Women's eyes are regularly exposed to potential irritants through the use of cosmetics. As eye shadow, mascara and eye liner can breed unseen dirt and bacteria, it is vital to ensure that the products you use to apply and remove your makeup are hygienic to prevent irritation that can cause redness, discomfort and the potential development of an eye infection.
Here are a few tips to help ensure that your beauty routine is safe and hygienic:
Wash your hands with soap and water before you start and make sure that any applicator you use near your eyes is clean.
Make sure that the containers housing your products are dirt free and that you don't leave brushes or applicators on a surface where they can pick up germs.
Avoid dampening or adding saliva to your make-up as this can introduce bacteria and reduce its shelf life.
Discard any product that you know was exposed to germs or dirty surfaces.
Steer clear of sharing eye cosmetics, whether it is with family or friends. It is likely to transfer bacteria to your eyes.
Stay away from testers in stores unless they use single-use applicators or brushes.
It's also important to be aware of injuries that can be caused by applying and removing eye make-up.
Never apply mascara or eye shadow in a moving vehicle or in a location where a sudden bump will cause the applicator or cosmetic brush to jab your eye and scratch the eye surface. In addition to scratching or injuring your eye, this could allow chemicals to enter the eye and can cause burning and inflammation.
Don't use your fingers to put on eye make-up as they might accidentally touch the surface of your eye in the process, leading to irritation.
As many cosmetics contain chemicals, it is likely that they will cause irritation if they come into close contact with your eye. This is especially true if a product you use is not intended for use on your eyes (make sure to use your lip liner on your lips and not on your eyes)!
If you do experience redness, irritation, discharge or itching of your eyes, speak to your eye doctor to find out the best way to get relief from your symptoms. Do not apply makeup if your eyes are infected as this will only make the infection worse. If you were diagnosed with an eye infection, dispose the eye makeup previously used as it is contaminated and the infection could recur. People who wear contact lenses should insert the lenses first before applying eye makeup, to avoid getting makeup underneath the lens.
Lastly, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for discarding products such as mascara (which should be changed every few months) and throw away any dried up products. Even though cosmetics can be expensive, it is not worth risking damage to your eyes.
Did you know that your dietary choices have an impact on your eye health and vision? Opting for appetizing food that at the same time provides you with all the nutrients that are essential for preserving your vision, is taking a major step towards minimizing the risk of eye disease and age-related vision changes.
To consume an eye healthy diet, choose foods rich in antioxidants like Vitamin C and E, zinc and copper, Lutein, zeaxanthin and Omega 3 fatty acids. This includes leafy green vegetables, orange peppers, eggs and fish.
Vitamin A is found in colorful fruits and vegetables such as apricots, papaya, carrots, and tomatoes as well as in fortified milk, beef, chicken, cod liver oil and eggs. This vitamin is vital for night vision and helps prevent dry eye syndrome, eye infections, cataracts and macular degeneration.
Vitamin C is found in citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges and strawberries as well as in red and green bell peppers, broccoli and kale. This vitamin helps support blood vessels in the eye and reduces the risk of cataracts.
Vitamin E is found in nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts and peanut butter as well as spinach avocados, olive oil and whole grains and is thought to reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. It is also a powerful anti-oxidant and protects your eyes from free- radical damage.
It is also worthwhile incorporating foods containing lutein and zeaxanthin, two powerful antioxidants that may help protect against retinal damage and the onset of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration to your menu. Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, collard, turnip greens and broccoli.
Omega 3 fatty acids are essential for eye health as well as general health. It is an essential fatty acid which means that your body cannot manufacture them without dietary intake. They provide anti-inflammatory protection to the delicate blood vessels of your eyes, and can help with age-related macular degeneration as well as dry eyes.
This is best obtained through 2 servings/week of deep ocean cold water oily fish e.g. salmon, mackerel, sardines, char fish.
If you have trouble keeping up with fish intake or are concerned about mercury or PCBs, a good solution is to take an omega 3 supplement with DHA and EPA.
Research also suggests that obtaining a combination of eye health nutrients from a variety of food sources provides the best results for slowing the progression of eye diseases. So do your eyes a favor and ensure that your diet includes a rich assortment of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and healthy oils.
Here is a recipe courtesy of Dr. Laurie Capogna and Dr. Barbara Pelletier, optometrists who specialize in nutrition and eye health. As you can see this recipe is filled with important nutrients that help save your sight.
Chicken Almond Wraps
These tasty wraps can be enjoyed as a nutritious lunch or a light snack. They are filled with nutrients that help prevent macular degeneration and cataracts, including lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C and zinc.
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and pulled into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp canola or olive oil
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 orange pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 large orange, peeled with a knife, quartered and sliced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
Leaf lettuce leaves, Romaine lettuce leaves or kale leaves, washed and dried completely
Optional zeaxanthin boost: garnish with goji berries.
4 tablespoons natural almond butter (or natural peanut butter)
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons honey
Dash hot sauce
Mix poultry, peas, pepper, green onion, orange, almonds and cilantro in a bowl.
In a separate bowl, combine almond butter, rice vinegar, soy sauce, honey and hot sauce.
Add 2 tablespoons hot water and stir well. If sauce is too thick, add another tablespoon hot water. Continue until the sauce has the consistency of a thick salad dressing.
Use 2 tablespoons of the sauce as dressing for the poultry mix. Toss gently to combine.
Separate remaining dipping sauce into an individual bowl or ramekin for each person.
Spoon chicken mixture into a lettuce or kale leaf and fold.
Enjoy with the dipping sauce.
Tip: The chicken mixture can be refrigerated for up to two days. Serve cold or warm.
Spring is right around the corner, as the winter begins to wind down and the fresh, warmer air begins to rear its head. Unfortunately for many, it's often hard to enjoy nature's blooming beauty as the warmer weather also brings about the onset of itchy, watery eyes that come with spring eye allergies.
Seasonal eye allergies are the eyes' reaction to allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander that enter your eyes and cause inflammation of the tissue that lines the inner eyelid. In addition to causing significant discomfort, eye allergies can have an effect on many areas of daily life, from work to driving, to watching television.
Although the majority of individuals suffering from seasonal eye allergies use anti histamines to treat and alleviate itchy, watery eyes, it's best to speak to your optometrist about the most effective allergy relief. In most cases, allergies can be treated with prescription medications or over the counter eye drops. Cool compresses can alleviate itchiness and swelling - a towel and some cold water may be all you need to inhibit the allergic cascade reaction and curb the urge to rub your eyes.
In addition, here are a few tips to help you minimize the effect of spring allergens on your eyes.
Don't rub your eyes as this actually makes the allergic reaction you are experiencing worse.
Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and water and wash bed linens and pillowcases in hot water to minimize allergens.
Avoid walking, exercise and outdoor activities in the early morning when pollen counts are high.
Check your weather forecast for the daily pollen count and wait till midday if possible to go out.
When maintaining your garden, it's preferable to have someone else mow your grass and limit your exposure to wooded areas.
Keep windows closed and run your air conditioner, ensuring that it is properly filtered and clean. Alternatively, use a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. These filter systems are very effective at removing allergens from the air in your room or house.
If you wear contact lenses, try to reduce your wearing time or talk to your optometrist about changing your cleaning method or using single-use contact lenses during allergy season.
Eye allergies can affect anyone, but don't let them prevent you from enjoying the gorgeous spring outdoors! Taking the proper preventative measures and finding the right treatment can make a huge difference in your comfort level and your ability to enjoy the nicer weather.
We all know how frustrating it can be trying to see clearly through a smudged pair of glasses; clean lenses can really make a world of difference. While it may not be something that you pay much attention to, the way you clean your lenses can also make a difference, not only for your vision, but for your eyewear as well.
Unfortunately, most eyeglasses owners are guilty of the number one crime when it comes to caring for their eyewear: breathing onto the lens and then wiping the resulting vapor away using the corner of a shirt or garment. Not only is this an inefficient way to remove dirt, it actually can damage your lenses as clothes carry dust, which when wiped onto the surface of your lenses, can result in scratches. Sometimes hard fabrics can also damage lenses.
The easiest way to get rid of dirt and residue on your glasses is simpler than you'd think. Start by running the front and back of the lens under warm water. Next wash the lenses carefully with a mild soap such as dish soap together with warm water. Once that is done, wipe the soap off in a circular motion as you once again rinse the glasses under warm water. Repeat if necessary and then dry your glasses using a soft cotton towel. There are also cleaning solutions that can be purchased to protect the anti-glare and anti-scratch coatings on glasses.
Although tissue, paper towels and napkins are often convenient to use for a quick cleaning, they are not a wise option as they are made up of rough fibers that more often than not leave debris behind. Another common cleaning substance - saliva - is not only unhygienic but also ineffective in properly removing dirt and smudges. Additionally, it is crucial to avoid using ammonia, bleach, vinegar and window cleaner to clean your specs as these substances contain chemicals which can damage the coating on your lenses.
Of course the next time you visit your eye doctor feel free to ask us for one of the microfiber cloths made especially for cleaning eyeglasses, which are helpful for a dry touch up of your glasses during the course of the day. Try to keep the cloth in a contained place away from dirt such as inside your eyeglasses case.
Another cause of dirty glasses is poor alignment - when the skin or eyelashes touch the lens, smudging is a never-ending problem. You can return to the eye doctor and ask the optician if it is possible to adjust the glasses for optimal alignment of the glasses. Be careful when you first purchase eyewear that the frame fits well so you can avoid this problem.
Get the most out of your eyewear. Keep your lenses clean and clear so you can see your best.
Dry Eye Syndrome: When Dry Eyes are Chronic
Dry eyes are a common problem for many individuals particularly during the winter months when exposure to dry air and whipping wind is increased. However, if you are suffering from dry eyes that just won't go away, you may have what is known as Dry Eye Syndrome - a condition in which the tears that lubricate and nourish the eye are not being produced sufficiently.
Tears serve to keep the surface of the eye moist, smooth and clear, to reduce the risk of infection and to remove foreign substances. Tear ducts in the corner of the eyelid drain the excess tears. Dry eyes syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by inadequate tear production or poor quality of the tears produced. A number of factors contribute to the condition including advanced age, female gender, environmental conditions, medication or particular medical conditions. Extended periods reading or working on a computer without blinking, prolonged use of contacts or refractive eye surgeries can also contribute to decreased moisture and tear production.
An optometrist will be able to determine whether you have chronic dry eye syndrome by examining your eye and your blinking pattern, measuring the amount and quality of your tears and assessing your medical and environmental history.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome include:
Persistent dry eyes
Scratchiness or gritty sensation
Feeling like there is something is in your eye
Excessively watery eyes
If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. If you have dry eye syndrome, there are treatments available to relieve your discomfort.
Computer Glasses: A Growing Necessity in Our Digital World
The need for computer glasses is growing as the digital age means many of us are spending hours in front of a computer or mobile screen each day, often resulting in eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, or neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms and others are often categorized as Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. Computer eyeglasses are designed to be worn while working on your computer or another small screen to increase physical comfort and reduce eye strain to eliminate these uncomfortable effects of CVS.
What are Computer Glasses?
Computer glasses contain lenses made specifically for viewing a computer screen. Digital screens present a visual field, distance, font and glare that the eyes must accommodate to and therefore individuals that spend more than two hours a day on the computer are susceptible to symptoms of CVS, such as blurred vision and headaches. To avoid eye strain, people tend to compensate by leaning over to get closer to the screen which contributes to neck, back and shoulder pain.
Computer glasses are designed to assist in viewing the screen optimally from a proper position in relation to the computer. As opposed to reading glasses, computer glasses are focused on the intermediate visual zone which is in between distance vision (such as that needed for driving or watching a movie) and near vision (needed when reading). Computer glasses come in single vision, prescription or multifocal lenses depending on the needs of the individual.
It is also important for computer eyeglasses to have an anti-reflective (AR) or anti-glare coating or tint. Such treatments will reduce reflections of light of the computer screen or on the surface of your lenses which can induce eye strain. Some eye doctors also recommend a contrast-enhancing tint for computer glasses to help reduce glare caused by harsh overhead lighting often found in office environments.
Computer vision syndrome can be worsened by underlying vision problems such as accommodating deficiencies - trouble refocusing from the keyboard (near vision) to the screen (intermediate vision) or presbyopia (progressive near vision difficulty that comes with advancing age). Before purchasing computer glasses, you should have a comprehensive eye exam to rule out these or other eye and vision issues which may require an alternative solution.
Where Do I Get Computer Eyeglasses?
Since individual eye and vision needs such as a prescription should be taken into consideration for effective computer glasses, you should schedule an eye exam with a trusted eye care professional. It is also a good idea to measure the distance you generally sit from your computer screen to help your eye doctor determine the optimal power needed for your lens strength. This information will assist your eye doctor in recommending the best lens combination to suit your needs. Remember, these glasses are specifically for computer use only and should not be worn when driving or performing other tasks that require vision enhancement.
Once you are equipped with a proper prescription and lens type, you can select almost any style of frame for your computer glasses, so even sitting at your computer in the office you can look fashionable, see great and feel better at the same time.
Don't wait for the symptoms of CVS to appear. Particularly if you work at a computer, consult with your optometrist today to find out whether computer glasses are right for you.
Diabetic Eye Disease: Know the Symptoms
These days, diabetes is extremely common. A lot of people don't know just how much it can affect patients. For example, diabetes can easily lead to ending up with several eye-related diseases. These conditions include cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, as well as a number of other conditions that can effect the health of the eye, and your vision.
Diabetic retinopathy, which occurs when high blood glucose levels cause harm to the retina. It's also an extremely common cause of blindess in adults.
While cataracts, which lead to the loss of vision, and are a common result of getting older, a lot of people don't know that diabetes patients are prone to developing these at an younger age.
Diabetes sufferers have double the chance of developing glaucoma, which is a serious, sight-threatening condition. This disease is categorized by optic nerve damage, and this can lead to loss of vision. If this isn't properly dealt with, the vision loss can lead to blindness.
