How Expensive Is LASIK?

Choosing a procedure such as LASIK comes with many questions and concerns that should be considered carefully. It is essential to consult with a LASIK surgeon and be sure that you are a good candidate for the surgery. A lingering question in your mind, of course, will be, “How much does LASIK cost?” In 2019, the average cost for LASIK surgery was about $2,246 per eye. This is an out-of-pocket expense for most vision insurance plans don’t cover LASIK because it is considered a cosmetic procedure and not medically necessary. Below we will further discuss factors that influence the costs of LASIK and tips on how to prepare financially for this investment for your eyes.

Key Cost Factors for LASIK

Several factors should be considered when budgeting the expense of LASIK surgery. The surgeon’s experience and reputation are one. The more experience a surgeon has may affect the cost of the procedure, and you need to determine if this is worth the extra cost. Also, the type of laser technology used to perform the correction can cause a swing in costs. Traditional treatment options that have been used since the 1990s may cost less than some of the newer advancements, such as custom wavefront technology. Lastly, your overall eye condition will also be a factor that is taken into consideration during the quoting process. A person may be quoted a higher price than someone else due to having a stronger prescription level and more impaired vision. No matter the surgeon or technology you decide is best for you, always do the research required and choose the option that you feel 100% comfortable with.

Use Caution with LASIK Bargains & Deals

It can be tempting to shop for the best deal and choose an option based solely on price but beware of something that sounds too good to be true. Often in media, it is advertised for LASIK for lower than $1000 per eye or less, but typically, you may be surprised to find that there may be additional costs that are not displayed as clearly. It is highly advised at your initial consultation to ask your surgeon for a written quote that itemizes everything included in the offer. Read the fine print and ask if there are additional fees for follow up visits, glasses, and post medications. Another warning regarding bargain LASIK procedures, their “solution” may not resolve all of your corrective issues with your eyes. If you have a mild condition, this may work out for you. Remember always to read the fine print and ask questions until you fully understand the entire process.

Financing Options for LASIK

Although there may not be an easy way around cutting costs for LASIK surgery, there are plenty of options available to help make payments more manageable and affordable. Many patients choose to pay for their procedure overtime at a monthly rate with finance companies that sometimes can offer deals with no-interest or special limited-time offers. Some employers offer subsidized health plans that can cover a portion of elective corrective LASIK costs, so be sure to investigate if this is available to you.  Another great option when preplanning is the use of a flexible spending account (FSA) or a health savings account (HSA). If you are part of the military, there is a possibility that LASIK is free or at a discounted rate. No matter your situation, it is important to research all of your options before committing. The professionals at Rohr Eye and Laser Center are always happy to answer any of your questions and they will help you come up with a solution that will be sure to make your LASIK experience enjoyable.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to suit your lifestyle and visual needs.  As a leader in laser vision correction and cataract surgery, our goal is to help you achieve the best vision possible without glasses or contact lenses.  For more information, visit our website at https://michiganlasik.com.

Event Planning Vs. Event Coordinating

The event industry is constantly changing and continues to grow in popularity as people’s lives are on overdrive. They can’t take the extra time to plan an upcoming event, or they don’t need the added stress. Often, in this line of work, there are several terms used that are misunderstood or defined loosely. Certain words or even job titles can mean different things to different people. An easy example of this is the word “event” in which some people will interpret it to be a birthday party, business conference, wedding, sporting game, and the list goes on. These varying descriptions can be confusing in the event industry and so can job titles, such as “event planner” verse “event coordinator.” What is it precisely that separates these two careers?

Choosing an Event Planner

No matter the type of event you are in the process of planning, whether it is a social or corporate gathering, an event planner is not a “party planner.” Throwing a grand party may seem like the profession’s main job goal but it’s not nearly as simple as that. The first step in event planning is to visualize the big picture and understand the purpose of the occasion and how to achieve it. The planner oversees making critical decisions such as who, what, where, when, and why factors of the event. An event planner communicates directly with the customer to incorporate their vision to create an affair that aligns with the client’s needs and budget. After the initial meeting, the planner will select a venue, entertainment, and discuss menu options, among other things. This career holds a considerable amount of responsibilities to ensure that the event is everything the customer is expecting.

