Corneal Cross-Linking

Cross-linking is a revolutionary, minimally invasive procedure for those who have been diagnosed with Keratoconus. When partaking in this cross-linking we will have you in and out of Dr. John Frangie’s office in the blink of an eye. While this procedure has just recently been approved in the United States, it has been practiced in Europe for a number of years. This procedure gives patients the opportunity to halt the process of corneal thinning; there have also been proven cases that this procedure has helped improve astigmatism. Where does the name Cross-Linking come from you might ask? When this procedure is completed, special bonds are being added to the collagen fibers in your eye. This helps to link, support and strengthen your cornea.

While people diagnosed with Keratoconus are the ones who are first and foremost being treated with cross-linking, there are other uses for this procedure as well. If you have suffered from a weakened corneal due to LASIK surgery, have corneal ulcers, undergone RK vision changes, or have been diagnosed with any other related corneal issues, then cross-linking could be for you.


Cross-Linking Risks

Although it is not a topic that many like to discuss, there are risks that come along with the procedure. Be aware of:

  • Pain and swelling
  • Damage to the cornea
  • Infections of the eye
  • Sight problems such as blurred vision


This is also not a procedure where the patient will notice results immediately. It will take months to completely heal and may even feel as though your condition is getting worse within the first couple months. Once the corneal starts to heal, there will be progress in your vision and you will start to see results and less progression of Keratoconus.

This break through offers patients the first proven method to halt Keratocounus. Following through with the cross-linking procedure will help you with your day to day life and will simplify the management of Keratoconus. At the office of Dr. John Frangie, we are pleased to be able to offer you this revolutionary procedure to help your eyesight and your future.

Six Common Misconceptions About LASIK

Six Common Misconceptions About LASIK

There are some persistent misconceptions about LASIK surgery. If you’ve considered this surgery but decided against it based on incorrect information, you owe it to yourself to get the facts. Here are six common myths about LASIK:

1. My Eyesight Is Beyond Help

Many candidates for this procedure mistakenly believe that it can’t help them. That might have been true before recent breakthroughs in LASIK technology advanced the science to its current level. You have nothing to lose by scheduling a free consultation to find out whether LASIK might be right for you now, even if it wasn’t before.

2. LASIK Surgery Doesn’t Work for Astigmatism

This common belief is just flat-out wrong. The truth is that LASIK can and does completely correct most types of astigmatism with permanent results. This condition often occurs in conjunction with farsightedness and nearsightedness, and it’s basically just a refractive error like farsightedness and nearsightedness which LASIK also corrects.

3. LASIK Costs Too Much

There are a variety of options that can help you afford this surgery. From medical health plans to vision plans, LASIK can be affordable when you work with an approved LASIK provider. Many labor unions offer member benefits that cover family members, and there are long-term, interest-free financing plans that give you up to 12 months for repayment. Funds in a health savings account may cover LASIK, and a flexible spending plan with your employer can help you pay for this surgery using tax-free dollars.

4. The Recovery Time Is Too Long

There is actually no downtime with this surgery except for a few hours of rest immediately after the procedure. You should be able to drive the following day. Within a day or two you should be back at work, and within a week, you can resume all your customary activities.

5. LASIK Surgeons Are Basically All the Same

Choosing a surgeon is a very important part of any surgery, even minor surgery. Although LASIK technology is highly advanced, it takes a trained, skilled and experienced surgeon to apply that technology correctly and effectively. You’ll get results with any surgeon, but if you want the best possible results, choose your surgeon with care.

6. Bladeless and Blade LASIK Are Basically the Same Thing

Blade LASIK, also called traditional LASIK, employs a microkeratome blade to cut a tiny flap in the cornea. The corneal tissue underneath is then reshaped with a laser. Bladeless LASIK employs a femtosecond laser to create the flap by breaking corneal cells apart instead of cutting them. The benefits of bladeless LASIK include a lower risk of complications, better results overall and a reduced need for revision surgery as you get older.

Need more information about LASIK surgery in Springfield, Massachusetts? Schedule a free consultation at NorthEast Laser for a personalized session with John Frangie, M.D., to answer all your questions.

