Recent Articles From Our Blog

“It’s Probably the Best Decision I Could Have Made”

December 15, 2017

We’re not shy about telling you about how valuable we believe proper care for your eyes can impact your life. We love it even more though when we please our patients so much that they want to tell the world about our services!

Check out this glowing review from one of our wonderful patients.

3 Things Chattanooga Residents Should Know about Cataracts

November 7, 2017

Even though cataracts are the number one cause of vision loss around the world, there remains a significant amount of misinformation and myths surrounding the causes and treatments behind this degenerative eye cloudiness. Cataracts affect between 22 and 25 million Americans, often causing cloudy or blurred vision. We’ve heard all types of myths about cataracts, from treating them with common eye drops to avoiding tasks like reading and utilizing a computer to avoid making cataracts worse. Simply put, cataracts are a naturally occurring dying cells that sit on the eye’s lens, which sits directly on top of the pupil. Worsened by diseases like diabetes, these dying cells cause the cloudiness that is often associated with cataracts.

Avoiding tasks like reading, writing, and utilizing computers won’t stem the effects of cataracts. While you can limit the growth of cataracts, there are no known “reverse treatments” of cataracts outside of surgery. It’s worth noting too that cataract surgery is actually one of the safest and most studied surgeries in the entire medical field and boasts one of its highest success rates. It’s the most common surgery in the country! Here are a few more things our office would like you to know about cataracts:

  1. Age isn’t the only factor. While most people associate cataracts with the elderly (and about 70% of people do suffer from cataracts by the age of 75), cataracts can affect people of any age. Your lifestyle can impact the potential development of cataracts, such as your smoking habits, obesity, and your exposure to extended amounts of sunlight. Also, some medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure have been linked to an increased risk of cataracts. Finally, cataracts can be congenital, which means some babies are born with them.
  2. While you may not be able to prevent cataracts, you can lower your risk of developing them. Avoiding smoking and extended sunlight exposure by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and hats can help lower your risk. Diabetes can significantly worsen cataracts, so ensure that you’re watching your diet and getting plenty of exercise.
  3. Cataract surgery is very common and incredibly safe! The surgery to remove cataracts has a 96% success rate, which means it is one of the safest procedures in modern medicine. The surgery usually only takes about 15 minutes, during which Dr. Matzkin will remove your lens, clean your eye of any debris, and insert a new lens. After surgery, you will have to wear a protective shield to sleep, but recovery time is typically about a month.

If you are suffering from cataracts and wondering what next steps to take, please let us know if we can help. Consultations are free and are always without pressure. We’d be honored to serve you and your family!

Avoid Workplace Eye Injuries

September 15, 2017

 

Have you ever thought about where most eye injuries take place? While you might think they mostly happen in sports, that’s actually not true. In fact, more than 25,000 Americans visit the emergency room due to a workplace eye injury each year.

As a result, the team at Allied Eye want to remind you about the importance of wearing certified and approved eye protection, as well as taking the proper precautions to avoid eye injuries while at work.

Protect Your Vision

Of the total amount of work-related injuries, about 10 to 20 percent will cause temporary or permanent vision loss. Therefore, it’s important to do all you can in order to prevent injury or vision loss from an incident at work.

First and foremost, you want to wear the proper eyegear for your job. While every job is different, there are some jobs that require certain safety glasses or goggles to be worn. Take some time to learn about OSHA regulations related to protective eyewear while on the job.

Second, you also want to be aware of your surroundings. Will there be dust particles on the construction site today? Will you be working around machinery in a factory that could possibly cause sparks? Are the sun’s rays going to be particularly strong today? You want to know what your environment will be day in and day out in order to know the best protective gear for the job that day.

When an Eye Injury Occurs…

When an eye injury does occur at work, action is needed as soon as possible in order to help save your vision and protect your eye health. As a result, it’s important to know the signs to look for when considering whether to visit an eye doctor.

Signs you need medical attention include:

  • Blood in the eye
  • A cut or torn eyelid
  • A foreign object in the eye
  • Difficulty seeing out of one or both eyes
  • Pain

Did you recently get hurt on the job? Contact Allied Eye for an appointment today to ensure there’s nothing serious affecting your vision due to the accident.


 

What You Should Know About Age-related Eye Conditions

September 1, 2017

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3.4 million people living in the United States age 40 or older are either legally blind or visually impaired. The team at Allied Eye wants you to learn about the age-related eye diseases that plague older Americans the most.

The Facts on Glaucoma and Cataracts

There are two major age-related eye diseases that affect older adults.

Glaucoma

According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness within the United States.

