Eye Mites Are More Common Than You MITE Think

Many complain of red, irritated and sometimes swollen eyelids. Dr. Harvey, ophthalmologist at Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic says, often the underlying problem can be eye mites. Check out his response to our questions below:

Q:DO PEOPLE ACTUALLY HAVE BUGS LIVING IN THEIR EYELASHES?

A: “Yes, they do! Staph and other ‘Gram positive’ bacteria are very common. A type of mite known as Demodex folliculorum, live inside the oil glands at the very base of eyelashes in the very eyelid edge. They tend to come out at night and use the eyelid edge as their personal playground. Their life cycle leads to a lot of inflammation, which can show up as thickening of the eyelids, eyelash loss, redness and dry eye.”

Q:WHAT IS A MITE DOING IN MY EYELASHES?

A: “Mites like the eyelid edges because there is moisture, a warm environment, food from the natural oils that are secreted and protection from regular cleaning. Most people do not spend enough time cleaning the eyelid edges so these little buggers (pun intended!) are living in a privileged neighborhood.”

Q:HOW MANY PATIENTS DO YOU ENCOUNTER WITH THIS ISSUE?

A: “I see this quite often. In fact, Demodex infestation is present in 84 percent of the population at age 60.”

Q:WHAT IS THE CAUSE?

A: “Demodex grows better in areas that are more difficult to routinely clean, such as the eye socket or orbit that has a lot of valleys. Most of us don’t regularly scrub that part of our body as well as we should.”

Q:HOW DO I TREAT THIS CONDITION?

A: “There are dedicated eyelid cleansers and scrubs.Our favorite is Avenova that can be sprayed on and left to dry. It is dilute hypochlorous acid. While it smells like bleach, it is very gentle and kills almost anything bad. There are also foam cleansers that work well.”

Q:CAN I PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING?

A: “It’s important that we spend time in the shower every day cleaning around our eyelids and eyelashes so that there is not a build up of debris. A gentle soap and sometimes baby shampoo on a washcloth can be used. You can also purchase cleaning products for your lids at Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic. Your eyes will feel much better without these mites and bacteria.”

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Avoid Toy-Related Eye Injuries Over The Holidays With These Tips

Avoid Toy-Related Eye Injuries Over The Holidays With These Tips

With the holiday shopping season now in full swing, Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in reminding the public of certain safety guidelines when choosing the perfect gifts for little ones. A number of studies show that some popular toy types are commonly associated with childhood eye injuries. These include air guns and other toys that shoot projectiles, high-powered lasers, and sports equipment.

Follow these tips when shopping for toys this holiday season.

1. Beware of airsoft, BB guns, and other projectile toys.

Every year ophthalmologists treat thousands of patients with devastating eye injuries caused by seemingly safe toys. Avoid items with sharp, protruding or projectile parts such as airsoft guns, BB guns and other non-powder gun – related toys. Foreign objects can easily propel into the sensitive tissue of the eye.

2. Never allow children to play with high-powered laser pointers.

A number of recent reports in the United States and internationally show that children have sustained serious eye injuries by playing with high-powered lasers (between 1500 and 6000 milliwatts). Over the years, these lasers have become increasingly more powerful, with enough potential to cause severe retinal damage, with just seconds of laser exposure to the eye. The FDA advises the public to never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone and to not buy laser pointers for children.

3. Read labels for age recommendations before you buy.

To select appropriate gifts suited for a child’s age, look for and follow the age recommendations and instructions about proper assembly, use and supervision.

4. Don’t just give presents. Make sure to be present.

Always make sure an adult is supervising when children are playing with potentially hazardous toys or games that could cause an eye injury.

5. Know what to do (and what not to).

If someone you know experiences an eye injury, seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. As you wait for medical help, make sure never to touch, rub, apply pressure, or try to remove any object stuck in the eye.

“ When the gift-giving and celebratory spirit of the holidays is in full swing, we can forget how easily kids can get injured when playing with certain toys,” said Jane C. Edmond M.D., a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “We hope people will take steps to shop and play responsibly this year. Following these tips can help make sure our loved ones have healthy vision for many holiday seasons to come. ”

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Dr. Thomas Dow, Ophthalmologist, retires after 40 years of dedicated service.

In the Media

News Release

Dr. Thomas Dow, Ophthalmologist, retires after 40 years of dedicated service

After 40 years of dedicated service, Thomas Dow, M.D., ophthalmologist at Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic, retires.

A Badger through and through, Dr. Dow received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in microbiology, and attended medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, Madison. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

Board certified in ophthalmology, Dr. Dow founded Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic in 1978. After joining Dr. Frank Brown, who retired shortly after, he merged three clinics into one. Outgrowing 2 buildings, adding new doctors every few years and additional locations; Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic continues to grow and flourish.

