Yearly Exam Can Save Your Vision

If you’re a diabetic, chances are your doctors has recommended that you have a yearly eye exam to check for diabetic retinopathy. But you might wonder exactly what diabetic retinopathy is, and why it’s so important to keep a close eye on the symptoms.

Diabetic Retinopathy refers to eye disease caused by changes in blood vessels in a diabetic patient’s retina. This can threaten your vision and lead to blindness. Symptoms of this condition can include blurred vision, seeing spots or floaters, difficulty seeing at night, and having a dark or empty spot in your field of vision.

If you’re at risk, monitoring your blood pressure and blood sugar very important. In this way, it is possible to prevent the disease and reduce complications. If you’re diagnosed, you can slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy. As with most chronic diseases, the best way to prevent complications is to prevent the disease itself.

If you are over age 65, EyeCare America, a nonprofit organization, may be able to help you afford the medical care associated with diabetic retinopathy or other chronic eye diseases. This program can help with the costs of prescription drugs and medical office visits to help manage your eye disease. Check out EyeCare America to determine your eligibility.

Frequently Asked Questions--Part One

How Do I Know If I’m a Good Candidate for Lasik?

The best way to determine this is by coming in for a consultation, so we can perform all the necessary testing and measurements. This way, we can figure out what procedure will be a good fit for your prescription and your lifestyle. Schedule Your Free Consultation Today by clicking.

 

Are There Financing Plans Available?

Absolutely. Laser Eye Institute has partnered with CareCredit Patient Financing. Carecredit helps you to pay for your Lasik procedure by extending special financing options that you won’t receive when using a regular credit card. CareCredit offers 24-month 0% deferred interest financing. 48-month and 60-month plans are also available.

You can also use Health Savings Accounts or Flex Spending for additional saving using pre-tax money. We participate in all major medical and vision plans. If you are unsure about coverage, we are happy to check.

Patients interested in a single payment option we accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard & Discover.

 

What’s Included in The Cost of Treatment?

We believe that when you come to Laser Eye Institute, you’re paying for high-quality, top technology, and Dr. Haddad’s 30 years of experience. In addition to this, you also receive two years of follow-up care included in your quote. That means we’ll check up on your vision routinely throughout the healing process, and make any adjustments necessary to give you the best sight you can achieve.

 

Is there pain during or after the LASIK procedure? 

There is very little to no pain during the procedure for LASIK or LASEK. Most people can’t believe how little discomfort they feel during the procedure. 

The day of your procedure, some tearing and discomfort is normal. In the days following your procedure, you may experience some irritation and discomfort as your eyes begin to heal. This is expected, so we do prescribe eye drops for comfort and to speed the healing process. Depending on what procedure you get and your level of correction, you could notice the discomfort subsides within days, but don’t worry—we’ll see you for a follow up appointment to make sure everything is healing properly.

 

Where will my Lasik be performed?

Dr. Haddad performs all of his Lasik procedures at our Troy office, in our advanced surgical suite. This means that all of our lasers are stationary, and our surgical team is well-trained in the operations of our state-of-the-art lasers.

 

I’m pregnant (or nursing). Can I have Lasik? 

As we all know, pregnancy is a time of change, and this can include your eyes and your vision. Your vision can fluctuate during pregnancy and after, while breastfeeding. Because your vision must be stable, it is not recommended to preform LASIK for 2-3 months after the baby is weaned from breastfeeding. Further, due to the use of some eye drops to promote healing after surgery, we do recommend the wait.

 

Laser Eye Institute      248-680-7400

Why Specks in Your Vision Are Usually Harmless

What Are They?

Floaters are spots that appear in your vision. They can look like strings, specks, hairs, cobwebs, or squiggles, and they often dart away when you try to look at them directly. Most of the time, floaters are harmless. They’re caused when the vitreous, the jelly-like substance that fills most of your eye, slowly shrinks and separates. The separation of the vitreous into watery fluid and wavy collagen fibers is what causes floaters in your vision.

Who Gets Floaters?

Some people are more likely to get floaters than others. If you are nearsighted, diabetic, or have had cataract surgery, you have an increased likelihood of seeing these wavy specks.

How Do I Get Rid Of Them?

