Recent Articles From Our Blog

May is Healthy Vision Month!

April 9, 2019

 

Every year since 2003, the National Eye Institute has observed “Healthy Vision Month” in May. Around 37 million adults in the United States have a serious eye disease, such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma. All of these eye diseases can cause significant vision impairment or blindness. However, the risk of these eye illnesses can be reduced by making healthy choices and regular eye exams.

Every year, you check off your annual physical and every six months you get your dental appointment on your calendar; however, often our yearly eye exam falls to the wayside. It’s vital to take care of your eyes, and Healthy Vision Month is the ideal time to find out how you can best take care of your eyes. There are many easy ways to protect your eyes during your late twenties and early thirties that will also benefit your overall health.
Here are 5 ways to re-focus yourself this month for the benefit of your overall health, specifically your eye health.
1. Watch what you eat – Eating foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids, such as tuna and salmon, and dark leafy greens can help your maintain a healthy weight and provide benefits to your eye health. Maintaining a healthy weight is also important because excess weight can increases the risk of developing diabetes, which can lead to vision loss due to diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.
2. Quit smoking & Get moving – What might seem like a harmless vice can be damaging to your eye health, just as much as your risk of cancer is elevated through smoking. Smoking can increase the risk of developing macular degeneration and cataracts. Replace your unhealthy habit of smoking with going to the gym. Exercise will help improve your circulation, which leads to increased blood flow. Your eyes greatly benefit from good blood flow.
3. Ask your mom – It is important for you to know your family medical history. Use the month of May to ask your family if anyone you are blood related to has been diagnosed with any eye diseases. Eye diseases are often hereditary, which can make you have a higher risk for developing these diseases yourself.
4. Get your shades out – Sunglasses are incredibly helpful in protecting your eyes from the damage that the sun’s rays can cause. Excessive exposure to sunlight can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, and pterygiums. It is important to check the labels on your fashionable shades to make sure that they have been approved to block 99-100% of both UVA and UVB rays.
5. Book an appointment – Now is the time to schedule your annual eye exam. It can often fall through the cracks. But Health Vision Month is the perfect time to turn your attention to your eyes. By taking care of your eyes now, even if you are only in your twenties, you can help prevent vision loss in the future. Let our team at Allied Eye help you find the best ways for you to keep your eyes health throughout your whole life.

3 Eye Symptoms That Mean More Than Bad Vision

April 3, 2019
Eyes are often called the doorway to the soul, but did you know they can also tell you when something is really wrong with your body and overall health? If you pay attention to what your eyes are telling you, you can be diagnosed early and receive treatment for illnesses. If you experience any of these three symptoms, it is important to pay attention to what they might mean.
1. Blurry Vision – While it might just seem like your eyes are tired or irritated, blurry vision could actually be a sign of diabetes. Your eyes may be blurry because of a leaking blood vessels in your retina or if high blood sugar causes fluid to leak into the clear lens behind your iris. As the lens of your eye swells, your vision will start to blur and it will become more difficult to focus your eyes. Blurry vision could also be a sign of lupus, stroke, migraines, and psoriasis. Finally, your eyes might be blurry because of optic nerve inflammation. When your optic nerve carries impulses from your retina to your brain, they are interpreted as images. Inflamed optic nerves can also be one of the earliest signs of multiple sclerosis, Lyme disease, shingles, or measles.
2. Changes in Vision – If your vision prescription or overall vision condition changes suddenly, it should not be ignored! A sudden change in vision can be a sign of age-related macular degeneration or glaucoma. Also, dark spots in your vision can be a sign of a detached retina. Our team at Allied Eye can help with these three conditions, and by noticing a sudden change in your vision, you can help diagnosis yourself and be treated quickly.
3. Night Blindness – A lot of people may experience difficulty seeing in low light, such as driving at night or walking into a darkened room. You are more likely to struggle with “night blindness” if you are nearsighted, diabetic, or suffer from cataracts. It might also be a sign of Vitamin A deficiency. Although a Vitamin A deficiency is not common, it can also occur if you have a liver or pancreatic disorder.
Your eyes do more than just see out; they can actually help turn inward to focus to your overall health. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above or any eye symptoms that concern you, call our team at Allied Eye at (423) 855-8522 so that we can assist with a quick diagnosis and treatment.

