Eye Care for All

Advanced Institute offers complete services for eye care.

Whether it’s eye surgery or a facial filler, the board-certified ophthalmologists and eye care specialists at Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute, formerly Brandon Cataract Center and Eye Clinic, have one goal in mind. They aim to use the most advanced equipment and techniques available to provide their patients the best opportunity for a superior outcome.Photo by Jordan Pysz.
An example of this advancement is the LENSAR® Laser System for use during cataract surgery. On the leading edge in femtosecond laser technology, LENSAR’s added functions and precise laser incisions enable surgeons to remove cataracts with increased safety and position intraocular lens implants with greater accuracy.
“I have performed more than fifty thousand cataract surgeries during my career, and I must say the LENSAR technology is one of the most exciting innovations,” observes Gregory L. Henderson, MD, founder of Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute. “The LENSAR Laser System replaces the blades and instrumentation of the past with an advanced laser. Even the most experienced surgeon’s hand can’t match the precision and gentle touch of the LENSAR system.”
“The laser makes the initial incision into the eye,” describes Ana-Maria Oliva, MD. “It can also create the capsulotomy, which is an opening into the thin, fragile membrane that holds the cataract, and it does so with exceptional precision.
“A capsulotomy done by hand can be less than perfect. The importance of having a perfect capsulotomy is that the replacement lens can then sit in a more optimal position, which ultimately gives the patient better vision.”

Dreadful Duo

Blepharitis and dry eye are a terrible twosome. These two conditions generally occur simultaneously, and if left untreated, they can lead to permanent eyelid and tear gland dysfunction as well as corneal damage.
Blepharitis is an infection of the eyelids and eyelashes. It is most commonly caused by an overgrowth of bacteria that live along the margins of the eyelids and at the base of the lashes. Not only do these bacteria cause the symptoms of blepharitis, they also produce substances that inflame the meibomian glands. Meibomian glands supply meibum, an oily substance that prevents evaporation of the eye’s tear film, thus causing dry eyes.
“Symptoms of blepharitis include itching, burning, tearing, a foreign body sensation and a red line along the lid margin, almost as if the person is wearing red mascara,” asserts Charles A. Luxenberg, MD. “Some dry eye symptoms are similar to those of blepharitis. Symptoms of dry eye include decreased vision or intermittent blurred vision, a dry sensation and a foreign body sensation.”
Dry eye is a chronic lack of sufficient lubrication or moisture in the eye. It occurs because the glands are not producing enough tears. With dry eye, some people experience eye fatigue, redness, double vision and glare, and some actually have tearing. Inflammation is common to both conditions.
“Blepharitis and dry eye can be very debilitating, and blepharitis can actually lead to dry eye because it damages the glands that make tears,” states Dr. Luxenberg.
“These two conditions are interrelated,” agrees L. Ray Alonzo, OD. “When people’s lid hygiene is compromised, it causes a build-up of bacteria on their eyelashes. The resulting infection causes dry eye by plugging the oil glands in the lids.”
The eye complications associated with blepharitis and dry eye can be treated and possibly prevented if eyelid hygiene is properly undertaken. Approaches to cleaning the eyelids have improved over the years. Two years ago, an eye physician invented a mechanized system for scrubbing and massaging eyelids infected with blepharitis bacteria. It is called BlephEx™.
“During a BlephEx treatment, a medical-grade micro sponge is dipped in a solution similar to that in eye scrub pads,” explains Dr. Alonzo. “The sponge is placed on a small tool that resembles a drill, but instead of a drill bit, there’s a soft sponge. The tool gently spins to scrub and massage the eyelid margins, cleaning and exfoliating the eyelids and lashes and relieving symptoms.”

Leading to Blindness

“Millions of Americans suffer with retinal diseases and conditions,” reports Dilip “Dr. Samy” Rathinasamy, MD. “The most common are age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.” These conditions are the leading causes of blindness in adults.
Diabetic retinopathy is progressive damage to the blood vessels of the retina. These vessels bleed into the tissue, causing swelling and clouding of vision. Eye problems are a common issue for people with diabetes, and those with diabetic retinopathy typically have no eye symptoms they can detect at the onset of the disease.
“For those patients who are symptomatic, blurry vision is the first thing they normally experience when blood sugars are elevated,” says Dr. Samy. “This is transient; it can come and go.”
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of blindness in adults, and dry macular degeneration is the most prevalent form, accounting for approximately 90 percent of cases. It involves the deterioration of macular tissue over time, and is more common in people age 60 and older.
“The macula is the central area of the retina that makes it possible to distinguish fine details and colors,” states Bradley D. Fouraker, MD. “When retinal tissue in the macula degenerates – either because the tissue itself begins to deteriorate [dry form] or because new blood vessels form beneath the tissue and threaten its integrity [wet form] – it can have a significant impact on a patient’s vision.”

Childhood Disorders

Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute leaves no one out. They treat patients from all age groups, even children.
“Awareness of appropriate visual development is important, even for newborn infants,” emphasizes Ronni M. Chen, MD, “because a baby’s vision begins to change during the first month of life and continues to develop as a child learns how to use his or her eyes.”
As a pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Chen is especially attuned to the special vision issues affecting children. She notes that treating young patients with eye problems poses some unique challenges. For one, what is considered normal in a baby or child is much different than what is considered normal for an adult.
“The majority of eye problems that can cause loss of vision or loss of depth perception in children are going to present themselves before the age of five or six,” she relates. “Three common conditions that can be corrected easily with eyeglasses are myopia, or nearsightedness; hyperopia, or farsightedness; and astigmatism.”

