BIGGER… and better!

Well, it’s finally happened.  We’ve squished poor, unsuspecting patients into our office and into our office schedule for the last time.  And we’ve stepped all over and onto each other for the last time, as well.  Our office is finally going to get BIGGER – and in some most pleasant ways.

First, we have badly needed an additional doctor for a long time.  Because of great people like you, our schedule has been full to overflowing and there is simply no good way to see all the folks who want to be seen!  We have tried coming in early.  We have tried staying late.  We have mostly tried doing both at the same time – more often than we care to think about.  And you know what?  Sooner or later we’re just plain gonna wear out!

But the problem with enlisting another doctor is that we would certainly need more staff as well.  Even though our present staffers are way beyond super-human, they simply cannot do any more than they already do!  But more staff would certainly require more space – or we’d be suffering the consequences of cleaning footprints off each other even more than we’re doing right now!

So, what’s going to happen is really exciting for all of us.  Vicki’s Restaurant next door is donating half their space to help our office expand.  When it’s all done and you find yourself back for a visit, you’ll certainly not get lost, so no worries!  You’ll still recognize most of the office and still be able to find your way around.  And the same sweet staff will be there, as long as there is no mutiny due to the dust we’re bound to generate.  Hmm, in a mutiny it’s the captain who goes, right?  Now I’m the one with worries….

Anyway, with more space to fit ourselves, we think we’ll be able to accomplish some good and fun things.  Our fondest hope is that you’ll hang in there with us as we navigate the treacherous waters of a growth spurt.  And if you do visit any time soon, please rest assured that you will only have to wear the old clothes – you know, the ones you don’t mind getting dusty – for a limited time only!

Maui Jim: Making a Splash!

Annis Optometry Maui Jims Making a Splash!

Make A Splash!

It started years ago on a beach stand in Hawaii and spread worldwide to over 25 countries. Maui Jim sunwear has a loyal following second to none. That’s because once you try it, you’re a fan forever! It was among Forbes Magazine’s “100 Things Worth Every Penny” and Outdoor Magazine’s “Gear of the Year,” mainly because it gives you everything you’d ever want from your sunwear… and more.

Maui Jims feature lenses like no other. Their color-enhancing lenses let you see vibrantly and with sheer brilliance. So blues are truer. Greens are brighter. Reds more vibrant. They infuse your views with color!

Besides their ability to color-enhance, every Maui lens is polarized to eliminate glare from any flat, smooth or shiny surface for a cleaner, crisper view. Think what that would do for your next trip to the beach, the lake, the mountains or, for that matter, that bright drive to work!

Maui Jims also wipe out 99.9% of glare and block 100% of UV rays. What a way to eliminate eye fatigue and give you the comfort and relaxation you’d appreciate on a long day in the sun! They also perform better for longer with their highly durable CLEARSHELL treatment. And they’re a breeze to keep clean, too, with their grease and smudge-repellant treatment. So besides being waterproof to quickly shed water and snow, fingerprints simply wipe away too!

Maui Jims are not available everywhere, so come on in and take a look! We’d love to show you why so many people are hooked on Mauis. We think there’s a pretty good chance that once you see for yourself what all the buzz is about, you’ll fall in love with them too! You might even become one of those life-long Maui fans who’ll never buy anything else!

Photographing the Eye’s Interior

Fundus_1Is everything normal with your retinas? We know that when things change inside your eyes, even in the smallest detail, something is very wrong. That “something” could be in the eye itself or, just as often, in other parts of your body that may be even more important. It could be a blood pressure issue. Or diabetic damage. Or kidney disease or blood clotting disorders. There are dozens of possibilities! Not to mention the 101 abnormalities that could go wrong in the eyeball itself. So what if there was some way to detect change, even in a minute degree, so we could catch the signal that there was a problem brewing somewhere in your body?

What better way than a photograph? A 21.5 megapixel digital photograph! With our special retinal camera, we can photograph the vision cell layer inside your eyes at resolutions almost unbelievable. What that means is that every detail we photograph can be enlarged multiple times and the smallest details examined closely. We can compare a photograph from a recent visit with photos from years past, and we can know with certainty whether any given finding represents a problem or simply what might be normal for you.

We can even photograph your retinas in 3-D stereo. If you’ve ever seen a 3-D movie you can imagine how 3-D would make you feel like you’re standing right inside your eye! Talk about being part of the action! Stereo imaging is especially important in eye diseases like glaucoma, macular degeneration and some infective diseases.

For now, even if your eyes are healthy, we have begun photographing eyes in their normal state. That way, it makes it possible to catch future changes at very early stages instead of allowing things to get too far ahead of us. As you might expect, early detection of abnormalities is the surest way to fix them in a timely manner. When abnormalities aren’t allowed to get a head-start, it’s easier to head off problems. Our retinal camera gives the confidence we all want in knowing that the smallest problems will not be allowed to become large ones.

