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Children and Myopia Control

Today, Myopia presents itself at an earlier age in more children than in the past. Studies have shown that part of the increase in nearsightedness is because more people are doing work up close; this isn’t just a computer and increased screen time, though–reading for long periods can also impact your eyes.

There are four options your eye doctor may use for myopia control in children.

Atropine Eye Drops

Myopia occurs when your eye is too long, or your cornea is too curved. The light that enters your eye has a harder time focusing the way it should, and this results in blurred vision. When you use atropine eye drops, you’re temporarily dilating your pupil, which relaxes your eyes’ focusing ability, making it easier to see. The recommended dosage is .01. At this dosage, side effects typically are not noticeable.

Multifocal Contacts

The primary use of multifocal contacts is to help achieve clear vision at all distances. According to studies, children who wore multifocal contacts had a 50% reduction in the advancement of Myopia compared to children who stuck with traditional soft contacts.

Multifocal Eyeglasses

Like multifocal contacts, multifocal eyeglasses intend to help you gain a clearer vision regardless of the distance. These glasses have two parts, one being the top, which allows you to see objects far away. The second part is on the bottom of your lenses and assists when you read. These glasses slow the progression of Myopia.

Do you want to take the next steps in ensuring your child has full potential regarding his/her vision? Contact our office today to ask our staff any questions you have about your child’s next appointment.

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.

Eyewear for Every Occasion

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

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

Computer Glasses

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

Golf Sunglasses

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

Boating or Fishing Eyewear

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

Driving or Cycling Eyewear

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

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

Shop Work & Safety Glasses

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

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

Prevent Glaucoma: Regular Eye Exams

Did you know, half of Americans with glaucoma don’t know they have it? Glaucoma is often called a silent thief of sight because the early stages often have no symptoms. In the US glaucoma is the second-leading cause of blindness.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease damaging the optic nerve in the eye; the optic nerve connects the retina to the brain to produce sight. The most common type of glaucoma is called primary open-angle glaucoma. According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over 3 million Americans have glaucoma.

Eye pressure is a significant risk factor for optic nerve damage. We recommend annual eye exams to measure eye pressure and detect glaucoma before you lose vision.

Populations at a Higher Risk Include:

  • African Americans over age 40
  • Everyone over age 60, especially Mexican Americans
  • People with a family history of glaucoma

Symptoms of Glaucoma

Typically glaucoma has no signs or symptoms, by the time you notice your loss of vision the disease has progressed to irreversible vision loss. Regular eye exams are the best way to detect and prevent glaucoma because several tests are performed to look for signs of glaucoma.

Potential Signs/Symptoms Include:

  • High Intraocular Pressure
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Vision Loss
  • Blurry Vision
  • Distorted Vision
  • Eye Pain

Can you reduce your risk for glaucoma?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential to reduce your risk of developing glaucoma. A few ways to reduce your risk include not smoking and eating a varied healthy diet. Healthy weight and blood pressure are also essential to lowering your chance of getting glaucoma.

Recent studies have also found that physical exercise may also lower your intraocular pressure. Glaucoma development may be due to high intraocular pressure. Therefore, physical exercise and an active lifestyle are great ways to prevent glaucoma along with other serious health problems.

Why You Need Multiple Pairs

Thanks to our busy lives, multiple hobbies, and all the activities in between, having multiple pairs of eyewear handy is a necessity. Even contact lens wearers should have alternative pairs of eyewear. But some of us still haven’t jumped on that bandwagon. If you’re still on the fence, here are a few reasons why it’s a great idea to have at least two pairs of eyewear:

Misplacement

We’ve all been there, searching for missing glasses just when we need them the most. An additional pair of eyewear can’t guarantee they won’t keep slipping through the cracks, but it will significantly reduce the chances of having to go without. Lost a contact lens and don’t have a replacement? Backup glasses can hold you over until your new contact lenses come in!

Style

Think about it: a night out on the town is going to call for more stylish eyewear than the amber-tinted lenses you wear at your computer desk. Funky frames may better showcase your personality, but a more neutral pair may be needed for professional situations. Having different styles of glasses removes this dilemma by giving you situation-specific options.

Protection

Chances are, your standard glasses aren’t going to adapt and darken in reaction to sunlight (unless you have photochromic lenses), so it only makes sense to invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses to protect your eyes. Polarized lenses are a good option, especially since the tint can be tailored to your specific sport or hobby.

