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9 posts from August 2010

August 26, 2010

Vision Harvest 2010: Jeff Discusses His Cataracts, Glare, and Inability to Work

Jeff made the trip to EyeCare 20/20 last week to participate in this year's Vision Harvest free cataract surgery day, set for October 22.  He has been complaining of decreased vision and extreme glare.  This has affected his ability to work as a carpenter....  And we see that vicious cycle again: 

  • cataracts cause poor vision
  • can't see well enough to work
  • lose job
  • lose insurance
  • can't afford cataract surgery

This brings up one of my pet peeves about our current health insurance system, it is pegged to employment!  When one loses their job they also lose their insurance when it is most needed...  Obviously this system is broken and needs to be fixed.  What do you think?


August 24, 2010

LASIK for the Gold Athlete Updates: Less then 2 Years Till London!!

With the 2010 Winter Olympics but a recent memory, our LASIK for the Gold program has been very quiet of late.  Just to recap, this program provides free LASIK surgery to our Olympic athletes in an effort to afford them the best oportunity for Gold.  The 2010 Games proved to be a success with our athletes taking home seven medals!

I thought I would share what some of our 2012 summer athletes have recently been up to or said about their experience:

Table Tennis sensation, Samson Dubina dropped us an e-mail last week:

SamsonDubina1

Dear Dr. Silverman and the staff at eyecare 20/20,
 
I wanted to update you on my life and training.  My last tournament was the North American Championship.  I finished #6 in the continent which boosted my world ranking 80 positions and raised my national ranking.  Right now I'm training for the US National Championships (last year I finished 2nd in the country.)  In preparation, I'll be having one of the best Japanese players living out my house and training me 6 hours/day.
 
Thanks for you support!  I'll keep you posted when I have a competition in NJ sometime!
 

Samson Dubina

On Sunday, pole vaulter, Melinda Owen, wrote to her FaceBook Fans:

Melinda Owen

When I head to bed, and then again when I wake up. . . I am constantly reminded of how grateful I am to Cary Silverman for doing Lasik on me. His generosity really has made a huge impact on my life!!!o

BMXer, Arielle Martin responded to her with:

ArielleMartin2

I'm with you buddy, nothing like waking up in the morning seeing clear and perfect! Dr. Silverman rocks! Hope your killing it over there...

Less than 2 years till the Summer Games in London.  Things will begin picking up here.  We are all looking forward to more Olympic glory!!

August 20, 2010

Vision Harvest 2010: Waren Discusses His Cataract Troubles

With the date of this year's Vision Harvest set for October 22, we are starting to see many patients at EyeCare 20/20 in need of cataract surgery who are without the means to pay for it.  I will be posting many stories over the next several weeks.  Here is Warren's story. 

Warren is a 63 year cabinet maker from upstate NY. His poor vision from cataracts have contributed to his inability to work. Without insurance he is unable to seek treatment. He has become frustrated with trying to receive treatment thru a broken system..

Cataract surgery will be provided free of charge to those patients with cataracts, who do not have insurance, and cannot afford the surgery. If you or someone you know is in need of cataract surgery,  please call the Vision Harvest Hotline at: 973-200-8250.

August 19, 2010

Brett Better Wear Those Safety Glasses: Favre Returns to NFL and Colbert Threatens to Poke Out His Eye!

Stephen Colbert, in discussing Brett Favre's most recent return to playing for the NFL, threatened to "stab him in the eye with a broken broom handle."  Although this was, of course, said in jest, it brings up an important point:  most eye injuries can be prevented.

According to Prevent Blindness:

Eye injuries in the workplace are very common. More than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. About 1 in 10 injuries require one or more missed workdays to recover from. Of the total amount of work-related injuries, 10-20 % will cause temporary or permanent vision loss.

Experts believe that the right eye protection could have lessened the severity or even prevented 90% of eye injuries in accidents.

Common causes for eye injuries are:

  • Flying objects (bits of metal, glass)
  • Tools
  • Particles
  • Chemicals
  • Harmful radiation
  • Any combination of these or other hazards

There are three things you can do to help prevent an eye injury

  • Know the eye safety dangers at work-complete an eye hazard assessment
  • Eliminate hazards before starting work. Use machine guarding, work screens, or other engineering controls)
  • Use proper eye protection.

You should wear safety eyewear whenever there is a chance of eye injury. Anyone working in or passing through areas that pose eye hazards should wear protective eyewear.

