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Who is a good candidate for LASIK?

Who is a good candidate for LASIK?

Created on: Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Anyone who is dependent on corrective lenses for daily activities is potentially a great candidate for LASIK. Dr. Mark Shapiro performs advanced Blade-Free LASIK. This procedure can be used to correct vision issues such as astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness, and the parameters of the treatment have expanded as the technology has progressed.

Shapiro Eye Care offers Blade-Free LASIK with the advanced WaveLight® Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Laser. LASIK with WaveLight® offers the flexible performance of Wavefront Optimized® LASIK, for enhanced patient results with less effort. The advanced laser provides shortened surgery times, innovative and reliable eye tracking, and a clear ergonomic concept.

The precision and accuracy of the laser means that more people are candidates for the LASIK procedure than in the past, because of the developments in LASIK technology.

For more technical information about the WaveLight® Allegretto Wave® Eye-Q Laser click here.

In the rare cases that LASIK is not ideal for a patient, other vision correction options are available, including clear lens exchange, implantable contact lenses, PRK or surface ablative therapy. Completing your LASIK screening is first step to determining your specific vision correction needs. A free LASIK exam can be scheduled online at or by calling 336-378-9993.

LASIK has risks and benefits. LASIK risks will be discussed at the time of your LASIK exam.

In What Job Are You Most Likely to Get an Eye Injury?

In What Job Are You Most Likely to Get an Eye Injury?

Created on: Friday, April 03, 2015
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Every year, about 300,000 United States workers visit the emergency room due to on-the-job eye injuries. As the chart below shows¹  more people in manufacturing jobs risk eye injuries than in any other sector. Out of all eye injuries sustained on the job, 40 percent happen in the fields of manufacturing, construction and mining, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) emphasizes the need to be aware of eye health and safety. ²But occupational risks are not the only factors people should pay attention to. Our increased use of computers and mobile devices at work and at home place new demands on our eyes that didn’t exist in the past. Here’s some good advice for all those who want to protect their vision.

Preventing injuries

1) Be aware of environmental dangers, such as chemicals, flying objects, UV light, lasers, etc.

2) When using machines, use their built-in safety mechanisms such as guards and work screens.

3) Use proper eye protection and keep it in good condition. Replace them if lenses are cracked or scratched.

Preventing eyestrain, dry eyes, and blurred vision

1) Keep back from your computer screen – about 25 inches. If you have difficulty reading on the screen, use a larger font or zoom in instead of moving closer.

2) Reduce glare by not having lighting directly behind your head or in front of your screen. Position the screen so you look a little downward at it.

3) Follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something that’s at least 20 feet away to give your eyes a refreshing rest.

Learn How to Recognize an Eye Injury

Because eye injuries can cause serious vision loss, it’s important to be able to recognize an injury and appropriately respond to it. DO NOT attempt to treat a serious eye injury yourself.

If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone else, get medical help right away.

  • The person has obvious pain or trouble seeing.
  • The person has a cut or torn eyelid.
  • One eye does not move as well as the other.
  • One eye sticks out compared to the other.
  • The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape.
  • There is blood in the clear part of the eye.
  • The person has something in the eye or under the eyelid that can't be easily removed.

If an eye injury occurs, see an ophthalmologist or go to the emergency room immediately, even if the eye injury appears minor. Delaying medical attention can result in permanent vision loss or blindness.


Glaucoma: The Sneak Thief of Vision

Glaucoma: The Sneak Thief of Vision

Created on: Thursday, January 15, 2015
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Glaucoma is the world's second-leading cause of blindness. Millions of Americans have it, and more than half don't know it. That's because there are usually no symptoms, until vision loss is noticed. Here's what you need to know about diagnosing and treating glaucoma.

What is glaucoma?
First, glaucoma is not one disease, but the name of a group of different diseases. They have different causes and functions in different ways, but the effect is the same. What these diseases have in common is that they increase the fluid pressure inside the eye. That increased fluid pressure can damage the optic nerve, and that can lead to blindness. 

The optic nerve is a complex bundle of over 1,000,000 nerve fibers that carry signals from the eye to the brain. When that nerve is damaged, vision is lost. Sometimes, it's only a partial loss of vision, but in other cases the glaucoma sufferer becomes completely blind in one or both eyes. Damaged optic nerves cannot heal themselves, so any vision loss from glaucoma is permanent. 

How can you tell if you have glaucoma?
You usually can't, but glaucoma can be identified early. An eye doctor can usually see signs of glaucoma before any damage has been done. A dilated eye exam, using eye drops to open your pupils wide, lets your doctor see the inside of your eye, all the way back to the retina and the optic nerve. According to Mark Shapiro, M.D., Medical Director of Shapiro Eye Care, "If you do have signs of glaucoma, you can be started on a course of treatment that will give you the best chances of preserving normal vision."

Most cases of glaucoma develop gradually, so usually a complete eye exam once every year or two is adequate. But some types of glaucoma can appear suddenly, so if there are changes to your vision, see an eye doctor immediately. 

