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The Giving Tree

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“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” – William Arthur Ward

You can tell a lot about a person by how they treat others. At Columbus Ophthalmology Associates, we are fortunate to work in an environment where our doctors put the care of our patients as their top priority. That simple, but most important, action trickles down to each of our staff members. We are a family at COA and we always work with one purpose & one vision: to provide the highest quality care for all of our patients. This holiday season, through the hustle and bustle of deadlines, shopping, gifting, and holiday celebrations, we still like to take moments to breathe in and remember what matters most. Our gratitude is overflowing! We also work for a company that believes in giving back to our community. Out of the gratitude for all we have and for another wonderful year, we are ending 2017 giving back to those in central Ohio. For a number of years, during the month of December, we give back to different initiatives in central Ohio for the holiday season. This year, we have chosen Megan’s Mission as one of those initiatives. Megan was a Dublin graduate who was an aspiring NICU nurse attending college. Sadly, last year Megan was involved in a plane crash around Lake Erie where there were no survivors. Megan’s Mission provides new or knitted blankets to Nationwide Children’s Hospital NICU; her family began Megan’s Mission to keep her dream alive.  We also want to do our part to make sure as many children in our community, no matter their economic status, have a Christmas. In both of our offices, we have a Giving Tree with “ornaments” on them. Each ornament has one gift item for a child written on it. Our staff get to chose which “ornament” they would like to get for the children in our community. We truly love expressing our gratitude in this way during the holiday season. And we couldn’t do it without the doctors and staff who operate their days out of gratitude for all they have with the desire to make sure others can have as well. You won’t see our Giving Trees in the waiting rooms in our offices but know we are doing our part to make sure other families in the central Ohio area have a wonderful holiday season!

 

The Giving Tree

diabetes-eye-disease-monthDid you know that diabetes is the leading cause of blindness and very rarely has early warning signs? With November being Diabetic Eye Disease Month, we wanted to give our patients some insight on diabetic eye disease.

Diabetes is a chronic disease that is reaching epidemic proportions in the United States. By 2030, it is estimated that 11 million people will have diabetic retinopathy. Patients’ understanding of the many factors that influence control as well as knowledge of long term complications is vital to reducing the side effects from what can be devastating to vision. Education is vital. The first thing to understand is that insulin, which is created by the pancreas, is what controls the blood sugar in our bodies. An average blood sugar should be under 100 and when it consistently is above that range, it is due to cells in the pancreas losing their ability to produce insulin. Physicians can treat this with oral medications, especially in adult onset diabetes, or injections of insulin which is most often necessary when diabetes occurs in children. The goal is to keep the blood sugars at a safe level in order to prevent damage to the delicate blood vessels in the body.

Diabetes affects the eye by causing leakage of the vessels in the retina, the part of the eye that receives the visual image and creates the “picture”. These vessels provide nutrients and oxygen to the cells of the retina and if they start to leak fluid and blood, those cells become damaged. This is called diabetic retinopathy and leads to loss of vision that can be permanent. Treatment includes laser to help seal the leaking vessels and, in severe cases, surgery called vitrectomy where the blood has to be removed from the back of the eye. It is smart to schedule a yearly comprehensive dilated eye exam as that will increase the likeliness of early detection. Even after a diabetic diagnosis, a yearly eye exam is part of the comprehensive management of the disease to ensure any changes are detected early. Diabetic patients are prone to developing cataracts at an earlier age so these yearly exams are extremely important to maintaining good health.

The most important thing a patient can do to help control their blood sugar is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. One of the biggest changes a patient can make is to stop smoking as smoking can accelerate damage to the blood vessels. Most hospitals, community centers, and other agencies offer diabetic classes where patients can learn how to eat and cook foods that are low in simple sugars and carbohydrates while being high in protein. In addition, these classes can provide information on exercises such as walking and biking to help burn off calories and reduce body fat which further helps control blood sugar. Education and “being part of the process” are vital to avoiding complications with diabetes.

Now is the time to speak with your ophthalmologist about your eye health if you have questions about diabetic retinopathy. Early detection is the best way to potentially save your vision if it is jeopardized by diabetes. Nearly 95% of diabetic eye treatment is successful in preventing blindness if detected early. What are you waiting for? Give us a call today and we’ll be happy to help you in your journey of having the best vision for life. Click here for more information on Diabetic Eye Disease.

It’s beginning to look a lot like…the end of the year! Where did 2017 go? We’re beginning our preparation for end-of year holidays and scheduling LOTS of eye exams prior to December 31st! November is the beginning of so many fun activities to do with your families and friends, holiday celebrations, outdoor excursions, and creative indoor festivities. We’re here to bring your November Eye Care Tips top of mind so you can continue to have healthy eyes, no matter the season! As as a reminder, don’t forget to constantly wash your hands. While that is good advice throughout the year, it is especially important right now as we’re in the middle of flu season. Soap and water is your best bet against the spread of bacteria and viruses. You can also carry a small container of hand sanitizer with you for times when you can’t use soap and water. Take advantage of the sanitizing wipes that stores offer and always wipe down your cart. You never know who has touched it or what germs they may have had. Take care of your body and protect it and you will spend more time enjoying the holiday season and less under the weather!

