Does RLE really prevent me from getting cataracts?

Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) is gaining popularity as a surgical option for people who are over age 45 and beyond who want to decrease or eliminate their dependence on glasses or contacts. As we age, we all expect different parts of their body to become slightly less functional with wear and tear over time. People can be in excellent physical condition into their 80s and 90s. It doesn’t require world-record athletic ability to be able to function perfectly in our daily lives and seniors are more active today than ever.

When you are young, the natural lens acts like the zoom function in a camera, allowing you to focus up close, without the need for reading glasses or bifocals. However, the lens inside the human eye is designed to fail over time. It’s the only part of the body I can think of that inexorably gets worse to the point of non-functionality in a shorter timespan than it takes to grow very old.  As you age, the lens progressively becomes dysfunctional resulting in loss of near vision (presbyopia) that requires the use of reading glasses or bifocals. With aging, the lens also progressively becomes hard, yellow and cloudy (cataract). Cataracts block and scatter light reducing visual quality, quantity and color perception. This progressive loss of function of the natural lens inside the eye is referred to as Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome.

Everyone gets cataracts. Fix the Problem Before It Starts.

Your lenses continually age throughout life. This results in the need for reading glasses or bifocals in your 40′s and eventually cataract surgery in your 70s or 80s.  This is the reason that RLE prevents cataracts. Lens changes cause progressive deterioration in vision. More and more patients do not want to tolerate the years of progressive decline in their vision as they develop cataracts; they want it permanently fixed now and not be hindered by cataracts later in life.

With the advancement in technology and the safety of the procedure, patients are now choosing to have their natural lenses replaced at an earlier age. After RLE, cataract surgery will never be needed. The artificial lens will not age which provides visual stability to the lens of the eye. There are several lenses to choose from to best customize to your specific eyes.

One of the only downsides to RLE is missing out on the miraculous feeling of undoing 50 years of lens hardening and darkening in a 10 to 15-minute surgery. The only way to get that feeling, however, is to let the lens get that dysfunctional in the first place. Preventing that loss of function over the years is part of what makes RLE so miraculous, albeit in a more lifelong rather than spontaneous kind of way. It is the miracle of having a lens that doesn’t age, instead of a lens that seems to age quicker than the rest of you.

Also, I don’t know about you, but in the last year I have lost two expensive pairs of glasses, not to mention the countless ‘readers’ I have all over the house and my office. When I think of all the costs associated with glasses and contacts, RLE may be a great value monetarily as well. After all, great vision is priceless at any age!





Refractive Lens Exchange – See Clearly at All Distances and Lose the Glasses

Most people when they’re considering surgical treatment to eliminate their dependence on glasses only consider laser vision correction(LVC), either SMILE, LASIK, or PRK. However, with patients over 45 and sometimes younger, the procedure that provides better visual quality and a more permanent result is not LVC but rather Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE).









Fix the Problem Before It Starts

Your eye’s natural lens has started to become annoying enough to your vision that you now require glasses or bifocals. The idea of waiting until it is bad enough for your vision to be poor even with glasses doesn’t appeal to you. That’s why RLE exists.

The lens inside your eye is destined to become a cataract over time. It gets cloudier each year, noticeably so after age 50, and a cloudy lens is the same thing as a cataract. There is a window of time, however, where the lens is cloudy and dense enough to cause trouble, but not enough to be officially called a cataract.

The symptoms of this stage of dysfunction for your lens are uniform across all people who have:

  • A need for reading glasses or bifocals
  • Difficulty reading in low light compared to bright lights
  • Difficulty driving at night with the ease you once had

RLE is the solution to these annoyances because it doesn’t require waiting until the lens has become so cloudy it impairs you.

RLE is the procedure whereby the natural lens in the eye is exchanged for an intraocular lens (IOL). This is the same operation that is done when a person has a cataract when their natural lens has become cloudy. By the age of 45, the natural lens has lost its ability to accommodate so that reading vision becomes difficult or impossible. Especially if a person is farsighted so that both their reading and distance is impaired, it quite often makes more sense to replace the natural lens with a better one, the IOL.

