Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category


Physician Spotlight: Dr. Melanie Hill

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018 
   

This month our doctor spotlight is on Dr. Melanie Hill.  Dr. Hill works in our Madison, Florida, office and has been a great addition to the South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners team.  Dr. Hill graduated from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, where she met her husband, Cory.  They graduated together, and moved together to Cory’s native Florida in 2000.  They have now been married for 18 years.

Dr. Hill got her undergraduate degree at the University of Missouri and is a huge sports fan…she loves her Mizzou Tigers!  She also is an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan – as she says, “I take my baseball very seriously.”  She and her husband have two children, Reagan (13) and Cooper (8).  Dr. Hill says most of her free time is spent chasing her kids and being a “typical taxi mom” – taking their kids to ballet and baseball and back again.  The Hills also love to snow ski (they try to take a trip once a year) as well as playing their pool and grilling out.

Dr. Hill and her family are very active at Faith Presbyterian Church in Tallahassee.  She is an Elder at their church and the co-Moderator of the Children and Families Committee as well as a Sunday school teacher.

When reflecting on her adopted hometown of Madison and her team at South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners, Dr. Hill says, “I grew up in a small town, and in many ways, Madison reminds me of home.  I love that in a small town I am able to take care of generations of families.  Joining SGEP has been a huge blessing.  We have so many more resources available to us now.  Having Dr. Petermann come into the Madison office monthly saves people rom having to travel so far.”  Dr. Hill also added that “there is just a higher level of care that I am so glad can be given to the people in Madison county.”

We are proud to have you on our team, Dr. Hill.  You have added so much to our practice.


June – Cataract Awareness Month

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 
   
June is Cataract Awareness Month, and South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners is committed to keeping our patients educated about early detection, treatment and available corrective surgeries.  Most people over 65 have some degree of cataract development.  A cataract is the gradual clouding of the natural lens that is inside your eye.  In order for the eye to work properly, it needs a clear lens to focus light on the retina.
Cataracts, the leading cause of preventable blindness, develop when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy which impairs vision.  Surgery to remove the old lens and replace it with a new clear lens is an effective method for improving poor eyesight due to cataract development.
Eye Partners’ own Dr. Scott Petermann & Dr. Wes Ross perform LenSx® – a blade-free, laser-assisted cataract surgery as well as traditional cataract surgery in our new state-of-the-art surgery center in Valdosta.
This new technology is an advanced alternative to traditional cataract surgery, which utilizes surgical blades.  LenSx® provides the surgeon with micron-level precision and improved predictability.  The procedure is tailored to the surgeon’s specifications and delivers a remarkable degree of accuracy.  By creating the incision and fragmenting the clouded lens with LenSx®, the surgeon creates a precise opening for the new lens to be optimally positioned.  You can watch our patient videos here – hear the stories from actual Eye Partners patients who went through the laster-assisted cataract surgery.
Eye Partners performs cataract surgery with LenSx® as an outpatient procedure at our surgery center in Valdosta.  Pre-op and post-op visits for Eye Partners patients can be scheduled in Valdosta, Tifton, Moultrie and Douglas.  Our South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners patients can schedule their visits at our Madison, FL location.
South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners – with locations in Valdosta, Tifton, Moultrie, Douglas & Madison, FL – specializes in LASIK and cataract surgery with premium lens implants, glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, comprehensive eye exams for the whole family and a Dry Eye Clinic.  Eye Partners also has Optical Shops fully stocked with designer frames and sunglasses to fit your style and personality.  To make an appointment with one of Eye Partners’ physicians or find our locations and hours, click here

Why Eye Exams are Important – At Any Age

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018 
   

Despite your age or health, annual comprehensive eye exams can help to detect any eye problems at their earliest stages – when they’re most treatable. South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners is a big believer in early detection and early treatment – it can help not only with vision problems, but other health problems as well.

What happens during an eye exam? During a standard comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor can determine (if needed) your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, determine how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Should Children Get Annual Eye Exams?

The short answer is “yes!” For children, eye exams can play an important role in normal development and learning.

Vision is very closely linked to the learning process. Children who have trouble seeing or interpreting what they see often have trouble with their schoolwork. Many times, children will not complain of vision problems simply because they don’t know what “normal” vision looks like. If your child performs poorly at school or exhibits a reading or learning problem, be sure to schedule an eye examination to rule out an underlying visual cause.

What is the Eye Doctor Looking For During an Exam?