Why No-Blade LASIK Is Your Best Bet

Why No-Blade LASIK Is Your Best Bet

Your vision is too important to gamble with, so it’s worth learning about the ways you can perfect it as safely as possible. Glasses and contact lenses are good standbys, but you might be a good candidate for a more permanent option: Laser eye surgery.

LASIK techniques have evolved dramatically since the procedure became widely available in the late 1990s, giving patients better results with less risk. Both conventional and blade-free modern procedures involve similar steps for creating a corneal flap and reshaping the eye’s surface with directed laser pulses. The difference is that no-blade LASIK surgery uses a laser instead of a knife to remove the upper layer of the cornea before reshaping the tissue beneath it.

Here’s why going blade-free could be your best choice.

Greater Control

Conventional LASIK procedures use a specialized blade called a microkeratome to make the initial incision and reveal the inner corneal surface to be reshaped. A bladeless technique gives the surgeon more precise control when creating the flap. The laser pulses are carefully placed to allow your doctor to customize the procedure for the shape and thickness of your cornea, which is more challenging to do with a blade.

Fewer Complications

As laser-assisted eye surgery has evolved, complication rates have steadily decreased. One reason for this trend is the rise of bladeless technology. In a 2015 study on corneal surgery, patients who chose no-blade LASIK eye surgery had fewer complications and less risk of scarring than those who had conventional procedures. Infection is rare for any LASIK procedure, but the small risk of post-surgical infections is reduced further with blade-free eye surgery.

Shorter Recovery Time

The recovery time for traditional LASIK is fairly short, but no-blade LASIK procedures typically have an even shorter recovery period. Unlike a physical blade, a laser is always uniform, leaving smoother surfaces that heal more quickly. Many patients report less inflammation and greater comfort after blade-free eye surgery than people who chose conventional LASIK surgery.

Improved Results

The point of any LASIK procedure is to perfect your vision as much as possible, and blade-free LASIK surgery comes closer to achieving that goal. A reduced risk of scarring may mean better vision in low light and less eye dryness throughout the day. Because your surgeon can customize the shape and size of the corneal flap during your first procedure, you’re less likely to need additional sessions to correct your vision further. Uneven corneal corrections can also introduce astigmatism, and bladeless procedures are less likely to leave uneven surfaces on the corneal flap.

Your current pair of eyes are the only ones you’ll ever have, so it makes sense to have all the facts before deciding on the best LASIK procedure for you. If you have questions, call us and get complete answers in plain English. Dr. John Frangie is ready to talk with you about blade-free LASIK and other options to improve your vision.

What To Do If You Start to Notice Cataract Symptoms

What To Do If You Start to Notice Cataract Symptoms

Certain medical ailments have been part of the human condition for millennia. With one of the earliest documented cases potentially dating back to 5th Dynasty Ancient Egyptian art from around 2467 B.C.E., cataracts are one such physiological problem.

The World Health Organization, or WHO, estimates that there are 20 million cataract sufferers worldwide. In spite of the condition’s prevalence and long history, however, many people remain woefully under informed about how a cataract might occur and how to treat one. Here’s what you should know.

What Is a Cataract?
A cataract is characterized by a clouding that manifests in the lens of your eye. An outside observer is likely to note the fact that your eye appears to have a large cloudy or milky-looking section. If you’re the sufferer, you might experience a range of visual distortions, including blurry vision, problems seeing at night, light sensitivity and the appearance of double vision or halos around lights.

As a cataract progresses, it can result in lasting vision deficiency and significantly worsened quality of life. In August 2014, the WHO reported that cataracts were the number-one cause of blindness in low- to middle-income nations, and they played a role in 33 percent of all visual impairment cases worldwide.

How Does a Cataract Develop?
Numerous factors have an impact on people’s likelihood of contracting a cataract in either of their eyes. For instance, behaviors like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can have adverse effects. If you’ve previously experienced an eye injury, inflammation or ocular surgery, then you could also be at greater risk, as might those who have diabetes or suffer from obesity. Although many people develop this condition as they age, others have it from birth or during childhood.