Hiring an Event Coordinator

A coordinator, on the other hand, is responsible in making sure all the details are carried out smoothly with each vendor showing up on time and that they provide the services correctly. This specific job is typically a milestone in becoming an event planner down the line. An event coordinator requires skills such as excellent written and verbal communication and the ability to work well with others since the central portion of their job is to collaborate with vendors, their clients, and guests at the party. Once an event planner has completed the vision of the event, the coordinator can step in and provide management to the individual components to guarantee it goes smoothly. Event coordinators are hired for specific lengths of time during the planning process, whether it’s from day one of planning or if needing extra assistance on the actual day for several hours.

Which Professional to Select

Although the two roles are very different from each other, they often work hand in hand. As discussed earlier, many event planners early on are trained as event coordinators and depending on the level of expertise your event requires will help you decide which option will be best for your needs. Both professions have similar skill sets; well organized, creative, and can work well under pressure. No matter if an item turns up missing or a vendor is running late, or if an outdoor event has a sudden downpour of rain – your professional will be able to help guide your event to a successful and memorable day.  

 Event Planning DC provides full event planning, partial event planning, wedding planning, month-of (day-of) event coordination, event styling/design, and decorating services throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia. With access to local and national vendors who may provide additional services suitable for your event and budget, we pride ourselves in delivering only the highest quality event coordination. We promise to give you and your guests the perfect day, no matter what the occasion, including exclusive corporate and non-profit eventsweddingsBar & Bat Mitzvahs, community events, and milestone celebrations. For more information, visit https://www.eventplanningdc.com.

Using Header Tags in SEO

There is no denying that header tags still serve an essential role in SEO for your website and the users who visit it. SEO can influence your rankings through Google by making your content more natural and enjoyable for a visitor to read. Headers also provide keyword-rich context about the content on the site which the search engine uses to find you. SEO continues to evolve and the heading tags should be optimized to provide the best results in today’s world of change.

History of SEO Heading Tags

HTML header tags are created to separate the headings (H1) and sub-headings (H2-H6) of a website page from the rest of the content. Heading tags (H1, H2, H3) were legitimate ranking factors in the early 2000s and it was required to add keywords into the heading if you wanted to rank. This practice in SEO has changed quite a bit in recent years.

SEO Habits Vs. Useful Practice

Adding keywords to heading tags has become a habit more than actual usefulness in SEO. Taking a closer look at top ranking websites shows evidence that header tags no longer require keywords to succeed anymore. Another example of an old habit is the belief that H1 headings are more important than H2 headings or other listed tags after that. This belief 15 years ago would have been a real ranking factor but presently, this is no longer the case. Currently, the primary purpose of heading tags is to explain what the content on the page is about. It helps visitors understand what the text or images are portraying on the website.

Following Best SEO Practice

To improve your website’s visibility and grow your online traffic, it is vital to continue the practice of comprehensive and thoughtful SEO strategy. Google along with other search engines are shifting from authority rankings towards the quality of content that is provided. The structure, relevance to the topic, and the whole user experience are all taken into consideration to be successful online in today’s world. A few essential SEO practices that you should include on your website are:

  • Create a unique title and meta description that explain the page’s content easily and accurately.
  • Use the most descriptive and important keywords in header tags but don’t overuse them; they should be used naturally for a visitor to follow and read easily.
  • Provide content to a webpage that is meaningful and accurate. The content should provide specific information to meet the user’s intent and be found in search queries. Long-form content appears to be ideal for backlink acquisition; however, John Mueller, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, has stated publicly that word count itself is not a ranking factor.

Creative Programs and Systems is an all-inclusive tech company that specializes in Custom DevelopmentManaged IT Services, and Digital Marketing. All work is done in-house and we never outsource our services – from custom server builds and workstations, custom software programming and phone app development to search engine optimization and paid advertising. Our professionals provide results. For more information, check out our website at https://www.cpsmi.com.

