Florida Eye Institute Blog

Erica Magana Achieves Advanced COT Certification

Florida Eye Institute is pleased to announce that Erica Magana has earned advanced designation as a Certified Ophthalmic Technician by the Joint Commission on Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology (JCAHPO). Certified Ophthalmic Technician (COT) is a second core designation level that advances an individual from Certified Ophthalmic Assistant (COA) after completing a requisite number of clock hours, passing a rigorous exam, and successfully demonstrating critical assessment skills. The COT examination is given in two parts: a multiple-choice examination consisting of 190 scored questions which is three hours in length and a skill evaluation consisting of seven skills areas which is two hours in length. Magana also holds certification as an Ophthalmic Surgical Assistant (OSA). Achievement of the OSA sub-specialty exemplifies knowledge in the procedures and instrumentation necessary to assist in ophthalmic surgical suites. Magana is the team leader for Dr. Val Zudans in the Cataract Center and has been employed with Florida Eye Institute for over 15 years. Dr. Zudans, Board Certified Ophthalmologist, specializes in no- needle, no-stitch, no-drop cataract surgery, and advanced replacement lenses to help patients eliminate the need for glasses. “We are extremely proud of Erica for completing advanced certification as COT,” states Dr. Zudans. “Florida Eye

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Life a Blur? 5 Things to Know About Cataracts

If life has been a blur lately, it might be more than just the crazy times we live in. You may be developing cataracts. Cataracts often cause cloudy, blurred vision, sensitivity to glare, and trouble driving at night. The good news is research shows cataract surgery greatly improves quality of life, reducing the risk of falls and car accidents. As we grow older, the lens of our eye thickens and becomes cloudy. Eventually, we find it difficult to read street signs or see clearly in low light conditions. Colors may seem dull. All these symptoms may signal cataracts, which affect about 70 percent of people by age 75. If you have any of these or other risk factors, talk to an ophthalmologist. Age isn’t the only risk factor for cataracts. Though most everyone will develop cataracts with age, recent studies show that lifestyle and behavior can influence when and how severely you develop cataracts. Diabetes, extensive exposure to sunlight, smoking, obesity, high blood pressure, and certain ethnicities have all been linked to increased risk of cataracts. 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

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Florida Eye Institute Safely Resumes Cataract and ‘Elective’ Surgery

Have you wondered why some surgeries are considered “elective” and why your cataract surgery may have been canceled during the COVID shutdown? According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, ‘elective’ does not necessarily mean ‘optional’.  Elective surgery simply means the procedure can be scheduled in advance. In the case of cataract surgery, that often means when cataract interferes with daily activities like driving, recreation, and work. But delaying cataract surgery may greatly impact patient safety. Studies show an increased risk of car accidents and hip fractures when appropriate cataract surgery is delayed. Recently, elective surgeries were canceled or postponed in Florida due to the Coronavirus pandemic to safeguard patients and to reduce the use of PPE (personal protective equipment) for medical professionals. Postponing scheduled outpatient procedures helped keep PPE available for those professionals working in front line response to COVID-19. The Executive order to resume all procedures in Florida was approved for May 4, 2020. In the coming weeks and months, you will find that additional safety precautions are implemented to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus including temperature checks, facial coverings, and social distancing in most public settings. If you are ready to reschedule your cataract surgery call (772) 500-2020

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The New Normal for Patient Safety in Eye Care

Eye care and cataract surgery have always been considered safe. In fact, of all out-patient procedures performed in the United States today, cataract surgery remains one of the safest and most frequently performed. A recent study of 200,000 Medicare beneficiaries confirmed that 99.5 percent experienced no severe postoperative complications after cataract surgery. But you may wonder how the current COVID reality changes safety considerations for those seeking eye care and surgery, especially as restrictions on out-patient surgery and medical office visits are lifted throughout the state. Florida Eye Institute is actively implementing current recommendations from the  CDC and the Florida Department of Health as our offices resume full services. Victor Basile, Administrator confirms, “This extraordinary time has fortified our mission to serve all patients, community, and staff with the utmost concern for excellence and safety. We’ve been working nonstop to update our protocols based on the latest advisories from medical experts.” During your next visit, you will notice several new procedures to ensure everyone’s safety and wellbeing. temperature checks for patients and staff entering the facility reduced waiting room capacity for social distancing enhanced cleaning procedures masks for employees in patient care areas patients are asked to wear their own

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Florida Eye Institute Surgeons Certified in New Hydrus Microstent for Glaucoma

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

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Three Things to Know about 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. 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,

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Can Sunglasses Protect Your Eyes from Serious Damage?

