School Screening Season

wpid-afp20070201p361-f1-2010-10-21-10-12.jpgI’m starting to see more and more children in the office who have had problems during a school vision screening. These screenings are a very important step in insuring that your children are seeing adequately in school. They are no substitute for regular eye exams however. Even the best designed and run school screening will miss 7% or more of the children who have a vision problem, some studies found that up to 33% of the children with significant vision problems may pass even well designed and run vision screenings.

I am sharing this information to remind parents that a vision screening at school or your child’s doctor’s office is no substitute for a professional eye examination. Screenings will “catch” children who have significant refractive errors, but will often miss children with significant yet smaller defocus issues. To be sure that you children and those of your loved ones are seeing as well as they can this year in school, be sure to have them get their eyes examined, in addition to any screening that may or may happen.

Here is a link to a great collection of professional journal articles about vision screenings and their benefits and limitations.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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“At Last” Multifocal Eyeglass Lenses

There is a new type of multifocal lens out, and it shows some real promise.  We don’t have many patients who are unsuccessful wearing progressive multifocal lenses, but there are a few, and some patients need a bifocal due to work considerations.  Pixel Optics has recently released the “At Last” bifocal lens.  It is unique in that while it has a definite line in the lens (which is not visible to people looking at the wearer, its only visible to the person wearing the lens) unlike traditional lined bifocals, in the bifocal zone, the reading power changes gradually from top to bottom.  This gives the wearer a larger and more defined distance and near zones but does create some “image jump” when moving your gaze from the distance to the near portion of the lens.

 

This lens design provides immediate near power below the bifocal line and a bit more reading power at the bottom of the bifocal area.  Here is a link to the manufacturer’s website for more information about how these lenses work.  I’ve been wearing a pair around the office for about a week, and while it took me a few hours to get used to the line in the lens, I really like them around the office.

If you’ve been wearing lined bifocals or trifocals, these lenses will provide you with a wider range of powers for intermediate and near vision.  Stop by the office to learn more about these exciting new lenses.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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Corneal Endothelial Cell Imaging

The cornea has several layers, the outer layer called the epithelium, the central layer referred to as the stroma and the inner (back side of the cornea) layer called the endothelium. Each of these layers has its own function, the epithelium protects the cornea, as somewhat of a buffer. Its cells have a life span of 45-50 days are are constantly being replaced.

wpid-cornea-other_clip_image006-2010-10-4-09-06.jpgThe stroma makes up 95% or more of the corneal thickness and gives the cornea its incredible strength and clarity. The stroma’s level of hydration is critical to its clarity. It is the tissue in the stroma that is removed during LASIK.

The endothelium is a single cell thick. Humans are born with approximately 4,000 of these cells. The cells aren’t regenerated during our life. These cells have a very important job, they control the hydration of the stroma and are responsible for keeping the cornea clear. If these cells fail or too many of them are lost, the stroma will swell and become opaque.

The endothelial cells die as part of the regular life cycle of the cornea, but they do so at a very slow rate. When a cell dies, its neighbors grow larger in order to keep the back side of the stroma covered with endothelial cells. We now have the ability to track the health and wellness of these cells as well as track their death and the size of the remaining cells.

wpid-konan_specular_micro-2010-10-4-09-06.jpgThis information allows me to make much more informed decisions about contact lens wear (as lack of oxygen due to contact lens wear can accelerate the death of these cells) and know much more about the health of my patients’ corneas. Utilizing a “Specular Microscope” I am able to gather baseline information and follow and detect subtle changes in the status of the cornea. As part of our commitment to protecting the vision and visual wellness of our patients, we now perform a screening endothelial examination in all of our eye exams for any patients who are likely to have any issues with their cornea.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry Eye is a common problem with some uncommon symptoms.  For example, you wouldn’t think that a patient with Dry Eye Syndrome would have watery eyes, but many do!  In response to the symptoms of Dry Eye,  our eye produces more of the watery layer of the tear film.  While this sometimes relieves the symptoms of Dry Eye, it often makes the condition worse.  This is why many patients with a dry eye have watering eyes!

Many patients also have eyes that burn and sting.  This is usually due to having tears that have an improper pH, being too acidic or too basic.  I won’t bore you with chemistry 101, but suffice to say, that tears that are out of ionic balance irritate the eye.   The eye tries to fix this by producing more tears, but that frequently will make the condition just a little bit better, temporarily.