The mechanism of cataract development involves physical abnormalities in the lens, which is the region of the eye that focuses incoming light onto the retina to form images. Although the lens is composed of protein, water and other substances, the proteins can begin to cluster together in localized areas in a manner that interferes with the passage of light and creates the typical cloudy appearance. A cataract may also occur in different parts of the lens and produce distinct physiological effects.

What Are the Treatment Options?
Although cataract surgeries date back to ancient times, contemporary methods are far healthier and safer. Today’s ophthalmologists can even perform outpatient procedures that don’t require a hospital stay. These procedures typically involve the removal of the clouded lens and its replacement with a permanent artificial substitute, known as an intraocular lens. Those who can’t receive such lenses can still undergo cataract surgery to remove the affected tissue and wear corrective vision devices.

The efficacy of cataract surgery depends on how early you diagnose and treat the condition. To learn more about your options, visit us online.

Seven Common Glaucoma Symptoms — And How to Deal With Them

Know the early warning signs of this dangerous disease, and maintain your eyesight for life.

When you visit your eye clinic, they routinely pop a puff of air into each eye, testing for glaucoma. You probably don’t think twice about it during the examination. But glaucoma can possibly effect your quality of life and well-being. You may be surprised to know that this eye disease is a common factor in loss of eyesight for older people. Fluid buildup in the frontal area of the eye damages your optic nerve. Although damage is irreversible, early detection of glaucoma symptoms is the best way to prevent eventual blindness, according to the American Academy for Ophthalmology.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

Medical science recognizes several types of glaucoma. Two of the most common are open-angle and closed angle. In its early stages, open-angle glaucoma presents no symptoms at all, and that is the main reason your eye doctor regularly tests you for the disease, using a machine called a tonometer. It measures the intraocular pressure in each of your eyes by applying a strong puff of air to your cornea. If your pressure measurement is higher than the average range, you may be at risk for glaucoma.

While you will be unable to detect early symptoms of open-angle glaucoma, you may notice a gradual deterioration of your peripheral vision. Factors that statistically increase your risk for the disease include:

  • Members of your immediate family have glaucoma.
  • You are African-American or Latino.
  • You have diabetes.
  • You have high blood pressure.
  • You are over age 60.
  • You are nearsighted.

Closed-Angle Glaucoma

Closed-angle glaucoma symptoms are far easier to detect, but this type of the disease progresses more rapidly than open-angle glaucoma. Watch for the following common symptoms:

1. Blurred vision
2. Seeing rainbow arcs at the edges of bright lighting
3. Redness in the eyes
4. Significant eye pain
5. Headache
6. Nausea accompanying eye or head pain
7. Abrupt loss of eyesight

What to Do About Glaucoma Symptoms

If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should seek immediate medical care. Depending on your prognosis, your ophthalmologist will determine your best treatment options. This may include prescription eye drops, medication you take orally, laser therapy and glaucoma surgery. Because you cannot cure your condition or reverse the damage to your eyes, the goal of your treatment is to prevent eventual blindness.

Glaucoma Treatment & Surgery Near Springfield, MA

If you believe you are at risk for glaucoma or are experiencing worrisome symptoms, you should see your eye doctor immediately. In the Springfield, Mass., area, we can help. Schedule an appointment with John P. Frangie, M.D., for glaucoma evaluation and treatment. We understand that your eyesight is precious and do all we can to make sure you keep it for life.

Eight Ideas to Find a Laser Eye Doctor Near You

Eight Ideas to Find a Laser Eye Doctor Near You

Select a laser eye surgeon with care


A LASIK procedure can greatly improve your eyesight by treating astigmatism or nearsightedness. However, it’s vital to choose the right doctor before scheduling laser eye surgery. This important decision may affect your treatment’s cost, convenience and likelihood of success.
Getting Started


1. First, you’ll need to find one or more suitable doctors in the region. If you already go to an ophthalmologist or optometrist to get your eyes examined, ask this person for a recommendation. Request a referral to an eye surgeon with reasonable prices and an excellent reputation.