Solutions for Cooling Systems of a LINAC

LINACs are a type of particle accelerator that increases the kinetic energy of a particle that can be used in a variety of different areas such as scientific research or during radiation therapy to remove cancer cells of a patient. As with most medical and lab-related equipment, particle accelerators are negatively affected by thermal changes, especially with an increase of heat. It is of most importance to maintain temperature control of the equipment components to guarantee the integrity, performance, and reliability of the system. A solution that helps maintain temperature control is using a custom liquid cooling system. We will further discuss this option below so you can adequately care for your LINAC equipment.

How A LINAC Works

A medical linear accelerator (LINAC) produces and delivers a radiation beam using high energy x-rays or electrons to a targeted area to destroy cancer cells while carefully not damaging the surrounding normal and healthy tissues nearby. The medical equipment accelerates electrons in part of the accelerator called the waveguide and then allows the electrons to collide with a heavy metal target to create the high-energy x-rays. The radiation beams are shaped as they exit the machine to conform to the shape of the patient’s tumor. The patient lies on a movable treatment couch and the lasers are designed to be sure that the patient is in the correct position. The couch can move in a variety of directions along with the gantry – the part of the accelerator in which the radiation beam comes from.

Cooling System Needs

When using a LINAC during IMRT (intensity-modulated radiation therapy), the thermal consistency is necessary to maintain beam energy and stability. All the parts inside the equipment such as the tungsten target, waveguide, acceleration chamber, and the magnets need accurate thermal control to eliminate heat buildup and to allow the temperatures to remain the same for optimal usage for operation. Some of the parts within the machine, like the waveguide and filament material, require temperatures within .5 degrees Celsius. The solution to this is to install a liquid cooling system as the best option. In an IMRT system, the cooling path can be complicated. The water starts by cooling the charging drawer and oil pump. It then leads to the liquid cooling system that will decrease the temperature of the entire system, including the linear accelerator.

Types of Liquid Cooling

Liquid cooling systems are ideal for temperature control and stabilizing. They are designed to remove large amounts of heat that is generated in a densely packed electronic environment of a linear accelerator. It may cause concern that liquid coolant is so near all these electrical products but if the cooling system is designed and assembled correctly, there should be no issues. A few reasons these systems are more beneficial opposed to air-based heat exchangers is the ability to provide faster cooling, runs more quietly, and is more reliable with less downtime. Three options for cooling systems are:

  1. Liquid – Air Heat Transfer Configuration – a high-pressure pump that recirculates the liquid coolant and an air heat exchanger to remove heat in the liquid system
  2. Liquid – Liquid Configuration – the pump recirculates the coolant and the facility water is used for a liquid heat exchanger to remove heat from the higher temperature side
  3. Compressor – Based Chiller System – the pump recirculates coolant that is chilled to well below standard temperature

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  Radparts provides high quality, user-friendly, low-cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at https://www.radparts.com/.

Purchasing a CT Simulator and X-Ray Tubes

Before a patient begins treatment with radiotherapy, a team of experts will meet to develop a specific plan for each individual patient. The first step in the planning process may involve the use of a CT simulator, which includes a CT scan of the area of the body that needs radiation treatment. This piece of equipment is essential during the initial planning process and is a great asset to any clinic or organization to have available for use. Many considerations should be made when purchasing radiotherapy equipment such as a CT simulator, the software and cooling systems, and the purchase of an x-ray tube.

Choosing a CT Simulator Based on the X-Ray Tube

The most expensive component of a CT Simulator that also needs to be replaced the most is the x-ray tube. The x-ray tube is required to endure very high heat loads, preferably having the ability to store 5 million heat units (MHU) or more. The use of high heat unit tubes provides a longer life of the unit, which will, in turn, save on downtime when needing to be replaced. In choosing a CT Simulator to purchase, it is best to base the decision on the tube it comes with. A system that may be less costly upfront may have a tube that does not last very long and could ultimately cost more in the long run than if initially purchased with a better tube, to begin with.