New High-Definition Lens Technology

Annis Optometry HD Glasses LensesHi-Def (Digital) lenses have never before been possible. In fact, until just lately, the manufacturing of eyewear lenses has remained pretty much the way it was for decades. Sure, the machines have been improved and modernized, but the basic way they go about their work has remained unchanged. Until now!

The newest Hi-Def lens technology has now made it possible to customize lenses for you and your prescription, taking into account how to best maximize your vision in whatever direction your eye happens to look . Traditionally, vision has always been sharpest straight ahead but becomes a little “off” in all the other directions. These distortions have always made for lesser quality vision in every direction other than precisely straight ahead. By a digital process, we can now let a computer design the various features of a lens so that your vision is sharpened even in directions away from the lens centers! This greatly reduces most of the distortions we’ve always found present in lenses, especially out in the peripheries.

New computer-generated Hi-Def technology can now take into account the angle of the eyes behind the lenses and adjust the lens power at each point to remain correct, even when viewing at angles through the periphery of the lenses. That means that whatever point in the lenses your eyes point through, the power there matches what your eye needs to see its best. For those in progressive “no-line” lenses, it means that the placement and sizing of the reading area is created digitally for sharpest and most precise viewing. Result? Clearer, sharper vision through all parts of the lenses! And a sense that you’re seeing much more normally and naturally.

These cutting-edge lenses automatically come with non-glare, with super-strong scratch protection, and with UV block, so your eyes are protected and have much better vision without paying for a lot of extras. On top of that, they are backed with a strong manufacturer’s warranty, so if there is anything at all you find objectionable, you’re not stuck being dissatisfied. That’s how strongly the manufacturer feels about your likelihood of falling in love with your new lenses! And we know you’ll see the difference too!

Come in or give us a call, and we’ll be only too glad to share more information with you about this exciting new technology which is going to revolutionize the way we all see!

The Ultimate Retina Defender!

Annis Optometry The Ultimate Retina DefenderWhich do you want first, the good news or the bad news?

How about the bad first… and we’ll make it quick. It turns out the vast majority of vision loss happens because of something that goes wrong with the retina. Your retinas are fragile and delicate, yet still charged with the monumental task of gathering in what you see and sending it on to your brain for “processing.” It is precisely because they are so delicate that they’re so good at doing what they do.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t take much at all to damage or destroy a retina. Even more unfortunately, without normal retinas, your eyes cease to see. Any one of a large number of diseases, if allowed to gain a foothold, are capable of bringing down your eyesight.

Now, enter the good news! If there was a way to visualize your retinas so carefully that they could be evaluated down to the level of a few microns, virtually nothing would be able to hide. If we could view your retinal tissue layer by layer, undetectable problems would become exposed and marginally suspicious findings would become obvious. What a breakthrough that would be!

We now have an instrument that can do just that! … sniff out the most minor issues that are on their way to becoming major ones. Our Ocular Coherence Tomographer (OCT for short) is quite a marvel of technology. In just a few seconds per eye, this instrument peeks inside your eye, conducts a scan of your retina, gathers millions of data points and displays the findings.

But that’s not all! The instrument operator can then take those images and turn them in various 3-D perspectives to visualize any small defects that might be in question. That gives us the best view from the best angle in the finest detail to find the smallest defects.

So what’s that good for? Glaucoma directly affects the retina. Macular degeneration directly affects the retina. Diabetes directly affects the retina. Each one of these is a potentially blinding disorder. Now our office is able to detect problems from all of these before they even become visible using conventional means. And other retinal diseases, though they be less common, are also pretty important if they happen to be in your eyes! And if we can find it, we can very often fix it.

So come in and allow us the opportunity to scan your eyes with some of the best technology on the planet. You might end up being very glad you did!

Planning a trip?

Annis Optometry PLANNING A TRIP?Traveling within the confines of the good ol’ U.S.A. is a whole lot less challenging than traveling abroad. So if you plan to travel within our own borders, an extra pair of glasses, an extra few contact lenses and, of course, the cell phone will get you handily out of most jams, especially if you remember to take your eye doctor’s number with you. Oh, and don’t forget your favorite shades!

But what if your plans include some exotic, out-of-the-way destination? Well, first of all, we envy you! But apart from that, you really need to think ahead. The initial advise still holds true – extra glasses, extra contacts and lens care solutions, and sunglasses. But you’ll need to consider a few extra precautions.

