The Three Types of Macular Degeneration


Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in the United States, and as of right now, there is no known cure for it. Over 11 million people have some form of age-related macular degeneration, and that number will only continue to grow. There are three types of macular degeneration — wet, dry and Stargardt disease. Wet and dry macular degeneration are caused by aging, and Stargardt disease is a hereditary form of macular degeneration found in young people. 

Dry Macular Degeneration

Most cases of macular degeneration are “dry,” meaning the deterioration of the retina is related to small yellow deposits under the retina called drusen. The macula thins and dries out over time, causing it to lose its function. Dry macular degeneration can cause reduced central and night vision, visual distortions, blurry vision and difficulty reading or seeing in dim lighting.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Wet macular degeneration is caused by abnormal blood vessels that grow underneath the retina and leak fluid or blood. Wet macular degeneration is more severe than the dry type, and symptoms include blurry and blind spots, general haziness, and rapid or severe loss of your central vision.

Stargardt Disease

Stargardt disease is an inherited retinal disorder that typically causes vision loss during childhood, adolescence or adulthood. Fortunately, people with Stargardt diseases rarely suffer from complete blindness. Common symptoms include hazy or dark spots, gradual loss of vision over time, light sensitivity and color blindness. 

While macular degeneration is incurable, there are steps you can take to prevent the disease. While you can’t change your hereditary factors, you can exercise regularly, choose not to smoke, maintain a healthy diet, wear sunglasses with UV protection, and schedule routine eye exams so abnormalities are detected early. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our professionals!

What Causes Bags Under the Eyes?


Swelling and puffiness under your eyes — often called “bags” — are pretty common! There are a variety of facial creams and makeup products designed specifically to help you get rid of, or just cover up the irritating under-eye “baggage.” Many of these products prove to be ineffective and don’t actually correct the underlying problem. Have you ever wondered what actually causes the puffiness though? 

Bags under the eyes are caused by a variety of things, most commonly aging. As you get older, the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids naturally begin to weaken which allows fatty tissue from the eye socket to move forward. The skin under the eye begins to sag and retain fluid, leading to a swollen appearance. Other factors can make under-eye puffiness worse, including:

  • A diet high in sodium

  • Inadequate sleep

  • Smoking

  • Allergies

  • Not removing your makeup

  • Frequent alcohol use

The good news?

Even though bags and dark circles under the eyes can make you feel insecure or make you look older than you are, you do have options! McFarland Eye Care’s very own Dr. Byron Wilkes  has undergone specialized training in oculoplastic surgery and has years of experience when it comes to helping patients look and feel their very best. 

If you’re ready to freshen up your appearance and “unpack” those bags, outpatient plastic surgery may be the perfect solution for you. Before pursuing surgery, you should rule out any possible causes of under-eye bags that are not related to aging, such as an allergy or infection. 

In addition to reducing under eye puffiness, Dr. Wilkes also offers services such as drooping upper lid repair, Juvéderm injections, forehead lifts, Kybella, brow lifts and more! For more information, contact us today to schedule your personal consultation! We look forward to seeing you, and look forward to YOU seeing the face you remember staring back at you in the mirror! 

Honored as AY Magazine’s 2019 Best Healthcare Professionals in Ophthalmology!

Mike McFarland, MD Evan Newbolt, MD Byron Wilkes, MD McFarland Eye Care

Ten straight years is a long legacy of being one of the Best Healthcare Professionals in the state!

Dr. Mike McFarland is known around the world for his development of “No-Stitch” Cataract Surgery and his excellence in the field of Cataract Surgery. When he opened McFarland Eye in 1981, making history wasn’t his goal but it has become his legacy. Although he introduces himself as “Mike,” he is well respected by physicians in all areas of medicine. This is his tenth straight year being honored as one of AY Magazine’s Best Healthcare Professionals in Ophthalmology.

Dr. Evan Newbolt is an award-winning LASIK and Cataract Surgeon. He has had LASIK at McFarland’s and so he is able to truly connect with what his patients are experiencing at every stage of their care. He came on board at McFarland’s in July of 2013. He was first honored as AY Magazine Best Healthcare Professionals in Ophthalmology in 2016 and has been named every year since.

