• 28Feb
    By examining the retina Dr. Olson can detect systemic  problems like Melanoma. (Photo courtesy of Optos.)

    By examining the retina Dr. Olson can detect systemic problems like Melanoma. (Photo courtesy of Optos.)

    Do you know what Dr. Oz knows?

    MS. Diabetes. High Blood Pressure. High Cholesterol. Melanoma.

    These are just some of the things that can be diagnosed during a comprehensive eye health examination from Dr. Olson.

    In this television segment Dr. Oz shows Optomap images (like we use) to illustrate two systemic conditions that a skilled optometrist can detect by examining the retina.  Click the link to watch as Dr. Oz explains two potentially life-threatening conditions optometrists can detect.

    “Lifesaving Tips from Unlikely Sources”? Now you know better!

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  • 25Jun

    Make a summertime note to self….Don’t wait until August to think about the kid’s annual eye exams.

    Call us at 319-385-9534 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Olson today!

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  • 24Feb
    Heart health is linked to eye health

    Heart health is linked to eye health

    It’s February, the month of hearts–because of Valentine’s Day but also because it’s Heart Health Month.

    So why is an eye doctor talking about heart health?  Because some undetected heart health issues can be identified in the eye.  And some systemic problems that contribute to heart disease may be detected in their early stages during an eye exam.   

    Undetected high blood pressure can cause cause permanent vision problems. The good news is that in the course of a regular eye health examination a skilled eye doctor can detect signs of systemic hypertension even before vision has been affected or the patient is aware of the condition. 

    There is only one place in the body where a doctor can non-invasively observe a person’s blood vessels–the eye!  Dr. Olson can actually see the blood vessels in the back of the eye and view the optic nerve.  Strained by high blood pressure these small capillaries may bleed or narrow. The optic nerve can also become swollen.  These are signs of hypertensive retinopathy due to systemic high blood pressure.  The ophthalmoscope, binocular indirect ophthalmoscope, and Optomap retinal imaging are all tools that allow Dr. Olson to see the retina so conditions and changes can be monitored and documented. But it takes his experience and expertise to evaluate what he sees and identify what is normal and what is not.

    Sometimes vision loss is not due to a problem with the eye itself, but with how the brain is processing images the eye sees. One possible cause of this type of vision problem is that small strokes have occurred due to untreated high blood pressure. There are patients whose brain impairment was first detected and diagnosed by Dr. Olson in the course of a routine eye health exam.

    Diabetes affects both heart health and eye health.  During our comprehensive eye health exam Dr. Olson looks for blood vessels that are larger in certain spots, blocked, or hemorrhaging, new fragile blood vessels that have started growing, and scars on the retina, among other things.  These are potential signs of diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in working-age Americans. 

    Here’s an excerpt from a  story on the American Heart Association website:  “In the summer of 1994, I was driving a truck down a familiar road and suddenly my vision went blurry. Fortunately, I knew where I was going without reading the road signs, but as soon as I returned home, I called a friend who is a nurse about my concerns. She suggested that I see an eye doctor as soon as possible. After running some eye tests the eye doctor told me to see my family doctor because I might have type 2 diabetes. I was surprised by this because no one in my family had ever been diagnosed with diabetes. I did indeed have type 2 diabetes, and I also had high blood pressure and marginally high cholesterol…”

    Unfortunately by the time vision has been affected, as this man’s was, the vision loss can be irreversible.  That’s the reason eye doctors recommend that everyone have regular eye health exams throughout their lifetime! While you may be seeing well, symptoms still invisible to you can exist that are red flags to Dr. Olson as he looks inside your eye during the eye health examination. 

    The great news is that if you have been having annual eye exams at our office and these or other conditions appear, they will likely be detected at an early stage. If you have not been in the habit of getting regular eye exams, you can start now! We are accepting new patients at this time. Just call 319.395.9534.

    So besides eating smart, not smoking, and exercising, add seeing Dr. Olson regularly to the list of activities for maintaining good heart health!

