• Lasik Surgery Specialist

    Lasik Surgery

    Lasik Surgery Specialist

    Dr. Michelson is recognized as a leading provider of LASIK surgery in Southern California, helping patients in La Jolla, CA, and throughout the San Diego area achieve the best vision possible, without constant reliance on corrective lenses.

    What is LASIK?

    LASIK is a type of laser refractive surgery that can be used to correct vision problems including hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism by reshaping the cornea, the clear covering that lies on top of your iris and pupil.

    What should I expect during the LASIK procedure?

    LASIK begins with a comprehensive eye exam and an evaluation of your cornea. Dr. Michelson uses a special device to map the surface, or topography, of your cornea to determine exactly how to reshape your cornea for optimal results. During the procedure itself, a small incision is made in the cornea to create a hinged flap of tissue. The tissue is carefully peeled back, revealing the lower layers of the cornea. Next, the laser scans the corneal tissue, removing tiny amounts of tissue as it passes over the surface. Once reshaping is complete, the flap is placed back over the treatment area where it can act as a natural bandage during healing.

    What is recovery like?

    LASIK is performed on an outpatient basis, so you can go home the same day. Although vision may be a little hazy the first day or two, most patients experience significantly improved vision very soon after their treatment. Dr. Michelson will give you special eye drops to prevent infection, and you’ll need to have a checkup a day or two following your treatment to ensure healing is progressing well.

    How can I tell if LASIK is right for me?

    The best way to tell if LASIK is a good option for your needs is to schedule a consultation and eye exam with Dr. Michelson so he can evaluate your vision, your eye health and your expectations. Base don your exam, Dr. Michelson can review all your options with you so you can decide if LASIK is right for you.

  • Lipiflow® Specialist – Is it Dry Eye or MGD

    Lipiflow® Specialist - Is it Dry Eye or MGD

    Understanding MGD – Lipiflow®

    Many commonly attribute their eye discomfort to dry eye, when the root cause of the burning, scratching and redness is most likely MGD.

    MGD occurs when there is compromise to the function and/or structure of the meibomian glands in the eyelids that produce the protective oily layer of the tear film. This oil helps protect the ocular surface from disease and prevents the watery part of the tears from evaporating when your eyes are open. Without these oils, our eyes become more susceptible to the negative effects that dry climates, air conditioning, computer use, reading and other daily activities can have on the long-term health of our eyes.

    MGD Identification

    To assess meibomian gland health and to identify MGD, both meibomian gland function and structures are evaluated.

    Gland function

    Function is evaluated by assessing how the glands respond to gently force, approximating that of a deliberate blink. The blink health which is crucial to maintaining gland function, is assessed by determining the completeness of each blink. Reduced gland function is correlated with symptoms of eye discomfort and eye redness.

    Gland Structure

    Structure is observed and capture with high definition gland imaging. Structural compromise, which is otherwise invisible, can be identified and documented with gland imaging. Structural compromise is unlikely to be reversible. Failure to treat obstructed glands is likely to lead to further structural compromise.

    Treating MGD with LipiFlow®

    While there are multiple choices available for treating MGD, LipiFlow is the only FDA-cleared device for removing gland blockages and restoring gland function. Through advances in the application of Vectored Thermal Pulsation (VTP™) technology, the LipiFlow treatment utilizes a patented algorithm of heat applied to the inner eyelids and massage to remove the obstructions in your meibomian glands.

    An Answer for Millions with Dry Eye

    There are nearly 30 million people in the United States and over 300 million worldwide who have been diagnosed with dry eye. Most have learned to live with eye discomfort and have become dependent on drops or other treatment methods that only offer temporary relief. This has been due to a lack of understanding that the root cause of most dry eye is now known to be a chronic and progressive condition, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction or MGD.

    MGD affects 86% of all those with Dry Eye and it’s treatable.

  • Multifocal / Toric Lens Implant Specialist

    Multifocal / Toric Lens Implant Specialist

    Multifocal / Toric Lens Implant Specialist

    As a top ophthalmologist in the San Diego area, Dr. Michelson helps patients at Eye Care of La Jolla understand their options when it comes to artificial lens implants, offering a wide selection of state-of-the-art lenses, including multifocal lenses and toric lens implants designed to correct astigmatism.

    What are toric lens implants?

