Family Eye Group
Welcome to the Family Eye Group, a leader in comprehensive eye care in Lancaster and Ephrata, Pennsylvania. Your vision is our top priority, and we strive to provide top-notch ophthalmologic care in a comfortable, professional atmosphere.
Our state-of-the-art facility offers the best technology available for all your eye care needs. Our eye doctors and staff are trained and skilled in the latest treatments for eye conditions and diseases to ensure you are receiving the best care possible.
We appreciate the trust you have placed in us. Your eyesight is a precious gift – let us help you preserve it for a lifetime.
2110 Harrisburg Pike, Suite 215
Lancaster PA 17601
155 North Reading Road
Ephrata PA 17601
Family Eye Group is open to serve you, answer questions or schedule an appointment during the following hours:
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
- We will try to confirm your appointment day and time, but it is still the patient’s responsibility to keep appointments.
- If a patient is more than 30 minutes late for an appointment, we might need to reschedule to another day.
- Cancelled appointments are accepted if the cancellation is made more than 24 hours in advance of the appointment.
- Appointments missed without cancellation 24 hours in advance are considered to be “no shows” and may be charged a $50 no show fee.
- Co-pays and past due balances are collected at check-in. If a patient does not pay what he owes, we will reschedule the appointment.
- We charge $25 to fill out forms or dictate letters as requested by the patient.
- All previous fees must be paid either before the next appointment or at check-in for the next appointment.
- We will submit medical fees to insurance companies, but it is the patient’s responsibility to pay what the insurance company does not cover.
We are especially interested in making all our patients feel right at home! We put your needs first to achieve efficient and comprehensive treatment. Our staff is trained and skilled, and we strive to provide efficient and individualized service to each patient. Each member of our treatment team has years of experience in treating patients with the highest level of care. We strive to stay abreast of the latest in technological advances by regularly attending continuing education courses and seminars.
Family Eye Group offers patients of all ages a specialist’s care for eye problems. Our physicians, Drs. David Silbert, Donna Leonardo, Michael Pavlica, David Armesto, Anh Nguyen and Garry Leckemby pledge state-of-the-art equipment, leading-edge medical care and a constant search for the newest effective treatments. We also pledge that along with excellent medical care, you will receive the best customer service from a staff that is dedicated to our patients.
David I. Silbert, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Pediatric Ophthalmology & Strabismus Specialist
Oculoplastics, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery Specialist
Dr. David I. Silbert graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1984. He completed his medical training at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio in 1989, with an area of concentration in clinical decision analysis.
Dr. Silbert completed an internship in internal medicine at the Washington Hospital Center in 1990 and an ophthalmology residency at the Georgetown University Hospital Center for Sight in Washington, DC in 1993. This was followed by a fellowship in oculoplastic and orbital surgery at Wills Eye Hospital in 1994 and a second fellowship in pediatric ophthalmology and strabismus at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, Holy Redeemer Hospital and Wills Eye Hospital, finished in 1995.
Dr. Silbert specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric and adult strabismus, amblyopia, congenital cataracts, nasolacrimal obstruction and other pediatric eye diseases. He also specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid surgery, as well as orbital surgery.
Dr. Silbert has been involved as an investigator for the Balloon Catheter Technique to improve tearing. He has also been an investigator for the Amblyopia Treatment Studies, national studies looking at lazy eye. He has been invited to lecture on “The Use of the Photoscreener to Detect Amblyopia” at national meetings.
Dr. Silbert is a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a full member of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS). He has also been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. With his full membership in the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus (AAPOS) and fellowship in the American Academy of Pediatrics, Dr. Silbert became the first pediatric ophthalmologist in Lancaster County to offer such high credentials in the care of his young patients.
Donna Leonardo, D.O.
Specialist in Glaucoma and Related Diseases
Dr. Donna Leonardo is the glaucoma specialist and a cataract surgeon for Family Eye Group. Dr. Leonardo is fellowship trained in glaucoma, a sight-threatening eye disorder. She specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all kinds of glaucoma. This covers an array of medical, laser and surgical options. The scope of her experience includes the various pediatric, secondary and end stages of all types of open and closed angle glaucoma. She is able to perform sight-saving laser surgery in our office under topical eye drop anesthesia.