All diabetes sufferers, regardless of whether it is type 1 or type 2 - are at increased risk of diabetic eye disease, even more so if their diabetes is uncontrolled. Additional risks include obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, poor diet and exercise, and smoking.
Symptoms of diabetic eye diseases usually change with blood sugar levels, and may include:
Unfortunately, these symptoms are more than warning signs. The onset of diabetic eye disease can actually occur before its symptoms do.
Blurred vision and blind spots
Trouble with near vision
Detecting the condition while it's still asymptomatic can make a huge difference when it comes to avoiding irreversible vision loss. Because of this, diabetes patients are strongly encouraged to have a yearly eye exam to monitor their eye health. If you or someone you care for has diabetes, it's so important to make sure you are educated about the risks and prevention of diabetic eye disease. Annual eye exams, coupled with proper preventative measures, can make the difference between losing vision and seeing well for years to come.
Know the Risks of Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetes is a disease that affects the metabolic process that causes elevated levels of blood sugar either due to inadequate production of insulin or because the body does not efficiently use the insulin produced (depending on the type of diabetes).
Diabetes can cause harm to your eyes in a number of ways, particularly when the disease is uncontrolled.
The most common diabetic eye disease, called diabetic retinopathy, is one of the primary causes of vision loss in adults. This condition is caused by blocked blood vessels in the retina as a result of the increased blood sugar levels. The blockages lead to leaks in the blood vessels which results in irreversible damage to the retina.
Located at the back of the eye, the retina is an essential component for proper vision. Damage to the retina can cause irreversible blindness. While controlling diabetes reduces the chances of developing diabetic retinopathy, it does not eliminate the risk and consequently it is essential to have a yearly retinal exam.
Blood sugar levels that change periodically can also affect eyesight. Since glucose levels have an impact on the ability of your lens to maintain sharp focus, this can result in blurry vision that changes with blood sugar levels.
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded and can also develop in diabetics. While cataracts are common in people over a certain age, the risk of having the condition earlier is higher in individuals with diabetes.
A diabetic is twice as at risk of developing glaucoma, an increase in pressure in the optic nerve resulting in optic nerve damage and ultimately blindness.
Having control of your diabetes is the best form of prevention for any of the eye and vision problems associated with the disease. As well as maintaining proper glucose levels through proper nutrition and/or insulin, it's important to exercise and refrain from smoking. Additionally, it is critical to have regular yearly checkups with an eye doctor to identify any developing problems early on. Even though in many cases any loss of sight caused by diabetic eye disease of any kind is irreparable, early diagnosis and treatment can often slow further vision loss.
Retinoscopy: What is it?
During your eye exam, your eye doctor might direct a beam of light into your eye, and hold various lenses in front of it. But why? This is one way eye doctors test the refractive error of your eye, and it's called a retinoscopy exam. Whether you're near or farsighted, or you have astigmatism, examining the reflection of light off your retina is a test your optometrist can employ to determine if you need vision correction.
The main thing your doctor is looking for during this exam is how well your eyes can focus on the light. We shine light into your eye because we are looking for what's known as your red reflex. The retinoscope aims a beam of light into your eye, and a red or orange light reflects through your pupil and off your retina. We use the light to measure your focal length, or in layman's terms, it will measure the precise angle of refraction of light off your retina which lets us know how well your eye focuses. And if we see that you can't focus correctly, that's where the lenses come in. We hold several prescription lenses in front of the eye to determine which one corrects the error. This is exactly how we find out what prescription your glasses or contact lenses need to be.
Your retinoscopy exam is conducted in a dark room. To make your eyes easier to examine, you'll usually be instructed to look at something behind the doctor. Not having to read any eye charts means that a retinoscopy exam is also a really good way to accurately determine the prescriptions of the speech-impaired, or young children.
Are Smartphones Eye-Safe?
Do you ever wonder about the toll your smartphone might be taking on your sight? We can't deny that these devices are wonderful, because they allow us to stay in touch with whoever we want almost always. However as these devices are made with small screens, most users often hold their smartphones a lot closer to their eyes than they would hold books and magazines. This creates a number of demands on your vision that make your eyes operate in a way that's different to its normal activity.
It's much harder for your eyes to focus on the small images and text you see on the small screens of smartphones. It won't come as a shock to know that this can cause issues, especially for people who already have glasses or contact lenses. Researches claim that when people who wear glasses have a lot of small screen time, the eyes have a rough time correcting for distance. When your eyes are under unnecessary pressure, it usually leads to painful headaches or migraines as a result of the eyestrain.
In addition to this, too much time looking at your small screen can make you blink less, and that can lead to dry eyes and blurry vision.
But we can't all just stop using our phones. So what's the solution? In order to prevent eyestrain and blurred vision caused by our smartphones and tablets, it's best to set your phone to display all text in a larger font, and hold the screen further away from your eyes. It's also a good idea to work towards using your phone for less time, and giving your eyes regular breaks. You've only got one pair of eyes. Look after them well.
Presbyopia, or far-sightedness, is a common condition that often begins to develop in those over the age of 40. But having presbyopia when you already wear glasses for near sightedness doesn't mean you now need two pairs of glasses. Multifocal lenses, which rectify problems with both near and far sight, let you see clearly at all times, with one pair of glasses.
Before mulifocals, bifocals were the obvious solution, but they have a significant flaw; while they help you to focus on both near and distant objects, everything else is blurred. In an effort to correct this problem, progressive lenses were made, which provide wearers with and intermediate or transition part of the lens that allows your eyes to focus on distances that are in the middle. Progressive lenses, which are also called no-line lenses, are a type of multifocal lens that have a gently curved lens, rather than a sharp line separating both parts of the lens. This creates not only clearer vision at near and far distances, but also good transitions in between.
However, it can take some time to get used to these lenses. Even though the invisible transition of progressive lenses results in a product that is elegant, the focal areas are relatively small because the transitional areas also inhabit room.
Bifocals aren't entirely dated though; they are helpful for children and teenagers who suffer from eye strain, stemming from a difficulty focusing while reading.
It's also important to get professionally fitted, and avoid store-bought bifocals. Most of these "ready-made" glasses are one-size-fits-all, which means that the prescription is the same in both lenses and are not customized for the wearer.
Glasses that aren't properly customized to you can lead to headaches, eye strain or even nausea. During middle age, most people cannot avoid presbyopia. But it's important to know that the right lenses can make it a lot easier.
What Does Your Eye Doctor Need to Know About You?
Is it time for your next eye exam? In order for us to guarantee that your exam is effective and productive, there are a few things we'll need to know.
Because your eyes can be affected by seemingly unrelated health conditions, you'll need to inform us of any changes in your body you may have recently become aware of. A couple of examples of conditions you should let us know of are diabetes, pregnancy, high blood pressure or allergies. If you are on any medications, you should let us know what you're on, because prescription and even non-prescription drugs can influence the state of your eyes.
The more we know about your lifestyle, the better. For example, do you drink or smoke? In addition, we will look at the way you actually use your eyes. Do you work at a computer a lot? Being aware of these details can help us to figure out the solution to your vision problems.
Because a number of eye conditions are genetic, it's important that you let us know about any of them in your immediate family, especially glaucoma or macular degeneration. It's easy to understand what it's a great deal less complicated to look out for symptoms when we're already aware which conditions you may be prone to.
Warning signs include things like seeing double, spots or flashing lights. If you begin to experience any of these, give us a call as soon as possible. We will figure out the source of the condition, and suggest the best possible way to treat it. Remember to take your most recent pair of glasses along when you see us; even if you normally wear contact lenses, as examining your present glasses gives us useful information. Together, we will discover the best way to resolve your eye needs.
Focusing on Eye Patches
Are you concerned that your child has a lazy eye? It develops when sight is suppressed, but only in one eye. This can occur if your child isn't able to see well through one eye because of issues with distance vision, and in some cases, astigmatism. Coupled with eye glasses, one of the treatment options involves patching your child's eye for a number of hours per day to strengthen vision in the lazy eye. Patching.
In some cases, it can be frustratingly difficult to have your son or daughter wear an eye patch, and even harder when they're really young. Their more active eye is covered with the patch, which makes it harder for your child to see. It may be difficult to explain the process to a young child; that they need to wear the patch to help their weaker eye, but not being able to see well is precisely the thing that makes patches so difficult. There are quite a few tricks that make eyepatches a bit funner for children to wear. For preschool-aged kids, use a sticker chart. Eye patch manufacturers are aware of the issue; patches are available in loads of patterns and colors that kids can get excited about. Make it an activity by allowing them to choose a different patch each day. With kids who are a little older, tell them about the importance of wearing a patch, and talk about it as an effective way to build strength in the eye.
Maybe you can put a patch on also, or maybe put a patch on one of their favorite toys.
Patches are a great solution to lazy eyes and can be really helpful, but it depends on your child's help and your ability to stick to the long-term goal of recovering strong vision in your child's lazy eye.
Seeing in the Dark
Something wakes you up in the middle of the night, or you're searching for the light switch or door in a dark room. It's happened to all of us. After a while you can see again. This is called "dark adaptation".
Night vision requires a combination of biochemical, physical and neural mechanisms - for granted. But how does this work? Every eye features rod cells and cone cells, at the back of the eye; or, to be precise, on the retina. Together they make up the sensory layer that gives your eye the ability to see colors and light. The rod and cone cells are found throughout your retina, with the exception of the small area called the fovea. The fovea is made up of only cone cells, and its main function involves focusing. What's the difference between rods and cones? Basically, cones contribute to color vision, and the rods allow us to see black and white, and are light sensitive.
So, if you want to see something in the dark, like the dresser in your darkened room, you'll be better off if you try to look at it with your peripheral vision. That way, you're avoiding the use of the fovea, which only has cells that are less sensitive to low light.
Another method by which your eye responds to the dark is by your pupils dilating. It takes fewer than sixty seconds for the pupil to completely dilate; however, dark adaptation keeps improving your vision over approximately 30 minutes.
Here's an example of dark adaptation: if you exit a bright area and enter a dim one, for instance, walking inside after sitting in the sun. It'll always require a few moments until you begin to get used to regular indoor light. If you walk back out outside, those changes will be lost in a flash.
This explains one reason behind why a lot people have difficulty driving their cars at night. When you look right at the headlights of an oncoming vehicle, you are briefly blinded, until that car is gone and you readjust to the night light. A good way to avoid this is to avoid looking directly at the car's lights, and instead, try to allow your peripheral vision to guide you.
If you're having trouble seeing when it's dark, book an appointment with our doctors who will confirm that your prescription is up to date, and eliminate other reasons for decreased vision, such as macular degeneration or cataracts.
Taking a Closer Look at Presbyopia
As you approach middle age, you may begin to experience difficulty with reading. This is why: With age, the lens of your eye grows increasingly inflexible, decreasing your ability to focus on handheld objects. This is known as presbyopia. And it's universal.
In an effort to avoid having to strain their eyes, people with undiagnosed presbyopia may hold reading material at arm's length in order to focus properly. Performing other close-range activities, like needlepoint or writing, can also result in headaches, eyestrain or fatigue. In order to treat presbyopia, there are several options available, which take your eyewear preferences into account.
One of the most common preferences is reading glasses, but these are only useful for contact lens wearers or for people who don't already wear glasses for issues with distance vision. Although reading glasses are readily available at pharmacies or drugstores, it's advised not to buy them until you have spoken with an optometrist. A lot of people aren't aware that reading glasses may be useful for quick periods of time but they can eventually result in fatigue when people wear them for a long time. Actually, custom-made reading glasses are a much better solution. These can do a number of things, like fix astigmatism, comfortably accommodate prescriptions which are not necessarily the same in both eyes, and on top of that, the optic centers of every lens are adjusted to fit the person who wears them. The reading distance can be adjusted to meet the individual's needs.
And if you're already wearing glasses to fix myopia, and would rather just use one pair of glasses at a time, think about bifocal or multi-focal corrective lenses, or the popular progressive addition lenses PALs. PALs and multi-focals are glasses that have separate points of focus, and the lower part of the lens is where there is a prescription to help you focus on things right in front of you. If you already wear contacts, it's best to talk to your optometrist in Evans, GA to discuss multifocal contact lenses, or a treatment technique known as monovision, where one eye wears a lens for distance vision and one eye wears a lens for close vision.
Due to the fact that your vision changes as time goes on, you should anticipate adjusting your prescription periodically. However, it's also important to look into your options before making choices about your vision; you can be susceptible to presbyopia, even if you've had refractive surgery in the past.
It's best to speak to your eye care professional for an unbiased opinion. We can help you deal with presbyopia and your changing vision in a way that is best for you.
Toys and Eye Safety
Selecting the best toys with eye safety in mind is something all moms and dads are concerned with. How do we select toys and activities that keep our kids' eyes safe?
Children are born with only semi-formed vision. Few things stimulate a child's visual development better than toys and activities that involve hand-eye coordination and learning about spatial relationships. Between the ages of 0-3 months, babies can't totally differentiate between colors, so simple black and white shapes and patterns are really great for their age group.
Kids spend a lot of time playing with their toys, so it's crucial to know if those toys are safe and beneficial or not. A toy that is not age appropriate is often not a great choice. Don't forget to make sure that the toy is suited to their level of development. Although toy manufacturers indicate age and developmental appropriateness on the box, it is up to you to be smart, so your child doesn't play with anything that could be harmful to them.
A wonderful toy for most ages is blocks, but for younger children, check that the corners and edges are blunted, to reduce the chance of eye injury. The size of toys is another important thing to look at. If you have small children a toy that is small enough to fit in their mouth is not something they should be playing with. Put that small item far out of reach until your child is more appropriately aged.
Steer clear of toys that have points or edges or sharp components for a little kid, and check that things with long sticks, like pony sticks or toy brooms have rounded handles. Closely supervise toddlers when they play with such toys.
