Tag Archives : Harvey Yamamoto

The Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

The Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

For this month, I would like to write about Glaucoma. Many optometrists have become certified in treating Glaucoma. Current data tells us that we have over 2 million patients in the U.S. being treated for this disease. Glaucoma accounts for over 10 million visits to their eye doctor each year. In terms of social security benefits, lost income tax revenues, and health care expenditures, the cost to the U.S. government is estimated to be over $1.5 billion annually. Glaucoma patients number more than 60 million patients worldwide and the Glaucoma market is currently estimated to be between $4.5 to $5 billion in the U.S., UE, and Japan alone. Coming down the Pike: Man 01 Glaucoma Drug is the first new drug in the area in 20 years. This “First in Class Drub” treats intraocular Eye Pressure (IOP) with early tests indicating excellent results in normalizing IOP. This drug may also be effective in helping ease the symptoms associated with: Pediatric Glaucoma, AMD, & Cystic Kidney Disease. The pharmaceutical company that is working on this wonder drug is Q BioMed Inc. This innovative company has the jump on the competition with its focus on the ‘Schlemms’ Canal, which is responsible...
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The Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

The Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

  Happy Thanksgiving to all. Happy Holidays to all my readers from our entire staff at C&E. May your Holidays be filled with happy moments. This year is fast closing in on each of us. Last month, I promised to touch upon one of my favorite topics. Specialty contact lens fitting. I can honestly tell you that fitting specialty contact lenses is an art but not impossible to achieve. First, one should have a good corneal topographer. Then one must have some fitting sets. i.e.: We have many such fitting sets. Some are sitting on the shelf forever. Some are used daily. My favorite is our Scleral fitting set. My second favorite in our Ortho-K fitting set. Between the two fitting sets, our practice is staying above water. Yes, you heard correctly. Our practice thrives today because of our contact lens fitting expertise. We have all the modern equipment to make that happen. We have incorporated this year, the new 5000 OCT unit which gives us a 15mm scan of the cornea with the scleral lens in place. Our lenses are 16.4mm but the 15mm scan provides us with priceless information on how well the lenses are resting on the sclera. Yes, the lenses must come to a rest beyond the...
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The Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

The Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

This year was the year of upgrading two piece of equipment but I found myself in much hesitation mood. Our 750 Humphries field testing machine was in perfect condition but it was time to upgrade as our unit was bought 15 years ago. The second unit to upgrade was our beloved 4000 OCT unit. When I saw the newer 5000 OCT, I knew in my heart that I just had to have one. The 4000 was bought in Oct 2011 and was like brand new. The operating system was Windows XP and the newer unit was Windows 7. A huge upgrade in technology that caught my attention. The unit that we ordered was fully loaded and had two new software that made a lot of sense to me and my family. Firstly, we wanted our unit that could cover 15mm of the anterior portion of the eye. This new system did that. Secondly, the newer unit had just come out with the Angio software which allowed us to look beneath the macula for leakage without the use of dye’s. We surmised that we have 40% of our patients with Diabetes and these are the patients who tend to have macula edema which can develop into wet AMD. Just the ability to be able to have the Angio portion of the software was enough reason to upgrade. Even with the generous...
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Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

It just dawned upon me that I’ve been writing these editorials since March 1983. That’s a long long time. Thank you for being so patient in allowing me to share with you things of importance to me as it relates to life and to my world on Optometry. I asked myself a simple question this month? What would I be doing if I had not chosen Optometry. The answer came rather quickly. I would be working in my auto repair shop. In fact, I would most likely be the owner of several such repair shops. Repairing broken down things have come naturally for me and I worked in a garage putting myself through Optometry school thus I became very good at fixing things. Big things: ‘Like cars that stopped working.’ I enjoyed jumping into the service truck to find one of our customers who had become stuck in various places. Some of our customers were Jerry Louis, Jim Arness, and many other movie stars of that era. They were heavy tippers once I got them back on the road again. The repair shop idea followed me closely into Optometry. Setting up an edger came naturally during the 60’s when everything was done manually and became labor intensive. Those were the golden years in the back of my...
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Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY: I would like to share with my readers something about Strabismus and why I decided to begin focusing my attention to this group of patients. Strabismus makes up around 3% of the population that comes into our office seeking help. “Doctor, is there anything that you can do for me?” My U&C answer used to be: ‘No, your situation was determined many years ago during your formative years of life.” “I’m sorry but you seemed stuck with your predicament?” It was the path of least resistance that I had taken for the above patient. Was it the right answer? Those who were in the mainstream of COVD (College of Optometrists in Visual Development), the answer would have been: ‘Doctor, you did not give the patient the proper answer.” The proper answer would/could/should have been: ‘Yes, there are several things that we can look into for you.’ I was inspired by a little girl who came to see us for an eye evaluation. She was a cute 3 year old Hispanic young lady. Her father informed us that she was bumping into things and he noticed that she would sit very close to the T.V. even after repeatidly asking her to sit further back. He also noticed...
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The Optometrist’s Perspective

