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Comprehensive eye exams evaluate all aspects of your vision and eye health.
Internal Exam – This is an evaluation of the retina and optic nerve while your eyes are dilated.
Visual Function and Eye Health – This includes testing depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision and response of the pupils to light, as well as an evaluation of eye focusing, eye teaming and eye movement abilities.
Glaucoma Testing – This is a test of fluid pressure within your eyes to check for the possibility of glaucoma.
Visual Acuity – Your doctor will test your vision with different lenses to determine if glasses or contact lenses can improve your vision.
Comprehensive eye exams look at your total health history.
Even though you visit a separate office for your eye health, that doesn’t mean your eyes shouldn’t be treated holistically. Your eye doctor will discuss your overall health and that of your immediate family, any medications you’re taking and whether you have high blood pressure or diabetes. They’ll also want to know if you smoke and how much sun exposure you get. All these factors help the eye doctor properly assess your eye health.
Comprehensive eye exams are performed by eye professionals.
Eye doctors are highly trained. Optometrists examine the eyes for visual defects, diagnose problems or impairments, and prescribe corrective lenses. After a bachelor's degree, optometrists complete a four-year program to obtain their Doctor of Optometry degree.
Regular eye exams are important for children because their eyes can change significantly in as little as a year as the muscles and tissue development. Good eyesight is critical for a child’s life and achievements; success in school is closely tied to eye health. School demands intense visual involvement, including reading, writing, using computer and blackboard/smartboard work. Even physical activities and sports require a strong vision. If their eyes aren’t up to the task, a child may feel tired, have trouble concentrating, have problems in school and have difficulty playing their favorite games which may affect their quality of life.
According to the recommendations of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, a child should have initial screening between 6 and 12 months of age, and then routine eye health and vision screenings throughout childhood to help detect any abnormalities as their eyes develop and unless otherwise recommended, every two years thereafter until the age of 18.
For a newborn, an optometrist should examine the baby’s eyes and perform a test called “red reflex test” which is a basic indicator that the eyes are normal. In case that, the baby is premature or at high risk for medical problems for other reasons, has signs of abnormalities, or has a family history of serious vision disorders in childhood, the optometrist should perform a comprehensive exam.
A second eye health examination should be done to infants between six months and the first birthday. This examination includes tests of pupil responses to evaluate whether the eyes pupil opens and closes properly in the presence or absence of light, fixate and follow test, to determine whether the baby can fixate on an object; such as light and follow it as it moves.
And preferential looking test, by using cards that are blank on one side with stripes on another side to attract the gaze of an infant to the stripes thus, vision capabilities can be assessed. Infants should be able to perform this task well by the time they are 3 months old.
For a Preschooler, between the ages of 3 and 3½, a child’s visual acuity and eye alignment should be assessed. If the child is diagnosed with misaligned eyes (strabismus), "lazy eye” (amblyopia), refractive errors (astigmatism, myopia, hyperopia) or any other focusing problems, it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to ensure successful vision correction and life-long benefits.
At School age or upon entering school, the child’s eyes should be screened for visual acuity and alignment. In this age group, nearsightedness (myopia) is the most common refractive error and can be corrected with eyeglasses.
There are some signs that parents can tell if their child has a vision problem, for example, the child may squint, hold reading material very close to face, or complain about things appearing blurry. However, there are some less obvious signs that may indicate vision problems, such as having a short attention span, quickly losing interest in games, projects or activities that require using their eyes for an extended period of time, or losing their place when reading. Also, choosing to avoid reading, drawing, playing games or doing other projects that require focusing up close. Another sign is that a child may turn his or her head to the side when looking at something in front of them. This may be a sign of a refractive error, including astigmatism, so by turning their head helps the child see better.
That’s why it is so important for kids to have regular eye screenings. The earlier a vision problem is found and treated, the better off your child will be in and out of school.
