Healthy Living for Healthy Eyes

Everyone probably tells you to eat healthy, exercise, and spend time away from the screen. Sure, it’s good for your health, but does it help your eyes? Absolutely! Here are a few key areas of healthy living that are also essential to your healthy eyes and vision.

>Healthy Diet

To help keep your eyes healthy, make sure to load up on nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins c and e. Foods like green leafy vegetables, salmon or other oily fish, eggs and nuts, oranges, and pork contain these essential nutrients. Additionally, the vitamins and minerals found in these foods can help prevent many age-related problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

A well-balanced diet also helps maintain a healthy weight. Generally speaking, when you eat healthily and are at a lower risk of obesity, you have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in adults.

>Exercise

Exercise also impacts your eye health. By simply going for a walk, you can significantly lower the chances of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. When someone develops glaucoma, doctors usually treat it by lowering high intra-ocular pressure. Recent research has implicated that, by exercising, you can reduce the pressure in your eye, helping to lower your risk for glaucoma.

Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is another critical factor to consider in keeping your eyes healthy. When you don’t drink enough water, your body’s instinct is to conserve it in any way that it can. This conservation includes altering your eyes! Your body will decrease the number of tears produced when it doesn’t have enough water. When this happens, you may develop symptoms of dry eye or eye strain. So what can you do? Drink water! The average water intake per day is about eight, 8-ounce glasses of water, but make sure to consume more during warmer weather or intense exercise.

Habits to Avoid

There are a few bad habits most individuals do that are bad for your eyes.

Rubbing Your Eyes

First, make sure you don’t rub your eyes! Rubbing your eyes can break blood vessels under eyelids, causing bloodshot eyes or dark circles that make you look tired.

Overusing Eye Drops

Another problem that you may not realize is the overuse of eye drops. While eye drops may temporarily soothe your eyes, overusing them may cause your eyes to become irritated over time.

Do you have more questions about ways your lifestyle can help your eyes? Contact our office today and ask us your vision questions!

Your Guide to Choosing the Perfect Eyewear

Many people with medical eye diseases don’t show symptoms immediately, but with an underlying disease, the damage is already underway. Regular comprehensive eye exams are essential in diagnosing eye diseases early.

Comprehensive Eye Exams Diagnose Medical Eye Disease

By not getting a comprehensive eye exam on a regular basis, you’re putting your eyes at risk because once symptoms show, it might be too late for effective treatment. If detected early, your eye doctor can help treat and improve your vision.

An eye exam can reveal health conditions unrelated to your eyes. During an eye exam, your eye doctor can evaluate the health of the blood vessels in your retina and help predict the overall health of the blood throughout your body. Diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia can all appear during a routine eye exam

Common Eye Diseases

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are the most commonly diagnosed eye disorder in, Let’s face it; with our busy lives, multiple hobbies, and everything in between, having multiple pairs of eyewear handy is a necessity. Have you ever gone to pick out new eyeglasses but were too overwhelmed by all of your options, though? Listed below are a few things to keep in mind when choosing eyewear that’s perfect for you.

Choosing Eyewear Style

Depending on your look, you may find it necessary to have a pair of glasses that are complementary. A night out on the town is going to require a more stylish frame than what you need for work. Having different styles of glasses can help remove the dilemma of having a pair that doesn’t match the occasion by giving you situation-specific options.

Choosing Eyewear Size

To see what size frame fits best with your face, you might have to try on multiple pairs. If the frames are too small, they may feel tight on your head and restrict your peripheral vision, or they may pinch your nose and leave red marks. But if they are too big, they may slide down your nose and slip off your face. To get the perfect fit, you can adjust the tightness around your ears.

Investing in Protection

Your standard eyeglass options may not adapt and darken in reaction to sunlight–unless you have photochromic lenses–so it may be smart to invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses to protect your eyes. Polarized lenses are a good option because the tint applies to your specific sport or hobby.

Your face shape

Your eyewear should contrast your face shape but also be in scale with your face size. Below are common face shapes and recommended frame shape:

  • Oval: wide or walnut-shaped frames
  • Base-up triangle: frames with a wider bottom, light color or lightweight
  • Oblong: frames with more depth than width
  • Square: narrow frames and with more width than depth
  • Diamond: cat-eye shaped frames or other detailing on the brow line
  • Round: narrow frames which are wider and have a clear bridge
  • Base-down triangle: frames with color or detailing on the top half

Weight and material

Eyeglasses are constructed from different materials: plastic, metal, or a combination of materials. Depending on the material you choose, the weight, flexibility, and cost of your eyeglasses will vary.

