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Puffy Eyes and Dark Circles

Ordinary swelling around the eyes is due to an excessive accumulation of fluids in the surrounding skin tissue. Puffy eyes and dark circles can occur for many reasons, and a visit to your eye doctor can usually detect the underlying cause behind your puffy eyes.

Causes

The skin around your eyes is the thinnest skin on your body; therefore it shows swelling and discoloration more prominently. There are various factors which can cause puffy eyes, a few of the most common causes include:

  • Overconsumption of salt
  • Allergies
  • Sinus problems
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue and lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Crying
  • Aging
  • Inherited facial features

Why are my eyes puffy in the morning?

Some individuals may notice their eyes are puffy when they wake up in the morning. Since we don’t blink when we sleep, this allows fluids to settle or get trapped in the skin around the eyes. As soon as you wake up and start blinking this swelling will begin to diminish. Likewise, some individuals develop swelling in their lower extremities while sleeping, which reduces upon walking.

Medical condition

In some situations, puffy eyes can be due to an underlying medical condition. Those with thyroid disease can develop swelling around their eyes. Eye allergies can cause swollen eyelids due to the release of histamine. Additionally, eye infections such as pink eye can cause swelling and puffiness. However, the best way to detect the cause of your puffy eyes is through a comprehensive eye exam by your doctor.

What can be done?

To find the best solution or remedy to your puffy eyes, your eye doctor must first determine the underlying cause. Temporary solutions include eye drops, hydration, iced compresses, cucumber slices, creams, reducing salt in your diet, and getting plenty of rest. In other circumstances, cosmetic solutions may be the only long term way to reduce swollen eyes.

To learn more about your puffy eyes, schedule an appointment with our office. We are here to answer all of your questions and advise you on the best steps to alleviate your puffy eyes.

Nutrition and Your Eyes

The foods you eat and the dietary supplements you take affect your overall health and the health of your eyes. Nutrition and your eyes are linked together and can help prevent certain eye diseases along with other health problems.

Healthy Foods

Choosing healthy foods improves your overall health as well as your eye health. Dark green or brightly colored fruits and vegetables are essential parts of a healthy diet. These fruits and vegetables may also help to reduce the risks of developing eye diseases. Sugars and white flours may increase your risk of age-related eye disease, instead, opt for whole grains which do not have the same risks. Healthy fats containing omega-3 essential fatty acids are critical to your diet. These healthy fats can help prevent dry eyes and cataracts.

Hydration

Staying hydrated is essential to the health of your eyes. Drink plenty of water every day! We also recommend choosing healthy beverages and avoiding high sugar beverages. Proper hydration is linked to the reduction of dry eye symptoms.

Nutrients

Nutrients are an essential part of a healthy diet. These nutrients can be found in foods but can also be taken in supplements to ensure you are receiving the proper amount in your diet. Consult with your primary care provider before taking any dietary supplements. Here are a few nutrients that may have a link to eye health:

  • Vitamin A: may protect against night blindness and dry eyes
  • Omega 3 fatty acids: may prevent macular degeneration and dry eyes
  • Vitamin C: may reduce risks of cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Vitamin D: may reduce risks of macular degeneration
  • Zinc: may reduce risks of night blindness
  • Vitamin E: may reduce the risk of advanced macular degeneration

Aging Eyes

As you age, it is essential to consider all factors that could affect the overall health of your eyes. Not only should you adopt a healthy diet, but you can also do several other things to protect your eyes. One way to protect your eyes is to avoid overexposure to ultraviolet rays, which includes wearing sunglasses outdoors and staying away from tanning beds. Now is the time to quit smoking, not only is smoking harmful to your overall health it also increased your risks for many eye diseases. Finally, ensure that you are getting annual eye exams to detect any eye diseases before they cause permanent vision loss.

Nutrition and your eyes are highly connected, continue to find ways to feed your body the food and nutrients it needs to live a healthy life with healthy eyes.

Non-Glare: See Better and Look Better

We understand your eyewear has become part of your style and fashion. Not only do you want to show off your cool new frames, but you also want to make sure to reduce the glare on your lenses so people can see the natural beauty of your eyes. A non-glare coating is a simple lens treatment virtually eliminating those unattractive glares and reflections!

