People with cataracts now have options. A cataract is a clouding that occurs in the normal lens that comes as part of the normal aging process. The cure is a sophisticated procedure called lens replacement which is performed rapidly and with virtually no pain or discomfort. What is so exciting today is that lens replacement surgery or cataract surgery now has the option of being a refractive procedure as well. In other words, if you have a cataract and are wearing glasses, you can have lens replacement surgery and no longer need glasses. The improvements are so significant that we can now replace lenses with a new lens that can correct both near and distance vision. Because we, at The Eye Clinic of Texas have so much experience with refractive procedures, LASIK, and excimer laser refractive procedures, we have been performing refractive lens implantation for years

One of the most frequent questions patients ask is whether or not the LASIK procedure will last. The simple answer is yes, it does last. We have a long experience with laser refractive surgery – 20 years to be exact, and for most of our patients, laser refractive surgery lasts. We have patients who had the procedure 20 years ago and have had little or no change in their refractive error. Of course, as patients develop changes in their own bodies, they may develop refractive changes as well. Diabetes and cataracts can change the refraction of an eye and thus the need for an enhancement.

LASIK lasts as long as it is performed within the range in which it is considered effective. If we expand the parameters beyond of treatment beyond certain limits, the refraction can change with time. Because we have such a long experience with the procedure, we do know what the limits are.

The Failure of the Shuttle to Return Home

There is no place that is or was more committed to the space program of the United States or to the Orbital Shuttle and the space station than the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. John Kennedy traveled to Houston to announce to the world that the United States would put a man on the moon. When that man landed on the moon, his message was directed to Houston. In fact, all significant messages from space were addressed to Houston. It is unconscionable that Houston should not be given a shuttle to memorialize the commitment that this community and its people have made to the space program of our country.

The Merger of Alcon and Novartis has been Completed 

Alcon and Novartis have announced the completion of their merger. This is a very significant event in the ophthalmic world.  Alcon was already a leader is providing pharmaceuticals, lasers, and intraocular lenses. As Kevin Buehler, head of Alcon stated, “Through this merger, Alcon now truly serves the full lifecycle of patient needs across acute and chronic eye diseases, ophthalmic conditions treated with surgical procedures, and multiple options to address the correction of refractive error.” 

We have had a longstanding relationship with Alcon. Our excimer lasers are all manufactured and maintained by Alcon and much of the surgical equipment that we use at the surgery centers are manufactured by Alcon. In addition, we use Alcon intraocular lenses. Because of this, we are really excited about the merger and know that Novartis will be able to support expanded research and development which will inevitably result in new products that will help our patients.

 This is an exciting event for ophthalmology and our patients and we look forward to our future

Bernie’s Burble-

Many of us at The Eye Clinic of Texas attended an event supporting Texas Equusearch and Tim Miller last night. There were close to 600 people who had a very enjoyable evening hearing about the remarkable work that Mr. Miller and his organization, Texas Equusearch, are doing. Mr. Miller explained how and why he started Texas Equusearch.

Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Miller and he went into great detail about the loss of his daughter, Laura, and how it affected his life. When Laura was finally found, Mr. Miller made a commitment to her to help others who are in a similar situation. What is evident is that Mr. Miller is genuine in his feelings and his commitment to help others. He is a real hero and his story is incredible.

This interview is available for viewing on our website – ECOT.com. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in Mr. Miller and his wonderful organization 

WHAT’S HAPPENING NATIONALLY

During my long career in ophthalmology, I’ve been proud to play a leading role in many regional, state-wide, and national organizations dedicated to cutting-edge eye care.

Recently, I attended the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons’ meeting in San Diego.  ASCRS (pronounced ascris), is a group of some 5,000 ophthalmologists who meet annually to review what is happening in the world of eye surgery.  I served on their founding board and continue to play a role in the organization.

At the April meeting, I had the opportunity to formally review 50 of the best papers presented and then to discuss their importance at a seminar called the Clinical Carryout Session.  I shared this unique opportunity – and honor – with seven other ophthalmologists from around the country.

The essence of the general meeting and the Carryout Session is this:  impressive and imaginative improvements and innovations are being made continually in eyecare.  An amazing amount of money and energy is being spent to research and develop new and improved treatments for people with cataracts as well as for people who do not want to wear glasses or contacts.

The future is bright and clear. This is an exciting time to be an ophthalmologist and to be able to help people see better and continue to see well.

Bernie Milstein