Best X-Ray Tubes for Your Buck

When looking at CT Simulators for purchase, the tubes as explained above are important to consider in longevity. Each system comes with a specific tube and no upgrade options are available. Some of the most popular x-ray tubes for CT Simulation include:

  • GE RT 4 MCS7079 Varian Mini Hercules 7.5 HUU – This tube is well known for not being the best, but perhaps one of the worst-performing tubes with a short life span as well. Another downfall is that Dunlee replacement tubes are not offered for this model and must have a Varian tube from GE that can cost roughly $200,000 new. There are used options for replacements for under $100,000. Overall, this tube should come with a large caution sign showing the many reviews from users to stay away from this system if possible.
  • GE RT 16 Hercules MX240 8.0 MHU – These next tubes have a reasonable life expectancy of about 6,000 to 10,000 patient scans performed however, they have been known to exceed this amount and go beyond 15,000 scans. The tubes are warranted from GE and Dunlee for 6,000 scans. There are new replacement options from the Dunlee manufacturer and Reevo 240G that are priced at $195,000 new. They can be purchased used for $75,000- $100,000 as well. 
  • Philips MRC 600 8.0 MHU – This third option is by far the best in value with tubes that are among the longest-lasting on the market. The x-ray tubes exceed 800,000 to 1,6000,000 scan seconds or roughly 4 to 7 years at a mid-range patient occupancy level. On average, they can cost $140,000 new and $40,000-70,000 used.

Weighing Pros and Cons

Purchasing equipment for radiotherapy is never an easy task with having so many options available, both new and used provided as well. When choosing tubes at a lower price point, it may give a company good value in the short-term, but keep in mind, it will need to be replaced more frequently. If you don’t want to worry about needing to replace the tubes as often, a higher-end tube is your best option, but it will cost more. Ultimately, you need to take into consideration your facilities’ unique needs for the best solution available.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.



Mysterious Water Leakage

A peculiar instance of water testing is scheduled for this Friday on mysterious green-colored water that oozed out onto eastbound Interstate 696 in Madison Heights a week earlier. According to this Detroit News article, the groundwater is believed to be contaminated with hexavalent chromium, which produces the green color that had onlookers scratching their heads. Due to the potential danger of this contamination, especially the possibility of local rivers and lake contamination, action is being taken immediately to remedy this situation to keep nearby residents safe. The origin of the water is believed to be from the Electro-Plating Services plant located nearby, which incidentally would not be the first time the plant has been in the news for water-related incidents. Results of the testing are scheduled to be released on Friday.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.

Australian Milestone

A big milestone in Australia as Elekta announces the first Australian-dwelling patient treated with its Unity MR-Linac system. In this Yahoo Finance article, the Unity MR-Linac is described as a magnetic resonance radiation therapy system that enables personalized precision radiation therapy through real-time visualization of the tumor during treatment. The patient was at a state in the cancer’s life where treatment wouldn’t normally be possible but was able to undergo drastic improvements thanks to the Linac’s precision and ability to pinpoint tumor spots while avoiding damaging healthy tissue surrounding it. The use of this method will undoubtedly open doors for more Australian patients to undergo treatment with this new and exciting medical technology.

As an independent LINAC service company, Acceletronics is dedicated to delivering the best equipment performance and services for linear accelerators and CT scanners across all major brands and models, as well as new and refurbished LINAC systems for sale.  More information can be found online at https://www.acceletronics.com/.

Choosing the Right Finish for Your Pool

When installing a pool there are many options that need to be considered to give homeowners that picturesque view they dream about when coming home every day for relaxation and leisure. One of the many choices that need to be made is the type and style of finish the pool will have; whether it’s made of plaster, tile, or aggregate. Each finish has a variety of materials, colors, and textures to choose from. The options seem endless; which is the best to use and in what combination? If you’re renovating or installing a new inground pool it’s important to select the best finish that compliments your design and vision. Below, we’ll discuss the different types of finishes so you can find an option that fits your budget and your pool needs perfectly.

