Volume 18| April 2018
Speed Chess and Eyecare
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In a recent article in Medpage Today, a hospital-based physician (they’re called hospitalists) was comparing his responsibility of taking care of dozens of patients to a primary care physician’s (PCP) care of his patients. He used the analogy of speed chess. “I need to make a move quickly, or I lose ( the patient's condition worsens or the patient dies) —no matter what.” Because he has to take care of dozens of patients, moving from room to room quickly, his “moves” aren’t always the best ones. Like master chess, the PCP is spending more time with his “move”, his patient's health, and can think about the whole game and the best possible move, that is, the entire patient and the best possible treatment.

The practice management articles we read about in our monthly journals are often about increasing efficiency—seeing more patients per hour. Since there are only sixty minutes in an hour, the goal is to delegate more and spend less time with each patient. We don’t think that’s a good thing . Listening fully to each patient’s concerns, providing a careful comprehensive exam, recommending the correct treatment, whether it’s glasses, prescription eye drops or surgery, and answering our patients questions in understandable terms, all take time. We will continue to fight the trend of playing speed chess with our patients, that is, spending only a few minutes with them before moving on to the next room, and spend our days more like a master chess player, analyzing each move and thinking of all possible outcomes.

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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.   

What Color is a Tennis Ball?
This was the title of an article last month in Atlantic Magazine. It seemed like a straightforward question but the results were surprising. Of nearly 30,000 participants in a survey, 52% said a tennis ball is green, 42% said it’s yellow and 6% went with the “other” choice. These days, Americans seem to be divided on most of the social issues of our day so surely, can’t we can all agree on the color of a tennis ball? When I was in high school in the 60’s, tennis balls were white but that all changed when people began watching televised matches—they couldn’t follow the white balls and tournament organizers were told to use yellow balls.

According to a National Institute of Health researcher, how we label the color of an object like a tennis ball is determined both by perceptual factors, i.e. the actual physical light entering our eyes, and cognitive factors like knowing what people have typically labeled the objects. If I asked you what color a banana is, you’d respond yellow but sometimes they’re green or brown or one of many colors in-between.

Maybe we can’t agree on the color of tennis balls because they were designed to be odd and therefore visible on the tennis court. Because the color is so odd, we haven’t quite figured out how to label them. Can we at least all agree that bananas are yellow?
Green leafy vegetables: Brain food?
Optometrists have known for a long time that eating dark green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and Brussel sprouts, are good for the eyes. They contain lutein, a phytochemical which has a protective effect on the macula. There is increasing evidence that high dietary intake of lutein reduces our risk of macular degeneration. A new study published online in Neurology on December 20 found that eating one serving of these vegetables per day may help to slow cognitive decline with aging. The actual nutrients in these foods were folate, phylloquinone, and lutein. This study adds to previous convincing evidence that when it comes to brain health, you are what you eat. There are certain people taking anticoagulants like Coumadin (warfarin) who need to be careful with their intake of dark green vegetables which are high in Vitamin K, so be sure to check with your primary care physician before making major changes in your diet.
If you hate needles...
For people with diabetes, puncturing your finger at least once a day and often 3 or 4 times, to check your blood sugar is no fun. Thanks to recent advances in diabetes care, monitors are now available which measure one’s glucose by simply wearing a sensor on the upper arm. One such system, the Libre Glucose Monitoring System, was recently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Medicare recently announced that they will cover the cost of the Libre unit for patients who are on an insulin regimen. Patients can use the glucose values measured by the device rather than a fingerstick measurement. For non-Medicare patients, the Libre system is available at major retail pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Walmart. The system is now used in over 40 countries.

We always encourage our patients with diabetes to maintain tight control of their blood sugars which in turn reduces the chances that the diabetes will affect their eyes. The Libre system and other similar noninvasive monitoring systems should make it easier for patients to maintain better control of their blood sugars.  
Dr. Momnie featured in HCN
Dr. Momnie was featured in a cover story in the March, 2018 issue of Healthcare News on the global increase in the incidence of myopia. In the United States, it’s estimated to be more than 30% of the population and in some Asian countries, the rate is approaching 80-90%. In the article, he recommends “pulling the plug” on digital devices for children under three, restricting their use in children and teenagers, and in general, getting kids to spend more time outdoors. Several studies suggest that at least two hours of daily sunlight exposure is beneficial to the visual system of children and may reduce the progression of myopia. The entire article is available at www.healthcarenews.com .
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Case Of The Month
The picture to the right is of a patient last year who had a detached retina. This is an emergency situation in which the retina, which is like the film of a camera, pulls away from the back of the eye. There aren’t always warning signs of a detached retina but they usually consist of the sudden appearance of multiple tiny specs, which we call floaters. They’re invariably noticed in one eye and may be accompanied by flashing lights in the same eye. (Flashing lights associated with a migraine aura usually start in one eye and gradually move across the field of vision to the other eye.). If you’re older than 50, have a family history of a detached retina or are very nearsighted, you’re at greater risk. A detached retina can occur as a complication of a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD) or as a result of trauma to the eye or head. In any event, always call our office immediately if you become aware of a sudden onset of flashing lights and/or floaters in one eye. Our office has 24/7 coverage and if the office is closed, one of our doctors will want to talk to you and possibly have you come to the office.
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

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