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One of the highest priorities for any family or individual is protecting the health of themselves and their loved ones. This includes eye health. Whether it’s a routine checkup for a glasses prescription, a new correction procedure or a screening for a more serious eye disease, the health of one’s eyes and vision is important. According to the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, many of the leading causes of blindness can be prevented, and regular screenings and eye exams is the best way to preserve sight. Here are some great choices in the New Orleans area.
   
There has never been a better time to have a cataract. “We’ve seen major advances in IntraOcular Lenses (IOLs) over the last two years,” says Dr. Stephen Brint of Singer-Brint Custom Vision. “With cataract surgery, when we remove the cloudy lens of the eye, whether a little cloudy or very cloudy, we replace it with a new lens, the IOL.”
   
With the new generation of implants available today, improved quality of vision – comparable to that of a 30-year-old – is possible, correcting existing nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism.
   
“Taking it one step further, more than 30 percent of our patients are now choosing one of the three FDA-approved lifestyle IOLs that correct for multiple ranges of vision; distance, intermediate and near.“
   
“While cataract surgery has become extremely successful and easy for the patient, this new generation of IOLs allows us to take it to the next level,” says Brint, “one where patients who have worn glasses all their lives may no longer need them.”
   
While most patients are excellent candidates for these “next” generation lenses, the only way to be certain is a complimentary evaluation offered at Singer-Brint Custom Vision. For more information, or to schedule an evaluation, call Amy at (504) 888-2020.
   
Individuals with glaucoma continue to benefit from great strides in medical and surgical treatment. At Gulf South Eye Associates, John W. Boyle IV M.D. offers an outpatient laser procedure that has helped numerous patients since its arrival in private practices.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is the most up-to-date laser treatment for patients with open-angle glaucoma. SLT uses extremely accurate pulses of low energy laser light to target melanin-containing cells in a network of tiny channels, called the trabecular meshwork. With minimal damage to surrounding cells, the procedure stimulates drainage of fluid in the eye, reducing intra-ocular pressure (IOP) that causes damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision. “It’s about effective pressure control,” says Dr. Boyle. “This procedure is quick, it’s less invasive, and it has far fewer risks or complications than going into the operating room.”
   
The procedure lasts approximately 10 minutes per eye, and SLT has proved to be almost as effective as first-line therapy for the treatment of glaucoma. “This is a great option,” Dr. Boyle says, “for patients who have recently been diagnosed with early glaucoma and don’t want the inconvenience of having to apply eye drops every day.”
   
SLT also is an effective alternative for patients whose conditions don’t respond well to topical medications. Additionally, in more advanced cases, SLT works alongside ongoing glaucoma medication therapy, and can help to postpone the need for more invasive incisional glaucoma surgery.
   
SLT is a safe, office-based procedure that can be repeated with no systematic side effects. For more information about Gulf South Eye Associates, call (504) 454-1000 or visit wwwgulfsoutheye.com.
   
Neil F. Notaroberto M.D. is the retinal specialist of EyeCare 20/20 and assistant professor at the George Washington University Medical Center. Dr. Notaroberto is a fellowship-trained ophthalmologist with expertise in retinal disease and surgery. He is a renowned specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of macular and retinal diseases, such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. His success rate for treatment is above the national average due to custom tailoring of treatments and working closely with other specialists. “By coordinating your health issues with your primary care doctor,” says Dr. Notaroberto, “and understanding that more than 70 percent of all diseases that affect your body can be seen to affect the eye, we can help not only diagnose diseases by analyzing your retina before you have bodily symptoms, but monitor the effects your treatments for those diseases are having on a microvascular level.”
    
Dr. Notaroberto also works extensively with the latest advancements in technology, which are helping punch through old barriers to health and recovery. Technology such as advanced digital imaging equipment helps identify and treat individual needs. “You will see imaging that you rarely have insight to,” Dr. Notaroberto says, “and have it explained to you in detail so you become knowledgeable about your greatest treasures, your vision and body.”
    
Dr. Notaroberto has offices conveniently located in Mandeville, Slidell and Harahan. “My colleagues, staff and myself in office, all want you to have the best vision and overall health possible.”
    
Dr. Notaroberto hosts a live weekly radio show, “Eye on Your Health,” on WGSO 990AM every Saturday at 12:00 noon. He can be reached during business hours at (985) 624-5058, (504) 737-3456 or at www.eyecare2020.org.
   
