LASIK Hero Contest

At McFarland Eye Care, we appreciate the men and women who put their lives on the line to keep us safe every day. No matter the emergency, we can count on you to protect our families. We know how dangerous and uncomfortable it can be to do your job with glasses on—and you shouldn’t have to! That’s why we want to give back to a hero in the community with a free LASIK surgery.

The Hero Contest is open to EMTs, Active Military, National Guard, Army Reserve, Law Enforcement Officials and Firefighters. All you have to do is go to our post on Facebook and comment how LASIK would change your life or the life of a hero you know.

Even if you don’t win, our Hero Program offers LASIK and other refractive surgery to those who serve at a discounted price year-round. The program results in savings of $675 per eye for LASIK.

Dr. Evan Newbolt provides bladeless LASIK surgery and was the first ophthalmologist in the state to implant a Tecnis Symfony® lens, a lens that decreases dependence on reading glasses. You can relax knowing you’re in good hands with Dr. Newbolt with his years of experience and award-winning skill.

Pine Bluff firefighter Sven Hipp won free LASIK through a previous giveaway and says his experience with LASIK was quick and painless. “There is absolutely no reason why you should be hesitant to do it [LASIK]. I have no after effects, no halos at night, no pain, no blurriness. The whole process is over in minutes and it changes the rest of your life,” Hipp said.

Are you a community hero, or do you know one you’d like to nominate? Let us know by participating in our Facebook contest! A winner will be selected on May 31st at noon.

*Our heroes should bring their qualifying ID at the time of their FREE LASIK/Refractive evaluation to ensure qualification for the program. The winning hero will be screened by our staff to ensure they are a candidate for LASIK surgery.

This form does NOT enter you into the contest. This form is to schedule your FREE LASIK evaluation.

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Which McFarland Eye Care location is most convenient for you?

The History of Cataract Surgery

Dr. Mike McFarland - History of Cataract Surgery.jpg

Foggy vision can cast a dark cloud over your day-to-day activities, from running errands to spending time with loved ones. Symptoms of cataracts include seeing halos around lights, blurred or clouded vision, light sensitivity, double vision, and seeing colors as faded or more yellow than they actually appear. You’ll be relieved to know, cataract surgery has come a long way over the years, and it is now one of the most successful surgeries performed in the United States.

Cataract surgery is one of the oldest surgical procedures in the book, and the first cataract extraction was documented in the 1700s. Since then, advancements have been made in surgical techniques and intraocular lens replacement procedures. During cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens is broken up by sound waves and removed from the eye. The surgeon then inserts a new, permanent prescription lens in its place.

Our very own Dr. Mike McFarland developed a procedure called “No-Stitch” cataract surgery. “No Stitch” surgery allows the eye to naturally heal itself without the use of sutures and stitches. It’s performed on an outpatient basis, using only a small corneal incision to break up the clouded lens. The lens is then washed away and replaced with an intraocular lens. Recovery time is minimal, and patients can get back to their normal routines without a hospital stay.

Dr. Mike McFarland trained the team at McFarland Eye Care on “No Stitch” cataract surgery, so you can rest easy knowing that your eyes are in skilled and experienced hands. The medical professionals at McFarland Eye Care have been performing cataract surgeries for years, including traditional cataract surgery (both with and without astigmatism correction), laser cataract surgery, and laser cataract surgery with refractive lenses. Don’t let cataracts cloud your outlook on life. Contact us today, and see the future in a new light!

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April is Sports Eye Safety Month

Eye Safety and Sports McFarland Eye Care

The roar of a crowd, a healthy adrenaline rush, and the sense of belonging to a team. Many of us love

sports, whether we’re actively playing them in adulthood, or just watching from afar. Eye injuries are

probably the last thing on your mind as you head to the basketball court or ball field— but did you

know that around 30,000 people suffer from sports-related eye injuries each year? That’s a lot of

people getting hit with a medical bill, a swollen retina, a black eye, or worse. You may be surprised to

know that the vast majority of these injuries can easily be avoided. All you need to do is play it safe

and use the proper equipment, which often includes an important piece of gear that most people

forget about entirely: protective eyewear.

