Posted by & filed under Glaucoma, Lunch and Learn.

At the Kansas City Eye Clinic we have started a new lunch and learn series in which one doctor presents a current topic to the staff in his/her specialty. Our goal is to educate the staff on eye disease, new technology, and treatments in our evolving eye care world. On this blog, we want to highlight these topics and educate our patients.

Since January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, Dr. Johann Ohly discussed the different glaucoma surgeries he performs and how they can treat glaucoma. Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness. With regular exams with your eye doctor, glaucoma can be caught early, monitored through regular testing, and treated before any irreversible damage occurs.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma complex eye disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve and lead to permanent visual field loss. While increased pressure inside the eye can cause this irreversible damage, patients with normal eye pressure can also develop glaucoma.

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Image from: Glaucoma Research Foundation: http://www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/anatomy-of-the-eye.php

 

The front part of the eye is filled with a clear fluid called intraocular fluid or or aqueous humor. This fluid is made by a part of the eye called the ciliary body, and then drains out through the pupil. This drainage system is a meshwork of drainage canals around the outer edge of the iris. Proper drainage helps keep the eye pressure at a normal level. In most types of glaucoma, the eye’s drainage system becomes clogged and the fluid builds up. As the fluid builds, it puts pressure on the optic nerve and causes damage to the fibers. There are several different types of glaucoma, learn about them here.

Treatment Options

The first line of treatment is prescription eye drops that can lower the eye pressure inside the eye to prevent optic nerve damage. If prescription eye drops aren’t enough, there are several laser procedures that can be done depending on the type of glaucoma. There are a couple laser treatments that help clean out this “clogged” drainage system to relieve the pressure inside the eye, while another laser treatment can help make a hole in the iris to create another drainage channel for patients with narrow angle glaucoma.

When a patient with glaucoma needs more than prescription medications and laser treatment, glaucoma surgery is the next step. There are several options that attempt to decrease the eye pressure and prevent further damage to the optic nerve. Some of the options for glaucoma surgery are minimally invasive and target improving the function of the drain inside the eye.  Not everyone is a candidate for these procedures, but multiple additional surgical options are available.  These typically lower the eye pressure by creating a new way for the fluid to drain inside the eye.  The surgeon assesses each individual patient, his/her particular type of glaucoma, how the disease is affecting their vision, and then makes a recommendation on the most effective surgical plan for that patient.

The Kansas City Eye Clinic offers comprehensive eye care with three fellowship trained glaucoma specialists and two practicing glaucoma surgeons:

Carl Migliazzo, M.D.

Sara O’Connell, M.D.

Johann Ohly, M.D.

If you wish to make an appointment, please call us at 913.341.3100 or fill out an appointment request here and someone will get back to you to schedule.

Posted by & filed under Glaucoma.

Glaucoma.org is spreading the word about Glaucoma during Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight” since there are no symptoms until permanent vision loss has occurred. As much as 40% of vision can be lost without an affected individual noticing. The only way to prevent this vision loss, is through yearly eye exams. If a doctor suspects you may have glaucoma, then there are several screening tests that are done to track any damage or changes. If caught early, progression of the disease and vision loss can be prevented through prescription eye drops or surgery.

Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that 4.5 million people worldwide are blind due to glaucoma and over 60 million people worldwide have glaucoma. In the United States, over 3 million Americans are affected by glaucoma, but experts estimate that about half of them don’t know they have it yet.

Who is at risk? Those at higher risk for Glaucoma include people of African, Asian, and Hispanic descent. African Americans are 6 to 8 times more likely to develop Glaucoma than Caucasians. Other high risk groups include people over 60 years old, diabetics, those that are severely nearsighted, and those with family members already diagnosed.

At the Kansas City Eye Clinic we have several Glaucoma specialists to serve you and your family:
Carl Migliazzo, M.D.
Sara O’Connell, M.D.
Johann Ohly, M.D.
If you’d like to make an appointment, please call us at 913.341.3100 or contact us here.

You can read more about glaucoma awareness on the Glaucoma Research Foundation website: http://www.glaucoma.org/news/glaucoma-awareness-month.php

This video will give you a brief overview of the disease:
View Video

Posted by & filed under Dry Eyes.