Dr. Leonardo received her undergraduate degree from Rutgers University. She graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she also completed her internship and her residency in ophthalmology. Dr. Leonardo continued her postgraduate education with fellowship training in Glaucoma and Related Diseases at Albany Medical Center in Albany, NY.
Dr. Leonardo is a Diplomate of the American Osteopathic Board of Ophthalmology. Her most recent research interest has led to an international collaboration on the genetics of low tension glaucoma, a little known type of glaucoma.
Dr. Leonardo is on the medical staff of Lancaster General Hospital and Ephrata Community Hospital. She is available to patients at our three offices including the Lancaster Health Campus, Ephrata Community Hospital’s medical offices complex and in Willow Street.
Michael R. Pavlica, M.D.
Medical Retina Specialist
Retina & Vitreous Surgery Specialist
Dr. Michael R. Pavlica is our specialist in retina and vitreous diseases and retinal surgery. Dr. Pavlica graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in 1986 with a B.A. in biology. He graduated from New York University School of Medicine in 1990, and then completed an internship at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, where he served as a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Pavlica finished his ophthalmology residency at Boston University School of Medicine in 1994, which was then followed by a two-year fellowship in Diseases and Surgery of the Retina and Vitreous at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.
Dr. Pavlica specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of the spectrum of retinal eye disease. He is trained in the medical and surgical management of sight threatening eye disorders including retinal tears and detachments, macular holes, macular degeneration and diabetic eye disease. Dr. Pavlica is able to perform retinal laser surgery in our office under topical “eye drop” anesthesia, as well as retinal cryosurgery and photodynamic therapy and digital imaging. He founded the Diabetic Eye Care and Macular Degeneration Center at Family Eye Group.
Dr. Pavlica is on staff and provides emergency coverage at Lancaster area hospitals. He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology and a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Retinal Specialists, and the American Medical Association. Dr. Pavlica is past president of the Lancaster County Medical Society.
David M. Armesto, M.D.
Specialist in Cornea External Diseases and Refractive Surgery
Dr. David M. Armesto joined Family Eye Group in 2001. Dr. Armesto graduated magna cum laude from St. Bonaventure University in 1977 and received his M.D. from the State University of New York in 1981. He did his internship in family practice at Buffalo General Hospital and did his residency in ophthalmology at the Letterman Army Medical Center in San Francisco, where he was chief resident. He received his fellowship in Cornea, External Disease and Refractive Surgery in 1991 at the University of Texas, Hermann Hospital. He also became a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology in 1989.
Dr. Armesto has been practicing in the Harrisburg area since 1992. He is a fellowship-trained refractive surgeon with expertise in corneal transplants and refractive surgery techniques. Dr. Armesto was the first physician to perform refractive surgery (LASIK) in the Harrisburg area and has extensive experience in the care of patients desiring surgery as an alternative to glasses and contact lenses.
Dr. Armesto is certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons. He is past President of the Central Pennsylvania Ophthalmology Society.
Garry L. Leckemby, O.D.
Management of Ocular Diseases
Dr. Garry L. Leckemby graduated from the Pennsylvania State University in 1979 with a B.S. degree in microbiology. He then enrolled in the Pennsylvania College of Optometry earning a B.S. in science in 1983 and his Doctor of Optometry in 1985.
During his optometry training, Dr. Leckemby served as a teaching assistant at the PA College of Optometry and as an Optician’s Assistant at The Eye Institute in Philadelphia. He also served externships in Primary Eye Care, Ocular Pathology, Strabismus, Amblyopia, Management of Ocular Diseases, Low Vision and Contact Lenses.
His postgraduate career has been in the areas of Primary Eye Care, Contact Lenses and co-management of Refractive and Cataract Surgeries.
Dr. Leckemby has participated in numerous Optometric Research Studies involving contact lenses, contact lens solutions and cataract surgery implant lenses.
He is a board certified optometrist by the State Board of Optometric Examiners. Dr. Leckemby is also a member of the American Optometric Association and the Pennsylvania Optometric Association.
Anh T Nguyen, O.D.