Benefits of Non-Glare Coating:

  • Reduce eye strain
  • Invisible-looking lenses
  • Sharper vision with less glare
  • Anti-scratch for better cleaning

Improve Vision

The non-glare coating allows 99.5% of light to pass through the lenses and reach your eyes. Regular plastic lenses only allow 92% of light to pass through, and high index plastic lenses only allow 88% of light to pass through. Why does this matter? The smaller amount of light that gets to your eyes the more work your eyes have to do to see. Non-glare coatings have become popular because they allow for clearer vision and reduces eye strain.

Eliminate Reflections

Non-glare coatings eliminate distracting reflections from the front and back of your lenses. With reflections gone, light is able to pass through the lens for better visual acuity. This becomes particularly noticeable during night driving. Individuals with a non-glare coating on their lenses find night driving less difficult because the coating reduces glare and halos around lights.

Enhance Appearance

Overall, non-glare lenses improve the visual appearance of your glasses. Have you ever looked at someone and the overhead light was reflecting off their lenses so you could barely see their eyes? A non-glare coating prevents those reflections which then allows you to see better through your glasses and for others to see you better! It helps to draw more attention to your eyes and provides the opportunity for better eye contact. Additionally, a non-glare coating will help to eliminate the distracting reflections off your lenses in photos.

The non-glare coating makes your lenses appear nearly invisible. What’s stopping you from adding non-glare to your next pair of eyeglasses? Chat with our staff today about the potential of non-glare lenses!

Myths and Facts: Contact Lenses

Are you a contact lens wearer? If so, you’ve probably heard some myths about wearing contact lenses. Typically, these contact lens myths grow from an unusual experience or misunderstanding information. Many contact lens myths are based on the way contact lenses used to be, instead of the current design and technology of contact lenses. We wanted to debunk some of the contact lens myths and give you the facts instead!

1.I’m too old to wear contact lenses

Fact: Anyone, at any age can wear contact lenses. Many older adults choose to wear contact lenses instead of reading glasses.

2. Contact lenses will get lost behind my eye

Fact: It is physically impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind your eye. A membrane covers your eye which connects inside your eyelids to prevent anything from getting behind your eye.

3. Contact lenses are uncomfortable

Fact: Modern contact lenses are thin and soft, making them very comfortable and often unnoticeable to wear. Some of the early contact lenses made 40-50 years ago were uncomfortable. However, we recommend you try modern contact lenses before sticking with this assumption.

4. Contact lenses can get stuck on my eye

Fact: If you follow proper wear, care, and removal advice from your eye doctor your contact lens cannot get stuck to your eye. Should your lens feel dry, apply some rewetting drops, and they should loosen right up.

5. Contact lenses are too much trouble to take care of

Fact: Daily disposable contact lenses make lens care irrelevant. You wear them one day and throw them out when you are done. However, reusable contact lens care is relatively simple with modern solutions. Most contact lenses can be cleaned and stored using one multi-use contact lens solution.

6. I’ll never be able to put in contact lenses

Fact: Our staff will show and teach you how to put in contact lenses. We ensure that you are confident in your abilities to put in and take out your contacts before you leave our office. Most people can figure it out after a handful of tries!

7. Contacts can pop out of my eye

Fact: Properly fitted contact lenses should never pop out of your eye. Typically, the only way a contact lens will move is shifting around your eye. Therefore blinking a few times or closing your eyelid and gently pressing on it should move the lens right back into place.

8. Contact lenses are too expensive

Fact: The cost of contact lenses varies depending on brand, replacement schedule, and how often you wear them. Typically, the price is comparable to a new pair of glasses. Above all our team will help you select contact lenses that work best for your lifestyle and your budget.

9. Children and teenagers cannot wear contacts

Fact: There is no age restriction on wearing contacts. Anyone can wear contact lenses; ultimately it depends on enthusiasm, responsibility, and maturity. Our staff can advise whether contact lenses are a suitable option for your child.

