DIVINE SAVIOR NEWS

Safely Watch the Solar Eclipse

Published by: Rebecca Richmond, COT and Dr. Robert Castrovinci, Ophthalmologist at Divine Savior Healthcare

 http://www.dshealthcare.com/sites/dshealthcare.com/assets/images/News-Events/Total-Solar-Eclipse-Path.jpg

There are many miraculous things about the universe, and on Monday, August 21, 2017, we will get to experience one of them. A solar eclipse will be visible across North America (weather permitting), and those in Wisconsin should have an excellent view. Divine Savior Healthcare Ophthalmology encourages the community to experience this phenomenon, but also stresses the importance of doing so safely.

 


A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the sun and earth and the moon partially or fully blocks the sun's light.  Total eclipses occur about twice a year but are seen in different parts of the globe. 

 

The North American continent will experience a partial eclipse lasting 2 to 3 hours. Halfway through the event, anyone within a roughly 70 mile-wide path from Oregon to South Carolina will experience a brief total eclipse. At that point, the moon will completely cover the face of the sun for up to 2 minutes 40 seconds.

 

Watching a solar eclipse is a memorable experience, but looking directly at the sun, even during an eclipse, can cause serious damage to your eyes. Staring at the sun for even a short time without wearing the right eye protection can permanently damage your retina.  Regular sunglasses do not protect your eyes.

 

There is only one safe way to look directly at the eclipse, and that is by using special purpose solar filters. These solar filters are used in “eclipse glasses” or in hand-held solar viewers. They must meet a very specific worldwide standard known as ISO 12312-2.  These filters are similar to those worn by welders.

 

The intense light and UV radiation from the sun can create enough heat in the eye to damage the retinal cells.  This is called Solar Retinopathy and when it occurs, the retina can be permanently damaged.

 

The total eclipse on August 21, 2017 will occur at approximately 1:15 pm, and last for approximately 2 minutes and 40 seconds. You may notice the effects of the eclipse from about 11:50 am until 2:47pm.  Since Wisconsin is not in the path of the total eclipse those watching here will need solar filters to view the eclipse safely.  The following is a graphic of the eclipse path.  Wisconsin will be in a 0.9 to 0.8 magnitude path, or nearly total.

 

Steps to follow for safely watching a solar eclipse:

  • Carefully check your solar filter or eclipse glasses before using them. If you see any scratches or damage, do not use them. Defects in the lens may permit unfiltered light into your eye and cause permanent damage.
  • Always read and follow all directions that come with the solar filters. Help children to be sure they use handheld solar viewers and eclipse glasses correctly.
  • Before looking up at the sun, stand still and cover your eyes with your eclipse glasses or solar viewer. After glancing at the sun, turn away and remove your filter—do not remove it while looking at the sun.
  • The only time that you can look at the sun without a solar viewer is during a total eclipse. When the moon completely covers the sun’s bright face and it suddenly gets dark, you can remove your solar filter to watch this unique experience. Then, as soon as the bright sun begins to reappear very slightly, immediately use your solar viewer again to watch the remaining partial phase of the eclipse.
  • Never look at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun through an unfiltered camera, telescope, binoculars or other devices. This is important even if you are wearing eclipse glasses or holding a solar viewer at the same time. The intense solar rays coming through these devices will damage the solar filter and your eyes.
  • Please remember, regular sunglasses of any type will not protect your eyes and using them to view the eclipse will cause permanent retinal damage.

 

Phases and Local Madison Times of this Eclipse

Start

Max

End

http://www.dshealthcare.com/sites/dshealthcare.com/assets/images/News-Events/Start-Solar-Eclipse.jpg  http://www.dshealthcare.com/sites/dshealthcare.com/assets/images/News-Events/Max-Solar-Eclipse.jpg  http://www.dshealthcare.com/sites/dshealthcare.com/assets/images/News-Events/End-Solar-Eclipse.jpg

11:50 am Aug 21

1:15 pm Aug 21

2:37 pm Aug 21

If, at any point in time you are concerned that your eyes may have been damaged from intense light or UV radiation, it is recommended to seek medical attention. Dr. Robert Castrovinci, Ophthalmologist at Divine Savior Healthcare is available to see patients regarding this matter and any other eye health related concern. To contact the ophthalmology clinic at Divine Savior for an appointment or information on insurance coverage, please call 608-745-5919.

The Divine Savior Healthcare Gift Shop will have a limited supply of adult eclipse glasses available for purchase starting Monday, July 24th.  The gift shop is open Monday – Friday, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm and can be reached at 608-745-5120.

