Welcome to Mason General Hospital Eye Clinic, the area’s ONLY ophthalmology clinic with a full-time, board-certified ophthalmologist on staff. The Clinic offers state-of-the-art equipment for diagnoses and treatment of eye diseases including, but not limited to, glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. MGH Eye Clinic also offers routine eye exams, as well as eye surgery for cataracts, eyelids, and internal eye.
The Clinic is part of Public Hospital District No.1, which consists of Mason General Hospital, MGH Ankle & Foot, MGH Eye Clinic, MGH Family Health, MGH Shelton Orthopedics, MGH Surgery Clinic, Oakland Bay Pediatrics, Mountain View Women's Health, and Shelton Family Medicine.
MGH Eye Clinic, staffed by Monica B. Vuong, M.D., board-certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, and Optometrist Jenni Aaseby, O.D., are committed to the high quality healthcare delivered by Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics.
At MGH Eye Clinic, you will ‘see’ the difference…To make an appointment call (360) 426-8717. Click here to download a copy of the Clinic's brochure.
Eye Clinic's New Treatments Provide Continuity of Care, Locally
Avastin injections and fluorescein angiograms are now available at MGH Eye Clinic ‒ great news for those with wet macular degeneration. Beginning in May, Monica Vuong, M.D., board-certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon at MGH Eye Clinic, started administering Avastin injections to treat patients with ‘wet’ type age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Macular degeneration is an eye condition that causes loss of vision due to abnormal growth of blood vessels in the back of the eye, and is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans 60 years and older. It is a disease that destroys sharp, central vision, which is needed to see objects clearly and to do tasks such as reading and driving. In the wet form of macular degeneration, abnormal blood vessels grow under the macula, damaging it quickly. Avastin (bevacizumab) is a substance that blocks the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), inhibiting VEGF by helping to prevent further growth of the abnormal blood vessels.
For the diagnoses of patients with AMD and other ocular diseases, Dr. Vuong does fluorescein angiograms. Fluorescein angiography consists of a series of pictures taken with the aid of optical coherence tomography (OCT), a non-contact diagnostic imaging device which allows the doctor to view the eye in a cross-section. A yellow dye called fluorescein sodium is administered intravenously, and viewed going through the blood vessels at the back of the eye, allowing the doctor to detect and manage various ocular diseases. These diseases include AMD, as well as macular edema, and diabetic retinopathy.
MGH Eye Clinic has the area’s only full-time, board-certified ophthalmologist and optometrist on staff. Dr. Vuong specializes in diseases of the eye such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. She performs eye surgeries such as cataract extractions, and also does surgeries of the eyelid. Optometrist Jenni Aaseby, O.D., specializes in contact lens fitting and does routine eye exams. “Regular, comprehensive eye exams can detect macular degeneration before the disease causes serious vision loss,” said Dr. Vuong.
The Eye Clinic offers total eye care, with state-of-the-art technology including the latest in wireless equipment and detailed scanning capability to provide the most precise images for the diagnoses and treatment of eye diseases and the highest quality medical care. With the addition of Avastin injections and fluorescein angiography patients can enjoy close-to-home convenience and better continuity of patient care. “These new procedures allow us to treat patients at the Eye Clinic, rather than sending them outside of the District or County for their treatment,” added Dr. Vuong.
Meet our Specialists
Monica B. Vuong, M.D.
Monica B. Vuong, M.D.
American Board of Ophthalmology
Monica B. Vuong, M.D. is a full-time, board-certified ophthalmologist who cares for patients of all ages. Her specialty is in surgery and diseases of the eye and she brings experience in the management of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. She also performs cataract surgery and laser procedures.
Dr. Vuong grew up in the Seattle area and received her medical degree from the University of Washington, Seattle. She did her internship at the University of Massachusetts, and her residency at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Jenni Aaseby, O.D
Jenni Aaseby, O.D.
Optometrist Jenni Aaseby, O.D., joined the staff at MGH Eye Clinic in April. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Houston College of Optometry in 2005, and comes highly recommended. Dr. Aaseby specializes in eye exams and contact lens fitting.
Eye Clinic Adds State-of-the-Art High Tech Diagnostic Equipment
MGH Eye Clinic is helping patients “see more clearly” with the addition of three major, and two minor, pieces of state-of-the art diagnostic equipment. “The district spent more than $130,000 to upgrade the Eye Clinic for Dr. Monica Vuong and staff to give more thorough, comprehensive, diagnostic eye care,” said Terry Megiveron, director of Clinics at Mason General Hospital & Family of Clinics. In addition to the new hardware, the exam room was completely upgraded with the latest in wireless equipment.
“Dr. Vuong is so complete in her care,” added Megiveron, “that by adding this new equipment and technology she can now see conditions of the eye in greater detail than has ever been possible. This will aid her in the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of all types of eye diseases.”
The three new major pieces of equipment now in the office will allow for:
- more precise accuracy in the selection of the correct lens power to be placed in the patient’s eye for cataract surgery.
- internal and external digital images, taken by a high resolution digital camera, allowing Dr. Vuong to see the eye more closely than ever before. In many cases, she will be able to enlarge parts of the eye for greater detail in preparing for surgery.
- a three-dimensional cross section of the eye with optical coherence tomography (OCT) imaging.” This ability will help in the detection of glaucoma before there are symptoms and follow macular conditions like macular degeneration and diabetes.
Dr. Vuong uses all three pieces of equipment to help diagnose and manage the care of cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and pre-cancerous lesions. This is in addition to the cataract surgery and laser procedures she performs.
