What is your favorite thing about being an optometrist?

Helping people. The best day at work for me is the day that I’ve improved someone’s vision or eye health.

What are your hobbies?

There are many. If I had more time, there would be more! I enjoy home improvement projects, gardening, reading, kayaking, hiking, cross country skiing, the calligraphic arts, and homebrewing.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Easter. It is my greatest hope.

Where would you love to travel to?

Rome. I studied Classical Latin in high school and would love to see the places I read about. Additionally, I am a practicing Catholic and would love to see all of the Station churches.

What has been your favorite thing about working at VEA so far?

There’s always a colleague nearby to ask questions to or to learn from.

All Valley Eye Associates’ locations are ready to serve you. Please call ahead for an appointment. In addition, all Park Place Optical locations are open to take care of your glasses and contact lens needs. No appointment is necessary at Park Place Optical.

Below are a few frequently asked questions to help you prepare for your appointment:

What measures has Valley Eye Associates taken to protect patients and visitors?

Valley Eye Associates has been and always will be committed to providing the best care possible for our patients and visitors. Masks are optional for patients and staff, but we do encourage all visitors and staff to wear a mask if they are experiencing cold/flu symptoms.

Patients may request that the Valley Eye Associates staff wear a mask during their visit. We want patients to feel comfortable and safe, so we are happy to accommodate the request, especially if we are not able to social distance for an extended period of time.

*Encircle Health Patients: Masks will be required to enter the Encircle Health building. Patients may remove their mask, if they choose, upon entering the Valley Eye Associates clinic.

Are there any measures that I as the patient need to take before coming to my appointment?

We have taken many measures on your behalf, including screening to create the safest possible environment. If you are not feeling well or have been in close contact with someone who is sick, we do ask that you please wear a mask or call to reschedule your appointment.

Is it safe to have eye surgery during the pandemic?

Yes, we believe it is. There have been no known cases of COVID-19 (SARSCOV-2) transmission from eye surgery.

Can I get COVID-19 by having surgery?

The virus that causes COVID-19 is spread from person to person. While there have been no known cases of COVID-19 transmission from eye surgery, it is always important to practice pre-surgery precautions like diligent handwashing leading up to and following your surgery.

How does VEA respect social distancing?

We are taking several measures to respect social distancing. We have greatly limited traffic in our lobby areas by spacing out chairs. We have also installed shields at all front desk locations.

May I bring a driver with me to my appointment?

Many times you will be unable to drive following a procedure, so it is recommended that you arrange for a family member or friend to drive you. As of Monday, June 7, all patients may have someone accompany them for appointments.

Child looking through binoculars

Do you know the definition of myopia?

Chances are, you know more than you give yourself credit for. You’ve likely heard myopia’s more familiar term “nearsightedness,” and if you are one of the more than 40 percent of Americans with the condition, you’re probably better acquainted with its effect on daily life more than you are with what Webster’s Dictionary has to say about it.

But since we mentioned the definition, here it is: myopia or nearsightedness is the inability to see objects clearly at a distance. It happens when your eyeball becomes elongated or the cornea — the protective outer layer of your eye — is too curved, the light that enters your eye focuses images in front of the retina instead of directly on it, where it’s needed for optimal clarity.

Myopia has become particularly prevalent among children, and its instances are steadily increasing.1 We’ve witnessed the trend firsthand at Valley Eye Associates as our younger patients are increasingly needing interventions for myopia.

One of the best interventions we’ve found is the Brilliant Futures™ program developed by CooperVision. Through the program, certified eye care practitioners can identify children who will benefit from the MiSight 1 day and fit them for the lenses. The MiSight 1 day lenses are designed for wear by children ages 8-12. For maximum benefit, it is recommended that they wear the lenses six days per week for ten hours per day.

The results have been significant — both in terms of outcomes and peace of mind. “MiSight has been a great option that we’ve been able to offer our patients that was designed specifically for slowing the progression of myopia (nearsightedness). The kids have done extremely well and parents are pleased with the outcomes so far!,” said Dr. Angela Rodriguez, an optometrist at Valley Eye Associates and certified Brilliant Futures practitioner.

