In Brevard, we are fortunate to have a wealth of healthcare providers envied by many: we see them every day on our local drives – the large steel, glass and concrete buildings, the medical campuses with the familiar names. We also see the smaller medical facilities that branch out from these hubs, and most of us visit them to address our regular healthcare and wellness needs. And while we are certainly fortunate to have these larger facilities, we are also incredibly blessed with some local clinics offering specialized treatments.
One of these clinics sits in the shade of the trees along Wickham Road in Suntree. Atlantic Eye MD is a medically advanced surgery center under the directorship of Dr. Frederick Ho. Eye surgeons there operate on patients with the latest technology for cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and strabismus, commonly referred to as crossed eyes. Eyelid surgery, implants of multi-focal lenses and pterygium removal are also performed.
“We offer our patients comprehensive, concentrated, coordinated eye care,” said Dr. Ho. “Continuity of care is a key component of successful treatments as well as a key element of our personalized eye care.” Personalized care has been Dr. Ho’s professional credo since 1987, when he started his ophthalmology practice in Brevard County.
Actualization of Atlantic Eye MD’s credo begins with a patient’s initial interaction with the office staff. Like the examination and treatment complex, the adjoining state of arts surgery center is staffed by friendly and experienced personnel.. “Our office management staff is dedicated to providing each patient with the best possible experience, whether for examinations, treatment or surgery,” said Dr. Ho. The medical support staff is competent due to the training they receive and the collaborative approach they take to customizing the surgical experience for patients.
Dr. Frederick Ho
Dr. Frederick Ho is a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in cataract surgery, multifocal lens implants, laser surgery, diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and macular degeneration, as well as the full spectrum of vision disorders. He is also recognized for his expertise in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus surgery.
Dr. Ho has been named a Top Doctor in the U.S. by Consumer’s Guide to Top Doctors and a Top Ophthalmologist by the Consumer’s Research Council of America. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
An honors graduate of the California Institute of Technology, Dr. Ho earned his medical degree from Washington University, St. Louis. His ophthalmology residency was completed at Barnes Hospital and Washington University Medical Center. He was awarded a Pediatric Ophthalmology Fellowship by Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.
“Even though the advanced technology in our facilities is certainly impressive, our goals are clearly focused on patient experience,” emphasized Dr. Ho. “Everyone’s highest priority is providing personalized eye care for every patient from diagnostic examination to complex treatment in our Surgery Center.”
Cataract Surgery Improves Quality of Life for Patients
Atlantic Eye MD specializes in the treatment of cataracts. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens in the eye that affects the clarity of visual images on the retina. Proteins in the lens tissue decompose over time making aging the most common cause of cataracts but cataracts also occur as a result of trauma, diabetes, steroid use and previous eye surgery. The common complaints of patients with cataracts include blurred vision, hypersensitivity to glare and lights, poor night vision, difficulty with street sign images and words on a television screen and believing that areas and objects, like a book page, always need more light. Cataract complaints will vary among different patients who experience different symptoms of varying degrees. If the cloudiness from the cataract is not at or near the center of the lens, you may not experience any symptoms at all.
In age related cataracts, the clouding effect is directly related to the development and clumping of decomposing proteins in the lens tissue of a specific eye. This process can be different in each lens of each eye so the cataracts may develop sooner in one eye, and later in the other. Most age related cataracts gradually develop over a number of years.
If a cataract is the result of trauma, only the affected eye will have a cataract. Cataract formation from diabetes or steroid use is usually found in the lenses of both eyes as they are with age related cataract development.
There are no eye drops, medicines, dietary supplements or eye exercises that can prevent or cure cataracts. However, limited exposure to ultraviolet light and always protecting the eyes when outside is highly recommended. To those with developing cataracts, this can slow the progression.