We don’t mean your day-to-day eyeglasses or sunglasses, either. Contrary to popular belief, those

could both shatter and cause even more damage to your eyes in the grand scheme of things. The

best eye protection you can choose varies from sport to sport, whether you’re playing baseball,

basketball, football or hockey. Protective sports goggles, eyeguards, face guards, masks, and shields all

provide different levels of support, and they exist for a reason!

If you’re heading to the baseball field, you’ll probably want to bring along either eyeguards or a

face guard made of polycarbonate material. Sure, you may be nervous about sticking out a little, but at

least you don’t have to worry about the possibility of a cataract, a detached retina, sudden vision loss,

or an inflamed iris. Sometimes, physical damage to your eyes simply cannot be repaired. That’s right,

there’s no going back. That’s why prevention is of utmost importance when it comes to eye care.

If you’re a baseball fan, you’ve likely heard of Tony Conigliaro of the Boston Red Sox. In 1967, he was hit

in the face by a pitch, which damaged his retina, dislocated his jaw, and cracked his cheekbone.

Within a matter of years, he couldn’t see out of his left eye at all. Tragically, he was forced to end a very

promising baseball career due to an injury that changed his entire life.

Accidents happen, but some injuries are truly preventable. Enjoy the game, but don’t strike out when

it comes to your vision. Protect your eyes while engaging in any sport that can lead to an eye injury.

Put Your Best Face Forward for Summer!

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Put your best face forward for summer!

We’re so excited to announce our cosmetic surgery special for the month of April! If you’ve been eager to get an eyelid lift, brow lift, or a reduction of bags around the eyes to freshen up your appearance just in time for spring and summer, now is the time to do it! Get ready for selfie season!

Dr. Wilkes is offering $500 OFF any cosmetic surgery he performs throughout the month, but you must have your personal consultation with Dr. Wilkes by April 30 at the latest!

To see the cosmetic surgery services we offer, click here.

To learn more about Dr. Wilkes, and hear what his patients are saying, click here.

Schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Wilkes today!

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Save Your Vision Month - Is there anything you can do to save your eyes?

SaveYourVisionMcFarlandEyeCare

Just open your eyes. Seeing is one of the easiest things you do and something that many of us take for granted. Whether working or playing, our vision is an important part of our everyday life.  March is Save Your Vision Month and the American Optometric Association’s main focus for this event is to increase awareness regarding eye care. During this month, let’s learn some important things you can do to protect your eyes.

A regular eye exam leads the way in protecting your vision. Most of us don’t think about eye care until something goes wrong, however many eyesight issues are detected during an eye exam. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye diseases is often crucial to preserving good vision. Remember to schedule your regular eye visit just like you do a visit to your dentist.

Save Your Vision Month is also focused on the new issues brought about by the hours we spend looking at screens. Today, almost every workplace has a computer at each desk. Many people who stare at computers for long stretches complain of dry eyes, blurry vision or eye strain. To protect your eyes in the workplace, you should sit about 20 inches from your monitor and take breaks at regular intervals. It’s a good idea to just get up and walk to a window and look outside. Also remember to blink because when staring continuously at your monitor, you will blink a lot less than normal.

Another culprit we need to protect our eyes from is the prolonged use of our digital devices. The average American spends seven or more hours per day looking at smartphones, tablets and flat-screen TVs. These devices emit blue light and overexposure to this specific type of light can negatively impact eye health and cause eye strain. American Optometric Association suggests the 20-20-20 rule to protect your eyes. After 20 minutes of exposure, take a 20 second break to view something 20 feet away.

Last but definitely not least, remember to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays and remember to wear them year round, not just on sunny, summer days.

During Save Your Vision Month, it’s important to take steps to protect your eyes and don’t take your precious vision for granted.

