5 Reasons Eye Exams Are Important

Your eyes allow you to interact with the world around you every day and are a vital part of your daily life. By taking care of your eyes today, you are ensuring you will see your best for years to come. Let’s take a closer look at five reasons why routine eye exams are so important.

  1. Eye exams help children succeed in school.
  2. Myopia is becoming more common.
  3. Vision screenings should never substitute a yearly comprehensive eye exam.
  4. Glaucoma does not present symptoms in the early stages.
  5. Annual eye exams can help detect other health issues.

Eye Exams and School

During a child’s schooling, 80% of the information presented for learning requires good vision. By scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam, you are ensuring your child sees clearly and comfortably in the classroom. Even more, an eye exam is the only way to know for sure if your child is able to see their best for sports and other activities.

Reducing Myopia Progression

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is being diagnosed more than ever before, and at an earlier age, too. Children who become nearsighted early in life tend to experience a worsening progression of nearsightedness throughout childhood. This progression puts them at a higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life.

By scheduling a routine eye exam, your doctor can evaluate your risks of developing myopia. When detected early, you and your eye doctor can dramatically slow the progression of myopia and decrease the chances of developing eye problems down the road.

Vision Screenings Vs. Comprehensive Eye Exams

While commonly provided, a vision screening test is not a replacement for a yearly routine eye exam. Vision screening tests only look to see if a vision problem exists. These tests cannot diagnose the vision problem you have but are able to signify a larger exam is needed. During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will perform tests that evaluate your vision and eye health.

As you age, your risk of eye problems also increase. Routine eye exams are essential to detecting eye-related issues when merely getting a vision screening would not.

Reducing Your Risk of Glaucoma

Many people who develop glaucoma often don’t show symptoms at first. These individuals usually develop vision loss before they have learned that something is wrong with their eyes. This type of vision loss is irreversible if caught too late. With a routine exam, your optometrist can detect high eye pressure and other early signs of glaucoma before any serious damage to your vision occurs.

Detecting Issues During Your Annual Eye Exam

An eye exam can detect other health-related issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even cancer. During your exam, your eye doctor will evaluate the health and condition of the blood vessels in your retina, which are predictors of the health of blood vessels throughout your entire body. By scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam, you can reduce your risk for diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.

So do you want to take a burden off of your eyes? Contact our office today and ask our staff any questions that you might have about scheduling your eye exam.

FAQ: Dry Eye Syndrome

What is dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is caused by your eyes not producing enough lubricant to keep the surface of your eyes moist. You may experience a burning and aching sensation, heavy and itchy eyes, sore and dry sensation, and blurred vision. Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition, and if you are a female, aging, and use the computer often, you are at a higher risk.

What causes it?

So what exactly causes dry eye? Your eye’s tears contain three components: an oily component, a water component, and a mucous-like component. Each of the three plays an essential role in helping the tears in your eyes from evaporating too quickly. A problem with any of the tear components can result in dry eye syndrome.

Many factors can increase the chances of developing dry eye. If you use a computer, it’s normal not to blink as much, which leads to more of the liquids in your eyes evaporating, increasing the risk of developing dry eyes. You are also more likely to develop dry eye after the age of 50.

Another factor that increases the risk of developing dry eye syndrome is heavy use of air conditioning and forced-air heating because they lower the amount of humidity in the room, speeding tear evaporation. Smoking also causes various problems for the eyes, such as dry eye, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

How is it treated?

If you believe that you have dry eyes, contact your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will look at your medical history to see if medications or environmental factors may be making your eyes worse. Your doctor may also look at your eyelid structure and evaluate your blinking pattern to see if it is contributing to your dry eyes.

There is treatment available for dry eye syndrome, and your doctor may suggest using artificial tears while also implementing small lifestyle changes, such as taking breaks from using a computer.

If you have any of the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, contact our office today! We are ready to answer all of your questions and help you with all of your vision care needs.

