At Superior Eye Health and Vision Therapy Center the health and well-being of our patients, employees, and our community is our top priority. We understand the concern and uncertainty you may be experiencing surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) and we are committed to being responsive to the needs of our patients as the situation evolves.
Due to recent CDC recommendations regarding COVID-19, we have made the decision to reduce our services to urgent eye care only until April 6, at which time we will re-evaluate.
Our doctors will still be available for sudden changes in vision, vision loss, injuries, red eyes and other emergency care. Please call our office with any eye health concerns before you go to the ER or walk in clinics.
The office will be closed but we will have someone available by phone from 11am-5pm Monday through Friday to answer your questions. If it is after hours, please call our office at 906-228-4401 and listen for instructions.
We will be able to refill medications, place contact lens orders, dispense glasses and contacts and make necessary repairs to eyewear. We are offering an extension of 3 months on any contact lens prescriptions of current patients who will be in need of contact lenses during this time. Please call the office to make arrangements.
We would like to reassure you that although we already utilize standard disease control precautions as outlined by the CDC, we are currently exceeding these precautions to further help prevent the spread of this virus and maintain a safe environment.
We will be here for you as much as we can during these ever-changing times. We will do our best to answer your questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Thank you for trusting us to be your eye care providers.
Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center
An online eye exam is an automated and interactive vision test that claims to measure mainly visual acuity. It may seem like a convenient way to evaluate your vision or get an eyeglass or contact lens prescription, as these tests can be administered using your computer, tablet, or smartphone from the comfort of your home.
But these tests — which should not be confused with telehealth visits — are performed by a computer program, not a professional eye care practitioner, and they cannot and should not replace a comprehensive, in-person eye exam.
Online eye tests, which are impersonal and superficial by nature, can cause you to miss out on some important, even life-saving, information about your eye health and vision.
What Do Online Eye Tests Evaluate?
First off, it’s important to recognize that an online eye test does not evaluate the health of your eyes. It’s more of a vision test than an eye test, as it’s designed as an attempt to measure your visual acuity and refractive error, and, in some cases, contrast sensitivity and color blindness. Furthermore, the accuracy of the prescriptions provided by online vision tests is questionable. Providing the correct optical prescription requires the eye doctor’s direct and open communication with the patient. The right prescription needs subjective input and experienced analysis from an eye doctor — professional skills that can never be replicated accurately through an online program.
While the technology promises convenience, the American Optometric Association (AOA) advises caution, as these exams can offer misleading information and may contribute to a patient believing—incorrectly—that his or her eye health needs have been met. The online eye test measurements provide little-to-no information on the health of your eyes, and cannot determine whether you may have a sight-threatening condition such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or other eye diseases. Nor do online exams address problems like dry eye, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy, or functional vision problems — such as difficulty with eye teaming or convergence insufficiency.
The Importance of a Comprehensive Eye Exam
Optometrists undergo years of study and specialized training. They develop a comprehensive understanding of how to evaluate your eyes not only for sight, but for any underlying conditions. In fact, vision and health are closely linked. Comprehensive eye exams enable Dr. Heidi Johnson to detect signs of diseases that may affect your entire body, but which show early signs in your eyes.
- High cholesterol
- Sjogren’s syndrome
- Neurological diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) or a brain tumor
Is a Virtual Eye Exam Cost-Saving?
Some people erroneously believe that an online eye test can save them not only time but also money, compared with a comprehensive eye exam performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist. It’s important to note that these virtual tests offer only a sliver of the services you’d normally receive from your eye doctor during a thorough ocular exam.
Carrying out a professional eye exam requires training, precision, and the proper equipment. Anything less can put your eyes and vision at serious risk.
Safeguard Your Eyes and Sight
A comprehensive in-person eye exam is the only way to determine whether your eyes are healthy and free from sight-threatening conditions. Early detection and treatment of these problems can potentially prevent vision loss. Eye care practitioners frequently discover an infection, chronic illness or eye disease during what patients would have expected to be a simple, routine ocular exam. These scenarios are far more common than we’d like to imagine.
To safeguard the health of your eyes and sight, have a comprehensive, in-person eye exam with Dr. Heidi Johnson on a regular basis. Your health may depend on it.
Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center in Marquette provides comprehensive eye exams using the most advanced equipment available. Schedule an exam with us today.
COVID-19’s rapid sweep across the country has forced optical practices to make rapid clinical management decisions. Some optometrists temporarily shuttered their businesses due to the pandemic, while others began to offer emergency appointment services and telehealth.
As mandatory restrictions begin to lift in many locations, optometrists are beginning to open their doors for routine care. But this time around they will implement strict social distancing guidelines and take unprecedented precautions to limit the spread of infection.
Some of the Changes You Should Expect to See
1) Signage throughout the office spelling out new steps and protocols to ensure maximum safety for staff and patients alike.
2) Social distancing will be the new norm. Packed waiting rooms will be a thing of the past. Instead, clinics will be spacing out seating to reduce capacity and scheduling in longer intervals to minimize patient interactions. Some clinics may ask patients to wait in their cars until they receive a text message from the office stating that they can come in.
3) Certain practices will require appointments for individuals to see and try on the array of frames and sunglasses at the dispensary. Bookings will be in 15-20 minute increments, accessed by one individual at a time.
4) Methods will be introduced to decrease the number of surfaces a patient touches. This will include leaving the clinic’s front door open (or replacing it with a motion-activated door), facilitating cashless payments, and encouraging patients to fill out registration forms online.
5) Patients who aren’t feeling well or who have been in contact with someone who is ill will be asked to reschedule their appointment two to three weeks in the future.
6) Measuring one’s temperature at the entrance will become commonplace — this goes for both staff and patients. Though not the most reliable screening tool, as those who are asymptomatic can still spread the virus, it will identify some people who aren’t well. Anyone registering 100.4° or above will be sent home.
7) There will be more time between appointments, to allow the staff to thoroughly clean and disinfect before and after each patient’s visit.
8) Many eye practitioners will be wearing safety goggles and face masks, particularly during any up-close contact with the patient. Patients may also be asked to wear masks.
9) Individuals with suspected ocular infections will be put in a special containment area.
10) Practices will frequently wipe down any patient area, including chairs, counters and doorknobs. Every exam room will be completely disinfected between appointments. In the dispensary, frames will be promptly disinfected after patients touch them.
11) Patients will be requested to wash or disinfect their hands upon entering the office and when entering different rooms. Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center in Marquette has strict hygiene and sterilization protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.
If you’re dealing with a vision or eye health issue and need to visit Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center, or if you would like some more information on how we have adapted our practice due to COVID-19, please don’t hesitate in contacting us. We’ll be happy to assist you however we can.
Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center serves patients from Marquette, MI.
On April 22, the American Optometric Association (AOA) urged patients with emergency eye care needs to get in touch with their local optometrist prior to seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms. Doing so not only eases the burden on emergency departments but also helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.
What Is Considered an Eye Emergency?
Most eye-related conditions can be treated in an outpatient optometry office or clinic. Emergency eye care includes, but is not limited to, urgent clinical advice or intervention for eye injuries and conditions that entail a foreign object in the eye, chemical burns, a sudden change in vision, flashes and floaters (which might suggest a retinal detachment), contact lens discomfort, red eyes and any other problems or symptoms that may impact or interfere with daily activities.
Prioritizing Your Eye Care Needs During COVID-19
During the coronavirus outbreak, we have been going above and beyond to ensure that people are receiving the emergency eye care they need.
Patients should first contact Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center for guidance and potential treatment prior to heading to an overwhelmed hospital emergency room. Dr. Heidi Johnson can assess the level of care the patient needs—whether it’s telehealth or urgent care that requires a visit to the eye clinic or, in severe cases, even the emergency room.
This will ensure that patients get prompt treatment while allowing hospitals to conserve their resources for the current pandemic. In fact, research has shown that treating eye emergencies at eye doctors’ offices can potentially divert 1.4 million patients away from emergency rooms per year.
While we have closed our store for routine appointments, Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center at Marquette continues to provide emergency care for those who need it. We’d like to reassure our patients that we are here to help with anyone’s emergency eye care requirements – for both for new and existing patients.
