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CATARACT AND GLAUCOMA CENTER

610 South 8th Street, El Centro, CA 92243
534 South 8th Street, El Centro, CA 92243
760-335-3737

Home About Dr. Chavez Services Laser Services Contact Testimonials FAQ
   •  Cataract
   •  Cataract Surgery / IOL Lenses
   •  Zeiss IOL Master and A-Scan Biometry
   •  Glaucoma
   •  Ptosis Repair
   •  Pterygium
   •  Blepharitis
   •  Entropion and Ectropion
   •  Flashes and Floaters
   •  Macular Degeneration
   •  Blended Monovision
   •  Conjunctivochalasis (CCh)

Cataract

A cataract is a cloudy area in the lens in the front of the eye. There is no pain associated with the condition but there are other symptoms, including:

   •  Blurred/hazy vision
   •  Spots in front of the eye(s)
   •  Sensitivity to glare
   •  A feeling of "film" over the eye(s)

Most people develop cataracts simply as a result of aging, with the majority of cases occurring in people over the age of 55. Other risk factors include eye injury or disease, a family history of cataracts, smoking or use of certain medications.

For people who are significantly affected by cataracts, lens replacement surgery may be recommended. During cataract replacement, the most common surgical procedure in the country, the lens is removed and replaced with an artificial one called an intraocular lens or IOL.

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Cataract Surgery / IOL Lenses

Cataract surgery removes the cloudy lens and replaces it with a clear artificial lens called an IOL.

We perform a minimally invasive, small-incision, no-stitch cataract surgery called phacoemulsification ("phaco") surgery. First, the eye is numbed with anesthesia. Then a tiny incision is made in the eye to make room for a small ultrasonic probe. This probe breaks up, or emulsifies, the cloudy lens into tiny pieces.

After the cloudy lens has been removed, a new artificial lens, or IOL, is implanted in the eye. With the recent advance of foldable IOLs (intraocular lenses), artificial lenses can be implanted through the same small incision from the phaco procedure.

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Zeiss IOL Master and A-Scan Biometry

Because every person's eyes are unique, like fingerprints, it is important to determine the appropriate specifications of the IOL to be implanted during cataract surgery. The Zeiss IOL Master® now provides Dr. Chavez with information on key ocular measurements, making it possible to choose the right IOL for each patient. The non-contact IOL Master is the only product in the world that makes these "optical biometry" examinations possible and has proven to be five times more accurate than traditional technologies such as ultrasound.

For more information on Cataract Surgery:

   •  allaboutvision.com/conditions/cataracts.htm
   •  eyecareamerica.org/eyecare Return to top.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which pressure inside the eye (intraocular pressure) rises dangerously high, damaging the optic nerve and causing vision loss. In a healthy eye, fluid is produced in the ciliary body, enters the eye, and then drains through tiny passages called the trabecular meshwork. In people with glaucoma, these passages become blocked and intraocular pressure rises.

Some cases of glaucoma can be treated with medications. For others, laser or traditional surgery is required to lower eye pressure. Common surgeries include:

Laser Peripheral Iridotomy (LPI) - For patients with narrow-angle glaucoma, a small hole is made in the iris to increase the angle between the iris and cornea and encourage fluid drainage.

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (SLT) and Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty (ALT) - For patients with primary open angle glaucoma (POAG), the trabecular passages are opened to increase fluid drainage. ALT is effective in about 75% of patients, and SLT may be repeated.

YAG Laser Cyclophotocoagulation (YAG CP) - For patients with severe glaucoma damage who have not been helped with other surgeries, the ciliary body that produces intraocular fluid is destroyed.

Filtering Microsurgery (Trabeculectomy)- For patients who have not been helped with laser surgery or medications, a new drainage passage is created by cutting a small hole in the sclera (the white part of the eye) and creating a collection pouch between the sclera and conjunctiva (the outer covering of the eye).

Tube Shunt Surgery - May be recommended for patients with neovascular glaucoma, failed trabeculectomy, or susceptibility to developing scar tissue. A thin, flexible tube (a shunt) with a silicone pouch is inserted in the eye to facilitate drainage.

People at high risk include those who are over the age of 40, diabetic, near-sighted, African-American, or who have a family history of glaucoma.

To detect glaucoma, your physician will test your visual acuity and visual field as well as the pressure in your eye. Regular eye exams help to monitor the changes in your eyesight and to determine whether you may develop glaucoma.

Once diagnosed, glaucoma can be controlled. Treatments to lower pressure in the eye include non-surgical methods such as prescription eye drops and medications, laser therapy, and surgery.

For more information on Glaucoma Surgery:

   •  medicinenet.com/glaucoma/page2.htm
   •  eyecareamerica.org/eyecare
   •  nei.nih.gov/health/glaucoma/glaucoma_facts.asp

Upper Eye Lid Blepharoplasty

Cosmetic eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes by removing excess skin (a condition called dermatochalasis) from the upper and lower eyelids. The procedure is usually performed with local anesthesia and lasts as little as 45 minutes. Incisions are made along the eyelids in inconspicuous places (in the creases of the upper lids). Dr. Chavez removes excess tissue through these incisions and then stitches them closed with fine sutures. Patients with drooping eyelids (ptosis) may choose to undergo ptosis repair along with blepharoplasty.

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Ptosis Repair

Ptosis is a condition in which the eyelid droops. It does not involve excess skin or tissue in the eyelid; rather, it is caused by the separation of muscles deep within the eyelid. It is usually a result of aging. A brief surgical procedure can eliminate the drooping. Patients who are also suffering from excess skin (dermatochalasis) may choose to undergo blepharoplasty at the same time as ptosis repair.

