Eye Examiner: Dr. Michael Berlin Discusses Volk’s TVG Lens

Welcome to “Eye Examiner” where we bring you the thoughts of leading physicians on the state of vision care, best practices and favorite Volk products.

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Today we bring you Dr. Michael Berlin, founder of the Glaucoma Institute of Beverly Hills. Dr. Berlin is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in laser surgery and in the research and treatment of glaucoma. He has performed thousands of surgeries and has over 35 years of experience with cataract and glaucoma surgeries. He has been involved with various research projects all over the world developing cutting-edge therapies for glaucoma treatment, and has several patents issued for innovative laser and surgical procedures. Below, he shares his thoughts on the features of Volk’s TVG Surgical Gonio lens for MIGS surgery. Developed in collaboration with Dr. Steven D. Vold M.D. and Transcend Medical Inc., the TVG lens has been designed specifically for MIGS and all intraoperative gonioscopy procedures.

“Volk Ophthalmic Lens Review” featured on EyeGuru.org

“By Residents, For Residents” is the motto of EyeGuru.org, providing essential information to ophthalmology residents, from Residency Essentials guides to Flashcard Decks. The site’s latest blog post, written by site co-founder Dr. David Xu, a second year ophthalmology resident at UCLA, tackles the common question many residents face: “Which lenses should I buy?” It’s an important one; lenses are a significant cost to newly minted ophthalmologists, so you want to invest in lenses with the utility, performance, and quality to last you for years to come.

In his post, David reviews several of our slit lamp lenses, BIO lenses, and gonio lenses, comparing the magnification, field of view, application, and ease of use for each type of lens, and recommending his preferred choices. He even breaks down key lens parameters in a handy comparison chart.

While we did provide loaner lenses for David’s evaluation, he did not receive any other benefit from Volk, and all views and opinions in his post are his own.

Read the full blog post at: EyeGuru.org



Volk Optical Adds SLT Lens to Single Use Lens Family

Volk®1 SLT eliminates potential for disease transmission during trabecular procedures

Mentor, Ohio (October 11, 2016) – Volk®1 Single Use SLT Lens provides detailed, high-resolution views of the trabecular meshwork for selective laser trabeculoplasty procedures, coupled with single use safety and convenience.


Volk1 Single Use SLT Lens provides imaging similar to that of Volk’s traditional reusable SLT lens, in a sterile, molded acrylic lens body. Its single internally reflecting surface delivers 1.0x magnification, maintaining laser spot size and power density. Designed for Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty, its curved upper lens surface ensures the laser beam profile remains circular, for consistent laser spot placement, and is equally well suited to Argon Laser Trabeculoplasty and other trabecular procedures.

The lens’ silicone contact flange provides patient comfort and stability for laser delivery. Pre-sterilized in individual Tyvek pouches, Volk1 Single Use lenses eliminate the potential for cross-contamination of infectious disease, as well as the costly reprocessing of reusable lenses.

In addition to the new SLT Lens, the Volk1 Single Use family includes contact laser treatment lenses for capsulotomy and iridotomy, 3-Mirror and 4-Mirror Gonio lenses, non-contact surgical BIO lenses (20D and 28D), and high-resolution direct image surgical vitrectomy lenses. For a limited time, Volk is offering a free sample pack of Volk1 lenses, available at the company’s AAO booth, 734, or by contacting Volk directly.

For more information about Volk1 Single Use lenses and to request a free sample pack, visit www.volk.com/volk1, phone Volk direct at +1 440-942-6161, or contact your Authorized Volk Distributor.

Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products Lens Designs Added to Volk Eye Check

Fitting of Bausch + Lomb- Specialty Vision Products custom specialty lenses supported with precise, personal measurements


Mentor, Ohio (October 6, 2016) – Volk Optical announces today that is has integrated Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products custom specialty lens designs into the Best Fit Analysis Report of its Volk Eye Check portable ophthalmic exam tool. Capable of a number of key measurements, the Volk Eye Check’s CL Mode captures and fully automates the analysis and display of ocular characteristics for contact lens fitting, saving time and increasing first time fit rates.



