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Who Should Undergo Lasik Surgery?

Many people using eyeglasses or contacts everyday
can now receive Lasik surgery.


In order to be considered as a good candidate for Lasik surgery there are some rules you will need to abide by.

Lasik is FDA-approved for those 18 and older. Most providers encourage young adults to wait until their mid-20s. Until this time a person’s prescription may be still changing. Having a stable prescription for at least two years is often required as proof before anyone, young or old, is deemed a good Lasik candidate.

From the point of stable prescription on, most adults concurrently grow their savings, begin traveling for work and pleasure. Perhaps they start developing an irritation or exhaustion with contacts and eye glasses. This creates the popular period during which most people look at Lasik surgery.

Around the age of 40, a person’s eyes start to change. They are usually good candidates for laser surgery. At age 60, the eyes start to change once more. This is when the risk of cataracts increase. Some adults get to age 70 or 80 with no cataracts and have otherwise healthy eyes. Despite being outside the common Lasik age spectrum, these people can be good candidates for laser eye surgery. Age certainly influences one’s Lasik candidacy, but it by no means draws an absolute boundary. If you are in good health, have a stable prescription and are considering Lasik, ask your eye care specialist to assess your candidacy.

Moreover, good candidates should not have any eye diseases for at least one year before the surgery. Also, the cornea should not be scarred. Good candidates should not suffer from the dry eyes syndrome because it can be worse after the Lasik surgery. Pregnant women are prohibited to undergo the Lasik surgery due to the high fluctuations in their hormone levels. Patients suffering from cataracts, advanced glaucoma, corneal disease, corneal thinning disorders or other pre-existing eye diseases are not good candidates.

You should remember that surgery is not risk free. Good candidates should fully understand those risks. Otherwise you are definitely not a good candidate for Lasik surgery. Good candidates make sure they understand how Lasik surgery works and the benefits before undergoing surgery.

Houman Ahdieh, MD
Lehigh Valley Center for Sight


Ten Common Questions About Age-Related Macular Degeneration


For Ophthalmology, 3D Printing Eliminates Human Donors and Costly Middlemen


3D printing sounds like a concept from a sci-fi movie or an Isaac Asimov novel. It involves creating a physical, three-dimensional object from a digital file. The technology has been used for some time in niche markets, generally for prototyping. However, new breakthroughs are propelling 3D printing into the mainstream, and the technology is poised to cause serious disruptions in manufacturing and healthcare.

A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of US manufacturers revealed that two out of three companies have already begun adopting 3D printing, from experimenting with the technology to using it to create final products. The same survey found that about 30% of manufacturers believe widespread adoption of 3D printing will revolutionize supply chains, shrinking them so that end-users get ahold of products faster, and without the need for costly.

Some of the most fascinating applications for 3D printing can be found within the healthcare industry. Already, enterprising researchers are using the technology to manufacture artificial tissue, organs, and the equipment needed to perform treatment procedures. For the field of ophthalmology, this can present tremendous benefits. A 3D printer can utilize patients’ cells to create their own transplant organs, or print intraocular cataract lenses and artificial eyes. The technology shrinks the healthcare supply chain, reducing a patient’s and clinican’s dependence on costly equipment, long turnaround times for custom devices, and even human eye donors.

The Spanish Institute for Biomedical Research, at the La Paz Hospital (Instituto de Investigación Biomédica del Hospital La Paz (IdiPAZ) in Madrid is actively working toward developing 3D printed corneas by 2022, which will deliver cost-effective and highly-customizable treatment products to patients suffering from corneal pathologies. The technology will completely eliminate the need to locate suitable human donors, saving time and the vision of many patients. Manufacturers will be able to produce the required corneas in mere days, or prosthetic eyes and spectacles at the push of a button.

3D printing technology can assist in creating more specialized ophthalmology

Equipment and products, all in a way that is faster and more cost-effective than how the current supply chain operates. As a leading provider of instruments and equipment vital to the ophthalmology industry, Accutome is excited to explore how 3D printing will shape the future of eye care. Discover more about what is happening in the ophthalmic community by subscribing to the EyeOpener today!

Retinal Regeneration: Releasing Your Inner Salamander

For someone with a retinal disease such as retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration, their vision loss is caused by photoreceptor degeneration. Photoreceptors are the retinal cells that capture light and convert it into electrical signals, which are sent back to the brain where they are used to create the images we see.

