We are slowly inching into summer – my favorite season! The hotter, the better, I say. If you’re anything like me, you spend as much time outside as you can during the warmer months. Unfortunately, this means MORE exposure to UV light. Even on overcast days, or in the winter, we are being constantly exposed to the harmful rays of UV light. Did you know that prolonged exposure can result in cataracts? Cataracts are not the only UV-related problem caused by UV exposure; there are other diseases, such as growths on the eye, called pterygiums. Pterygiums can show up in our teens or twenties, especially in anyone who spends long hours outdoors. This includes fishermen, farmers, and even sports enthusiasts.
But have no fear – there are many ways to protect yourself!
-First and foremost, use sunscreen! Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can be damaging.
-Wear a hat!
-Wear sunglasses! I ALWAYS recommend polarized lenses to everyone (except pilots). Polarized lenses in your sunglasses enhance your visual experience by filtering glare and providing clarity and contrast while on the water.
-NEVER stare directly at the sun! Staring at the sun or an eclipse can result in solar retinopathy, which is irreversible damage to your retina. YIKES!
With Halloween right around the corner, many of us are thinking about what our costumes are going to be (stayed tuned for our group costume!) Wigs, makeup, and funky Halloween contact lenses are the icing on the cake for an awesome costume. While it seems innocent enough, eye related infections and injuries are 90% preventable. All contact lenses are medical devices and require a proper exam and fitting to find the right one for you. Over-the-counter cosmetic contact lenses are a medical device and not a “one size fits all” product. The come in different curvatures and sizes, and a fitting from your optometrist is the only way to determine the best size for you.
Colored and decorated contact lenses are often thick, due to the paint and color being used. This makes them less “breathable” and harder for your cornea to tolerate. One of the biggest risks includes corneal abrasions, or a scratch on the surface of your eye. While an abrasion, or scratch, may not be too painful, it can lead to infections if not treated properly. This could also lead to an ulcer, which can often leave you with a scar. Your eyes will be red, irritated, swollen, and vision can become permanently decreased.
Keratitis, a bacterial infection, is another risk from improper wear and care of contact lenses. This causes uncomfortable itching and inflammation of the cornea. When decorative lenses are bought from online retailers, convenient stores, or boutiques, you run the risk of purchasing a product that is expired, not stored in proper solution, or older than advertised. Yikes! The scariest thing about Halloween should be your costume and decorations, not your eyes!
Hi, everyone. My name is Laura, and as you may know, I am Dr. Kara’s optical manager here at EC4U. Originally from Coral Springs, Florida, I moved to NC ten years ago to be closer to my family. I worked for many years at a great office in Mooresville, NC before moving to the Apex area, and wanted to continue being an optician at an equally great office, which shares the same ideas and patient care values that I was used to. Lo and behold, Dr. Kara and I came across one another on LinkedIn, and the rest is history.
I have to be honest – the Direct Care movement scared me a bit at first. This would be the first time I would be working for a doctor who was strictly Direct Care. But after learning how this was incredibly beneficial to the patient, I will never look back! So, what exactly is Direct Care? Glad you asked, because I love explaining it.
Direct Care is a way to bring the doctor and patient together without the interference of that pesky middle man, your insurance company. Too many times, your insurance company dictates what kind of testing, billing, and care each patient gets. The only one who truly knows what kind of care YOU need is you and your doctor, not some insurance company. With that said, Dr. Kara includes ALL testing and screenings in her exams (Yes, even a retinal photo!). She will even take up to one hour with each patient to ensure you don’t feel rushed, and all your questions are answered, for one low price. That one low price (of just $99 for new patients) covers your vision for an entire 365 days. That means, 3 months, 6 months, or even 11 months after your annual exam, should you feel like your vision has changed, we are happy to see you again for a recheck at NO EXTRA COST.
According to the National Billing Guidelines, and most insurance companies, each time a patient sits in the exam chair, the doctor is required to bill either the patient or the insurance. On top of that, most vision insurances only allow one visit per year. That’s not the kind of care we are willing to compromise at EC4U.
After the crazy year I’ve had with switching all my doctors from Mooresville to Apex (primary care, the dentist, etc.), I wish all doctors were Direct Care providers. That would make my life, and wallet, a lot happier!