Tony’s story:

Tony is enjoying an active lifestyle – as if he was 25 years old again!

That wasn’t the case a year ago, when Tony 57, was still a slave to his eyeglasses. He used to have a pair of glasses in almost every room of her house. “I had glasses on my head, around my neck, and of course, prescription sunglasses,” he said. “I even had a bag just for glasses that I used to take with me when I traveled!”

Things had been that way for a long time. It was a frustrating lifestyle, and one that she was eager to change.

Lynda’s interest in vision correction was piqued by the Herzig Eye Institute ads on television. She did a little investigating, and decided to book a consultation to find out what options existed. When told she was a candidate for Refractive Lens Exchange, her answer was an emphatic “Go for it!”

The results have amazed her. “It’s as if someone turned on a light and I can see the way I used to.” And since her eyes’ natural lenses have been replaced, she no longer has to worry about developing cataracts. So impressive were the results that a month after Lynda’s surgery, her sister had the procedure too.

“It’s like I’m 20 years old again!”

Lynda now has 20/20 vision. She’s able to knit, paint, play tennis and golf like she did in her youth – all without the hassle of glasses and contact lenses. “It’s become very real to me how we take our vision for granted.”

Now the only problem is deciding what to do with all her glasses.

Determining which option is best for any given patient requires a comprehensive eye examination and discussion with the surgeon to understand the pros and cons of each procedure. One size doesn’t fit all. It’s important to choose the right


How to Protect Your Eyes from a Pterigión or Carnosidad?

How to protect your eyes from a Pterygium | Pterigión | Carnosidad?

Most people may have not heard of a pterygium, and you may be wondering what the heck a pterygium is? Pronounced (turr-idge-ee-um) it may be easier to remember it by its nickname, Surfer’s Eye.

Tell me more about Pterigión | Carnosidad…

A pterygium is a condition that affects individuals who are exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Surfers are at higher risk for developing this condition because they spend long periods of time in the sunlight. They are also at higher risk due to the reflection of the sunlight on the surface of the water. A pterygium can affect people of all ages who have excessive exposure to UV rays or by living in a dry, dusty, windy environment and also you may be prone to pterygium due to your heredity.

Prevention and Treatment

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth on the white part of the eye. It typically grows on the inner cornea of the eye, closer to the nose. It can obstruct your vision and cause it to become blurry. The most common symptoms of a pterygium are blurry vision and a burning or itching sensation in your eyes as well as:

  • Eye redness and inflammation
  • A gritty feeling in the eye
  • A feeling that there is a foreign object in the eye
  • Dryness of the eye due to reduced tear production
  • Blurring of vision if the corneal surface is altered or “warped”
  • Obscuring of vision if growth encroaches across the pupil.

People who live in sunny climates, work outside or are from countries that are close to or live near the equator have a higher risk of developing a pterygium. It is also more common among individuals between the ages of 20-40 and affects men more commonly than women.

As with many medical conditions, the best treatment for a pterygium is prevention (we know, we know… but keep reading!)

With Spring and Summer approaching and as a pterygium may be caused by prolonged exposure to UV rays, the best way to protect yourself is by protecting your eyes from potential sun damage:

  • Use sunglasses that block out ultra-violet light (close-fitting, wrap around styles are best)
  • Wear sunglasses and a hat with a wide brim when outdoors
  • Avoid exposure to environmental irritants, for example: smoke, dust, wind and chemical pollutants
  • Use appropriate eye safety equipment in work environments.

Not only does Pterygium affect your eye health, it can cause you to struggle with your appearance and create self-esteem issues. We can help, if you have a pterygium or may know someone who does, please contact us or request to request to schedule a free consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation Today

Glasses with the Washington Monument in sight through the lenses

Visionary Eye Doctors Newsletter – April 2018

In This Issue:

  • 2 Reasons Eye Exams Are Important
  • Relief for Symptoms of Dry Eye
  • Spring Promotions – Sunglasses and BOTOX®

2 Reasons Eye Exams Are Important

People often take their vision for granted, especially if they don’t need to wear corrective lenses. Even those who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism might become complacent about eye exams if their vision is stable.

