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Faith Behind the Blue Wall

Law enforcement is perhaps the most stressful of professions that one can pursue. The nature of this occupation is sorting out and dealing with the worst of situations that impact our lives as citizens. All too often we lose sight of the fact that the profession is made up of individuals; human beings just like the citizens they have sworn an oath to “protect and serve”. As human beings, these officers are susceptible to the negative influences that stem from constant exposure to this physical and psychological trauma. 
Many times the effect of this exposure is subtle, almost imperceptible. But as time passes, it manifests in more obvious ways that the officers, their families and the community may recognize, but fail to understand. Faith Behind the Blue Wall provides insight into recognizing the impact that law enforcement has on the lives of officers and their families. It also offers methods for coping with the negative effects on their lives. Finally, the book provides a lens through which the community can get a clearer view of the behavior and attitudes of law enforcement. In light of recent events, the necessity for a deeper understanding by all parties can not be overstated.
To hear a brief conversation with Clarence Hines, the author of Faith Behind the Blue Wall use the audio player below:


The Suicide Disease

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic condition where the afflicted patient experiences episodes of intense pain that is frequently debilitating.  Prior to the discovery of effective treatment, this disease was called The Suicide Disease because of the number of patients who took their lives rather than suffer the often unrelenting pain. 
While treatments have been discovered to ease the pain there is no cure for trigeminal neuralgia.  The disease results from irritation of the fifth cranial nerve which affects almost the entire face and adjoining structures.  For this reason, the symptoms of this disease can make its diagnosis difficult.  Symptoms include mouth pain, ear ache, and nasal cavity pain that mimics a severe sinus infection.  Patients often have difficulty with every day activities such as shaving, eating, and sleeping.  They often experience anxiety from the fear of an attack.   Pain is episodic and is often felt as an electrical shock-like sensation that lasts from seconds to minutes.  Episodes may be fleeting or may occur with regularity.  They sometimes go into remission for months at a time and recur without warning.  Treatment ranges from the use of medications and acupuncture to surgery. 
Trigeminal neuralgia is not rare, but it affects only a small part of the population.  It usually develops in middle age and affects women more than men.  Recently I had the pleasure of examining a patient who suffers from this disease and she has been kind enough to share her experiences.  Listen to her story below:


Optometrist in St. Louis, MO

Dr. Bob and Alverta Smith
Formerly Affordable Eyecare, we've changed our name to more accurately reflect the mission of our practice.

On our website you will find a wealth of information about vision and eye health. Explore our site and learn about the many services we have to offer new and current patients.

Regular eye examinations are an important part of maintaining your best possible vision and health. Many potentially fatal diseases are often detected during an eye examination (examples include diabetes, certain cancers, high blood pressure, lupus and thyroid disease).

Call today for an appointment or click on "Appointment Scheduling" to make your appointment online 24-7/365. We are here to meet your eyecare needs. Whether you need an exam, glasses or contacts or are suffering from itching, burning or tearing eyes, we can help. We also treat eye infections.

At Smith Optometry our mission is enhancing and preserving your vision.

Dr. Bob and Alverta

PS: Save time; click on the "Patient Forms" link to use our welcome and medical history forms.

Make History This Black History Month - Take Charge of Your Diabetes

Community News and Events

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[1/10] Washington U. to remake its front door

[2/10] Jefferson County Sheriff's Office investigating after body of nude woman found in Imperial

[3/10] Services set for grandmother, granddaughter in murder-suicide case

[4/10] Mizzou takes down Gamecocks in Lock's starting debut

[5/10] Game postponed, will be part of doubleheader Sunday

[6/10] Goold: What if Cardinals had pursued Markakis and not traded for Heyward?

[7/10] Best-selling books for the week that ended Sept. 27

[8/10] Parents flustered by Common Core math seek help

[9/10] St. Louis jazz saxophonist Willie Akins dies at 76

[10/10] Ameren pledges $2.5 million in charitable support in response to Ferguson Commission report
Frame Sale!

Regular price with lens purchase. No insurance or other discounts. Includes in-stock frames only, so come in today for the best selection.

The Way I See It
While we see patients of all ages, ethnicities, social and economic backgrounds, we are passionate about the vision and health needs of underserved individuals.
Members of this group are more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, elevated cholesterol and heart disease.  These illnesses frequently lead to changes in eye sight – from blurry vision to blindness.  Of these conditions, diabetes is the most frequent cause of devastating vision loss.
Not a day goes by that I don’t see someone with visual problems from diabetes.  These patients often have other common symptoms such as slow healing wounds and a loss of feeling in the arms, fingers, legs and toes.   Vision changes result from changes in the lens in the eye.  These changes result in a patient being more near sighted or farsighted.  When the diabetes is stabilized, the vision frequently returns to normal.  Diabetes can also cause the formation of cataracts.  The worst effect of diabetes is bleeding in the back of the eyes.  This is called “diabetic retinopathy”.
Diabetic retinopathy and its treatment can lead to the formation of scar tissue in the retina, individual nerves that form the optic nerve.  It’s been pretty cold this winter.  Think of the retina as the individual gas lines that extend from the main supply line.  If a bunch of gas lines in an area are damaged then all the houses in that area will be without heat and some customers could get sick and die from the lack of heat.  Likewise, if a group of nerves in the retina are damaged, vision in that area will be destroyed. 
Diabetic vision loss can be prevented as can many side effects of this disease.  Watching your diet, exercising, taking your medicine and following your doctor’s advice are the steps necessary to keep diabetes under control and in some cases eliminate it.   Your most effective means of detecting and preventing diabetic eye disease is through regular eye examinations.  If you are not diabetic, but have a family history of the disease, keep in mind that diabetes is frequently diagnosed during an eye examination.  Persons with hypertension, elevated cholesterol and heart disease should also have regular eye examinations. 
Call today or while here on our website you can schedule an appointment.  At Smith Optometry, our mission is preserving and enhancing your vision.  
Questions or comments? Email me:
Dr. Smith

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