Comprehensive Eye Health Exam
The Chatham EyeCare Center provides exams for the entire family - infants (six months) all the way through
to the golden years. Our comprehensive exam assesses vital visual capabilities and we recommend retinal photos
as an essential part of every comprehensive exam. The eye, visual fields, neural pathways, and eye pressures
are examined to determine the presence of ocular and systemic conditions such as: cataracts, diabetes, glaucoma,
and hypertension. Your refractive status is evaluated for presbyopia, astigmatism, farsightedness and
nearsightedness, and assessed for glasses and contact lenses. Dr. DeBass will review your examination results
with you and address any questions or concerns you may have.
Contact Lens Fitting and Evaluation
Have you thought or been told you can’t wear contacts because of your astigmatism or dry eyes? Dr. DeBass has ample
experience in fitting difficult cases and completed a residency in Cornea and Specialty Contact Lens at the Pennsylvania
College of Optometry where she fit post-surgical cases, extremely flat corneas, keratoconic, specialty and RGP lenses.
Moreover, recent developments in contact lens technology have made contact lenses more comfortable and convenient than
ever to wear.
The Chatham EyeCare Center offers a full selection of contact lens options including: standard, toric (for astigmatism),
multifocal, and specialty and RGP (gas permeable) lenses. While contact lenses are common, it is important to remember
that contact lenses are in fact medical devices. Improper contact lens fitting, care or management can result in surface
damage, eye infection, corneal ulceration and even loss of vision or blindness. In order to avoid the associated risks
and complications that can arise be sure to see an eye care professional for a proper fit and clear explanation of the
wear and care of your particular lenses and recommended solution.
Glasses & Contacts >>
Dry Eye Management
Dry eye syndrome (DES) is one of the most common eye conditions, along with the other ocular surface diseases.
The eye has a tear film that coats the surface of the eye. Tears serve numerous functions including providing protection
for the ocular surface, cleaning away debris, reducing the risk of infection and keeping the surface smooth and clear for
optimal vision. In patients with dry eye there is either insufficient tear production to maintain health or a decrease in
the quality of the tears produced. Causes of DES are many but are often related to age, gender, medications or medical
conditions, or environmental factors. Dry eye can become a chronic problem if not properly managed.
The symptoms of DES can vary widely. You may notice burning or irritation, a feeling like something is in your eyes, or a
gritty or scratchy sensation. Blurred vision and excessive watering are also often noted. Untreated or severe dry eye
can result in damage to the front surface of the eye and impaired vision.
The goals of dry eye treatment are to improve patient comfort and ocular health by increasing the amount or quality of
tears present in the eyes.
If you have any of these symptoms or think you may have dry eye, call our office today to schedule an eye evaluation
to assess your full ocular health.
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the United States. It is a group of eye disorders that result
in damage to the optic nerve of the eye and a subsequent loss of vision. While there are many types of glaucoma the most
common form, primary open angle glaucoma, is associated with an elevated fluid pressure within the eye. This elevation
in pressure results in a progressive loss of nerve tissue when uncontrolled. All patients with high pressure may not
develop glaucoma, but are monitored closely, and many people with “normal” pressures will develop glaucoma.
While anyone can develop glaucoma, certain factors can increase the risk. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- Age – Most people with glaucoma are over the age of 40. There are types of glaucoma that can affect those younger, even infants. The risk of glaucoma increases with each year of age.
- Race – African Americans are at a higher risk of developing glaucoma than are Caucasians. Angle closure glaucoma is a higher risk to those of Asian descent. Those of Japanese descent are at risk for low tension glaucoma.
- Family history of glaucoma - The risk of developing glaucoma is higher for those with a family history of glaucoma.
- Medical conditions – Certain systemic medical conditions increase the risk of developing glaucoma.
- Ocular trauma or Injury – Trauma or injury can result in both short and long term elevation in eye pressure, leading to damage of the optic nerve.
- Corticosteroid use – Long term use of steroids may increase the risk of developing a secondary glaucoma.
Glaucoma is often symptom free and patients are unaware of the changes taking place until they have lost significant amounts
of vision or are diagnosed by their eye care provider during an examination. While glaucoma cannot be prevented or “cured”,
once treated with medication or surgery, the damage from it can most often be slowed or halted. Vision loss and damage prior
to treatment, however, cannot be undone and will remain permanent. For this reason an early diagnosis is always optimal and
an annual eye examination is recommended as the best preventative measure.
Laser Vision Correction and Cataract Surgery Co-Management
Dr. DeBass gained extensive experience in cataract and refractive (including LASIK) co-management as Clinical Director
of the Witlin Center for Advanced Eyecare - known for its expertise in refractive surgery. Consequently, she has
experience in the pre-operative evaluation and post-operative care of LASIK, cataract, and other vision correction
procedures, having managed thousands of cases. She will work closely with experienced surgeons in the area and assist
you with a pre- and post-operative management.
LASIK & Cataract Surgery >>
Dr. DeBass is an active member of both the Virginia Optometric Association and the American Optometric Association (AOA)
and participates in the AOA's InfantSEE® program. InfantSEE® is a public health program designed to ensure that eye care
becomes a vital part of infant care and improve a child's quality of life. Under the program, Dr. DeBass provides a free
eye exam and vision assessment for infants between 6 and 12 months of age.