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Cataract Treatment

Cataracts develop as part of the aging process, so everyone is at risk eventually. By age 75, about 70 percent of people will have cataracts. With age, our eye's lens slowly becomes less flexible, less transparent and thicker. If the lens has become cloudy, this is called a cataract. With cataract surgery, your eye's cloudy natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear artificial lens implant (called an intraocular lens or IOL). Cataract surgery is often performed as an outpatient procedure in 15 - 30 minutes and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology for additional information regarding cataracts.

Brandy Cook, DO currently performs cataract surgery locally at Sparrow Clinton Hospital in St. Johns.

Routine Exams

The frequency of routine eye examinations depends on an individual’s age, specific condition, and the likelihood of finding abnormalities on examination. Below is a summary of the recommendations provided by the American Academy of Ophthalmology:

  • Infants and young children should be assessed by their pediatrician or other medical practitioner during their routine health visits with a referral to an ophthalmologist for any abnormalities or the inability to test.
  • School-age children should be evaluated during primary health care visits, in schools, or at public screenings with a referral to an ophthalmologist for any abnormalities or inability to test.
  • Adults with no signs or risk factors for eye disease should receive a baseline comprehensive eye evaluation at age 40 with follow-up examinations performed every 1 to 4 years depending on risk factors.
  • Individuals without risk factors 65 years or older should have an examination performed every 1 to 2 years as the incidence of unrecognized ocular disease increases with age.

Brandy Cook, DO currently performs routine eye examinations including eye glass prescriptions (refractions) at her St. Johns office.

Diabetic Care

When blood sugar levels are too high for extended periods of time, it can damage capillaries (tiny blood vessels) that supply blood to the retina. Over time, these blood vessels begin to leak fluids and fats, causing edema (swelling). The best treatment for diabetic retinopathy is to prevent it. The American Diabetes Association recommends that you see your eye care professional at least once a year for a dilated eye exam. Visit the American Diabetes Association for additional information regarding diabetic eye care or the American Academy of Ophthalmology for additional information regarding diabetic retinopathy.

Brandy Cook, DO currently performs dilated eye exams at her St. Johns office.

Emergency Eye Care

A serious eye injury is not always obvious and delaying medical attention can cause the damaged areas to worsen and could result in permanent vision loss. Because eye injuries can cause permanent vision loss, it’s important to be able to recognize and appropriately respond to it. If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone else, get medical help right away:

  • Obvious pain or trouble seeing
  • Something in the eye or under the eyelid that cannot be easily removed
  • Cut or torn eyelid
  • One eye does not move as well as the other eye
  • One eye sticks out compared to the other eye
  • The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape
  • There is blood in the clear part of the eye

Visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology for additional information regarding eye injuries.

Brandy Cook, DO can assist you with your emergency eye care needs at her St. Johns office with same day or next day appointments. In addition, she works closely with the local urgent care facilities and emergency rooms receiving referrals as necessary.

Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to restore the correct function to or remove excess tissue from affected eyelids. Patients often report drooping, sagging, tired appearing eyelids that interfere with various activities of daily living including decreasing vision. Surgery can be performed on either the upper and lower lids, or both.

Brandy Cook, DO currently performs blepharoplasty as an outpatient procedure at Sparrow Clinton Hospital in St. Johns.

Laser Treatment

Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty (“SLT”)
Trabeculoplasty is a laser treatment for glaucoma. It is done on an argon laser equipped slit lamp. The argon laser is used to improve drainage through the eye's trabecular meshwork, from which the aqueous humour drains. This helps reduce intraocular pressure caused by open-angle glaucoma.

YAG Laser
The natural lens of the eye is enclosed in a clear, cellphone-like membrane called the capsule. During cataract surgery, the front of the capsule is opened and the cloudy lens inside the capsule is removed. However, back of the capsule can also become thickened and cloudy over time. A YAG laser treatment is a procedure to create a small hole in the remaining capsule to help clear your vision.

Brandy Cook, DO currently performs YAG laser treatments at Sparrow Clinton Hospital in St. Johns.

Minor In-Office Surgical Procedures

Chalazion is an enlargement of an oil-producing gland in the eyelid called the Meibomian gland. It forms when the gland opening becomes clogged with oil secretions. It is not caused by an infection from bacteria, and it is not cancerous.

Skin Tags (Acrochordon)
Skin tags are an outgrowth of normal skin. They appear as pedunculated lesions on narrow stalks. Skin tags occur in approximately 50% of adults. The risk increases with age. Skin tags usually occur in sites of friction. Treatment is indicated if lesions are irritating or the patient desires removal for cosmetic reasons.

Sebaceous Cysts (Epidermoid Cyst)
Epidermoid cysts are the most common cutaneous cysts. They can occur anywhere on the body. Cysts can become infected. Lesions may remain stable or progressively enlarge. The cyst is filled with keratin material. Brandy Cook, DO currently performs chalazion drainage and skin tag or cyst removal at her St. Johns office.