    Toric implants are artificial lenses that are designed to help correct astigmatism. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is abnormally shaped, resulting in an inability to focus clearly and causing blurry vision at all distances. Astigmatism may occur in one eye, but more commonly occurs in both eyes, although often at varying degrees. It often occurs along with other refractive vision problems like myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness).

    If I have toric lenses implanted to correct my astigmatism, will I still need to wear glasses?

    Toric implants do not eliminate the need for eyeglasses in most patients; you will probably still need glasses to clearly see distances, but not for close-up activities like reading. In some cases, one eye may be corrected for near and one for far vision. Dr. Michelson will be able to tell you about all your options during your office visit.

    What are multifocal lens implants?

    Traditional monofocal lenses are designed to improve vision at one distance – near or far – which means men and women usually need to continue to use glasses for close-up work like reading or using the computer. Multifocal lenses are designed to help people see both near and far without relying on glasses or contact lenses.

    How are lenses implanted?

    The lens implant procedure is very safe and is performed on an outpatient basis so you can go home soon after your surgery. A tiny incision is made in the side of the eye behind the iris to enable Dr. Michelson to reach the lens of your eye. Special instruments are used to gently break apart remove the eye’s natural lens, and then to insert the new artificial lens in its place. Recovery is quick, with most patients noticing improved vision soon after their procedure.

  • Glaucoma Specialist

    Glaucoma Specialist

    Glaucoma Specialist

    Glaucoma affects millions of older men and women, and regular eye exams are critical for preventing vision loss. At Eye Care of La Jolla, Dr. Michelson uses advanced techniques to diagnose and treat glaucoma in men and women throughout the San Diego area so they can avoid permanent loss of sight.

    What is glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is an eye disease that results in damage to the optic nerve, the nerve bundle that travels from the back of your eye to the brain and back, transmitting “messages” about what you’re seeing so those messages can be “translated” into actual images. The disease occurs when the natural fluid inside your eye doesn’t drain properly, causing the fluid to buildup and press against the nerve and causing damage that cannot be reversed.

    How is glaucoma diagnosed?

    Glaucoma is diagnosed with a professional eye exam. There are specific tests aimed at measuring the pressure inside the eye, and a dilated exam can enable Dr. Michelson to look for changes that occur inside your eye when glaucoma is present or when you’re at risk for developing glaucoma. The disease itself almost always causes no symptoms until vision loss occurs, making regular eye exams especially important.

    How can glaucoma be treated?

    Glaucoma usually is treated initially with special eye drops or oral medications to help lower the pressure inside the eye. When those medications don’t work, laser or traditional surgery may be used to correct drainage problems so the eye fluid doesn’t build up.

    Are there risk factors that can make me more likely to develop glaucoma?

    Yes, and knowing your risk factors and having regular eye exams are two of the best ways to prevent glaucoma from developing. The most common risk factor is older age; glaucoma rarely develops in younger people. Other common risk factors include:

    • increasing intraocular pressure
    • family history of glaucoma
    • long-term use of steroid medications
    • chronic medical issues including diabetes, thyroid disease and high blood pressure
    • prior eye surgery
    • presence of other eye disease or issues like tumors, chronic inflammation and retinal detachment

    People of Asian and African descent also have a higher risk of developing glaucoma.

    Dr. Michelson understands the significant symptoms dry eye syndrome can cause. At Eye Care of La Jolla, he uses the most advanced techniques to diagnose the underlying causes of dry eye so he can provide the most appropriate treatment for his patients in the San Diego area.

  • Dry Eye Treatment Specialist

    Dry Eye Treatment Specialist

    Dry Eye Treatment Specialist

    Dr. Michelson understands the significant symptoms and complications dry eye syndrome can cause. At Eye Care of La Jolla, he uses the most advanced techniques to diagnose the underlying causes of dry eye so he can provide the most appropriate treatment for his patients in the San Diego area.

    How can I tell if I have dry eye syndrome?

    Dry eyes cause a variety of symptoms, including:

    • burning or stinging sensations
    • heightened sensitivity to light
    • blurry vision that becomes worse over the course of the day
    • gritty or scratchy feelings in the eyes
    • foreign body sensation (feeling something is stuck in your eyes)
    • feeling like your eyes are tired
    • increased irritation from smoke, dry air or wind
    • mucus discharge from the eyes
    • periods of heavy tearing

    Dry eyes can also cause significant discomfort with contact lens wear. The condition almost always affects both eyes.