If departing by air from the U.S., the rules have changed again. Previously, you could carry-on containers with only 3 oz. of liquid (or less) and they had to be enclosed in see-through plastic bags. Now, you are not limited in the amounts you can carry-on, but if it’s more than 3 oz. or not in a plastic bag, you have to tell security and allow them to inspect it. So, especially if you’re a contact lens wearer, it’s probably still easier to not stuff that giant bottle of lens solution into your carry-on. Of course you can always put as much as you’d like into your checked luggage. Pay special note that the availability of certain lens solutions you’re familiar with may not be available in other countries. If you’d care to use something you’re familiar with, bring enough!

Seriously consider bringing copies of spectacle and contact lens prescriptions so that if the worst should happen, you have some chance of getting things replaced. This is particularly true if you plan an extended stay.

While in the air, no matter what the distance, you may experience eye discomfort from increased dryness during flights. You can thank the forced air and low humidity for that. Older folks and anyone wearing contacts are more susceptible to dryness. If your symptoms are mild or the flight short, lubricating drops in a bottle will probably help reduce the discomfort – just look around, others are probably using them too! Removing any contacts before the flight and using glasses is a lot easier on the eyes in terms of dryness.

More often than not, people vacation in sunny climates. You really need to have a pair of quality sunglasses as a protector from ultraviolet light – it’s much more intense and brutal as you travel toward the equator. And if your trip involves being on or near the water, you get zapped with a double-dose. Polarized sunglasses block all the UV and also block reflected glare from water and sand surfaces, a double blessing for scorched eyes.

So think ahead. Be prepared. And don’t allow any eye-related disasters to spoil an otherwise perfect and much anticipated vacation!

Laser Vision Pre-care and Post-care

If you’re thinking about Laser Vision Correction, this is the place! Dr. Annis has made Laser vision correction an integral part of his practice since 1997, the year he had his own eyes corrected! Dr. Annis conducts all pre- and post-procedure care right in our own office. And he will always recommend the laser care provider (and laser system) that will give you the clearest vision and safest results possible. Be very aware that Laser providers – or even Lasers – are not all the same! Click on our “Services” tab to find out more about Laser Vision Correction. It’s a great topic!

Genetic Test for Macular Degeneration!

Even though you might not know it, your macula is a very dear place to you. It’s the part of your retina you have used for every small detail you have ever seen. Think about it – street signs; books, Nooks and Kindles; TVs and smart phones; the face of the person who calls your name. Without a well-functioning macula, your world would be a far different place.

AgeRelatedMacularDegnerationBut maculas don’t always last as long as the rest of you. They can break down and degenerate just like many other body parts. You can get a new knee or hip. You can’t get a new macula.

In the past, neither you nor your eye doctor could know whether macular degeneration would steal your vision. Oh yes, if you had the less severe “dry” form, you could be carefully observed, usually yearly, for signs it was changing to the much more devastating “wet” form. But since most dry degeneration never makes it to wet, there was no cause for elevated concern. Your particular odds of converting from the one form to the other and eventually losing your vision were unknown. And because no one knew the odds, the first eye could quickly become a casualty before a specialist was even considered. A most unhappy surprise.

As for beating the odds, now we can! A genetic test called Macula Risk has been developed that will place you in one of five categories of risk, based on your personal, individual genetic code. It may be said that the more genetic “markers” you have, the greater would be your odds of progressing from dry to wet degeneration. But if you are at higher than normal risk, WE WANT TO KNOW IT! That would make it much more likely to catch that conversion at the instant it happens. And if we catch it quickly, we can do something to stem the loss. We would know to see you more often to run key tests, thereby heading the whole process off at the pass. Early wet degeneration is the most treatable!

In an even more recent development, the very same test now also provides us with a recommendation for the best supplement to slow the degenerative process. Again, these recommendations are based on your individual genetic makeup. So we can now get you matched up with the particular supplement having the greatest likelihood of slowing down the disease!

If you know you have been diagnosed with the dry form of macular degeneration, we will offer you this Macula Risk test, the predictive power of which is over 80% in accurately identifying who will progress to advanced degeneration. Since this is a lab test, many insurances pay for this without any of the usual deductibles and co-pays. Other major insurances typically deem this a covered expense but you may be subject to the deductibles and co-pays in effect. Generally, most insurances are on your side when it comes to protecting your vision! This is possibly a test that could help save your eyesight.

3D: High-Tech or High Terror?

It’s the first time you’ve ever put on the glasses to view a 3D presentation. You’re not sure what to expect, but you’ve heard other people talk. Then you stare in amazement as you’re pulled into the scene and become part of the experience! You’re living in a virtual world that’s happening all around you. Yes, the first experience is unforgettable!

Or are we totally missing the bigger picture? Those who are parents certainly have some opinions. Why would 70% of parents believe that watching 3D media will negatively impact their child’s short-term or long-term vision? And why would about one-third of that group think that 3D viewing will even hurt their child’s general health? That is a great deal of concern over the technology that’s sweeping the world and gaining in popularity every day!