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  • 30Jul

    According to World Health Organization estimates:

    • 80% of all visual impairment can be prevented, treated or cured
    • Top causes of visual impairment: refractive errors, cataracts and glaucoma
    • Top causes of blindness: cataracts, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration
    • About 285 million people are visually impaired worldwide: 39 million are blind and 246 million have low vision

    When was your last eye exam?  Your child’s?

    Learn more Vision 2020 Global Facts the World Health Organization has identified.

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  • 22Jan
    Optic nerve damage caused by glaucoma affects the visual field

    Optic nerve damage caused by glaucoma affects the visual field

    Anyone can develop sight-threatening glaucoma.  It’s the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization. But an eye doctor can detect it before significant vision loss begins.  Glaucoma occurs when pressure inside the eye slowly rises, and this leads to optic nerve damage and vision loss.  During every eye health exam we measure ocular pressure and use advanced visual fields technology to detect glaucoma as early as possible.  Early glaucoma detection is one of many reasons why routine eye exams are so important, even when you’re seeing clearly.

    Anyone can develop glaucoma, but some people are more at risk than others:  African Americans over age 40;  Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans;  People with a family history of glaucoma; People who are severely near-sighted; Anyone with diabetes.  For these people, it is especially important to have an exam at least once a year.

    Anyone can develop glaucoma, but there are things we can do to minimize the risk of vision loss. 

    • Follow recommendations for a healthy lifestyle to prevent obesity & diabetes, which can increase the risk of glaucoma.  Exercise.  Eat lots of fresh fruits and veggies, specifically leafy greens and foods high in antioxidants.  Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol. 
    • If you are prescribed eye drops for treatment of glaucoma, follow the prescribed regimen diligently.  Non-compliance is a major reason glaucoma leads to blindness.  
    • Early detection during an eye health exam is the best way to control the disease often called “the sneak thief of sight”.  That’s why, based on your individual health and risk factors, Dr. Olson prescribes how often you should be examined.  

    Anyone can develop glaucoma, but we want to help you detect it early and prevent vision loss.  Prevent Blindness American estimates that over 4 million Americans have glaucoma, but only half of those know that they have it.   If you haven’t had a comprehensive eye health exam in the last year, call us today at 319.385.9534 to schedule an appointment.

    Visit AllAboutVision.com to learn about eye diseases, including forms of macular degeneration, causes of glaucoma, and signs of a cataract.

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  • 22Jun
    Tozal is one supplement for Macular Degeneration approved by Dr. Olson

    Tozal is one supplement for Macular Degeneration approved by Dr. Olson

    June is Vision Research Month.  The American Optometric Association website features an excellent summary of one of the most important vision research findings in recent years.  Because of the AREDS studies Dr. Olson recommends supplements to certain at-risk patients.  The AOA article follows:

    In the last 20 years, eye health research has linked diet and nutrition with a decreased risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). A major clinical study of older adults concluded that taking an antioxidant vitamin or mineral supplement significantly reduced the risk of advanced AMD progression in some people. Additionally, today there is significant evidence that vitamin D plays a role in preventing AMD.

    AREDS Made it Clear

    The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) was a major clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute. It enrolled 3640 subjects, age 55 to 80, and was released in October 2001. This landmark study provided evidence that nutritional intervention in the form of supplements could delay the progression of AMD. The study concluded that taking an antioxidant vitamin or mineral supplement reduced the risk of advanced AMD progression by about 25 percent and showed a 19 percent reduction in visual acuity loss in some of the subjects.

    The Case for Lutein and Zeaxanthin

    It was not clear in the original AREDS report which vitamin, mineral or combination of nutrients was responsible for reducing the risk of AMD. When the study was planned, the lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids that constitute the macular pigment were not assessed because they were not commercially available. Since then, several studies have provided growing evidence specific to the beneficial role of lutein and zeaxanthin intake, and their positive effect on eye health and AMD risk reduction. The AREDS Report No. 22 published in 2007 described the relationship between dietary intake of various nutrients and AMD among the AREDS subjects. This report concluded that high dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin is associated with a reduction in the risk of geographic atrophy, advanced AMD, and large or extensive intermediate drusen, the waste byproducts of cellular metabolism (activity).

