Cataract

No–Stitch, Self-Sealing Incision Surgery

Dr. Lum was the first doctor in Ventura County to perform No-Stitch cataract surgery. Using this technique, patients can use their eye the same day as their surgery. This surgery commonly takes less than ten minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis.

Ultrasound technology (phacoemulsification or “phaco”) is the best way to remove a cataract. With “phaco” a probe is inserted through a small 1/8” opening created with a specific self-sealing technique. Ultrasound is used to gently break-up the cloudy lens into tiny pieces which are removed through the tip of the “phaco” probe. A special lens is then implanted though this small incision. Today, there are many special lens options available. A conversation with Dr. Lum and his staff will help provide information about lens choices and the benefits provided by each.

Basic or Advanced Cataract Surgery?

Basic cataract surgery corrects vision for one distance using an intraocular lens (IOL) that is known as a monofocal lens implant. For most people this means that after surgery they gain the ability to see distant objects clearly. Reading, bifocal or progressive glasses are still required for good near or intermediate vision and people with astigmatism need corrective lenses to see clearly at any distance. The cost of cataract surgery with a monofocal implant is covered by Medicare and private insurance companies.

For others, however, the need for corrective lenses at any time, whether for reading, shopping, fishing, golfing, knitting or other activities is cumbersome, ineffective, and unattractive and detracts from their quality of life. With today’s advanced cataract treatments, more people are selecting options like premium lens implants where they have the opportunity to customize their vision to meet their own lifestyle need. 

 

Glaucoma

Dr. Lum is a fellowship-trained glaucoma specialist who trained at the prestigious program at Washington University in St. Louis. He continues to provide the latest advancements in glaucoma diagnosis and treatment.

Glaucoma is a group of diseases which can cause blindness. While it is commonly characterized by elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), 30% or more of patients with glaucoma have normal or low IOP.

With early detection and treatment, glaucoma can almost always be controlled and vision preserved. However, most glaucoma cannot be cured and once vision has been lost, it cannot be restored. A combination of eye drops, medication, laser treatment and conventional surgery is used to treat glaucoma. Treatment is concentrated on lowering the pressure inside the eye to prevent damage to the optic nerve.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT)

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) is an advanced type of laser treatment to manage patients with open-angle glaucoma. SLT selectively stimulates or changes only specific pigmented cells to activate increased fluid drainage and reduce intraocular pressure (IOP). SLT results in a biological response that increases aqueous drainage without damaging tissue.

SLT is performed in our office and only takes about 3 minutes for the treatment. Use of the SLT in treating glaucoma may reduce the need for lifelong use of expensive eye drops or other medications. Because there is no damage or scarring from the SLT laser, the SLT may be repeated.

iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass stent accompanying Cataract Surgery

Patients with mild-to-moderate glaucoma and cataracts may benefit from an iStent implant accompanying cataract surgery. The iStent Trabecular Micro-Bypass Stent is the world’s tiniest FDA-approved medical device. For patients with glaucoma, over time the eye’s natural drainage system becomes clogged. iStent creates a permanent opening though the blockage to improve the eye’s natural fluid outflow. By improving the outflow of fluid in the eye, iStent is designed to lower and control the pressure within the eye.


Macular Degeneration

How is macular degeneration treated?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for macular degeneration. However, a healthy lifestyle can be important in reducing the risk of developing AMD. A healthy diet rich in green leafy vegetables and fish, supplemented with vitamins high in specific antioxidants (A, C, E and beta-carotene with zinc), can significantly reduce the risk of advanced AMD and its associated vision loss.

 Laser Treatments:

Laser treatments can seal leaky blood vessels to reduce hemorrhaging and scarring that decrease central vision.

Anti-VEGF Therapy:

Recent research shows the presence of vascular endothelial growth factor type A (VEGF-A) stimulates the growth of blood vessels in patients with wet AMD. The presence of these new abnormal blood vessels impairs vision. New anti-VEGF-A medication regimens, like Lucentis, Macugen and Avastin, inhibit VEGF-A, reduce new vessel growth and result in improved vision.

Low Vision Aids:

People who suffer from macular degeneration are able to compensate for some of their vision loss through the use of low vision aids. May sophisticated magnifying devices, as well as spectacles and hand or stand magnifiers, are available. Bright illumination for reading and other close work can also be helpful.

Corneal Problems

The cornea is the clear front window of the eye. There are 6 distinct layers to the cornea. Many diseases can affect the clarity of the cornea and vision. These diseases can be inherited as well as acquired.

Diagnostic tests can determine the health of the cornea, as well as it's thickness and contour.

Dr. Lum performs many corneal surgeries including corneal transplants (both full thickness and partial thickness).

Dry Eyes

One of the most common nuisance problems of the eye is dryness. The normal eye should be moist and glistening. An eye that is dry is uncomfortable, characterized by a burning sensation and often blurry or watery.

The tear film consists of three distinct components: an oil layer which helps prevent evaporation; an aqueous liquid layer; and a mucus layer which coats the surface of the eye. A problem in any layer of the tear film can cause dry eye symptoms.

Ventura Ophthalmology is a certified Center of Excellence for dry eye diagnosis and treatment. We have the latest  technology to diagnose the cause of your dry eye. The Tear Lab as well as InflammaDry tests are available. We also treat the problem with conventional as well as the latest cutting edge techniques.

