Friday, 18 September 2020


Dr. Carl Awh has been named President of the American Society of Retina Specialists, the largest organization of retina specialists in the world. Dr. Awh has been a member of the board of directors of the ASRS since 2004 and a member of its Executive Committee since 2012.

Read more about Dr. Awh and his many other professional affiliations here

Posted on 09/18/2020 10:00 AM by Dena Beck
Friday, 04 September 2020


September is National Cholesterol Education Month. If you or someone you know experiences high levels of cholesterol, this may be a good time to get checked and take the appropriate steps to lower it. High levels of cholesterol can affect your eyes and may lead to vasular problems in the retina.  High cholesterol is one of many health conditions that are risks for the development of one or more retinal vascular diseases.  Among Tennessee Retina's esteemed physicians, Eric Schneider M.D. shares facts about these vascular diseases in this month’s educational spotlight to promote 2020: The Year of Excellent Vision. Read it HERE

Posted on 09/04/2020 9:12 AM by Kayla Patt
Friday, 21 August 2020

Learning more about Pediatric Retina for Children's Eye Health and Safety Month.
Keeping your children’s eyes safe is a huge part in maintaining healthy vision. Knowing what pediatric retinal diseases are and how to detect early signs are important factors in preventing vision loss. The most common problems with children’s eyes may not be retina related, so examination by your regular eye care professional is key for diagnosis. Read more about Pediatric Retina in this month's Educational Spotlight HERE.

Posted on 08/21/2020 2:59 PM by Kayla Patt
Wednesday, 29 July 2020

What does 20/20 actually mean?

20/20 vision is not perfect vision. However, it does mean that an individual has eyesight which is 
more or less statistically average or "normal." A person can also have 20/15 vision, which is sharper than 
average. The goal of glasses, contacts, or corrective surgery is to bring a person's vision as close to 
20/20 as possible. 

20/20 vision is a term used to express the clarity or sharpness of vision measured at a distance of 20 feet. 
For example, if you have 20/100 vision, it means that you must be as close as 20 feet to see what a 
person with unimpaired vision can see at 100 feet. Fortunately, in our world of technology, there are mulitple resources and tools available to aid those who experience "low vision" due to various 
conditions. Start your search with our list of links.

Posted on 07/29/2020 12:11 PM by Kayla Patt
Saturday, 20 June 2020

Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week
The last week of June is dedicated to Helen Keller Deaf-Blind Awareness Week, and the mission is to build deeper connections with people in the deaf-blind community. Connections begin by learning more about the conditions that cause Deaf-Blindness, such as Usher Syndrome, CHARGE syndrome and Stickler Syndrome, and by developing a better understanding of how people with these conditions thrive in their communities. Tennessee Retina dedicates this week to recognize our patients with these rare conditions, and we encourage everyone to explore these listed websites, experience the success stories and learn what resources are available to those with Deaf-Blind conditions. 

(PDFs courtesy of

Posted on 06/20/2020 7:51 AM by Kayla Patt
Friday, 05 June 2020

Virtual VisionWalk Toolkit  

Tennessee Retina is proud to be a sponsor for the Foundation Fighting Blindness VisionWalk again this year. Although the walk looks a little different, the fun is still the same! The activities will officially kick off at 10:45am (CT) TOMORROW June 6th and you won't want to miss it! To help you get involved, we have joined the foundation in providing fun activities for you and your family.   

You can also follow along on all the events by joining the live stream at and follow @FoundationFightingBlindness throughout the day on social media for special messages, challenges, and to see how others are celebrating around the country using the tag #VisionWalkStrong 

Visit our team page to donate or join us in the virtual walk!  

ToolKit Activities:
Scavenger Hunt
Kids Bingo

Photos from our past VisionWalks!

Posted on 06/05/2020 10:13 AM by Kayla Patt
Tuesday, 05 May 2020

Vision Health for All Ages  

Taking care of your eyes should be a priority just like eating healthy and physical activity. Healthy vision can help keep you safe each day. To keep your eyes healthy, get a comprehensive dilated eye exam to check for common vision problems and eye diseases. It’s the best way to find out if you are in the early stages of any eye-related diseases. 

