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Cataract Diagnosis

Everybody gets cataracts. They are unavoidable. They are the result of an advanced aging change in the eyes. Your lens starts out very transparent. Gradually, as you age, your lens picks up proteins and impurities. The lens becomes translucent, much like smoked shower glass. This is so gradual that most of us don’t notice the mild dimming of our vision. However, you may notice that driving at night becomes difficult. Perhaps you detect a glare from oncoming headlights, or you realize you need more light to read fine print. As the process progresses, the lens hardens and can become opaque and block vision.

When Should I Get Surgery?

There is no single point where every person has to have cataract surgery. The criteria for recommending the surgery are primarily functional. That is, can you do what you want and see as well as you need to see? We also consider whether after removing the cataracts, will you notice improved visual clarity and function? Doctors take this into consideration to help them determine the appropriateness of proceeding with the surgery. Your doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam, checking your vision for function. For example, how much is glare affecting your vision? Note that the human lens sits right behind the pupil, so it’s more fully viewed when we can dilate the pupil. We use a high-powered microscope called a slit lamp to assess the location and density of any lens changes. Over time, a cataract may appear very white, milky yellow, or brown as it matures.

Evaluation

A critical key in the evaluation is also ruling out other causes that might lead to decreased vision, which cannot be corrected with cataract surgery. Glaucoma, macular degeneration, stroke, prescription changes or other ocular abnormalities must be considered.

We will assess whether your visual decline is due to a cataract, which indicates that by removing the cataract and implanting an intraocular lens, (IOL) we can return your vision to a pre-cataract state.

With the advancements in technology and lens types, we can select the power of the implant to give patients less dependency on glasses after surgery.

Take Action

If you’ve been diagnosed with or are concerned that you might have cataracts, click here to make an appointment or give us a call at (615) 771-7555.

This or That: Maintaining Your Eyesight

365 days can manifest a great deal that you might not be able to set your sights on quite yet. Don’t wait until you can’t see it to believe it.

Quiz yourself in a quick “This or That!” and see where you stand when it comes to maintaining your eyesight and what’s worth *looking* into for your eye health before 2022.

Want Halloween Contact Lenses? Great! Let’s Protect Your Eyes

Halloween…trick or treating…costumes…and for some of you, cool Halloween themed contact lenses to add to the fun! To keep those contact lenses fun, please remember that the wrong lenses can turn an exciting night into a nightmare!

This time of year, I worry. It’s not the scary costumes. What I worry about are the scary complications that can happen when people buy and wear cosmetic contacts that haven’t been approved by the FDA. You can buy these worrisome contact lenses online, in convenience stores and other retailers, of course. But those who do that are taking very serious risks with their eyes.

Contact lenses are medical devices regulated by the FDA. There is a good reason for that. You probably know that contacts are placed over your cornea, a very thin clear window over the front of your eyes. Poorly fitted contact lenses can cause a “pothole” that may allow bacteria to take root. The bacteria can cause a corneal infection also known as a corneal ulcer. Trust me, this is something worth not having. While many corneal ulcers are treatable, the healing process can cause a scar which can damage your eyesight permanently! In the worst cases, it can result in blindness. And, please keep in mind that even a successful outcome involves serious eye pain, expensive medicine and anywhere from a few days to a few weeks of daily treatment.

At Cool Springs Eye Care, we always do everything we can to protect our patients. That’s why we offer properly fitted, FDA approved Halloween contact lenses. We have a full catalogue of exciting, reasonably priced options for you to choose from. They are comfortable and safe to wear and, we make certain that your contact lenses will fit your eye shape.

To ensure you get the perfect look you want, order from us. I am delighted to help you scare your friends and neighbors without scaring you…and me…about your eye health.

A Visit to the Emergency Room or Your Optometrist?

Eye Care Emergencies To Take Directly to the Optometry Office ASAP

When a health crisis occurs, it is common to consider a visit to the nearest hospital emergency room for care. However, when the emergency is related to your eyes, consider a trip to your optometrist’s office as the first stop.

