Volume 10 | August
What makes routine eye exams important?

We at Chicopee Eyecare recall our patients every year or two depending on their age and personal and family history.  Some people ask why come in if they’re not having a problem-- "if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!" Unfortunately, patients can gradually lose vision to a progressive eye disease (glaucoma for example) which they are totally oblivious to. Preventing blindness is our main goal in seeing our patients on a regular basis.  We know it can be an annoyance to block out an hour of your time to drive to our office and undergo an exam and have to deal with temporarily blurred vision until the eye drops wear off.  But as optometrists, that’s our purpose for going to work every day, safeguarding your vision. Our main goal is helping our patients see clearly and avoid the visual (and sometimes permanent) damage from progressive eye diseases.

Please do us a favor and like us on Facebook  and  subscribe to our YouTube channel.   Thank you again for choosing our office. Again, o ur 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.                                                   

Case Of The Month
"We think you have Diabetes"
Our case of the month ties in with the above article.  It’s about a longtime patient of ours who presented recently for an eye examination.  (As with all of our patients, we are holding details of the patient’s identity in strict confidence.  We will use the pronoun “he” for simplicity.)  He reported that he had no visual complaints and used over the counter reading glasses for small print.  He hadn’t been in the office in several years and considered the exam routine in nature.  “It’s been a while since I had an eye check-up.”  Our exam showed multiple tiny hemorrhages in the retina, the back of the eye (like the picture on the left).  Based on further questioning, we concluded that the patient most likely had diabetes.  To further complicate the exam, the patient did not have a primary care physician (PCP) and had not had a physical in over ten years. We have a list of area physicians who are accepting new patients and hopefully our patient will follow up with one of our recommendations in the near future. As stated in the above article, routine exams sometimes uncover potentially sight threatening conditions.
Why are doctors retiring early?

According to a recent article in Medscape, the number one reason doctors are retiring early is the disincentive of excessive regulations.  Top-notch doctors who are capable of practicing many more years and who really enjoy taking care of their patients are retiring early due to the increased regulations placed on them by federal and state governments.  Another reason for the early retirements is the mandate of electronic health records which adds increased rules and regulations due to documentation and coding requirements—all of which add more stress and interferes with the doctor/patient relationship.  The increased cost of running a practice and the frustration in dealing with the added regulations are very stressful for many small practices.  There will be a serious doctor shortage if the rate of early retirement and the low number of graduates of doctors continue. We at Chicopee Eyecare are dealing effectively with the above demands and have made necessary changes to the practice to insure its long term continuity.  

Finally, the Solar Eclipse on August 21!

Finally, the last time we talk about the upcoming total solar eclipse (being called the "Great American Eclipse") of the sun!  The last total eclipse to cross the entire continent of the United States was in 1918   For most people, watching it will probably be an unforgettable event but viewing it incorrectly can damage your eyes permanently by causing solar retinopathy.

 The eclipse is one of the most spectacular naturally occurring events in the world and it’s going to be hard not to keep your eyes glued to it. So, go ahead and look, but be sure to watch it through a pair of solar eclipse glasses.  The glasses need to be CE certified and they need to meet the international standard for ISO 12312-2. Homemade filters and ordinary sunglasses, even if they are very dark, are not appropriate. The solar glasses are not expensive and are available at Amazon.com.

Your mother’s advice as a child was, “don’t stare at the sun” but on this August 21 with a proper pair of protective glasses, you’re allowed to stare away and enjoy this spectacular event.

Dr. Andrew Lam, Eye Surgeon and Author

Dr. David Momnie helped organize a lecture by Dr. Andrew Lam on June 26 at the Collegian Court restaurant in Chicopee.  Dr. Lam is an ophthalmologist who specializes in the medical and surgical treatment of diseases of the retina and is with New England Retina Consultants in Springfield.  He has authored two books and spoke about his first book, Saving Sight.  The subtitle of Saving Sight reads “An eye surgeon’s look at life behind the mask and the heroes who changed the way we see.” About fifty people were in attendance, mostly optometrists and their staff, along with two of Dr. Lam’s associates, Dr. Bradley Foster and Dr. David Lally.  Dr. Momnie, Dr. Guzek-Latka and Dr. Rapalus along with several staff members represented Chicopee Eyecare.  In the picture accompanying this article, Dr. Momnie is introducing Dr. Lam.

MasterChef is Legally Blind

Every year, more than 30,000 amateur cooks compete for a slot on the Fox TV show MasterChef. In 2012, Christine Ha was the last person standing.  What makes Ha’s achievement particularly remarkable is that she is blind. She was an aspiring college student when in 1999 she began experiencing blurred vision and was subsequently diagnosed with neuromyelitis optica (NCO), a rare inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system.  By 2007, Ha had lost enough vision that she needed a cane to walk safely. However, MasterChef Christine Ha has turned her blindness into a recipe for life.  “When I’m cooking for people I care about, it’s kind of meditation--joyful and communal.”   Ha has taught kitchen skills to the visually impaired and was awarded the American Foundation for the Blind’s Helen Keller Personal Achievement Award in 2014.  She continues to use her fame to advocate for people with visual impairment .

In Case Of Emergency / Archived Newsletters

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                Closed July and August  

Sunday                  Closed

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 t reating 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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