Ways you can help protect your vision 

  1. Get regular comprehensive dilated eye exams. 

  2. Know your family’s eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition, since some are hereditary. 

  3. Eat right to protect your sight and maintain a healthy weight. 

  4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home, such as painting, yard work, and home repairs. 

  5. Quit smoking or never start. 

  6. Wear sunglasses that block 99 percent-100 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation. 

  7. Wash your hands before taking out your contacts  to avoid infection. 

  8. Practice workplace eye safety. 

Eyes and Overall Health 

Taking care of your eyes may also benefit your overall health. Vision problems and general health conditions go hand-in-hand. People with vision problems are more likely to also have conditions such as diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and strokes, as well as have increased risk for falls, injury and depression. 

In addition to your comprehensive dilated eye exams, visit an eye care professional if you have 

  • Decreased vision 

  • Eye pain 

  • Persistent drainage or redness of the eye 

  • Double vision 

  • Diabetes 

  • Increased Floaters (tiny specks that appear to float before your eyes) 

  • Circles (halos) around light sources 

  • Flashes of light 

For Healthy Vision Month, remember to take care of your eyes to make them last a lifetime. 

Posted on 05/05/2020 10:18 AM by Kayla Patt
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
Life is busy and sometimes that means putting your yearly eye exam on the back burner, especially in these difficult times. This is especially true for many women who multitask and take care of those around them.   Health deficiencies and the effect of stress on hormones can lead to chronic health problems.  When it comes to vision, women make up the majority of the 4.4 million Americans age 40 and older who are visually impaired or blind.  More women than men have age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. These numbers can continue to increase in the years to come. Let this month be a reminder for women to monitor vision and to contact your eye care professional if you notice significant changes in your vision. 

Posted on 04/07/2020 10:13 AM by Kayla Patt
Thursday, 05 March 2020

Taking care of our employees like we take care of our patients.

Like so many others, Tennessee Retina has several employees and their families affected by the tornadoes of 3/3/2020. For over 40 years, the doctors and staff of Tennessee Retina (TNR) have served the communities of central Tennessee and southern Kentucky. We can proudly say that our employees have helped save the vision and quality of life for tens of thousands of patients through the years. Our employees are selfless, compassionate and talented caregivers. Please join us in providing support for our employees via GoFundMe and through your thoughts, prayers and compassion.

Posted on 03/05/2020 12:15 PM by Dena Beck
Monday, 02 March 2020

A new policy from Blue Cross Blue Shield of TN could severely impact patient care.  Hear one patient share her fears about how this change could affect her vision and her quality of life.  See the story of how Tennessee Retina is pushing back against a worrisome insurance policy in order to protect patients with vision-threatening diseases.


Posted on 03/02/2020 12:21 PM by Dena Beck
Thursday, 06 February 2020

Learning more about Uveitis and Scleritis 

Eye redness, light sensitivity, floaters in the vision, flashing lights and blurry vision can all be symptoms of more serious inflammatory conditions. Ocular Inflammatory specialist, Akshay Thomas, MD, at Tennessee Retina, shares facts about Uveitis and Scleritis in this month’s educational spotlight to promote a Year of Excellent Vision. Read it here

Posted on 02/06/2020 12:20 PM by Kayla Patt
Friday, 17 January 2020

Have you heard the news? Tennessee Retina is excited to announce the relocation of our Crossville office to 39 Lantana Road. We will start seeing patients here on Friday, January 24th. 
We are proud to continue serving the patients of Crossville and surrounding areas, and we are grateful for your continued support. Please visit for more information or call us with any questions (615) 983-6000. 

Posted on 01/17/2020 3:06 PM by Kayla Patt
Thursday, 19 December 2019

Tennessee Retina is gearing up for 2020 by ensuring that everyone has access to the tools and information necessary to make eye health a "focus" throughout the year. 
Healthy eyes are important, but are often overlooked as a part of overall health. Despite the preventable nature of some visual impairments, many people don't get the recommended screenings.  A visit to your eye care professional is a great place to start for detection of any common vision problems and eye diseases. Common vision problems often have no warning signs, and with the correct treatment and early response actions, vision loss can be minimized to help ensure you are seeing life to its full potential. Healthy vision can help keep people safe when behind the wheel, and strengthens the ability to continue to participate in sports or work on the job or around the home. Good vision also helps to ensure a healthy and active lifestyle well into a person’s later years. Educating and engaging families, communities, and the Nation is imperative to ensuring people have the information, resources, and tools needed to maintain good eye health. In 2020, Tennessee Retina is encouraging everyone to make good eye health their new goal this year!