Early Detection

Glaucoma is a condition of increased pressure in the eye. If left untreated, it can lead to a gradual loss of vision.
Photo by Jordan Pysz.“Glaucoma can occur at any age,” acknowledges William A. Reeves, MD, “but the risk increases with age. Unlike cataracts, the vision loss from glaucoma cannot usually be restored. Consequently, early detection and management are important to prevent the progression of vision loss.”
“There isn’t a cure for glaucoma yet,” warns Ignatius C. Cyriac, MD. “That’s another reason early detection is so critical. Once we diagnose glaucoma, we can control it, and the earlier we catch it, the easier it is to control. When diagnosed early, patients may never have a problem with their vision.”
The goal of treatment is to prevent vision problems from developing, so treatments are geared toward reducing pressure within the eye. This has been proven to slow down or halt the progression of glaucoma.
“For patients with mild glaucoma, the use of medicated eye drops to lower intraocular pressure may be all that’s needed to keep the disease under control,” comments Dr. Cyriac.
“If the disease has already progressed, we have laser therapies available to reduce eye pressure. In more advanced stages, some patients may require a procedure called surgical trabeculectomy to re-channel the drainage passages and improve the flow of excess eye fluid.”

First Impressions

The eye is the first thing people see on others, and the look of their eyes says a lot about them. It’s essential to take special care of this area. When age, genetics or sun exposure affect the face and eyes, Craig E. Munger, MD, or William P. Mack, MD, who are fellowship-trained oculoplastic surgeons, can help.
“For those patients who have drooping eyelids, there is a safe, effective and cosmetically appealing option to improve their appearance called blepharoplasty, commonly known as eyelid surgery,” notes Dr. Munger. “Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that involves removing excess eyelid tissue. It can be done on both the upper and the lower eyelids and can have a dramatic impact on the appearance of the face.”
The doctors also offer BOTOX® Cosmetic and gel fillers, including JUVÉDERM® and JUVÉDERM XC. These products are being used more frequently to help reverse the facial changes associated with aging.
“As our skin ages, the tissue below the skin, the dermis, gradually loses its major elements: collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid,” educates Dr. Mack. “This loss challenges the full, firm look of youthful skin. Dermal fillers are excellent solutions for reducing or eliminating wrinkles and scar depressions, and for replacing volume loss in the soft tissue of the face.”

Back to the Basics

While the full realm of specialty services is available at Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute, they still provide the basic care that patients need to keep their eyes healthy. Comprehensive eye exams and a complete eyewear selection are available on site.
Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute makes its advanced care available to more people through its family of eye care centers. In addition to their Brandon location, the board-certified ophthalmologists provide specialty services at sites in Ruskin and Sun City Center. As a result, the Ruskin and Sun City Center offices are able to provide the full range of eye care.
“When individuals consider eye care centers, I urge them to select one with skilled eye care professionals who can handle not only their general eye care needs, but also the many changes and diseases that can affect vision throughout a lifetime,” stresses James X. Lawrence, OD, who practices at the Ruskin office. “As part of a close-knit group of eye care centers, we are able to offer a very thorough approach to eye care.”

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    • Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute

      The mission of Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute is to deliver the highest quality eye care to ensure superior patient outcomes. They consider their patients an extension of their family, and it shows in their compassion and con... Read More

    • Gregory L. Henderson, MD, FACS, P.A.

      Gregory L. Henderson, MD, FACS, who is board certified in both internal medicine and ophthalmology, was founder of the Brandon Cataract Center and Eye Clinic, and a native of Brandon. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the ... Read More

    • Ronni M. Chen, MD

      Ronni M. Chen, MD, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Biomedical Science with Highest Distinction from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and her medical degree cum laude from the University of Michigan Medical... Read More

    • Bradley D. Fouraker, MD

      Bradley D. Fouraker, MD, earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville.  He completed an Int... Read More

    • Craig E. Munger, MD

      Craig E. Munger, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. He received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University in Columbus, received a Master’s degree from Texas A&M University in College Station, TX, a PhD in pharmacology fro... Read More

    • William A. Reeves, MD

      William A. Reeves, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist who completed his undergraduate studies at Indiana University, Bloomington, and earned his medical degree from Indiana University, Indianapolis. He served his internship and com... Read More

    • Ignatius C. Cyriac, MD

      Ignatius C. Cyriac, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He completed his undergraduate studies at Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA, and earned his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, P... Read More

    • Ana-Maria Oliva, MD

      Ana-Maria Oliva, MD, completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Florida, Gainesville, and earned her medical degree from the University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, where she remains a member of the presti... Read More

    • L. Ray Alonzo, OD

      L. Ray Alonzo, OD, completed his undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida, Tampa, and earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. Dr. Alonzo is board certified by the National Board of Ex... Read More

    • James X. Lawrence, OD

      James X. Lawrence, OD, completed his undergraduate studies at Saint Michael’s College, Burlington, VT, and earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, TN. He completed an externship with the United Sta... Read More

    • Dilip Rathinasamy, MD

      Dilip Rathinasamy, MD, is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. He is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Dr. Samy completed his undergraduate education at the University of Miami, then returned home to Tam... Read More

    • Charles A. Luxenberg, MD

      ... Read More