Cataract Surgery Recovery

March 23, 2019

Dr. Matzkin is one of the best neuroophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in the country. He performs  cataract surgery using the Alcon LenSx Laser. If you’ve recently had a cataract diagnosed by Dr. Matzkin or have a surgery on your calendar, you probably already know this, but do you know what recovery following surgery should look like?

To start, cataract surgery is a simple surgery that takes a relatively short time to perform. Immediately after surgery, you will feel groggy for about 30 minutes or so. If you are in good health prior to your surgery, recover will be short and uneventful, but it’s still important to have someone who can drive you home following the surgery and to wear sunglasses to protect your healing eyes on your way home. It is important to rest for the rest of the day after your surgery, as well as follow any of the at-home care tips that Dr. Matzkin and the Allied Eye team gives you.

When you first remove the eye shield that Dr. Matzkin will place on your eyes after surgery, your vision may be cloudy, distorted, or blurry, but don’t be alarmed! Your eyes and the connections to your brain may take time to adjust. Your eyes may also seem red or bloodshot for a few days because of the temporary damage to the blood vessels on the surface of you eye that occurs routinely during cataract surgery. It is important to remember that everyone heals differently, so it may take you longer to have fully clear and sharp vision or for the redness in and around your eyes to fade than other patients. That being said, if you still have blurry vision or eye pain after a few days, make sure to call our office so we can get you back in with Dr. Matzkin to find the cause of your discomfort.

All in all, you should be fully recovered in about a month with your eye(s) healed and your vision clear. Here are a few tips to help your recovery go smoothly:

  1. Make sure to correctly use any and all prescriptions that Dr. Matzkin gives you. These will help to reduce any internal inflammation and prevent infection.
  2. Immediately after surgery, avoid blending over to prevent extra pressure being put on your eye, and avoid heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for the first few weeks following your surgery.
  3. Avoid irritants to reduce the risk of infection and encourage healing. For example, to avoid infections, don’t swim or use a hot tub during the first week after your surgery, and make sure to wear sunglasses to keep the wind from blowing dust and grime into your eyes for the first few weeks.
  4. Above all, if you are concerned about how your recovery is going, don’t hesitate to call our office. Especially if this is your first cataract surgery, recovery is new to you, and we don’t want you to feel “in the dark” about what to expect. So, make sure to call our team at Allied eye with any questions or concerns you may have.

Are You at Risk for Glaucoma? How to know and What to do

March 13, 2019

Many of us have heard glaucoma, but do we really understand what it is and how to know if we are at risk for it? Glaucoma is an eye disease that is a problem all over the world. The scary thing about glaucoma is that there are often no symptoms in the early stages of the disease. It’s estimated that 50% of people with glaucoma don’t even know they have it. However, certain groups of people have a higher risk than others. Unfortunately, there is no cure for glaucoma right now, but there are effective treatment options. The key to treatment is receiving a diagnosis early in the disease before you or a family member loses sight.

Because glaucoma is hereditary an estimated 50% of the time, it’s important to pay attention to your family history. For example, the rate of glaucoma is 10 times higher among individuals who have a sibling with glaucoma. Anyone who is a blood relative of someone with glaucoma is at an increased risk. Therefore, it’s important to talk with your family about the history of vision in your family. Once you share your concern about glaucoma with your family, help them get appointments to get their eyes fully checked.

It is incredibly important for you and your family to get complete eye exams every year. Once you and your family are more attune to the need for comprehensive eye exams. If glaucoma and its hereditary nature concerns you, make sure to mention it to Dr. Matzkin at your next eye exam. This will enable him to diagnosis and prescribe treatment to help prevent vision loss.

Keep an Eye on Your Heart Health!

February 28, 2019

February is American Heart Month! While you may instantly think about exercising more and eating better when it comes to improving your heart health, did you know that obtaining an eye exam can also help?

A Heart-healthy Eye Exam

Although it’s important to watch your blood pressure and cholesterol levels when it comes to having a healthy heart, it’s equally important not to skip out on comprehensive eye exams. Not only can these eye checks help keep your vision on point, but they can also help detect cardiovascular disease.

For instance, did you know that high blood pressure can damage the blood vessels in your retina? Known as hypertensive retinopathy, this condition occurs when the blood vessels narrow, and it can lead to vision loss.