To schedule your child’s appointment, call us at (800) 344-4443.

1. Cooper, Y. (2019, May 1). With Childhood Myopia Rates on the Rise, the American Optometric Association Highlights the Importance of Early Intervention through Annual Eye Exams. Retrieved from https://www.aoa.org/about-the-aoa/press-room/press-releases/myopia-rates-on-the-rise

The holidays are officially here! And that means time with family. Did you know that Valley Eye Associates has multiple internal family connections? We asked them what their favorite holiday traditions are!

Ivy Blue, Surgery Coder/Prior Authorization Specialist
Krystle Blue, COA, Technician

Krystle shared, “I would say our family’s favorite holiday tradition is playing games and watching football!”

Ivy added, “I always make orange Danish with breakfast and we listen to old school Christmas songs. Mitch Miller is what my husband’s family listened to while he was growing up. Christmas wouldn’t be the same without that music!”

Faith Lambie, COA, Surgery Manager
Casey Lambie, Business Office

Casey shared, “My favorite holiday tradition is going to Grandma and Grandpa’s house.”

Cherie Mader, COA, Clinic Administrator
Donna Cummings, Patient Service Representative

Cherie and Donna shared, “Some of our holiday traditions include playing an assortment of holiday games and trying a new recipe each year.”

Kristina Meneau, Patient Service Representative
Rebekah Mikulaj, Patient Service Representative

Tina and Becky shared, “Every family picnic in the summer consists of Tina’s deviled eggs and Becky’s poppyseed tort. We have a lot of fun working together.”

We also see patients as members of our family. For us, it’s all about family! Thank you to all members of the VEA family, for your continuous support year after year.

Happy Holidays!

What is your favorite thing about being an optometrist?

My favorite thing about being an optometrist is working with my patients! It is so rewarding to help people achieve their best vision every day, and I love the interactions I get to have with my patients.

What are your hobbies?

Outside of work, I love spending time with family and friends. I also enjoy hiking and being outdoors, fishing, traveling, cooking, and reading.

What is your favorite holiday and why?

My favorite holiday is the Fourth of July! I love spending time with family and enjoying the warm weather complete with a pool party, cookout, parade, and of course, fireworks!

Where would you love to travel to?

I would love to travel to Italy and Greece again, but Norway and Egypt are next on my bucket list!

What has been your favorite thing about working at VEA so far?

I am enjoying my new co-workers. They have all been very welcoming! I also love the variety of patients that I get to see throughout the day.

What is your favorite thing about being an optometrist?

Being able to educate my patients on their eye conditions and improving their vision

What are your hobbies?

Fishing, playing cards, avid sports fan (Packers, Brewers, and IU basketball)

What is your favorite holiday and why?

Thanksgiving, there’s always a lot of football to watch on TV

Where would you love to travel to?

Europe (Greece, Italy, France, and Germany)

What has been your favorite thing about working at VEA so far?

The people. Everyone who works at VEA is wonderful and they all have made my transition from student to doctor quite enjoyable and easy.

“Individual commitment to a group effort — that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

Vince Lombardi

Last month, doctors and staff members got together on a Saturday for Valley Eye Associates’ 2021 Staff Retreat. They met at Dave and Buster’s in Green Bay for morning training and team building. A guest speaker presented on patient service and the patient experience. They also participated in a scavenger hunt throughout Dave and Buster’s arcade. All together, the VEA team consists of four ophthalmologists, 16 optometrists, 70+ staff members, and five clinic locations, so when the whole team gets together, it’s a special treat!

Why are staff retreats beneficial?

Kara Plante, the manager of our Business Office, answered, “Our staff retreats allow Valley Eye Associates to become a stronger team as a whole by focusing on practice culture and team-building exercises. They help us build relationships and make sure we are providing the best patient care possible.”

After the morning training session, doctors and staff members met at Sunset Park in Kimberly for some fun in the sun. The after party included food trucks, a kickball tournament, and a charity dunk tank. $186.00 was raised for Feeding America – Eastern Wisconsin. We are grateful for our wonderful team!

