Recent Articles From Our Blog

Holiday Eye Care

December 13, 2018

With the holiday season comes delicious food, quality time with family, and…eye injuries! Did you know that some of the prettiest decorations and most iconic holiday celebrations can cause eye injuries to you or your family? Just like any time of the year, it is important to stay conscious of your surroundings and be aware of potential hazards. During the holiday season, it is important to pay attention to the following risky situations:

  • Toys with sharp edges – In the excitement of holiday celebrations, it can be easy to forget to check new toys and games for sharp edges of plastic or pointy toy parts. But this is important to remember because eye injuries often occur in children when they are excited and playing with new toys, when they are most likely to not pay enough attention to their surroundings.
  • Mistletoe – Sure, it’s sweet to meet your special someone under the mistletoe, but if you’re tall and the mistletoe is hung low, you might collide with the decoration before you notice it. Whether it’s plastic or real greenery, it can cause an injury should you or your significant other run into it, so if keep an eye out for unexpected hanging mistletoe, especially if you’re tall.
  • Christmas lights – We all love the shiny twinkle of lights, but if we don’t replace them after a few years, they can be a safety hazard. The thin glass that makes up the lights can break and if they are old, they could even explode. The small shards of thin glass are a safety risk, and the bulbs could also break while you are untangling them or hanging them up on your tree or house. Make sure to take caution while decorating.
  • Christmas tree – If you have a living Christmas tree in your home, you could potential injure your eye while doing something as simple as watering the tree. Since tree branches can come dangerously close to your eye while putting water in the tree or adjusting an ornament. As you decorate and tend for your tree, pay attention to the branches and make sure they avoid contact with your eyes to avoid injuries.
  • Champagne corks – Celebrating New Year’s or any other holiday parties are often synonymous with champagne. And often champagne bottle corks go hand in hand with eye injuries. When uncorking your champagne this year, put a hand towel over the cork to make sure it doesn’t fly across the room and make sure that your guests are aware that you are opening the bottle. While it might seem fun and festive to pop the cork and let it fly across the room, having to call an ambulance for a friend or family member is not a fun holiday memory.

Make sure to celebrate the holidays this year safely by being conscious of the decorations and celebrations around you! Should you have an eye injury during the holiday season, give our staff at Allied Eye a call (423) 855-8522.

What You Should Know About Pink Eye

December 5, 2018

pink eyeInfluenza usually gets the buzz during the Fall as students and parents get flu shots in mass. But, just as common during the Fall as children and adults alike touch door handles, keyboards, desks, railings, technology, etc. When you consider how many things you touch during the day, combined with how often humans touch our face (spoiler alert: hundreds of times a day), viruses and bacteria can quickly spread from one person to another, especially the most common eye infection – conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye.

Pink eye is the swelling and inflammation of the thin layer of eye tissue that covers the white part of your eye, which is known as the conjunctiva. This infection can affect one or both of your eyes. It is highly contagious, either when it is bacterial conjunctivitis or viral conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis is the result of strep or staph bacterial infection in the eye, which can start in your respiratory system and then is spread through physical contact with an affected person or when touching your face or eyes without washing your hands. Bacterial pink eye can also be caused by contacts that have not been cleaned properly or through sharing mascara or eye liner. Viral pink eye is caused by the same virus as the common cold. This is spread through sneezing, coughing, or touching your eyes or face with unwashed hands. Conjunctivitis can also be cause by allergies because allergens make your eyes itchy, which can lead to the germs getting in to your eye via germs on hands.

The symptoms of pink eye are irritated, pink discoloration to the white portion of your eye. You can also experience itching or burning, discharge coming from the infected eye, or your eyelids swelling. If you think you or your child may have pink eye, it is important that you contact our team at Allied Eye for treatment. We can help ease the discomfort and reduce the length of the infection, plus keep it from spreading to other members of your family or friends. With bacterial pink eye, we may prescribe antibiotic eye drops, but with viral pink eye, there isn’t a quick fix since the virus must run its course. However, with viral pink eye, we can help find options to alleviate the pain associated with the infection – such as warm compresses to your eye, steroid eye drops etc. If you wear contacts and have pink eye, it is important to let us know that because there is a protocol with contacts and conjunctivitis that should be followed to prevent the spreading of the infection.

