Defining Keratoconus and What You Can Do About It

August 25th, 2015

Keratoconus is a progressive disease in which the cornea becomes misshaped (cone like shaped) and overtime decreases quality of vision. Though this disease can be disturbing when first explained, there are many treatments to assist in improving your overall vision. In some cases the vision can be restored if the cornea is strengthened and re-shaped.

Understanding that there are several treatments for this disease today can help you have peace of mind.

Keratoconus is often diagnosed in stages. These stages are determined by the progression of the Keratoconus and will also help the eye care professional determine which treatments are best for you. In years past, the treatment options that were initially discussed with glasses or contact lenses and then as the disease progresses doctors would encourage a cornea transplant. Most patients found the option of Keratoconus disturbing.

Today, there are other procedures that can be performed that preserve and improve vision. These treatments are Holcomb C3-R ®, INTACS, or even CK. Some of these procedures can be done in combination with each other to get a better result, improving your vision and providing better comfort in contacts.

Holcomb C3-R® (cornea collagen crosslinking) is an easy non-invasive treatment. Many describe this treatment as a natural vitamin treatment. A proprietary vitamin solution is instilled in the eyes and then activated by a UV light. The Holcomb C3-R ® only takes about 30 minutes to perform. Over the next 4-6 months the cornea continues to strengthen and stabilize your vision.

INTACS are often used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R® treatment. INTACS are tiny crescent moon-like shaped lenses that are placed in the layer of the cornea to provide support and improve your overall vision. The use of INTACS can improve your vision almost immediately and you can make a full recovery from this procedure within 2-8 weeks.

Below are some symptoms of Keratoconus:

 Double Vision
 Frequent Rubbing of Eyes
 Frequent changes in prescriptions
 Sensitivity to Light
 Ghost images
 Sudden Change in vision
 Halos
 Glares around lights

Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, MD is a renowned eye surgeon specializing in Keratoconus Treatments, and other procedures. He developed alternatives to corneal transplants in 1999. Dr. Brian offers a complimentary record review to determine if these procedures might be right for you. Contact his office to reserve your complimentary records review: 310-594-5210

Watch how Jake’s vision was restored and he avoided the need for a cornea transplant:

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Other Treatment Options for Keratoconus

August 11th, 2015

Dealing with a diagnosis of Keratoconus can be frustrating enough, but determining what treatment options are best and which are available for your stage is even tougher. There are a few types of treatment that may be beneficial to your eyes. In the early stages of Keratoconus often feel a little different than those with a mild astigmatism or nearsightedness. In these early stages, generally glasses and contact lenses help improve the vision in those with mild Keratoconus.

What is so devastating is that many patients do not understand or they are not informed that Keratoconus is a progressive condition, slowly robbing you of your vision. Eventually glasses and contact lenses will not work and then patients are left feeling. Slowly doctors are starting recommend patients seek treatment in the early stages, but sadly patients often are left trying to find out treatments on their own.

Below are some forms of treatment for Keratoconus:

There are several treatment options for Keratoconus. Quite often we struggle with a diagnosis like Keratoconus. In the past a Keratoconus diagnosis meant watching your vision deteriorate and then undergoing a painful cornea transplant. In today’s world there are several new treatments to help those suffering from Keratoconus and avoid a cornea transplant. Below are just a few of the ways Keratoconus is treated today.

INTACS:

INTACS have been successful in improving the vision of those suffering from Keratoconus since 1999. For more than a decade many INTACS procedures have allowed patients to see more clearly and have improved quality of vision and comfort with contact lenses.

INTACS are tiny lenses that are placed in the layers of the cornea to give support to your natural vision. It only takes about 15 minutes per eye to place them and there is little discomfort after the procedure. The INTACS are made of a bio-compatible material that will not break down in the eye and can be easily removed if your prescription needs to be changed or vision improves.

Holcomb C3-R ®:

The Holcomb C3-R ® is a treatment developed to strengthen the fibers of the cornea and stopping the progression of Keratoconus in 2003. The procedure takes about 30 minutes. A proprietary solution made up of Riboflavin and other active ingredients are applied to eyes, then the drops are activated with a special UV light for 30 minutes. Over the next 4-16 weeks the cornea with strengthen and Keratoconus will stabilize.