 Follow these eye health tips in your daily routine: 

-Eat Healthy: Include leafy green vegetables and foods with antioxidants and other nutritional value 

-Quit Smoking: It makes you more likely to get cataracts, damage to your optic nerve, and macular degeneration, among many other medical problems. 

-Wear Sunglasses: The right pair of shades will help protect your eyes from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays. Too much UV exposure boosts your chances of cataracts and macular degeneration. 

-Use Safety Eyewear: If you use hazardous or airborne materials on the job or at home, wear safety glasses or protective goggles. If you or your child plays sports, ensure they wear the proper eye protection to prevent eye injuries. 

-Visit Your Eye Doctor Regularly: Everyone needs a regular eye exam, even young children. It helps protect your sight and lets you see your best. Eye exams can also find retina diseases that have no symptoms and catch them early on. 

Information courtesy of 

Posted on 12/19/2019 7:23 AM by Kayla Patt
Wednesday, 27 November 2019

You may know that November is Diabetes Awareness Month, but did you know that November is also Diabetic Eye Disease Month?
People with diabetes can also develop an eye disease called diabetic retinopathy. This is a complication of diabetes that is caused by damage to the blood vessels of the retina. Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of irreversible blindness in working age Americans, and it occurs in more than half the people who develop diabetes. Early stages of diabetic retinopathy can be damaging without causing any symptoms. Anyone who has diabetes is at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, which is why doctors recommend diabetics have a yearly, dilated eye exam within a year of being diagnosed with diabetes, regardless of age.  People living with diabetes should also be aware of possible symptoms. 

Symptoms include:  

  • Blurred or double vision 
  • Difficulty reading 
  • The appearance of spots or “floaters” in your vision 
  • A shadow across the field of vision 
  • Eye pain or pressure 
  • Difficulty with color perception 

Regular eye exams by an eye doctor are important for everyone, but especially for those who are at a higher risk for diabetic retinopathy or diabetes. The earlier a problem is detected, the sooner treatment can begin to prevent vision loss.  
Information courtesy of The Foundation of the American Society of Retina Specialists. 

Posted on 11/27/2019 7:09 AM by Kayla Patt
Monday, 21 October 2019

The American Academy of Ophthalmologists sponsors Eye Injury Prevention Month every October to reinforce the importance of preventing accidents and injury. 
Believe it or not, the average home is full of potential dangers that easily go unnoticed. Accidents involving household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year, and nearly half of all eye injuries occur in and around the home.  Experts claim that more than 90 percent of eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear and taking some simple precautions. Goggles or safety glasses should be worn while doing yard work, using power tools and playing sports. The most effective eyewear should be snug with a wrap-style frame to keep airborne particles from getting behind the lenses. Always be sure to store sharp objects correctly and use them responsibly.  
Your vision is irreplaceable, so treat it with care. Eye injury risk increases with factors such as being rushed, feeling tired, performing an unfamiliar task or being distracted. Protecting your eyes from injury is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your vision healthy throughout your life. 

(Source: Get Eye Smart). 

Posted on 10/21/2019 12:32 PM by Kayla Patt
Thursday, 03 October 2019
Dr. Carl Awh has been named President-Elect of the American Society of Retina Specialists, the largest organization of retina specialists in the world. Dr. Awh has been a member of the board of directors of the ASRS since 2004 and a member of its Executive Committee since 2012.
Posted on 10/03/2019 4:13 PM by Kayla Patt
Wednesday, 25 September 2019

September is the beginning of fall, football, and healthy aging! That's right, September is Healthy Aging Month, and that means it's time to focus on all of the positive aspects of growing older and taking care of yourself-physically, socially and mentally. It's never too late to get started on taking care of your health, and September is the perfect time to do it! The mission of Healthy Aging Month is to encourage the practice of remaining active and taking control of your health to allow you to accomplish more of what you want to do. Here are a few quick tips on practicing healthy aging:  

-Workout! It's important to keep your body active through exercising, dancing, walking, swimming, running. 

