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GLAUCOMA AWARENESS MONTH by Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
January 11, 2015

Eye ChartJanuary is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. The purpose of these various medical awareness months is to increase the public’s understanding of serious medical conditions. While many have heard of glaucoma, most really don’t know what it is, how it is diagnosed and what treatment options are available.

Glaucoma is an eye condition caused by damage to the optic nerve in the back of the eye.  It is often but not always associated with increased eye pressure.  The optic nerve is like a cable, carrying visual information from the eye to the brain.  If it is damaged, permanent vision loss may occur.  Unfortunately, glaucoma has no symptoms until up to 40% of the side or peripheral vision has been lost.

Over 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma but unfortunately up to 50% of them are unaware of it. Glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable blindness which is why early diagnosis is so important. It is most commonly treated with eye drops but more severe cases may require lasers or surgery. Glaucoma risks include: increased age, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or a family member with the disease.

How is it diagnosed?  As there are no symptoms, the key to diagnosis is to have regular eye examinations with dilating drops at least every one to two years.  The reason dilation is so important is that it allows us to look at the optic nerve in the back of the eye. If the eye pressure is elevated or optic nerves are abnormal, extra testing is done to evaluate side vision and the health of the optic nerves.

Dr. Mark E. GermanDon't become a statistic! Call for your complete eye examination today.

Dr. Mark German practices comprehensive optometry at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with Drs. Martha Jay and Josephine-Liezl Cueto. For more eye care information call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.


WHEN IS A VISUAL HALLUCINATION NOT A CAUSE FOR ALARM? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
January 5, 2015

I once had a patient state very calmly that there was an army in her backyard filming a movie. Her family was quite concerned and worried that she was developing dementia or a serious mental illness. Fortunately neither was the case.  These “hallucinations” were caused by a condition called the Charles Bonnet Syndrome.

This syndrome occurs in those with limited vision.  In my experience, it is generally seen in patients with severe macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness for people over 65, but only 10-40% of those with severe vision loss experience the syndrome. Charles Bonnet was a Swiss philosopher who first described these visual hallucinations in 1760 after observing his grandfather who was going blind from cataracts.

The mechanism is thought to be due to the brain filling in for the reduced visual input from the eye. The episodes can last from seconds to minutes, occur rarely or be more frequent. Usually about 18 months after the onset they just gradually disappear. The most common type of hallucination involves faces of people but animals or plants may also be seen. The images appear smaller than in real life.  Another hallmark is that vision is the only sense involved so there are no associated abnormal sounds or smells.

What to do if you yourself or a family member are experiencing this syndrome? First be sure to have a thorough eye examination to see if there are any treatment options for the vision loss. If none are available, then reassurance from family and friends about what is real and what is not is helpful for the patient involved.  As with the patient who “saw” the army in her backyard, the images rarely concern the patient but are worrisome to their family members.  Hopefully the above explanation will set all involved at ease.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

Martha F. Jay, Ph.D., M.D.

Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including blade-free iLASIK and small incision cataract surgery with premium lens implants.

For more eye care informati0n, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com


I'M BACK By Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
December 29, 2014
Dr. Josephine-Liezl P. Cueto

Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto

I’ve missed you these last three months when I have been off for maternity leave!  My new baby boy and his older sister are settling in well so now it’s time to get back to work. Much as I love being a mother, I also love my job. Ophthalmology is a particularly rewarding medical specialty. Eye surgery already has a high success rate and whenever I think it cannot get any better, new techniques or technologies come along.  Being an ophthalmologist allows me the privilege of restoring sight to cataract patients with surgery and preventing vision loss from glaucoma with eye drops or lasers.  Even sending patients home with a tuned up glasses prescription has a positive impact on their lives.

In short, our patients go home happy and are very grateful for our care. We get lots of hugs and many smiles. My associates, Dr. Jay and Dr. German, have seen some of you in my absence and have filled me in on any changes that have occurred.  I am sorry if any of you have been inconvenienced by having your examinations or surgeries delayed but your wait is over. If you have not done so already, now is the time to call for your appointments in 2015.

As a highly trained eye surgeon, I've gone right back to treating medical and surgical eye problems such as cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, dry eyes, macular degeneration and much more.  I’ve kept up with advances in the field (a good antidote to baby talk!) and am excited about my return.

Being a parent is a very special privilege.  I would like to thank you, my patients, and my colleagues at Lakeshore Eye Care for providing me with the time to adjust to this monumental life change.  See you soon!

Dr. Cueto is a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.


"FORGIVE" YOUR CO-PAYMENT? By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
December 20, 2014

At the beginning of every year we start getting calls from patients requesting that we "forgive" their insurance co-payments.  Some ask nicely, but others are pretty insistent that we not collect their co-payments for examinations or surgical procedures. This comes up at the beginning of the year because most plans have a specified maximum co-payment per individual or family per year and the amount generally starts over on January 1st. Just to save our billing staff from another call on this subject, let me explain what co-payments are and how they function as part of your health insurance plan.

