Posted by & filed under Eye Health, General Health.

Firstly, we want to say we sincerely hope you, your friends and family are healthy during these stressful times. We feel privileged to be a part of your health care team and are taking steps to keep you as safe as possible for everyone who comes in.*

We have established a verbal coronavirus screening and enhanced cleaning protocols to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. It includes the following:

  • We are disinfecting high touch surfaces, such as counters, door handles and arm rests, frequently throughout the day. (Exam room equipment is disinfected after each use with medical grade cleaner, as always.)
  • Bathroom near lobby has become a hand washing station to allow each visitor to clean their hands upon arrival.
  • Hand sanitizer is located throughout the office for your convenience. Bottles are on most counter tops and touchless dispensers are in each exam room.
  • Trays for pens and frames are placed throughout the office so they can be disinfected after each use.
  • We’ve removed children’s toys, books and magazines from the waiting room. (We can’t clean them easily.)
  • Verbally screening all people entering the office for flu-like symptoms and recent travel.
  • Taking each person’s temperature upon arrival
  • Limiting the number of people in the office to reduce contact with others and we are observing social distancing whenever possible
  • Per CDC recommendations, all patients with history of respiratory illness or immune compromise are being scheduled with caution. All non-urgent (routine) care is being delayed to reduce their risk of infection. (We don’t want our grandparents to get sick and don’t want yours to either.)

 We are here to help!

Keeping you and our staff safe is our top priority! If you or your child(ren) aren’t feeling well, please don’t come in. We are happy to help if you need a minor repair or medical advise over the phone, just call and we’ll find a solution.

  • If you are medically fragile or immune compromised and have concerns about coming into the office, please let us know. We can see you in your car for adjustments, leave an item in our outdoor drop box for you, or skip the waiting room to lower your risk. 
  • If you need contact lenses, you may still purchase them on our online store or call our office during our business hours.* Our suppliers are still direct mailing items to your home (as of 3/26/2020). With such reduced services, we are using these sales to pay for our staff and appreciate your business, now more than ever.
  • We want to keep you safe and out of the ER during this unprecedented time. Our doctors are happy to work you over the phone (telemedicine), and can solve many issues without an in-person visit, including sending prescriptions if needed. 
  • A doctor is on-call after office hours for urgent care. (Just like always) Call our normal office number 816-524-8900, leave a message and one of our doctors will call you back.

We hope these precautions can help us proactively protect our staff and our patients against COVID-19. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

IMPORTANT: If you are infected with COVID-19 or think you may have been infected, please contact us in advance before coming in. This way we can instruct you on where to go and how to proceed for the safety of all.

Contact us with any questions. We are here for you. For more information on COVID-19, see our blog or click on the resources below.

*Updated office hours through April 24th:
Monday-Thursday 8:00am – 4:30pm
Friday 8:00am – noon

LAST UPDATED:  March 26, 2020

For the most up-to-date information on possible vaccines, treatments, FAQs, news and more, please visit the following official health organizations:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
www.CDC.gov

World Health Organization (WHO)
www.WHO.int

Written by Dr. Laura Nennig, owner of Eyecare Associates of Lee’s Summit.

Posted by & filed under General Health, General Vision.

What is Coronavirus or COVID-19?

COVID-19, originally known as 2019-nCoV, is a strain of a large family of coronaviruses which can be transmitted from animals to humans. It was first identified as the cause of a respiratory illness outbreak in Wuhan, China in November 2019. On March 11, 2020 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. (Pandemics affect the whole world, and not just a region).

Coronavirus is a type of virus that can cause the “common cold” although, at least 50% of colds are thought to be caused by Rhinovirus. The 2003 SARs outbreak was a type of coronavirus.

What are common symptoms?

COVID-19 symptoms are similar to the cold or flu, and may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to the virus. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Be vigilant as severe cases may lead to pneumonia, kidney failure or death. Those at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 include older adults, and people who have serious chronic medical conditions like heart disease, diabetes and lung disease, although young people are not immune from getting it, they are just more likely to recover.

Most people show signs of the illness within 5 days of exposure.
Mild symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Sore Throat
  • Runny Nose & Sneezing
  • Muscle Aches & Pain (including headaches)
  • Chills & Fatigue
  • Impaired Liver & Kidney Function

How can you prevent the spread of COVID-19?

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises the following prevention methods:

Wash Hands Frequently

Scrub hands with soap for at least 20 seconds, THEN rinse with water. Soap needs time to kill the microbes on your hands and does a better job than alcohol-based hand rubs, like Purell or Germ-X. Hand sanitizer with at least 65-70% alcohol will work if your hands are not visibly dirty; your hands should remain wet with the alcohol cleaner for at least 10 seconds for it to kill microbes.

Practice Respiratory Hygiene

When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow   or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

Maintain Social Distancing

Maintain at least 6 feet distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever. If you are too close, you can breathe in the virus.

Avoid Touching Eyes, Nose & Mouth

Hands touch many surfaces which can be contaminated with the virus. If you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself. Wearing glasses reduced how frequently you touch around your eyes.