Why Sunglasses Matter

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Whether your Spring Break plans include a week in sunny, southern Florida,

Or maybe hitting the ski slopes in Colorado,

Or taking the family on a Caribbean cruise,

Or climbing majestic Pinnacle Mountain,

Or having a picnic on a beautiful Arkansas lake,

One of the most important things to remember to bring for you and the family are your SUNGLASSES!

 

Enter our Facebook giveaway for FREE Ray-Bans® here!

Sure everyone looks cute and cool in sunglasses, but aside from that, why do sunglasses matter?

First and foremost, there are three reasons sunglasses help protect the eyes. The first is the retina inside the eye where light-sensitive nerve tissue lives must be protected. Wearing sunglasses protect these photoreceptors from UV damage. The second is the lens of the eye; nearly everyone will eventually develop some clouding of the lens which is known as cataracts. Protecting the eyes from the sunlight may slow the progression of cataracts. Lastly, skin cancer on the eyelids should be a concern. Protection from sun exposure to this sensitive area is recommended especially in patients with a history of skin cancers. Another perk of those sunglasses is helping to avoid wrinkles around the eyes due to squinting in the bright sunlight.

Be selective when shopping for your sunglasses.  Darker lenses are not necessarily better.  Always double check to make sure they have 100% UV protection. Look for labels with broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) coverage. Polarized lenses are helpful because they reduce the glare caused by light reflecting off surfaces such as water or snow. Larger frames provide more coverage of the skin and block more of the sun’s rays. Every added layer of protection helps reduce the risk of eye damage.

Don’t think the sun doesn’t bother you and don’t ignore the warnings because you don’t want to get the “owl eyes” sunglass tan. Remember everyone is affected by the damaging UV rays and your vision is important! Even the youngest of children should be encouraged to wear sunglasses.

Sunglass shopping can be fun but it can also be difficult to decide with all the options available. Come visit our optical stores and we will help you find the best pair of sunglasses for your lifestyle. As you make your family plans and get ready for outdoor fun during Spring Break, don’t forget your eye health does matter so protecting that priceless vision with sunglasses does matter too!

What to Expect With Kybella®

  • Have you ever caught a reflection of your profile and noticed you have your grandmother’s double chin?

  • Have you worked hard to lose weight and been disappointed with the sag that still remains below your chin?

  • Do you look at selfies and think you look heavier and older than you actually are?

If this condition makes you feel self-conscious, you will be relieved to know there is a solution tailor-made just for you offered by our doctors here at McFarland Eye Care. Meet Kybella®.

What exactly is Kybella®?  Kybella® treatments are injections of a deoxycholic acid. The acid is bile acid, which your body naturally produces and helps your body absorb fat.

Kybella® is a medical treatment created to improve your profile and reduce the appearance of a “double chin” (also called submental area). It is a non-surgical way to reduce the fullness under the chin.

During a consultation with our doctors, they will determine if you are a good candidate. They will discuss your medical history, as well as any cosmetic procedures you have had done on your face or neck area.  They will explain the procedure and guide you through what to expect.

Generally, topical icepacks applied to the area achieves adequate anesthesia. Once that has taken affect, then you will receive multiple injections under the chin. You can expect up to 20 to 30 injections of Kybella®, which will gradually start working to kill the fat cells. You should also plan on having at least two sessions of Kybella® injections. You and your doctor can decide if more sessions would be effective and beneficial.

Since it is a non-surgical procedure, little preparation is required, and the recovery process is minimal in most cases. Minor side effects usually subside in one to two weeks. The good news is over 80% of patients reported significant changes in their appearance. Even better news is that once the deoxycholic acid destroys fat cells in the submental area, the results should be lasting. No further treatment is expected as the cells can no longer store the fat.

So if that “double chin” is something you have noticed recently or have had your whole life, you should consider Kybella®.  Enjoy your updated profile and post those selfies!

Fill out the form below to schedule your appointment!

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What's the Difference in an Optometrist and Ophthalmologist?

An optometrist is an eye doctor who has earned a Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree. They generally complete a four-year college degree, plus four years of post-graduate training in optometry school. The ophthalmologist is a medical doctor (MD) who has completed four years of college, four years of medical school, one year of internship and a three-year residency in ophthalmology.