2. You may also seek a local laser eye doctor by browsing the Yellow Pages, searching for surgeons’ websites or using internet directories. The American Academy of Ophthalmology maintains an online directory that can help you find legitimate professionals.


3. When you compare surgeons, look for doctors with board certifications. Multiple organizations have the ability to certify these physicians. For instance, the American Board of Ophthalmology certifies doctors who undergo comprehensive education and training. It requires them to keep learning about eye care after graduating from college.


4. Although you may discover appealing surgeons in other states, you should try to select a nearby physician. This treatment occasionally leads to complications that call for additional visits. If you choose a local surgeon, you won’t need to miss many hours of work or incur high travel expenses.


5. Some people look for doctors who possess the right equipment and expertise to perform the LASIK procedure without using a blade. Although both options generally work well, reports that bladeless laser surgery enhances safety and may improve the results.


Asking Questions


6. When you locate a desirable surgeon, the next step is to schedule a consultation. Remember to start making observations as soon as you enter the building to try to gauge the effectiveness of the eye surgeon and his staff. It’s best to undergo surgery in a clean, well-organized facility with friendly employees who behave professionally.


7. Don’t hesitate to inquire about a doctor’s track record. Discover the total number of surgeries that a physician has performed. Ask for his or her complication rate, and learn about the office’s policy on addressing complications.


8. Laser surgeries sometimes call for follow-up procedures known as “enhancements.” This service rarely proves necessary, but you might need it if you experience changes in eyesight or the initial treatment delivers inadequate results. Ask about enhancement fees and the deadline for requesting any complimentary adjustments.


Further Research


Rather than solely relying on the doctor’s answers, make an effort to conduct your own research. Compare a physician’s complication rate to the current nationwide average of less than 1%. Read reviews from patients, visit the Better Business Bureau’s website and talk to relatives or friends.


If you need to undergo laser eye surgery in western Massachusetts, be sure to consider John Frangie, M.D. He has over 24 years of experience as an ophthalmologist. Frangie worked at Boston City Hospital before founding the Northeast Laser Center. Please contact us to schedule a consultation and learn more about our bladeless LASIK treatments.

Factors That Go Into Determining Laser Eye Surgery Cost

Eye-opening facts about the cost and long-term benefits of LASIK eye surgery

LASIK eye surgery has proven itself to be a safe, reliable procedure for permanently correcting poor eyesight. However, the thought of the expense still makes people think twice before getting the process started. If you have always dreamed of ditching your glasses and contact lenses for good but balk at the expense, you may be surprised to learn the real story on laser eye surgery cost.

The Average LASIK Eye Surgery Cost Nationwide

Speaking in general terms, you can expect to pay between $1,000 and $2,500 per eye for LASIK eye surgery. The actual cost depends on where you live, the ophthalmologist you choose, and the type of vision correction you need.

As you know, pricing for medical services in big cities tends to be higher than the cost of the same services in smaller urban areas. One reason for this discrepancy is local tax, but greater demand for the procedure also pushes the cost higher. An experienced eye surgeon may have a slightly higher rate than someone just starting out. Additionally, you are likely to pay more for the benefit of the most efficient — and likely the safest — technology.

LASIK Eye Surgery Cost Compared to Corrective Lens Cost

When you spread the cost of vision correction over your lifetime, what you pay for contact lenses and/or glasses doesn’t seem like a huge amount. When you do the numbers, though, the actual total is eye-opening.

In conservative terms, people spend an average of $240 per year on contact lenses alone. If you need specialized lenses, you probably pay significantly more. If you wear contacts for 30 to 40 years, you will spend between $7,200 and $9,600 at a minimum, not figuring for inflation. This doesn’t even include what you spend on glasses.

Depending on what you pay for LASIK, you could actually recoup the cost in as little as eight years with your contact lens savings alone. Even if you pay top dollar for LASIK, you would recoup the cost in 20 years or less. When you figure in the convenience and comfort you enjoy when you are contact-free, the laser eye surgery cost begins to look more than reasonable.

Does Health Insurance Cover Laser Eye Surgery?

