incorporate these simple precautions into the evening’s festivities to ensure Halloween safety:

w        Dress children in light-colored costumes or adhere reflective tape to the costume’s fabric and accessories. Make sure children and adults are visible to passing cars.

w        Eliminate masks from among the costume’s accessories. Masks can get in the way of clear vision and can increase the chances of tripping or running into objects.

w        Hypoallergenic make-up is a safer alternative. Take care in keeping make-up away from the eyes.

w        No trick-or-treater should go in search of treats alone. Children move through darkened neighborhoods more safely if accompanied by an adult.

w        Approach only doorsteps that have a porch light lit. Similarly, if you plan to pass out treats, be sure to turn on your light.

w        Pedestrians think they are more visible to drivers than they actually are, so remind trick-or-treaters to look both ways before crossing streets and to stay with the group.

w        Be aware there are risks associated with use of decorative contact lenses including conjunctivitis, swelling, allergic reactions and corneal abrasion due to poor lens fit. Other problems may include reduced vision, glare, and other general eye and vision impairments. If cosmetic contact lenses are part of your costume, make sure you obtain them from your eye care professional to ensure that the lenses fit your eyes properly.

October 06, 2008

The Aging Eye and Lens Dysfunction

I heard an interesting presentation last week about a new way to describe the changes that occur in our eyes as we age.  Shareef Mahdavi is a well known marketing consultant in ophthalmology.  He recently discussed something I have believed in for a long time:  how the aging eye is related to a dysfunction in its natural lens and new methods in its treatment.

As one ages, our natural lens loses its ability to flex or focus.  When we approach our mid 40's, our arms "become too short",  this manifests itself with our sudden need for reading glasses or bifocals.  The term for this condition is presbyopia


As we continue to age, our natural lens begins to lose its clarity and become opaque.  This causes a blurring of vision which ultimately cannot be corrected with glasses.  This is called a cataract.


We can consider lens dysfunction as a continuum, first it loses its ability to change shape, than it loses its clarity.  In the past, treatment for presbyopia consisted of reading glasses, bifocals, monovision contact lenses (1 eye near and 1 eye far), or bifocal contact lenses.  Surgically a procedure called conductive keratoplasty (CK)can provide a temporary fix similar to monovision.   Cataracts were treated surgically when vision deteriorated to the point where it interfered with one's lifestyle.  Following cataract surgery glasses were still required for reading, and distance if there was astigmatism.

By changing the way we view lens dysfunction, we change the way we can surgically correct the problem.  At EyeCare 20/20 we address lens dysfunction as follows:

  • Presbyopia can now be treated by Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), replacing the lens that has lost its ability to focus with an artificial multifocal lens.  If astigmatism is present, this can also be treated with LASIKfollowing the RLE.
  • Cataracts can also be removed and a multifocal implant can replace the cataract.  Again, astigmatism can be addressed with LASIK following the cataract surgery.

In conclusion, by changing our view of the aging eye and lens dysfunction, it is now possible to surgically minimize one's need for reading glasses and bifocals.  Results are excellent.  Patients are able to wake up, see the alarm clock, watch TV, drive, and read without glasses!