If your child is under 6 years old, avoid toys projectiles, like arrows. Always closely watch kids playing with those kinds of toys. Whereas, if you have older kids who have chemistry sets or woodworking tools, always check that they wear safety goggles.
So the next time you're shopping for gifts, keep in mind the age and developmental recommendations on toys. Make sure that toys you buy don't pose any risk to your child's eyes - even if they look fun to play with.
See Your Child Off To School with Good Vision
It's that time of year again. Parents everywhere are going shopping for bags and books, making sure their kids have all the gear they need to ensure a good upcoming academic year. This is a great time to take your child to get an eye exam, if you haven't already covered that base.
As you might have guessed, a lot of progress at school is accomplished with the use of a child's eyes. Despite the obvious correlation between vision and learning, a lot of parents don't realize how profoundly vision problems affect education, and don't get their child's eyes checked regularly. It's important to know that because vision in kids changes, regular eye exams are crucial to good school results and self esteem.
It is especially important to look out for the signs of vision problems as your child progresses through school.
Inadequate eyesight and growing visual demands such as smaller print in textbooks or additional homework can potentially impact his/her progress. New classroom technology, such as interactive whiteboards, can even exaggerate previously unknown vision issues. If a student doesn't have good enough vision, it isn't just their academic life that is affected. It's mentally and emotionally tough on them also.
If you're the parent of a child who wears glasses already, the start of the school year is a perfect time to see if their current frames are suitable and comfortable. If you want the kid to wear his glasses, he better be happy them!
So make an appointment to see us when you're getting your children ready for their year. We'll do our very best to help all the kids we treat start the new school year with vision that's in excellent condition.
Under the Radar: Convergence Insufficiency
Is your child clever when it comes to lots of things, but does badly at school? In truth, he or she could be suffering from a hidden but very real vision problem, which hinders learning. It's called Convergence Insufficiency (CI).
In short, CI is a condition that gets in the way of one's ability to see, read, learn and work at close distances. A child with CI struggles to, or is simply unable to coordinate his/her eyes at close range, which impairs activities like reading. In order to avoid double vision, CI sufferers strain more to make their eyes turn back in, or to use the correct medical term, converge. This additional burden on the system will often give way to a whole range of prohibitive issues such as headaches from eye strain, blurry or double vision, fatigue and decreased concentration, and reduced comprehension after short reading periods. Other issues include challenges with performing computer work, desk work, playing handheld video games or doing art work.
You may have also noticed that your son or daughter often loses his/her place when reading, tends to shut one eye to better see, struggles to recall what they just read, or reports that words they look at seem to be moving. Another issue that often comes up is motion sickness. And if your child is sleepy or overworked, it's common for their symptoms to become worse.
CI is frequently diagnosed incorrectly as dyslexia, ADD or ADHD or even an anxiety disorder. This eye problem slips under the radar during school eye screenings or basic eye exams using only an eye chart. Your child may have 20/20 vision, with CI, and lack the visual skills critical for reading.
But there's good news too! It's been shown that CI usually responds positively to proper treatment. These treatments are usually comprised of supervised vision therapy with reinforcing practice sessions at home, or the use of prism glasses, which can reduce a number of symptoms. The bad news is that because of persistent lack of testing for it, a lot of sufferers are not finding the help they need early in life. So if your child is struggling to read and concentrate, call your Evans, Georgia optometrist and have your child tested for CI.
Understanding 20/20 Vision
It's safe to say that everyone has come across the expressions twenty-twenty vision and visual acuity. Still though, what do these terms actually mean? Having a proper understanding of them will help you appreciate how your eye care professional assesses your eyes in an eye exam.
20/20 vision refers to the accuracy of your vision from 20 feet away. If you have 20/20 eyesight, that basically means that from twenty feet away you can see what is normally seen from that distance. You may not know this, but 20/20 vision isn't the best possible visual acuity. A large number of people have vision that's better than 20/20; for example, some people have 20/15 vision, so what they would be able to see at 20 feet, a person with normal vision would only be able to discriminate as close as 15 feet.
Both eyes are examined one after another. When your optometrist asks you to read the letters on the eye chart aloud, the smallest row that you are able to read without error indicates the visual acuity in the eye that's being examined.
It's important to recognize that 20/20 eyesight actually doesn't mean your vision is perfect, and that's because it can only judge how clearly you see at a distance. There are lots of equally crucial components to seeing well; your ability to focus on objects in your immediate surroundings, contrast sensitivity, peripheral vision, eye coordination, depth perception and color vision - these are aspects of good vision. More importantly, a person who has 20/20 vision can certainly have unhealthy eyes. Those with damage to the retina due to glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, or other diseases can still have 20/20 vision without needing to wear eye glasses. For this reason, an optometrist always performs a comprehensive eye exam, and not just a simple visual acuity examination.
The next time you book yourself in for a comprehensive eye exam, you'll know exactly why you're being told to read letters from the eye chart, and more!
Get The Fresh Look
Have you ever considered getting a brand new look for your eyes? FreshLook® provides a vast assortment of colored contact lenses, so you can slightly enhance or distinctly alter your natural eye color.
This cutting edge collection of lenses boasts such a large number of options, that you're sure to get exactly what you're after. It doesn't matter if your eyes are light, dark or something in between, FreshLook® contacts are able to transform your natural eye color, to provide a fresh, gorgeous and most of all, natural look. Each kind of contacts comes in bi-monthly or daily disposable choices.
When it's time to choose a color contact lens, start by thinking about the color of your skin, hair and eyes, and the type of look you're going for. Additionally, if you want to experiment with plenty of colors to see how the lenses will look on you, you can virtually "try on" many different color contact lenses by visiting the FreshLook® website and uploading a snapshot of yourself, before seeing your Evans eye doctor.
Color contacts can be worn to help you see or simply to boost your eye color, they must be fitted and prescribed by an eye care professional, so make time to see us to explore your color contact lens options.
Keep a Lid on Eye Hygiene
Inflamed eyelids, also called blepharitis, is something that many people suffer from at some point during their lives. Blepharitis is a common eyelid inflammation, sometimes linked to a bacterial eye infection, certain types of skin conditions, and dry eyes.
Common symptoms include itching, burning, redness, the sensation of a foreign body in your eye, tearing and some crustiness in or around the eye. The condition can actually be problematic to deal with, because it's usually chronic.
The good news is that there are numerous options available to handle blepharitis and maintain healthy eye hygiene. Try applying a warm compress to your closed eyelid to facilitate loosening the crust that may have formed on your eyelids and eyelashes before you clean them. The heat from the washcloth will also loosen any remaining residue in your eyelids' oil secreting glands. When you begin treatment, you may find you need to repeat this several times a day for approximately five minutes every time. When things clear up a bit, you may only need to apply the compress for about five minutes each day.
Although it may be uncomfortable, blepharitis isn't actually contagious at all and typically, doesn't cause any enduring damage to your vision, so schedule an appointment with your O. D. about eyelid hygiene, to make sure your eyelids are clean and healthy.
The Importance of Changing Your Contact Lenses
How often to you leave your disposable contact lenses in for too long? It's a basic fact that a lot of things are just plain better when they are fresh. You won't be surprised to hear that the same rule is also applicable to your lenses. You should never leave your contacts in your eyes for any longer than you've been advised to. Even though it might not seem so bad to use them just one more time, if you want your eyes to see their very best, don't overlook the replacement and wearing timetable your optician determines. So, if you've been instructed to use a new pair daily, change them daily, because they can't withstand reuse.
So many people think, can't I get a few additional wears out of them? To understand this idea, let's examine protein - although not the edible sort, but the natural protein contained in your eye fluids that slowly accumulates on the surface of your lenses and creates a thin haze. Blurry vision is just the start.
Over time, these proteins evolve and make your immune system think the accumulation is a foreign particle, and the body's reaction can lead to inflammation in the eye. Which means your eyesight suffers. Even if you take perfect care of your contacts, eventually they stop being as clear and smooth, due to normal deterioration.
It's best to commit to the plan your optician advises for you. When you throw out and replace your contact lenses when you're told to, you will never even see the difference that is so obvious when you wear them any longer than you're meant to.
Cataracts: Common but Treatable
In the United States, this month is Cataract Awareness Month. Did you know that cataracts are the most common culprit of deteriorating vision among adults aged 55 and older? In fact, more than 50% of all North Americans aged 65 and older have some degree of cataract development. As stated by the National Eye Institute, by the time they reach 80 years old, more than half of all Americans will have either had cataract surgery, or will have a cataract.
A cataract is like a veil in front of the eye's lens; one that limits or alters the how light enters into the eye. For most people, cataracts are an expected side effect of older age. Other possible risk factors for developing a cataract include being overweight, diabetes, inflammation in the eye, steroid use, cigarettes and various eye injuries.
Throughout the early phases of cataract development, brighter lighting and eyewear may be used to reduce the vision problems you might experience. At some point, however, a surgical procedure may be necessary in order to fix your sight. More than 90 percent of patients who have cataract surgery recover excellent sight.
If you are in your 60s and experiencing low vision, book an appointment to discuss cataracts with your optometrist. The prognosis for cataracts is excellent, and we know you want to have good vision throughout your golden years.
The Importance of a Comprehensive Eye Exam
This month is Healthy Vision Month. When did you last have a comprehensive eye exam? Checking your eyes annually is one of the most effective steps you can take to be sure that your vision remains healthy. During the procedure, your optometrist checks your eyes to look for common eye diseases and vision issues, some of which lack early warning symptoms.
A comprehensive dilated eye exam is something a lot of people are not familiar with. It is different from a regular eye exam one might get for glasses or contact lenses in that it helps to spot eye diseases in their early stages, well before vision loss can occur, and before you are even aware that any problem with your eye exists.
The session will begin with a visual acuity test, using an eye chart to assess how good your sight is at different distances. The exterior of your eye will also be properly examined.
When your tests have concluded, your eye care professional will go ahead and squeeze drops in your eyes, which dilates your pupils, which helps to carry out the comprehensive internal examination of your eyes. You will need to wait 20 - 30 minutes until the drops take effect. Your optometrist will then implement the use of a specialized magnifying tool to thoroughly examine inside your eye, especially your retina. This examination is very important, because it provides crucial information about your eye health, as well as information concerning your general health. To give an example, it can reveal signs of diseases such as diabetes and also indicate high blood pressure.
After the examination, your pupils will remain dilated until the effect of the drops wear off, making your eyes photo-sensitive, so we recommend bringing a pair of sunglasses with you to minimize light and glare sensitivity when you leave. You will also be examined for signs of glaucoma. This is done by determining your eye pressure, using a quick puff of air directed onto your eye.
It's time to care for your eyes. Commit to making your eye health come first, and book an eye exam today.
The New Transitions Vantage Lens
Great news for anyone in the market for dependable variable tint lenses: Transition Optical have announced a new addition to their comprehensive range. It's called the Transitions Vantage lens. The company has added a great new feature to their highly regarded light adapting lens with the addition of revolutionary variable polarization.
Sunlight reflecting off smooth surfaces like water or glass can mean limited and uncomfortable vision. The process that filters these reflections, to allow you to see with clarity, is referred to as polarization.
The brand new product is the first photochromic lens with polarization that increases as the lens gets darker in sunlight.
As your Transition Vantage lenses get darker, your sight gets crisper, sharper and more vivid, while at the same time, glare lessens, regardless of the lighting.
This revolutionary lens is engineered for everyday use, and are great for a wide assortment of activities, from reading or writing and working at a a computer, to working outside and getting around. The lens is virtually clear indoors and transitions into an amazingly effective dark lens in sunlight.
If you are looking for glasses that can be used every day, both inside and outside, go see your eye care specialist about the Transitions Vantage and the ways it can help your sight.
Warning Signs of Poor Vision
In patients, whether young or old, sometimes poor vision can be caused by a number of conditions such as changes in the body or defects in the eye or visual system, diseases affecting the eye, side effects caused by medicine or injuries to the eye. Commonly, people also report visual abnormalities associated with age or eye stress. Aging and stress can cause changes in your eyesight, which can sometimes make it uncomfortable or difficult to perform normal activities, like reading fine print or using a computer for extended periods of time. These vision problems can be expressed via the following symptoms: eye strain, headache, blurred vision, and trouble seeing from close and far distances.
Blurred vision is one of the most oft-reported signs of a vision problem. If you suffer from blurred vision when you're looking at faraway objects, you could very well be nearsighted, or myopic. If you have blurred vision when you're viewing objects nearby it may be a sign of farsightedness, or hyperopia. Blurred vision can also be a sign of astigmatism which occurs because of an abnormality in the shape of the cornea, or sometimes the curvature of the lens inside the eye. In all cases of blurry vision, it's vital that an eye care professional thoroughly check your vision and decide on the most effective way to rectify your sight.
Sudden flashes of light, sometimes coupled with floating black spots and the feeling of a dark curtain or veil that limits a portion of your vision indicates the chance of what's known as a retinal detachment. If this is the case, see your eye doctor right away, as this can have severe consequences for your eyesight.
Another indicator of a vision problem is difficulty discerning different colors or intensity of color. This is an indication of a problem perceiving color, or color blindness. Color blindness is usually not known to the patient until discovered with a test. Color blindness is generally found in males. If present in a female it might mean she has ocular disease, in which case, an eye doctor needs to be consulted. If you have difficulty distinguishing objects in low light, it is a sign of possible night blindness.
An issue commonly found in elderly patients is cataracts, which have several indicating signs which include: blurry sight that is worse in bright light, weak night vision, trouble discerning small writing or details, colors that appear faded or yellowed, unexpected improvement in near vision but a decline in distance vision, puffiness of the eye, and a pale appearance to the usually dark pupil.
Throbbing eye pain, headaches, blurry sight, inflammation in the eye, rainbow rings around lights, nausea and vomiting are also indicators of glaucoma, an acute medical condition, which requires immediate medical attention.