Now that we’ve discussed what to do when you have contracted pink eye, let’s talk about what you can do to prevent it. You should make sure to wash your hands, especially during flu season to prevent germs on hands that can then be deposited into your eyes. Also, don’t share makeup, pillow cases, or contact cases with other people to avoid exposure. Finally, make sure to protect your eye with eye glass or sunglasses on windy days because the allergens in the Fall breeze can irritate your eyes and increase the likelihood of you touching or itching your eyes with unclean hands.

If you are concerned about pink eye exposure or are experiencing some of the symptoms above, please contact our office to make an appointment by calling us at 423-855-8522.

Keeping Your Eyes Healthy with Diabetes

November 14, 2018

diabetes; eyesAlmost 10% of people in the United States suffer from diabetes. This means that 29 million people have glucose, or blood sugar, levels that are elevated. Over the years, this high level of glucose can damage your eyes. The most common eye problem linked to diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, which is a leading cause of blindness for adults in America. This means that the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye, your retina, becomes damaged; a healthy retina is vital for clear vision. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are blurry vision, floating or dark spots, and a pain or pressure in your eyes. Diabetes is also linked to an elevated risk of cataracts and glaucoma. These are all serious eye diseases that can be prevented by good eye care. There are 3 main ways to avoid diabetes-related eye complications:

  1. Manage your blood sugar and high blood pressure. While diabetes is an elevated blood sugar level, you can slow the damage to your eye’s blood vessels by keeping your glucose levels under control. Make sure to get an A1c blood test multiple times a year. Also, high blood pressure is often linked to diabetes and can lead to eye disease. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure any time you are in their office.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you suffer from diabetes, make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle. For example, focus on eating healthy and exercising regularly, which can help influence your blood sugar. Also, if you smoke, quit because smoking can cause problems with your blood vessels, further increasing your risk for these eye complications.
  3. Don’t skip your yearly eye exam! In order to spot any problems early, make sure to get your eyes checked ever year. It is important for your eye doctors to check the blood vessels in your eyes for early signs of damage and enable them to treat any complications. If you need to schedule your eye exam, contact us at Allied Eye at 423-855-8522.

Computers and Eye Health

November 14, 2018

computer; eye health

With an increase of technology in our everyday lives, we are constantly surrounded by screens – computer, phones, and televisions. According to a study done by The Vision Counsel, over 83% of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours a day. This extended screen exposure that is now a routine part of our lives has caused eye exhaustion, known as computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. The symptoms of digital eye strain are headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck or shoulder pain.

Here are 5 tips that can offer relief:

  1. 20/20/20 Rule: If you spend long hours in front of your computer or on your cell phone, make sure to take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and shift your vision to focus on something that is 20 feet away.
  2. Blink: When you are focused on a computer or phone screen, you will often blink less. This can lead to dry eyes and blurry vision. Therefore, make a conscious effort to blink when using a digital device.
  3. Move: Take a minimum of two 15-minute breaks throughout your day, but don’t just hop on Facebook when taking a break from work. Instead, make a concerted effort to get up and move or stretch during these breaks to truly give your eyes a rest.
  4. Light: Adjust your computer to avoid glare and change the brightness of your computer screen. By adjusting the brightness to match the light of the room you are in – make sure it does not look like a light bulb or lamp or too dull. You can also adjust the size and color of your phone or computer’s text to help your eyes. It is easier for your eyes to look at dark letters on a lighter background.
  5. Eye Exam: It is crucial for keeping your eyes healthy by visiting us at Allied Eye for a comprehensive eye exam. When you come in, make sure to mention that you are concerned about digital eye fatigue. This will help Dr. Matzkin and our team to come up with solutions for you to address the symptoms you are experiencing. Call Allied Eye today at 423-855-8522 to schedule.