Glaucoma is a very serious disease. It can't be cured, but it can be managed as a lifelong disease, and with proper treatment it may be possible to prevent any loss of vision. Still, even with proper treatment, about 10% of glaucoma patients still suffer some vision loss. 

Even if your vision is normal, your best chance to keep it that way is to see you eye doctor for a complete eye exam on a regular basis. 

To learn more about glaucoma, its causes and treatment options, visit The National Eye Institute's website at or the Glaucoma Research Foundation's website, And if it's been a while since you had an eye exam, call your doctor to schedule one now. 


Save money using Flex Dollars and HSA plans for LASIK

Save money using Flex Dollars and HSA plans for LASIK

Created on: Thursday, October 09, 2014
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

According to Dr. Mark Shapiro of Shapiro Eye Care, patients can get the best possible LASIK prices and costs by using pre-tax Health Reimbursement Accounts, such as Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) and/or Health Saving Account (HSA) to pay for LASIK. If needed, you can use a no interest finance payment plan to make the rest affordable.

Christy Denny, Practice Manager at Shapiro Eye Care explained, "Eyeglass and contact lenses wearers benefit from employer Health Reimbursement Plans to make the cost of LASIK surgery affordable. In most companies - small and large - employees generally have Flexible Spending Accounts and/or HSA account available for LASIK in 2015." She recommends that if you are thinking about having LASIK, you should schedule a free LASIK evaluation to see if you are a candidate. You can contact Shapiro Eye Care at 336-378-9993 or schedule online at

For 2015, the maximum that can be withheld tax free is $2500, and that money can be used for medical expenses for you, your spouse or family members. "Regardless of your tax bracket or tax situation, the extra dollars of pre-tax savings and simple payroll deduction by your employer makes LASIK affordable. For those where their pre-tax plans don't cover the entire cost, we offer zero percent no interest payment plans through CareCredit, a medical credit card," further says Mrs. Denny. 

A significant number of patients seeking LASIK in and around the Triad take advantage of pre-tax medical reimbursement plans each year. "This time of year is when anyone wishing to have LASIK needs to use their remaining 2014 Flex Plan funds so they are not lost at the end of the year," stressed Mrs. Denny. In the event that you have already used all of your allocated 2014 Flex Plan funds, then it is time to specify how much you want to save in 2015. "Remember that if you spouses have pre-tax health plans through work, it is possible for each to withhold $2,500, which would more than cover the cost of LASIK. Shapiro Eye Care patients find that having their employer take a small amount of money out of each paycheck - especially since it is before taxes - is a great way to have LASIK with extra savings and easy payments," summarized Mrs. Denny. 

Learn more about Shapiro Eye Care by visiting us at of follow our eye care blog on Facebook and on Twitter

Blue Eyes...Green Eyes...What Color Do You Want to Have Today?

Blue Eyes...Green Eyes...What Color Do You Want to Have Today?

Created on: Friday, August 01, 2014
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Who says you can't change the color of your eyes to go with your outfit? It's fun to play with different eye colors. With tinted contact lenses, it's easy. And it's safe, if you do it the right way. At Shapiro Eye Care, we offer colored contact lenses for every day, for a special occasion or a holiday. 

Contact lenses are precision-made optical products, and, if you wear them, you will have the same prescription as your regular prescription. If you don't need glasses or contact lenses, they are also available in non-prescription form, changing only your eye color. Colored contacts are a medical device, regulated by the FDA, whether they correct your vision or not. 

According to Dr. Mark Shapiro, "Always buy contacts from an authorized distributor of contact lenses, such as an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Never buy contacts of any kind from a beauty salon, a costume store, or any place that sells them without a prescription!" Shapiro Eye Care is an authorized distributor of contact lenses and always assures that your contact lenses are properly fit to your eyes. 

Dr. Shapiro adds, "Any company that sells contacts without a prescription is not an authorized distributor of contact lenses. Buying from them could put your vision at risk!"

Follow these four steps to assure a safe and enjoyable experience with your colored contacts: 

1. Get an eye exam. Dr. Shapiro and his staff will do a comprehensive exam to make sure your eyes are healthy, your vision is properly corrected if necessary, and you are able to wear contacts safely. Your eyes will also be measured to make sure your lenses are the right size for you.  

2. Get a prescription. It should specify the brand name, the lens measurements, and an expiration date. "No-name" colored contacts and anime lenses won't be prescribed, because the FDA does not approve them

3. Buy your lenses safely, either at Shapiro Eye Care or from another eye doctor. If the seller does not require you to submit a prescription, don't even think of buying them. The risks are too great!

4. Follow use and care directions carefully. Lenses need to be cleaned and disinfected, worn as directed, and disposed of after a specified period of time. 

Of course, at the first sign of any possible eye infection or damage, contact Shapiro Eye Care immediately. Redness, decrease in vision, or eye discomfort that doesn't go away after a short time are all warning signs that medical attention is needed. 

