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Carolina Eye Associates
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A multi-subspecialty eye center that provides a full range of diagnostic and treatment services.
A multi-subspecialty eye center that provides a full range of diagnostic and treatment services.

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Solar Eclipse Eye Safety—How to Safely Watch the Eclipse of 2017


On Monday, Aug. 21, 2017, a solar eclipse will be visible across North America (weather permitting). The whole continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting two to three hours. Halfway through the event, anyone within an approximate 70-mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse. At that point, the moon will completely cover the face of the sun for up to two minutes 40 seconds. If you get a chance to see it, it is important to remember to take care of your vision during the eclipse.

According to retina specialist Gregory Mincey, M.D. “The only time it is safe to look directly at the sun is when it is completely covered by the moon during the totality phase of the eclipse. You must protect your eyes during the rest of the eclipse or you could damage your retina, possibly causing blindness.”

But there are easy ways to view a solar eclipse safely. “You can use special-purpose solar filters found in “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. They must meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2. Look for this number on the glasses to ensure they are certified” said Arghavan Almony, M.D. a retina specialist with Carolina Eye Associates.

“Another option is through pinhole projection” states retina specialist Zeina Haddad, M.D. “This viewer lets you project an image of the sun onto another surface, like paper, a wall or pavement. The image of the sun is safe to look at throughout the eclipse.”

The American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Astronomical Society have released the following tips for safe eclipse viewing.

 Carefully look at your solar filter or eclipse glasses before using them. If you see any scratches or damage, do not use them.
 Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filter or eclipse glasses. Help children to ensure they use handheld solar viewers and eclipse glasses correctly.
 Before looking up at the bright sun, stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter—do not remove it while looking at the sun.
 The only time that you can look at the sun without a solar viewer is during a total eclipse. When the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark, you can remove your solar filter to watch this unique experience. Then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear, immediately use your solar viewer again to watch the remaining partial phase of the eclipse.
 Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other similar devices. This is important even if you are wearing eclipse glasses or holding a solar viewer at the same time. The intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.

The Aug. 21 total solar eclipse will be an once-in-a-lifetime event for many. A little preparation now can ensure that you and your family enjoy the event and keep your eyes healthy.

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Carolina Eye Associates Announces Opening of Lumberton, NC Office

Carolina Eye Associates, a medical and surgical eye care practice headquartered in Southern Pines, announced its June 2017 opening of their satellite clinic in Lumberton, NC. The new clinic is located at 2905 N. Elm Street and is convenient to the Surgery Center at Southeastern Health Park.

Jeffrey J. White, M.D, president of Carolina Eye Associates stated, “We are excited to expand our ophthalmology services into the Lumberton community. This location will allow Carolina Eye the opportunity to further serve the people of Robeson County and the surrounding area.”

Anna F. Fakadej, M.D. a cataract and refractive specialist will provide surgical evaluations at the clinic. She will perform surgery at the Surgery Center at Southeastern Health Park. “We are excited at the opportunity to join forces with a company that matches our philosophy of providing patient-centered care,” said Anna Fakadej, M.D.

Retina specialist Zeina Haddad, M.D. will also see patients at the Lumberton location treating conditions and diseases of the vitreous body of the eye and the retina, including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, and retinal detachment. According to Dr. Haddad “Residents will now have local access to the high standard of care they have come to expect and trust from Carolina Eye.”

Carolina Eye Associates will provide services in Lumberton on a part-time basis. Patients who would like to be seen at the Lumberton location may call (910) 370-2100 to set up an appointment.
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So you have a cataract, now what?

A cataract is a progressive cloudiness, hardening, and yellowing of the normally transparent lens of the eye.

It can cause images to become blurred and bright colors to become dull. It can also make seeing at night more difficult. Vision with cataracts is often described as seeing through an old, cloudy film.

 Is your vision blurry or foggy?
 Do colors appear dull or muted?
 Are your glasses no longer working?
 Does sunlight or other light seem overly bright or glaring?
 Do you have decreased night vision or see halos around lights?

If so, you may have cataracts. Many believe cataracts have to be “ripe” before they can be removed. This is no longer true. Today cataract surgery can be performed as soon as your vision interferes with the quality of your life. Cataract surgery is generally a simple, outpatient procedure with little discomfort. First, an anesthetic is given to numb the nerves in and/or around the eye. The procedure involves making a tiny incision in the eye. The surgeon then inserts a small instrument into the eye to break up the cloudy lens using ultrasound. The lens is then removed from the eye and a new, artificial lens or intralocular lens (IOL) is then inserted through the same incision.

