Posts in "Eye Care"

Dr Facchiano Giving the Gift of Sight -How precious is sight to you?

OneSight Trip to Burkina Faso Checking CorneaOS MEX 2013IMG_0454603626_10201078226737337_1582595197_n

            On a mission last week a little native American child received his first RX from the eye care Dr Facchiano, a Rockford Illinois eye doctor provided at a mission in Eagle Butte SD reservation. Like many of these kids it was a highly myopic astigmatism correction. Imagine the blur and limitation that such a blur has on learning and engagement in life. Living in a blur most of his life he took to collecting things like coins and stones. He was just average in performance at school I was told and not really engaged in sports either as you might imagine.
     So now he gets the new spectacle RX the result of our OneSight mission which provided free eye exams, eye care  and glasses at Eagle Butte SD last week.  When he places them on he was caught  testing them out. He moved the lens in front and then above and then back in front and then above his eyes- over and over. He’s says each time he does that:  clear- blurry, clear- blurry, clear – blurry. He gets it now and seems in wonder of it all. Then he turns to view outside and the epiphany happens. He exclaims in youthful exuberance  ” the world is beautiful”!
   He had a choice. He could have looked out at the drab surroundings and became depressed.  Seeing the poorly kept buildings some which have tarps for roofs and weathered plywood covering windows would have shocked most if us . He lives on a reservation and like 1000′s of other kids on the reservation he is drowning in poverty with just hope to be among the 20% that do escape all that when he grows up.
   No,  he says ” the world is beautiful“. He has clarity now and he is in awe of this gift of sight . I suggest he now senses a renewed hope and spirit.  In fact he was so thrilled with the result he was moved to provide the doctor dispensing the glasses a token of his appreciation. See he collects stones and he appreciated the colors in some. One he held  very close and kept that  in his pocket always. He withdrew that special stone he coveted and gave it to the Dr saying” this is my favorite stone cause – well see it has all these colors in it. If I hold it in the light some more colors come out – see? He smiles so big his cheeks push on his new spectacles. I want you to have it he says handing it over. Then without a further comment he darts away and joins his classmates. It was an emotional moment for the Dr to say the least as this one event memorialized the work that we do at these missions and often each day. It validates that it is indeed important work we do as eye doctors and it has value more than we typically realize.
    Its inspiring. Sometimes it takes an innocent child to open our eyes to how important our vision is .  Together the staff and doctors at Facchiano & Associates dedicate each day at being the very best at making the  live’s of our patients beautifully clear. 
   It is time you made an appointment for an eye exam for you and your loves ones.
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An Eye Exam Can Save Your Vision from Glaucoma

Its estimated that about four million people in the United States have glaucoma, a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and silently destroy eyesight. Nearly half of those with glaucoma are not even aware that they have it. So what about you? The number of cases that lose vision is unfortunate considering there are some high technology offices like Facchiano & Associates who maintain eye care offices with technology that can detect early signs of glaucoma long before that damage threatens vision. You owe it to yourself to find out your relative risk of lossing vision to glaucoma by getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam that includes having drops put in your eye and if the eye doctor orders extra diagnostics tests, an OCT optic nerve scan and threashold visual fields. With its painless and gradual loss of vision, glaucoma may have no early warning signs, but it can be detected during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D., director of the National Eye Institute (NEI), one of the National Institutes of Health, said, “NEI-funded research has shown that treatment during the early stages of glaucoma can control the disease and prevent future vision loss and blindness. This is why NEI encourages people at higher risk for glaucoma to get a comprehensive dilated eye exam every one to two years.”

Anyone can develop glaucoma, but those at higher risk for developing the disease include:
African Americans over age 40
Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
People with a family history of the disease

During a comprehensive dilated eye exam, an eye care professional can see inside the eye to detect signs of glaucoma, such as subtle changes to the optic nerve, before any symptoms appear. This allows the eye care professional to determine if you have glaucoma or are at risk for it, to monitor your condition, to treat glaucoma as early as possible, and to look for other vision problems. Once symptoms appear, it may be too late to prevent vision loss and the progression to blindness.

If glaucoma is detected early, treatments such as eye drops or surgery can slow or stop vision loss. High pressure inside the eye, which may be associated with glaucoma, does not by itself mean that you have glaucoma. Only a comprehensive dilated eye exam and evaluation of the optic nerve by an eye care professional can tell you that.