Protect Your Family's Eyes From the Sun

Protect Your Family's Eyes From the Sun

Created on: Wednesday, June 04, 2014
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Summertime is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, and a good pair of sunglasses can help you enjoy it even more. Sunglasses are essential in maintaining good eye health not only for adults, but also for children and teenagers who may spend a lot of time in the sun.

Mark Shapiro, M.D., Medical Director of Shapiro Eye Care, gives his patients two reasons - health and comfort - when explaining why they should wear sunglasses. 

"From a health standpoint, you want to keep all ultraviolet light from getting into your eyes and onto the lids and the skin around them," says Shapiro. "From a comfort standpoint, some people are very sensitive to brightness and glare. By cutting down brightness and glare, people will visually perform better and be more comfortable. 

Dr. Shapiro explains that sunglasses protect the eyes from painful sunburns and may help slow down cataracts and macular degeneration. Also, the skin around the eyes, including the lids, is one of the most prone to skin cancer."

Most sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful effects. Often the labels on sunglasses promise protection from ultraviolet light and other kinds of natural radiation. Shapiro says, "It is important to protect your eyes from Ultraviolet A and Ultraviolet B rays." 

Shapiro adds, "Always buy sunglasses that block 99 percent or 100 percent of all UV light." Some manufacturers' labels say "UV absorption up to 400nm." This is the same thing as 100 percent UV absorption. 

Here are some additional ideas to help you choose the best pair of non-prescription sunglasses. 

Optically Correct
Hold the sunglasses several inches away from your eyes and look through them at something with a grid pattern. The lines should appear straight when you look through them with one eye. If you move the glasses around and the lines bend or wiggle, the lenses are not optically correct. This won't necessarily hurt your eyes, but it can distort your vision and make your eyes get tired more easily. 

Impact and Scratch Resistant
Look for glasses that won't break easily if they get hit. They all have to meet FDA standards, but some are tougher than others. Tawanda Adams, Optician at Shapiro Eye Care explains, "Some of the strongest lenses are polycarbonate, but they may scratch easily." She recommends that you look for ones with scratch resistant coatings. 

Wraparound Glasses 
Wraparound shapes block light from the sides as well as the front, giving better UV protection. But you may also like them better because they eliminate or reduce bright light outside the edges of smaller shaped lenses.

Photosensitive Lenses
These are lenses that get darker in bright light and lighter in dimmer light, so you can wear them indoors and out. Some people find these more convenient, but some feel they take too long to adapt to changes in lighting. 

Other Considerations
Some people prefer mirrored lenses (for less light transmission), polarized lenses (to reduce glare), or amber "blue-blocking" lenses (to increase contrast). Discuss these options with your doctor when considering a new pair of sunglasses. 

Do I Need To See An Eye Doctor?

Do I Need To See An Eye Doctor?

Created on: Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Sometimes we experience symptoms and we aren't sure what they mean. How do you decide whether to go see your eye doctor when these symptoms occur? Here's a guide that you may find helpful.*

Symptom What to do
Seeing flashes of light and floating strings URGENT! Call your eye doctor immediately - you might have a detached retina - a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment! 
Red eye with severe eye pain and/or sudden decrease or cloudiness in your vision  URGENT! Call your eye doctor immediately - theses could be symptoms of acute glaucoma, an eye disease that can lead to permanent vision damage or blindness!
Thick nasal drainage and pain or pressure behind your eyes This sounds like sinusitis. Try an over-the-counter cold or sinus medication and drink plenty of fluids. If the symptoms don't improve, call your doctor. 
Changes in your vision if you have diabetes   Diabetes can cause eye problems. Tell your doctor about the changes and ask for advice. 
Eye swollen and tender to the touch, accompanied by fever  URGENT! Call your doctor right away. You may have a serious eye infection that requires immediate treatment. 
Firm, painful lump  or pimple on the eyelid   It is probably a stye and it will usually heal by itself. Warm compresses can help relieve the pain, but see your doctor if it gets worse.  
Pink color or redness in the white of the eye and mucus-like secretions  This is often conjunctivitis, or "pink eye." It's very contagious, so avoid touching your eye and wash your hands frequently. Treat it with over-the-counter eye drops and warm compresses. If it doesn't improve, or if it gets worse, see your eye doctor.  

*Based on information offered at  

Cataract Surgery: Intraocular Lens Choices

Cataract Surgery: Intraocular Lens Choices

Created on: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Cataract surgery has come a long way. Today, thanks to advances in technology, most patients experience little or no pain and return to their normal activities the day after surgery. And modern cataract surgery can correct common vision problems, including nearsightedness, farsightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism, to reduce your dependence on glasses or contact lenses permanently.

Premium IOLs

The standard, or monofocal, lens that has been used for many years can only correct your distance vision. That's fine for most of our activities, but for close work, like reading or sewing, most people still need reading glasses. 

If you know anyone that has had cataract surgery recently, you may have heard that they opted for "multifocal" or "advanced" cataract lenses (IOLs). These lenses are designed to eliminate or reduce the need for distance and reading glasses after cataract surgery. But what are they really?

