Our Doctor’s Blogs

BOARD CERTIFICATION IN OPHTHALMOLOGY By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
July 28, 2014

Most patients may not be aware if their doctors are “Board Certified” unless they notice a fancy plaque on the wall. But what does this mean exactly?

In ophthalmology, a “Board Certified” doctor has successfully completed 4 years of medical school and then another 4 years of an Ophthalmology Residency to learn the specifics of medical and surgical eye care. They are then challenged with a series of tests that take a minimum of three years to complete.  The first is an intensive written qualifying exam. This 250 question test has seven sections, each covering a different aspect of eye care. Each question requires knowledge of obscure as well as common eye problems.

Once you make it passed that by doing well in all seven sections (and many don’t), it is on to the oral exam a year or so later. Wisconsin doctors are tested in San Francisco.  Imagine the scene: scores of anxious young doctors sitting in the hallway of an upscale hotel. They are individually called into regular hotel rooms where an examiner shows them photos of eye problems and gives them some history. You are asked what you see, what you are going to do. “Are you sure? Is that so?” are common responses just to throw you off. The oral exam has 6 sections, again you must do well on all of them.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

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

I am very proud to say that all three Ophthalmologists at Lakeshore Eye Care (Dr. Jay, Cueto and Costakos) are Board Certified! But the certification only lasts 10 years. During that time, we keep informed about new aspects of care by attending medical education meetings and reading professional journals. The testing the first time is the most challenging, however. You can be proud of our doctors here, we sure are!

Dr. Martha Jay has been board certified in ophthalmology since 1994 and successfully re-certified twice since then.  She specializes in medical and surgical eye care including LASIK vision correction and small incision cataract surgery.

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


SUMMER AND BACK TO SCHOOL EYE CARE By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By editor
July 24, 2014

Summer has finally arrived!  The children are out of school.  We’re spending our time outdoors at picnics, swimming, boating, camping, biking, playing baseball and taking long walks.  During the summer we can plan vacations with the family to either view local sites or far-away places.  We look forward to July 4th celebrations and fireworks displays.

Shortly after we celebrate the birth of the United States, however, the department stores remind us that summer will end soon and ‘back to school’ sales become the topic of conversation.  The list of school supplies for each school and grade gets printed and parents flock to the stores to purchase them before the supplies run out.

Missing from this to-do list is the annual eye exam.  Since children continually grow, a yearly eye exam is recommended.  Glasses prescriptions change as fast as outgrowing last year’s school clothes.  If you are considering contact lenses for your child, summer is a good time for them to learn insertion and removal of the lenses since they are under no pressure to get to school on time.

Dr. Mark E. GermanCollege bound students tend to have a shortened summer as they head off to school by mid August.  Have they updated their prescriptions?  For contact lens wearers, are their backup glasses up- to-date?  We hope back to school sales should get parents thinking about back to school eye exams.  Call us now to schedule those important appointments.  Be sure your children are primed for success with clear vision at the start the new school year.

Dr. Mark German is an optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon and Saukville, Wisconsin. He welcomes patients of all ages into his practice and accepts most insurance plans. Call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com for appointments or more eye care information.


NIGHT VISION AND AGING By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By lsvadmin
June 3, 2014

Is your night vision not what it used to be? If so, you are not alone. Night vision worsens with age due to a number of factors: pupil size, retinal changes and cataracts. Next time you are in a mixed age group, take a look at the pupils of the children compared to the older adults. Pupils gradually get smaller with age. This is not noticeable on bright days but in the dark the smaller pupils limit the amount of light that reaches the back of the eye called the retina.

Another reason night vision declines with age has to do with the retina itself which contains rods and cones. We depend on the cones for color vision and reading small print while the rods are critical for seeing in low light. As time goes on, we have fewer and fewer rods. Not only is that a problem, but the rods we do have take longer to adjust to dark environments.

While there is not much you can do about your pupil size or number of rods, you can potentially improve your night vision if it is affected by the third reason: cataracts. Cataracts are caused by a clouding of the lens in the front part of the eye. When significant, they also limit the amount of light that reaches the retina. Besides blurred vision at night, other common symptoms of cataracts are halos or glare around lights. The good news is that cataract surgery is now a 15 minute out-patient procedure with a 99% satisfaction rating.

Dr. Mark E. German If you are experiencing problems with night or other vision, be sure to have a thorough eye examination to rule-out easily treatable problems like cataracts or an outdated glasses prescription. See you soon!

Dr. Mark German is an Optometrist practicing with Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon and Saukville, Wisconsin. He specializes in comprehensive eye care for all ages and contact lens fitting, especially for those who have had problems with contacts in the past.

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


MAY IS HEALTHY VISION MONTH By Dr. Martha Jay at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By lsvadmin
May 20, 2014

The National Eye Institute (NEI) has declared May to be “Healthy Vision Month.” The NEI is the federal agency responsible for most of the funding of vision research in the U.S. This includes everything from basic research about the functioning of the eye to public campaigns to improve vision in our country.

What is their vision health tip? They suggest that you take this month to find an eye care professional for yourself and your family as vision health should be an important aspect of your wellness plan. At least every two years, a complete eye examination with dilating drops to rule-out treatable eye problems is suggested. In children this could be just the need for stronger glasses or something more serious like a wandering eye. In adults we look for evidence of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and much more.

Another key to healthy vision is wearing sunglasses outside on sunny days. Ultraviolet exposure promotes macular degeneration and cataracts. So don’t stop at the sunscreen, use sunglasses and a hat this summer. Diet is also important. Leafy green vegetables contain valuable nutrients to keep the retina healthy and are especially recommended for those with macular degeneration.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

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

Finally, if you still smoke and have not found a reason to stop yet, think of your eyes. The more aggressive “wet” form of macular degeneration is more common in smokers as is the development of early cataracts.

So do your part: Call us today to schedule eye examinations for everyone in your family!

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon and Saukville, Wisconsin. She specializes in medical and surgical eye care including blade-free LASIK and small incision cataract surgery. She founded Lakeshore Eye Care in 1992 after completing her ophthalmology residency at Northwestern University in Chicago.

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


LASIK OR CONTACTS: WHICH IS SAFER? By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By lsvadmin
April 29, 2014

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

If you don’t like glasses, your other options are contact lenses or LASIK vision correction. Which is the safer alternative? You’ll be surprised to learn that that actually LASIK is safer than wearing contact lenses. As a comprehensive ophthalmologist, I treat all types of eye problems. It is much more common for a contact lens wearer to come in with a severe eye problem than someone who has had LASIK.

Up to 6% of contact lens wearers per year will experience a severe eye infection, worsening dry eye symptoms or even an allergy to contact lenses themselves. These and other problems are not only painful but can lead to permanent vision loss and an inability to resume contact use.

LASIK safety, however, is not the same everywhere you go. All my patients benefit from blade-free LASIK using two lasers instead of one. It is almost impossible to have a complication during this type of LASIK procedure. Unusual healing is also rare, occurring less than 0.1% of the time. That’s why we call it “LASIK for Chickens.”

If you have been afraid of LASIK in the past, consider your odds of a problem if you stay in contacts. You knew that LASIK would simplify your life and save you money in the long run, and now you can add safety to the list of reasons to have LASIK. All it takes is 20 minutes to turn those contacts into a distant memory.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

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

While taking the blade out of the LASIK equation allows more patients to be good candidates, there are still exceptions. To find out if LASIK is an option for you, call for your personalized screening exam. It’s free, informative and pressure-free.

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalm0logist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) specializing in LASIK vision correction, cataract surgery and comprehensive eye care. She welcomes patients of all ages into her practice and accepts most insurance plans.

For more eye care information, call 2620241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.


MYTH BUSTER: CARROTS HELP YOUR VISION By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By lsvadmin
March 24, 2014

Sorry if you heard this from your mother, but eating more carrots will probably not have much of an effect on your night vision. Carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and leafy green vegetables all contain beta-carotene which is a carotenoid. That means that they contain a pro-vitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body but on an as-needed basis. So if you already have a balanced diet, the excessive consumption of carrots won’t have much effect on your vitamin A levels.

Another source of vitamin A is from liver, cod-liver oil, fish oil and butter. They contain retinoids which, when consumed in excess, directly increase your vitamin A levels. So as is the advice on most dietary factors, balance is the key.

Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the US but, in keeping with our last column about worldwide eye care, is seen with malnutrition in developing countries. Especially susceptible are pregnant women and small children. In fact, 1/3 of all children under 5 worldwide have a vitamin A deficiency. The result can be night vision problems and poor resistance to infection. One place where we do see vitamin A deficiency in the US is with alcohol abuse. Alcoholics tend to have a poor diet and the retinoids they do consume are broken down faster.

Dr. Mark E. German They bottom line is eat your vegetables, don’t smoke or quit if you do, and wear sunglasses on a regular basis. These are your best strategies for maintaining good vision. Also important is regular eye care. That means a complete, dilated eye exam at least every two years or more frequently if you have diabetes, macular degeneration or glaucoma.

Dr. Mark German is an Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals practicing with Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto. 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.LakeShoreVision.com


EYE PROBLEMS AROUND THE WORLD By Dr. Martha Jay, Ophthalmologist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By lsvadmin
March 17, 2014

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently released a fact sheet about visual impairment worldwide. Not surprisingly, of the 285 million people with some type of visual impairment worldwide, 90% are in developing countries.

However, 80% of all vision problems can be prevented or cured. Remarkably, lack of appropriate glasses accounts for 43% of those with vision problems alone. Another 33% struggle with visual impairment stemming from cataracts and could benefit from access to surgery.

What are the WHO and other organizations doing about these problems? One success story concerns onchocerciasis related blindness. This parasite is carried by black flies which breed near rivers earning the moniker “river blindness”. Treatment programs in Sub-Saharan Africa and South America have considerably reduced this condition by providing anti-parasitic medication twice yearly to those in susceptible areas. Untreated, this condition causes intense itching and inflammation of the eyelids along with severe glaucoma.

Another success story is with Trachoma. This eyelid infection is caused by Chlamydia from flies or contact with others who are infected. If left untreated, the result is severe scarring of the eyelids and damage to the cornea causing blindness. A single dose of Azithromycin antibiotic is effective for this condition and is part of many worldwide health projects.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

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

Other projects include children’s clinics to provide glasses and surgical access for underserved populations in remote locations. All these worthwhile endeavors still have a way to go before the good vision we all take for granted is more widely available.

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified Ophthalmologist (Eye Physician & Surgeon) practicing at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon and Saukville, Wisconsin.

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



MARIJUANA FOR GLAUCOMA? By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By lsvadmin
March 4, 2014

With 20 states allowing some form of medical marijuana usage and the recent legalization of marijuana in both Colorado and Washington, we are getting more questions about marijuana as a possible treatment for glaucoma. Glaucoma is an eye condition where the eye pressure is too high. This can cause damage to the optic nerve in the back of the eye and possible vision loss. It is generally treated with eye drops but sometimes laser treatment or surgery is required.

Most people have heard that marijuana can lower eye pressure. There are several problems to using this as a treatment for glaucoma, however. Firstly, the positive effects of marijuana on eye pressure only last a short time. This means that the patient would have to smoke cannabis every 3 hours, that’s 8 times a day! Secondly, the mood-altering effects of marijuana use on mental functioning make tasks such as driving and operating machinery hazardous. Also of concern are the hundreds of other components in marijuana cigarettes that could damage the lungs and the unknown effects of chronic usage on the brain.

So why not just use the active ingredient of marijuana called tetra-hydrocannabinol (THC) instead of smoking marijuana? While this method would eliminate the harmful effects of smoking on the lungs, those benefits are curbed by the other systemic side effects such as loss of judgment and drowsiness.

Dr. Mark E. GermanWith that, we recommend sticking with conventional glaucoma treatments such as drops, lasers or surgery! If you have glaucoma, be sure to take your drops as directed and have frequent follow-up examinations to be sure that this potentially sight threatening condition is being adequately managed.

Dr. Mark German is an Optometrist practicing at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto. He welcomes patients of all ages into his practice and accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare Assignment.

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


DRY EYES AND COMPUTER USE By Dr Martha Jay at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By lsvadmin
February 24, 2014

Due to the miserable winter, this has been a bad year for those with dry eyes. Symptoms of dry eyes vary but generally include feeling like there is something in your eyes, blurred reading vision or eye fatigue. This is caused by your tear film not adequately coating the surface of the eye. In winter the dry air both inside and outside causes your tear film to evaporate faster, thus leading to more symptoms. Generally these symptoms worsen with reading and computer use, during the winter months and at the end of the day.

While it has been long known that computer use contributes to dry eyes, a recent study showed that the effects are far more universal than previously thought. The study evaluated the effects of computer use on dry eye symptoms and found that over 75% of female and about 60% of male office workers who use computers have dry eye symptoms! The test sample was of office workers in Japan and included a questionnaire of symptoms along with a thorough eye examination.

The association between dry eyes and computer usage is thought to be due to decreased blink rate. We all tend to stare when using computers. A good way to be more comfortable while using computers is to try to blink more, occasionally refocus farther away and to use tear supplements.

Dr. Martha F. Jay

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

If those strategies are not effective, you may need other treatments such as prescription drops (Restasis) or punctual plugs which keep the tears that you have in your eyes last longer. Those options and more can be explained at the time of your complete eye examination. Meanwhile, realize that your eyes will be more comfortable once the humidity increases in a few months.

Dr. Martha Jay is a board certified ophthalmologist (Eye Physician and Surgeon) specializing in medical and surgical eye cares such as blade-free LASIK and small incision cataract surgery. She practices with Dr. Mark German and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals.

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


AREDS2 FOR MACULAR DEGENERATION By Dr. Mark German, Optometrist at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin

By lsvadmin
February 24, 2014

The two types of macular degeneration are the “dry” and the “wet”. With the dry type, we see pigment changes in the back of your eye but your vision may be unaffected initially. The wet type is more serious. This is where blood vessels have broken through the back of the eye causing distorted central vision. If this happens, you may be referred to a retina specialist for treatments such as injections in the eye.

Macular degeneration patients are asked to view an Amsler grid at least monthly and return promptly if any distortions are noted. In order to decrease the chances of converting to the wet type, they are to include leafy green vegetables in their diet, not to smoke, to wear sunglasses outside and to take vitamin supplements called AREDS.

AREDS contain a high dosage of beta-carotene which converts to vitamin A in the body. This substance is an antioxidant that helps with macular degeneration and also for some cancers and heart disease. There is a problem, however, in that this substance can increase the chances of lung cancer in current or former smokers and may cause stomach upset in many people.

Dr. Mark E. German A recent study indicated that taking out the beta-carotene and substituting lutein and zeaxanthin was just as effective without the potential side effects. This new formula is called “AREDS2” and is available from PreserVision in stores or Viteyes on line for home delivery. So next time you need supplements for macular degeneration, all our doctors are recommending that you switch to the AREDS2 and take 2 gel tablets per day. This makes life simpler because you no longer have to take extra lutein tablets. Still confused? Give us a call.

Dr. Mark German is an optometrist practicing at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with Dr. Martha Jay and Dr. Josephine-Liezl Cueto. He accepts patients of all ages into his practice and most insurance plans. For more information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.


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