For more information about where to get the proper eyewear or handheld viewers, check out the American Astronomical Society web site or the NASA web sites.

https://eclipse.aas.org/

https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/

 

All News Items

Newsletters

Experiencing a dull pain in the pit of your stomach

Stomach PainGastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and gallbladder disease are two very common disorders. Knowing which one you have may be trickier than you think. Symptoms may be vague, such as a “dull pain in the pit of your stomach”, making it hard for you to explain to your doctor what’s exactly going on.

At Divine Savior Healthcare, General Surgeons, Dr. Eric Anderson and Dr. Joshua Pogorelec, have seen many patients with these symptoms and after further examination are able to help  diagnose and treat both diseases.

What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD refers to stomach contents moving into the esophagus causing a burning sensation commonly referred to as heartburn. Other symptoms may occur as well, such as pain in the upper abdomen, bloating, nausea and an acid taste in your mouth.  If this continue, prolonged exposure of the esophagus to stomach contents can result in damage to the lining of the esophagus.  This in turn can result in difficulty swallowing, pain with swallowing or permanent damage to the esophagus.

Although not all reflux results in symptoms or damage to the esophagus, common symptoms include:
• Heartburn
• Acid regurgitation
• Belching
• Difficulty or pain when swallowing
• Waterbrash sudden excess of saliva
• Dysphagia the sensation of food sticking in the esophagus
• Chronic sore throat
• Laryngitis
• Inflammation of the gums
• Erosion of the enamel of the teeth
• Chronic irritation in the throat
• Hoarseness in the morning
• A sour taste
• Bad breath
• Coughing at night

What is gallbladder disease?
The gallbladder is located below the liver on the upper right side of the abdomen. The main function of the gallbladder is to store bile, which is made in the liver and allows fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream. Any condition that affects the gallbladder is considered a disease, and there are many different scenarios that fall under gallbladder disease:
• Inflammation
• Gallstones
• Common bile duct stones
• Biliary Dyskinesia
• Infection
• Perforated gallbladder
• Gallbladder polyps
• Porcelain gallbladders
• Gallbladder cancer

Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec share "the most common disease of the gallbladder is gallstones. Most people with gallstones do not even know they have them.  Once they cause problems, the gallbladder may need to be removed. Symptoms include pain below the right rib cage or in the “pit” of the stomach. This pain may radiate to the right upper back, chest, or shoulder. Other symptoms may include, bloating, nausea or vomiting, fever or chills, chronic diarrhea, jaundice yellow-tinted skin, or unusual lighter-colored stools or dark urine.”

After taking a closer look at GERD and gallbladder disease, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec are able to provide helpful insight on common distinguishing factors between the two diseases.

Common distinguishing factors:
• Location: Although both may feel like a “pit in your stomach”, if you experience symptoms located closer to your throat or in your chest it is more likely to be GERD related. Symptoms located near your right lower rib radiating into your right upper back, chest and shoulder are more likely to be associated to your gallbladder.
• Pain: Unlike GERD, gallbladder pain usually begins suddenly, and changing positions, belching, passing gas or taking medications rarely helps pain symptoms go away.
• Timing: With heartburn being the most common symptom of GERD, symptoms of reflux are likely to occur shortly after eating, where symptoms of gallbladder disease usually occurs several hours after eating and have more consistent patterns of reoccurrence the same time each day.

What does treatment look like?
The symptoms of GERD are commonly and effectively treated with over-the-counter medications such as anti-acids and proton pump inhibitors. However, if relief does not go away from these medications your provider may recommend you be evaluated by one of our surgeons at Divine Savior.

After a thorough history and physical, our surgeons may recommend further evaluation of the esophagus and stomach with endoscopy.  Similar to colonoscopy, but without the need for prep, upper endoscopy allows the surgeon to visualize the esophagus, stomach and intestine to evaluate for damage to the esophagus, infection and a hiatal hernia.  Depending on the findings, further testing may be indicated to evaluate the function of the esophagus. 

Patients with severe GERD benefit from surgery to prevent reflux from occurring.  This procedure is commonly performed by both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec, is minimally invasive, and very effective at treating GERD.  In fact, most patients no longer require any antacid medications after the procedure.

If you are found to have stones in the gallbladder causing symptoms, the best course of action is to have the gallbladder removed.  Leaving the stones in place will continue to cause pain and may result in serious infection of the gallbladder and bile ducts, jaundice or pancreatitis. 

Both Dr. Anderson and Dr. Pogorelec routinely perform minimally invasive removal of the gallbladder.  This is most often an outpatient procedure and very successful.  After a short recovery, most patients will find their symptoms are gone and they are able to live a normal life. 

If you experience symptoms related to GERD or gallbladder disease, or have concerns about either, it is best to consult your provider for further examination. Treatment for either disease varies person to person, but taking action immediately and being properly treated can help you prevent problems from worsening.

To schedule an appointment with Divine Savior Healthcare General Surgeons, Dr. Anderson or Dr. Pogorelec, call 608-745-5176.

All News Items