Unlike the monofocal lenses, a multifocal lens can focus at multiple distances. The majority of people that receive multifocal lenses can drive, reach, watch television and do all their normal, daily activities without glasses. The goal of these new lenses is to minimize the need for distance and reading glasses, but they may not completely eliminate them. Most people report that although they can read without them, they may need glasses when reading fine print. 

Recent FDA approvals of newer versions of multifocal intraocular lenses mean even more options are available for people who want to reduce or possibly eliminate their dependence on eyeglasses. 

if you are a good candidate for a multifocal IOL and you choose this option, the type Dr. Shapiro recommends likely will depend on your unique circumstances, lifestyle and vision correction needs. 

Is LASIK Cheaper Than Glasses and Contacts?

Is LASIK Cheaper Than Glasses and Contacts?

Created on: Monday, January 13, 2014
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Mark T. Shapiro, M.D., F.A.A.O. 
Medical Director, Shapiro Eye Care 

We've heard it so many times: "I'd love to have LASIK, but it's too expensive." But people that say this are only thinking of the "here and now". Over time, glasses and/or contacts can cost much more than LASIK. 

It's Better to Own Than to Rent

We know that renting something generally costs more in the long run than buying it. LASIK is more like owning your vision correction rather than renting it! It's a one-time expense, and once it's paid for, you usually don't have to spend money on it again. But glasses and contacts are more like renting your vision correction because you need to keep buying them over and over again. 

The Cost of LASIK

The cost of LASIK at Shapiro Eye Care ranges from $1749 to $2350 per eye, depending on which procedure we decide is best for you. A standard LASIK procedure using microkeratome and laser typically costs $1749/eye, or $3498 for both eyes. 

The Usual and Customary fee for bladeless LASIK is $2350/eye. Most insurance plans offer a discount off of the price, and many times Shapiro Eye Care offers special pricing. Right now, we are offering $1000 off bladeless LASIK, so a procedure will cost $1750/eye. 

The Price Face OFF: LASIK vs. Contacts

If you wear contacts, you pay for not only the lenses, but also for annual doctor visits, solutions, prescription glasses and sunglasses. That can add up to quite a bit of money. The illustration below shows the average cost of buying contacts at Shapiro Eye Care - you can fill in your own actual numbers to get a personalized estimate. 


Yearly Cost of Wearing Contacts*

  Average Annual Cost Your Actual Annual Cost
Doctor Visit and Fitting $145  
Toric Contacts $300  
Solutions/Supplies $115  
Backup Glasses $550  
Sunglasses (non Rx) $180  
Total $1290  

People who prefer certain contacts may pay more. These figures don't include emergency doctor visits if you develop an eye irritation or an infection from wearing contacts. Your insurance plan may cover some of these costs, but there may be limitations and exclusions. 

It takes less than four years for the savings to kick in!

The Price Face OFF: LASIK vs. Glasses

If your prescription has changed, you will need new glasses with lenses and frames. Even if you're fortunate not to need a stronger prescription, you may still want new frames to update your appearance. Some people have more than one pair of glasses in case one gets broken or misplaced. And you need to have a pair of sunglasses that are the same prescription as your glasses. 

If you only wear glasses, you may not spend as much as people that wear contacts. But your cost is still much higher over time than if you had LASIK. And, if you have vision insurance, it may have restrictions on what you can purchase. 

Yearly Cost of Wearing Glasses*

  Average Annual Cost Your Actual Annual Cost
Doctor Visit $115  
Frames & Lenses with anti-reflective coating $550  
Polarized Sunglasses $480  
Total  $1145  

As you can see, it only takes under five years for the costs of wearing glasses to far exceed the cost of LASIK!

Accidents Will Happen 

When things go wrong, eyewear costs go up! While on vacation in New York City a friend lost her regular glasses when was switching to a pair of sunglasses (she must have missed putting them in her handbag), and she had to walk around wearing sunglasses day and night and have a family member FedEx another pair to her. Add in the cost of losing a pair of glasses plus a FedEx shipping charge!

Tear a contact? Lose a contact? Misplace an entire box of them? Again, the cost goes up. And in the long run, it's inevitable that one or more of these things will happen to you if you rely on contacts or glasses for vision correction. 

How Much Will YOU Save? 

If you haven't already, take some time to calculate your own numbers. Tally your personal expenditures on glasses and contacts. Schedule a FREE LASIK consultation at to get a better idea of the investment it requires. For those people who want to eliminate or reduce their dependence on their glasses and contacts, it just might be worth it. It all depends on how you - well - see things.

Save Even More

Shapiro Eye Care offers 0% financing options when you have LASIK. Right now, you may qualify for 18 months no interest financing, which makes it easy to pay for your procedure over the next year and a half with no interest.

In addition, if your employer offers a Flexible Spending Account or Health Savings Account, you can save even more by paying for your procedure with pre-tax dollars, funded through your tax-free payroll deductions.

*These figures reflect an average cost. 