Keratoconus is a terrifying diagnosis to those that have experienced it. To compound issues, many patients complain that they had poor initial treatment due to a lack of understanding about the disease. If proper treatment is not achieved, individuals may experience a rapid deterioration in their ability to see. This leads to a reduced quality of life. You can reduce the stress related to a keratoconus diagnosis and increase the benefits of treatment by understanding your treatment options.
Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes the cornea to thin and bulge. This bulge generally takes on the appearance of a cone. As light enters the eye, it becomes distorted by the cone causing vision abnormalities.
Modern research is connecting keratoconus with an enzyme imbalance in the cornea. This imbalance leaves the eye susceptible to oxidative free radicals. Keratoconus has also been linked to UV damage, excessive eye rubbing, poorly fitting contacts, and chronic eye irritation.
While your eye professional will have the best understanding of what treatment option is right for you, we have compiled ten of the most common treatments here.
Corneal Cross-linking (CXL) – There are two different types of this procedure, but they both introduce riboflavin to the cornea in order to strengthen the corneal tissue and stop the bulging from progressing.
Custom Soft Contact Lenses – Soft contacts are generally more comfortable to wear than gas permeable lenses. Recently, some contact companies have been able to create a contact specifically to correct the issues related to mild and moderate cases of keratoconus.
Gas Permeable Contact Lenses – Gas permeable lenses are a hard contact lens that physically forces the eye to adhere to the lens shape. This allows for the correction of keratoconus. The fit is often time-consuming and may take several different lenses to achieve the proper fit.
Piggybacking Contact Lenses – This method is used for individuals who require a gas permeable lens but cannot tolerate wearing rigid contact. Piggybacking utilizes a soft lens placed on the eye first, and then a gas permeable lens is placed over the top. This offers the comfort of soft contacts with the rigidity and clarity of the gas permeable lenses.
Hybrid Contact Lenses – Hybrid contact lenses were designed specifically for keratoconus. This technology blends a rigid contact lens center with a softer edge, or skirt, of the contact.
Scleral and Semi-Scleral lenses – These lenses are gas permeable lenses but cover a larger area of the eye than a standard rigid lens. These lenses don’t put pressure onto the cone shape of the eye. The reduced pressure results in a more comfortable fit for patients.
Prosthetic Lenses – This lens is used specifically for patients that have very advanced keratoconus and have ruled out other options. The advanced scleral lens also doubles as a protective prosthetic shell. There are special requirements to qualify for this lens though, so check with your eye care professional if this is an option for you.
Intacs – These implants are surgically placed in the eye. They are a small plastic insert that is inserted into the eye, just under the surface. This option is also designed for patients who could not use other contact lens types.
Topography-Guided Conductive Keratoplasty – This treatment option is still being researched but uses the energy from radio waves and small probes to map the surface of the eye. This detailed mapping allows for an appropriate treatment plan for the patient.
Corneal Transplant – Patients with advanced keratoconus may no longer be able to tolerate a contact lens, or the different lens types may not be correcting the issues. This surgery removes the damaged cornea and replaces it with a healthy cornea.
There is hope for individuals with keratoconus. Even though the disease is degenerative, many patients report restored vision and improved quality of life when the appropriate treatment plan is in place. If you have been diagnosed with keratoconus or are having problems with your vision, see your eye care professional today.
Pink eye is well known as conjunctivitis and it is the infection or inflammation of the conjunctiva or the transparent membrane that serves as a covering for the white part of the eye called the sclera and lines the eyelid. More so, there is usually a tear in the eyes that emits a sticky discharge which develops into a crust while sleeping making it difficult for the patient to open the eyes in the morning.
One thing about the pink eye is that it is highly contagious and it could affect both eyes or just one eye at a time. While it is more common in children, adults are also victims of this eye condition. There are 3 major causes of pink eyes namely:
Streptococci and staphylococci are bacteria types that are most responsible for pink eyes. However, chlamydia and gonococci can also cause pink eye. It is accompanied by serious eye pain, itching, swelling, redness, discharge of colorful substance. The spread of bacterial pink eye is usually as a result of using personal items of infected parties, use of makeup materials that have been infected with bacteria, putting dirty hands in the eyes. If not treated, it can last for more than 10 days but if treated, in less than 3 days, it would be resolved.