With younger patients, it is important to look out for weak eye movement, or crossed eyes, which could indicate a vision problem known as strabismus. Certain things children might do, like rubbing eyes frequently, squinting, or the need to shut one eye in order to focus better, often point to this issue.
Even though some conditions are more severe than others, anything that restricts clear sight can be something that compromises your quality of life. A quick visit to your optometrist can save you from being avoidably uncomfortable, not to mention even more severe eye problems.
What All Women Should Know About Healthy Vision
This month, Prevent Blindness America is focusing on Women's Eye Health and Safety.
The many stages of a woman's life can have an impact on her vision. Eye disease in women is being diagnosed in increasing numbers, particularly in aging women. Actually, studies show that large numbers of women going through middle age have some sort of eyesight impairment, and are at risk of developing conditions such as dry eyes, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy or glaucoma. It's worth noting that the chance of women developing vision loss has increased because of the female population's growing lifespan.
For women, an initial step to take to maintain strong vision is to schedule a periodic eye exam. Be sure to go get an extensive eye exam before reaching the age of forty, and that you follow up with the care your eye doctor encourages. Additionally, be familiar with your family medical history, as your genetics are an important detail of comprehending, diagnosing and stopping eye conditions. Be sure to examine your family's eye and health history and alert your eye doctor of any illnesses present themselves.
In addition, eat a healthful, well-balanced diet and don't forget to include foods rich in zinc, omega-3 fats and beta carotene, which all help prevent vision loss due to eye disease. It's recommended that you also buy vitamin A, riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C tablets, which are all great starting points to keeping up optimal eye health.
For women who smoke, make a commitment to quit, because even second-hand smoke can raise the danger of eye disease and is a common factor in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Ultraviolet rays, which can also cause the development of cataracts and AMD, are extremely dangerous to your vision. When you go outside, and not just during the summer, be sure to wear 100% UV protective sunglasses and a sun hat that will shield your eyes from harsh rays.
Hormonal changes such as what might take place when a woman goes through pregnancy or menopause, can can also influence your sight. Sometimes, these changes can even make contacts ineffective or slightly painful. During pregnancy, you may want to reduce contact lens wearing time and adjust your eyeglass prescription as needed. It's worthwhile to make an appointment with your optometrist during your pregnancy to talk about any eyesight or vision changes you may be noticing.
There are also several precautions to take to shield your eyes from household dangers, like cleaning supplies. Check that household chemicals, including cleaning agents, bleach and fertilizers are stored safely and are locked away from young children. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling all chemicals and use eye protection if employing the use of strong substances. Wear proper safety goggles when repairing things in your house, most importantly when working with wood, metal or power tools.
When used carelessly, cosmetics might also be a safety risk for your eyes. Particularly when it comes to eye makeup, never use anyone else's products. Avoid using old eye makeup and throw away anything that's been open for more than four months, particularly anything that's liquid based. Look out for any abnormal reactions and cease use immediately if you spot redness, itchiness or puffiness in or around the eyes. Be aware also that you can actually develop allergic reactions to make up you've been fine with for years. Also, be sure to avoid touching the eye when applying eyeliners, shadows and mascara.
As a woman, it is important to be informed of the risks and choices when it comes to caring for your eyes. And of course, it can't hurt to inform the women you know, such as daughters and friends, about how to protect their eyes and vision.
This month we recognize Sports Eye Safety Month
When the spring comes, along with often nicer weather, comes an increase in the prevalence of sports related eye injuries. Each year, many children and adults sustain sports related eye injuries that could easily be prevented with suitable safety measures. Wearing proper eye protection while playing sports is particularly important in high-impact sports or those that bring you out into the sun's rays such as field hockey, softball, cricket, tennis, fencing, volleyball, or fishing.
Lower your chances of a sports eye injury by wearing the proper protective eyewear right for the activity you might be participating in. This will keep you safe from injury and will also have additional protection to minimize your exposure to harmful ultra-violet light for outdoor play. Sports eyewear is designed to withstand frequently occurring conditions. Regular frames and lenses usually don't meet the minimum requirements for preventing impact, meaning that even just the smallest hit can mean a serious eye injury that could potentially threaten your eyesight.
Sports vision goes beyond selecting the appropriate protective eyewear. Eyesight is a primary part of your ability to perform, so it's vital to have clear vision. If you already wear eyeglasses, you might need protective sports glasses with a prescription to make it easier to be safe. If you're fitted with contacts, you might require a different lens than the ones you use everyday. Speak to your eye care professional about the options at your disposal.
All sports have different needs and risks, so let your eye care professional determine your unique situation and fit you with the right glasses or lenses that best fit your visual skills. This will only help you gain the winning edge you need to excel and have fun and be safe when you play sports.
Different sports include a range of demands and dangers, so allow your eye care professional to identify your specific needs and provide the correct eyeglasses or contact lenses that best fit your vision. This will only help you have the edge you need to excel and have fun and be safe when you play sports.
Behind the Wheel with Good Vision
When driving, the value of seeing properly can not be underestimated. Actually, driving safely depends on a combination of a number of different visual capabilities - for example, being able to see both far ahead as well as your immediate surroundings, side or peripheral vision, seeing at night and color vision, plus many others.
Distance vision is vital because it lets you observe the road in front and spot any danger that might be present. Being able to see ahead gives you a chance to act fast and avoid an accident from happening. And on the flip-side, if you don't see ahead well you may not be able to see dangers until it's too late.
Equally as important is peripheral or side vision, which enables you see both sides of your car, which is important to see other cars, animals and pedestrians without needing to look away from the road lying ahead. Being able to see peripherally is also crucial when changing lanes and turning. Make sure you know how to use your rearview and side mirrors. Make sure they're adjusted correctly, to assist your side vision.
Road safety is also highly dependent on good depth perception. This lets you evaluate distances correctly in crowded driving conditions, change lanes and pass other vehicles on the road. Accurate depth perception requires proper functioning in both eyes. If you've lost visual acuity in one eye, it's advised to consult with an eye doctor to see if it is okay for you to get behind the wheel. It may be suggested that you refrain from driving until a solution is found to correct your vision.
Accommodation also comes into use when driving. If you're unfamiliar with the term accommodating, it is the ability to shift your focus from something in the distance to something close, such as from the road to the dashboard. If you're over the age of 45 you might have trouble with near vision, and it might be helpful for you to get glasses or some other vision correction solution to make it easier to see objects up close. Speak to your optometrist to talk about the options.
It's best not to wait until you renew or get your driver's license to get your eyes checked. You never want to endanger your own life or those of the others on the road! If you suspect your vision isn't adequate, see your optometrist, and have a thorough eye exam sooner rather than later.
Your Vision in the Workplace
In an effort to enlighten companies and their workers about the necessity of eye wellness, and to provide advice on how to prevent vision-impairing eye mishaps, Prevent Blindness America (PBA) has designated the month of March as Workplace Vision Wellness Month.
Every day, employees are inflicted by workplace related eye injuries that need medical attention. Safety experts and doctors say that the two main reasons that people sustain eye injuries is because they don't protect their eyes or they are taking the wrong sorts of safety measures.
High risk occupations for eye accidents include building, manufacturing, mining, woodwork, car and truck repair, electrical work, plumbing, welding and maintenance.
Protecting your Eyes
An eye care professional will assist you to determine possible eye dangers at your workplace and decide on the best sort of eye protection for you.
Some workplaces possess multiple risks for eyes and finding proper eye protection must take all potentials dangers into account.
If you work with chemicals you should wear goggles, while if you work in an area where you encounter flying objects or dust, choose safety glasses that have side shields.
For those who work near dangerous radiation when welding, working with lasers, or fiber optics requires the use of special-purpose safety glasses, protective goggles with a face shield, or helmets made specifically for what you will be doing.
Computer Monitors and Healthy Vision
Those who spend a lot of time working on computers or using hand held devices are also at risk of discomfort such as blurred vision, headaches and eye strain.
Here are a few tips to avoid putting your eyes under unnecessary pressure when using hand held devices or working on a computer:
Try to maintain the 20-20-20 rule which will help your eyes rest. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. If you're using a hand-held device, make the font bigger so you can use it at a distance better for your eyes.
Also adjust the light intensity of your monitor to a resolution that is not too bright or too dim and position your screen just below eye level to reduce any pressure on your eyes. You may also want to consider the option of computer glasses.
If you think that you may be in danger of any eye or vision damage due to your work don't delay! Give us a call to discuss the hazards and solutions for a lifetime of eye and vision health!
Astigmatism: What You Need to Know About This Common Condition
Around your pupil and iris is your cornea, which is, under perfect circumstances, spherical. When light enters the eye from all angles, the cornea's job is to project that light, aiming it toward your retina, in the rear part of your eye. What does it mean if the cornea isn't perfectly spherical? The eye cannot direct the light correctly on one focal point on your retina, and will blur your vision. Such a condition is referred to as astigmatism.
Many individuals have astigmatism and the condition mostly comes with other refractive errors like nearsightedness or farsightedness. Astigmatism frequently appears early in life and often causes eye fatigue, headaches and the tendency to squint when untreated. With kids, it may lead to challenges in the classroom, especially with reading or other visual tasks. Those working with fine details or at a computer for extended periods might find that the condition can be problematic.
Astigmatism is detected during a routine eye test with an eye care professional and then properly diagnosed with either an automated refraction or a retinoscopy exam, which calculates the degree of astigmatism. Astigmatism is commonly corrected with contacts or glasses, for those who prefer a non-invasive procedure, or refractive surgery, which changes the way that light enters the eye, allowing your retina to receive the light correctly.
With contacts, the patient might be given toric lenses, which control the way the light bends when it enters the eye. Regular contacts have a tendency to shift each time you blink. With astigmatism, the most subtle movement can cause blurred sight. Toric lenses are able to return to the same place immediately after you blink. Toric lenses can be found in soft or rigid varieties, to be chosen depending on what is more comfortable for you.
In some cases, astigmatism may also be corrected by laser surgery, or by orthokeratology (Ortho-K), a non-surgical alternative involving the use of special rigid contact lenses to gradually change the shape of the cornea. It's advisable to discuss options with your eye care professional to decide what the best choice might be.
For help demonstrating the effects of astigmatism to children, show them the backside of two teaspoons - one circular and one oval. In the circular teaspoon, their reflection will appear proportionate. In the oval teaspoon, their reflection will be skewed. And this is what astigmatism means for your vision; those affected wind up seeing everything stretched out a little.
A person's astigmatism changes over time, so make sure that you're regularly seeing your eye care professional for a proper test. Additionally, be sure that your 'back-to-school' checklist includes a trip to an optometrist. The majority of of your child's schooling (and playing) is predominantly a function of their vision. You'll help your child make the best of his or her year with a comprehensive eye exam, which will detect any visual abnormalities before they affect schooling, play, or other activities. It's important to know that astigmatism is highly treatable, and that the earlier to you seek to treat it, the better off your child will be.
Conjunctivitis: Don't Let it Go Untreated
Pink eye, otherwise known as conjunctivitis, is a frequently seen eye infection, particularly in children. This condition can be caused by bacteria, viruses or even allergies to pollen, ingredients found in cosmetics, and chlorine in pools, or other products, which touch the eyes. Some forms of pink eye are fairly contagious and quickly spread at schools and at the home.
Pink eye develops when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue that covers the white part of your eye, gets inflamed. You can identify pink eye if you notice eye redness, itching, discharge, or inflamed eyelids and eyes that are crusty in the morning. Symptoms of pink eye may occur in one or both eyes. Pink eye infections can be divided into three basic types: bacterial, allergic and viral conjunctivitis.
The viral manifestation is often caused by the same type of viruses that makes us have those familiar red and watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by the viral form of conjunctivitis will usually last from one to two weeks and like other viruses cannot be treated with medication. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. The viral form of pink eye is contagious until it's gone, so in the meantime practice excellent hygiene, wipe away discharge and try to avoid using communal towels or pillowcases. If your son or daughter has viral pink eye, he or she will have to stay home for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.
Bacterial pink eye is caused by a common bacterial infection that enters the eye often from an external object touching the eye that is carrying the bacteria, such as a dirty finger. This type of conjunctivitis is most often treated with antibiotic cream or drops. Usually you should notice an improvement after just a few days of treatment, but always be sure to finish the entire course of antibiotics to prevent pink eye from returning.
Allergic conjunctivitis is not transmittable. It occurs more commonly among those who already suffer from seasonal allergies or allergies to substances such as pets or dust. The red, itchy, watery eyes may be just part of their overall allergic response. First of all when treating allergic conjunctivitis, the irritant itself must be removed. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor may decide to give you a prescription for an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of persistent allergic conjunctivitis, steroid eye drops could be used.
While pink eye is usually a highly treatable condition, there is sometimes a chance it could worsen into a more threatening condition. Any time you notice symptoms of conjunctivitis, be sure to see your eye doctor so he or she can decide how to best to treat it.
Risks and Signs of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
February is age related macular degeneration (AMD) and low vision month.
Did you know that age related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading culprit for loss of vision in individuals aged 65 and above? AMD is a condition that causes a breakdown of the macula in the eye which is responsible for sharp central vision.
Symptoms of Age Related Macular Degeneration
Early warning signs of age related macular degeneration include blurred eyesight and blind spots in the center of vision. Because the loss of vision typically happens slowly without any pain, symptoms may not be noticed until more severe vision loss is apparent. For this reason every individual 65 and over should be sure to have a comprehensive eye examination at least annually.
Risk Factors for AMD
If you are a Caucasian over the age of 65, who smokes, is obese and has high blood pressure or has a family history of AMD, you are at increased risk of developing the condition. For those that have a number of these risk factors, yearly eye exams are a must. Speaking to your eye doctor about proper nutrition which includes antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids can also help reduce your risk of developing AMD.
Dry Macular Degeneration vs. Wet Macular Degeneration
AMD is distinguished into two forms, wet or dry. Dry macular degeneration is diagnosed more often and may be caused by advanced age and macular tissue thinning or deposits of pigment in the macula. Wet macular degeneration, referred to as Neovascular, is caused from the growth of new blood vessels beneath the retina which leak blood, which destroys the retinal cells and causes vision loss in the central vision. Usually wet AMD is the more serious of the two.
