5 Reasons Eye Exams Are Important

Your eyes allow you to interact with the world around you every day and are a vital part of your daily life. By taking care of your eyes today, you are ensuring you will see your best for years to come. Let’s take a closer look at five reasons why routine eye exams are so important.

  1. Eye exams help children succeed in school.
  2. Myopia is becoming more common.
  3. Vision screenings should never substitute a yearly comprehensive eye exam.
  4. Glaucoma does not present symptoms in the early stages.
  5. Annual eye exams can help detect other health issues.

Eye Exams and School

During a child’s schooling, 80% of the information presented for learning requires good vision. By scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam, you are ensuring your child sees clearly and comfortably in the classroom. Even more, an eye exam is the only way to know for sure if your child is able to see their best for sports and other activities.

Reducing Myopia Progression

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is being diagnosed more than ever before, and at an earlier age, too. Children who become nearsighted early in life tend to experience a worsening progression of nearsightedness throughout childhood. This progression puts them at a higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life.

By scheduling a routine eye exam, your doctor can evaluate your risks of developing myopia. When detected early, you and your eye doctor can dramatically slow the progression of myopia and decrease the chances of developing eye problems down the road.

Vision Screenings Vs. Comprehensive Eye Exams

While commonly provided, a vision screening test is not a replacement for a yearly routine eye exam. Vision screening tests only look to see if a vision problem exists. These tests cannot diagnose the vision problem you have but are able to signify a larger exam is needed. During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will perform tests that evaluate your vision and eye health.

As you age, your risk of eye problems also increase. Routine eye exams are essential to detecting eye-related issues when merely getting a vision screening would not.

Reducing Your Risk of Glaucoma

Many people who develop glaucoma often don’t show symptoms at first. These individuals usually develop vision loss before they have learned that something is wrong with their eyes. This type of vision loss is irreversible if caught too late. With a routine exam, your optometrist can detect high eye pressure and other early signs of glaucoma before any serious damage to your vision occurs.

Detecting Issues During Your Annual Eye Exam

An eye exam can detect other health-related issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even cancer. During your exam, your eye doctor will evaluate the health and condition of the blood vessels in your retina, which are predictors of the health of blood vessels throughout your entire body. By scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam, you can reduce your risk for diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.

So do you want to take a burden off of your eyes? Contact our office today and ask our staff any questions that you might have about scheduling your eye exam.

Non-Glare Lenses: A Necessity

Non-Glare Lenses: A Necessity

If you wear glasses, you might notice the difference between lenses that have an anti-reflective coating from those that don’t. Anti-reflective coating, or non-glare lenses not only improve your vision but help reduce eye strain and makes your eyeglasses look more attractive.

What exactly are non-glare lenses?

Anti-reflective, or non-glare glasses work to eliminate the reflections from the front and back surface of your eyeglass lenses, which allows more light to pass through. This increase in light improves your vision’s clarity and minimizes the glare from objects, especially at night or while staring at a screen.

What benefits do non-glare lenses have?

With clearer vision through your lenses, you won’t need to squint or strain your eyes as much, minimizing eye strain and fatigue. These lenses also provide you with more durability and typically last longer.

Anti-reflective glasses are also more visually attractive. Since light will not reflect through your lenses, your eyes will be more visible and allow you to make better eye contact – important in both social and professional settings.

Non-glare on RX eyewear and Sunwear

Anti-reflective coating is useful for sunglasses because it protects you and your eyes from the glare of the sunlight. Usually, an AR coating is only put on the backside of sunglass lenses because there aren’t any benefits from eliminating the glare from the front of your glasses.

Who could benefit?

You see clearer while wearing them, enhance your appearance, extend the life of your lenses, and reduce blue light exposure. With all of the benefits non-glare glasses offer, anyone could benefit from investing in anti-reflective glasses.

Other Questions?

Contact our office today with questions you have about the possibility of adding an anti-reflective coating on your glasses.

Are you managing your eye allergies?

What are eye allergies?

Eye allergies occur when your eyes react to an irritant in the environment. These irritants, also called allergens, can include dust, pollen, smoke, fragrances, and pet dander, which can come from a variety of sources.

When exposed to an allergen, your eyes produce a substance called histamine to fight it off, and in turn, causing your eyes to become red, swollen, and itchy. Eyes can also tear, have a burning sensation, or even develop a sensitivity to light.

Symptoms

  • Redness in the eye
  • Eye swelling
  • Eye itching
  • Burning sensation in the eye
  • Excess tearing of the eye
  • Sensitivity to light

Managing Your Eye Allergies

To manage your eye allergies, you first need to understand the cause or allergen. If needed, skin or blood tests can be performed by an allergist to determine the best way to manage allergies and reduce irritation. Once known, try these recommended ways to reduce and manage your eye allergy symptoms.

Avoidance

Avoiding or reducing your exposure to the cause of your allergies is typically the first course of treatment to relieve symptoms.

Outdoor Allergens

For example, if you are allergic to pollen, avoiding the outdoors when pollen counts are high, closing windows, and wearing sunglasses to keep pollen away from your eyes. By using your AC instead of window fans during high pollen counts, you can reduce irritants indoors.