Pink eyes caused by allergies are followed by serious itching and tearing of the eyes. Pain is minimal here, although, it comes with a lot of discomforts. Most times, pink eyes happen with the company of sneezing, coughing, etc. Allergens that trigger pink eyes include grass, dust, pollen, mold, ragweed, etc. Allergy based pink eyes are usually not contagious.
General Symptoms of Pink Eyes
Scratching of the eyes
Redness of the sclera
Hazy or blurry vision
Oversensitivity to light
The best way to prevent pink eyes is by practicing good hygiene. Some of them include:
Avoid putting dirty hands in your eyes
Make it a habit to wash your hands often
Avoid sharing towels and other personal items
Do not be fond of using dirty items
Changing your pillow cover regularly is important
Do not leave makeup item open for too long
Avoid sharing makeup items like eyeliners, etc.
Treatment of Pink Eye
The treatment of pink eyes is dependant on its underlying cause.
If it is caused by a virus, you just might have to wait for the virus to run its course which could last for about four to seven days. The virus caused pink eyes could be easily contacted so it is imperative you try to curb its spread. Anything virus cannot be cured by antibiotics but some antiviral drugs could be of help
Antibiotics are more effective against pink eyes caused by bacteria as they reduce the lifespan of these bacteria. These antibiotics could be in the form of eye drops or pills. Based on the doctor’s prescription, eye drop could be administered about four to six times daily. It is important you finish using your drugs even after the disappearance of symptoms
To deal with pink eyes caused by allergies, the allergy should be treated. Once treated, pink eyes would disappear. More so, it is worthy to avoid allergens so as not to have pink eyes at all.
Whenever the symptoms of pink eye emerge, the best preventive measure is to ensure you do not go to school or your workplace. Stay at home until the watery discharge ceases. This is to avoid the spread of it. You should also visit your doctor immediately to begin treatment. While mild pink eyes get to go on its own, some of its serious forms can cause a scar on the cornea
While dry eye isn’t a serious condition, it can have a major impact on your quality of life. You may find your eyes get tired faster or you have difficulty reading. Not to mention the discomfort of a burning sensation or blurry vision. Let’s take a look at dry eye treatments – from simple self-care to innovative prescriptions and therapies – to help you see clearly and comfortably.
The understanding of dry eye will help you determine the best treatment option. Dry eye occurs when a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears reduce eye infections, wash away foreign matter, and keep the eye’s surface smooth and clear. People with dry eyes either do not produce enough tears or their tears are poor quality. It’s a common and often chronic problem, especially in older adults.
Before we delve into more serious dry eye treatment options, here are a few simple self-care options that can manage minor cases of dry eye.
Blink regularly when reading or staring at a computer screen for a long time.
Make sure there’s adequate humidity in the air at work and at home.
Wear sunglasses outside to reduce sun and wind exposure. Wraparound glasses are the best.
Take supplements with essential fatty acids; these may decrease dry eye symptoms.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day to avoid dehydration.
Find out if any of your prescriptions have dry eye as a side effect. See if you can take an alternative.
For mild cases of dry eyes, the best option is over-the-counter eye drops. Here are a few tips for selecting the right one:
Low viscosity – These artificial tears are watery. They often provide quick relief with little or no blurring of your vision. But their effect can be brief, and sometimes you must use these drops frequently to get adequate relief.
High viscosity – These are more gel-like and provide longer-lasting lubrication. However, these drops can cause significant blurring of your vision for several minutes. For this reason, high-viscosity artificial tears are recommended at bedtime.
There are several prescriptions that treat dry eye differently. Your eye doctor can advise the best option for your situation.
Contact Lenses – There are specialty contact lenses that deliver moisture to the surface of the eye. They’re called scleral lenses or bandage lenses.
