Monday, November 29, 2010

Flex Spending Account for LASIK

Now is the time to be sure you use the money in your Flexible Health Spending Account especially if your plan specifies that you forfeit what you don't spend by the end of the year. So, if you have been considering LASIK, this could be the perfect time to call Koby Karp at (502)897-1604 to make an appointment for a free LASIK evaluation.

New restrictions on Flexible Health Spending Accounts will take effect Jan. 1

If you don't have a Flexible Health Spending Account and you have considered having LASIK, now would be a good time to check with your employer or your bank about setting an account for next year.

Flexible Health Spending Accounts allow you to use pretax dollars to pay for dental and medical expenses that aren't covered by insurance. They're funded by deductions from your paycheck, and you must decide when you enroll in your plan how much you want to contribute during the year.

Remember, you can use money from your Flex Account to pay for co-payments, co-insurance and deductibles, along with a long list of other expenses, including elective surgery such as LASIK.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Maui Jim in Louisville

Yes you can buy Maui Jim sunglasses in Louisville! You've heard about them and now we have them available in our Optical Department at Koby Karp in both prescription and non-prescription lenses.

Slip on a pair of Maui Jims and the difference is striking. Instantly, your surroundings are more vibrant. Saturated with brilliance. Patented and color-infused, the PolarizedPlus®2 lens technology gives you a window on a world of color you didn’t know existed.

With Maui Jim®, you’re wearing the best — and we’ll help keep them that way. Maui Jim offers free replacement on temples, screws and nose pads for the life of your sunglasses, as long as the parts are available. Other repairs are available for a low cost, and all with a speedy turnaround of about a week (not including shipping time).

We want you to be happy with your new Maui Jims, so if they don’t fit just right, bring them back to us within 30 days of purchase for a full refund. And we offer free shipping and returns on orders of $100 or more!

Stop by our Optical Department and see the Maui Jim difference for yourself.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Vision Insurance FAQ's

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about vision insurance.

1. What medical plans do you accept?

We are providers for Medicare, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Humana, Aetna Cigna, Tricare Encore, Multi Plans, Private Health Care Systems, Preferred Health, Kentucky Medicaid, GreatWest, Coventry/First Health, Bluegrass Family, PPO Next, CHA, KY Access, Prime Health, Med Advant, Direct America and Provider Net.

2. Can I use my medical insurance for an eye exam?

If you have a medical diagnosis such as cataracts or glaucoma, etc, we can file a medical claim.

3. What vision plans do you accept?

We are providers for VSP, VCP, Avesis, Alcon Davis, GE Davis Out-of-Network, SVS with referral, Adenta Discount, most EyeMed Plans and Coast to Coast Discount.

4. How do I know if I have Vision Coverage?

First, check your health card to see if vision is listed on your card. You can also call your insurance company and ask if you have vision coverage. If you have coverage, you need to know if your vision plan is administered by your medical insurance or if you have a vision rider. If you have a vision rider, we will need to know the plan name.

5. What if I think I have a medical problem?

We file insurance according to your chief complaint. If you are having a problem with your eyes, make sure you mention this during your exam.

Please feel free to contact our Insurance Department for if you have other questions (502) 896-2064

Monday, October 4, 2010

Louisville Eyewear

We have recently renamed our newly redesigned optical department the "Optical Education Center" because we want it to be a place where you can learn about exciting innovations in eyewear that can greatly improve your visual experience.
New advances in lens technology now allow patients who used to wear thicker lenses to enjoy the lightest, thinnest lenses in the world. These new, recently developed, ultra high index lenses are even more flattering and more comfortable than ever before.
Discover the newest lens coatings that are the absolute best for reducing glare, resisting scratching, eliminating indirect reflection from water or snow and protecting from ultraviolet light.
You will also discover that the recent improvements in no-line, multifocal lenses provide the nearest to natural vision by creating a sense of constant clarity at all viewing distances.
Come in and let us explain all of the new options you now have for maximizing your eyewear so you will see the best you can see.

Friday, August 20, 2010

What are the causes of dry eyes?

Problematic dry eyes are one of the most common problems reported to eye doctors. Dry eyes result from either a decrease in the amount of tear production, or the quality or composition of the tears produced.

Common causes may include advancing age, allergies, poor diet, heating/colling environmental circumstances, hormonal changes, health status such as diabetes, arthritis, lupus, thyroid dysfunction, chemotherapy or radiation treatments and acne, rosacea, contact lens use, computer use, and patients that have a history of LASIK surgery.