You will be able to go home the same day, normally within a few hours of the surgery. You will need to take someone with you to drive you home. Following surgery, you may be prescribed eye drops to prevent against infection, to reduce swelling and to help the eye heal. You may need to wear eye shields for a few days following surgery. Most patients see well within a few days of recovery, though your vision may continue to improve for several days or weeks.

Depending on your individual needs and the intraocular lens you choose, you may still need to wear glasses or contact lenses following cataract surgery.

For more information call Carolina Eye at (910) 295-2095 or toll-free at (800) 733-5357 or visit our website at www.carolinaeye.com.
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Dry Eyes in Children

The pencils are sharpened. The supplies are ready…but are your eyes ready for the new school year?

The number of students complaining of dry eye syndrome is growing. While dry eye still predominantly affects older individuals, dry eyes in children are a growing complaint, as the number of children and college students now suffering from the disease is quickly increasing.

Prolonged computer use and extended time spent studying can lead to dry eye. Studying between 18 to 20 hours is the equivalent of sleeping in contact lenses. Students should wear their glasses during marathon study periods to avoid the dry eye that is bound to creep up from wearing your contacts too long. The following tips may help your student as well:

 Regular eye exams are a must. Before beginning school add a comprehensive eye exam to your “to do” list. Make sure it includes computer, reading and distance testing.

 Head outside during the day. Half of college graduates become nearsighted and some studies show that spending some time in the great outdoors may prevent vision from declining.

 For younger children, ensure that their workstations are arranged according to their size. Computer users should view the screen slightly downward, at a 15-degree angle and keep the monitor at a distance between 18 to 28 inches.

 Make sure students adhere to what some eye doctors refer to as the 20-20 rules: a 20 second break for every 20 minutes on the computer.

 Reduce glare as much as possible.

For more information on dry eye and possible dry eye treatments, call Carolina Eye at (910) 295-1501 or toll-free at (800) 733-9355 or visit our website at www.carolinaeye.com.
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Using eyedrops properly

Whether they’re used to treat dry eye, allergies, infections or glaucoma, eyedrops are among the most common drugs found in most medicine cabinets. But how do you know if you’re using them properly? Follow these simple tips to make every drop count:

 Wash your hands with soap and water.
 Remove the bottle top from your eye drop.
 While tipping your head back, pull down the lower eyelid with your index finger to form a pocket.
 With your other hand, hold the bottle (tip down) above your eye, as close to the eye as possible without touching it.
 While looking up, gently squeeze the bottle to release a drop into the eyelid pocket.
 Close your eyes, and apply gentle pressure with your finger to the medial canthus for two minutes.
 Replace and tighten the bottle top.
 If you are instilling more than one medication, wait five minutes before instilling the second medication.
 Wash your hands with soap and water.

For more information, call Carolina Eye at (910) 295-2100 or toll-free at (800) 733-5357 or visit our website at www.carolinaeye.com.
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Carolina Eye Welcomes Andrew J. Mincey, M.H.S., M.D.

Carolina Eye Associates is pleased to introduce ophthalmic (eye) surgeon Andrew J. Mincey, M.D. to the practice. Dr. Mincey is a specialist in comprehensive surgical and medical ophthalmology.

Mincey received a Bachelor of Science in biology from Davidson College in Davidson, N.C. and a Masters in Health Science from the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md.

He completed his medical degree at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He did an internship in General Surgery at the Washington Hospital Center and completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.

Dr. Mincey will provide services in the Greensboro location of Carolina Eye Associates. Established in 1977, Carolina Eye Associates is one of the largest eye care facilities in the Southeast. The practice provides a full range of quality medical and surgical eye care services. For appointment inquires or more information on the services offered, call (336) 282-5000 or toll free at (800) 632-0428.
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Dry eye treatment

Dry eyes are uncomfortable. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn. If you’ve had signs and symptoms of dry eyes, see your eye doctor to diagnose the type of dry eye you have. This will allow you and your doctor to determine the best treatment plan to meet your individual needs.

Treatment options may include:

 Artificial tears. These over-the-counter eye drops temporarily provide moisture to the eye and relieve dry eye symptoms.

 Prescription medicine. Some options for treatment of dry eyes are only available by prescription from your eye doctor.