Antibiotics– If your eyelids are inflamed, this can prevent oil glands from secreting oil into your tears. Your doctor may recommend antibiotics to reduce inflammation.
Anti-inflammatory drugs – These are eye drops to control inflammation on the surface of your eyes (cornea) using the immune-suppressing medication cyclosporine (Restasis) or corticosteroids.
Eye Inserts – If artificial tears don't help, another option may be a tiny eye insert. Once a day, you place the hydroxypropyl cellulose (Lacrisert) insert between your lower eyelid and your eyeball. It dissolves slowly, releasing a substance to lubricate your eye.
Tear-stimulating drugs – Available as pills, gel or eyedrops, cholinergic (pilocarpine, cevimeline) help increase tear production.
Autologous blood serum drops – For the serious dry eye that’s not responding to other treatment, these eyedrops are made with a sample of your blood. It’s processed to remove the red blood cells and then mixed with a salt solution.
Punctal Plugs – Tear ducts can be plugged with tiny silicone plugs to reduce tear loss. By partially or completely closing your tear ducts, it can keep your tears from leaving your eye too quickly.
LipiFlow Thermal Pulsation – This treatment helps to unblock oil glands. Placed over your eye, the device delivers a gentle, warm massage to the lower eyelid over about 15 minutes.
Intense-Pulsed Therapy – This utilizes pulses of light to liquefy and release hardened oils that have clogged glands in the eyelids.
You don’t have to suffer from the symptoms of dry eye. Talk to your optometrist about dry eye treatment options designed to address the underlying cause of your condition.
If you’ve never worn contact lenses, it can feel a bit intimidating. You’re inserting something into your eye, after all! Let’s ease your mind about the first step – your contact lens exam. This blog will walk you through what’s involved in a contact lens exam and what you can expect every step of the way.
It begins with a comprehensive eye exam.
Your eye doctor will first determine your overall eye health and vision. This includes a discussion of your health history and then a series of standard eye tests. These tests will evaluate eye focusing, eye teaming, depth perception, color vision, peripheral vision, and the response of pupils to light. The doctor will also measure your eye’s fluid pressure to check for glaucoma, evaluate your retina and optic nerve, and test your vision with different lenses to assess whether contact lenses can improve your vision.
Then, a discussion about your contact lens preferences.
If contact lenses are appropriate for you, it’s time to talk about your contact lens preferences. For example, do you want to enhance or change your eye color? Would you prefer daily disposable lenses or overnight contacts? Ask about the benefits or drawbacks of each, so you make the best decision. If you’re over 40, your doctor will likely discuss age-related vision changes and how contact lenses can address these issues.
Next, the eye doctor will conduct eye surface measurements.
Contact lenses require precise measurements of your eyes to fit properly. Using an instrument called a keratometer, your doctor will measure the curvature of your eye's clear front surface. This is your cornea. Next, the size of your eye's pupil is measured using a card or ruler showing different pupil sizes. This is held next to your eye to determine the best match.
You may also need a tear film evaluation.
If you have dry eyes, your eye doctor will perform a tear film evaluation to measure the amount of tear film on the surface of your eye. If your tear film is insufficient or you have chronic dry eyes, contact lenses may not be a good option for you. However, some newer contact lenses deliver moisture to the surface of the eye, making them a better choice for individuals with dry eye issues.
It's time for the contact lens fitting.
The final step is to fit you with a trial pair of contact lenses. Once inserted, your eye doctor will examine the lenses in your eyes to ensure a good fit. He/she will check the alignment and movement of the lenses on the surface of your eye. If the fit looks good, the last step is to ensure the prescription is correct with several tests.
Now it’s your turn to test it out.
Your contact lens exam is over, but you’ll need to come back. Your doctor will usually have you wear the trial lenses for a week. Then you’ll have a short follow-up exam to confirm that the lenses are working well for you. You can then order a supply of contact lenses.
