Posts Tagged ‘vision’

Choosing the Right Pair of Glasses—More Art than Science

Choosing the right glasses and framesHave you ever wondered how to choose the right style of eye glasses? One of the most rewarding things we do here at the Emory Optical Center is to help people find glasses that look great on them. But how do you pick from all the choices available?

When you’ve been in the business for a long time, as we have, you can look at a face and know what will work. Some very basic guidelines are…

  • Round faces shouldn’t wear round glasses
  • A pear-shaped face is going to need a little accent on the top of the frames
  • A narrow face is more suited for round glasses (think John Lennon)

That said, fitting a frame to a face is not an exact science. There are other nuances, including subtle feature differences and coloring. And while the frame is key, lens shape can make a difference, too. If you’d like to hide a less-than-perfect feature like under-eye hollows or uneven eyebrows, different lens shapes can help mask those.

When we first sit down with you at the Emory Optical Center, we’ll ask what type of frame you have in mind. What we’ve found is that people often want a look they’ve seen on a celebrity, and often, that isn’t going to work for them. I’ll show you how the style you’re thinking of looks on you—you may be one of those people who look great in anything. But I’ll also be honest in pointing out any downsides, and, if you’re open to suggestions, we’ll find something that truly complements your facial structure.

If you’re not sure what type of glasses you want and you’re open to trying something new, we can really have some fun. A good optician can help you think outside the box when picking your frames. We’ll help you take a risk and try on glasses that are a bright color, maybe a little funky, or simply unique.

Sometimes chain optical stores recommend their customers buy the most expensive frames and lenses. At the Emory Optical Center, our goal is to make you look good and feel good (and see well, of course). If your glasses aren’t the right fit or shape, they are useless to you. We’ll work together to find the perfect fit.

Come see us at one of our two Emory Optical Center locations, at The Emory Clinic, Building B, 1365B Clifton Road, N.E., or on the 9th floor of the Medical Office Towers, 550 Peachtree Street.

Had a great experience or tips that you’d like to share about finding the perfect frames? Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below. You’ll make our day.

About Brad Baird:

Brad Baird is the administrative consultant within Ophthalmology. Brad and the rest of the talented Optical Center team have been helping patients get the perfect fit for a combined total of more than 125 years.

Emory Optical Center Locations:

The Emory Clinic, Building B
1st floor, 1365B Clifton Road, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30322
Optical Center: 404-778-4226
Hours: 8:00 AM – 5:30 PM
Appointments for Eye Exams:
404-778-2020; 404-778-5000 (after office hours)

Medical Office Tower, Emory University Hospital Midtown
(formerly Crawford Long Hospital)
9th floor, 550 Peachtree Street, NE
Optical Center: 404-686-8714
Hours: 9 AM - 5 PM
Appointments for Eye Exams:
404-778-2020; 404-778-5000 (after office hours)

Why Do You Need a Yearly Eye Exam?

Yearly Eye ExamI’m often asked why it’s important to have an annual eye exam. If you wear glasses or contacts, you know that your vision can change over the course of a year. Even if that change isn’t obvious to you, an updated prescription can make a real difference in your quality of life at work and at home. Everyday activities like reading and working on the computer are a lot more comfortable when you have the right eyewear.

Many times, patients come to us for their first exam in their early 40s, when they start experiencing presbyopia, or the inability to focus close up (i.e., when reading). However, even if you’re not experiencing any noticeable change in your vision, periodic comprehensive eye exams are important, because they allow for the early detection of eye diseases and other eye problems—some of which have no obvious symptoms. Earlier detection allows for earlier treatment and a better visual outcome for most.

At the Emory Eye Center, our comprehensive eye exam includes screening for signs of eye and medical problems such as:

  • GlaucomaGlaucoma is an eye disease typically caused by an increase in pressure in the eye that can’t be felt. Over time, if not treated, glaucoma damages the optic nerve and can lead to blindness. In general, there are no early warning signs, and early detection is the key to preserving vision. Often, the patients we diagnose with glaucoma haven’t had an eye exam in 5 to 10 years.
  • Cataracts - A cataract is a change in the lens inside the eye as a result of aging. Over time, this leads to hazy vision. Cataracts can be treated with surgery.
  • Macular degeneration - Macular degeneration affects your central vision and can occur as a result of aging. Depending on the type of macular degeneration, you may experience drastic changes within a year’s time. A comprehensive annual exam can help us detect the early signs of macular degeneration and treat it, if necessary.
  • Hypertension - Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a systemic issue that can affect the eye in a number of ways. We can detect signs of hypertension in the back of the eye during a comprehensive eye exam.
  • Diabetes - Diabetes is another systemic issue that can affect the eyes and lead to blindness. People with diabetes need to have an annual eye exam to check for diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the eye’s retina, which may be symptomless until the damage is severe. An eye exam also can help detect the early signs of diabetes, allowing earlier preventive treatment.

