Changing the Life of A 22 Year Old with Cataracts and Wolfram Syndrome

Parents often attach their own dreams, fantasies, and hopes for a better future to their children. Children are a second chance, a reflection and extension of themselves. How then do you overcome an irreversible chronic disease that will make realizing dreams of a better future for a child much more difficult? Do you let adversity make you better or worse? These are the questions Austin Seedman’s parents faced when their son was diagnosed with Wolfram syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, at the age of five.

 Wolfram syndrome is a group of four symptoms characterized by hearing loss, diabetes, optic atrophy or damage to the optic nerve, and renal problems. Austin was diagnosed as deaf at two years old. By five years old Austin’s had type 1 diabetes, optic atrophy, and cataracts which left him unable to see clearly and struggle for a normal life.

 School was always hard for Austin; he was bullied and teased for having cochlear implants, which he is completely deaf without, and felt prisoner to his insulin pump and glasses. His parents made sure he lived as normal life as possible by participating in sports and attending regular school. Austin deserved a childhood free from restrictions, free from prejudice, and free from complications. He had to shine through his hardest times as a child.

 Austin will always be bound by his diabetes and hearing loss. He will take insulin, check his blood sugar, and live with “highs and lows” for the rest of his life. He will always need implants to hear and understand speech. These are conditions that are difficult, life changing in fact, but manageable with modern technologies like his pump and implants. However, the cataracts threatened his vision. Losing his eye sight would further remove him from the world and from his dreams of one day living a normal life.

 The older he got, the more advanced his cataracts became limiting the amount of independence Austin had. Now at 22 years old, Austin could not get a drivers license, couldn’t see the board in his college classes, and was unable to pursue career opportunities. Losing his vision was not an option. He wanted to be able to follow his dreams; the same dreams, hopes, and wishes his parents had for him when he was a little boy and how his life would become. He did not want Wolfram syndrome to hold him back from accomplishing his life goals. He knew he was a fighter and could overcome cataracts. He could accept his diabetes and hearing loss. He could fight these aliments but he could not let vision loss take over. 

 When Austin made the decision to have cataract surgery, he found one of the top ophthalmologists in the United States and cataract surgery specialist Dr. Gregg Feinerman in Newport Beach, CA. Dr. Feinerman wanted to give Austin the most natural eye vision possible by using a new revolutionary lens technology, Crystalens, which is an artificial lens implant that not only clears cataracts but gives the patient a fuller range of vision. The lens implant will bend as the eye muscle bends so Austin will be able to read his text messages, complete his school work and sit at his computer without glasses.

 The Seedman family struggled to figure out how to pay for Austin’s eye surgery. His insurance only covered traditional cataract surgery and not the new Crystalens implants that Dr. Feinerman knew would help Austin have near perfect vision. Austin was a perfect candidate for Crystalens and Dr. Feinerman wanted to share his craft by giving Austin the life and independence he dreamed of. In order to remove the financial burden from the Austin’s parents, Dr. Feinerman performed the surgery for free through his nonprofit Operation Insight, founded in 2005 to provide vision correction procedures for less fortunate patients and public servants who need clear vision to perform their daily tasks at work.

 The surgeries on Austin’s eyes were successful, and days after surgery Austin had 20/20 vision near and far. Austin has better vision now then he has had since he was 5 years old. Dr. Feinerman gave Austin his independence back by giving him back his vision. Austin can now prepare himself for the life his parents had envisioned for him in spite of his diabetes and hearing loss – because he has his vision – because Dr. Feinerman changed his life as he knows it forever. Maybe Austin’s life isn’t everything his parents imagined it would be, but with his new eyesight and pending independence, it is possible to imagine a new life. This life can be just as amazing as the first. It may be a bit more complicated, but nothing can hold Austin back now, thanks to Dr. Feinerman and his new eyes.

 Dr. Gregg Feinerman is a board certified and fellowship trained ophthalmologist. He is one of the top eye surgeons in the country and has performed the most Crystalens and LASIK surgeries in CA. Gregg believes in giving back to the community and is passionate about assisting individuals’ vision that do not have the means for vision correction surgery so they can better perform their jobs and provide for their families.

Dr. Gregg Feinerman founded Operation Insight when he learned how difficult it is for many public servants to wear eyeglasses on the job. As a way to give back to the community, Dr. Feinerman offers his eye surgical services to these individuals as well as train existing staff at third world countries that do not have the latest technology to perform optimal eye care. His work has become internationally known and has been appreciated by many that he has helped, including Austin Seedman and his family.

