For many people, cataract surgery can be a liberating experience – they have a chance to throw away their glasses. And this is true for many people.

Just about everyone over the age of 40 needs to wear glasses. They either need glasses for distance or for near. With the advent of intraocular lenses, and the improvements in the technology, combined with LASIK surgery, it is now no longer necessary to wear glasses. Particularly, if you are having cataract surgery, there are multiple options available for patients to choose from.

The ReSTOR lens, a multifocal lens, can provide both near and distance vision and LASIK surgery can cure any remaining astigmatism.

Some patients prefer a monofocal lens. The options here are lenses that correct for astigmatism or correcting the astigmatism after surgery with LASIK. Both are excellent alternatives.

Monovision, one eye corrected for distance and one eye corrected for near is an excellent choice for patients who are sure they can adjust to this type of vision. In patients just having LASIK, we always give them a simulation of the monovision using contact lenses. It is more difficult to simulate in people who already have cataracts because their vision is restricted.

The choices almost seem endless. At The Eye Clinic of Texas, we have had a great deal of experience with taking people out of glasses, whatever their age or ocular condition.

 

 

Economics of Medical Technology-Dr. Milstein

There are new technologies being developed in all fields of medicine and ophthalmology is no exception. Ophthalmologists have the ability to do incredible things to improve people’s vision and their lives. The future of medicine and ophthalmology is even more impressive. There is, however, an obstacle, and that obstacle is money. The economics of healthcare and the introduction of new technology inevitably increases cost.

Our country is facing a real dilemma. On one hand we have the ability to provide advanced technology to cure disease and extend the quality of life and on the other hand, we have millions of people who have no medical insurance at all and cannot afford even the basics of medical care. The ethics and morality of this problem have challenged and eluded all of us.

We must develop a system that provides basic healthcare for those who cannot provide it for themselves, but we also must have the ability to encourage the development of new technology and the opportunity to fund that development. That means that physicians should be able to charge a fee that is not controlled by the government and individuals should be allowed to purchase services over and above basic “government issue,” healthcare.

We wanted you to have the straight talk about LASIK prices in Houston. You wouldn’t believe the calls we are getting this morning about a Groupon™ ad for LASIK in Houston. A reputable group of Laser Centers in Houston is offering a $1,200 discount on LASIK if you buy a coupon from Groupon™ for $100.

THEIR PRICING FOR LASIK they say ranges from $4,800 to $5,200. So, with the coupon your price for the procedure would be $3,600 to $4,000. Add back the $100 you paid for the coupon and YOUR ACTUAL COST IS $3,700 to $4,100.

The Eye Clinic of Texas offers  All Laser Bladeless LASIK for $3,176!  ALL DAY EVERY DAY WITHOUT A COUPON!

They use state-of-the-art lasers–THE SAME ONES WE USE at The Eye Clinic of Texas! No additional or hidden charges. And we will even arrange easy payment plans with no money down.

Why would YOU spend from $525 to $925 more for an identical procedure?

EXPERIENCE?
Maybe YOU THINK WE ARE INEXPERIENCED OR LACK EXPERTISE? Dr. Bernie Milstein performed the first Laser Vision Correction procedure in Texas using an FDA approved laser. He is currently listed in Texas Monthly Super Doc’s and has been for over 6 years! He has also been listed in Best Doctors in America for over 11 Years, and is listed in H Magazine’s Best Doctor section. Here’s a video of our recent celebration of the first procedures done twenty years ago.     http://vimeo.com/26645966

LOCATION?
Maybe YOU THINK WE ARE INCONVENIENT TO GET TO? We’re not in the center of Houston, but how far would you drive to save $525, or $925? We are only a 30 minute drive from downtown Houston.

A FINAL THOUGHT. When this Groupon™ offer expires, our price for All Laser Bladeless LASIK will still be $3,176!

P.S.-What about those 100’s of people who signed up for a Groupon™ offer? It would be a shame for them to be locked into an arrangement that costs them an additional $525 to $925 just because they didn’t know the truth. So, until December 15, we’ll exchange a $100 discount for their Groupon™ coupon meaning they can have All Laser Bladeless LASIK for $3,076 at The Eye Clinic of Texas! Merry Christmas!

Halloween is a fun time of year! We all enjoy the candy and the costumes, but the American Academy of Ophthalmology has sent out a recent warning to all of its members and the press reminding people to be cautious about decorative contact lenses. Topping off a costume with blood-drenched vampire eyes or lizard lenses may be unique and fun, but getting the lenses without a prescription can be dangerous.
A recent communication from the Academy of Ophthalmology included the following information: “Most people believe that decorative lenses don’t require the same level of care or consideration as corrective contact lenses because they can be purchased over-the-counter or on the Internet. This is far from the truth,” said Thomas Steinemann, MD, professor of ophthalmology, MetroHealth Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and a clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “In fact, permanent eye damage can occur from using over-the-counter lenses. We want to discourage all consumers, especially teens, from buying contact lenses in beauty salons, novelty shops or in Halloween stores.”
“In 2005, a federal law was passed that classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye care professionals. Illegal sale of contacts can result in civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation. Consumers should only buy decorative contact lenses from an eye care professional or a seller who asks for a prescription.”
But probably the most important thing to think about is if you do wear contact lenses, from any source, if they are causing any irritation, remove them immediately. People get into problems with contacts when they fail to take simple precautions and keep the lenses in their eyes even though they are uncomfortable.
Have a safe and wonderful Halloween, Trick or Treat!

