Macular Degeneration Awareness Month!

February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month, and it is a very fitting time for me to start writing my own blogs.  For those of you who have been my patient over the years (WoW!!  It has been 18 years since I opened my practice up cold in Weaverville)- you know how important it is here for us as a team at Optix Eye Care, that we educate you about prevention for this devastating disease.


I had the privilege of serving at Mission’s Low Vision Center for 7 years, and that experience drove home for me a passion for prevention.  I saw patient after patient with vision loss and the impact that had on the quality of their life- not to mention how greatly it impacted their family and caregivers.


I believe it is my purpose on this earth to hopefully make a difference in our community to get the word out about the macula and how to keep it healthy for a lifetime.  


My profession is sacred!!  I get to look into people’s eyes and witness a miracle.  I absolutely never get tired of it.  However, every time I look into a person’s eyes and view their maculae, I hold my breath.  I am just waiting to see changes that may already diagnose them with ARMD, or I see precursor signs of the disease.  ARMD is NOT a normal aging process.  It used to be a disease that only affected the elderly.  Unfortunately, I am seeing this disease in younger and younger people.  My youngest is 19 years old!!!  I see it every day and multiple times each day☹


Did you know there is actually a way to tell if you are at risk for developing this disease long before your eye care physician can see precursor signs?  That is my goal… and that is the true heart of preventive medicine… stay tuned for more details on this later….


ARMD is more prevalent than Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer, prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s COMBINED!!  What?!#%!  It is becoming an EPIDEMIC.  How do we respond to an epidemic?  Education and prevention.  That is my gift to you!!!  I am here to serve you and help you know what you can do to protect your precious sight☺


Each week this month I will reveal to you important ways you can make the most impact in protecting your maculae.  I especially want for you to know what a great experiment we are living in right now with the overwhelming addition of blue light that we are exposed to each and every day…. and our kids are at the most risk.  It absolutely frightens me for the future of our kid’s eye health.


Before I go… I truly want to thank my team at Optix Eye Care!!!  I am so grateful for each soul that is in my midst every day.  I also want to thank my patients for their trust in us for taking care of their eyes.  It is the biggest complement when our patients send their family and friends to us.  Thank you!  Thank you! Thank you!


It is my desire to get out in our community and share my expertise in prevention for macular degeneration.  I would love to come to your place of business, school, meeting…. whatever….  If you are interested in learning more, please contact Kristen:


In Good Health!


Dr. Kim Walters

Glaucoma: 10 Facts Everyone Should Know

January is Glaucoma Awareness month and it serves as an important reminder to learn more about this devastating disease.

Here are 10 key facts about Glaucoma:

  1. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide – an estimated 3 million Americans suffer from the disease.
  2. Glaucoma is not a single eye disease – it is made up of several conditions which affect the optic nerve and can lead to blindness.
  3. There are several types of Glaucoma – the most common are open-angle and angle-closure.
  4. Glaucoma often goes undetected until the disease is in advanced stages – often the disease begins with no pain or symptoms. An individual may not suspect they have an issue until they suffer from vision loss.
  5. Family history plays a role in Glaucoma risk – having a family history of Glaucoma increases your risk of developing the disease.
  6.  Intraocular pressure is the largest risk for Glaucoma – this occurs when the pressure within the eye increases and can only be detected as part of an annual eye exam.
  7. Glaucoma risk increases with age – individuals over the age of 40 are more likely to develop the disease.
  8. An annual comprehensive eye exam is the best way to detect Glaucoma – the disease have no early symptoms and is often called the “thief of sight”. An annual eye exam is the only way to detect the disease in its early stages.
  9.  Everyone is at risk for Glaucoma – while Glaucoma is typically associated with older age, it can affect anyone at any age.
  10.  There is no cure for Glaucoma – there is currently no cure for Glaucoma or way to restore vision lost to the disease. Early detection is key in the preservation of eyesight.

November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

According to national statistics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 20 million Americans over the age of 20 have diabetes. Almost a third of these individuals do not know that they have the disease and are at risk for vision loss.

Diabetic eye disease refers to a group of eye diseases that affect individuals with diabetes and includes diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. Early symptoms of these diseases often go unnoticed, and vision may not be affected until the diseases are in an advanced stage.

Diabetic retinopathy affects 5.3 million Americans aged 18 and older. This condition occurs when the blood vessels inside the retina become damaged from the high blood sugar levels associated with diabetes. This causes the fluids to leak into the retina and interfere with blood flow and could lead to vision loss.