Can AMD be Cured?
Although there are treatments that can delay the progression of macular degeneration, the disease currently has no cure. Depending on whether one has dry or wet macular degeneration the treatment may involve laser surgery or medical injections or in some cases, nutritional supplements. In all cases, early detection and treatment is critical. Speak to your optometrist also about devices to help you deal with any visual difficulty that you have already sustained. Such loss of sight that is not able to be corrected by the usual measures such as glasses, contact lenses or surgery is called low vision. There are a number of low vision devices that can be used today to make everyday activities easier.
Learn about the risk factors and symptoms of AMD before it's too late. Don't delay in scheduling your yearly eye exam, particularly if you are over 65.
Cleaning Your Contacts
Contact lens wearers understand the importance of proper eye care. Research performed by Bausch & Lomb in August revealed that an alarming number of individuals regularly use strange substances rather than lens solution to moisten their lenses. Substances such as baby oil, beer, coke, petroleum jelly, fruit juices, butter as well as others were all mentioned as alternatives used, by one eighth of the two thousand adults surveyed in the survey conducted in the UK.
Even more of those surveyed reported that they have used spit when putting lenses in their eyes. Since research shows that the typical adult mouth is known to house 500 to 650 different types of bacteria, this can pose a serious health risk to your eyes. To worsen the situation, far too many people believe that tap water, bottled water or distilled water are a suitable alternative for contact solution, nevertheless even those can contain microorganisms that can damage the eye and have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a sight-threatening infection. Even moreso, if you get water in your eyes from a pool, ocean or even a bath while wearing your lenses, it's a good idea to take out your contacts as soon as possible and disinfect them to rinse away any parasites that may have adhered to them.
Sterilizing your contact lenses is an absolute and only approved contact solution should be used. Never store your lenses in water! Storing your contacts in water isn't effective in sterilizing them and dangerous fungi can grow on your lenses within minutes and eventually enter your eyes. Further, lens solution is made to compliment the saltiness of the tear film in your eyes and conversely water can cause a reaction which makes your contacts change shape or stick causing discomfort and blurred vision.
At times that you know that you do not have the means to properly disinfect your lenses, definitely consider using one-use contacts instead of lenses that you reuse. You should always take age, daily routine and level of responsibility into consideration when determining which contacts are best for the members of your family.
Only those who are capable of understanding the proper way to care for contacts and how important this is should wear contacts, especially reusable brands. Failure to do so can cause permanent damage to the eyes, vision loss and even complete blindness!
All About Wintertime Dry Eye Syndrome
The winter causes many more instances of dry eyes as a result of cold and dry air conditions.
Tears are necessary to keep your eyes healthy. Tears flush out the eye of any dust or particles and maintain moisture. They also contain enzymes that guard the eyes against bacteria that are on occasion present in the eye.
In instances where the eyes have insufficient tears, the results are often discomfort such as constant feelings of dryness, burning, itching or the feeling of something in your eye. To the surprise of many, dry eyes often causes watery eyes if the eyes overstimulate tear production to combat inadequate tearing.
A number of causes can result in dry eyes. One factor is age as most individuals that suffer from dry eyes are adults, and often women during menopause. Reduction in tear production can also be a result of several medicines including antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills or others. Dry or dusty air, or excessive heating or air conditioning are also known to be to blame. Additionally, some diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or others, prolonged staring at a computer or contact lens usage can contribute to dry eyes.
The first treatment to try is usually lubricating eye drops which often work to reduce dryness. Your eye doctor can show you which eye drops to purchase and how to use them. If over the counter artificial tears aren't helpful your doctor might prescribe prescription drops that stimulate tear production.
In more severe cases, your eye doctor might suggest Lacrisert, an insert placed inside the eyelid that continually releases lubricants at various intervals. Another option could be punctual plugs which help keep the eye moist by slowing the let down of tears. Some optometrists will suggest you try dietary or environmental adjustments to alleviate discomfort.
For most individuals dry eyes will not result in any real harm but can be an annoyance. Although, severe dry eyes have a chance of making you more at risk of infection so it is a good idea to speak to your eye doctor.
If you are suffering from symptoms of dry eye make an appointment with your optometrist right away!
The Winter Sun and Your Eyes
Winter is officially here, which means in some locations whipping winds and cold rains and sometimes snow are also on their way. The majority of us would never even think of leaving the house without a heavy sweater or coat in cooler weather, however surprisingly, many people leave their sunglasses behind. Although many of us aren't thinking about the shining sunshine when we are venturing out to the bitter cold, the sun is still a present danger in colder climates, and in certain circumstances can be even more powerful.
They don't call it a "winter wonderland" for nothing. In particular in the aftermath of a serious snow fall, the blanket of snow covering the world around you, actually magnifies the reflection of the sunlight. In fact, in many cases it can be painful to open your eyes when you first leave the house after a heavy snowfall. The ultraviolet sunlight that many of us are so careful in protecting ourselves against in the summer months may in reality be more dangerous during the winter months since it reflects off the snow or ice, resulting in a double dose of exposure. This is why good sunglasses are an essential winter accessory.
Although you want to feel great in your sunglasses, the most important consideration when selecting sunglasses is making sure they will properly protect your eyes. Make sure the lenses are 100% UV blocking by looking for an indication that they are labeled UV 400 (this means they block all light with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers, which includes both UVA and UVB rays.) The good news is you don't necessarily have to pay more for adequate coverage for your eyes. Many of the more affordable options exist that still provide complete ultraviolet coverage.
A further important consideration in picking the right sun wear is lens size. You will have the most protection when the lenses are large enough to totally shield your eyes and if possible the areas around them as well. The more coverage you have, the less harmful radiation will be able to enter. Glasses with side shield will also stop UV waves from sneaking in from the periphery.
If you like to ski or frolic in the snowy hills, its important to know that UV rays are more powerful at peak heights so be especially sure to guard your eyes on the slopes. In addition to sunglasses, it's a good idea to put on a protective hat with a wide brim or visor.
Be knowledgable about the dangers of the sun's radiation to your eyes throughout the year. Make your sunglasses a fixed part of your routine.
Heighten Your Awareness of Glaucoma this Month
Since this month has been designated National Glaucoma Awareness Month, in this article we would like to spread the word about the importance of recognizing the signs of this vision threatening disease. Glaucoma is a group of ocular diseases that cause damage to the eye's optic nerve, which may lead to a loss of vision. If untreated, the damage often initially shows up as vision loss in the periphery of the visual field and ultimately ends up causing a complete loss of vision. It is thought to be the primary cause of avoidable vision loss and statistics show that over 60 million people around the world are afflicted with the vision threatening condition.
The primary source of glaucoma is known to be increased pressure around the optic nerve. The elevation in pressure damages the optic nerve which delivers messages from the eye to the vision centers in the brain. When this pathway is damaged eyesight is affected. At the current time, damage to the optic nerve is usually irreversible.
Glaucoma is particularly threatening because unlike other causes of vision loss, it is an asymptomatic condition until irreparable damage is done.
It is for this reason that glaucoma is described as the "sneak thief of sight." This may leave you asking how does one safeguard against an illness which has no obvious symptoms?
Prompt detection of the disease is important to effective treatment. Although everyone may be at risk for glaucoma, particular groups are at higher risk than others. Risk factors for glaucoma may include those over 45 years old, individuals having family members who have had glaucoma, individuals with a predisposition to diabetes, or other eye conditions such as myopia, hyperopia, eye injuries or high intraocular pressure.
There are many different classes of glaucoma such as open or close angle glaucomas. The condition usually affects both eyes, but the disease has been known to advance more quickly in one eye than in the other.
The best way to detect glaucoma is to speak to your optometrist. There are a series of diagnostic eye examinations employed to measure damage to the ocular nerves caused by glaucoma. Especially if you are over 45 or have one of the other risk factors named above, make sure to book a routine eye examination on an annual basis.
The fact is for the most part glaucoma cannot be prevented. Nevertheless the loss of sight caused by damage to the optic nerve may be halted by a reliable diagnosis and treatment. Contact Broome Family Eye Care today, for a yearly glaucoma screening.
Many adults eventually begin to see signs of presbyopia or an impaired ability to focus on objects that are close, as they age. As people around the world are living longer a significant number of people are developing the condition, which is an unavoidable result of your aging eye.
The lenses of your eye curve to focus on objects at varying distances. Some believe that as you get older, that elasticity diminishes because the lenses get thicker. This phenomenon is called presbyopia and is often first noticed by an increased difficulty focusing on things at close range. This often begins to happen any time after the age of 40. Those with presbyopia often cope with the situation by holding a book away from their eyes or standing at a distance from the object they want to focus on. Shifting from focusing on distant things to closer ones is often strenuous for those with presbyopia. The strain can add further discomfort resulting in headaches, eye strain or fatigue.
The most popular corrections for presbyopia are bifocal lenses or progressives (PALs). A bifocal lens has two points of focus, one is for distance vision and the lower portion of the lens is for seeing things that are close by. Progressive lenses are similar to bifocals, however the transitions between the two prescriptions are more gradual. Wearers can more easily change visual focus, as they would having normal vision. A third option is reading glasses which unlike bifocals or PALs which are worn all day, are used only as needed.
If contact lenses are preferable, you might want to consider multifocal contact lenses. Multifocals don't work for everyone and can sometimes be uncomfortable, so it may take some time to decide if and in what combination they work for you.
In addition, there are surgical options available that should be discussed with your eye doctor. Many patients find the most success by combining treatments for presbyopia. Furthermore, because your vision will continue to deteriorate as you get older, you will probably be required to keep adjusting the strength of your prescription. With the population growing older, there is quite a bit of research being done to discover other effective treatments for presbyopia.
This Holiday Season Choose Children's Gifts that are Eye Safe
Holiday season is right around the corner and we all know what that means, dolls, radio controlled airplanes, and Leapster Explorers. Well intentioned parents delight in surprising the children with the latest toys to start off the new year.
It is important that parents instruct others about some restrictions when it comes to toy safety and vision. Injuries involving toys can occur, occasionally resulting in damaged eyes.
So what are some tips to safeguard children from toy related eye injuries?
Only buy gifts which are suitable for the child's age. Be careful not to allow younger siblings to use toys and games meant for older siblings.
Show children how to use new toys and games. Prior to play check toys for safe construction.
Look after small kids when they play.
Protect little eyes by discarding any toys with sharp or jagged pieces or catapult launchers.
Before you shell out the new game that your child absolutely ''needs'', spend some time to read toy safety guidelines. Anyone who has ever watched ''A Christmas Story'' should have learned that already. Happy Holidays to all.
Take Advantage of Those Flex Spending Account Credits Before You Lose Them!
Schedule a Evans, GA Optometrist Visit Now!
Looking for new eye glasses for the kids? Wondering if your contact lens prescription has changed? Considering refractive surgery? This is the time to save big on all of your eye and vision needs. As the year's end advances, so does the end of your flex spending credits. If you don't know what "flex spending" means you likely don't have a flex spending account but you should check your benefits to clarify.
If you contribute to an FSA through a work benefits program check how much credit you have left. Many plans require you to spend any money you've contributed before January 1st or risk losing it for good!
You can use your flex spending account to really save on your eye care necessities. Eye exams, glasses, contact lenses, even laser surgery may all meet the requirements for repayment. Be aware that some procedures, such as Lasik have advanced screening which takes time so call us sooner than later.
Call us if you have questions about using these benefits. Our Evans, GA Eye Care Practice is here to help you with all of your eye care concerns!
A Different Perspective: Understanding Color Vision Deficiencies
Contact our Evans, GA Optometry Practice for an evaluation
Color blindness is a generally genetic condition which impairs someone's ability to distinguish among shades of color. Color blindness is a result of damage to the cones in the eye's macular area, generally hurting a viewer's ability to distinguish between shades of red or green, but might impact the perception of other shades also.
Color perception is dependent upon the cones located within the retina of the eye.} Humans are typically born with three kinds of pigmented cones, all perceiving different wavelengths of color tone. When it comes to shades of color, the length of the wave is directly connected to the resulting color. Long waves generate red tones, middle-sized waves generate greens and short waves produce blues. The type of cone that is affected determines the nature and seriousness of the color blindness.
Being a sex-linked genetically recessive trait, red-green color deficiency is more common in men than in women. Nevertheless, there are plenty of females who do suffer some degree of color blindness, specifically yellow-blue color blindness.
Some people acquire color vision problems later in life as a result of another condition including medicinal side effects, aging and especially macular degeneration. But, it could be possible to reverse the condition once the cause is treated
There are a number of examinations for color blindness. The most widely used is the Ishihara color exam, called after its designer. In this test a plate is shown with a circle of dots in different sizes and colors. Within the circle appears a numerical figure in a particular color. The patient's capability to see the number within the dots of clashing tones examines the level of red-green color vision.
Although inherited color vision deficiencies can't be corrected, there are a few measures that can help to make up for it. Some people find that wearing colored contacts or glasses which minimize glare can help to see the differences between colors. Increasingly, new computer programs are becoming available for common PCs and even for smaller devices that can help users enhance color distinction depending upon their specific diagnosis. There are also interesting experiments underway in gene therapy to correct color vision.
The extent to which color blindness limits a person depends on the kind and degree of the deficiency. Some individuals can adapt to their condition by familiarizing themselves with substitute clues for colored objects or signs. For example, learning the shapes of traffic signs (rather than recognizing red) or comparing objects with color paradigms like green trees or a blue body of water.
If you notice signs that you or a loved one could have a color vision deficiency it's recommended to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. The sooner a diagnosis is made, the sooner you can help. Feel free to call our Evans, GA eye care practice to schedule an exam.