  • Metal Frames: these frames have adjustable nose pads, can come in hypoallergenic
  • materials and last longer
  • Plastic Frames: these frames are lighter and are usually less expensive. Plastic frames also require less maintenance than metal frames

Do you have other questions about choosing eyewear? Schedule an appointment with us to find the perfect pair! The United States. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (distorted vision), and presbyopia (loss of the ability to focus up close) are all refractive errors that can be corrected if diagnosed early. Early symptoms of a refractive error include seeing a glare around bright lights, having to squint, and having double vision.

Eyewear for Every Occasion

Your look might change depending on the day, so shouldn’t your eyewear change, as well? These days, it’s uncommon for one pair of eyeglasses to satisfy all of your needs. Specialty eyewear can help you optimize your vision for any occasion!

Below are a few occasions where specialty eyewear can improve your vision.

Computer Glasses

If you spend a lot of time looking at a computer, you are at an increased risk of developing eye strain. While you look at a screen, your eyes try to stay focused and aligned – that’s where computer glasses come into play. These glasses are for close-up distances, and they can reduce strain while staring at screens.

Golf Sunglasses

If you’re an avid golfer, you know that the proper eyewear is an essential item for your golf bag. Some sunglasses utilize colors in the lenses to enhance the green of the grass. Brown and amber lenses can help because it creates contrast against the golf ball. Rose-colored lenses can help during cloudy days and increase the contrast between light and dark colors, and green tints help in sunny conditions, reducing glare.

Boating or Fishing Eyewear

When on the water, the sunlight can reflect and create a glare that makes it hard to see. Polarized lenses can block the light reflected, reducing glare and discomfort. Glasses made for boating and fishing are also thinner and can fit snugly to your face so that the sun can’t enter on the side, top, or bottom of your face.

Driving or Cycling Eyewear

If you find that your lifestyle takes you on the road, driving glasses can provide a benefit. These glasses–either sunglasses or prescription lenses–can help get rid of the glare that makes it hard to focus on the road.

For extra protection, polarized sunglasses protect your eyes against sun glare on any occasion, and they can help increase the contrast, making objects easier and sharper to see.

Shop Work & Safety Glasses

Depending on your lifestyle, you may need glasses that provide extra protection. This eyewear–safety glasses, sports goggles, or shooting glasses–is durable and offers more coverage than typical designs. Some safety glasses add even more protection by having a frame with a wraparound design that has larger shields on the top or side of the glasses. These glasses, although sturdy, should still include a lightweight lens for comfort and superior eye protection.

Want to learn more about your specialty eyewear options? Give our office a call or ask our staff your questions at your next appointment. Our team is prepared to help you choose the right vision management options for your lifestyle.

Children’s Vision Protocol

Children constantly grow and change. Their clothes become too small, their shoes become too tight, and their skills become more advanced. Although for parents, these stepping stones may happen too fast, it’s a part of life. It is important to get your children’s vision regularly checked to keep up with this constant activity throughout their fast-paced life. Below are a few questions parents may have surrounding their child’s first eye exam:

Questions About Your Children’s Vision

  • Why are children’s eye exams so important?
  • When should my child have an eye examination?
  • What goes into scheduling my child’s first eye exam?
  • What are the common eye tests my child will have to do?

Why are children’s eye exams so important?

Children use their eyes to do everything! Your child’s success in learning and development can be, in part, traced back to their vision. About 80% of the information a child learns in school is taught visually, making clear vision essential for a child’s developmental success. A comprehensive eye exam for your child will ensure they have the precise eye teaming, eye movement, and focusing skills needed to succeed.

When should your child have an eye examination?

Your child should typically have his/her first eye exam around six months of age. If your eye doctor determines your child’s vision is normal, their next eye exam commonly isn’t required until three years old, and then again around five or six. Following this checkup, it’s common to have an exam every other year as long as your child doesn’t develop any vision problems that require attention.

What goes into scheduling your child’s first eye exam?

After scheduling your child’s first eye exam, pay attention to these warning signs your child may need vision correction. If you notice any of the above, make sure to mention this to your doctor during your child’s exam.

