Dr. Maria Scott

Dr. Maria C. Scott is the founder and medical director of Chesapeake Eye Care and Laser Center and the medical director of TLC Laser Eye Center Annapolis. One of the nation’s most respected cataract surgeons, the number of surgeries she has performed places her among the top cataract surgeons in the mid-Atlantic region and in the top 10 per¬cent of cataract surgeons in the country. Her experience, skill and personal demeanor have earned her great respect among patients as well as colleagues in the medical community.
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Recent Posts

How Much Does Cataract Surgery Cost?

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Aug 24, 2015 1:15:00 PM

cataract-cost-questions-answeredCataracts are a major health issue for today's aging population, and they are the cause of half of all cases of blindness and one-third of all cases of visual impairment. Luckily, they can be corrected with a relatively straightforward surgery that is usually done on an outpatient basis.

What should you do if you're concerned about your deteriorating vision, and you're wondering, "How much is cataract surgery?" Read on to learn about the options available to you.

Average Cost Per Eye

According to a recent study, the average out-of-pocket cost of cataract surgery in 2013 in the U.S. was $3,230 for each eye. This means that, on average, you would pay roughly $6,500 for surgery on both eyes. If you shop around with multiple medical practices, check that the quotes you receive include the costs for both the operation and any post-operative care, including medications. Be sure to find out if your pricing includes the latest technology, such as laser cataract surgery versus manual cataract surgery that uses a hand-held blade, and ORA Precision Vision technology. Also, make sure to ask if the most advanced lenses (multifocal, astigmatism correcting) are offered and at what cost.

Consider the Benefits

It’s important to consider what you would be missing if you allow cataracts to develop. Poor vision or blindness can have major effects on your safety and your ability to be self-sufficient and independent. You may be unable to drive your car, run errands or navigate around your home. If your ability to do your work relies heavily on your sight, you may suffer job loss as the result of your cataracts. Lost wages could end up costing you far more than the surgery itself.

Check Your Health Insurance

Before scheduling your cataract surgery, always contact your health insurer to see if it will be covered under your plan. Most insurance plans, including Medicare, will pay for the costs of cataract surgery; however, insurers may only cover what is deemed to be medically necessary. Getting a monofocal (single-focus) intraocular lens is considered basic care and would be covered under most plans. A presbyopia-correcting intraocular lens, which may reduce or remove the need for reading glasses, might be seen as elective and beyond the basic coverage. Be sure to understand exactly what your insurance plan will cover as you weigh your cataract care options.

Final Thoughts

Even if your health insurance does not totally cover the procedure, you can save money by using funds from a flexible spending account or a health savings account. Financing options are also available to make cataract surgery costs affordable. Without even thinking about it, you use your eyes every day, all day long. Preserving your vision is one of the greatest gifts money can buy.

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An Interview with Sue Stevens, Dry Eye Patient

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Mar 13, 2015 3:32:47 PM

dry_eye_syndome_patientQ. How long have you been suffering from dry eyes? 

Sue:  For years, I wore contact lenses and suffered with dry eyes

Q. Why did you decide to go to Chesapeake Eye Care & Laser Center?

Sue: My primary care doctor recommended that I see Dr. Scott for possible cataract surgery. After a series of eye exams Dr. Scott determined that I should have the surgery. The surgery was successful and I no longer need to wear contact lenses, glasses or reading glasses. Dr. Scott is not only an amazing surgeon but she is also a very kind, caring, generous and thoughtful person.      

Q. What made you decide to have the LipiFlow treatment?

Sue: During one of my follow-up appointments from the cataract surgery, I was given an eye test to measure the level of dryness in my eyes. It was after this test that Dr. Scott determined I was a candidate for the LipiFlow treatment. She thoroughly explained how the treatment worked and said that it would be beneficial and provide relief for my dry eye symptoms.

Q. What was your life like before the Lipiflow treatment?

Sue: Before the treatment, my eyes were often red, very dry, scratchy and fatigued at times. Often during the day I would experience blurred vision. I had a difficult time reading and using my computer. To provide temporary relief, I was using eye drops several times a day for moisture.   

