Costume Lenses a Scary idea

We’re not trying to scare you.  Okay, maybe a little.  But those colored contacts you plan on wearing with your Halloween costume could cause some serious problems for your eyes.

Decorative contact lenses do not come with replacements or care instructions.  Shepherd Eye contact lens specialists report seeing ulcers, infections and abrasions from costume contact wearers over the years.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology states that “improper use of contact lenses can cause corneal ulcers, painful infections and blindness.” 

The AAO goes on to state that there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” contact.  If not properly fitted, the lens can actually damage your eye causing pain and vision loss.  Decorative contact lenses can and should only be purchased from an eye care professional.  If not, be aware of the damaging risks that go along with wearing them.  Shepherd Eye hopes you avoid these risks and still make your Halloween costume unforgettable!    

Shepherd Eye Center Serving You, Las Vegas

So far this year, Shepherd Eye Center sponsored a variety of events for local, non-profit organizations including Down Syndrome Organization of Southern Nevada, the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the Blind Center of Nevada and the Women’s Club of Summerlin.

Shepherd Eye also ventured into the community to conduct free glaucoma screenings for partnership with the HealthCare Partners of Southern Nevada as well as free cataract screenings through Barbara Greenspun Health.

Not only does Shepherd serve as a proud sponsor and conduct free cataract and glaucoma screenings to the Las Vegas community, but Shepherd Eye also exhibits at work places throughout the valley giving away gifts, eye care information and administering visual acuity testing.

Although Shepherd Eye has exhibited at health fairs all year, HERE is a list of upcoming fairs.  Please tell your friends and family who may be employed at any of the following to stop by our booth!


The Quad (formerly Imperial Palace) 09/03

Caesars Palace  09/04

Flamingo  09/05

Harrah’s  09/06

Rio      09/09

Bally’s   09/10

Caesar’s Corporate  09/11

Paris    09/12

Planet Hollywood 09/13

One NV Credit Union 10/10

Sam’s Town 10/11

Two of Shepherd’s Finest Bid Adieu

Last week, Shepherd Eye Center said good bye to two of its beloved, long-term employees: Karen and Tory.  Karen is relocating to the East coast, while Tory is relocating to the Midwest.  Karen worked for Shepherd Eye Center for 24 years, moving up in the company to her role as Community Outreach and Credentials Director.  Tory worked for SEC for 17 years  as a certified ophthalmic assistant(COA).  Both women had the privilege of working with Dr. Shepherd when he headed the practice.

Karen and Tory demonstrated Shepherd’s values through their dedicated work ethic, enthusiasm, and genuine empathy for both their colleagues’ and patients’ well-being.  We are sad to say good bye to two of our treasured employees.  They will be missed.  Shepherd Eye Center wishes them each an abundance of blessings as they embark on the next chapter. Thank you for your collective years of service!

It’s Allergy Season!

Tis the season…allergy season!  Eye allergies affect one in five Americans.   Seasonal allergies happen during certain times of the year when usually spring and fall, when exposure to pollen from grasses, trees, weeds, and mold spores increases.

Seasonal eye allergy symptoms include red, itchy, burning eyes, over-tearing, or even swollen, puffy eyelids.   You can limit your exposure to allergens and stave symptoms by staying indoors and using your air conditioner while driving instead of rolling down your car windows.   Wearing large sunglasses can block some degree of pollen that could potentially get near your eyes too.  Do not rub your eyes, that will make your symptoms worse.

Saline eye rinses and lubricants soothe allergy-irritated eyes and help flush out the allergens. Oral antihistamines can help as well.   Refrigerating eye drops may help them provide additional relief of allergy symptoms.

Red, itchy, burning, and puffy eyes can be caused  by infections and other conditions that could potentially threaten your vision.  If your symptoms persist after you’ve already tried drops and antihistamines, visit your eye doctor to make sure it isn’t anything more serious.

All Good Things Come to an End

Tomorrow Shepherd Eye loses one of its veteran technicians.  Certified ophthalmic technician, Efrem Caballero, retires after 25 years of dedicated service to the Shepherd Eye Center.    Dr. Shepherd hired Efrem himself in April of 1988.  I sat down with Efrem to learn more about him, his past, and his plans after Shepherd Eye Center.

What did you do before this?

“In Columbia, I practiced medicine.  As a matter of fact, I was an ophthalmologist!  It’s very hard; not impossible, but it was very hard to transfer your licensure [from Columbia to the U.S.].  You can only aspire to become a family practice physician, but you have to pass the boards, you have to do the internship again, you have to do two more years in a family practice.  If I wanted to be an ophthalmologist in the United States, I would have had to apply for a residency and that here is very difficult and very stressful.  When I moved here, I had a wife and two, young children.  So the only option was to…(he pauses)…It’s a good thing I found Dr. Shepherd!”

When did you move to the United States?

“I was 39 years old when I moved here.  My son is now 35 and my daughter is 33.”

How did you adjust from being an ophthalmologist to a technician?