Most of the time, there’s no reason to get rid of floaters. Many people learn to ignore them, and they often tend to settle at the bottom of the eye. In some situations, laser treatment may be appropriate to remove benign floaters, but this procedure is often not worth the risk for most patients.

When Do I Need To Worry?

Signs that you need to contact your eye doctor include: seeing a much larger amount of floaters than usual; a sudden increase in new floaters; flashes of light; or tunnel vision—also known as peripheral vision loss—are all indicators that you may need immediate medical attention. These could be signs of a retinal detachment, a condition that threatens your vision when not treated quickly by a physician.

What Else Do I Need To Know?

Some other conditions mimic floaters, like the aura associated with some types of migraine headaches. This is often more a visual disturbance, and can involve both eyes. It could last a few minutes, but will typically resolve when the migraine symptoms resolve.

If you’re concerned about floaters, ask your doctor for further information.

How Long Does a Consultation Take?

When you call or email to schedule a complimentary Lasik consultation, one of the first things the scheduler will let you know is how long the appointment will last. I’ll tell you that it takes about two hours from the time the technician takes you back until the appointment is over. Today, let's break down our consultation process for you, step by step, so you know exactly what to expect when you come in for your first appointment.

When you first come in, we’ll get all your paperwork together. If you’ve already filled out your new patient paperwork online, you get to skip this part. If not, you can fill it out in the office. We’ll also take copies of your ID and insurance cards, both so that we can have them on file and so that we can check for any discounts associated with your insurance plan.

When the technicians take you back, they’ll perform all of your testing. We want you to come in for your consultation wearing your glasses if possible, so that when you’re bouncing around between test stations, we don’t have to worry about you being blind! Some of the testing the technicians will perform includes wavescans and pentacam measurements, so the doctor can determine which laser vision correction procedure is right for you.

After all the testing is complete, you’ll get a tour of the office. You’ll even get to see the laser suite—where all the magic happens. We’re very proud of our state-of-the-art technology, and we want to make sure that you, as a patient, are informed before you make a choice for your eyes. We also make sure to show you informational videos like those found on our website that explain exactly how laser vision correction works, with each of the lasers we use.

Next you’ll meet up with Dr. Haddad. Since he’s the surgeon that will be performing your procedure, it’s important to us that you spend time with him on the day of your consultation. He’ll give recommendations for you based on your eyes, your prescription, and your lifestyle. This isn’t one size fits all Lasik—this is personalized to fit your needs.

At the end of the visit, you’ll meet with one of our Patient Coordinators. This is when you’ll get to discuss the finer details of the procedure, and you’ll have any final questions wrapped up. We can even schedule your procedure at this point and talk about your two years of included follow up care.

Now that you know what goes into a two hour long consultation, are you ready to schedule your appointment? Call or click today!

See If Lasik Is Right For You

Laser Eye Institute      248-680-7400

 

Don't Be Blinded By the Light On Eclipse Day

On August 21, a good swath of the United States will get the rare chance to view a total solar eclipse. In Michigan, we’ll be outside the path of totality. Unfortunately, that means that we won’t be able to see the total eclipse, but we should be able to view an impressive partial eclipse. If you’re interested in watching this natural phenomenon, here are a few tips to keeping your eyes safe.

   Detroit's Eclipse Guide
 1:03 pm Partial Eclipse Begins
 2:27 pm Maximum Eclipse for Detroit Area
 3:47 Partial Eclipse Ends

Wear protection!

Regular sunglasses aren’t enough when it comes to looking directly at the sun, so make sure to wear something a bit more substantial. NASA has a list of approved sunglasses, and often planetariums and hobby astronomers will have properly rated eyewear on hand. It doesn’t have to be fancy—cardboard viewers are just fine. If you’re concerned, look for this designation number on the sunglasses: ISO 12312-2

How to Tell If Solar Eclipse Viewers are Safe

Cameras (and your phone camera) don’t count as protection

Looking at the sun even for a moment during an eclipse can literally burn your eye, causing an “eclipse burn” or solar retinopathy. The overexposure to light can damage cells in your eye temporarily or permanently. Looking at an eclipse through the lens of a smartphone or camera can cause just as much damage as with your naked eye.

Caution shouldn’t take the fun out of eclipse watching. North America will not see another solar eclipse until April 8, 2024. For that event, Michiganders will be able to see the entirety of the solar eclipse, rather than just a partial eclipse. Get your pinhole projectors and safe cardboard viewers ready for that spectacular occurrence, too!