Types of Macular Degeneration

McFarland Eye Care Types of Macular Degeneration

Many of you have experienced firsthand the damage of age-related macular degeneration

(AMD), either personally or with your parents and grandparents. It is the leading cause of

vision loss in people over 60 and affects as many as 1.8 million people in the United States.

You may have heard discussions about the different kinds of macular degeneration, but

what are the types? There are two forms of AMD: dry and wet.

The most common type of macular degeneration is the dry (atrophic) type, which accounts

for over 85 percent of diagnosed cases. It does not cause complete blindness, but in its

most advanced form it severely affects a person’s quality of life. Dry AMD starts out as

blurred vision as the cells of the macula slowly start to break down. Your macula is part of

the retina located at the back of the eye. It is responsible for your central vision and fine

details of what you see. AMD affects people in different ways, as some individuals report

gaps or dark spots or colors fading out.

The less common type is only seen in about 10% of the people with AMD. It is called wet

(neovascular) and develops when abnormal blood vessels grow into the macula. These leak

blood or fluid, which leads to scarring and rapid loss of central vision. Wet AMD can happen

very suddenly but can now be treated if caught quickly. Also, wet AMD usually gets worse

much more rapidly than dry AMD. In the initial onset, straight lines may appear wavy or

bent. It is also possible for early-stage dry AMD to change into the wet form of the disease.

Over time macular degeneration progresses from dimming or distortion of vision to

complete loss of central vision.

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of irreversible blindness and visual

impairment. It leads to loss of the sharp, “straight ahead” vision required for activities like

reading and driving. That is why it is so important to contact our office for an eye exam if

you are experiencing any changes in your vision.

For more reading, here are 7 things you should know about macular degeneration.

Spring Break LASIK Special

McFarland Eye Care - LASIK Special

We’re so excited to announce our Spring Break LASIK Special for teachers and students!!! This spring break is the perfect time to ditch your glasses and contacts for good!

Save $800 on LASIK at McFarland Eye Care! One day only – March 18, 2019.

This LASIK discount only applies to teachers and students – must show ID at evaluation. This offer cannot be combined with any other offer.

Schedule your FREE LASIK evaluation today and hold your spot for our LASIK Spring Break Special!

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Who Needs A Glaucoma Screening?

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, a time to spread the word about this sight-stealing disease.  Glaucoma is called “the sneaky thief of sight” because as much as 40% of vision can be lost without a person noticing.  Over three million Americans have glaucoma and combined with our aging population, an epidemic of blindness is looming if we don’t raise awareness about the importance of getting glaucoma screenings.

Who needs a glaucoma screening and when should they start?

Those at a highest risk of glaucoma include African American and Latino populations.  African Americans are over six times more likely to have glaucoma than Caucasians. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma. Other increased risk factors are those with an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with glaucoma and anyone over the age of 60. Also, if you are severely nearsighted, you fall into the high-risk category.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends the following schedule for glaucoma screening eye exams:

             Age 20 to 29

  • Individuals of African American descent screening every three to five years

  • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma every three to five years

  • Individuals with diabetes at least once a year

  • Others should have screening at least once during this period

             Age 30 to 39

  • Individuals of African American descent screening every two to four years

  • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma every two to four years

  • Individuals with diabetes at least once a year

  • Others should have screening at least twice during this period   

    Age 40 to 60

  • Individuals with diabetes at least once a year

  • Others should have screening every two to four years

         Age 60 or older

  • Everyone needs to be screened every one to two years

Learn more about glaucoma here. During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, we are excited to announce FREE glaucoma screenings at all four of our locations. Call us to sign up for your FREE glaucoma screening during the month of January.

Bryant – All of January  (501) 653-2010

Pine Bluff – January 23 (870) 536-4100

Little Rock – All of January (501) 830-2020

Hot Springs – January 31 (501) 318-1111

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New Vision for 2019 - 5 Reasons to get LASIK

Most New Year’s resolutions revolve around improving yourself, so why not consider improving your vision in 2019?  Are you tired of waking up and reaching for your glasses because the room is blurry or struggling every day with contacts?  LASIK surgery may be the answer to make your new vision resolution a reality.