Co-payments are designed to share some of the costs of medical care with the patient.  Often a policy will offer lower monthly premiums in exchange for an increase in the co-payment due at every visit to a doctor. When co-payments go up, that does not mean that the doctor is receiving more for your visit. It just means that the amount paid directly by the insurance company to the doctor has gone down.

You may not realize it but if we 'forgive" a co-payment, it is actually insurance fraud.  We have contracts with most major insurance companies that specifically state the fees we will be paid for each type of examination, testing and surgical procedures we provide.  These fees are based on the assumption that the patient will cover the co-payment.  If we do not collect the co-payment, we are violating these agreements and risk losing our ability to see patients covered by that insurance plan in the future.

Now you know that as much as we would like to "forgive and forget", it is not so simple.  Happy New Year!

Dr. Mark E. GermanDr. Mark German is an Optometrist practicing at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto. He specializes in comprehensive eye care for patients of all ages and accepts most insurance plans.

For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com


THAT HOLIDAY TOAST MAY DRY YOUR EYES By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
December 15, 2014

You may find that your eyes feel dry this holiday season and there are a couple of reasons why. One reason is that the air is dryer in winter and so are your eyes. Dry eye symptoms always worsen in the winter months. But there may be another reason. A study published in the respected journal Ophthalmology reported that alcohol consumption actually makes your eyes dryer.

The study subjects were young men without any history of dry eyes. They were divided into two groups, one group had an alcoholic beverage between 8 and 10 pm and the other did not. They then had their eyes examined at midnight and again at 6 and 8 am the next day.  At all three points the group that had the alcoholic beverage showed signs of dry eyes while the other group did not.

Is this news you can use? Sure, if you already have dry eyes you may want to bring along some artificial tears to that holiday party. This is certainly important if you wear contact lenses as they absorb your tear film leaving less to bathe the eye. If you do this and your eyes are still uncomfortable, then you should probably take the contacts out and switch to glasses. You do not want to risk starting out the new year with a bad infection or by damaging your eyes.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

Martha F. Jay, Ph.D., M.D.

Besides tears, there are a number of other treatments for dry eyes. Be sure to discuss this when you come in for your regularly scheduled exam.  You should come in sooner if you have been experiencing worsening dry eye symptoms such as eye pain, blurred vision or feeling like there is something in your eyes.

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including blade-free iLASIK and small incision cataract surgery. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.


YULETIDE EYE HAZARDS By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
December 8, 2014

You may think that eye injury season is over now that most outdoor sports are only a memory but think again!  This is the time of year when we start seeing holiday related eye injuries due to festive decorating or automobile accidents.

A perennial favorite is the Christmas tree injury.  This can happen while cutting down the tree, moving the tree or decorating it.  You are looking at where you are cutting the tree or placing that precious ornament but don’t notice the adjacent branch near your eye.  This type of injury may not hurt initially but hours later significant eye pain may develop.

Hanging decorations are another potential hazard.  They are temporarily secured with tape or tacks but that doesn’t mean they will stay there!  Watch for falling ornaments or other forms of holiday cheer.

It’s also a dangerous place out there in Santa’s workshop.  Santa’s helpers may not be accustomed to using power tools needed for that surprise project. Also, be sure to pick up safety goggles when gathering the other supplies needed.

On a more serious note, you want to drive defensively to avoid impaired drivers returning from Holiday parties.  While air bags may save your life in a collision, they also can result in significant eye injuries by hitting your eyes and face or from abrasions caused by the powder they are packed in.

Should an accident occur affecting your eyes, we are here to help but would just as soon have you avoid the pain and trouble.  So be careful, take your time and have a safe December. Happy Holidays!

Dr. Mark E. GermanDr. Mark German is an optometrist practicing with Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals. He welcomes patients of all ages into his practice and accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare Assignment. He specializes in comprehensive eye care for all ages,especially those in interested in contact lenses who have had difficulty getting the proper fit in the past.

For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.


FRECKLE IN YOUR EYE? By Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
December 6, 2014

Did you know that you can get a “freckle” in the back of your eye just like on your skin?  Medically, they are called “choroidal nevi” and are actually fairly common, found in up to 10% of the population.  During a routine eye examination, your doctor would see a small, flat and generally circular area of increased pigment in the back of your eye. The size and position would be noted in your chart for comparison at future examinations, much like your dermatologist may document freckles on your skin. The chances of these freckles affecting your vision are minimal, especially if they are not in the part of your eye used for central vision called the fovea.

While a choroidal nevus is common and unlikely to cause vision problems, a choroidal melanoma is a completely different story. Fortunately rare, this aggressive eye cancer is found in only 6 per one million individuals.  It is diagnosed with a dilated eye examination but often the patient has already noticed a vision change before diagnosis. While pigmented like a nevus, choroidal melanomas are raised up and tend to grow rapidly. The actual chances of a nevus becoming a melanoma are not really known but thought to be less than one in 8,000.