Humanitarian Mission in Cuba

Doctor Feinerman has long been interested in humanitarian causes and in giving back to the community. This year, he was invited by the Solomon Society to personally participate in a humanitarian mission to help a small Jewish neighborhood in Cuba. The Solomon Society is a branch of the Jewish Federation & Family Services, an organization based in Orange County. It is a brotherhood that emphasizes establishing and building a strong community through social networking and special events with a humanitarian focus.  As a symbol of his personal commitment to help Jews who are in need both domestically and abroad, each member donates to a cause in his own name.

The mission was six days long and lasted from March 19th through March 25th. While in Cuba, Dr. Feinerman and his fellow missionaries met with coordinators, community leaders, and officials from the U.S. Department of State as they toured various synagogues, schools, museums, and cemeteries. The purpose of the visit was more than just the distribution of donated goods to the needy, the emphasis was on how to build a stronger community.

The history of Jewish community in Cuba is not well-known to most Americans, but its presence has endured since early colonial times in the 16th century.  It reached its peak in 1945, displaying a substantial and well-established population numbering nearly 25,000 people. No one could predict that the direction of this growth would change in less than two decades. When Fidel Castro assumed power and overthrew the Cuban government in 1959, many people of different faiths and socio-economic status fled the country. Many Jews were forced to leave, with an estimated count of only 1,300 members of the community still living in Cuba.

As with many other communities in Cuba, the Jewish populace suffers from a shortage of necessities such as medications and other supplies essential to daily life. In mid-March of 2012, the Solomon Society coordinated a mission to Cuba, bringing luggage packed with prescription and over-the-counter medications that are difficult to obtain. The much-needed drugs were dropped off at local pharmacies for distribution. In support of synagogues and Jewish Sunday schools, religious items were also given out. To assist with home life, supplies such as clothes and blankets collected from U.S. donations were also handed out to families in need.

Upon arrival in Havana, missionaries were able to tour the Old Jewish Quarter of the city, including a visit to Adath Israel, a traditional Orthodox synagogue in Havana. This synagogue is home to Cuba’s only mikvah, a bathing facility in which men and women can purify themselves with water before participating in rituals. Also visited were a Kosher meat shop and the Sephardic Hebrew Center, the only Sephardic synagogue in Havana City, founded in 1954, shortly before the government’s fall. This center celebrates all Jewish festivals and hosts a Sunday school for adults, as well as a Hebrew Teachers’ school.  There was also a trip to the Jewish cemetery in Goanabacoa, featuring the first Holocaust Memorial built in the Western Hemisphere. There were also various meetings with community leaders in Santa Clara, as well as with officials at the Swiss embassy and the United States Interests Section.

This mission was so successful that future humanitarian trips to Cuba are being planned. Dr. Feinerman enjoyed his trip and meeting other professionals in service and locals in need. If you would like to donate items or participate, please ask Dr. Feinerman about how you can help. You can also contact Lisa Armory from the Jewish Federation and Family Services at 949-435-3484.

APAO Sydney, Australia Conference 2011

A brief interview on the overview of Dr. Feinerman and his Crystalens AO Lecture.

Q: Dr. Feinerman, What was your overall experience at the Crystalens Conference?
Dr. Feinerman: I had to great opportunity to teach Crystalens surgery to doctors in Australia. This was an advanced course for doctors to improve their technique and procedure. I was very honored to share my procedure to other doctors. They were impressed.

Q: What were the reactions of doctors from this Crystalens technique?
Dr. Feinerman: I had doctors come up to me and say, “I never saw this kind of lens inserted through such a small incision, and so neatly.” It’s really great to get feedback from my colleagues.

Q: What was the best part of your Sydney trip?
Dr. Feinerman: I would say the best part is just being able to get a different perspective from Australian doctors, especially those that are well known in ophthalmology. It’s such a rewarding experience and honor to interact with them. I have learned much from them too at earlier times, and it was great to see that I was able to share this Crystalens procedure with them. I just had an amazing time!

In addition, Dr. Feinerman got to go sight-seeing in Sydney as well. He visited the Opera House and saw a play. Tasted food from many famous restaurants, and played golf with his buddies. Overall, Dr. Feinerman was able to enjoy the location along with successfully conveying his Crystalens procedure. What a great opportunity!

