A virtual explosion in eye care technology has taken place over the last decade in ophthalmology (themedical science dealing with the anatomy, functions, and diseases of the eye) and optometry (examining the eyes for defects in vision and eye disorders in order to prescribe corrective lenses or other appropriate treatment).
At St. John's Clinic-Eye Specialists, we are uniquely positioned to take advantage of these technologies through our resources and depth of subspecialty trained ophthalmologists and optometrists. In fact, many of our providers are on the forefront in development of the new technologies in use today. Presented here are a few of the revolutionary technological advancements available at St. John's Clinic-Eye Specialists.
The cornea is the clear part of eye in front of the iris and pupil. Treatment of a diseased or damaged cornea is typically done through corneal grafting or corneal transplants (replacing damaged tissue with donated tissue). Advances in microscope technology have enabled surgeons to get a better view of the surgical field during surgery, while advances in materials science have enabled them to use sutures finer than a human hair. Each of these advancements has improved the outcomes of corneal surgery.
Artificial corneal transplants are a newly emerging treatment option. Some patients don't respond favorably to donated corneal tissue but have shown great results working with artificial corneas. St. John's Clinic has been involved in the research and clinical trials of artificial corneas.
Another key player in the success of cornea transplants are eye banks. These organizations are located throughout the world to coordinate the distribution of donated corneas to surgeons, as well as providing eyes for research. Advancements in removal and storage of donated tissue has allowed for improved outcomes. St. John's Clinic works with the Heartland Lions Eye Bank and performs the most cornea transplants in the region.
Exciting research is also currently being fielded with stem cells to grow corneal tissue in the laboratory.
Decreased production of tears from your tear glands or changes in the composition of the tear fluid can cause dry eye. Advancements in artificial tears in recent years have provided relief for many dry eye patients. These new generation artificial tears have been shown to last longer and provide a more natural lubrication.
Nutritional supplements have also been effective in reducing the effects of dry eye. Recent clinical studies have further refined the composition of supplements to improve effectiveness.
Temporary or permanent silicone plugs in the tear ducts is another dry eye treatment option. The plugs help keep tears in your eye from draining away too quickly. A new type of plug is now available that is made of acrylic is a small rod that becomes a soft gel when exposed to your body heat after insertion. It is designed to accommodate to the size of any tear duct canal. Advantages of this type of plug are that one size fits all, so measurement is unnecessary, and nothing protrudes from the tear duct that could potentially cause irritation.Another new kind of plug is made of a hydrogel that expands into a soft, pliable gel in the tear duct. It has no cap, and should it need to be removed, the eye care practitioner can simply flush it out with saline solution.
Glaucoma is the term for optical nerve damage often resulting from increased pressure in the eye. In years past, one of the first glaucoma tests was an uncomfortable puff of air into the eye. Nowadays, this initial test can be done with an applanation tonometer. In this test, an eye drop is placed in your eye to numb it and then the doctor will touch an applanation tonometer to the front of each eye to manually measure the eye's pressure.
Allegretto Wave Laser
St. John's Clinic-Eye Specialists are on the forefront of LASIK technology. The industry leading Allegretto Wave laser is the standard of care for all LASIK patients. Utilizing wavefront-optomized technology, the laser takes into account the unique curvature of each individual's corneal shape, improving visual results and reducing nighttime glare.
The Allegretto Wave also tracks eye movement and makes adjustments 200 times per second. Each laser pulse is automatically checked three times and adjusted if necessary before it is delivered to the cornea. Each pulse is also non-overlapping increasing accuracy and safety.
z-LASIKZ-LASIC is an all laser LASIK procedure performed with the Ziemer FEMTO LDV Femtosecond Surgical Laser in conjunction with the Allegretto Wave excimer laser. This all-laser procedure utilizes the Ziemer laser for creating the flap and the Allegretto Wave laser for personalized laser vision correction. Used together, some of the best, most consistent outcomes have been achieved.
Advancements in cataract surgery have been phenomenal. At one time, only cataract removal to eliminate vision cloudiness was possible. Nowadays, a lens replacement can be performed to improve vision after cataract removal. The ReSTOR artificial lens can address near, far, and even reading distance. Many recipients report not having to wear reading glasses after surgery.