 Tear duct plugs. Also known as punctal plugs, these are silicone plugs that can be inserted by an eye doctor to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye.

 LipFlow. The only FDA-cleared device for removing gland blockages and restoring gland function. The LipiFlow treatment uses a patented algorithm of heat applied to the inner eyelids and massage to remove the obstructions in the Meibomian glands.

For more information on dry eye and possible dry eye treatments, call Carolina Eye at (910) 295-1501 or toll-free at (800) 733-9355 or visit our website at www.carolinaeye.com.
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What is dry eye?

Dry eye, also known as dry eye disease, is a condition in which the tears do not provide adequate lubrication for the eye. It ranges in severity from mild irritation to a sight-threatening disease.

There are two major categories of dry eye:
 Aqueous deficient dry eye disease represents a diminished production of water and therefore a reduced amount of tears.

 Evaporative dry eye disease is the result of insufficient oil (lipid) within the tears. This creates a situation in which the tears evaporate much too quickly resulting in poor tear stability and lubrication.

The cornea is the clear, front portion of the eye, which acts much like the lens of a camera to allow our eyes to focus. It must continually be lubricated to maintain maximum transparency, and comfort. As we blink, tears are evenly dispersed across the surface of the cornea.

Tears continually bathe the cornea and conjunctiva (front part of the eye). The eyes become dry when there are insufficient amounts of water or oil making up the tears. The lacrimal gland in the outer corner of each eye is responsible for water production and smaller glands lining each eyelid produce the oil layer. The smaller glands are called meibomian glands. Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the most common cause of dry eye disease. This results in tears evaporating too rapidly and preventing lubrication.

Dry eye is most prevalent in women over 40 and men over 50. However, it is possible for it to occur at any age as a result of medical conditions and also as a side effect of many medications.

Surprisingly, tearing is one of the most common symptoms dry eye. This is due to a lack of the oil component in the tears. The oil is required for the tears to function as a lubricant as opposed to just water. Without the oil component, we continue to produce water in excess in an attempt to lubricate the eye, resulting in an overflow of tears. Burning, stinging, redness, foreign body sensation and blurred vision may occur intermittently in early stages, and become more persistent as the condition progresses.

If you think you have dry eye disease over the counter artificial tears and gels may provide some relief. Eyelid hygiene is also very important. Cleaning the lids and lashes at bedtime helps remove debris from the lashes and when combined with warm compresses this may help open clogged oil glands.

Avoid air currents directed toward your face, such as the heat or AC vents in the car. Ceiling fans or vents in the ceiling in the bedroom can be the source of waking with red irritated eyes. Vitamin supplements containing omega 3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties which may aid in tear production.

See your eye doctor to diagnose the type of dry eye you have and to determine the best plan of treatment. For more information on dry eye and possible dry eye treatments, call Carolina Eye at (910) 295-1501 or toll-free at (800) 733-9355 or visit our website at www.carolinaeye.com.
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What is Botox® Cosmetic?

Botox® Cosmetic is an FDA-approved nonsurgical, physician-administered treatment that can temporarily smooth facial wrinkles and furrows. It is a purified protein produced by the Clostridium botulinum bacterium, which reduces the activity of the muscles that cause lines to form over time.
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Botox® Cosmetic is the most popular physician administered aesthetic procedure in the U.S.

Botox was developed by an eye doctor in 1973 with the purpose of controlling muscle spasms for uncontrolled blinking. It is only natural that ophthalmologists use it today for other treatment methods.

Before the procedure you’ll be seated in a reclining chair. Your doctor will numb the area with an anesthetic cream and will make the injections. The entire procedure takes about 10 minutes and there is no recovery time needed. Within days, you should see a marked improvement in the moderate to severe lines. Lines continue to improve for up to a month, and results can last for up to three to four months.

The most common side effects following injection include temporary eyelid droop and nausea. Localized discomfort, infection, inflammation, tenderness, swelling, redness, and/or bleeding/ bruising may be associated with the injection. Patients with certain neuromuscular disorders such as ALS, myasthenia gravis, or Lambert-Eaton syndrome may be at risk for more serious side effects.

If you’re pleased with the results of Botox Cosmetic, you’ll probably want to get on a treatment schedule. You can receive injections every three to four months to help you maintain the results. If you discontinue treatment, the lines will gradually reappear.

For more information call Carolina Eye at (910) 295-1501 or toll-free at (800) 733-9355 or visit our website at www.carolinaeye.com.
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