Dr. Dow performing eye surgery in the Philippines during one of his many mission trips.

Dr. Dow operating at Oakleaf Surgical Hospital.

Throughout his career, Dr. Dow has performed just over 21 thousand surgeries, completed 16 mission trips to the Philippines, gave four talks at international meetings, wrote 19 peer-reviewed articles and conducted five extensive patient studies.

Board Certified Ophthalmologist, Dr. Dow explaining the anatomy of the eye.

Community focused, Dr. Dow served on the board of Charter Bank for 16 years, led the creation of the Eau Claire Soccer Park and was a faithful tenor in his church choir.

Some of Dr. Dow’s plans for retirement include racquetball, pickle ball and tennis. He is excited to practice his new cello in his spare time, but is most looking forward to, “driving the grandpa bus around town for the four grandkids.”

Although retiring, he will continue his career of research with his new treatment center, called Mindful Diagnostics & Therapeutics. Designed to mitigate Alzheimer’s disease, an individualized patient protocol is created for candidates with dementia risk. Mindful Diagnostics & Therapeutics is located in the Eau Claire Medical building. For more information, visit www.mindfuldt.com.

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Sixty Percent of Americans with Diabetes Skip Annual Sight-Saving Exams

Sixty Percent of Americans with Diabetes Skip Annual Sight-Saving Exams

People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing serious eye diseases, yet most do not have sight-saving annual eye exams, according to a large study.

This is especially timely as the Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic (CVEC) joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in reiterating the importance of eye exams during the month of November, which is observed as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Researchers at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia have found that more than half of patients with the disease skip these exams. They also discovered that patients who smoke – and those with less severe diabetes and no eye problems – were most likely to neglect having these checks. The researchers collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review the charts of close to 2,000 patients age 40 or older with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to see how many had regular eye exams.

Their findings over a four-year period revealed that:

  • Fifty-eight percent of patients did not have regular follow-up eye exams
  • Smokers were 20 percent less likely to have exams
  • Those with less-severe disease and no eye problems were least likely to follow recommendations
  • Those who had diabetic retinopathy were 30 percent more likely to have follow-up exams

One in 10 Americans have diabetes, putting them at heightened risk for visual impairment due to the eye disease diabetic retinopathy. The disease also can lead to other blinding ocular complications if not treated in time. Fortunately, having a dilated eye exam yearly or more often can prevent 95 percent of diabetes-related vision loss.

Eye exams are critical as they can reveal hidden signs of disease, enabling timely treatment. This is why the CVEC and the Academy recommend people with diabetes have exams annually or more often as recommended by their ophthalmologist.

“People with diabetes need to know that they shouldn’t wait until they experience problems to get these exams,” says Rahul N. Khurana, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the Academy. “Getting your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist can reveal the signs of disease that patients aren’t aware of.”

To schedule your annual eye exam, call 715-834-8471.

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Scary Lenses: Five Frightening Risks of Wearing Costume Contact Lenses

Scary Lenses: Five Frightening Risks of Wearing Costume Contact Lenses

Scary-looking costume contact lenses may elevate your Halloween’s fright factor, but wearing them without a prescription could result in something far more terrifying – blindness. Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in ensuring the public understands the risks of wearing over-the-counter contact lenses.

It is illegal to sell non-prescription contact lenses, but they can still be easily purchased at places such as beauty supply stores, costume shops and on the Internet. Falsely advertised as “one-size-fits-all” or “no prescription necessary,” these lenses can cause serious eye damage.

Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic reminds patients of five frightening consequences of ignoring the warnings:

1.Scratches to the eye – If contacts are not professionally fitted to your eye, they can scratch the clear front window of the eye. This is called corneal abrasions, which is not only painful, but can cause permanent damage.

2.Research shows – wearing non prescription contacts increases the risk of an infection called keratitis by 16 times. Early treatment with antibiotic or steroid drops may preserve vision, but sometimes surgery, such as corneal transplantation, is necessary.

3.Pink eye – Never share contacts because doing so can spread germs, causing conditions such as pink eye. Highly contagious, pink eye treatment depends on the cause, but typically includes some home remedies and antibiotic eye drops.

4.Decreased vision – Whether from a corneal scratch or infection, wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to decreased vision.

5.Blindness – It’s no scare tactic: wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to permanent vision loss. Learn how to take proper care of your contact lenses to avoid dangerous eye infections.

One night of looking scary in costume lenses is not worth losing your eyesight. Protect your vision by getting prescription lenses from an eye health professional.

Prescription contact lenses are available to order through Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic.

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

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.

Schedule your appointment.

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

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