Here are five reasons to get LASIK:

#1) No more glasses or contacts - Imagine being able to work out or play a sport without your glasses bouncing on your face or experiencing sweat and dirt irritating your contact lenses.  LASIK can improve your overall quality of life and can make the little things like actually seeing your face when doing your make-up or being able to wear regular (non-prescription) goggles when you ski or swim less of a hassle.

#2) LASIK is usually a painless procedure - Most of our patients say they don’t feel any pain at all during LASIK. You will be given a mild sedative to help you relax before the procedure and then we apply numbing eye drops. LASIK does not hurt during the procedure; however you may feel some pressure on your eyes which is normal. Even after the numbing eye drops have worn off, you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort.  Recovery time is very minimal for most patients and some can usually return to normal activities within two days after the procedure.

#3) LASIK is affordable – Affordable LASIK is within your reach, and one payment option is your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) or Health Savings Account (HSA) offered through your workplace. LASIK is considered a qualified medical procedure for your FSA/HAS, and many plans have a grace period extending a couple of months into the new plan year.  So, if you have leftover money from 2018, hurry and take advantage of using those pre-tax dollars to pay for your new vision in 2019. But, if you have already used those funds, we also offer an affordable payment plan through CareCredit to finance your LASIK procedure at 0% Intertest for 24 months.

#4) LASIK is safe – As with any surgery, you should do your homework and understand the procedure.  Having concerns about the safety of LASIK surgery and your eyesight is normal. However, LASIK is the most frequently performed elective surgery and complications are very rare.  At McFarland Eye Care many of our team members have had LASIK, including our surgeon, Dr. Evan Newbolt.

#5) LASIK patients say they wish they had done it sooner - We find that many patients think about the surgery for years before they actually do it and then share that they wish they would of had it done sooner. LASIK provides immediate results to the patient’s vision and it improves throughout the healing progresses. It is truly life-changing. Read Sven’s story here about how LASIK changed his life, or read Timie’s!

Contact our office to schedule a consultation or get information about using your FSA/HSA funds for your LASIK procedure. In 2019, why not resolve to enjoy your new year and your new vision? 

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5 Things You Need to Know about Glaucoma

Although it affects over 25,000 Arkansans, patients often walk into our clinics who don’t know their vision is being compromised by glaucoma. January is Glaucoma Awareness month, so here are the five things you need to know about glaucoma.

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#1) What is Glaucoma? Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions where optic nerve damage often occurs when the fluid pressure inside the eye increases. It is the second leading cause of blindness, but it is THE leading cause of blindness that CAN be prevented.

#2) What are the risk factors of glaucoma? African, Hispanic or Asian heritages have the highest chance of developing glaucoma. People with diabetes, a family history of glaucoma or are severely nearsighted are also considered high risk. The risk for developing glaucoma increases with age, so if you over the age 60 you should be mindful to have regular eye doctor visits with glaucoma screenings.

#3) What are the common symptoms of glaucoma? There are usually no early warning signs or noticeable symptoms. In fact, most do not recognize any symptoms from the disease until they begin to experience severe vision problems. Other patients complain of severe pain in the eye or start to notice blurred or narrowed field of vision.

#4) What are treatments for glaucoma? The most common treatment for glaucoma is eye drops. These topical medications work by decreasing the eye pressure if used appropriately. For individuals who do not tolerate or respond to eye drops, laser procedure can be performed which improve the fluid outflow from the eye.

#5) How is glaucoma diagnosed? The only way to diagnose glaucoma is a complete eye exam with dilation. To dilate the eye, drops are placed in each eye to widen the pupil and allow better viewing of the inside of the eye. After the doctors test your vision, they will measure your eye pressure, perform a Visual Field test and examine your optic nerve for signs of glaucoma.

Glaucoma damage is permanent – so PREVENTION is KEY! Early detection and treatment is vitally important to prevent vision issues.

