Click on the image to the left for a recent New York Times article discussing the link between education level and nearsightedness. While we are on the topic, LASIK makes a fabulous graduation present!
CATCH MORE Z’S AND SEE BETTER By Dr. James Ivanoski, Optometrist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Burning the candle at both ends? Neglecting your sleep can have an adverse effect on your vision and your eyes by worsening dry eye symptoms. Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common reasons for a visit to an eye doctor, affecting 3.25 million women in the US over the age of 50. A recent study showed that sleep deprivation can lead to worsening dry eye symptoms.
The symptoms of dry eye syndrome include feeling like there is something in your eye, blurred vision and excessive tearing. The last symptom, tearing, is what gets patients confused. “I thought my eyes were too wet”, is the usual comment. Your tear film is made up of oil, water and mucus. If your mixture of the three is abnormal, it poorly covers the surface of the eye leaving dry spots. The tiny nerve endings in the surface of the eye (the cornea) detect the problem and send out more, poor quality tears resulting in the annoying drip down your face. This problem is particularly noticeable at the end of the day, after reading or using a computer, in winter or when you are out in the wind.
The study published in the medical journal Investigative Ophthalmology last summer divided a group of 20 healthy individuals into two groups: one stayed up all night and the other had an 8 hour sleep period. The “all nighters” had very salty tears which poorly covered their eyes. Their eyes were uncomfortable and their vision blurred.
The lesson here is that your eyes need rest too, especially if you already have dry eye symptoms or wear contact lenses. Should adequate rest not solve your dry eye symptoms, however, we are here to help.
Dr. James Ivanoski is an Opt0metrist practicing with Dr. Martha Jay at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin. He offers comprehensive eye care for the whole family and accepts most insurance plans.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.
WHAT IS CATARACT SURGERY LIKE? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
What exactly happens during cataract surgery? Many with cataracts are afraid to have the surgery because they don’t really know what it would be like. Just the word “surgery” scares them. It brings to mind pain, long recovery and time off from your favorite activities. Nothing could be farther from the truth with cataract surgery.
Modern cataract surgery is done without shots, stitches or patches. It takes only about 10 to 15 minutes. We use only mild I.V. sedation to relax you. You don’t feel anything because there are numbing drops applied to the surface of the eye. Afterwards, you look pretty much the way you did on the way in: no patch over the eye, no black and blue bruising. We recommend that you take 2 days off your regular activities, one for the actual procedure and the next day to allow your vision to settle. Then the only restrictions are no eye make-up, swimming or pushing on the eye for 2 weeks.
On the day of surgery, you change into a hospital gown and then an I.V. is started. Once in the operating room you look at a bright light. There IS NO PAIN. You may see pretty colors from a prism like effect of the lens as we remove it and replace it with a tiny plastic implant. About 30 minutes after the procedure, you go home or even out to lunch. You do need a ride as some of the sedation may still be in effect but you won’t need extra help at home.
So, breath-in and breath-out, cataracts surgery is generally a quick and easy. It is the most common operation in America and patients are thrilled with the results. If every procedure worked as well as cataract surgery, the world would be a much better place!
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.
SMOKING AND “WET” MACULAR DEGENERATION By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Our patients who smoke know that we discuss the potential impact of this habit on vision at each and every appointment. There is even a reporting measure on this topic required for getting credit from Medicare for using electronic medical records. I also give out the “Handout of Shame” to encourage quitting.
Now yet another study has come out linking smoking to “wet” macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an aging change that affects the delicate retinal tissue in the back of the eye. It is the leading cause of legal blindness for those over 65 years-old. There is a “dry” or mild type and also a much more severe “wet” type. The wet type results from fluid leaking forward under the retina damaging the critical central part of your vision used for reading. Those with the wet form often have to get injections in their eyes every 3-4 months in an attempt to improve their vision.
A study came out last fall in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, a respected medical journal, linking smoking and wet macular degeneration. They analyzed the data of over half a million South Korean men between the ages of 40 and 79 years-old. Apparently few women smoke in Korea so they were not included. Wet macular degeneration risk was 50% higher in smokers than those who had never smoked. Both the length of time someone smoked and the amount they smoked was significant.