Even though LASIK is a cost-effective procedure with a good return on your investment, it may still be difficult to pay the entire amount upfront. Most vision insurance policies don’t cover the procedure unless it is medically necessary. However, you do have options for financing your laser eye surgery cost. Many LASIK providers even offer payment plans to help you manage the cost.

Find out more about making refractive eye surgery affordable today by contacting us at the John P. Frangie M.D. LASIK clinic in West Springfield, Mass. Be sure to ask about monthly installment options.

The No Blade Lasik Procedure: What to Expect

The No Blade Lasik Procedure: What to Expect

It only takes 30 minutes to improve your outlook for life.

If you wear glasses or contacts, you know how inconvenient they can be when you are working out, skiing, swimming or tasks requiring you to change from close-up vision to seeing at a distance. If you crave the freedom of waking up to a clear view of the world, you should look into No Blade Lasik. We can improve your outlook almost instantly with this safe outpatient procedure.

Lasik Eye Surgery Terms You Need to Know

Prior to your Lasik procedure, you should know the following terms, as defined by The American Optical Association:

  • Lasik: laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis
  • In-situ: Latin for “in place”
  • Keratomileusis: reshaping of the cornea via surgery

We can correct the following kinds of vision problems with the No Blade Lasik process:

  • Myopia: nearsightedness
  • Hyperopia: farsightedness
  • Astigmatism: blurry vision due to a misshaped cornea or lens


What Happens at Your First Visit

At your first Lasik eye surgery appointment, our ophthalmologist will do an eye exam and review any current prescription medications you may be taking. Together, you’ll discuss your general health to make sure you are a good candidate for Lasik. The doctor will ask if you have any eye issues, such as chronic dryness, that need to be cleared up prior to surgery. At this visit, we encourage you to ask lots of questions about your upcoming no-blade Lasik surgery.

What Happens on Surgery Day

Lasik eye surgery is an outpatient procedure that takes about 30 minutes. You should ask a friend or relative to drive you home afterward because your vision is likely to be blurry and very sensitive to light.

You will sit in a reclining chair near the Lasik apparatus. We’ll put some numbing drops into your eyes and clean the area around them. We’ll use a lid speculum to gently hold your eyelids open. You will be awake throughout the procedure.

During surgery, the ophthalmologist will:

1. Use a laser to create an extremely thin flap of corneal tissue
2. Fold back the flap to access the inner cornea
3. Carry out laser correction on the interior of the cornea
4. Apply a shield to hold the flap in place

What to Expect After Lasik

Right after No Blade Lasik, your eyes will feel irritated. The worst thing you can do is to rub them because that could dislodge the corneal flap. Left alone, the flap will heal naturally without stitches in a few days. An over-the-counter pain reliever should relieve any mild pain. You should call us right away if your pain is severe.

You will likely experience extreme light sensitivity immediately after your procedure that tends to go away after a few hours. Most ophthalmologists recommend taking a nap shortly after your surgery to allow the eyes to heal and avoid any unnecessary eye movement. Upon waking up, you may find that you are already able to take advantage of your improved vision!

Your first post-op visit will take place within a couple days of your surgery. Be sure to keep your follow-up appointments throughout your recovery and follow your doctor’s recommendations. In return, you will enjoy improved eyesight for life. Contact us today to arrange your initial LASIK consultation.

Best Time To Get Lasik Eye Surgery

Seven Reasons To Consider A Winter LASIK Procedure

Corrected Vision In About An Hour

More than one million people say goodbye to poor vision with LASIK eye surgery every year. If you’ve been wondering when to schedule your LASIK procedure, the timing couldn’t be better. Here are seven good reasons to get it done now:

It’s Cold Outside

January and February are popular months for elective surgery. People are less active, the holidays are over, and everyone is spending time indoors. Unless you’re a snow bunny, there’s not much to do, so you have ample time to rest and recover.

New Year, New You

Everyone thinks of self-improvement when a new year is upon us. Although many resolutions, like going to the gym daily, fall by the wayside, a LASIK procedure is permanent. Do it once and enjoy clear vision and a sense of self-satisfaction for years to come.