 

November Eye Care Tips

We are on our final post in this series on cataracts and premium IOL’s. The last IOL we’re going to highlight is the Astigmatism IOL. This IOL isn’t for everyone but a good number of Americans may be eligible for this IOL if they are in need of cataract surgery. Let’s take a look into the reason a patient may need the Astigmatism IOL.

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea — the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil — or in the shape of the eye’s lens. Under normal circumstances, the cornea and lens are smooth and equally curved in every direction. This helps to focus light rays directly to the back of the retina at the back of the eye. When the cornea or lens is not smooth or evenly curved in every direction, the light rays do not sharply focus on the back of the retina. Instead, they are more scattered. This causes blurry or distorted vision for both near and far objects.

You can see the difference between a normal eye and an astigmatic eye below:

LASIK Astigmatism_1

This where the Astigmatism IOL comes in.

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“The Astigmatism IOL is one of the greatest advances in lens implants,” says Dr. McHale, managing partner and ophthalmologist. Astigmatism is so common that it is present in 25-30% of the population so the creation of this lens has helps hundreds of thousand of Americans to regain their sight. Prior to cataract surgery, patients with astigmatism often have to wear thick glasses or hard contact lenses to treat their astigmatism. With the Astigmatism IOL, there is no need for that. You will have clear vision at a single point and a reduced dependency on glasses or contacts. Your ophthalmologist can set that clear vision point to near or far depending on your interest.

Are you affected by astigmatism and also have a cataract? The Astigmatism IOL may be the solution for you! Give us a call to schedule an appointment with one of our ophthalmologists and we will be happy to help you regain the confidence that comes with restored vision!

You may be considering having cataract surgery. Or perhaps you just went for your annual eye exam and for the first time are hearing that you will soon have to have a cataract removed. Whatever stage you are in, we are here to help. We’ve been reviewing what cataract surgery is and what your premium IOL options are for the past couple of weeks. And today we’re going to introduce you to another option: the HD Digital IOL.

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The HD Digital IOL is a very functional IOL option for people who are looking to have good vision with less dependency on glasses.This IOL option will allow you to see from multiple distances. It give you great distance vision and extends your range of focus.

“The HD Digital IOL is great for intermediate vision; for people who need to have clear sight for computer work, viewing the gauges in your car or your dashboard while driving,” said Dr. James McHale.

For most patients, the HD Digital IOL will limit the need to use glasses to reading and gives them freedom to be active in sports and other activities. This is an optimal option for patients who are active in the digital age that we are living in, who need to or enjoy being connected through their cell phones and tablets.

Would you like to learn more about the HD Digital IOL? Give us a call and schedule a time to meet with one of our highty skilled ophthalmologists!

Fall Eye Care Tips

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The seasons are changing and as we say good-bye to warm summer nights and hot days, we welcome cool fall breezes and outdoor activities for the family. Be sure you are enjoying your autumn adventures while keeping your eyes safe by following these fall eye care tips!

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Last week, we introduced you to what is a cataract and cataract surgery. When you have cataract surgery, an ophthalmologist removes the clouded, natural lens in your eye and replaces it with an Intra-Ocular Lens, or IOL. When you talk with your doctor prior to your cataract surgery, they will discuss your vision goals and ask you about what is most important to you.

Do you enjoy reading books? How often do you drive? What type of tasks do you complete on a daily basis? Do you work on a computer frequently?

As you share your habits and goals with your ophthalmologist, they will get an understanding of your vision goals and together you both will make a decision on the best IOL for you and your lifestyle.

We will begin looking into the three Premium IOL options that you will get to chose from starting with the Near & Far (Multifocal) IOL.
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Is your goal to wear glasses as little as possible? The Near & Far IOL may be the IOL for you. ”The Near & Far IOL gives you the greatest freedom from glasses out of all of the lens implants,” says Dr. James McHale.  He continues by saying, “You will have well-focused distance vision and it will provide you with the best ability to bring focus as close to you as possible.” So, this IOL is great for reading and seeing from a further distance. It will provide you with a reduced dependency on glasses and clearer vision for all types of activities – near & far.

Do you have questions about the Near & Far IOL? We’d be more than happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to see one of our experienced ophthalmologists about cataract surgery and what we can do to help you have great vision!

A number of our patients come to see us because they need to discuss next steps towards getting rid of their cataract. We realize that some people are nervous by this conversation but it’s nothing to fear. We want to ensure that you and your family are fully confident in knowing what a cataract is, how common it is, and how quickly we can help you get rid of it and begin enjoying your life with great sight!

What is a Cataract?