During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, we are excited to announce FREE glaucoma screenings at all four of our locations. Call us to sign up for your FREE glaucoma screening during the month of January.

Bryant – All of January  (501) 653-2010

Pine Bluff – January 23 (870) 536-4100

Little Rock – All of January (501) 830-2020

Hot Springs – January 31 (501) 318-1111

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Eye Safety During the Holidays

Mom was right when she warned you, “you can put an eye out with that!” And during the holiday season, the dangers are real. Eye safety is always important, and being aware of the common seasonal accidents can help you avoid a trip to the eye doctor or the emergency room.

Many Christmases have been spoiled by eye injuries from the toys meant to bring joy, but thankfully, since 1972, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has made Christmas mornings a little bit safer. Gifts such as Jarts (giant metal yard darts) and Chemistry Sets that included explosive materials have been banned. However, children’s wish lists still include Nerf guns, air soft guns, or slingshots. In fact, over 20% of all eye injuries are caused by propulsion toys. Make sure if gifting these toys that they include the proper safety accessories. Don’t forget to make age appropriate selections, give proper instructions, and offer parental guidance with any hazardous toys.

The holidays offer many other opportunities for eye injuries. Just putting up your tree with its prickly needles can pose a danger to your eyes. Make sure to wear proper eye protection if you are headed to the woods to cut down your own tree. Accidents have also occurred while decorating, whether a tumble into the tree from a wobbly ladder or just reaching in to plug lights and inadvertently getting a tree needle in your eye. The beautiful frosted spray snow can be an eye irritant if it is sprayed above your face. Glitter, spun glass (angel hair), and fragile glass ornaments can also cause damage to you or your children’s eyes. Remember when working around your tree or garland, eye protection is always a good idea.

A new trend in holiday decorating is the dazzling Christmas laser light shows. These laser lights project onto the outside of your home and display beautiful designs. But you have to be careful not to look directly into the light when setting up your show. Laser lights can do permanent eye damage, so be sure to be safe when setting it up.

Many people also enjoy celebrating Christmas and New Years with fireworks. Fireworks should only be handled by an adult wearing protective safety glasses and discharged from a secure distance away from family and friends. Over half of the fireworks-related injuries are suffered by innocent bystanders and most are eye injuries. Enjoy your fireworks display, but please be aware of the potential dangers and remind everyone to point those “party poppers” away from people’s faces.

Lastly, don’t forget the bubbly! Mishandled champagne corks can fly out at an incredible speed. Every holiday, doctors see numerous eye injuries from these errant corks. Make sure to point the bottle at a 45-degree angle away from your face and your guests. It is also recommended to place a towel over the top of the bottle.

The lights and festivities of the upcoming holidays are truly a beautiful thing. Just remember to practice eye safety so you can enjoy all the sights for years to come. We hope some of these helpful tips and words of caution for avoiding eye injuries will make this a joyful, safe holiday season for you and all of your loved ones.

Flexible Spending Plan + LASIK

Flexible Spending McFarland Eye Care

Do you have a Flexible Spending Plan (FSA) through your workplace or employer? Many people have access to this account that allows you to set back money for health expenditures on a pre-tax basis without knowing it! This means that during your enrollment period, you can allot money for qualified medical procedures from your pay before taxes. When money is held back on a pre-tax basis, it means that the amount is not taxed at that time, giving you more money to spend on a qualified procedure (like LASIK). This is a useful tool when used to cover known expenses (like a planned procedure) or deductibles.  

As open enrollment season approaches, it’s a good idea to determine how much - if any - money to put back on a pre-tax basis for the upcoming year. It’s important to think this through, because often this money is not rolled over into the next year and must be spent in the year that it is set aside. Many people chose this time to schedule elective procedures such as LASIK so that this money does not go to waste. Or, you can elect to use it for cosmetic procedures or treatments such as Kybella.

These funds can also be used in conjunction with other payment methods (such as Care Credit) to pay for a procedure. If you are curious about using FSA funds for a procedure at McFarland Eye Care, let us know! We can help! 

