Florida Eye Institute Surgeons Certified in New Hydrus Microstent for Glaucoma

Karen Todd MD, Val Zudans MD, Florida Eye Institute
Karen Todd MD, Val Zudans MD

Florida Eye Institute cataract surgeons Karen Todd, MD and Val Zudans, MD,  have successfully demonstrated the technical knowledge to implant the Hydrus Microstent according to certification by Richard Hope, MD, Vice President of Clinical and Medical Affairs at Ivantis.

Hydrus is the latest FDA approved minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) device used for the treatment of mild to moderate primary open-angle glaucoma in conjunction with cataract surgery.

“The Hydrus Microstent has proven to be a reliable option to reduce dependence on pressure lowering drops for our glaucoma patients,” states Karen Todd, MD, Board Certified Ophthalmologist, fellowship trained in glaucoma.

“We have searched a long time for the right minimally invasive, effective solution for open-angle glaucoma patients. Hydrus provides a convenient way to achieve two extremely positive outcomes with one surgery – removal of cataract and reduction of intra-ocular pressure.”

Dr. Val Zudans, Board Certified Ophthalmologist, cataract and refractive surgeon adds, “We are really impressed with the clinical findings. Recent studies show nearly 78% of Hydrus patients achieved a statistically significant decrease (≥ 20 percent reduction in unmedicated IOP) at 24-months postoperative. This represents the largest improvement over a control group in any MIGS trial to date.”

There are several options available for open-angle glaucoma. Current therapies include prescription eye drops, laser therapy, and surgery. Based on the severity of glaucoma and other health conditions, your ophthalmologist will recommend treatments for your specific needs.

To learn more about the latest developments in cataract surgery, glaucoma, and eye health visit fleye.com. Florida Eye Institute is located at 2750 Indian River Blvd. in Vero Beach and 13397 US Hwy 1 in Sebastian. Contact 772.569-9500 for more information.


Diabetes Awareness Fact – 95% of related vision loss can be prevented with regular exams.

Diabetes can distort healthy vision.

Diabetes can significantly increase your risk of vision loss.  It’s estimated that 45% of individuals with diabetes already have some form of eye disease, yet most do not schedule annual, sight-saving exams according to a large study.

Florida Eye Institute emphasizes the importance of healthy vision this November, nationally recognized as Diabetes Awareness Month.

Learn how diabetes impacts your risk eye disease during an informative seminar presented by Dr. Thomas Baudo, fellowship-trained retina specialist, on Friday November 15 at 1:00 PM.

Diabetic eye disease is a group of conditions that includes retinopathy, diabetic macular edema (DME), cataract, and glaucoma. Fluctuating blood sugar creates fragile, abnormal blood vessels that grow and leak within the eye, distorting vision. Distortions can advance to blindness if left untreated.

Researchers at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia discovered that more than half of those with diabetes skip annual eye exams. Smokers were most likely to neglect check-ups and consequently show signs of diabetic eye disease. Other findings include:

  • Fifty-eight percent of patients did not have regular eye exams
  • Smokers were 20 percent less likelyto have exams
  • Those with moderate disease and no current vision loss were least likely to follow recommendations
  • Those diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy were 30 percent more likely to maintain annual check-ups.

 “The bottom line is – if you have Diabetes get a retina eye exam every year,” confirms Dr. Thomas Baudo, fellowship trained retina specialist with Florida Eye Institute.

“Regular exams often reveal hidden signs of disease that allow us to begin treatment early. Don’t risk vision loss,” he emphasizes. “Ophthalmologists are an important member of your health care team and it costs no more to see a retina specialist than other type of eye care professional.”

Looking for a Good Eye Doctor?

Florida Eye Institute specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetic eye disease as well as advanced procedures for cataract, glaucoma, and corneal conditions.   Comprehensive care is available for the entire family, including designer eyewear and laser vision correction.

To register for upcoming seminars, call 772.500.2020 or visit www.fleye.com.


Florida Eye Institute Hosts “Meet the Doctor” Lunch & Learn Series

All Seminars are FREE and Open to the Public.

Meet the Doctor seminars at  Florida Eye Institute are scheduled Friday November 15th and 22nd. Discover the latest trends in ophthalmology  and learn how advanced options can improve vision like never before.

Lectures begin at 1:00 PM with registration at 12:30 PM. A light lunch will be provided.

Call 772-569-9500 to RSVP as space is limited.