If you have more questions about contact lenses, give our office a call! We want to help you feel confident in your knowledge of contact lenses.

FAQ: Cataracts

Think you may be at risk for developing cataracts? Here is an overview of the most frequently asked questions about cataracts, including potential cataract treatment and congenital cataracts. Give our office a call and schedule an appointment to have your questions answered!

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a clouding of the eye’s natural lens and are the most common cause of vision loss in the world. According to Prevent Blindness America, more than 22 million Americans have cataracts.

Who gets cataracts?

Cataracts begin to form in those over the age of 40. However, it is typically after age 60 that cataracts cause problems with vision.

Are there any signs or symptoms?

Cataracts start small and have little effect on your vision at first. However, you may notice symptoms once the cataract is well developed.

Potential symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Cloudy or foggy vision
  • Light from the sun or a lamp feels too bright or glaring
  • Oncoming headlights while driving cause more glare
  • Colors appear dimmed or faded

What causes cataracts?

As we age the natural protein in our eyes can clump together and cover a small area of the lens. Over time this may grow larger and cloud more of the lens. This cloud is what we refer to as a cataract.

Can I prevent cataracts?

It is not believed that there is anything you can do to prevent cataracts. However, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your risk of developing cataracts. Nutrients such as vitamin E and vitamin C are believed to reduce your risk. Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet can help. Additionally, wearing sunglasses that block 100 percent of UV rays can reduce cataract risk.

What increases my risk for cataracts?

  • UV radiation
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Family history
  • Significant alcohol consumption
  • Certain medications

Is there cataract treatment?

The treatment for cataracts will vary for each person. When symptoms begin to appear patients may use new stronger prescription glasses. Cataract surgery will become an option if the cataract progresses far enough to impair your vision. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States and is successful in restoring vision.

What are congenital cataracts?

Congenital cataracts occur in newborn babies because the eye’s natural lens is cloudy instead of clear. Often this results in vision problems for the child. However, this occurs in only 0.4% of all births and is relatively uncommon.

To discuss your risk for developing cataracts schedule an appointment today! The best way to prevent vision loss is by having regular eye exams.

 

Computer Vision Syndrome: Eye Strain

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

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

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

Symptoms of CVS

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

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

Ways to Combat CVS

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

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

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

Computer Eyewear

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

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

Getting the Most of Your FSA and HSA Benefits Before the Year Ends

How to Use FSA and HSA Benefits Before the Year Ends

Health insurance offers year-round benefits that provide extra help when you need it the most. But you will also want to get the most from your vision care before the year ends, especially if those benefits do not roll over to the next year.

As December approaches and the holiday season settles in, it is easy to devote time and money to other priorities. But being familiar with flexible spending accounts (FSA) and health savings accounts (HSA) can help maximize your benefits before year’s end.

Flexible Spending Account

Offered by many employers, a flexible spending account can be the extra help you need to pay for your medical expenses. You will want to make use of it before December 31st since FSA savings do not roll over to the new year.

The amount accumulated in this account is dependent on the amount of money you decide to contribute toward it. This money is deducted from your salary before income taxes, and in turn, lowers your tax liability. If you put in the maximum amount of $2,550 in your FSA for the year, you may have some leftover cash to spend elsewhere before it is forfeited to your employer.

Fortunately, these funds can be used on almost anything health related. Here are some great uses for your remainder savings:

New Eyeglasses

Even though many of us need eyeglasses to see clearly, the style of those eyeglasses can become outdated over time. With trends constantly changing, it might be time to change up your glasses style. Logan Eye care offers a variety of styles and our staff is happy to help you find a new frame that best suits you.

Your FSA funds can also be used for prescription sunglasses. It is a great benefit that will help protect your eyes from exposure to the sun.

Eye Exam

It is easy to overlook an annual eye exam when your eyes feel healthy. However, eye exams play an important factor in catching early signs of serious eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts and detached retina. If you, a spouse or a dependent is overdue for an eye exam, your remainder funds can help avoid future risk for you or your loved ones.