Chattanooga Area Food Bank Drive

October 29, 2018

chattanooga area food bank

 

We are happy to announce that we are a drop-off point for the Chattanooga Area Food Bank this Holiday Season! We hope you’ll join us in supporting their important mission to serve those most in need by bringing along a few non-perishable goods to your next appointment. We’ll be joining you!

How to Care for Your Eyes When You’re Diabetic

October 11, 2018

diabetes eye care

 

Almost 10% of people in the United States suffer from diabetes. This means that 29 million people have glucose, or blood sugar, levels that are elevated. Over the years, this high level of glucose can damage your eyes. The most common eye problem linked to diabetes is diabetic retinopathy, which is a leading cause of blindness for adults in America. This means that the light-sensitive tissue at the back of your eye, your retina, becomes damaged; a healthy retina is vital for clear vision. Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are blurry vision, floating or dark spots, and a pain or pressure in your eyes. Diabetes is also linked to an elevated risk of cataracts and glaucoma. These are all serious eye diseases that can be prevented by good eye care. There are 3 main ways to avoid diabetes-related eye complications:

  1. Manage your blood sugar and high blood pressure. While diabetes is an elevated blood sugar level, you can slow the damage to your eye’s blood vessels by keeping your glucose levels under control. Make sure to get an A1c blood test multiple times a year. Also, high blood pressure is often linked to diabetes and can lead to eye disease. Ask your doctor to check your blood pressure any time you are in their office.
  2. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. If you suffer from diabetes, make an effort to live a healthy lifestyle. For example, focus on eating healthy and exercising regularly, which can help influence your blood sugar. Also, if you smoke, quit because smoking can cause problems with your blood vessels, further increasing your risk for these eye complications.
  3. Don’t skip your yearly eye exam! In order to spot any problems early, make sure to get your eyes checked every year. It is important for your eye doctors to check the blood vessels in your eyes for early signs of damage and enable them to treat any complications. If you need to schedule your eye exam, contact us at Allied Eye at 423-855-8522.

Computers and Your Eye Health

October 11, 2018

computer eye health

 

With an increase of technology in our everyday lives, we are constantly surrounded by screens – computer, phones, and televisions. According to a study done by The Vision Counsel, over 83% of Americans report using digital devices for more than two hours a day. This extended screen exposure that is now a routine part of our lives has caused eye exhaustion, known as computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain. The symptoms of digital eye strain are headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and neck or shoulder pain.

Here are 5 tips that can offer relief:

  1. 20/20/20 Rule: If you spend long hours in front of your computer or on your cell phone, make sure to take a 20 second break every 20 minutes and shift your vision to focus on something that is 20 feet away.
  2. Blink: When you are focused on a computer or phone screen, you will often blink less. This can lead to dry eyes and blurry vision. Therefore, make a conscious effort to blink when using a digital device.
  3. Move: Take a minimum of two 15-minute breaks throughout your day, but don’t just hop on Facebook when taking a break from work. Instead, make a concerted effort to get up and move or stretch during these breaks to truly give your eyes a rest.
  4. Light: Adjust your computer to avoid glare and change the brightness of your computer screen. By adjusting the brightness to match the light of the room you are in – make sure it does not look like a light bulb or lamp or too dull. You can also adjust the size and color of your phone or computer’s text to help your eyes. It is easier for your eyes to look at dark letters on a lighter background.
  5. Eye Exam: It is crucial for keeping your eyes healthy by visiting us at Allied Eye for a comprehensive eye exam. When you come in, make sure to mention that you are concerned about digital eye fatigue. This will help Dr. Matzkin and our team to come up with solutions for you to address the symptoms you are experiencing. Call Allied Eye today at 423-855-8522 to schedule.

Halloween and Eye Safety

October 11, 2018

halloween eye safety

Halloween should be a fun time for kids and adults to enjoy dressing up, eating candy, and spending time together making memories. However, every year there are hundreds of eye injuries related to Halloween masks and costumes treated in emergency rooms across the country. There are many things that you can do to prevent eye injuries and help your kids have a safe night of Trick or Treating.