Meet the Doctor Seminars November 2019
Meet the Doctors November Seminars

Florida Eye Institute to Announce Grand Prize Photo Contest Winner at Centennial Finale


My2020Experience WINNER Dennis Ekman- Humiston Park Sunset Reflection

To celebrate 35 years of vision in the community and commemorate the Vero Beach Centennial, Florida Eye Institute devised a year-long photo contest aptly titled My2020Experience.

A special website was created expressly for the contest according to Cindi Green, RN, APR, Director of Marketing and Community Relations for the ophthalmology practice. “Since we’re known for helping people experience their best vision, it was a perfect way to showcase the diversity of our area during this extraordinary year,” she confirms.

“We received outstanding photos of stunning sunsets, vibrant flowers, and people enjoying outdoor activities each month during the contest. It will definitely be a challenge to select the final grand prize winner!”

My2020Experience WINNER Tina Reynolds- Hermit Crab

If you would like to share your vision of Vero Beach, upload photos directly to My2020Experience.com. The Grand Prize winner will be announced at the Centennial Finale on Saturday, October 26, 2019, and awarded $250 cash courtesy of Florida Eye Institute.

“There’s still time to enter so get out there and share your vision of all things Centennial!” confirms Green. More information can be found at My2020Experience.com

Florida Eye Institute specializes in comprehensive eye care including custom cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment, macular degeneration and diabetic eye conditions with offices in Vero Beach and Sebastian.  Visit fleye.com or contact 772.500-2020 for more information.

My2020Experience WINNER Wyatt Hyora -Lifeguard Station

Three Things to Know about Cataracts

cataract simulation flowers in 3 stages of blurred vision
Life out of Focus? Could be Cataracts.

Approximately 25 million Americans have cataracts, which causes cloudy, blurry or dim vision and typically develops with age. Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology this June in observing Cataract Awareness Month with three things you should know about the condition and its treatment.

As we grow older, the lens of the eye thickens and becomes cloudy. Colors may seem dull and street signs more difficult to read. These common symptoms can signal the onset of cataract, which affects 70 percent of people by age 75.

Fortunately, the condition can easily be corrected. Ophthalmologists in the US perform around three million cataract surgeries each year to restore vision. Here are three important facts to know about the onset of cataract and treatment.

  1. Age isn’t the only risk factor for cataracts. Though most everyone will develop cataract with age, recent studies show that lifestyle and behavior can influence the timing and severity of onset. Diabetes, extensive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and certain ethnicities have been linked to increased risk. Eye injuries, prior eye surgery and long-term use of steroid medication can also result in cataracts. If you have any of these or other risk factors, talk to an ophthalmologist.


  1. Cataracts cannot be prevented, but you can lower risk. Wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and brimmed hats can help. Studies also suggest that eating more vitamin C-rich foods may delay how fast cataracts form. Most importantly, avoid smoking cigarettes, which have been shown to increase the risk of cataract development and other diseases.


  1. Surgery may help improve more than just your vision. During the procedure, the natural clouded lens is replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens (IOL). Patients have a variety of options to choose from, each with different benefits. Studies show that cataract surgery improves quality of life and reduces the risk of falling and driving accidents. If your vision has changed, visit your ophthalmologist and ask about the development of cataract.

A life-changing surgery
Henry Bock had dramatic results after surgery at Florida Eye Institute with Dr. Karen Todd. “After having the cataracts removed, it was a whole new world for me”, states Mr. Bock who also had astigmatism correction with the lens he selected. “The results were spectacular, and it was painless. It was just a wonderful experience” he assures anyone who might be hesitant about the procedure.

‘Cataract replacement is life changing” confirms Dr. Val Zudans, who performs dropless cataract surgery at Florida Eye Institute. “Patients have more advanced options than ever to improve vision. We tailor each procedure to the unique needs and interests of the patient. It’s extremely rewarding to see the final results.”

To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website. Get an idea of what you might experience with their cataract vision simulator.

Looking for a good eye doctor?  Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. For more information call 772.500.2020 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content Provided by AAO and Florida Eye Institute


Florida Eye Institute Hosts “Meet the Doctor” Lunch & Learn Series

Meet the Doctor Seminar Series at Florida Eye Institute Poster
Meet the Doctor Seminar Series at Florida Eye Institute

All seminars are free and open to the public.

Meet the Doctor seminar series begins at Florida Eye Institute Friday, February 8th. Discover the latest trends in ophthalmology  and learn how advanced medical-surgical options can improve vision like never before.

  • Friday, Feb. 8, 2019: Macular Degeneration and Your Quality of Life, Dr. Thomas Baudo

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of severe and irreversible vision loss. Dr. Baudo explains the current FDA treatments and the latest AREDs vitamin research.