Dr. Mike McFarland Wins Best of the Best in Ophthalmology!

We are SO excited to announce that Dr. Mike McFarland has been voted “Best of the Best” in Ophthalmology by the readers of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette!

Those of us who work for Dr. McFarland know that he is a history-making, exceptional eye surgeon who has made tremendous contributions to Ophthalmology - including the invention of “No-Stitch” Cataract Surgery! We also know him as a genuine, kind and humble person who never stops learning or growing. We are so excited that he has, yet again, received this honor! We think the world of “Dr. Mac” and we are thrilled that our patients do, too!

He will also be the first to say that his success is all about the team of doctors and staff at McFarlands. His theory is that people vote for him because they know his name… but they are really voting for their positive experiences at McFarland Eye Care, which is made possible by the dedication of all our doctors and team members.

“I’m like a proud parent when I hear people talking about my doctors and my staff. I get to work with some of the finest people that I’ve ever known, not just professionally but personally.”

McFarland wins Best of the Best

Doctor says improving patients’ vision is ‘an act of love’

For nearly 40 years, ophthalmologist Mike McFarland, M.D., and the staff at McFarland Eye Care have worked to provide loving care using the most advanced technology. This year, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette readers showed appreciation for McFarland’s work by voting him Best Ophthalmologist in the Best of the Best contest.  

“It’s a real honor,” McFarland said. “This is a team effort down here. I’m just on the team.”

McFarland began his practice 37 years ago after attending medical school at Louisiana State University. A friend in the university’s ophthalmology program invited him to observe an eye surgery, and McFarland said it was “mind-blowing” to see the human eye beneath a microscope. “I thought it was the most incredible, fascinating thing I’d ever seen in my life, and I still think that,” he said. “It is still the most amazing thing for me to work under an operating microscope every day.”

 In 1981, he opened McFarland Eye Care in Pine Bluff, where he said he revolutionized cataract care by inventing no-stitch cataract surgery in 1990. He later opened additional clinics in Hot Springs, Little Rock and Bryant.

McFarland and his team handle all kinds of eye-care needs, from routine vision maintenance to procedures such as laser-assisted cataract surgery and ophthalmic plastic surgery. He said he works to stay on the cutting edge of technology, using the latest equipment and techniques to deliver exceptional results to his patients.

 “I love high-tech stuff and love being able to offer it to our patients,” he said. “It’s another thing that separates us, sets us apart from the rest of the competition, because we can offer better, more consistent, safer surgery and results than other people can.”

McFarland added that his practice would not be successful without his team of nurses, physicians and support staff. “I’m like a proud parent when I hear people talking about my doctors and my staff,” he said. “I get to work with some of the finest people that I’ve ever known, not just professionally but personally.” Staff members cultivate deep relationships and share their lives with one another, he said, adding that they read Scripture together in the morning. McFarland said his Christian faith plays a major role in his work.

 “It’s not a labor of love — it’s an act of love,” he said. “I serve God by serving my patients. That’s what this practice is centered on.”

(Writen by Sarah DeClerk, Published by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette on 10/26/18)

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What to Expect During A Brow Lift

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As your skin loses elasticity over the years, it can become susceptible to the pull of gravity and the brow line falls. This results in forehead wrinkles and sagging skin around your eyes that can make you look tired, upset and even angry — the opposite of how you want the world to see you.

Brow lift surgery (also known as a forehead lift) can reverse the effects of aging and can give a natural contour to your face shape, lids and brows. A brow lift opens up the eye area giving you a youthful, refreshed look. 

Here are some reasons why you may want to consider brow lift surgery:

o   Wrinkles, frown lines or deep horizontal furrows across the forehead

o   Vertical (11) lines between the eyebrows

o   Sagging eyebrows hanging low over the eyes

o   Crow’s feet (fine lines at the outside corners of the eyes)

What to Expect Before A Brow Lift

During your personal consultation to define your appearance goals, Dr. Byron Wilkes will make recommendations based on your unique anatomy and the extent of correction needed to achieve your desired results. There are varying brow lift methods, which involve different length incisions in different locations. In most cases, brow lifts are completed using the standard surgical method (incisions created at the hairline). The surgery is performed by Dr. Byron Wilkes, our Board-Certified Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon.