-Get checkups! Regular checkups are essential in making sure that your body is operating correctly  and able to keep up with your lifestyle. Make sure to get regular eye checkups as well to manage diseases such as Macular Degeneration  and Diabetic Retinopathy, which are most commonly found in aging eyes.  

-Drink water! Keeping your body hydrated is a key role in providing energy and keeping your complexion looking younger.  

-Create community! Staying social is important for your mental health. Having friends support you makes getting involved and being active a lot easier. Try looking for community events, classes, or social gatherings to meet new people.  

Posted on 09/25/2019 12:41 PM by Kayla Patt
Monday, 16 September 2019

Tennessee Retina is proud to be a local sponsor of the 2019 JDRF One Walk on Sept 28th! 

Join our team or donate to JDRF by going to 
For more information on JDRF visit the local chapter site. 

JDRF One Walk is a fun, family friendly event where dedicated walkers, volunteers and sponsors raise money to make living with T1D safer and healthier, until it is no longer a threat. We welcome everyone to take part—whether you choose to walk on your own or with a family, corporate or school team. As the largest T1D event in the world, it's also an amazing experience filled with activities, entertainment and the celebration of coming together to change the future for everyone living with this disease. 

As the leading global organization funding T1D research, JDRF's mission is to accelerate life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications. 

By raising money and awareness, you'll help make a world without T1D a reality. 

Posted on 09/16/2019 3:23 PM by Kayla Patt
Monday, 19 August 2019

Learning about Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)

Children with ROP are at a higher risk for developing certain eye problems later in life, according to the National Eye Institute. Retinopathy of Prematurity is a potentially blinding disorder that typically develops in both eyes, and primarily affects premature infants. The smaller a baby is at birth, the more likely that baby will develop ROP. However, not all premature babies will develop ROP. Classified by 5 stages ranging from mild to severe, a mild case of ROP typically improves, leaves no permanent damage and will not require treatment. However, in more severe cases, infants can develop impaired vision or blindness. Retinopathy of Prematurity occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow and spread throughout the retina. These vessels are fragile and can leak, scarring the retina and pulling it out of position. This causes a retinal detachment. The most effective treatments of ROP are laser therapy or cryotherapy; both treatments destroy the peripheral areas of the retina in order to slow or reverse the abnormal growth of blood vessels.

ROP is one of many conditions that our Pediatric Retina Specialist treats.  It is important to monitor your child's health and seek medical attention if you discover any abnormalities with your pregnancy or in your child's vision.

For more information about ROP, click here 
Courtesy of this article and information proved to the National Eye Institute

Posted on 08/19/2019 9:53 AM by Kayla Patt
Monday, 22 July 2019

Tennessee Retina strongly promotes eye safety and believes that ocular eye injuries should be taken seriously year-round, and that means protecting your sight whether you're at work, playing sports, or at home doing yard work. With close to 2.5 million eye injuries occurring each year, it's time to be serious about your vision. For example, the importance of wearing the proper eye protection to ward against UV damage is more complicated than you think. UV damage can occur not only by direct UV exposure, but by reflections of the UV by glasses and sunglasses. Chronic UV effects on the cornea and lens are cumulative, so effective UV protection of the eyes such as wide-brim hats or protective coatings on lenses is important for all age groups and should be used systematically.   

It's important to understand the risks that come from UV damage and physical eye injuries. Proper precautions should include consideration for protection of the area around the eye, including the lid, as well as the eye itself. Eye injuries are responsible for a large percentage of monocular blindness in rural communities and found to be a major source of visual impairment in the world of industry. Proper counseling from your regular eye doctor is an important step in eye safety. Your doctor can provide information regarding the details of eye injuries for which you may be at risk and talk to you about the possible treatment and precautionary options. 

Courtesy of the information provided in this journal article are given to: Ophthalmic Epidemiology, and the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health 

Posted on 07/22/2019 10:50 AM by Kayla Patt
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