5 steps in preparing for Lasik Eye Surgery – How to reduce risks and find the most cost-effective methods

Lasik Eye Surgery is a procedure which can help you improve your eyesight dramatically. Due to continuous technology upgrades, the Lasik eye surgery has become less risky and more popular.
Many people who had successful Lasik surgeries have reduced their dependability on glasses or, in some cases – have eliminated the need for glasses and contacts entirely, helping them improve their lives dramatically.
However, the Lasik eye surgery (as any other surgery) is very important because there are risks involved. Anyone interested in Lasik eye surgery or corrective eye surgery should do their homework and prepare in order to obtain the best results.
Following are the main 5 steps to use as a guideline when preparing for Lasik Eye Surgery:

1. Do a careful research about Lasik Eye surgery

Find out what it is about, who it is for, when is the right time for it, the pros and cons of it.
Find out if it really is for you. Are you in the right age group? Are you high-risk or low-risk? Do you have any other vision impairments? How are your working conditions affecting your vision? How long do the preparations take? Can you take time off to recover? How long will it take to recover? What do you need to do to prepare for it?
Talk to anyone whom you know that might have had the procedure done. Do online researches, read related articles on health sites, read the FAQ (frequently asked questions) on Lasik surgery web sites, participate in forums and ask, ask, ask questions.

2. Find a certified ophthalmologist with lots of experience and a successful track record of Lasik eye surgeries.

You can find this by word of mouth (from people you know who have had successful Lasik eye surgery). Ask your friends, relatives and co-workers about their experiences with Lasik surgery.

3. Schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist.

During the initial consultation with your ophthalmologist, find out the pros and cons of this operation, and the risks involved. Ask questions about the methods used, the pre-surgery and post-surgery care, and what happens during the surgery. For example, do you live alone or with a family? Do you need someone to help you during recovery? And if yes, how?
A good surgeon will answer your questions in detail, and give the information that pertains to your care, along with the usual medical information and brochure.

4. When it comes to cost, your health is the most important thing.

A specialized surgeon with lots of experience, great results, and the latest technology may charge more, but it is worth it. This is your health and it is the most precious asset, so look at it as an investment.

5. Trust your instincts

When doing the research, you will run into a lot of information. You have to take time to filter through all the information carefully.
When talking to your ophthalmologist, you also have to trust your instincts. It is important that he/she is honest and knowledgeable and truly cares about your health. It is important to feel comfortable when discussing the Lasik surgery.

By doing your homework and following these steps before your Lasik surgery, you are now on the path of starting a new and improved life.

Crystalens – a revolutionary intraocular lens for presbyopia and cataracts

Crystalens eye surgery  is the most common procedure for presbyopia and cataracts.  This new and improved intraocular lens (IOL) is helping patients with presbyopia and cataracts see better, in many cases without the aid of glasses.
The process of aging causes the natural lens within our eyes to lose flexibility, which results in the unability to see things close.  This is called presbyopia. 

Because Crystalens has the ability to flex when the eye muscles contract and relax, it enables a person to see much better both at close distances and far distances.

There are three types of IOL:

- monofocal IOL 
It is a fixed lens that has helps patients see better at one distance – either far or close. This means that patients still need to wear glasses after the surgery.

- multifocal IOL
This lens helps patients to see both close and far, however it requires adjustment to the changes from within the brain.  It is similar to bifocal glasses. Some patients have problems with the adjustments.

- accomodating IOL is a flexible lens that allows the eye muscles to contract or expand it, allowing the patient to have a better vision experience.  This is Crystalens.
Crystalens reduces the dependency on glasses, and sometimes it eliminates it entirely. It is FDA approved.

Implantation of the Crystalens is fairly simple and it is also time-effective. After a micro-incision in the cornea of the eye is achieved, the natural lens of the eye is washed away and then the Crystalens is implanted in its place. The process takes 15 minutes and most patients report improvement in vision right away.  For more information you can view a Crystalens video about how Dr. Feinerman performs the Crystalens eye surgery procedure. 

Dr. Feinerman has performed many successful Crytalens surgeries for patients in Orange County, Los Angeles and different parts of the United States.  For more details and to see if you are a good candidate for Crystalens, please schedule your appointment with Dr. Feinerman today.

Cataract Surgery Facts

Here are some facts about cataract surgery that you should know.