  • Delayed motor movement
  • Constantly rubbing of his her/eyes
  • Excessive blinking
  • Failure to maintain eye contact
  • Poor eye tracking skills

What are common eye tests my child will have to take?

The tests your eye doctor performs depend on your child’s age. For infants, typical tests will make sure their pupils are filtering light and focusing properly on objects. For preschool children, tests focus on retinoscopy, lazy eye, proper alignment, and general eye health.

Do you want to take the next steps in ensuring your child has full potential regarding his/her vision?

Contact our office today to ask our staff any questions you have about your child’s next appointment. Our team is prepared to guide you through the next steps in ensuring your family’s vision stays in line.

Types of Diabetic Eye Disease

More than 28% of diabetics age 40 or older have a diabetic eye disease. These numbers are only expected to grow in the upcoming years due to the decrease in physical activity and healthy eating.

Types of Diabetes

Type 1

A chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin. About 1.25 million Americans have type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes was previously known as juvenile diabetes. However, anyone at any age can get type 1 diabetes.

Type 2

90% of Americans with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. This occurs when your body is not using insulin correctly, called insulin resistance. Risk factors for type 2 diabetes include obesity, an unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.

Complications of Diabetes

Not managing or treating your diabetes can cause serious health complications including hypoglycemia, skin infections, neuropathy, kidney disease, foot complications, and eye complications. Additionally, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for blindness and eye problems. The good news is with the correct treatment and lifestyle changes many people can prevent the onset of these complications. Therefore, we recommend regular eye exams to avoid eye problems and vision loss.

Diabetic Eye Disease

  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Damages the blood vessels in the retina in the back of the eye. Uncontrolled high blood pressure is more likely to result in diabetic retinopathy. Consequently between 12,000 and 24,000 new cases of blindness due to diabetic retinopathy occur each year in the U.S. according to the CDC.
  • Clinically significant macular edema: Swelling of the macula in the back of the eye. Macular edema is most common in those with type 2 diabetes.
  • Cataract: Clouding in the lens of your eyes. Cataracts are two-five times more likely in people with diabetes.
  • Glaucoma: Optic nerve damage to the fibers that connect the eye to the brain. Diabetes doubles the risk of glaucoma.

Those with diabetes should get a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year to ensure their eyes are healthy. Call our office today to schedule your comprehensive eye exam!

Vision Development and Children

Childhood is a critical time for vision development. Nearly 80% of what a child learns in school is presented visually. Arguably making vision the most important of the five senses. Visual skills start developing during pregnancy and continue to evolve and develop as a child grows. Undetected vision problems can cause developmental and educational delays in children.

Infant Vision Development

Your infant’s vision starts developing during pregnancy. It is crucial that toxins are not consumed during pregnancy as they can cause serious vision problems. At birth, babies only see black, white, and shades of gray. Infants are unable to focus on objects for several months and can only see the outline of objects.

As infants grow, they can distinguish between high contrast colors. By six months your child can see color, has sharper vision, and has begun developing hand-eye coordination skills. Schedule your child’s first eye exam at six months to make sure their eyes are healthy and on the right developmental track. Detection of eye health issues and vision problems at this stage in development can help to ensure your child does not experience setbacks in learning and growth.

When your infant begins to crawl and potentially walk they are learning to coordinate their body movements and their vision. Over time, your child will become better at judging distances. However, this is also a time when your child may grow more injury prone because they are exploring their environment. Bumps, bruises, eye injuries, and other injuries can occur which is why it is so vital to ensure that your infant’s vision is on track to prevent these injuries as much as possible.

Early Childhood Vision Development

During these years your child will be growing, developing, and improving their visual skills. It is recommended to schedule your child eye exam at three years old. Even if you don’t think your child has vision problems, your child is growing and changing. A comprehensive eye exam before your child enters school provides enough time to catch and correct any vision problems.

They are discovering how to integrate their vision and body position to complete new tasks. They learn this through playing games, throwing a ball, and riding a bike. Children are also working on developing their fine motor skills. The primary way preschool age children are learning this is through writing their name and the alphabet.

Between the ages of 3 to 6 is when you, as a parent, may begin to notice signs of a vision problem. If your child complains about headaches or tired eyes, this could potentially be due to a vision problem. Signs of vision problems include squinting, tilting the head, frequently rubbing eyes, and closing one eye to see. Additionally, look for sitting too close to a tv, holding a book too close, or avoiding activities that require near or distance vision. Some of these activities include coloring, reading, playing ball, or tag if you notice these signs in your child schedule an eye exam as soon as possible. Correct their vision before any learning is delayed!

