Recent Articles From Our Blog
In recognition of Cataract Awareness Month next month, the team at Allied Eye wants to give you the facts on this common condition that affects more than 24 million Americans.
Get the 411 on Cataracts
According to the National Eye Institute, by age 80, more than half of all Americans either have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. Cataracts occur when the lens in your eye become cloudy. Due to the fact that cataracts can form slowly, some people may not even realize they suffer from the condition, which is why yearly eye exams are so important, especially for those age 65 and older.
Other signs of cataracts include:
- Frequent changes in contact or glasses prescriptions (particularly more than once within a year)
- Colors that appear faded or washed out
- Sensitivity to light and glare
Typically, cataracts occur in both eyes. However, there can be worsening symptoms in one eye compared to the other. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you are suffering from any of the aforementioned symptoms.
While there are some risk factors you can’t control when it comes to cataracts, such as your age and family history, there are some ways to help lower your risk, including:
- Avoiding alcohol
- Maintaining healthy blood pressure
- Not smoking
- Maintaining a healthy weight
If you are diagnosed with cataracts, our ophthalmologist is able to perform cataract surgery that will allow you to see things more clearly. Dr. Matzin performs cataract surgery on a regular basis using the Alcon LenSx Laser System and selects implants that will help provide the best vision and safety for your eyes.
If you feel like you might be experiencing cataracts, visit Allied Eye for a comprehensive eye exam to ensure your eye health is where it needs to be.
The eyes are often called” the windows of the soul” because they can also make us look angry, tired, and sad and affect the way we are seen by others. The area around our eyes is one of the most important factors in determining another person’s body language and mood. However, as we age, our eyelids can also cause more problems than our physical appearance.
With advancing age, these symptoms can cause a heavy sensation on the lids or loss of peripheral vision. The good news is that eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can not only improve the appearance of the eyes, but significantly improve the heavy sensation on the lids or loss of peripheral vision. Blepharoplasty continues to be one of the most popular cosmetic procedures performed.
Blepharoplasty is a simple surgical procedure used to improve the area your eyelids. This is done by removing skin from the upper eyelid and removing puffiness and excess skin from the lower eyelid. Some of these conditions are a result of aging but they can also be inherited. Eyelid surgery will correct the sagging skin of the upper lid that hangs over and can sometimes impair your vision. In addition, it also can get rid of baggy lower eyelids. In that case the eyebrows will need to be corrected to improve the appearance.
Eyelid surgery is done as an outpatient procedure, with a conscience sedation and local anesthesia. There is minimal swelling, rarely any bruising and no pain with these procedures. Recovery is quick and most people can return to work within a week or so.
Have you struggled with your appearance or that heavy feeling on your eyes? Perhaps you’ve even started having eye irritation caused by sagging eyelids. If so, we’d be happy to help. Please contact our office at 423-855-8522 to schedule your appointment to talk to Dr. Matzkin.
Struggling with eye allergies more than ever this season? You’re not alone! Experts like Dr. Todd Levin at the Chattanooga Allergy Clinic have called this season’s tree pollen count “astronomical,” going on to say that Chattanooga pollen counts have reached ten times the level that allergists deem “extreme.”
Though excimer lasers were invented in the 1970s and adapted for use in eye surgeries in the 1980s, there is a long history of vision correction in human culture. Eye glasses have been seen in artifacts from 13th century Italy. Even contact lenses were recorded as early as 1888. However, following tests in the early 1990s, photorefractive keratectomy, or PRK, was approved by the FDA in the United States in 1995. Meanwhile, two European doctors were already working on enhancing this procedure to allow for less discomfort and a faster recovery. Using a blade to cut a micro-thin flap in the cornea, using a laser on the tissue underneath, and then replacing the flap, the first surgery that we now call LASIK was approved in the United States in 1999.
LASIK remains incredibly popular to free patients of constant eye problems. However, Dr. Matzkin prefers to take a comprehensive and consultative approach with patients before deciding on the right procedures for a patient. Sometimes, there are better options that will make more positive, more lasting changes for a patient’s vision. Here are a few steps that our office wants to make sure that all patients know before they receive LASIK surgery.
- We Require a Comprehensive Eye Exam.
At Allied Eye, we like to understand the full scope of the problem before prescribing solutions. During this exam, Dr. Matzkin will check to ensure your corneas are healthy and take a full look at your eyes to evaluate what is causing the vision issues. Not every patient is a good candidate for LASIK, and surgical options like PRK could be a better choice.
- Stop Wearing Contacts
Did you know that your contacts can actually affect the shape of your eyes? Even soft contact lenses can give your eyes a slightly altered shape, which can have a dramatic effect on the outcome of surgery. Dr. Matzkin will let you know how much time your eyes will need to go back to their natural shape. Make sure to listen if you want your surgery to be effective!
- Plan for Surgery Day
Though LASIK is painless and a relatively quick procedure, you’ll still want to want to schedule for someone to take you to and from surgery. Your vision might be blurry and you’ll likely feel drowsy. Driving a car could be very dangerous, so make sure someone comes with you on surgery day. After surgery, wear your protective goggles and then go home and take a rest. You’ll be tired, and sleep is the best thing you can do for healing.