Contact Lenses

If you have considered getting contact lenses, now might be the time, and your FSA savings may help fund the purchase. Contact lenses have a natural feel as they move with the eyes and correct vision problems, such as near sightedness, far sightedness, and astigmatism. They are convenient for sports and outdoor activities and can allow you to feel confident about your physical appearance overall.

If you feel additional spending is not a good use of your benefits, then consider making a claim for a past medical expense that was not covered during the year. For example, an FSA claim could cover travel costs for medical care or even an annual exam that was not accounted for. Additionally, flexible spending accounts can also be used to cover medical costs for spouses and qualifying dependents.

Health Savings Account

Fortunately, rushing to use your benefits before the end of the year does not always have to be the case. A health savings account, also known as HSA, is a pre-tax personal savings account for medical expenses that rolls over to the next calendar year. That means your savings will not surrender to your employer, unlike a flexible spending account. And because an HSA rolls over, it allows more room for savings than an FSA.

HSAs also make a great investment tool. Since an HSA rolls over to the next calendar year, it gives an opportunity to grow your savings without being penalized. Also, some companies contribute to your investment through stocks and mutual funds. And even though HSAs are built to cover medical costs, it has become common to invest in them as a 401k replacement. If that is your plan, look for an HSA that is low cost yet high performing.

You are only qualified for a health savings account if you are enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan. This means that you have a minimum deductible of $1,300 and an out-of-pocket maximum of $6,550. Once you are eligible for Medicare at the age of 65, you can no longer contribute to your HSA.

When it comes down to it, both HSAs and FSAs help minimize out-of-pocket health expenses. Understanding what each account has to offer is a good start to using your benefits toward eye care before they expire at the end of the year.

How to Catch and Treat Diabetic Retinopathy

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetes affects millions of people every year, and the maintenance of this disease can often be difficult. If not treated properly, high blood glucose can affect more than just your sugar levels. Whether it is type 1, type 2 or gestational diabetes, it is possible to suffer health problems that are often overlooked.

Eye problems correlated to diabetes, such as diabetic retinopathy, are generally not conditions that serve as an initial concern for those who suffer from diabetes. However, it is important to take the possibility of optical issues into consideration when treating the disease.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of many eye conditions that stem from diabetes. It is caused by damage to the blood vessels in the light-sensitive tissue (called the retina) if blood sugars are not controlled properly. This condition can ultimately lead to permanent loss of vision if not treated in a timely manner.

Although there is no cure for diabetes, there are ways to make sure your eye care remains a priority.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

Unfortunately, symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may not be visible in the early stages, but it is important to stay alert in order to catch them before they actively affect the vision.

Initial changes in vision may include:

Floaters
Blurriness
Dark areas of vision
Difficulty perceiving colors

Failure to treat symptoms may lead to a more advanced stage of the condition called proliferative diabetic retinopathy. At this stage, new and fragile blood vessels begin to grow in the retina and are more prone to leakage, causing a higher chance of permanent vision loss.

Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy

Treatment to diabetic retinopathy in the early stages is important, as the condition can cause irreversible damage over time. Here are a few guidelines to follow in order to avoid permanent vision damage:

Schedule an annual, diabetic dilated eye exam with Dr. Logan to catch abnormalities in its earliest stage
Control the common diabetic symptoms, such as maintaining proper blood glucose levels. It is important to share your blood sugar and A1C results with Dr. Logan at your annual exam
Monitor and maintain steady levels of blood pressure and cholesterol

Treatment for the proliferative stage of diabetic retinopathy is more involved and could require up to two or more sessions of scatter laser surgery. This surgery uses tiny laser burns to shrink abnormal blood vessels in the retina area. This treatment works best prior to the occurrence of any leakage in the new blood vessels.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss among those with diabetes and a leading cause of blindness among middle-aged adults.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about diabetic retinopathy or getting an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam, contact Logan Eye Care in Lake Mary, or schedule an appointment today.

What Is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Getting Down to the Details of Dry Eye Syndrome

Could you be one of the millions of Americans affected by dry eye syndrome? Everyone experiences periods of their eyes feeling more irritable than usual. However, if you have chronic feelings of discomfort such as aching, burning or a lack of moisture in either or both eyes, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome. Though dry eye syndrome is commonly self-diagnosable, it is important that you see an optometrist if you notice symptoms.

