Dr Bruce I. Stark, MD of Chester County Eye Care Associates does so much more than prescribe lenses
As I understand it, you are one of several owners. We have seven opthalmologists, and four optometrists – a total of eleven eye doctors.
Is there a major benefit to a practice of that size? Absolutely. The reason our practice is this size is that we all specialize. There is a lot of interchange between the subspecialists. Say the retina specialist does a procedure, and they end up with increased eye pressure. We also have glaucoma specialists who can deal with that. We have specialists in all areas, so people don’t have to go into Philadelphia for services like that. This really puts us in a unique situation; we’re the only practice in Chester County that covers all the sub-specialities. That’s not to say we don’t have relationships in the city.
What do you mean by that? For instance, our doctors have great relationships with Wills Eye and Scheie Eye Institutes. We’re on staff there, attend clinics, train residents. In addition, there are also a number of us who teach courses at the national meetings of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Sounds like you guys do a lot more than just fit people for contacts. We are a multi-specialty ophthalmology practice, and we cover everything from diabetes, to glaucoma, to cataracts, to Lasik, and we even specialize in oculoplastics.
Wow, that’s a lot going on, and I have to admit some of it went over my head. Let’s break it down piece by piece. First, you’re saying diabetes impacts vision? Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common cause of visual loss between ages 25-64. There are more than 25 million Americans living with diabetes, and half of them don’t even know they have diabetes. That can be very problematic, because diabetes can cause a profound loss of vision if undiagnosed and left untreated.
And they need to do more than just get their blood sugar in check to try to counter that vision loss? Obviously if there isn’t tight control of blood sugar and cholesterol, you’re going to have problems. You need to get that under control and we always suggest quitting smoking; smoking is the common denominator in most types of visual loss. If you’re already at risk, smoking can really stoke the fire.
So, anyone with diabetes should get checked? Oh, absolutely. Those with type II should get checked every year at least. Type I, once they’re just diagnosed, should get a baseline and be seen a couple years later. You really need to come in for complete eye exams because most of these issues don’t show symptoms until they’re pretty advanced.
The next item that surprises me: oculoplastics. We offer a wide variety of services, like Botox, Juvederm and Intense Pulsed Light. I actually specialize in blepharoplasty, which is a surgery that removes excess lid skin from the eyes, both for functional and cosmetic purposes.
What made you decide to specialize in oculoplastics? I thought it was a good way to really help people. Any procedure that helps someone feel better about themselves is a great procedure to perform.
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