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11121 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37934
Phone: (865) 966-0100View Map

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  • Monday:  7:30 - 4:30
  • Tuesday:  7:30 - 4:30
  • Wednesday:  7:30 - 4:30
  • Thursday:  9:00 - 6:00
  • Friday:  7:30 - 1:00

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 Viewing the Solar Eclipse: What you need to know.

 

A solar eclipse is a very rare and awe-inspiring event that occurs when the moon moves into the direct path between the sun and the earth.  As the moon begins to block the rays of the sun from earth, the sun will begin to disappear from view for a brief moment in time.  All of those who experience a total eclipse of the sun will surely be impacted by the event, an event in which they will likely never forget.

Unfortunately, a total or partial eclipse can also be very dangerous to our eyes.  The intensity of the sun can cause irreversible damage to our retina, the back portion of the eye that converts light through a complex process leading to vision.  If sunlight is intensified, as during a solar eclipse, and not properly filtered, it can cause thermal burns to the retina.  This condition, called solar retinopathy, can be permanent and lead to blindness in extreme cases.

There are several ways one can view a solar eclipse.  Only a few of these are recommended and we will discuss proper and improper ways to view a solar eclipse. 

Improper ways to view an eclipse which may lead to permanent damage and/or blindness:

1.        NEVER- look at a solar eclipse directly unless it is during the few moments of a total eclipse.  When the moon completely obstructs the sun’s rays, it is safe to view the phenomenon directly.  Unfortunately, this event occurs for a brief moment in time and is preceded and followed by a time which can cause irreversible damage to the eyes.  You must use EXTREME CAUTION if viewing a total eclipse directly with your naked eyes.

2.       NEVER- view an eclipse through sunglasses or other filters unless they are designed and approved for viewing an eclipse.  For detailed information on proper lenses, please reference this article on nasa.gov website:  https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/safety2.html

3.       NEVER- view an eclipse through a pinhole.  The use of a pinhole is only to be used to project the image of the eclipse on a screen to view the eclipse indirectly.

4.       NEVER- view an eclipse through any lenses such as cameras, binoculars, telescopes, etc…  Photographing an eclipse is fine and encouraged if you do it properly, using a solar filter to protect the sensor.  DO NOT attempt to photograph an eclipse by looking through a viewfinder in the camera, even with solar glasses!  You can look at a screen image on your camera, but never look through the viewfinder as this will intensify the damaging rays of the sun.

Proper ways to view an eclipse:

1.       Use hand-held solar viewers or solar eclipse glasses that meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard.  Take caution to always look away from the eclipse when removing the solar filters from your eyes.

2.       You can use a pinhole to project the image of the eclipse onto a screen.  This technique must be performed properly.  Those viewing the screen should be facing in the opposite direction of the eclipse and take caution never to look directly toward the eclipse.

3.       Direct viewing of the eclipse can be done safely ONLY during the brief period of total eclipse.  EXTREME CAUTION must be taken when viewing the total eclipse with the naked eyes.  For a detailed description of how to properly view a solar eclipse without damaging your eyes, visit: http://www.space.com/35555-total-solar-eclipse-safety-tips.html

The next total solar eclipse will take place on August 21 at 2:33:27 PM EDT and will last for 1 m 20 sec viewed from the Farragut area.  This is a beautiful phenomenon in nature and will be remembered by all who experience it.  Protect your eyes and enjoy!

Image result for corneal refractive therapy image

 

Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) is a non-surgical way to correct near-sightedness (myopia) without the need for daytime glasses or contact lenses.  Rigid gas-permeable contact lenses are prescribed to be worn overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea (clear, front part of the eye).  When an idividual is near-sighted, objects are out of focus in the distance because light is focused in front of the retina.  This occurs when either the eye is too long, the cornea is too steep, or a combination of the two.  CRT lenses are worn overnight which reshape (flatten) the central cornea much in the same way LASIK flattens the cornea with a laser.  The difference is that LASIK is permanent and CRT is temporary.  The effects of cornea reshaping by CRT lasts from 24-48 hours.  If the CRT lenses are discontinued, the cornea will eventually return to its natural shape and therefore, myopia will return.  CRT lenses are a great choice for those who are not old enough for LASIK or those who do not want to undergo surgery to correct their myopia.

Many parents are choosing CRT for their children to attempt to slow down the progression of myopia.  Although myopia control is not proven and therefore cannot be claimed, there are many articles written on the subject of myopia control.  Myopia progression in growing individuals cannot be stopped or reversed by wearing CRT lenses, however, there is evidence that it may help to slow down the progression of myopia.  If you are considering CRT lenses for yourself or a family member, I would recommend scheduling an appointment with an eye care professional who is skilled and experienced in fitting CRT lenses.  Not everyone is a candidate for CRT lenses, but for those who wear them in my practice, they absolutely love them!

Most people have heard of astigmatism and many have even been told that they have astigmatism.  If you are at all confused or unsure of what astigmatism is and what is means to your vision, you may want to read this.

The official definition of astigmatism is:  a defect in the eye or in a lens caused by a deviation from spherical curvature, which results in distorted images, as light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus.