Self-Isolate if You Think You’ve Been Exposed

If you have fever, cough OR difficulty breathing, you might have COVID-19. If you have traveled recently including places like the Seattle or New York City area, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has respiratory symptoms, please isolate yourself from others. This step is crucial to slow the spread and may mean the difference between keeping most of our grandparents safe or not.

Mild Symptoms

If you have mild respiratory symptoms and have not traveled to hard-hit areas, don’t call your medical provider, and be sure to carefully practice basic respiratory and hand hygiene and stay home until you are recovered. Only contact your provider if you get severe symptoms like shortness of breath or a high fever.

Animal Proximity Precautions

Practice general hygiene measures when visiting farms, live animal markets, wet markets, animal product markets or contact with wild animals. Ensure regular hand washing with soap and potable water after touching animals and animal products.

Animal Consumption

Avoid eating raw or under-cooked animal products. Handle raw meat, milk or animal organs with care, to avoid cross-contamination with uncooked foods, as per good food safety practices.

What are possible treatments of COVID-19?

To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-19. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms and people with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover thanks to supportive care.

Possible vaccines and some specific drug treatments are under investigation. They are being tested through clinical trials and WHO is coordinating efforts to develop vaccines and medicines to prevent and treat COVID-19. Epidemiologists feel that those who recover from it will have immunity if they are exposed again, similar to other infectious diseases; sadly, experts think there are two strains circulating at this time and recovering from one doesn’t offer any protection from the other.

The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are to frequently clean your hands, cover your cough with the bend of elbow or tissue, and maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from people who are coughing or sneezing.

To read more about what our office is doing to keep you safe during your next visit, check out our blog. As always, thanks to everyone for their patience and grace in these unprecedented times.

LAST UPDATED:  March 26, 2020

For the most up-to-date information on possible vaccines, treatments, FAQs, news and more, please visit the following official health organizations:

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
www.CDC.gov

World Health Organization (WHO)
www.WHO.int

Posted by & filed under Eye Exams, Eye Health, Featured, Glaucoma.

by  Dr. Doug Herriott and originally printed in the Lee’s Summit Journal on January 9, 2019

The new year is an excellent time for Lee’s Summit citizens to become educated, to get their eyes checked and to get treatment if needed, before permanent and irreversible damage begins.

Experts call glaucoma “the sneak thief of sight” because there are no symptoms in the early stages such as blurred vision, a feeling of pressure in or behind the eye or pain. When a person finally notices a change in their sight, more than 40 percent of their optic nerve (the nerve that transmits the light from our eyes back to our brain) may be destroyed. This damage is permanent.

Once the individual sees symptoms it can be difficult to prevent more damage, vision loss or potential blindness.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Eye Health, Featured, Glaucoma.

Medical Marijuana: Not Useful for Glaucoma

Laura Nennig, OD

November 18, 2018

Now with the approval of medical marijuana use in Missouri, I’m anticipating many patients asking about whether marijuana is useful for treating glaucoma, some out of curiosity and others hoping to get a prescription.  Here are a few things to know.

Marijuana: schedule 1 drug

Marijuana is currently categorized as a schedule 1 drug, next to things like heroin. Regardless of where you feel it falls on the scale of potential for abuse or addition, the DEA puts it there because it lacks “accepted medical use”. That doesn’t mean it has no uses, it means the medical community hasn’t seen enough evidence to support widespread use. Using weed is not included in the standard of care doctors look to when making decisions about treatment, essentially making it ‘off label’ whenever it’s used and opening the possibly for law suits against the prescriber.

Optometrists are not allowed to prescribe it

As an optometrist, I can’t prescribe it. Our license only allows us to write Rx’s for schedule 3, 4 and 5 drugs. It doesn’t matter what my stance is on the issue, it would be illegal for me to write these prescriptions. You’d need an MD (medical doctor) or DO (osteopathic doctor) to write one for you.

Marijuana is not useful for glaucoma

Marijuana, medical or not, is a terrible treatment for glaucoma. Although it is widely touted for lowering eye pressure, the effect of marijuana on eye pressure only lasts 3-4 hours. You’d have to wake up at night to ensure adequate control of the eye pressure. I regularly prescribe medications that are taken 4 times a day; patients can’t sustain that level of vigilance without the constant reminder of symptoms. Many people who we treat with antibiotics take them every 4 or 5 hours the first day or two but then start forgetting a dose here or there. Glaucoma is known as a silent disease: it has no symptoms. Many of my patients do well with something that is taken once or twice a day, but no one would accept a recommended treatment that was dosed 6 to 8 times a day.

In face, it’s possible Marijuana makes Glaucoma worse!

Even occasionally smoking marijuana doesn’t help the optic nerve (the tissue damaged from glaucoma). Marijuana reduces eye pressure but it also reduced blood pressure. One of the ways glaucoma injures the optic nerve is by low perfusion pressure, i.e. the tissue is not getting enough nutrients from the blood stream. If both the eye pressure and the blood pressure go down, the optic nerve may actually become more compromised. When I’m concerned about someone’s optic nerve health, I generally will recommend against using marijuana for this reason. Those who have robust, healthy tissue have much less to lose than those who are suspicious for glaucoma or those who have already lost vision from it.