Tele-optometry is a branch of telemedicine that can cover a wide range of problems and treatments related to vision and ocular health. Tele-medicine delivers medical care through digital medical equipment and telecommunications technology, such as online videos accessible through smart phones and tablets. This allows patients to easily receive screenings, diagnoses, prescriptions and monitoring from the comfort and safety of their home.
Optometrists can provide virtual medical eye consultations for a variety of eye problems, including:
- Eye infections (i.e.conjunctivitis/pink eye)
- Itchy eyes and allergies
- Eye pain and redness
- Scratched eye (i.e. corneal abrasion)
- Flashers & floaters
- Blurred or double vision
- Distorted vision
- Dry eye syndrome
- Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid)
- General Consultations
- Refractive Surgery Follow-Ups
- New Prescriptions
- Prescription Refills
Which Digital Devices Can I Use For a Virtual Eye Evaluation?
You can easily do your tele-optometric visit from any laptop or desktop that’s equipped with a camera and a microphone. Having a strong internet connection will help ensure high-definition video calls.
Smartphones/ Tablets/ iPads:
Many smartphones, tablets, and iPads now have very high-resolution cameras, which are great for taking quality pictures and videos that doctors can use to provide a diagnosis.
How Can an Eye Doctor Diagnose Through a Digital Platform?
The optometrist will provide a diagnosis based both on the images and the information you supply, and if the eye doctor believes that your issues require emergency care, you will be referred to a specialist to better help treat your condition. With tele-optometry, you can feel confident that you are receiving care from a licensed, practicing eye doctor from the comfort of your home.
Will Insurance Cover My Virtual Eye Care Visit?
In most cases insurance plans will cover telehealth visits, but to be on the safe side, we ask that you double-check with your insurance provider prior to the visit.
If you’re experiencing certain eye concerns, including red eyes, pink eye, itchy eyes, flashes, floating spots, or double vision, contact us today to receive a diagnosis and effective treatment plan.
Make a tele-optometry appointment before going to the emergency room or urgent care clinic to avoid the wait and any potential exposure to COVID-19. Contact us at Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center at Marquette to schedule your in-home eye evaluation today!
You and your children are likely spending more time on mobile devices and computer screens than ever before. Too much time spent staring at screens can cause computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, in certain people. While not serious, this condition can be very uncomfortable, potentially causing:
- Blurred vision
- Dry eyes
Below are some useful tips to help you and your children avoid computer vision syndrome:
Staring at a screen strains the eyes more than reading printed material because people tend to blink 30-50% less. This can also cause your eyes to dry out. Be mindful of blinking and make it a habit when focusing on a screen, as it will keep your eyes healthy and lubricated.
Follow the 20-20-20 Rule
Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object located 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Doing so will allow your eyes to relax and will give both you and your eyes some rest.
Keep your distance
Your eyes work harder to see close up than at a distance. Try keeping your monitor or screen at arm’s length, or about 25 inches away.
Make sure that your surrounding light is similar in strength to the light emanating from your screen. Contrasting levels of light, such as looking at a bright screen in a dark room, can strain the eyes.
Take breaks from the screen
You may want to stipulate ‘screen free’ time for yourself and/or your children, such as during meal times or for several hours throughout the day. Engage in hobbies that don’t require a screen, such as drawing, reading books, doing puzzles, playing an instrument or cooking (among many others).
Don’t use devices before bed
Studies show that blue light may affect your body’s circadian rhythm, also known as the natural wake and sleep cycle. Stop using screens one to two hours before bedtime or use nighttime settings to minimize blue light exposure.
Although it may require a bit of planning to protect your family’s eyes during this stressful time, ultimately, it’s all about balance — and what works for you and your family may differ from others.
From all of us at Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center at Marquette, we wish you good health and please stay safe.
Coronavirus and Your Eyeglasses
Did you know that our glasses (this includes the lenses and the frame) can potentially transfer viruses, such as COVID-19, to our eyes, nose, and mouth? This is because viruses — as well as bacteria — are easily transferred from our surroundings to our hands and then from our hands to our glasses.
In fact, research has shown that coronavirus can remain on glass surfaces for as long as 9 days. If we’re not careful, we can easily touch our glasses then touch our eyes, nose, or mouth, thus continuing the contagion cycle.
