Thursday, October 4, 2018

Fall is here and allergy eyes are in full swing!


Have itchy, red eyes been an all too common occurrence for you since the beginning of fall this year? You may be suffering from eye allergies. While it is estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies, approximately 4 percent of allergy sufferers report that eye allergies are their primary allergy.  Itchy eyes are the most common symptom associated with eye allergies and it is triggered by outdoor and indoor allergens.  For some, eye allergies can prove so uncomfortable and irritating that they interfere with job performance, impede leisure or sports activities, and even curtail vacations.

But what are eye allergies and how do you know if you are suffering from this condition? Eye allergies can encompass many symptoms such as itching, burning and dryness that are caused by allergens in our environment and is commonly referred to as “allergic conjunctivitis” by your eye care professional. This is a reaction to indoor and outdoor allergens (such as pollen, mold, dust mites or pet dander) that get into your eyes and cause inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and helps keep your eyelid and eyeball moist. Eye allergies are not contagious. Other substances called “irritants” (such as dirt, smoke and chlorine) and even viruses and bacteria, can compound the effect of eye allergies, or even cause irritation symptoms similar to eye allergies for people who may not even have allergies.

The eyes are an easy target for allergens and irritants because, like the skin, they are exposed and sensitive to the outside environment.  Certain medications and cosmetics can also cause eye allergy symptoms. By way of response to these allergens and irritants, the body releases chemicals called histamines, which in turn produce inflammation.           

In very mild cases, oral allergy medication may help relieve itchy eyes along with cold compresses to the eyes a few times each day.  However, your eye care professional is best able to treat this condition with specific anti-allergy drops that can keep those red, itchy eyes away and have you back outdoors enjoying the beauty of fall.  Learn more at https://coopervision.com/blog/fall-eye-allergy-tips   

Monday, November 17, 2014

Focus on Eye Care During National Diabetes Awareness Month!!

Diabetes is becoming more and more prevalent in our country. Today, over 21 million Americans have Diabetes and it is estimated that one third of this population do not even know they have the condition. During the month of November, I am proud to spotlight the importance of frequent eye exams for individuals with Diabetes and those at risk for this disease.

Dilated eye exams at appropriate intervals are extremely important for individuals with Diabetes and those at risk for this disease due to the possibility of substantial vision loss with long term uncontrolled Diabetic eye disease. In these cases of advanced diabetic retinopathy, an individual may have irreversible vision loss or even total blindness as a result.  Beginning symptoms of diabetic retinopathy can present as what may seem like routine blurry vision or fluctuating vision and this is the reason yearly eye exams are so important as early as possible to prevent vision loss.

To avoid these complications to your eyes make sure to include your eye doctor in your team of healthcare professionals and to visit him/her regularly just as you would with your primary care physician and dentist. As a part of your diabetes management team, your eye doctor can often be your first line of detection for diabetes due to the findings of your annual dilated eye exam. Your eye doctor may also utilize advanced High Definition retinal photography in order to document the presence and progression of any diabetic changes to your eyes during each eye exam.
At my practice we are helping to contribute to a healthier patient population by meeting three specific objectives set by the American Optometric Association and their National Diabetes Month Campaign. These three vision objective are: to increase the proportion of persons who have a dilated eye examination at appropriate intervals, reduce visual impairment due to diabetic retinopathy, and to increase vision rehabilitation.  If you are an individual with or at risk for diabetes please make sure to get a comprehensive eye examination each and every year.    

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Beware the Risks of Decorative Contact Lenses this Halloween!!!!

AN EYE INFECTION FROM DECORATIVE CONTACT LENSES COULD BE A VERY SCARY SIGHT THIS HALLOWEEN!!!!

Over the last few years you may have seen decorative contact lenses as a halloween costume accessory for some enthusiasts getting completely into character. However, with celebrities such as Lady Gaga routinely wearing them in her music videos, the popularity of these lenses is likely to hit an all time high this Halloween. 

While these contacts may impress your friends or even win you a costume contest, it is important to know the risks involved in wearing contact lenses that are not approved for your eyes. Contact Lenses are medical devices that should not be worn without approval and a current prescription from your eye doctor. 

These decorative contact lenses often have many pitfalls when they are worn or cared for incorrectly, or when they are worn by an individual that should not be wearing contact lenses at all.

Here are some important basics of proper contact lens care to remember:
• Do not buy contacts without a doctor’s prescription. These are medical devices that fit your eye and if they do not fit properly or are the wrong material for your eyes then they can damage your eyes.
• Do not share lenses, wear them longer than the recommended replacement time, or sleep in contact lenses. Remember to wash your hands every time before handling lenses, change your contact lens case monthly, and always use the proper solution for your contact lenses.
• If your eyes are red, painful, creating mucus discharge, or if your vision is blurry make sure to contact your eye doctor as soon as possible. 

Above all remember to be safe this Halloween season, and if your eye doctor has not approved your eyes for a special decorative contact lens – then it is not worth the risk, because you only get one pair of eyes.

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Back to School: An Important Connection Between Vision and Learning

It is that time of year when the activities of summer are keeping you so busy having fun that it is easy to forget the start of a new school year is just around the corner.  While summer is a great time to relax by engaging in various recreational activities and family vacations, it is also a great time to schedule exams for your children as they are on break from the busy school year.  As such, summer is a great time to get a comprehensive eye exam for your children in order to make sure they have optimal vision to aid their ability to learn.    

