Frequently Asked Questions

Glasses, Contact Lenses
Refractive Surgery
Cataract Surgery (No stitch-no shot)
Medical Eye Exams-(Diabetic, Glaucoma, other medical conditions)
Retina consultation and treatment

Letter to Doctors and Health Care Providers

Dear Dr.

I would like to take the New Year opportunity to wish you and your staff a prosperous year and continued excellent care to your patients.

In this spirit I would like to inform you of the spectrum of services we provide at the EYE Center which may complement the excellent care you provide.

1) Medical Ophthalmology
We have the extensive experience, tools and equipment to diagnose and treat ophthalmologic manifestations of systemic disease and ophthalmic conditions. Daily we manage dry eye in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, glaucoma and changes secondary to chronic use of medications such as steroids or Plaquenil.

2) Cataract surgery
We perform a topical clear cornea no-shot, no-stitch procedure and do not require routine discontinuation of anticoagulation. Our patients routinely return to their daily tasks the day following surgery.

3) Refractive Surgery (LASIK and advanced surface procedures)
We offer LASIK and the more advanced surface procedures such as LASEK. We give the patient a spectrum of choices rarely available at other centers.

As you may recall I am a surgeon/physicist who lead the development of the femtosecond laser (Intralase), one of the most sophisticated instrument used in refractive surgery. I bring the combination of clinical acumen and scientific precision to every single patient presenting for refractive surgery. Each case is treated on a customized individual basis.

4) Glasses and Contact lenses. This service main goal is the convenience of our patients, whether following surgery, as a prelude to LASIK, or as an individual service.

We accept a broad range of insurance programs, both medical and vision insurance.

Finally I would like to remind you that I am available for physicians and colleagues at the office number 352 2020 or on my cell phone afterhours. Please do not hesitate to use this resource if you have any question.

Upon your request I would be glad to forward a set of business cards for the convenience of your patients.

Samir I Sayegh, MD, PhD
Medical Director
The EYE Center
403 W. Windsor Rd
Champaign, IL 61820

(217) 352-2020

Articles of Interest

An article on Diabetes by Dr. Sayegh appears here:
An article on "bending light"
appears here:

For information about the basic workings of the eye:
Human Eye
For information about cataract procedures:
Cataract Surgery
For information about LASIK eye surgery:
LASIK Eye Surgery

Fun EYE Cartoons

This drawing made by Ramy Badie from the Johns Hopkins University, represents a 'lazy eye' and was especially drawn for an article by Dr. Sayegh, on the subject. (This feature is updated periodically, so please check back for more fun cartoons).

Diabetes and the EYE

Diabetes: From EYES to TOES

by Samir I. Sayegh, MD, PhD


Diabetes was first described thousands of years ago in an ancient Egyptian papyrus. Hesy-Ra the chief physician had noticed the frequency of urination of his patients. Indeed
diabetes comes from the word ?siphon? since people with untreated diabetes urinate like a siphon draining water. The diabetes we are familiar with is called diabetes mellitus. Another form, is called diabetes insipidus. Mellitus comes from the Latin word for honey. Medieval physicians (and many small ants observed in antiquity) found that people with diabetes mellitus has a sweet smelling (and tasting) urine. Insipidus comes from insipid, which means lacking flavor, since diabetes insipidus has non-sweet urine.

There are two forms of diabetes mellitus. Type 1 affects younger patients due to a failure of the pancreas to secrete insulin. Unless insulin is supplied death may follow. In type 2 or adult onset diabetes, the pancreas still secretes insulin but cells in the body fail to use it effectively. While not as dramatic as type 1, type 2, on the long run can be devastating to your health and life.
The US ?leads? the world in diabetes and one diabetic in four doesn?t even know it. This is a potential epidemic. Indeed complications of diabetes can be devastating. They include damage to the eye, including blindness, damage to the kidneys with the possibility of progressing to dialysis or kidney transplant, damage to the nerves, with ulcers on the feet developing into gangrene if untreated. Amputation of toes or limbs is unfortunately too common. High blood pressure and narrowing of the major arteries also increase the risk of heart disease, heart attacks and strokes.

In my own clinic I see patients with a range of eye problems related to diabetes. Some simply have fluctuation in their vision due to change in the sugar level. Some others have long term effects including bleeding inside the eye with sudden loss of vision and some irreversible damage to the eye. Indeed more than 2.5 million people worldwide, including about 24,000 annually in the United States, will lose their sight as a result of diabetic retinopathy.


First of all most diabetics have type 2. This gives you some time to act.

Second. Diet works. The most effective measure involves a change in lifestyle with weight reduction and increased physical activity. In the 19th century, during the rationing of food in Paris while under siege during the Franco-Prussian War, French physician Bouchardat noticed the disappearance of sugar in the urine in his diabetes patients. Closer to home, Kris Freeman, was diagnosed with diabetes at age 20 and told that his athletic career was over. Kris is perhaps the best cross-country skier in the United States, and competed in the most recent Olympics.

