Why Do Diabetes Patients Need Yearly Eye Exams?

Why Do Diabetes Patients Need Yearly Eye Exams?

Haller Eye ExamAs many patients with diabetes learn, there are many potential complications related to diabetes. Many people hear horror stories of patients losing their vision, or toes, or even kidneys. Fortunately, with modern day medications and lifestyle changes, complications are preventable with medical intervention.

But what is diabetes and why are eye exams and eye care for diabetes so important?

First, we need to understand what diabetes is. In short, diabetes is a disease in which the body is unable to decrease the blood glucose/sugar levels, because the body’s insulin either does not work well or is in short supply. Why is this a bad thing? The answer lies within the lining of the blood vessels. Specific cells within the innermost lining of the blood vessels, called pericytes, are responsible for the health of the blood vessels. Unfortunately, glucose is toxic to these cells. As these cells die, the blood vessels shut down and cut off the blood supply to areas of the body.

This is where the eye exam comes in. The eye is the only place in the whole body where you can see the blood vessels of the body in their “natural habitat”. With a dilated eye exam, your ophthalmologist can actually visualize the blood vessels in your eyes and see if the vessels are shutting down, leaking or even bleeding. This gives your doctor an idea on the extent of the damage caused by the disease. If the ophthalmologist sees damage to blood vessels in the eyes, than we also know the same damage is happening all over the body — the kidneys, liver, brain, heart, etc. Not only that, the ophthalmologist can also determine any new changes from year to year.

The general rule is that all individuals with diabetes should get a full dilated eye exam at least once a year.

Haller Eye Center Doctors Win Prestigious Patients Choice Awards

Haller Eye Center Doctors Win Prestigious Patients Choice Awards

Patients choice award

Patients choice award

patients choice award 2013

patients choice award 2013

Patients Choice Award 2013

Patients Choice Award 2013

Congratulations to Dr. Melvin Haller, Dr. Chad Haller and Dr. Tod Haller on winning the 2013 Patients Choice Award. This prestigious award is awarded to individual physicians and the winners are voted on by patients and patient satisfaction ratings. Less than 5% of physicians nationwide win this prestigious award.

Dr. Melvin Haller, Dr. Chad Haller and Dr. Tod Haller have won this award three years in a row. Thank you to our loyal and wonderful patients who voted, rated and reviewed us so highly in the past few years.

You are the reason why we love coming to work every day and why we do what we do. We hope to continue to make you proud.

My Child Wants Contact Lenses – What Do I Do Now?

Contact LensesThis is a very common dilemma many parents face. Should my child wear contact lenses? Are they safe? This was even a dilemma my father, an ophthalmologist, faced when I wanted contact lenses at 10 years of age.

Essentially whether contact lenses are right for your child comes down to three things. According to a study presented at the Contact Lens Spectrum in 2008, children and teens have shown they can take care of their contact lenses just as well as adults.

So how do you know whether contact lenses are appropriate for your child?

  • Is your child responsible enough to take care of his/her contact lenses? Are they likely to use shortcuts or sleep in their lenses?
  • Has your child demonstrated that he/she can wear the glasses properly without losing or breaking them (too often)?
  • Are you willing to pay for them? Insurance almost NEVER covers the cost of contact lenses and solutions.

If the answer to ALL 3 of these questions is “yes,” then contact lenses may be right for your child. If the answer to ANY of these questions is “no,” then I would reconsider and wait for the child to continue to mature prior to fitting for contact lenses.

If you have any further question, feel free to schedule an exam with one of our ophthalmologists and consult with one of our contact lens specialists.

What is the difference between an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist and Optician?

What is the difference between an Optometrist, Ophthalmologist and Optician?

Queens Optometrist - Queens OphthalmologistBelieve it or not, this question is one of the single most common questions in eye care. In fact, many doctors don’t even know the difference! So here it is simplified:

Optometrists are eye doctors who are trained in managing conditions called “refractive errors,” such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and double vision. They can prescribe an array of refractive tools such as glasses, contact lenses, magnifiers, and prisms. They attend 4 years of optometry school, but they do not go to medical school.

They often diagnose conditions, such as glaucoma, retinal detachments, cataracts, etc., however, they do not TREAT these conditions. Once they suspect someone has an eye condition, they send the patient to an OPHTHALMOLOGIST for treatment.

Ophthalmologists are eye doctors as well, however, they have gone to medical school and have earned an M.D. Just like an optometrist, they can prescribe glasses and contact lenses, but they can also prescribe medications, perform laser surgery and operate on the eye. They are medical and surgical doctors.

Opticians are people who sell eyeglasses. They are not doctors.

Welcome to the Haller Eye Center Blog!

Thank you for visiting the Haller Eye Center. We hope that you find our website and blog informative and educational. We also look forward to meeting you in our state-of-the-art office that has been providing exceptional Queens eye care since 1934.

Your questions and comments are always welcome and we hope that you come and try us out for your family’s eye care needs. Keep in mind we accept most insurance and also welcome walk-ins, so if you are having an emergency, feel free to come in to visit one of our 3 board-certified ophthalmologists. Our caring and compassionate staff will make sure your experience is as quick and comfortable as possible.

Thank you for visiting and we hope you enjoy learning about eye care as much as we love teaching it.

See you very soon.