The majority of all we learn is attributable to the information we are able to process from the images we see.  Recent studies confirm this strong correlation between Vision and Learning as 80% of what a child learns is presented visually.  We know that reading is enhanced when our eyes are functioning properly, and many learning difficulties can be attributed to poor vision.  Unfortunately, the statistics show that only around 31% of children from ages 6 to 16 years old have an eye exam each year.  In addition, 70% of children under the age of six years old have never had an eye exam.  As a result of these infrequent or missed eye exams, one in four children will go back to school this year with an undiagnosed vision problem that could interfere with their ability to see and learn.

I encourage every parent to give their child the best opportunity to learn this school year by ensuring they have proper visual function.  A back to school eye exam from your eye care professional can help make sure that your child has the best opportunity to succeed and give parents piece of mind before the new school year even begins.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

How to Save Your Vision in Today’s Digital World

           Today, most of us are fully immersed in the digital world around us.  From our work computers to laptops and tablets to our smart phones that we never leave home without, we definitely always have an amazing amount of information at our fingertips.  While technology has continually advanced to allow us access to this amazing flow of information, it can also put a tremendous strain on our eyes.  Common symptoms that can result from excessive computer usage may include: eye strain, dry eyes, headaches, fatigue, blurred vision and loss of focus.  The combination of these symptoms is often referred to as computer vision syndrome. 

If you are one of the millions of Americans that now use some sort of digital device for more than 8 hours a day, you have probably felt your eyes begin to strain, dry out or become fatigued towards the end of the day.  If this is you, then you have suffered from some of the symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome.  The barrage of symptoms from this syndrome can range from minor inconvenience to being totally debilitating and decreasing productivity completely. 

The best treatment for computer vision syndrome is often a combination of changing your digital work habits with the correct ergonomic setup and by taking frequent breaks to look off in the distance using the 20/20/20 rule.  This is an easy exercise to relax your eyes so they do not overfocus up close by looking 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes you are at the computer.  There are also occupational computer prescription eyeglasses that can help you read the computer and other digital devices.  This will not only improve your vision at your proper viewing distance, but also aid your comfort and productivity while using your digital devices.  Dry eye treatment may also be needed to help your vision perform optimally when staring at a monitor all day.  This is often due to the fact that we tend not to blink as much when working on a computer and the right lubricating eye drop or medication dry eye drop can sometimes make all the difference.  To see your best and perform up to your potential at work ask your eye doctor about computer vision syndrome at your next eye exam.       

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Importance of Protective Eyewear for Sports Safety


When I was growing up there was not much of an emphasis on protecting the eyes during sporting competitions.  At that time many did not have the knowledge of how simple protective sports eyewear could help prevent eye injury and in many cases save vision and prevent blindness in the unfortunate event of a serious sports related eye injury.
Today, many more individuals and parents are diligent to make sure they and their children are properly protecting their vision during sporting activities, and furthermore there are many choices in today's protective eyewear market that allow athletes to play safely and look good at the same time.
Here are some important Tips from Prevent Blindness America on the importance of Sports Safety.

Eye Safety News

Tips for Keeping Your Kids' Eyes Safe During Spring/Summer Sports

Each year in the United States, 25,000 kids under 15 have sports-related eye injuries, most of which are preventable (source: Prevent Blindness America).

• Children in sports need protective eyewear, just as they need helmets and protective padding. Balls, bats and jabs from other participants can cause both temporary injuries and long-term vision problems — even cataracts and blindness. Choose protective eyewear with wraparound frames, to protect the eyes from all sides.

• Regular eyeglasses and sunglasses don't protect the eyes, because they are not strong enough to withstand flying objects and hard blows; your kids need protective eyewear as well. You can get it with or without a prescription, but be sure the lenses are both impact-and scratch-resistant.

• Sun exposure damages the eyes, so kids need protection from both UVA and UVB rays with either good-quality sunglasses or protective eyewear. If the labels don't specify UVA and UVB protection levels, you can find out how protective the products are by having your eye doctor check their UV blockage with a spectrophotometer.

These tips can help you and your family remain as safe as possible when engaging in sports this spring and summer.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring is here and Eye Allergies are in Full Swing!


Have itchy, red eyes been an all too common occurrence for you since the beginning of spring this year? You may be suffering from eye allergies. While it is estimated that 50 million Americans suffer from all types of allergies, approximately 4 percent of allergy sufferers report that eye allergies are their primary allergy.  Itchy eyes are the most common symptom associated with eye allergies and is triggered by outdoor and indoor allergens.  For some, eye allergies can prove so uncomfortable and irritating that they interfere with job performance, impede leisure or sports activities, and even curtail vacations.

But what are eye allergies and how do you know if you are suffering from this condition? Eye allergies can encompass many symptoms such as itching, burning and dryness that are caused by allergens in our environment and is commonly referred to as “allergic conjunctivitis” by your eye care professional. This is a reaction to indoor and outdoor allergens (such as pollen, mold, dust mites or pet dander) that get into your eyes and cause inflammation of the conjunctiva, the tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and helps keep your eyelid and eyeball moist. Eye allergies are not contagious. Other substances called “irritants” (such as dirt, smoke and chlorine) and even viruses and bacteria, can compound the effect of eye allergies, or even cause irritation symptoms similar to eye allergies for people who may not even have allergies.

The eyes are an easy target for allergens and irritants because, like the skin, they are exposed and sensitive to the outside environment.  Certain medications and cosmetics can also cause eye allergy symptoms. By way of response to these allergens and irritants, the body releases chemicals called histamines, which in turn produce inflammation.           

In very mild cases, oral allergy medication may help relieve itchy eyes along with cold compresses to the eyes a few times each day.  However, your eye care professional is best able to treat this condition with specific anti-allergy drops that can keep those red, itchy eyes away and have you back outdoors enjoying the beauty of spring.