Many research groups from around the world are investigating ways to create new photoreceptors from stem cells for transplantation into the retina for vision restoration. But this approach presents many challenges including risk of immune response to the new photoreceptors, as well as the difficulty in getting them to functionally integrate with the patient’s existing retinal tissue. The delicate surgery often necessary for transplanting the new cells can be risky, as well.retinal-regeneration-releasing-your-inner-salamander.jpg

However, Thomas Reh, PhD, an FFB-funded expert in retinal development and regeneration at the University of Washington, is working on an innovative approach with the potential to revolutionize how scientists go about restoring vision. He’s trying to find a way to coax the retina to grow its own, new photoreceptors.

In fact, at the 2018 VISIONS Conference in San Diego, he received FFB’s 2018 Ed Gollob Board of Directors Award for his research paper in the journal Nature on the emerging technique, which was inspired by his earlier work with amphibians.

“The paper is the culmination of research in my lab spanning more than 30 years.  I first learned about the ability of salamanders to regenerate their retinas when I was an undergraduate student at University of Illinois,” said Dr. Reh. “There was a professor there, Dr. David Stocum, who studied limb regeneration in these amphibians.  I was fascinated that these animals had this potential. When I started my own lab as an assistant professor in Calgary, I began to study regeneration in tadpoles.”

Dr. Reh’s paper in Nature highlighted his retinal regeneration advancements in mice. His team was able to derive neurons from retinal cells called Muller glia, which normally provide architectural support and a number of protective and waste-disposal functions. The new neurons connect with the existing circuits and the cells respond to light. However, the new neurons are not full-fledged photoreceptors, so there is much more work to be done in advancing the approach into a human study.

“The FFB is currently funding our research to derive actual photoreceptors from Muller glia,” said Dr. Reh. “The next step would be to develop an appropriate gene therapy for humans to direct expression of the protein Ascl1, the catalyst for deriving photoreceptors from Muller glia.”

Dr. Reh added that safety and efficacy studies in a large-animal model would be necessary before moving the approach into a clinical trial.”While more work needs to be done, Dr. Reh’s regenerative therapy is potentially another achievable option for retinal regeneration that has advantages over transplantation,” said Stephen Rose, PhD, FFB’s chief scientific officer. “He’s an innovator willing to look outside of the box. That is important in getting vision-restoring, retinal-disease treatments out to the people who need them.”

Save money while getting your family back-to-school ready

Summer activities are in full swing as we try to squeeze as much fun out of these warmer months as we can. However, it’s that time to start getting the kids ready to go back to school. Between shopping for new school supplies to organizing the fall schedule, there is a lot to be done. Let us help make it easier for your child to get back-to-school glasses.


Take this quiz below to see what pair of back-to-school glasses is best for your child’s personality, style and activities. There is a pair of frames for kids who are sporty to kids who are artsy, and everyone in between. Plus, we’ve included tips to save time and money.

We want your kids to look good, feel good and, most importantly, see good! According to the American Optometric Association, good vision is key to a child’s success in school. It can impact everything from reading to eye-hand coordination in sports.

Ensure your child is in tip-top shape for school by also scheduling an annual eye exam. The eye doctor will be able to detect any vision problems and can help your child use the quiz results to pick out the perfect pair of glasses.

Need an eye doctor? Contact Lehigh Valley Center For Sight if you live in or near the Lehigh Valley PA region at 610-437-4988

What is the difference between bifocals and progressives?


Just like graying hair and wrinkles, presbyopia is an inevitable sign that you’re getting older. Presbyopia is the normal, gradual loss of your eyes’ ability to focus on nearby objects. Most people will start to notice presbyopia in their mid-40s. But unlike your changing hair or skin, blurred vision is much harder to live with. Thankfully, there are ways to correct the condition so that you can go about your merry day.

What are progressive lenses and how are they different from bifocals?

Progressives and bifocals both help with presbyopia, according to Mei Fleming, OD.

“Bifocal lenses have that line in the middle,” explained Dr. Fleming. “Above the line your distance vision is clear. Below the line, your near vision is clear.”
This means bifocals only cover two different distances. However, with the growth of digital devices, lenses have had to evolve to cover more of a person’s field of vision.

