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The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) is the only statewide organization representing California ophthalmologists and their patients. CAEPS' activities include public education about important eye health care concerns, legislative advocacy, interaction with third party payers about reimbursement and coverage issues, and continuing medical education for ophthalmologists and their staffs.

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If you are a California ophthalmologist, be part of an organization working for California ophthalmology!

CAEPS is Here for YOU.

  • CAEPS Saves You Money
  • CAEPS Fight Policies that Hurt Your Practice and Patients
  • Joining AAO and CMA are NOT Enough

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  • April 01, 2020 12:00 AM | Craig H Kliger (Administrator)
    In this time of national pandemic, experts say guarding your eyes — as well as your hands and mouth — can slow the spread of coronavirus. Read an article from the American Academy of Ophthalmology's EyeSmart site that describes why it's important to protect your eyes during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, and five ways you can help yourself and others.
  • February 01, 2020 12:00 AM | Craig H Kliger (Administrator)

    Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is one of the leading causes of blindness over age 50, affecting about 2.1 million people nationwide. Early diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss.CAEPS and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) are therefore educating the public about the facts on AMD. 

    AMD is a degenerative disease that happens when part of the retina called the macula is damaged. It’s the part of the eye that delivers sharp, central vision needed to see objects straight ahead. Over time, the loss of central vision can interfere with everyday activities, such as the ability to drive, read, and see faces clearly.

    Ophthalmologists – physicians who specialize in medical and surgical eye care – have more tools than ever before to diagnose the disease earlier, and to treat it better. But these advances cannot help patients whose disease is undiagnosed, or patients who are unaware of the seriousness of their disease. People’s lack of understanding about AMD is a real danger to public health. A recent study showed that most people with AMD don’t realize it’s a chronic health issue that requires regular attention for the rest of their lives. 

    Both Academies offer these seven steps to help people take control of their eye health:

    • Get regular comprehensive medical eye exams. AMD often has no early warning signs, so getting regular comprehensive eye exams from an ophthalmologistis critical to diagnosing and treating the eye disease in its early stages. Both CAEPS and the AAO recommend that adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease get a baseline eye disease screening at age 40 — the time when early signs of disease and changes in vision may start to occur. By age 65, the recommended exam frequency is every one to two years, even in the absence of symptoms or eye problems.
    • Quit smoking. Numerous studies show smoking increases the risk of developing AMD, and the speed at which it progresses. Smokers are twice as likely to develop macular degeneration compared with a nonsmoker.
    • Eat a well-balanced dietMany studies demonstrate that eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and nutrient-packed foods, such as salmon and nuts, may reduce the risk of AMD. Researchalso suggests that patients who ate fresh fish, an important source of omega-3s, were at lower risk of developing AMD.
    • Take the right kind of vitamins. Vitamins can delay progression of advanced AMD and help people keep their vision longer if they have intermediate AMD or advanced AMD in one eye. But make sure it’s the right combination of vitamins. A recent study found that some of the top-selling products do not contain identical ingredient dosages to eye vitamin formulas proven effective in clinical trials.
    • Exercise regularlyExercising three times a week can reduce the risk of developing wet AMD by 70 percent. Studies also show that physical activity may lower the odds of both early and late-stages of AMD.
    • Monitor your sight with an Amsler Grid. This simple, daily routine takes less than one minute and can help people with AMD save more of their vision. Using this grid is essential to finding any vision changes that are not obvious, so you can report them to your ophthalmologist.
    • Know your family’s eye health history. If you have a close relative with AMD, you have a 50 percent greater chance of developing the condition. Before your next eye exam, speak with your family about their eye health history. You may need more frequent eye exams based on your family history.

    “Most people understand the importance of annual medical examinations," said Rahul N. Khurana, MD, Immediate Past President of CAEPS, and a clinical spokesperson for both CAEPS and the AAO. “However, we often forget that our eyes also need regular evaluation by a medical doctor. Degenerative diseases, such AMD, can now be successfully treated, but early detection is imperative to avoid lasting consequences."