What should you do if you are told you have a choroidal nevus? First or all, don’t worry as your chances of a significant vision problem are quite slim. You should, however, be sure to schedule regular eye examinations with the same doctor so any progression can be noted. Along with the possibility of glaucoma, choroidal nevi are among the many reasons why a complete eye examination is suggested every one to two years. See you soon!

Dr. Josephine-Liezl P. Cueto

Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto

Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto is a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including cataract surgery, glaucoma care, diabetic eye care, dry eye treatment and much more.

For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.

 


LASIK: THE GIFT OF SIGHT By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
November 29, 2014

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are already fast approaching.  If you are still searching for that perfect gift for your young adult son or daughter, consider the gift of sight: LASIK vision correction.  Not only would LASIK help launch their future with better vision but it would actually save them money in the long run. A 25 year-old wearing contact lenses can expect to spend more than $20,000 on contacts and solutions over their lifetime. In comparison, LASIK is a real bargain.

Surprises are great but if you are considering LASIK as a gift, consider talking it over with that special someone first. Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK so it would be best if we first saw them for a free screening exam to see if LASIK is an option for them. The procedure could then be scheduled for early next year when they can spare a couple days out of their busy schedule for the procedure and recovery.

Remember that LASIK is not the same everywhere you go: the main variables concern the technology used and the doctor’s experience. Rest assured that I have considerable LASIK experience, having offered the safest and most precise refractive surgery technology to Milwaukee area residents for over 20 years. Our procedure is completely blade-free and painless, that’s why we call it “LASIK for Chickens.”

Dr. Martha F. Jay

Martha F. Jay, Ph.D., M.D.

LASIK is ideal for active people. Skiing, swimming, biking and other outdoor activities are more enjoyable without the hassles of glasses or contacts.  It also simplifies your life which is especially appreciated by those starting families and/or careers.  LASIK is a life changing event and you could make it happen! For more information, visit our web site or give us a call.

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in blade-free iLASIK and small incision cataract surgery. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.

 


GIVE THANKS FOR GOOD VISION By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
November 20, 2014

Most of us pretty much take our vision for granted but maintaining good vision does take some effort on your part. You should be sure to have a complete eye examination with dilating drops at least every two years.  If you have diabetes, then you should come in every year.  We generally see glaucoma patients every six months.  Warning signs that would warrant an immediate eye examination include eye pain, light sensitivity, blurred vision, loss of side vision or an increase in floaters.

You may have good vision but what about your relatives or neighbors?  If you are starting to think about holiday gifts, consider something that would make their lives easier.  They probably have enough “stuff” but could really use a ride to the store, doctor’s appointment or just out for some fun.  There are options, although limited, to get around if you don’t drive in Ozaukee County.  But the loss of freedom is pretty distressing to many seniors who can no longer drive due to vision or other medical problems.

The above is just something to reflect upon during the Thanksgiving holiday.  And while you are at it, don’t forget to schedule those eye appointments for yourself and your family!  Remember that we provide advanced medical and surgical eye care for patients of all ages: everything from complete eye examinations to LASIK vision correction and small incision cataract surgery. We are certainly thankful for all our wonderful patients at Lakeshore Eye Care and wish a happy Thanksgiving holiday to all.

Dr. Mark E. GermanDr. Mark German is an Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals specializing in comprehensive eye care for patients of all ages. He particularly welcomes the challenge of those with hard to fit contact lens problems.

From more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.


LASIK VS CATARACT SURGERY: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
November 15, 2014

Confused about the difference between LASIK and cataract surgery? You are not alone. LASIK is a laser procedure intended to eliminate your need for glasses or contact lenses. Cataract surgery is done to remove the cloudy lens in the front of your eye and replace it with a clear plastic implant. If you have cataracts, LASIK is not an option for you because your vision would still be blurred afterwards due to the cloudy cataract.

LASIK is done at an outpatient laser center with mild oral sedation. We begin by using a laser to make a small flap on the surface of the eye. Once this tiny flap is lifted, we use a second laser to alter the shape of the eye to improve you vision without glasses.  Each laser is pain-free and runs for less than a minute per eye.

Cataract surgery takes place in an operating room with I.V. sedation.  We use a tiny ultrasound to liquefy and then remove the cloudy lens inside the eye, behind the colored pupil. We then replace that lens with a clear plastic implant to improve your vision.  There now are a number of implant options, all of which will be thoroughly explained at the time of your cataract evaluation. The procedure takes 10-15 minutes.

How can you tell if LASIK is a possibility for you? Just come in for a free LASIK screening exam. We will evaluate your vision and eyes to see if LASIK is right for you. How can you tell if you have cataracts? Cataract symptoms include blurred distance vision, especially at night, along with seeing halos around lights and glare on sunny days.  However, a complete eye examination is the best way to determine if cataracts are a significant problem for you. See you soon!

Dr. Martha F. Jay

Martha F. Jay, Ph.D., M.D.

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician and Surgeon) specializing in medical and surgical eye care including blade-free iLASIK and small incision cataract surgery.

For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.


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