If vision loss becomes significant, surgical removal of the clouded lens is recommended. After the cloudy lens is removed, a clear, plastic intraocular lens is implanted which then becomes a permanent part of the eye. This new intraocular lens can either be a traditional, monofocal lens or a new option – a multifocal lens implant. Multifocal intraocular lenses focus light more like a healthy eye. Unlike the standard monofocal lens which provides clear vision only at a single, predetermined distance, the multifocal lens allows the eye to focus fairly well at near, intermediate and far distances. As a result, 80% of patients who request these new lenses do not have to wear glasses following cataract surgery!
If a patient needs cataract surgery in each eye, surgery on the eye with the worst vision should be preformed first. After this eye is completely healed, cataract surgery is performed on the second eye.
Over one million cataract surgeries are performed annually in America with a very low rate of complications, and more than 95% of all patients having improved vision. The procedure requires an hour or less and Atlantic Eye MD uses state of the art micro-surgery technology. The patient is awake during the procedure. Local anesthesia is applied. Intravenous sedation may be given to ensure complete comfort. During follow-up examinations, Dr. Ho will check your eye to be certain it is healing properly. When the recovery process is complete, measurements for prescription for glasses are made if they are necessary.
SpaceCoast Living joined Dr. Ho during surgery to take the photos that accompany this article. In talking to him between patients, he shared how satisfying the work is on a daily basis. He said that correcting someone’s vision goes well beyond helping them just see better. He told us the patient’s overall health level often improves, frustration and stress are lessened, and statistically the number of falls decreases dramatically after surgery in those age groups more susceptible to falls. The surgery can dramatically improve the overall quality of life for his patients.
Dr. Juan Carlos de Rivero Viccari
Dr. Juan Carlos de Rivero Vaccari received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the Florida International University, graduated Summa Cum Laude and became a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society while earning other multiple awards. After graduation, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to pursue a Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center. Subsequently, Dr. Vaccari completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the LSUHSC Neuroscience Center of Excellence where he investigated neuroprotective and neurodegenerative mechanism in the retina. He then obtained his medical degree from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans where he was awarded the Golden Probe Award and was elected into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.
Dr. Vaccari is currently a Board Eligible Ophthalmologist licensed in the State of Florida. He has published several scientific and clinical manuscripts, and he specializes in cataract surgery, laser surgery, diabetic eye disease, macular degeneration and glaucoma management, among other ocular conditions.
Dr. Vaccari treats Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), a condition in which there is damage to the macula which causes central vision loss. AMD consists of two types: Dry AMD and Wet AMD. In wet AMD, abnormal blood vessels grow below the retina, which leads to leakage of fluid and even blood. Dr. Vaccari says, “The macula is the portion of the retina that is involved in capturing our fine central vision. There is no cure for wet AMD, but we can treat it with intraocular injections of anti-VEGF medication such as Avastin, Lucentis or Eylea.” The purpose of this treatment is to stabilize the disease and decrease the fluid buildup in the retina.
Another condition in which fluid accumulates in the macula is diabetic macular edema. Diabetes is a nationwide epidemic and diabetic macular edema can also be treated with intravitreal injections of anti-VEGF agents combined with blood glucose control. The purpose of the injections in these cases is to reduce the amount of edema in the retina.
Dr. Vaccari continued, “One of the first things that I learned to do during my training was intravitreal injections. I actually learned it during my first week of training. In Louisiana, there are a significant number of patients with uncontrolled diabetes and they presented to our clinics with diabetic retinopathy. Every week throughout my training at LSU we were treating several patients with intravitreal injections and were performing retinal lasers to help them with their sight. The LSU program has a strong inclination towards medical retina, so it comes very useful when you are in private practice.”
Atlantic Eye offers patients comprehensive, concentrated, coordinated eye care – from diagnosis through sophisticated surgery. Continuity of care is a key component of successful treatments as well as an essential element of Atlantic Eye’s personalized eye care.
8040 N. Wickham Road
Melbourne, FL 32940
Fax (321) 757-7273