Regular eye exams are just as important as regular doctor visits. Here are 2 reasons why:

1. Identify Silent, Sight-Robbing Conditions

Eye exams can detect vision problems that you may be completely unaware of and allow for the earliest treatment possible, which may just save your sight!

One of our wonderful optometrists, Dr. Lorena Riveros, recently had a couple of patients that reported prior to their vision exams, their eyes and vision felt okay. However, during their exam, Dr. Riveros discovered large retinal holes that could have resulted in retinal detachment. Unfortunately, retinal holes are asymptomatic and fortunately, thanks to their eye exam with Dr. Riveros, they were able to get treatment and potentially save their eye sight!

Regular eye exams can provide early detection of eye issues and gives you the opportunity to consider a wider range of treatment options.

2. Alert You to Potentially Serious Health Problems

Your eye doctor can also identify underlying health problems just by looking at your eye health. In some cases, conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and other medical conditions can be identified during regular eye exams.

Adult Eye Exam Recommendations

  • Adults, ages 18 to 60: A comprehensive eye exam every 1 to 2 years
  • Ages 61 and above: Annual comprehensive exams

At risk adults should have more frequent exams. Risk factors include:

  • Family history of eye disease (glaucoma, macular degeneration, keratoconous)
  • Diabetes or high blood pressure
  • A visually demanding occupation or one that may pose a hazard to your eyes
  • Taking prescription or OTC drugs that may have eye-related side effects
  • Previous eye injuries or eye surgery
  • Contact Lens wearers – Annual eye exams

If you have any family history of eye disease or vision problems, you should schedule eye exams more frequently.

Think about it, when was the last time you had an eye exam? Don’t put it off another year. Schedule your eye exam with us today!

Relief for Symptoms of Dry Eye

Dry eye symptoms are the worst! Itching, watering, redness, sensitivity…It’s bad enough when these symptoms appear during allergy season. But when you have chronic symptoms that don’t go away, it might be time to seek professional relief.

Not all dry eye is the same therefore, not all dry eye treatment is the same. There are two basic types of dry eye:

1. Evaporative Dry Eye –

This is caused by blockage to the glands in the eyelid (the Meibomian glands) which leads to a shortage of oil on the surface of the tears and quicker than normal tear evaporation. This type of dry eye accounts for most of all dry eye cases.

2. Aqueous Dry Eye –

This occurs when the lacrimal glands do not produce enough tears.

As a Dry Eye Center of Excellence, led by Dr. Sandra Lora Cremers, we use the most advanced technologies and techniques to diagnose and completely understand your dry eye and then treat it so you can get back to comfort and normalcy. Dr. Cremers is one of the top dry eye specialists in the United States. Patients from all over the world have sought her out for leading-edge treatments, including stem cell therapy and PRP injections to the Meibomian glands for those with severe, painful, treatment resistant dry eye.

If and when it will be appropriate and effective, one of the more common treatment options for Evaporative Dry Eye is the LipiFlow® Thermal Pulsation System. LipiFlow has been shown to improve Evaporative Dry Eye symptoms in 79% of patients within just four weeks of treatments.

How LipiFlow Works

LipiFlow unblocks the eyelid glands through the application of controlled heat to the inner eyelid. This heat allows the glands to stimulate the production of complex natural oils for your tear film.

Can LipiFlow Provide Relief for You?

The first step is to determine the root cause of your dry eye symptoms. One of the tools we use is the non-invasive LipiView® diagnostic test to assess your tear film and the Meibomian Glands Evlauator to examine the quantity and quality of the oils. Once armed with the facts about your eyes, we can discuss your treatment options.