Because factors that can damage the eyes (such as obesity, high cholesterol and smoking) can also hurt your heart, damaged vision could be a clue that other health issues, including heart disease, could be a concern. An eye exam could spot signs of health conditions that could lead to further testing, which could lead to earlier diagnosis. And—as with most health problems—the earlier the diagnosis, the better the outcome.

Eye Health for Women

February 22, 2019

Did you know that women have a higher risk than men for eye disease and blindness, especially after turning 40? Women represent over half of the cases of age-related eye disease – 61% of glaucoma patients and 65% of age-related macular degeneration patients are women! Women also are more at risk for cataracts, diabetic-related eye issues, and dry eyes.

While these statistics may seem all gloom and doom, part of the reason is that women, on average, live longer than men – a recent study said that there are two times as many women over the age of 85 in the USA than men. Women also may be working longer because of this longer life expectancy, which exposes them to conditions like dry eyes and eye strain due to their blue light and UV exposure.

All this information aside, there are definitely lifestyle changes that women, especially women over 40, can make to reduce their risk for age-related eye diseases because many causes of blindness can be preventable or treatable with proper awareness. Here are three ways that women can ensure their eye health as they age.

1) Maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you eat healthy and exercise regularly, your overall health will improve, including the health of your eyes. A diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, proteins, and healthy fats all promote eye healthy. Also, limit the amount of sugar, processed foods, and alcohol. Finally, if you currently a smoker, work towards quitting smoking for the health of your whole body, including your eyes.

2) Toss expired make up and skincare products. A lot of women often ignore the expiration dates on their make up and skincare products, but it can be dangerous to do so. Harmful bacteria that can cause infections and irritation in your eyes can fester in make up, especially liquid products. Make sure to check the expiration date on your products and toss any that are expired, as well as any brushes that you have had for a while because these can also carry bacteria.

3) Schedule regular eye exams. Many of the eye diseases that women have an increased risk of are age-related or happen gradually over time. Because of this, early diagnosis and treatment is crucial to prevent vision loss. It’s necessary to have comprehensive eye exams annually to identify any early signs of disease and assess your overall eye health. It is also important to let Dr. Matzkin know about your family history and your lifestyle concerns that could increase your risk of eye diseases.

            As a woman, it is even more important for you to be conscious of your eye health and the risk that you face for age-related eye disease. If it has been a while since your last eye exam, reach out to our office at (423) 855-8522.

Maintaining Eye Health

January 7, 2019

A new year means you will be one year older. While getting older has its perks, one of them is not the deterioration of your eyesight. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, 1/3 of Americans will have a vision-impairing eye disease by age 65. Early treatment of eye disease can often slow or stop vision loss altogether.

In light of the new year, make one of you resolutions taking care of your eyes. Here are 5 ways that you can best care for your eyes to keep your vision safe in 2019:

  1. Know your risk – We all have ignored our family medical history over the years, but it is especially important to find out as much as you can about your family’s medical history and tell Dr. Matzkin at your next eye exam appointment because some eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma are hereditary and can be directly linked to our genetics.
  2. Get your eyes checked – Once you turn 40, it is essential to have an annual, thorough medical eye exam. Often, early signs of eye disease and any changes in vision may occur without any obvious symptoms following the entry into our fourth decade of life.
  3. Don’t smoke – If you are a smoker, a new year is the time to stop, not just for your lung health, but for your eye health too. Smoking increases the risk of cataracts and other forms of age-related macular degeneration. It also raises your risk for cardiovascular diseases that can end up damaging your eyes. Finally, secondhand smoke can negatively affect the eyes of those around you by causing dry eye and discomfort.
  4. Resolve to eat right – Aside from weight loss, your eyes can benefit greatly from a healthy diet that is low in fat and contains a large amount of fruits, whole grains, and vegetables. Some food that are especially good for you eye health are nuts, dark green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits.
  5. Wear sunglasses – Sunglasses and hats are not just fashion statements, they also help prevent exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays. Prolonged exposure to UV light from the sun can increase the risk of cataracts, so it is vital to wear sunglasses with 100 percent UV protection, as well as a hat.

The health of your eyes is important. The new year is a great time to make resolutions that will benefit your overall health, but have an especially great benefit to prolonging the health of your eyes and your vision.