Are you suffering from gritty, red, irritated eyes? This may be a sign of dry eye syndrome. Winter is officially upon us, which brings cold, dry weather conditions. Additionally, we pump hot, dry heat into our environment to keep us warm. This combination can cause our eyes a lot of grief during the winter months, on top of excessive computer and smartphone usage.

Artificial tears can provide temporary relief of these symptoms. Our doctors recommend Systane, Blink, or Refesh artificial tears. You can find any of these brands at your local drug store. Gel drops can last a little longer on the eye, but can cause some temporary blurred vision because of the thickness of the drops, so these are usually recommended for nighttime use. Preservative-free artificial tears are good for those that need to use drops more than 4-6 times daily or are sensitive to preservatives. You should consult your eye doctor for proper usage and if your problem is persistent or becomes more severe.

Along with artificial tears, there are other ways to help decrease the symptoms of dry eye. The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s eye health information page, www.geteyesmart.org, gives us a four tips for happier, healthier eyes during these winter months and all year long.

1. Blink. More. Now.

Tears are made up of many elements, including oil. When people blink, they wipe that protective layer of oil over the surface of their eye – and that helps keep eyes moist. Ideally this happens about 14 to 18 times a minute. But put a screen or book in front of someone, and blinking actually slows down. One solution is to remind yourself to blink more using something as low-tech as a sticky note. Or try an app that reminds you to give your eyes a break, following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes for 20 seconds, look at an object at least 20 feet away.

2. Go nuts. Go fish.

 

Your eye glands pump out tears that contain oils similar to omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. There is some evidence that eating foods rich in fatty acids can help replenish the oils in your eye, too. So try adding walnuts and fish such as salmon to your diet. If you are allergic to nuts or don’t love fish, no problem. Swallow a fish oil supplement to get your fill of good fats.

3. When dry, humidify.

 

Hot, dry air circulating indoors can absolutely desiccate your eyes. Turning on a desktop humidifier can help keep the local moisture in your work cubicle or home at a more comfortable level.

4. Exit the wind tunnel.

 

Wind makes moisture evaporate from the surface of the eye faster than normal, which is why people with dry eye should avoid blustery conditions and devices that blow air, such as heating ducts. Steer clear of hairdryers and fans when possible, and if you’re going outside in windy conditions, wear sunglasses or regular glasses to help block that breeze. Your eyes will thank you.

Still suffering? Check with your ophthalmologist to make sure that your dry eye isn’t something more serious (dry eye can be a symptom of autoimmune disorders like Sjogren’s disease). Don’t forget to blink!

Written by  on February 24, 2015

Reviewed by Cynthia Self, M.D., February 25, 2015″

Posted by & filed under Giving Back to the Community.

toys for tots

 

Each year the Kansas City Eye Clinic selects a special cause to volunteer their time and efforts during the Holiday season. This year, we discovered that our loyal employee and retired Marine, Bill Burgett works with Toys for Tots. He volunteers yearly to help distribute Toys for Tots donation boxes to many Overland Park businesses. Along with another retired Marine, they coordinate the pick up all of the donations in mid-December and bring them to a warehouse for sorting.

This year, the Kansas City Eye Clinic held their own drive and collected 70 toys for the Marine Corps Toys for Tots and the children of Overland Park. Bill is very thankful for the support, “Your support of this program is appreciated and many children will benefit from your kindness.”

toys for tots bear

 

The mission of the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program is to collect new, unwrapped toys during October, November and December each year, and distribute those toys as Christmas gifts to less fortunate children in the community in which the campaign is conducted. You can read more about the program here.

Posted by & filed under KC Eye Clinic News.

 

This year Dr. Fred Bodker was recognized by the American Academy of Ophthalmology with a 2015 Achievement Award. Dr. Bodker has contributed to the Academy through publications, presentations, and other areas of service throughout his career. We are proud and honored that Dr. Bodker is a partner in the Kansas City Eye Clinic.

 

You can follow this link to see the recipients of the 2015 Achievement Award.

Posted by & filed under KC Eye Clinic News.

