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The purpose of this blog is to inform, update, and at times to entertain you about your eyesight and the happenings around Spivack Western Slope.

We hope you enjoy - please check back for new posts often.

Do Starfish Have Eyes?

Posted by administration on April 23, 2014

The next time you stumble across a starfish while swimming in the ocean, gaze into his arms to see if he notices you. That’s right…his arms!

Oddly enough, most starfish have primitive compound eyes on the tips of each of their arms. A recent study showed demonstrated that starfish use these eyes to process visual information, especially when there was a need to locate food sources. Two groups of starfish were studied: one group with eyes and one group without. The two groups were placed in a sandy area of the ocean and studied how they moved toward the coral reef, which was their food source. The group with eyes was able to navigate directly toward the reef, while the group without eyes wandered aimlessly.

Additional studies into starfish may help researchers learn more about eye evolution.

Researchers are also continually studying human eyes and devising new technologies to correct vision problems. For example, in the past if you were nearsighted, farsighted or had astigmatism, you were stuck wearing glasses or contact lenses for life. Today, people have options, such as LASIK laser vision correction, to potentially eliminate their need for corrective lenses.

That means swimming in the ocean (and checking out the starfish) with clear vision using just a regular snorkel/diving mask or goggles.

If seeing starfish and other sea creatures more clearly sounds attractive to you, contact Spivack Western Slope at 970-928-9752 or today to schedule your free LASIK Consultation. Dr. Spivack isn’t an expert on starfish, but he has extensive experience in helping qualified candidates improve their vision.

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Spring into Allergy Eye Relief

Posted by administration on April 16, 2014

Beautiful springtime weather inevitably brings scratchy eyes, swollen eyes and itchy eyes in Glenwood Springs. If you wear contact lenses, it’s virtually impossible to keep them in your eyes when you are constantly rubbing them.

Here are a couple of tips to help you through the allergy season:

  • If you’re using eye drops to relieve the discomfort, make sure you take your lenses out first and leave them out for at least ten minutes or you’ll just aggravate the condition.
  • If you’re taking antihistamine that can cause dry eye you should check with your ophthalmologist who may advise switching back to glasses for the duration.

If wearing your glasses for the entire springtime season doesn’t sound appealing, another option is to have LASIK vision correction in Glenwood Springs. While LASIK won’t prevent you from having eye irritation during the spring, it may allow you to enjoy this season without the need for corrective lenses.

At Spivack Western Slope LASIK Center, our advanced LASIK lasers may help to alter the shape of your cornea to correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. Many patients can even achieve 20/20 vision after LASIK, allowing them to live life without glasses or contacts.

The only way to know for sure if you are a good candidate for LASIK is by scheduling a free LASIK Consultation in Glenwood Springs. Contact Spivack Western Slope LASIK Center today to schedule your Consultation at 970-945-2020 or

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How Alcohol Affects Vision

Posted by administration on April 09, 2014

Researchers in Canada recently studied how drinking a “legal” amount of alcohol affects vision. What they discovered is that up to 30% of vision is impaired even before participants hit the legal blood alcohol concentration limit, which is 0.08% in most states.

The researchers used a process called the Hermann Grid for the study. One group of participants consumed nonalcoholic drinks; the other consumed enough alcohol to get just under the legal limit. Both groups then looked at a grid of black squares on a white background to estimate the number of ghost-like dark spot illusions they saw at the intersections of the grid.

Participants who consumed alcohol were 30% less effective in distinguishing contrast of the spots in the grid as they approached the legal blood alcohol limit.

The results of this study showed that drinking alcohol will make it difficult to distinguish differences between objects based on lightness and darkness. Your vision may be impaired by up to 30% when driving at night or at twilight under the influence of just one or two alcoholic drinks.

Everyone should take note of this study, whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, have perfect vision or have had LASIK vision correction. No one is immune from the effects of alcohol, and even if you “feel” good enough to drive after having one or two drinks, your vision may still be impaired.

