Category Archives: From the Doctor

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VUITY Eye Drops for to Eliminate Bifocals

You’ve probably seen the advertisements for Vuity eye Drops. These drops used once per day are intended to minimize or eliminate reading glasses for those with presbyopia. Here’s the scoop!

The drops are actually an old medication (pilocarpine) that has been used to treat glaucoma for decades. Newer medications evolved, and the medication has fallen out of favor of doctors who manage patients with glaucoma. However, one of the main effects of the drop is making the pupil very small. If you’ve ever played with a manual camera, by making the pupil (aperture of a camera) very small, it creates what is called a longer depth of focus. In your eye, a smaller pupil means better vision at both near and far.

For some, this can mean minimizing or eliminating bifocals, with quite a few clarifications:

  • the medication only lasts a limited time: often less than 6 hours.
  • you should not take the drop more than once per day due to potential side effects
  • most users state their vision is “dimmer” in darker environments
  • some users complain of irritable tummy, or even diarrhea if they use more than one drop per day
  • headaches
  • don’t insert the drop while wearing contact lenses

Bottom line:

We’ve been prescribing Vuity with patients since it came on the market, and although it definitely has the intended effect, many patients feel the value of using the drop does not make it worth the cost (about $80 per bottle).

That said, we don’t discourage anyone from giving it a try to see if it meets their needs.

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It’s Back To School Time Again!

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s back to school time. Yep. time for trips to grab school supplies, clothes, and much more. But Don’t forget the back to school eye exams!

Check out our back to school deals on optical, contacts and more on our Back to School page!

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Dr Erica Tritsch

Dr. Lipschultz Welcomes Dr. Erica Tritsch to Southland Eye Associates!

Dr. Lipschultz is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Erica Tritsch to the team at Southland Eye Associates!

Dr. Tritsch joined Southland Eye Associates in summer of 2021. Dr. Tritsch’s practice philosophy begins with developing a strong patient-doctor relationship. She has special interests in diagnosing and managing ocular diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma, as well as fitting general and specialty contact lenses.

Dr. Tritsch attended Indiana University for her undergraduate education and completed her optometric training at the Illinois College of Optometry, where she graduated with honors. Dr. Tritsch is an active member of the American Academy of Optometry and American Optometric Association.

Dr. Tritsch is originally from Munster, Indiana and is thrilled to return nearby to provide patient care. In her free time, she enjoys running, yoga sculpt, spending time with friends and family-especially playing with her niece Lily, and walking her dogs.

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Novartis receives FDA approval for Beovu®, offering wet AMD patients a new option

Basel, October 8, 2019 — Novartis today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Beovu® (brolucizumab) injection, also known as RTH258 for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)[1]. Beovu is the first FDA approved anti-VEGF to offer both greater fluid resolution versus aflibercept and the ability to maintain eligible wet AMD patients on a three-month dosing interval immediately after a three-month loading phase[1] with uncompromised efficacy.

Read the full press release

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Welcome Dr. Birva K. Shah

Dr. Lipschultz Welcomes Dr. Birva K. Shah to Southland Eye!

Dr. Lipschultz is proud to announce, and welcome, Dr. Birva K. Shah to the practice, beginning in the November of 2019.

Dr. Shah is a residency trained optometrist, specializing in pediatric and contact lens care. She has extensive experience with binocular vision disorders, including strabismus, amblyopia, and convergence/accommodative disorders.  She also has extensive training in specialty contact lenses, scleral contact lenses, and diagnosis and management of glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease.

Dr. Shah grew up on the western suburbs of Chicago, attended the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago, is married, and has one lovely daughter.

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The Rising Cost of Insulin: An Unacceptable Situation

Prior to a meeting this morning I was enjoying a cup of coffee and the USA Today newspaper for March 22, 2019. The front page headline: “Insulin Cost Has Diabetics Desperate.” This article triggered my emotions for several reasons. Please click that link and read the article.

Firstly, I’ve noticed an increase in the number of patients I see in our Olympia Fields office with diabetes and the eye related effects of diabetes. Upon discussing life with diabetes with many patients, some have no issues with the cost of managing their diabetes thanks to their income, their insurance, or both. Other patients shared their struggles keeping up with the rising cost of insulin. Struggles that are truly life-threatening, as you will read in the USA Today article shared above. For example, patients are rationing their use to lower their costs, all at the expense of their health. Poorly controlled glucose will cause their A1C to rise, and ultimately triggering a wide range of health problems, including loss of vision. Loss of vision from a problem called diabetic retinopathy, which can range from partial vision loss (called low vision) all the way to total blindness.

I’ve also been somewhat shocked as to how little education many of my patients with diabetes have received from their physicians. Education on diet, exercise, and what I term as “the most important job they have today” – keeping their glucose reading steady and low, with a focus on getting their A1C down to the levels recommended by their doctors (usually an A1C reading of 6.1, but this number is continually scrutinized).

Secondly, at my home, our 15-year old kitty, Julie, was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and my wife Sue and I are now familiarizing ourselves with managing glucose levels, insulin shots twice a day, and restricted diet. Of course this is no comparison to what patients go through, but it was a bit of a shock. The first time I went in to my local pharmacy to purchase my first bottle of insulin for $184, floored me. That little bottle that lasts 28 days, which I will only use 10% of due to the tiny size of my kitty Julie.

Finally, a couple weeks ago a long-term friend came to visit with Sue and I from South Africa. We spent a great weekend showing her around Southern California, while she educated me on her life as an insulin-dependent person with diabetes. She shared that during the recent US government shutdown, she and many of her friends from around the world were sending either money, or actual insulin, to US residents who could not pay for their insulin due to their layoffs. To say the least, I was in shock. We’re the USA! This is insulin! A drug created nearly 100 years ago, and one that without it patients will die.

I don’t profess to have any answers to the issue of the cost, but I have a newly-expanded understanding of the economic issues surrounding insulin, and the pharmaceutical companies. It truly tears at my heart when a patient tells me their A1C is at sky-high levels, and it is primarily due to a lack of understanding about the horrible effects of poorly controlled diabetes, compounded by the fact they are often rationing their insulin to be able to pay bills and buy groceries, putting their vision and total health at risk.

So if you’re reading this as either a person with diabetes or a friend/relative of someone with diabetes, please remind them of a few rules for their own self-care:

  • Keep your A1C at or under the goal established by your managing physician.
  • Get your eyes dilated yearly, and more frequently if your glucose is poorly controlled
  • Exercise
  • Quit smoking
  • Follow a diabetic diet plan.

Dr. Lou Lipschultz