Volume 22| August 2018
Assembly line medicine harms patients
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This was the headline of a recent article in Medpage by Dr. Linda Girgis. When going to the deli or to the department of motor vehicles to renew a drivers license, we expect to wait and be herded through a line (and eventually maybe escorted out the door.) According to Dr. Girgis, “patients need personalized attention and they need a health care system that listens to them, no matter who is telling them to step up the pace.”

We agree that it’s ok if your deli didn’t quite get your sandwich right but it’s not OK if your eye doctor rushed through your exam, overlooking key information about your eyes. Dr. Girgis says patients are harmed when serious problems get overlooked, patients don’t get time to tell their story and trust doesn’t have time to develop. When doctors try to see too many patients in a day, burnout happens to the doctor and the patient feels like a number and tends to avoid going to the doctor altogether.

We at Chicopee Eyecare are well aware of the trend towards commercially owned and large hospital based group practices and want no part of those practice models. Unlike employed optometrists, private practice allows us to set our own pace and spend the needed amount of time with our patients in a relaxed and personal setting. As Dr Girgis recommends in her article, we will continue to resist the urge to practice assembly line health care.
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.  

Breaking News
Dr. Momnie and Dr. Latka are sad to announce that Dr. Karen Grucci Brown will not be joining our practice this summer as we had previously announced. Dr. Grucci and her husband have children in elementary school and high school and made a difficult decision to cancel their plans to relocate in Western Mass and to remain in North Carolina for the time being. We are disappointed in her decision but wish her continued success and happiness in her personal, family and professional life in Ashville, North Carolina. 
Cannabis Conundrum

This was the title of a recent online article in Week in Focus by the American Optometric Association (AOA). Although marijuana seems to benefit certain medical conditions, it is not very effective in lowering the eye pressure significantly in glaucoma. Pro marijuana advocates report in public literature that the drug lowers eye pressure and therefore should be legalized and now 29 states have some marijuana laws on the books including Massachusetts. The problem with marijuana is that, unlike glaucoma eye drops which can work for up to 24 hours, the effects of marijuana are short acting. They peak at 45 minutes and last about 3-4 hours. Furthermore, to gain any pressure lowering effects, it must be smoked, not taken in an eye drop form, resulting in the release of tars, carcinogens and other materials into the lungs along with creating dizziness, shallow breathing and slowed reaction time.

In summary, AOA guidelines concluded that the use of marijuana as a medication to reduce eye pressure in glaucoma is not safe or practical. There are many FDA approved medications to treat glaucoma that have very few side effects and need only be used once or twice a day in the form of an eye drop. While glaucoma is rare in people under forty, we at Chicopee Eyecare carefully check for glaucoma is all of our patients.
First robotic surgery a success
In a medical breakthrough, United Kingdom ophthalmologists have used a robot to perform a delicate surgery of the retina with about ten times more precision than a surgeon could do. Membrane growth on the retina, called an epiretinal membrane or macular pucker, often occurs as a normal part of aging of the vitreous, the gel that fills the back of the eye. Acting like a film and often causing a wrinkle on the inner surface of the retina, the pucker, about a tenth the thickness of a human hair, usually results in decreased vision. “The robotic technology is very exciting, and the ability to operate under the retina safely will represent a huge advance in developing genetic and stem cell treatments for retinal disease”, Dr. Robert MacLaren of the University of Oxford told a group of eye specialists meeting in Baltimore, Maryland in May, 2018.
Why should you wear sunglasses?
Sure, sunglasses can be a fashion statement. But we now know that too much sun is bad for the eyes and modern sunglasses offer 100% protection from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. One condition associated with excessive sun exposure is pterygium, small bumps on the white part of the eye, that can cause dryness and on occasion blurred vision. Another condition is cataracts, a clouding of the eyes natural lens. Patients exposed to a lifetime of excessive sunlight often get cataracts in their fifties and sixties, about ten years sooner than their usual natural occurrence. Finally, too much sun seems to worsen age related macular degeneration in some patients and we usually recommend ultraviolet protection for our patients with AMD.

Look for sunglasses that offer maximum ultraviolet B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) protection. They should be comfortable and wrap around your face adequately and they don’t have to be expensive. Whether you need prescription or non-prescription sunglasses, feel free to discuss any questions or concerns with any of our optometrists or licensed opticians. 
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Exploding Beer from Nitro-in-a Can
Case Of The Month

A patient was seen in our office recently for an urgent care visit, reporting that a can of beer had exploded in her face the previous evening when her husband opened the can. It was an unusual story but she had red and swollen eyelids of the left eye and a picture of the can of beer with the lid blown off! I had never heard of nitrogen in a beer can before but NVP (Nitro Vanilla Porter) is brewed at Brekenridge Brewery in Colorado. According to their website, a plastic canister filled with nitrogen gas is attached to the bottom of the can and released into the beer when opened. Fortunately for our Chicopee Eyecare patient, her eye was spared any damage and her bruised eyelids recovered in a few days. Had she been closer to the exploding can, the force from the pressurized beer could have caused a detached retina, I've heard of certain alcoholic beverages packing a punch but in over forty years of practice, this was my first patient injured from an exploding can of beer.
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

We will be closed Saturdays in July and August, resuming our regular schedule the Saturday after Labor Day .

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

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