The Best Sunglasses - How to Choose Them

The Best Sunglasses - How to Choose Them

Created on: Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Summer time is a great time to enjoy the outdoors, and a good pair of sunglasses can help you enjoy it even more.  
Most sunglasses are designed to protect your eyes from the sun's harmful effects. Often the labels on sunglasses promise protection from ultraviolet light and other kinds of natural radiation. Dr. Mark Shapiro, Medical Director of Shapiro Eye Care in Greensboro and Reidsville, NC, says “It is important to know what kind of light you need to protect your eyes from – both UVA and UVB rays.” 
Always buy sunglasses that block 99 percent or 100 percent of all UV light. Some manufacturer's labels say "UV absorption up to 400nm." This is the same thing as 100 percent UV absorption.
Here are some additional ideas to help you choose the best pair of non-prescription sunglasses.
Optically correct
Hold the sunglasses several inches away from your eyes and look through them at something with a grid pattern.  The lines should appear straight when you look through them with one eye.  If you move the glasses around and the lines bend or wiggle, the lenses are not optically correct.  This won’t necessarily hurt your eyes, but it can distort your vision and make your eyes get tired more easily.
Impact and scratch resistant
Look for glasses that won’t break easily if they get hit.  They all have to meet FDA standards, but some are tougher than others.  The optical department at Shapiro Eye Care says that some of the strongest ones are polycarbonate, but they may scratch easily.  They recommend that you look for ones with scratch resistant coatings.
Wraparound glasses
Wraparound shapes block light form the sides as well as the front, giving better UV protection.  But you may also like them better because they eliminate or reduce the bright light outside the edges of smaller shaped lenses.
Photosensitive lenses
These are lenses that get darker in bright light and lighter in dimmer light, so you can wear them indoors and out.  Some people find these more convenient, but some feel they take too long to adapt to changes in lighting.  Transitions™ lenses are a quality brand that is offered at Shapiro Eye Care.
Other considerations
Some people prefer mirrored lenses (for less light transmission), polarized lenses (to reduce glare), or amber “blue-blocking” lenses (to increase contrast).  Discuss these options with the optical staff when considering a new pair of sunglasses.
Baby Boomers Enter the Cataract Years

Baby Boomers Enter the Cataract Years

Created on: Friday, May 31, 2013
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Cataracts are a fact of life for older people. The lenses in our eyes naturally become cloudy as we age, and eventually that clouding interferes with our vision. While there is no definite age when cataracts begin develop, they most often begin when we reach our sixties or seventies. Today, the baby boomers who were born in the post-World War II years are starting to have cataracts. So, if you are a part of that generation, or if you have a parent that is part of that generation, this is a good time to become educated about cataracts and treatment options. 

Early Signs of Cataracts

According to Dr. Mark Shapiro, an ophthalmologist with offices in Greensboro and Reidsville, NC, "Most cataracts develop slowly. If you have regular eye exams, chances are that I will notice your cataracts before you do." An early cataract may affect only a very small part of your vision, and at first you probably won't take notice of it at all. As it becomes larger, you may begin to see things as blurry, cloudy or dim. Reading may become more difficult, and you will have a lot of glare at night, reducing your visions. These are typical signs of cataracts and when you have them, it's time to see your ophthalmologist. 

Untreated Cataracts 

If cataracts are not treated, they will gradually affect your vision more and more. You may see halos around objects, become sensitive to glare and bright lights, and you may find that colors are fading or turning yellow. Eventually, you may find it difficult to see anything at all. 

Before the doctor removes the cataracts, measurements are taken to determine what power lens should be used. It is harder for accurate measurements to be taken if cataracts are left untreated because they become so dense light will not pass through to accurately measure the eye. Lastly, untreated cataracts are harder for the surgeon to remove because the lens has become hard, like a piece of plastic, and there are increased risks in surgery as a result. 

Cataract Treatment

Today, cataract treatment is a minor surgical procedure. It's done in a few minutes and the patients returns to normal activities almost immediately. The doctor removes the cataract by making a tiny incision in the eye and inserting a small instrument that removes the clouded lens. The lens is replaced with an artificial implant known as an "IOL" (intraocular lens). There are no stitches and the patient's vision improves dramatically over the next couple of days. 

Choices of Lenses

As cataract treatments have advanced over the years, Dr. Shapiro has used different kinds of IOLs to help cataract patients see better. "Standard IOLs are good for distance vision, but they don't help with reading close-up work. Toric IOLs provide a unique solution for people with astigmatism. And Multifocal IOLs make it possible to see clearly at all distances, close up, intermediate and far away," says Dr. Shapiro. 

If you are a Baby Boomer, now is the time to make sure you have your eyes checked regularly. Once you begin to develop cataracts, the sooner you have them removed, the sooner you will recover the vision you had when you were younger and the more you will be able to enjoy life. If your parents are Baby Boomers, send them this article!

Is LASIK Surgery a Good Option for Athletes?

Is LASIK Surgery a Good Option for Athletes?

Created on: Thursday, September 15, 2011
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

 Many people choose LASIK--those who have worn glasses for years and are tired of the hassle, people who find contact lenses to be bothersome and uncomfortable, and even individuals who wish that their eyesight was a little better than it currently is.  And while there are many different candidates and eye types that are helped with LASIK surgery, there is one group of people who can trully benefit from the freedom and advantages of LASIK: athletes.