- Post-Op Exam and Follow Up
You’ll already have your post-operative exam scheduled, so be sure to have a ride to and from our office that day. It’s normal for eyes to still be blurry at this time. You’ll also want to make sure to take your eye drops regularly that Dr. Matzkin will provide to avoid dangerous infection and inflammation. Take it easy during the month or so following your procedure. Even a glancing hit to the eye can cause significant damage to the surgical procedure.
With warm weather only a short time away, spring makes for the perfect time to declutter your home. Unfortunately, your eye care products often fail to get updated as well. Simply because they aren’t used as much as other items, or perhaps because of their durability, eye care products can tend to stay in the cabinet far longer than their original shelf life. While you’re taking the time to clean out your closets and dust around the edges, take the time to replace the following eye care products. Your eyes will be healthier because you did!
Mascara and Other Eye Makeups
Most mascaras should not be kept longer than 3-6 months. While we know that it’s tough to throw away a product that still has something in the tube, your makeup can hold a significant number of bacteria that can cause serious eye infections. It’s a much better idea to refresh these products regularly.
Eye Drops and Contact Solution
Once eye drops encounter air (after the protective seal is broken), oxidation begins to take place in the solution. This can decrease the potency on the medicine in the eye drops and irritate your eyes. It is best to use or dispose of eye drops within a 1-2 month time span. Old contact solution can be a culprit of itchy eyes as well, even causing corneal ulcers in some circumstances. It’s always wise to check the expiration date on these products to make sure that they are not out of date.
Contacts and Glasses
Spring is the perfect time to make sure that your prescription is up to date! Often, your vision can deteriorate and you can simply become accustomed to eye strain without knowing it. Regular eye appointments are helpful for to ensure that your vision is being treated properly and that any deterioration in your vision is treated quickly so that nothing gets worse. This not only saves your vision, it can frequently save on medical bills too. It’s also good time for a reminder that sleeping in daily contact lenses or using contact lenses longer than they are recommended for is just asking for a nasty infection or eye damage. Make sure to remove your contacts daily and replace them regularly!
Need another reason for that routine eye exam at Allied Eye? Your eyes are one of the best determinants of your overall health. A regular eye exam can help show warning signs of certain forms of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and much more.
Additionally, Allied Eye offers state of the art eye allergy testing so that you can make it through the change of seasons without painful itchy, dry, or watery eyes. We’re booking appointments now so call or text us at 423-855-2222.
While many feel as though their eyes are only in danger during the summer months when the sun is burning bright, this is a myth that needs to be debunked. In the winter sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are just as strong and can often pack a damaging punch for your eyes because of the increased dryness and illnesses present during the winter. It’s important to remember that sunglasses aren’t solely for summertime- they’re a year round investment for the health of your eyes!
Protect Your Eyes
When the cooler weather set in, did you put away your sunglasses? It’s time to bring them back out, as your eyes need just as much protection now as they did from the summer’s UV rays. Harsh UV rays can lead to immediate and ongoing eye problems, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and night vision problems.
When headed outside on a winter day, make sure to pack appropriately.
First and foremost, grab a pair of sunglasses. If needed, keep one pair at home, another in your car, and another at the office so that you never have to worry about being without your shades. If you’re anything like us, it’s easy to forget things, so having a few extras can’t hurt.
If taking a trip this winter to ski or snowboard, exercise outside, or if you work at a job that keeps you outdoors, reflective sports goggles or eye protection are the first thing you should pack with you.
When attending an outdoor sporting event, pack a hat in addition to your sunglasses in order to have extra protection against the winter sun. Hats are not solely to protect your face from a sunburn, they can significantly limit the amount of rays that get to your eyes. Keep in mind that this is important on cloudy days too. In fact, 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can pass through even on a cloudy day!
Far too often, fear of cataract surgery keeps men and women of various ages from getting their sight back. For years, these individuals struggle with frustrating cloudiness that prevents even the most basic activities like reading, driving, and enjoying time with your family. Worse yet, many allow their condition to worsen, reducing the natural softness of their eye lens that can make surgery even easier for them.
We want to take the opportunity to dispel much of the fear and take time to tell inform our patients of three quick questions that we often hear about cataract surgery.
- What Did I Do to Cause This?
The answer is typically nothing. Think of an eye lens like a camera that continuously focuses light so that you can see clearly. This is what helps you see at all distances. As people get older, some of the natural proteins on the eye lens can come together and make a small cloud-like area on the lens. 22 million Americans above the age of 40 are affected by cataracts, so cataracts are certainly common. Everyone should also feel comforted that cataract surgery is the most common surgery in the world!
- Does Cataract Surgery Hurt?
When patients arrive at the center, our office dilates pupils and then wash and clean the eyes before surgery. The 20 minute operation is almost completely painless. Many patients are not even sedated and choose to only have local anesthesia. Patients are free to go home after about half an hour. After surgery, vision will be slightly blurred and watery for a few days, but this moderate discomfort ends in only a day or two. With the help of drops to prevent infection, healing is complete within two months.
- Does It Matter Where I Get My Surgery?
We believe it does. Not only has Dr. Matzkin performed thousands of surgeries, he also utilizes state of the art technology, like the Alcon LenSx Laser. This laser is much more effective than the one that is used in standard cataract surgeries and produces better results and easier healing time for the patients. Dr. Matzkin routinely performs procedures on patients of all ages, even performing dozens of surgeries on other eye doctors when they need it.