Services (Archived)

Eye Wellness Exam

Eyes are important indicators of health and the Eye Wellness Exam is the cornerstone of your eye care for every age. Annual eye exams provide Dr. Ericksen with necessary information concerning the current health of your eyes. These exams also provide the opportunity to address any concerns you may have with your vision, glasses, or contact lenses.

Adult Eye & Vision Evaluation
The American Optometric Association recommends a yearly eye exam for adults – not only to detect and diagnose vision changes or problems – but also to maintain preventative overall health. Regular vision examinations are important for the prevention of vision problems created or aggravated by today’s academic and professional demands.

21st century lifestyles demand more from our vision than ever before. Adults in our technological society constantly use their near vision at work and at home. Environmental stresses on the visual system (including excessive computer use or close work) can sometimes induce headaches and/or visual difficulties which can be effectively treated with corrective lenses and/or Vision Rehabilitation.

Testing Beyond 20/20

20/20 means that a person can clearly see a certain letter on the standard eye chart (equivalent to what a person with normal vision should be able to see at 20 feet).
Our Eye Wellness Exam goes beyond 20/20. Dr. Ericksen evaluates many important visual skills, the visual system’s overall function, and examens the anterior structures through to the posterior layers of the eye. Precise technology captures detailed measurements to monitor even the slightest changes over time. Early detection of disorders or disease such as progressive myopia, glaucoma, vision changes from mild traumatic brain injury, or diabetic retinopathy can help prevent vision loss with successful management and treatment plans.

Visual Acuity at Near
Is vision clear and single at close distances? Clear sight at short distances is critical to reading, writing, close work, computer use, and many near hobbies.

Eye Teaming Skills
Do the two eyes aim, move, and work as a coordinated team? Weaknesses in binocular (two-eyed) vision and eye teaming skills can cause numerous difficulties, including convergence insufficiency and inability to accurately judge distances.

Eye Focusing Skills
Do the eyes maintain clear vision at varying distances? Rapid, automatic eye focus adjustment is critical to learning, reading, writing, and sports. Deficiencies can cause visual fatigue, reduced reading comprehension, and/or avoidance of close work or other activities. Many common medications can disrupt focusing skills for all ages.

Eye Movement Skills
Do eye movements show adequate muscle control, tracking, and fixation? Eye movements allow rapid and accurate shifting of the eyes along a line of print, or from book to computer to 20 feet away. In sports, efficient eye movements contribute to eye-hand coordination, visual reaction time, and accurate tracking.

Pediatric Eye Vision & Evaluation

As a mother and progressive myope herself, Dr. Ericksen has a special place in her heart for kids and their visual health! It is important for children to have annual eye exams to help diagnose and treat any eye problems that they might not be aware of or able to fully explain to adults. We advise that children have their first eye exam by age 3. Having clear vision is not only a key to success in the classroom, but is necessary for proper vision development! Beyond Vision LNK offers a free child evaluation at 6 months and 3 years with an adult membership.
Pediatric Eye Care
Developmental Vision Analysis
A Developmental Vision Analysis is a series of tests that are designed to identify strengths or weaknesses in the areas of visual motor integration, visual processing, tracking and gross motor screening. Testing is on a one-one basis with the patient. Consultation the patient and/or the parents will be scheduled at a different time with results and treatment options discussed.

Medical Eye Care

Dr. Ericksen is highly trained and equipped to diagnose, treat, and manage ocular diseases, including diabetic retinopathy, age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, red eyes, and more. Dr. Ericksen’s goal is to provide a trusting relationship with you so that you have peace of mind in your eye care and return for each follow up appointment without restrictions of cost. Maintaining your records at one location for each visit is vital to quality and efficiency in your care. Dr. Ericksen is humbled to be a part of your sight.

Many conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or hypertension can cause gradual changes in the eye before they result in noticeable vision problems. Dr. Ericksen provides regular preventative exams to catch any problems early so that vision is preserved. Beyond Vision LNK utilizes a wide array of technology including OCT and Fundus photo to diagnose and monitor these conditions and provide treatment and referral back to your health care team when necessary. Visual Fields provide quick data on a patient’s entire visual process measuring light reception from the front of the eye, through the optic nerve, to the brain. Dilated ophthalmoscopy is important in monitoring structural integrity in examination. Reports are sent to your health care team keeping them alert of any whole body health changes that may be occurring. The vast majority of vision loss from these conditions can be avoided with proper treatment and follow up.