An annual eye exam provides a baseline against which to measure future vision changes and the progression of eye disease or other medical problems. One hour once a year can make a significant difference in your vision, your health, and your quality of life.

When’s the last time you had a comprehensive eye exam? Please take a moment to give us feedback in the comments section below. If you’re interested in making your eye exam appointment with Emory, visit our Eye Center Patient Services page.

About Ann Van Wie, OD

Ann Van Wie, OD, is a member of the American Optometric Association and the Georgia Optometric Association. Dr. Van Wie started practicing at Emory in 2000 and is an instructor of ophthalmology.

Am I Too Old (or Young) for LASIK?

LASIK surgery and age

Emory’s LASIK surgeons review every patient on an individual, case-by-case basis, but there are some basic considerations to think about regarding your age and its role in LASIK surgery:

Children 18 and younger

The FDA has approved LASIK surgery for people over the age of 18. Young eyes don’t fully develop and are constantly adjusting and changing shape. Our surgeons, therefore, advise patients who are 18 and under to wait until their eyes have fully matured before considering LASIK surgery.

Middle-aged adults

LASIK is a safe and effective way to treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism at any adult age. As we get older, however, new vision problems can develop. The most common age-related vision problem – presbyopia – occurs when the eye becomes less flexible and makes it difficult to change focus between near and far objects. This is why most of us will need reading glasses at some point.

If you’re middle-aged, you may want to consider LASIK surgery with blended vision (where we treat one eye for distance viewing and the other for close up vision). See what blended vision surgery looks like live!

Seniors

LASIK surgery may not the best option for older patients who suffer from age-related conditions such as cataracts. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye becomes cloudy, resulting in blurred vision. It is one of the leading causes of vision loss among older people. Our surgeons at Emory Vision are board-certified ophthalmologists who are also experts at performing cataract surgery – where the eye’s natural lens is replaced by an artificial lens. If you have cataracts, I encourage you to contact the Emory Eye Center at 404 778-2020 to schedule an appointment.

Still have questions about the right age for LASIK? I’m happy to try to guide you in the right direction!

More Options for Improved Vision after Cataract Surgery with IOLs

Maria Aaron, MDAn intraocular lens, or IOL, is the artificial lens often used to replace the eye’s natural lens when it has been damaged by a cataract. With the advancement of IOLs, Emory Eye Center patients undergoing cataract surgery have many more options and the potential to see without glasses after surgery.

There are two basic types of IOLs: the monofocal lens and the multifocal lens. Monofocal lenses may provide spectacle-free vision at a single focal length, either distance, intermediate, or near, while multifocal lenses have multiple focal lengths and therefore may enable you to see near and distance without the dependence on spectacles. Patients with a significant degree of astigmatism may benefit from toric lenses, which are monofocal IOLs that help correct astigmatism.

Before you have eye surgery, your surgeon will take measurements to help determine the best lens for you. IOL insertion usually takes less than 30 minutes and can be performed while you are under local anesthesia. Recovery time generally takes two to three weeks.

If you’re having cataract surgery, you should remember that the goal of cataract surgery is not to get rid of glasses—it’s to get rid of the cataract. However, for the right patient, it can be an opportunity to reduce dependency on glasses.

The Emory Eye Center is one of the top 15 NIH-funded eye research institutions in the U.S. and is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Our researchers are continually pioneering new developments in vision care. Schedule an appointment with the Emory Eye Center, and we’ll help you see your world in a whole new light.

Do you have IOLs? Would you like to share your experience with people who are considering getting them? We welcome your questions and feedback in the comments section below.

Maria Aaron, MD, specializes in cataract surgery, eye trauma, and laser surgery and is board certified in ophthalmology. Dr. Aaron started practicing at Emory in 1999 and is associate professor of ophthalmology.

