Could There Be Aliens, NASA?

Yesterday, NASA announced a new discovery and expanded our knowledge of the Universe! Could there be Aliens?  Well… maybe? According to scientists, atmospheric studies still have to be done before determining if the new discovery is capable of supporting living organisms and that will take years.   No actual extraterrestrial life or aliens have been confirmed.  So, Science Fiction (and its many fans) will not have to change to the nonfiction section…yet.  All science fiction implications aside, the science facts of the new discovery are still really exciting.

A new solar system has been discovered with seven planets orbiting their star (named TRAPPIST-1). They are our new-found neighbors, about the size of earth, 235 Trillion Miles away.  In Ophthalmology, we measure vision based on how you see 20 feet in the distance.  How did NASA see 235 Trillion Miles in the distance from earth?  You may be surprised that the same branch of physics, optics, applies to both!  Which highly advanced optics tool has such awesome vision?

Today’s Google Doodle contains the answer! It features earth viewing through a telescope to see the new found planets.  While this is a fun artistic styling of the true science behind the discovery, it shares a common bond with the real science.  The Spitzer Space Telescope gets the credit for the images of the new solar system.  Refracting telescopes use lenses to bend light and make images appear closer than they really are.  The lenses you wear to see well, whether glasses, contact lenses, implants or inlays have a common bond with NASA’s most advanced technologies!

We Have A Winner! Eye Exams Can Be A Win – Win!

Thank you for sharing our blog last week! You helped pass along the news that an eye exam can be heart healthy.  We drew a random name from the list of those who shared and we have a winner!

                                                                                         Congratulations to Diane Brock!

                                                                                                                   Winner of a Free Eye Exam!

Eye Exams can be a win – win in more ways than one! Beyond eye and heart health, a routine eye exam may lead to the detection of health issues that can be lifesaving. If that sounds dramatic, it is!  A simple internet search of “my eye doctor saved my life” generated pages and pages of listings. Take a moment and search it for yourself.  The stories are inspiring!

One story by freelance writer Ann Pietrangelo, on, tells how an eye exam detected a brain tumor in an 8 year old Atlanta resident. After a month-long hospital treatment, she is now a healthy 2nd grader.  Her mother gives her eye exam credit for possibly saving her life!  Want to read more?


Happy Valentine’s Day! The Eye Really Can Be a Window to the Heart!

This Valentine’s Day consider giving your sweetheart something that could be heart saving… an eye exam!  The amazing network of blood vessels that nourish the eye share common characteristics with the vessels of the heart.  An ophthalmologist is able to view the vascular network of the retina by looking through the pupil of the eye with relative ease. Because of the similarities, a look into the eye can offer a limited view into the heart and vascular system.

Arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), Hypertension (high blood pressure) and Diabetes are chronic, systemic health issues that can commonly cause changes in the blood vessels of the retina. For this reason, the ophthalmologist can occasionally be the first one to diagnose these diseases.  If your eye exam reveals signs of a chronic, systemic disease then your eye doctor will refer you to the appropriate medical provider for follow-up.

West Georgia Eye Care Center wants to celebrate Valentine’s Day with you by offering a free eye exam to one lucky winner!! To enter, simply share this blog through one of the social media links below.  You will be sharing important health information and you may win an exam for yourself or a loved one!  We will randomly draw a winner from the list of eligible shares, and the winning name will be announced in our next blog post on Friday, February 17th.

An eye exam may not be on the ‘Top 10’ list for romantic Valentine’s Day gifts, but it may be one of the best things you’ve ever done for your Valentine’s heart!

Rise Up… We Love Our Falcons and Their #1 Fan!

Rise Up! That is the fervent cry of all true Falcons fans who hope that, like the legendary Phoenix, their team will rise from the ashes to win the Super Bowl!  The ashes represent the 51 year span of perseverance with only one Super Bowl visit in 1999, which resulted in a loss to the Denver Broncos.  All of that will change on Sunday when the Falcons are victorious!

Win or Lose, West Georgia Eye Care’s own beloved staff member, Joe Allen, will remain their #1 fan! Joe has made the trip to Atlanta to support his Falcons more times than he can possibly count.  As a card carrying member of the official fan club, he unashamedly paints his face and adorns his red and black at every possible opportunity!

If you doubt that Joe is the Falcon’s best fan, look for his image around Atlanta to prove it. He is featured on a poster at the stadium and the image of his cheering face may even pass you on the road as it is displayed on the city’s buses!

Go Falcons!! Go Joe!!

A recent feature article from explains the difference between the idiom “my apologies”, and the literal expression of “my apologies”. If you are among the majority of us who don’t know the difference, you may enjoy following the link below to read more about it.

At West Georgia Eye Care Center “our apologies” are of the literal kind!

We are sorry for the confusion about insurance issues in the New Year.   Last week we shared that most of the problems you experience with your insurance providers are problems for us too.  Insurance companies formulate their own rules and regulations.  Medical providers have to follow them.  We want to help you see the light at the end of the insurance tunnel and will try our best to assist with questions and concerns.

One comment that some of you have shared with us is your frustration with increased waiting times in January.  It is true that appointments often take a little longer in January.  At the first of the New Year patients are providing new information and updates to their accounts.  Many patients also have questions about their changes and need additional counseling or instruction.  Serving each of you individually with the best care possible can create longer waiting times overall.