Many treatments are available to treat dry eyes, including artificial tear eye drop supplementation, nutritional supplements, Restasis® (cyclosporine), punctual plugs, anti-inflammatory eye drops and the newest treatment, the Pro-Kera amniotic membrane.

NUTRITION: Not All Omega-3s Are the Same

Omega-3 nutritional supplements have been proven to significantly improve eye health and relieve dry eye symptoms. You may already be taking a fish oil from the store, but are you taking the right one?

Supported by significant research and experience, the Dr. Lum have determined certain formulations of omega-3’s can provide the purest, most therapeutically potent omega-3 based nutritional supplements possible. When taken as recommended, they deliver a therapeutic amount of omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Ask about BioTears® in the office.

PROKERA: The only FDA-cleared therapeutic device that both reduces inflammation and promotes healing

Dr. Lum is pleased to offer our patients PROKERA®, a biologic corneal bandage/medical device used by eye doctors around the world to treat eye diseases such as keratitis, recurrent corneal erosion, dry eye syndrome and chemical burns. This unique treatment is safe and effective, and it is comprised of cryopreserved amniotic membrane tissue in a thermoplastic ring set. Amniotic tissue is proven to have natural therapeutic actions to help damaged eye surfaces heal faster. PROKERA insertion occurs in the office and is a coverage procedure with most insurance plans. The biologic corneal bandage is placed on the first eye for about 4 to 7 days; the patient can continue their daily activities and use artificial tears as needed. When the bandage on the first eye is removed, the eye is evaluated and a second eye can be scheduled.
prokera-chart

 

 

Eye Allergies

Allergies are a common ocular complaint, characterized by itching, redness and watering. Ocular allergies are often associated with dry eye syndrome. Ventura county has many sources of allergens. 

Ventura Ophthalmology can test for many common allergens in the southern California area. This allergy testing is usually covered by medical insurance. Once allergens are identified, treatment and avoidance are instituted.

A variety of topical eye drops as well as oral agents are available to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes.

Flashers and Floaters

Floaters

 A floater is a small clump of gel that forms in the vitreous, the clear jelly-like fluid which fills the cavity inside the eye. Floaters may be seen as dots, lines, cobwebs or spiders, and are most often noticed when reading, looking at a plank wall or gazing at a clear sky.

 What causes floater?

While the appearance of floaters may cause concern, floaters are usually a result of the aging process. As we mature, the vitreous gel shrinks and pulls away from the retina. Floaters are especially common in nearsighted people, in people who have suffered eye injuries, and after eye surgery.

 Are floaters ever serious?

Sometimes, the retina may be torn as the vitreous shrinks and pulls away from the retina. A tear through a small blood vessel in the retina may cause bleeding. Clotted blood and vitreous material may appear as a new set of floaters. Retinal tears require immediate medical attention to prevent retinal detachment. If the retina detaches from the back of the eye, partial or total loss of vision may occur.

 How are floaters treated?

Although annoying, floaters are usually not vision threatening and do not require treatment. Often floaters diminish and become less bothersome with time. If a floater appears directly in the line of vision, moving the eye around will often help. However, with a complete eye examination, it can be determined if the floaters are harmless or the beginning of a more serious problem.

In cases where floaters do indicate a more serious condition, lasers can be used to prevent vision loss. This painless treatment can usually be performed as an office procedure and prevents more serious conditions, such as retinal detachment. If you are experiencing floaters you should obtain a complete eye examination.

Flashers

Flashers appear as flashing lights or lightning streaks in the field of vision, though no light is actually flashing. Flashers are similar to the sensation of “seeing stars” when one is hit on the head. Flashers are most often noticed at night or in a dark room.

 What causes flashers?

Flashers are caused by the vitreous gel tugging at the retina. If the gel actually separates from the retina, flashes of light may appear periodically for several weeks. Flashers are usually a result of the aging process and do not indicate a serious vision problem. However, flashers which appear along with a large number of new floaters or with a loss of part of the field of vision may indicate retinal detachment, requiring an immediate eye exam.

Flashes and Migraines?

Flashes can also occur in association with migraine headaches. A migraine is caused by a spasm of blood vessels in the visual information center of the brain. Migraine related flashes distort central vision for ten to twenty minutes and appear a jagged lines or “heat waves” in both eyes.

How are flashers treated?

Unless they represent the symptoms of a more serious condition, flashers do not require treatment. Flashers which are a result of vitreous pulling away from the retina will eventually stop. However, flashers may indicate retinal detachment, which needs immediate medical treatment. If you are experiencing flashers you should obtain a complete dilate eye examination.

Blespharitis & Eyelid Diseases

Blepharitis is a common eye problem which affects the eyelids. There are multiple types of blepharitis, most characterized by redness and irritation of the eyelids as well as dandruff-like deposits on the base of the eyelashes. Usually, simply cleaning the lids and lashes on a daily basis can decrease the buildup of debris.

Blepharitis is often associated with a skin condition called acne rosacea. Untreated blepharitis can lead to eye infections and styes (pimples of the eyelids). Many blepharitis patients also have concomitant dry eye as the eyelids are the source of the oil layer of the tear film.

A consultation with our doctors can help you understand and treat blepharitis.

 

 

 

 

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Ventura Ophthalmology

3088 Telegraph Road
Suite A

805.648.6891

Lum Glaucoma Care Centerof Santa Barbara

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