Your Tax Dollars At Work

Invest your tax refund in your own well-being. If you don’t like what you got for Christmas, clear vision can be a thoughtful way to gift yourself. If you’ve been procrastinating about LASIK eye surgery because your insurance won’t cover it, your tax return may be enough to foot at least part of the bill.

Study says LASIK Recovery Is Faster In Winter

Keith Walter, M.D., Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, published a 2004 study in the Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery about the effect of environmental conditions on laser eye surgery recovery. Procedures carried out in cold, dry weather resulted in faster recovery times and fewer follow-up treatments than procedures carried out in hot, humid weather. A significant number of patients who underwent summer procedures needed follow-up surgery; those who underwent winter procedures required no follow-up surgery.

Take Advantage Of Downtime

Many people experience a general slow-down after the holidays. Although LASIK surgery requires minimal downtime and recovery is relatively quick, you’ll still need to return to your doctor for follow- up visits one day, one week and one month after surgery. It’s easier to keep your appointments and relax for a few days when you’re not overloaded with commitments, and if your work has slowed down, your employer may be more willing than usual to give you a mini-leave.

Fewer Cameras Snapping Your Photo

Some patients experience redness of the eyes that can last for up to two weeks after surgery. This is due to bruising and generally clears up shortly. With the holidays out of the way, you won’t have to worry about looking good for all the family photos. You can avoid the limelight until your LASIK recovery is complete.

Guard Against Dry Winter Eyes

Dry winter air can mean dry eyes. Contacts can dry out your eyes even more. Get your LASIK procedure now, and you can romp in the snow all winter without the discomfort of dry, itchy eyes.

Ready to find out the particulars about LASIK surgery in Springfield, MA? Visit Dr. John Frangie’s website or contact us directly.

The Risks and Rewards of Exercising After LASIK

How long do you have to wait to workout after LASIK?

Why Eye Surgery Is No Excuse for Being Lazy

Thinking about getting LASIK surgery to correct your vision? There are countless benefits to doing so, but it is important to follow up your procedure with proper post-operative care.

If you’re a fan of staying fit, then surgery of any kind can pose big challenges. Of course, eye surgery is notably different from most other procedures, but it’s still wise to tread cautiously so that you safeguard your newly acquired awesome vision. Here are some tips on adhering to your routine and resuming exercise and other normal activities after LASIK so that a seasonal slump doesn’t make it harder to get back into the swing of things later.

Be Wary of Watery Risks

Keeping your eyes dry is a primary concern for any LASIK patient. In addition to recommending that you stay out of the pool, hot tub or sauna for a while, the National Institute of Health advises that you avoid contact sports and other risky activities for at least one week. It’s important to consult with your care provider before resuming these forms of exercise.

Ophthalmologists also say that environmental moisture isn’t the only threat to a successful recovery. Activities that make you sweat heavily and cause liquid to drip into your eyes can result in serious irritation. Even worse, if you rub your eyes, you may displace the still-healing LASIK flap.

Avoiding Strain Makes Recovery From LASIK Easier

Even if you aren’t working out so hard that you start crying or sweating excessively, some activities may cause excessive stresses that interrupt the healing process. For example, individuals who lift heavy weights or perform calisthenics exercises that involve inversions may experience ocular pain. In such cases, they should stop working out immediately and consult with their doctors.

When Can You Start Hitting the Gym?

Some practitioners advise that you wait at least two days before exercising again. In addition, you should don protective eyewear anytime you plan on participating in physical activity. While this is obviously a good idea if you’re playing rough-and-tumble contact sports, it’s important not to overlook the need for eye protection when you’re doing seemingly casual things. For instance, if you go for a walk or a light jog outside, you may encounter dust, intense sunshine and other environmental hazards that prompt scarring or other forms of injury.

Remember that these are just general rules. You should always err on the side of caution. Before your surgery, ask your caregiver about their personalized recommendations for how to make a healthy recovery from LASIK.

Getting back into exercise after LASIK isn’t a huge challenge as long as you’re careful and willing to take things slowly. For more helpful insights about post-LASIK life or if you think you may be a good candidate for LASIK, get in touch with the John Frangie, M.D. ophthalmology team today.