Summit Eye Center Blog

Glaucoma Treatment

Damage to one’s vision from glaucoma cannot be reversed. The goal of glaucoma treatment is to slow and hopefully halt the progression of the damage. There are numerous treatment options available today.

Glaucoma is treated by lowering the pressure within the eye. This is accomplished by increasing the outflow of fluid from within the eye or slowing the production of fluid within the eye. The doctor will determine what eye pressure is appropriate for each individual patient based on the stage of disease the patient has, the level of eye pressure when they presented with glaucoma, as well as other factors.

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What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a disease that causes damage to the optic nerve. The optic nerve is what carries the visual information from our eyes to the back of the brain where it is processed into the images that we see. This damage occurs from a combination of pressure from within the eye pushing on the optic nerve and hampered blood flow to the optic nerve.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over the age of 60. Although glaucoma can occur at any age, its incidence increases as one ages.

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January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Often called the “silent thief of sight”, glaucoma usually presents with no symptoms to make the patient aware they have a problem until permanent damage occurs. Because of this yearly, dilated eye examinations are critical in diagnosing the disease early in patients, with the hope of preventing damage that impacts one’s lifestyle. If it has been over a year since your last dilated eye exam, it is recommended that you schedule an appointment to have your eye dilated.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is estimated that over 3 million Americans have glaucoma. Of those, only half know it due to its lack of symptoms early on. Everyone is at risk of developing glaucoma. The following groups are at an increased risk.

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Vision for a Person's Lifetime

How Our Vision Changes Over One’s Lifetime

 

Kids and Teenagers Age 8-17

It is important to monitor children’s eye health with annual eye exams. As their bodies are developing, vision changes can occur. Often, nearsightedness will develop during these years. Children will experience increased visual demands as their schoolwork becomes more advanced and they begin driving toward the end of this timeframe. During these years, children will participate in sporting activities that require optimal vision and sometimes eye protection. Having a comprehensive eye examination ensures that their eyes are healthy and seeing to the best they can. Common visual treatments during this stage are glasses and contact lenses.

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Nearsightedness

glasses clear shipyard
What is Nearsightedness?

Nearsightedness, myopia, is the most common cause of vision problem in people under the age of 40. The number of people with nearsightedness continues to grow. Just a few decades ago, the number of Americans with myopia was about 25%. Today, over 40% of Americans are nearsighted. In fact, it is projected globally that 50% of the world’s population will be myopic by 2050.

Signs and Symptoms of Myopia

Children who are nearsighted often struggle to see things on the board at school or are unable to see things like a clock or television clearly. Adults, typically struggle seeing road signs or recognizing faces across a room. Individuals may squint to see these distant objects. However, these people will be able to see well for near tasks such as reading and working on a computer.

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Hydrus Microstent: A New Approach to Glaucoma Treatment

Hydrus 1

Summit Eye Center strives to provide the latest treatment options to our patients. Yesterday, Dr. Skelsey performed his first Hydrus Microstent procedures. In doing so, our patients are among the first in the Midwest to receive this innovative glaucoma treatment.

The Hydrus Microstent is the world’s first “intracanalicular scaffold” for the treatment of glaucoma. Roughly the size of an eyelash, it is made from a super-elastic, biocompatible alloy, which has been used in over 1 million implants in a variety of medical devices throughout the body.

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3 Common LASIK Questions

LASIK photo
How do I know if LASIK is an option for me?

LASIK is an excellent option for many people to improve their vision without glasses or contact lenses. The best way to determine if you qualify for LASIK is through an eye exam with your eye doctor.

Here are some general guidelines:• You must be at least 18 years old• You must have healthy eyes – no evidence of a condition that could affect the healing process• You cannot be pregnant or nursing, as your hormonal levels can affect measurements

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Diabetic Retinopathy Treatment

Treatment for diabetic retinopathy is dependent on what stage of disease you have, your level of vision and the doctor’s clinical decision.

For mild nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy, the treatment is good control of your blood sugar and blood pressure. Control your blood sugar by watching your diet and taking the medication prescribed by your doctor. Controlling you blood pressure helps keep the eye’s blood vessels healthy.

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Summit Eye Center Spotlight: Katja Guyton


November’s “Summit Eye Center Spotlight” features Katja Guyton, COA. She has been a technician at Summit Eye Center for 10 years. Straight out of Germany...here are some fun facts about Katja.