Management of Ocular Diseases
Dr Anh T Nguyen graduated from Santa Clara University in California with a BS degree in Biology. She then enrolled in the Pennsylvania College of Optometry in Philadelphia, earning her BS in Science in 1996 and then her Doctor of Optometry in 1998. During her studies at the Philadelphia College of Optometry, Dr Nguyen also served as a teaching assistant in the clinical diagnostics procedure lab. She served externships in Ocular Diseases, Primary Eye Care, Contact Lenses, and Pediatrics in Pennsylvania and California. Prior to joining Family Eye Group in June, 2010, Dr Nguyen worked at Lenscrafters in Camp Hill as the managing optometrist for over 10 years.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than half of all Americans will develop cataracts by age 80. A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye, which can cause one’s vision to become blurry. They are common with age and can occur in one or both eyes. The clouding usually occurs slowly, but can happen quickly, especially after trauma to the eye. While cataracts are not painful, they do cause many symptoms such as blurry vision, fewer details, glare while driving or reading, dull colors, changes in your glasses prescription and double vision in one eye.
New advances and techniques have made cataract surgery one of the most successful and life-improving surgical procedures performed. We offer the latest procedures available to help remove cataracts and restore your vision, including the placement of intraocular lenses. Most cataract surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis, and more than 95 percent of surgeries improve vision.
Glaucoma is a common eye disorder that is, in fact, not one but an entire group of disorders with a common label. It is a disorder that damages the optic nerve, which serves to send the images from the eye to the brain.
It was once believed that glaucoma was caused by high fluid pressure inside the eye (called intraocular pressure). Experts now know that, while high intraocular pressure is a risk factor for glaucoma, it is not the only cause.
The early stages of glaucoma are undetectable, and experts estimate that only half of the people who currently have glaucoma even realize that they are affected. While there is no cure for glaucoma, many medications and procedures exist that can help to slow the disease or stop it altogether. However, like so many eye-related disorders, early diagnosis is essential. Because the early stages of glaucoma have no noticeable symptoms, regular eye exams are recommended for everyone, even those who have no eye-related symptoms or problems.
Diabetic Eye Care
People with diabetes are unfortunately at a higher risk for numerous diabetic eye diseases which can lead to severe vision loss and sometimes even blindness. Here are the different diabetic eye diseases:
Diabetic retinopathy is an eye disease that damages the blood vessels in the retina, and usually affects both eyes. Diabetic retinopathy can affect people with Type I and Type II diabetes. There are four stages to diabetic retinopathy:
- Mild Non-proliferative Retinopathy – Minor swelling occurs in small regions in the tiny blood vessels of the retina.
- Moderate Non-proliferative Retinopathy – The blood vessels in the retina are blocked.
- Severe Non-proliferative Retinopathy – The blockage of the blood vessels causes malnourishment to the retina, which causes the retina to send signals to the body to create new blood vessels.
- Proliferative Retinopathy – The newly formed blood vessels develop along the surface of the retina and are very fragile. Their fragility can cause them to leak, which can cause severe vision loss and even blindness. This stage can also cause macular edema, which can cause vision loss.
There are no common symptoms present during the early stages of diabetic retinopathy. If you experience blurred vision or “floating” spots, contact your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
People with diabetes can help prevent the development of diabetic retinopathy by carefully managing blood sugar levels and blood pressure. If a person is in the final stage of diabetic retinopathy (Proliferative Retinopathy), laser treatments are available to help shrink the fragile blood vessels which can ultimately preserve the rest of your sight.
Strabismus (Lazy Eye)
Strabismus, also sometimes called “lazy-eye”, “cross-eye” or “wall-eye”, is a condition that occurs when a person cannot align both of their eyes on a single object at the same time under normal circumstances. According to experts, it is estimated that roughly five percent of all children have some degree of strabismus. Movement of the affected eyes could either occur all the time (called “constant strabismus”) or under certain conditions like high stress or illness (called “intermittent strabismus”). Children with strabismus will occasionally experience double vision as a result of the conflicting signals from their eyes. Eventually, their brains learn to disregard one of the eyes, but this does not affect the actual condition of the eye. Early treatment is strongly advised for children with strabismus because it is not a condition that children “grow out of”. Some common treatments for strabismus include optical devices, vision and muscle therapy, and, as a last resort, surgery.
