According to Dr. Jill Lane, Optometrist with clinic hours at St. Mary’s Hospital’s Cottonwood Clinic, playing sports with glasses can present challenges. Anyone who plays sports and wears glasses understands the limitations. “Glasses present obvious mobility and peripheral vision issues,” said Dr. Lane. “In addition, glasses offer little protection and actually can contribute to eye damage if glass lenses are shattered.”
Contact lenses offer a safe, clear and comfortable alternative for the athlete on any field or court. Peripheral vision is not an issue with contact lenses. However, contact lenses don’t protect the eyes other than offering some protection for the cornea, continued Dr. Lane.
Does one sport dominate when it comes to eye injuries? “The more contact you have, the greater the chance of eye injury,” said Dr. Lane. “However, significant damage can occur when the orbital bone which surrounds the eye isn’t able to protect the eye – this means, an elbow, stick, puck or ball, such as a racquetball, can traumatize the eye causing potentially sight threatening damage.”
Eye injuries from sports literally happen in the blink of an eye and affect professionals and amateurs alike. According to Prevent Blindness America, 90 percent of eye injuries can be avoided by following proper precautions. More than 40,000 people a year suffer eye injuries while playing sports.
What do you do if you have an eye injury? “Whenever possible, contact your optometrist for the fastest, most effective response,” said Dr. Lane. “Optometrists are well prepared to diagnose and treat an eye injury immediately. However, if an optometrist isn’t immediately available, a hospital emergency room can provide emergent care until an optometrist can be consulted.”
When athletes or their parents are questioning whether to seek medical attention, Dr Lane suggests considering the following:
Is your vision blurred in any way?
Do you notice discomfort or pain?
Do you notice double vision, as your eyes look either up, down, left or right?
Are you sensitive to light?
Does your eye look swollen,red or feel irritated?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of the questions above, Dr. Lane suggests seeking immediate attention from an optometrist.Her office is located at Camas Prairie Eye Clinic in Grangeville, 983-3732. Eye exams and consultations in Cottonwood can be arranged through the SMH Cottonwood Medical Clinic, 962-3267.
SMHC seeks medical home certification
A medical home is a new comprehensive way of thinking about healthcare. Several different national organizations have been involved in the planning and executing of the medical home policies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Future of Family Medicine Project, the American College of Physicians, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Osteopathic Association. According to the principles developed by these groups patient-centered medical homes should have these characteristics: a personal physician, physician-directed medical practice, whole-person orientation, coordinated care, quality and safety, enhanced access and adequate payment.
St. Mary’s Hospital & Clinics is currently seeking certification to be considered a Medical Home. “Many of the changes you may have noticed at SMHC recently have been part of this process,” says Kristy Fresh, Director of Physician Services, “such as the conversion to electronic medical records, e-prescribing, and the efforts to make sure you get to see your doctor. We believe this certification process will help guide us through the review of our current policies and processes. It will also help us design a system and medical support team that allows us to provide the best possible medical care to our patients. Our vision is that you will either be able to see your primary provider at every visit, or someone on that provider’s team, if they are not available. This way you will always be receiving the most inclusive medical care possible.”
A fact sheet developed by the previously mentioned organizations paints this picture of the medical home: “In this new model, the traditional doctor's office is transformed into the central point for patients to organize and coordinate their health care, based on their needs and priorities. At its core is an ongoing partnership between each person and a specially trained primary care physician, and that physician’s team members. This new model provides modern conveniences, like e-mail communication and secures online tools to help patients manage their health information, review the latest medical findings and make informed decisions. Patients will receive reminders about necessary appointments and screenings, as well as other support to help them and their families manage chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease. The primary care physician helps each person assemble a team when he or she needs specialists and other health care providers such as nutritionists and physical trainers. The patient decides who is on his or her team, and the primary care physician makes sure they are working together to meet all of the patient's needs in an integrated, ‘whole person’ fashion.”
“Medical home is the concept of providing care that encompasses the entire practice, patients and their families. It brings the patient and their family into their care management, but also allows the team (being the support staff) to assist the providers in caring for their patients. We are very excited about the possibilities that this medical home model will offer our community,” says Fresh.