While the early stages of the disease may not show, once the disease is in advanced stages, individuals may experience floaters, blurred vision, fluctuating vision, impaired color vision, dark areas in vision, and vision loss.

Individuals with diabetes may also suffer from cataracts at an earlier age and are twice as likely to develop glaucoma.

Annual comprehensive eye exams are the most effective tool for the detection and monitoring of diabetic eye disease. Individuals with diabetes or who are at risk for developing diabetes should schedule an eye exam with dilation yearly.

Contact us to schedule your exam today.

Don’t Let Your Eyes Star in a Halloween Horror!

Halloween is a fun time filled with scary stories, candy, and costumes. When you want to pull off a perfect zombie, vampire, or other creepy costume, it can be tempting to go to a costume shop or online to purchase decorative contact lenses to push your costume to the next level. These lenses do not correct vision, only alter the appearance of your eyes, so you may not think it is necessary to visit an optometrist to get a prescription.

In reality all contact lenses, including decorative lenses, are considered medical devices by the FDA. While these lenses are not used to correct vision, they still carry a risk of infection or injury, and all wear and care instructions for decorative lenses should be followed closely.

According the FDA, the following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts for decorative contact lens wear:

Do’s and Don’ts

Do get an eye exam! A licensed eye doctor will examine your eyes to make sure the contact lenses fit properly. The fit of your contact lenses is very important. A wrong fit can cause damage to your eyes. Be sure to always go for follow-up eye exams.

Do get a prescription! Your eye doctor will write you a prescription for all contact lenses, including decorative lenses. The prescription should include the brand name, correct lens measurements and expiration date.

Do follow the contact lens care instructions! Follow the instructions for wearing, cleaning and disinfecting your contact lenses that come with your contact lenses. If you do not receive instructions, ask an eye doctor for them.

Do seek medical attention right away and remove your contact lenses if your eyes are red, have ongoing pain or discharge! Redness, pain and discharge from the eyes are signs of an eye infection. If you think you have an eye infection from your contact lenses, remove them and see an eye doctor right away.

Don’t share your contact lenses with anyone else! You wouldn’t share your toothbrush would you? All eyes are not the same size and shape and your contact lenses are fitted just for you.

Don’t buy any contact lenses without a prescription! If you don’t see an eye doctor and get a prescription, then the contact lenses you get may not fit properly and may not work well. They could even damage your eyes. Sometimes wearing contact lenses can damage the top layer of your eyeball (cornea). Even if you aren’t having any problems now, the lenses still could be causing damage to your eyes. By having regular checkups and buying contact lenses with a prescription, you will reduce the chances of any undetected damage to your eyes

Don’t let your eyes be the star of your next Halloween horror story!


Happy Halloween!

-The Optix Team


source: FDA

Our Grand Re-Opening!

Welcome Dr. Nathan Davis

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Nathan Davis to Optix Eye Care.

Dr. Davis is a wonderful addition to the Optix Eye Care team and his specialization in Vision Therapy and the establishment of the Optix Eye Care Vision Development Center fill much needed void in ocular wellness for Western North Carolina.

Dr. Nathan Davis is an Optometric Physician who specializes in Vision Therapy, specialty contact lens fittings – including Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT), Macular Degeneration, and the detrimental effects of blue light (the harmful light from computers, smartphones, tablets, etc). Dr. Davis is passionate about optimal eye care for the entire family. He received a Bachelor of Science from the University of North Carolina, where he also played on the JV basketball team and was a member of the varsity practice squad.

Dr. Davis graduated cum laude from the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee, and was named to the Beta Sigma Kappa honor society. His rotations at the school included ocular disease, contact lens fitting, and vision therapy, in addition to full scope primary optometric care. He attended two additional rotations, focusing on full scope contact lens care and ocular disease, at a private practice in Whiteville, NC, and the prestigious National Naval Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Dr. Davis’ post-graduate studies include specializations in many different types of contact lens fittings, including Corneal Reshaping Therapy (CRT). Dr. Davis currently attends training seminars in pursuit of becoming a fellow with the College of Optometrists in Visual Development which specializes in vision therapy.

In his free time, Dr. Davis enjoys pulling for the Heels and most outdoor activities. He is passionate about being involved in the community and has been an active member in Kiwanis. He has participated in local and international mission trips including VOSH, which provides eye exams and glasses to underdeveloped nations.