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.

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.



Eye Doctors Influence Patient Lifestyle Choices

People’s respective lifestyle choices are entirely their own.  Whether to eat junk food, to smoke, or to consume alcohol etc.  It may not occur to us what the impact of our lifestyle choices will have on our health; including our eye health.  Physicians understand the cause-and-effect relationship outlined in scientific research that can lead to certain types of eye diseases.  It is up to them to effectively communicate these risks to their patients.  For example, overweight or obese individuals are at higher risk for diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

One of the biggest challenges that eye doctors face in educating their patients is that patients’ primary care physicians overlooked the opportunity to pass on this pertinent, health-conscious information. Another challenge is that when patients complain of certain ailments, primary care physicians might prescribe medicines that disrupt eye health without making the patient fully aware of the risks.  Some medications hinder the pressure inside the eye, rendering it susceptible to Glaucoma.

It’s not entirely a physician’s’ fault.  We are constantly bombarded by television news, internet and print sources of contradictory information about our health, our medications, etc.    Furthermore, the information is sometimes slanted by advertisers skewing the information even more.   A good eye doctor will ask his or her patient for a complete medical history, medications, and lifestyle preferences.  At that point, if there are any risk factors like carrying extra weight, special medications or smoking, your doctor will go over the risks associated with them.

Shepherd in the community!

Last Saturday our staff participated in Las Vegas’s Relay For Life organized by the American Cancer Society.  Shepherd Eye Center’s clinical supervisor, Beth along with technician Missy and windows representative Tony competed on Team “Pirates of the Cure-abbean” to raise nearly $1,000.00 US dollars!  The entire event raised $50,000 toward research for a cure and patient care.

The Relay For Life began at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 27th.  The team members took turns completing the marathon until it wrapped at 6:00 a.m. Sunday morning!  We are so proud of our staff for helping the Las Vegas community.  Great job, girls!

Dr. Adam Rovit Presents to CCSD Nurses

3/29/2012 Dr. Adam Rovit of Shepherd Eye Center addressed the Clark County School District nurses today in an effort to raise awareness on dyslexia, learning disabilities and vision problems in school-aged children.    Dr. Rovit de-bunked myths about standardized tests that identify dyslexia; they do not exist, and there is no valid evidence that vision therapy (i.e. muscle training movements, tracking exercises) has any significant improvement on vision.

Dr. Rovit stressed the importance of catching eye issues early on; specifically between K through 2nd Grade.   He urged a multidisciplinary approach to identify kids with eye problems through schools screenings, their pediatricians, and a pediatric ophthalmology screen as a final method to determine the exact condition of any eye problem hereditary or otherwise abnormal.

The school nurses asked many questions and explained the challenges of testing especially young kids like pre-schoolers and kindergarteners.  Dr. Rovit recommended a couple of easy visual acquity charts they could use, and that they should try to get the child to reach 20/25 or 20/30.  Higher than that  (say 20/40 or 20/50) would warrant a trip the the pediatric ophthalmologist.  Nurses also explained that middle school and high school-aged children were defiant against glasses.  They asked Dr. Rovit how they could encourage these kids to wear their glasses.

Dr. Rovit pointed out that many of these middle school and high school students have gotten by cheating with their “good eye”.  But, he pointed out, that puts their “good eye” at risk if they play sports or have active lifestyles.  He reiterated the importance of identifying vision and eye problems in kids age 7 or younger to avoid vision setbacks in adulthood.    In addition to offering his expertise to the school nurses, Dr. Rovit generously volunteered to examine 12 needy children from the CCSD who have severe eye problems at no charge.

A somber goodbye to one of Shepherd’s finest

Today is the last day of Jill Halvorson’s tenure as Clinical Supervisor with Shepherd Eye Center.  Jill was hired about 10 years ago when she replied to an ad in the Las Vegas Review Journal from Minnesota.  She relocated to Las Vegas and worked as an optician for the next two years; during which time she earned an MBA.

Jill was promoted to Clinical Supervisor shortly after earning her MBA because of her demonstrated strengths analyzing inefficiencies within the practice then devising practical strategies that overhauled the entire patient process maximizing its efficiency and effectiveness.   In addition to improving areas of weakness internally, Jill successfully earned the respect and cooperation of Shepherd’s diverse and colorful collection of expert ophthalmologists on staff.  Jill’s diplomacy with our physicians helped the company to make decisions as a team, and to put to goal of the greater good above any individual gain.

Most recently, Jill accepted a promotion with the Minnesota Eye Consultants.  This move will bring her closer to her dear friends and family.

Shepherd Eye Center is saddened to see her go, but also extremely excited for her to return home (home is where the heart is!).  We want Jill to know she will always be a part of our family at Shepherd Eye Center.

We also want to warn Minnesota Eye Consultants that while Jill is extremely bright and highly driven, she is also a borderline chocoholic…have a stash of Peanut Butter M&M’s waiting for her!




Blepharoplasty is eyelid surgery that improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. It is often done for cosmetic purposes, but can also be medically necessary if the sagging skin and the folds it can create interfere with your vision. The surgical procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis. To help determine if blepharoplasty is right for you, medically or cosmetically, call Shepherd Eye Center to schedule a consultation with our expert occuplastic surgeon, Dr. Ravi Reddy

Stem Cell Research & Vision

Last summer, stem cell experts injected the eyeball of two, blind patients at UCLA with embryonic stem cells to see what might happen. The results were published in the latest issue of Lancet. The purpose of the study wasn’t necessarily to restore the blind patients’ vision. Instead, the purpose was to prove that stem cell therapy was safe to use in humans. Prior to this experiment, stem cell therapy was only used in lab animals.

Experts injected one eye of each, blind patient with embryonic stem cells. Within four months, the two patients showed improvement in reading letters even though they remained legally blind.

Embryonic stem cells can transform into any cell of the body so scientists want to use it to create replacement tissue. Stem cell research has been controversial because human embryos are destroyed to harvest cells. For the complete news article, click here