“It’s been very difficult for me to become a good technician. I don’t think I ever became one.  I had too many barriers as far as the outside, the way I was trained.  It was difficult for me.  There are technicians here today who are superior than I am.  Very good.  Excellent technicians here.  It was very difficult for me psychologically, and I try but sometimes I’m very slow. ”

How have things changed in the practice over the years?

“It’s like everything else, when it grows, when the practice grows, employees become just employees.  There was a kind of family structure here in the beginning.  Dr Shepherd had a solo practice then.   Technology changes.  We started on computers that only had keyboards; no mouse.  Then we switched to a new system, and then a new system, and now we have this system.

They are hiring younger and younger technicians.  Some of them are very bright.  They’re studying.  This is temporary for them.  They’re going to school.  Some of them are very, very good.  And that’s how it is.  It is time for me to step down and go into something else.  Something with a different rhythm, living in a small town in my home country.”

What did you love most about your job at Shepherd?

“Stability.  It has been a pleasure to work with the group.  Definitely I have learned alot. I think I’ll miss them ya know?”

When you return to Columbia will you retire or return to ophthalmology?

“My familly is over there already.  We already bought a condo.  Very, very simple.  You know I want a simple life. I’m tired.  But let me tell you…I am grateful.  I am grateful to Dr. Shepherd.  That he opened the doors to this country, and that I came and we had a very good life.  My kids went to school here.  My daughter will stay because she got married to an American and she’s very much from “here” and that’s okay.  But my son, he’s going with us.

I don’t want to say that I’m leaving because I’m tired of this country. It’s just time for me to retire, maybe semi-retire.  I feel like I just can’t keep up with the busy pace and all the changes.   I’ve been thinking about this for the last few years.  I wasn’t ready to do it, but now I’m making the big step.

I do plan to practice once I move back, probably at a different level without being so busy.  I’ve been studying alternative medicine. ”

Efrem has been studying an alternative medicine called orthomolecular medicine pioneered by Dr. Abram Hoffer.  He hopes to pursue orthomolecular medicine next.   The Shepherd Eye Center wishes Efrem and his family the very best in all future endeavors and would like to assure Efrem that he will always be part of the Shepherd family.





3D Video Games & Kids’ Eyes

September is Child Eye Safety Month.  We’ve told you some tips and instructions that you can take to keep your child’s eyes safe and protected.  We haven’t talked about 3D video games yet.  As a parent, you know how addicting these games can be!  Do those long hours absorbed in video games tax your child’s eyesight?

Our pediatric ophthalmologist, Dr. Adam Rovit, says no.  He thinks video games are great fun! “Fortunately, children have a high accommodative reserve so they can focus up close without symptoms for longer periods of time than adults.” Rovit says.

He continues, “However, kids need to take a break occasionally as well. If your child cannot see the 3D effect or is tiring quickly they should be evaluated with a complete eye exam. Uncorrected refractive errors or amblyopia (lazy eye) may be present.”

With that, we say it’s safe to let your kids enjoy the virtual world of video games!  If your child has trouble seeing the 3D effects or gets tired eyes from the screen, you know that’s your alert to schedule an appointment at the Shepherd Eye Center for a complete eye exam to evaluate for Lazy Eye.

Are Your Child’s Eyes Ready for School?

Vision screening is essential to early detection of problems that impact learning and quality of life


Las Vegas, NV – As children return to school, ophthalmologists are reminding parents that good vision and eye health are key to students’ ability to do well in the classroom and be safe on the playground. September is Children’s Eye Health and Safety month, and Shepherd Eye Center encourages Las Vegas families to make sure students receive children’s vision screening.

The first hint that Quinn Kirby had a serious but correctable vision problem was during a preliminary screening at her pediatrician’s office. Quinn, a bright, lively four-year-old, was asked to identify pictures and letters, but she couldn’t name them. This frustrated her, since she knew her alphabet. The pediatrician recommended sending Quinn to a pediatric ophthalmologist, an eye medical doctor who cares for children, for a comprehensive eye exam.

The comprehensive eye exam showed that Quinn’s vision was 20/30 in her right eye and 8/200 in the left, compared with 20/20 normal vision. Her stronger eye was doing most of the work, and her other eye was becoming weaker as a result, a condition called amblyopia. Quinn’s weaker eye was also turned slightly inward – a variation of a condition called strabismus – but this was too subtle to be noticed except in an exam.

Quinn’s ophthalmologist applauded her pediatrician for detecting vision problems, and said that such vision problems are nearly impossible for parents to detect in young children. Vision screening by a school nurse, pediatrician or other qualified health provider is the best way to ensure healthy vision in children.

“Quinn’s story illustrates how vision screening and proper treatment can make a big difference to a child’s future,” said Shepherd’s Pediatric Ophthalmologist Dr. Adam Rovit “When a potential problem is found, a comprehensive eye exam by an ophthalmologist is the best way to determine whether vision correction or other treatment is needed.”

It is also important for parents to know how vision does — and does not — play a role for children with learning disabilities. Learning disabilities result from the brain’s misinterpretation of images received and relayed by the eyes, rather than from structural or functional eye problems. Learning disabilities are not treatable by eye exercises or vision therapy. If learning disabilities are suspected, students may need testing, neurological exams, and treatment.