Medical Conditions

Diabetic Retinopathy
Diabetic retinopathy is an ocular complication of diabetes, a systemic disease, which affects up to 80 percent of all patients who have had diabetes for 10 years or more. The longer a person has diabetes, the higher his or her chances are of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic Retinopathy occurs when there is damage to blood vessels in the back of the eye. Despite being one of the leading causes of blindness in the U.S., diabetic retinopathy often shows no symptoms in the early stages because you are binocular (have two eyes) and one eye can “mask” the vision that may be decreased in the other eye. As the disease progresses, permanent vision loss is a real possibility if the patient does not receive treatment. Despite these intimidating statistics, research indicates that at least 90 percent of new cases could be reduced.

It’s important for diabetic patients to have regular annual eye exams in order to detect, prevent and treat diabetic retinopathy as early as possible. Diabetics should take extra care to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, pay attention to any changes in vision, and have an annual dilated fundus examination. Dr. Ericksen regularly performs diabetic eye exams and works with patients suffering from diabetic retinopathy to preserve sight and monitor their disease.
Recently diagnosed with diabetes or concerned about diabetes onset? Please call us to schedule a preventative eye examination today with Dr. Ericksen.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease that causes progressive damage to the optic nerve that leads to slow peripheral vision loss. Of the 2.5 million people in the U.S. with glaucoma, more than half of them don’t realize they have it because there are often no warning symptoms. Dr. Ericksen uses tonometry to measure the pressure inside the eye and ophthalmoscopy to view and document changes in optic nerve structure. OCT and Visual fields provide additional information for diagnosing glaucoma. Primary open angle is the most common form of glaucoma, while acute angle closure glaucoma occurs more rapidly but is less common. Patients have elevated intraocular pressure in glaucoma, however, there is a normal tension glaucoma caused by reduced blood supply.
Dry Eye Disease

Do you suffer from dry, gritty eyes? Do you have trouble producing quality tears? Dry Eye or keratoconjunctiva sicca is an ocular surface disease that often goes untreated causing glare and halo vision that can progress to overall decreased vision. When the eye does not make sufficient tears to lubricate and nourish itself the cornea which is composed of millions of nerves is left exposed causing discomfort and pain ranging from mild to severe.

Dr. Ericksen takes a thorough health and lifestyle history reviewing factors including the natural aging process, extended contact lens wear, medical conditions and medicines that may exacerbate the symptoms. Before creating a case based treatment plan, a detailed anterior segment evaluation is conducted.

  • The front of the eyes is examined using a special microscope, called a slit lamp
  • The amount of thickness of the tear film is inspected
  • The stability of the tear film is assessed by checking the tear breakup time
  • The conjunctiva is examined to determine if it is too dry
  • The cornea is evaluated to see if it has dried or damaged spots or swelling
  • Meibomian gland structure and function are graded

Dry Eye Disease may be a result of:

  • An autoimmune disease, such as Sjögrens Syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, natural aging, pregnancy, vitamin deficiencies, wearing contact lenses, sinus ailments, makeup use, false eyelashes, or allergies
  • Some medications, such as oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapies, antihistamines, sedatives, anti-depressants, isotretinoin for acne, anti-hypertensives, and medications to treat benign prostate hyperplasia
  • Some medical treatments, such as chemotherapy, radiation or corneal surgeries
  • Overexposure to smoke, sun, wind, smog, air conditioners, forced air-heat and hair dryers may aggravate a dry eye problem.
Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye that causes blurry vision and often halos and glare. Vision loss occurs because opacification of the lens obstructs light from passing through and being focused on to the retina at the back of the eye.

WHAT CAUSES CATARACTS?
Most cataracts are age-related and progress gradually taking years to impair vision. The development of cataracts are a natural part of aging and are usually found in persons in their sixties and seventies and progress gradually taking years to impair vision. Younger persons can develop them as well, and some cataracts advance quickly due to trauma, diabetes, use of steroid medication, overexposure to ultraviolet light, and smoking.

The lens lies behind the iris and pupil and works to focus light onto the retina at the back of the eye. As light enters the front of the eye, it passes through the cornea and the pupil and is then focused by the lens. The lens is made of mostly water and proteins. As we age, this protein can clump together and become opaque. Much like trying to look through a foggy window, the clouding is what causes blurriness and difficulty seeing and is called a cataract.
While there is no guaranteed way to avoid cataracts, wearing eyewear and sunwear that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays, discontinuing smoking, and eating a diet rich in antioxidants can slow the onset.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
People with cataracts commonly experience difficulty appreciating colors and changes in contrast, clouded, blurred or dim vision, increasing difficulty with vision at night, sensitivity to light and glare, frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact prescriptions, difficulty reading in low light, or double vision in a single eye. If you notice any changes in your vision or develop sudden vision changes such as double vision or blurriness contact Dr. Ericksen for an appointment right away.