    New Study Builds on Long Term Nutrient Benefits

    A follow up to the original AREDS trial, AREDS2, began in June 2008. This multi-centered, five-year study builds on a multitude of existing science supporting lutein and zeaxanthin’s role in maintaining healthy eyes. It is the largest human clinical trial to evaluate lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3 fatty acids supplementation, and includes 4,000 patients at high risk for AMD. The study is focusing on the protective effects lutein (10 mg/day), zeaxanthin (2 mg/day) , and omega-3 fatty acids (1 g/day) have against AMD, as well as the link between nutrition and macular pigment optical density, cataract development and visual function.

    Vitamin supplements selected by Dr. Olson for appropriate content and quality are available through Complete EyeCare Center–either in stock or direct-shipped to your home.  Call 319.385.9534 for an evaluation with Dr. Olson, or to inquire about whether you may benefit from these products.

    • Tozal Eye Health Formula (To order Tozal online click the link and use rep# 24894 to complete your purchase.)
    • Omega Max
    • Viteyes Advanced Formula
    • Viteyes AREDS Companion
    • Viteyes Smokers Formula
    • EyePromise Restore (To order EyePromise Restore online click the link and use referral doctor #10246 to complete your purchase.)

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  • 30Mar

    Did you know?

    Eye protection should be a major concern to all athletes

    Eye protection should be a major concern to all athletes

    Approximately 72 percent of sports-related eye injuries occur in people younger than 25 years and approximately 43 percent occur in children younger than 15 years.  (Source American Optometric Association.)

    Nearly all of these injuries could have been avoided with proper eye protection.   At age 23 I learned this lesson first-hand during a game of racquetball.  After a trip to the emergency room and several stitches, we purchased sport goggles and have been advocates for protective eyewear ever since.

    In outdoor sports,  a laceration or poke to the eye isn’t the only thing we need protection from.  Ultraviolet light exposure can also cause damage.

    When properly prescribed, protective sports eyewear can actually enhance your athletic performance!  So if you or a family member would like to return that volley better, improve a golf score, bag illusive fish & game, and be protected whatever the sport, talk to Dr. Olson about sports eyewear.  Spring is here, along with a host of sports activities, so call Complete EyeCare Center today to schedule an appointment (319.385.9534).

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  • 31Oct
    Complete EyeCare Center utilizes quality diagnostic instrumentation

    Complete EyeCare Center utilizes quality diagnostic instrumentation like the award winning Optovue RTVue

    The RT-Vue images the retina and underlying nerve fiber layers

    The RTVue visualizes the retina and underlying nerve fiber layers

    When it was featured on Good Morning America in May 2007, the Optovue RTVue spectral OCT  was one of only 100 worldwide.  As soon as May 2008, Dr. Olson was introducing that same instrument to his patients in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa, at Complete EyeCare Center.

    The GMA reporter was “able to get access to one”, and you have that same benefit without traveling to a metropolitan center or university.  Spectral OCT with the Optovue RTVue is a new generation of Optical Coherence Tomography for detection, classification, and management of ocular diseases and pathology.

    Why should that interest you?  Because this exciting tool has the ability to help Dr. Olson detect and treat progressive eye diseases at a much earlier stage.  Slowing or stopping  disease progression early means less likelihood of vision loss or blindness, and better health for you.

    Several eye diseases, like glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy have no symptoms in their early stages.  But a skilled eye doctor using the RTVue can detect and manage them.  Painless and quick, the ultra-high speed and high resolution features of the RTVue enable Dr. Olson to visualize retinal, anterior segment, and corneal tissue with ultra-high clarity.

    Watch this interesting Good Morning America segment by clicking here.