In addition certain medications can contribute to dry eye symptoms such as antidepressants, antihistamines, decongestants, acne treatments, diuretics and some blood pressure medications.

Common symptoms of dry eyes may include blurred or variable vision, sensitivity to light, dryness, burning, stinging, gritty or foreign body sensations. Occasionally, the dry eye patient may experience a paradoxical excess or "reflex" tearing caused by the underlying eye surface irritation.

Treatment of this condition may include artificial tears, gels and/or lubricating ointments at bedtime, daily eyelid hygiene scrub procedures, a prescribed medication regimen, omega-3 nutritional supplements (fish and flaxseed oil), and punctal (tear drainage) occlusion of the eyelid to retain moisture.

As you can see the causes and possible treatments are complex. Your eye doctor can formulate and individual treatment plan for you based on severity and known causes. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Wear sunglasses outside to reduce aggravating glare and block the drying wind effect
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and fluids
  • Bedroom - add a humidifier, turn off fans!
  • Aim vents in cars away from your face
  • Take frequent "blink breaks" when using a computer
  • If taking hormone replacement therapy be sure your doctor knows about your tear problem

Use over-the-counter lubricants such as SYSTANE ULTRA Lubricant Eye drops as needed for extra relief
  • Supplements such as flaxseed oil and omega-3 could provide extra benefits
  • Avoid excessive caffeine
  • Smoking aggravates this problem
  • Environmental factors can add to your discomfort (smoke, fumes, dust)
  • Airline travel can increase symptoms
  • Taking antihistamines for allergy can increase symptoms

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How Our Electronic Medical Records Help You

Although the advantages to using electronic medical records (EMR) are numerous to our doctors staff, there are also many positive benefits for you, our patient, as well.

Since our receptionists have your medical records at their fingertips when you call, we get an instant view of your insurance information, which one of the doctors you see, when you were last seen in our office and much more. This also eliminates filling out registration forms and personal medical history. We have a complete list of your medications, surgeries, referring physician and other pertinent information needed to provide you excellent patient care.

During the course of your examination, the doctor and his assistant are able to document every level of the exam in order to expedite a clean and prompt insurance claim. He is able to review and compare diagnostic tests and give the results to you immediately. We can instantly send a glasses prescription to our Optical department so that our opticians can help you with frame and lens selection. We are now able to send prescriptions for medications directly to the pharmacy so that your order will be ready for you when you arrive.

A letter to your primary or secondary care physician is ready to be sent sometimes before you leave the office, allowing for up to date and consistent communications between all your health care providers.

All of us are very pleased with our EMR system, and as the administrator of Doctors Eye Institute, I am very impressed with our staff’s ease and enthusiasm in implementing and using the system from day one – even the doctors. I’m certain that we will continue to upgrade and change (Medicare is requiring EMR and Electronic prescribing in all medical offices by 2012). Our goal is to care for you in the most effective and satisfying manner and we feel that our efforts to computerize our office will help us achieve this goal.

- Dorothy Jett, Practice Administrator, COE

Things You May Not Know About Eye Exams

During routine eye exams we sometimes find some surprises in patients who have indicated no symptoms. The most common surprise is the detection of glaucoma. Since it can cause vision loss if not detected and treated early, we make sure to look for this during each exam.

Since the eye is the only place in the body where we can literally see blood vessels, we can usually tell if someone has had high blood pressure for long periods of time. Occasionally the patient will report no blood pressure problems. We advise them to double check with their primary care doctor, just to make sure.

As much as most people dislike being dilated, it truly does give doctor the best view available of your peripheral retina. While some practices take a photograph instead of dilating, I would rather see the retina with my own eyes rather than interpret a picture. A careful peripheral dilated exam, can reveal retinal holes, tears, and hemorrhaging. All of these problems are referred to a retinal specialist and often require minor surgery. When problems are caught early they can be stopped before there is a need for major surgery.

Furthermore, when the eye is dilated it is easy to see small hemorrhages associated with diabetes even though the patient has no symptoms.

Eye exams have even detected things like thyroid problems, Multiple Sclerosis and Myasthenia Gravis, a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease leading to fluctuating degrees of muscle weakness and fatiguability.