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Brett Favre Returns to Football
www.colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Well Brett, welcome back to the NFL.  As a long time Packer Backer and fan of yours, I suggest you keep away from Colbert.  In the meantime, Brett, drop me a line at EyeCare 20/20, and I will send you a free pair of safety glasses!!

August 18, 2010

Our Broken Health Care System: 3 Years in the Hospital With No Way Out!

I had a friend down the shore this weekend who told me an amazingly sad story about a friend of his.

A 52 year old married man with a 7 year old son has been in the hospital for the past 3 years.  He has a rare disease called Pompe disease which has forced him to live on a respirator.  His doctors feel he is well enough to go home, however his medical insurance company, Aetna, will not cover his needed home health care.  His more expensive in-hospital care is being covered by Medicaid!  According to NorthJersey.com he is:

caught in an insurance quagmire — smack between inadequate coverage by Aetna and Medicare and ineligibility for standard Medicaid coverage.



This unfortunate story is but another example of the absurdity of our current health care system.  I have referred this to a lawyer friend who has gone up against the insurance industry very successfully in the past.

What do you think?

August 13, 2010

First Vision Harvest Bike Ride: 120 Miles For Free Cataract Surgery

Cmsbike

Pay on WePay

Next Saturday, I plan on riding my bicycle from Livingston to Margate New Jersey.  I figure the route will be about 120 miles, it should be quite challenging.  I have also decided to incorporate my biking passion with raising some money for the upcoming Vision Harvest event.  Since August is National Cataract Awareness Month, the timing couldn't be better!

As I have previously announced, Friday, October 22 will be the date for the second annual Vision Harvest free cataract surgery day at River Drive Surgery Center. Cataract surgery will be provided free of charge to those patients with cataracts, who do not have insurance, and cannot afford the surgery. Those interested should call the Vision Harvest Hotline at: 973-200-8250. Last year,in our inaugural event, we were able to provide free cataract surgery to 20 patients.

Doctors will be donating their time and skills, pharmaceutical companies will be donating medications, and surgical companies will be donating surgical supplies, but there will still be costs to incur.   I am hoping to increase awareness through this ride and raise some money.   Contributions will help defray hard costs, such as surgical center staffing, equipment, and supplies not donated by suppliers. We are currently in the process of applying for non-profit status, and therefore this cannot be considered a tax deductable donation at this time.  Your help is greatly appreciated!


Pay on WePay

August 09, 2010

Vision Harvest Free Cataract Surgery Press Release

Vision-Harvest-2009-scope

Since August is Cataract Awareness Month, we decided to get an early start to this year's Vision Harvest initiative.  Here is a copy of our press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Contact: Keri Muli @ 20/20 Communications, Inc.

P: 973-560-1500

F: 973-560-0419

info@eyecare2020.com

 

VISION HARVEST 2010

Local Area Eye Surgeons Will Be Giving Back Again This Fall

    Free Cataract Surgery Offered For Those Patients Who Are Uninsured And In Need Of Treatment

 

Elmwood Park, NJ, August 2, 2010- Doctors at the River Drive Surgery and Laser Center of Elmwood Park, New Jersey, will again offer FREE cataract surgery this year for those without health insurance during Vision Harvest 2010. During last year’s event, the vision of 20 patients was dramatically improved thanks to the program. On October 22, 2010, select physicians at the center will be performing cataract surgery procedures for those that are uninsured and can’t afford to pay.  According to the 2009 Gallup-Healthways Well-Bring Index, about one in six American adults are without health insurance. “While a large majority of Americans have health insurance coverage, roughly 16% are still uninsured. My colleagues and I all agree no one should go without needed cataract surgery due to finances,” said East Hanover ophthalmologist, Cary M. Silverman, M.D. who organized the event. “We want to make sure that any vision impaired person in New Jersey without insurance or financial resources learns about this remarkable program.”

 

Over the next few weeks, participating eye physicians will be evaluating prospective cataract patients and scheduling them for their free procedure.  Eligible patients will have all eye examinations, testing, medications, and surgery provided to them free of charge.

 

Participating ophthalmologists in this year’s Vision Harvest program include:

 

·       Philip Eichler, M.D.- Eye Institute of Essex, Belleville/ Verona, NJ

·       Michael Farbowitz, M.D.- Short Hills Ophthalmology, Short Hills, NJ

·       Kenneth Miller, M.D.- Miller Ophthalmology Associates, LLC, West Orange, NJ

·       Scott Pomerantz, M.D.- Metropolitan Eye Care, Paramus, NJ

·       Cary M Silverman, M.D.- EyeCare 20/20, East Hanover, NJ

For more information, interested patients should call 973-200-8250 to set up a free evaluation to determine their candidacy.

