Dr. Oliva and Medical Eye Center featured on the Jefferson Exchange-Jefferson Public Radio

When you live up where the air is thin and the sun is closer, cataracts can be much more common.

The people who live in Nepal are prone to blindness from cataracts, a condition that can be corrected by relatively inexpensive surgery–still too expensive for most of the people in that poor country.

So the Himalayan Cataract Project was born to bring the surgery to the people, and Dr. Matt Oliva is part of the team.

He talks about his trips to the roof of the world and the work he does there.

A 4-Minute Surgery That Can Give Sight To The Blind. Dr. Oliva and Medical Eye Center featured on All Things Considered, National Public Radio (NPR)











Alimi Hassen, 80, had been blind for 7 years. After his eyesight was restored, he hugs his surgeon, Dr. Matt Oliva from the Himalayan Cataract Project. Jason Beaubien/NPR 

The blind have descended in droves on the Bisidimo Hospital in Eastern Ethiopia.

The Himalayan Cataract Project is hosting a mass cataract surgery campaign at the medical compound that used to be a leper colony. For one week a team from the nonprofit has set up seven operating tables in four operating rooms and they’re offering free cataract surgery to anyone who needs it.

Our Global Partners Program supports the Himalayan Cataract Project

Himalayan Cataract Project

Medical Eye Center has started a new initiative called the Global Partners Program to help eradicate curable blindness in the developing world. Through this program, the surgeons at MEC have pledged to personally sponsor one sight-restoring cataract surgery in Nepal, Ghana or Ethiopia for every LASIK surgery they perform.

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Dr. Matt Oliva Featured on HBO’s ‘Vice’

VICE-Beating Blindness-NEWS-PAGE

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Medical Eye Center’s cornea specialist, Dr. Matt Oliva, gave the crew of HBO’s ‘Vice’ an intimate look into the sight-restoring efforts of medical teams treating cataracts in developing countries. This Emmy-winning series followed Dr. Oliva and the Himalayan Cataract Project to Ethiopia, where they performed nearly 700 surgeries over the course of a week.

Around the world, 19 million people are blind because of cataracts. The number of cases are disproportionately high in developing countries, like Ethiopia, where sunlight exposure, poor water quality and lack of access to medical care have created a nation-wide health issue.

“It’s a social problem, it’s a human suffering problem and […]

Curt Schlosser’s Story


As a young man, Curt was diagnosed with keratoconus, a degenerative disease that causes the cornea of the eye to thin and bulge. Over the years, Curt has received a total of four corneal transplants, including one in 2013, which was performed by Medical Eye Center corneal specialists Drs. Matt Oliva and John Welling.

“I cannot imagine how radically my life would be different if I lost my vision after having such a great life with vision,” says Curt. “My vision is my most valuable sense, I guess because it has been threatened. That’s why I want to help others see through the hands of Drs. Welling […]

Dr. Oliva’s 2017 Expedition

Dr Oliva’s 2017 Expedition

In February 2017, Dr. Matt Oliva ventured to Myanmar to work with corneal surgeons at Yangon Eye Hospital. Throughout the campaign, Dr. Oliva assisted local ophthalmologists in performing corneal transplants, delivered lectures on surgical techniques, and conducted trainings with ophthalmology residents.

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FDA Approves New Therapeutic Treatment for Progressive Keratoconus

KXL SystemAvedro, Inc., an ophthalmic pharmaceutical and medical device company, has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Photrexa Viscous, Photrexa and the KXL System. Together, this new system represents a significant milestone in the treatment of keratoconus, a progressive eye disease that causes a thinning of the cornea.

The KXL System is made for use with a keratoconus treatment option called corneal collagen cross linking, which uses riboflavin and UV light to strengthen the weakened cornea caused by the disease. This treatment is often performed in addition to the use of intacs, which are plastic polymer implants inserted into the cornea to […]

HBO features Dr. Matt Oliva and the Himalayan Cataract Project

Removing_bandages_from_patients_Matt Oliva

Season Four of of the Emmy­-winning television series VICE on HBO features a compelling segment titled “Beating Blindness” that features Medical Eye Center’s cornea specialist, Dr. Matt Oliva. Correspondent Isobel Yeung travels to Ethiopia to meet Dr. Oliva while working with the Himalayan Cataract Project. While in Ethiopia, Isobel shadows Dr. Oliva and the surgical team as they perform nearly 700 surgeries over the course of a week.

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Watching cataract surgery is like witnessing a miracle.

Dr. Sanduk Ruit, a Nepali ophthalmologist

His patients stagger and grope their way to him along mountain trails from remote villages, hoping to go under his scalpel and see loved ones again. A day after he operates to remove cataracts, he pulls off the bandages—and, lo! They can see clearly. At first tentatively, then jubilantly, they gaze about. A few hours later, they walk home, radiating an ineffable bliss.

Dr. Sanduk Ruit, a Nepali ophthalmologist, may be the world champion in the war on blindness. Some 39 million people worldwide are blind—about half because of cataracts—and another 246 million have impaired vision, according to the World Health Organization.

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Providing eye care to a population particularly vulnerable to blindness.

Providing eye care to a population particularly vulnerable to blindness.

Dr. Paul Jorizzo, Dr. Paul Imperia, Dr. Rory Murphy and three assistants from Medical Eye Center returned from Christmas Island in the central Pacific Ocean. They spent a week prescribing treatments, giving away sunglasses, and training local doctors to provide eye care. Drs. Jorizzo and Imperia performed 74 cataract and 10 pterygium surgeries, helping restore vision to a local population that is particularly vulnerable to blindness.

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