Volk Eye Check’s CL Mode provides precise measurements to aid in contact lens fitting including Horizontal Visible Iris Diameter (HVID), Pupil diameter and Sagittal depth. The Best Fit Analysis feature generates a patient-specific report recommending the most appropriate lenses by brand and type. Now included in the Eye Check Best Fit Analysis module are fitting rules for Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products™’ HP Toric and Sphere, ASTERA® Multifocal Toric, , NovaKone®; and C-VueToric, Sphere, and Multifocal design contact lenses.

All current Volk Eye Check users will automatically have access to the Bausch + Lomb Specialty Vision Products designs.

“The addition of the Bausch + Lomb range of lenses to Volk Eye Check will enable Bausch + Lomb customers to get to the correct fit faster and more accurately, saving them chair-time and enhancing patient experience,” said Yuval Yashiv, Chief Executive of IRISS Medical Technologies, Volk’s technology partner for the Volk Eye Check.

For more information about Volk Eye Check’s Best Fit Analysis Report, and to request a free trial, visit www.volk.com, phone Volk direct at +1 440-942-6161, or contact your Authorized Volk Distributor.

Volk University: Picture Perfect Medicare Reimbursement

Welcome to “Volk University” where we invite you to learn more about the selection, use and care of your favorite Volk products.


Today’s lesson: Imaging and Reimbursement. Volk’s portable imagers-the Pictor Plus and iNview-are becoming essential clinical tools to aid in diagnosis, documentation and telemedicine, and their fundus exams are eligible for Medicare reimbursement. Here’s how to make sure your exams conform to the Medicare reimbursement guidelines.


Volk’s Cameras

Pictor Plus is a handheld ophthalmic camera with high resolution retinal imaging capabilities.



iNview is an iPhone compatible lens attachment that enables wide-angle fundus photography using Volk’s free iNview app and the iPhone’s camera.

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Medicare’s Guidelines

Imaging with either device is covered similarly. To help physicians comply with Medicare’s guidelines, Volk has provided a reimbursement guide from Corcoran Consulting group, available for download.


A few highlights from these FAQs:

  • The CPT Code is 92250, Fundus photography with interpretation and report. When bundled with other tests or used in telemedicine, other codes apply, see guide for detail.
  • For coverage, Medicare requires a medical indication for the exam: diabetes, high blood pressure, glaucoma risk factor, acute macular degeneration, retinopathy of prematurity, observed abnormality, etc. Images taken as baseline documentation or preventative screening are generally not covered.
  • The patient chart should contain specific documentation beyond the resulting digital images, including: rationale, findings and diagnosis, see guide for a full list of required information.


Laser Lens Optimized for Vitreolysis Procedures

Volk Optical’s new Singh MidVitreous Lens improves patient comfort during elimination of floaters

Mentor, Ohio (August 31, 2016) – Volk Optical’s new Singh MidVitreous lens provides high resolution views with doctor-designed features that improve treatment efficiency and patient comfort during laser vitreolysis treatment.



Developed in collaboration with Dr. Inder Paul Singh, the lens was specifically designed for elimination of vitreous strands or opacities in the near & central mid-vitreous. With a 1.16x image magnification, and .86x laser spot, the Singh MidVitreous Lens provides the highest resolution and focusing ability of any commercially available vitreolysis lens. Less laser energy is required for treatment, improving efficiency and safety.

A compact design facilitates lens placement, particularly in children and patients with small eyes. The small flanged contact increases patient comfort by providing stability throughout vitreolysis, which typically lasts longer than other laser procedures. The design prevents patients from squeezing the lens off the eye, and reduces the amount of manual pressure the doctor needs to apply in order to maintain coupling. The 30-mm ring diameter and short 24-mm lens body allow for easier slit lamp handling, with slightly more imaging depth range than a taller lens. The direct contact lens requires the use of viscous coupling fluid during laser treatment.

For more information on the Volk Singh MidVitreous lens, visit www.volk.com or phone Volk at 1-800-345-8655.