Q. How soon after the Lipiflow treatment did you feel the effects?

Sue: The Lipiflow treatment was a wonderful experience. The treatment itself did not hurt and it was very soothing to my eyes. I noticed an incredible difference in the moisture of my eyes within several days after the treatment. My vision was clear, my eyes were no longer red and tired and the dryness was gone. In other words, I no longer have “dry eyes” and it’s a fantastic feeling.

Q. How has the Lipiflow treatment impacted your life?

Sue: My vision is clear, my eyes are not red and I do not have to put drops in my eyes several times a day. I love to travel and it’s so much better now that I don’t have “dry eyes.”

Q. What would you tell someone who is suffering from dry eyes?

Sue: To definitely contact Chesapeake Eye Care and Laser Center to see if they are a candidate for the Lipiflow treatment. The doctors and staff of Chesapeake Eye Care are incredibly professional. I have always been pleased with the service and care that is provided by the staff. It is clear that they care about the patients and provide exceptional service. 

Dr. Edward Trudo is the new Director of our Dry Eye Center of Excellence.

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An Interview with Justin Berk, Meteorologist

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Dec 17, 2014 11:00:00 AM

justin_berk_lasikWhat made you finally take the plunge and have LASIK?

Justin: After years of dealing with poor vision and dealing with contact lenses and glasses, the cost of new contact lenses and solution, I was fed up.  It was a big decision for me to consider having someone work on my eyes, but my eyes were getting more and more irritated, so I was ready for a change.

What was your life like before LASIK?

Justin: Often I had tired or irritated eyes. I had dealt with poor vision since I was a child.  My allergies aggravated my eyes frequently. I was always aware of my eyes when playing with my kids and doing anything outside, like swimming, running, biking, snowboarding, etc. Traveling always included a supply of solution, a spare pair of contact lenses and my glasses that I wore at night or for emergencies.  It was just a nuisance.

What held you back from getting LASIK?

Justin: Plain and simple, I was afraid of someone touching my eyes.

How has LASIK changed your life?

Justin: I can’t believe how well I see already. It’s only been a few weeks and my vision is even better than when I wore my contact lenses. I see 20-15 now.  Wow!  Best of all -- no more glasses or contact lenses for me!

After LASIK, are you more likely to pursue different activities?

Justin: It might take a little while to get adjusted to some things.  I can’t wait to go snowboarding or swimming without the hassle of tearing up or fear of losing a lens. 

What would you tell someone who is considering LASIK?

Justin: Do it! I wish I had gotten LASIK years ago. For real!  If you are considering LASIK, I must give my full endorsement.  Usually, LASIK consultations are free and it’s worth your time to see if you are a candidate.  If it’s fear holding you back, I was there too.   I am so glad I stepped out of that box for a few minutes to change my life.  Having the ability to see without my contacts and glasses is incredibly freeing

Why did you decide to have Dr. Maria Scott do your surgery?

Justin: Dr. Scott was highly recommended. After meeting her, I felt really comfortable. While I was getting the procedure done, I truly felt like I was in the best hands and everything was going to work out great.

A reminder if you've been following along with Justin's journey and are interested in LASIK, check out his Friends of Justin Berk LASIK Promotion.

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Life After LASIK- Part 3

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Nov 24, 2014 11:42:12 AM

justinanddrscottA Whole New World – Better than 20/20 – “I’m seeing 20/15!”

“I could not believe this. After all of the years of avoidance and hours of anxiety, it was a mere matter of minutes that changed my life. I don’t say that lightly. It truly has!”

Note: I am writing this nearly two weeks after my LASIK procedure. We just had one of the coldest November days in a lifetime and I already notice a huge improvement with my vision and my eyes.  The cold air and wind did not make my eyes tear, which is typically what happened to me pre-LASIK. 

Recovery

After my procedure, I was instructed to take a 4 hour nap.  Before I laid down, I had to put drops in my eyes to help with the healing process and tape shields over both eyes so that I would not inadvertently rub my eyes while I slept.  That night, I made it out for dinner.  I could not believe I was up, out and absorbing the world with my new vision. I was eating like normal, blogging/texting on my phone, and even had a few drinks. Maybe that was pushing it, but it really happened. Later that night, Dr. Scott followed up with me to see how I was doing and reminded me to put in my eye drops.