Eye Exams After LASIK

January 7, 2019

Dr. Matzkin is one of the most well-known neuro-ophthamologist in the region. One of the areas he specializes in is LASIK eye surgery, and our team at Allied Eye prides ourselves in helping our patients regain their vision through LASIK and Epilasik procedures. However, it is crucial to continue routine eye exams following a vision-correction procedure.

Often, patients are so excited about their new ability to see clearly that they forget that our eyes are more than just how clearly we can see. Dr. Matzkin doesn’t just check your vision when you come in for an eye exam, he also checks for signs of diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and glaucoma. It is important to stay on track, or get back on track if you’ve stopped, with eye exams after vision correction surgery like LASIK.

Even though you’ve had LASIK or another type of vision correction surgery, Dr. Matzkin will be able to ensure that your vision doesn’t need further correction if you adhere to routine eye exams. You may also experience dry eyes following surgery, and Dr. Matzkin can provide you with some solutions to help ease your discomfort and avoid any eye injury. Finally, even if you are not wearing glasses any longer, thanks to your LASIK, Dr. Matzkin can help determine if you need blue light filtering glasses to avoid digital eye strain.

It’s crucial to remember that eye exams are vital, every year, no matter how good you think your vision is or what types of vision correction surgery you undergo. Our team at Allied Eye would love to see you in our office – call (423) 855-8522 to make an appointment.

New Year, New You, New Vision

December 26, 2018

With the new year around the corner, it’s the time for reflection and resolutions. As you look back over the past year, were there times that your glasses or poor eyesight got in your way? If your answer is yes, then maybe the new year is the time to revisit your vision and eye care.

If you are currently a glasses-wearer, you may want to consider contacts. Contacts can offer additional flexibility that glasses cannot – for example, the ability to wear sunglasses that are not prescription glasses. They can also give you a new look for the new year!

Contacts can be Comfortable, Convenient, and Fresh Look. Contacts are comfortable to wear, especially if you want to be able have a wider field of vision than you can have with glasses. Contacts are also convenient. You don’t have to worry about your glasses fogging up or breaking in your day to day life. Finally, contacts can give you an easy way to change up your look.

Looking to take the next step beyond glasses or contacts? We’re giving a $500 discount for LASIK scheduled during January! All we need is a $500 deposit to secure your appointment and you’ll receive the deepest discount we’ve ever given on corrective surgery. LASIK only takes five minutes and most patients can even go back to work within a couple of days1

If you are interested in a more permanent vision correction opportunity, Allied Eye offers a variety of vision correction surgery options. Give our office a call at (423) 855-8522. Dr. Matzkin is a neuro-ophthalmologist, which means he specializes in providing the best eye care and vision correction options, including contacts, LASIK, or Lens Replacement Surgery.

What Are Eyelashes Actually For Anyway?

December 17, 2018

If eyes are the window to the soul, then eyelashes are the curtains. However, they are more than just pretty window-dressings, they serve important purposes. They reduce airflow, keep out excess moisture, filtering sunlight, and alerting your body to danger.

Reduce airflow – We, as humans, have naturally moist eyes due to the tear film that protects your eye, provides nutrients for your eyes, and refracts the light away from your eyes. Airflow can make the moisture of your eyes evaporate, while also blowing dust and other irritants into your eyes. However, your eyelashes serve to minimize the air flow over your eyeball.

Keep out moisture – Eyelashes don’t just keep your eyes moist by reducing the flow of air over your eyeball, they also serve to keep external moisture, like rain or sweat, out of your eyes. The curved shape of eyelashes help catch the moisture and redirect it away from your eye.

Filtering sunlight – We all know that UV rays can be dangerous for your skin, but sunlight can also be harmful to your eyes. While your eyelashes don’t filter out all the dangerous rays that the sun releases and you shouldn’t forgo your sunglasses altogether, eyelashes can help to shield your eyes from the bright sunlight.

Danger alerts  – When you see a cat, you might first notice their whiskers twitching. Similar to the cat’s whiskers, eyelashes serve as sensors to let your brain know that potential danger is imminent. If your eyelashes sense danger, just like a cat’s whiskers will send signals to the cat to move out of the way, your eyelids will react and close.

While your eyelashes make your eyes pop, they also provide significant safety benefits for your eyes. Don’t take them for granted!