These two treatment have been extremely useful in the treatment of those with Keratoconus. It has been proven to repair the damage to the cornea and improve the quality of vision for the patient. Overall these modern treatment have improve the prognosis and lives of those diagnosed with Keratoconus.

If you have a recent diagnosis of Keratoconus it doesn’t mean that you will have severe vision loss, in fact many who have Keratoconus have been living full and productive lives with great quality of vision. Ask your eye care professional for more information on the treatment for Keratoconus and seek treatment early to preserve your current vision.

Watch Ian describe the results from Keratoconus treatments on The Doctor’s Daytime Talk Show

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Finding Relief with LipiFlow®

June 2nd, 2015

Dealing with Keratoconus is difficult enough, but dry eyes and Keratoconus is a double trouble. For those who have been struggling with chronic dry eyes, LipiFlow® maybe the answer. Most patients have tried the over the counter “Get the Red Out” drops or artificial tears, and while they do relieve the irritation and symptoms of Dry Eye it is usually just a temporary fix. LipiFlow® allows you to have more permanent relief from your Dry Eye condition. Most patients experience relief after the treatment within a week.

The Procedure

The LipiFlow® treatment takes less than 15 minutes and can be performed in the doctor’s office. Disposable activators are placed on the eye lids to warm and gently massage the Meibomian glands on the eyelids. This loosens and releases oils that were clogging the glands, allowing fresh, clean oils to be excreted in the tear layers and protect the eyes.

There are between 30-40 meibum glands located within the eyelids that release certain amounts of oil into the tear fluid to help lubricate the eyes and stop the tears from evaporating. Sometimes these glands get clogged causing Dry Eye. The purpose of the LipiFlow® treatment is to loosen the blockage in the glands and allow them to release the natural flow of oil again.

Determining if you are a Good Candidate for LipiFlow®

The doctor will look for a few things before determining if you’re a good candidate for the treatment. They will look at your medical history, how long you have experienced chronic Dry Eye, how severe your dry eyes have been, and how the dry eye affected your daily activities. They will also have to determine what type you have before suggesting this treatment.They will also check the number of meibum glands are affected or clogged in the eyelids. Before determining if you are a good candidate all these factors must be taken into account. Over 65% of patients with dry eyes simply lack the proper level of oils within their tear fluid.

Benefits of LipiFlow®

Those with chronic Dry Eye understand the benefits of even the slightest relief from chronic dry eyes. Those who have explored most treatments for Dry Eye who still have little relief would most likely benefit from the LipiFlow® treatment. Below are a few additional benefits to consider.

Benefits:

• Little to no pain or discomfort
• Noninvasive procedure
• Quick procedure with quick results
• Unclogs the glands for more natural flow of lipid
• Can drive self to and from appointment – no need for a driver!

Dorys didn’t know what the cause of her excessive tearing was, and it ended up being Dry Eye!
Watch Dorys explain about her story, and how she finally got relief :

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Vision Safety & Staying Active With Keratoconus

May 26th, 2015

For those who are looking to get active this summer , but struggle with Keratoconus on a daily basis, there are several things you can do to protect your vision from getting worse and a few to stay active.

Keratoconus is a progressive eye condition that changes the shape of your cornea from spherical to cone shaped. This change causes many distortions in your vision. Below are a few tips to help you protect your vision and stay active during the summer months.

Vision Tips & Safety:

Always Wear Sunglasses or Eye Protection When Outside:

This is very important to remember not just in the summer months but all year around. The sun has very harmful rays which not only damage the eyes but can make your eye conditions worse if not protected. Research is showing that UV can increase free radicals which can lead to the cornea collagen breaking down further. It is important to wear sunglass eye wear that covers the sides as well as the front, this will ensure the most protection to your eyes.

Limit the Amount of Time Spent in Direct Sunlight:

If you work outside this may not be a feasible option, however if you don’t have to be in direct sunlight taking breaks throughout the day is a wise option. Some sunlight 20-30 minutes a day provides you the required amount of daily vitamin D, some sunlight is essential to staying healthy but remembering “everything in moderation” is always best.

