Recent Articles From Our Blog

A Closer Look at Cataract Surgery 

February 1, 2018

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.

  1. 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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

“Could You Be Suffering From Dry Eye Syndrome?”

January 15, 2018
The old saying “it brings a tear to my eye” is supposed to have the connotation of beauty and joy. However, dry eye syndrome, which can produce itchy, burning, or even a gritty and scratchy sensation or excessive tearing and wateriness, is both a painful and annoying condition for sufferers. There can be many causes that result in this discomfort for patients. As allergens kick up in the change of seasons and in the dry air of heating units, our tear quality often changes. As many people age, our eyelid position can begin to alter by turning slightly inward or outward, causing the eye to water excessively. A very simple surgery can typically correct this. 
 
For some sufferers, a condition called conjunctivochlasis is the blame. This scratchy, gritty feeling in the eye is caused by the outer skin layer of the that drapes over the eyelid having excessive amounts of conjunctiva. As opposed to your eyes being able to refresh themselves when you blink, this condition causes further irritation. Again, a very simple office procedure is very effective for this problem. 
 
Most often, dry or watery eyes are simply caused by an abnormality in the eye’s tear quality. While punctum plugs were formally used to treat dry eyes, our practice is typically to remove these plugs because they can cause even excessive watering in the eye. After they are removed, Dr. Matzkin irrigates the lacrimal system inside of the eye to ensure that there are no blockages. The most common and effective treatment are special daily drops that Dr. Matzkin prescribes that alleviates this frustration and pain. 

Hear from some of our patients that Dr. Matzkin has helped with their dry and watery eyes!

 

Are You Experiencing Eye Floaters?

December 28, 2017

 

Ever noticed some shadowy dots or web-like lines in your vision? These shadows can be quite worrisome and alarming, not to mention annoying, as they develop and increase in your vision. Sometimes these shadows can even take the form of a painful brief flash of light in your vision. Commonly referred to as “floaters,” this occurrence frequently occurs in people of all ages, particularly after eye stress or an injury. The floaters are caused by the gel in the back of the eye, called vitreous, undergoing a normal change called syneresis. This gel con tug on your retain and cause a hole, leading to a serious condition called retinal detachment.

Don’t panic-The positive thing about these floaters is that they are easily treatable in our office. It is incredibly important to get these checked, however. The longer these floaters stay present in the eye, the more that the vitreous has a chance to tug on your retina. Retinal detachment is far more intensive to treat than addressing the eye floaters early in the process.
If you’re experiencing eye floaters, no matter your age, it’s important to be seen by an ophthalmologist to address the issue as quickly as possible. Feel free to call our office at 423-855-8522 and make your appointment.

“I Can Read My Bible Again!”

December 21, 2017

Susie recently came to Allied Eye when she was struggling with cataracts. Her vision was affecting many parts of her life, from where she could sit in church to how she could read.

We’re honored that we could help give her 20/20 vision!

“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.