One Day Post-op Check-up

The next morning, I met Dr. Scott for my one day post-op exam. My vision correction before surgery was -4.50, but just one day after surgery I was 20/25 in my right eye and 20/15 in my left. The difference was explained as swelling that would go down over the next few days.  The lights were still a bit bright and hazy, but WOW! This was already amazing, so the thought that it would get even better was crazy!

For the following week, eye drops were prescribed to be taken every few hours, sunglasses to be worn outside, and eye shields to be worn over my eyes during any sleep time for protection.  Best of all -- no more glasses or contact lenses for me!

Highlights

I was shopping in a store, actually stopping in a store and it hit me. I was standing for what must have been a really long time and one of the employees asked if I was OK. I was better than OK. I was in awe consuming everything I could see. I had to stop and soak it all in.  One evening, out of habit I went to my bathroom to remove my lens. Oh! I don’t have them.  I showed off my new super power vision by being able to read things far away that my boys could not see. I really have vision better than a kid.

Keeping it real

My eyes are still healing. They don’t get dry often, but in the morning I notice they sometimes feel dry. I keep my drops on the nightstand and put them in just as I wake up. Within seconds, I am ready to go. In the first few days, I had slight headaches. I have been told that was just my brain getting use to the added stimulation of clear vision.  Those went away after day 3.  Since it gets dark early, night vision is a little different. Lights are still a little hazy, but I have noticed a marked improvement after week one.

One Week Post-op Check-up

Just one week after my LASIK procedure, I almost felt like I never had anything done.  Really, the fear, anxiety, and all else were distant memories. My vision check showed that my right eye had caught up to my left and now BOTH were 20/15!  The haze around the lights was much less noticeable and I was told it would improve each day. 

I could not believe this. After all the years of avoidance and hours of anxiety, it was a mere matter of minutes that changed my life. I don’t say that lightly. It truly has! My vision is amazing! 

If you are considering LASIK surgery, I must give my full endorsement. This is as a friend!  Usually, LASIK consultations are free and it’s worth your time to see if you are a candidate.  If it’s fear holding you back, I was there too.   I am so glad I stepped out of that box for a few minutes to change my life.  Having the ability to see without my contacts and glasses is freeing.  I am excited to see what it will be like on the slopes this year. 

Finding the right surgeon is key.  My experience with Dr. Scott and her entire crew made the whole experience easy.  She is extremely focused on the details and has a track record of success.  As good of a surgeon as she is, Dr. Scott is also a truly caring person.  You should hear how her staff talks about her. Meet her and you will know for sure.  Go through LASIK like I have, and you will see. Wonder Woman? I think so!

Promotion

I am so proud to be able to share this just for YOU!  There was such a positive response online from my mention of this, we have arranged for a ‘Friends of Justin Berk’ special. I am not getting paid for this. I just want to help as many who were in my shoes and endorse a local business.

Get $790 off bi-lateral LASIK! Plus, you can finance the procedure for 24 months interest free AND you can use your FSA or HSA!  Click here for your coupon.  The promotion is good until February 28, 2015.  If you go ahead, please let me know how it goes. I am confident you will be pleased like I and so many others have been.

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My LASIK Experience - Part 2

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Nov 21, 2014 9:00:00 AM

justinberkGit ‘er done!

I don’t know why but Larry the Cable Guy infiltrated my thoughts and title here.  I guess it just seemed like ‘Duh!’  I should have done this long ago.  But as I mentioned before, I grew up having poor vision and experienced frustrating conditions with my eyes. I just accepted it. But my past year of expanded horizons, including my 321 mile trek across Maryland, made me realize that life is too short and I should work through my fears for something that could improve my life. Thus, I considered LASIK and met Dr. Maria Scott, who has built a wonderful practice in Annapolis. As soon as I walked into the practice, I knew it was top notch. Every person on the staff loves working there and was just in such a friendly mood. This had nothing to do with me being a weather guy and giving an inside scoop to this winter. It was just their disposition that made me feel better instantly. 

Disclaimer: This is my LASIK experience and results. They may not be the same for you, so add this to your investigation.

