59 posts categorized "Cataract surgery"

October 18, 2010

4 More Days Until This Year's Vision Harvest Free Cataract Day!

We are coming down to the wire for Vision Harvest 2010 Free cataract surgery Day at River Drive Surgery Center.  As of today, 25 patients are scheduled to receive free cataract surgery on this Friday, October 22.  Patients have come from as far away as Virginia and up state New York to be evaluated for the Vision Harvest program.  We require very little:

  • Visually significant cataracts
  • No insurance
  • Unable to afford to pay for cataract surgery

Patients are not required to be from New Jersey, or to be citizens; we don't ask these questions!  What we have found is pretty amazing: 

  • Many of this year's patients are young with large cataracts
  • Many have lost their jobs and the insurance that came with it
  • Many are students
  • Many have jobs that do not offer insurance

Here is another story of Gary.  Gary is working, but does not receive health care benefits...

 

We continue to hear about health care reform.  The recent over haul has done and will continue to address the issues that couple health insurance with employment.  If our government is going to require health care coverage for all, it must uncouple employer sponsored health care..

I am very much looking forward to Friday's event.  I will be sure to take pictures, videos, and report back to you all next week!

We are currently applying for Tax Exempt status.  Anyone interested in making a donation can do so here.

September 27, 2010

1 to 2 Drinks a Day Lowers Cataract Incidence, I'll Drink to That!

In last month's American Journal of Ophthalmology was an interesting article, Alcohol Consumption and the Long-Term Incidence of Cataract and Cataract Surgery: The Blue Mountains Eye Study. This study evaluated if there was any correlation between alcohol consumption and cataract formation in over 3,500 people over the age of 49 years.

The results were very interesting:

  • After adjusting for age, gender, smoking, diabetes, myopia, socioeconomic status, and steroid use, total alcohol consumption of over 2 standard drinks per day was associated with a significantly increased likelihood of cataract surgery.
  • Abstinence from alcohol was also associated with increased likelihood of cataract surgery when compared to a total alcohol consumption of 1 to 2 standard drinks per day.

The conclusion:

A U-shaped association of alcohol consumption with the long-term risk of cataract surgery was found in this older cohort: moderate consumption was associated with 50% lower cataract surgery incidence, compared either to abstinence or heavy alcohol consumption.

This study seems to support the belief that moderate consumption of alcohol is beneficial to our health.  If you are looking for a good source for a wine deal, check out Cinderella Wine.  They offer a daily that expires at midnight.  What a great name! 

Just remember, stop after that second glass!!

September 08, 2010

American Medical Care Continues to Lag: AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® Multifocal Toric IOL Released Outside the USA


Alcon labs announced this week the release of the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® Multifocal Toric intraocular lens (IOL) outside the United State.  The AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® Multifocal Toric IOL combines the technologies of the ReSTOR® +3 add multifocal IOL and the Toric IOL.  Data demonstrated that the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® Multifocal Toric IOL delivers similar quality of vision when compared to the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® +3.0 D IOL.

This lens will allow surgeons to offer their patients who have pre-existing astigmatism a lens that provides quality vision at all distances after cataract surgery or clear lens exchange. Up until now, I have treated these patients with the ReSTOR® Multifocal implanted at the time of cataract surgery.  Residual astigmatism is then treated about 1 month later with LASIK.  This new lens will allow me to treat both conditions at the same time, and use less surgery. 

There is only 1 problem:  this new lens is NOT AVAILABLE IN THE UNITED STATES!  Alcon plans to file a Pre-Market Application (PMA) for the lens with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in early 2012.  Once again, the draconian ways of our FDA have allowed medical care outside the US to out pace our own, we continue to provide third world medical technology to our patients...  Another part of our broken health care system in need of repair.

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 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 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!

July 28, 2010

Vision Harvest 2010: Free Cararact Surgery Date Set


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.  Here is part 1 of interviews with some of the patients we were able to help last year.


I am hoping to treat many more this year.  If you know someone who can benefit from this program, please call or pass it along.

Over the next few months I will blog about more information concerning Vision Harvest as it comes available.

June 01, 2010

Treating Astigmatism: No Distace Glasses After Cataract Surgery With Toric IOL

Paul Cooper was a nearsighted patient with astigmatism who developed cataracts.  He has spent much of his life dependent on glasses.  After consultation, Mr. Cooper opted to have a toric IOL implanted during his cataract surgery.  This allowed him the best possible spectacle free vision.  One day after the surgery, Mr Cooper is seeing 20/20 and anxiously awaiting surgery on the second eye.

Mr. Cooper was kind enough to share his experience with us at EyeCare 20/20: