COVID-19 has been an adventure for our entire country. While the State of Ohio starts to reopen under the guidance of our Governor, Northwest Eye Surgeons is going to reopen as well. We want to reassure our patients that we take your safety and wellness very seriously and we have taken many steps to ensure that our gradual reopening is safe.
We will have limited scheduling, starting May 4th. Our staff will be reaching out to those patients with eye diseases that we have canceled over the prior weeks. We are not scheduling routine visits at this time, but hopefully by June we can start adding those appointments.
As has been the case since the start of the pandemic, if you have any symptoms (cough, fever, etc.), have been exposed or have traveled, we ask that you not come in for an appointment. We are taking every precaution that we can to protect our staff and our patients, and we ask that you help support us in that measure.
Upon arriving at the office, you will notice a few updates.
All staff members will be wearing masks. We ask you to wear a mask to your appointment as well.
Sneeze guards have been installed at the front desk areas.
Our lobby seating allows for social distancing. We do ask that only the patient come into the office, if possible, to minimize the number of people in the office building. If additional people are required to come in with the patient, we ask that only the patient go back for the exam.
The optical shop will be open, however, we will be limiting the number of people allowed in that area at one time. If you are coming to the office to only see the optician, please call ahead to ensure that you can be seen.
To limit your direct interaction with staff, a technician may take your health history over the phone rather than complete it in person.
If dilation is a required portion of your exam, you will be given the option to sit in your car to wait, rather than sit in the lobby areas.
We have increased our cleaning procedures over the last 5 weeks and disinfect after each patient.
We are excited to get back to seeing our patients and starting our “New Normal”.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and to protect our staff and our patients, our main office will only be open for emergency appointments. Our New Albany office will be closed.
If you had an appointment scheduled, please call the office at 614-451-7550 to confirm if it is still needed.
The main office will be open from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm, Monday – Friday until further notice.
Please note, upon arrival at the office, our front door will be locked. We will let you in once we have confirmed your appointment is necessary. Please be patient with us as we navigate these uncharted waters.
LASIK is the most commonly performed corrective eye surgery in the United States, with over 19 million procedures performed since its FDA approval in 1995. However, despite how prolific this surgery has been, there is still a myriad of myths and misconceptions surrounding the practice. Fortunately, the experts at Northwest Eye Surgeons are here to help. We’ve collected some of the most common myths surrounding LASIK eye surgery to set the record straight.
Myth: You can be too old for LASIK- While you can’t be too old for LASIK, there is a kernel of truth to this myth. While many people have gotten LASIK in their 40s, 50s and up even into their 60s, as people age they’re more likely to develop conditions that can affect or potentially negate their candidacy for the procedure.
Myth: Everyone can get LASIK- Unfortunately, not everyone is a potential candidate for LASIK eye surgery. Some factors that affect prospective patients are irregular corneas, eye diseases and poor health problems, which can increase the risk of a negative outcome of the procedure.
Myth: LASIK is painful- This couldn’t be further from the truth. LASIK is a completely painless procedure. Anesthetic drops are dispensed to numb the eye before the process, then over the counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen
Myth: LASIK is still new, so we still don’t know potential side effects- Contrary to popular belief, LASIK has been around for nearly 50 years. Invented in 1970, it went through rigorous testing by the FDA and was finally approved in 1995. Extensive studies have shown high rates of success and positive results long term.
Myth: LASIK can cause blindness- There has never been a confirmed case of LASIK causing blindness. While serious complications can occur, these cases are extremely rare. Before every procedure, the ophthalmologist will go over in detail the potential risks, side effects and will determine if the patient is a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery.
Myth: LASIK is exclusively used to treat nearsighted patients- While this was true in the early days of LASIK, this is no longer the case. Modern LASIK treatments can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Myth: LASIK completely removes your need to wear corrective lenses- LASIK is an excellent way to correct your vision, but it doesn’t mean your vision will be perfect forever. Your vision changes over time, which means that at some point you may still need glasses. It’s important to have routine eye exams to keep track of your eye health.
Myth: It can take a long time to recover from LASIK- Except in extremely rare cases, most patients fully recover within 24 hours. You will notice your vision has improved immediately after the procedure is completed
If you’re tired of constantly reaching for your glasses or dealing with contacts, LASIK may be the best solution. At Northwest Eye Surgeons, our experts have performed countless LASIK procedures, and are ready to help you see better. Call today for a laser vision correction consultation!
In 2018, news outlets across the country began reporting on the negative effects blue light can have on your eyes. The alarmist articles claimed that blue light was more dangerous than previously thought, and was the source of everything from premature blindness to macular degeneration. These articles spurned a panic among the general public, as people realized that blue light was everywhere they looked, from their televisions to their smartphones. Seemingly overnight, this frenzy birthed new industries in blue light mitigation, such as ‘smart glasses’ and phone covers that reduced blue light. Everywhere you went, you heard about how terrible blue light was for your eyes.
However, the general public’s fear of blue light was unwarranted, and the hysteria unfounded. The articles that vilified blue light fundamentally misunderstood the very research paper they quoted. They cited dangers out of context and associated results without understanding the science behind them.
Light is a complicated topic, but a general background is necessary to understand blue light, and how it affects you. Without getting too deep into the physics of it, light is a type of energy in the form of a spectrum of wavelengths. This spectrum includes both visible and invisible forms of light. In this spectrum, the human eye has a specific range of frequencies that it can perceive, which makes up visible light. Lower frequencies and longer wavelengths result in what we perceive as red, orange and yellow, whereas higher frequencies and shorter wavelengths become blue, indigo and violet. There is an inverse relationship between wavelength and the amount of energy they contain. The longer wavelengths of red and orange contain less energy than the shorter wavelengths of blue and violet. Even shorter wavelengths become invisible and carry even more energy. These are known as ultraviolet rays or ultraviolet radiation.
UV rays aren’t inherently bad, but they do have a noticeable effect on the body. Though they are the source of sunburn, in moderation they help the body manufacture vitamin D and make you feel more alert and awake. Visible light with shorter wavelengths such as blue and violet can have similar effects.
Most light that we encounter every day is white light. White light is the entire spectrum of visible light, including blue light, combined at equal intensity, such as sunlight, or incandescent bulbs. Sunlight will always be the largest source of everyday interaction with blue light. However, with the advent of LED technology, we’re becoming more exposed to lopsided white light, with a greater intensity of blue light. The vast majority of LED screens incorporate more blue light with other colors to produce a brighter picture. This is why smartphone and tablet screens are considered blue light, even though they’re a near insignificant source when compared to sunlight. It’s this increase of blue light that caused the media frenzy of 2018.
The reason blue light is considered damaging came from a misunderstanding of research out of the University of Toledo. The researchers were specifically measuring the effect blue light has on retinal, an important chemical in the eye. While they came to the conclusion that blue light can have a negative impact on retinal, saying that blue light causes blindness is an oversimplification. The experiment measured the effect of blue light exclusively on the chemical retinal, and not how an actual eye responds to blue light. The retinal cells were not exposed to blue light the same way they would have been in a natural setting. It was a controlled environment, measuring an isolated cause and effect. In short, while scientifically sound, the research could not be directly translated to blue light’s effect on eyesight. However, news outlets took that conclusion and considered its causation.
If not blue light, then what?
After staring at a screen for several hours, your eyes often hurt and you can feel discomfort. While this is usually associated with blue light, as we’ve learned, that is not the case. While people typically blink around 15 times a minute, studies have shown that we blink about a third as often while focusing on screens. This causes eyes to dry and general discomfort. Furthermore, while blue light is notably not a cause of premature blindness, its effects shouldn’t be disregarded. Blue light does mimic the effects of sunlight such as increased alertness, which can have an effect on circadian rhythm. It is suggested that you try and reduce your exposure to screens for two to three hours before bed.