At Spivack Western Slope we inform all of our patients when they can safely consume alcohol before and after eye procedures, such as LASIK. We encourage all patients to be responsible when drinking and always have a designated driver. To learn more about LASIK, including the cost of LASIK, schedule a free LASIK Consultation with Dr. Spivack at Spivack Western Slope. Call 970-928-9752 or visit today. 

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Is LASIK Safer than Contacts?

Posted by administration on April 02, 2014

Some studies have shown that LASIK can be up to five times safer than contacts* due to lens-related eye infections over long-term use. There are quite a few “human” errors that may account for many of the complications from contact lenses.

If you wear contacts, you were probably instructed by your eye doctor about the proper way to care for your contacts. But do you really remember all of that advice? Take a minute to read through this list and audit your own contact lens habits. Do you follow every one of these recommendations?

  • Follow the usage instructions of your contacts implicitly; don’ t wear contacts longer than they are meant to be worn – this can lead to infection
  • Don’t sleep in contacts; this will further deprive your eyes of oxygen
  • Replace your lens case every three months, even if you wash it regularly, to avoid bacteria build-up
  • Keep tap water (from sinks or even showers) and chlorinated water (from swimming pools) away from your lenses; these water sources are not sterile and may lead to infection
  • Wash your lens case regularly with cleaning solution (not tap water), but make sure you allow it to dry completely before closing it
  • Never reuse contact cleaning solutions; yesterday’s solution probably has bacteria in it and you don’t want your lenses soaking in a dirty solution today
  • Never use your own spit to clean lenses; your saliva is riddled with bacteria
  • Avoid buying cheap lens cleaning solutions; you should ask your doctor what the best cleaning solution is for your unique eyes to avoid having eye sensitivities
  • Throw away old contact lenses and old cleaning solutions; check expiration dates to avoid the risk of infection
  • Don’t wear contacts if your eyes are irritated or if the contact appears damaged; this can lead to infection or a scratched cornea
  • Wash your hands before putting in your contacts
  • Avoid waterproof makeup; it can stick to your lenses

If this list raised some red flags for you regarding your contact lens usage, it might be time to consider LASIK to correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. At Spivack Western Slope LASIK Center we offer LASIK vision correction in Glenwood Springs, Colorado to help our patients reduce or even eliminate the need for contact lenses.

Contact us today at 970-945-2020 or to schedule your free LASIK Consultation. It might just help the overall health of your eyes and help you live a lens-free life.

* Sources: Mathers, W.D. Archives of Ophthalmology, October 2006; vol 124: pp 1510-1511. William Mathers, MD, professor of ophthalmology, Oregon Health & Science University Casey Eye Institute, Portland, OR.

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How Do You Handle Visual Information Overload?

Posted by administration on March 27, 2014

Have you ever experienced information overload…on your eyes? There is a real condition called Load-Induced Blindness that occurs when you have too much visual information coming at you. A new study showed that when you are faced with a lot of visual data at once, your ability to see critical information is reduced – similar to what happens when there are lower light levels on an image you need to detect.

The study included volunteers with normal vision who completed a sensory memory task involving colors, positions and line orientations on rapidly flashing squares. In high load situations (lots of visual data), participants were only able to accurately spot line orientation in 64% of the images; in low load situations, that percentage went up to 95%. In the high load situations, participants needed 50% more light contrast to increase accuracy.

The bottom line is that too much visual information at one time may cause you to miss important things. Add into the mix that your vision is impaired with nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and you may have an even more difficult time at distinguishing important images during attention-demanding situations (although this was not specifically included in the study).

Having LASIK laser vision correction to correct vision problems will not change how your brain processes high loads of visual information, but it may allow you to see without the need for corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses)…removing one more barrier to seeing clearly. LASIK has changed the lives of many of our patients at Spivack Western Slope, allowing them to work, play and parent with visual freedom in Glenwood Springs.

To learn more about LASIK technology in Glenwood Springs and find out how much LASIK costs, contact Dr. Spivack at Spivack Western Slope to schedule a free LASIK Consultation. Call 970-928-9752 or visit our website at today.

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