Retinal detachment is a very serious condition which can cause severe or even permanent vision loss. It occurs when the retina becomes separated from the underlying supportive tissues which prevents the retina from functioning properly. Some common symptoms may include: spots, floaters, flashes of light, poorer vision or a shadow appearance across the top of the eye. No pain is associated with retinal detachment. If you notice any of the above symptoms or believe you have a detached retina it is vitally important to seek ophthalmic care immediately to prevent permanent vision loss.
Floaters are small specks that move in and out of your field of vision. They may be more noticeable when looking at a plain background. Floaters are tiny clumps of cells inside the vitreous humour (the clear fluid that fills the inside of the eye) that can be different shapes.
Macular holes are tears or cysts that can develop in the macula (a small spot in the retina, or back inner part of the eye). This is where fine focusing occurs. A macular hole is usually noticed when there is a sudden decrease in vision in one eye. Macular holes are most often related to the aging process, and are most common in people over 60.
Occasionally, macular holes may resolve without treatment, but we recommend you see your ophthalmologist immediately if you notice a sudden loss of vision in one eye, so he/she can determine if treatment is necessary. This can help prevent permanent vision loss.
The most common treatment for macular holes is a surgery called vitrectomy, which removes the vitreous gel to prevent it from pulling on the retina. Then, a mixture of air and gas is inserted where the vitreous once was, putting pressure on the macular hole, allowing it to heal. This treatment will require a long recovery period to ensure lasting results. For more information about this surgery, please contact our office.
Tears are very important for the eyes for a number of reasons. They not only act as a lubricant, but also a cleanser – keeping away and washing out dust, debris and foreign objects – and also as an antibacterial, neutralizing any microorganisms which take residence on the eye’s surface. Therefore, when tear production is insufficient, it can create many problems for the eyes. Not only are dry eyes uncomfortable, they are also more prone to injury and infection.
For incidental cases of dry eyes, over-the-counter eye lubricants are all that are required to ease the discomfort. But when the body cannot or does not produce enough tears, or when the tears are drained or evaporated too quickly to properly protect the eye, this can be a condition known as dry eye syndrome. Depending on the cause and extent of dry eye syndrome, it may or may not be able to be completely cured. Even when not cured, however, the symptoms can be managed.
One of the treatments for dry eye syndrome is prescription eyedrops, which contain special materials that not only lubricate and comfort the eye, but also encourage the eye to produce more tears. Another possible treatment is the installation of lacrimal plugs, also called punctal plugs, which are inserted into the tear ducts to stop tears from draining off of the surface of the eye too quickly. In more extreme cases, the tear ducts might also be closed surgically. If dry eyes are a result of environmental conditions, it may also be helpful to fight the environmental causes, such as wearing sunglasses in dusty climates or using humidifiers for dry climates. Nutritional insufficiencies can also be to blame for dry eyes, in which case taking nutritional supplements or drinking more water may be advised.
A refractive error is when the shape of your eye does not bend light correctly causing blurred vision. The common refractive disorders are:
- Myopia, also known as nearsightedness, is when distant objects appear blurry. Myopia is inherited and usually discovered in childhood. As a person ages, myopia can progress, requiring a stronger prescription to correct.
- Hyperopia, also known as farsightedness, is when close objects appear blurry. Hyperopia is most common in children. It can improve as a person ages.
- Presbyopia is the aging of the lens in the eye, which can make reading more difficult. This usually occurs in people over the age of 40.
- Astigmatism is an irregular curvature on the cornea (front surface of the eye) which causes a person’s vision to be blurred at all distances.
If you experience blurred vision, difficulty reading or crossing of the eyes, it may mean you have a refractive disorder. Refractive disorders are commonly treated with corrective lenses, whether it be eyeglasses or contact lenses. Some refractive disorders may also be corrected by refractive surgery.
The cornea is the dome-shaped clear covering at the center of your eyes. It protects your eyes, and its curvature is also responsible for many aspects of our vision. It is a highly complex series of cells and proteins, and unlike most of the tissues of the body, it has no veins or blood vessels of any kind to help nourish and maintain it, because the blood vessels would interfere with our vision. This makes it vulnerable to outside infections and diseases, of which there are many.
