Laser & Surgery Center Receives Accreditation

The Eye Center is pleased to announce that our Laser and Surgery Center was recently accredited for the 11th year by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC).

This is an important milestone in the continuing growth and success of our health care organization. Pursuing accreditation shows our commitment to providing the highest levels of quality care to our patients, and the same high level of quality in our business practices. Achieving accreditation by AAAHC is proof that we have met the rigorous standards of a nationally-recognized third party.

We are proud to have met the challenge of accreditation, and intend to consistently uphold the principles of quality improvement in patient care in the future.

Webinar for Medical Professionals Featuring Dr. Bret Fisher on Kamra Inlay

KAMRA® Inlay for Presbyopic Patients

CorneaGen presents a FREE webinar for medical professionals featuring board certified ophthalmologists Dr. Shamik Bafna of the Cleveland Eye Clinic and our very own Dr. Bret Fisher.

Watch the recording here:  

What Causes Digital Related Eye Strain?

Staring at a screen for long periods may cause your eyes to feel dry and tired, develop blurry vision, fatigue or eye strain but it won’t cause permanent eye damage. Normally, we blink about 15 times a minute, but studies show we blink half to a third that often while using computers and other digital screen devices.

Eye Ergonomics Tips*

  • Sit about 25 inches, or arm’s length, from the computer screen. Position the screen so your eye gaze is slightly downward.
  • Many devices now have glass screens with considerable glare. Reduce glare by using a matte screen filter if needed.
  • Take regular breaks using the “20-20-20” rule: every 20 minutes, shift your eyes to look at an object at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use artificial tears to refresh your eyes when they feel dry.
  • If a screen is much brighter than the surrounding light, your eyes have to work harder to see. Adjust your room lighting and try increasing the contrast on your screen to reduce eye strain.

Contact lenses can exacerbate eye dryness and irritation. Some tips for contact lens wearers:

  • Give your eyes a break by wearing your glasses.
  • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses, even if they are labeled “extended wear.”
  • Always use good cleaning practices.

If your eyes are consistently red, blurry or watery, or they become sensitive to light or painful, please call and see one of our eye care specialists.

*American Academy of Ophthalmology 

Why Healthy Eyes Make a Happy Heart

February is Heart Health Awareness Month and serves as an important reminder to focus on ways to keep your heart healthy. But what most people don’t realize, is that having a comprehensive eye exam is an important part of heart health and can actually find underlying heart issues and diseases.

During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will look at the surface of your eyes and deeper into the retina, which can show signs of health issues like diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and other potentially life-threatening diseases. Many of these conditions are first detected in the eye because the retina is one of the few places in your body where doctors can physically see the blood flow, looking for signs of blockages, swelling, and bleeding.

In addition to checking your vision during an eye exam, we analyze and record how your eyes look. Everyone’s retina has unique features; evaluating these characteristics annually allows us to identify quickly any changes that occur. It is important that routine eye care become part of your preventative health care. So, in addition to the regular visits with your primary and specialist physicians, make annual eye exams a top priority!  To schedule your eye exam with one of our eye care specialists, call our office at 784-3937.

January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Early Detection Critical to Treating Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a major cause of vision loss worldwide. It affects more than 3 million people in the United States—nearly half of whom are unaware they have the disease. During Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, The Eye Center of North Florida joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in reminding everyone that early detection and treatment can help protect your sight.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma damages the optic nerve, which transmits visual information from the retina to the brain. Typically, the disease initially has no signs or symptoms. If left untreated, glaucoma can cause irreversible blindness.

We recommend that everyone have a comprehensive eye exam at age 40. This exam provides us an opportunity to carefully examine your eyes, including the optic nerve, for signs of damage and other possible problems that may affect vision.

Individuals at greater risk for developing glaucoma include people:

  • over age 40

  • of African, Asian or Hispanic heritage

  • who have high eye pressure detected during an eye exam

  • who are farsighted or nearsighted;

  • who have experienced eye trauma or eye injury

  • whose corneas are thin in the center

  • who have health problems such as diabetes, migraines, high blood pressure or poor blood circulation

Appropriate treatment for glaucoma depends on the specific type and severity of the disease. Medicated eye drops or laser treatments are the most common initial approach. These techniques work by lowering eye pressure to reduce the amount of fluid in the eye, and by increasing fluid outflow from the eye.

For more information on glaucoma or other eye conditions and diseases, visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s EyeSmart® website.

If you haven’t had a recent eye exam, please call our office at 784-3937 to schedule with one of our physicians.

New Year’s Eye Safety Tips

New Year’s parties and celebratory toasts are coming this weekend so it’s important to be aware of how to protect your eyes from dangerous hazards associated with New Year’s Eve such as flying corks, fireworks and confetti. You know the old saying, “It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye,” so let’s make sure we keep New Year’s Eve safe for your eyes.  Here are some tips to ensure eye safety this New Year’s holiday!

