Eastside Eye Associates was started in 1975 by Dr. Julius Shulman. Since then we have evolved into a multispecialty ophthalmology practice with specialists in laser vision correction, cataract surgery, glaucoma, retinal diseases, ophthalmic plastic surgery, contact lenses, general eye care and eyeglass dispensing. Dr. Dalia Nagel recently joined our staff, expanding our services and hours of operation. We take great pride in offering the most technologically advanced developments in ophthalmology, along with individualized and personal attention to our patients.
Dr. Julius Shulman is a board certified highly skilled LASIK surgeon using state of the art equipment including the Intralase bladefree laser, the VISX S4 excimer laser with advanced eye-tracking capabilities and CustomVue wavefront technology with Iris registration. If you are seeking LASIK in NYC please call us for a complimentary screening.The safety of all-laser LASIK using blade-free Intralase and a customized laser profile is unprecedented. All-laser LASIK is now approved by NASA and the United States Air Force.
Modern cataract surgery in the average patient now takes about 20 minutes or less, with the patient resuming normal activity shortly after surgery. The incision to remove the cataract is so small that stitches are usually unnecessary and healing is largely completed in a week or two. With the advent of microsurgery and the intraocular lens implant , cataracts no longer have to "ripen" and can be removed at any stage.
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve, which becomes damaged from a build up of fluid and pressure inside the eye. Although the earliest sign of glaucoma is usually elevated intraocular pressure, many patients do not demonstrate this elevation but sustain optic nerve damage from what is considered a normal pressure. Detection of this and other types of glaucoma rely on detecting a change in the shape of the optic nerve and a loss of parts of your field of vision.
In the center of the retina, similar to the central bulls-eye of a target, is the macula, the most sensitive part of the retina and the part that gives precise vision for reading and driving. Some common disorders of the retina include macular degeneration, "floaters" and retinal detachment. Many patients with macular degeneration can now be treated with vitamins and medication to avert severe vision loss.
If you need an eye exam, or you are interested in LVC, you may find yourself in the office of either an ophthalmologist or an optometrist. What is the difference, and who will do your eye surgery? An ophthalmologist is a physician (or M.D.—Doctor of Medicine), just as a cardiologist or neurosurgeon is also a physician. An ophthalmologist has attended undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and one year of internship—rotating through various medical specialties and subspecialties. To specialize in ophthalmology, a physician must next complete a three-or four-year residency in ophthalmology, where in-depth studies include ocular anatomy, physiology, pathology, diseases, and surgery. Some ophthalmologists take extra training in a fellowship to specialize in one area or disease of the eye such as glaucoma, the retina, or the cornea.
Optometrists also attend undergraduate school, followed by four years of optometry school, where they study the eye in courses similar to those in an ophthalmology residency, including the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease. In addition, their schooling emphasizes the science of vision, refraction, and the fitting, formulation, and sale of eyeglasses and contact lenses. Although not physicians, and therefore not able to perform surgery, optometrists provide a valuable eye-care function. They perform eye examinations, diagnose eye disease, and in most states, prescribe topical eyedrops. Your optometrist can often tell if you are a good candidate for LVC or can refer you to an ophthalmologist. So, how do you find a doctor competent to perform LVC? Although there is no foolproof method of finding the right ophthalmologist for your surgery, the following methods may be helpful.
Staying with Your Current Ophthalmologist
If you are already under the care of a board-certified ophthalmologist who performs LVC (not all do), trust his or her skills, and are satisfied with the eye care you have received over the years, you probably need look no further. Most eye surgeons are board certified, indicating that they have demonstrated an in-depth knowledge by passing a rigorous examination administered by the American Board of Ophthalmology. If you do need to start with a new ophthalmologist, I recommend that you seek one with experience performing LVC. Although even the most experienced LVC surgeon started with a first patient, experience is a factor in successful LVC. How do you measure experience? Are twenty-five operations enough to pronounce your eye doctor experienced? There is no magic number, but most ophthalmologists would agree that an ophthalmologist would need to perform at least twenty-five to fifty LVC procedures to feel comfortable, and one hundred to two hundred to be even more competent. As in all professions, skill levels vary. An experienced eye surgeon who has done thousands of other eye operations, such as cataract or glaucoma surgery, may need to have performed fewer LVC procedures than a less-experienced surgeon to be considered competent. All ophthalmologists who perform LVC must attend training and educational courses given by different excimer laser companies and be certified by the company whose laser he or she will be using. In addition, Intralase and most microkeratome companies provide similar courses and require similar certification.
Referral from Your Optometrist
If your regular eye doctor is an optometrist, you might want to ask for a recommendation for an ophthalmologist who performs LVC. Who is better than an eye-care professional for recommending a good eye surgeon? This approach usually works well, provided your optometrist has your best interests at heart. However, some optometrists comanage their LVC patients with an ophthalmologist and receive a comanagement fee for their work. This arrangement might not influence your optometrist’s referral to an ophthalmologist, but as a patient, you should be aware of this practice. Comanagement works like this: An optometrist refers the patient to an ophthalmologist for LVC. The ophthalmologist completes all necessary testing, including deciding whether the patient is a good candidate for LVC and reviewing informed consent, risks, and complications. After surgery, the ophthalmologist will see the patient for one or two postoperative visits, after which all other follow-up care will be assumed by the referring optometrist. The surgical fee often includes the comanagement fee and is paid to the optometrist by the ophthalmologist. Comanaging LVC patients arose in rural areas where there were fewer eye surgeons than optometrists. Comanagement works well, as long as financial reward does not affect referrals and quality eye care.
Referral from a friend or relative
Assuming 6 degrees of separation is really true, you probably know someone who has had LVC or someone who knows someone who has. A referral from a friend or relative is often extremely successful, since "word of mouth" is often a great way to learn of a good movie, a good restaurant and perhaps of a good LASIK doctor. But what was successful for one person may not apply to you, since chemistry between patient and doctor is important and your friends eye condition may be different from yours. "Go with your gut" may be a good rule of thumb for this and any means to locate Dr. Right.