Cataract Awareness Month – Everything You Need To Know

Cataract Awareness Month – Everything You Need To Know

Prevent Blindness America has declared June, Cataract Awareness Month. The statistics are staggering about cataracts.

  • 24 million Americans over the age of 40 are affected by cataracts.
  • By age 75, approximately half of all Americans develop cataracts.
  • Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world!
  • Cataracts account for 51% of all vision loss in the world, representing 20 million people (2010).
  • The US spends $10.7 Billion per year treating cataracts.

The good news is that cataract surgery is one of the safest and most effective surgeries with a success rate of 95%!

We’ve compiled a list for you of all you need to know about cataracts from our website. Videos, articles, interactive booklet, and an assessment quiz, giving you a better idea of the treatment and more.

Cataract Surgery

Interactive Booklet, article, and videos.

Dropless Cataract Surgery

Article and patient story.

Do I Need Cataract Surgery?

Article, video, and online self-assessment.

To schedule an appointment with us, call (815) 932-2020 to get your eyes evaluated.

For even more information, visit or the My Cataracts by Alcon Facebook page.

Pituitary Tumors And How They Can Detected By An Eye Exam

Pituitary Tumors And How They Can Detected By An Eye Exam

The pituitary gland is a pea sized organ located in the middle of the brain. It produces hormones that regulate throughout our body and help to stimulate other glands in hormone production. A pituitary tumor forms when there is an abnormal growth of cells within the pituitary gland. The instance of one is almost always benign, but if the pituitary tumor reaches a large size (a macroadenoma) it will impact the function of the structures around it including the eyes.  

How Pituitary Tumors Impact Vision

The pituitary gland itself does not have a direct impact on our vision, however the growth of a pituitary tumor can exert pressure on the eyes, which in turn causes changes in vision. What’s worse, if a pituitary tumor is left untreated it could result in permanent loss of vision. 

Signs and Symptoms of a Large Pituitary Tumor:

The following are symptoms which you might notice if you experience vision problems due to a pituitary tumor:

  • Headaches
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Dizziness
  • Eye muscle weakness (eyes are not working together)
  • Facial pain or numbness
  • Sudden loss of vision
  • Loss of consciousness 

Pressure applied by the tumor to the optic chiasm (where the optic nerves meet) could result in loss of vision to both eyes. Whereas, tension to the nerves can cause weakness of the eye muscles, resulting in double vision. 

When the optic nerve is compressed, patients can develop loss of peripheral vision gradually over time. This is not always noticeable to the patient. Yet another reason why a regular eye exam is so important for everyone. Here at Fisher Swale Nicholson Eye Center our doctors can perform visual field testing, optic nerve scans, muscle balance testing, as well as a detailed dilated exam.

Please call Fisher Swale Nicholson Eye Center today at 815-932-2020 to schedule your routine eye exam. 

The Top Nine Benefits of Visian ICL

The Top Nine Benefits of Visian ICL

Visian ICL (impantable collamer lens) is considered an Evolution in Visual Freedom™. Here at Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center, we’re always keeping up with the cutting edge technics, technology, and vision correction options of the times to give our patients access to visual freedom without having to go far. We want our patients to truly master their view.

Here is a visual list that covers the nine benefits of Visian ICL to make the case for why you should choose it over PRK and Lasik.

1. Quick and Easy

Patients can usually expect a 20-30 minute procedure or less and most people are able to resume daily activities in just a few short days with clearer vision.

2. HD Results

Visian ICL allows you to enjoy a new level of vision that’s sharper, clearer, more vivid, and has greater depth and dimension. Night vision is also improved with no induction of halos or glare.

3. Low Maintenance

There is no daily maintenance as with traditional contact lenses, and no concern of problems from daily activities such as swimming and sports. What’s not to like?

4. Invisible

Unlike other lenses, the Visian ICL is made from Collamer, a technologically advanced lens material—biocompatible with your body chemistry.

Unlike a contact lens, the intraocular contact lenses (ICL) goes inside the eye, behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). And once in place, the lenses cannot be seen or felt.

5. Removable

In the event of a major prescription change or the availability of new vision correction options, Visian ICL is completely removable.

6. UV Protective

By gently inserting our ICL into the eye we’re able to create a barrier of UV protection. The Collamer material that makes up our ICLs has unique properties that provide UV protection while letting natural visible light pass through unaltered.

7. Suited to High Demands

Since 2006, the Visian ICL has been improving the vision of the bravest people in our nation under harsh conditions. In fact surgeons in the (U.S.) military have implanted nearly 10,000 Visian ICLs with exceptional results. If the Visian ICL can meet the demands of soldiers in the US Military, imagine what it can do for you!