FAQ: Computer Vision Syndrome

What is computer vision syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome, or CVS, is the discomfort or symptoms caused by focusing on a computer or technological device for a long and uninterrupted time.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of Focus
  • Burning Eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Red Eyes
  • Double Vision
  • Eye Twitching
  • Blurred Vision
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain

Commonly Asked Questions

What causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

Characters, when read on a computer screen, don’t have the same level of contrast and definition as printed materials. This lack of contrast makes it harder for your eyes to focus. When your eyes and brain react differently to the various characters on a computer screen than on a print, you can develop symptoms of eye strain like blurred vision or headaches.

Who is affected?

Anyone working on a computer for extended periods has an increased risk of developing computer vision syndrome. When you stare at a screen, you are forcing your eyes to focus and refocus for long periods. As a result, your eyes are using more muscles, causing fatigue and tired eyes.

What can I do to reduce symptoms?

It’s easy! Talk to your eye doctor about their recommendations on how you can handle CVS. Your eye doctor may do a few tests to detect vision problems that may worsen your symptoms. Depending on the results, your doctor may recommend computer eyewear to protect your eyes or tips and tricks habits to reduce your symptoms.

For example, try practicing the 20/20/20 rule when using digital devices for an extended period. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise gives your eyes a break from the continued work of focusing on your computer screen.

Finding a Solution

What is Computer Eyewear?

Computer eyewear are prescription glasses specifically designed for work on a computer. Generally speaking, these lenses enable you to focus better on a computer screen, which is usually at about 20in from your eyes.

Are there Different Types of Computer Lenses?

Yes! When shopping for the right pair of computer eyewear, ask us about the different options. Computer lenses are available in both single vision and progressive lens options to fit your vision needs.

I don’t have Computer Vision Syndrome now. Should I still look into computer eyeglasses?

Yes. Even though you may not have computer vision syndrome now, you can still develop symptoms down the road. Many individuals experience reduced productivity and accuracy when working behind a screen, even without vision problems.

Do you have more questions about computer vision syndrome and the possible solutions that you can take? Contact our office today and ask us your vision questions!

Are You Overexposed to Blue Light?

Blue light is the type of light with the shortest wavelength and highest energy. It’s everywhere! Although many people associate blue light with technology, the sun is the primary source of these rays.

Many human-made devices also emit blue light, and in recent years, the time individuals are spending on these devices has increased dramatically.

Key Points

About Blue Light

The anterior structure of your eye, made up of the cornea and lens, is very effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the retina, located at the back of your eye. However, blue light cannot be filtered naturally by the eye and passes through the cornea and reaches your retina. Your retina’s continued exposure to these harmful rays can result in a higher risk of developing macular degeneration over time, and eventually, permanent vision loss.

Not all blue light is bad, though. Some exposure is proven to be good for your health. Blue light–taken in appropriate amounts–can boost alertness, improve memory and cognitive functions, and elevate your mood.

Symptoms of Overexposure

Some of the most notable signs of overexposure are:

  • Eye Strain
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Blurry Vision
  • Dry Eyes
  • Inability to Focus
  • Disruptions in Sleep Patterns

Protecting Your Eyes

Digital devices aren’t going anywhere, so it’s essential to ensure that you are taking preemptive steps to protect your eyes from blue light. With electronic devices, consider these few tips to reduce the harmful rays reaching your retina.

  • Hold your Device at an Angle
  • Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses
  • Use a Screen Filter
  • Install a Blue Light Blocking App
  • Take Advantage of “Comfort View” Settings

Ready to take protection to the next level? Ask us about computer eyewear! Computer eyewear will drastically reduce eye strain by filtering emitted light before it reaches your eyes. Many electronic devices are starting to offer apps or different settings that are intended to lessen the amount of blue light that is emitted so it’s less harsh on your eyes. While these settings don’t necessarily protect your eyes from the blue light, it does cut down on eye strain considerably by lessening the contrast.

Do you have more questions about how you can protect your eyes? Stop by our office or give us a call and we would be more than happy to answer your questions!

Your Guide to Choosing the Perfect Eyewear

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

Comprehensive Eye Exams Diagnose Medical Eye Disease

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

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

Common Eye Diseases

Refractive Errors

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

Choosing Eyewear Style

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

Choosing Eyewear Size

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

Investing in Protection

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

Your face shape

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

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

Weight and material

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

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

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

Five Types of Eyewear Everyone Needs!

Your day-to-day tasks change, so the glasses you need will vary. Below are five types of eyewear everyone needs!