TREATMENT
Treatment for cataracts is safe and effective. Cataract surgery is one of the world’s most frequently performed procedures and has a very low rate of complications. Most cataract surgery is performed in a hospital or surgical center. The most common form of cataract surgery uses a process called phacoemulsification to remove the cataract through a small incision. Once removed, an artificial lens is placed into the eye to help focus light providing clear vision.

Either local anesthesia or topical anesthetic eye drops are used during surgery. An anesthesiologist specialist monitors the patient for safety throughout the surgery. The actual operation usually takes 20 minutes or less.
Dr. Ericksen refers to ophthalmologists who use the latest surgical techniques for cataract removal and offer a wide variety of lens implants including multifocal and astigmatism correcting lenses. Dr. Ericksen then walks the post-operative journey with you answering your questions along the way. If you have questions about cataracts or other eye health conditions, please call Beyond Vision LNK to set up an appointment with Dr. Ericksen.

Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration, or AMD: is the most common cause of vision loss for people over the age of 60. It typically does not cause absolute blindness, but rather decreased contrast sensitivity, blur, and missing pieces in central vision. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula, located in the center of the retina, deteriorates or becomes damaged. The macula allows us to read and see fine details, so damage makes reading the newspaper, threading a needle, and adapting to indoor and outdoor light changes difficult or impossible. The number one risk factor for macular degeneration is tobacco, UV exposure, high cholesterol, hypertension, and obesity can all contribute to macular degeneration. Dr. Ericksen performs OCT yearly and monitors changes between 4-12 months depending on staging.
Blepharitis

Blepharitis is a common condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. It is characterized by redness, swelling, styes, cysts, and flaky crusts at the eyelid margin and along the lash line. Symptoms also include scratchy, swollen, tender, and irritated eyes.

Various types of bacteria can cause blepharitis. It may be chronic or acute in presentation. People with skin conditions such as rosacea, acne, and eczema are more prone to have flare-ups. Poor facial hygiene can also be a contributing factor.

TYPES OF BLEPHARITIS
There are various types of this condition. Anterior blepharitis occurs on the outside of the eye. You may see redness, swelling, and possibly crust near the line of the eyelashes. Posterior blepharitis happens near the inside of the eyelid where it contacts the eye and can be due to problems with the lubricating meibomian glands inside the eyelids. Both forms of blepharitis require treatment to maintain appearance and eye comfort.

BLEPHARAITIS TREATMENT
There are many treatment options. They include over-the-counter remedies and prescription eyedrops and ointments. Occasionally, minor eyelid surgery is necessary to remove cysts when topical treatments are unsuccessful. In rare cases, ongoing treatment may be required to keep the eyes comfortable and symptom-free. Eyelid hygiene can help maintain eye comfort and appearance. Routine care includes frequent face washing, cleaning the scalp, eyelid scrubs, and sometimes doing a soak or warm compress.
Dr. Ericksen can diagnose this eye health condition during an ocular evaluation. If you have any concerns about your eyes or questions about changes to your vision, please contact Beyond Vision LNK or schedule an appointment.

Medical Equipments

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)
We are very fortunate and excited to offer a high definition scan to image layers of the retina that are not visible to Dr. Ericksen when she does a dilated examination. Our direct care system makes this imaging affordable to everyone in need. OCT is valuable for baseline testing for glaucoma, high risk medication use such as hydroxychloroquine, diabetes, hypertension, and macular degeneration. OCT allows Dr. Ericksen to monitor nonvisible fine measurements over time when caring for your eye health and overall well being and share this information for early intervention and treatment by your health care team.
Visual Field Testing
Visual field testing is quick automated mapping of how light enters your eye and travels through your visual system to your brain. It gives Dr. Ericksen valuable information about your central and peripheral field of view and how the world looks to you. This testing assists in detecting field changes in individual eyes that you may not notice because you are binocular (two eyed). TBI, Multiple Sclerosis, overactive thyroid, stroke, and high risk medications can affect your field of vision.
Fundus Imaging (Optomap)
This non-invasive state-of-the-art imaging technology allows quick evaluation and documentation of the retina, vascular system, optic nerve, and macula. Beyond Vision Membership includes this service with all annual eye exams. Progressive analysis is beneficial for patients with a family history of diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, glaucoma, macular degeneration, or neurological disorders.
Tonometry
Goldmann tonometry is the gold standard for determining the fluid pressure in your eye. ICare Home is dropless and accurate for multiple tests and at home for monitoring changes in pressure throughout the day for glaucoma patients.