 

 

The Dos and Don'ts of Contact Lens Wear

According to the Contact Lens Institute, over 30 million Americans wear contact lenses, and 80% of those wear soft contact lenses every day1. Do you know the dos and don’ts of contact lens wear? Keep your eyes healthy by following the guidelines listed below.

DO: Make sure to get an eye exam every year for an accurate prescription. Contact lens prescriptions are only good for a year, and it is important to get an annual vision exam for your eye health and to check on your vision.

DON’T: Buy colored contacts without a prescription. Contacts are medical devices, and buying them from a suspicious online retailer is always a bad idea. The only way to make sure contacts will fit your eyes safely is to use the measurements provided by a trained physician.

DO: Clean your contacts properly. The best way to do this is the “rub and rinse” method—remove one lens at a time, place it in the palm of your hand, and rub it gently with a few drops of cleaning solution. Then rinse your contact, and place it in a storage case with clean solution. Repeat for the other lens.

DON’T: Reuse old contact solution, or place your contacts in your mouth. Contact lens wearers who do these things are at an increased risk of eye infections. You can easily avoid eye infections by making sure your hands and contact solution are clean every time you handle your contact lenses.

DO: Change your contacts at the recommended intervals. Old lenses can lead to irritation and infections. While it may be tempting to stretch the time between changing pairs of lenses, the risks don’t outweigh the benefits. You wouldn’t forget to change your underwear for a month, would you?

DON’T: Shower in your contacts (or wear them in pools, hot tubs, lakes, ponds, or body of water) when you can avoid it. Not only would it stink to lose a lens, you could also end up with a nasty bug.

Because contact lens wearers are have an increased risk of eye infections, it’s of utmost importance that you follow the DO list to keep yourself safe, and call your eye doctor if you have any questions. Clean hands and clean solution whenever you touch your contact lenses is key.

 

 

1https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/contact-lenses/facts-and-stats?sso=y

Lasik Scams and How to Avoid Them

Some Lasik centers pride themselves on quality, others on the bargain you can get with discounted rates on surgery. Here’s why cheap Lasik is too good to be true.

Bait and Switch Pricing

  • One way that discount surgery centers get you is through bait and switch pricing. These centers will advertise unbelievable prices, some as low as $299 an eye. This is never as good as it looks, because the price you pay is never the advertised rate. Rates like these only go to a few “qualifying” customers. With many Lasik centers, your follow-up care won’t be included in the price you pay for surgery. These companies often itemize their fees. You end up paying separately for testing, follow up care, enhancements, and scam warranties.

Warranty Scams

  • Warranty scams are another way discount Lasik centers make their money. After you’ve paid for your surgery, they’ll over you a warranty package that’s just as expensive as the procedure, but with very little value. Lifetime warranties can be a scam because they often demand you get an expensive eye exam every year at the same center to maintain the warranty. They also might stipulate you can only have an enhancement under very specific conditions, if your vision is 20/40 or worse, or state that your enhancement can only be done with the same type of laser your original procedure used. This can make patients who are unhappy with their results ineligible for an enhancement.

Inexperienced Surgeons

  • With cheap surgery centers, you’re paying for the experience of the surgeon, too. Surgeons with decades of experience have often completed tens of thousands of successful surgeries, while discount surgery centers can be a training ground for new surgeons. Asking about the number of successful surgeries your doctor has completed can be a good indicator of how much experience they have in performing Lasik.

Outdated Technology

  • Another thing to keep in mind when you schedule surgery is the technology of the surgery center. One way that discount centers are able to afford to charge lower than normal rates is through using outdated technology, using techniques that have been replaced, and using older lasers and diagnostic equipment. They often will not be able to perform the newest procedures, which may save you some dollars, but doesn’t make much cents.

In short, remember that you get what you pay for. When it comes to your vision, you don’t want to cut corners and realize after your surgery that cheap doesn’t always mean good deal.

So Why Us?

If you would like to learn more about the technology we use at Laser Eye Institute, or Dr. Haddad’s nearly 30 years of experience in vision correction CLICK HERE. We don’t provide scam warranties, but our price includes two years of comprehensive follow up care. Learn about us at your consultation--but expect to be here awhile. Our consultations are thorough, because we pride ourselves on the best results your eyes can achieve.