Awareness of Diabetic Retinopathy and Blindness During National Diabetes Month
Did you know that diabetes is the number one causal factor of impaired sight for men and women of all ages? Since 2008, over four million adults in North America living with diabetes were tested positive for diabetic retinopathy. Of this group, 70,000 suffered from acute diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to a complete vision loss.
Exactly, should everyone be tested for diabetic retinopathy?
To start, those diagnosed with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at risk. One way to find out if you have vision loss caused by diabetes is to have your optometrist give you a complete eye test regularly. The longer the affliction goes unmonitored, the stronger the risk of diabetes caused blindness. Speedy treatment is vital in terms of preventing further deterioration.
Expectant mothers that have been afflicted with pregnancy-related diabetes have a higher possibility of contracting diabetic retinopathy. It is important to have a comprehensive dilated eye test after diagnosis as well.
So why all the concern? Wouldn't it be obvious if you were losing your sight?
The answer surprisingly is not necessarily. There are many forms of diabetic retinopathy, and only those which are in the acute phases are easy to discern. Advanced diabetes can have no symptoms. Macular edema is another diabetes caused disease which results in extreme blindness. Both conditions can appear without noticeable symptoms. This is why early discovery is crucial to preventing long term damage.
A comprehensive examination will check for signs of diabetic retinopathy. There are various stages to this exam which will expose the tell-tale clues, such as leaky blood vessels, swelling of the retina, the presence of fatty deposits on the retina, and damaged nerve tissue. What is included in a complete vision exam?
Firstly, you will get an examination of visual acuity by means of an eye chart which is used to measure how well you are able to see at various distances. This is identical to the visual acuity checks given by your eye doctor, should you need corrective lenses.
While giving a dilated eye exam, the eye doctor places drops in your eyes to dilate the size of your pupils. Not a particularly beloved test by most people, but it can stop a lot of heartache later on. This measure makes it feasible to see a larger part of the inside of your eyes to identify for specific clues that show the presence of diabetic retinopathy. The fleeting discomfort may save your eye sight.
When it comes to your eye sight, even a little hesitation may cause severe loss. If you are living with diabetes, it is imperative to plan a vision exam with an optometrist as soon as possible.
All About Amblyopia (Lazy Eye). Treatment in Evans, GA
To achieve proper eyesight, the eyes and the brain need to operate in unison. When this process doesnt function properly, the result can be amblyopia or lazy eye. In most occurrences of ambylopia the actual eyes are usually healthy yet good vision can not be achieved by just the use of prescription eyeglasses. Left not treated lazy eye can cause severe visual disability, even loss of sight in that eye.
Lazy eye is the most frequently diagnosed cause of sight impairment in children. Because it usually starts in the developmental stages of infancy, the disorder is often difficult to detect. Unless it is successfully treated early on, the chance of complete vision restoration is diminished. Patients that dont begin to be treated until they are teenagers or adults dont typically experience as successful results as patients who begin treatment early on.
Therefore it is crucial to have your childs eyes checked at an early age. The American Optometric Association recommends that children have a complete eye exam by the age of half a year and another at three years of age.
Causes of Lazy Eye
Amblyopia occurs when the eyes or visual system do not function in unison. One common cause is strabismus, a condition where the eyes are improperly aligned. Such misalignment results in eyes that cross in (estropia) or turn out (exotropia) and therefore arent able to work together. Amblyopia can also be caused by a condition where the eyes have different levels of acuity. This condition is called anisometropia. On occasion, amblyopia is the result of other optical diseases such as a cataract or another structural impairment.
How is Amblyopia Treated?
Amblyopia is treated by measures to attain normal vision to both eyes. Along with the use of prescription lenses, one of the most common approaches entails forcing the patient to use the weaker eye. There are a few options to achieve this and the treatment plan is selected based on the individual circumstances anda consultation with an eye care professional.
Very often you will see patching, where a patch is worn to cover the better eye. This compels the patient to use the weaker eye, which promotes vision in the underdeveloped eye and helps the visual processing system to develop properly. However this treatment is dependant upon cooperation of the patient to use the patch, which can be a problem with many children.
Some eye doctors choose to use a drug called atropine. When applied to the better eye, atropine drops temporarily obscure the vision to force the patient to use the other eye.
Some patients can be treated by vision aides alone, such as prescription glasses or contact lenses that restore vision to each eye, however this is rare. Further, vision therapy to train the eyes to work in unison or in some cases a surgical procedure might also be options.
Since amblyopia involves a disruption in the vision process, younger patients often show more success with treatment. Nevertheless, there have been many cases in which teenage patients received successful treatment and therefore anyone who thinks they or their child has lazy eye should schedule an appointment as soon as possible with their eye care professional. If you are looking for amblyopia treatment in Evans, GA, contact us to schedule an appointment. The sooner proper diagnosis and treatment are started, the sooner we can begin to restore your eyesight!
Evans, GA Vision Tests: What 20/20 Vision Actually Means
Have you ever wondered why 20/20 is the standard for ''perfect'' eyesight and what it truly represents? 20/20 vision is a term to express normal visual acuity or sharpness of vision. In other words an individual with 20/20 eyesight will be able to see an object clearly at a distance of 20 feet which is regarded as normal to see at that distance.
In cases of individuals that cannot see at 20/20, the number is determined based on the first point at which they are able to see clearly, in comparison to the norm. As an example, if your acuity is 20/100 that means that at 20 feet you can only see an object that a person with normal vision can see from 100 feet away.
A person who is assessed with 20/200 vision is considered blind, legally but can often see normally through eyeglasses or contacts or by undergoing LASIK if they are eligible.
A typical eye screening is performed with the use of an eye chart most commonly the familiar Snellen eye chart created by Hermann Snellen, a Dutch eye doctor in the mid-1800's. While there are now quite a few variations, the chart generally shows eleven rows of uppercase letters which get progressively smaller as they move downward. The top of the chart usually shows one capital letter - ''E'' with the addition of more letters on the lines as they get smaller. During the vision screening, the eye doctor will determine which is the line with the smallest lettering you can make out. Every line is assigned a distance, with the 20/20 row typically being ascribed the eighth row. In instances in which the patient can't read, such as small children or handicapped persons, a variation of the chart is used called the ''Tumbling E''. Similar to the traditional Snellen chart, the ''Tumbling E'' shows only the capital E in different rotations. The eye doctor asks the person being tested to point to the right, left, top or bottom according to the direction the E is pointing. Either chart needs to be placed at a distance of 20 feet from the patient's eyes.
Despite what many think, 20/20 vision doesn't indicate someone sees perfectly but rather that they are able to see well at a distance. There are many other necessary elements that contribute to your overall vision such as peripheral vision, perception of depth, focus for near vision, color vision and coordination between the eyes to name a few.
Although a vision screening using a Snellen chart will determine whether you require glasses to see clearly at a distance it doesn't provide the eye doctor a complete perception of the overall status of your eyes and vision. You should still go in for an annual comprehensive eye exam which can identify potential conditions. Call our office now to book an eye exam in Evans, GA.
Evans, GA Treatment for Autumn Ocular Allergies
As the end of summer approaches, many people begin to suffer from ragweed allergy or hay fever. Above sneezing and a stuffy or runny nose, ocular allergies can result in a significant amount of discomfort.
Eye allergy symptoms include tearing, itchiness, swelling and stinging. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These effects can be so debilitating for those suffering that they interfere with work, school, sports and leisure activities.
When an individual with allergies is exposed to a substance he or she has a sensitivity to, the immune response is to send out histamines to defend against the ''invader''. This hypersensitive immune response results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as those related to the eyes.
For contacts wearers eye allergies can frequently be worse because contacts can often attract allergens such as ragweed. In addition, when our eyes itch, our first reaction is usually to rub them which can cause even more irritation for those wearing contact lenses. Contact users suffering from ocular allergies often find themselves using rewetting drops frequently or even restricting the use of their lenses or primarily wearing glasses. If you wear contacts and experience fall allergies, it could help you to try switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which minimize the potential for pollen accumulation. If you are experiencing discomfort from your contacts, schedule an appointment at our Evans, GA optometry practice to discuss your condition.
Whether you wear contacts or not, here are some tips to reduce fall ocular allergies:
Stay indoors when pollen levels are highest (usually mid-morning and early evening)
Wear large sunglasses to block the pollen from entering your eyes.
Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
Clean floors with a damp mop instead of a broom which tends to stir up rather than clean away allergens.
Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
Take a shower every night to clean yourself of any allergens you may have collected throughout the day.
If over the counter medications are not helping you may need something stronger. In this case, make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our Evans, GA optometry office would be happy to help you in regaining your comfort this fall!
Halloween Eye Safety: Watch Out For Decorative Contact Lenses!
Halloween is a night for fun, parties and getting dressed up but you don't want the fun to end in some frightening eye damage.
A popular costume accessory as of late has been special effect contact lenses and this is alarming eye doctors. Contacts are a medical device regulated by the government. It is against federal law to sell contact lenses without a license which is applicable to most outlets where costumes and party goods are sold, however it is apparent that the laws are not adhered to. Unlicensed production may use subpar materials or even dangerous coloring elements to dye the lenses. Further, use of contacts without proper instruction and adhering to proper hygiene, can result in significant eye injury such as infection, abrasion or even blindness.
If you do decide to use decorative lenses, it is essential to schedule an exam with a licensed eye care professional. After a comprehensive eye exam, the doctor will determine the correct size, curvature and if necessary prescription needed for the contacts. The optometrist will also give essential instructions on how to properly insert, remove and care for the lenses.
Despite the fact that many individuals erroneously perceive vanity lenses as just another beauty item, improper use of lenses can result in significant danger to your eyes and vision. No item should ever be placed into the eye without proper professional involvement.
Only buy contact lenses from a licensed distributor that you can be sure sells products approved by the FDA. Non-corrective lenses must also adhere to health standards and need a proper prescription. Beware of websites, open markets or beauty supply stores that may carry unregulated products colored with unapproved dyes. To find out if the store has a license to sell lenses you can find out their state license number and follow up with the Department of Professional Regulations (DPR) of the home state.
If your Halloween disguise just won't be the same without decorative contacts, contact your trusted optical store to discuss your options. Halloween shouldn't be a "scary" night for your eyes. Be aware of the dangers unregulated use of lenses can be to your eyes.
Evans, GA Treatment for Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)
The American Optometric Association (AOA) announced that above seventy percent of employed persons that sit every day from a computer (close to 143 million individuals) suffer the affects of computer vision syndrome (CVS) or eye fatigue. Excessive periods of working at the computer can cause eye fatigue and effect eyesight in kids and adults. Anyone that sits over two hours daily in front of computer is at risk of some degree of computer vision syndrome.
Effects of CVS
Signs of Computer Vision Syndrome include vision difficulties such as dry eyes, blurriness, lack of focus or double vision and pain such as headaches, neck pain and heavy eyes. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you may have CVS.
Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer eye strain and computer vision syndrome result from the necessity for our visual processing pathways to adapt to processing words on a computer screen differently than they do for printed words. Although our eyes have little problem keeping focus on printed content that has solid black font with clear edges, they have more difficulty with characters on a screen that don't have the same level of clarity and definition.
Words on a screen are composed of pixels, which are most luminous at the middle and dimmer as they move outward. This makes it harder for our visual processing center to maintain focus on this text. Rather, our eyes feel more comfortable at the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.
Our eyes involuntarily revert to the RPA and then have to make a great effort to focus on the images. This continual effort by the muscles of the eyes to focus results in the fatigue and eye strain that sometimes occur during and after use of a computer or digital device. CVS isn't only an issue for computer users. It's important to note that other electronic gadgets such as cell phones or tablets can result in similar symptoms and in some cases even worse. Since the screens on handheld digital devices are often small the user often struggles even more to stay focused on images.
Computer Vision Syndrome Treatment
If you think that you might be at risk for computer vision syndrome, you should make an appointment with an optometrist sooner than later.
During a computer vision exam, the eye care professional will perform tests to detect any particular vision issues that could contribute to symptoms of computer eye strain. Depending on the outcome of these tests, your practicioner may prescribe prescription computer glasses to reduce discomfort at your screen. An anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for computer eyeglasses. An anti-reflective coating reduces reflections on the front and back surfaces of the lenses that cause glare and affect your ability to focus on images on your screen.
Ergonomics for CVS
Ergonomics, or setting up your computer workstation to limit strains in vision or posture, can help reduce some of the discomfort of CVS. Adequate lighting and taking periodic breaks from staring at the screen can help to some extent. Nevertheless, since ergonomics alone cannot resolve a visual problem, using ophthalmic computer eyeglasses is also a must.
If you think you are suffering or at risk of computer vision syndrome, contact our Evans, GA optometric practice.
Maintaining Safety for Your Eyes at Home
In honor of Home & Sports Eye Safety Month, this post will focus on ways to keep your home safe for your eyes specifically when selecting eye safe toys. Don't wait until it's too late to make sure your home environment doesn't pose any series dangers to your children's eyes.
Generally, kids enter the world with an underdeveloped optical structure that develops with them. As part of standard infant optical development, infants can view an object only up close. All through their growing stages, children are visually stimulated. Toys can be one of the best methods for stimulating kid's sight. Keep in mind, you should consider that a lot of childhood accidents take place in the house, many of them with games and toys.
What's the best way to prevent accidents? Here are some simple tips for choosing games for the home to guarantee your child's eye safety.
First off, make sure long-handled playthings - such as play brooms- have rounded edges, and prohibit or monitor young children carefully if they are handling them. Although building blocks pose little danger for almost any age, it's important to make sure the edges are blunted, in order to prevent eye accidents. It's a good idea to avoid shooting toys, such as arrows or guns. If you can't eliminate them altogether, then shooting toys should only be used when accompanied by a responsible grown-up. If your older child uses chemicals or tools, be sure to provide him with protective goggles.
Toys are far from the only possible threat in the home environment. Corners with a sharp edge that are found on counters or tables are a common cause of injury for small children and should be protected. Cleaning solutions that are accessible are a further source of danger for kids and must be placed out of reach or behind a locked cabinet at all times.
