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Routine Eye Exam
Routine eye exams are recommended annually for patients over 55 years of age and are usually covered by your insurance. Infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers should also have their vision checked and should be seen every two to three years if their eye exam is normal. A routine eye exam is a series of tests performed by one of our ophthalmologists that includes glaucoma screening and a dilated fundus exam to evaluate the general health of the eye. This is one of the best ways to protect your vision because it can detect eye problems at their earliest stage when they are most treatable. If you do wear contacts or have a history of high blood pressure or diabetes, eye exams are recommended annually. Certain medications such as Plaquenil or Amiodarone also require eye exams up to every six months. Sudden decrease in vision or loss of vision, as well as an increase in the number of floaters or dark spots in your vision should be seen right away. You can contact our office and we will schedule you for an appointment as soon as possible.
A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye. The lens sits behind the iris and is the part of the eye that helps you to focus on objects both at distance and near. This works the best when it is clear. As you age the lens can become progressively cloudy causing blurred vision both at distance and near. One usually starts to develop cataracts at age 60 and they may not become visually significant until age 70 or 80. Certain medicines and eye conditions can create cataracts at an early age. Cataract surgery involves the removal of the cloudy lens replacing it with a lens implant made of silicone or acrylic. Cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure performed on adults in the United States. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis. The procedure takes a half hour or less. The recovery time is usually only a few days. Our surgeons perform cataract surgery at Albany Regional Surgery Center located in Latham, New York, as well as Samaritan Hospital in Troy, New York. We offer the latest technology in cataract surgery including multifocal lenses, as well as toric lenses which can help alleviate the need for glasses. We perform small incision cataract surgery that usually does not require stitches. The use of multifocal lenses allows the patient to see both at distance and near and helps alleviate the need for glasses. We also offer toric intraocular lens implants which can correct astigmatism and also help alleviate the need for glasses.
Monofocal Intraocular Lens
With single vision lens implants, vision can be corrected for distance or near. There is a high probability that glasses will still be needed following the surgery. Medicare and most private insurances will pay for your cataract surgery and the monofocal lens. This is considered basic coverage.
Multifocal Intraocular Lens
New technology implants, such as Acrysof ReSTOR, are designed to provide a full range of vision—near, far, and everything in between. Medicare and private insurance provide basic coverage and allow you to pay for the upgrade, if you choose to do so. Based on FDA clinical data, 80% of patients never need glasses again for any activities. Those who do need glasses need them only for very specific tasks. The goal of the ReSTOR lens is to allow you to live a spectacle-free life, to see things near and far without glasses. There is an additional cost for this technology. If it is determined that you are a candidate for Acrysof ReSTOR, we can discuss payment that makes this option affordable for our patients.
Toric Intraocular Lens
The Acrysof Toric lens is specifically designed to address those who have had a significant amount of astigmatism. In years past, cataract surgery removed the cataract, but a patient with high astigmatism still required glasses for near and distance vision. The design of the Acrysof Toric lens makes it possible to reduce or eliminate astigmatism and significantly improve uncorrected distance vision. There is an additional cost for this lens implant. Again, we strive to make the Acrysof Toric lens affordable for our patients by offering payment options here in our office.
Pediatric Ophthalmology
Routine eye exams for children. A routine eye exam is recommended for children by the age of 2 ½ to 3 ½ years old and certainly by the age of 5. Vision problems in children can go undetected because of the inability of the child to communicate their vision problems. If there is a family history of amblyopia or strabismus, which is a crossing of the eye or lazy eye, then the child should be examined earlier. A routine eye exam consists of checking the childrens vision, ocular alignment, pressure in the eyes and dilated fundus exam to check the health of the optic nerve and retina, as well as to determine if the child has a need for glasses. We also measure color vision and depth perception on routine pediatric eye exams. It is important for children to be checked before entering kindergarten and first grade to determine if glasses are needed. It is also important to rule out any evidence of amblyopia or lazy eye as treatment and intervention at an earlier age carries a better prognosis.
We have fellowship trained neuro-ophthalmologists who specialize in diseases affecting the eye and its connection to the brain and central nervous system. Neuro-ophthalmologic diseases include problems with optic nerve function that could be caused by tumors, inflammation, degeneration or a lack of blood supply to the optic nerve. Some of these diseases are treatable so it is important to be seen by a fellowship trained neuro-ophthalmologist. Double vision is also a symptom that can be caused by either a muscular or nerve problem. When the blood supply gets cut off to one of the muscles that control eye movements this can lead to either short term or long term symptoms of double vision. It is important to have a complete neuro-ophthalmologic evaluation to investigate the etiology of the double vision in order to provide adequate treatment. There are only a select few of fellowship trained neuro-ophthalmologists in the United States and our practice is happy to be able to provide this service to the Capital Region and surrounding areas.
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Oculoplastics or Eyelid Surgery
Oculoplastic surgeons specialize in eyelid surgery. Our doctors are fellowship trained in the area of oculoplastic surgery. Some common problems addressed by oculoplastic or eyelid surgeons are drooping of the eyelids. This is a natural occurrence that develops in the aging population. When eyelids droop they can obscure your superior vision and cause a visual deficit. An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, can alleviate these symptoms and is often covered by insurance companies and best performed by an oculoplastic surgeon. As oculoplastic surgeons we also treat turning in or drooping of the lower lids, as well as eyelid cysts, lesions or tumors. Most of the procedures performed are covered by insurance plans.
Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that affects mainly the aging population. However, it can also be seen in younger patients. Glaucoma screenings are important in patients ages 60 and above. If there is a family history of glaucoma, it is recommended that glaucoma screening starts at age 40. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that is usually associated with increased pressure in the eye and can cause a generalized loss of peripheral vision. Because the symptoms can be evasive an eye exam can be very important to detect glaucoma early. Glaucoma is usually a treatable disease with either eye drops or surgery. The earlier it is detected and treated, the better the prognosis. We offer the latest technology in early glaucoma detection including Optical Coherence Tomography and Matrix, as well as Humphrey visual field testing.
Our doctors perform laser surgery. We have a state-of-the-art yag laser that is conveniently located on site at our Latham office. Ophthalmic laser procedures are commonly performed in patients that have narrow angle glaucoma. We also perform posterior capsule opacification which is a secondary membrane that can form months or years after cataract surgery. Our doctors are experienced and well trained in laser surgery and are happy to provide the convenience of performing the laser surgery in our office setting.
Botox or Botulinum Toxin is an injectable medication that is used both medically and cosmetically. Botox is used medically to treat blepharospasms, hemifacial spasms and eyelid myokymia which are all involuntary spasms of the muscles of the eye that can lead to involuntary eyelid closure. Our doctors have been fellowship trained in Botox injections which consists of multiple injections around the eyelids. This procedure is covered by most insurances. We also offer cosmetic Botox injections. Botox Cosmetic has been FDA approved to treat eyelid, forehead and facial wrinkles. The injections usually last approximately 3-6 months and are usually not covered by insurance.