If this is your first contact lens exam, don’t worry. Choose a qualified optometrist and they’ll answer all your questions as you go. Just be sure to let them know you’re interested in contact lenses. That way, they can allow extra time in your appointment for the specialized tests and consultation.
If you are one of the thousands of people considering LASIK laser eye surgery, then you will probably be gathering as much information as possible about the treatment. By this point, you are probably aware of the benefits that LASIK offers, such as a reduced or eliminated need for glasses or contact lenses and greater convenience in your day to day life. However, for many patients, despite the advantages of LASIK, the thought of surgery on their eyes is still a cause of anxiety and fear. One of the best ways to alleviate this concern is to find out more about what the procedure entails.
Before you can be approved for any form of laser vision correction, including LASIK, you will need to attend a consultation appointment with your surgeon. During consultations, we will perform an examination of your eyes and use your medical and ocular history to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. He will also speak to you about the expected outcome from your surgery, making you aware that while LASIK will dramatically improve your eyesight, there is no guarantee that you will not need to wear glasses in some situations, such as while driving in the dark.
LASIK uses a cool, ultraviolet beam of light to reshape the patient’s cornea. Doing so will more accurately focus the light that enters the eye on to the retina, thus improving the patient’s vision.
The LASIK procedure is very fast and straightforward. Although you will probably be in the surgical suite for around half an hour, the actual process only takes a couple of minutes per eye. The rest of the time will be spent preparing and ensuring that you are comfortable
Anesthetic eye drops are given to patients before their procedure so that the entire process is pain-free. If you are particularly anxious, it may also be possible for you to be slightly sedated this should be discussed with your doctor at your consultation appointment.
Once you are in position, we will use a femtosecond laser to cut a thin, circular flap into the outer corner. This can then be pulled back to reveal the underlying corneal tissue, known as the stroma so that it can be reshaped using the laser. The exact path that the laser needs to take, known as the topography, will have been pre-programmed ahead of the procedure and can be followed with complete precision and accuracy.
Once the reshaping is complete, the flap can be replaced back over the eye and the surgery is complete. There is no need for sutures or bandages as the cornea will start to heal immediately and without any medical intervention.
After your surgery, your eyes may feel a little sore, scratchy or itchy, but this should fade relatively quickly. Blurriness is also expected, but again this should disappear within a few days.
After being discharged you will need to have someone pick you up, as you will not be allowed to drive until our doctor has seen you the following day and confirmed that your eyesight meets the legal standard for driving.
In most cases, you will be asked to refrain from doing any intense physical activity for at least a week while your eyes begin to heal, but you should be able to return to work within 48/72 hours of your procedure.
LASIK is considered to be extremely safe, and any side effects are minimal and disappear within a few days. However, a very small number of people do report complications following LASIK, which can range from mild problems such as itching, painful or watery eyes to more serious side effects like a bulging cornea or extreme dry eye. Our doctors will discuss any potential side effects with you during your consultation, and give you the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have.
If you are looking for the very best quality LASIK procedure and patient care, then look no further. With our experience, knowledge, and skill, you can rest assured that your vision is in the most capable of hands. Schedule your consultation with us today by making contact with our friendly, reassuring team.
People will often experience some type of eye disorder during the course of their life. While the majority of these are minor and don’t require treatment, even minor problems can have significant adverse impacts on your vision, and you should seek the guidance of a licensed medical professional.
We’ve compiled some of the most common eye disorders, their causes and their treatments below. This guide is meant to be educational. Not all of the disorders listed below require medical attention, but if you are concerned, you should contact your medical provider immediately.
Eyestrain is a prevalent eye disorder. Most people have experienced this at one time or another. This optical issue can be caused by placing excessive strain on the eyes. It often occurs when reading, viewing a screen or driving for too long. The eyes may begin to feel tired, or a mild burning sensation can occur. Simple rest is often enough to correct this issue. If you continue to feel discomfort for a few days, its time to visit your doctor.