While it's true that games and toys for children won't always be 100% risk-free, there are many excellent toys that can contribute to children's eyesight. There are a number of age-appropriate toys for children that provide terrific ways to advance visual development. When selecting toys for children, look for those that develop coordination between the hands and eyes and will encourage kids to learn about spatial relationships. You may want to consider trying to do some research before entering the toy store. This way you can do your best to make sure your purchase will protect your children and will enrich their optical development at the same time!
Contact Lenses and Cosmetics: Suggestions from your Evans, GA Eye Doctor
For those who wear contact lenses there are a number of precautions that should be taken when it comes to using cosmetics. Below are some basic tips for ways to ensure you keep your eyes attractive and healthy.
First of all, we advise that you buy only cosmetics that are free of oils and fragrances. Additionally, to prevent peeling and smudging, which could end up irritating your lenses, use water-resistant mascara and eyeliner. Lastly it's important to switch makeup used for your eyes frequently - ideally replace mascara monthly, liners every three months and eye shadows every 6 months.
How to Safely Apply Cosmetics
Make sure you wash your hands prior to putting in your lenses. Put on eye shadow, liner and mascara carefully so you don't touch your lenses. Don't apply a brush or liner to the inside lid and apply mascara from the middle of the lashes as opposed to the bottom near the lid. Never share makeup with others or apply when the eyes are red or irritated.
It's also very important to remove eye makeup every night with a hypoallergenic, oil-free cleanser. Don't forget to remove lenses prior to cleaning off cosmetics.
Being careful when using eye makeup during contact lens use can prevent red, swollen or infected eyes and damage to the contacts.
When your eyes are red or irritated don't apply any cosmetics around the eyes. Don't hesitate to contact your eye care practitioner if you experience any swelling, pain, or inflammation. Our Evans, GA eye doctor can assist you with any contact lens problems that you may be having.
Sunscreen and your Eyes
Those who have regrettably gotten sunscreen in their eyes know firsthand just how much it can hurt. A real good spray in the eye can often cause stinging that lasts for hours. It can take a long time before the victim can feel comfortable enough to open his eyes, especially outside in the bright sun.
Needless to say rubbing sunblock in your eyes is likely to cause a quick stop to a day of fun in the sun . Though it is likely that discomfort will remain for a while, relief will come sooner with the right care.
The best way to treat the condition is to immediately flush the eye out with a stream of water for a while. This will rinse the lotion out of the eye yet it probably won't ease the discomfort immediately. While it won't help to remove the sunscreen, applying cool, wet compresses to the eyes may cause some relief. Eye drops such as Visine may assist in rinsing out the eye, but it is likely they will cause burning.
Even once the eyes are rinsed, it is normal for vision to be somewhat blurred. If pain continues after a few hours call your optometrist.
Tips for Sunblock Safety
Do not spray sunscreen straight on the face. Always apply to the hands and rub into the face.
Don't let small children put on sunblock alone.
Keep lotion out of reach of children.
Be sure to rub sunscreen in completely.
Be very careful not to apply sunblock too close to the eyes.
Wear large sunglasses to guard the eyes and the surrounding areas from ultraviolet rays.
Cataracts Awareness Month: Have You Scheduled Your next Eye Examination in Evans, GA?
Many adults don't know that cataracts affect approximately 20.5 million Americans age 40 and older. In fact, more than half of the population above sixty-five have some degree of cataracts.
What are cataracts?
A cataract is when the lens, the part of the eye that focuses light to produce images, becomes clouded. The clouding prevents the transmission of light necessary for eyesight.
How do I know I have cataracts?
Many people over 40 associate loss of sight with age however cataracts do present some signs that are different from typical age-related vision loss. Depending on the type of cataract, you may experience blurred vision, increased glare from light or a noticeable dullness of colors. Some cataracts show no symptoms until they are well developed while others may even result in a short-lived improvement in near vision known as ''second sight''.
Types of Cataracts
Cataracts are sorted into three categories which are distinguished by where they are found within the lens. A subcapsular cataract is located at the rear of the lens. Subcapsular cataracts are particularly common in individuals with diabetes, extreme cases of farsightedness or retinitis pigmentosa or are prescribed high doses of steroid medications.A cataract found in the nucleus or center of the lens is called a nuclear cataract and is usually a result of normal aging. Finally, a cortical cataract usually occurs in the cortex of the lens, the part surrounding the central nucleus. Cortical cataracts often start off with cloudy blotches that start in the periphery of the lens and work their way to the central area.
Cataract Prevention and Treatment
There is little you can do to prevent cataracts, other than guard your eyes from UV rays by using sunglasses. Some research shows that antioxidants and limiting salt intake may also play a role in prevention.
While early loss of sight can be treated using vision correction such as eyeglasses or magnifying lenses, at some point vision will likely deteriorate enough to necessitate surgical treatment. Cataract surgery is actually the most common surgery in the country and is typically a success. Generally, the surgeon removes the lens and implants what is called an intraocular lens (IOL) made of plastic. In 90% of patients, they are able to restore vision to between 20/20 and 20/40.
To ensure early diagnosis and treatment it is important to schedule an annual eye exam to detect symptoms of vision diseases such as cataracts. Call our Evans, GA eye practice today to book your appointment.
Make a Eye Exam in Evans, GA Part of the Back to School Routine
It's that season again, when the days start getting shorter, the weather slightly chillier, and children everywhere head back to the classroom. Before going back to the classroom, the American Optometric Association (AOA) advises a visit to the optometrist. Proper vision is critical to the developmental process and a child's success in the classroom. There are numerous subjects that require optical skills, such as reading, writing and computer work, which children are required to perform everyday. Yet, studies show that 86 percent of kids start school without any eye check up.
Often the problems a child struggles with in school may result from vision impairment. The number of children who have undiagnosed vision problems is extremely large. Over 60% of children identified as students with learning-disabilities really suffer from undetected vision problems. You can avoid potential problems if you take a proactive role in ensuring your child's vision is up to par.
Don't wait until your child enters kindergarten for his first thorough eye exam. Pediatricians should perform a dilated eye exam to discover any serious eye problems by the first two months of life. Every child should have a thorough eye check-up by age three, as early intervention can avoid developmental delay. Additionally as a parent, it's important to make sure your child enjoys reading. Usually, kindergarteners are excited to look at books and attempt to read. Children that don't read books may be experiencing a vision issue. A complete vision screening by a pediatric optometrist should be one of the methods used in making a diagnosis. For a pediatric eye exam in Evans, GA, call us to schedule an appointment.
Remember that the earlier a vision difficulty is detected and treated, the greater the chances for successful treatment. And vision is an essential component for school work. If a child's eyesight is flawed, he will have a much harder time in the classroom. Additionally new technology in the classroom, such as the use of interactive whiteboards, can also potentially exacerbate less obvious vision issues. A student with poor vision will be affected both at school, and emotionally and physically. This year, ensure your child a super year in school, by making sure their eyesight is in perfect condition. Call us for an Evans, GA eye exam today.
Contacts: Making a Difference for Teenagers
No adolescent likes to be caught in something out of style, and in the case of a lot of teens, glasses sometimes seem that way. Adolescents sometimes balk at the thought of having to wear eyeglasses and appearing ''dorky''. Compared to eyeglasses, children and teens that switch to contact lenses feel a significant improvement in their looks, a newly published study demonstrates. The research results show that starting at the age of eight, children may prefer being given the option of lenses. The research was reported in the November issue of Eye & Contact Lens, published by the Contact Lens Association.
What is it about contacts that adolescents like? Teenagers are easily embarrassed, and they generally feel more attractive and accepted if they don't have eye glasses being the focus of their appearance. Contact lenses can increase teens' self-image by providing them a less visible alternative for their vision needs.
While teens are generally provided with contact lenses, children younger than thirteen are usually not given the choice of contacts, due to the fact that optometrists and parents don't feel that children are ready to take care of them properly. However, with proper guidance, even at age eight, children are as competent at using and tending for contacts and they should be given the option.
Of course before your child chooses contacts you will want to ask your eye care practitioner to discuss any possible issues your child might encounter. Our optometry practice located in Evans, GA, will be glad to help you to determine the right prescription for your teen's contact lenses.
If your pre-teen or teenager needs vision correction, why not consider contact lenses? Through something as simple as a soft lens, you can boost your teen's self-esteem. With the large array of contacts available, you and your optometrist can work with your child to figure out what type of lens is most suitable for their personality, maturity and lifestyle.
A Resource for Treating Commonly Reported Eye Injuries
There are a number of different types of eye accidents that can take place, with varying degrees of severity. Some may necessitate emergency treatment and immediate care by an optometrist, while others can be dealt with at home. Read these guidelines for typical eye injuries, to figure out your next move following an accident. Remember that common sense preventive protections including using safety glasses may be your best bet for preventing eye injuries altogether.
A corneal abrasion or scratched eye is on the more serious end of the spectrum. It can cause serious harm very quickly and potentially result in vision loss. Scratches are normally the result of a poke in the eye, or rubbing the eye when there is dust in it. Because a scratch can make your eye susceptible to fungal infection it's very important that you see your eye care practitioner or an emergency room. The best care for a scratched eye is to keep it loosely closed and to see your optometrist right away to check it out. Rubbing the eye will only make it worse and patching the eye provides the perfect environment for bacteria.
It's particularly important to know what to do if you've been sprayed in the eye by a chemical. First, you should flush your eye out by putting your head under a strong flow of lukewarm water for approximately 15 minutes. Then call your eye care practitioner or an emergency room to hear what they suggest for such injuries. Make certain to inform the medical professional exactly what chemical entered your eye and what you're doing. If your eye is extraordinarily red or blurry, go immediately to your optometrist or an emergency room after rinsing it with water. Exposure to chemicals in the eye can cause a range of degrees of damage, from minor irritation to serious damage and potentially vision loss.
Though it is sometimes unpleasant to anticipate a serious eye injury, it's always good to have a plan for what to do in serious situations. By being prepared you can be assured that you'll be ready to handle most routine eye issues. Don't forget, extra safety measures can help prevent this type of injuries altogether so consult with your eye care practitioner about preventative eye care!
The Importance of Comprehensive Eye Examinations
When we have eyes that are in good condition, it's normal to forget about the importance of taking preventative action such as an optical examination. Nevertheless, early detection of eye disease is critical to keeping your eyes healthy. And all it requires is a simple eye test.
Many optical ailments are a-symptomatic. As a result, individuals are often unaware that problems exist. You can schedule a thorough optical examination at our office in Evans, GA , with our highly-trained optometry staff. Our Evans practice uses cutting-edge technology ensuring a complete examination.
Unfortunately, over than three million Americans have glaucoma, the main cause of vision loss but only half of them realize this. Frequently referred to as ''the sneak thief of sight'', glaucoma can strike absent of signs. Almost two-thirds of adults in America don't use eye glasses or contacts and don't schedule regular eye exams, therefore putting their eyes at great danger.
The problem is that most adults don't realize that sight-stealing diseases like glaucoma and cataracts are often a-symptomatic and without a comprehensive exam are often discovered only after it's too late.
Routine eye examinations to screen for eye and vision problems should be a priority. Make sure to schedule regular eye exams with your local optometrist to ensure your vision and eye health for years to come.
Know How to Keep Your Eyes Safe This Summer
It's officially summer and it's time to make sure you safeguard your eyes from the risks of UV exposure and other summertime dangers. Here are some pointers on remaining safe in the sun:
Buy sunglasses that block 100% of UV - and try to wear them every time you go outside. If your shades don't offer 100% UV protection to protect your eyes from harmful UV damage, they may be resulting in more damage than good. It's important to consider that sufficient UV protection doesn't mean a higher price - many affordable brands provide full UV protection.
Opt for shades that provide more surface area. When selecting sun protection, think big. Make sure to choose sunglasses with wraparound frames and wide lenses.
Wear a large brimmed hat or visor.A hat with a wide brim will block the sun before it reaches your eyes.
Sport sunglasses when it's not sunny.Even when you don't feel the sun shinning, harmful UV light is still able to peek through the clouds and harm your eyes. Don't be fooled by a cloudy day.
Have a second pair of sunglasses.You never know when your glasses will get lost or broken. Having an emergency pair will keep you from being left without proper eye protection.
Drink enough. It's important to keep your eyes hydrated. Consume at least 2 liters of water each day to prevent dehydrated eyes and skin.
Avoid midday sun. Stay inside as much as possible particularly between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm when the strength of the sun and ultraviolet radiation in the atmosphere are at a peak.
Consider purchasing polarized lenses. Polarized lenses reduce the glare from reflective surfaces such as water. Perfect for a day at the beach or pool, they provide more comfort during outdoor activities.
During outdoor activities such as riding a motorcycle, watching fireworks or hiking, be sure to protect your eyes as necessary to avoid injury.
Apply sunscreen carefully. If applied too close to the eyes there is a chance it will enter the eye and cause discomfort.
Protecting Your Children's Eyes
Research shows that eye injuries account for 40,000 emergency room visits annually. This is the equivalent of an eye trauma every 13 minutes! Eye Care experts believe that 90% of the reported injuries would have been simply prevented by wearing proper eye protection. The majority of injuries happen when people of all ages are participating in recreational activities or during household chores. Youth are especially prone to accidents involving eye damage, which frequently occur during active play.
Being strong about ensuring your kids use protective glasses when participating in contact sports will protect them from potential eye damage. You can lead by example by purchasing a pair of new wraparound protective glasses for yourself that you wear when playing sports or using dangerous equipment. Make sure your kids follow your lead. In addition, let your children choose protective eyewear in the style they prefer.
In order to purchase safety glasses wisely, ask an experienced optometrist for suggestions. Our professionals are happy to assist you in buying the right pair of glasses for your child, depending on your child's particular needs. If your child has glasses, safety glasses can be purchased with prescription lenses from your vision care provider. Trivex or polylcarbonate lenses are recommended for a child that plays contact sports such as football. Not only are they more shatter-proof, they are also lighter than plastic lenses, which provides extra comfort.