Now offering special pricing on LipiFlow, if you are interested please give us a call to discuss your treatment options. We are here to get you relief! For more info on dry eye, visit

Meet our Dry Eye Specialist:

Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS

Eyes on Spring – Need New Shades?

Spring Promotions

INVU Ultra Polarized Sunglasses

Outdoor lovers, rejoice! The biggest names in polarized sunglasses—Costa, Maui Jim, and Oakley—are offered at higher price points, and though by most accounts they are worth the cost, our Dr. Babak Hosseini felt we needed a comparable, affordable alternative – INVU Ultra Polarized sunglasses from Swiss Eyewear Group, personally field tested and endorsed by Dr. Hosseini and many, many others who spend time in the great outdoors. The INVU sunglasses have not one, not two, but 9 layers of ultra- polarization to deliver the ultimate in glare-free vision.

INVU Special Price, $99.95 Through May, 2018!

Designer Sunglasses – Special

30% off through May 31st, 2018

Spring into BOTOX® with our Dr. Nima Moainie

Get $50 off 20 units of BOTOX® or $100 off 40 units of BOTOX®*

* 20-unit minimum. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Offer valid through 06.30.18.

Call (301) 896-0890 for a complimentary BOTOX consultation today and mention the special pricing offer when you schedule!

*Results may vary. Risks, benefits and alternatives will be discussed during your consultation.  Full prescribing information and important safety information will be provided during your consultation.

Thank you for the privilege of caring for your eyes!

Stay Connected with Us

Contact Us

(301) 896-0890
11300 Rockville Pike Suite 1202 1208
Rockville, Maryland 20852

Closeup of a patient's eye with a pterygium

Is Having a Pterygium Dangerous?

Study Finds Pterygium may increase risk of Cutaneous Melanomas

A pterygium is a visible growth on the surface of the eye. It typically emerges as a triangular, soft-tissue growth from the corner of the eye, with a pink and fleshy appearance. This growth is the body’s way of trying to protect the eye from intense environments, such as high levels of sunlight, dust, sand or wind.

In general, pterygia (plural) are not dangerous. During the early stages of pterygium development, the main concern is cosmetic – they change the eye’s appearance – but there is no effect on vision. Symptoms in the early stages may include irritation, itching or burning. These can generally be managed with eye drops. Avoid further exposure to sunlight and wind to reduce the stimulus for it to grow larger. A small pterygium that has stopped growing is relatively harmless and may not need any further treatment. However, surgery is an option if you are worried about the cosmetic appearance of your eye and find you feel self-conscious which may affect your overall confidence and social interactions.

In many cases, the pterygium may continue to grow across the eye and either directly block vision or distort the shape of the cornea and cause blurred vision (astigmatism).

Importantly, pterygia are not cancerous – they are benign growths. That means that while they may grow locally (and possibly affect your sight), they won’t spread to other parts of your body. Nevertheless, it’s important that you have an ophthalmologist evaluate any growth on your eye to rule out more serious conditions, such as a conjunctival or iris tumor.

Pterygium – a red flag for cutaneous melanoma, major new study shows

And while pterygia themselves are not cancerous, new findings published by Australian researchers, looked at 23,625 people who underwent treatment for pterygium, found that people who have a pterygium are nearly 25% more likely to develop malignant melanoma – a dangerous form of skin cancer.

The study advised, ‘Eye care providers who see patients with developing pterygia should advise these patients of this increased risk and recommend regular skin surveillance.” Tell your primary care or dermatologist if you have (or have had) a pterygium, make sure that you protect your skin from the sun/UV exposure (i.e. sunscreen, long-sleeved tops, shade) and always have regular skin checks.


Glasses in front of a sign reading "I got 99 problems and glasses solved like 90 of them."

Before You Buy Your Glasses Online. Read Me.

Ever buy online glasses and wonder if you’re doing the right thing for your eyes? Sure, you will spend 20 to over 100 bucks and maybe save money, but there’s a reason why our glasses are better than buying online.

Read more

A doctor holding a patient's hand

Thinking of having your Pterygium removed?