In a survey, the great majority of parents believed that 3D causes headaches or dizziness. Almost as many believed it produces nausea and that it would likely have a negative impact on their child’s visual development. Half the parents thought it could result in temporary double vision.

Yes, parents are concerned. Why shouldn’t they be? Isn’t it a good thing to show concern over anything that has the potential to cause harm, especially in our day when we seem to be blindsided by so many unexpected evils that look so harmless on the surface? Very interestingly, however, only 6.5% of parents said their children had ever actually experienced discomfort watching 3D content. That’s not a very high percentage when placed alongside the high levels of concern and suspicion. What might be influencing parents’ perceptions?

Here may be a big one. It turns out that many more adults report negative 3D experiences than do children. 28% of adults reported some form of discomfort, citing headaches, dizziness, nausea and blurry vision as the main culprits. These were the very same complaints the 6.5% of children experienced and that the parents feared for their children, but it seems adults are much more prone to having them. Something about the 3D experience has a greater negative impact on adults than on children.

It would be good to know if there is something inherently bad with the “magical” 3D experience. If it’s really evil magic or hocus-pocus of some sort, maybe it is best to stay away, especially when experienced adults find that experience bad.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that you have two eyes. Hopefully they are relatively equal in clearness and aim together as a team wherever you aim them. If they do, you have a good chance of seeing in 3D naturally and automatically. That is because each eye sees the same object from two slightly different angles due to the separation between the two eyes. Two pictures are created, one by each eye, and they don’t look exactly alike. After that, it’s up to your brain. When each respective picture is sent to your brain, it becomes your brain’s job to “fuse” the two dissimilar pictures into one. Once accomplished, your brain perceives what you see in 3D, making it possible to judge near from far and giving you depth perception.

But how can a movie or TV accomplish that? Well, the camera is not a normal camera. Instead, it has two lenses, separated by about the same distance as two eyes in a face, making it possible to view the scene from two slightly different angles, just as your eyes would do. Now, if there were only a way to present these views so that only your right eye could see what the camera’s “right eye” sees and your left only what the left sees, you would view the scene in 3D, the same way the living, breathing cameraman would see it.

That’s where 3D glasses come in! Even though there are two simultaneous images on the screen (try viewing without your 3D glasses!), the right lens in the glasses sees only with the camera’s “right eye” and the left through the camera’s “left eye.” Now it’s up to your brain to do the job it was created to do – fuse the two pictures together to make 3D! So when you view any 3D content, your brain is simply being asked to do what it does naturally! However (and this is a big however), all 3D media assumes you have a normally functioning visual system. Without almost perfect binocularity, you risk symptoms caused by your shortcoming. So it is possible for anyone to have problems with this – children or adults!

But why do adults report so much more distress than children? Children, it turns out, are much more “malleable” or “moldable” than older folks. To turn a phrase a bit on its head, “You can teach a young dog new tricks!” By the time we’re older, our eyes and brains are much more set in their ways, and small abnormalities in binocularity are amplified to the point they produce symptoms of discomfort. This is a very interesting case in which modern 3D technology can actually serve to reveal problems that probably existed all along. I’m not sure it’s such a bad thing for a person to be made more aware of a problem that was always there. If you can fix it for viewing 3D, you will certainly be better off for the typical day-to-day ways you use your eyes!

The usual reasons for discomfort are exactly what you might imagine after having read this: 1) eyes that don’t see equally clearly, 2) one eye that has to work harder than the other, 3) a “turned” eye that doesn’t aim with its partner, and 4) a “lazy” eye. If you happen to be one of those who find it a struggle to enjoy the fun others seem to be having, why not come in and let us take to look? Often it takes very little to adjust that binocularity so you can also have a blast with what is actually a very “natural” technology!

Latisse Lashes

One of the nicest cosmetic discoveries of all time happened several years ago when a newly-formulated eye drop for glaucoma was found to cause the lashes of glaucoma patients to become thicker and longer. Glaucoma patients didn’t mind this at all! In fact, said some, why not aim beyond glaucoma? Why not use it to make better lashes for everyone?

Well, the use of bimatoprost for lashes has finally arrived! Latisse, applied as directed, can do some pretty extraordinary things. Natural-looking, longer, thicker lashes are now within reach – and without the frustrations of lash lengtheners or mascara!

Latisse is a potent prescription medication and can only be used under medical supervision, but it is very safe when properly used. Give us a call now to set up your “Latisse appointment” and we’ll show you just how easy it is to have the lashes you’ve always wanted!

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Richard C. Annis, O.D., P.C.

  • 114 Blue Star Highway
  • Douglas, MI 49406-0280
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