Computer Eyewear

The average person spends about eight hours looking at their computer a day, and this often results in tired and strained eyes. Computer eyewear helps alleviate the eye strain that is associated with staring at a computer screen for extended periods. There are three options when it comes to this type of eyewear:

Single Vision Computer Eyewear: used to reduce blurred vision and help alleviate eye strain and poor posture

Occupational Progressive Lenses: a multifocal lens that corrects near, intermediate, and distance vision

Occupational Bifocal Lenses: higher zone and improved vision for intermediate and near vision

Computer eyewear comes with many benefits, including clearer vision and a reduction in the need to strain your eyes and back.

Photochromic Lenses

It’s essential to protect your eyes outside, but it can be inconvenient to switch between eyeglasses and sunglasses. With photochromic lenses, you can protect your eyes without having to switch between frames. They are clear while you are inside but darken when exposed to ultraviolet light. Even on an overcast day, your photochromic lenses will protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays.

Polarized Eyewear

With polarized lenses, you can prevent the glare from sunlight reflecting off of surfaces and into your eyes. These lenses can be helpful in many situations which boating, fishing, going to the beach, and even driving.

Safety Glasses

It might be worth looking into glasses strictly meant for protecting your eyes. This eyewear–often in the form of safety glasses, sports goggles, or shooting glasses–is durable and useful for protecting your eyes and providing more coverage than typical lenses.

Fashion Eyewear

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

Do you want to take the next steps in getting eyewear for all occasions? Contact our office today to ask our staff any questions you have about these types of eyewear.

The Dangers of UV Rays

It’s always fun to go out in the sun, but sometimes, the sun can cause more harm than good. Many people are aware of the damage the sun can cause on the skin but don’t know about the impact on our eyes. Without proper protection, the sun’s UV rays can negatively impact the health of your eyes years down the road.

Eye Conditions Caused By UV Rays

Extended and unprotected exposure to the sun increases your risk of developing the following:

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision loss occurring when the retina starts to deteriorate. Over time, macular degeneration will cause central vision loss, impacting your ability to see with fine detail.

Cataracts

A cataract is the clouding of the lens in your eye. Many people are unaware they have a cataract in its early stages. Over time, cataracts can blur your vision, make objects less colorful, and cause difficulties reading or doing other day-to-day activities.

Pterygium

A pterygium is a growth of the conjunctiva or mucous membrane covering the white part of your eye over the cornea. Often, a pterygium doesn’t cause vision problems or require any treatment, but this growth can be removed if it interferes with your vision.

Corneal Sunburn

Corneal sunburn is an effect of being exposed to high UV-B rays. Although temporary, corneal sunburn can cause a gritty feeling in your eyes, causing eye pain, tearing, swelling redness, or sensitivity to bright light.

UV Rays & Children

Typically, children are exposed to more annual sun exposure than adults. In addition to exposure time, a child’s lens cannot filter UV light or prevent it from reaching their retinas as effectively as an adult. As a result, by the age of 18, half of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV radiation has already occurred.

Sunwear is a Must-Have for All Ages

With the proper protection for all ages, you can keep your and your child’s eyes safe from UV damage. To best protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, always wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays, as well as a pair that protects the skin around your eyes.

In addition to sunglasses, try wearing a wide-brimmed hat on sunny days. It has been shown that wearing a hat can reduce exposure to UV rays by up to as much as 50%.

So, are you ready to take the next steps in protecting your eyes from the sun and dangerous UV rays? Contact our office today to learn more.

What is the Right Age for Contact Lenses?

Children today are developing myopia sooner than in the past. Myopia, or nearsightedness, results in prescription glasses or contact lenses. Many parents might prefer the traditional frame over having their child wear contact lenses. But, the same question crosses through a lot of minds: contact lenses for children – what is the right age?

The answer depends on the eye doctor.

The right age for contact lenses

In a recent study, 51% of eye doctors surveyed felt the earliest age to prescribe contact lenses is 10, while only 12% felt 8 is a good time to introduce them.

67% of eye doctors felt if your child is younger than eight years old, they should stick to a traditional frame. But as your child gets older, the introduction of contact lenses becomes more prevalent. 66% of eye doctors recommended contact lenses as the primary vision correction method for children between the ages of 15-17.