   Here are 4 tips for a safe Halloween:

  1. Avoid unsafe costumes. Make sure that all masks, wigs, etc. do not block your child’s vision and tie hats so they don’t slip over their eyes. Also, make sure that costumes fit correctly without dragging on the ground so that your child doesn’t trip. Finally, avoid props that are sharp or pointed, such as swords or wands that could poke your child or another child.
  2. Increase visibility. Make sure that children carry flashlights to make sure that they can see clearly. Add bright, reflective patches to costumes and Trick or Treating bags to make it easy for other people to see your little monster or witch.
  3. Have a buddy. Younger children should go Trick or Treating with an adult and older children should go in groups.
  4. Obey traffic safety. Trick or Treat with your child in a neighborhood versus a commercial area with heavy traffic. Do not allow your child to ride a bike or scooter while wearing their costume. Make sure that children know to avoid streets with construction and to use sidewalks.

By following these tips, your children can have a spooky and safe Halloween! And make sure that your child has their yearly eye appointment by contacting us at Allied Eye (423-855-8522).

Naturally Increase Tear Production!

September 17, 2018

 

For years, patients have sought out a drug-free way to naturally increase tears in the eye. However, eye drops can be frustrating and an inadequate solution. We’re incredibly pleased with with one of Allergan’s newest products- TrueTear®. TrueTear® is a handheld neurostimulation device with disposable tips that is inserted into the nasal cavity to induce the production of natural tears. This novel and innovative approach can be incredibly effective for patients with inadequate tear production. We’re most pleased with its safety record- in two clinical trials, TrueTear® was shown to be safe and effective for temporarily increasing tear production in adult patients.

If you struggle with tear production, please text or call our office. Dr. Matzkin would be happy to consult with your to see if TrueTear® would be an option for your specific needs!

Now is the Perfect Time to Get LASIK!

September 3, 2018

If you’ve been considering LASIK, the waning days of summer present the perfect time to schedule your appointment. Dr. Matzkin has been performing vision correction surgery for over 15 years and is experienced with the latest vision technologies available. Our office does not use treatments like LTK, CK, and Crystalens that do not work and don’t last. Instead, Dr. Matzkin takes a big-picture view of your overall eye health. We ensure that you receive the right procedure to address your eye issues with lasting results. Often, LASIK is actually not the correct choice for vision issues, so we’re happy to provide consultations to ensure you receive the correct solution for your unique needs.

Dr. Matzkin has successfully performed corrective eye surgeries on celebrities and world-class athletes, as well as numerous other eye doctors and men and women of wide age ranges. Every patient is different and Dr. Matzkin will choose the procedure best suited to your circumstances and vision goals. Sometimes a combination of lens replacement and laser surgery is necessary to optimize your vision. We pride ourselves in having a consultative approach, explaining every step of the way to ensure you feel empowered with information.

Consider the 3 reasons below for why now is the best time for LASIK!

  1. You Still Have Plenty of Time to Recover for Fall Activities- Looking forward to football season? Wouldn’t it be great if you didn’t have to remember your glasses to actually see the game? How about being able to clearly see your child score the winning soccer goal? Corrective vision surgery makes clear vision a reality, freeing you to see clearly without being held back by scratchy contacts or frustrating glasses.
  2. No More Foggy Winter Glasses- Aren’t those minutes of blindness following walking inside a warm building from the cold winter air annoying? Wiping the fog off of your glasses is no help, because the fog just reappears. By that point, you might be getting back in the car again! Corrective vision surgery can help you to ditch your glasses this winter, ridding you of one of those pesky daily frustrations.
  3. No Squinting in Holiday Photos- Ah the holidays! Family time presents great moments, but taking off your glasses and having to squint because you cant see often makes for a strange looking photo. Corrective vision surgery makes it possible for your smile to be the brightest because you aren’t having to squint to see the camera.

When you’re thinking about your fall and winter plans, LASIK or another corrective eye surgery could have a positive impact on your life. We’d be happy to talk with you about corrective vision surgery!

Give us a call at (423) 855-8522!