In addition to evaluating whether you have nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, your eye doctor will check your eyes for eye diseases and other problems that could lead to vision loss.

At any age, it’s an important part of your healthcare to have an annual eye exam.  With offices in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie and Madison, FL, Eye Partners is bound to have a location convenient for you.  Call our offices today to make YOUR annual appointment!


iLASIK: “This surgery has impacted my life tremendously”

Monday, May 7th, 2018 
   

Seeing clearly is something that a lot of people take for granted.  It’s also something that can be achieved through iLASIK surgery – and without downtime or or discomfort.  Just ask Traci Sellers -a 5thgrade teacher who depends on her eyes for her students, everyday in the classroom.  South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners offers the latest iLASIK technology, and our physicians are top notch. Traci is a great example of how iLASIK surgery improve your life by taking away the worry over your vision. Watch Traci’s video and hear her story in her own words.

 

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If you have refractive errors, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, iLASIK surgery could be the solution.  The latest in laservision correction technology, iLASIK (laster-assisted in situ keratomileusis), uses a laser to cut the corneal flap instead of a traditional blade.

Dr. Scott Petermann and Dr. Wes Ross with Eye Partners perform iLASIK surgery in our Valdosta location (at our brand new surgery center).  Consultations and post-operative care is available in all of our locations: Tifton, Valdosta, Douglas, Moultrie and Madison, FL.  We are happy to answer any questions you might have in order to find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure.  Call us to make an appointment– this could be your moment!


Multifocal Lenses – What are they and when do I consider them?

Tuesday, April 10th, 2018 
   

iStock_000001004232SmallMost people don’t know that contact lenses can be bifocal, trifocal, or even progressive.  South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners offers all of these options, and we will help you decide what works best for you and your lifestyle.

New multifocal contacts are being designed each year for people with presbyopia, a natural condition brought on by age, where the eye’s natural lens stiffens and loses the ability to focus on close objects.

If you’re presbyopic, you’re not alone. Eventually, almost everyone is, usually after age 40.

Where people do differ is how they deal with it. Some use reading glasses or bifocals. Others choose progressive eyeglass lenses, which correct near, intermediate, and far vision but without the unsightly lines of traditional bifocals. Still others opt for bifocal contact lenses.

There are several contact lens designs that help you see both close up and far away, as well as correct astigmatism.

One type has a distance viewing area in most of the lens and a near viewing segment in the middle lower portion. Another has a series of concentric rings, where the visual system constantly adjusts focus for distance and near.

To get started with multifocal lenses, your eye care practitioner will determine your near vision acuity and then choose a design that works best with your cornea size and shape, tear film, blink pattern and lifestyle. As with any new multifocal eyewear, you’ll also receive brief training on the best way to use the lenses, as well as a follow-up appointment to be sure you’ve adapted to them.  Call us for an appointment today.

South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners – with locations in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie and Madison, FL – specializes in iLASIK and cataract surgery with premium lens implants, glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, comprehensive eye exams for adults and children and a Dry Eye Clinic. Eye Partners also has an Optical Shop fully stocked with designer frames and sunglasses to fit your style and personality.  To make an appointment with one of our physicians or to find our locations and hours, click here

Additional information provided by contactlenses.org


Optomap: Seeing the Future with Early Detection

Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 
   

What is optomap? Simply put, an optomap ultra-widefield retinal image is a unique technology that captures more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic photo which can help with early detection of everything from vision impairment to life-threatening diseases.

The unique optomap view helps your eye care practitioner detect early signs of retinal disease more effectively and efficiently than with traditional eye exams. Early detection means successful treatments can be administered and this reduces the risk to your sight and health.

View Video

The actual optomap exam, which we perform at all five our Eye Partners offices, is fast, painless and comfortable. Nothing touches your eye at any time, and it is suitable for the whole family. To have the exam, you simply look into the device one eye at a time (much like looking into a keyhole), and you will see a comfortable flash of light to let you know the image of your retina has been taken.

Under normal circumstances, dilation drops are not usually necessary, but depending upon your condition, your South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners eye care professional may decide to dilate. The capture takes less than a second, and the results are available for review immediately. You see exactly what your doctor sees – even in a 3D animation.

Eye Partners is proud to provide optomap technology – early detection is key to so many health issues; not just vision problems. Besides protection from vision impairment or blindness, the optomap test can lead to early detection of cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease.