Whether or not learning disabilities are suspected, all students need vision screening to check eye health and visual acuity. Quinn’s mother, Kris, teaches third grade and said some of her students’ learning struggles might have been avoided if they had had vision screening and treatment when they entered kindergarten, or as soon as vision or learning problems were suspected.


“I’d encourage all parents to make sure your children get screened at school, at your pediatrician’s office, or through another health service,” Kris said. “My husband and I are grateful that Quinn’s problem was discovered and treated early. She’s now almost five-and-a-half, with 20/25 vision in her right eye and 20/30 in the left. She loves being able to do whatever her big brother does and enjoys reading with us.”


Quinn’s treatment included eye glasses and eye patch treatment. She wore a patch over her stronger eye for about eight hours each day so that her weaker eye could take on the work of seeing and develop more normally. “She insisted all of us wear patches along with her,” Kris added. “In their daisy eye patches, Quinn and my husband were famous at our local market!”


For more information on children’s vision and eye health and safety, visit


About Shepherd Eye Center

Elephant gets contact lens

Shepherd Eye Center just loved this news story and wanted to share it with you!  Last December, an Asian elephant named Win Thida at the Artis Royal Zoo in Amsterdam showed signs of a red, weeping eye.  Zoologists suspected she’d scraped her cornea; the thin layer of tissue on the surface of the eye, by a scratching against a tree branch accidentally.

Zoo officials tried to heal her eye with topical medications but those failed so the zoo contacted a veterinary ophthalmologist, Anne-Marie Verbruggen.   Her prescription for the 45-year old elephant was to use a contact lens as a makeshift bandaid over the cornea until it could heal.  Verbruggen used her experience with corneal injuries in horses to choose a jumbo sized therapeutic contact lens for Win Thida’s eye.

There was one major problem, the elephant wasn’t trained to accept eye care.  It took a month to train the elephant to feel receptive to ophthalmic intervention.  Since elephants can’t like down long because their weight impairs their breathing, Dr. Verbruggen climbed a ladder, anesthetized the injured eye, and used a set of forceps to place the contact lens onto the elephant’s eye.

The elephant went 10 days without somehow excising it from its eye on its own; just long enough for her to feel comfortable and healed.  Win Thida’s eye damage was ultimately irreparable and left a scar but she is no longer in any pain thanks to the protection of the contact lens.

Shepherd Eye Center Blood Drive June 15

Shepherd Eye Center is hosting a blood drive at its Pecos-Mcleod location this Friday, June 15th.  The public is invited to donate and receive two vouchers for a 51’s baseball game.

You must be at least 17 years of age or older, weigh at least 110 lbs, and be healthy on the day of the drive.  Tattoos have to be over 1 year old to donate.

On the day of your generous blood donation, remember to drink plenty of fluids the day before and the day of your donation.  Try to avoid caffeinated beverages the day of donating.  Eat a healthy breakfast because your body wil need extra energy to donate a pint of blood.  Wear clothing with easily rollable sleeves or short sleeves.   Be prepared to inform the volunteer drawing your blood exactly what prescriptions and over-the-counter medications you are currently taking.   Present your photo ID or blood donor card in order to donate.

*You cannot donate blood if you are

-taking antibiotics

-younger than 17

-less than 110 lbs.

-do not have a photo id

Shepherd Eye Center Blood Drive will take place at 3575 Pecos McLeod Las Vegas NV 89121 between 10-5

News and Whereabouts

Two weeks ago, Shepherd Eye Center’s Glaucoma Specialist Dr. Dan Eisenberg was featured on Las Vegas’s local FOX network discussing how to protect your eyes during the historic solar eclipse.

This week, Shepherd Eye Center Optical Shops kick off a summer promotion!  All summer long we are offering 30% off all sunglasses including designer sunglass frames.  This amazing discount does not apply to prescription glasses and cannot be combined with any other offer or insurance.  As a part of this special promotion, Shepherd Eye Center will give away a pair of designer Versace frames (his or her style) valued at $250 if you LIKE us on Facebook.  Stay tuned for contest dates to enter to win!  All you have to do is LIKE our page during the dates that we run the contest and you will be entered.

Review us now at !  This new site makes it easy and simple for you to rate your experience.  Simply select the office where you had your appointment, then select between the happy or sad face!  It’s just that easy!

On June 14th, Shepherd Eye Center will participate in the Cannery East Health Fair for its employees.

On June 15th, Shepherd Eye Center’s office at 3575 Pecos McLeod will host a blood drive for employees and public alike to donate.  Every 3 seconds somewhere in the U.S. someone needs blood.  One donation can help as many as three patients.   In fact, 70% of us will need a blood transfusion in our lifetime.  You will recieve vouchers for two tickets to a 51’s baseball game for your donation.  The blood drive takes place between 10 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. on Friday, June 15th.  Mark your calendars and call 966-3280 to schedule your donation appointment.