    What causes dry eye syndrome?

    Dry eye syndrome is related to the quality and quantity of your tears and the way your tears are spread across the eye surface. Today, many people experience dry eyes as a result of occupations that cause them to stare at computer screens for long periods of time without blinking. Other common causes include:

    • exposure to fumes, smoke or other pollutants
    • prolonged use of some medications, like antihistamines or decongestants for allergies, acne medications, hormones and high blood pressure medication
    • problems with the eyelids, including entropion (inward turning of the eyelid) and ectropion (outward turning of the lid)
    • autoimmune diseases including Graves’ disease and Sjogren’s syndrome
    • problems with the quality of tears, including an imbalance in the amounts of water, oil and mucus that comprise healthy tears
    • problems with the tear ducts that prevent tears from being produced or distributed

    How are dry eyes treated?

    The first step in getting treatment is to determine what’s causing your dry eyes in the first place. Some symptoms can be relieved with special eye drops or anti-inflammatory medications; other cases of dry eye may require surgery to correct lid defects or problems with the tear ducts or oil glands.

  • Eye Examinations Specialist

    Eye Examinations Specialist

    Eye Examinations Specialist

    At Eye Care of La Jolla, Dr. Michelson offers patients in the Greater San Diego, CA, area comprehensive eye exams using state-of-the-art technology to screen for disease and evaluate potential vision problems so every patient can enjoy the best vision possible.

    What happens during an eye exam?

    An eye exam includes many different types of tests aimed at evaluating both how well you see and the overall health of your eye. During your visit, Dr. Michelson will ask you about any issues you may have with your eyesight, including chronic headaches that could be caused by eye strain or other problems. He’ll also ask about your family history to determine if you might be at risk for specific types of diseases. During the eye exam, he’ll use a variety of testing methods to evaluate the muscles of your eyes and irises (the colored portion of your eyes), perform a dilated exam to look inside your eyes and evaluate your intraocular pressure for signs of glaucoma.

    How often should I have my eyes examined?

    Regular eye exams play a critical role in helping you maintain good vision. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends these guidelines:

    • Children should see an ophthalmologist at six months and three years of age and again before entering school.
    • Adults should have their eyes checked once while in their 20s, twice in their 30s and again at age 40, with regular exams based on their doctor’s recommendation. At age 65, adults should begin seeing the eye doctor every one to two years.

    And of course, you should also see an eye doctor any time you have issues with your sight.

    My child has eye exams in school; do I still need to schedule an exam with your office?

    Yes; although an eye exam in school can uncover some obvious vision problems that affect your child’s ability to see at certain distances, they are not a substitute for a comprehensive eye exam performed by an ophthalmologist. A professional eye exam looks for more subtle signs of disease or conditions that can affect vision and eye health.

  • Advanced Cataract Surgery Specialist

    Advanced Cataract Surgery Specialist

    Advanced Cataract Surgery Specialist

    Dr. Michelson is skilled in employing the safest, most effective techniques for removing cataracts, helping men and women in La Jolla, CA, and throughout the Greater San Diego area achieve clear vision for a better quality of life.

    What causes cataracts to form?

    The term “cataracts” describes changes that occur to your eye’s natural lens, which is located behind the iris (the colored portion of the eye). The lens helps focus light on the retina, located at the back of the eye. Cataracts form when protein structures that occur normally in the lens begin to clump together, causing the lens to appear whitish or yellowish and preventing light from reaching the retina. The most common risk factor for developing cataracts is older age, and about half of all men and women over 80 years old will develop a cataract in one or both eyes. Other causes of cataract include:

    • injury to the eye
    • long-term use of corticosteroid medications
    • radiation exposure, including cancer treatment
    • diabetes

    How is cataract surgery performed?

    Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most common types of surgery in the U.S. Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, which means you can go home the same day. The procedure uses tiny incisions made in the side of the eye to access the cloudy lens and gently break it apart using special instruments. Then, the fragments are removed using suction, and a new artificial lens (called an intraocular lens or IOL) is implanted. If you have cataracts in both eyes, usually only one eye will be treated at a time.

    What can I expect after surgery?

    Once your procedure is complete, a bandage will be placed over the eye and you’ll stay in recovery for a little while for monitoring. Be sure to arrange to have someone drive you home. For a few days after surgery, you may experience mild itching or discomfort. Dr. Michelson will prescribe eye drops to help prevent infection and speed healing. Your eye will be completely healed in about eight weeks.