The danger is even higher for people with presbyopia, age-related farsightedness that generally affects those aged 40 and above. Presbyopes who wear reading glasses tend to put them on and take them off several times throughout the day. What’s more worrisome is that this age group is at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.
The good news is that disinfecting your glasses is easy! Let’s delve into ways you should and should not disinfect your lenses at home.
What NOT to Use to Cleanse Your Glasses
Many of us may have rubbing-alcohol at home, and although it may seem like a perfectly good idea to use it to disinfect your specs, we discourage you from doing so. It may be too harsh for your eyeglasses, especially if you have any special coatings on your lenses.
Other products you should stay away from include ammonia, bleach, or anything with high concentrations of acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, which can damage lens coatings and some eyewear materials.
How to Safely Disinfect Your Glasses
Now that we’ve eliminated the substances and chemicals that should not be used on your lenses, let’s see what is safe to use to clean eyewear.
Dish Soap and Water
The absolute easiest and most efficient way to disinfect and clean your lenses is to use lukewarm water with a gentle dish soap. Massage the soap onto each lens, rinse, and dry using a microfiber cloth (not paper towels, as the fibers can easily scratch lenses). While you’re at it, don’t forget to include your frame’s nose pads and earpieces.
Lens Cleaning Wipes
Pre-moistened lens wipes are excellent for cleaning your glasses, as well as your phone, tablet and computer screen. They remove bacteria, dust, dirt and germs from your glasses and the formula restores shine to glass surfaces without leaving any streaks or residue. The durable material is tough enough to remove stains, while being gentle enough not to scratch your screens or lenses. Contact Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center to find out how you can access these.
So, In Summary:
- Do not use rubbing alcohol to disinfect your glasses.
- Avoid using household cleaners or products with high concentrations of acid.
- Clean your glasses with a gentle dish soap and lukewarm water, or lens wipes.
- Dry your glasses with a microfiber cloth to prevent smudging and scratching.
Disinfecting your glasses shouldn’t be stressful or worrisome. Just follow the easy steps above to protect your lenses and your health.
On behalf of everyone at Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center in Marquette, MI, we sincerely hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe during this uncertain time.
As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, health professionals are demanding that people limit their personal risk of contracting the virus by thoroughly washing their hands, practicing social distancing, and not touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that the eyes play an important role in spreading COVID-19.
Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through droplets that an infected person sneezes or coughs out. These droplets can easily enter your body through the mucous membranes on the face, such as your nose, mouth, and yes — your eyes.
But First, What Is Coronavirus?
Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, causes mild to severe respiratory illness associated with fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically appear within 2 weeks of exposure. Those with acute cases of the virus can develop pneumonia and other life-threatening complications.
Here’s what you should know:
Guard Your Eyes Against COVID-19
- Avoid rubbing your eyes. Although we all engage in this very normal habit, try to fight the urge to touch your eyes. If you absolutely must, first wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Tears carry the virus. Touching tears or a surface where tears have fallen can spread coronavirus. Make sure to wash your hands after touching your eyes and throughout the day as well.
- Disinfect surfaces. You can catch COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, such as a door knob, and then touching your eyes.
Coronavirus and Pink Eye
Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, refers to an inflammation of the membrane covering the front of the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, watery, and itchy eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, too.
According to a recent study in China, viral conjunctivitis may be a symptom of COVID-19. The study found conjunctival congestion in 9 of the 1,099 patients (0.8%) who were confirmed to have coronavirus.
If you suspect you have pink eye, call your eye doctor in Marquette right away. Given the current coronavirus crisis, we ask patients to call prior to presenting themselves at the office of Dr. Heidi Johnson, as it will allow the staff to assess your condition and adequately prepare for your visit.
Contact Lenses or Eyeglasses?
Many people who wear contact lenses are thinking about switching to eyeglasses for the time being to lower the threat of being infected with coronavirus.
Wearing glasses may provide an extra layer of protection if someone coughs on you; hopefully that infected droplet will hit the lens and not your eye. However, one must still be cautious, as the virus can reach the eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms around your frames. Unlike specialized safety goggles, glasses are not considered a safe way to prevent coronavirus.