Contact Lens Fittings

Contact lenses need to be fitted just right to provide optimal comfort and clarity. It’s important to note that these are medical devices that must be properly fitted to your unique corneal shape and curvature – as well as your unique prescription. Uncomfortable lenses can cause irritation, light sensitivity, and eye strain. Ultimately, an improperly fitted contact could lead to infections and long-term vision loss.

Dr. Ericksen provides detailed instructions on how to correctly insert and remove your lenses, how often to wear them, and how to clean and care for the lenses. Follow-up care is essential to ensure that your contact lenses are providing you with the fit, comfort, and vision you desire. With a Beyond Vision Membership plan you have access to virtual evaluations anytime with Dr. Ericksen if a problem arises with your contact lens throughout the year .

Urgent Same-Day Care

Get something in your eye and it won’t come out? Ocular trauma or decreased vision can occur at any time.

Getting treated in a timely manner helps visual outcome. If you have any symptoms of a medical problem such as scratchy eyes, itchy eyes, discharge, crust, flashes, or floaters, we recommend seeing us for an urgent care visit for evaluation and treatment. State of the art microscopes allow Dr. Ericksen to examine the front surface of the eye for infection or injury; these specialized tools allow Dr. Ericksen to provide red eye diagnosis and treatment in a more efficient and accurate manner than an emergency room or primary care physician’s office that does not have access to this type of instrument. Dr. Ericksen’s work in rural communities has given her many hours of care in office for treatment of viral infections, conducting removal of foreign matter, or prescribing antibiotics as needed. Review some of the most common urgent care visit conditions below.

If you are having a true medical emergency involving absolute loss of vision, please dial 911 immediately or go directly to the nearest ER.

Flashes & Floaters

Floaters: Many people experience small specks, lines or cloudy spots that appear as shadow like as light enters the eye in just the right way. Floaters occur when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills your eye, begins to separate from the back of the eye forming clumps or strands. Although they appear to float in front of your eye, they are actually just shadows of the normal cellular material, such as blood cells or proteins floating in your eye and being cast on your retina. Unfortunately, floaters can also be caused by something as dangerous as a retinal hole, tear, or detachment. If you are having new floaters, we recommend coming in for an urgent dilation to determine if your floaters are normal or if you are having a retinal detachment.

Flashes: You may experience flashes or streaks of light like “lightning” in your peripheral vision. This could be an aura caused by a migraine, or flashes that occur when the vitreous pulls or rubs against the retina. If you are having new, constant or ongoing flashes, we recommend coming in for an urgent dilation to determine if you have developed a hole, tear, or are having a retinal detachment.

You should contact a retinal specialist immediately if you notice an increase in floaters, accompanied by flashes, any changes to your vision, or a dark curtain to your vision. This could be a sign of retinal detachment or other serious eye conditions. If you present with flashes or floaters Dr. Ericksen will dilate your eyes using drops and look for retinal changes that would require prompt referral to our co-managing retinal specialist. Please bring a driver with you to drive you home after the evaluation.

Retinal detachment: A very serious and vision threatening condition that occurs when the retina detaches from the supportive tissue in the back of the eye. Common symptoms of a retinal detachment may include seeing dark spots, increased floaters, “lightening” flashes of light, a sudden decrease in vision, or a dark curtain across vision. If you suspect that you are experiencing symptoms of a retinal detachment, it’s extremely important to call a retinal ophthalmologist immediately to receive treatment and prevent permanent vision loss. Retinal detachments typically occur in people over the age of 40, but it can also affect anyone who has suffered from an eye injury, eye disease, extreme nearsightedness (myopia), or as a result of complications after eye surgery.

Red-Eye

Sudden or gradual redness can range from a bacterial infection to a viral infection such as shingles. The term “pink eye” is a simple term used by patients when they suspect an infection due to an increase in redness in one or both eyes. There are mild causes of redness and more severe causes that may lead to vision loss. If you have redness schedule an appointment today and report other symptoms that may include:

  • Tearing
  • Stringy mucous discharge
  • Swelling
  • Eyelids stuck together
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pain & discomfort
  • Feeling like something is stuck in the eye
  • Tenderness
  • Coughing, Sneezing, and Sinus Congestion

Dr. Ericksen will evaluate for common causes of redness such as the following:

Viral Conjunctivitis – often the most common cause of conjunctival redness. Viral infections can spread from person to person very easily. Extreme hygiene practices must take place to prevent the spread. This includes frequent hand washing, washing towels and bedding frequently, staying home from school or work, and sleeping separately from spouses. Symptoms may last 2-3 weeks.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis – Bacterial infection of the conjunctiva can come from contact lens wear, poor facial or lid hygiene, contaminated makeup, or a recent sinus infection that has moved to the eyes.