“With progressive lenses, the power actually progresses though the lens,” said Dr. Fleming. “It goes from distance, to intermediate, to near – seamlessly. So, it gives you the full range of clear vision.”

Unlike bifocals, progressives don’t have a visible line across the lens, which can be more visually attractive. Plus, you don’t have to carry around multiple pairs of glasses (i.e. reading, computer, distance) which can really have an impact on your lifestyle.

Watch as Dr. Fleming points out other differences between progressives and bifocals in this episode of #AskAnEyeDoc.

Be sure to consult with an eye doctor to find out whether progressives or bifocals are a good fit for you; your doctor will be able to recommend the eyewear that best meets your vision and lifestyle needs. Don’t have an eye doctor? Use our Find a Doctor tool for a quick and easy way to locate your nearest VSP network provider.

Disclaimer: Information received through VSP Vision Care’s blog and social media channels are for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice, medical recommendations, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

Chlorine & Your Eyes

chlorine-your-eyes.jpgSummer time is officially here and everyone enjoys a dip in a nice, cool pool during the summer months.  While swimming is a great form of exercise and a relaxing way to cool down, the water can be hard on your eyes.

What Chlorine Does to Your Eyes –

Yes chlorine can make your eyes red!  But the real dangers in pool water aren’t just a result of your eyes coming in contact with the chemical. The redness and discomfort that sometimes accompany swimming can be caused by bacteria that linger in the water. When submerged in chlorine-treated water, your eyes lose the tear film that protects against infection.  Even though the purpose of chlorine in pools is to reduce the amount of harmful bugs, some contaminants are resistant to the chlorine that is used. This means the health of your eyes can be compromised with infections caused by bugs still lingering in the water.

This can result in these three common eye issues:

  • Pink eye or conjunctivitis – This is one of the most common eye infections swimmers can get, as it can be either viral or bacterial and spreads quickly and easily through the water.
  • Red, irritated eyes –  This is a result of your eyes becoming dehydrated due to the chlorine and the removal of your tear film. Sometimes you may also experience blurriness and distorted vision, this is usually only temporary.
  • Acanthamoebic keratitis – This is a severe eye infection that is caused by amoeba in the water becoming trapped between the cornea and the contact lens. It can begin to live there, which can result in ulcers on your cornea and permanent damage to your vision.

Swimming with Contact Lenses  

Wearing contact lenses in any type of water—including a pool, hot tub, ocean or lake—puts you at higher risk for a corneal infection. Bacteria and other microbes can grow on the lenses even after just one swim. Because contact lenses sit on your eyes for an extended period of time, your eyes are then continuously exposed to chemicals, bacteria, fungi or parasites after you swim. That can lead to a painful infection, corneal damage, and even loss of vision.

To avoid any kind of infection, remove contacts altogether when swimming or use swim goggles. You can get prescription swimming goggles to help keep your vision clear and eyes healthy in the pool. Talk with your eye care provider for more information about the different kinds of swim goggles available.

If you have any of these eye infection symptoms are increasing one hour or longer after swimming, see your eye doctor right away.

Being very sensitive to light
Blurry vision
Sensation of having something in your eye
Discharge from your eye
Eye swelling

With all of these risks to your eyes from chlorine, swimming might seem a bit scarier than before. However, there is no need to panic!  By taking a few safety measures, you can protect your eyes and still enjoy your time in the pool.

  • chlorine-your-eyes-1.jpgWear Goggles – Wear a pair of swim goggles every time you swim. Goggles keep pool chemicals out of your eyes.
  • chlorine-your-eyes-2.jpgWash Your Eyes – Immediately after swimming, splash your closed eyes with fresh tap water.  This washes chlorine and other chemicals off your eyelids and eyelashes.
  • chlorine-your-eyes-3.jpgUse Eye Drops – Use over-the-counter lubricating eye drops before and after swimming to keep the tear film balanced and eyes comfortable.
  • or Use Gel Tears – If you have dry eye, thicker artificial tears called gel tears will help protect your tear film, use these drops before putting on your goggles.
  • chlorine-your-eyes-4.jpgStay Hydrated – Don’t forget to drink plenty of water. Staying well hydrated is an important part of keeping your eyes moist and comfortable.

Don’t miss out on the fun this summer! By taking these easy steps whenever you decide to take a dive, you can have peace of mind that your eyes and your vision are protected.