What to Expect During Brow Lift Surgery

Our surgeries are performed in our outpatient surgery centers located in Pine Bluff and Little Rock. You will be given light monitored anesthesia and Dr. Wilkes will usa a local anesthetic to numb the incision site. Once the operation is over, the the incisions will be closed with stitches or staples. Your forehead may be taped, and your head might be loosely wrapped to reduce any swelling. The surgery typically lasts just one hour.

 

What to Expect After Brow Lift Surgery

It is common to experience some swelling and bruising or to feel sensations of tightness or numbness on the forehead.  We will provide you with a list of post-operative instructions to follow, to ensure that your recovery is as complete and comfortable as possible. Most people can return to work within seven to ten days, depending on your own personal rate of recovery. Results typically appear within a few weeks, revealing smoother forehead skin and a more youthful, rested appearance. However, final results should not be expected for several months.

It’s completely normal to go into a procedure like this with plenty of questions. Don’t hesitate to ask Dr. Wilkes any of them! Preoperative stress and anxiety are completely normal, and at McFarland Eye Care, we want to do all we can to put your mind at ease.

To learn more about brow lift surgery and find out if it's right for you, schedule a personal consultation with Dr. Byron Wilkes.

The Solution to Your Under Eye Bags

The Bad News – bags under the eyes are common as we age.  The mild swelling and puffiness increase as the tissues around our eyes weaken and sag.  The normal fat pads that help support the eye can move into the lower eyelids.  This causes the lids to appear puffy and may lead to swelling due to fluid accumulating. The Good News - bags under the eyes are rarely a serious medical condition but more of a cosmetic concern. It is also common to have dark circles under the eyes at the same time, which appear because the thin skin of the lower eyelid can become translucent and reveal the underlying blood vessels.

There are many factors that can cause or even worsen the appearance of under-eye bags and dark circles. In addition to aging, the common culprits are fatigue, allergies, smoking, crying or fluid retention from excess alcohol or salt intake.  The cause of bags can even be hereditary.

Store shelves are full of products to alleviate or conceal bags under the eyes and the internet is full of articles on home remedies, but we recommend the following:

  • Apply a cool compress

  • Get plenty of rest and sleep with your head slightly elevated

  • Drink plenty of water and limit sodium intake

  • Always wear sunscreen to protect the fragile skin around the eye area

Although many creams do claim to treat bags under the eyes, no topical cream can address the structural issue of lower eyelid changes. The creams will make the skin appear smoother and cosmetic concealers can be used to mask the dark circles under the eyes.  Also, some articles recommend using sliced cucumbers or frozen tea bags as treatment methods.  It is actually the coldness that constricts blood vessels and reduces the swelling and not the cucumber or tea bag itself. Remember, food sometimes contains bacteria and putting a possible contaminated source directly on the eyes can lead to eye infections. We recommend just using a clean washcloth soaked in ice cold water. Also, another home remedy is hemorrhoid cream, which can actually do more harm than good. The cream may contain steroids and when used on the sensitive skin around the eyelids, can cause irritation.

We understand that puffy eyes are not your favorite look. If you are concerned about the appearance of bags or dark circles under your eyes, medical treatments are available at McFarland Eye Care. Our surgeon, Dr. Byron Wilkes, has undergone specialized training in Oculoplastics, better known as oculoplastic surgery, which combines both eye and plastic surgery together. Depending on what is causing the bags under your eyes, outpatient plastic surgery may be your solution. Before pursuing surgery, you may want to rule out other possible causes of under-eye bags such as an allergy, infection or thyroid disease. Cosmetic surgery is 25% off for the month of September only so book your consultation today!

The Best News - even though the bags and dark circles under our eyes make us look tired and older than we really are, the treatments available at McFarland Eye Care can reverse the signs of aging and restore the face we remember in the mirror.  For more information, contact us to schedule your personal consultation.