South Jersey Eye Associates Celebrates 17 Years Serving Community

The Eyecare Center Looks Back on 17 Years of Service and Toward the Future as Dr. Brandon J. Wuzzardo Marks His First Anniversary at the Practice

Bridgeton, NJ (SEPTEMBER, 2014) – This fall South Jersey Eye Associates (SJEA) is celebrating two major milestones. The first is the 17th anniversary of optometric physicians Dr. Robert M. Cole and Dr. Michael A. Feinstein merging their two practices into a family eyecare facility that would become a fixture of the community. The second significant event being marked is the one year anniversary of Dr. Brandon J. Wuzzardo joining the SJEA family as their third onsite optometric physician.

SJEA has flourished since Dr. Cole and Dr. Feinstein joined forces in 1997, growing into one of South Jersey’s leading comprehensive eyecare and optical centers with a network of trusted consulting doctors and sub-specialists.

“I believe SJEA has succeeded the way it has because we’ve never stopped putting our patients first,” says Dr. Cole. “That means providing them with the same standard of service and care we would want for our own families. Compassion and respect are key to building lasting relationships with our patients.”

As SJEA has grown, so has the community it serves. Dr. Cole and Dr. Feinstein brought Dr. Wuzzardo onboard last October, in part, so they could ensure the same standard of care for their existing clients while meeting the needs of new patients.

“Dr. Wuzzardo also has a fantastic set of skills as an optometrist that really enriches us as a practice,” says Dr. Feinstein. “His expertise in low vision care, specialty contact lenses, and the assessment and treatment of vision disorders in children make him a valuable member of our team.”

“It’s been a great year!” says Dr. Wuzzardo. “It’s such a privilege to join a practice that has been going strong for 17 years and has such a strong connection with the community. It’s been a pleasure getting to know and care for new patients. I’ve also been lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit local schools and give educational presentations. It’s truly a rewarding job.”

Adds Dr. Cole, “It’s an exciting time for us at SJEA. We’re enjoying the moment—and looking forward to the future.”


Healthy Eyes for Peak Performance

English_Brochure_1Good eye health and optimal vision are critical factors for better performance at school, at work, and at play.

To provide parents with a better understanding of how to foster and maintain their children’s healthy vision for peak performance, the American Optometric Association Sports Vision Section and Safe Kids Worldwide® developed a free educational brochure, titled Healthy Eyes for Peak Performance. SJEA has obtained copies of this brochure, in both English and Spanish, for our patients to download right here from our website.

Healthy Eyes for Peak Performance offers practical advice on how to maintain children’s healthy vision, including information on the importance of regular eye exams, the harmful effects of extended exposure to the sun, and the necessity of protective eyewear during sports activities. It also highlights a growing body of research that demonstrates the quality-of-life benefits of contact lens wear beyond correcting vision.

Can Your Child See Well?

If you have doubts about your child’s vision, here are some signs to look for.

How do his eyes look to you? Are they red-rimmed or encrusted? Are her eyelids swollen? Does he complain that his eyes itch or burn or feel scratchy? When she’s reading or watching television for a long time, does she complain of headaches? Do things look blurry to him sometimes?

Blinking and squinting are also signs of vision problems. So is becoming irritable or short-tempered from a headache or eye strain after studying for a long time.

You may think your child is clumsy when he or she stumbles over objects occasionally, things that any normal youngster would see and avoid. But the problem may be an issue with the eyes, not clumsiness.

Your child’s eyes are an important part of his life and health. They deserve a regular check-up too. If your child needs help, only a complete eye examination will tell you.

Signs of Dyslexia

If you know a child who has dyslexia, one of the things he has in common with other children who have this problem is poor reading ability. This can be true in spite of good intelligence, supportive parents, and strong motivation. If a child has dyslexia he may find it difficult to understand what others see or hear or to distinguish one letter or word from another. Words and letters confuse them. They confuse b with d, saw with was, 12 with 21, etc. When they try to draw geometric figures, squares become rounded, oblique lines become vertical or horizontal or vice versa. Sometimes the frustrations in learning cause serious emotional problems.

These are just some of the problems associated with dyslexia. It is a serious handicap and no one knows exactly what causes it. Fortunately, the majority of children are born without this problem. If your child experiences difficulty in learning how to read because of a vision problem, help is available from your eye doctor to correct it.

Aging and Eye Changes

If you’re over the age of 40, chances are you now use reading glasses or bifocals to improve the clarity of your vision. This is a natural consequence of aging as the eyes’ focusing muscles become weaker and other changes occur in the eyes. With advancing age, however, a person’s vision can also be subject to serious diseases that may cause visual loss if not treated early enough.

One of these eye diseases is senile macular degeneration or SMD. SMD attacks a part of the eye known as the macula, located in the retina at the back of the eye. The macula is a light-sensing nerve tissue that lines the inside of the eyes. It makes it possible for you to see an object in detail. One of the symptoms of SMD is loss of the ability to read and see objects clearly.

The need to detect eye problems and diseases as early as possible is one of the best reasons why you should have regular eye exams. If you haven’t had an eye exam recently, make an appointment with your eye doctor now.

Do I Need Glasses?

If you’ve never worn glasses before but are experiencing symptoms that suggest you might need them, you should have your eyes examined. Your eyes are always changing, and when you have a vision problem these changes become quite noticeable. For instance, if you’ve been suffering from headaches associated with eye strain, that’s a warning signal.

Other warning signs include blurred vision, a pain of any kind in the eye, distorted vision, and the habit of squinting when you have difficulty seeing something. Other signs that indicate you should waste no time in having your eyes examined are irritation and fatigue. Whatever your job happens to be, your ability to see well is important. So is your ability to see clearly when you’re relaxing or working at home or enjoying some of your favorite recreations.

Sight is precious, and the ability to see well should be protected. If you have any symptoms that suggest you should have your eyes examined to find out if you need glasses, make an appointment with your eye doctor now.

The Importance of Vision Balance

Sometimes the information coming in through the eyes does not get through quickly enough, or is unreliable when it reaches the brain. It happens in offices, in factories, in schools, at home. It has been known to cause accidents, dangerous mistakes, and even learning difficulties in school children.

Your optometrist, after a thorough examination, can provide proper lenses to balance the convergence and focusing mechanisms and to rearrange the brain’s matching process. Thus, your intelligence actually becomes greater, because the experience becomes accurate, and learning easier, since the incoming information is more reliable.

These lenses also, through reflex action, can affect other bodily functions. Sometimes patients complain, “These lenses I’ve been wearing make me sick to my stomach.”

On the other hand, many patients are amazed that “just a pair of glasses” often relieves nervous tension and other seemingly unrelated ailments.

Age Related Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is fairly common among the elderly. The macula is the portion of the retina responsible for clear, sharp, central vision. Occasionally, the waste products of some of the cells in the macula are not removed as they normally are. Instead, they just clump together, so that when you look directly at an object, you can’t see it clearly.

It’s as though you had a piece of dirt on a camera film. Light just can’t reach the film through the dirt to give a clear picture. However, your side (peripheral) vision is not affected. It doesn’t matter how strong a lens we put in front of these eyes. If the light can’t reach the macula, you’re not going to see what you’re looking at very clearly.

So, if you see a dark spot in the center of your visual field, it would be wise to have a thorough eye examination. If caught early enough, those dead cells in the macula can be treated with a laser beam and vision often improved.