By: Kelly Stuart Williams, MA

For over 16 years, Dr. Margaret Argiropoulos-Dhima has been practicing optometry since graduating from the Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago in 2003.  Her emphasis is on primary care and contact lenses.  She also provides pre- and post- Cataract Surgery co-management. In November, Longleaf Eyecare, celebrates its one-year anniversary of practicing at 3002 Starkey Boulevard.  

“My family and I have lived in this area since we moved from Chicago in 2005.  After many years of working in corporate optometry and commuting daily I decided to move my practice near home.  ” said Dr. Dhima.

While Dr. Dhima continues to have a loyal following of patients who travel to see her, she is inviting all of the nearby neighbors to visit Longleaf Eyecare.   “We are thrilled that our established patients have followed us to our new location as well as a few of our staff.  Office Manager Wendy Hinton brings over 32 years of experience in the optical field to our office, and Carina Ortiz and Tessa Kehl continue to be the friendly faces at our front desk.”

Among the recent 5-Star reviews of Longleaf Eyecare on Google, Brittany Johnson wrote, “Staff was wonderful! Went the extra mile to make my little boys feel safe and comfortable. It was such a smooth process down to the scheduling, appointments and even getting their glasses. I definitely loved this place!” 

Similarly, David Whitaker wrote on Google, “Dr. Dhima and her staff are very knowledgeable and efficient. Great office! A thorough exam with high tech equipment. Took only a few minutes to determine my prescription. I’ll never go back to those “big” stores again after the personal attention I received from Dr. Dhima and staff.”

When asked about emerging issues in eye care, Dr. Dhima said she has a number of concerns relating to the growing numbers of patients with diabetes and the prevalence of eye strain from the use of electronic devices.  She explained how the use of blue-light emitting devices is causing sleep disruption and how many patients are sleep deprived—especially children.

An article from sleepfoundation.org shares Dr. Dhima’s concerns, “As difficult as it is to get kids to stop watching TV or using their electronic devices before bedtime, there’s a compelling reason to make it happen. The blue light that’s emitted from these screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increase alertness, and reset the body’s internal clock (or circadian rhythm) to a later schedule. This is an especially big problem for teens whose circadian rhythms are already shifting naturally, causing them to feel awake later at night. The end result: sleep-deprived or poorly rested kids who have essentially given themselves a mini case of jet lag.” There is a growing need for parents and caregivers to enforce a “digital curfew.”

Issues ranging from early detection of diabetes and other health issues begins with a comprehensive eye exam.  Preventative eye care and maintenance throughout the year are essential, “A comprehensive eye exam is an important part of your overall general health maintenance and should be scheduled on a regular basis. The findings from your comprehensive eye exam can give your doctor important information about your overall health, particularly diabetes and high blood pressure. Our eye care services focus on your well-being and health,” said Dr. Dhima.

According to webmd.com, Diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults, ages 20 to 74.  This disease often goes undetected while damaging inflammation to the eye affects vision. Symptoms and co-occurring illnesses include blurry vision, cataracts, Glaucoma, and Diabetic Retinopathy. Regular visits to a trusted optometrist are vital to vision management and could save your eyesight! 

Maintaining healthy eyes and good vision is an important part of your overall health program, and Longleaf Eyecare provides fashionable and affordable products that make you look good and feel good, “We believe that healthy eyes and superior vision are vital to a high quality of life. Come and check our optical dispensary and choose from the latest in fashionable eyewear. We carry both affordable and high-end frames, said Dr. Dhima who added, ‘We are currently running a promotion so that our patients who buy a 1-year supply of contact lenses, get 30% off a complete pair of eyeglasses or sunglasses.”

Many vision insurance plans are accepted, and patients are encouraged to call the office at 727-264-7363 to determine whether or not they are covered. With only one month remaining in 2019, patients are encouraged to schedule their vision appointments ASAP, to take advantage of their met deductibles before the next calendar year begins. 

Visit www.longleafeyecare.com for more information, and schedule your 20-20 vision evaluation before 2020. A full checkup can help detect problems early when they’re easier to treat. Come visit Longleaf Eyecare in Starkey Ranch; meet Dr. Dhima and her friendly staff; and shop the beautiful assortment of designer frames. Your vision is meant to last a lifetime!