Typical treatments for this condition may be using eye drops to help lubricate the eye, resting your eyes, or taking medication to treat your allergies. Eye redness can also be a warning sign for conjunctivitis, pink eye, or sun damage. These conditions should receive medical treatment from a licensed professional.
Eye redness can often be a minor issue that is caused by the inflammation or irritation of blood vessels near the eye’s surface. This can be caused by an irritant, lack of sleep, or allergies. If the redness in your eyes is linked to some type of a traumatic injury, then you should see a doctor. Typical treatments for this condition may be using eye drops to help lubricate the eye, resting your eyes, or taking medication to treat your allergies. Eye redness can also be a warning sign for conjunctivitis, pink eye, or sun damage. These conditions should receive medical treatment from a licensed professional.
Some people find that they have difficulty navigating in darker areas like movie theaters, dark rooms, or driving at night. Several possibilities could lead to night blindness. Some may have been born with this condition, or it could be the result of a degenerative retina.
These issues cannot be resolved by a medical professional. However, night blindness can also be caused by nearsightedness, vitamin A deficiency, cataracts, or keratoconus. All of these issues can be corrected by a doctor.
Crossed eyes are not a condition that you can fix by yourself. This issue is seen in the eyes not properly lining up with each other.
Nystagmus is the constant shaking of the eyes, and the patient will have no ability to control it. Medical professionals have several options for treatment at their disposal. Sometimes vision therapy is enough to strengthen the muscles and correct the issue. If this doesn’t work, surgery can also correct the problem. Your doctor can discuss your best options with you.
Red and green colorblindness is the most common form of colorblindness, although other types may affect your ability to see different color combinations. Color blindness is caused because the eyes lack the appropriate “cones” that help to interpret and differentiate these colors. This makes certain colors appear identical to colorblind individuals. Very severe forms of colorblindness only allow individuals to see shades of gray, but this is very rare.
While there is no current treatment for the correction of color blindness, special contact lenses or eyeglasses can be prescribed to help.
This condition is the inflammation of the uvea. There are several potential causes of uveitis that can be very serious. Uveitis is an umbrella phrase that covers all causes that create inflammation of the middle layer of the eye.
Some of these causes can be compromises of the immune system, like AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, or ulcerative colitis. If you have light sensitivity, blurred vision, eye pain, and eye redness that lasts more than a few days you should see your eye care professional.
Your eyes are a sensitive and critical organ for your health. Small injuries or damage to your eyes can have lasting impacts. For these reasons, if you sense that something is wrong with your eyes, it’s always a good idea to visit your eye care professional. Additionally, make sure to get your regular annual eye exams. These exams can help detect any issues that your eyes may be having and get you the appropriate care more quickly.
The eye emergencies cover a range of incidents and conditions such as; trauma, cuts, scratches, foreign objects in the eye, burns, chemical exposure, photic retinopathy, blunt injuries and to the eye or eyelid. Since the eye is easily damaged, serious complications can occur from an eye injury thus, any of these conditions without proper treatment can lead to a partial loss of vision or even permanent blindness. Likewise, certain eye infections and other medical conditions, such as blood clots or glaucoma, eye problems as a painful red eye or vision loss, that are not due to injury also need urgent medical attention.
Depending on the type of injury, any of the following symptoms may be present:
Bleeding or other discharge from or around the eye
Loss of vision, total or partial, one eye or both
Pupils of unequal size
New or severe headaches
Redness or bloodshot appearance
A sensation of something in the eye
Sensitivity to light
Stinging or burning in the eye
One eye is not moving like the other
One eye is sticking out or bulging
Nausea or headache occurring with eye pain (this may be a symptom of glaucoma or stroke).
A black eye is usually caused by direct trauma to the eye or face, causing a bruise resulting from bleeding under the skin. The skin around the eye turns black and blue, gradually becoming purple, green, and yellow over several days. Swelling of the eyelid and tissues around the eye may also occur. The abnormal color usually disappears within 2 weeks.