Pay Attention to your eyes:

This seems like a common sense thing, but we often over look our vision until something goes considerable wrong. If you are noticing that you are squinting more or your contacts are becoming more uncomfortable, make an appointment to see your eye care provider sooner rather than later. If you find your desire to participate in activities is declining due to uncertainty with your vision, make an appointment to see your eye doctor.

It is important to educate ourselves and listen to our bodies when it comes to our health. Often we see the signs but we simply wave it off as being tired, dehydrated, or simply getting old when in fact it can be something much more serious. Don’t overlook signs or symptoms that might suggest your Keratoconus is progressing.

Below are a few signs you should never write off when it comes to your vision care:

• Increased blurred vision
• Frequent squinting
• Sudden eye pain
• Increasing discomfort while wearing contacts
• Increased and Frequent eye rubbing
• Sensitivity to Light
• Decreased night vision

If you see any changes in your vision, you should report it to your eye care professional right away to determine whether you need to be seen.

Watch Dr. Brian’s Summer Eye Health Tips Featured on the News to get yourself ready for an eye safe summer:

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Combining Your Keratoconus Treatments & How this Can Benefit You

May 5th, 2015

For those who have been dealing with Keratoconus, you have probably ran across a lot of information on modern Keratoconus treatments. While there are a lot of treatment options open for this condition the past tells another story. In the past the main treatment besides glasses or contact lenses was a cornea transplant, which was painful and had a long recovery time.

New advanced treatments for Keratoconus have allowed patients to experience improved vision with short and virtually pain-free recovery. The best results for those with Keratoconus are when multiple treatments are combined. Below are a few Keratoconus treatments that can now be combined and are showing great effectiveness for those in need of vision stabilization.

Holcomb C3-R ®

Holcomb C3-R ® has been available since 2003. This procedure helps improve the strength of the weakened cornea fibers. It is a non-invasive procedure that works over 4-16 weeks to improve strengthen the cornea fibers. The Holcomb C3-R ® can be done on the same day as several other treatments like Intacs®, CK, or even PRK.

Intacs®

Intacs® is a procedure in which a tiny crescent shaped lens inserts are placed the layer of the cornea to help improve the shape and decrease the irregular cornea shape. This procedure can be done in combination with the Holcomb C3-R ® providing improvement in your quality of vision. It only takes 7 minutes to complete and it is showing great promise in the treatment of Keratoconus.

CK or Conductive Keratoplasty

CK uses radio frequency to reshape the cornea. This treatment improves the curves of the cornea, which can improve the overall vision. There is little to no pain during the procedure and it only takes around 3 minutes to complete. This treatment can be combined with the Holcomb C3-R ® or Intacs® and can provide improved outcome for reducing high amounts of astigmatism.
Benefits of Combining Treatments:

• Improved Vision Outcomes
• Less Recovery Time – only 1 day of procedures, rather than multiple days
• Faster Results

Watch Kristen Discuss Her Results of Having Holcomb C3-R®, Intacs® and CK Treatments

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Is Your Vision Becoming Worse at Night?

April 21st, 2015

Discover your treatment options
Decreased night vision is a common symptom, without treatment is can be a great hindrance. While you should always have your eyes checked when there is change in your vision, sometimes patients may over look vision changes and chalk it up to the aging process. It is important to not overlook vision changes, especially if your vision is worsening at night.

While you are more susceptible to eye problems as you get older, age is may not be the reason for your vision changes. In fact, those who go untreated can have more severe loss of vision and treatment options may be limited because of a delay in treatment. Early detection of eye conditions can help prevent vision loss.

Below are other signs to report to your eye care professional:

• Frequent prescription changes
• Blurred vision
• Double vision
• Increased sensitivity to Light
• Frequent headaches
• Eye Pain
• Straining/Squinting

There are in fact several conditions that can cause decreased night vision. However the most common cause is a progressive condition called Keratoconus. Keratoconus is a misshapen cornea which causes a distortion in the view of the patient. Over time the cornea bulges into a cone shape instead of a sphere due to the thinning and weakening of the cornea over time.