There is a common misconception amoung people that LASIK surgery can be a huge risk and be dangerous for athletes who are looking into the procedure.  Many people believe that LASIK can keep you from participating in your sport or activity for months at a time. However, the truth is that LASIK surgery has an extraordinarily fast recovery time and is one of the safest, most non-invasive surgeries that exist today, with only about 3% of patients experiencing any side effects. Most people can go back to their sport after two days.  People who play sports where they may get hit in the eye, such as martial arts or soccer need to wait one month before resuming their sport. 

 Why LASIK is Great for Athletes

Many athletes find that LASIK not only can help to improve their vision, but also their performance during game time and their overall quality of life. 

When an athlete is out on the field or court during their game, their vision is one of the most important tools for their performance.  However, if you are wearing glasses or contact lenses, your visual acuity and hand-eye coordination is not nearly as precise as it could be.  At the same time, there are many different ways that your corrective lenses could actually work against you when playing sports.

For instance, if you are wearing eyewear when playing basketball, if you fall down or get fouled, your glasses could easily break and shatter into your eyes.  The same dangers exist for contact wearers.  If you are playing basketball and a contact lens falls out, you are in danger of missing a pass, which could easily change the pace of the game.  And if you are a referee, you work under the same difficult conditions.

For this reason, many professional athletes and referees choose to have LASIK.  Not only does this procedure help athletes move more comfortably and freely throughout the game, with no risk of injury or vision problems, but it can also make the game more fun since they are not worried about hurtying their eyesight.

 Not just professional athletes can benefit from LASIK.  If you are interested in finding out if you are a good candidate, be sure to fill out our Free LASIK evaluation form on our website,, or contact Shapiro Eye Care to schedule a consultation.

What Should I Expect When I Have LASIK?

What Should I Expect When I Have LASIK?

Created on: Thursday, July 07, 2011
Author: Shapiro Eye Care

Once patients have decided to have LASIK, they can be excited, scared, nervous, and impatient and many times, these emotions are felt all at the same time!  LASIK is such a quick procedure--it only takes about 15 minutes for Dr. Shapiro to perform LASIK on both eyes.  Knowing what to expect when you have LASIK hopefully will reduce your anxiety and help you feel confident that your procedure is going smoothly.

Before Your Procedure

If you wear contacts, it is important not to wear them for at least 10 days before your procedure.  Contacts flatten the surface of your eye, and it is important for your eyes to be at their natural shape.  You will start using an antibiotic and use lid wipes before the procedure.  These are preventative measures to assure that there is no bacteria in and around the eye before the procedure. 

Day of Procedure

There are four important things to remember of the day of the procedure:

(1) Wear no deodorant, lotions, perfume, cologne or aftershave.  All of these items contain a chemical that causes the laser beam to slow down which will affect your procedure.  We recommend before you come in to shower and put nothing on your body after your shower.  

(2) Women should not wear any makeup. It may be difficult not wearing makeup, especially mascara and eyeliner, but Dr. Shapiro uses fluids in doing the procedure, and they can wash the mascara into your eyes.

(3) Have a driver to drive you home and who stays at our facility while you are having the procedure.  After the procedure, you vision will be clearer but will also seem as if you are looking underwater.  You CAN NOT operate a motor vehicle!

(4) Unlike most surgeries, we want you to eat something before you come in!

When you arrive at our office, a receptionist will take care of your payment and have you go to the laser suite.  There, a technician will put numbing drops in your eyes, clean around your eyes and give you a valium if you desire it, She will go over your post-op instructions, which are in the "LASIK Instructions" booklet given to you when you scheduled your procedure.

During the Procedure

Dr. Shapiro and his staff of caring technicians will guide you through the process.  They will let you know exactly what is going to happen and what to expect next.  Dr. Shapiro operates on one eye at a time.  The eye that isn't being operated on is covered to prevent light from bothering you.  A surgical instrument that keeps the operative eye open and prevents blinking is put in place.  You may feel a little discomfort as this is being done.

Next, Dr. Shapiro makes a microscopic flap using a laser on the surface of the eye. As he does this, you will feel some pressure on your eye, which only lasts for a few seconds.  Then Dr. Shapiro will use the Allegretto laser to reshape your eye.  At this point you must focus on a little green light for a few seconds.  If your eyes move, the laser will track your eye movements.  If your eyes move too far, the laser may stop and Dr. Shapiro will ask you to refocus.  You also may smell the gases that are being used in the laser.  Then Dr. Shapiro lays the flap back over the eye, and he is ready to do the next eye.  This process takes only a few minutes and most patients are amazed that the procedure is so quick!

After the Procedure

After the procedure, a technician will walk you into another exam room where Dr. Shapiro will examine your eyes with a microscope to make sure that everything looks good.  Then, a technician will put a pair of goggles on you to wear until the following morning.   Now, we want you to go home and take a nice long nap! 