A blow to the eye can potentially damage the inside of the eye. Trauma is also a common cause of a hyphema, which is blood inside the front of the eye and is often due to a direct hit to the eye from a ball. Besides, certain types of skull fractures can cause bruising around the eyes, even without direct injury to the eye.
A chemical injury to the eye can be caused by a work-related accident, common household products such as cleaning solutions, garden chemicals, solvents, or other types of chemicals. Fumes and aerosols can also cause chemical burns. With acid burns, the haze on the cornea often clears and there is a good chance of recovery. However, alkaline substances such as lime, lye, drain cleaners, and sodium hydroxide found in refrigeration equipment may cause permanent damage to the cornea. It is important to flush out the eye with large amounts of clean water or salt water (saline).
Photic retinopathy, also known as foveomacular retinitis or solar retinopathy, is damage to the eye's retina, particularly the macula, from prolonged exposure to solar radiation or other bright light, e.g., lasers or arc welders. It usually occurs due to staring at the sun, watching a solar eclipse, or viewing an ultraviolet, Illuminant D65, or other bright light.
In case of eye injury, cut or trauma, gently apply a clean cold compress to the eye to reduce swelling and help stop bleeding, do not apply pressure to control bleeding. If blood is pooling in the eye, cover both eyes with a clean cloth or sterile dressing. And, call your optometrist immediately.
In case of eye injury be sure NOT to:
rub or apply pressure to your eye
try to remove foreign objects that are stuck in any part of your eye
use tweezers or any other tools in your eye (cotton swabs can be used, but only on the eyelid)
put medications or ointments in the eye
As for contact lenses wearers, attempting to remove your contacts can make the injury worse.
Eye injuries can happen anywhere, accidents can happen during high-risk activities, but also in places where you least expect them. There are things that can be done to decrease the risk of eye injuries, including wearing protective eyewear when using power tools or engaging in high-risk sporting events. Following the directions carefully when working with chemicals or cleaning supplies. Keeping scissors, knives, and other sharp instruments away from young children. And, keeping a distance from amateur fireworks.
To decrease the chances of developing permanent eye damage, immediate medical evaluation by an optometrist is necessary.
Just a few decades ago, computer vision syndrome (CVS) was not known or understood. With an increase in the role of computers in our lives, it has become increasingly common. Researchers believe that 50-90% of people who use computers in their daily lives have experienced CVS to some degree. The amount of time that many people stare into a computer screen is increasing, and this puts significant strain on our eyes.
CVS is not considered a single specific problem. A suite of issues may be assigned to this syndrome. Additionally, with the increased use of school computers, tablets and smartphones, children are also susceptible to CVS.
This syndrome is like many other repetitive motion type conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome. The problem can start because our eyes move in the same way throughout the day (reading text on a screen). Once an issue has started, it can get worse as we continue the same behavior. While reading alone causes the same motion, screens are considerably harder for our eyes to view. Digital screens add flicker, contrast, glare, and light that all put additional strain on our eyes.
If you should use some type of corrective lens but don’t, these issues can only accelerate due to the additional strain put on your eyes.
As we age, these problems can also progress. Around the time that people turn 40, the lenses of their eyes begin to harden with a disease called presbyopia. This hardening affects your ability to see objects that are closer to you.
There is currently no proof that CVS causes long-term vision impairment or blindness. Continuing to use a computer or any other type screen can continue to be an annoyance or reduce your ability to see properly. Some of the warning signs of CVS are:
Red or dry eyes
If you don’t properly treat CVS when these symptoms occur, you may begin to notice that you suffer from a decrease in overall quality of life or job performance.
Fortunately, CVS can usually be treated with just a few small changes to your viewing habits, or to the settings of your screen itself.