A Few signs and Symptoms of Keratoconus:
• Frequent prescription changes
• Frequent eye rubbing
• Eye pain
• Blurred/Double Vision
• Straining/Squinting
• Decreased night vision

Keratoconus can be a shocking diagnosis but with early detection and proper treatment you can have your vision preserved. There are several treatment options which have show very positive results in the treatment of Keratoconus including the Holcomb C3-R ®, INTACS, and CK to name a few.
Watch revolutionary Keratoconus night blindness treatment by Dr. Brian featured on The Doctors:

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How Can Keratoconus Affect Your Pitch This Baseball Season?

April 7th, 2015

Baseball season is back in full swing and for those who suffer from Keratoconus this season maybe a struggle for some who have already been diagnosed and some who might not even know they are suffering.

In the past, the diagnosis of Keratoconus had been a difficult one for eye doctors to diagnose. However, in recent years with modern equipment and increased training, more doctors are able to diagnose the condition sooner. The sooner a patient is diagnosed the better the prognosis for Keratoconus treatment and improving vision.

Below you will find some signs & symptoms of Keratoconus:

• Frequent changes in prescriptions
• Frequent eye rubbing
• Frequent squinting
• Blurred/Double Vision
• Poor night vision
• Sensitivity to light
• Halos/glares around lights

Blurred vision can be a problem if you are playing baseball. Your pitch depends on your ability to aim at the plate. Blurred vision can distort your view of the plate and cause you to struggle seeing when aiming for your target. Keratoconus can hinder your depth perception causing you to throw the ball to short or too far over the base when pitching.

In addition, if you are up to bat, blurred vision can cause you to misjudge when to swing your bat.
Your sight is a great treasure and reporting any changes, no matter how minor, to your eye care professional will help you in finding available treatment options.

Watch Tommy Pham of the Cardinals baseball team discuss his experience with Keratoconus treatments:

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A New Frontier for Keratoconus Treatment

February 3rd, 2015

The Holcomb C3-R ® is a procedure that uses a solution made of natural vitamins placed directly on the cornea to improve and strengthen the fibers of the cornea. This treatment helps to stabilize the cornea and slow/halt the progressive nature of this vision deteriorating condition. Full results of the treatment takes between 4 -16 weeks.

In combination with other treatments the Holcomb C3-R ® has the ability to dramatically improve a patient’s vision and improve their lives. In the past, many had to turn to corneal transplants as a treatment for Keratoconus. That procedure was risky, invasive, painful and had a long recovery time.

Now with improvements in technology, treatment options have become non-invasive or at the most minimally invasive. These advanced Keratoconus procedures have shorter than ever recovery time, usually a period of hours or days. Some combinations of treatments can be done the same day with no increases in recovery time.

The Procedure:

During the Holcomb C3-R ® procedure your eyes are numbed with eye drops and a proprietary solution developed by Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler in 2003 is applied to the cornea. Then the patient sits under a carefully calibrated UV light for 30 minutes, this activates the solution. The propriety eye drop solution is made with a natural vitamin called Riboflavin along with other ingredients which encourage the collagen within the cornea to build new crosslinks. These crosslinks is what strengthens the cornea. In some cases, this procedure has the added benefit of providing slight flatting of the cornea shape.

The procedure take about 30 minutes and is performed.

INTACS:

Intacs is often used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R ® to treat all stages of Keratoconus. While the Holcomb C3-R ® slightly changes the shape of the cornea, Intacs are used to help mold the cornea shape more. It uses tiny crescent shape lens inserts to help improve the cornea of the patient. When used in combination with the Holcomb C3-R ® it can improve the patient’s vision.

The Intacs procedure takes around 10 minutes and most patients report that the procedure was easier than a trip to the dentist. Vision of the patient improves almost instantly. Giving them the ability to have a better quality of vision with contacts or glasses.

Symptoms of Keratoconus:

It generally takes a while to be diagnosed with Keratoconus but if you have a family history of this condition or any of the below symptoms you should notify your eye care professional for further testing.

