The “eyes” have it!

Posted By | June 12, 2007 12:00 am

Woody Phillips
Martin W. Parod, Doctor of Optometry, may have been born, raised and educated in the Chicago-land area, but there was always something about “he South that intrigued him.
Acting upon his intuition a few years ago, Parod first moved his base of operations to Atlanta. Then, after careful deliberation, Parod decided to call Sparta, Tennessee, his home.
Parod bought the practice known as Eye Care Associates, in 2005, where many White County residents have visited Dr. James C. Wardlaw for quite some time. Parod said Wardlaw will still practice at Eye Care Associates on a limited basis, and White County native Ray Sparks, O.D. will also be available on a part- time basis.
Eye Care Associates, long known for its diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions of the eyes, will now offer this area a whole new level of precision and professionalism. Parod just recently announced the addition of a new piece of equipment known as the OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) III Stratus. Parod indicated there may have been another model of the OCT previously available to eye care professionals in Middle Tennessee, but this model is the latest and was a major investment for Eye Care Associates on behalf of its clientele.
As the doctor explained its function, he said, “Think of the Stratus OCT as an ultrasound or MRI of the eye, only better. It represents a tremendous leap in technology, because it delivers even better information (down to the microscopic level) quickly (less than 2 seconds per scan) and painlessly (no contact with the eye). The OCT doesn’t just look at the surface, but also penetrates the various layers (hence the name Stratus) of the retina to help visualize and quantify what the problem is, where it is, and what is causing the problem.”
To say this equipment and its technology is a giant leap forward for White County eye care and the people it will affect is an understatement, to say the least. However, Parod put it into perspective.
“It’s unique, in my opinion, among ophthalmic instruments, because it doesn’t do only one thing well, but a whole host of things affecting more than one part of the eye,” he said.
Parod also said the OCT will especially be beneficial for those suffering from, or affected by, diabetes, hypertension, macular degeneration and glaucoma, as well as other medical problems. People who are wondering if the Stratus OCT could be important to them, consider that:
•Diabetes: More than 17 million Americans have it, almost half of who will develop eye disease. Diabetes is considered the number one cause of new blindness in people age 60 or less. They are 25 times more likely to go blind, much of which is preventable.
Almost half of those with diabetes do not obtain adequate eye care,
•Hypertension: People with poorly controlled blood pressure are much more likely to experience significant vision loss,
•Macular degeneration: Almost 16 million Americans suffer with it. It is considered the number one cause of blindness over the age of 65. There is no “magic pill” for this. However, some blindness is preventable.
•Glaucoma: More than 2 million Americans suffer with it. There are not any early warning signs, so half may not even know it. An additional 4 million sufferers are suspected of having it. It is a major cause of blindness, much of which is preventable.
Feeling sure the question of cost might arise, Parod assured OCT scans are covered by Medicare, TennCare, and most other medical insurances.
“The purchase of the Stratus OCT is only one of many I have planned in order to provide the latest in eye care advances to the people of White County despite the turmoil involving healthcare,” said Parod.
Referring once again to the topic of macular degeneration, Parod expounded upon his earlier remark about there not being any “magic pill” for this condition. And his answer came in response to the query about recent advertisements over the ‘air waves’ about a supplement thought to be beneficial to macular degeneration sufferers.
“There is a lot of hype out there,” said the doctor. “But studies have been conducted which show that certain vitamin supplements were helpful at certain stages of some macular degeneration cases. However, the bottom line is this, if you have macular degeneration of a certain degree of severity, then we can expect that by taking the proper vitamin therapy, you can expect it’ll reduce the likelihood of progression.”
Sometimes there is really no way to correctly interpret something so technical as may be evidenced here. The only way a person can obtain the needed answer is to go straight to a professional source.
Parod, with his high degree of education and training, decided several years ago to relocate to some place he could call ‘home.’ And he has not only surrounded himself with a highly trained staff (Linda and Tammy) and associates, but the doctor has also invested in his new practice and the future well-being of the people of this area. This has been accomplished by adding an innovative piece of equipment that can lead to the good eye health of one and all.
Parod said he and his wife Debbie are happy to be living in this community.
“With strong support from our community, I am sure this practice and its clientele will do just fine,” he said.
Eye Care Associates is at the front of the Sparta-White County Industrial Complex, at 455 Vista Drive. Contact the doctors at (931) 836-6433.
Office hours 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. However, the office is closed 12:15-1:30 p.m. each day for lunch.
If there are medical emergencies, simply call the main phone number and instructions will be given.

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