If you are feeling any discomfort, a Tylenol or Ibuprofen is usually all you will need.   If your eyes feel dry, burning, or scratchy, use the lubricating drops that you are given.  In fact, the more you use the lubricating drops, the better your eyes will feel.  Just do not use the lubricating drops within 30 minutes of using the prescription medication.

Other symptoms you might experience and which are normal and will decrease in time are blurred or distorted vision, light sensitivity, fluctuation of vision and some crusting of the lashes in the morning.  Your eyelids may be swollen, your eyes may be red, or there may be some difficulty keeping your eyes open for a few days.  These are normal and temporary conditions. 

Always wear UV protection sunglasses when you are outside.

After the procedure you will continue to use the antibiotic for another seven days.  You'll also use a topical steriod for seven days that helps with the healing process. 

Dr. Shapiro will see you the day after your procedure to make sure everything looks ok.  Also, you'll read the eye chart and be amazed at how much improved your vision is!

Please feel free to send us any questions that you might have about having LASIK.  We will be glad to answer them.


See Far Away and Up Close Without Glasses or Contacts

Created on: Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jill experienced a common problem that unfortunately happens to eyes on people over the age of 40 no matter how young at heart one may be - her eyes lost most of the ability to change focus from distance to near.  This condition is called presbyopia and happens to everyone whether they wear glasses or not. The most common way to fix this condition is to wear reading glasses.  The only way to avoid reading glasses is to perform a procedure called "Monovison".  One eye is corrected for distance and one eye is corrected for reading.  Your brain develops new neuropathways and you don't realize that one eye is corrected differently than the other.  Because of Jill's prescription, she only needed to have one eye corrected for distance.  Her other eye acts as her "reading eye"

At what age did you have to start wearing glasses?  
I was around ten when I started wearing glasses just for distance.  By middle school I was wearing them all the time. 
Then I started wearing contacts, and when I needed some correction to see up close, I wore monovision contact lenses.  One contact corrected my distance prescription.  The other contact left me a little "undercorrected," which allowed me to be able to read.

How did wearing glasses restrict you from doing the things you wanted to do?  
I grew up at the beach and really hated wearing glasses while sunbathing, but wore them so I could see out to the ocean. Really, wearing them in summer was annoying no matter what.  Even if I went swimming, I could only see to about the end of my arm. 
Yes, I can’t imagine eyeglasses would make a good tan line.

What compelled you to get LASIK?
I developed some kind of inflammation of the upper eye lid and could no longer wear my contacts 24/7.  I was miserable waking up at night and not being able to see the alarm clock. 
How did you end up finding Dr. Shapiro and why did you choose him?
 I did some research on the internet and found Dr. Shapiro. I liked what I read about his practice. 


What was your experience like at Shapiro Eye Care?
They were so friendly and explained everything. They explained that I could have "Monovision LASIK, which would be like what I used to have with contacts.  I was thrilled that I wouldn't need any reading glasses. I don’t think the procedure lasted a full 10 minutes.  If I had known the surgery and recovery were that fast, I would have considered having it done years ago. 


Since getting LASIK, how has your life changed?  
This may sound silly but I seem to have little patience with my husband and all his contact lens issues – you know, getting something in his eye, lens drying out, etc. He just needs to get the procedure done.  Life is wonderful without worrying about where I left my glasses or running out of contact solution!

And finally, what advice can you give people considering LASIK?
Go see Dr. Shapiro and his staff.  It’s painless, it’s fast and it’s wonderful.


3DGame Player Can Permanently Damage Pre-Schoolers' Vision

Created on: Friday, April 01, 2011

New studies reveal that children under age 6 should not use a forthcoming portable 3D video game player because it could permanently damage their eyesight. 

On its Japanese-language website, Nintendo has issued a warning stating that their 3D player could have "a potential impact on the growth of children's eyes."  The company indicated that the danger lies in the fact that the neural processing that underlies eyesight is still developing in young children. As a result, the company suggested, the delivery of different artificial images to the left and right eye--as all 3D video systems do--could be harmful to proper eyesight development.

The device can be switched to a 2D mode that should be safe for children, it said.  Nintendo also recommended that adult 3DS users take breaks every 30 minutes when playing 3D games. Users of current 3D systems that play on home TV screens have reported nausea as well as eyestrain after prolonged usage. 


A Physician Becomes a Satisfied LASIK Patient

Created on: Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Introducing Dr. Esther Smith, a Pediatrician at Guilford Child Health. Dr. Smith is part of a rare group-- the 10% of the population who have prescriptions over -6.00. She was a -9.00 in both eyes. Fortunately for her, Dr. Shapiro uses a special laser called the Allegretto that can treat patients with up to a -14.00 prescription. She's excited to share her journey from -9.00 to 20/15 in both eyes. Her story is illuminating.

You recently had LASIK with Dr. Shapiro using the Allegretto laser that can treat patients with a very high prescription. At what age did you start wearing glasses or contacts?