You know that smoking is bad for your heart, breathing and pocketbook. Now there is yet another study liking vison loss to this habit. Your primary care physician would be thrilled to assist you in making this important lifestyle change to invest in your future medical and visual health.
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care including small incision cataract surgery and blade free LASIK. She welcomes patients of all ages into her practice and accepts most insurance plans.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.
YOU WANT TO PUT PLUGS IN MY EYELIDS?? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
When we suggest punctal “plugs” to a patient, the reaction varies from curiosity to outright panic. While they are quite routine dry eye care, many patients have not heard of them. The goal of the plugs is to keep the tears you have in your eyes longer, decreasing your need for tear supplements and improving your eye comfort.
On the upper and lower eyelids in each eye, there are a total of 4 small openings towards the nose which are called puncta. Each leads to a tiny tube that drains your tears into the back of your nose. The bottom ones carry about 2/3 of the tears and the top the other 1/3. If we block the bottom puncta in each eye, your eyes stay wetter. The plugs are very small, about 1-2 mm, and made of soft plastic. They are easily inserted in the office in a matter of seconds.
Generally we do not suggest plugs at the first signs of dry eyes. We try artificial tears first. If the patient feels that they need to use the tears more than 4 times per day or they are not providing any relief, then plugs or a prescription product called Restasis or Xiidra may be suggested. Those products change the quality of the tears so they coat the eye better. As noted above, the plugs change the quantity of the tears. Sometimes both quality and quantity need improvement. Should that be the case, then plugs and Restasis or Xiidra might be used together.
The symptoms of dry eyes include blurred reading vision at the end of the day, feeling like there is something in the eyes, eye fatigue, red eyes and more. Give us a call if you need relief from this common eye problem.
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care such as blade-free LASIK and small incision cataract surgery. She welcomes patients of all ages into her practice and accepts most insurance plans.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.
SHOULD YOU HAVE CATARACT SURGERY ON YOUR SECOND EYE? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Cataract surgery is the most common operation in the America. It is generally a 10 minute procedure done without the need for shots, stitches or patches. 95% of patients who have cataract surgery are thrilled with the results. Occasionally the question comes up about whether someone should have their second eye done after doing well with their first eye.
The obvious advantages of having the second eye done are convenience: you only have to be measured for the implants once, you only need one physical with your doctor and you only need to change your glasses once. The eyes also work better when both have about the same vision, this improves depth perception and overall acuity.
A recent study in the medical journal Ophthalmology identified even more advantages. They followed 328 patients undergoing cataract surgery and judged their vision related quality of life after each surgery with the National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire. While there was a larger improvement after the first eye, as generally the eye with the worst vision is done first, there was still a statistically significant improvement after the second surgery.
When seen for a cataract evaluation, we will let you know if one or both eyes are eligible for surgery at this time. This is based on vision, how the cataract looks on examination and your visual complaints. If we suggest both eyes, then the new study indicates that you won’t regret having that second eye done.
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) specializing in small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.
BLOOD RED EYE? By Dr. James Ivanoski, Optometrist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
When you look in the mirror and see that the white part of your eye is suddenly blood red, it can be quite scary. But not every red eye is a problem. You should be concerned if there is associated eye pain, discharge, light sensitivity or a change in your vision. Should any of those symptoms occur, you should see your eye care professional promptly.
But a “blood-red” eye is often just that: blood. A small blood vessel may have broken on the surface of the eye, trapping a drop of blood under the thin, clear membrane that covers the eye called the conjunctiva. That’s why its call a “sub-conjunctival” hemorrhage. They are painless and don’t affect your vision. It is not uncommon for one to be noticed by someone else with a comment like, “What happened to your eye? You should get that checked out!”
A sub-conjunctival hemorrhage usually occurs spontaneously, not the result of trauma. As far as treatment, there is not really anything you can do to make them resolve sooner than 7-10 days. Eye drops, such as artificial tears, are sometimes used for minor associated irritation. But you should be sure not to rub the eye for 2-4 weeks as that could cause another bleeding episode.
Are you still not sure about your red eye? Call for an appointment. We would much prefer to set your mind at ease rather than let a more serious problem go without treatment. We look forward to meeting you.