How to select the best surgeon…

If you feel you would like to have a consult with a surgeon for your pterygium due to symptoms, vision issues and/or the overall appearance of your eyes, here are some essential considerations and questions you may wish to ask in order to receive the best possible medical or surgical treatment and care of your eyes:

    1. Treats Pterygium as a serious condition, not a trivial one.
    2. Spends whatever time you may need to discuss the condition and the surgery.
    3. Does not use chemical agents or radiotherapy to prevent occurrence.
    4. Find out the experience and skill level of the surgeon performing this type of medical procedure. How many surgeries has he or she performed? How long has he or she been performing this surgery?
    5. Appearance is important. How does the eye look cosmetically after having the procedure and the eye is healed?
    6. Is he or she involved in any clinical research to support their outcome data? What kind of results do they deliver? What is their recurrence rate?
    7. What is the surgeon’s documented, published recurrence rate?
    8. What is the surgeon’s documented complication rate?
    9. Has the surgeon presented his research at International professional meetings?
    10. Ask about the technology available to remove the pterygium? Ask which technique the surgeon uses and how long has he or she had experience in performing this technique? Does he or she perform conjunctival graft surgery to prevent recurrence? Is he or she constantly looking to perfect the technique to enhance the surgical and cosmetic outcome?
    11. Ask about the evaluation process. It’s essential to find a surgeon whose team offers the latest, most through testing to evaluate the health of your eye, your vision and how the pterygium may be affecting you. Also, be sure to ask about the post-operative care.
    12. Discuss your current health issues and ask whether (and how) they may possibly affect the pterygium surgery.
    13. Ask about what kind of outcomes or results you can expect in terms of the quality of your vision, any symptoms alleviated, likelihood of a recurrence or it coming back and the quality of the appearance of the whites of your eye after healing completely from the surgery.

Over the course of 30 years and more than 10,000 pterygiectomies, J. Alberto Martinez, MD has developed a surgical procedure for the removal of pterygium which he has honed and perfected with love and a passion over the years. The method, known as the A.S.A.P procedure (Advanced Sutureless Amniotic Membrane Pterygiectomy) has reduced the recurrence rate from 15% and above usually described in literature to 0.6%. Most importantly, the cosmetic appearance achieved after the A.S.A.P procedure is often so good, the patient tends to forget which eye had the surgery a few months later. Want to learn more? Please click here to schedule a Pterygium consultation.

You will get cataracts, unless…

You will get cataracts, unless…

Like you, when I first saw this title and read it, I was frightened. And if it seemed threatening when you read the title, you should’ve seen how it was written originally, with letters cut out of different magazines and newspapers. But after some thinking, and with no demand attached on what I would have to do to avoid getting cataracts. It’s true, most of us will eventually get cataracts if the lens in our eye gets old enough. And the idea isn’t to avoid cataracts by an untimely death, but to avoid cataracts by having a lens that doesn’t age.
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Goodbye Cataracts

Goodbye, Cataracts! The Tecnis IOL is Here!

TECNIS® Symfony Premium IOL Offers Visionary Eye Doctor’s Cataract Patients Freedom From Glasses

Visionary Eye Doctors is led by the vision of providing our patients the best eye health care available with kindness and a loving touch! One way we continue working toward this goal is by providing our patients the most advanced technology available to ensure the best vision correction possible. When it comes to refractive vision correction treatments to reduce or eliminate your need for glasses, the new advanced TECNIS® Symfony Intraocular Lens (IOL) may be the best option for you.
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Keratoconus Treatment Images in a collage

Now Offering New Keratoconus Treatment!

We Now Offer Keratoconus Treatment in Our Rockville Center Office
May Prevent Need for Corneal Transplant 
Cross-Linking Procedure Can Halt Corneal Changes, Preserve Vision

Corneal collagen cross-linking, a recent FDA-approved treatment for the eye disease keratoconus, can preserve vision and prevent the need for a corneal transplant.
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