Medical Eye Center in the News
Dr. Oliva and Medical Eye Center featured on the Jefferson Exchange-Jefferson Public Radio
When you live up where the air is thin and the sun is closer, cataracts can be much more common. The people who live in Nepal are prone to blindness from cataracts, a condition that can be corrected by relatively inexpensive surgery–still too expensive for most of the people in that poor country. So the Himalayan Cataract Project was born to bring the surgery to the people, and Dr. Matt Oliva is part of the team. He talks about his trips to the roof of the world and the work he does there.
A 4-Minute Surgery That Can Give Sight To The Blind. Dr. Oliva and Medical Eye Center featured on All Things Considered, National Public Radio (NPR)
Alimi Hassen, 80, had been blind for 7 years. After his eyesight was restored, he hugs his surgeon, Dr. Matt Oliva from the Himalayan Cataract Project. Jason Beaubien/NPR The blind have descended in droves on the Bisidimo Hospital in Eastern Ethiopia. The Himalayan Cataract Project is hosting a mass cataract surgery campaign at the medical compound that used to be a leper colony. For one week a team from the nonprofit has set up seven operating tables in four operating rooms and they’re offering free cataract surgery to anyone who needs it.
Our Global Partners Program supports the Himalayan Cataract Project
Medical Eye Center has started a new initiative called the Global Partners Program to help eradicate curable blindness in the developing world. Through this program, the surgeons at MEC have pledged to personally sponsor one sight-restoring cataract surgery in Nepal, Ghana or Ethiopia for every LASIK surgery they perform. Read the full article…
Dr. Matt Oliva Featured on HBO’s ‘Vice’
Watch the complete video. Medical Eye Center’s cornea specialist, Dr. Matt Oliva, gave the crew of HBO’s ‘Vice’ an intimate look into the sight-restoring efforts of medical teams treating cataracts in developing countries. This Emmy-winning series followed Dr. Oliva and the Himalayan Cataract Project to Ethiopia, where they performed nearly 700 surgeries over the course of a week. Around the world, 19 million people are blind because of cataracts. The number of cases are disproportionately high in developing countries, like Ethiopia, where sunlight exposure, poor water quality and lack of access to medical care have created a nation-wide health issue. “It’s a social problem, it’s a human suffering problem and it’s an economic problem,” says Dr. Oliva. In regions where blind family members often become burdensome to their loved ones, cataract surgery is truly a transformative procedure. During the filming of “Beating Blindness,” Dr. Oliva and the surgical team performed nearly 100 surgeries each day. With a recovery time of less than 24 hours, the results from cataract procedures are immediate and life-changing. “The best part of every morning is getting to take the patches off,” says Dr. Oliva, “and seeing all of our hard work from yesterday.” For people who never expected to experience sight again, the transformation is profound. The gift of renewed vision not only impacts the lives of individual patients, but also affects the well-being of entire communities. Watch the complete video.
Curt Schlosser’s Story
As a young man, Curt was diagnosed with keratoconus, a degenerative disease that causes the cornea of the eye to thin and bulge. Over the years, Curt has received a total of four corneal transplants, including one in 2013, which was performed by Medical Eye Center corneal specialists Drs. Matt Oliva and John Welling. “I cannot imagine how radically my life would be different if I lost my vision after having such a great life with vision,” says Curt. “My vision is my most valuable sense, I guess because it has been threatened. That’s why I want to help others see through the hands of Drs. Welling and Oliva.” Read the full story…
Dr. Oliva’s 2017 Expedition
In February 2017, Dr. Matt Oliva ventured to Myanmar to work with corneal surgeons at Yangon Eye Hospital. Throughout the campaign, Dr. Oliva assisted local ophthalmologists in performing corneal transplants, delivered lectures on surgical techniques, and conducted trainings with ophthalmology residents. Read the full story…
FDA Approves New Therapeutic Treatment for Progressive Keratoconus
Avedro, Inc., an ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical device company, has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Photrexa Viscous, Photrexa and the KXL System. Together, this new system represents a significant milestone in the treatment of keratoconus, a progressive eye disease that causes a thinning of the cornea. The KXL System is made for use with a keratoconus treatment option called corneal collagen cross linking, which uses riboflavin and UV light to strengthen the weakened cornea caused by the disease. This treatment is often performed in addition to the use of intacs, which are plastic polymer implants inserted into the cornea to help support its shape. Keratoconus can occur in one or both eyes and often begins during a person’s teens or early 20s. The thinning of the clear front surface of the eye causes the normally round cornea to bulge into a cone-like shape that can dramatically impact vision. This progressive condition can often be difficult to detect, as it usually develops slowly. Symptoms include blurred vision, light sensitivity, progressive nearsightedness and difficulty seeing at night. “Corneal cross-linking provides patients a much-needed option to treat this debilitating disease,” says Mary Prudden, Executive Director for the National Keratoconus Foundation. “Patients suffering from progressive keratoconus can now receive a therapeutic treatment that has been rigorously tested and approved.” The KXL System is expected to be available for qualifying patients before the end of this year. Consult your Medical Eye Center ophthalmologist to determine if corneal cross-linking is
HBO features Dr. Matt Oliva and the Himalayan Cataract Project
Season Four of of the Emmy-winning television series VICE on HBO features a compelling segment titled “Beating Blindness” that features Medical Eye Center’s cornea specialist, Dr. Matt Oliva. Correspondent Isobel Yeung travels to Ethiopia to meet Dr. Oliva while working with the Himalayan Cataract Project. While in Ethiopia, Isobel shadows Dr. Oliva and the surgical team as they perform nearly 700 surgeries over the course of a week. Watch the video…