Ok, so how does astigmatism affect your vision and what can you do about it?  Astigmatism not only can blur your vision, it also distorts your vision.  If it is mild, astigmatism can cause a slight blurring of your vision causing the need to squint to clear up the images you are viewing.  If it is moderate or severe, astigmatism can significantly blur your vision and cause eyestrain and headaches if left uncorrected.

How should astigmatism be treated?  The common treatment for astigmatism is glasses or contact lenses.  LASIK can also be used to correct astigmatism.  Depending on the severity of the astigmatism, your options may be limited.  The good news is that with modern technology, we have excellent options to provide you with clear, comfortable vision, regardless of the severity of your astigmatism.

The first step to take to understanding your vision is to see your eye doctor.  After thoroughly examining your eyes, your eye doctor will be able to determine if you have astigmatism, the severity, the type (corneal or lenticular),and the treatment options which will be best for your individual needs.  If it is determined that you have severe astigmatism, your treatment options will be limited and it is imperative that you find an eye doctor who is skilled in fitting specialty contact lenses.  If contact lenses do not interest you, then make sure you choose the best lenses for your eyeglasses.  Your licensed optician will help you choose the best lenses for astigmatism.  There are many lens options available to you and it is important to understand your options.  If you choose solely based on price, you will most likely be disappointed.

Astigmatism is only one type of refractive error that can blur our vision.  The more commonly known conditions are myopia (near-sightedness) and hyperopia (far-sightedness).  Astigmatism can exist alone, or can be combined with myopia or hyperopia.  The more complex the refractive error, the more important it is to choose the right treatment options.  Our vision can be very complex and it is important to rely on eye care professionals to provide you with the best options.  

Bottom line:  Annual eye exams are not only important for eye health, they are also important to provide you with the best options for vision correction.  When choosing an eye doctor, do your homework and make sure you are choosing an eye doctor who will provide you with the best treatment options.  We rely on our vision every day.  Make sure your vision is the best it can possibly be.

Have you ever been told that you have keratoconus?  Keratoconus is a condition that affects the front surface of the eye called the cornea.  Many people who have keratoconus do not even know it.  In its beginning stages, keratoconus is very difficult to detect.  Your eye doctor can detect keratoconus in its early stages using a corneal mapping device called corneal topography.  Keratoconus usually presents in early adulthood and can progress as one ages.  It is important to detect keratoconus in its early stages and to see an eye doctor that is very familiar with the disease and treatment for it.

There are many types of contact lenses designed for keratoconic corneas.  In most cases of keratoconus, eyeglasses provide less than optimal clarity due to the warping effect of the cone.  By using specially designed contact lenses, visual acuity can be improved above and beyond what eyeglasses can provide.  Traditional soft contact lenses also fall short in acuity because they take the shape of the cornea and do not address the conical shape of the cornea.

A new procedure that has recently been approved by the FDA is called corneal cross-linking.  This procedure is used to slow down the progression of keratoconus in young adults.  Even after cross-linking, the keratoconus must still be addressed with specialty contact lenses to provide optimal vision.  Cross-linking does not reverse the effects of keratoconus, but rather slows down or halts the progression of the disease.

Keratoconus can be hereditary so it is important to stress the importance of regular eye examinations for family members of people with keratoconus.  If keratoconus is diagnosed early, the prognosis is much better.  It is important to find an eye doctor who is experienced in fitting specialty lenses.  Keratoconus contact lenses can be rather expensive.  Some vision plans provide very good benefits for "medically necessary" contact lenses.  

We are now into February and I would assume most of us are looking forward to the warmer days of spring.  Although sunglasses should be worn year-round, many people associate sunglasses with warm, sunny days.  Now is a good time to consider upgrading your sunglasses.  If you already enjoy wearing high quality polarized sunglasses, then you are in the minority.  Unfortunately, high quality sunglasses usually make people think "expensive".  It is true that high quality sunglasses have a higher price tag, but this is one area that you truly get what you pay for.

We wear sunglasses for fashion, visual comfort and clarity, and for protection from harmful sunlight.  If your sunglasses don't provide all of those things, then you need to find some that do.  The higher the quality of sunglasses, usually the higher the price tag.  That doesn't always hold true in reverse.  There are plenty of high priced sunglasses that are not necessarily the highest quality.  The main thing that seperates the quality of the sunglasses in the high price category is the lens.  If the lenses don't protect your eyes properly, including UV and blue light, and provide high quality optics, then you should look for some that do.

We have many options in sunwear and you should rely on your eye care professionals to find the right sunglasses for you.  Fortunately, if you rely on prescription eyeglasses to see, the higher quality sunglasses also come in prescription.  These lenses are made with the same technology that the non-prescription lenses are made.  Keeping your eyewear properly adjusted will ensure that your sunglasses remain as comfortable and the optics are a clear as possible.

Your eyes are precious.  Don't skimp on quality to save a buck.  Your eyes will thank you for it!

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Legally Blind: What Does It Mean? [Interactive Simulation]
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Planning a Summer Vacation With the Kids? Don't Forget to Pack This Essential Item.
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The Reason Behind David Bowie's Interesting Eyes
Learn about this fascinating condition called anisocoria and what causes it.

Office News

July 17, 2017
 Viewing the Solar Eclipse: What you need to know.   A solar eclipse is a very rare and awe-inspiring event that occurs when the moon moves into the direct path between the sun and the e...

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