My Evaluation

To be honest, I was hoping I wasn’t a candidate. Dr. Scott has such a good record of success, because she is an experienced, skilled surgeon and will only perform LASIK on qualified candidates.  Her team performs a very thorough series of tests to determine one’s candidacy.  As I mentioned in Part 1, my first evaluation did not confirm my candidacy. Because I had my lenses in the night before, Dr. Scott wanted me to take them out for two weeks to see if my corneas normalized. So I agreed to keep them out for two weeks and would come back for a second appointment. 

I honestly HATE my glasses. It’s not a cosmetic thing. I might look smarter, but it’s just the feel of them. Losing peripheral vision, pinching my nose, being crooked on my face… and since I don’t wear them out much, I have not bought a new pair in over 5 years. But, I made the sacrifice, just to see if it would make a difference and I could be a candidate for LASIK.  After my two week respite, my evaluation showed that my corneas had normalized and I was a candidate. Uh-Oh! Now I have to go through with it. To be honest, I was scared. I did not want anyone invading my eyes, but I was confident in Dr. Scott’s ability and believed LASIK could change my life.

The Day Before LASIK

I took to my social media the day before my surgery to mention what I was doing.  I did not expect to see the overwhelming support for LASIK and especially for Dr. Maria Scott. Go see the Facebook post for yourself. If there was ever an authentic endorsement, the hundreds of comments there did just that. The funny thing is that many people encouraged me to be tired beforehand, so that I would sleep more after the procedure to let my eyes heal.  No problem, I couldn’t sleep much the night before anyway.

Since I live 90 minutes away, I didn’t know how I would be after my LASIK procedure so I booked a hotel room. Besides, I needed to nap for 4 hours (doctors orders) and then have a follow up the next morning.  Regardless of where you live, you cannot drive after your LASIK procedure.  You will need a driver. 

My LASIK Procedure

The morning of my procedure flew by. When I arrived at 10 AM I was scared. It hit me. I am really doing this. Where is that pill???

I met with one of the TLC Laser Eye Center Counselors to review my paperwork.  Then, I had one last check up of my vision to make sure it was the same. Here’s the skinny on the rest:

  • Sticker with my name was placed upside down on my chest. That is so the Doctor can read it correctly from above your head.
  • Sedative took about 20-30 minutes to kick in.  I had the chance to just sit and chat to kill the time.
  • When I was moved to the laser suite, my heart could have jumped out of my chest. The reality hit, I am really doing this.  As they helped me lie down, I felt like a kid on the high dive wanting to climb back down…but it was too late and I wasn’t going to wimp out. After all, I told my boys I was going to do this.
  • Prior to the LASIK procedure, they clean your eyelids and eyelashes.  A series of antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and anesthetic drops were placed in my eyes.
  • I did feel pressure when a ring was place on my eye, but it was less than 20 seconds. I didn’t love that part, but it was totally worth it!
  • Dr. Scott told me I had ‘beautiful flaps’. I asked if she said that to all the guys, but she swore it was just how well the process was going. Truth is, I will NEVER hear that compliment again.
  • Yes, you are awake and conscious during the procedure and Dr. Scott let me know what she was doing and reassured me that I was doing well. 

After the procedure, Dr. Scott walked me to another room to rest for a few minutes. We talked about the procedure and she reminded me to take my drops.  When you schedule your LASIK procedure, the coordinator gives you a schedule for specific eye drops you need after surgery to help with the healing process. 

I was sweating like a beast, but I made it!  Now, I was off with my dark sunglasses to take a long nap.  Stay tuned for Life After LASIK – Part 3 – and our Friends of Justin Berk  - Special LASIK Offer!

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Life Before LASIK - Part 1

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Nov 19, 2014 9:00:00 AM

LastDayinGlassesIn this three part series local, award winning meteorologist Justin Berk shares his journey with LASIK surgery.

 

A life of strain on my eyes 

I was nearly blind and now I can see - in HD. I had LASIK on November 7th, 2014. It was a Friday morning like any other, but it wasn’t. LASIK has already changed my life and I want to share my story in the hopes that it may help others make the decision to have LASIK. Disclaimer: I have a big mouth and if I like something, I want everyone I know to know. I love to share, especially when it’s good. So, here’s my story.