Volk Lenses Now Available with Ellex Ophthalmic Lasers

Providing clear optics for YAG, SLT, laser vitreolysis, and photocoagulation procedures


Mentor, Ohio (August 9, 2016) – Volk Optical and Ellex Medical (ASX: ELX, Ellex) have partnered to provide ease of access and convenient purchase of Volk ophthalmic lenses to complement Ellex ophthalmic lasers. Ellex will commence an offering of Volk contact laser lenses, as well as mirrored gonioscopy lenses, in both reusable and single-use designs, with the purchase of an Ellex ophthalmic laser for YAG, SLT, laser vitreolysis, and photocoagulation procedures.




With this arrangement, Ellex will now have the opportunity to provide reusable laser lens styles, and Volk®1 Single Use lens for a global collaborative market presence. Volk lenses are designed with high-quality optics and anti-glare coatings to deliver crisp, high-resolution views. The range of reusable lens styles includes contact laser lenses for capsulotomy, iridotomy, laser vitreolysis, focal grid and peripheral retinal photocoagulation, 3- and 4-mirror gonioscopy, and selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT). Volk1 Single Use lenses, which eliminate potential cross-contamination and costly reprocessing, are available in a similar range of styles, and can be re-ordered directly from Ellex.

Ellex is recognized as the expert in short-pulsed lasers for use in ophthalmology. Its laser range pairs 30 years of manufacturing expertise with cutting-edge technology to deliver consistently better treatment results. The systems offered with Volk lenses include the Tango™ for SLT and YAG laser procedures; Ultra Q for YAG laser procedures and the Ultra Q Reflex for vitreolysis (as well as standard YAG procedures); and Solitaire, Integre Pro and Integre Pro Scan for photocoagulation.

“It makes sense that Ellex should align its suite of ophthalmic laser products with Volk: if our customers can visualize the treatment site with greater clarity then they can use our lasers to more exacting precision,” commented Ellex CEO Tom Spurling.

“The industry’s best lenses are now available with the industry’s best lasers,” explains Volk president Peter Mastores. “Ellex is a pioneer in ophthalmic laser treatment. They recognize that the clear, high-resolution imaging of our Volk lenses is critical to patient outcomes.”

To learn more about the new laser and lens bundles, or to make a purchase, visit www.ellex.com, or contact your Authorized Ellex Distributor.

Volk University: Lenses, Lenses and More Lenses

Welcome to “Volk University” where we invite you to learn more about the selection, use and care of your favorite Volk products.






Today’s lesson – Lenses. What’s special about Volk lenses and what’s the difference between the more than 180+ lens options we offer.


Volk Lens Basics

  • Volk lenses are aspheric on both sides of the lens-many other lenses are only aspheric on one side. An aspheric surface delivers a crisper image to eliminate distortion. Volk’s double-aspheric lenses eliminate more distortion for better overall imaging.
  • The Diopter value of a lens is a unit of refractive power of an optical lens, and is denoted by the inverse of the focal length of the lens.
    • A lens with a higher Diopter power provides a wider field of view, lower magnification, and the best performance through small pupils.
    • Lenses with a lower Diopter power have a narrower field of view, higher magnification, and do not perform well through a small pupil.


  • Lens orientation makes a difference.
    • Double aspheric lenses are not always symmetric on both sides. A lens with asymmetric aspheres will produce different optical results depending on which side of the lens you look through. Therefore, proper orientation is required for peak performance.
    • The Volk “V” is like an arrow and is designed to point towards the patient. Orient your lens with the point of the V pointing at the patient.
    • Some lenses have a silver rim on one side of the ring – the silver rim is another indicator of orientation. The silver rim should always be on the side of the lens closest to the patient.


  • “Working distance” (distance of the lens to the patient’s eye) varies by lens. Ensuring the lens is at the right focal length will ensure the finest clarity, depth of focus, and field of view. Refer to your lens’ instruction manual, Volk’s website, or a Volk catalog for listings of working distances.
  • Most lenses are optimized for use at lower slit lamp magnification settings. Increasing the slit lamp magnification may introduce image distortion and aberrations.
    • Suggested slit lamp magnification power for Volk lenses is 6x– 16x, where 10x is the optimal mag. 25x and 40x are too high and will likely cause distortion in the image.