Third. Medicine works if you need to use it. Insulin was discovered by Banting and Macleod from The University of Toronto who received the Nobel Prize in 1923. They did not attempt to control commercial production. So insulin is now available as a treatment in addition to many pills. An inhaled version of insulin is soon going to be available.

So diet, exercise and medication form a solid triangle that can help lower blood sugar. The ultimate question is whether lowering blood sugar actually helps. The final good news came from two important studies, a US study for type 1 diabetes and a United Kingdom for type 2. The answer is that lowering blood sugar, through whatever means, delays the onset and progression of long-term complications.

An inspiring example was featured in a recent article in the New York Times about Gerald Cleveland, 90 years old and his brother, Robert, 85, diabetics since childhood. Through a strict diet and exercise routine and despite their very early diagnosis, they managed not only to survive against all odds, but to avert the majority of the complications of diabetes.

So if we are willing to work at it, these are sweet news. But please, don't call me Honey!

For more information on Diabetes visit American Diabetes Association


Presbyopia and Ramy's fish

If you have trouble reading, go fishing

By Samir I Sayegh, MD, PhD
Medical Director
The EYE Center

One of the earliest signs of the start of your journey to the golden senior stage of your life may have been your experiencing difficulty reading. Throughout your life, you may have not needed glasses, or perhaps you needed glasses only for driving and to watch movies. Reading was fine. And then you started having difficulty reading the newspaper, unless you extended your arms. Then it no longer worked! So you gave up on the paper and small print medication bottles, but how about restaurant menus? Would you let your friend order for you?

Well perhaps it is time to get reading glasses and read on, or, if you previously wore distant glasses, it is time to get bifocals. Bifocals were conceived by the great American inventor and statesman, Ben Franklin. They work well and there are a number of things to know about them, some fun, some useful for better vision, and some both!

1) Our ability to see both distance and near is taken for granted in our early years. However it is not at all self-evident that it can easily be realized. An optical system, such as a camera, can usually focus at one given distance, for example 40 feet or, instead, 2 feet, and it needs to be adjusted to go from one to the other.

2) The young healthy human eye has its natural lens positioned about one fourth of the way from the front of the eye. This lens has the amazing ability to change its shape and thus become a different optical system depending on whether we are viewing near or far away objects. This ability of the lens to be flexible is called accommodation. This flexibility of the lens starts decreasing form the time we are teenagers reaching a critical level at about age forty, where we first notice it because reading is getting harder. That level of loss of accommodation and inability to read is called presbyopia.

3) The decline in the ability to accommodate proceeds further past age 40, and by age 60 there is very little accommodation left. This is important to know because you may need to change the power of your bifocal portion of the glasses a few times even though your distance vision may not have changed. If you find yourself tilting the glasses to read better, or once again extending your arms, perhaps it is time for a change.

4) Another basic way to achieve the goal of seeing both distant and near is monovision. This term simply means that one eye will be corrected for distance and the other for near. Monovision is usually achieved through wearing contact lenses or surgically with a procedure such as LASIK. The brain adapts to the combination of a near and far image and usually the overall result is good vision at both far and near.

5) As we continue to age the lens will develop a cataract, which will need to be removed and replaced by an artificial lens. For a long time, surgeons and researchers believed that may be the ideal time to restore the ability to see both distance and near. One way of doing it is to again use the monovision approach and implants different power lenses in the right and left eye in such a way as to achieve good distance and near vision. Another approach is to implant a truly accommodative lens. That is to say a lens that accommodates like the natural lens of a human....or that of a fish! So what does the fish have to do with all of this? Well it turns out that fish also accommodate, but the way they accommodate is by moving their lens forward and backward, instead of modifying its actual shape like we humans do. So the idea of restoring accommodation later in life may take a number of paths, including one that attempts to imitate the fish accommodative mechanism. This is precisely what has been achieved by one of the companies that has recently obtained FDA approval for a lens that has hinges and moves back and forth, achieving accommodation, like that of our aquatic cousins!

So as promised, your inability to read the paper turned out to be more interesting that it first seemed. One question that I still have not resolved is whether the fish are easier to catch once they can no longer read the paper! In the next issue, you can find out more about it, if you get your reading glasses, as we discuss cataracts, their history and significance, and the most advanced ways to eliminate them. Happy reading till then.

International EYE Consultation

Consultations are available internationally in three locations. Paris, France; Athens, Greece and Cairo, Egypt. The cost of the consultation is 500 Euros excluding any surgical procedures or by prior arrangement. All international consultations are by appointment only. Contact the office to schedule.


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