    To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

  • January 01, 2020 12:00 AM | Craig H Kliger (Administrator)

    Learn the risk factors

    Approximately 2.7 million Americans have the potentially blinding eye disease glaucoma, but only half are aware of it. Meanwhile, glaucoma incidence is on the rise. Researchers predict that glaucoma will affect as many as 6.3 million Americas by 2050

    Image showing how a person would perceive glaucoma at various stages

    The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) are sharing a list of disease risk factors in recognition of January as "National Glaucoma Awareness Month."

    “It is imperative that people understand the precursors to this debilitating disease,” said Amin Ashrafzadeh, MD, CAEPS President. “If you are at risk, then getting an exam from an ophthalmologist as soon as possible can help protect you from vision loss.”

    Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve, which links the eyes to the brain. It is most commonly associated with elevated pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure, or IOP. Without treatment, glaucoma can cause irreversible vision loss in a person’s side vision, then in his or her central vision. With early diagnosis and treatment, sight can be preserved. However, glaucoma has no noticeable symptoms in its early stages, so it is imperative that people know the risk factors.

    Certain factors can increase an individual’s risk of developing glaucoma, including:

    • Family History: Individuals with a parent or sibling with glaucoma have a nine times higher risk of developing the disease, according to one study.
    • Older Age: As people age, their risk for glaucoma increases. Because this is the case for several eye diseases, both Academies recommend that adults start getting regular comprehensive eye exams at age 40. This is the age when early signs of eye disease and changes in vision may first occur, even if you have seemingly perfect vision. So, it is important to get a comprehensive eye exam from an ophthalmologist, a physician specializing in medical and surgical eye care.
    • African, Hispanic or Asian Heritage: People of African and Hispanic heritage are three times more likely to have the most common form of glaucoma than Caucasians. Glaucoma-related blindness is at least six times more prevalent in African Americans than in Caucasian Americans. Additionally, people of Asian heritage are at an increased risk of a sudden and acute form of glaucoma known as angle-closure glaucoma.
    • Type 2 Diabetes: Having type 2 diabetes increases the risk of glaucoma. The longer a person has lived with diabetes, the greater their risk for glaucoma becomes.

    Additionally, when the cornea – the clear, round dome on the front of the eye that covers the iris and pupil – is abnormally thin, IOP readings may be falsely low. This puts patients at increased risk for undiagnosed glaucoma. This is common among those who have had refractive surgery, such as LASIK or photorefractive keratectomy. Another risk factor associated with glaucoma is a history of eye trauma.

    “Many of my patients are surprised to learn that one or more of these factors put them at an increased risk,” said CAEPS member Andrew Iwach, M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the AAO and a glaucoma specialist. “Being aware of your personal risk of glaucoma is the first step to saving your sight.”

    Glaucoma treatment ranges from medicated eye drops to a variety of surgeries that can help reduce high IOP. This may involve procedures that make small changes in the eye to help fluid drain more easily. In some cases, small devices known as shunts or stents are inserted in the eye to increase the flow of the eye’s fluid out of the eye.

    People age 65 or older and concerned about their eye disease risk may be eligible for a medical eye exam at no out-of-pocket cost through EyeCare America™, a program of the Foundation of the AAO. In addition, those who are at an increased risk for glaucoma may also qualify for a glaucoma exam through EyeCare America. This public service program matches volunteer ophthalmologists with eligible patients in need across the United States. To see if you, your friends or family members are eligible, visit www.eyecareamerica.org.

    To learn more about glaucoma, its risk factors and its treatment, visit www.geteyesmart.org.

  • September 01, 2019 12:00 AM | Craig H Kliger (Administrator)
    According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams. In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons joins the AAO in emphasizing the importance of having regular eye exams to maintain healthy eyes and vision.


    Some of the more common age-related eye diseases include
    age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can help to save sight before vision loss occurs. Ophthalmologists – the physicians that specialize in medical and surgical eye care – recommend a dilated comprehensive eye exam as the best way to prevent these conditions from becoming debilitating.

