Wednesday, October 8, 2014

How the Femtosecond Laser is Improving Cataract Surgery

For people over the age of 40, cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in the world. This clouding of the eye’s natural lens, lying behind the iris and the pupil, affects more than 20 million Americans age 40 and older. Furthermore, over 50% of those 80 and older have cataracts. For some, cataracts can be hard to detect, as humans are able to adapt to them. If left untreated, the cataract can become worse and lead to blindness – which makes surgery and treatment needed. Fortunately, cataracts are very treatable and the femtosecond laser makes the surgery more precise and effective than ever.

Diagnosing Cataracts
Since cataracts are an age-related condition – an estimated 60% of Americans will develop one in their lifetime – it’s important to have eye exams as you age. Symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, sensitivity to light, loss of depth perception, and change of color in the pupil. However, you’ll need an eye doctor to officially diagnose you with cataracts through a comprehensive eye exam. Specialty Eye Institute use a visual activity test with the letter eye chart at various distances, a pupil dilation test, and a tonometry test to measure the fluid pressure within the eye. If a cataract is diagnosed, a determination of what kind of surgery and treatment is needed. This is based on your level of astigmatism. “My goal as a surgeon, when indicated, is to reduce levels of astigmatism,” says Dr. Paul Ernest, founder of Specialty Eye Institute.

The Femtosecond Laser
There are varying options for treating cataracts. Early on, glasses and contact lenses can make do. As cataracts progress and worsen, surgery is needed. Revolutionary technology behind the femtosecond laser has made cataract surgery more precise and effective than ever. “No matter how good the surgeons are at making circular openings by hand, it can’t beat the laser,” says Dr. Ernest. When performing the surgery, a circular opening needs to be made to remove the capsule surrounding the lens for cleaning. The laser is able to make a precise 4.7-millimeter opening. The laser is also able to get inside the lens while the capsule is still intact to break it up into 48 small pieces. This makes the surgeon expend less energy to go and clean out the cataract. Using less energy means less swelling. The patient is better off the more the cataract is pretreated with the laser. Furthermore, the precise accuracy of the femtosecond laser renders superior decreases in astigmatism. The technology behind the laser is similar to what is used in Lasik surgery and its adaption to be used in cataract surgery occurred in 2010. Thanks to this technology, the operation is more precise than ever.

Contact Specialty Eye Institute for more information or to schedule your appointment.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Specialty Eye Institute Doctor Celebrates 5 years of Dedicated Service

Specialty Eye Institute is pleased to announce that Dr. Raphael Addiego is celebrating his 5 year anniversary with the company.  Dr. Addiego, a specialist in retina and diabetic eye care, sees patients in SEI’s Lansing and Battle Creek offices. 

When asked why he became a physician, Addiego said, “My father was a traditional family doctor.  I was inspired by his ability to touch the lives of individual patients and our community as a whole, and hope to live up to his genuine example of kindness and service.  My vision is to make the greatest contribution I can to the quality of vision and lives of others, in providing dedicated service to those I am asked to help.”   

Dr. Addiego is a graduate of Jefferson Medical School at Thomas Jefferson University and is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.  

Specialty Eye Institute offers comprehensive eye care services in 10 locations throughout Michigan and Ohio. Treatments include diseases of the eye, cataracts, corneal disease, glaucoma, dry eye, macular degeneration, diabetic eye care, Blepharoplasty, and laser vision correction. For more information about Specialty Eye Institute, please call (877) 852-8463 or visit

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month - Glaucoma is the 2nd leading cause of blindness worldwide. Glaucoma is known as the silent thief of vision because there are often little or no signs or symptoms of the disease until severe vision loss has occurred. Check out this short video clip for an overview on this disease.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Specialty Eye Institute New Corporate Office Location with Ribbon Cutting

Bart Hawley interviews Drs. Kevin Lavery and Paul Ernest about the decision to move the Specialty Eye Institute Corporate Office to Jackson from Ann Arbor.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Specialty Eye Institute Physician First in Michigan to use iStent Technology

Eye surgeon Kevin Lavery, MD, of Specialty Eye Institute, announced that he is now providing the iStent® Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent as a treatment option to reduce eye pressure for patients with both cataracts and glaucoma. Dr. Lavery is the first surgeon in Michigan to perform surgery using the iStent® technology. This technology will be a great benefit to patients in the Jackson, Battle Creek, and Kalamazoo SEI offices.

The iStent® is FDA-approved for use in conjunction with cataract surgery to reduce eye pressure in adult patients with mild to moderate open-angle glaucoma currently being treated with glaucoma medicine.  In clinical trials, iStent® has been shown to safely reduce eye pressure, which is the primary cause of open-angle glaucoma.  “This is exciting news for people who have both cataract and glaucoma,” says Dr. Lavery.   

The eye drops used to treat glaucoma can be difficult to administer and expensive.  With iStent®, many patients will need less medicine to control their eye pressure and some may not need prescription eye drops at all. “When pressure in the eye is out of control, it can increase the risk of permanent vision loss.  I consider iStent® an important advancement in protecting against vision loss for my glaucoma patients,” adds Dr. Lavery.  

iStent®, is the smallest medical devise ever approved by the FDA, and is placed in a patient’s eye during cataract surgery.  Dr. Lavery went on to say, “It is so small, you are unable to see or feel it after the procedure is done.  Although you won’t even know iStent®, is there, it will be working to help reduce your eye pressure.”  

This iStent® technology is another “first” for Specialty Eye Institute.  In 2011, SEI surgeons were the first in Michigan to obtain the LenSx® laser, the first FDA approved laser for use inside the eye.  LenSx® provides cataracts patients with individualized treatment, as well as a more precise surgical outcome, and improved healing time.  

Specialty Eye Institute offers comprehensive eye care services in 10 locations throughout Michigan and Ohio. Treatments include diseases of the eye, cataracts, corneal disease, glaucoma, dry eye, macular degeneration, diabetic eye care, blepharoplasty, and laser vision correction. For more information about Specialty Eye Institute, or to schedule an appointment, please call 1-877-852-8463 or visit