The eyes are windows…to your health. The health of your eyes and overall health are closely related. The eyes are intimately connected to the nervous system and the circulatory system, and when issues develop elsewhere in the body it can affect the eyes. The eyes are also workhorses. It can be easy to forget that they are constantly turning light into nerve signals, focusing the lens, adjusting to light conditions, and much more. This is a lot of work and if we add a disease or other stresses, there can be a negative impact on vision and eye health.
Diabetes is a disease that is particularly hard on the eyes. Dr. Andrew C. Lavey, OD of Larson Eye Care in Sheboygan explains, “Unfortunately, individuals who have diabetes are more likely to develop blinding eye diseases.” Chronically high blood sugar levels are known to damage small blood vessels and the back of the eye, called the retina, which has a dense network of these small blood vessels. According to Dr. Lavey, “In diabetic retinopathy, these small vessels are damaged. The damage is progressive and causes scarring and abnormal, tangled blood vessels start to grow. The blood vessels can also become leaky and bleed into the eye or offset the normal pressure of the eye. If diabetic retinopathy is not properly treated it can lead to blindness.” Diabetic patients also have increased risk for other eye diseases. In fact, they have twice the risk of developing glaucoma and up to five times greater risk of cataracts.
Regular eye exams are important for individuals with diabetes. Dr. Lavey explains, “While diabetes is damaging the blood vessels in the retina the patient may not notice vision issues until significant damage has occurred.” This is why annual exams with an eye care professional are so important. During an exam, your doctor will look for signs of diabetic retinopathy. A common exam requires dilating the pupils to allow your doctor to look for the following: • Changes to the blood vessels • Leaking blood vessels or fatty deposits around them • Swelling around the retina • Changes in the lens • Damage to nerves
Dr. Lavey says, “Preventative measures are very important when it comes to eye health. To minimize the risk of eye issues, diabetics must carefully work with their doctor to control blood sugars and blood pressure, exercise, and, if they are smokers, they should see their doctor about quitting.”
Treatments for diabetic retinopathy vary. Dr. Lavey says, “Your doctor will look at the severity and stage of your condition to determine which treatment option is best for you.” One common treatment is a laser surgery in which leaky blood vessels are closed. Other treatments include eye injections with drugs that stop the growth of abnormal blood vessels, or corticosteroid injections.
The connection between the eyes and your health is strong and individuals with diabetes are particularly vulnerable to eye issues. If you have diabetes be sure to work closely with your eye care professional to monitor your vision and eye health.
ABOUT LARSON EYE CARE For almost 40 years, patients from Sheboygan and surrounding communities have trusted the care of their vision to the vision experts at Larson Eye Care.
At Larson Eye Care we take pride in our dedication to offering personalized attention to patient care, together with state-of-the-art clinical and surgical expertise. Our skilled team of eye care professionals are committed to bringing you and your family the finest care for one of your most precious possessions, the gift of sight.
During your visit, our doctors and staff will gladly assist you and are happy to take the time to answer all your questions regarding your personal vision care. It is our goal to make you feel part of the Larson Eye Care family.
At Larson Eye Care We care about our patients, and our concern extends beyond the scope of eye care. Our patients are our friends, our neighbors and our families.
OUR DOCTORS Christopher Larson, MD A native of Sheboygan, and founder of Larson Eye Care, SC, has practiced comprehensive ophthalmology for more than 25 years. Dr. Larson received his undergraduate degree with Distinction, from the University of Wisconsin and his medical training from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine. He served his internship at Presbyterian Medical Center in Denver, CO and completed his residency in ophthalmology at the University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine.
In his practice of comprehensive ophthalmology, Dr. Larson performs Cataract and Refractive surgery. He performs Laser cataract Surgery using the Lensar Laser and CustomVue™ LASIK surgery using the VISX S4 Laser. He also sees and treats patients with glaucoma, diabetic and macular eye disease in his practice.
Dr. Larson is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and is certified in Cataract/Implant surgery through the American College of Eye Surgeons. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
Todd Larson, DO Dr. Larson is excited to have returned to his home town of Sheboygan to expand the practice at Larson Eye Care S.C. He offers the latest techniques in Clear Cornea Cataract Surgery, Advanced Laser Cataract Surgery, glaucoma laser and filtration procedures, and treatment of diabetic retinopathy. He also offers his experience in other areas of comprehensive ophthalmology, including the management of uveitis, cornea and external disease, and macular degeneration.
Dr. Larson received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He received his medical degree from Midwestern University, where he graduated with high honors. He was among those recognized with this citation for graduating in the top of his class. He completed his internship at Swedish Covenant Hospital in Chicago, IL and his residency in ophthalmology at The John H Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, IL. In Dr. Larson’s final year of residency, he was honored by the faculty by being named Chief Resident. Todd and his wife, Dr. Liz Zurich, reside in Sheboygan Falls. Dr. Larson is an active member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.
Andrew Lavey, OD specializes in comprehensive family vision care including routine eye health examinations, contact lenses and the medical treatment of eye diseases and disorders. He received his Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Human Biology in 1994 from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Dr. Lavey earned his Doctor of Optometry from Indiana University School of Optometry where he had the distinguished honor of being named to the Dean’s list each semester and graduating in the top three of his class in 1998. He was a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa honor fraternity and a recipient of the Wisconsin Foundation for Vision Awareness Scholarship.
Dr. Lavey is an active member of the American Optometric Association, the Wisconsin Optometric Association, the Lakeshore Optometric Society (past president) and Physicians’ Health Network. Dr. Jordyn Matuschka,a Sheboygan native, is excited to return home to start her career at Larson Eye Care. Dr. Matuschka received her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University and attended optometry school at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. She was a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa honor society, Epsilon Psi Epsilon optometry fraternity, and a recipient of the Wisconsin Foundation for Vision Awareness and Wisconsin Optometric Association Scholarship. She also enjoyed volunteering with SVOSH (Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) and recently traveled to Guatemala to provide eye care.
Dr. Matuschka’s areas of interest within optometry include comprehensive vision care, fitting contact lenses, and treating medical eye conditions.
Dr. Kathryn Green (her bio is not on the Larson Eye Care website)
Jordyn Matuschka, OD is a Sheboygan native and excited to return home to start her career at Larson Eye Care. Dr. Matuschka received her Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Biomedical Sciences from Marquette University and attended optometry school at The Ohio State University College of Optometry. She was a member of the Beta Sigma Kappa honor society, Epsilon Psi Epsilon optometry fraternity, and was a recipient of the Wisconsin Foundation for Vision Awareness and Wisconsin Optometric Association Scholarship. She also enjoyed volunteering with SVOSH (Student Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity) and recently traveled to Guatemala to provide eye care. Her areas of interest within optometry include comprehensive vision care, fitting contact lenses, and treating medical eye conditions.
Kathryn Green, MD has been a resident of Sheboygan since 1984. Born and raised in Indiana, she attended Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in biology in 1976. She attended Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis where she obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree with honors in 1980. Dr. Green then completed an internship year in Portland, Oregon after which she moved to Wisconsin and completed a three-year residency program in ophthalmology at the Medical College of Wisconsin Eye Institute in Milwaukee.