  • Custom Eyewear Specialist – Optical Shop

    Custom Eyewear Specialist - Optical Shop

    Custom Eyewear Specialist (Optical Shop)

    Dr. Michelson and Eye Care of La Jolla offer the widest array of custom eyewear solutions right on site, so San Diego patients can have the convenience of a full-service optical shop where they receive their exam and care, without having to travel elsewhere. Dr. Michelson will assist you in finding a customized solution that is personalized for you.

    How can I tell if I need glasses?

    Dr. Michelson performs comprehensive eye exams that evaluate every aspect of your vision, determining the amount of myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (blurry vision at all distances) you have in each eye to determine if your vision could be improved with eyeglasses.

    What if I have different vision problems in each eye?

    Your eyewear prescription will be customized to address unique vision differences in each eye so you can enjoy the clearest vision possible, both near and far.

    Who will help me find the right frames for my prescription and my needs?

    Eye Care of La Jolla is staffed with skilled opticians with significant expertise in helping each patient find the best frames based on their specific needs and preferences. Many patients find they can benefit from different types of frames based on their activities – for instance, one pair for work and another for physical activities and hobbies. Our opticians are trained in understanding the unique needs of every patient so they can aid in selecting the ideal frames for optimal comfort and vision in every area of life.

    What kinds of eyewear does Eye Care of La Jolla offer?

    At Eye Care of La Jolla, we provide one of the widest selection of eye wear in the Greater San Diego area, including the Eye Care of La Jolla “Jewelry for Your Eyes” frame collection, ultra-durable and ultra-comfortable air titanium frames, highly-popular Judith Leiber designer frames, and many other frame types and brands, so every patient can get the eye glasses that suit their aesthetics and their lifestyle. We also offer eyeglasses especially designed for patients with dry eye syndrome so they can see clearly without the annoying and often painful symptoms that go hand-in-hand with having chronically dry eyes.

    Our optical services are an extension of our commitment to the health of your eyes and enhancement of your lifestyle through improved vision.

    We provide precision optical lenses and quality frames, dispensed under medical supervision.

    Certified opticians have the experience to optimize your visual performance, comfort and appearance. Our acclaied optical department features the Eye Care of La Jolla “Jewelry for your Eyes” frame collection, including the ultra-durable air titanium frames, and the exquisitely fashionable Judith Leiber frames, as well as our special

  • Macular Degeneration Specialist

    Macular Degeneration Specialist

    Macular Degeneration Specialist

    As a top-ranked ophthalmologist in La Jolla and throughout the Greater San Diego area, Dr. Michelson provides patients with the state-of-the-art care they need to diagnose age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, in its earliest stages, and to provide treatment and care to slow or prevent progression of the disease.

    What is age-related macular degeneration?

    Macular degeneration, or AMD, is a disease that affects the central portion of the retina, the back portion of the eye that is very sensitive to light. The macula is where most of the retina’s light-sensing receptors are concentrated, and a healthy macula is essential for having clear central vision. AMD causes the macula to deteriorate over time, initially causing cloudy, dark central vision and eventually resulting in complete loss of central vision.

    What causes macular degeneration?

    Older age is the primary risk factor for developing age-related macular degeneration. Other risk factors include smoking, family history of AMD and Caucasian race.

    What are the symptoms of AMD?

    The most common symptom is a decrease in central vision, which may begin as blurriness or dimness and progress over time to dark spots or spaces. AMD can progress very slowly in some people, but in others, the disease can occur and progress rapidly, causing loss of vision that cannot be reversed. While AMD does not cause complete blindness, it does interfere with activities like reading, driving, the ability to recognize faces and other daily activities.

    How is AMD treated?

    There is no cure for AMD, but there are some things you can do to decrease your risk for disease or potentially slow its progression, including:

    • quitting smoking
    • keeping your cholesterol levels and blood pressure under control
    • maintaining a healthy weight
    • eating a healthy diet that includes green, leafy vegetables and oily fish
    • being physically active

    Some studies indicate certain vitamin supplements may also be beneficial.

    What can I do to prevent AMD from occurring?

    Knowing and addressing your modifiable risk factors and having regular eye exams to check for problems are the best ways to potentially prevent AMD from developing.