A comprehensive eye exam is important to securing your best vision health. If it's been a while, give us a call and set up an appointment today.

Christopher Stroud, O.D.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Why you Should Choose Premium IOL's

Cataract Surgery is the most common of all surgeries performed around the world. It consists of the removal of the human natural eye lens which has become cloudy (cataract). The surgeon then places an artificial lens in the eye (intraocular implant) which corrects the optical system following the cataract removal. The cataract develops in the eye of every person with the normal aging process.

In the past, implant choices for cataract patients were very limited and only so-called "regular" or monofocal implants were available. These types of implants, while significantly improving quality of vision after cataract surgery, would not eliminate the dependence on glasses. So, the majority of patients following cataract surgery with regular implants would need glasses for near visual tasks, such as reading and computer use.

One of the most exciting technical developments in eye surgery in recent years was an introduction of "premium" or multifocal lens implants. These implants allow patients to become independent from glasses. In fact, patients who have undergone cataract surgery with placement of premium lens implants report being independent of glasses more than 90 percent of the time.

While with normal aging all of us will need to wear glasses to help our near vision, distance vision or both, there is now a unique opportunity to be independent of glassses following implantation of the premium intraocular lens. It is important to note, however, that not all patients are good candidates for a premium implant. Therefore, I recommend that patients who have cataracts discuss with their eye surgeon in advance of surgery the possibility of using a premium intraocular implant. Submitted by Dr. Albert Smolyar, M.D.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dr. Hoffman on Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus is the medical condition characterized by abnormal metabolism of blood glucose, a form of sugar in the bloodstream. Long term high levels of blood glucose will damage blood vessels and nerves throughout the body. The eye can be affected in various ways by Diabetes. In the course of Diabetes, people may notice fluctuations in their vision. The crystalline lens in the eye can swell with sugars causing temporary changes in eyeglass measurements. Recurring swelling of the lens can lead to opacity of this lens, called cataract, leading to blurred vision and glare. Certain kinds of glaucoma and corneal disorders can also be associated with Diabetes. Refraction measurement for glasses, intraocular pressure and microscopic exam by your physician during your comprehensive examination can uncover these things. We do sometimes discover Diabetes during eye exams in patients who don't know they have it.

Over a period of years, blood vessels in the retina can be damaged by high blood glucose. This is called Diabetic Retinopathy. The retina is the critical nerve tissue along the rear inside wall of the eye. It functions like film in a camera, converting a focused image into nerve signals for the brain to understand. It is a very important structure for vision and it receives a massive amount of blood flow, considering its very small size. Not surprisingly, damage to these retina surface blood vessels can have devastating consequences vision. With Diabetes, blood vessel walls become weakened and leaky. This leads to swelling of the retina, scattered areas of bleeding where vessels burst and overall reduced blood flow. New blood vessels which are even leakier tend to break easily grow throughout and can do severe damage to eye structures. Untreated this can lead to loss of useful vision or blindness.

Fortunately, early treatment can be quite successful at slowing or stopping these processes. At Doctors Eye Institute, we recommend yearly comprehensive examinations with dilated retina examination in all patients with Diabetes. Laser procedures and medicine injections, retina surgery, cataract procedures and glaucoma treatments can all be employed to help patients with Diabetes. Early intervention is important, often before there are any noticeable symptoms, for patients with Diabetic Retinopathy. We work with your primary doctor, Diabetes specialists, educators and ocular sub specialists to obtain the most current management options. In Louisville, the first step is to schedule your appointment for a comprehensive eye exam at Doctors Eye Institute.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Relief for Dry Eye Syndrome

Dr. Koby Says....
Dry Eye Syndrome is a common disorder that often occurs when the output of tear glands and lipid producing glands decline, negatively affecting tearfilm quality. The surface of the eye then develops areas of dryness which leads to symptoms such as discomfort, eye burning and intermittent blurry vision between eye blinks.

The surface of the eye is normally coated by a layer of tearfilm, which is composed of a mixture of tears, lipids and mucus. This tearfilm layer provides lubrication to the eye and ensures both comfort as well as visual stability. this is why disruption of tearfilm production lease to eye discomfort and decreased vision.

Dry Eye Syndrome is more common in women than in men and increases in incidence with age. It can be particularly bothersome in patients with autoimmune disorders - for example rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. It is also common in people with inflammation of eyelids known as blepharitis.