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye syndrome is caused by a chronic lack of moisture and lubrication of the eyes. Your eye’s tears keep the surface of the eye moist and lubricated, as well as washing away dust, debris, and other microorganisms.

What causes dry eye?

Typically dry eye occurs when there is a problem with your tears. Tears are made up of an oily, watery, and mucin component. Any issue with those components could cause dry eye. It could be tear instability, tear film evaporation, or insufficient tear production. The only way to detect the cause of your dry eye is an eye exam.

Symptoms

  • Burning sensation
  • Itchy eyes
  • Aching sensations
  • Heavy eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Sore eyes
  • Dryness sensation
  • Red eyes
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Blurred vision

Who gets dry eye?

Dry eye can happen to anyone at any age. Each case of dry eye varies in severity and individual tolerance. However, there are certain factors which can increase your risk for dry eyes. These factors include:

  • Computer use: Humans blink less frequently when working at computers, allowing for increased tear evaporation.
  • Smoking: Causes eyes to dry over time and is the root of various other eye problems.
  • Aging: Dry eye syndrome is more common after the age of 50.
  • Menopause: Women who have completed menopause are at a higher risk for dry eye than men of the same age.
  • Health conditions: Certain diseases have a higher risk of contributing to dry eyes- such as diabetes or thyroid diseases.
  • Medications: Prescription and nonprescription medicines can have dry eye as a side effect.

Visiting The Doctor

Getting an eye exam by an eye doctor is the only way to know for sure you have chronic dry eye syndrome. Symptoms of dry eye can vary significantly from person to person and may even be symptoms of other eye problems. Personal perception of dry eye severity does not indicate whether or not an individual has chronic dry eye syndrome. Some individuals with mild dry eye may feel their eyes are very bothersome, while some individuals with severe dry eye may not consider their symptoms significant.

If you are showing symptoms of dry eye, schedule an appointment with our office as soon as possible. The only way to know the medical severity of your dry eye is through an eye exam.

 

Computer Vision Syndrome: Eye Strain

According to The Vision Council, 65% of adults experience some form of computer vision syndrome. Often individuals associate eye strain as a “normal” part of computer work. However, the eye strain you are experiencing is a symptom of computer vision syndrome and can be reduced or avoided!

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome is caused by the eyes and brain reacting to the characters on a computer screen. On-screen characters have less contrast than characters in print and are more challenging for our eyes to focus on. The difficulty of having to focus on the characters on computer screens is what causes eye fatigue and strain.

Symptoms of CVS

Depending on the individual they may experience one, several, or all symptoms of computer vision syndrome. These symptoms can cause discomfort for the individual and make it difficult to complete work effectively.

  • Headaches
  • Loss of focus
  • Burning eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Double vision
  • Eye twitching
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck and shoulder pain

Ways to Combat CVS

Many computer users find their eyes feel strained working under fluorescent lights. Users feel more eye comfort when using floor lamps instead of harsh overhead lights. Minimize the reflection of glare off your computer screen by installing an anti-glare screen on your monitor. Consider closing the blinds to prevent the sun from reflecting off your computer screen as well.

The type of screen and settings of your screen can also impact your eye strain. We recommend making sure you have an LCD screen because it has an anti-reflective surface and is more comfortable for the eyes.

Additionally, you can adjust the settings of your screen for optimal viewing. A few settings to adjust are the brightness, text, and color temperature. The brightness should be the same as your surrounding workstation, the text size and contrast can be changed to your comfort level, and reducing the color temperature lowers the amount of blue light emitted by your screen.

Computer Eyewear

One of the best ways to reduce your risk of computer vision syndrome is to visit our office. Your eye doctor can perform a few tests to detect vision problems which could be contributing to your computer vision syndrome and help decide if computer eyewear is the solution for you. Many individuals discover computer eyewear helps reduce their symptoms and improves their productivity.

Schedule an appointment with our office to discuss the impact computer work is having on your eyes and the best ways to reduce your eye strain and fatigue.

 

Combating Dry Eye Syndrome

Do you experience itchy, burning, or dry eyes? You may be suffering from dry eye syndrome. Tears are necessary for overall eye health and clear vision, when there is insufficient moisture on the surface of the eye it can cause discomfort. Let’s looks at some common causes of dry eye syndrome, symptoms, and risk factors.

