Category: General

Spend Your FSA Account Contributions Before You Lose Them

An HSA, or health savings account, and a FSA, or flexible spending arrangement, are both accounts that allow people with health insurance plans to put away income for medical costs. Medical costs, also referred to as qualified expenses, include co-pays, deductibles and monthly prescription costs.

A primary benefit to HSA’s and FSA’s are that they are TAX FREE!
A primary difference is that HSA’s allow you to roll over unused contributions to next year while FSA’s are “use it or lose it.”

If you have a flexible spending arrangement account (FSA) with an unused balance and require laser vision correction or suffer with Pterygium, schedule an appointment with Dr. Michel before the end of the year.

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A Laser Eye Surgeon’s Confession: I Love LASEK

Yes, you read that right. I love LASEK. I fully admit it. When done properly it is a great procedure.

Quick story: I recently had a Navy veteran in for a Laser Vision Correction consult. He told me that the Navy requires LASEK to be performed on all of its pilots. So if you are going to land a plane on a ship, you have to go with LASEK (or equivalent) instead of LASIK. Who would not want the same LASEK technique used on them as the Navy demands for its pilots?

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LASIK vs. LASEK – Which Laser Surgery Option Is Best for You?

Imagine this. The zombie apocalypse has finally arrived, you’re running for your life from the undead when suddenly your glasses slide off your nose – and you hear a crunch under your feet. What do you do now? Is that a hungry zombie over yonder or just a human dragging his feet?

A great way to prepare for this impending event (and to not need glasses) is to consider laser eye surgery.

In 2015, 596,000 people in the USA underwent a laser eye surgery procedure known as LASIK. This year, in 2017, an estimated 638,000 people in the USA will have LASIK performed. Also known as laser assisted in situ keratomileusis, LASIK is just one of several refractive surgery options alongside another relatively newer procedure known as LASEK (laser assisted sub-epithelial keratomileusis).  Both are surgical techniques with the aim to address what is called refractive error – basically, the need for correction with spectacles or contact lenses.

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My Guilty Pleasure: Being a Heretic

I had a weird consultation this week.  The case wasn’t weird but the dynamics were.  A young person came in for a Pterygium surgery evaluation.  He was in his early 20s and was a great candidate for surgery with a significant growth that was plaguing him.  He had gone down to Big University eye hospital in Los Angeles the last few years and every time he went in he was told to wait for surgery as his case was high risk.  Then he comes to visit little old me in Ventura County and I turned his world upside down when I said he would do great.

He was accompanied by a relative who was clearly stressed out that I would dare contradict the so-called ‘best of the best’ at Big U.  The fact that I saw no good reason to make this silently tortured young man wait blew this persons mind.  In fact, they were so flustered I was waiting for this person’s head to explode during the visit!  They simply refused to believe that better options were available.

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Fear and Finances- Addressing the Obstacles to Laser Vision Correction

Last summer, we embarked on a trial program with the goals of providing great vision at a reasonable price point while reducing the fear that is inherent to eye surgery. Part of my goal was to make eye surgery more accessible to patients in their 20s and 30s as they tend to have nearsighted eyes that respond beautifully to treatment.

Wavefront Lasik surgery typically costs $5,000 and up. It is worth every penny but most people don’t have $5,000 to spend on a luxury surgery. Couple this with the reservations that any sane person would have about having surgery on their otherwise healthy eyes and it is no wonder that only a small percentage of the US population has had Laser Vision Correction.

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Keratoconus Is Not Always A Sentence to Blindness

Our website brings inquiries and questions from all over the world. Recently a woman in Florida sent a desperate plea for help. Her husband had been diagnosed with Keratoconus and was told that he would inevitably go blind over time. The poor guy was living his life thinking that nothing could be done and he was destined to a life with a seeing-eye dog and a cane. Meanwhile, he could see well enough to work on a computer at his work, so he still had functional vision.

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The Secret To Great Laser Vision Correction

Laser Eye Surgery has improved tremendously from the mid-1990s. New generation lasers have improved both the percentage of patients with 20/20 vision after surgery and the quality of vision. The reason behind this has to do with the shape of the cornea (the cornea is the clear front part of the eye which is reshaped by the laser treatment.)

In nature, there are 2 types of cornea shapes, prolate and oblate. Animals with great vision such as eagles and hawks have prolate corneas. Animals with not-so-great vision like frogs have oblate corneas. The human cornea is naturally prolate in shape like that of a hawk, so by nature we have great visual potential.

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The Myths of Pterygium Removal (Carnosidad) Surgery

A young man recently came to me with advanced Pterygium growths on his eyes.  He was terrified of surgery and the look of fear in his face was striking.  A close friend of his had the same Pterygium surgery years ago with another doctor and had a really hard time after the surgery.  Old school Pterygium surgery uses sutures.  It is effective, but the first 3 weeks after the surgery can be very uncomfortable and even downright painful.  His friend was basically stuck in bed for 3 weeks.  To make matters even worse, his friend’s growth came back. Poor guy.

Of course, his friend told him to avoid Pterygium surgery like the plague.  He quoted the 2 main myths of Pterygium surgery that I encounter all the time:

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Research & Publications

Spend Your FSA Account Contributions Before You Lose Them

An HSA, or health savings account, and a FSA, or flexible spending arrangement, are both accounts that allow people with …

What You Need to Know About Blepharitis

Blepharitis. Difficult to pronounce and almost as difficult to manage. Very little information is available as to how many …

What You Need to Know About Diabetic Eye Disease

About 1.5 million Americans are newly diagnosed with diabetes every year. In 2015, over 30 million Americans had diabetes, …