My blurry, strained, and itchy past

I was 10 years old when I was first prescribed glasses. I needed them to see the blackboard, but like many 10 year old boys, I never wore them. By junior high, my eyes had gotten so bad that I had to wear glasses all the time - or at least I was supposed to. My doctor believed I would be in bifocals by my senior year of high school and wanted to try a technique to limit the change in vision. He suggested I wear hard contact lenses in an effort to act as a cast, helping to form and hold the shape of my cornea. Hard Contacts STUNK! They were small, slid down my eye quickly and back up with every blink. It was hard to hold my focus and painful to keep in my eyes.

Sports

In school, I played baseball and ran track. My issue in baseball was at the plate. When I could see the ball, I could crush it! But, all too often in the batter’s box, while trying to focus on the pitcher and the ball, my hard lenses would slide down my eyes. I would either have to blink a lot or lose focus. That’s no excuse a coach wants to hear. Now that I coach my son’s teams, I get that. When I ran track, my eyes were often very irritated from the wind. I would finish a race with tears rolling down my cheeks. They weren’t always tears of joy from victory. Winter is my favorite season and I would do anything to be out in the snow. After sledding or snowboarding, I kid you not, I would sometimes have frozen tears on my eyelashes -- even with goggles.

Gas Permeable Lenses

When I was in college I made the switch to ‘gas perms’. These were a dramatic improvement, but not perfect. They were large lenses that fit better, but I still had tearing and irritation. 

Soft Lenses

When I was 30 years old, I made the move to soft lenses. Because of my astigmatism, I was told my vision would not be as crisp, even with ‘toric’ lenses that can help correct astigmatisms. It didn’t matter, I needed something to change. Soft lenses were a big plus. I even slept in them sometimes. Even more often, I would let my disposables overstay their welcome. I wasn’t the best patient. I still had frequent irritation and just accepted that was the way things would be. 

Deciding to get LASIK

I had become accustomed to having tired eyes. Taking my contacts out at night and putting on my glasses became a normal routine. Since I couldn’t see the clock, I had to wear a digital watch. This was especially important when I had to wake up early to do the weather on TV. Having to deal with my contacts became stressful while doing all kinds of activities with my two sons like swimming, going on amusement park rides, and just horsing around. There was always something that made me think twice about what I was doing because of my eyes and the possibility of losing a contact lens. I just wanted to live in the moment. 

So after years of dealing with poor vision, the effects of contact lenses and glasses, cost of new lenses and solution, I was fed up. It was a big move for me to consider having someone work on my eyes. I was squeamish thinking about it. But honestly, after meeting with Dr. Maria Scott at Chesapeake Care Eye and Laser Center, I felt a lot better about getting LASIK.

Dr. Scott’s warm, reassuring demeanor put me at ease. She answered all of my questions and thoroughly discussed the LASIK procedure. My LASIK consultation was extremely thorough. They took all kinds of measurements and when Dr. Scott looked at the test results, she was uncertain that I was a candidate. She asked me to stay out of my contacts for two weeks to see if my contacts, which I had only taken out the night before my exam, were skewing the results. Upon my second visit to her office two weeks later, I thought for sure I was not going to be a candidate. After another set of exams, Dr. Scott explained that my corneas had normalized and she gave me the thumbs up! I was shocked! I felt excited and nervous at the same time. Now, on to getting LASIK…stay tuned for Part 2.

In the meantime, here is a video I took the two weeks prior to my LASIK procedure:

 

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Charles Nardone Shares his Life-Changing Cataract Surgery Experience

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Sep 16, 2014 10:00:00 AM


CEC_269_Blog_Image-2 An Interview with Charles Nardone, Cataract Patient & Custom Home Builder, Boston, MA

Q. Why did you decide to see Dr. Scott?

Charles: With my line of work and lifestyle, I was willing to travel to have the best cataract surgeon and Dr. Scott came highly recommended.

Q. What made you decide to have cataract surgery?

Charles: I had trouble seeing when I was driving at night. I had trouble reading and could not read the instruments on my boat without glasses.

Q. What was your biggest fear before surgery?

Charles: The unknown of what was going to happen. Could I lose my eyesight or have a problem with the lens? I was also concerned about which type of lens would be best for me and what it would do to my vision. Dr. Scott took the time to discuss my concerns. She thoroughly reviewed my test results and even requested a second test to make sure she had all the information before recommending what lens would be best for my vision and lifestyle.  

