Palmer, MA:
1504 North Main Street
Palmer, MA 01069
Fax: 413.283.5396
Ludlow, MA:
362 Sewall Street
Ludlow, MA 01056
Fax: 413.547.8933
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Services & Procedures

No-Stitch Cataract Surgery | Glaucoma | Diabetic Retinotherapy | Dry Eye | Dry Eye Treatments | Eye Exams | Optical Shop

At the office of Peter J. Kelly, M.D., we dedicate an enthusiastic team of technicians, administrative staff and office management to provide you with a comfortable and efficient experience as you tend to your eye care needs. Of course, our team also serves as a steady and skilled support team to our doctors, as well.

If you ever have questions or concerns about your needs or would like to comment on any aspect of our service to you, please contact us at any time.

No-Stitch Cataract Surgery

A cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye which interferes with light passing through to the retina. This clouding causes images to appear blurred or fuzzy and can be compared to a window that is frosted. Night halos, excessive glare or double vision are other common complaints. Cataracts are often the result of the natural aging process and are most commonly found in people over the age of 60. Most age-related cataracts progress gradually over a period of years. However, cataracts can be diagnosed earlier as a result of disease, trauma to the eye, medications or they can be inherited.

Ophthalmologists must dilate the pupil to examine the lens in order to determine if a cataract is present. Once it has been diagnosed, the natural lens must be surgically removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocuclar lens (IOL) in order to restore clear vision. There is no known treatment to prevent the development of cataracts.

Peter J. Kelly, M.D. performs the most advanced cataract surgery known as phacoemulsification. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis under local or topical anesthesia. A complete physical examination is required prior to surgery to ensure the patients overall health. During surgery, using high energy sound waves through an ultrasound emitting probe, the cataract is broken into tiny, microscopic pieces and gently suctioned from the eye. The procedure is performed through a small incision which is self sealing and requires no stitching. Not only is this safer for the patient, but it also produces less discomfort and recovery is quicker. An artificial replacement lens is then inserted through the incision and unfolded in place. This intraocular lens focuses light rays directly onto the retina to produce clear, sharp images just as the natural lens did. Most people experience improved vision immediately following surgery and are able to return to their normal activities within a couple of days.

Dr. Kelly utilizes the monofocal and multifocal intraocular lens. To correct distant vision only, patients will select a monofocal lens. Most patients who choose this lens will require reading glasses to correct their near vision.

A multifocal lens is used to correct distance and reading vision. In most cases, patients who choose this lens will not need glasses to read.

To find out if you are a candidate for cataract surgery and which lens is best for you, you will need a complete eye exam by Dr. Kelly. Please call the office at 413-283-3511, option 2, to schedule an appointment.

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Glaucoma is the leading cause of adult blindness after age-related macular degeneration.  It is a group of eye diseases that gradually steal sight without warning.  In the early stages, there may be no obvious symptoms.  Vision loss is caused by damage to the optic nerve.  The main cause of this optic nerve damage is high pressure within the eye, also known as intraocular pressure or IOP.  Although IOP is clearly a risk factor, other factors are involved because even people with “normal” levels of pressure can experience vision loss from glaucoma.

There is no cure for glaucoma – yet.  However, medication or surgery can slow or prevent further vision loss.  The appropriate treatment depends on the type of glaucoma among other factors.  Early detection is vital to stopping the progress of the disease.

Dr. Kelly offers a progressive laser treatment for glaucoma called Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty or SLT.  Intraocular pressure in the eye is reduced using this laser treatment.  SLT is an office procedure using anesthetic drops to numb your eye and only takes a few minutes.  The process stimulates the body’s own healing response to lower the pressure in the eye.

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Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes occurs when your body does not generate enough insulin to properly regulate your blood sugar level.  This disease, which can occur in both adults and children, poses many threats to your vision.  Diabetic retinopathy is the deteriorating effect that diabetes has on your eyes.  Patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes need to have regular comprehensive eye exams by an ophthalmologist to monitor and properly treat their diabetic retinopathy.

One type of diabetic retinopathy is referred to as background diabetic retinopathy, which is the earliest or initial phase.  The disease begins to weaken the arteries in the eye causing them to leak fluid and swell.  Most patients do not experience any significant symptoms during this stage.  Proliferative diabetic retinopathy is the second type of diabetic retinopathy. The retina experiences a lack of oxygen due to the inability of the weakened arteries to effectively circulate blood through the retina.  This causes new blood vessels to form and patient can experience a significant decrease in vision.  Untreated, the vessels will continue to grow and break forming scar tissue which may result in more serious conditions.

It is important for patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes to be carefully evaluated yearly by an ophthalmologist or eye M.D. 