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  • 20Jul

    Many eye problems can develop without you knowing.  You may not even notice any change in your eyesight.  But, diseases such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, retinal tears or detachments, and other health problems such as diabetes and high blood pressure can be seen with a thorough exam of the retina.  Until the optomap®, the only way to evaluate the retina for these abnormalities was to dilate the eyes–which can be time consuming and uncomfortable.  Now a wide retinal image can be captured quickly and painlessly.  Convenient for patients, while providing critical eye health information–that’s why we were the first in Iowa to introduce the technology! That’s also why optomap® technology was featured on an episode of the popular TV show “The Doctors.” (You can see the TV clip by clicking here.)

    An optomap® Retinal Exam provides:

    • A scan to show a healthy eye or detect disease.
    • A view of the retina, giving Dr. Olson a more detailed view than he can get by other means.
    • The opportunity for you to view and discuss the optomap® image of your eye with Dr. Olson at the time of your exam.
    • A permanent record for your file, which allows the doctor to view your images each year to look for changes.

    The optomap® Retinal Exam is fast, easy, and comfortable for all ages.  To have the exam, you simply look into the device one eye at a time and you will see a comfortable flash of light to let you know the image of your retina has been taken.  Your optomap® is immediately captured so Dr. Olson can evaluate and review it with you on a computer screen during your exam.  Click here to see a video demonstration of the optomap experience.

    Please schedule your annual optomap® Retinal Exam today by calling our office at  319.385.9534 .

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  • 05May

    On Sunny Days You Need SunglassesIt’s a sunny day in Mt. Pleasant, at least for now!  During this spring’s activities I’ve been thankful for a good pair of sunglasses, whether I’m driving, doing yard work, or watching a high school tennis match.  What a difference it makes in my comfort and enjoyment!  If you are a contact lens wearer you especially know what I mean.  We keep hearing more and more about the necessity of proper sun protection, for your skin and your eyes.

    I’ll let you in on a little known fact.  We have an expanded selection of great sunwear right here in Mt. Pleasant, in our eyewear gallery.  Why not stop in and try some on during your lunch break today?  If you’re interested in prescription sunwear, we have that too.  (In fact, this Saturday you can save $50 on a pair of prescription sunglasses, during our annual Fashion & Eyewear Event!)

    Hope you can get outside and enjoy the weather!

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  • 23Mar

    You’re invited to help protect your baby’s eyes with a no-cost eye assessment.

    Governor Chet Culver has declared InfantSEE Week as Monday, March 23 - Friday, March 27, 2009.  If your infant is six to twelve months old, this is the perfect time to schedule an InfantSEE eye assessment with Dr. Olson–at no cost.  

    “I encourage parents across Iowa to take advantage of the InfantSEE® program,” said Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA).  “… I applaud our local optometrists for providing free InfantSEE® assessments, and encourage families to take advantage of this useful service.”


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  • 01Mar

    If there’s one way you can save your vision over your lifetime, it’s by wearing good quality sunglasses now.  Whether it’s summer or winter, sunny or overcast, ultraviolet exposure can damage your eyes.   Premature cataracts, the clouding of the lenses, and macular degeneration are the greatest concerns.  UV damage has also been attributed to some eye growths and can affect the structures inside the eye.

    When choosing sunglasses, cheaper is not better.  Dark colored lenses without adequate UV protection can dilate your eyes allowing even more harmful light into the eye through your enlarged pupil.  So don’t skimp on eye protection, especially for children, whose eyes are more sensitive.  (Some studies estimate that 80% of lifetime sun exposure occurs before age 18.)   Sunglasses found on discount store racks may claim UV protection, but the triacetate material many of them are made of only absorbs about 40% of UV rays, and they often distort the light passing through them which can negatively impact vision and performance.  We can show you the superiority of the optical quality polycarbonate and polarized sunglass lenses with 100% UV protection.

    This March, during Save Your Vision Month, we’re encouraging you to upgrade your sunglasses.  We’ve expanded our sunwear selection just as the weather begins to beckon us outside.  So consider a new look and new protection for your eyes this year.  It could save you from compromised vision or costly surgery in the future.

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  • 27Feb

    Sport-specific performance in sunglasses comes down to tint, which should filter enough of the right kind of light to reduce brightness and eyestrain, without filtering out what you actually need to see to perform well.  Our Eyewear Consultants can help determine what lens colors will work best for you.  Here are some general guidelines.

