Coastal Eye Associates FAQs

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Doctors of Optometry (O.D.) are independent primary and secondary health care providers who specialize in the examination, diagnosis, treatment and management of diseases and disorders of the visual system, the eye and associated structures, as well as the diagnosis of related systemic conditions. In accordance with state law, optometrists prescribe and fit glasses and contact lenses, and dispense ocular medications, providing total eye health and vision care for all ages.

Doctors of Optometry complete four years of undergraduate college education and four years of post-graduate education at a nationally certified college of optometry, earning a Doctorate in Optometry.

Optometrists must be certified by the National Board of Examiners in Optometry and licensed by the state regulatory board. A small number of doctors of optometry nationwide attain post-doctorate residency/fellowship certification in specialty areas, such as pediatrics, contact lenses, low vision or ocular disease. In addition, doctors of optometry may attain fellowship status in the American Academy of Optometry (F.A.A.O.) in primary care, pediatrics, contact lenses, low vision or ocular disease by submitting multiple cases, review of references from colleagues, and oral exam of materials by peers.

An ophthalmologist is an M.D., a doctor of medicine, or a D.O., a doctor of osteopathy, who specializes in the medical and surgical care of the eye, visual system and associated structures. An ophthalmologist has completed four years of undergraduate college education, four years of medical school, one year of internship, and three years or more of medical/surgical training and experience in the diagnosis, treatment and management of eye disease and visual system abnormalities.

Board certification is not a requirement in Ophthalmology, but is a standard for doctors, hospitals and insurance companies. Board certified ophthalmologists must have graduated from an approved ophthalmology residency program, must have practiced for one year, must sit for written board examination, and if having passed the written exam at a high enough level, must sit for an oral board examination.

Board certified ophthalmologists have achieved a high standard and must be recertified every ten years. Ophthalmologists may attain subspecialty training in retina, cornea, glaucoma, ocular oncology, or neuro-ophthalmology. Fellowship status may also be attained as a Fellow of the Academy in College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.) by submitting multiple cases, review of references from colleagues, and oral interview/exam by peers.

An Orthoptist is a specialist who works with ophthalmologists to examine, diagnose, and treat a variety of visual disorders in children and adults ranging from blurred vision to misalignment of the ocular motor system. While not physicians, Orthoptists are trained at a two year medical fellowship where they are extensively trained in seeing a variety of patients in the field of Pediatric and Neuro Ophthalmology. They have been respected members of allied health care in ophthalmology for more than fifty years!

Orthoptists perform several specific tests to measure and assess visual acuity, focusing ability, binocular functions, eye movements and color vision, as well as retinoscopy and refractometry (checking a child or adult for glasses). Orthoptists also perform the measurements by which surgeons determine which procedure to perform to correct a given patients’ misaligned eyes.

Our Orthoptist, Rachael Jenkins, C.O., helps the ophthalmologist develop a treatment plan, which may involve treatment by the Orthoptist (such as patching, eye drops, and eye exercises, surgical treatment by the ophthalmologist or a combination of both.

What can I expect after the ReSTOR® multifocal lens procedure?

Similar to other lens implant procedures, you can expect your vision to be good the day following surgery.

How soon after the procedure will I be able to see at varying distances?

For most patients, near vision is good the next day, and improves over the following week. Results are best when both eyes have ReSTOR® lenses implanted.

How many patients are 100% reading glasses and bifocals free after having this procedure?

The results are very good. After having ReSTOR® lenses implanted, nearly 94% were so satisfied that they would have the procedure again.

When did ReSTOR® receive FDA approval?

The AcrySof ReSTOR® received FDA-approval for cataracts with or without presbyopia on March 23, 2005. It has been approved for use in Europe since April 4, 2003.

How many people in the US have had the ReSTOR® lens procedure?

During clinical trials, 566 people received the ReSTOR® lens.

What are the risks/contraindications of this procedure?

The greatest risk is infection, which is very rare. Patients receive several days of preoperative antibiotics to minimize this risk. Statistically the amount of risk for the ReSTOR® multifocal lens procedure is not much different from LASIK Surgery. Lens implant surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the US.

Can both eyes be done at once?

