Monthly Archives: January 2018

As the Director of Optical Operations for the Indiana Eye Clinic, Jason Braggs oversees the optical shop at both of the IEC locations in Greenwood and Plainfield. His duties include overseeing sales, customer relations and purchasing.

His daily routine is organized around a simple principle: helping people find eyewear they absolutely love. The goal of the optical shop is to make sure every patient walks out satisfied that their glasses will be comfortable, attractive and meet their vision needs.

Jason has been in the optical industry for 18 years. After obtaining his bachelor’s degree in business administration, he started as a manager for the branch of a large retail chain. Later he was promoted to be their corporate trainer. He then moved to a similar position with an optical chain, and eventually became a district manager overseeing 25 locations across six states.

While discussing his desire for new challenges with his wife, an alert popped up on his phone from a recruiter inquiring about the position with IEC. Jason took this as a sign, joining the team in August 2017.

In his few months with the team, Jason believes he has already discovered what is special about the IEC team.

“IEC has an amazing family environment that not only applies to staff, but also to their patients. You can see it from the front door all the way to the back offices,” Jason said. “The doctors, administration and staff are outstanding people who care about their patients, and it shows.”

Beyond helping customers, Jason’s favorite part of his role is training and promoting staff.

“I’ve lost count how many people I’ve trained into general manager and district manager level positions over the years. Their success is my success,” he said.

In his spare time, Jason and his wife are active participants and leaders in their church, especially helping people in the process of finding their faith. They participate in many charitable racing events for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Jason is an avid Crossfit devotee.

By Dr. Charles McCormick III

Most people experience dry eyes from time to time, usually due to adverse environmental circumstances such as dust, pollution or wind. But there’s a big difference between occasionally dry eyes and a chronically dry ocular surface.

This is known as ocular surface disease, or OSD, and it has emerged as a developing specialty area of eye care. Some promising new treatments are being developed to help deal with it, improving upon the various eye drops that have long been used to address chronically dry eyes.

Chronically dry eyes usually present with eyes that are red, irritated and scratchy, and may produce variations in vision quality.

OSD is more common in older people, which adds a little more complexity to medical affairs. Sometimes medications seniors take for other ailments can negatively impact tear secretions. There’s also a certain degree of tissue vitality, which tends to degrade as we age, that has a lot to do with how the eye retains its moist, preserved.

One common cause of dry eyes is Meibomian gland dysfunction, or MGD, in which the glands that secrete moisture to the eyes become blocked. It’s highly associated with blepharitis, a kind of dandruff-like desiccation of the eyelid, which influences the amount of oils secreted to the eye. Impaired oil secretion can lead to reduced tear film integrity.

MGD is frequently treated with hot compresses to the eyes, accompanied by antiseptic eyelid swabbing to lower the level of germs and dust mites responsible for blepharitis. Tiny demodex dust mites, which inhabit the follicle at the base of the eyelashes, can get down into the glandular pores and cannibalize the oils secreted, robbing the patient of functional secretions that support the normal physiology of the ocular surface.

Tea tree olive derivatives are known to remedy demodex blepharitis. Ivermectin is an oral medication that fights parasites such as demodex dust mites.

Patients who develop MGD often have had some sort of other eye dysfunction going on for many decades, as much as 40 years, along with chronically dry eyes. OSD is not to be confused with a three-day bout of pink eye.

The treatment approach for chronically dry eyes utilizes a variety of supportive methods, from eye drops and compresses to oils that optimize the tear glands, and taking steps to protect the ocular surface from harmful conditions, such as wearing protective goggles against the wind and sun.

Other treatment options include punctal plugs, which prevent the drainage of sustaining tears from the eye, spectacle shields or wraparound glasses frames and autologous plasma eye drops, which are usually prepared by an apothecary pharmacy.

For acute cases there is the option of tarsorrhaphy, a surgical fusion of the upper and lower eyelid margins, shortening the palpebral fissure and reducing the exposure of the ocular surface.

The use of certain medicines, such as chronic antihistamines and antidepressants, are known to contribute to dry eyes. People who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, multiple drug sensitivities, stem cell deficiency and depression are more prone to OSD. It’s also a hazard for people who work outdoors with high exposure to wind and sun.

Awareness and treatment opportunities for patients with OSD has been on the rise along with recent medical education trends. New procedures are coming out that show promise, including using warm, clarified butter or ghee in an eye bath.

Hot compresses, eye drops and light massage to the eyelid margins remain good starting points, but talk to your eye doctor if you are troubled by chronically dry eyes.