Maintaining patients' best possible vision and eye health is the mission for the professionals at Complete Eye Care in Soddy-Daisy.
Dr. J.D. Bonner, a board-certified ophthalmologist, opened the practice and has been at the Soddy-Daisy location since May 2000.
"The leading causes of vision loss are cataracts, diabetes, macular degeneration and glaucoma," he said, stressing that routine eye exams are crucial to ensure healthy eyes and vision long term. Routine eye exams are even more important for those with a family history of macular degeneration or glaucoma, said Dr. Bonner.
Decreased vision from cataracts is reversible with cataract surgery, he added. "Oftentimes, cataract surgery will decrease your dependency on glasses, and mutifocal lenses and lenses that correct for astigmatism may alleviate the need for glasses altogether," said Dr. Bonner. Those options as well as new laser-assisted cataract surgery technology are available at Complete Eye Care.
For diabetics, he advises that those patients be seen every year, regardless of symptoms or diabetic changes, adding that the closer to normal the blood sugar is contained, the less likely patients are to have eye disease from diabetes. "Decreasing hemoglobin A1C by 1 and maintaining it there has been demonstrated to decrease the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy [damage to the retina from diabetes] by 50 percent," he said.
According to Dr. Bonner, macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in Americans over the age of 50. There is need for regular monitoring, and there are screening tools that patients can use at home to detect potential complications between exams he said.
"In the last decade, new anti-VEGF drugs have been developed to treat complications of macular degeneration that are preventing some cases of severe vision loss and even restoring lost vision for certain groups of patients," said Dr. Bonner. He added that there is some benefit in using the Age-Related Eye Disease Study formulation of vitamins to slow down progression.
As with diabetes, patients with a family history of macular degeneration need to be closely followed, he said.
Finally, Dr. Bonner also reminds patients with a family history of glaucoma to be seen each year.
"Most who are discovered early in the disease can have a normal life expectancy with normal vision," he said. "Those who wait too late or are not consistent with treatment are the ones who generally have vision loss.
"Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible."
Of course, anyone with eye pain or a sudden decrease in vision needs to be seen right away, he stressed.
"It's almost the end of the year, you've probably met your insurance deductible so it's a good time to get an eye exam if you haven't already," said Complete Eye Care office manager Debbie Pykkonen. "With so many insurance changes coming in 2014, taking care of your and your family's vision would be a great way to start the new year."
Complete Eye Care's vision is to be the premier eye care facility and optical shop that patients look to for complete eye care. Patients and their families receive nothing less than first-class service, which includes compassionate, ethical and thorough medical care every step of the way, said Dr. Bonner. The staff is committed to providing personalized and comprehensive eye care for individuals and the community through the use of the best-quality services and technology, he added.
Complete Eye Care is located at 9453 Dayton Pike in Soddy-Daisy. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 423-332-8222 or visit completeeyecare.org.