If you think you have glaucoma, please visit with one of our doctors. Click here to schedule an appointment or call 816-524-8900.

Dr. Laura Nennig owns and helps run for Eyecare Associates of Lee’s Summit near Kansas City, MO.

Posted by & filed under Contact Lenses, Eye Health, Featured, General Vision.

Hubble sells only one size and kind of contact lenses. Contacts are not a one size fits all product

original source: GRITDAILY

Contacts are not a one size fits all product, so it can do more harm than good if used incorrectly.

Bad news, contact lens wearers—the hot new (cheap) service Hubble has one pretty big catch.

If you’ve been on social media at all in the last year or two, odds are you’ve come across an ad for Hubble Contacts. Hubble is an automated subscription service that delivers contact lenses to your doorstep every month for about $30. Most delivery contact lens companies can’t sell contacts for such a low price, so consumers are rife with questions about what catch (if any) there might be. How is it possible to sell contacts for such a low price when no competitor can go that low? Turns out, there’s a big reason why.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Contact Lenses, Featured.

Kari Burchett, OD

August 20, 2018

Contact lens disposal contributing to microplastic contamination in our waterways

The American Chemical Society has recently published research regarding microplastic contamination in our waterways and how improper contact lens disposal is contributing to such contamination. Approximately 45 million Americans wear contact lenses, and according to research, about 20% may be flushing their contact lens down the toilet or washing them down the sink rather than disposing of them in the trash. Lenses in the waterways do not biodegrade easily at the wastewater treatment facility and can defragment and make their way into surface water. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Childrens Vision, Featured.

nearsightedness in children; Eyecare Associates of Lee's Summit

More children are being diagnosed with nearsightedness, but experts aren’t sure why.

Helping to prevent nearsightedness in children may be as simple as urging them to spend more time outside, some experts say.

Possibly due to changing habits among children — spending more time reading in dim light and spending more time indoors than those of past generations — doctors are seeing an increase in the number of cases of nearsightedness, also known as myopia.

Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC recently opened a Myopia Treatment Center to meet the growing demand.

Nearsightedness is a condition in which vision gets blurred when viewing an object at a distance. In some countries such as China nearsightedness has reached epidemic proportions with as much as 80% of the population being affected.

Read more »

Posted by & filed under Childrens Vision, Eye Health, Featured.

Parents: The solar eclipse is nothing to fear. Here’s how to watch it with your kids.

(Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images)

Parents: The solar eclipse is nothing to fear. Here’s how to watch it with your kids.

(This is reprinted from the Washington Post.)

A total solar eclipse is an incredible thing — something I deeply believe should be experienced by adults and children alike. It literally illustrates how our solar system works as the moon travels directly between the sun and Earth. It is a science class brought to life in a way schools will never be able to re-create.For kids, this could be a significant moment in their little lives. They could be inspired to learn more about space and science in general. For older students, it could trigger exciting new career goals. For you, parent, the eclipse will give you the opportunity to create a memory your children won’t forget.As the big event gets closer, some schools have decided to close on Aug. 21, simply because they can’t handle the logistics of wrangling a thousand kids to watch the solar eclipse. That makes sense. It’s unfortunate for parents who aren’t going to be able to arrange child care that day, let alone child care that will help the kids watch the eclipse. But I understand the eclipse may be a burden — particularly when special equipment and planning is needed to ensure the kids are able to watch it safely. Read more »

Posted by & filed under Featured, General Vision.

Eyelid Twitches: 7 Things You Should Know from Eyecare Associates of LS

You may have experienced this before. Out of nowhere, your eyelid starts twitching uncontrollably. While this can be a cause of aggravation, eyelid twitches, spasms or tics are actually quite common. Here are 7 things you should know about this eye condition:

  1. Eye twitches are generally caused by a repetitive, involuntary spasm in your eyelid muscles and are known in medical terms as a blepharospasm.
  2. Almost all sudden-onset eye twitching is not considered to be a serious medical condition, though it can be hard to treat without knowing the underlying cause.
  3. Eyelid twitches can occur sporadically, though some people have been known to feel them for a few consecutive days or weeks
  4. Stress, tiredness, eyestrain, caffeine alcohol or tobacco usage, dry eyes, allergies or nutritional imbalances are factors that can trigger or exacerbate eye twitches. The body produces endogenous cortisol (a steroid) when stressed, which may cause biological warning signs to the body to de-stress.
  5. If reducing stress does not alleviate the twitches, your eye doctor can perform a refraction (vision test) and comprehensive eye health exam to see if eye treatment can resolve the problem. Sometimes the solution is relieving eyestrain by updating your glasses.
  6. Rarely, a twitch will continue despite these efforts to alleviate triggers. In that case, they can be treated with Botox injections to help stop the muscles in your eyelid from contracting.
  7. Eyelid spasms are only considered a medical emergency when the twitch is accompanied by red or swollen eyes, unusual discharge, a drooping eyelid or twitching in other parts of the face. These may be symptoms of a more serious neurological disorder.

Read more »