September is Healthy Aging Month

Seven Sight-Saving Habits for Older Adults to Help Maintain Independence*

In the United States, 1 in 6 Americans over age 65 has a visual impairment that cannot be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. This is often caused by common eye conditions and diseases. Among older Americans, visual impairment is one of the most significant contributors to loss of independence and is associated with a higher prevalence of chronic health conditions, falls, injuries, depression and social isolation.

Here’s a list of seven tips for seniors to follow to help protect their vision:

1. Get an Eye Exam. Adults age 65 and over should get a medical eye exam every year. Regular eye exams are crucial in detecting changes in vision, which may be a symptom of a treatable eye disease or condition.

2. Know the Symptoms of Vision Loss. Know the signs of vision loss which includes difficulty reading, writing, watching TV, driving and recognizing faces and objects. Others may notice signs of visions loss such as bumping into or knocking over objects, stepping hesitantly, and squinting or tilting the head when trying to focus.

3. Make Eye-Healthy Food Choices. A diet low in fat and rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains benefits the entire body, including the eyes. Studies show that foods rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin are good for eye health.

4. Quit Smoking. Avoiding smoking and second hand smoke are some of the best investments you can make for long-term eye health. Smoking increases risk for eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

5. Maintain normal blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels. High blood pressure, cholesterol and blood glucose (sugar) levels all increase the risk of vision loss from an eye disease. Keeping these under control will not only help one’s eyes but also overall health.

6. Get Regular Physical Activity. Regular exercise benefits one’s heart, waistline and energy level and it can also do the eyes a world of good! Many eye diseases are linked to other health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol levels.

7. Wear Sunglasses. Exposure to ultra violet (UV) light raises the risks of eye diseases, including cataract, growths on the eye and cancer. Always wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection, and a hat while enjoying time outdoors.

 *American Academy of Ophthalmology

Fireworks Safety- Protect Your Vision

The July 4th holiday is only days away.  Summer weather, family events and activities planned for the holiday will be  a great time and create lasting memories.  But before you and your family celebrate make sure everyone knows and respects firework safety.  If not handled properly, fireworks can cause burns and eye injuries to kids and adults.    Please,  if you, a loved one or your child experience an eye injury, seek medical attention immediately– don’t rub or touch it because this may cause more damage!  

Here’s a trick– if accident does occur and someone experiences an eye injury, cut out the bottom of a paper/plastic cup and keep the eye covered– this will keep you from rubbing or touching it while you seek medical attention.

Fireworks are supposed to be enjoyed and an injury will quickly erase the joy and memories of a great holiday.  Take extra precautions and follow these fireworks safety tips and you will be sure to have a safe and enjoyable July 4th holiday!

The Eye Center of North Florida Wins Best Of Bay

The Eye Center of North Florida is once again honored to be the winner of the Panama City News Herald’s Best of Bay competition.  We are honored to accept the award in the “Eye Care” and “Optical” categories.

Thank you Bay County for trusting us for all your eye care needs!

 

 

Contact Lenses 101

Contact lenses are a safe and commonly used method of vision correction. They offer active adults and youth visual freedom from glasses. However, proper cleaning and maintenance is critical to the overall wearing experience. This is not only for comfort but also for the prevention of eye infections and inflammation.

There are numerous safeguards that should be observed when handling contact lenses. Hands should always be washed before cleaning, removing or inserting lenses into the eye. Neither water nor saliva should ever be used to lubricate or store lenses. Proper lens disinfection is also crucial to keep the wearer safe. Today, an all in one multi-purpose solution or hydrogen peroxide solution is used to clean and disinfect. The disinfecting solution must be strong enough to sterilize but gentle enough not to harm the eye and must remove both protein and lipid deposits from the lens. A clean contact lens significantly decreases the chance of irritation and provides greater comfort. This ensures a full 12-14 hour day of wear and helps achieve the recommended wear schedule of disposable contact lenses.

It is important to remember that contact lenses are medical devices and regardless if you are wearing them for vision correction or for cosmetic purposes, they require a valid prescription. The best ways to help prevent complications include:
(1)  Talk to your eye doctor and discuss what lens options are right for you.
(2)  Follow all the instructions around your contact lenses and lens cleaning products.
(3)  Contact lenses are manufactured and prescribed for certain wear schedules and are to be replaced after a defined period. Be sure to adhere to the recommended wear and replacement schedule.

Whatever your lifestyle and vision preferences, our doctors can help you find the right contact lenses or eye care solution. Remember to always consult a professional with questions about the health of your eyes and vision. For more information about proper contact lens care call our office at 784-3937.