By Hoopesvision on February 22, 2012
The first week of March, Drs. Phillip C. Hoopes, Jr. and Michael J. Bradley, surgeons at Hoopes Vision, will be in Honduras, performing no-cost cataract surgery on indigent patients. As part of Operation ECHO, a humanitarian organization that has been helping to combat cataract-related blindness among Honduras’ poor since 1994, Drs. Hoopes and Bradley expect to perform upwards of 100 badly-needed cataract surgeries during the week. This will be the sixth such trip for Dr. Hoopes and the first for Dr. Bradley.
Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the world, but are generally treatable with surgery. However, Honduras is one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, and an estimated 50,000 Hondurans a year go blind from cataracts, due to a lack of facilities, materials, and doctors to treat them. Operation ECHO uses the donated time and expertise of surgeons such as Drs. Hoopes and Bradley, and materials donated by groups like Hoopes Vision, to provide surgery at no cost to these patients.
By Hoopesvision on February 16, 2012
Recently, the Salt Lake Tribune published an article asking the rhetorical question of whether or not an annual doctor’s physical is worth the effort. Not to spoil the surprise for you, but the article found that, yes, a yearly checkup is well worth it, as it can lead to early detection of a wide variety of health problems.
The same holds true of annual eye exams: no matter what your age, no matter whether you’ve had LASIK, use glasses or contact lenses, or have naturally perfect vision, a yearly eye exam is definitely a great idea! There are several reasons this is true. For one, many people’s refractive error (i.e. the prescription in their glasses or contacts) can change gradually. For those people whose prescription is fluctuating, to compound those small changes by going several years between eye exams can result in headaches, eye strain and fatigue, and poor overall vision.
Another great reason to get an eye exam each year is that many chronic eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, can develop slowly – and visual symptoms are not an early warning sign. For example, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world, yet doctors call it “the sneak thief of sight” because by the time it manifests itself in the form of vision loss, the damage is irreversible. Meanwhile, a simple dilated eye exam and intraocular pressure check each year – both of which are parts of the standard eye exam – can detect glaucoma so that it can be managed before it robs the patient of their sight.
At Hoopes Vision, we specialize in the surgical correction of vision and generally do not perform routine eye exams. We do, however, believe in the value of regular yearly eye exams. That’s why one of the conditions of our free lifetime See Clearly Guarantee – the first of its kind in Utah – is that the patient must continue having annual exams after surgery. We believe the best way to care for your eyes is to establish a relationship with a qualified and experienced optometrist, one who examines your eyes each year and can help maintain your ocular health and good vision. The doctors at Hoopes Vision work closely with hundreds of experienced optometrists and ophthalmologists in Utah and throughout the US. If you already have a good eye doctor, great! If you are looking for one, please feel free to contact us or visit our website, where we have a list of affiliated eye doctors in Utah and surrounding areas.
Vision is an amazing thing. Our sight defines our relationship with the world in a way that is truly unique, and yet it can be a fragile thing. Preventative care, in the form of an annual eye exam with a qualified optometrist, is an easy and inexpensive measure that is worth the effort!