 

Cataracts are a progressive condition that cause the eye's lens to become cloudy, and eventually opaque leading to a progressive dimming of your vision. The exact cause of cataracts is unclear, but they occur in everyone as they age. Cataracts may be the result of a lifetime of exposure to ultraviolet rays, and other factors such as cigarette smoking, diet, and alcohol consumption. Cataracts can also occur at any age as a result of other causes such as eye injury, exposure to toxic substances or radiation, certain medications or as a result of other diseases such as diabetes.

 

About River Drive: Located in Elmwood Park, New Jersey, River Drive Surgery and Laser Center was created as an ophthalmic ambulatory surgery facility dedicated to providing patients with excellence in eye care in a warm and caring environment. The center is designed as a facility which is planned and administered to render a safe, comfortable, effective environment for patients and personnel, and to give assistance to the medical staff in meeting certain restorative health needs of patients without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, or national origin.

 

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August 06, 2010

Going Green Preventing 22 Million Cataracts

There is no doubt that I have seen an increase in the severity of cataracts in younger patients for years.  This is purely anecdotal on my part, but I am definitely operating more and more on younger patients.  When I discuss these cataracts wIth these younger patients, they are very surprised, "cataract is a disorder of the elderly" is a frequent response I will hear from the 40 something year old suffering from the symptoms of a cataract.  My response has been that I believe the rise in incidence in cataracts of the young is probably caused by ozone depletion and UV exposure. Visual complaints that may signify cataracts include:

  • Blurred vision, double vision, ghost images, the sense of a "film" over the eyes
  • Lights seem too dim for reading or close-up work, or feeling "dazzled" by strong light
  • Changing eyeglass prescriptions often, and this change does not seem to help vision
  • Glare while driving at night
If the cataracts are small, I recommend full time UV protection for the eyes, if the cataracts are large, cataract surgery is discussed.

I have been proved correct:  A report was released this week by the EPA, Health and Environmental Effects of Ozone Layer Depletion.  For the first time, EPA has included data on cataract and UV exposure. All people, regardless of gender and skin type, are at risk for cataracts. It is recommended that both  adults and children use eyewear that absorbs UV rays and to wear a wide-brimmed hat to limit outside UV exposure. 

The EPA report estimates that the strengthening of the original Montreal Protocol through the Montreal Amendments of 1997 will avoid more than 22 million additional cataract cases for Americans born between 1985 and 2100.  The environmental treaty, signed by 196 countries, was designed to reduce and eventually eliminate ozone depleting substances. 

Obviously, going green is not just a good idea to protect the environment; it can also help to save sight thru cataract prevention!

August 02, 2010

Coming Soon to an Optician Near You: Electronic Bifocals!

emPower!

Presbyopia is caused when the eye's lens, normally soft and flexible, hardens with age and results in blurred reading vision. The hardening of the lens makes it difficult for the eye to focus on close objects. Presbyopia is part of the normal aging process, typically affecting adults at about 40 years of age. Reading glasses and bifocals are used to treat presbyopia. These assist the eyes in focusing on nearby objects. There are currently 3 ways to use glasses to treat presbyopia:

  1. Bifocals with the line
  2. Progressive bifocals without the line
  3. Separate distant and reading glasses

A company called PixelOptics has announced their intention to release a forth option this fall:  emPower lenses.  According to PixelOptics:

If you wear bifocals or progressive lenses, this technology will revolutionize the way you see and use your eyeglasses. emPower!™ will:

  • Focus as fast as you can blink your eye
  • Provide an invisible electronic near focus zone when desired
  • Offer three modes of operation: automatic, manual on, manual off
  • Provide wider fields of view compared to a progressive addition lens
  • Allow for less distortion than a progressive addition lens
  • Provide vision correction for all ranges of sight: far, near, and in between
  • Allow you to turn near reading power off when desired Rechargeable hidden battery

Here is a demonstration of this new technology.

Since presbyopia affects the lens, LASIK eye surgery, which only treats the cornea, is unable to correct the condition.  The most effective surgical treatment in my practice is clear lensectomy:  removing the natural lens and replacing it with a multifocal lens implant.  Following this procedure, my patients are able to both read and drive without glasses!