Volume 06 | April 2017
March Badness

I know spring is around the corner.  As I write this, the St. Patrick’s Day parade is this weekend and the Men's NCAA basketball tournament just started.  But as I look outside my window now, it’s snowing like crazy (a foot expected) and temperatures are going to drop into the low teens tonight.  With credit to Philip Gulley in the Saturday Evening Post, let’s not call it March Madness but March Badness.  Garrison Keillor once said “March is the month God created to show people who don’t drink what a hangover is like.”

So while we might be itching for baseball, (opening day for the Red Sox is about when you’ll be getting this newsletter), this month we're focusing on allergies and itchy eyes and how you can take practical steps to avoid a visit to Chicopee Eyecare.

Your email address has been saved  in our secure database. Our intention is to offer monthly newsletters on topics that we hope will be helpful and of interest to you. Please don't hesitate to call us or email us at info@chicopeeeyecare.com  if you ever have any questions or comments.

And you can do us a small favor!  Please like us on Facebook  and maybe subscribe to our YouTube channel where you can watch Dr. Momnie insert a contact lens on a six month old baby or Dr. Guzek-Latka discuss diabetes and how it affects the eyes, all at Chicopee Eyecare, P.C.   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.                                                   
Smoking and Children's Eyes

The Copenhagen Child Cohort 2000 Eye Study, reported  in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that the children of women who smoked during pregnancy and children with a low birth rate are more likely to develop vision impairment and glaucoma.

Dr. Guzek-Latla featured in recent article

Dr. Camille Guzek-Latka  was featured in the March 6, 2017 issue of Business West titled “Help, Hope Available for Vision Problems Caused by Aging.” Dr. John Papale and Dr. Andrew Jusko, Springfield ophthalmologists, discussed surgical advances for cataracts and glaucoma and Dr. Guzek-Latka discussed age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which she said in the article is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in people over the age of 50.

She also discussed what people can do to reduce the risk of developing AMD and mentioned a new FDA approved implantable device that is partially restoring sight in people with advanced macular degeneration.  

Click here to read the entire Business West article.

First Uber - Now House Call Apps

Smartphone apps like Heal, PAGER and Curbside Cares are bringing back house calls in major cities like Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia.  Who are the people using these apps?  Many are the same people who embrace Uber, the popular ride-sharing app. Heal connects patients with on-call doctors days, nights and weekends.  It accepts insurance and charges roughly the cost of an office visit.  

Some doctors enjoy the unrushed nature of the house calls where the emphasis is on quality of care and not volume. 

Other physicians complain that while it’s wonderful to have somebody come to your doorstep, it’s just not an efficient use of time for the doctor.

It’s hard to predict the future of home-based care. But as one physician said, it’s not Burger King--it won’t be a “have it your way” office visit.  The doctor will still have the final word on how to manage a case.  

Case study of the month

Why are my eyelashes falling out?

It is not unnatural for eyelashes to fall out, just as you’d shed hair from your head, but it  could be upsetting to see fewer lashes in the mirror. If you notice an extreme loss of  eyelashes, a condition called madarosis, you should consult us.

There are many reasons that could contribute to eyelashes falling out, including:

Stress – The physical stress of rubbing or pulling at your eyes and eyelashes too hard  could cause eyelashes to fall out. Emotional stress can also contribute to madarosis.   Take notice of your stress levels, and try to refrain from excess contact with your eyes.

Beauty Habits – Poor beauty habits, such as wearing mascara while sleeping and
curling eyelashes with a curler could result in damage to eyelashes. Having eyelash  extensions can also cause lash loss, since the fake lashes are glued to your natural l ashes. Be sure to gently wash eye makeup off every night to keep your lashes healthy,  and don’t use an eyelash curler after applying mascara. Mascara should also be  replaced every three months to prevent infection and clumping of the mascara and  lashes.

Blepharitis – This eye condition, in which oil glands of the eyelids don’t function
properly, can cause your eyelids to become inflamed, red, and itchy. Eyelashes may  begin to form flaky, dandruff-like scales. In many cases, good eyelid hygiene and a  regular cleaning routine can control blepharitis. If the case is caused by a bacterial  infection, we may prescribe an antibiotic.

Other Medical Conditions & Treatments – Hormonal imbalances and other medical  conditions such as alopecia aerate, have been known to have side effects such as loss  of hair including eyelashes. Talk with us or with your medical doctor about treatment  options and any uncomfortable side effects.

In summary, while some causes of eyelash loss cannot be controlled, good habits  and avoiding excess pressure to your eyes can help. If you suspect an abnormal  amount of eyelash loss, schedule an exam with one of us who can properly diagnose  madarosis and point you in the right direction if further treatment is necessary.

Meet our new intern

We are pleased to welcome Hilary Hamer of New Hampshire as our newest intern.

She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Chemistry and Biochemistry, her Master of Arts in Chemical Biology from Harvard University and will receive her Doctor of Optometry from the New England College of Optometry in Boston next month.

Additionally, she is one of a handful of her classmates who are also concurrently receiving a Master of Vision Science degree. On her Linked In profile, Hilary says she is passionate about children, animal welfare, education and environmental issues. Of interest, her clinical rotation prior to Chicopee Eyecare was in Alaska at the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Center.

Soon-to-be Dr. Hamer has accepted a position as staff optometrist at Nashua Eye Associates, a group practice composed of several eye surgeons and optometrists in Nashua, New Hampshire.

Itching for spring?

After weathering the cold weather and messy precipitation of a New England winter, most of us look forward to that first colorful crocus pushing through the snow. Unfortunately for many people, spring is a season of red, watery and itchy eyes associated with allergies.  If you’re in this group, which affects about 20% of the American population, here are 5 recommendations that may help.

1. The best way to prevent allergies is to avoid contact with their offending source which are called allergens. So close windows and doors and stay indoors when allergens are at their peak.  You may have to hire a local teenager to cut your grass!

2. If you need to spend time outdoors when allergies are bad, take a shower and shampoo your hair when inside. Pollen can end up on your furniture,  bed sheets and pillow cases.

3. As hard as it is, try not to rub your eyes as this may worsen the allergic reaction. Instead, use a cold compress over your eyes for several minutes.  This should offer immediate relief.

4. An excellent former prescription-only and now over-the-counter eye drop for allergies is called ketotifen which is available under the brand names Zaditor, Alaway, Refresh Eye Itch Relief and Claritin Eye.   It’s an combination antihistamine and mast cell inhibitor and lasts 12 hours so it can be taken once or twice a day.

5. If you’re still miserable despite following the above recommendations, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.  There are  prescription eye drops stronger than the above OTC drops which may be  more effective  for severe allergies.
In Case You Missed One Of Our Newsletters

Chicopee Eyecare
Happy Easter
  April 16

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.

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   

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