Allergies & Dry Eye –Dryness of the eyes or irritation from different environmental allergens can produce redness often accompanied by itching.

A prompt evaluation and treatment plan can prevent ulcers and vision loss due to corneal scarring. In addition, special microscopic slit lamp evaluation can help diagnose advanced progression of inflammation to the iris and posterior parts of the eye that can initially appear as a simple conjunctivitis or “pink eye,” but is more serious and needs to be treated quickly to prevent vision loss and blindness. If you notice an increase in redness, discontinue contact lens wear and schedule an appointment today.

Foreign Body Removal
Something in your eye? Dr. Ericksen has experience removing different debris from small grass seed to metal flecks. Metal debris from grinding, wood splinters from woodworking, burrs and seeds from fields and gardenscapes, or even glitter can find its way into the eye. Windy Nebraska weather and active outdoorsmen contributes to this year round. If you’re having trouble flushing out debris in the eye, Dr. Ericksen can help. Foreign objects should be evaluated for removal as soon as possible to prevent infection, scarring, and permanent metal rust in the eye.
Contact Lens Pain
Your cornea is a clear structure that gives the “high definition” to your vision. We want it to be healthy! Contact lens pain or overwear with redness? Blurriness? Light Sensitivity? Remove your contacts and schedule an evaluation for swelling, keratitis, or ulceration that may disrupt your “HD-vision.”
Hit To The Head
With active children Dr. Ericksen has seen a few head injuries. The brain is in a developmental stage during adolescence and even mild injuries can disrupt visual skills. Dr. Ericksen establishes baseline concussion testing for children at their eye wellness exam. If you have a concern after an injury we are happy to take that extra step and evaluate for any changes that may have occurred due to an unexpected jolt.

Refractive Surgery (LASIK/PRK) Co-Management

A Lasik patient herself, Dr. Ericksen understands the questions and concerns you may have about Lasik surgery. We offer services to help with both the before and after preparations and management of LASIK surgery. We can also provide information about the surgery and give recommendations on trusted ophthalmologists in the area.
Is Refractive Eye Surgery Right For Me?
Beyond Vision LNK strives to provide superior outcomes in your vision treatment options. Dr. Carla Ericksen has worked with ophthalmologists across the nation providing pre-surgical and post-surgical care decreasing a patient’s dependence on glasses or contacts. Dr. Ericksen co-manages with professionals using advanced technology who are guided by her same commitment to excellence. A comprehensive examination helps you decide which procedure is best for your eyes, your prescription, and your lifestyle.
Personal One-On-One Evaluation
Dr. Ericksen begins your evaluation with a good discussion on how you use your eyes and vision on a daily basis so she can direct you to a tailored refractive surgery procedure that meets your goals and expectations in the safest way possible. LASIK (Laser Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is a procedure using an excimer laser to remove corneal tissue from the middle layer of the cornea after the surface tissue is folded back. PRK (Photorefractive keratectomy) is a procedure that removes surface tissue from the cornea. Dr. Ericksen will evaluate and review conditions and diseases that may be a contraindication of surgery such as age, unstable vision, and cataracts. In addition, prior to surgery Dr. Ericksen will treat any disorders that may cause an unfavorable outcome. Dr. Ericksen’s correspondence is important to her when she refers to her refractive surgery centers, and all patient information and goals are clearly and promptly provided with your surgeons.
If you are considering refractive surgery, contact Beyond Vision LNK for an evaluation today.
Post-Operative Care
As with any surgical procedure, LASIK does involve a degree of risk and there have been rare instances of complications including: over-and-under correction, induced astigmatism, infection, inflammation, and flap irregularities. It should be noted that although these complications can occur and may have an effect on outcomes, the likelihood is extremely low, especially with the current available technology and expertise of the surgeon. Dr. Ericksen will see you at 1 day post-operative, 1 week, and throughout the year to evaluate your progress and answer any questions you may have along the way ensuring every precaution is taken during the process to minimize risks. If you have questions about your surgical procedure contact us at Beyond Vision LNK.