What are the causes of dry eye syndrome?

Tears keep the eyes surfaces moist and wash away dust, debris, and other microorganisms. Without constant, adequate moisture, dry eye will occur. Not enough oil in the tears causes them to evaporate too quickly, and without sufficient water production, eyes cannot maintain proper moisture.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome:

  • Scratchy or gritty feeling
  • Red eyes
  • Blurriness
  • Irritation from windy conditions
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Problems with contacts
  • Excessive tearing
  • Heavy eyes
  • Sore eyes

Contact lenses and dry eyes

One of the most common complaints from contact lens wearers is their contacts make their eyes feel dry. If you experience dry eye symptoms while wearing your contacts or immediately after removing your contacts, talk with your eye doctor, as it is irregular to feel discomfort.

If discomfort occurs, it is possible you are using the incorrect solution with your contact lenses; not all solutions are made equally. Your eye doctor may also recommend you use eye drops to help temporarily relieve dry eye symptoms.

Another means to relieve symptoms is to change your contact lens type to a more breathable or moisture-focused lens, which is specially made to help retain moisture. You may also want to discuss with your eye doctor the option to switch from reusable contact lenses to single-use lenses. Single-use lenses will help prevent your lens from drying out and work to maintain moisture in your eyes.

Factors that Increase Risk of Dry Eyes

Dry eye symptoms stem from multiple risk factors, including health conditions, environments, and eyewear choice. If you are suffering from dry eye try some of the tips below to help reduce your symptoms.  

  • Computer use. Humans blink less frequently when working at computers, allowing for more evaporated tears. When working on a computer for an extended period of time, follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds to give your eyes a rest.
  • Contact lens. Dry eye discomfort is a primary reason for wearers to stop using contacts. Use rewetting drops daily or talk with your eye doctor about contact lens types that work best for your eyes.
  • Indoor environment. Air conditioning, fans, and air heating systems can decrease the humidity indoors and cause symptoms of dry eye. Try using a humidifier in your house if you notice the air getting dryer.
  • Outdoor environment. If you are outdoors in dry or windy conditions, wear a pair of sunglasses or hat to reduce your exposure to the elements which can cause dry eyes.
  • Smoking. Can cause eyes to dry over time and is the root of various other eye problems.
  • Aging. Dry eye syndrome is more common after the age of 50.
  • Menopause. Women who have completed menopause are at a greater risk for dry eye than men the same age.
  • Health conditions. Certain diseases have a higher risk of contributing to dry eye- such as diabetes or thyroid diseases.
  • Medications. Prescription and nonprescription medications can have dry eye as a side effect.

Flashes, Floaters, and Spots: What’s in my Vision?

Have you noticed tiny shadows cast upon objects you are looking at? Do you see small spots in your vision when looking at a clear or overcast sky? You may be seeing floaters and spots in your field of vision.

What is the spot in my vision?

It is completely normal to see spots or floaters in your vision. As you age the gel-like consistency in your eyes begins to dissolve creating floaters in the watery center of your eye. While you cannot see the particle floating in your eye, a shadow of these particles can be seen reflected in the objects you are viewing.

Do I need treatment for my floaters?

No, most of the time treatment is not required for floaters in the eye. The floaters and spots are harmless, and most will fade over time. If your vision is inhibited by large floaters, give our office a call to discuss options available to reduce these symptoms.

Why is there a flash in my vision?

When light enters your eye it sends a message to the retina, the retina then produces an electrical impulse which is sent to the brain. The brain interprets this impulse as an image. If the retina is tugged, torn, or detached from the back of the eye it is common to see a flicker of light. The flashes or flickers of light can be temporary or continue indefinitely depending on the severity of the retinal issue.

Is this ever a medical emergency?

Seeing a few new floaters is not an emergency, however, if you suddenly see a shower of floaters or spots this may be cause for concern. The sudden appearance of flashes of light could mean that damage is occurring to your retina. If any of these symptoms suddenly appear, call our office immediately to discuss with your eye doctor.

Conditions associated with eye floaters and flashes:

  • Bleeding inside the eye
  • Inflammation of the interior of the eye
  • Nearsightedness
  • Cataract surgery
  • Laser eye surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Eye infections
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