8. Won’t Disappoint

With a very high patient satisfaction rating of 99.4%, you know you won’t be disappointed.

9. Enhances Quality of Life

With vision no longer being a problem or a hinderance in your life, Visian ICL allows you to enjoy life more and focus on what’s important. You’ll be able to do more of the acitivies you felt limited to do before and enjoy the things you love most immeasurably more.

How To Tell If You Have High Cholesterol With An Eye Exam

How To Tell If You Have High Cholesterol With An Eye Exam

Your eyes are the window to your arteries. With a good dilated exam, your doctor can see if you have cholesterol build up in the vessels of your eyes. This build up can form plaque, causing blockage much like a blockage that occurs in the heart. This blockage stops the flow of blood to and from the eye, causing a possible stroke.  

A stroke to the eye, otherwise known as a retinal vein occlusion occurs when the connection between the optic nerve and your brain is blocked. This can cause irreversible loss of vision. Even worse, this plaque could break off and travel to the brain causing a stroke that can affect your motor skills, memory, speech impairment and even death. Early detection and treatment is very important to preserve your vision and quality of life. 

In the event that a doctor determines there is plaque in the eye, the patient will be sent for further testing. Our doctors here at Fisher Swale Nicholson Eye Center will work with your primary care physician and cardiologist to help if a course of action is needed for treatment.

Other Signs of High Cholesterol In The Eyes

Less serious signs of cholesterol seen in the eyes are bluish colored rings around the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye. This condition is known as arcus senilis and does not interfere with your vision but could be an indicator of high cholesterol. 

Another indicator of high cholesterol is xanthelasma. These are yellow colored elevated spots found on the skin around the eye lids and nasal area. This condition is not harmful and does not impair your vision.

Our eyes are the only place that our blood vessels can be observed without cutting into the body. Valuable information regarding our health can be detected through a routine eye exam. An eye exam cannot only give you a better quality of life, it can save your life.

Call Fisher Swale Nicholson Eye Center today at 815-932-2020 to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.

Thyroid Eye Disease, A Far Reaching Autoimmune Condition

Thyroid Eye Disease, A Far Reaching Autoimmune Condition

What Causes Thyroid Eye Disease

Do you or someone you know have thyroid disease? Thyroid disease is an autoimmune condition that affects the function of the thyroid gland. Causes are still unknown, but it is thought an abnormal immune response, producing too much of too little of the thyroid hormone, is the culprit. The result of producing too much or too little of thyroid hormone is inflammation of the eye, and can result in something like a permanent stare. It’s important that patients with thyroid disease have eye exams on a regular basis to monitor for changes in their eyes. The effects of thyroid disease can be far reaching for the body and our eyes are a window to spotting problems elsewhere in the body.

How Thyroid Disease Effects The Eyes

When it comes to the eyes, thyroid eye disease is most commonly seen in patient’s with Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease develops when you have an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).

Inflammation and swelling in the soft tissues and muscles can occur around the eyes, causing the eyes to protrude or bulge. This condition is called exophthalmos, or proptosis, and can occur in one or both of the eyes. The protrusion of the eye can make it difficult for the eyelid to close completely, therefore not giving your eye the proper protection that it needs. In more severe cases the swelling of the eye muscles could cause pressure on the optic nerve, resulting in possible permanent loss of vision.

Symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease

Symptoms may identify as dry, gritty, irritated eyes, restricted eye movement and in some cases even double vision. You may also notice that one or both of your eyes protrude or your eyelids are unable to close completely.

Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment

Treatment options can include eye drops or ointment to help with the eye irritation. In some cases the person may need to be treated with oral steroids to help with swelling behind the eyes. There are some instances that may even require surgery.
As mentioned above, all patients with thyroid disease need to see their ophthalmologist or optometrist on a regular basis. Our doctors here at Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center will keep your endocrinologist or general practitioner updated on any ocular findings as well as any recommended treatment. 

If you have questions about your eyes or it’s time for your eye exam call us at 815-932-2020.

Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day Tradition at Fishwer-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center

Employee Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day Tradition at Fishwer-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center

by Denise C. Strahan

Friday, August 24, 2018 was an exciting day for Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center (FSNEye) staff.  To recognize and celebrate the hard-working team of FSNEye, doctors Swale and Nicholson closed the practice for business and presented an Employee Appreciation Day to their staff.  Staff members were allowed a paid day off work and, if available to attend, were also awarded tickets to a Chicago Cubs Rooftop game!  Though the weather forecast called for less than pleasant temps and rain, FSNEye staff was surprised to be welcomed into the friendly confines with nearly perfect weather for Cubs baseball.  Good food and drinks, sun shining on the North side, and the Cubs winning against the Cincinnati Reds made for a most enjoyable day.