Call Eye Partners today to set up your eye care exam and optomap imaging. We look forward to helping you see the future today!

 

South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners – with locations in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie and Madison, FL – specializes in LASIK and cataract surgery with premium lens implants, glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, comprehensive eye exams for adults and children and a Dry Eye Clinic. Eye Partners also has Optical Shops fully stocked with designer frames and sunglasses to fit your style and personality.  To make an appointment with one of Eye Partners’s physicians or to find our locations and hours, click here.

Source: optomap.com and American Optometric Association


Eye Partners’ Dry Eye Clinic – Help for Dry Eye Syndrome Here at Home

Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 
   

One of the most common clinical challenges faced in eye care is dry eye syndrome. Characterized by irritated, scratchy, itchy eyes, dry eye occurs when eyes are not properly lubricated because of insufficient tear production, or unbalanced tear composition. Thanks to new technology, dry eye can now be treated in ways never before available. The latest diagnostic tool – The TearLab Osmolarity System – measures tear osmolarity by taking a small sample of the patient’s tears to see how “dry” they really are. Treatment is then prescribed based on the measurements from the TearLab and range from Omega 3 supplements, tear replacement drops, punctual plugs, anti- inflammatory drops, oral antibiotics and prescription strength artificial tears.

If you are ready to address your dry eye problems, South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners has three convenient locations in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie and Madison, FL  Read more about our Dry Eye Clinic here. Contact us today to make an appointment.

South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners – with locations in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas, Moultrie & Madison, FL – specializes in LASIK and cataract surgery with premium lens implants, glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, comprehensive eye exams for adults and children and a Dry Eye Clinic. SGNF also has an Optical Shop fully stocked with designer frames and sunglasses to fit your style and personality.  To make an appointment with one of SGNF’s physicians or to find our locations and hours, click here.


Glaucoma: Early Diagnosis Through Optomap

Wednesday, December 6th, 2017 
   

The American Optometric Association defines glaucoma as a group of eye disorders leading to progressive damage to the optic nerve.  It is characterized by the loss of nerve tissue that results in declining vision. Advanced glaucoma may even cause blindness.

Glaucoma most often occurs in people over age 40, although a congenital or infantile form of glaucoma does exist.  People with a family history of glaucoma, African Americans over the age of 40, and Hispanics over the age of 60 are at an increased risk of developing glaucoma.  Other risk factors include thinner corneas, chronic eye inflammation, ocular trauma and using medications that increase pressure in the eyes.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?

At South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners, glaucoma is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination.  We use an advanced early detection method called optomap at all five of our Eye Partners locations.  Simply put, optomap ultra-widefield retinal imaging is a unique technology that captures more than 80% of your retina in one panoramic photo which can help with early detection of everything from vision impairment to life-threatening diseases.

The unique optomap view helps your eye care practitioner detect early signs of eye diseases more effectively and efficiently than with traditional eye exams. Early detection means successful treatments can be administered reducing the risk to your sight and health.

One of Eye Partners’ own patients, Mary Margaret Richardson, had her glaucoma diagnosed through optomap testing.  She consequently received treatment for her glaucoma from Dr. Scott Petermann in the form of medicinal therapy.

“I’m quite satisfied,” says Mary Margaret.  “I think Eye Partners does a great job.  I haven’t had any problems.”

If glaucoma is detected, treatment often includes either medications to reduce elevated intraocular pressure (as in Mary’s case) or surgery.  Surgery for glaucoma can be performed three ways:

  • Laser surgery – Laser trabeculoplasty helps fluid drain out of the eye.
  • Conventional surgery – If eye drops and laser surgery aren’t effective in controlling eye pressure, you may need a filtering procedure called a trabeculectomy.  Filtering microsurgery involves creating a drainage flap, allowing fluid to percolate into and later drain into the vascular system.
  • Drainage implants – This type of surgery may be an option for people with uncontrolled glaucoma, secondary glaucoma or for children with glaucoma.  A small silicone tube is inserted in the eye to help drain aqueous fluid
  • MIGS – Minimally Invasive Glaucoma Surgery.  This procedure is the new frontier of glaucoma surgeries, and some (but not all) can be done while the patient is undergoing cataract surgery.  This surgery utilizes one of several state-of-the-art tools including: Kahook Dual Blade (KDB), CyPass® Micro-Stent, or the iStent®
  • Canaloplasty – This procedure utilizes a microcatheter or tube placed in the Canal of Schlemm (the natural site of drainage for healthy eyes) to enlarge the drainage canal, relieving pressure inside the eye. Studies have been published demonstrating long-term efficacy and safety.