  • Friday, Feb. 15, 2019: Glaucoma Update 2019, The Amazing Micro IStent, Dr. Karen Todd

Can a tiny stent reduce the need for daily glaucoma eye drops? Dr. Todd discusses the latest micro-surgical options that can be completed during cataract surgery.

Replacing the natural lens of the eye is a critical part of cataract surgery. Dr. Shumake reviews the variety of modern lens replacement options and how to decide what’s right for you.

  • Friday, March 1, 2019: Cataract Surgery State-of-the-Art Update, Dr. Val Zudans

Today’s cataract surgery is easier than ever before. Dr. Zudans presents the latest no-needle, no-drop, no-laser techniques that offer proven results with uncomplicated follow-up.

More than a mere nuisance, floaters can cause blind spots that impair daily function. Dr. Baudo discusses modern answers to this age-old problem using a two-tiered approach.

Lectures begin at 1:00 PM with registration at 12:30 PM. A light lunch will be provided.

Call 772-569-9500 to RSVP as space is limited.


Diabetes Head-to-Toe Symposium Scheduled January 18th

Diabetes Symposium scheduled Friday January 18, 2019
Diabetes Symposium scheduled Friday January 18, 2019

Noted physicians Dr. Thomas Baudo, Retina Ophthalmologist, Dr. Nicholas Rutledge, Podiatrist, and Dr. Deborah Brown, Family Medicine, will be featured speakers during the 6th annual Diabetes Head-to-Toe Symposium scheduled Friday, January 18th at the First Presbyterian Church in Vero Beach.

In addition to specialty physicians, the symposium will also feature a presentation by certified diabetes educator, Colleen Symanski, RN.

Organizers Cindi Green, RN, of Florida Eye Institute, Colleen Symanski, RN, CDE, founder of A Healthier Me®, and Susan Long, RN, MSW, Faith Community Nurse for First Presbyterian Church have coordinated the informative event along with a host of community partners.

“This is our 6th year spearheading the symposium,” says Green, of Florida Eye Institute, “and we’re happy to say that it gets better every year! Attendees gain a better understanding of diabetes from medical experts and come away with real-life tips to stay healthy.”

Colleen Symanski, RN, Certified Diabetes Educator and founder of A Healthier Me, agrees. “The symposium is perfect for those overwhelmed with managing their diabetes. People are amazed with the local resources that are here to help.”

Susan Long, RN, MSW, Faith Community Nurse for First Presbyterian Church adds, “We’re excited to host the diabetes symposium again this year in our state-of-the-art community center. There will be lots of health screenings and information for attendees. And best of all – the event is free!”

Diabetes Head-to-Toe is scheduled Friday, January 18th at First Presbyterian Church in Vero Beach from 8:30 -12:30 PM. Guests are encouraged to register early as space is limited. Call Florida Eye Institute to RSVP 772-569-9500 for more information.

Glaucoma Awareness Month is a Great Time for Eye Exam

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month
January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is a great time to look after your health – and your eyes – during National Glaucoma Awareness Month.

It’s estimated that half of those with Glaucoma do not know they have the disease – that’s over one million people in the US. Glaucoma is characterized by progressive damage to the optic nerve that can cause irreversible damage if not discovered early.

“Glaucoma is a stealth disease that initially causes no symptoms. The slow loss of vision is barely perceptible,” says Karen Todd, MD, Glaucoma Fellowship Ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “Certain factors put you at risk, such as family history and age. But, the only way to definitively discover Glaucoma is with a comprehensive eye exam,” she emphasizes.

There are two major types of glaucoma, Open-Angle, and Closed Angle.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Primary Open-Angle is the most common type of glaucoma. It happens gradually, where the eye does not drain fluid as well as it should (like a clogged drain). As a result, eye pressure builds and starts to damage the optic nerve. Damage can occur even at normal pressures due to sensitivity of the optic nerve. Open-angle glaucoma is painless and causes no vision changes at first.

Closed-Angle glaucoma, or narrow-angle glaucoma, happens when the iris is very close to the drainage angle in their eye. The iris can end up blocking the drainage angle. You can think of it like a piece of paper sliding over a sink drain. When the drainage angle gets completely blocked, eye pressure rises very quickly. This is called an acute attack. It is a true eye emergency, and you should be treated immediately by an ophthalmologist.

