Florida Eye Institute Blog

Dr. Karen Todd First to Offer DURYSTA for Glaucoma Patients on Treasure Coast

Dr. Karen Todd of Florida Eye Institute is the first physician on the Treasure Coast to offer DURYSTA, a sustained release implant for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma. The new technology is a boon for patients who have difficulty using daily eyedrops required to treat the potentially blinding disease. Individuals with cognitive issues and caregivers or with underlying medical conditions like Parkinson’s are especially at risk for missed dosing. Open-angle glaucoma, the most common form of the chronic disease, comprises 90% of cases. Fluid builds up in the front of the eye causing increased pressure which ultimately damages the optic nerve, responsible for transmitting images to the brain This type of glaucoma is often painless but can cause severe vision loss and blindness if not treated. The most common therapy for open-angle glaucoma is prostaglandin eye drops. Unfortunately, up to 80% of patients don’t use eye drops as prescribed. Dr. Todd, board-certified ophthalmologist fellowship trained in glaucoma admits, “The biggest hurdles for glaucoma compliance are patients forgetting to use daily eye drops, not getting the drops in correctly, and not being able to afford the drops. The results of poor compliance can be blindness, not something we want to risk!”

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Diabetes and Vision Loss

Annual Eye Exams are Important for Healthy Vision. According to a large study, 45% of those with diabetes already have some form of eye disease.  Yet, 95% of diabetes related vision loss can be prevented with regular eye exams.  “It is extremely important for anyone with diabetes to have an annual eye exam that includes the dilation of their eyes,”  states Dr. Thomas Baudo, board-certified ophthalmologist and fellowship-trained retina specialist with Florida Eye Institute. Since visual symptoms can be one of the first signs of diabetes in many individuals, a dilated eye exam can be a step towards receiving a diagnosis. “It’s just as important for those without a diagnosis of diabetes to have a dilated eye exam as part of their annual wellness routine.” Diabetes affects the entire body through small blood vessels largely concentrated within the extremities, heart, kidneys, and the eyes. Since visual symptoms can be one of the first signs of diabetes in many individuals, a dilated eye exam can be a step towards receiving a diagnosis. “The eyes are full of small vessels that nourish the retina,” Dr. Baudo explains. “When a person’s blood sugars are elevated, one of the first symptoms they experience is

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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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Essential Sight Saving Treatments in the Midst of COVID Crisis

Patients with sight limiting diseases like Macular Degeneration know the importance of regular treatments to preserve existing vision. The most common treatments to slow vision loss from wet macular degeneration are anti-VEGF intravitreal injections. These drugs are considered the first-line treatment for all stages of wet macular degeneration and are typically scheduled every 4-6 weeks to maintain effectiveness. That all changed in the past month with the outbreak of COVID-19. Both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and CDC have advised limited medical office visits to minimize risk and exposure to the novel coronavirus for patients and staff. To accommodate the situation, Florida Eye Institute quickly prioritized procedures to continue providing care for their most vulnerable patient populations. “Continuing to treat vision-threatening illness is our top priority even under these difficult circumstances,” confirms Dr. Thomas Baudo, a fellowship-trained retina ophthalmologist at Florida Eye Institute. Retina specialists are frequently on the front lines of urgent care for sight limiting conditions like macular tears, detachments and macular degeneration. Victor Basile, Administrator for the multi-specialty practice adds, “We instituted policies as soon as the CDC recommendations came out. Whereas normally, we see hundreds of patients a day for glaucoma monitoring, corneal disease, cataract consultations

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NEW! FDA Treatment BEOVU for Wet Macular Degeneration

The Macular Degeneration and Diabetes Center of Florida Eye Institute offers the latest FDA approved Beovu injection for patients with wet macular degeneration. Wet AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss and legal blindness for people over the age of 65. It’s estimated 1.75 million people in the U.S. will be living with wet AMD in 2020. Beovu was approved October 8, 2019 by the Food and Drug Administration and is the newest option to treat the potentially blinding effects of wet macular degeneration affecting nearly 1.75 million Americans over the age of sixty. In clinical trials, patients achieved greater visual gains and fluid reduction with quarterly dosing schedules of Beovu compared to other medications with 4-6-week injection timetables.  “I am excited about this latest advance to treat patients with macular degeneration” says Dr. Thomas Baudo, fellowship trained retina physician and surgeon with Florida Eye Institute in Vero Beach, FL. “Beovu was engineered to deliver a higher concentration of drug binding agents, suppressing the growth of abnormal blood vessels that leak excess fluid into the retina and cause visual distortion. It’s the first FDA approved medication to offer less frequent dosing in the first year while maintaining clinical

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

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

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

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. 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. 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

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It’s National Diabetes Month – Are you at risk for serious eye disease?

Did you know that 95% of diabetes-related vision loss could be prevented with a regular eye exam? Diabetes increases the risk of developing serious eye disease, yet most people do not have sight-saving, annual eye exams, according to a large study. Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in recognizing the importance of eye health this November, observed nationally as Diabetes Awareness Month. One in 10 Americans has diabetes, putting them at heightened risk for visual impairment. Diabetic eye disease is a group of conditions that include 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 found that more than half of patients with the Diabetes skip annual eye exams. They also discovered that patients who smoke – and therefore more likely to have signs of diabetic eye disease – were most likely to neglect to have annual check-ups. Collaborating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers reviewed charts of nearly 2,000 patients age 40 or older with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to see how many had regular eye exams. Their

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Protect yourself from Flu Myths! Florida Eye Institute Hosts Flu Clinics

The CDC confirms that getting vaccinated remains the first and best way to protect against complications of the flu. People over age 65, those with weakened immune systems or in frequent contact with the public are especially vulnerable. An active flu season can mean frequent doctor visits, missed work and even hospitalizations. In order to build peak immunity before flu season hits, the CDC recommends vaccination prior to the end of October. To get a healthy jump on the flu season, Florida Eye Institute will host two Flu Clinics in September for patients, staff and the public. Clinics are scheduled from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Wednesday, September 12th at the Vero Beach location and  10:00 am to Noon, September 19th in Sebastian. The public is invited. In addition to variations of the flu vaccine, pneumonia vaccines will also be available. Vaccinations have little to no out-of-pocket costs and are covered by commercial insurance and Medicare. For more information call 772.569-9500 or visit www.fleye.com. Florida Eye Institute is located at 2750 Indian River Blvd. in Vero Beach and 13397 Us Hwy 1 in Sebastian.

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Make Regular Eye Exams Part of Your Healthy Aging Strategy

According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams. In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, the Florida Eye Institute joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing the importance of having regular eye exams to maintain healthy eyes and vision. Some of the more common age-related eye diseases include age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can help to save sight before vision loss occurs [i]. Ophthalmologists – the physicians that specialize in medical and surgical eye care – recommend a dilated comprehensive eye exam as the best way to prevent these conditions from becoming debilitating. U.S. Adults Do Not Get Eye Exams as Often as Recommended The survey results emphasize a need for more education about the importance of medical eye exams. Findings showed that 64 percent of adults had at least one or more of the following issues with their eyes or vision: difficulty seeing at night; blurry vision; reading up close; flashes

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