The Optometrist’s Perspective

Today there is a ongoing study being conducted Asia on Myopia control. It seems that Myopia is most prevalent in Asian countries. GP Specialists (contact lens lab in San Diego) reports an increase in the number of doctors fitting their Ortho-K lenses. There is no doubt that many studies have shown that fitting children with Ortho-K does reduce myopia by 30-40%. Many doctors are recommending that children spent more time outdoors since it is their belief that myopia is environmentally connected. As a young student in Optometry, I was taught that children who spend too much time watching T.V. was bad for the eyes. I was also taught that children who spend time outdoors tend to become hyperopic rather than myopic. I myself became hyperopic to this day. Here’s my story. I grew up on the farm as did my older brother and younger sister. My brother is myopic with astigmatism. My sister is myopia in one eye while being hyperopic in the other other. Both my parents were hyperopic with astigmatism. My personal conviction is that we are genetically connected via our X factor from both parents that determines our eye condition. That is based on my personal experience of having practiced...
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GP Specialists Opens Doors To WU Optometry Students

GP Specialists Opens Doors To WU Optometry Students

GP Specialists hosted an open house event for second and third year optometry students from Western University to provide an overview of the manufacturing and fitting of specialty contact lenses. Western University is offering elective courses on orthokeratology research projects. During the event, nearly 100 students went on a guided tour of GP Specialists’ custom gas permeable and custom soft lens lab in San Diego, California which highlighted advanced manufacturing processes used to produce custom contact lenses such as: iSee™ and GOV orthokeratology lenses, iSight™ Scleral lenses, and iSight™ custom soft lenses. In addition, Mark Cosgrove, Director of Operations, gave students instruction on fitting orthokeratology lenses while Dr. Harvey Yamamoto facilitated and open forum discussion sharing his 50 plus years of experience as an optometrist. “Opening up our lab to the students studying orthokeratology as part of their curriculum at Western University was a great opportunity for us to provide real world scenarios on working with specialty contact lenses and to share some of the tricks of the trade that these future optometrists will be able to use in their practices,”...
Optometrist Perspective By Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Optometrist Perspective By Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Ahhhh, the fresh smell of spring is now upon us.  Spring is one of my favorite times of the year.  I extend a very happy spring season for my readers. SOFT CONTACT LENSES:  GP Specialists launched a new lens which is called YamaKone™ IC at the Global Specialty Meeting in Las Vegas during the last week of January.  The YamaKone™ lens is a family of specialty lenses with the keratoconic patients in mind.  My long time readers will know that fitting specialty contact lenses is one of my passions in life.  I find them stimulating and challenging.  Yes, they do take some chair time but the end results often bring about very happy patients who become very loyal and great for referrals. Every GP lab around the country has focused their attention to the development of their own brand of scleral lenses.  Some say that the growth of GP lenses can be directly linked to the rebirth of scleral lenses. By now, I’m sure that I’ve whetted the appetite of most of my readers about soft cone lenses.  What? Why? For what reason?   I have a very large Keratoconus practice which grew over a period of 49 years.  I have run into patients that eventually became so advanced that they no longer...
Filed in: Contact Lens, Editorial
C&E Vision Glaucoma 2013 Seminar

C&E Vision Glaucoma 2013 Seminar

C&E Vision Services, an industry leading buying group, has announced its January 2013 COPE approved Ocular Symposium highlighting glaucoma.  The seminar will be held on January 18th at the Doubletree Hotel in Orange California.  Courses include, The Role of Imaging in Building Your Glaucoma Practice, Progression in Glaucoma, A Guide to the Clinical Management of Glaucoma and Secondary Glaucoma.   More information about the January 18, 2013 seminar can be found at www.cevision.com/seminars/details/. C & E conducted three symposiums in 2012 with nearly 1,400 doctors attending  “We are committed to assisting our members medical practice expansion.  Our 2013 Ocular Symposium program will again provide 24 hours of COPE approved medically based education,” said Dr. Harvey Yamamoto, C&E principal. Background: C&E Vision located in San Clemente California, is the only Web Enhanced buying group of choice.   C&E exclusively provides its members the power of the Web Enhanced online services and the choice of multiple billing methods and incentive programs.  No other buying group offers eye care professionals unique billing methods to meet their practice needs. C&E...
Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Many of my readers have known my personal quest to uncover the hidden secrets of scleral lenses.  I can break it further down to 3 different classifications.  First, there is the corneal-scleral lens.  These lenses are anywhere from 13.0 to 15mm.  I began fitting these lenses about 3 years ago.  I soon ran into problems with these lenses clinging to the sclera creating a suction like effect. Fitting sclerals is very similar to fitting gas perm lenses.  Sclerals are like gas perm on steroids.  These lenses presented a steep learning curve for me.  Patients are able to adapt much quicker to these larger diameter gas perm lenses than they are to corneal lenses.  These lenses come to a rest over the sclera which makes them much less aware for the patient. I progressed from fitting the corneal-scleral diameter to the full scleral lenses that equal 18.0mm in size.  Although these lenses were quite comfortable to wear, we found that our patients had difficulty in learning how to insert these larger diameter sclerals. We then migrated to what we call:  mini-sclerals which equal 16.4mm.   Finally, we found the size that our patients could learn to handle. We found these to be very...
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Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