Dr. James Ivanoski is an Optometrist practicing at Madison Medical Eye Care. He welcomes patients of all ages into his practice and accepts most insurance plans. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.
CAN’T YOU DO SOMETHING ABOUT MY FLOATERS? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
“Floaters” are those small spots you see in your vision from time to time. They can be dots, small lines or my personal favorite was when a patient said he had the “boot of Italy” in his eye! They are more apparent under certain lighting situations such as blue sky days or when looking at a white piece of paper.
They are caused by a liquefaction of a jelly-like substance in the back of your eye. When you are younger this substance if quite firm but becomes more liquid in time. What you are seeing are small fragments of collagen. If you experience a sudden increase in floaters, see flashing lights in your side vision or if you start to lose side vision, then call for an immediate appointment. This could mean that you have a tear in the delicate retinal tissue in the back of your eye. Should a tear occur, it may need laser treatment to prevent the retina from detaching.
While long-standing floaters are not sight threatening, they are annoying and stay around for months to years. This is a common complaint along with the question: “Can’t you do something about my floaters?” Some have consulted Doctor Internet and have found references to clinics promising to remove those pesky floaters with laser treatments.
A recent study cautions that you should beware of such claims. A September article in Ophthalmology, a respected medical journal, and was based on reports from Retinal specialists treating complications of this procedure. The complications from lasers used for floaters included early cataracts, increased eye pressure, retinal detachments, retinal hemorrhages and permanent loss of small portions of vision. So it appears that floaters are one of life’s annoyances that you cannot do much about without risking more serious vision problems.
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist practice at Madison Medical Eye Care. She specializes in surgical and medical eye care including small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.
Goodbye from Dr. Mark German - Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
To my dear patients, it has been my honor and privilege to have spent the last 18 years partnering with you to ensure that you enjoy the best ocular health possible. Many of you have become more than patients as we have shared our experiences, memories and stories. It was not an easy decision to step away from this practice and from you. But, sadly, April 26th, 2018 was my last day at Madison Medical Eye Care.
After 31 years in optometry, I will be embarking on new adventures as my wife pursues her law career in Nevada. As many of you know, she recently returned to school to get her law degree. Now it is time for me to allow her to follow her dreams as she has followed mine for the last 31 years.
Please be assured that your care will continue to be the top priority for the doctors and staff at Madison Medical Eye Care. Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. James Ivanoski will take excellent care of you. Dr. Ivanoski, the other optometrist on staff, will be taking over many of my patients and comes with my personal recommendation. He is a friend as well as my colleague and will be happy to deliver any messages you may have for me.
I am happy to say the transition from Lakeshore Eye Care to Madison Medical Affiliates is now complete. It was a seamless transition thanks to the dedicated staff of both practices. My decision to leave was not due to the transition and had in fact been in the works for several years.
Thank you again for entrusting your care to me. It has indeed been my pleasure. I wish you all the very best in the future.
POOR VISION IS DEPRESSING by Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Madison Medical Eye Care with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin
Do you know an older person who seems depressed? Common symptoms include decreased energy, insomnia, irritability or an appetite change. While getting older has many challenges, a recent study indicates that poor vision may contribute to depression in older adults. The good news is that many causes of poor vision can be treated providing literally a new view on life for seniors.
The study appeared in Investigative Ophthalmology, a scientific journal. The link between poor vision and depression was found to be due to the decreased mobility vision impaired adults experience. After a lifetime of being able to care for themselves and go wherever they want, being stuck at home is not good for the psyche.
If you think this is a problem with your friend or family member, a first step is to schedule a complete eye examination with us and a thorough medical evaluation with their primary care doctor. Many vision problems like cataracts and some types of macular degeneration can be treated with successful improvements in vision. Medical issues such as over-medication or an underactive thyroid can also be easily adjusted.
If all that checks out, you can ease the burden by being there to transport and engage that at-risk senior. Let them feel like life is worth living. Sure you may hear "I don't know why they call them the golden years," but at least you can make the transition a bit easier.
Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist who specialized in medical and surgical eye care such as blade-free LASIK and small incision cataract surgery. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.MadisonMedicalEyeCare.com.