For eye doctors that prescribe contact lenses at an earlier age, most say they prescribe daily disposable lenses for ease of use and maintenance.

Reasons for contacts

Two out of five optometrists say that many parents request their child be fit to wear contact lenses because their child refuses to wear glasses, or the frames interfere with sports or even their daily activities.

Many young people feel more confident wearing contacts. Some kids feel self-conscious in glasses. For children active in sports, contact lenses offer added convenience and safety. If. Sport contact lenses can eliminate the chance that their glasses break or cause injury. They provide other benefits as well, such as better peripheral vision since there is no frame in the way.

Do you want to take the next steps in ensuring your child has options with his or her vision? Contact our office with any questions.

Are you managing your eye allergies?

What are eye allergies?

Eye allergies occur when your eyes react to an irritant in the environment. These irritants, also called allergens, can include dust, pollen, smoke, fragrances, and pet dander, which can come from a variety of sources.

When exposed to an allergen, your eyes produce a substance called histamine to fight it off, and in turn, causing your eyes to become red, swollen, and itchy. Eyes can also tear, have a burning sensation, or even develop a sensitivity to light.

Symptoms

  • Redness in the eye
  • Eye swelling
  • Eye itching
  • Burning sensation in the eye
  • Excess tearing of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light

Managing Your Eye Allergies

To manage your eye allergies, you first need to understand the cause or allergen. If needed, skin or blood tests can be performed by an allergist to determine the best way to manage allergies and reduce irritation. Once known, try these recommended ways to reduce and manage your eye allergy symptoms.

Avoidance

Avoiding or reducing your exposure to the cause of your allergies is typically the first course of treatment to relieve symptoms.

Outdoor Allergens

For example, if you are allergic to pollen, avoiding the outdoors when pollen counts are high, closing windows, and wearing sunglasses to keep pollen away from your eyes. By using your AC instead of window fans during high pollen counts, you can reduce irritants indoors.

Indoor Allergens

For indoor allergens like dust or dander, use mite-proof covers and clean your bedding frequently. Remember to keep your windows closed and air conditioning filter clean during allergy season.

Eye Drops / Medication

  • Use artificial tears to help temporarily wash allergens away from the eye.
  • Take a decongestant (which may include antihistamines) for a short-term basis to help reduce redness and itchiness in the eyes.
  • Oral antihistamines can help reduce redness and itchiness but may make your eyes feel dry.

Are you suffering from eye allergies? Talk to us about the steps we can take to treat them.

Don’t Wait For Symptoms

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

Comprehensive Eye Exams Diagnose Medical Eye Disease

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

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

Common Eye Diseases

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are the most commonly diagnosed eye disorder in the United States. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (distorted vision), and presbyopia (loss of the ability to focus up close) are all refractive errors that can be corrected if diagnosed early. Early symptoms of a refractive error include seeing a glare around bright lights, having to squint, and having double vision.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is typically associated with aging. The results are a loss of the clear central vision needed for many day-to-day tasks.

Wet age-related macular degeneration: abnormal blood vessels form under your retina. They may eventually bleed and leak fluid, and cause the macula to rise and distort your central vision.

Dry age-related macular degeneration: more commonly diagnosed than wet age-related macular degeneration, this eye condition presents fewer symptoms in the early stages. By the time symptoms appear, vision is likely already impaired.

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of your eye’s lens. A cataract makes it challenging to read, drive a car, and perform day-to-day activities. Cataracts can strengthen over time and interfere with your vision. Symptoms usually include clouded or blurred vision, sensitivity to bright light, a halo effect around bright lights.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy causes damage to the blood vessels in your retina. As the disease progresses, common symptoms include floating dark spots, blurred vision, impaired color vision, or vision loss. It usually shows no symptoms in the early stages, but can eventually lead to blindness.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerves and doesn’t typically show symptoms in the early stages. Signs in the later stages include eye pain, blurred vision, red eyes, and seeing halos around bright light. There is no cure for vision loss caused by glaucoma, so it’s essential to have annual vision exams before it’s too late.

Contact our office today and ask our staff any questions you might have about scheduling your eye exam and treating medical eye diseases.