Many patients with dry eye also have itchy eyes, which is usually caused by having the Meibomian glands plugged up.  These glands produce the oily portion of the tears.  Not only do the blocked glands give the eyelids an itchy symptom, they don’t produce enough of the lipid layer, creating a tear film that evaporates far too quickly, adding to the other symptoms that Dry Eye Causes.

As you can tell, there are different causes of Dry Eye and different symptoms.  Without knowing which cause and symptoms to treat, Dry Eye patients can continue to suffer quite awhile longer than if an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment are started.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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Dry Eye Season-Its Comimg

The late summer, early fall allergy season is in full swing right now, hopefully we’ll have a good hard freeze relatively soon and the pollen counts will drop back to more comfortable levels. But with the colder weather comes what I like to refer to as “Wisconsin Dry Eye Season”. As we run our furnaces more often, the humidity in our homes drops, even before the environmental humidity starts to head for its lowest levels of the year.

When this happens, many of my patients suffer from “Meibomian Gland Disease” which results in irritated eye lids, diminished tear film quality and symptoms such as burning, watering, itching and blurry vision. There are many things that we can do to improve the health and functioning of the Meibomian Glands (tear film glands at the edge of the eyelids).

There are non-medical treatments, specific tear film supplements as well as medications that can all help my patients with this condition. Be sure to drink plenty of water as the temperatures drop and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any of the above symptoms or problems.

Dr. Warren
www.warreneyecarecenter.com
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VSP And ASPEX-An Update

While VSP and ASPEX continue to lock horns in court, we have some good news for our VSP patients.  Nina has found a way for you to purchase any of the very popular ASPEX frames and maintain the same out of pocket expense.  You will need to purchase the frame from us (with a slightly higher VSP discount due to the amount the discount is applied to) and VSP will reimburse you the amount that would have been paid directly to us.  Your net expense should be the same or possibly even slightly lower in this case.  We regret the hoops that VSP is making our patients jump through, but at least you will still have access to this very popular line of frames until these two companies settle their legal battle.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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Warren Eye Care YouTube Channel

wpid-screenshot2010-09-15at9-57-48am-2010-09-15-09-55.png
I’ve just launched our official YouTube channel for the practice. Its at: http://www.youtube.com/user/WarrenEyeCare I’ve seeded it with a few of our podcasts and presentations. Look for more video content in the near future. If you come across a video that you think I’d find interesting or that other patients would find interesting, please send me the link and we’ll share it with others.

Dr. Warren
http://www.warreneyecarecenter.com
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New Frames In The Office

Nina placed an order with Dolce and Gabbana a few weeks ago and the frames are in the office.  Stop on by and check them out, they’re looking great.

We have styles for both men and women.  As a special offer to our blog readers, print off and bring this blog post into the office on or before 10/01/2010 and receive 15% off any complete pair of Dolce and Gabbana eye wear.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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New Contact Lenses….

Bausch and Lomb has provided our office with a “pre-release” fitting set of the PureVision2 HD contact lenses.  These lenses feature:

  • A new and improved material
  • An improved wetting agent for more comfortable lens wear, all day/every day
  • Improved aspheric optics for even better vision in all lighting conditions

As a “pre-release” practice, we are offering our current soft contact lens patients a chance to take a “test drive” in the PureVision2 HD lenses, at no charge.  These lenses are currently only in “minus (-)” powers for nearsightedness and they do not yet correct astigmatism or come in a bifocal design.  Look for more lens powers and designs in this material soon though.

If you would like to try out these new lenses, just drop us a line at office@warreneyecarecenter.com or call at (262) 752-2020 and the staff will get a pair of trial lenses ready for you.  I’ll want to see you for a quick contact lens check (at no charge) to evaluate the fit of the lenses and your impression of them within the next 10-14 days.  We will be offering this no charge evaluation for the next two weeks.

If you aren’t currently a contact lens wearer, I will of course allow you to experience these lenses.  As part of this short term promotion, we will discount new contact lens wearer fitting fees by $35, whether you end up wearing the PureVision2 HD lenses or some other lens design.  This is a limited time program, it ends on September 23rd, no extensions or exceptions.

Dr. Warren

www.warreneyecarecenter.com

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