    Yellow or Amber: Increases visual acuity, focus, and contrast in low light conditions.

    Best for: Road, field, and trail.  Shooting, fishing, tennis, racquetball, handball, indoor basketball.

    Gray or green-gray: Cuts glare in bright light conditions, and preserves natural color perception.

    Best for: Water and road.  Cycling, all outdoor sports.

    Copper or brown: Universal tints that improve depth perception, increase contrast, cut glare on sunny to partly cloudy days, and minimize eyestrain brought on by haze.

    Best for: Road, trail, field, and water.  Golf, fishing, baseball, cycling, hunting.

    Rose or violet: Makes details pop when light is flat, especially against blue backgrounds.

    Best for: Water and snow.

    If you want to reflect certain color wavelengths, like screening blue or green for better visibility below the water line when fishing, ask about a mirrored coating instead of a tint. The best way to eliminate reflections and glare is to choose optical quality sunglasses that are polarized.

    You’ll find a full range of options in our eyewear gallery.  Be sure to check out Rudy Project and Maui Jim sunwear, which is particularly suited to performance sports.  We can even design a pair of custom sunglasses to meet your specific needs.

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  • 25Feb

    If you’re serious about seeing and performing at your best, take a look at Rudy Project sunglasses.  We have recently added the collection in our office.  So whether your interests are biking, snow or water sports, fishing, racket sports, golf, or driving, they combine sport and style in a way that takes your needs into account.

    First, they’re polarized to filter out reflected light, but they have dialed it down to 96% so you can still read the LCD screen on electronic gauges, your iPod, or phone.  Next, they are available as photochromic so they’ll adjust from nearly clear to super dark depending on the lighting conditions you are in.  They’re Rx-able so you can integrate your eyeglass prescription or remove the insert when you wear your contacts.  A brow-hugging design keeps wind and glare at a minimum and sideshields can be snapped on for complete protection.  Adjustable temples and nosepads allow the fit to be customized to your face, and hydrophilic rubber means they will stay put when wet.   All the metal components are made of corrosion-fighting stainless steel.  Not only that, they look good!

    Rudy Project sunglasses were recently named Gear of the Year 2008 by an independent magazine.  You don’t have to go far to find the best.  Stop in to Complete EyeCare Center in downtown Mt. Pleasant to try them today.

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  • 09Jan

    You’ve broken out the new calendar, or at least turned the page to a new year.  Are you wondering where 2008 went?  None of us seems immune to this syndrome, perhaps a sign of the busyness of our culture.  So, it should come as no surprise that you’ve probably underestimated how long it’s been since your last eye exam.

    Not all people need a comprehensive eye health exam every year.  Every two years can be adequate for people who are not considered “at risk”.  Having said that, children and students may need more frequent care since their eyes are growing and changing quite rapidly.  That’s why it’s important for parents and teachers be educated to recognize signs of vision problems in children.

    So who needs to been seen at least annually?  Those over age 60, contact lens wearers, anyone who has had eye surgery, people who take prescription or non-prescription drugs that can have ocular side effects, diabetics, anyone with high blood pressure, those who have a family history of ocular disease (such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, etc.), those who work in occupations that are visually demanding or with eye hazards, children with a high refractive error, an eye turn, or eyes with unequal refractive power,  children born prematurely, with low weight, or through difficult or assisted labor, children who received oxygen as newborns, children with family history of certain diseases, and people with other health concerns or conditions.  (Keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, and some conditions require more frequent monitoring.)

    After examining and talking with you, Dr. Olson will make a recommendation about how long it should be until you have your next eye health exam.  Our first concern is your health, so we help you keep on track with convenient scheduling and reminders tailor-made to your situation.  But we won’t be surprised if your response is, “Has it really been a year?”

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  • 30Jan

    Our eye health exam can be an early detector of serious health problems like high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

    Shouldn’t you schedule your annual eye exam today?  Just call 319-385-9534.  Our friendly staff will be glad to help you.

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