LASIK Myths Debunked

Think you can’t have LASIK surgery? Think again!

If you’ve been told in the past that you couldn’t have LASIK surgery, it’s time to come to Emory Vision. During the last five years, LASIK technology has made a huge leap forward—and you may find that you’re now the perfect candidate. I’d like to take a moment to address two reasons you may have been told you can’t have LASIK.

#1- If you wear gas permeable contacts, LASIK is not for you (UNTRUE!)
Gas permeable lenses change the shape of your cornea to correct your vision. In fact, many eye doctors prescribe them to correct astigmatism. What you may not know, is that LASIK can actually be a way to treat the condition of astigmatism permanently.

What does this mean for you? It may be time for LASIK surgery! To find out, just take a three-week break from your gas permeable lenses, to allow your eyes to go back to their original shape, and then come in for your initial exam.

#2 – If you wear bifocals, you can’t have LASIK (UNTRUE!).
Do you wear bifocals—or are you nearing a time when you will? Have you longed for LASIK surgery but been told you’d still need to wear reading glasses? Now bifocal wearers can enjoy the benefits of LASIK surgery with blended vision—and put aside those reading glasses.

Blended vision means that, rather than treating both eyes for distance, we treat one eye for distance viewing and one for close up. Your eyes then make the necessary adjustment depending on your activity. Still not convinced? Come in for an initial exam at Emory Vision, and we’ll let you try out how blended vision works and feels before you have surgery using a special pair of glasses that simulates the effect.

Does LASIK Hurt?

Most patients who have had LASIK surgery tell me, “I can’t believe the procedure was so fast and painless!”

During our initial consultations, many patients express concern about pain during and after LASIK. The great news is that during surgery most patients do not feel anything other than slight pressure on the eye and perhaps some mild discomfort.

In preparation for your LASIK surgery, we’ll administer some anesthetic eye drops that numb your eyes. As a result, you will only feel some pressure while the laser reshapes your cornea. Some patients may experience a slight feeling of discomfort from the instrument we use to keep your eye open during the procedure – since our natural inclination is to blink. However, because the surgery only takes a few minutes, this discomfort is very brief.

During the recovery period, you may experience some mild stinging or dryness. This is part of the normal healing process and usually only lasts a few days. Artifical tear drops often help to quickly take care of these symptoms.

If you’re interested in seeing exactly what you’ll experience during the procedure, watch our video of live LASIK surgery (displayed below). You’ll hear firsthand from one of our Emory Vision patients. Still have questions about pain during LASIK surgery? I’m happy to answer them!

LASIK and Your Career

Throughout the years, I have heard countless stories from patients who say that having LASIK surgery enhanced their career.

Some jobs simply require good vision, like being a pilot, athlete, photographer, surgeon, and many more. For patients who work in these fields – or who want to – LASIK surgery can be a necessity. Improved vision may mean the difference between getting the job you want or not. It can also have a marked impact on your performance.

I always enjoy seeing the smile on a patient’s face who no longer has to constantly wear eyeglasses or contact lenses. As you know, eyeglasses can fog up, get dirty, or fall off, causing safety hazards. Contact lenses can fall out, shift in the eye, or make some tasks extremely dangerous. If you have one of the jobs I mentioned above, LASIK surgery can mean the problems or risks of always wearing eyeglasses and contact lenses are a thing of the past.

Even if your job isn’t hindered by eyeglasses or contacts, you may find that your job satisfaction and performance increase as a result of having LASIK surgery. Improved vision benefits almost every career, allowing you to focus on the job at hand rather than worrying about your sight.

Finally, be sure to check with your employer to see if having LASIK could in any way jeopardize your career. There are a few jobs requiring very precise vision that may preclude your having certain refractive procedures, so it’s always best to check before considering LASIK surgery.

If having LASIK has benefited your career, please share your story with us!

A LASIK Surgery Update from Daren Wang

My wife and I share our anniversary date with my parents. It’s a happy coincidence, and one of the consequences is that each year, we all head out for a celebratory dinner at our favorite restaurant in Atlanta.

The chef puts together a five-hour meal for us that involves many, many courses with paired wine tastings. It’s an extravagant, incomparable way to spend an evening. And one of the pleasures of it is to have a great chef expose us to new exotic foods, unusual preparations, and wonderful wines. We always make a guessing game of which herbs or spices are flavoring a dish. And each year, we get a rundown of what’s included in the meal.

