Charles Bittel III, O.D., Inc.

Charles Bittel III,O.D.,Inc. Newsletter

"Am I too old for LASIK?"

August 2014
Charles Bittel III, O.D., Inc.


We hope you are having a great Summer so far, even thought it seems to be flying by faster than ever. August is most definitely back-to-school month in our office so we're trying our best to get everyone in before they head back to their respective teaching jobs, colleges, or just life in general. Dr. Chi is coming in a few extra Friday mornings this month so hopefully we can get everybody that needs an appointment in sooner rather than later. 

Summer is also a time where our personal life slows down a little bit with the kids out of school, so it gives us the opportunity to attend some interesting continuing education courses. A recent CE course on refractive surgery prompted this month's newsletter topic. A few times a week we get asked, "Am I too old for cataract surgery?". Well we've got a pretty good answer to that question for you so as always, read on and we hope you enjoy. And if you're a contact lens wearer, be sure to check out the News section below as well. 



Dr. Charlie Bittel (Junior)
Dr. Chuck Bittel (Senior)
Dr. Joo Chi
and Staff

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In This Issue
"Am I too old for LASIK?"

There are a few age ranges that are ideal for LASIK. The first is between your early 20's (as long as your prescription is stable) until your mid 30's. There are a lot of vision changes that take place between the early to mid 40's so we typically don't recommend LASIK during this time period unless it's a special circumstance. And then the next period of time where we start to reconsider refractive surgery is typically in your late 40's and up. It is during this second period of time (mainly during the mid 50's to late 60's) that we now have a few different refractive surgery options. 

Let's make one point clear first. Everyone will get cataracts at some point during their life. Cataracts are a progressive clouding of the lens within our eyes. And if we live to be old enough, we will have cataract surgery to remove our cloudy lenses. So for those in their mid 50's to late 60's that are considering LASIK, we must consider the state of their lenses before recommending a certain procedure. Because what we do not want is for somebody to get LASIK and A) Need cataract surgery just a few years later or B) Have a less than ideal result because of a semi-cloudy/hazy lens within the eye that was not addressed.

So if a patient of ours in their early 60's asks, "Am I too old for LASIK?", we can now direct them to our refractive surgeon for an answer. There is now an instrument available that can measure the amount of light scatter being produced by our crystalline lenses (the lens that eventually develops into a cataract). If there is minimal light scatter then we can safely predict a successful LASIK outcome and rest assured that cataract surgery will likely not be needed in the immediate future. If there is a moderate to severe amount of light scatter, the surgeon may decide that it is in the patient's best interest to undergo a refractive lens exchange rather than traditional LASIK. A refractive lens exchange is basically cataract surgery before there is a mature cataract. Because the lens implant technology is so advanced at this point, refractive surgeons can in most cases successfully eliminate a patient's refractive error (prescription) while at the same time eliminating the source of light scatter, or in other words, what will eventually develop into a cataract. There are lens implants that can correct for astigmatism, as well as lens implants that allow patients to see far and near without reading glasses. 

Of course every case is unique so we would obviously discuss your specific circumstance at the time of your exam, but it's nice to finally have an instrument that can help us in answering the question, "Am I too old for LASIK?".

ACUVUE contact lens wearers...
Effective TODAY, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care (Vistakon) is continuing their support of private practitioners and small businesses by introducing a Unilateral Pricing Policy (UPP). What this means is that when patients are paying cash (not using insurance) to purchase contact lenses, private practitioners can charge the same price for Acuvue products when compared to online retailers or "big box" stores. This means that all Acuvue products (except Acuvue 2)
will cost the exact same price when purchasing through our office as compared to Costco, WalMart, or online retailers. Any retailers caught selling contacts for below the minimum price per box will be prohibited from selling Acuvue products for a year. 

We are VERY fortunate that most of our patients purchase their contacts through our office already, but for those that are used to shopping elsewhere for their lenses, we can now assure you that we charge the exact same price per box as Costco, 1800Contacts, or any other retailer for cash purchases. We often have Oasys and 1 Day Acuvue Moist boxes in stock for immediate dispensing, or offer free shipping on certain minimum orders. We also do not charge tax and guarantee your satisfaction with a liberal exchange policy if you're not happy with the product or if your power changes over the course of the year.

Acuvue also has new products on the horizon for which we will provide periodic updates. And it has also announced that it will be discontinuing the Acuvue Advance line of contact lenses in 2015. Most Advance patients will easily be refit into the Oasys family of lenses. The article in the above link is very informative if you're at all interested in the vision the new Johnson & Johnson Vision Care president has for the company.


About Us

Dr. Chuck Bittel (Senior) has been practicing in Yorba Linda for over 30 years. His son, Dr. Charlie Bittel III (Junior) has been practicing in Yorba Linda for the last 8 years and took over the practice in December 2012. The business has continued to grow through referrals of family and friends so we are always honored to see your loved ones and feel free to give us a Yelp if you see fit! We are also the first business in all of California to register with the new referral app GWIG (Go Where I Go)!


Learn more about Dr. Bittel Senior and Junior and about their practice on their website and Facebook page. 


For appointments call 714-779-8521 or email:



Charles Bittel, O.D., Inc.
20399 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Yorba Linda, California 92886