Eye exams add insult to injury.! ( That is another idiom, by the way!)  The elements of a thorough eye exam often include special tests and dilation.  The very natures of these specialized features of eye exams are time sensitive.  Many eye exams cannot be completed until dilation is completed.  Some tests require complete dilation while others must be performed before dilation.  We know that your time is valuable, and with concern for that,  we do our best to make your visit as efficient as possible.  Extended time in a waiting room is no one’s idea of a good time, including us!  Adding waiting time to confusing insurance issues can make January seem like an “adding insult to injury” sort of month!



Effective Dates, Available Dates and Headaches!

Cephalalgia is the medical term for headache. There is a diagnostic code in ophthalmology for headache but it is not frequently used.  It is actually uncommon for vision or eye problems to be the cause of headache, and the definition of headache from most medical sources does not even mention the eyes.  The most common underlying culprits of headache are neurological (brain, spine and nerve system), vascular (circulatory system), or muscular (stress headaches).

WGECC Staff: “Mrs. Doe, your insurance company indicates that your out-of-pocket portion for your eye surgery is $800.”

Mrs. Doe: “That must be a mistake!!  I just had my first eye surgery last month and I only paid $400.”

The headaches then start with the back and forth with the insurance company.  Our staff will go above and beyond in trying to meet the needs of our patients but often our hands are tied when negotiating with the insurance providers.  Insurance changes in the first month of a new year, and there are hundreds of providers with multiple pricing systems.  If a patient had standard Medicare last year, they may have paid $400 out of pocket as their 20% co-pay.  If that same patient opted into a new plan effective in the New Year, then the co-pay amount for the same surgery, with the same doctor, at the same center may be much more.

You may want to have some extra Tylenol on hand, because regardless of the co-pay amount, there are other insurance particulars that come into play…. for instance, if there is a delay from the “effective” date of a provider change to the “available” date of the funds, the patient may be surprised that they are required to make the payment in full!  The patient will subsequently be able to submit for reimbursement from the insurance company after the “available” date.  This means that your money is tied up until the insurance process is completed.

No matter how much we would like to, we can’t fix all of the issues with changes in insurance providers and policies. We can explain your charges to you and help you understand who to contact about your benefits.   We are here to provide the highest quality eye care possible, and then also to help as best we can with insurance headaches in January 2017 and throughout the year!

Resolve to Know Your Risk of Glaucoma!

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Learn if you’re at risk for glaucoma:

Who’s at risk?

  • People of African-American, Asian, or Latino descent
  • Those with a family history of glaucoma or optic nerve diseases
  • Those with health conditions like diabetes
  • People with abnormally high eye pressure
  • People who have experienced a severe eye injury

Would I know?

“Most people who have glaucoma don’t notice symptoms until they begin to lose some vision. But vision loss from glaucoma can be prevented if it’s detected and treated in time,” says Dr. Bret Crumpton, one of the fellowship-trained glaucoma specialists at West Georgia Eye Care Center. “As part of Glaucoma Awareness Month in January, we urge you to get a complete eye exam if you’re at risk for developing glaucoma.”

What to do?

If you are in a risk group and have not had an eye exam in the last year consider following up with the appropriate care. We have two fellowship trained Glaucoma specialists at West Georgia Eye Care. Dr. Bret Crumpton and Dr. Casey Geringer are both welcoming new patients. Glaucoma screening is always part of a complete eye exam. Call 706-323-3491 to make an appointment today!

Testimonials, Trust and Tennyson

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering ‘it will be happier…”

                                                                                                                           ~Alfred Tennyson 


The start of a New Year is a time of reflection for some, of resolution for others. At West Georgia Eye Care Center and McLean Dermatology we are reflecting on the year just passed and we resolve to keep our commitment to excellence with a spirit of service.  We are grateful for all of the encouragement that you, our patients, have shared with us through your kind expressions, posts and ratings on the internet:


Prepare for the best eye care visit you ever had!”

                        “LOVE…LOVE…LOVE THIS EYE CENTER AND MY DOCTORS!!!”

                        “I have all the confidence in the world in West Georgia Eye Care!”

                        “Always nice and helpful!”


It is a joy to read your testimonials! We love being “the place” for you to come for the “very best eye care”.   It is a blessing to us when we hear that you “feel blessed” to have found us.  Knowing that you are “very happy with the results” of your patient experience means everything to us.  Hearing these things from wonderful patients like you makes the words of Tennyson true for us as “Hope Smiles” on our New Year!

We hope to hear more from you in 2017!  Visit us on Facebook:



Optical Illusion? Our End of Year Puzzler for you!

Photo gone viral…

If you cruise the internet and social media, you have probably seen a photo of 6 Packers fans seated together on a couch. In the photo the 6 ladies appear to have only 5 pairs of legs among them.  The picture has gone viral and is being called an Optical Illusion.  There have been numerous guesses at where the missing pair of legs is hiding.  An article that seems to have a plausible explanation for the visual puzzle has been trending on

Puzzle solved…

Click below to see the picture and to learn their theory:

Try to solve ours…

We thought it would be fun to recreate our own version of the picture with staff from our North Satellite office! It is our way of ending the year 2016 on a fun note to wish you a Happy New Year!  Do you see what we see?  6 beautiful smiles but only 5 pairs of legs!  Want to guess how we managed our illusion?  We welcome your posts on our Facebook page!

#opticalillusion  #missinglegs  #happynewyear  #funpuzzler


May God bless you with many moments of joy during this holiday season.  Our prayer is that your Christmas will be healthy, happy and filled with love.

This is how God showed his love among us;  He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him.  1 John 4:9