There is no cure for glaucoma, but by keeping eye pressure under control, continued damage to the optic nerve and continued loss of your visual field may slow or stop.  Early detection, prompt treatment and regular monitoring can help to control glaucoma and reduce vision loss.

Treatment for glaucoma is highly successful, but as with all procedures, you need to heed the doctor’s advice.

“The most important thing for one to remember,” reflects Mary Margaret, “is to follow [the doctors’] instructions.”

Eye Partners diagnoses and treats all types of glaucoma through medications and surgeries if necessary.  Call Eye Partners today to set up an appointment if you feel you are showing signs of glaucoma and would like to start taking control of your eye health.

 


Children’s Eye Exams – More Important than You Might Think!

Monday, August 14th, 2017 
   

Vision and learning are inherently linked.  If a child can’t see well, chances for success in the classroom are greatly diminished.  Optometrists advocate professional eye exams to help catch any vision issues early.

Comprehensive eye exams check several components of eye health: visual acuity, ability to focus, eye teaming skills, eye structure health, and eye tracking.

For success in school, children must have other equally important visual skills besides their sharpness of sight, or visual acuity. Here are a few visual factors that can affect learning:

  • Coordinate their eye movements as a team.
  • Follow a line of print without losing their place.
  • Maintain clear focus as they read or make quick focusing changes when looking up to the board and back to their desks.

If children have inadequate visual skills in any of these areas, they can experience great difficulty in school, especially in reading. Optometrists and ophthalmologists recommend children have their eyes examined between six to 12 months of age, again at 3 and 5, and every year or two after that.

South Georgia Eye Partners performs thorough children’s eye exams at all four locations.  Make an appointment for your back-to-school eye exams today!


Summer is Here – Time to Upgrade Your Sunglasses? UV Protection is Critical!

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 
   

School is letting out, and the hot South Georgia days are upon us. With summer, comes lots of time in the sun.  But be careful – the sun can be harmful not only to your skin, but your eyes as well. The sun’s primary danger is in the form of Ultraviolet (UV) radiation. South Georgia Eye Partners wants to equip you with all the information you need to protect your eyes this spring and summer.

If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you are likely to experience an effect called photokeratitis. Like a “sunburn of the eye,” photokeratitis may be painful and include symptoms such as red eyes, a foreign body sensation or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. Fortunately, this is usually temporary and rarely causes permanent damage.

Long-term UV radiation exposure, however, can be much more serious. Scientific studies have shown that exposure to small amounts of UV radiation over a period of many years increases the chance of developing a cataract and may cause damage to the retina, a nerve-rich lining of the eye used for seeing.

If you can answer “yes” to one or more of the following questions, you could be at higher risk for harm to the eyes from UV radiation and may need to visit one of our optometrists or our Optical Shop for sunglasses that better protect your eyes:

  • Do you spend a great deal of time outdoors?
  • Do you spend time water skiing, snow skiing or a lot of time at the beach or on the lake?
  • Do you use a sunlamp or tanning bed?
  • Are you a welder, medical technologist or do you work in the graphic arts or in the manufacturing of electronic circuit boards?
  • Do you take prescription or over-the-counter drugs that can increase your sensitivity to UV radiation (check with your optometrist, pharmacist, or physician)?
  • Have you had cataract surgery in one or both eyes?

Be sure to visit one of SGEP’s Optical Shops in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas and Madison for a great selection of designer sunglasses. Our experts can can help fit you with prescription or non-prescriptions sunglasses that give you the UV protection you need. South Georgia Eye Partners carries a variety of designer sunglasses. All sunglasses in SGEP’s Optical Shop block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. Be sure to protect your children and teenagers as well – they typically spend more time in the sun than adults.

Call us today or come by, and let SGEP get you ready for your time in the sun.

Source: American Optometric Association

South Georgia Eye Partners – with locations in Valdosta, Tifton, Douglas and Madison, FL – specializes in LASIK and cataract surgery with premium lens implants, glaucoma diagnosis and treatment, comprehensive eye exams for adults and children and a Dry Eye Clinic. SGEP also has an Optical Shop fully stocked with designer frames and sunglasses to fit your style and personality.  To make an appointment with one of SGEP’s physicians or to find our locations and hours, click here.