New ophthalmologist joins Atlantic Eye MD


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Dr. Juan Carlos de Rivero Vaccari, left, has joined Dr. Frederick Ho's staff at Athletic Eye MD.

photo by George White

Dr. Frederick Ho has added a fellow Ophthalmologist to his staff at Atlantic Eye MD who has the highest level related academic qualifications for innovations in the field — a Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

Ophthalmologist Dr. Juan Carlos de Rivero Vaccari, originally from Lima, Peru, started work here Aug. 1. He earned his doctorate from the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy from the Lousiana State University Health Services Center.

The Atlantic Eye MD at 8040 N. Wickham Rd. in Suntree has a medical practice and adjacent surgical center that treats patients with a variety of eye diseases, but mostly cataracts and glaucoma: diseases associated with the aging baby boomer population.

  • A cataract is simply a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. This is a normal part of the aging process, but may also result from an injury or as a complication from another medical condition. Most people with cataracts have them in both eyes although they may develop at different rates. Corrective surgery is performed on on an outpatient basis.
  • Glaucoma is a sight-threatening disease affecting the optic nerve — the direct connection between each eye and the brain. When glaucoma damages optic nerves, areas of blind spots develop in the peripheral vision. As the nerves deteriorate, so does vision. If untreated, blindness eventually occurs. Even with treatment, optic nerve damage cannot be reversed, only stopped.

“This is the first time I’ve had another ophthalmologist join my practice. Besides practicing general ophthalmology, he also has expertise in macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, both areas that we’ve seen a tremendous demand for in this county. He’s also a skilled cataract surgeon,’’ Dr. Ho said.

“There’s a growing demand enough to have another ophthalmologist here with the growing medical age group of the aging baby boomers,’’ he said.

 In addition to all the medical qualifications needed to become an Ophthalmologist and his Ph.D., de Rivero Vaccari later completed a post doctoral fellowship where he studied neuroprotective and neurodegenerative pathways in the retina.

“The retina is an extension of the brain. Pretty much my entire life I’ve been dedicated to the eye. It’s amazing that after all these years I am still fascinated by it. Things are always changing in this field so that makes it so exciting. There are always new discoveries. That is one of the reasons that I also did my Ph.D., to have that scientific exposure to the new developments,’’ he said.

Shifting back to clinical training, de Rivero Vaccari then obtained his medical degree from the Louisiana State School of Medicine. He completed his internship in internal medicine and residency in Ophthalmology at the Louisiana State University School of Medicine/Ochsner Medical Center in New Orleans. Earlier he also had received a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Florida International University in Miami.

Dr. Ho specializes in cataract surgery, multifocal lens implants, laser surgery, diabetic eye diseases, glaucoma and macular degeneration as well as other vision disorders.

Atlantic Eye MD is located at 8040 N. Wickham Rd., Melbourne. For information, call 321-757-7272 or go to drho.cc.