Indoor Allergens

For indoor allergens like dust or dander, use mite-proof covers and clean your bedding frequently. Remember to keep your windows closed and air conditioning filter clean during allergy season.

Eye Drops / Medication

  • Use artificial tears to help temporarily wash allergens away from the eye.
  • Take a decongestant (which may include antihistamines) for a short-term basis to help reduce redness and itchiness in the eyes.
  • Oral antihistamines can help reduce redness and itchiness but may make your eyes feel dry.

Are you suffering from eye allergies? Talk to us about the steps we can take to treat them.

What is the Right Age for Contact Lenses?

Children today are developing myopia sooner than in the past. Myopia, or nearsightedness, results in prescription glasses or contact lenses. Many parents might prefer the traditional frame over having their child wear contact lenses. But, the same question crosses through a lot of minds: contact lenses for children – what is the right age?

The answer depends on the eye doctor.

The right age for contact lenses

In a recent study, 51% of eye doctors surveyed felt the earliest age to prescribe contact lenses is 10, while only 12% felt 8 is a good time to introduce them.

67% of eye doctors felt if your child is younger than eight years old, they should stick to a traditional frame. But as your child gets older, the introduction of contact lenses becomes more prevalent. 66% of eye doctors recommended contact lenses as the primary vision correction method for children between the ages of 15-17.

For eye doctors that prescribe contact lenses at an earlier age, most say they prescribe daily disposable lenses for ease of use and maintenance.

Reasons for contacts

Two out of five optometrists say that many parents request their child be fit to wear contact lenses because their child refuses to wear glasses, or the frames interfere with sports or even their daily activities.

Many young people feel more confident wearing contacts. Some kids feel self-conscious in glasses. For children active in sports, contact lenses offer added convenience and safety. If. Sport contact lenses can eliminate the chance that their glasses break or cause injury. They provide other benefits as well, such as better peripheral vision since there is no frame in the way.

Do you want to take the next steps in ensuring your child has options with his or her vision? Contact our office with any questions.

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.

Buy One, Get One is on Now

In typical times, Monroe Vision Clinic has one, sometimes two, sales per year. Well, this year has been a different story because of COVID-19. Our spring sale was canceled and we’re not likely to have a fall sale.

With that said, we are fortunate to have some great frame and lens vendors who have teamed up to offer an incredible deal. This promotion runs until August 31, 2020 which allows you to take advantage of the savings while social distancing.

Six frame lines we carry are included in this promotion: Charles Stone, Cinzia, Côte d’Azur, Lafont, Scott Harris and William Morris. Between these lines we’ve got most men, women and children covered.

The offer is simple: buy one frame and lens and get the second frame (same brand as the first and of lesser value) and lens for free. Both pairs need to be for the same wearer. There are some details on the lenses that your Optician will go over with you while ordering. This is a great opportunity to get a backup pair, a pair of sunglasses, a computer pair, or to try something new.

Another unheard of part of this promotion is that there are no insurance restrictions! Yes, that means you can use your vision plan benefit on the first pair!

If you would like to take advantage of this great deal, stop in before August 31st during normal business hours; no appointment needed as long as you have a valid prescription. If you need to schedule an eye exam you can do so here.

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!

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.

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!

Smoking and Your Vision

Smoking harms nearly every organ in your body, including your eyes. It is the most significant preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. If you smoke, you have a higher risk of developing several eye diseases.

Cataracts

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in your eye, and the leading cause of blindness in the world. Smokers have double the chance of forming cataracts compared to non-smokers.

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the macula in your eye, which impacts central vision. If you smoke, you are three times more likely to develop macular degeneration. Consequently, female smokers over age 80 are 5.5 times more likely than nonsmokers of the same age.

Uveitis

Uveitis is the inflammation of the eyes middle layer called the uvea. As a result, it harms the iris, retina, and can eventually result in blindness. Smokers have 2.2 times greater risk of developing uveitis.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Those who smoke and have diabetes have increased the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy damages the blood vessels in the retina and can result in vision loss. Smoking double the risk of developing diabetes, therefore, increasing your risk for diabetic retinopathy and other diabetic eye diseases.

Dry Eyes

Dry eye is when you do not have enough tears on the eyes surface, causing itchy and red eyes. Smoke is considered an eye irritant, consequently worsening dry eye symptoms for many. Therefore, those who smoke are twice as likely to experience dry eye and individuals who experience second-hand smoke are more likely to suffer from dry eye as well.

Infant Eye Disease

Smoking during pregnancy transmits toxins to the placenta and can harm the unborn child. As a result, smoking increases the chance of many fetal and infant eye disorders.

Infant Eye Disorders

  • strabismus
  • underdeveloped optic nerve
  • premature birth
  • retinopathy of prematurity
  • potential blindness

 

The best way to decrease your risk for developing these eye diseases is to quit smoking. It is never too late, at any age you can reduce your risk of developing these sight-threatening eye conditions. Contact our office to discuss the impact of smoking on your vision.

*All statistics are from https://www.allaboutvision.com/smoking/