Recent research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors’ offices can potentially divert more than 1 million patients away from ERs each year. While doing so eases the burden on hospitals and their staff and helps them conserve resources, it also ensures that you get the most prompt treatment and care.

New or existing patient? We are here to help! Here are some of the several circumstances where you can keep eye emergencies out of hospital emergency rooms.

Foreign Body Removal

With fallen leaves blowing in the wind and chopped wood burning in backyard bonfire pits, autumn carries with it several instances that a foreign body can end up embedded in an eye.

The sharp pain, watery eyes and frightening blurred vision from a foreign body can coax a run to the bathroom for a quick self-removal attempt or an anxious run to the nearest emergency room. Try and keep this in mind: the eye is a fragile organ. Any self-pursuits of removal or a long wait in an ER can lead to an unfavorable outcome.

Take a deep breath, give us a quick call, and let our team know you are on your way so we can prepare to address your needs right upon your arrival!

Lost/Broken Contacts

After wearing contacts for years, they no longer feel like foreign objects until… they tear or get lost in the eyelid. Chances are you did not realize the contact was torn until it was in your eye. Torn lenses are less likely to stay centered and the jagged edge can scratch the front surface of your eye.

During allergy seasons, your eyes can get extremely itchy. Rubbing your eye can cause contacts to fold, dislodge from the cornea and get stuck under your upper eyelid.

Don’t panic! You can remove ripped contact lenses following your usual process. Even lost, folded lenses can often be found by adding contact lens solution to your eye, closing your eye, and massaging your eyelid until the lens repositions itself.

If these attempts fail or are successful but followed by discomfort, call or visit your eye doctor for assistance.

Chemical Flushing

Some chemicals are more toxic than others, but all chemicals should be considered dangerous if they encounter your eye. Certain chemicals can cause damage to the cornea and lead to vision loss.

Cleaning your bathroom mirrors, providing maintenance to your vehicle, or starting a manicure with nail polish remover? These are common situations where an acid can accidentally make its way into your eye, causing them to sting and burn.

If you are wearing contacts, remove them immediately. Preferably flush your eyes with saline if you have it on hand or with room temperature water. Seek urgent medical care from your trusted O.D.

Red & Burning Eyes

While chemical exposure can lead to red and burning eyes, this eye experience can be linked to several other serious issues. Bacteria, mites, allergens, skin diseases and autoimmune diseases can lead to similar reactions. You may not know you have any of these until you are examined by an optometrist.

Don’t try to give red and burning eyes time to fall by the wayside. Proper diagnosis by your O.D. is essential to determine the best treatment.

Discharge From the Eye

Pink eye is a misguided diagnosis. It is often confused with other conjunctivitis conditions. If taken directly to an emergency room, patients are usually prescribed a simple antibiotic to cure what is easily assumed based on the symptoms.

Correct diagnosis of red eyes accompanied by discharge are best evaluated by an eye doctor as quickly as possible since some of the causes can be sight-threatening.

Flashes and Floaters

You may consider floating spots and flashing lights a symptom of constantly staring at a computer screen or having a painful migraine. While these reasons can be valid, flashes and floaters must be addressed quickly as they could be an indication of a retinal defect such as retinal detachment, or a stroke. These can cause permanent vision loss if left untreated.

Step away from the computer screen, give us a call and explain what is obstructing your vision. This will help us determine if an immediate evaluation by one of our trusted vision-care specialists should be the next move on your to-do list.

Sudden Vision Changes

Sitting in the car and notice you can’t see out of one eye? Or does your vision seem much worse than it was yesterday while you’re reading your newest novel? These sudden vision changes can be ominous signs. The most likely reasons are macular degeneration, elevated eye pressure, or optic nerve disease.

If you or a loved one experiences sudden vision changes, call our Lake Zurich office at 847-550-5228. A prompt diagnosis by your optometrist is essential to restore vision to normal.

These are just some examples of situations that are best treated by your trusted O.D. rather than an ER physician. Take anything involving your eye health into consideration and do not hesitate to contact us for prompt and precise eye care.