Where did you go to high school? Hanau, Germany

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Diabetic Retinopathy


Diabetic retinopathy results from damage to the blood vessels within the retina, the tissue that lines the back of the eye. The retina is where the light rays that enter the eye are focused. This information is transported via the optic nerve to the back of the brain where it is processed into the pictures we see. With diabetic retinopathy, the blood vessels within the retina leak fluid and bleed. This can affect a person’s ability to see clearly.

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Diabetes and Your Eyes


November is American Diabetes Month and Diabetic Eye Disease Month. This is a perfect time to discuss how diabetes can affect the eyes.

Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working-age Americans. It is the result of damage to the retina, the light-sensitive tissue in the back of the eye. Early detection, proper management of your diabetes and annual dilated eye exams can protect against vision loss.

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Is LASIK Right for Me?


Is LASIK right for me? If you answer yes to the questions below, then LASIK is likely a good option to decrease your need for glasses and/or contact lenses.

Are you over the age of 18 with stable vision? By waiting until a patient is at least 18 years old, we minimize the chance that a person’s nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism is going to continue to change. Your vision should be stable over the last 12 months at least.

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Why do they dilate my eyes?


You may ask yourself...why do they dilate my eyes when I see the eye doctor? Is it really necessary? We want to answer that question today.

The short answer is that by dilating the eye, it allows the doctor to get the best view possible of the back 2/3 of the eye.

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Summit Eye Center Spotlight: Penny Peterman


October’s “Summit Eye Center Spotlight” features Penny Peterman, COA. She has been a technician at Summit Eye Center for 5 years. She is also our resident thrill seeker, as you will see while learning more about Penny.

Where did you go to high school? Hickman Mills High School in Kansas City, MO

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Pink Eye


Pink eye is a common cause of school and workplace absences. The medical name for pink eye is conjunctivitis. It gets this name because it is a result of harmful bacteria or viruses invading the thin moist membrane lining of the outer eye and eyelids, the conjunctiva.

Most pink eye will go away on its own in 1-2 weeks...See Your Eye Doctor Right Away if:

• You are in pain or have trouble seeing• You are sensitive to light• Your symptoms have continued for 1 week or more• Your symptoms are getting worse• Your eye is producing a lot of pus or mucus• You have any other symptoms of an infection, like a fever or achiness

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Astigmatism


What is astigmatism? This is a question many have for one of the most common vision problems. At least 30% of the US population has some level of astigmatism. We will answer everything you need to know about astigmatism in this blog. Yes, it is “astigmatism” not “stigmatism” as it is commonly referred to. You don’t have “a stigmatism”...you have astigmatism.

What is Astigmatism?

Similar to nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is a refractive error. It is simply a problem with how the eye focuses light. It is not a disease or eye health problem.

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Eyestrain


Are your eyes bothering you while at work? Eyestrain is a common problem found in the workplace and with schoolwork. This is even more common with the extended screen time we all have at work and at home. We will cover common symptoms, causes and treatments in this blog.

Common symptoms of eyestrain include the following:• Tired, uncomfortable, or burning eyes• Watery or dry eyes• Blurred or double vision• Headaches • Increased sensitivity to light• Sore neck, shoulders or back

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Summit Eye Center Spotlight: Anita Davis

Anita

Each month, we want to provide a “Summit Eye Center Spotlight” on someone from our team. This inaugural segment will feature our administrator, Anita Davis, MBA, COE. She has occupied this role since 2005. Hopefully, this allows one to gain a perspective about the people that make Summit Eye Center the practice it is.

Where did you go to high school? Ruskin High School in Kansas City, MO

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New Glaucoma Treatment at Summit Eye Center


Summit Eye Center continues to provide the most current treatment options to our patients with Dr. Skelsey’s first Glaukos iStent inject cases being preformed last week. In doing so, our patients are among the first in the Midwest to receive this exciting new glaucoma treatment.

The iStent inject is the smallest medical device known to be implanted in the human body. It is a heparin coated titanium stent that facilitates the outflow of fluid through the eye’s natural outflow pathway. With this procedure, two stents are placed in the eye in conjunction with traditional cataract surgery.

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What does it mean to have 20/20 vision?

When you have an eye exam, the doctor will state your vision is 20/20 or 20/something. What does that mean? Is 20/20 “perfect vision”? If not, what is “perfect vision”?

Let’s take a closer look at how your vision is assessed when you have an eye exam and what the terminology the doctor uses actually means.

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