    U.S. Adults Do Not Get Eye Exams as Often as Recommended
    The survey results emphasize a need for more education about the importance of medical eye exams. Findings showed that 64 percent of adults had at least one or more of the following issues with their eyes or vision:

    • difficulty seeing at night;
    • blurry vision;
    • reading up close;
    • flashes of light;
    • red, watery eyes; and,
    • double vision.

    Despite experiencing some level of impairment, only 13 percent admitted they had been seen by an ophthalmologist.

    How Often Do Adults Need Eye Exams?
    Both Academies recommend that a healthy adult get a baseline eye exam at age 40, even if they have no history of eye problems or eye disease. Those who have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may require more frequent exams.

    "Sight is precious, and catching problems early can make a big difference in maintaining vision for the long term, says Rahul N. Khurana, MD, a retina specialist and CAEPS President.

    Those over age 65 who may be concerned about cost or lack of health insurance, the AAO’s EyeCare America program offers eligible seniors a comprehensive eye exam and up to one year of treatment at no out-of-pocket cost.

    To learn more ways to keep your eyes healthy, visit the AAO's  EyeSmart® website.
  • February 01, 2019 12:00 PM | Craig H Kliger (Administrator)

    One in four Americans age 65 or older has diabetes, putting them at increased risk for vision loss and blindness. Fortunately, diabetes-related vision loss is largely preventable with regular care. Yet studies have found a majority of Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes do not get the necessary eye exams despite the fact that the exams could be covered under their existing insurance.

    Image showing features of diabetic retinopathy

    The California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons (CAEPS) and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) are reminding older Americans with diabetes that they should obtain these critical eye exams each year.


    “When it comes to diabetes-related vision loss, the good news is it is largely preventable. Unfortunately, many seniors in California are simply not aware that they need these eye exams,” said Rahul N. Khurana, MD, CAEPS president. “We are encouraging seniors—indeed, all Californians with diabetes—to take a minute to think about whether they have had an exam within a year, and if not, to make an appointment as soon as possible.”

    Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can affect the small blood vessels in the eyes, causing them to leak and grow irregularly. This leads to vision loss if left untreated. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy and affects about 30 percent of people living with diabetes. It can also lead to other blinding ocular complications, such as diabetic macular edema. In this disease, the macula—the part of the eye responsible for detailed vision—swells, damaging vision and leading to blindness. Risk for these complications increases with age and duration of diabetes.

    To prevent diabetes-related vision loss, both Academies recommend people with diabetes get a dilated eye exam each year. Getting these exams can help prevent 95 percent of this type of vision loss. The exams are performed by ophthalmologists—physicians that specialize in medical and surgical eye care—and optometrists. For those with Medicare, because plans vary, people with diabetes should talk with their primary care doctor to determine the best process for setting up an eye exam. Those with Medicare Advantage may have different benefits from those with only Medicare Part B, which is traditional Medicare. Those with commercial insurance would need to check their specific policy.

    Comprehensive eye exams include putting dilating drops into the eyes to help the pupil expand. This allows a better view of the retina—the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye—and makes it easier to see early signs of diabetic retinopathy. Cameras may also be used to record any disease progression. These special cameras include a microscope to get close-up images of the retina.

    These eye exams allow early detection, monitoring and, if needed, treatment of diabetic eye disease. This can prevent unnecessary vision loss, enabling people with diabetes to continue to live full and productive lives. Such exams also allow checking for conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts, for which people with diabetes are at an increased risk.

    “It is essential for people with diabetes to get eye exams every year,” said Rahul N. Khurana, MD, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a member of the CAEPS Board of Councilors, and a retina specialist. “Sometimes my patients are surprised to find that Medicare or other insurance covers these sight-saving exams, which are simply one of the best steps a person can take toward preventing vision loss.”

    For those with Medicare, the program covers 80 percent of the cost of eye exams for people with diabetes and the remaining 20 percent is typically paid for by the patient. If this cost is a concern, EyeCare America may be able to help. This is a public service program of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. It can help older Americans get a comprehensive eye exam and up to one year of care at no out-of-pocket cost. Learn more or see if you or your loved one qualifies at www.eyecareamerica.org. 



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