Dr. Byron Wilkes is an Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon who is, on occasion, the only surgeon in Arkansas who can perform certain surgeries. His work is highly specialized and respected by physicians everywhere. His patients love him and he is committed to bringing world-class care to the people Arkansas. This is his first time receiving the honor of being named one of the “Best Healthcare Professionals” in Ophthalmology by AY Magazine.

All three of these MD's are outstanding! We are so proud of their tremendous talent and their passion for providing exceptional care for our patients!

To schedule an appointment with one of the “Best Healthcare Professionals” in the state, simply complete the form below:

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Top 4 Reasons to Get LASIK - Patient Testimonials

Why You Should Get LASK - McFarland Eye Care

LASIK surgery is life-changing, and the thing we hear most often from our patients is that they wish they had gotten LASIK surgery sooner. Many patients are worried about finances, or get anxious when they hear the word “surgery.” The good news is that our LASIK patients say it’s both painless and affordable! Dr. Evan Newbolt is an experienced LASIK surgeon who has undergone the procedure himself, so you can breathe easy knowing you’ll be taken care of by someone with first-hand experience.  

We want to share the top four reasons to get LASIK with just a few of our patient testimonials to help ease your mind if you’re considering LASIK! Don’t just take our word for it; hear it from our patients. 

1. The procedure and results are instant! Our patients continuously say their vision changed in the blink of an eye. You won’t have to wait to get the results you want.  

“The procedure was super fast. You don't even have time to get nervous. It was so fast and painless. I regret that I didn’t do it sooner. I would really suggest getting it done if you're thinking about it!”

-Amber Perry, North Little Rock

2. Live your life free from worry! Say goodbye to the hindrance from glasses or lenses and hello to your new found independence. You can completely remove the overarching fear of breaking your glasses or losing your contacts while you’re living life. You won’t worry about fumbling around in the dark looking for your glasses or struggling with forgetting to bring contact lens supplies when on vacation. 

“After wearing either glasses or contacts since I was 4, I now have perfect vision and absolutely love it! After having LASIK in December of 2014, I have been thankful for my eyesight every single day this year! I have worn glasses since I was 4 years old, and then began wearing contact lenses at age 10. After finding out my eyesight was rapidly getting worse, I had to wear hard contact lenses for 5 years (during high school) which was extremely uncomfortable! For the first time in my life, I have 20/20 vision and am able to see first thing in the morning when I wake up! It saves me time both in the morning and at night, and I can actually swim during the summer without worrying about my contacts. I am so thankful for this procedure and the freedom that it has given me. I would gladly recommend LASIK to anyone dependent on glasses and/or contact lenses!” 

-Ashley Johnson, White Hall

3. The procedure is painless, and the cost can be too with our payment plans. We make LASIK affordable for you with our payment options. We also make sure you know the cost up front. There are no hidden fees, so there are no surprises on your bill. 

“I don't understand why more people don't do it! They have payment plans to help you if money is an issue. They have 24 months no interest. Most of the time, that's going to fit into your budget. I would suggest calling McFarland Eye Care today and setting up an appointment. They have free consultations. Let them talk to you about it and then you can make an informed decision about whether this LASIK surgery is correct for you or not.”

-Adam Davis, Bryant 

4. It’s literally the best! And the time to do it is now. Think of LASIK as an investment, and the sooner you do it the more you’ll be able to enjoy your new lifestyle. But don’t take our word for it, hear what Charles has to say!

“LASIK surgery is probably the best thing I've ever done for my eyes. It was convincing enough to me that I brought my son back for LASIK surgery, too.”

-Charles Champagne, Arkadelphia

So, what are you waiting for? If you’re interested in LASIK, take our quiz and learn more or contact us here. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have! We offer free LASIK evaluations to determine if you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery. Don’t stress! Take a leap toward clear vision today!

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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!


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?


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.

The Importance of Sunglasses | McFarland Eye Care


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!

Why Are Sunglasses Important?

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.


#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.