Schedule Your Complimentary Consultation Today

Laser Eye Institute: 248-680-7400

Can Your iPhone Hurt Your Eyes?

These days, it seems like everyone spends their days in front of one screen or another. Whether your phone or tablet, computer or smart fridge, digital screens are a part of daily life. While these screens can be great news for productivity—and wasting time—they can also cause digital eye strain.

Digital eye strain occurs when your eyes become fatigued due to the use of digital devices. This can lead to annoying symptoms like:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Tired Eyes
  • Dry/burning eyes

If you experience any of these symptoms while staring at your screen, it’s probably time for a short break. Taking some time away from your device can ease the discomfort.

Wearing your proper prescription is another way to reduce the effects of digital eye strain. If you don’t need prescription glasses or contact lenses, special “computer glasses” can be made for you that reduce the glare and effects of digital screens.

Adjusting your screen’s settings can also help. Turning down the brightness, or reducing the amount of blue light coming from your screen can lessen the strain on your eyes, and have other health benefits, too.

The 20-20-20 rule can help, too. After 20 minutes of screen time, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Remember, digital eye strain can be fixed by resting your eyes. You don’t have to give up your phone or computer cold turkey—just take a break every now and then.

Dr. Haddad Recognized as Pioneer in Healthcare

Dr. Haddad Recognized as Pioneer in Healthcare

 

Crain’s Healthcare Heroes recognizes Dr. Haddad for his contributions to laser vision correction in their 2017 Health Care Heroes list.

 

The 16th annual list honors professionals in eight categories. Dr. Haddad was chosen as a finalist for contributions to the field of vision correction. Dr. Haddad was the first surgeon in Michigan to perform the new SMILE procedure. He has performed more than 75 of these advanced, minimally-invasive bladeless procedures to date, using state of the art technology in our Troy office.

 

Thanks to Dr. Haddad’s almost 30 years of experience, you can trust him to take care of your vision. Dr. Haddad has performed more than 20,000 vision-correction procedures. He stays ahead of the curve when it comes to new technology and procedures.

 

Check out the article from Crain’s Detroit Here: Dr. Haddad Recognized as Pioneer in Healthcare. Learn more about SMILE, the bladeless Lasik procedure that has everyone happy through clicking above or scheduling a consultation to see if you’re a candidate for this revolutionary procedure.

 

Why We Don't Do KAMRA Inlay

 

One procedure that seems to offer vision correction to certain farsighted patients is a corneal inlay, like KAMRATM. The procedure seems to be a way for farsighted patients, or patients who might be a little bit older than ideal for Lasik, to still achieve vision correction. At Laser Eye Institute, we do not perform this procedure—but to explain why we don’t, let’s first take a look at the procedure.

A corneal inlay is an implantable device that can be used to block unfocused rays of light in order to improve near vision1. It operates like a pinhole camera. Some doctors believe that this overcompensates for the patient’s farsightedness, and makes the eye intentionally nearsighted. It does not change the patient’s corneal topography2, making it less effective for most patients.

Implanting a KAMRATM inlay is a laser-assisted procedure, and has similar risks to other types of laser vision correction. Unfortunately, that is where the similarities to Lasik end. KAMRATM has additional risks associated with the eye healing improperly around the inlay. There is a danger of vision loss if the patient has the procedure reversed. The longest follow-up study of patients with this implant is only 5 years. We have little evidence about long-term patient satisfaction with this procedure.

The biggest problem with KAMRATM inlays, though, is they are not designed to help patients with cataracts, or patients who would like a multifocal lens experience. This narrows the group of candidates to a very small amount, who would often need further correction upon developing cataracts in a decade or less following their KAMRATM procedure.

 

So Why Don’t We Do It?

The bottom line is, we pride ourselves on patient satisfaction at Laser Eye Institute. Many patients who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism can benefit from Advanced CustomVueTM technology that we provide in office. Patients who aren’t Lasik candidates due to age or cataracts are often great candidates for other types of procedures. We select the procedure that is right for your eyes and your lifestyle, and stand behind our work.

 

 

Sources:

1https://www.fda.gov/newsevents/newsroom/pressannouncements/ucm443471.htm

2https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s40123-017-0085-7