If you know someone at risk for glaucoma, let them know you care – schedule an eye exam with your eye care professional today.

Tto your eye health,

Dr Vince Facchiano

Annual Eye Exams – Best Defense Against Glaucoma

Ray Charles—-The great Ray Charles, singer/songwriter had lost his vision to congenital glaucoma


Special eye pressure testing called Goldman Tonometry

 Annaul eye exams are your best defense against glaucoma. Nearly 4 million Americans and 70 million people worldwide are losing their sight to glaucoma, and many of them are not even aware they have the disease, which has no symptoms as it silently steals sight. Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve and vision loss begins with peripheral vision. Here are some of insights on risk factors and treatment for the disease as we wrap up Glaucoma Awareness Month from our Doctors of Optometry.

Here are some risk factors for the disease:
Elevated intraocular pressure ( pressures over 22-25 are considered high but may not indicate glaucoma alone)
Age (those over 40 have a higher risk)
Ethnic background (persons of African descent are five times more likely to develop glaucoma) Hispanics have a higher predilection also.
Other medical conditions (diabetes, hypertension, and other vascular disorders)
Family history (particularly maternal family members)
Patients with myopia ( nearsightedness)

There are no presenting symptoms of the most common form of glaucoma — primary open angle glaucoma,” Dr Facchiano indicated. “That’s why an annual eye exam is so important

There is no cure for glaucoma. Currently, glaucoma is usually treated pharmacologically through eye drops, . Other methods like laser and/or surgical treatments may be implemented if the eye drops are not effective. Each treatment is designed to reduce eye pressure and the resulting damage to the optic nerve.

Eye pressure testing is required by most states but that is not the only test needed to evaluate an eyes relative risk of loosing vision to glaucoma. Now more is known about diagnosis and new technologies have emerged that are essential in the diagnoses. In addition to eye pressures other tests are essential to correctly diagnos and treat glaucoma. These include images of the optic nerve over time and corneal thickness measurements. Also gonioscopy is a special test that views the angle anatomy dictating the eye fluid drainage of the eye. Very important to note is that loss of visual field is not noticed by patients. So unless a very sensitive threshold visual field analysis tests for subtle reduction and blind spots in the field of vision are preformed no one will know you have a loss until the disease is very advanced. Finally eye pressures are in flux throughout the day so eye pressures measured at different times of day are often required.

Such tests take time and extra technology and are offered in addition to the standard eye exam. Major medical insurance often covers such testing for a glaucoma suspect patient. No one at risk should deny themselves the full panel of diagnostic tests. Yet few receive this level of care because much of the public still considers eye pressure checks as all they need. The fact is more than half of glaucoma cases have normal pressures of 15-20 at the time of their eye examination.

At Dr Facchiano’s office very sensitive and specific laser image tests are preformed on patients who are at risk. These tests aide the optometrist or your eye care provider in determining a relative risk of vision loss due to glaucoma and can result in early detection before loss of vision. Since most who suffer from glaucoma have the open angle glaucoma type, changes that do occur will do so slowly at a rate estimated about 3% each year. Such early changes in the optic nerve are impossible to detect visually until the disease is well established and visual damage is measurable. Yet such subtle changes that escape the human eye can be measured 5-8 years in advance of visual field loss with the new laser imaging tests called OCT, GDX-VCC or HRT-III laser scans . These sensitive tests give optometrists, or your eye care provider ,advanced notice of optic nerve change over time and that will indicate relative risk for glaucoma damage that allow timely medical intervention before vision is lost if necessary. Eminent loss of vision is determined through reduction in nerve fiber layer thickness and ganglion cell complex long before vision is lost.

This is one more reason that patients should take their eye care seriously and it is important to get a through annual eye exam from providers that specialize in complete eye care. For those who know they are at risk be sure to insist on a full evaluation that includes new image tests or ask to be referred for such testing.