Summer is in full swing. Days are longer, the sun hotter, and the threat of eye damage from ultraviolet exposure is stronger greater than ever. Florida Eye Institute, along with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, warn that excessive sun exposure can put you at risk for serious short-term and long-term problems. Especially in Florida, this is true for young and old, all year-round. To bring attention to this important eye health matter, ophthalmologists — physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care — are sharing information on how to keep eyes safe from sun damage. There is no doubt about the consequences of not protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. If eyes are exposed to strong sunlight for too long without proper protection, UV rays can burn the cornea and cause temporary blindness in a matter of hours. Long-term sun exposure is linked to more serious eye disease, such as cataract, eye cancer and growths on or near the eye. A lifetime of exposure also likely increases progression of age-related macular degeneration, a condition that can cause blindness. Prevention is simple. Wear sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation. But how do you know if your sunglasses are up to the task of protecting

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June is Cataract Awareness Month. Are You at Risk?

Living with cataract can be compared to looking at life through a dirty window. The condition clouds the eye’s natural lens, causing changes in vision. Sensitivity to glare, dulled color perception, increased nearsightedness and frequent changes to eyeglass prescriptions are common with the onset of cataract. But, cataracts not only makes life less vibrant, they can dull the visual cues used to prevent personal injury. Studies show untreated cataract increases the risk of accidents for older adults – up to 75% in some cases. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found automobile drivers who delayed the needed eye procedure were twice as likely to be involved in a car crash than those who opted to have treatment when medically appropriate. Timely cataract replacement not only lowers the risk of auto accident, it can reduce the risk of damaging hip fracture. An analysis of Medicare patients showed an astonishing 16% decrease in hip fractures after cataract surgery. Cataract is largely considered a condition of aging, with nearly 23 million Americans showing evidence of the disease. Most individuals will develop cataract by age 80. Treatment involves removal of the clouded natural lens and replacing it with an intraocular

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June is Cataract Awareness Month

Better Vision Means Better Health Did you know untreated eye disease, including cataracts, can adversely affect your health? Sometimes to devastating effect. Studies show a high correlation between auto accidents and untreated cataracts – as much as 75% – compared to those who seek appropriate and timely treatment. Additionally, those over age 65 experience a 16% lower risk of hip fracture after the sight-saving surgery. It’s estimated more than 22 million Americans live with cataracts and over half of all Americans will develop the condition by age 80. Although cataract is the leading cause of blindness throughout the world, it is considered a conquered disease in the United States due to widely available treatment. However, cataract still accounts for significant vision impairment in the US, especially for those with difficulty accessing care due to cost, availability or other health barriers. Treatment of cataract involves removal of the clouded natural lens of the eye, replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant. Cataract removal is the most common procedure performed in the US with more than a million surgeries conducted annually. In observance of Cataract Awareness Month, Florida Eye Institute will host Free Vision Screenings in June. Hours are 9:00 am – 11:00

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Dr Zudans head shot he performs cataract
Cataract

Local Surgeon Among First to Use New Intraocular Lens for Cataract Patients With and Without Presbyopia

High Level of Freedom from Glasses Vero Beach, FL – June 9, 2005 – A revolutionary advance in cataract surgery will be introduced this month by Val Zudans, M.D. of the Florida Eye Institute in Vero Beach. AcrySof ReSTOR® IOL is the first and only apodized diffractive intraocular lens (IOL) for cataract patients with and without presbyopia. The AcrySof ReSTOR IOL, from Alcon, Inc., provides patients with a full range of quality vision (near, intermediate and distance), and greatly reduces reliance on glasses. In clinical trials, 80 percent of patients reported never wearing reading glasses or bifocals following bilateral cataract surgery. The vast majority of patients who undergo cataract surgery today receive monofocal lenses, which typically require them to use reading glasses or bifocals for near vision following surgery. “With the new AcrySof ReSTOR IOL, patients have the potential to reduce their reliance on glasses,” said Dr. Zudans. “This new lens is a breakthrough in cataract surgery that we are proud to offer our patients.” AcrySof ReSTOR is a foldable IOL and represents breakthrough technology because of its unique, patented optic design, which allows patients to experience the highest level of freedom from glasses ever achieved in IOL clinical trials. The

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