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Dry Eye

The eye depends on the flow of tears to provide constant moisture and lubrication to maintain vision and comfort.  Tears are a combination of water for moisture, oils for lubrication, mucus for even spreading and antibodies and special proteins for resistance to infection.  These components are secreted by special glands located around the eye.  When there is an imbalance in this tear system, you may experience dry eyes. When tears do not adequately lubricate your eyes, you may experience pain,  light sensitivity, a gritty sensation, a feeling of a foreign body or sand in the eye, itching, redness or blurring of vision.

Sometimes, a person with dry eye will have excess tears running down the cheeks, which may seem confusing.  This happens when the eye isn’t getting enough lubrication.  The eye sends a distress signal through the nervous system for more lubrication.  In response the eye is flooded with tears to try to compensate for the underlying dryness.  However, these tears are mostly water and do not have the lubricating qualities or the rich composition of normal tears.  They will wash debris away, but they will not coat the eye surface properly.

In addition to an imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye, dry eyes can be caused by situations that dry out the tear film.  This can be due to dry air from air conditioning, heat or other environmental conditions.  Other condition that may cause dry eyes are:

      ▪ The natural aging process, especially menopause.
      ▪ Side effects of certain medications such as antihistamines and birth control pills.
      ▪ Diseases that affect the ability to make tears, such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis and collagen vascular diseases.
      ▪ Structural problems with the eyelids that don’t allow them to close properly.

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Although dry eyes cannot be cured, there are a number of steps that can be taken to treat them. 

Artificial tear drops and ointments.   The use of artificial teardrops is the primary treatment for dry eye.  Artificial teardrops are available over the counter.  Since no one drop works for everyone, you might have to experiment to find the drop that works best for you.  If you have chronic dry eye, it is important to use the drops even when your eyes feel fine to keep them lubricated. 

Temporary punctual occlusion.  Sometimes it is necessary to close the ducts that drain tears out of the eye.  A plug is inserted into the tear duct that will dissolve over a few days .  This is a painless procedure and will determine whether permanent plugs can provide an adequate supply of tears.

Permanent punctual occlusion.  If temporary plugs work well, then silicone plugs (punctual occlusion) may be used.  The plugs will hold tears around the eyes as long as they are in place.  They can be removed and rarely, come out spontaneously.  Many patients find that the plugs improve comfort and reduce the need for artificial tears.

Restasis. In 2002, the FDA approved the prescription eye drop Restasis for the treatment of chronic dry eye.  It is currently the only prescription eye drop that helps your eyes increase their own tear production with continued use. 

Other medications.  Other medications, including topical steroids, may also be beneficial in some cases.

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Eye Exams - What to Expect

Dr. Kelly and Dr. Dorans use a wide variety of tests and procedures to examine your eyes.  These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using a high-powered lens to visualize the tiny structures inside of your eyes.

A comprehensive eye exam can take an hour or more depending on the complexity of tests required to fully evaluate your vision and the health of your eyes.

The following are a few tests you are likely to encounter during a routine comprehensive eye exam:

Visual Acuity Tests: Visual acuity tests measure the sharpness of your vision.  These are performed using a projected eye chart to measure your distance visual acuity and a small, hand-held chart to measure your near vision.

Color Blindness Test: This screening test is performed early in a comprehensive eye exam to rule out color blindness.

Cover Test: While focusing on an object across the room, each of your eyes, alternately, will be covered while you stare at the target.

Retinoscopy: This test is performed to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.  It is especially useful for children and patients who are unable to accurately answer questions.

Refraction: A refraction determines your exact eyeglass prescription.

Slit-Lamp Examination: The slit lamp is an instrument used to examine the health of your eyes.

Glaucoma Test: This test measures the pressure in your eyes.

Pupil Dilation: Eye drops (dilating  drops) are instilled in your eyes to enlarge your pupils to get a better view of the eye’s internal structures.  When your pupils are dilated (it usually takes at least 10 minutes), you may be sensitive to light which can last several hours.  We recommend that you bring sunglasses to wear after the exam or even bring a driver.  Optional reversing drops are available to help clear your vision sooner.

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Optical Shop

We offer full service optical shops in our Palmer and Ludlow offices.  We have our own laboratory that allows us to control the quality and workmanship of the eyeglasses we produce.  We use only the finest lens materials available, whether for progressive lenses, high index lenses (thin lenses) or standard bifocals and single vision.

We have hundreds of frames to choose from to accommodate every budget.  We carry many of the most popular designer lines and have a full selection for men, women and children.  We also carry a large selection of sunglasses featuring Ray Ban, Maui Jim, Bolle’, Serengeti and Carrera.

We are also a distributor of Bushnell Optics binoculars, range finders and telescopes.  We also carry all sorts of sport glasses and we are a distributor for AO industrial safety OSHA approved eyewear.

Please feel free to come in and try on our frames and ask any questions that you may have about eyewear.

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