Recently, Dr. Rachel Watson participated in a medical mission trip to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, through the organization Hope for Haiti’s Children. This organization sponsors 10 different schools around the city. Each of the schools gets to come to the annual clinic. In just four days, a team of 46 volunteers and 40 Haitian staff were able to treat over 800 kids and 200 adults.
At the clinic, the children have a school picture taken. They are measured for height and weight. The kids see a nurse and a doctor, if needed. And they get their vision tested to see if they need glasses or have glaucoma. As this is an annual clinic, the children may only see a doctor “once a year, if they are lucky,” says Dr. Watson.
One of the biggest reasons proper eye care is necessary for the people of Haiti is that about 20% of the population there has glaucoma. That’s a very high concentration in such a small area. During the trip, even children as young as six were diagnosed with glaucoma. With glaucoma, catching the disease as early as possible is critical. The doctors were able to distribute a year’s worth of glaucoma medication to patients.
Eye exams also revealed a great need for prescription glasses. Many people were able to see clearly for the first time due to the doctor’s efforts. “These people couldn’t see more than a couple of inches in front of their face. We gave them prescription glasses and suddenly they could see across the room… for the first time in their lives,” commented Dr. Watson
The available prescription glasses were donated from previous users to the Lion’s Club who provided them to the project. Each donated pair is cleaned, the prescription measured, and then they are distributed to the people of Haiti. Kids and adults not needing prescription glasses were given sunglasses to help protect their eyes from the Caribbean sun.
The volunteers, doctors, and patients faced 85 to 90-degree days with little access to air conditioning. There were also hints of civil unrest during the time of the trip. Security guards had to be supplemented by armed guards. One day, the clinic was evacuated in a hurry because of riots occurring and tear gas being used just outside their hotel. Some children had to miss their only chance to see the doctor due to the political unrest.
Many more children went through other trials to get to their appointments. “It was heartbreaking. Some of the kids that came to our clinic would walk three hours down the mountain and sleep on the concrete floor of a school. Then they get on the bus the next day for maybe an hour and come see us,” Dr. Watson explains.
Despite the circumstances, the children of Haiti are some of the most well behaved. Dr. Watson adds, “it’s crazy to think what these kids went through to get to the clinic. You would never guess from their attitudes and clean and pressed school uniforms the conditions they came from.” But the volunteers with the mission didn’t just treat the kids with medicine and glasses.
“We were handing out candy,” Dr. Watson says. “this was a big luxury for them. A child could have two pieces, but they still wanted to give one of them to us. It melted your heart.” Several days, the group tossed candy to the people through school bus windows on the way to and from the clinic. One woman was even throwing pairs of shoes. Haiti is a poor country where clean water, food, and basic necessities are scarce. Each child at the clinic was given a gift bag containing a toothbrush, washcloth, socks, and underwear. Meals were also served for the children.
Dr. Watson describes her motivations. “Some people from my church—an MD and a couple of nurses—had worked with this organization before and they kept telling me they needed an eye doctor. I had been on another mission trip to Venezuela in optometry school, so I was interested in doing that again.”
But it’s not like a luxury vacation—although you pay a luxury price for going. Dr. Watson had to cover all her own expenses and even get shots before entering the country. It was about $2500 to go. However, the experience was certainly worth the expense and effort. “Haiti has a very different culture. We were so welcomed, and it was nice to meet everyone. Even the translators we used from the island were coveted for their roles in getting to help us.”
If you want to help the people of Haiti, please bring in your gently used eyeglasses as a donation. Dr. Watson will get them where they need to go. You can also sponsor a Haitian child through https://www.hopeforhaitischildren.org/ Each sponsorship helps with school tuition, supplies, uniforms, and transportation to and from school. Only about 50% of Haiti’s children go to school because the education system is not free. Donate to this amazing organization today and be assured that you are making a difference.
Your eye health is our top priority at Northwest Eye Surgeons and since February is a month to celebrate love, why not show some love to your eyes? Keep reading for some tips and tricks to keep your eyes happy and healthy.
