Tom Chang MD has worked and studied in the field of ophthalmology for more than 30 years. He began his training by receiving his medical doctorate degree from the University of Toronto Medical School. From there, Dr. Chang went on to complete an ophthalmology residency at the University of Western Ontario. Three fellowships focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of retinal disease followed.
In 2005, Tom Chang MD founded the Retina Institute of California after working as a professor for several years. He created Acuity Eye Group a short time later. The eye practice now has dozens of locations across California. Acuity acts as an ophthalmic medical support organization to other eye clinics by acquiring them. This practice offers significant benefits to patients because they can easily schedule an in-network specialist appointment.
Dr. Chang feels that patient cohesiveness is a major benefit of working with several combined practices. A patient will see one doctor in the group for routine eye care and another for follow-up with any concerns. Some patients require a second referral to a surgical specialist, but it all remains in-network. Taking this approach allows Acuity’s eye care professionals to easily consult one another regarding patient care.
Tom Chang MD on the Vision of Acuity Eye Group
The clinical leadership team at Acuity Eye Group consists of Dr. Chang and 20 other top-rated physicians. The primary goal of this group of experts is to improve the patient experience. Together, they have developed the group into the country’s largest integrated ophthalmic services network.
One of the ways the team works to improve the patient experience is by providing ongoing education. Each one understands that providing eye care goes beyond treating poor vision. Dr. Chang offers wellness strategies and resources to help patients take a proactive approach to their own ocular well-being. The following paragraphs detail several eye health strategies that Tom Chang MD offers to his own patients.
Always Protect Eyes from the Sun
Most people are aware of the damage sun can do to the skin. However, they are less aware of potential eye damage. Exposing eyes to the sun too often can result in retinal damage and the formation of cataracts. Dr. Chang recommends that people wear sunglasses outside as much as possible. The sunglasses should offer 100 percent UAV and UAB protection. He stresses that sun damage can still occur on overcast days and people need to be diligent about sunglasses use.
Why Tom Chang MD Recommends Physical Protection for the Eyes
Eye injuries can happen quickly in any situation. Whether it is at work, playing sports, or mowing the lawn, people need eye protection. Unfortunately, Dr. Chang has treated hundreds of patients for preventable ocular injuries. He especially recommends the wrap-around style of protective eyeglasses. Choosing this style of glasses prevents tiny particles such as wood chips and metal scraps from getting into the eye.
The Growing Impact of Digital Eye Strain
Between work and social use, millions of Americans spend more than 10 hours a day using digital devices. These devices emit blue light and include such things as laptops, tablets, and smartphones. The blue light from these devices can cause eye strain, headaches, neck pain, and blurry vision.
People who work on computers all day should take regular eye breaks where they look away at something else. They should also avoid glare and position their screens to avoid excessive eye strain. Obtaining a pair of blue-light block prescription eyeglasses can help in some situations.
Tom Chang MD Speaks on the Connection Between Lifestyle Choices and Eye Health
People sometimes assume that all eye diseases are age-related, and they cannot do anything to prevent them. While aging is a leading cause of eye disease, several occur due to lifestyle choices. Smoking is just one example because it increases the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. Lack of exercise can also increase the macular degeneration risk.
Caring for chronic conditions such as heart disease or diabetes is crucial for eye health. Heart disease caused by high blood pressure can cause blood vessels to leak. The leak can eventually cause vision loss. Uncontrolled high blood pressure with diabetes can also cause decreased vision or blindness. Keeping cholesterol at a normal level is equally important, as is not taking in too much caffeine.
Lack of high-quality sleep can cause numerous eye-related problems. Some of these issues include eye spasms, dry eyes, and eye strain. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is especially important as people age to balance the increased risk of eye diseases.
Don’t Forget Annual Exams
In addition to these everyday eye health tips, Tom Chang MD urges people to get an annual exam. This is true even for those with no vision problems. At the annual exam, an optometrist checks vision and the condition of eye health. The diagnosis and treatment of many eye diseases start with an optometrist referring patients to an ophthalmologist.
Lastly, Dr. Chang reminds people that many eye diseases are genetic. Therefore, it is essential for people to obtain a history of eye diseases from their immediate family members.