Volume 12 | October
Why we're still using paper charts!
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Have you ever spoken to a group of people and they’re looking at their smartphone? I’ve been told by teachers that this is a common occurrence in high school classrooms. Or you’re out to dinner and see a couple, not looking into each other's eyes but at their phones, probably to read a recent Facebook posting?

How do we balance technology with personal relationships? Maintaining a personal touch with our patients is very important to us and our concern with electronic health records (EHR) is just that—how they will affect our interaction with the patient sitting in our examination chair.

The title of a recent article in Healthcare IT News (IT stands for Information Technology) reads “American Medical Association Calls for EHR Overhaul After Study Shows Physicians Spend Six Hours Daily on Data Entry.” The study found that doctors “spend more than half of their workday typing data on a computer screen…” Many of us already knew this from talking with colleagues, that data entry cuts into available time to directly interact with you, our valued patient. 

There are many advantages to computerized records but we at Chicopee Eyecare are taking this transition slowly. Our primary goal is to provide you with high quality eye care combined with maintaining a personal relationship and we’re still trying to figure out how to do that with EHRs .

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Thank you again for choosing our office. Our goal is to safeguard your eyes and help you achieve a lifetime of clear and comfortable vision.

David C. Momnie, O.D.
Camille Guzek-Latka, O.D .
Julianne M. Rapalus, O.D.   

Eclipse 2017     “There goes the sun.”
For the most part, the solar eclipse of 2017 was the spectacular event it was predicted to be. With few exceptions, most people enjoyed the event without taking home an unpleasant souvenir—that is solar retinopathy, permanent damage to the retina of the eyes. There were some cases of fraudulent solar glasses sold on Amazon which have resulted in lawsuits and some people reported blurred vision a few days after viewing the eclipse.

And guess what Greenville, South Carolina parents named their baby girl who was born on the day of this now famous celestial event—why Eclipse of course.

Here is a picture of the few seconds of eclipse totality taken by our friend Dr. James Rosenthal, a Springfield ophthalmologist, while visiting a national park in the Midwest.
Dr. Paul E. Momnie

In the spring of 1967, forty-one year old Paul Momnie, went to his doctor complaining of a backache. Two weeks later his doctor shared the results of the bloodwork, he had a rare blood disorder called multiple myeloma and had about 4 months to live. He died on September 15 and so two weeks ago marked the 50th anniversary of his death. I was the oldest of five children, having just turned 17 shortly before his passing. Shortly after his death, I made the decision to follow in his footsteps and pursue a career in optometry. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made and I am grateful that I learned from him the satisfaction that comes from helping people see better.
Marijuana and glaucoma
Massachusetts and 6 other states have legalized marijuana for recreational use and an additional 16 states have legalized it for medical use only. Cannabis was first used for treating glaucoma in 1971 when a study found it to lower the pressure in the eye for 2-4 hours. However, despite many anecdotal reports since that time, there have been no long term studies. If not treated effectively, glaucoma can lead to blindness. 

The two main chemicals (cannabinoids) in marijuana are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is psychoactive and cannabidiol (CBD) which is not. Many people have smoked marijuana for years, insisting that it’s safe and denying any side effects but reported side effects include addiction, structural brain changes, decreased IQ, psychotic disorders, pulmonary (breathing) diseases and increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. 

The jury is still out on marijuana’s role in treating glaucoma and further studies may or may not find that it plays a role in treating patients with this disease.

The eyes are related to sleep disorders
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is interrupted, sometimes hundreds of times, during sleep. The brain and other organs are temporarily deprived of oxygen. Sleep apnea affects about 1 in 4 men and the incidence in women is less than half that. There are several eye conditions associated with sleep apnea including keratoconus, floppy eyelid syndrome (people wake up to find their upper eyelids inverted), glaucoma and papilledema (swelling of the optic disc). Risk factors for sleep apnea include being a male over 40, being overweight, having a large neck size, tongue or tonsils, having a family history of sleep apnea and having nasal obstruction due to a deviated septum, allergies or sinus problems.

Regular eye exams are important to detect any eye diseases and to prevent any loss of vision. If we see any of the above eye diseases in patients with risk factors for sleep apnea, we would suggest with our patient the option of further testing with their primary care physician.
Case of the Month
Choroidal Nevus--not one but two!

A choroidal nevus is a flat, pigmented area of the retina, the lining of the back of the eye. In simple terms, it's basically a freckle, a benign accumulation of pigment. About 5-10% of the population have these lesions. They virtually never cause any symptoms like blurred vision and less than 1 in 500 will undergo changes leading to a diagnosis of choroidal melanoma, which is a true cancerous tumor. 

This patient was seen last month and it was the first time we had seen two choroidal nevi (Latin origin: one nevus, two nevi) in the same eye. However, she reported that her previous eye doctor had not noted any changes in the size of the lesions in over thirty years. We took this photograph and will continue to monitor her on an annual basis. I reassured her that there was no reason to be concerned and she was relieved, saying it allowed her more time to worry about other things!
LED Street Lights -- the Good and the Bad
City governments are using more efficient and often cheaper light sources for streetlights and car manufacturers are doing the same with headlights. They may be good for the environment but are they good for our eyes? The emission of blue light from LED technology is a source of debate and despite a lack of controlled studies, there is evidence that too much blue light has a negative effect on vision.

“White” light emits more short wavelength light (blue light) than incandescent light bulbs. Therefore it will scatter more when you're driving at night or in the fog or rain, and even more so for patients with cataracts. This can result in more halos, glare and blurred vision. If you encounter glare from an oncoming vehicle, the safest strategy is to slow down and look slightly down and to the side until the vehicle passes. Anti-reflection coatings on your glasses may help reduce some of the glare and one of our opticians will be happy to discuss this option with you. But the best advice is avoidance--slow down and carefully look away from LED inducing glare. There is some evidence that blue light can effect melatonin levels, which would be a concern in children, who often spend hours looking at a computer screen in the evening. The American Optometric Association has encouraged more studies on the effects of blue light on vision.
Optometry Humor
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In Case Of Emergency
Chicopee Eyecare provides
"24/7" coverage for emergency eye care 
for our patients.

We recommend that you do not go to the emergency room for an eye injury or acute eye problem unless it is very serious. Drs. Momnie, Guzek-Latka and Rapalus keep slots open for urgent care visits for new and established patients during normal office hours, and provide around-the clock emergency coverage for our established patients for after-hours and weekends.
Call 592-7777 before calling your PCP or visiting a hospital ER!

Office Hours
We are available when you need us 
Our office and optical department are open during the following hours:
Monday         9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday        9:00 am - 5:30pm
Wednesday   9:00 am - 5:30pm
Thursday       9:00 am - 6:30pm
Friday            9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Saturday       9:00 am - 12:30 pm

One of our doctors is always available for emergencies on nights, weekends and holidays. Call (413) 592-7777 and our answering service will put you in touch with an on-call optometrist.
"The people in this office are committed to providing you with the highest quality of eye care and to treating you with kindness and respect. "  
If you would like to share any feedback or comments please email us at  info@chicopeeeyecare.com

©2017 Chicopee Eyecare - All Rights Reserved
Chicopee Eyecare · 113 Center Street · Chicopee, MA 01013 · (413) 592-7777 info@chicopeeeyecare.com
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