At Dr’s Facchiano & Associates we take the matter seriously and have the latest in technology to diagnose and treat glaucoma. Our web page has a number of great informational links about glaucoma. Please find Glaucoma Research info @ and from All About Vision @

Macular Disease – New genetic tests available that can guide eye exams and treatment


Eye Exam

Every one fears the loss of vision.  That news is worse when a patient learns they have a loss  that is now beyond treatment. So now is the time to schedule your annual eye exam. The chief reason for vision loss among those 65 and older is macular disease and early detection is the key to treatment.  Those patients concerned about central vision loss or have a family history of central vision loss should ask for your central vision to be tested and evaluated with special diagnostic tests.  You should know many tests can be included to specifically test the health of our central vision outside the normal eye chart. Technology now exists to detect minor changes in your central vision long before there is significant damage if tested in time.  Such special tests may include OCT images, threshold visual fields , ophthalmoscopy, fundus autofluorescence images and genetic testing . Make sure the Dr you choose has the access to these tests and please get a through retina analysis.

  Age-related Macular Degeneration, is predominantly an inherited disease.  Our clinic now offers a Macula Risk , a prognostic DNA test that identifies individuals who have inherited any of the disease-causing genes. These individuals are at increased risk of vision loss as they age. Macula Risk is a laboratory developed test (LDT) to assess the risk of AMD progression from early or intermediate AMD to advanced AMD, a common eye disorder of the elderly that can lead to blindness. Macula Risk identifies individuals (1 in every 5 patients) that are at highest risk of vision loss due to AMD. Identifying these patients early allows the eye-care professional to implement a disease management strategy focused on sight preservation. Increased risk (Macula Risk® Level 3, 4 and 5) patients may benefit from: •Increased frequency of eye examinations •Disease education and possibly ‘at-home’ Amsler Grid or Home PHP testing •Preventative eye vitamin therapy and possibly nutritional supplements •Early diagnosis and treatment of wet AMD with effective therapies . So to learn more about what your risk is consult your doctor of optometry and ask is gentic testing is indicated in your case. Not all office have added this testing but we can help you locate a provder in your area in the USA or Canada s0 just call our office with that request.

For more information on Macular Risk see related articles on macular disease and prevention. ( )

Please make sure to get your eyes checked each year. We offer eye exams in Rockford IL and in Madison WI specifically for macular disease.

To your eye health,

Dr Vincent Facchano

Childs Play – How to keep them playing safe.

          Do you really know what sorts of toys are the safest and the most beneficial for kids?

          Infants are born with a primitive visual system which forms throughout their early years with the correct  stimulation. Crucial to a child’s visual development  are toys and activities that involve hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships.  In the initial three months of life, babies can’t completely see color, so simple black and white pictures are really great for their age group. The recommendations for infant mobiles and rotation of the crib in the room supports healthy eye development by keeping developmental stimulus at its peak for the infants eyes.
        Yes we all know our children spend so much time playing with their toys, so it is vital to make sure their toys are safe for both their overall health, visual development and eyesight. A toy that is not age appropriate may not be a safe choice. Along with age appropriateness is to check that toys are suited to their level of development.  Even though toy companies mention targeted age groups on the box, it’s still important for you to make the call, and prevent your child from playing with toys that could cause an injury or permanent eye damage.
            Please check toy quality also.Check to make sure that the toy is made without small parts that might fall off. And if they’re painted, make sure it’s not with a product that might be toxic. We all know that children can be just a bit reckless, but they should always look out for airborne objects and other things in the playground, like swinging ropes that can strike the eye. If something like that does happen, it can lead to a corneal abrasion, or a sub-conjunctival hemorrhage, which is a popped blood vessel. Other times, the impact can manifest decades later, as something as serious as glaucoma.
          Avoid toys with edges or any sharp parts for little ones, and if your kids have toys with long handles, like pony sticks, make sure the ends aren’t sharp. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with those kinds of toys. Be wary of toys with flying parts, like slingshots especially for toddlers and under. On the other hand, if you have teens who have chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always check that they wear safety goggles.
          So what about those computer games and kids play with so often? Too much uninterrupted focus on small detail with computer based games contributes to visual stress which in some cases can could stimulate the development of nearsightedness if so genetically inclined in your child. Doctors are recommending limiting time on computer devices for children of developmental ages to allow for less near visual stress and doctors suggest a parent has their child rotate with healthy play out doors .
        The next time you’re considering gifts,please pay attention to the manufacturers’ instructions about the intended age range for the toy. Be certain that toys you buy won’t pose any harm to your child – even if your child really wants it.
For more information see our links All About Vision
To your eye health,
Dr Facchiano