When glaucoma occurs, the eye’s optic nerve is damaged. Because there are rarely early signs of glaucoma (which is why eye exams are so important), it usually isn’t treated in its earliest stages, which can lead to vision loss or blindness.

Risk factors of glaucoma include:

  • Being older than age 40
  • Having a family history of the condition
  • Having high blood pressure
  • Having diabetes or problems with blood circulation
  • Being farsighted or nearsighted
  • Being of African or Hispanic heritage

Glaucoma can be treated in multiple ways, including eye drops, oral medications, or either laser or traditional surgery.

Cataracts

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens, which is normally clear.

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Difficulty seeing at night

The only way to help correct the damage and vision loss caused by cataracts is through cataract surgery. During the procedure, the cataract is removed and replaced with an artificial lens. This helps to restore vision to the eye.

The best part about cataract surgery is that it can typically be performed on an outpatient basis.

While age is the biggest risk factor for cataracts, women are also at a slightly higher risk than men of suffering from this eye disease. In addition, adults who have a family history of cataracts are more likely to have cataracts.

Are you age 40 or older? Has it been a while since your last eye exam? Call Allied Eye for an appointment today!


 

Build Strong Eyes

August 15, 2017

The team at Allied Eye wants you to remember that while you are focusing on building healthy bones and boosting your brain power this school year that you are also adding one more focus to your day—building strong eyes.

How to Strengthen Your Eyesight

While some might have it in their minds that people are born with the eyes they have and there’s nothing anyone can do about it, our team wants you to know that’s not exactly true. In fact, there are many things that you can do to help better care for your eyes, especially as you age.

First, start by making sure you and your family have regular eye exams. Sadly, many families are missing out on the critical eye exams they need in order to ensure their eyes remain healthy. Therefore, if it has been over a year or two since your last eye exam, be sure to make an appointment with our office immediately so we can help get your eyesight back on the healthy track.

Second, be sure your daily diet consists of fruits and vegetables, such as carrots, leafy vegetables, blueberries, tomatoes, etc. These foods help provide antioxidants that can help in reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Third, while staring at a computer screen all day isn’t dangerous to your eyesight, it can cause some pretty unpleasant symptoms. Therefore, try and take breaks when you can since your blinking rate goes way down when you are in front of a computer screen, which increases your chances of dry eyes and blurred vision. In fact, it goes from 18-20 times each minute to 4-7 times—a huge difference! Try and take at least a 20-seconds to a minute break for every hour that you are in front of a computer screen in order to give your eyes some rest.

Our team at Allied Eye is here to help our community maintain a healthy vision for years to come! Make an appointment with our office today.


 

Is Your Child’s Vision Ready to Go Back to School?

August 1, 2017

The team at Allied Eye wants you to remember the importance of good vision when it comes to a successful school year. Make sure your child’s vision is ready to go back to school, especially during Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month in August.

Eye Health Is Important

Read on for some tips to help ensure your child has an eye-healthy school year.

Have Regular Eye Exams

Your child’s vision is always changing. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your child’s eye health is being checked on a annual basis to ensure any childhood eye conditions are caught and treated as early as possible. Also, even if your child has been checked within the last year, always be sure to make an appointment with Dr. Matzkin if your child is experiencing vision problems, including having trouble seeing the board at school.

Know Your Family Eye Health History

In addition, it’s also important to share any and all family eye health history with your doctor, since some conditions have a genetic component. Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are often hereditary, meaning they’re passed down, as is color blindness.

Watch for Eye Problems

It’s important that when you’re trying to keep your child as healthy as possible this school year, that you also pay attention to subtle signs that there may be issues with his or her vision. If your child is complaining of headaches, squinting or suddenly having difficulty in school, vision might be to blame. An eye exam can help determine whether your child would benefit from glasses or contact lenses.

Also, if your child plays a sport, be sure he or she is wearing the right protective gear. Without appropriate helmets and eye protection, the eyes can be at risk during a practice or game.

Has it been a year since your child had an eye exam? Schedule an appointment with Allied Eye today to help ensure he or she is ready for school.


 

What You Should Know About Eyelid Cysts

July 15, 2017

Have you ever had a bump on your eyelid? The team at Allied Eye wants you to know that you are not alone—these eyelid cysts, also called chalazions, are common.

A chalazion can occur at any time and happen at any age. Some people may be able to feel the cyst forming, but aren’t quite sure what’s happening. Read on for a look at some signs that you might have a chalazion.

Regain Your Vision

A chalazion is a harmless bump on the upper or lower eyelid that occurs when the eyelid’s oil glands are blocked. While chalazion is the medical term used for the condition, these bumps are often simply called eyelid cysts. The inside of the cyst is filled with pus and lipids that usually lubricate the eye but have formed a bump because they can no longer drain out.