Take your time when buying safety eyewear. It's worth it when it comes to protecting your child's sight!
Why Carrots are a Recipe for Healthy Eyes
Can carrots really improve eyesight? While eye care professionals affirm that the orange root vegetables contain large quantities of a beta-carotene that has proven to be beneficial for one's eyes, carrots do not replace suitable corrective eye care.
Beta-carotene is an orange pigment (carotenoid) that changes into vitamin A after it's digested in the body. Vitamin A protects the surface of the eye (cornea) and has been proven to be preventative for certain eye diseases such as corneal ulcers. Vitamin A, which is composed of a number of antioxidants, protects the surface of the eye to decrease the risk of eye infections as well as other infectious illnesses. Vitamin A is also known to be a successful treatment for dry eye syndrome as well as other eye conditions. A deficiency of vitamin A (which is be more likely in poor and developing countries) is known to cause night blindness, corneal ulcers and retinal damage which can lead to blindness.
There are two forms of vitamin A, which relate to the food source from which they come. Retinol is vitamin A that comes from an animal source such as beef, chicken liver, or dairy products. Vitamin A that is derived from fruits and vegetables comes in the form of ''provitamin A'' carotenoids, which convert to retinol after the food is absorbed. In addition to carrots, carotenoids are ingested when eating colorful fruits and vegetables particularly those that are bright orange or green in color.
There is no doubt that vitamin A contributes to the health of your eyes and your overall health. Even though carrots can't fix corneal refraction which causes vision impairments, grandma had it right when she advised ''finish your vegetables.''
UV Awareness Month - Your Eyes and the Sun
Thanks to efforts to create awareness of the dangers of Ultraviolet (UV) rays to your skin, (such as sunburn and skin cancer), most know about the importance of applying sunscreen and using other protective measures particularly during the blazing summer months. What is less known is that ultraviolet rays and other types of radiation from the sun can also cause severe damage to your eyes.
If you are considering leaving the house without proper eye protection, think about this: Prolonged absorption of harmful ultraviolet rays has been shown to cause eye damage.
Risks of UV Eye Exposure
Exposure to excessive amounts of ultraviolet radiation for a short amount of time can result in a ''sunburn on the eye'', which results in pain, blurred vision or even temporary blindness. Long-term UV exposure can lead to more serious eye diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration, and others, which can cause loss of sight. Just like the real thing, tanning beds pose a serious threat of overexposure to UV.
UV Eye Protection
For effective UV defense, sunglasses should completely block all UV rays. Look for sunglasses labeled ''UV 400'', which means that they block all light rays with wavelengths up to 400 nanometers (which includes both UVA and UVB rays, both known to enter the atmosphere).
You also want to choose sunglasses with full eye coverage. Wraparound sunglasses can prevent harmful UV light from coming in through the backside of the sunglasses.
You don't have to empty your pockets to have proper UV defense, but it's essential to be sure the sunglasses give full UV coverage. Many less expensive brands do offer proper defense against the threatening effects of exposure to sunlight. Further, as well as keeping your eyes safe from the dangers of UV exposure, trendy sunglasses are all the rage, so find something you love and have fun in the sun!
A Guide to Caring for Contact Lenses
Contact lens wearers need to be careful to care for their contacts adequately. Improper care can lead to damaged lenses, or even worse, eye infections or abrasions, which rarely but sometimes can lead to vision loss. People of all ages that are not ready to take care of their contacts may want to seek an alternate form of vision correction.
Not to worry, though... taking care of your lenses is easier than ever. With ''multipurpose'' care systems and one-use contacts, caring for your contacts is cheaper, takes less time and requires less trouble than before. However, there are some important instructions to keep in mind.
Firstly it is advised to speak to your optician to get personalized advice. Additionally, it's important that you don't change care regimens without asking your eye doctor first. Some products can react with each other or with specific lenses and can damage your eyes. Our experienced staff can help you decide on the right treatment for your contact lenses.
Proper lens maintenance necessitates cleaning and disinfecting your lenses once a day. Always rinse your hands with soap and water before touching your contact lenses. Your eyes are one of the quickest routes for dirt and germs to reach your body. Further, avoid the common error of using saline to clean your lenses. This should only be used for storing purposes, not cleaning. You should also be sure to clean your lens case with disinfecting solution after each use and to let it air out between cleanings. Eye Doctors advise that you replace your case at least four times a year.
It's true that there may be an assortment of lens care options, but with a little professional guidance you can be sure you are caring for your lenses correctly, guaranteeing healthier eyes and clearer vision!
Although soft contact lenses are most often used, a second, lesser-known type of contact lens materials exists: rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses, also referred to oxygen permeable lenses.
In truth, RGP lenses involve more modern technology than soft lenses, and they are longer-lasting, can be more effective in improving eyesight, and provide increased durability. Additionally they can also be cheaper in the long term than soft lenses. Of course, you need to first discuss with an eye doctor to decide if hard lenses suit your needs. Our optometry office can assist you in determining if you'd be a fit for hard lenses.
Since an RGP is constructed from inflexible material, it does a good job of retaining its form when you blink, which tends to provide crisper vision than the average soft lens. Additionally RGPs are especially durable. Although they can crack if stepped on, they don't tear easily like soft lenses. Further, because they consist of materials that don't include water, proteins or lipids from your tears won't stick to GPs as readily as they will to soft lenses. People that are extra particular about quality of vision will probably opt for RGPs.
On the downside, GPs must be worn consistently to achieve maximum comfort. Further, some people report "spectacle blur" with RGPs, which is when eyesight is blurry when contact lenses are taken out even while still wearing glasses. While the effect is only temporary, it can necessitate constant GP usage.
When considering RGP lenses, be sure to first ask your optometrist to find out if you really are a candidate. You never know... hard lenses could be the right solution for you!
If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to spring eye allergies. For many of us, March begins pollen season, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Spring eye allergies are often a result of an influx of tree and flower pollen into the air and can result in a severe impact on quality of life for those that suffer from them.
How can you defend your eyes this pollen season? Whenever possible limit exposure to pollen by remaining inside, especially on days with a high pollen count. Closing windows, using air conditioners and wearing full-coverage sunglasses when going outside can also help to reduce exposure to allergens in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can be used remove allergens from the air when you are inside.
However, for those of us that must go outside, certain medications can reduce symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. It's possible that a basic lubricating eye drop is all that's needed to moisturize and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and cleanse the eye of allergens. Products with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to allay irritation of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than pills or liquid medications to alleviate eye problems.
Contact lens wearers sometimes experience greater discomfort from eye allergy season because allergens tends to enter the eye and build up on the exterior of the lens, causing irritation. Further, oral antihistamines can dry out the eyes, compounding the situation. Individuals who wear contacts are advised to take measures to ensure eyes are lubricated and replace contacts on time. Some eye care professionals recommend switching to daily disposable lenses, because changing your contacts daily lowers the chances of buildup and inflammation.
One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub red, itchy. This will just exacerbate the inflammation. Since many of the effective medications do need a prescription, if over-the-counter options do not help, see your optometrist.
In today's world, where a growing number of consumers have become accustomed to buying anything and everything online, glasses are an item that you should consider buying in person. Why? Although you may encounter reduced prices on the Internet, the advantages of going to an optical store far outweigh the ''deals'' you might encounter through the Internet.
One of the best reasons for buying eyeglasses at an optical boutique is that you have an experienced optician to advise you in your selection. Our staff can advise you in the numerous considerations you will account for in purchasing a pair of glasses. When you shop via the Web, you miss out on the experienced advice of a professional eye care expert.
In addition to the assistance a professional can provide at a physical eye wear boutique, the other benefit you have is that you get to try out the eyeglasses prior to purchasing. Eyeglasses that don't sit properly can cause annoyance and discomfort and may also inhibit your vision. Plus, you aren't able to see how they really look or how they feel until you try them on. To a greater extent than your clothing, glasses require correct fit and comfort to work effectively.
Even more than the fit and feel of your eyeglasses, good eyesight requires accurate Pupillary Distance calculation. The optical center of your lenses provides you the clearest vision, so it's essential to properly measure the distance between your pupils, or PD. It can be complicated to assess your PD by on your own, but without it, your lenses won't be placed correctly within the frames.
True, Web-based shopping can be perfect for other commodities, but when it comes to eyeglasses you're better off staying with your nearby optometric practice where you can get eye glasses that are most appropriate for you and your lifestyle.
Even though it is common to think of winter as the rainy season because of the rain and snow, the atmosphere is actually a lot dryer during the winter, causing your eyes to become irritated quickly.
Our eye care team is available to assist you in selecting the best ways to keep your eyes hydrated this winter. Even before you step outdoors you can prevent dryness by using a humidifier. Optometrists suggest using humidifiers in spaces with forced air heaters, which can take away moisture from the air.
Additionally, be careful to take extra precautions once you step outside into the cold air. You can further guard your eyes from the elements by wearing a hat with a brim and wearing sunglasses. It is important to guard your eyes from the swirling winds to prevent them from drying out your eyes.
If your dryness is persistent you may want to consider rewetting drops which may help manage the uncomfortable symptoms of dry eyes. Consult with your eye care professional before you start using eye drops to make sure they are suitable for your condition.
Remember that if you use contacts it's important to be particularly careful in the winter. When able, use rewetting drops frequently. While you may not realize it, lenses are dependent on moisture and are required to stay lubricated to keep their shape. If they begin to dry out, the lenses can lose their form and stick to the eyeball, causing discomfort and cloudiness. So let your contacts drink up - and make sure to keep them lubricated this winter. With a little knowledge and planning, you can stay clear of the hazards of the harsh elements and keep your eyes safe and cozy all season long!
This month is dedicated to spreading awareness of macular degeneration (AMD) and low vision. AMD is the number one source of vision loss for seniors. Macular degeneration is one of the causes of low vision, a term optometrists use to refer to significant visual impairment that is sometimes known as 'legal blindness'? or almost total blindness. In the case of macular degeneration, a progressive eye disease, damage is caused to the macula, the area of the retina which produces sharp vision in the central visual field. The disease causes a vision loss relating to central vision, but typically doesn't affect peripheral vision.
Low vision from age-related macular degeneration is usually gradual but on occasion disruptions in vision can be sudden. Early symptoms of low vision from AMD include shadowy areas in your central vision or very fuzzy sight. While AMD doesn't have a cure yet, early detection and treatment can stop advancement of the degeneration and subsequently prevent vision loss. For individuals who have already experienced vision loss, a normal life can be maintained with low-vision rehabilitation.
Those with greater risk factors of AMD include individuals over 65, females, Caucasians and people with light eye color, severe hyperopia (farsightedness) or family members with the disease. Risk factors that can be controlled include smoking, high blood pressure, exposure to UV light and inactivity. Proper exercise and nutrition including certain nutrients can reduce your risk.
Those who suffer from low vision should consult with an eye care professional about low vision rehabilitation and specialized equipment that can facilitate self-sufficiency. After an extensive examination, a low vision professional can recommend helpful low vision devices such as magnifiers and non-optical adaptive aids such as special light fixtures and signature guides.
Because so many eye diseases can be prevented by early diagnosis, eye doctors recommend a routine annual eye exam for all ages. Your awareness can lead to blindness prevention.
In order to spread the word about the ''sneak thief of sight,'' this month is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is the leading cause of avoidable permanent vision loss, accounting for 9%-12% of all cases of blindness in the United States and effecting nearly 70 million people around the world. Because the disease is initially asymptomatic, research shows that close to 50% of patients with the disease are not aware of their condition.
Glaucoma is the name for a number of eye diseases that damage the eye's optic nerve, the channel that carries images from the eye to the brain. Although glaucoma can affect people of all ages, those at higher risk include African Americans over age 40, senior citizens, in particular of Mexican descent, and those with a family history of the disease.
Since blindness of this kind can not be restored, early diagnosis of glaucoma is imperative. Symptoms of the disease, however, are often not present before damage has occurred, and usually start with an irreversible loss of peripheral (side) vision.
Treatment for glaucoma depends on the type of glaucoma and the extent of the damage, and may include pressure-reducing eye surgery or medications, often eye drops. While experts are working hard to find a cure, it has not yet been found and therefore proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent vision loss. Because glaucoma is a chronic disease, it is preferable to find an eye care professional you trust.
According to a recent survey of the National Eye Institute of the NIH, while ninety percent of people had heard of glaucoma, only eight percent were aware that it has no early warning signs. Only an experienced optometrist can identify the early effects of glaucoma, by means of a comprehensive glaucoma screening. An annual glaucoma screening is the most effective way to protect your vision from this potentially devastating disease. Don't delay in getting a comprehensive eye exam before it's too late.
Yep, it's true. Sunglasses aren't only a vital accessory in the sunny season. Although most of us are aware of the damage the sun presents to our eyes in the summertime, how many of us realize that it is essential to take precautions during the winter months as well?
Actually, those UV rays that beat down on you in the summer months remain strong in the winter. And they still threaten your eyes' safety, especially when reflected off a bright snow. Those of you who love vacations that involve outdoor winter sports should be extra careful if you plan to spend an extended amount of time in the bright reflected sunlight which is potentially damaging to the eye. It's very important to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.
So what measures should you take to safeguard your eyes in the winter? Optometrists recommend using sunglasses with strong UV protection, so be sure to purchase a great pair of sunglasses that is suitable for the whole year. Buy a pair that you find fitting and completely shields your eyes.
Our professionals can help you to make sure you're getting sunglasses that provide you with the best protection. Additionally, there are a variety of different lenses available and we are here to help you choose the combination that suits your lifestyle. Don't forget about your eyes on the ski slopes either. The right pair of ski goggles having polycarbonate lenses can help guard your eyes from renegade branches, reckless ski pole tips and other slope hazards.
This winter get out those sunglasses... your eyes will feel the difference.