Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic Encourages Making Your Eyes Part of a Healthy Aging Strategy

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Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic Encourages Making Your Eyes Part of a Healthy Aging Strategy

According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams. In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing the importance of having regular eye exams to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

Some of the more common age-related eye diseases include age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can help to save sight before vision loss occurs. Ophthalmologists recommend a dilated comprehensive eye exam as the best way to prevent these conditions from becoming debilitating.

U.S. Adults Do Not Get Eye Exams as Often as Recommended

The survey results emphasize a need for more education about the importance of medical eye exams. Findings showed that 64 percent of adults had at least one or more of the following issues with their eyes or vision:

  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Blurry vision
  • Reading up close
  • Flashes of light
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Double vision

Despite experiencing some level of impairment, only 13 percent admitted they had been seen by an eye care professional.

How Often Do Adults Need Eye Exams?

Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic recommends that a healthy adult get a baseline exam at age 40, even if they have no history of eye problems or eye disease. Those who have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may require more frequent exams.

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, call 715-834.8471.

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Good Vision and Overall Health are Vital to Learning

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Good Vision and Overall Health are Vital to Learning

Back-to-school time is just around the corner, and the scramble to buy school clothes, new pencils and backpacks will begin. Ophthalmologists remind busy parents not to neglect one of the most important learning tools: their children’s eyes. Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning. Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important.

The earlier that problems are identified, the sooner they can be addressed. For children to maintain healthy eyes and vision throughout the school year, Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic recommends the following four tips:

1. Get regular childhood vision screenings.

In addition to screenings for infants, children should receive vision exams when they are:

  • Pre-school age, between 3 and 3 and a half
  • Entering school
  • Experiencing a possible vision problem

2. Know and share your family eye health history.

Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. If these are not treated in childhood, they can cause permanent vision loss.

3. Watch for signals of eye problems.

Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities.

4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports.

Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. If your child plays sports, consider having he or she wear certified protective eyewear.

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Locations

eau claire 715.834.8471

menomonie 715.235.8335

rice lake 715.234.8444

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Americans’ Love Affair with Digital Screens Seems to be Here to Stay

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Americans’ Love Affair with Digital Screens Seems to be Here to Stay

It seems children and teens are just as locked in as adults…staring at smart phones, laptops and tablets all day at school, then spending much of their free time nose-down on their phones. Our children are exposed to an unprecedented amount of screen time – screens that emit blue light and cause digital eye strain.

With more work, play and education coming in digital form every day, this is our new normal. Research from VSP Vision Care found that nearly 50% of parents surveyed say their children are “addicted” to digital devices.

THE SCREEN LIFE

According to Common Sense Media, tweens (ages 8-12) spend more than 4.5 hours per day on digital devices, and teens (ages 13-18) spend more than 6.5 hours per day. An eye-opening study by VSP Vision Care reports that by age 13, the average American child owns three digital devices and has up to 70 hours a week of screen time (including school homework). By 17, the average child has spent nearly 50,000 hours on digital devices (about a third of his/her life).

DIGITAL DEVICES

Though still being studied, the long-term effects of blue light on eye health may include macular degeneration, cataracts and other retinal diseases as today’s children get older. Right now, however, it’s causing eye fatigue and eye strain — headaches, dry eye (blink rates reduce when staring at a screen), blurred vision and neck pain. In addition, several studies now point to blue light as the culprit in sleep issues as it can interrupt natural circadian rhythms. This is especially true when digital devices are used right up until bedtime. The truth is, digital devices are taking a toll on young patients. VSP O.D.s say they are seeing a 38% increase in reported symptoms in kids from screen exposure. Do your children express any eye fatigue or sleep disturbances? It’s possible it could be related to a blue light issue. Start the discussion with your child on symptoms of eye strain. You might want to consider limiting their screen time, and don’t forget to schedule your child an eye exam.

GO-TO-LENSES

Lens coatings such as BluTech are a great option to add to your prescription glasses that are designed to filter harmful wavelengths known to be associated with digital eyestrain, headaches and sleeplessness. BluTech offers the most near-clear protection against blue light emitted by digital devices and artificial light without distorting color. Ask your optician about adding BluTech technology to your lenses.

THE 20-20-20 RULE:
Every 20 minutes,
look at something 20 feet away
for 20 seconds.

Schedule your appointment.

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Locations

eau claire 715.834.8471

menomonie 715.235.8335

rice lake 715.234.8444

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Buying Glasses Online vs. In-Store Is it Worth the Convenience?

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Buying Glasses Online vs. In-Store. Is it Worth the Convenience?
Sure, it’s 2018, and the majority of our purchases are online these days. It makes sense that most would opt for the convenience of purchasing glasses online too, but be wary of the hassle and inaccuracy that can occur when you don’t order through an optician.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recently conducted a study on eyeglasses ordered online through 10 of the most popular online retailers. Of the 200 pairs ordered, only 154 were actually received. The prescriptions in these lenses were then analyzed, and it was found that three out of every 10 pairs (29%) had at least one lens that failed to meet the required prescription. This problem is typically discovered and corrected when glasses are ordered through an optician. Check out the other reasons to consider buying in-store:

QUALITY:

Opticians not only stock quality frames, but will work with you to find the perfect frame for your style and needs. When you order online, you likely won’t be able to discover a loose hinge or faulty temple before you receive your eyewear. Opticians are trained and certified to ensure proper fit and quality of your eyewear.

ADJUSTMENTS:

Opticians can adjust your eyewear to sit perfectly on your face, which also means that you will be looking through your lenses at the optimal position for the best vision possible. Opticians can also verify that the lenses match the doctor’s prescription, and address any issues immediately.