Also known as “pink eye” from the redness and inflammation it causes, conjunctivitis is a very common affliction of the cornea that affects millions of people around the world a year. It causes irritation, itching and burning of the conjunctiva, which lines the eyelids, and can have many causes, including allergies, viruses and bacterial infections. Many times, the disease’s symptoms are easily managed and disappear after several days, but in extreme cases, professional treatment may be needed. If severe cases are left untreated, they may worsen and impair vision.
A corneal dystrophy is when any layer or tissue within the cornea begins to weaken and break down, or when the cornea builds up a cloudy material, impairing vision. While there are many kinds of corneal dystrophies, it is a relatively rare brand of disease, and less than one percent of all cases of blindness or partial-sightedness can be traced to a corneal dystrophy. Though there are dozens of specific corneal dystrophies, most share many common elements, such as being hereditary, progressing slowly, affecting both eyes evenly, and not typically being caused by outside factors such as diet, exercise, climate conditions or pre-existing medical factors.
Fuch’s Dystrophy is typically only recorded in the later stages of life, usually in the patient’s 50’s or 60’s, even though the disease may be present for decades because it is does not affect vision right away. It is caused when cells in the innermost layer of the cornea begin to break down for no discernable reason. As a result, the cornea begins to absorb water, causing swelling which blurs vision. Many times, as the disease progresses the cornea will even develop blisters, and they can be very painful when they burst. Treatment options for Fuch’s dystrophy include drops to reduce swelling, drying out the epithelial blisters, and even corneal transplants.
Herpes of the eyes, also known as ocular herpes, is caused by the same herpes simplex virus that is largely responsible for cold sores and fever blisters. It is the single most common infectious cause of corneal blindness in America. Ocular herpes typically causes painful sores on the eyelid or cornea, and can eventually cause the cornea itself to inflame, which can lead to the breakdown and destruction of cells within the cornea, causing scarring and blindness. Though the virus itself never leaves the body, breakouts can be controlled and treated with prescriptions.
A pterygium is a pinkish-colored patch of tissue that grows on the cornea. Pterygia can potentially grow large enough to seriously obstruct vision, but this is a rare occurrence. More often, it is a cosmetic concern, since the pterygia can be seen when it becomes red and inflamed from dust or sunlight. Eye lubricants are usually an effective treatment for smaller pterygia, since they reduce the swelling and redness and thus their appearance. When they grow large enough to obstruct vision, however, surgery may be needed.
If you have more eye health questions, the EyeSmart public education program was developed by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO). EyeSmart's website has trustworthy EyeMD-reviewed information that you can rely on.
It is our mission to provide you with affordable, high-quality treatment that fits into your budget. We offer a variety of payment options to meet your needs. For the convenience of our patients, we accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We expect payment in full at the time of service.
Please ask a member of our staff, and we will review our payment options to accommodate your financial needs. If special arrangements are needed, please talk to our office manager prior to receiving service.
Insurance has become confusing because there are different types, and not all types require a referral from your family doctor. The place to start getting information about what your insurance requires is on the insurance card itself. If the card says you have a PPO (preferred provider organization) or POS (point of service), you will not need to get a referral from your family doctor before you come in for your Family Eye Group appointment.
If you have Medicare, you do not need a referral. However, there are many new plans this year which take the place of Medicare (even though you still pay the Medicare premium). Some of these plans require referrals. Others do not. If you are unsure, call the Customer Service phone number on your card. Getting a referral ahead of time is your responsibility. If you do not have a referral, you will need to either reschedule your appointment or accept responsibility to pay the entire charge for the appointment when you check out.
Your insurance card will also tell you how much your co-pay is. Please be prepared to pay your co-pay at check-in on the day of your Family Eye Group appointment.
Family Eye Group is a specialty practice, and insurance companies will not pay us for routine visits. If your visit is routine (meaning you have no medical problem affecting your eyes), you can still be seen at Family Eye Group by one of our optometrists. The fee for a routine visit will be around $110, and you will need to pay the fee when you check out.
Family Eye Group does not participate with most vision plans.