Reduce Glare – It’s essential to reduce the amount of glare that comes off your computer screen. The glare adds additional strain to our eyes. You can reduce the glare by changing the angle of your computer screen so that it doesn’t reflect light back to your eye. You could install a dimmer switch and reduce the brightness of the overhead lighting. If you have natural light that enters your office, you can try moving your monitor to a different location and then adjust the settings of your blind to reduce or block the light coming in. You can also purchase a glare filter that goes over the top of your screen.
Move Your Desk – Your ideal monitor position is just below your eye level and approximately 20-28 inches in front of your eyes. You shouldn’t have to change your head position or strain your neck to read what is on your screen. If you work with printed materials, put a stand next to your monitor to keep everything at the same height.
Change Your Settings – Simply changing the settings of your screen can result in a significant reduction to your eye strain. You can adjust the brightness, contrast, and even change the font size to make things easier for you to see.
Take Breaks – Your breaks don’t have to take up much time. Doctors recommend using the 20/20/20 rule. This rule simply states that every 20 minutes you should look at an object 20 feet away for twenty seconds. Additionally, if you feel that your eyes are strained, it’s a good idea to get away from your screen for a few minutes.
Update Your Prescription – Reducing the amount of work your eyes must do to see is always a good idea. Making sure that your prescription is accurate for you helps to reduce that strain. There are also options now to include an anti-glare coating on your glass lenses that help to reduce all the glare that passes through the lens to your eye. You can also use sunglasses that have polarized lenses to help protect your eyes.
Routine eye exams are a vital aspect of preventive eye care. Without routine eye exams, eye and vision issues often go undetected, since most eye disorders have no clear symptoms. The early diagnosis and treatment of vision abnormalities can prevent vision loss and improve overall well-being.
Patients who wear or would like to wear contacts need to undergo a contact lens exam in addition to their comprehensive eye exam. The first contact lens test will measure the eye’s surface to determine what size and type of contacts are best for the patient. Our optometrist might also do a tear film assessment to ensure the patient has adequate tears to comfortably wear contacts.
Optometrists often offer emergency services for patients requiring immediate or urgent eye care. If a patient’s eye is injured, he or she should visit an eye doctor immediately to minimize the risk of losing his or her vision. Some symptoms of common eye emergencies include sudden loss of division, sudden double vision, sudden red or pain in the eye, pink eye, the onset of flashes and floaters, or a foreign body in the eye, especially metals or chemicals.
Dry eye syndrome is a progressive condition that can cause a lot of eye discomfort. While dry eye syndrome is rarely curable, it is easy to treat. Our optometrist will offer recommendations on how patients can successfully treat his or her dry eyes based on the severity, signs, and symptoms. Some of the most common dry eye treatments include artificial tears, Restasis (an Allergan eye drop), steroid eye drops, and more.
If a patient is suffering from red, itchy, or watery eyes, along with sneezing and a runny nose, there is a good chance he or she has eye allergies. Our optometrist can help patients find relief from their itchy and watery eyes, especially if he or she wears contacts. After diagnosing a patient with eye allergies, we will often prescribe special eye drops or change the type of contact lens that is prescribed, as certain varieties of contact lenses are more susceptible to accumulating allergens.
Eye exams for children are crucial for ensuring a child’s eyes are healthy. Vision problems can often interfere with school performance and even impact a child’s safety. According to the National Institute of Health, about 35% of American preschoolers have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Along with treating nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, pediatric eye exams can also help diagnose and treat a number of eye disorders. The most common vision problems in young children include: lazy eye, misalignment of eyes, color blindness, depth perception disorders, and anterior eyelid health.
LASIK is a common laser eye surgery used to treat refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Most patients benefit from LASIK as a lasting replacement for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Before undergoing LASIK surgery, patients will need to attend a consultation to determine if they are a candidate for LASIK. During this consultation, we will look at the patient’s eye health to determine the best vision correction option for their needs and how much corneal tissue will need to be removed and reshaped. Patients who do not qualify for LASIK might qualify for another laser eye surgery, like PRK or LASEK.
Want to learn more about our optometry services? Call (805) 642-3777 to schedule a consultation today.