Eat Right. According to the American Optometric Association and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, adding certain nutrients to your daily diet can be good for your vision. Foods rich in lutein, omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, zinc, and vitamins C and E are great for your eye health. These nutrients have been linked to reducing the risk of certain eye diseases and can lower the risk of age-related eye issues.
Foods that are best for eye health:
Nuts and legumes
Leafy green vegetables
Exercise. We all know that exercise has many health benefits, but did you know that it’s also good for your eyes? Many studies over the years have indicated that regular exercise can reduce the risk for common eye diseases such as cataracts, wet age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Additionally, exercise helps avoid health issues that aren’t primarily related to eye health but can damage your eyes such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.
Use Basic Eye Protection at Work. According to Prevent Blindness, more than 2,000 people injure their eyes at work each day. The right eye protection could lessen the severity or event prevent 90% of eye injury accidents in the workplace. We encourage you to know the eye safety dangers at your place of work and use the proper protection.
Get an Annual Eye Exam. We cannot stress the importance of an annual eye exam enough! Not only should you get an eye exam to evaluate how well you can see, but it is important to check your overall eye health. Some diseases, such as Glaucoma, can show no symptoms or early warning signs. By the time people notice a difference in their vision, the disease may be in a much more advanced stage. Contact our office at (614) 451-7750 or fill out our appointment request form to schedule your eye exam today.
What to do if You Sustain an Eye Injury. When an eye injury occurs, you should seek medical help from an ophthalmologist or another doctor as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor. Additionally, there are simple steps you can take to prevent further damage:
Don’t touch or rub the injured eye
Don’t apply ointment or medication
Place a shield or gauze over the eye until you visit a doctor
If there appears to be an object embedded in the eye, don’t try to remove it
Foods to eat this holiday season that are good for your sight!
There are so many things to be thankful for this time of year—family, friends, good health, and, of course, good eyesight. Eyesight can be impacted by many factors, but people are often surprised by how important a role diet plays in your continued eye health. However, nutrients such as zinc, vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta-carotene may reduce your chances of age-related eye diseases by up to 25%.1
For example, Lutein is found in many common foods and is said to reduce the risk of age-related macular disease, the leading cause of blindness in seniors.2 Vitamin C and vitamin A also make the list of important nutrients for eye health. One study showed that women who ingested more vitamins A and C had a reduced chance for developing glaucoma.3 And, of course, there are carotenes, the magical ingredient of carrots that make them so wonderful for eyesight.
To keep your eyes healthy and happy this winter, dig into these dishes with gusto knowing they are giving you the vitamins and nutrients you need to avoid eye problems and have sharp vision for years to come.
Whether you serve them whole, mashed, with marshmallow topping, or in a sweet potato pie, sweet potatoes are full of eye-helping nutrients. They have vitamin E, an anti-oxidant, and beta-carotene, the same healthy ingredient in carrots. (Note: marshmallow topping is not known to promote eye health, but boy is it delicious.)
This dark green vegetable will do wonders for your eye health. It contains high levels of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which reduce the risk of age-related eye diseases.
There are plenty of opportunities to add a few nuts to your holiday dinner spread—and I’m not just talking about inviting over your relatives. Consider adding finely chopped walnuts to your stuffing. Or you can serve them up in cookie form. The nutrients in nuts are fantastic for promoting good eye health.
We can’t mention eye health and food without mentioning carrots. Those amazing beta-carotenes will be helping your eyes whether you eat carrots raw on the appetizer buffet or cooked as a side dish for the main meal.
While carrots may have high levels of beta-carotene, pumpkin has even higher levels. That means every slice of pumpkin pie will be helping protect your eyes from disease and degeneration. There’s never been a better excuse to go back for a second helping of dessert.
Don’t just use the holidays as a time to protect your eye health. Eating healthy and maintaining an active lifestyle throughout the year is critical to receiving the long-term benefits and protections for your eyes that come from important nutrients. For more information, talk to your ophthalmologist today.