Contact Lens Wearers

Plano sunwear is a must have for all contact lens users. Contact lenses do not protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays of the sun. We recommend plano sunwear that blocks 100% of UV rays for anyone who wears contacts.

Schedule an appointment with our office if you’re interested in investing in a second pair of glasses! We will help you find the best frames and lenses for your lifestyle!

What Is Dry Eye?

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

What causes dry eye?

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

Symptoms

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

Who gets dry eye?

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

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

Visiting The Doctor

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

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

Types of Diabetic Eye Disease

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

Types of Diabetes

Type 1

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

Type 2

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

Complications of Diabetes

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

Diabetic Eye Disease

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

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

Screen Time and Children

Screen time is the amount of time a person spends staring at digital displays including computers, tablets, smartphones, and TVs. In our modern and technology-focused world children are spending time on digital displays for educational and recreational purposes. Children who spend several hours on digital devices are at risk of developing vision-related problems.

Average Time Children Spend On Digital Devices

According to the Vision Council, 72% of American parents report their children regularly spend more than two hours on screens per day. It is likely that children spend significantly more time on screens than their parents think. Common Sense Media reports that children under age eight spend more than two hours a day with screen media. For 8 to 10-year-olds screen time triples to six hours per day. Kids in middle school and high school spend up to nine hours per day looking at digital displays.

Risks of Screen Time

Too much screen time can be dangerous for anyone’s eyes, children included. Screens emit a broad spectrum of visible light. While most of these light rays are harmless, blue light is a high-energy visible light that can cause damage to your eyes. Blue light has shorter wavelengths and higher energy causing harm to the retina over time. Overexposure to blue light can cause:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Headaches
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Eye strain
  • Reduced attention span
  • Poor behavior
  • Irritability

Computer Vision Syndrome

Computer vision syndrome is a condition caused by visual stress. Symptoms include tired eyes, dry eyes, headache, and fatigue.

Unhealthy Posture

Your body naturally slouches inwards when on digital devices. Your back and shoulders round, your head tilts back, and your chin justs forward. This reaction to digital devices is called “turtling” and can cause neck, back, and shoulder pain.

How To Protect Your Child’s Eyes

It is clear digital devices will not be going away anytime soon. Therefore it is essential to ensure you are doing everything you can to protect your children’s eyes from digital screens. One way you can do this is by limiting screen time for your children while at home. You can also apply blue light filters or download blue light filtering apps to all digital devices. If your child wears prescription glasses, ask us about add blue light blocking to their lenses during your next appointment.

Nighttime Use

The largest source of blue light is our sun, which tells our brain when to be awake or sleep. The high use of digital devices emitting blue light may disrupt your natural circadian rhythm (sleep cycle) by miscommunicating the time of day and if you should be awake or asleep. Stop digital device time two hours before usual bedtime to ensure your child’s sleep schedule affected by blue light.

Do you have more questions about screen time and blue light? Stop by our office or give our office a call and we would be happy to answer your questions!

Who Gets Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the macula, the small central area of the eye that controls visual acuity. Typically developing macular degeneration is a slow, painless vision loss.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Macular degeneration is often referred to as age-related macular degeneration because it most frequently occurs in older generations. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss among older Americans and will grow significantly in the years to come due to the aging of the US population.

Populations Affected

The prevalence of macular degeneration increases significantly in individuals over the age of 80. In particular, the white American population is affected the most, with 14% of white Americans age 80 and older affected by AMD.*  Women also have a higher occurrence of AMD as compared to men due to their longer life expectancy. In 2010, 65% of AMD cases occurred in women as compared to only 35% in men.*

Risk factors

  • Obesity: Overweight patients with macular degeneration double their risk of developing advanced forms of macular degeneration.
  • Inactivity: Those who perform vigorous activity three times weekly reduce their risk for developing AMD compared to inactive patients.
  • Heredity: Family history and specific genes can link to a high risk of developing AMD.
  • High blood pressure: Some studies show a link between high blood pressure and macular degeneration.
  • Smoking: Living with a smoker doubles your risk for developing AMD. Smoking is a factor in about 25% of AMD cases with severe vision loss.

Currently, the best way to protect your eyes from developing macular degeneration is to eat healthy, exercise, and wear sunglasses. Annual eye exams can detect the early onset of macular degeneration and help to preserve your vision. Schedule an appointment with our office today!

*National Eye Institute, 2010

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.