Signs of an acute angle-closure glaucoma attack:

  • Vision is suddenly blurry
  • Severe eye painFEI_Glaucoma-Month_2019
  • Headache
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seeing colored rings or halos around lights

Many people with angle-closure glaucoma develop it slowly. This is called chronic angle-closure glaucoma. There are no symptoms at first, so they don’t know they have it until the damage is severe or they have an attack.

Dr. Todd reminds people that “both types of glaucoma can lead to blindness if not treated early. That’s why we encourage all patients to have an annual exam to monitor for signs of the disease, especially if over the age of 60.”

Florida Eye Institute, a multi-specialty ophthalmology center, has offices in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Contact 772.569-9500 or visit www.fleye.com for more information.

Information provided by Florida Eye Institute and American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Celebrate Vero’s Centennial with Your 20/20 Experience Photos

Vero Centennial Photo Contest
Share Your Vision of the Vero Centennial! Enter today.

As Vero Beach turns 100 with a yearlong calendar of events, a well-known local medical practice is also on the cusp of a major anniversary in the year 2020.

To commemorate Vero’s centennial and celebrate 35 years of vision within the community, Florida Eye Institute has unveiled a photo contest called My2020ExperienceSM.

 “We’re known for helping people experience their very best vision, “states Cindi Green, RN, APR, Director of Marketing & Community Relations for Florida Eye Institute. “A photo contest seemed the perfect way to support the Centennial while sharing our community’s vision of this special celebration of Vero Beach. We encourage everyone to share all that they see during the entire yearlong celebration.”

A special website, My2020Experince.com, was crafted expressly for the contest. Entries are divided into months to coincide with the series of yearlong activities. “Direct links to the Vero Beach 100 Calendar of Events are highlighted throughout our site to help people plan their activities and see all there is to experience during this awesome year,” continues Green. “Visit My2020Experience.com and share your vision of all things Centennial!”

The public can upload their digital photos directly to the site.  A winning photo will be selected each month. Winners will receive a gift card valued at $50.

At the conclusion of Vero’s yearlong Centennial Celebration in October 2019 a Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the winning monthly entries. Grand Prize will be $250 cash.

More information can be found at My2020Experience.com

Florida Eye Institute has offices in Vero Beach and Sebastian. The multi-specialty ophthalmology center offers advanced eye care from custom cataract surgery and bladeless laser vision correction to the treatment of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye conditions. Visit fleye.com or contact Cindi Green at 772.569-9500 Ext. 134 for more information.

“Timmy, that’ll shoot your eye out!!” Five Tips to Avoid Toy Related Eye Injuries

Santa recommends safe toys for Christmas!

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology to remind you of important safety guidelines when choosing the perfect gift children. Recent studies show that many popular toys are commonly associated with childhood eye injuries including air guns, toys that shoot projectiles, high-powered lasers, and sports equipment.

Ophthalmologists – physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – encourage parents to follow these tips when shopping this holiday season.

  1. Beware of airsoft, BB guns, and other projectile toys. Every year ophthalmologists treat thousands of devastating eye injuries caused by toys. Avoid items with sharp, protruding or projectile parts such as airsoft guns, BB guns, and other gun–related foreign objects can easily propel into the sensitive tissue of the eye.
  2. Never allow children to play with high-powered laser pointers. A number of recent reports in the United States and internationally show that children have sustained serious eye injuries playing with high-powered lasers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts). Over the years, these lasers have become increasingly more powerful, with enough potential to cause severe retinal damage with just seconds of laser exposure to the eye. The FDA advises the public to never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone and to not buy laser pointers for children.
  3. Read labels for age recommendations before you buy. To select appropriate gifts suited for a child’s age, follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use, and supervision.
  4. Don’t just give presents. Make sure to be present. Always make sure an adult is supervising when children are playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.
  5. Know what to do (and what not to). If someone you know experiences an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. Make sure to never touch, rub, apply pressure, or attempt to remove objects in the eye. If an eye injury occurs, follow these important care and treatment guidelines.

“Even though we often kid around about “poking your eye out” with certain toys, injuries to children during the holidays are no laughing matter,” states Dr. Wilson Wallace, board-certified ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. “It’s easy to get distracted during this busy time of year and we forget how quickly inquisitive kids can get injured playing with certain toys. Remember these basic tips to keep your little ones healthy. And if accidents do happen, seek help right away.”

For more information on toy safety, see the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s toy safety page or watch the toy safety video.

Florida Eye Institute has locations in Vero Beach and Sebastian. Appointments are appropriate for all ages including children. Medicare and most insurance are accepted. For more information call 772.569.9500 or visit www.fleye.com.

Content courtesy of AAO and Florida Eye Institute