The Villages, FL Board Certified Optometric Physician • Certified Nutrition Specialist • CEO and Chairman of Fortifeye Vitamins • Radio Talk Show Host • Extreme Sports Enthusiast • Lange Eye Institute The Villages FL
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View Articles by Dr. Michael Lange about Eye Care, the Latest Eye Research, Fortifeye Nutrition Center, New Developments, and Nutrition.
many people, dry eye is a condition that they deal with on a daily
basis and is something they unfortunately have just accepted. As a
chronic, progressive condition, people do not realize that it is
something that can be easily managed through a few different steps. Dr. Michael Lange,
an Optometrist and expert in natural approaches to dry eye, believes
that patients should be able to have comfort along with great vision.
Dr. Michael Lange took the time to share his expertise on the causes of
dry eye and provided the following five steps to help your dry eye
Causes of Dry Eye
eyes are generally caused by reduced amount of tears being produced to
sufficiently keep the eyes wet and lubricated, causing discomfort,
irritation, redness, trouble focusing, and many times light sensitivity.
Dr. Michael Lange explains that some common reasons for dry eye include
contact lens use – from improper use to frequent use – there is
decreased oxygen supplied directly to the eyes and increased tear
evaporation, aging causes decreased tear production and many arthritis
related conditions can cause dry eyes.
New Orleans native Dr. Michael Lange was born and raised in
Louisiana. An avid sportsman, he participated in many traditional sports
like football, basketball, and track and field. He was racing
competitive motocross during his senior year in high school when he
broke his leg and his neck in five places. His ambition for a career in
motocross ended there.
Dr. Michael Lange received his first degree from the University of
Southern Mississippi in psychology. He then went to Pennsylvania College
of Optometry and became a board-certified optometric physician. He
received his second degree during his second year at optometry school in
physiological optics. Right out of school he began working for a Dr.
Charles Glaser at his optometry practice back in Louisiana.
Less than a year later, Dr. Michael Lange opened his own practice in
Ocala, Florida, in 1993. With the unexpected help of radio star Country
Jim Kirk, Dr. Michael Lange began hosting a daily radio talk show,
‘Sound Off with Dr. Lange’. It has since grown into a syndicated radio
show called ‘Ask the Doctor’.
As the radio show and Dr. Michael Lange’s practice grew in
popularity, he opened 12 more locations all around Florida, and then the
Lange Eye Institute in The Villages. Around 2016, a big corporation
offered to buy all of his practice’s locations. Not ready to retire, he
kept the Lange Eye Institute. In addition, Dr. Michael Lange is also a
certified nutrition specialist and owns a company called Fortifeye
Vitamins where he develops vitamins to help slow down and stabilize
diseases in the eye.
When he’s not at work or doing research for his vitamins, Dr. Michael
Lange divides his free time between racing his two NASA and SCCA
sanctioned Dodge Vipers all over the U.S. and traveling nationally and
internationally for his daughter’s volleyball tournaments. This father
of four, a son, a daughter, and two stepdaughters, lives a very full
How did you get started in optometry? What inspired you?
My dad’s best friend was an ophthalmologist. He was over at the house
all the time, we used to go fishing together. I volunteered with him at
his office and I really ended up liking the eye after talking with him
more; the eye is pretty clean and you don’t have to go in for
emergencies where the bones are sticking out of the body.
What really intrigued me is how the eye is the window into the body,
so we can detect many general health problems from an eye exam. An eye
doctor can oftentimes detect ischemic strokes, heart attacks, systemic
diseases, high blood pressure, and diabetes. That really intrigued me.
My dad also inspired me with his work ethic. He used to get up early
in the morning and he didn’t get home until late at night, but he still
found time to take us camping, fishing and stuff like that. So we had a
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Starting out I never had any doubts because I always knew I could do
it. It’s just that sometimes when you’re working that many hours, you
can get a little stressed and you don’t have any free time to relax and
de-stress. I grew up in New Orleans so I was accustomed to going out and
partying a lot. I learned very quickly in optometry school that you
can’t do that and expect to pass, so it was my precursor to buckling
down. Sometimes the stress would get a little bit to me in the earlier
years and that’s why I ended up biking or running or working out at the
gym to help relieve stress. But I never doubted I would succeed and I
never in my wildest dreams ever thought that I’d one day be a
How did you get your first customer?
Honestly, I just opened my doors and hung up my sign that said Dr.
Lange, Optometric Physician. I don’t remember who my first customer was,
but I do remember that I had three walk-in patients on my first day on
March 15th, 1993. About two weeks later is when Country Jim Kirk came
in, and he’s who is somewhat responsible for my success by giving me the
opportunity to have my own talk show. He’s the guy in the back of my
mind that I’m really thankful for.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
I’ve done everything in marketing, from direct mail to television,
billboards, the internet, and radio ads. But the best thing has
definitely been my one-hour talk radio show, Ask the Doctor. It used to
be a syndicated show, drive-time out of Tampa Bay from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
every single day except Sunday, which I did at 1 p.m. New patients
would come in because they wanted to see the doctor on the radio show.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
The toughest thing over the last few months was to determine if I
should start working less and spending more time with the family and
enjoy racing. And that was a tough decision because I enjoy making
money. But I decided at the beginning of the year to only work half days
on Monday and to take Fridays off. Now that I have three and a half-day
weekend enables me to spend more time with the family and also do more
things that I enjoy.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
I’m hardworking. I’m constantly working but I try to play hard, too. And I have a dynamic personality. So I think it’s my bedside demeanor, my personality, and my work ethics.