This is one of the few eye surgery’s that is recommended as best when both eyes are treated at the same time. Our patient’s appear to heal faster and easier when both eyes are focused the same way. It is easier on their busy lifestyles and causes less downtime for them. Most of our patients prefer to have both eyes treated at the same time. An exception to this rule may be for patients with extreme prescriptions who have PRK. This procedure while as great as LASIK, tends to heal slower and many people chose to keep one eye working while one eye heals.

Is the ReSTOR® multifocal lens procedure a reversible procedure?

Once the natural lens is removed, it cannot be replaced. However, if one is over 40 with presbyopia and dependent on reading glasses or bifocal the lens is already not normal. It has lost its accommodation ability. If the patient desires, the ReSTOR® lens implant can be removed and replaced. In the US arm of the FDA Clinical Trials for ReSTOR®, no patient requested removal of the lens because the benefit of a full range of vision outweighed their complaints of visual disturbances. The only medical indication for lens replacement is if the lens power needs to be changed to help distance vision.

Is the ReSTOR® multifocal lens more effective than other IOLs?

The ReSTOR® lens is not dependent on the movement of the lens but has a unique Apodized Diffractive optic that is new to IOL design. The optical design of the lens distributes light between near, intermediate and distance vision to accommodate vision at all ranges. This means you may no longer need reading glasses or bifocals to see clearly after the procedure.

Similar to other lens implant procedures, you can expect your vision to be good the day following surgery. There is minimal discomfort after surgery that usually resolves within hours. Most individuals can return to a normal work schedule/routine the day after surgery.

Will I still need to wear glasses if my surgeon recommends a Tecnis® Multifocal Lens?

The results will vary depending upon your vision, lifestyle, and the anatomy of your eyes. Most people find that they need glasses to read small type or drive at night. Most people, however, can go to the store or conduct many of their day’s activities without depending on glasses. In the cases studied, 94% of those who received the technology in Tecnis® Multifocal Lens “never” or only “occasionally” needed to wear glasses.

How is the Tecnis® Multifocal Lens different from traditional single-vision intraocular lenses?

The Tecnis® Multifocal Lens is a multifocal intraocular lens. Unlike traditional single-vision lens implants, the Tecnis® lens provides quality vision both at a distance and up close. Traditional single-vision lenses usually provide good vision only at a distance with limited ability to see objects that are near without glasses.

What is the Tecnis® zone system?

Tecnis® technology uses the zone system to divide the small lens into various sections that activate under certain lighting conditions (pupil size) and focal depths. There are five zones, each addressing a differing set of specifications. With this variety, a wide range of light situations and focusing distances can be accommodated for and clear vision carried out successfully.

How does the Tecnis® Multifocal Lens replace the cataract?

The natural lens inside the eye is gently removed through a small micro-incision in the periphery of your eye’s cornea. The cataract-impaired lens is then removed through this incision and the lens implant is inserted in its place to permanently replace it. The procedure usually takes about 15 to 45 minutes and vision is usually improved immediately.

How long after surgery until I see my best?

Like most procedures, this depends upon the overall health of your eye. For most people, vision is noticeably better immediately and continues to improve during the first few weeks after the procedure.

Does the Tecnis® Multifocal Lens require an adjustment period?

Yes. For most people there is a period of weeks when your brain is learning to “see” up close and at a distance with the new lens. This adjustment period is usually complete within 6 to 12 weeks. Also, like all multifocal lenses, some people report halos or glare around lights. Again, for most people this diminishes over time. For some, it becomes less troublesome but never completely goes away. Most people report that the ability to see near and far outweighs any visual side-effects associated with the lens.

Who makes a good candidate for Tecnis®?

Your surgeon will be able to answer this question only after a thorough eye exam. Generally, however, patients who need cataracts removed, who suffer from presbyopia, or who have difficulty seeing close objects may qualify. Patients who experience chronic glare problems, drive at night frequently, work as airline pilots, or who have had Radial Keratotomy should not have the Tecnis® procedure.

Is the Tecnis® lens covered by health insurance?

Most insurance plans including Medicare cover lens removal (if it is a cataract that interferes with vision) as well as the operating room and anesthesiologist. Refractive upgrades like addressing one’s astigmatism or electing to have the latest technology multifocal lens are not covered. Thus, at this point in time there is an out of pocket expense associated with these new technologies.

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