Cataract Surgery

When the cataract begins to impair visual function or cause disturbing symptoms that interfere with a person's daily activities, it can be removed. Several additional testing procedures must be performed prior to cataract surgery, including measurements of the length of the eye and assessment of the curvature of the cornea.
Many options are available today for the prosthetic lens that replaces the crystalline lens with its cataract. Some lenses, called multifocal lenses or accommodating lenses, allow for correction of both near and distance vision.

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Article from The Aspen Times - Cataract Surgery with Dr. Ehrlich

Most of Dr. Ehrlich’s career was served in the retirement community of Venice, Florida. This provided an opportunity to perform a larger volume of surgery than is possible in our younger aged population in Colorado. In 14 years in Venice, over 12,000 cataract surgeries were performed by Dr. Ehrlich. In Sarasota, Florida Dr. Ehrlich ran a LASIK center.

Dr. and Mrs. Ehrlich made a major decision in 2006 to sell the busy practice and relocate the family to Colorado for lifestyle and a more family oriented community. They moved to their vacation home in the Vail Valley before making their way to Longmont where he began his own practice in August, 2007. In 2009, Dr. Ehrlich opened another office in Eagle and due to growth decided to move his Longmont office to Glenwood Springs.  

The practice offers comprehensive general ophthalmology services. This can range from a routine eye exam for eyeglasses, to screening for eye problems such as crossed eyes, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, dry eyes, or macular degeneration.

Ophthalmology has several subspecialty areas and Dr. Ehrlich’s approach has been to focus in the surgical arena on procedures that he performs frequently with great experience and expertise. This includes cataract and refractive surgery, or LASIK. Simple office lasers such as a retinal tear or glaucoma laser, and blepharoplasty are offered but complex subspecialty procedures such as a retinal detachment would be referred to a retinal specialist. These procedures are not seen frequently enough in general ophthalmology to maintain excellence.

Our most commonly performed procedures and areas of expertise are:

  1. “Refractive” cataract surgery
  2.  Refractive lensectomy
  3.  LASIK
  4.  Plug Insertion
  5.  Yag Laser Procedure
  6.  Chalazion Removal
  7. Pterygium

See our procedures page for more information.

Many of our patients are referred by optometrists and medical doctors. Our referring doctors currently send patients from as far east as Vail Valley, through the Roaring Fork Valley and as far west as Rifle and Parachute. Our patients include many of the area doctors. We see patients in both Eagle and Glenwood Springs for your convenience. Our optometrist colleagues are trained in post operative management of cataract surgery and LASIK. Together we manage the patients after surgery, a practice known as “co-management.”

Our practice is dedicated to giving patients the attention and time from the doctor that they deserve. We do not run an “assembly line” office schedule. We welcome the opportunity to let you experience the difference at the Eye Center of the Rockies and the honor to care for you.




Article from the Vail Daily - Allergy Season Means Itchy Allergy Eyes For Many People
It's that time of the year again: allergy season. For many, it means red, itchy, watery eyes (“allergic conjunctivitis”) and a runny nose (“allergic rhinitis”). Seasonal allergies occur as pollen counts rise and seasonal grasses come in to bloom. The chemical that causes these symptoms to occur is histamine, which is released from special cells in our blood and tissues known as mast cells and basophils.

Treatment: There are three main types of medications used to treat allergy eyes.

1. Antihistamines. These are drugs which act to block the action of histamine. They are available in eyedrops that are sold without prescription, or “over the counter (OTC)” Pheniramine maleate 0.3 percent is most commonly used and is found in brand name products Opcon A, Naphcon A, and Visine A. These same brand products include Naphazoline, which constricts the blood vessels on the eye, or “takes the red out.” The over-the-counter products are typically taken as one drop, four times a day.

Antihistamines are also available orally. Weaker oral medications are found in the brand names Claritin and Zyrtec. A more potent medication, Diphenhydramine, is found in the Benadryl brand. In the emergency room, we can give Benadryl intravenously for severe allergic reactions. Bendadryl can make you sleepy, and it is the most common ingredient in OTC sleep aids. It is therefore best taken at night.

2. Mast cell stabilizer. The drug, Olopatadine, is sold as a prescription eyedrop, Pataday. This medication works to avoid having the mast cell release the histamine. In essence, it is trying to lock the barn before the horse gets out. Mast cell stabilizers can take a week or so before they reach their maximum effectiveness.

3. Steroids. Corticosteroids are drugs which mimic the effect of hormones naturally produced in our body. “Steroids” suppress inflammation and our immune response. All steroid eye drops are dispensed by prescription only. Some drugs are weaker steroids such as lotoprednol, (brand name Lotemax), and Fluromethalone (brand name FML). Others are more potent such as prednisolone acetate (brand name Pred Forte).

There are two main side effects from topical steroid eyedrops that can be harmful to our eyes. In some patients steroids raise their eye pressure, which can damage the optic nerve. This condition is known as glaucoma. Steroids can also cause cataracts. Therefore, it is very important that anyone using topical steroid eyedrops are monitored carefully by an eye doctor. Sometimes we will use steroids in combination with a mast cell stabilizer, and then gradually withdraw the steroids.

An ophthalmologist, as the only licensed eye medical doctor (M.D.), will work together with his/her colleagues in medicine on a systemic approach to allergies. As an example, this year we had a 9-year-old boy from Australia who spent most of the winter with us. He had a severe form of allergic eye disease that actually caused changes in his cornea and reduced vision, which affected his ski racing. He has been under the care of corneal specialist ophthalmologists in Australia but still had significant problems. Together with Robert McDermott, M.D., allergist and immunologist, we were able to diagnose and treat his allergies systemically, and treat his eye directly. His vision returned to normal, and his family has since flown back to Colorado for follow-up eye care.

Dr. Matthew Ehrlich is the Vail Valley's only full time ophthalmologist and founder of the Eye Center of the Rockies. He can be reached at his offices in Eagle 970-926-7773, or in Glenwood Springs at 970-928-0105. Visit www.EyeCenterRockies.com.



1332 Vivian St, Longmont, CO 80503 . 2249 W. Eisenhower Blvd., Loveland, CO 80537


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