Plaster

Plaster is the most common material used for pool surface finishing. It is made from a mixture of water, Portland cement, and either silica sand or marble dust. Many choose a traditional white plaster, also known as marcite, which gives the pool a clean, smooth appearance.  An available option with plaster is to mix color pigments or dyes to give the pool finish more depth and create a unique appearance. The color that is most popularly added is medium grey because it gives the pool water an amazing blue tint that many are looking for. Darker colors like dark grey and black are used to create more depth or to appear like a natural lake or pond. Plaster finished pools remain the least expensive pool finish and generally lasts 5 to 7 years before signs of repair are needed.

Aggregates

The newest form of pool plaster surfaces is called aggregates. They are a combination of white or colored plasters mixed with little pieces of stones such as quartz, granite, or glass beads. Aggregate finishes are growing in popularity due to its resistance to chemicals and staining compared to standard plaster and it also extends the life of the finish by 12 to 20 years. Since there is a beautiful variety of colors and textures to mix together, every finished pool has a one-of-a-kind look that many people are after making this another great choice.

When choosing aggregates, you’ll need to decide if you want the stones polished or exposed. A polished aggregate finish has crushed colored stones that are applied by hand to the pool shell by a professional plaster company. It is then polished to show the stone’s luster more clearly and makes the surface smooth. Exposed aggregates contain small river pebbles or glass beads that are also hand-applied. After application and while still wet, the exposed aggregates are power washed using a mixture of muriatic acid which removes the top layer of concrete exposing the colored pebbles or glass beads. This style has a rough texture to create traction to the pool surface.

Tile Finishes

If your looking for one of the most durable finishes with endless design options, look no further than tile. Tiles are typically applied at the waterline of a pool or onto steps to accent the pool, but they can be used to finish the entire interior of the pool as well. The biggest disadvantage in using tile, however, is most definitely the cost and the amount of time required for installation. It may be well worth it in the end though since the life of the tile should never need to be redone, unlike other finishes. Tile can be made from ceramic, porcelain, glass, and even stone which gives a large variety of shapes and colors for a unique appearance.

No matter which finishes you choose, they all offer stunning beauty to your pool in which you’ll enjoy for many years to come. Consult with a professional plaster company to help you decide between the many options available for your pool. Pound Pool Plastering serves both commercial and residential settings and provides all pool-related services to meet your needs including plaster, caulk, tiling, cement decks, and plumbing. More information can be found at https://www.pound-pool-plastering.com/.

Water Filters 101

Water is one of the most important elements on this planet and without it, we would only live a few short days. Our bodies are made up of roughly two-thirds of H2O and to keep a healthy balance, we need to consume 2.4 liters of water each day. It comes to no surprise that new ways are constantly being found in order to provide us with more clean, pure water to nourish ourselves. In order to remove many of the harmful impurities from our water, the use of water filters is a solution to this problem. How important are water filters you may ask? Let’s take a closer look at what a water filter is.

How Filters Work

Water filters use two different techniques in the removal of dirt and debris. The first is physical filtration in which water is strained by a physical barrier such as a thin gauze or fine textile membrane to remove the larger particles. The second method is done thorough chemical filtration, which involves water passing through an active material, such as carbon, that removes impurities as they pass through chemically. There are 4 primary methods used for water filters that use a combination of physical and chemical filtration:

Activated Carbon Filters

This type of filter is the most common and popular of the options available that are based on charcoal. Charcoal is a form of Carbon that is very porous because it has a big internal surface area that can trap foreign particles. Larger contaminants are stuck on the outside, thus being removed from the water. Carbon can also act as a magnet for items such as lead and VOCs that continue to remove particles internally as water passes through the filter. On the chemical aspect, chemicals like Chlorine are removed during a chemical reaction when water is in contact with Carbon. The main disadvantage of this type of filter is after time it will get clogged with impurities and need to be replaced, which can add additional costs down the road. 