Faculty in the Department of Ophthalmology at Tulane University School of Medicine are among the most experienced leaders in the field. The team at Tulane has developed some of the most advanced ophthalmology techniques and tools that are now used daily by practitioners around the country to save and restore vision and protect the health of patients’ eyes. In line with their commitment to provide the best possible care, Tulane is about to open the new Tulane Refractive Center, offering the latest cutting edge procedures, including the newest LASIK technology (Intralase), in a safe and comfortable environment. Brand new Wavescan Wavefront™ technology allows ophthalmologists to make an incredibly accurate three-dimensional map of a patient’s eye. The measurements can be used to determine regular (sphero-cylindrical) refractive errors and irregularities (aberrations) that cause decreased or blurry vision. The WaveScan software then uses the information to create a custom-tailored correction map for the unique characteristics of each individual eye, leading to precise treatments for nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
   
In addition to the Wavescan and iLASIK™ technologies, the center offers a full-range of vision correction services, including contact lens and scleral lens fittings for the most difficult cases. In addition to using iLASIK™ for vision correction, Tulane will be the first institution in Louisiana to perform Intralase Enabled Keratoplasty for corneal transplantation. Early experience with this approach suggests this method improves wound healing and potentially reduces the risk of transplant rejection. The Ophthalmology Clinic and the Tulane Refractive Center are both conveniently located downtown at 1415 Tulane Ave. For more information or to make an appointment, call the clinic at (504) 988-5800 and the Tulane Refractive Center at (866) 355-3970.
   
For full-service, family friendly eye care, check out Westside Eye Clinic in Marrero, which has been helping patients with their eye health care needs since 1969. Conveniently located near the West Jefferson Medical Center, the all-inclusive facility has a terrific staff of 13 trained professionals, including two board-certified ophthalmologists, to care for the health and needs of anyone in the family, from infants to elderly. Dr. Suzette Killeen and Dr. Owen Lestwich bring a combined 40 years of experience to the diagnosis and treatment of patients, and they focus on general ophthalmology, including treatments of all eye diseases, refractive errors and cataracts.
    
A state-of-the-art facility, including some of the most advanced technologies available for diagnosis and treatments in private practice, ensure that patients receive the highest care and most accurate customized treatments. Advances such as the new Premium Intraocular Lenses, which accompany cataract surgery, have made extraordinary progress in helping patients regain vision and achieve new levels of independence.
   
In addition to their medical services, Westside Eye Clinic offers a full-service optical shop, where patients can fill prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. A wide selection of name brands and styles helps patients find exactly what they’re looking for, and custom fitting ensures they receive the most problem-free vision possible.
   
For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the clinic at (504) 347-8434 or visit www.westsideeyeclinic.com.

Special Services
   
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, together with its subsidiary, HMO Louisiana, Inc., offers a Vision Discount Program to its members and their covered dependents.
   
These discounted services are value-added features that are part of the company’s commitment to providing its customers with a wide selection of choices to meet their health care needs.
   
Members simply present a valid ID card to one of the optical providers in the discount network to receive significant savings at the point of service. Members can save anywhere from 25 to 40 percent on all eyewear, contact lenses, eye exams and all other services.
   
The Vision Discount Program is part of the company’s Vision, Hearing and Dental discount program. To locate a discount provider, members can visit www.bcbsla.com, then Find A Doctor and search the directory under Discount Dental, Vision and Hearing. A downloadable brochure that explains the program in more detail is also available on the web site.
   
It is important to note that the discount services are not considered contract benefits. Rather, they are part of a special arrangement the company has made with optical providers to offer discounted fees to Blue Cross members. There are no claims forms, no deductibles and no waiting for reimbursement.
   
For more than 20 years, Ann Serio Guntherberg and Golden Vision have been providing New Orleans one-of-a-kind quality optical services, conducted in the convenience of clients’ own homes and offices. With her well-established “optical on wheels” business, Guntherberg, who has more than 30 years of experience as an optician, is a pioneer in the field of mobile optical services. Providing top-quality care and selection, she arrives at a client’s home or office after they have been to visit the ophthalmologist. She then conducts specialized measurements and facial analysis to help design the perfect custom-fit glasses based on clients’ specific prescriptions, needs and preferences. She offers a wide selection of frames, both by style and designer, in every price range. She provides the most advanced lens technology as well, including the new Varlux no-line bifocal lens. In just one week, patients’ glasses are delivered to them, and there is no charge for delivery or additional visits for adjustments or repairs. In addition, Golden Vision’s services are priced very competitively, often saving clients up to 40 percent off of what they normally pay. For further information or to schedule a visit, call Golden Vision at (504) 394-0075.                      n

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