Happy couple enjoying a bike ride

The RxSight Light Adjustable Lens® (LAL) is the world’s first FDA-approved implant that can be adjusted and reshaped after surgery.

Just what, exactly, does all that doctor-speak mean for you, our patients? An unheard-of level of customization for your cataract surgery.

The most performed procedure in the U.S., cataract surgery replaces a cloudy, natural lens with a clear, artificial lens known as an IOL. Because there are several kinds of IOLs to choose from, prior to surgery our doctors will visit with you about your needs and perform thorough measurements of your eye.

This is so that together you and your doctor can select the best lens. All of our pre-operative care also gives your surgeon precise information to ensure the best possible post-operative outcome.

However, no matter how sophisticated our diagnostics, they can’t perfectly anticipate how your eye will heal. In other words, your vision will be greatly improved after surgery, but you may still have a slight case of myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism. This has always been the case, and cataract sufferers in particular still tend to need their glasses.

Enter the Light Adjustable Lens. With it we have the flexibility to adjust your vision after surgery. Once you’ve completely recovered — which usually takes about three weeks — your surgeon will use UV light to adjust your new lens’ power in a very specific and mathematical way. Up to three light adjustments can be performed and once a patient’s desired correction is achieved, a final “lock in” treatment is applied.

Valley Eye Associates is excited to offer this customizable new lens! Many cataract patients fit the LAL’s criteria for use. Contact us at (920) 739-4361 to schedule an examination and learn if you’re a candidate.

Each day, the team at Valley Eye Associates uses the best technology available to give our patients the best vision possible.

While it’s exciting to learn and implement the latest advancements, that isn’t what makes our team look forward to their work. It’s you, our patients. We deeply appreciate the trust you put in us to improve your vision and the way you share your life during your appointments. Your stories about kids and grandkids, the shenanigans of your pets, or the insider tips from the latest trip you took brighten our days!

Because of the bonds we form during your visits, we’re especially honored when you vote us “Best of the Valley” and “Best of Winnebago County” in the LASIK Surgery Center category. You’ve allowed us to share our expertise and for that, we’re sincerely thankful.

Valley Eye Associates has won the Best of the Best contest — sponsored by the Appleton Post Crescent and Oshkosh Northwestern — for 15 consecutive years in the Valley and for five consecutive years in Winnebago County. We plan to work hard to ensure we continue to earn this honor from the communities we serve.

Cataracts are a normal, expected part of aging, and, counterintuitive as it may seem, for some patients, they present an opportunity in disguise.

Here’s why: during cataract surgery, a cloudy, natural lens is replaced with a clear, artificial lens. In other words, your cataract surgery may do more than clear your cataracts. Depending on which lens you select, it may upgrade your overall vision. The advancements and technology behind artificial lenses (or IOLs as they’re more commonly known) is constantly improving, leading to more and better options for patients to choose from.

One of the lenses we’ve seen very positive results from is  Alcon’s AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™. What sets this lens apart is that, while other IOLs split light into several separate focal points, the Vivity uses a non-diffractive technology called X-Wave that bends and stretches light. Because of that, patients benefit from an extended range of vision.

Furthermore, the way other IOLs split light into several focal points often results in glare, starbursts, and halos even after your cataracts have been corrected. Patients with the Vivity report fewer visual disturbances, and often find that they can resume driving at night, something that wasn’t possible with cataracts and even after surgery could be troubling due to the glare, starbursts, and halos associated with other lenses.

There’s even more promising news. Recent clinical trials found that Vivity not only provides quality vision at distance and intermediate ranges in bright and dim light, they also found that patients’ dependence on glasses or contact lenses is decreased after their surgery.

Vivity is best for patients who want improved intermediate and near vision. Intermediate vision comes into play for activities such as working at a computer; near vision is accessed for activities such as reading or sewing. This lens may not be a good fit for patients with extreme near or farsightedness.

Valley Eye has seen firsthand how the Vivity has benefited our patients, and we’d love to see the same positive results for you. To discuss whether this or another IOL can help you, schedule a Cataract Examination today.