Recent Articles From Our Blog

5 End of Summer Tips for Healthy Eyes

August 20, 2018

The end of summer season is about more than just getting used to the school year and getting ready for football season. We think it’s a great time to think about the health of your eyes! When you stop to consider the remaining sunny days of summer, as well as all of the activities that are about to kick off in the busy fall, there are few better times on the calendar to take a few minutes and focus on your eyes. Take advantage of this time of year when schedules are usually a bit more flexible and consider these end of summer tips to focus on your eyes.

  1. Buy a New Pair of Sunglasses– Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion accessory. If you purchase sunglasses that block 99%-100% of both UVA and UVB rays, you are protecting your eyes from the damage that can be caused by the sun’s radiation. Recent studies from the National Eye Institute show that sun exposure has a dramatic effect on the development of cataracts, placing even more importance on eye protection. Also, for the sake of your eyes and skin, consider wearing a hat when spending any time outside. We’d love to see you at the Allied Eye Optical Shop to show our new line of stylish sunglasses!
  2. Wear Goggles in the Pool– While goggles enable you to see clearly in the pool, they also protect your eyes from redness and irritation from pH levels in the pool water. Chlorine and other chemicals used to keep the pool water clean and safe often cause eye irritation. Additionally, we see a significant number of eye infections this time of year that are largely caused by the bacteria that can live in pools. Also, you are more likely to lose a contact if you swim without goggles! Sick of your contacts? We can help with that too!
  3. Use Eye Drops for Allergies– If you suffer from seasonal allergies often the summer provides a much-needed break. However, many of us struggle even more at this time of year because of the dryer weather than can cause dust and grass pollen. When your eyes are irritated, you can scratch your cornea or another part of your eye unintentionally, causing additional damage and pain. Eye infections regularly result from rubbing and scratching your eyes as well, so take care to wash your hands and avoid touching your eye area with your hands.
  4. Get Plenty of Rest– We all know that an adequate amount of sleep can help our body stay healthy, but a lack of rest can have an impact on your vision too. Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (damage to your optic nerve that causes eye pain and makes it difficult to see clearly), glaucoma, and eye spasms are all potential issues caused by a lack of sleep. So, in order to keep your eyes strong and healthy, make sure you get plenty of sleep at night- and a nap on the weekend. With the sun staying up later, it’s easy to get to bed later in the summer, but your overall health relies on consistent and significant amounts of rest!
  5. Get an Eye Exam– It’s a fantastic time of year to get your regular eye exam, especially if you have kids! As the Fall gets busier, numerous challenges can present themselves to scheduling eye exams, especially considering after-school activities. With classes starting soon, make sure your entire family receives an annual eye exam and that your prescriptions are up-to-date. Dr. Matzkin can spot changes in your eye health if you are routinely attending your vision well checks.

To schedule your eye exam, contact us at Allied Eye at (423) 855-8522.

Sunglasses are More Than Just a Fashion Statement

August 14, 2018

Sunglasses are one of the most fun accessories for fashionable folks. Whether you’re in a stylish pair of aviators or you prefer a fun print on your frames, fashion designers have stepped up their game more than ever in recent years by extending their designs into beautiful eyewear. But those sunglasses you’re wearing are more than just an accessory. They can protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays similar to the way that sunscreen protects your skin. While only half of Americans who purchase sunglasses actually check the UV rating, we think it’s important to keep in mind the UVA and UVB rays that can damage your eyes when picking the perfect pair!

Without sunglasses, the sun can have very negative effects on our eyes. For example, 20% of cataracts are caused by extended UV exposure. Also, the sun’s ultraviolet rays can damage our retinas, which destroys central vision and leads to macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is one of the top causes of blindness in the United States. Finally, UV exposure can cause tissue growth over the white part of the surface of the eye, called the pterygium. This tissue growth can then change the curve of the surface of your eyeball, causing astigmatism.

Keeping eye health in mind doesn’t mean being stuck with a pair of sunglasses that are any less stylish. The Allied Eye Optical Shop is fully stocked with numerous pairs of frames from top designers. Jamie loves to help consult with patients on picking the right pair for their personal style and eye health. Many of these frames can even be fitted with prescription lenses.

We’d be happy to provide you with any information about what makes a super pair of sunglasses. To speak to the Allied Eye Optical Shop, or to receive more information about corrective eye surgery or an eye appointment, please call or text our offices at (423) 855-8522.

Multifocal Implants Helped Leslie See Road Signs Again!

June 18, 2018

Celebrate National Sunglasses Day with Allied Eye!

June 15, 2018

Get up to 50% off on select styles starting now and leading up to July 1st as we celebrate National Sunglasses Day! Sunglasses are incredibly important to protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays along with providing critical blue ray protection. Plus, there’s no reason you can’t look great wearing them! Come see Jamie and the team at our Optical Shop. We’ll have you in a great pair of shades at the best prices of the year! 

Why Early Detection for Glaucoma is Key

May 14, 2018
Of all the eye diseases we encounter, glaucoma can be one of the most frustrating for our patients. This eye disease that affects over 3 million Americans is often referred to as the “sneak thief of sight” because it generally has no apparent symptoms patients recognize, such as pain or discomfort. Because of this, early detection is critical for patients to save their eyesight.
Glaucoma affects the optic nerve of the eye, which is responsible for the transmission of images between the eye and the brain. If glaucoma isn’t treated in time, lasting damage can occur in this crucial nerve, causing patients to lose their peripheral vision and eventually their entire eyesight. Patients over the age of 40 are especially at risk, though glaucoma can affect people of all ages.
How to Catch Glaucoma Early? 
The first and most important thing to know about glaucoma is that early detection is critical to be able to address the problem. Dr. Matzkin can start treatment for glaucoma immediately following the diagnosis. For many patients, this treatment can include medication or laser/ surgery options.
During regular, comprehensive eye exams, Allied Eye checks for glaucoma for our patients to ensure we care for our patients. The disease must be monitored for life, but can be managed. Have you scheduled your regular eye exam? We’ve recently increased our capacity to see more of our valuable patients to ensure we catch eye problems like glaucoma early. Call or text us today to book your appointment!

Next Month is Cataract Awareness Month!

May 9, 2018

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.

What Is Blepharoplasty?

April 24, 2018

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.

April Eye Allergies

April 10, 2018

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.”

One of the first places that tree pollen can irritate in our bodies are the eyes. Red, watery eyes are one of the key indicators of both allergies and dry eyes. Dry eye isn’t simply a nuisance. It widespread pain that affects 20% of women and 10% of men in America and costs the United States healthcare system nearly $4 billion every year.
Medical studies have recently found a correlation between dry eye and the change in seasons, identifying late spring (when tree pollen is prevalent) and winter (when indoor heating increases dry conditions) as the primary culprits.
So where’s the relief? Dr. Matzkin has many approaches to help patients with chronic dry eye symptoms, from special eye drops to determining whether a greater problem, such as the eyelid, is causing the eye irritation. In the home, ensure your air filters are working properly and replaced regularly. It can make a significant difference in seeing the beauty of spring!
If we can be of any assistance, feel free to call or text our office at 423-855-8522.

Considering LASIK Surgery? Take These Important Steps First

April 3, 2018

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.

Spring Cleaning for Your Eye Care Products!

March 23, 2018

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.