 Frequent changes in prescription
 Frequent eye rubbing
 Double vision
 Eye pain
 Halos or glares around the lights
 Light sensitivity

Dr. Brian discusses the testing used to diagnosed Keratoconus

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Finding the Right Keratoconus Treatment

January 27th, 2015

Keratoconus is a progressive condition that causes the patient to lose their vision slowly over time. Keratoconus causes the sphere shaped cornea to turn cone shaped. This causes the images that a patient sees to become distorted and glasses or contacts often will not help improve vision over time.

In the past many patients have had to wait for their vision to be nearly lost and then a cornea transplant was recommended to replace the damaged one. Until 1999, this was the main treatment for Keratoconus, which was invasive and had a long recovery time. Today Keratoconus treatments are available to slow, stop, and in some cases reverse the damage from Keratoconus.

Today’s Modern Keratoconus Treatments:

Over the past two decade many ophthalmologists have worked hard to find new ways to treat Keratoconus. Several treatments have excellent results in treating this condition. A few are listed below.

The Holcomb C3-R ®:

The Holcomb C3-R ® or Corneal Collagen Crosslinking with Riboflavin is a non-invasive treatment designed to strengthen the corneal fibers to help restore the shop of their cornea. Dr. Brian S. Boxer Wachler developed this treatment in 2003 and has revolutionized Keratoconus management.

The Holcomb C3-R ® is performed in the comfort of Dr. Brian’s office and is comfortable to undergo with recovery in as little as a few hours. Additionally the Holcomb C3-R ® can be performed in combination with other advanced treatments to further enhance and improve vision, procedures such as Intacs.

Intacs:

Intacs are tiny crescent shaped lens inserts that are placed in the layers of the cornea lens to reshape the cornea. It provides the patient with almost instant improved quality of vision and when performed with the Holcomb C3-R ® can benefit patients with moderate to severe Keratoconus.

Intacs can be done within 10 minutes and performed the same day as the Holcomb C3-R ® to reduce the need for repeat procedures dates and extended recovery times.

CK- Conductive Keratoplasty:

CK also known as Conductive Keatoplasty can be combined with both Intacs and the Holcomb C3-R ® to help reshape the cornea. Often used to reduce high levels of astigmatism, it can be effective in the treatment of Keratoconus for further enhancement of vision.

CK uses a radiofrequency probe, which gently helps reshape the cornea. This procedure can also be performed in combination with other treatments in the office. CK has little recovery time and little to no pain.

Advancements in Keratoconus treatments give patient’s peace of mind and relief to know there is another option instead of the dreaded and painful cornea transplant.

Watch Kristen discuss her happiness with Holcomb C3-R ®, Intacs, and CK – 3 years after treatment

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Tips for Family Vision Care This Year

January 20th, 2015

Vision care should be a priority to your family especially if you have a family history of eye problems or conditions like elevated blood pressure, or Diabetes. Several conditions affect the eyes and can lead to severe vision loss or eye care issues.

Be sure to find an eye care professional that you are comfortable speaking with, and that communicates well with you and your family. This will help your family understand your eye care conditions and find the right treatments for your family.

Below are a couple tips to help you:

Discovering Vision Problems in Your Children:

There are several signs of vision problems in children. Knowing what they are and how to spot them is important. If they are having difficulty seeing it will affect every part of their life including social, and academic as well.

Below are some common signs it is time to see the eye doctor:

 Eye Strain – (in children straining to see the television or board at school)
 Blurred Vision
 Double Vision
 Poor night vision
 Frequent Eye rubbing
 Eye Pain

Family History of Eye Conditions:

If you have a family a family history of eye conditions such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Keratoconus, or even Diabetes type 1 or 2 you should go to the eye doctor on a regular basis. Annual eye exams are an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Early detection of eye conditions opens up more options when it comes to treatments.

For more information on symptoms of common eye conditions, or treatment option ask your eye care professionals or visit www.BoxerWachler.com

Dr. Brian’s shares his tip on why eye rubbing can be dangerous to your eye health:

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