Merry Christmas! Racine’s A Great Place To Live…..

My sons and I went sledding with our neighbor Kaleb and had a great time at North Beach today, followed by hot chocolate at Dunn Brothers and then a quick tour of the snow sculptures that are on display in Monument Square.  What a great afternoon of fun with the kids.

The snow sculptures were incredible pieces of art.  If you get a chance to view them before they are gone, do so, you won’t regret it.  Here are some pictures of my favorites from this year’s competition:

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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Dry Eye, With Or Without Contact Lenses

Over the last two decades that I’ve been involved in eye care, I’ve seen many advances in the treatment of Dry Eye as well as Contact Lens material advances.  While there’s no “best solution” for every patient, there are many different ways to reduce the symptoms of Dry Eye, for contact lens wearers and others who suffer from Dry Eye without contact lens wear.

To me, the three biggest improvements in Dry Eye Treatment for my non contact lens patients have been; Restasis, Punctal Plugs and improved Artificial Tears.

  • Restasis is an Rx medication which improves the quantity and the quality of the tears that the eye produces.   This results in not only more tears on the surface of the eye, but less inflammatory cells in the tears, both desirable conditions.
  • Punctal Plugs slow down the rate that the tears are removed from the ocular surface, increasing the “life span” of the tears on the eye.  Used with Restasis or alone, Punctal Plugs can greatly reduce the symptoms of Dry Eye when the root of the problem is an inadequate volume of tears on the eye.
  • Artificial tears not only improve the volume of tears on the eye, they also greatly improve the quality of the tears.  Buffering them chemically to improve ocular comfort and creating a more stable tear film surface which slows down tear evaporation.

Contact lenses such as the Acuvu Oasys which incorporate an ocular wetting agent right into the lens itself as well as improve contact lens solutions such as BioTrue by Bausch and Lomb help slow down the drying of the ocular surface as well as keeping the tear film more stable on the surface of the contact lens.  Both of which improve contact lens comfort for my patients.

I’ve learned that every patient is their own “riddle” and that not every patient will benefit from the same treatment, lenses and lens care products.  I keep an open mind to new products, therapies and combinations of both to achieve maximum ocular comfort for my patients.

If you’d like to learn more about these topics, be sure to bring them up at your next appointment or request and online consult with me.

Happy Holidays to you and your family!

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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Contact Wearers Plan For The Times You Can’t Wear Your Lenses, Please!

Contact lenses, other than the cosmetic variet...

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Every 4-6 weeks I’ll see a patient who wears contact lenses who has a problem that requires them to discontinue lens wear for anywhere from 1-14 days.  Typical causes are allergies that get way out of hand, Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (an allergic reaction to lens deposits), corneal or conjunctival infections or corneal abrasions or other ocular trauma.

These conditions almost never result in a permanent loss of the ability to wear contact lenses, but they all heal faster without lenses in the eye, and sometimes won’t heal with a contact lens in the eye.  This means that patients must go without their lenses until things have returned to normal.  Invariably I hear “how am I going to work/go to school/function without my contacts, my glasses are broke/10 years old/lost?”   In an effort to reduce the frequency of these issues, we have a substantial selection of eye glass frames that our contact lens patients can purchase packaged with lenses (single vision, lined bifocals or no-line bifocals) at a very reasonable price.

These are frames that come from vendors that we no longer order new inventory from or that are overstocks from current vendors.  All are quality frames and come with any warranty that we can get from the manufacturer.  Many would sell for close to $200 for just the frames but we offer them to our contact lens patients for less than that including lenses.

So, if you wear contact lenses, be sure that you have a functional pair of glasses to wear when you either don’t want to or can’t wear your contacts!

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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3D TV and Vision Problems

Statistics tell me that in the next two years, the number of US households that will upgrade to 3D TV’s is a huge number.   Unlike the 3D at the movies, TV uses glasses that can create some subtle vision problems for many people.  TV’s use “active shutter” glasses to create the 3D effect for users, this gives each eye a different image, which can cause the eyes to lose alignment and to some degree “wander” if the watcher is prone to this (a condition referred to as a “phoria”).

I am actively investigating methods to provide custom prescriptions for my patients who exhibit these problems, as well as talking to major players in the vision correction industry about ways to minimize the visual issues and maximize the enjoyment of the 3D Experience for my patients.

 

Stay tuned for more information!

 

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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Caring For Our Elderly

Over the last 13 years, I have been providing onsite nursing home care in various facilities across southeastern Wisconsin.  I’ve found the patient interactions to be very rewarding and sometimes very unique.  I’ve chatted with WW II veterans for long periods of time, and year later seen some of those same individuals suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease and retreat into a shell from which there is no return.  I’ve even seen the same patient in multiple nursing homes.

I’m amazed by the spirit of the patients that I meet, from the frail women to the strapping “young” men who were once captains of industry, or factory floor supervisors.   Even though most of the patients I see in nursing homes (I only go to one home now, every Tuesday morning) are not happy to be in a nursing home, they endure and many flourish when given just a bit of a hand with daily activities.  However, I’m often times saddened by the state that many of the residents enter the nursing home in, relative to their ocular health and vision correction.

Its not uncommon at all for me to see patients who are new to the nursing home who haven’t seen an eye doctor in years.  Some of these individuals haven’t had proper eye care or ocular hygiene, causing them to have blurry vision, uncomfortable eyes and sometimes suffer permanent vision loss.  With government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid covering “non-routine” eye examinations and treatment, there is no excuse for these patients going without proper care and vision correction.

If you have family members, friends or loved ones who are living alone or who need assistance getting around, especially now that winter is here, please talk with them about their eye care, ocular comfort and vision.  If they are having problems with any of these issues, please assist them in getting to see an eye care provider, even if it means that you need to provide them with transportation.  Most of us have evening hours so that you can “lend a hand” after normal work hours.

It breaks my heart to hear new patients in my nursing home practice who have lost vision or not been able to enjoy reading, watching TV or doing other simple vision related past-times tell me that they were waiting to get to a care facility so that they could get the routine care that they need.  Our parents, aunts and uncles and grand parents deserve better, please do your part to the degree that you can.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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First Clinical Trial Using Embryonic Stem Cells To Treat Macular Degeneration

What exciting news!  This new study has received FDA approval to start a phase I/II clinical trial in an attempt to treat a specific type of  Macular Degeneration, Stargardt’s Macular Degeneration.   This not the exact same disease as Age Related Macular Degeneration, but if treatment for Stargardt’s Degeneration is successful, ARMD can’t be far behind.

For years, we’ve only been able to try to prevent and slow down Macular Degeneration.  However some patients suffer considerable vision loss, even with our best efforts and modern medical science.  Time will tell if this exciting new use of Stem Cells will help us treat Macular Degeneration, but its exciting to see something get to this stage of clinical trials.

I’ll be sure to keep you appraised as this study moves along and if any other related studies are started.  I don’t know that there are no eye care centers in our area participating in this trial, and Stargardt’s is a small subset of all the patients with Macular Degeneration.  I don’t have any information about enrolling as a patient in this study, but will pass along anything I learn about for our area.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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