A ophthalmologists, we can look at the properties and the amount of tearfilm, detect eyelid inflammation and evaluate fro signs of eye surface dryness using special stains. We successfully treat Dry Eye Syndrome using a number of advanced medical approaches and procedures.

As is the case in many medical conditions, Dry Eye Syndrome is easier to manage when treatment is started early in the course of the disorder.

Call Koby Karp Doctors Eye Institute if you are experiencing the symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome and we will be glad to help you. Our phone number is 502.897.1604.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Why you should send us your email address

As a service to our patients, if you'll send us your email address, we'll email you regarding:
  • Date and time of your next appointment
  • When your glasses or contact lenses are ready to pick up
  • When it's time for you to schedule your next appointment
  • News about new products and procedures
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about eye care

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Pat says...multi-focal lenses are money well spent!

Meet Pat...she's been a patient at Koby Karp for over 30 years. When it came time for her to have cataract surgery, she chose mulit-focal lenses rather than traditional intraocular lenses. Unlike traditional lenses, the new multi-focal lenses allow Pat to see near, far and everthing in between eliminating her need for glasses. In her own words:

"It was just the natural thing for me to do to say I wanted the multi-focal lenses. I wanted to get away from glasses. The recovery process was extremely simple. I would recommend it because I don't think anybody really enjoys wearing glasses. To me it was worth it. I'm not an extravagant person to begin with, so it was a big treat to myself. I don't know where the money would have gone if I hadn't gone to the multi-focal lenses but now I do know where the money's in my eyes...and I get the benefit of it 24 hours a day."

If you have cataracts, call us for more information about multi-focal lenses at (502)897-1604 orr visit our website and click on "eye condiditons" and "cataracts".

Monday, January 25, 2010

Eye Exam Update

Most Americans have grown up knowing the importance of regular visits to the family doctor for routine check-ups to protect and maintain our physical well being. But when it comes to regular eye exams, our thought is that if we don't have a problem, we don't need to see and "eye doctor". Even though most people may have good vision, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends an eye disease screening at age 40, and that adults 65 years and older have an eye exam every one or two years.

The only sure way to know if you have any eye disease such as glaucoma, macular degeneration or cataracts, is with a complete eye examination. Some eye diseases have no noticeable symptoms until damage has already occurred. Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing loss of vision, particularly in glaucoma, where the pressure in the eye builds up and, if left untreated, damages the optic nerve. Your ophthalmologist can determine if you have any eye disease after performing a comprehensive evaluation, including dilation and perhaps other diagnostic tests.

Patients with a family history of any eye disease are strongly urged to see an eye doctor to discuss this and have a baseline exam with regular follow-up exams. Eye diseases that can be hereditary include glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosis and a diabetic retinopathy.

Fortunately, many schools systems require a vision screening for children beginning kindergarten and again when entering middle school. These screenings provide the opportunity for the ophthalmologist to find a possible eye muscle imbalance that can result in amblyopia or an undetected refractive error. Children who may have a refractive problem will not always realize that their vision is blurred because this is the way they world has always been to them. Poor vision is often a factor in poor performance in the school setting. Once a child has been diagnosed with an eye condition, it is necessary for them to be seen on a yearly basis for re-evaluation since refractive errors change frequently as the child grows.

80% of outside stimuli is through the visual system - see what you've been missing. If it has been a while since you last saw your eye doctor, why not make an appointment today?


What are Floaters?
Floaters are debris that is in the Vitreous Humor of the eye that seem to float around when you move your eye. They can look like little black or gray specks, cobwebs, small dark shapes that look like spots, thread-like strands, or squiggly lines in various shapes and densities. Often they may seem to dart away when you try to look at them directly. They are not on the surface of your eyes, but in the Vitreous Humor inside the eye. They can follow your eye movements precisely and may continue to drift when your eyes stop moving.

Many floaters are caused by age-related changes that occur to the Vitreous Humor or jelly-like substance inside your eye. Microscopic fibers within the vitreous tend to clump together. These clumps of debris float around within the vitreous cavity and they can cast tiny shadows on your retina, which you may see as floaters. Most of the time you don't actually see the debris, but see a shadow cause by the light reflected of the floater. Floaters can become apparent when looking at a bright background such as a plain white wall or a blue sky.

To learn more about floaters, their causes, risk, frequently asked questions and possibility of treatment, visit our website and click on Eye Conditions.