Everyone has a natural lens in both of their eyes. Cataracts form in the actual lens – not on top or underneath it. “I see a number of patients that think a cataract is something that is laying on top of their lens, as if we can simply go in and remove the covering. It doesn’t exactly work that way, but the actual procedure isn’t much more complicated. It’s so simple, the procedure of removing and replacing the lens is completed in 10 or 15 minutes” said Dr. James McHale, an Ophthalmologist and Managing Partner at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates who says he completes this procedure hundreds of times a year. Like Dr. McHale said, a cataract is when the lens, which is clear most of your life, becomes cloudy. At a point, that cloudiness can cause blurry or foggy vision, problems with glare from headlights or the sun, a dullness in color, and other issues. See photo below of what someone with normal vision versus someone with a cataract would see if they looked at the same photo:

Cataract before and after

 

How do you treat Cataracts?

Removal and replacement of the cloudy lens with an Intra-Ocular Lens is the only way to treat a cataract. But don’t worry, it’s not a difficult procedure at all! Cataract surgery is one of the most successful operations in all of medicine and it has excellent results. The actual procedure only takes up to 15 minutes – and there are no sutures to deal with. Your healing time is quick and most people resume normal activities in days! Cataract surgery is such a common procedure, that by the age of 80, half of all Americans have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. So if you have to have this procedure, we don’t want you to worry at all! We’re here to help you through it.

If you would like more information on Cataract Surgery, watch this quick video:
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For the next few weeks, We’ll be focusing on cataracts and Intra-Ocular Lenses. If you are struggling with cataracts and this is a treatment you need to have, hopefully this will encourage you to further look into completing your cataract surgery. Remember, you are always free to call our office and speak with someone to ask questions and to schedule an appointment to see one of our Ophthalmologists. We would be happy to see you and discuss your options for a brighter, and clearer, vision future!

 

 

With the talk of cannabis constantly growing, we get a number of patients who ask about marijuana and glaucoma. We would like to shed some light on the reality of the situation and have asked Dr. Orlando, founder of Columbus Ophthalmology Associates and expert cataract surgeon to shed some light on the reality of using marijuana to treat glaucoma.

But first, let’s start with what is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a common sight-threatening disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve damage, the delicate cable-like structure that connects the eye to the brain. Most often, the damage is a result of chronic high pressure within the eye that slowly destroys the nerve fibers from the inside of the nerve outward. The loss of optic nerve fibers is not reversible but at detection and with treatment, the progression of the disease can be stopped.

 

eyes_glaucoma

 

Now that we’re clear about glaucoma, we’ve asked Dr. Orlando to give us a glimpse of what he shares with his patients about glaucoma and the use of cannabis.

“Last year Ohio voted to legalize medical marijuana and almost immediately patients began to ask if it would help them with their glaucoma. So far, Ohio has not determined what medical conditions and in what clinical circumstance cannabis can be used. However, the drug has been studied for many years by ophthalmologists as public opinion has more or less approved it’s use for glaucoma. But the scientific reality is that it does not really work as treatment for this potentially blinding disorder. First of all, one must understand that glaucoma is a very multi-faceted and challenging disease that can present in a variety of ways. Basically, the internal pressure of the eye damages the delicate optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain where images are created. Eye doctors measure this pressure as part of their routine eye exam and look for elevation that is above the normal of 20mmHg. However, damage can occur even with pressure readings lower than 20 and so the optic nerve itself needs evaluation with a variety of tests that can pick up early signs of damage. When diagnosed, the glaucoma specialist will set a “target pressure” and begin the most appropriate treatment to lower the readings to that point. Follow up visits are required in order to make sure there is no further damage to the nerve with the initial medical therapy. In some cases, a special laser known as the SLT will open the internal canals and allow the pressure to drop if topical drops do not control the pressure readings at a safe level. In extreme cases, microsurgery will create a drain from inside to drop the pressure and prevent further damage.

Scientific research on the use of cannabis for glaucoma treatment has been done for over 30 years. Initial studies done with patients smoking the drug found pressure readings that dropped around 25% but the effect lasted only 2 to 4 hours. Other studies with oral administration of cannabis extract also showed only a short time frame for lowering of the intra-ocular pressures. Some case reports have showed variable response to the drug in lowering pressures and so the overall consensus is that cannabis is ineffective for long term treatment of glaucoma. There are far more proven effective therapies and the American Glaucoma Society has stated there is no form of cannabis that is recommended for treatment of this disease.  The University of Mississippi is currently the only approved site for cannabis research and we will await further studies to see if this can be an effective adjunct to our current treatment options.”

Hopefully this update from Dr. Orlando has helped shed some light on the use of cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma. If you are suffering from glaucoma and would like to speak with a specialist, please call our offices and we will be happy to assist you.

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As September comes to an end, we still want to remember these great tips to keep your eyes safe. September is Sports Eye Injury Awareness Month and we hope that you practice eye safety at home, on the field, on the court, and at work! Get more information here: http://bit.ly/2ynUwVt

 

Sept - Eye Protection Eye Care Tips

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