Reverse Osmosis

Filtration that removes contaminants by water pressure to force tap water through a semipermeable membrane is called Reverse Osmosis. The membrane is an effective, very fine filter that allows the water to pass through but the contaminants like Lead, Mercury, and Iron stay behind. The downside is certain items such as some pesticides, solvents, and metals like Chlorine and Radon can not be removed with Reverse Osmosis.

Distillation

A natural option for filtration can be done with the simple process of steam distillation that involves heating water to boiling and then cooling the steam to remove the contaminants. Most contaminants have a higher boiling point than water which is why they are left behind when the water becomes steam. The steam is collected and transformed back to water in a separate container. The disadvantage to this type of filtration is some contaminants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) boil at a lower temperature than water and they evaporate with the steam and can remove beneficial minerals in natural water during the filtration process.

Ion Exchange

This filter is very good at softening hard water by removing limescale. The process is done with chemical filtration method by releasing ions, like sodium, and exchange them for unwanted ions like heavy metals found in your water. The result is better-tasting water, however, the sodium is simply another form of contaminant, so the ion exchange doesn’t exactly make the water “pure”. This option is not the best for people on low-sodium diets. The second disadvantage of ion-exchange filtration is that it will need to recharge the filters occasionally with more sodium ions by adding a certain type of salt.

The experts at Reynolds Water Conditioning have a solution to your homes unique water quality needs including: arsenic, bacteria, chlorine, rotten egg smell, fluoride, hard water, iron, lead, acid, tannins, radon, and more.  More information on our water treatment solutions including water softeners and conditionerswater filtration and purificationreverse osmosis drinking water, and iron & odor removal can be found online at https://reynoldswater.com.

Why Buying a Refurbished Linac Makes Sense for a Clinic

When deciding to add or upgrade a facility’s medical linear accelerator (Linac) many factors need to be thoroughly examined such as budget, location, time frames, and other personal impacts. One major decision to make is if to purchase a new or used/refurbished Linac and determining which will offer the best benefits long term. Depending on your situation sometimes a new Linac is required but most often a refurbished option will work perfectly, allowing you to save money as well. Below, are a few reasons to choose a refurbished linear accelerator for your next purchase.

Fewer Patients Being Treated

If your company is new or smaller in size, purchasing a refurbished Linac could be very beneficial. Pre-owned or refurbished Linac’s cost less and have lower monthly lease payments than choosing new equipment. Having fewer than 8 to 10 patients a day is generally considered a small medical facility. With fewer patients equals less money to help cover the costs of equipment fees so taking it low and slow maybe a better business option to guarantee that your clinic continues to grow at a steady pace, allowing quality and effective treatments for all patients. Veterinarian clinics or research facilities may also benefit from a refurbished Linac as they generally do not require all the advanced technologies provided in newer models. The use of linear accelerators may not always be for medical use; instead for industrial uses to image materials.

 Operating with Only One Linac or Want a Backup

Often a dilemma will arise when a company is moving into a new location and cannot afford to have a machine down during the relocation process, which can take about 3 to 4 weeks for the transition. An option to avoid this situation is to purchase a refurbished replacement that is like the existing equipment and have it installed in the new location. Once the new facility is complete and open for business, the patients can receive treatment with the newly refurbished equipment and you can either keep the original linear accelerator as a backup or sell it. This solution prevents companies from losing patients from a lack of available machines.

Other Factors to Consider in Budget

Purchasing a used or new linear accelerator is only the first step in getting the proper equipment setup for your business. Other services that should be researched with your Linac is the warranty, service and maintenance plans. This information will help you decipher which options are best for your facility and meet your needs. Also, remember to consider the costs of equipment removal and disposal. The purchasing and planning process of linacs can be very overwhelming which is why choosing the right company for the job is key for a successful addition/upgrade to your facility.

Radparts is the world’s largest independent distributor of OEM replacement parts for Linear Accelerators and Radiation Oncology equipment.  Radparts provides high quality, user friendly, low cost parts and support for linear accelerators and radiation equipment. More information can be found at https://www.radparts.com/.