Contact Lenses and COVID-19
If you wear contacts, make sure to properly wash your hands prior to removing or inserting them. Consider ordering a 3 to 6 month supply of contact lenses and solution; some opticals provide home delivery of contact lenses and solutions. At this stage there is no recommendation to wear daily lenses over monthlies.
Don’t switch your contact lens brand or solution, unless approved by your optometrist or optician.
Regularly Disinfect Glasses
Some viruses such as coronavirus, can remain on hard surfaces from several hours to days. This can then be transmitted to the wearer’s fingers and face. People who wear reading glasses for presbyopia should be even more careful, because they usually need to handle their glasses more often throughout the day, and older individuals tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications. Gently wash the lenses and frames with warm water and soap, and dry your eyeglasses using a microfiber cloth.
Stock up on Eye Medicine
It’s a good idea to stock up on important medications, including eye meds, in order to get by in case you need to be quarantined or if supplies run short. This may not be possible for everyone due to insurance limitations. If you cannot stock up, make sure to request a refill as soon as you’re due and never wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy.
It is important that you continue to follow your doctor’s instructions for all medications.
Digital Devices and Eyestrain
At times like this, people tend to use digital devices more than usual. Take note of tiredness, sore eyes, blurry vision, double vision or headaches, which are symptoms of computer vision syndrome if they are exacerbated by extensive use of digital devices, and might indicate a need for a new prescription in the near future. This usually isn’t urgent, but if you’re unsure, you can call our eye doctor’s office.
Children and Digital Devices
During this time your children may end up watching TV and using computers, tablets and smartphones more frequently and for more extended periods too. Computer vision syndrome, mentioned above, can affect children as well. We recommend limiting screen time to a maximum of 2 hours per day for children, though it’s understandably difficult to control under the circumstances.
Try to get your child to take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour, and stop all screen time for at least 60 minutes before sleep.
Children and Outdoor Play
Please follow local guidelines and instructions regarding outdoor activities for your children. If possible, it’s actually good for visual development to spend 1-2 hours a day outside.
From all of us at Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center in Marquette, we wish you good health and please stay safe.
Is your eye doctor’s appointment coming up? Are you worried about going to the eye clinic during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Rest assured, keeping our patients and staff are safe is our top priority.
We anticipate that this outbreak will continue for a while, and do not want our patients to neglect their eye care needs during this critical time. Our optometric clinic is prudent and has adopted specific measures to protect our patients and staff from potential exposure to COVID-19 during this time of uncertainty.
That said, guidelines for slowing the spread of this epidemic are rapidly changing. Please pay close to attention to local regulatory changes to get the most up-to-date information on whether practices can still remain open/ accept non-emergency cases.
Here Are the Precautions Our Eye Clinic Is Taking to Limit COVID-19:
We employ a strict office policy that mandates that all eye doctors, opticians, office staff, and patients not enter if they are feeling unwell or have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or have been exposed to a known case of COVID-19 or traveled outside of the country within the last 14 days.
The staff may ask you to wait outside rather than in the waiting area in order to protect yourself and others from any circulating germs. Furthermore, we are trying to schedule our appointments in such a way that our waiting room remains as empty as possible.
During your eye exam:
- The eye doctor may use a special plastic barrier called a slit-lamp breath shield to block the exchange of breath between patient and doctor.
- The optometrist may wear a mask with a plastic shield over the eyes.
- The practitioner will wait for your slit-lamp eye exam to be over before speaking with you or answering any questions you may have.
- We sanitize all equipment and patient contact surfaces after every use and at the end of the day.
- We sanitize all surfaces and equipment (front desk counters, telephones, pens, door handles, waiting room chairs) with antibacterial wipes.
- All staff members wash their hands after contact with each patient and throughout the day.
- Our office is equipped with several sanitizing stations.
- We request that patients sanitize their hands prior to and after trying on frames. We also make sure to clean frames that have come into contact with patients with soap and hot water.
- If we don’t shake hands with our patients during this time, please don’t take it personally.
Please call Superior Eye Health & Vision Therapy Center at 906-228-4401 with any questions or concerns you may have. If you feel it’s best for you or a member of your family to reschedule your appointment, we encourage you to do so.
To stay abreast of the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the following official health organizations:
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at www.CDC.gov
- World Health Organization (WHO) at www.WHO.int
Thank you and stay safe!