Dr. Michael Lange is an optometric physician and certified nutrition specialist based in Florida. Dr. Lange
opened his first solo office in 1993 amid the rapid expansion of
Ocala’s aging population. Just a few weeks after he’d opened, he was
invited to do a local radio show, answering questions for callers. His
syndicated radio show continues to this day. His popularity helped grow
Lange and Associates to over 13 offices. His focus on holistic health
care also brings in new patients regularly.
When Dr. Lange noticed similarities in patients with eye disease, he
began thorough research into possible causes and found certain
deficiencies that could be supplemented through vitamins. He received
his certificate in nutrition and developed Fortifeye Vitamins based on
Patients schedule with Dr. Lange to help with eye care and are
treated to a whole-body care plan that includes diet, proper
supplements, and lifestyle changes. This approach helps patients with
more than just eye care, it changes their overall well-being naturally.
With there being so many different areas of medicine to
choose from, what do you specialize in and what made you choose that
I am an optometric physician and a certified nutrition specialist. My
father was a rheumatologist and his best friend was an ophthalmologist.
I was able to see what they did growing up and I knew I definitely
wanted to be a part of helping people improve their lives.
I’d opened an office in Ocala, FL in 1993. At the time, that area had
the fastest growing aging population in the nation. I saw many patients
with macular degeneration and I started to think about what may be an
underlying cause for it. I became the first optometrist to draw blood
and really look into nutritional deficiencies that may have a hand in
this disease. I found several similarities in different patients and
began to develop vitamins that could make up for those deficiencies.
Fortifeye Vitamins started about twenty years ago, based on thousands
of research hours. I found that by supplementing these deficiencies we
had the ability to stabilize, and in some cases reverse the symptoms of
macular degeneration and other eye diseases. It was during that time
that I got my certification in nutrition. I wanted people to know that
the vitamins I developed were based on evidence-based science and I felt
the additional education helped with that.
In addition to Fortifeye, which is now a globally available product
line, I purchased a small company called Paleo Simplified a few years
ago and we’ve been expanding on what they’d already been doing, which is
healthy snacks. There is also a diet plan that I developed called the
Lange Diet Plan which, on average, helps people lose up to 6 lbs. per
week when followed.
I have a whole-body approach to treating patients. They come to me
because they are worried about their eyes, but we have the ability to
see so much of their health through their eyes. It would be awful if I
could recognize a health issue and just ignored it because it’s not my
area. I take the time to discuss what I see and I provide solutions that
are effective, not just visually speaking. Most importantly, the
solutions we offer are natural instead of some high dollar medication
that treats one symptom.
What parts of your job do you find most challenging?
The most challenging aspect for me became all the paperwork involved
in health care now. Being based in an area with an aging population,
many of my patients are on Medicare. There have been several changes to
how we file for payment including HIPPA regulations, specific coding
that changes regularly, and meaningful use guidelines.
All of this is time taken away from patient care. You’re staring at a
screen, making sure everything will be covered instead of talking with
your patient. That was something I was happy to walk away from when I
sold the company. I kept my base office and now I can focus more on
actual patient care instead of paperwork.
What do find most enjoyable?
Hands down, it’s seeing my patients improve. I’ve had patients walk
through the door overweight, sometimes dealing with health issues like
diabetic retinopathy or another eye disease. Through our holistic
approach, we walk them through lifestyle, supplements, and diet changes.
We provide supplements to naturally adjust deficiencies. In a years’
time, that same patient will lose the weight and a lot of the time, we
see a reversal of the eye disease as well. It’s knowing and actually
seeing the improvement to their overall well-being that makes my work so
Do you as a doctor have any weakness or strength?
I’d say my weakness is that I can be too soft. I’m not a fan of
letting people go, even when it’s clear that the person isn’t the right
fit. I’ve put people between myself and the staff that will handle that
aspect for me because it’s something I’m not the best at.
My strength is that I am not afraid of hard work or sacrifice. I
never imagined when I opened my first office that this is the direction
it would go. I’ve spent a lot of time away from my family, seeing
patients at every office and doing research on the vitamins. I’ve missed
out on being there for my kids like I wanted to, but it was necessary
to be successful.
I also consider my personality a strength. I’ve got a good sense of humor. I’m personable with my patients. You need them to know that your focus is their health, that you care about them. It’s important to build that rapport.
is emitted as wavelengths, and the longer the wavelength, the less
amount of energy it carries. As humans, we have a particular range of
the light spectrum that we can see as light and color between
approximately 380nm and 700nm, while below 380nm is ultraviolet light
(UV) and above 700nm is infrared (IR).
Blue light can be harmful to your eyes, which is a fact that many of us do not realize or understand why we should care. Dr. Michael Lange
goes above and beyond primary eye care, bringing a new vigilance to the
way eye care and healthcare is addressed. As he implements his vision
of how to provide treatment to patients, he champions avant-garde for
the preservation of health for all humanity. Dr. Lange took the time to
explain blue light, and how we can defend our eyes from harm.
(often blue-violet), ranges from 380nm to 450nm, and blue-turquoise
from 450nm-500nm. As with UV light and the risk of medical
complications, blue light has high energy as it has the shortest
wavelengths of the light that we can see. Unfortunately, Dr. Michael
Lange explains that unlike UV light, blue light is unfiltered by our
eyes, allowing this light to reach as far back as the retina. With an
increasing number of technological advances (mobile phones, tablets,
computers etc.) our exposure to blue light is ever increasing, and Dr.
Michael Lange believes that this should concern patients and it is important to understand and help defend our eyes from blue light.
Blue Light Defense
companies have come out with new lenses that allow patients to protect
themselves from the harmful effects of blue light that work by filtering
out this wavelength of light. There are many types of lenses available,
but Dr. Michael Lange notes that there are four main considerations
that should be made when purchasing blue light filtering lenses:
The tint of the lens, some lenses may have a yellow tint
Blue light filter should be a part of the actual lens and not a coating that can flake off