At the beginning of 2012, I told my staff and friends that this was going to be a special year for us.  Last year, I had let it slip that my 50th year since I graduated had slip by unnoticed thus I promised myself that I would do something special during 2012 as some sort of private celebration. I had thought that it was time to do a “makeover” of my practice. I began by retiling the front entrance to our waiting room.  That is when an article by Dr. Gerber appeared:  “You cannot afford Not to do it.”  His first two points rang loudly in my ear.  Point #1: He stated that we should move our location.  Since we own our own building that made point #1 moot.  Point #2 stated that we should remodel.   Now that made a lot of sense.   My retired dentist noticed the change of the new tiling in our office and he remarked, “While attending CE lectures, they are told to do something to their practice every 5 years. “  He remarked on how nice the new tiles had made our practice look.   That was very inspiring and I wanted to do a bit more. I began to discuss my thoughts about remodeling.  One suggestion that I considered was wood flooring in the exam rooms.  My first...
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Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Just a few days ago, my wife and I was listening to the radio on the way to work when we heard a very interesting story.  Some professor began to collect data on 1,500 of the smartest kids who graduated from a college in California in 1921.  He followed their careers until he passed away in 1956 then some one else took over.  Then in 1999, that person died and then the person being interviewed on the radio took over for the last 11 years.  The interviewer asked one question that caught my attention:  “Did you discover the secret to long life?”  The gentleman said, “Yes”.   We turned up the volume at this point and continued to listen.  He said, “Those who worked very hard non-stop lived the longest.”  Those who retired early died shortly after retirement.  Men died shortly after losing their spouse while women went on living without their spouse for many years.  Mental dementia occurred in people who stopped working.  My wife looked at me and said, “No worries. You are never going to retire.”  End of story. Just the other day, I received a fax from one of our healthcare vendors with this note on the “Importance of Diabetes Tests”.  The message stated...
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Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto,OD

Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto,OD

Every now and then I will receive tips on something that I need to check out.  My good friend, Brian Banks referred me to a new vendor.  I placed a call to Bruder Healthcare Company located in Alpharetta, Georgia.  They explained to me that their company sold Eye Hydrating Compress for many causes of Dry Eye. The first thought that crossed my mind was, “Why do I need another savior to our dry eye patients.  We have enough drops, systems, etc, etc?”  The president suggested that he send me a few samples of their product for us to test. A few days later, my daughter was telling me about one of her daughters who was having a series of styes.  She was having some difficulty in heating up a small hand towel and applying it to her daughter’s lids.  The darn cloth would cool down so quickly that it became a labor of love.  I listened to her explanation and I told her that perhaps the answer was in the Eye Hydrating Compress that was coming in the mail. Sure enough, we received several compresses to test. My daughter was the first recipient to receive one.  That was back in May of this year.  I then gave one to my son whose son was having some eye issues with styes.  Next my...
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Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Since I became an eyecare practitioner some 40+ years ago my goal was to somehow be in a position to aide patients stricken with Diabetes and Macular Degeneration.  I began to attend as many conferences as I could on the topic until I began to slowly digest the cause and effect.  In those days, no cure was on the horizon.  Only doom and gloom. I recall attending a seminar given in a hospital in Santa Monica.  I had driven 60 miles to attend a lecture on diabetes given by a world renowned physician.  At the conclusion of the 6 hours, the main theme of his lecture was diet, diet, diet, diet, and more dieting.  At first, I thought it was some kind of joke but over the years of being in practice I have come to the realization that the physician was spot on in his conclusion.  He told the small gathering of eyecare practitioners that he had failed in his lifelong pursuit of attempting to get his diabetic patients to overcome their disease.  I listened intently as he concluded that many of his patients had ended up with kidney failure, loss of limb, & blindness. I drove back to my humble home and became somewhat depressed.  I purchased many books on the subject matter and began...
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Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

Optometrist Perspective by Harvey Yamamoto, OD

VSP began rolling out its in-house edging program last year and the program is now in full swing.  More and more of my colleagues are beginning to give purchasing an in-house edger another look.  In house edging can provide your practice with a quicker turn around time.  Some colleagues have told me that the financial rewards being offered were not worth the consideration. Saving money? The reason I begin the paragraph with a question mark is, an eyecare practitioner who has never done any prior in-house finish work is looking at the expenditure of a costly patternless edging system plus the hiring of an optician to do the work.  In my case, I have the best of both worlds.  You see, my wife is the optician and I’ve trained her on the art of edging some 30 years ago.  As our edgers went from pattern to patternless she just grew with the change.  The change has been positive and time saving.  Today’s patternless edgers are not only accurate but they are simple to operate.  So simple that any novice who understands lensometry can soon be on their way to turning out really nice work. So why do so many enthusiastic practitioners fail?  The reason here is a two headed snake. ...
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