TECHNOLOGY:

Not all eyeglasses are made the same. An optician offers digitally surfaced lenses. Instead of the traditional method of grinding lenses to the closest measurement, your exact prescription is mapped onto the lens, reducing distortion and giving you the best sight possible.

MEASUREMENTS:

Your pupillary distance (PD) measurement is the distance measured in millimeters between the centers of the pupils of the eyes. This measurement varies from person to person and also depends on whether you are looking at near objects or far away. PD measurement by an optician helps to ensure that the lenses will be located in the optimal position. Ordering glasses online can be a potential problem if the PD measurement is not accurate.

Correct measurement is also very important when it comes to progressive or bifocal lenses. The OC (ocular center) height must be measured to ensure accuracy in prescription and this measurement is specific to each patient, as well as each pair of glasses.

Eliminate the guesswork that comes with ordering online. Experience the technology, accuracy and quality that our optical provides.

Schedule your appointment.

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Locations

eau claire 715.834.8471

menomonie 715.235.8335

rice lake 715.234.8444

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Eye Injuries Increase During the Fourth of July

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Eye Injuries Increase During the Fourth of July
The Fourth of July holiday is fast-approaching, but make sure you don’t spend it in the emergency room.
According to the most recent Consumer Product Safety Commission, fireworks injuries in the United States caused nearly 10,500 injuries requiring treatment in emergency rooms. Nearly 20 percent of these visits were eye injuries.

Fireworks can permanently cause eye damage and affect vision like chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachments, and in severe cases, rupture the globe of the eye.

“Kids and young people are the most at risk in my experience,” says Dr. Heidi Jarecki, Ophthalmologist at Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic. She recalls treating a child with a corneal burn from a sparkler that the child walked into. The child had permanent vision loss as a result.

Dr. Jarecki says another incident occurred with a young man who went up to see if a firework was a dud because it hadn’t gone off after being lit. It went off at that moment and struck him in the eye rupturing the vascular layer of the back of his eye (choroidal rupture), causing immediate and permanent vision loss.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that 35 percent of eye injuries caused by fireworks happen to children under the age of 15.

“The tricky part of fireworks is that they throw sparks unpredictably and the chemicals in them are quite toxic so any contact is an opportunity for a hard-to-control burn,” says Dr. Jarecki. “The smoke they generate isn’t good for ocular surface disease either.”
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) advises that the best way to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional public fireworks show from at least 500 feet away.

If you do purchase fireworks for home use, AAO recommends the following safety tips:

  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers
  • Adults handling fireworks should always wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
  • Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyro technicians

If an eye injury from fireworks does occur:

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • Do not rub your eyes
  • Do not rinse your eyes
  • Do not apply pressure
  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye
  • -Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen
Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic encourages everyone to make safety a priority this Fourth of July.

Schedule your appointment.

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Locations

eau claire 715.834.8471

menomonie 715.235.8335

rice lake 715.234.8444

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Dr. Harvey completes his 5th Vietnam Mission Trip

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Dr. Harvey completes his 5th Vietnam Mission Trip

Dr. Thomas Harvey recently completed another mission trip to Vietnam. We asked him some questions to learn more about his visit.

True or False: You went to Vietnam for vacation.

“FALSE… but a person should. It is a place with magical beauty, amazing history, incredible food, friendly people, clean beaches, and it is very inexpensive.”

True or False: This was your first visit to Vietnam.

“FALSE, this trip was my fifth mission trip to Vietnam. It was our first time in The Highlands (near Laos), however. My good friend, Dr. Hai, has a new clinic that he has started there. “

True or False: You performed eye surgery.

“ TRUE. With the help of the two host surgeons, Drs. Hai and Cung, we performed over 100 surgeries in four days. Sadly, there were many patients that had to be turned away due to our limited resources.”

“We performed over 100 surgeries in four days.”

Dr. Harvey and his team scrubbed up and ready to operate

The Highlands (near Laos)

Dr. Harvey delivers eye products and supplies

The Highlands (near Laos)

True or False: You speak fluent Vietnamese.

“TRUE… if you need me to say, “draft beer!” That is, “bia hoi,” which incidentally can be purchased there for less than a quarter. If you need me to say anything else, I will just use Google Translate. So, no, I am really not fluent in Vietnamese.”

True or False: You trained other eye care professionals on various treatments.

“TRUE. I spend a lot of the mission time lecturing both informally and formally. This year, I gave two talks at the medical school. These young doctors are like sponges, drinking up all the eyeball information! We also share surgical videos, perform telemedicine, and sponsor doctors to come to our meetings in the US. Come join Dr. Hai and me for some pho (Vietnamese soup) when he is here this Spring!”

“These young doctors are like sponges, drinking up all the eyeball information!”

Dr. Harvey gives a slit lamp examination to a patient

The Highlands (near Laos)

True or False: You donated medical equipment and eye care products to the Vietnamese communities.

“TRUE. Courtesy of Al Van Dong (Tennis Pro at Eau Claire Golf and Country Club), we were able to donate a brand new defibrillator to the University’s Acute Care Program. They were ecstatic! Future directions will be to not only support ophthalmology and emergency medicine, but also orthopedics and ENT.”

Thank you, Dr. Harvey for your outreach and kindness to the people of Vietnam!

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By submitting this form, you are granting: Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic , 2715 Damon Street , Eau Claire, WI, 54701, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email.

Locations

eau claire 715.834.8471

menomonie 715.235.8335

rice lake 715.234.8444

affiliations