The dining room is lovely, but darkish. And with the fine, elegant print, the menu turned out to be a challenge for everyone to read this weekend, even with glasses. Well, everyone except me, that is. I worked as something of a translator the whole evening, reading the descriptions to our little party, because my eyesight was perfect. I could look out at the gorgeous landscape as the Chattahoochee rolled by, or I could read 6 point type on the menu fine print explaining what was in a particular reduction.

Since I had my surgery, people often ask me about my experience. In response, all I can do is rave about the results. The dinner example is just one of dozens of discoveries and examples I could share about the improvements LASIK has made in my life. Non-prescription sunglasses, not having to hunt for misplaced glasses, compliments on the color of my eyes, and enjoying workouts sans glasses are just a few of the new pleasures I enjoy on a daily basis now.

And in an effort to thank Emory for the fine work they did for me, I make a point to refer everyone that I can to Emory Vision. A friend of mine who was fascinated by my LASIK process recently spoke of my live LASIK surgery adventure to her friend in London, who is now plans on having the surgery at Emory during her upcoming trip to the US.

If any of you would like to share your story about LASIK, or if you have questions for me about my experience, please feel free to do so here in the comments section.

Introducing Dr. Kim

In this post I’d like to introduce you to a very gifted physician on the Emory Vision team.

John Kim, MD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Emory University. His areas of expertise include refractive surgery, the management of corneal and external eye diseases, and cataract surgery.

After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Kim received his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and served as chief resident while completing his ophthalmology residency training at the Eye and Ear Institute of the University of Pittsburgh. Following four years in private practice, he completed a fellowship in cornea, external disease and refractive surgery at the Cincinnati Eye Institute.

Dr. Kim is board-certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, and the Cornea Society.

He’s performed laser refractive surgery since 2000, and he recently wrote a chapter in a widely respected book on LASIK.  Today he serves on the Refractive Surgery Management and Intervention Self–Assessment committee of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Dr. Kim lives in Atlanta with his wife, Gloria and their three lively young boys: Andrew (7), Joshua (3) and Luke (2).  His favorite hobby is playing sports with his sons, and he’s an avid golfer. In fact, he delights in hearing his patients share details of their improved ability to see the ball (and the entire golf course) after LASIK surgery.

As you can see, we have good reason to be incredibly proud of our talented team of physicians at Emory Vision.

Three Emory Employees; Three Patient Stories

Paula (left), Eddie (middle) and Robin (right)

I’d like to introduce you to three Emory employees from the Faculty Staff Assistance Program at Emory Healthcare who experienced LASIK here at Emory Vision.

It began with Eddie Gammill, who had his surgery here with us a few years ago and was so thrilled with his results that he proceeded to tell all of his coworkers about his experience.  Eye health is of particular importance to Eddie, not only because he’s the Manager of Wellness Programs for Emory’s Faculty Assistance Program, but also because of his family history—his grandmother was blind.

Eddie felt that LASIK surgery was an incredible opportunity. When interviewed for this blog post, he made a point to say, “I wish I hadn’t waited so long. LASIK surgery is truly one of the greatest things I’ve ever done for myself.”

It didn’t take long for Eddie’s enthusiasm to move Robin Huskey (his co-worker and the Manager of Outreach and Education at FSAP) to consider LASIK as well. Robin wore glasses that always interfered with her passion for water skiing, snow skiing and tennis. She said, “Eddie had such a great experience and spoke so highly of the staff and physicians.”

According to Robin, “The procedure went smoothly, and my vision is great!” In fact, Eddie and Robin’s positive reviews inspired yet another FSAP employee to explore the possibility of LASIK surgery—Paula Gomes, the Director of Wellness Programs.

“Eddie and Robin talked about how LASIK surgery changed their lives,” Paula said. “They were on a campaign to encourage me to think about it.”

Paula had her surgery earlier this year and is delighted to be free of her glasses: “Now, when I wake up in the morning, I’ll look across the room and just gaze at the alarm clock, enjoying my new vision.”

Naturally I’m fond of these stories because I’m an Emory Vision patient advocate. That said—I also think that they demonstrate the extraordinary power of positive word of mouth, something that happens naturally when you give patients only the best of care.