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Latest Vision News

May is Healthy Vision Month

May is Healthy Vision Month

What does that mean for you? It means that now is the time to schedule a comprehensive eye  exam. 

While these are one of the exams we may often let fall by the wayside, they are extremely important to maintain our eye health. Comprehensive eye exams serve several purposes. During these exams, pupils, the circular black area in the center of the eye where light enters, are widened with eye drops or viewed without dilation through a special camera. This allows your Eye Doctor to check for vision problems and eye diseases, verify what stage of diseases your eyes may be in, and helps determine if you need glasses, contacts or other treatments. 

Comprehensive eye exams are crucial for all ages, here’s why: 

Pediatric exams test for visual acuity, lazy eye, color vision, ocular health, and more. These are extremely important to test for the school years ahead. 

For older children and teenagers, myopia (nearsightedness) is one of the biggest concerns that comprehensive eye exams detect. Myopia affects the eye’s ability to see distant images clearly. It is important to identify and treat early with glasses or contacts as children and teens begin to learn in larger spaces, play sports, and drive. 

Adult exams are recommended at least every two years, or as recommended by your eye care specialist. Exams for adults are necessary to catch eye conditions that can cause vision loss and even lead to blindness. Some of these conditions are cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration. 

There are several other conditions that comprehensive eye exams can expose that may not be found without a visit to your optometrist. 

Outside of eye exams, here are 5 ways you can help protect your vision: 

  1. Healthy eating. You know this! Healthy eating helps every part of your body. For your eyes, make sure to add dark, leafy greens and seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids to your plate. A great excuse to treat yourself to sushi! We’re adding a spicy sake maki roll to our cart… for delivery.
  2. Protective eyewear. Whether you’re chopping wood for the bonfire pit, mowing the lawn, painting your bedroom walls, or riding your motorcycle around town, protective eyewear is key. Blue-light protection glasses should also be considered to protect your eyes from all the time spent in front of computer screens.
  3. Sunglasses. Much like protective eyewear, sunglasses help protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation delivered by sun. Not all sunglasses provide the same level of protection. Let us help you pick the best pair!
  4. Clean hands. Wash your hands before putting your contacts in and before taking your contacts out, simply to avoid infection.
  5. Stop smoking. Smoking is known to cause several diseases, but it can also lead to vision loss. It can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and more. Mark your calendar for your comprehensive eye exam and mark it as the day to stop smoking. 

Happy healthy vision month! Get your appointment in the books with us today. 

 

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Eye exams, education are important when it comes to knowing about cataracts

Cataracts affect millions of Americans and are a common cause of vision loss as we age.

That’s why it’s important to be aware of cataract symptoms and to have regular eye exams to help diagnose problems and monitor your vision.

Cataracts affect your eyes by causing cloudiness or opacity to the normally clear lenses that focus light to the retina at the back of your eyes. A cataract distorts that light, which can cause blurry vision and make your eyes sensitive to bright lights – especially at night.

The water and protein that make up the lens or each eye can change as you age, with the protein clumping together to cloud the lens. As the cataract grows it becomes harder to see clearly and may require surgery to remove and replace the lens.

Causes of cataracts:

  • Aging is the most common cause.
  • Diseases such as diabetes or hypertension.
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun.
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol use.
  • Injury to your eyes.
  • Use of steroid medications
  • Family history.

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • Blurry or cloudy vision.
  • Problems with night vision.
  • Glare from the sun, headlights or other light sources.
  • Colors may start to seem faded.
  • Double vision.

Diagnosis of cataracts:

While it is important to have regular eye exams, you should contact your eye care professional if you notice cataract symptoms. Testing can include:

  • Visual acuity testing to determine how well you see at different distances.
  • Visual field testing to check your peripheral vision.
  • Questions about your vision and medical history.
  • Examination of the lenses of your eyes to check for things that indicate a cataract.

Treatment of cataracts:

  • The necessity of cataract surgery and the surgery itself is something that should be discussed by you and your eye doctor.
  • Cataract surgery is very common and usually is performed without complication on an outpatient basis.
  • The lens with the cataract is removed and often replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL), which is implanted in the eye about where your original lens was.
  • Your doctor will discuss the recovery period after your surgery with you.
  • While the IOL may correct your distance vision, it’s likely you will need reading glasses.

If an IOL can’t be used, your doctor will discuss options with you.

Things you can do to protect your eyes:

There is no scientific proof that you can prevent cataracts, but here are some things experts say can reduce your risk:

  • Get regular eye exams. Early detection of eye problems might save your sight.
  • Wear polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
  • Quit smoking and limit alcohol consumption.
  • Eat healthy, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. These foods provide vitamin C, vitamin E, as wells as lutein and zeaxanthin. Be sure to discuss any diet change with your eye care professional.
  • Keep diabetes under control.

It’s important to know how cataracts can affect your vision and even more vital to have regular eye exams to screen for cataracts and other problems that can affect your sight as you age.

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