For over 60 years, St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute has provided outstanding eye care to the residents of Safety Harbor. Our facility features the latest technology for addressing common and rare eye conditions. Safety Harbor patients are impressed with not only the skills and knowledge of our doctors, but also the friendly, personalized patient care they provide to all who visit. We strive to ensure you are comfortable and satisfied as we preserve and improve your vision with treatments that include:
Over half of all people develop cataracts by the age of 80. Cataracts are clumps of protein that form on the lens of the eye and produce hazy vision. With cataract surgery, our doctors remove the natural lens that has been obstructed with cataracts and then replace it with an intraocular lens that restores clear vision. This surgery is brief and highly successful, with patients achieving markedly improved vision instantaneously. The results from cataract surgery are permanent since cataracts cannot reform on an artificial lens.
Clear lens exchange, also known as refractive lens exchange, helps patients to overcome refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Our surgeon carefully removes the natural lens from the eye, and then immediately replaces it with an intraocular lens (IOL) that can correct vision without the need for glasses or contacts. We carry multifocal, monofocal, phakic, toric and accommodating implants to meet the needs of a diverse group of patients.
LASIK is an elective procedure for people with refractive errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism) who do not wish to be dependent on prescription eyewear. This quick and pain-free procedure uses a laser to reshape the cornea and achieve at least 20/40 vision in almost every patient. Our doctors offer epi-LASIK, which makes a thinner flap on the cornea, thereby accelerating the recovery period and minimizing discomfort. Best of all, the results are indefinite.
If the eye cannot drain fluids properly, the accumulation can put undue pressure on the optic nerve. This condition is known as glaucoma. Although glaucoma cannot be cured, it can be treated. To relieve this pressure, our team usually recommends a laser treatment or prescription eye drops. Early detection and treatment are essential since vision that is lost through glaucoma cannot be restored. Patients who ignore glaucoma are at risk for going blind.
Patients who frequently experience red, irritated and itchy eyes may suffer from chronic dry eye. It can be attributed to age and multiple environmental factors, as well as inadequate tear production. Beyond being uncomfortable, dry eye can cause permanent damage like scarring on the eye, which is why treatment is important. Our doctors may suggest a few different lifestyle adjustments and prescribe medicated eye drops to better lubricate the eyes and minimize the irritation.
The cornea is the clear outer surface of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. For a person to see properly, light must pass through the cornea. That can be impeded if the cornea suffers a traumatic injury, has ulcers or is bulging from keratoconus. If other treatments are inadequate, this surgical intervention, which involves replacing some of the cornea with corneal tissue from a donor, can be the best way to protect the eye and revive vision.
While corneas are normally rounded, the corneas of people with keratoconus progressively bulge outward. Because of this distortion, keratoconus patients see their vision gradually worsen, even when wearing corrective lenses. Custom contact lenses or scleral lenses (which do not rest on the cornea) can usually help to correct vision, but some patients may need a corneal transplant to improve severe blurriness and light sensitivity.
Diabetic retinopathy causes blurry vision, floaters and pain in patients with diabetes who do not properly manage their blood sugar levels. When blood sugar spikes, retinal blood vessels can leak and harm the optic nerve. Treatment for this condition includes pan retinal photocoagulation, a laser procedure that closes the blood vessels to prevent further leaking. For those who have too much blood in the vitreous gel already, vitrectomy can remove and replace the vitreous to improve sight.
Patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) experience a slow loss of their central vision, which makes straight lines look wavy and text indecipherable. Although science has yet to find a cure for AMD, our doctors can provide a treatment plan that can help extend the amount of time a patient can see. In addition to eating a diet (or supplements) full of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins C and E, patients can undergo laser therapy or prescription injections to tackle AMD.
Make an Appointment
In addition to treating these eye conditions for Safety Harbor patients, St. Michael’s Eye & Laser Institute offers comprehensive eye exams and has an optical store featuring a wide range of frames, from designer names to more affordable options. For an appointment with one of our outstanding doctors, please book online or call (727) 585-2200.