For more information on Upper Eye Lid Blepharoplasty:

   •  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blepharoplasty Return to top.

Pterygium

A pterygium is a raised growth in the surface of the eye (the conjunctiva) made mostly of collagen and tiny red capillaries. They are usually caused by extended exposure to sunlight. They may remain stable after appearing, or they may grow and affect vision.

Treatments include eye drops for irritation and redness, protection from sunlight and dust to prevent the pterygium from worsening, and occasionally steroids to lessen inflammation.

If the pterygium grows into the central cornea, surgical removal is recommended. This prevents the pterygium from altering the cornea's shape and affecting vision.

For more information on our cutting edge advance technology, click on the links below:

   •  en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pterygium_(conjunctiva)
   •  biotissue.com
   •  amtsurgery.com

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Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a chronic inflammation - a long-term swelling - of the eyelids and eyelash follicles. It may be caused by seborrheic dermatitis, acne, bacterial infection, allergic reaction or poor eyelid hygiene. The eyelids crust, flake, scale or redden, and the smooth inside lining of the lids may become rough. In more serious cases, sores can form when the crusting skin is removed, the eyelashes may fall out, the eyelids can deform, the infection can spread to the cornea, and patients often suffer from excessive tearing.

Treatment and preventative care for blepharitis involves thorough but gentle cleaning of the eyelids, face and scalp. This may be combined with antibiotics if a bacterial infection is causing or contributing to the problems.

For more information on Blepharitis:

   •  allaboutvision.com/conditions/blepharitis.htm

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Entropion and Ectropion

Ectropion is a "turning out" of the eyelid that causes redness, irritation, tearing and an increased likelihood of infection. Common causes of ectropion include aging, sun damage, tumors, burns and the removal of too much skin during blepharoplasty. Ectropion can be corrected in a quick procedure in which the lid is tightened. Occasionally, the surgeon needs to graft a small segment of skin to ensure that the eyelid is fully repaired.

Entropion is a "turning in" of the eyelid. The lid and lashes rub painfully against the cornea. Entropion usually occurs as a result of aging, but other causes can include injury and various inflammatory conditions. Entropion can be corrected with a brief surgical procedure under local anesthesia.

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Flashes and Floaters

Although most flashes and floaters occur in people with healthy or merely nearsighted eyes, they can be symptoms of serious problems including injury and retinal and posterior vitreous detachments. Flashes in vision are caused by pressure on the retina, the bundle of nerves in the back of the eye where images are detected and transmitted to the brain. Floaters are often seen when fibers move within the vitreous humor, the gelatinous substance made of water and protein fibers that fills the eye. Serious vision loss can occur if the retina or vitreous detach from the eye wall. Patients experiencing flashes and floaters should contact their doctor immediately so an examination can be performed.

For more information on Flashes and Floaters:

   •  eyecareamerica.org/eyecare/conditions/floaters-flashes/index.cfm

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Macular Degeneration

The macula is a part of the retina in the back of the eye that ensures that our central vision is clear and sharp. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) occurs when the arteries that nourish the retina harden. Deprived of nutrients, the retinal tissues begin to weaken and die, causing vision loss. Patients may experience anything from a blurry, gray or distorted area to a blind spot in the center of vision.

AMD is the number-one cause of vision loss in the U.S. Macular degeneration doesn't cause total blindness because it doesn't affect the peripheral vision. Possible risk factors include genetics, age, diet, smoking and sunlight exposure. Regular eye exams are highly recommended to detect macular degeneration early and prevent permanent vision loss.

Symptoms of macular degeneration include:

   •  A gradual loss of ability to see objects clearly
   •  A gradual loss of color vision
   •  Distorted or blurry vision
   •  A dark or empty area appearing in the center of vision

For more information on Macular Degeneration:

   •  eyecareamerica.org/eyecare/conditions/macular-degeneration/index.cfm

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Blended Monovision

Monovision is a technique where one eye (usually the dominant eye) is corrected for clear distance vision, and the other eye is corrected for comfortable near vision. Monovision allows a person to see close objects clearly with one eye and distance objects clearly with the other eye. The vision part of the brain tends to filter out the image from the eye that is not in clear focus, so those who have monovision eventually do not pay attention to the eye that is not as clearly focused. Those who have monovision are often able to see well enough both at distance and near to do things at any age without corrective lenses. But the important consideration is that, with monovision, each eye is intended to see at different distances and the vision from the eye not being used is suppressed by the brain. This ability takes some learning and not everyone can do it successfully.

Monovision can be achieved with contact lenses or with vision correction procedures by correcting the non-dominant eye for near vision and the dominant eye for distance vision. If you are considering a vision correction procedure, your doctor can put you into monovision contact lenses so you can try it before you permanently correct your eyes with monovision.

For more information on Monovision:

   •  allaboutvision.com/visionsurgery/presbyopia_surgery.htm

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Conjunctivochalasis (CCh)

Conjunctivochalasis is the sagging and wrinkling of the conjunctiva, which is a clear, thin layer of tissue that surrounds the white part of your eye. When you blink, the wrinkled conjunctiva gets bunched up around the eyelids and rubs up against your eye causing irritation and redness.

Treatment

AmnioGraft® is a safe effect treatment provided by a tissue bank regulated by the FDA. The tissue has passed rigorous quality control steps before being released for use. Ask your doctor if you have any questions about the risks of receiving a human tissue transplant.

For more information about Conjunctivochalasis:

   •  osref.org/cch-overview.aspx

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