I started wearing glasses in 2nd grade, after my parents noticed that I was squinting a lot. My prescription worsened continuously over time, to the point that I was absolutely unable to go without vision correction. I once lost a pair of glasses that fell into a lake when I was taking them off in preparation to go water skiing, and had to go without for a few weeks-- I was miserable.

I made the switch to contact lenses in middle school. I played volleyball for the school team and had difficulty with my glasses getting too foggy. But I tended to scratch or tear my contact lenses often because I just couldn't stop myself from rubbing my eyes now and then during allergy season. I finally learned to always keep several pairs of glasses and several pairs of contacts available as "backup", even if their prescriptions were out- of-date.

Wow! Sounds like glasses and contacts took over your life. How did wearing contacts inhibit you from doing the things you wanted to do?

Swimming was always a problem, as I worried I would lose my contacts in the water, even with goggles on.

Last minute sleepovers at a friend's house were never an option, as I always needed a contact case, contact solution, and my glasses available since I did not sleep in my contacts. The contacts I used were disposable and were supposed to be wearable all the time, even overnight, but I found that dryness and irritation were too bothersome if I wore the contacts for longer than 8-10 hours.

I never owned prescription sunglasses, so to protect my eyes on sunny days I had to wear my contacts, even if my eyes were "tired".

I avoided wearing mascara even though I think it looks pretty, because it made my contacts harder to wear.

What compelled you to finally get LASIK?

This may sound funny, but I've always had this odd fear that if my house ever caught fire and I had to escape, I wouldn't be able to find my glasses quickly enough and would be basically "blind" and useless until I could get new glasses, because my prescription was so strong.

It seemed like whenever I complained about having such poor eyesight, there was usually someone around who had undergone LASIK and was very pleased with the result. For many years I told other people that when I could afford it, I would get LASIK myself; most were very encouraging and voiced the same desire.

Over the past few years, I got really tired of my contacts always getting "cloudy", and I felt self-conscious about blinking too much. I couldn't afford LASIK during my pediatric residency training, but I put it on my "five-year goals" list and started saving money as soon as I got out into practice.

My husband plays mens' baseball at a community league here in Greensboro. Every week, I sat in the bleachers with a woman named Brenda Lowe, whose husband played on the same team. She reportedly had an even stronger prescription than mine before she underwent LASIK performed by Dr. Shapiro, and was very pleased with her results. She kept telling me, "It will change your life".

How did you end up finding Dr. Shapiro and why did you choose him?

I drive past Dr. Shapiro's office every day on my way to and from work. After Brenda's glowing recommendation, I started asking my co-workers and friends if they had heard any word-of-mouth stories, good or bad, about Dr. Shapiro. No one had anything negative to say about his practice or performance.

As a medical professional, I know it's very important to pay attention to evidence supporting a procedure, especially in regard to outcomes and potential complications. I did my homework and chose Dr. Shapiro mostly for his experience. According to what I read, positive outcomes and lower complication rates are directly related to level of experience when it comes to eye surgeries.

How would you describe your experience with Dr. Shapiro?

Getting an initial consultation was easy, and the staff at the office were all very polite and helpful. His nurse noted that I was a graduate of Indiana University and I was delighted to find out that Dr. Shapiro was as well.

The eye exams were quick but thorough, and my options for LASIK were clearly explained, with all my questions answered. Dr. Shapiro never promised miracles, but explained why I was a good candidate for the procedure. I knew he wasn't just promoting LASIK to everyone in order to boost business, as my husband had a consultation shortly after I did, and was not a good candidate. I felt comforted knowing that Dr. Shapiro wouldn't put my eyes at risk if he did not believe the benefits outweighed the risks in my case.

During the procedure I was pretty anxious, so Dr. Shapiro and his assistants kindly offered frequent reassurance. I did have some more discomfort after the anesthetic drops wore off, but within a few hours, the discomfort subsided.

Since getting LASIK, how has your life changed? Are you able to do things that you wouldn't have normally done?

The biggest improvement for me has really been the convenience. I can hardly describe the surprise and satisfaction I repeatedly experience after awakening from sleep and quickly realize that I am able to read a clock across the room. My bedtime and morning routines are quicker without the contact lens rituals. I don't have to worry about whether my contacts and glasses are out-of-date, requiring another eye doctor appointment in order to order new contacts.

Within a month, my sister underwent LASIK , saying she now had more confidence after having me as her "guinea pig".

As a physician, I often recommend procedures for my patients. Being the patient myself gave me a chance to empathize with the process, the anticipation, and the fear that many patients go through when deciding whether to have a medical procedure..

What is the biggest change you've noticed in yourself since having the procedure?

I will never take my vision for granted. I recently cleaned out all the vision paraphernalia I was storing under the sink. I had several pairs of old glasses and glasses cases, several bottles of contact solution and almost 20 contact lens cases to donate!

And finally, what advice can you give people considering LASIK?

Research your options. Read some medical literature about the procedure. Read about many other peoples' experiences, not just a few anecdotal stories. Talk about it with your loved ones. Learn about all the potential benefits and weigh the risks. Don't do it until you're certain that it's what you want and that you're ready. And when you are ready, call Dr. Shapiro!