The mountains of the southern Appalachian region draw visitors from across the country and world for their beauty, especially during the fall of the year.  However, statistics say many who call Eastern Kentucky home miss out on the enjoyment of the beautiful colors. One of the lesser-known facts about the region is that the easternmost part of the state has been labeled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the blindest region in the United States.

To combat many of the problems affecting the vision of those who call Eastern Kentucky home, the Appalachian Center for Advanced Eye Care at Pikeville Medical Center offers comprehensive care from both optometrists and board-certified ophthalmologists. From routine eye exams to advanced surgical procedures, PMC provides a wide range of services to address most vision problems affecting patients in the region.

Optometrists are known as the first line of defense when it comes to eye care, providing routine eye exams for both adults and children as well as other services such as foreign body removal, glaucoma evaluation, diabetic eye exams and some laser procedures. Often, optometrists are the first to notice visual problems in patients which often lead to the diagnosis of potentially serious problems threatening the vision of their patients.

“We encourage patients to think of visiting an optometrist in the same way they think of going to a dentist,” explained Ryan Kern, OD.  “If you have a problem with your teeth, you don’t immediately make an appointment to see an oral surgeon. The same basic thinking applies to optometry and ophthalmology.”

When serious eye conditions are discovered, optometrists at the Appalachian Center for Advanced Eye Care can recommend an ophthalmologist who specializes in that particular area and can assist in getting the patient an appointment as quickly as possible to expedite treatment.

Ophthalmologists provide specialized eye care and use advanced technology and equipment to perform various surgical procedures such as cataract removal, glaucoma treatment, LASIK and other laser surgeries.

To learn more about services offered at the Appalachian Center for Advanced Eye Care at Pikeville Medical Center or to make an appointment, call (606) 430-2209.