Research Pushes Envelope for Local Vision Health

When the Cincinnati Eye Institute opened their brand new 120,000 square-foot building five years ago, it should have been no surprise that brand new ophthalmologic research and developments would quickly follow.

As the largest ophthalmology practice in the U.S., with more than 45 specialized doctors practicing in 18 locations across the Tristate, CEI has become one of the world’s premier ophthalmic treatment, research and education centers. Their specialties include anterior segment reconstruction, custom cataract surgery, comprehensive ophthalmology, cornea and external disease, glaucoma, LASIK/refractive services, neuro-ophthalmology, ocular oncology, ophthalmic plastic reconstructive surgery, optometric services, orbital and cosmetic surgery, urgent ophthalmology, uveitis, and vitreoretinal disease and surgery.

Furthermore, each of these sub-specialties participates in innovative development and ongoing clinical studies that represent some of the most advanced research being conducted in ophthalmology today.

According to Don Holmes, VP of Marketing and Business Development for CEI, one of these innovative studies deals with cataract surgery.

New Techniques

“As you get older, the parts of your eye can age,” Holmes says. “With cataract surgery, historically, we used to put implants in, but you’d still need a pair of glasses for distance, a pair of glasses to read.”

Now, CEI has become part of an FDA-approved study, which combines two types of implants — toric and multi-focal — that will correct both astigmatism and allow a patient to see long, middle and near distances without the hassle of having to switch between glasses.

Additionally, Dr. Edward Holland, who is internationally known for his research, and is based in the South Loop, Ky. and Blue Ash CEI offices, has been researching the use of stem cells in cornea transplants in patients who have had caustic eye burns. Because many of these individuals are not ideal candidates for cornea transplants, Dr. Holland is researching a way to take stem cells from relatives or family members and use them to replace the front of the patient’s eye.

20/20 Vision

CEI is now also implanting Visian ICLs (intraocular collamer/contact lenses), which are devices for patients that are not LASIK candidates because they either are a high myope or have thin corneas. ICLs are FDA-approved for patients between the ages of 21 and 45, and will result in 20/20 vision.

Finally, CEI doctors have discovered a way to build a cosmetic iris for those who were born with aniridia, a genetic condition that causes someone to be born without an iris, making it difficult and uncomfortable to see in bright light.

“Some people are born without an iris, where there’s no way to keep the light out,” Holmes says. “And kids can feel very awkward with this, because they might have to wear sunglasses and hats all the time. We have a doctor who just had a patient, a little boy, where they mimicked his mother’s iris and sewed it in. Now, he’s fine.”

Yearly Exams Important

Even for those who may not have an eye disorder, getting yearly exams is key to maintaining good eye health.

“Yearly exams to get your eyes checked are very important,” says Ryan Yauger, manager at Wing Eyecare in Florence, Ky. “The main reason for that is that you never know what’s going on with the health of your eye. You could be seeing fine, but there could be something going on and you wouldn’t know unless you came and got it checked.”

In addition to eye exams, glaucoma screenings, retinal photos and visual fields testing, Wing Eyecare has a number of other state-of-the-art devices, including the Optomap, which is a quick and painless screening of the retina. While eye exams generally include a look at the front of the eye to evaluate health and prescription changes, this screening is critical to verify you have a healthy eye.

Wing Eyecare also uses CyberEYES Imaging technology, which takes digital measurements of a patient’s eyes and face, giving a much more reliable measurement of which eyeglasses are needed. CyberEYES is also useful in choosing which eyeglass frames you might want, by showing you a comparison of up to three digital images of you wearing different frames.