Symptoms of cataracts

Cataracts usually occur in older people due to age, but there may be other causes, too such as trauma,  congenital factors, and more.
The process of developing cataracts is slow  and it is defined by gradual loss of vision, taking many years before it fully develops.
The lens covering the retina becomes cloudy and covered with a mass of protein, not allowing light to pass through it. Symptoms of cataracts are blurred vision, faded colors, glare and more.

Treatment for cataracts

Cataract surgery is necessary for the patients whose daily lives are affected by cataracts.  Visual tests are necessary to determine if there are any other options. In some cases, wearing glasses can help improve vision of patients with cataracts without surgery 

Types of cataract surgeries

– The phacoemulsification cataract surgery 
During this procedure, a small incision is created in the side of the cornea and an ultrasound probe is inserted. The internal lens is emulsified, then, ultrasound waves remove the lens. This is the modern procedure for cataract surgery used by Dr. Feinerman.
You can watch a cataract surgery video to fully understand the process of how Dr. Feinerman helps patients with cataracts restore their vision

-The extra capsular cataract surgery
This procedure uses a longer incision in the cornea and then the cloudy part of the lens is removed in one piece.

Risks of cataract surgeryAs with any surgery, there are certain risks. It is important to discuss all options with your ophthalmologist.

Dr. Feinerman is a qualified ophthalmologist with vast experience in cataract surgery and uses modern technology to help his patients.
View more detailed information about cataract surgery and schedule your appointment with Dr. Feinerman today!

Lasik Eye Surgery – Your Questions Answered

Dr. Gregg Feinerman M.D. has been performing thousands of successful and safe Lasik eye surgery procedures since 2001.  Dr. Feinerman is using the latest equipment in eye surgery technology – ensuring that the safest and most successful methods are always used for the best results.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers about Lasik Eye surgery and Lasik Eye Surgery alternatives.

What is Lasik Eye Surgery?

Lasik Eye Surgery is the eye surgery process which changes the shape of the eye cornea to improve vision. It is a surgical procedure for people with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (blurred vision)  to help them see without the aid of glasses or contacts. 

How does the Lasik Eye Surgery procedure work?

The first step is to create a flap in the cornea then use the laser treatment underneath the corneal flap . The last step is to reposition the corneal flap and then the healing process of the eye begins. To see more about this process, you can watch the  Lasik Eye Surgery video  and read all the information about Lasik eye surgery on Dr. Feinerman’s Vision Center website.  

What types of Lasik Eye Surgeries are available at Feinerman Vision?

Depending on the different factors including age, health, and pre-existing conditions, Dr. Feirnaman’s Vision Center in Newport Beach California  has different types of Lasik surgeries options available.

1. Traditional Lasik Eye Surgery – using  traditional blade surgery

2. Lasik Intralase or bladeless Lasik eye surgery – a newer method which uses infrared light in shaping the cornea and at a molecular level,

Some of the newest metods are:

- Femto Second  Laser by DaVinci

This bladeless method is operating at very high speeds without heat or direct impact on the eye.  The Femto Second Laser surgery method uses a computer software to guide the femto laser beam. Dr. Feinerman is the first Eye Vision Center to use this innovative method on the Western Coast.  For more information, please watch the Femto Second Laser videos , including the step-by-step successful Femto surgery process performed by Dr. Feinerman on one of our patients at the Newport Beach, California  center.

- Z Lasik or Ziemer Lasik is a portable Femto Second Laser

Other alternatives to Lasik

-  PRK  or Photoreactive Keratectomy is a vision correction procedure which includes the removal of a thin layer of cells as opposed to creating a flap as in the standard Lasik surgery procedure and it re-shapes the cornea

This method enables patients who are unable to receive Lasik Surgery with an option for corrective surgery including patients with irregular shaped corneas.  For more information, you can watch a video about the PRK surgery   procedure.

- Zyoptix Customized Laser

The Zyoptix Lasik Eye Surgery is a much faster and it is the latest in technology. Please visit the Zyoptix Lasik surgery page to learn more about the choices available at the Feinerman Vision Center.

Conclusions  about Lasik Eye Surgery

There are several methods of  Lasik eye surgery options available at the Feinerman Vision Center in Newport Beach, Orange County, CA.  Dr. Feinerman is a board-certified ophthalmologist with years of experience in Lasik eye surgeries.
To determine which method is the most appropriate for you,  you can take the Lasik self-evaluation test and  schedule your  consultation with Dr. Feinerman at the Feinerman Vision Center  to determine the safest Lasik surgery method for you.

Testimonials From Our Patients!