Volk’s President Pete Mastores Joins Charitable Mission to Grenada

VOSH-NC clinics see over 1,300 patients in four days

In June, I had the pleasure of participating in a mission trip to the Caribbean island of Grenada, providing eye care to their underserved population. With the assistance of the local Rotarians, the North Carolina chapter of VOSH (Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) hosted four, one-day clinics in parishes around the island, providing vision screening, glasses fittings, medication for chronic eye disease, education, and referral for follow-up.

My wife and I joined a group which included our daughter Stephanie Mastores, an optometrist, along with three of her fellow Ohio State University College of Optometry alumnae: VOSH-NC Chapter President Jill Scullion, Gail Long, and Heather Day, as well as fellow VOSH optometrist Christina Smith. As part of the eight-person support team, I helped out wherever I could: administering basic visual acuity exams, filling out charts and keeping people moving through the clinic. I was also able to bring along some of Volk’s portable imaging equipment to help with patient screening.


Here I am using our Pictor Plus to get a better image of a patient’s optic nerve

 According to Jill, continuity of care is a big part of the mission. For many, the VOSH clinic is their only opportunity each year to get basic eye exams, as well as care and medication to manage chronic conditions such as glaucoma or dry eye. One such patient she saw had noticed very little visual impairment, but was found to have very advanced glaucoma. Without treatment, he would have eventually lost vision. With ongoing intervention, he will have a much better chance of preserving his sight. Jill pointed out it’s not just these standout cases that make a big impact. Even getting fitted with reading glasses–allowing someone to read or sew in order to work–makes a tremendous impact on patients’ quality of life.

We saw over 350 people a day. Many were waiting in line up to 8 hours to be seen, so quick and easy screening was paramount to move through as many people as possible.

I was able to support the screening process by providing portable fundus imaging using the Volk Pictor Plus to get clearer & wider field images of conditions picked up by the ODs during direct ophthalmoscope screening. When it turned out that one of the doctors was missing some her equipment, which was essential to completing BIO examinations, I was able to use the Volk Pictor Plus fundus camera to capture retinal images. I then passed the patient images along to the doctor for review, which allowed her to complete her portion of the exam.


Using Pictor Plus for fundus exam when BIO was unavailable.

The trip really brought home how essential handheld portable equipment is. It’s one thing to develop products at our headquarters in Ohio and know that they can be used in remote locations; it’s another to be able to see with my own eyes how our handheld imagers are used in these settings. We were set up in a different place every day, each with its own challenges in terms of space to see patients. Plus, we had to move people through a quick pace, so ease-of-use was an important factor as well.


Space was at a premium in many of the clinic locations, here Dr. Gail Long, Dr. Jill Scullion, and Dr. Heather Day sit shoulder to shoulder as they conduct exams on three patients.

Jill kept track of stats, and it’s staggering to see in numbers what we were able to accomplish in such a short time. We handed out:

  • 600 pairs of sunglasses
  • 850 readers
  • 312 single vision glasses
  • 286 biofocal glasses
  • 147 referrals for follow up
  • plus the medications prescribed

All told, Jill figures the value of goods and medicine provided adds up to over $200,000.


The VOSH-NC team celebrating after seeing FOUR HUNDRED patients in a single clinic day!

I had such a great time working with the people of Grenada. They were so warm and appreciative-I think I got more hugs in those four days probably than I ever have in my lifetime. It’s just a great feeling-whether you’re finding significant eye disease or just passing out sunglasses to help prevent cataracts.

All of the VOSH team funded their own travel and lodging. Some of the equipment and medicine were donated through partnerships with Alcon, Allergan, and Bausch + Lomb charitable giving programs, as well as Lion’s Clubs, and RestoringVision.org. VOSH also collects charitable donations to help fund this critical work. Similar trips to Belize and Trinidad are being planned in the next year. To help VOSH-NC, you can donate through their website.

I’m so glad I finally had a chance to participate in such a worthwhile trip. Planning has already begun for another Grenada trip July 2017, which I will be attending with my family.