Volume 24| October 2018
The Three A's
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A recent article in Retina Today reminded its readers of what’s necessary to form a positive and long term relationship with our patients.

1.  ABLE: We need to stay current on the latest in examination and treatment skills and the latest in technology, which all add up to better patient care.
 2. AVAILABLE : We need to be available to our patients with convenient hours, emergency slots of time, that is, openings during the day to accommodate patients with an urgent problem (I saw a carpenter yesterday who was hit in the eye with a nail an hour earlier. He might have sat for several hours in an emergency room waiting area) and even ample parking so as to not waste our patient’s time looking for a parking spot.
3. AFFABLE : Don’t we all know people who hate going to work everyday? The doctors and staff at Chicopee Eyecare truly enjoy the work we do, helping patients by improving their eyesight and managing and treating their visual conditions. From A (age related macular degeneration to Z (Zoster or shingles infection in the eye), we are committed to offering the best patient care available for a variety of eye diseases.

Please do us a favor and like us on  Facebook . 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.  

If you're over 50, think about shingles prevention
Shingles is a viral infection that results in a painful rash on one side of your body. I had a patient last month present with a red left eye and requesting antibiotic eye drops. However I noted a rash on his forehead and scalp consisting of red, blotchy patches with some oozing blisters. The diagnosis of shingles, or herpes zoster, was easy to make. In addition to the face and area around the eyes, shingles can also occur around the rib cage or waist, again on either the right or left torso. Oral antivirals like acyclovir shorten the length and severity of the infection. However, there are now ways to prevent or at least reduce the chances of developing a shingles infection, namely shingles vaccines. Shinrix and Zostavax boost the body's immune response to the zoster virus, which is the chickenpox virus.

The best treatment is always prevention so if you’re over 50, consider talking to your primary care provider about shingles and getting vaccinated.
Diabetic Eye Disease
If you’ve got diabetes, you know that we like to see you at least once a year for a dilated retinal exam. There are new treatments for diabetic eye disease but prevention is certainly the best medicine we can all take. Here is a plan we recommend: 1. Know your Hemoglobin A1c, the standard test to measure blood sugar in patients with diabetes. Keeping your A1c below 7.0% will significantly reduce your risk of eye involvement. 2. Adopting a healthy lifestyle by controlling your weight, exercising on a regular basis, having a healthy diet, not smoking and drinking in moderation can put you in charge of your disease and reduce your risk of diabetic complications. 3. Manage high blood pressure and high cholesterol with diet and medication if necessary. Both conditions contribute to diabetic eye disease.

We will always send a report to your primary care physician within a few days of your exam. We know from experience that a teamwork approach works best for the patient.

Nudging Patients
Recent articles in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal discussed why people often make poor decisions when it comes to their health and how doctors can “nudge” them in the right direction. The idea is to present options to the patient in a way that subtly encourages them toward a desired decision. Would requiring parents to get a government official’s signature if they want to send their unvaccinated child to school gently encourage their child’s vaccination? How about nudging people to quit smoking by introducing plain packaging and graphic warnings of lung cancer?

As optometrists, we try to nudge our diabetic patients to eat healthier and exercise more, both of which tend to lower their blood sugar levels and reduce their chances of someday going blind from diabetic retinopathy. We also nudge patients who smoke to quit the habit as smoking has many harmful effects on the eyes, especially in patients who have macular degeneration. And one more example of a nudge is to recommend to people over forty to have their eyes examined at least every two years as the incidence of glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness, increase significantly in middle aged patients.

In summary, people tend to do things when it's the default option. As Cass Sunstein says, "A nudge is not a mandate. Putting fruit at eye level counts as a nudge. Banning junk food does not." Our goal is to nudge our patients to take positive steps to safeguard their vision.
Thank You for Google Reviews

Thank you if you’ve given us a nice Google Review. 
If you were happy with your experience at Chicopee Eyecare, your positive review helps us spread the word and market our practice to potentially new patients. Click Here
Case Of The Month
Obrig scleral lenses
Dr. Momnie and Dr. Latka are among a small group of optometrists in New England who fit scleral lenses, a type of contact lens that vaults the entire cornea and lands on the sclera, the white part of the eye. They were conceptualized by Leonardo de Vinci in the 16th century and the first scleral lenses were made in Germany of blown glass in 1887. The first molded lenses were made in the United States in 1957 by Obrig Laboratories and the lenses pictured here are Obrig lenses fitted (not by us!) to one of our patients in about 1960. 

Nowadays, most patients are fitted with soft contact lenses but scleral lenses have experienced tremendous interest in recent years due to innovations in design and material. We use them mostly for correcting vision in patients with keratoconus, a disease where the cornea becomes abnormally steep and irregular. Again, because so few practitioners fit them, we have had patients drive well over an hour to Chicopee Eyecare for scleral lenses.

If you know someone with keratoconus, poor vision following Lasik surgery, corneal scarring from an injury or infection or extremely dry eyes that are intolerable to soft contact lenses, have them call our office and ask about scleral lenses.
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

©2018 Chicopee Eyecare - All Rights Reserved
Chicopee Eyecare · 113 Center Street · Chicopee, MA 01013 · (413) 592-7777 info@chicopeeeyecare.com
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