Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category


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.

 


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

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017 
   

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


SGNF’s Dry Eye Clinic – Help for Dry Eye Syndrome Here at Home

Thursday, September 28th, 2017 
   

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.


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.


Clear the Rack! Check out SGEP’s Designer Sunglasses Sale – May 8th!

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 
   

PrintSouth Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners Optical Shops carry the latest in designer eye wear.  On May 8th, we are having a “Clear the Rack!” designer sunglasses sale.  We’re spring cleaning… which means you can find your favorite designer sunglasses at bargain prices – up to 50% off!*  Don’t miss this one day sale in our new Valdosta location only.  Our selection of Gucci, Tory Burch, Michael Kors, BCBG, Ann Taylor, Ellen Tracy, Silhouette, Armani Exchange, Ray Ban, Oakley, Costa Del Mar and more will fit any taste and budget.

When you are shopping for your spring and summer eye wear, be sure to think about eye protection as well.  Spring and summer mean spending more time outdoors, and exposure to bright sunlight can increase the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.  Ultraviolet radiation is the cause of this sort of damage, so shop for sunglasses that block all UV rays.

In addition to sunglasses, we offer designer frames (from all the brands mentioned above and more) for your prescription eyeglasses, and we provide expert assistance in helping you select what’s best for you. Hope to see you May 8th!!

*Some restrictions apply.


Eye Care Over 40 – Things Do Change…

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017 
   

SIf you are over 40 years of age, you’ve probably noticed changes in your vision. Difficulty seeing clearly for reading and close work are among the most common problems adults develop between ages 41 to 60. However, this is also the time when other changes in your eyes can start to affect your work and enjoyment of life.  Keep reading, and if you are experiencing any of these issues, call South Georgia Eye Partners today for an appointment.  We can help your eyes age gracefully.

Beginning in the early to mid-forties, most adults may start to experience problems with their ability to see clearly at close distances, especially for reading and computer tasks. This normal aging change in the eye’s focusing ability, called presbyopia, will continue to progress over time.

Many people in middle age begin to experience difficulty with their vision.

Initially, you may find you need to hold reading materials farther away to see them clearly. Print in the newspaper or on a restaurant menu may appear blurred, especially under dim lighting. If you already wear prescription glasses or contact lenses to see clearly in the distance, the near vision changes caused by presbyopia can bring about the need to use bifocal or multifocal lenses. If you are nearsighted, you may have discovered that you now need to remove your glasses to see better up close. Fortunately, people with presbyopia now have many options to improve their ability to see well.

Along with the onset of presbyopia, an increase in the incidence of eye health problems occurs during these years. Whether or not there is a need for eyeglasses, adults should be examined for signs of developing eye and vision problems. A comprehensive eye examination is recommended at least every two years. Don’t rely on an insufficient substitute like the limited driver’s license vision test or other vision screenings to determine if you have an eye or vision problem.

Adults over 40 may be particularly at risk for the development of eye and vision problems if any of the following exist:

  • Chronic, systemic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
  • A family history of glaucoma or macular degeneration.
  • A highly visually demanding job or work in an eye-hazardous occupation.
  • Health conditions like high cholesterol, thyroid conditions, anxiety or depression, and arthritis for which you take medications. Many medications, even antihistamines, have ocular side-effects.

Call us today if you are just beginning to experience some of these problems or even if you’ve been struggling with them for awhile.  South Georgia Eye Partners’ board certified ophthalmologists and optometrists are here to help

Source: American Optometric Association


Glaucoma – The Silent Thief of Sight

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 
   

IMG_5037-118A revisedGlaucoma is characterized by the loss of nerve tissue that results in loss of vision. It is often referred to as the “silent thief of sight” because of its lack of obvious symptoms.

As the second leading cause of blindness in the United States, 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, and using medications that increase the pressure in the eyes.

How is glaucoma diagnosed?  South Georgia/North Florida eye partners use a variety of tests to diagnose glaucoma including patient family history, visual acuity, evaluation of the pressure inside the eye and visual field testing among others.

One of our optometrists, Dr. Eric Kolisz, who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma says, “The biggest problem with most forms of glaucoma is that it does not change the way a patient sees or the way their eyes feel.  Those are the two logical reasons that prompt an adult to schedule an eye exam.  Therefore, without yearly exams, glaucoma can be actively damaging the eyes for years before detection. This changes the urgency and aggressiveness of treatment significantly.”

Dr. Kolisz continued, “Early detection is key to effective management of glaucoma and undoubtedly decreases the chances of life altering vision loss with this disease.”

Our doctors perform these comprehensive eye exams in all four of our offices.  If glaucoma is detected, treatment often includes either medications to reduce elevated intraocular pressure or surgery.  Surgery for glaucoma can be performed three ways:  Laser, Conventional or with Drainage Implants.  Visit our Glaucoma page to learn more.

Early detection, prompt treatment and regular monitoring can help to control glaucoma and reduce vision loss.  South Georgia/North Florida Eye Partners diagnoses and treats all types of glaucoma through medications and surgeries if necessary.  Call SGEP 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.


Doctor Spotlight: Dr. Melanie Hill

Monday, August 8th, 2016 
   

IMG_4973 revisedWe are continuing our doctor spotlight with 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 17 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 (11) and Cooper (6).  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.

Doctor Spotlight: Dr. Wes Ross

Monday, May 23rd, 2016 
   

Ross

Time for another Doctor Spotlight!  This time we’re learning more about Dr. Wes Ross.  Dr. Ross is a Tifton native, and he and his wife, Shannon, have three children – Jay (7), Eli (4) and June (16 months).  Besides being an accomplished ophthalmologist, Dr. Ross also builds furniture!  He built his family’s dining room table as well as the kids’ toy box.  He says he’s always on the lookout for new woodworking projects.

A fan of the grill, Dr. Ross likes to smoke meats at home.  He makes his own rubs and likes to experiment with different types of wood.  His specialities range from turkey to ribs and pork butts, sometimes sausage, chicken and beef.
Last month, Dr. Ross took a trip to Uganda to work at an orphanage in a rural village.  While there, Dr. Ross and some fellow physicians held an eye clinic for the orphans and people in the village – they saw and treated several hundred people.  Before the trip, the group had collected hundreds of pairs of eyeglasses, so they were able to give many of the village people glasses that they otherwise would never have had access to.  The group also helped start construction on a very large chicken house that will be used to bolster the diet of the village children.
Dr. Ross’ favorite activities revolve around playing with his kids at home – they spend lots of time in the yard doing projects, and the boys love to go camping with their dad.
“SGEP is a terrific place to work for a number of reasons,” says Dr. Ross.  “The people in this area are wonderful to work with, and have a wide range of issues that we can help them with.  It’s fun for us to do this work as a robust team, each with our own strengths.  I also really enjoy the staff in our offices, and they make this a fun place to come everyday because they seem like family.”
We are proud Dr. Ross is part of our South Georgia Eye Partners team!