Each year the American Academy of Ophthalmology holds their annual meeting where all of ophthalmology comes together to learn, teach, and explore the latest surgical techniques, treatments, and technology. In conjunction with the doctor’s meeting, the American Academy of Ophthalmology Executives and the Joint Commission of Allied Health Personnel in Ophthalmology hold their meetings at the same time in the same location. This year the meetings were held in Las Vegas. The Kansas City Eye Clinic sent 3 doctors, two administrators, and two technicians to the conference.

Dr. Migliazzo stated, “This year’s meeting was excellent! New medication research for glaucoma is very exciting. There are new devices impregnated with medication that can be inserted under the eyelids. The medication is then slowly released over a period of 6 months and can control the eye pressure without daily drops.” He was also impressed with how much progress there is for new glaucoma surgical devices, “hopefully [they] will improve surgical outcomes with better long term results and fewer complications.”

They expected about 25,000 attendees from all over the world to visit Las Vegas for the conference. There are courses available in every specialty of ophthalmology, from the cornea to the retina and more. The conference is usually five days when you add in all the sub-specialty days, but there is time for some sight-seeing, shows, and enjoying some of the great food that Vegas has to offer.

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From right to left: Dr. Ohly, Dr. Migliazzo, and Beth Migliazzo enjoying dinner at Estratorio Milos in the Cosmopolitan.

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Our Administrative Project Manager, Jenni, and Certified Ophthalmic Assistant, Holly, ran the Eye Banking Association of America’s 30th Annual Run for Vision 5k out at the Springs Preserve at 6:30am. Below is a view of the strip as the sun rises and the starting line of the race. Holly also ran the 10k for the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll which runs up and down the Las Vegas Strip at night.

IMG_4039  IMG_4036

Posted by & filed under KC Eye Clinic News.

Kansas City Eye Clinic 2014 Holiday Schedule

2014 Holiday Schedule

 

As always we have a doctor on call through our regular phone line 913.341.3100 for medical eye emergencies. For pharmacy refills please call your pharmacy and they will contact us. For true medical emergencies, please go to the closest Emergency Room. Happy Holidays from KCEC!

Posted by & filed under Eye Health.

Do we have to dilate your eyes?  The answer is usually always “yes” and here’s why:

Dilation allows the pupil (the dark part of your eye) to open and stay open when the doctor is shinning a bright light into your eye.  There are several important parts of the eye that are located in the back of the eye that should be monitored on a yearly basis.  The retina contains all of our photoreceptors and allows us to see and perceive light.  The macula is the center of the retina and is responsible for our central vision and fine detail.  The optic nerve transmits all this information to the brain that tells us what we are seeing.  There are many diseases that can affect these important parts of our eyes, and if they go undetected and untreated, can cause permanent vision impairment and even blindness.  Additionally, there are many systemic diseases, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, that can be diagnosed through a dilated comprehensive eye exam.  View this video by the National Eye Institute on what your doctor actually sees when your eyes are dilated.

dilated eye exam

Dilated eye exam

We all know dilation is inconvenient, blurs our vision, and makes us sensitive to the sunlight.  We advise to bring your sunglasses to your appointment, but we also provide all of our patients with disposable wrap-around sun protection after dilation.  Dilation usually lasts 4-6 hours, depending on the color of your eyes.  Lighter eyes, such as blue and green, tend to be dilated longer than people with brown eyes.  Even though dilation makes our vision blurry, it usually just affects our near reading and computer vision.  Most patients are able to safely drive themselves home after their appointment.  If you are someone who works on a computer or reads small print all day for work, you may want to schedule your dilated eye exam towards the end of the day or on one of our available Saturdays.

It is important to have yearly dilated eye exams, especially if you have diabetes, a family history of eye disease, or are over the age of 40.  If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 913.341.3100 or email us your request.

Posted by & filed under KC Eye Clinic News.

Busy during the week?  Can’t get out of school or work?

Dr. Dawn Bircher is now seeing patients on the second Saturday mornings of each month. Call us at 913.341.3100 or email us to make your appointment!  Below are the following available dates until the end of the year.

September 13

October 11

November 15 (3rd Saturday this month)

December 13