Although having one of these cysts can cause worry, there’s no harm associated with a chalazion, especially since it’s a temporary condition. The medical condition is actually more common than you might think, and it can usually be treated without the need of surgery.

Symptoms of a chalazion include:

  • A painless bump on the upper or lower eyelid
  • Blurred vision, especially if the chalazion is pressing against the cornea
  • Redness, swelling or tenderness of the eyelid

Fortunately, most chalazions will go away on their own and can be treated at home. Your ophthalmologist may recommended placing a warm compress on your eyelid several times a day to help the blocked oil gland open and drain. Gently massaging the area with a clean finger may also help.

For more severe cases where the eyelid cyst is impacting your vision, your eye doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic drop or ointment to help the healing process. In the most severe cases, where the chalazion doesn’t go away on its own, a surgical procedure to drain the cyst may be necessary.

If you think you’ve developed a chalazion, visit Allied Eye so that our knowledgeable and experienced ophthalmologist can make a diagnosis and provide you with a plan for healing.


 

Attention, Diabetics—Maintain a Healthy Weight for Better Vision

July 1, 2017

The team at Allied Eye wants those who are living with diabetes to enjoy a life that includes great vision! Unfortunately, sometimes in those with diabetes, elevated blood sugar can lead to blood vessels being restricted, which can cause vision loss.

But by taking steps to keep blood sugar levels in check—such as with a healthy weight—diabetes symptoms can be lessened and vision can be protected. Read on for a look at how to maintain a healthy weight—even if you don’t have diabetes.

How to Reach—and Keep—a Healthy Weight

First, add regular exercise into your routine. The best part? Exercise can be any type of physical activity you want to do. If you don’t like running, don’t go running. Instead, choose an activity you enjoy, such as walking your dog around the neighborhood, going for a bike ride with friends or attending a yoga class. Now that it’s summer, take advantage of the pool and swim some laps. Remember, the important part is making exercise a part of your daily routine.

Second, try to reduce screen time as much as you can throughout the day. Let’s face it—our smartphones have basically become an extension of our fingertips. Wouldn’t you agree? Now’s a great time to start cutting back your use of the smartphone—and all electronic devices for that matter. This isn’t to say you can’t use them at all, but you should try to limit your time with them. You can’t control the number of hours you spend sitting in a front of a computer at work, but you can limit your time with devices at home. And you can take regular breaks at work to walk around.

Finally, don’t skip breakfast. Just don’t do it. You need breakfast in order to wake your body up, kickstart your metabolism and keep your energy going throughout the day. Plus, by eating breakfast, you are setting yourself up for better eating habits throughout the day.

Did you know that systemic diseases like diabetes may manifest in the eye? That’s one reason why regular eye exams are so important. Make an appointment at Allied Eye so that our knowledgeable ophthalmologist can help ensure your vision and your health are in a good place.


 

The Ultimate Nighttime Routine for Your Eyes

June 15, 2017

The team at Allied Eye understands the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. However, do you know how vital adequate sleep is to your eyes? Give this nighttime routine a try to get a decent night’s sleep—and protect your eye health.

Good Night!

Take a moment to think about your nighttime routine. Does it involve reading a bedtime story to your kids? Packing a lunch for work tomorrow? Setting out your clothes that you are going to wear the next day? Brushing your teeth? Chances are that it involves all these things. However, you might be neglecting something that needs to be added to your nightly routine, which is making sure your eyes are protected.

First, if you wear contacts, it’s vitally important that you take out your contacts before going to sleep. While some contact lenses are marketed as being safe to sleep in, it’s still best to take them out. When you sleep in your contacts, you are preventing your eyes from getting enough oxygen. As a result, you increase your risk of infection, inflammation and even permanent eye damage. Therefore, it’s important that you take your contacts out every night before bed!

Second—and this is going to be a hard one for most of us—you need to put away your smartphone. You may already know that smartphones emit a “blue light” that throws off our sleep cycle by making our bodies think it is time to be awake and not sleep. However, smartphones pose a different risk to our eye health. Ever rolled over during the night and while unable to sleep grabbed your phone and started scrolling? You could risk damaging your vision. A phenomenon called “transient smartphone blindness,” which was discussed in the New England Journal of Medicine, can occur when you squint one eye closed and keep the other eye open while reading in the dark. The best option? When it’s time for bed, put your smartphone on the charger across the room or in another room altogether.

Is your eyesight giving you problems? Make an appointment at Allied Eye so that our knowledgeable ophthalmologist can examine your eyes to find the root of the problem and prescribe a treatment plan.


 

June Is Cataract Awareness Month

June 1, 2017

In recognition of Cataract Awareness Month this June, 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.