Meibomian Glands and Optical Health 

There are several causes of dry eye syndrome. Each lead to inadequate moisture of the eye, blockage of the tear ducts and glands, or inflammation. Some cases are more severe than others.

In many instances, dry eye syndrome is the result of meibomian gland dysfunction. These glands are located just above and below the eyelids near the eyelashes. Their main purpose is to secrete oils which surround the eye, preventing tears from evaporating too quickly. Any abnormality with the meibomian glands can result in a blockage of the necessary oils needed to be released to retain saturation. Without these oils, the tears have nothing sealing their moisture to the eye, leading to dry eye syndrome.

Symptoms, Relief Methods and Causes 

You should not dismiss apparent signs of dry eye syndrome. At times, dry eye symptoms may seem common and easy to overlook. Pay close attention to your optical health, and contact a physician if you experience any of the following symptoms frequently:

Sore eyes
Heavy, tired eyelids
Constant itching or burning sensation in the eye
Redness
Sensitivity to light and electronic screens
Blurred vision
Feeling of a foreign material or “grit” in the eye
Frequent blinking

While recognizing symptoms is important, it is helpful to have the knowledge to combat them as well.

Use artificial tears to provide temporary relief
Drink plenty of liquids to keep the body hydrated
Eat nutritiously and avoid overly processed foods

Though some cases are due to genetics, age and other factors beyond your control, there are ways to lessen your chances of being diagnosed with dry eye syndrome. Avoid arid, dry or windy climates as much as possible. Smoking greatly increases the likeliness of having dry eyes and several other eye problems as well. Excessive computer, television or handheld device usage can also lead to eye complications, consequently resulting in dry eye syndrome.

If you believe your sight may be suffering due to dry eye syndrome, do not ignore the signs. Though symptoms may seem manageable, it is crucial to your long-term health that you have an eye examination with a trained optometrist. Make an appointment with Dr. Logan at Logan Eye Care today.

The Importance of Back-to-School Eye Exams

Schedule Your Child’s Back-to-School Eye Exam Today

Back-to-school eye exams might not be on the top of your to-do list this school year, but it is something you should consider adding to ensure your children fully absorb materials and lessons within and outside classroom walls.

One out of four children have vision problems and yet only 50 percent of parents with children under the age of 12 have taken them to visit an eye care professional. If you have never visited the eye doctor with your child, we have listed some definitions and tips, so you are fully prepared for your first appointment.

Eye Exams vs. Vision Screenings

There are very important differences between an eye exam and a vision screening. A comprehensive eye exam checks for visual acuity, chronic diseases, color vision and makes sure your child’s eyes are working together in harmony. Screenings, on the other hand, only determine the eye’s visual acuity, or sharpness of vision from a distance.

Many schools offer free visual screenings for children, but these do not check for near vision issues, which can cause farsightedness to be missed all together. This can mean that a child can pass a vision screening because they are able to see the board, but they may not be able to easily see the textbook in front of them. To ensure your kids are learning at their best, schedule an eye exam at Logan Eye Care for a full checkup.

Determining If Your Child Has a Vision Problem

A child with a vision problem is not likely to speak up to their teachers or parents about it because, more often than not, they might not realize the issue. Therefore, it is vital for parents as well as teachers to watch for certain symptoms, such as:

Frequent headaches
Tendency to look away from their work and fidget
Excessive eye rubbing and blinking
Short attention span for close work
Poor reading ability
Squinting repetitively 

Several of these symptoms sound like those related to ADHD, and that is no coincidence. It can be frustrating for a child to not be able to focus on close up objects, thus making it difficult to concentrate on their schoolwork.

The vast majority of learning at school is visual—make your child’s eyesight a priority this school year. Logan Eye Care provides thorough comprehensive eye exams for children ages five and older. Schedule a back-to-school eye exam with Dr. Logan today to ensure your kids are seeing and feeling their best.

If you have any more questions about keeping your eyes safe and healthy while swimming around this summer, contact Dr. Logan at Logan Eye Care in Lake Mary, Florida.