Q. What was your life like before cataract surgery?

Charles: Driving at night was an absolute nightmare. The halogen lights created a real problem for me and threw my driving off completely. Reading architectural drawings always required that I had the right pair of glasses. It was frustrating to lose the vision I once had and to rely on my glasses. Trying to see the instruments on my boat was a challenge. I constantly had to alternate between regular glasses and sun glasses.

Q. How has cataract surgery impacted your life?

Charles: It has made it 100 times better-just night and day, really. It has made my life easier. I never have to worry about glasses for driving a car or my boat or reading a set of plans. My vision is so clear. I can see and do whatever I want to. It’s like it was when I was in my 20’s and had 20/20 vision and in fact now at 71, I have 20/20 vision again. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Q. What was your recovery like?

Charles: Fantastic. You have to follow the drop schedule. It’s such a fantastic change. I could see a difference right away. The day after surgery I saw a great improvement and within 3 days my vision was amazing. 

Q. What would you tell someone who is considering cataract surgery?

Charles: If you have trouble seeing or driving at night, or reading due to cataracts, or have an astigmatism like I do, the surgery will make a world of difference. No matter where you live, I highly recommend Dr. Scott. I was incredibly impressed with the way she and her staff handled everything.

The cataract evaluation was the most thorough eye exam I have ever had, and it gave me even more confidence in Dr. Scott. Her professionalism and ability to accurately diagnose my eye problems was outstanding. Her concern, bedside manner and follow-up were unbelievable! Today, you rarely find a doctor who calls you personally the night after surgery to see how you are doing. All the follow up just goes along with the concern Dr. Scott has for the well-being of her patients. I recommend her very highly because she delivers such a positive experience with such a high level of caring and my results were unbelievable.

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LASIK and Astigmatisms

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Sep 10, 2014 9:30:00 AM

6686290_s

A question we often hear from patients interested in LASIK is: "If I have an astigmatism, can I get LASIK?"

Most people with astigmatisms can get LASIK surgery.  Two amazing advancements that make it possible to more accurately and precisely correct astigmatisms, as well as nearsightedness and farsightedness, are Wavefront technology and Iris Registration. 

With Wavefront technology a Wavescan is used to take three-dimensional measurements of your eye and identify any unique imperfections such as lower-order or higher-order aberrations which affect your vision.  Depending on your particular aberrations the surgeon may or may not recommend surgery. 

If LASIK is possible, the information is transferred to the laser.  Adding Iris Registration further increases the accuracy. When you lie down for the procedure, your eyes naturally rotate (Cyclotorsional rotation) and your pupils may migrate.  Iris Registration is an alignment method that maps 40 points on your iris and focuses the laser using these points.  Therefore, if you have any eye movement, the laser is able to rotate with these movements. 

Combining Wavefront technology with Iris Registration allows the surgeon to deliver better results and more customized vision correction than ever before.  When you schedule your LASIK consultation, be sure to inquire if the surgeon offers these latest advancements. 

 

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Say Goodbye to Dry Eyes!

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

May 13, 2014 2:04:00 PM

dry_eyesWouldn’t it be wonderful to fi­nally experience a spring without itching, burning, tearing eyes? If you suffer from chronic dry eye, you had the heat on through this past rough winter, resulting in even drier eyes and more discomfort. Now that we're through with winter, let's find some relief.

A revolutionary technology to treat dry eye, is now available.

LipiFlow®, a revolutionary tech­nology to treat dry eye, is now avail­able. Unlike other treatments, Lipi­Flow addresses the leading cause of chronic dry eye: a blockage in the Meibomian glands resulting in lipid (oil) deficiency in the tear film. The condition of obstructed glands is also known as Meibomian Gland Dys­function (MGD) or Evaporative Dry Eye. When these glands aren’t work­ing properly, there is not enough oil in the tear film and the tears evapo­rate too quickly. The tear film is comprised of three layers: lipid (oil), aqueous (water) and mucin (mucus). An insufficient oil layer can cause tears to evaporate 4-6x faster than normal. This means the tears are not sufficiently lubricating the eyes, re­sulting in discomfort.

The LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System is a leading-edge technology that uses warm heat and pressure to unblock Meibomian glands, allow­ing normal lipid secretion in the tear film to provide comfort and relief to the eye. Prior to the procedure, anes­thetic topical drops are used to give maximum comfort to patients. The LipiFlow eyepiece is then gently placed under the eyelids. The device lightly massages the eyelids while applying warm heat to unblock the glands. This procedure takes less than fifteen minutes and patients ex­perience relief up to 15 months after their first treatment.

To determine if you are a candi­date for LipiFlow, a thorough evalua­tion using state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment is conducted. The LipiV­iew® assessment captures detailed images of your tear film to identify any gland blockage. If the doctor de­termines that blocked glands are the cause of your dry eye condition re­sulting in Evaporative Dry Eye and you are a candidate, you can now be treated with the innovative LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation System.

Make a resolution to experience life comfortably. Don’t let your dry eye symptoms limit your activities this spring. Enjoy the freedom of wearing contact lenses, reading, using an iPad or computer, or driving without the discomfort of dry eyes. Ask your doctor about Lipi­Flow today.

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Protect Your Vision from the Effects of Diabetes

Posted by Dr. Maria Scott

Mar 11, 2014 11:30:00 AM

13967014_sPeople with diabetes have higher blood sugar (glucose) levels, which increases the risk of eye problems such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma.  If you have diabetes, it is important to understand how this condition can affect your vision and to schedule a yearly eye exam with your ophthalmologist, ideally a Retina specialist, who will monitor any changes in your eye health and vision. Early detection is key to preventing vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is a disease resulting from type 1 or 2 diabetes that can damage blood vessels inside the retina, resulting in vision loss. In fact, diabetic retinopathy is a top cause of blindness in adults, according to the National Eye Institute (NEI). There are two forms of diabetic retinopathy: 

Non-proliferative

Non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the milder form of this disease and often does not affect your vision. 

Proliferative

Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the more serious form. It occurs when new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina, often resulting in the sudden onset of floaters due to abnormal vessels bleeding into the vitreous cavity of the eye, and may result in severe vision loss or blindness.  However, according to the NEI, "People with proliferative retinopathy can reduce their risk of blindness by 95 percent with timely treatment and appropriate follow up care."

Macular edema can also cause visual loss in those suffering from diabetes. When fluid leaks into your macula, the part of the eye that enables you to see small details and supplies central vision, the macula can become swollen and blur vision

Cataracts and Glaucoma

Although cataracts are a normal part of aging, people with diabetes are 60 percent more likely to suffer from the condition due to high blood sugar levels, which cause the lens to swell and alter vision, reports Everyday Health. Additionally, diabetics often experience the problem at a younger age and the cataracts worsen faster.

Those with type 2 diabetes are also 40 percent more likely to develop glaucoma, explains Everyday Health, a condition where high pressure inside the eyeball damages optic nerve fibers and can lead to permanent vision loss.

Prevention

Although there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, effective treatments are available including vitrectomy surgery and laser treatment; however, it is, of course, better to prevent the conditions from ever occurring, and there are a few ways you can do this:

Get your eyes examined. You should visit an ophthalmologist for a dilated eye exam at least once a year. This helps to diagnose potential problems caused by any eye health condition. For example, there are often no symptoms accompanying diabetic retinopathy, but your doctor will be able to check for signs of damage in the retina with a dilated eye exam. Early detection also leads to better treatment results. Pregnant women may wish to have an additional eye exam as pregnancy can worsen eye health problems.

Maintain optimal blood sugar levels. This helps to prevent damage in the blood vessels of the retina and therefore lowers your risk of diabetic retinopathy.

Keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels optimal. A healthy diet and regular exercise can help achieve this.

Quit smoking. In addition to all the other health benefits, quitting smoking will reduce your risk of eye disease.

Keep close control of other conditions such as kidney disease, anemia, and obesity. 

Even if you cannot ward off vision problems caused by your diabetes, you can slow the decline with early diagnosis and treatment. Remember, it is important to have a thorough dilated eye exam with a qualified professional to detect any eye health problems or vision loss.

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Topics: Glaucoma

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