PEDIATRIC EYE PROBLEMS-

A child should have his or her first eye exam by the age of three unless there is a family history of childhood problems or certain conditions are noted. The next exam should be done before kindergarten and every two years thereafter.

Certain problems demand an earlier visit to the eye doctor. Among these are a white color in the pupil of the eye (could be cataract or tumor), eyes that are not aligned with each other (potential lazy eye or amblyopia), droopy eyelid (could prevent lack of vision development), recurrent red eye (infection ), obvious inability to focus on objects or pick things up easily (refraction problem of nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism), chronic tearing (tear duct blockage), and light sensitivity (glaucoma).

 

MedPAC Considers Medicare Payment Cuts for Specialists
Officials from the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC), an independent Congressional advisory committee, today said MedPAC is considering recommending that physicians, along with hospitals, pharmaceuticals and Medicare Advantage, pay the more than $300 billion cost to repeal the SGR. If adopted by Congress, this funding plan would freeze Medicare payments to primary-care physicians at their current rate and cut Medicare payments to specialists by 18 percent, spread over three years. In the past, MedPAC said cuts of this magnitude would result in serious access problems for Medicare beneficiaries, and instead recommended small, positive payment increases for physicians. MedPAC will present its recommendations to Congress in October.

Medical Associations to Congress: Pass Medicare Physician-Pay Fix Now!
The Academy has joined a coalition of other medical associations in an American Medical Association (AMA) grassroots campaign calling for a permanent Medicare physician pay fix. The coalition is advocating for repeal of the sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula that is used to update Medicare physician pay. Physicians are scheduled for a 30 percent Medicare pay cut on Jan. 1, unless Congress intervenes. The coalition is urging the new joint House and Senate committee, charged with recommending $1.2 trillion in federal deficit savings, to include a permanent SGR fix in its plan. Congressional leaders are not commenting, or are pessimistic that the committee will include the more than $300 billion fix in its recommendations. The coalition, however, pointed out that every significant Congressional budget proposal has included replacing the SGR formula in its comprehensive deficit reduction plan. Continue reading on the AAO Eye on Advocacy blog at  www.aao.org

Our Economy Is Good

There is no question that our national economy has been in the doldrums for the past several years and some might say that it has been worse than that, but Texas, and particularly Houston, has been fortunate to have been spared the worst. Those of us who live and work in the Clear Lake area have been wrestling with the end of the Shuttle Program at Johnson Space Center and the loss of jobs that this has entailed. While this has been troubling, a recent communication from Bob Mitchell, President of Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership is very encouraging.

It seems that NASA, while discontinuing the Shuttle Program, is embarking on a new and ambitious effort to expand the commercialization of space and some of those projects are being developed right here. There are at least two companies that have been funded, who will hire about 250 people to pursue space projects in Clear Lake.

In addition to space related opportunities, Bob points out that many of our other local industries; chemical, electronic, and medical, are expanding and hiring some of the engineering talent that so abounds in this area as a result of the Space Program.

There are a number of other projects and expansions that are slated for this region and in particular, Ellington Field, that hold promise for continuing the economic vitality of Houston and The Bay Area in particular. We are indeed fortunate to live and work in such a vibrant community.

 

Introducing Botox and Juvederm

Non-invasive cosmetic procedures can reshape and enhance normal facial features that will help with self esteem. As we age, our skin elasticity decreases and that can lead to wrinkles and loss of volume. For those unwanted wrinkles, there’s BOTOX®. For loss of volume, there’s dermal fillers.

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is administered by a healthcare professional as a simple, nonsurgical treatment. It is injected directly into the muscles between the brows injected into muscles and used to improve the look of moderate to severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines) in people 18 to 65 years of age for a short period of time (temporary). BOTOX® is a purified protein that works by blocking overactive nerve impulses that trigger excessive muscle contractions. This reduces muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form between the brows. Individual results may vary.

BOTOX® Cosmetic is a prescription medicine that is injected into muscles and used to improve the look of the “11s,” the moderate-to-severe frown lines between the eyebrows (glabellar lines). It works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscles. This reduces muscle activity that causes moderate to severe lines to form between the brows.
JUVÉDERM® XC is the smooth gel filler that your doctor uses to instantly smooth away wrinkles around your mouth and nose. With just one treatment, you’ll get smooth and natural-looking results that last up to a year.†

Everyone’s skin ages differently and JUVÉDERM® XC may be used to rejuvenate multiple problem areas.* From smile lines to vertical lip lines, you can smooth away unwanted wrinkles and restore natural contours. Learn more about the individual treatment areas by rolling over the list below.

Young, healthy-looking skin contains an abundance of a naturally hydrating substance called hyaluronic acid (HA). But as you age, sunlight and other factors can reduce the amount of HA in your skin. The lack of HA causes your skin to lose structure and volume, creating unwanted facial wrinkles and folds – like those parentheses lines around your nose and mouth.

Using a dermal filler like JUVÉDERM® XC is a safe and effective way to replace the HA your skin has lost, bringing back its volume and smoothing away facial wrinkles and folds.

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a naturally occurring molecule. Much like a sponge, its primary function is to bind and absorb water, which creates volume in the face. In this way, Hyaluronic acid can be thought of as the body’s internal moisturizer. But, as we age, HA diminishes, which contributes to the presence of lines and folds. JUVÉDERM® XC injectable gel works to correct this by restoring hyaluronic acid in your skin, helping to diminish wrinkles and nasolabial folds.

If you have qustions or would like more information about Botox or Juvederm, call 800-423-EYES.