If you are unable to view the HTML e-mail below, please click here now.

Dr. Sher receives award from the Department of the Army

In 2004 Dr. Neal Sher began providing PRK laser eye surgery free of charge to service men and women heading to war; treating more than 800 soldiers.

Recently Dr. Neal Sher was awarded “The Outstanding Civilian Service Medal” for providing soldiers in the South Dakota Army National Guard with laser vision correction at no cost/low cost. The certificate mentions that Dr. Sher has performed surgery on a number of soldiers in the SD National Guard that were able to deploy in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Spartan Shield and Operation Inherant Resolve. The majority of the soldiers that Dr. Sher has treated come from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and the Dakotas. Dr. Sher was commended for his contributions and patriotism. The award was signed by Timothy A. Reisch, The Adjutant General.

“It is a great honor to help the wonderful men and women in our armed forces improve their vision and help them complete their missions more safely,” says Dr. Sher.


Avoid a Halloween Scare; Donít Buy Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Colored contact lenses have become popular year-round for people who want to change the color of their iris. However, every year at Halloween there is a surge of people using colored contact lenses to enhance their costumes and few know about the risks associated with them.

Most people are unaware that decorative lenses require the same level of care and consideration as a standard contact lens. They think that because they can be purchased over-the-counter or online that they are somehow “different”. However this is far from the truth.

There have been many reports of people who have suffered eye injuries and infections after purchasing decorative contact lenses. In one case a woman bought a pair of colored contact lenses from a souvenir shop. In less than a few hours she was suffering from extreme pain in both eyes. Because she had not been properly fitted by an eye care professional, the lenses stuck to her eye like a suction cup.

Ultimately the lenses she purchased from the shop caused an infection and left her with a corneal abrasion. She was in severe pain and on medication for four weeks. Her vision loss left her unable to drive for eight weeks and she now lives with a corneal scar, vision damage and a drooping eyelid.

It is illegal to sell any type of contact lens without a prescription in the United States. All contact lenses are medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye care professional. Many of the lenses found online or in beauty salons, novelty shops or in pop-up Halloween stores are not FDA approved and are being sold illegally. Retailers that sell contacts without a prescription are breaking the law and could be fined for each violation.

People should not buy colored contact lenses from a retailer who doesn’t ask for a prescription. Even with perfect vision, patients need to get an eye exam and a prescription from an eye care professional before they wear any kind of contact lens.

To safely wear costume contact lenses for Halloween or any time of year, follow these guidelines:

  • See a qualified eye doctor for your eye exams and obtain contact lenses from a professional. The doctors and staff at Eye Care Associates are experts at fitting all types of contact lenses.
  • Obtain a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements and expiration date.
  • Purchase the colored contact lenses only from a retailer who asks for a prescription.
  • Follow the contact lens care for cleaning and disinfecting directions.
  • Never share contact lenses with anyone else.
  • Get follow up exams as directed.

If you should notice redness, swelling, excessive discharge, pain or discomfort from wearing any types of contact lenses, remove the lenses and seek immediate medical attention from an ophthalmologist. Eye infections can become serious very quickly and in some cases the damage is irreversible.


Eye Medication Mix-Ups

Many people have confused their eye drop medications with some other medicine in a similar dropper bottle. Unfortunately, mix-ups when patients are trying to use eye medications are very common.

Here Are Some Tips To Avoid Eye Drop Mix-Ups

  1. Keep eye medications apart from others. Do not store eye drops with any other droppered bottles (like ear drops, superglue, or your pet’s medication drops).
  2. Keep the eye medications in their boxes. Leave your eye drops in their original boxes. There are often pictures of an eye on the boxes, but there may not be on the bottles.
  3. Know the names of your eye drops and the cap colors. It’s important to learn the name and cap color of your medications so you take them correctly.
  4. Check your medicine—and read the name out loud. Read the medication name on the dropper label out loud to help avoid mistakes.
  5. Stagger the time that you take eye and ear drops. This timing technique can help reduce the risk of mixing them up as you put them in your eyes/ears.
  6. Dispose of any leftover drops. Once you are through using them, get rid of any leftover drops. The fewer bottles you have in your medicine cabinet, the less likely you are to get them mixed up.

Dropper bottles often look the same, though they contain very different substances. Be careful when reaching for your eye drops that you aren’t mixing them up with something else.

Eye Drop Mistakes Are Common

One of the most common mishaps occurs when people put ear drops into their eyes. Unfortunately, eye drop and eardrop medicine bottles can look very similar because both use a dropper with a rubber bulb at the top. To compound matters, the medical terms for eyes (optic) and ears (otic) are only one letter off, making it difficult to see the difference on the packaging and labeling.

People who accidentally put ear drops into their eyes can experience red, burning, stinging eyes, as well as swelling and blurry vision. In most cases these symptoms are short-lived. However, there have been some instances where the substances mistakenly put into eyes have led to very serious injuries.

As an example, one man confused a small bottle of fingernail glue for the eye drops he had been prescribed after eye surgery. The bottles were nearly identical in size and shape, and they opened very similarly. The man mistakenly put the super-strong, fast-acting glue into his eye. As soon as he realized his mistake, he washed his eye out with water, but when he arrived at the hospital his eyelids were glued together. Doctors had to use a slit lamp to magnify the eye and very fine instruments to remove the glue. Fortunately, this man ended up with a small corneal abrasion and a red eye as a result, but his vision was saved. Reports of sticky mix-ups like this one are numerous.