A little bit of baseball trivia:  On August 24, 1971, Ernie Banks (Mr. Cub) hit the final home run (his 512th!) in his final career home run of his career in the Cubs’ 5-4 loss to Cincinnati. 

Players Weekend

Not only was it beautiful at Wrigley, but it was also the opening day to “Players Weekend”, where the Major Leaguers put their personalities and passions on their backs, while sporting colorful, non-traditional uniforms inspired by youth-league uniform.  The game proved to be very exciting;  Alec Mills (Millsy) pitched 5 ½ innings of one-run ball for the Cubs in his first major league start. Javier Baez (El Mago) had a run-scoring single in the sixth from Wilson Contreras (Willy the Beast) .  Daniel Murphy (Murph) homered in the eighth.  And the rookie, David Bote (Boat) hit his second walk off home run in his career, beating the Reds in the 10th inning.  The talented Chicago Cubs, clad in their colorful uniforms sporting their nicknames, looked just like a youth league when Bote rounded the bases and his teammates blasted him with gallons of Gatorade, jumping and cheering, along with the 30,000+ fans in the stands.

Thank you Dr. Swale and Dr. Nicholson for appreciating your staff and for taking the time to enjoy a fun day of comradery and baseball together!

Go Cubs Go!

Woman In The Slit Lamp With A Blue Light On Her Eye

How Glaucoma is Treated

Woman In The Slit Lamp With A Blue Light On Her Eye

How Glaucoma is Treated

Glaucoma is the “sneak thief of sight” and the leading cause of blindness in the United States. Over the last few months we have discussed the different types of glaucoma and how you can get ahead of the curve with yearly exams. Vision loss is completely preventable with early detection and treatment by our Doctors at Fisher-Swale Nicholson Eye Center.

There are several ways to manage your glaucoma. One of the ways is through prescription eye drops. If you are looking for less cumbersome ways we offer additional procedures available through the advancement of technology. Some reasons to consider treatment options other than using eye drops:

  • Side effects from medications
  • Unable to tolerate due to medication allergies
  • Freedom and convenience
  • Trouble administering eye drops
  • Expense and rising costs of medications
  • Medications unable to lower eye pressure

Glaucoma Treatment Options

Laser procedures

There are multiple laser options that help to aid in the treatment of glaucoma. The laser can be administered regardless of having cataract surgery or not. The laser targets meshwork within the drainage system of the eye and helps to create an opening to allow the fluid to drain properly, resulting in decreasing pressure in the eye. Our laser procedures are performed in our Solutions In Sight laser surgery suite right here at Fisher-Swale Nicholson Eye Center. 


The stents are similar to the stent that is implanted to prevent a heart attack or stroke, except these stents are implanted in the eye during cataract surgery. The stent is virtually microscopic and cannot be seen or felt. The stent creates a bypass to allow your eye the ability to drain fluid and decrease the intraocular eye pressure. 


We are proud to present a new outpatient treatment called goniotomy. It is available by doctor recommendation to patients who have had cataract surgery but were not a candidate for the stent. This procedure aims to open the natural fluid drainage channel in the eye. It lowers your eye pressure, can potentially prevent further damage, and potentially prevent further vision loss.


This procedure is designed to address the entire natural outflow of the eye, by aiding in the catheterization of the canal and drainage meshwork. This helps to reduce intraocular pressure in patients with glaucoma. A Trabeculotomy can be done on its own or at the same time as cataract surgery.

Patients now have a variety of options to treat their glaucoma. To learn more about the treatment options available to you visit our website or call 815-932-2020.

Do I Need Cataract Surgery Feature Image

How Do I Know If I Need Cataract Surgery?

How Do I Know If I Need Cataract Surgery?

How Do I Know If I Need Cataract Surgery?

Cataract Surgery is when the eye’s cloudy lens is replaced by an intra-ocular lens implant. You may need this surgery if your vision is becoming cloudy or hazy. Some people describe it as “trying to see through wax paper.” People have also described this as glare, starbursts, and haloes around lights. Cataracts can also cause colors to become less vibrant. 

This can be especially noticeable in well lit rooms or on sunny days. This is due to how the pupil contracts to allow less light into the eye – and less light falls on areas that are not cloudy on the lens. 

Do A Self Assessment 

At Fisher-Swale-Nicholson Eye Center, we have developed a short 2-Minute Cataract Self/Assessment Quiz that you can take to see if you should consider cataract surgery to help improve your vision. 

We Offer The Option To Use LENSAR Laser-Assisted

Technology For Cataract Surgery

If you do qualify for cataract surgery, we do offer some of the latest technology for cataract surgery. Watch our video on LENSAR Laser-Assisted Cataract Surgery to learn more about this procedure and how it would be performed in as low as 15 – 20 minutes!