“We are very fortunate to have someone of Dr. Vuong’s education, training, and skills on staff at the MGH Eye Clinic,” said Megiveron. “Her patients love that she is close by, and if surgery is involved, she will do the follow-up to ensure consistency of care between surgeon and referring provider. Dr. Vuong is board-certified and received her medical degree from the University of Washington, did her internship at the University of Massachusetts, and her residency at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Vuong Answers Questions Related to Vision and Eye Care
Q. How often should someone get an eye exam?
Adults should undergo an eye exam at least once in their 20’s, then at least twice in their 30’s. By age 40, the recommendation rises to every two to four years up to age 65, when an exam is advised every one to two years. People with diabetes should see their eye doctor at least once a year. Children should have their eyes examined during their first year, followed by another exam at age three, and then again before kindergarten. From then on, children should receive an eye exam at least every two years. In-school checkups are no substitute for clinical eye exams.
Q. What are the benefits of a routine eye exam?
Frequent eye exams are critical for detecting glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.
Q. Are there certain things we can do to help keep our eyes healthy and not aging faster than normal?
Studies show controlling elevated blood pressure and cholesterol can help reduce the risk of vision loss.
Q. What services can MGH Eye Clinic do to help me keep my eyesight healthy?
MGH Eye Clinic provides routine eye exams, as well as eye surgery for cataracts, eyelid, and internal eye. The Clinic also uses state-of-the art equipment for diagnoses and treatment of eye diseases for people of all ages.
What are the Symptoms of Age-Related Macular Degeneration?
In its early stages, Age-Related Macular Degeneration may not have symptoms and may go unrecognized until it progresses or affects both eyes. However, Age-Related Macular Degeneration can be detected in routine eye exams.
The first sign of macular degeneration is usually distortion of straight lines. This may progress to a gradual loss of central vision.
Other symptoms of Macular Degeneration include:
- Straight lines start to appear distorted, or the center of vision becomes distorted
- Dark, blurry areas or white spots appear in the center of vision
- Diminished or changed color perception
If you experience any of these symptoms, see Dr. Vuong as soon as possible.
What are Cataracts and what are their symptoms?
Cataracts are cloudy areas in the lens of the eye that can cause changes in vision. Symptoms of Cataracts include cloudy or fuzzy vision, as well as sensitivity to glare. Cataracts can be treated with surgery.
Not all Cataracts impair vision or affect daily living. For those that do, common symptoms include:
- Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or filmy vision
- Glare from lamps or the sun, which may be severe
- Difficulty driving at night due to glare from headlights
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescriptions
- Double vision
- Second sight
- Difficulty performing daily activities because of vision problems
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, have severe pain in your eyes, or have constant, sudden changes in your vision, call MGH Eye Clinic immediately to discuss your treatment options at (360) 426-8717. Only an ophthalmologist can treat Cataracts and help with the decision to have eye surgery, if necessary.
What should I expect during the exam?
Your eye exam may take from half an hour to an hour. It will evaluate both your vision and the health of your eyes. You will have all or most of the following eye tests done:
Eye muscle movement test
To test muscle strength and control, the eye doctor will ask you to visually track a target in six different directions, to observe your eye movements. At the same time, the doctor will check the exterior eye, looking at things such as the condition of the white of the eyes and the position of your eyelids.
External exam and papillary reactions
The doctor will watch the reactions of your pupils to light and objects at close distance.
Visual acuity test
You’ll sit in front of an eye chart, with letters that get smaller as you read down each line. You will cover each eye, in turn, and using the other eye you will read aloud, going down the chart until you can’t read the letters any more.
The eye doctor may shine a light in your eyes and flip lenses in a machine that you look through while staring at a large target, such as a big “E”. Or, the doctor may use an automated machine for the same purpose. By checking the way light reflects from your eyes, the doctor gets an approximate idea of the lens prescription you need.
For your exact lens prescription, the eye doctor may use the results of the computerized refractor used during retinoscopy, or he or she may fine-tune the prescription manually by asking you which is better, while flipping back and forth between different lenses as you look through them. (If you don’t need corrective lenses, you won’t need to have this test.)
This is a two-step check for how well your eyes work together: As you stare at a small target some distance away, the doctor will cover and uncover each eye to observe how much your eyes move, watching for an eye that turns away from the target. The test may then be repeated with a target close to you.
The slit lamp magnifies and lights up the front of your eye. The eye doctor uses it to detect several eye diseases and disorders by examining your cornea, iris, lens, and anterior chamber.
Using an ophthalmoscope and pupil dilation, the eye doctor examines the back of your eyes: retina, retinal blood vessels, and optic nerve head.
This tests whether the fluid pressure inside your eyes has increased. Painless, and taking just a few seconds, the test can be done two ways:
- The Applanation Tonometer test: This is the most accurate. With drops numbing your eyes, you stare directly into the slit lamp. The eye doctor barely touches the front surface of each eye with a glowing, bright blue tool to measure the pressure.
- The “puff of air” or non-contact Tonometer test: While you focus on a light, you get a small “puff” of air in each eye. Resistance to the air puff indicates the pressure.
This uses ultrasound to measure cornea thickness. Thin corneas can lead to falsely low pressure readings, and thick corneas can lead to falsely high pressure readings. Pachymetry may be performed if the doctor suspects glaucoma.
With your pupils fully enlarged, the eye doctor will examine the inside of your eyes with different instruments and lights. The pupil-enlarging drops for this part of your eye exam start to work after about 20-30 minutes, making your eyes more sensitive to light, and blurring your vision. These effects may last for several hours or longer.
Visual field test
Your visual field is the area you can see in front of you without moving your eyes. Using one of three tests, the eye doctor “maps” what you see at the edges of your visual field, and uses this map in diagnosing your eye condition.