Matt Mavis“Recently I had Custom LASIK surgery performed by Dr. Gregg Feinerman at the Feinerman VisionCenter. After 21 years of contacts and glasses, being able to see across the room immediately after surgery was no less than a miracle to me. No more itchy, uncomfortable eyes, no more problems in the surf with a lost contact lens. Just 20/20 vision, that I can’t remember ever having.

The surgery itself is hard to even call surgery. No pain, no discomfort, just a bright red light and friendly voices saying, “Look at the red light, you are doing fantastic!” Furthermore, I was very impressed with the time and care of Dr. Feinerman’s staff in helping me to make the right decision. My eyes are very important to me and I wouldn’t trust them to anyone else. Even though Custom LASIK may seem like a lot to spend, I would urge anyone to put reputation above price.

No more glasses — no more contacts. Dr. Feinerman is most professional, very understanding, personable and with his extraordinary skill, made the entire experience extremely positive for me. I know I found the right doctor and would absolutely recommend Dr. Feinerman and his wonderful staff to anyone looking for the best in Custom LASIK surgery.

Probably the best thing I can say, is that I wish I had done this years ago. It is definitely worth it and has been one of the best investments I ever made!

Truly, thanks again. “

Matt Mavis
Surfer

Lori Daedelow“Dr. Feinerman was amazing! I am seeing better than 20/20, which has helped me excel as an outside hitter in volleyball.”

Lori Daedelow
Oregon State University Volleyball

Dr. Robert Rende“As a LASIK surgeon, I know when you choose a surgeon it should be based upon experience and training, not price. That is why I chose Gregg Feinerman, M.D., for my own surgery.”

Robert Rende, M.D.
Northern California LASIK Surgeon

Tanya Blakemore“Dr Feinerman made my LASIK surgery a pleasant experience. It was the best thing I ever did for myself. Two weeks later I was sky diving”

Tanya Blakemore

Theresa Cronin “LASIK surgery with Dr. Feinerman was quick and painless. Now I can see the spin on the ball better!”

Theresa Cronin
Chapman University Infielder

Anita Depau “Oh, how we take good vision for granted! When I started experiencing the normal symptoms of aging eyes, I blamed it on hours in front of the computer, long meetings and eye fatigue due to travel.

But as president of a fast-paced advertising/promotions agency, poor eyesight was not an option. Nor were contacts that I always forgot to take out at night, or glasses that I frequently left on airplanes. My vision played a critical role in my lifestyle and I searched for the perfect solution.

That solution came via Dr. Gregg Feinerman who performed Crystalens® interocular lens implants in both eyes. I assumed that I would be out of commission for days, but it was quite the contrary. Immediately after surgery I could see wonderfully and my exam the next day proved the surgery to be a success. I could not only read the small type on the eye chart, but my distance vision was considerably better!

The combination of state-of-the-art technology, in the hands of a highly skilled surgeon (and very personable doctor), resulted in a dramatic improvement in my vision. Colors are brighter and more vivid, bringing a new clarity to everything I see. Vision never has to be compromised with this great surgery…it was painless, quick, with immediate results, and no interruption to my busy schedule. And…it’s permanent! No more contacts, no more glasses…ever!”

Anita Depau
President, Benchmark Advertising

Ronna Kincaid“I was blessed to have perfect vision until the age of 40. From then on, my vision grew progressively worse each year. As an interior designer, it has always been important to see colors and detail clearly. I was wearing trifocals and had to feel for my glasses (couldn’t see them!) to put them on before getting out of bed in the morning. Lasik surgery would not have corrected near, middle and distance vision, so glasses would still have been a necessary part of my life.

I did extensive research after hearing about Crystalens implants. Dr. Feinerman had the most experience with this surgery. He met with me personally for each examination, both before and after performing the procedures in each eye. I certainly would not want to meet my eye surgeon in the operating room!

The surgery was phenomenally successful and I can now see everything clearly. It is such a joy to wake up and see a beautiful sunrise without reaching for my glasses first. No more wondering if I’ve picked up the shampoo or the conditioner in the shower or applying eye make up by guesswork! I can read the Thomas Guide, thread a needle, work on the computer and see the surfers in the water a half a mile away. One of the most surprising benefits is that colors and textures are now more “crisp.” In addition, without thick glasses, I look and feel younger!

Thank you, Dr. Feinerman! You have improved my life even more than I had hoped. “

Ronna Kincaid
Interior Designer

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