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Does your child play sports?

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We all love to watch our children play sports and we strive to make sure they have all the right gear. But what about their eyes?

We must remember that not all glasses will protect our children’s eyes.

Children should NOT play sports while wearing regular glasses. They should be wearing sports goggles or contact lenses.

Sports goggles are available in many styles and you can have your child’s prescription put in them, even if your child does not wear glasses.

Contact lenses are also a good option for sports, especially with the option of daily contact lenses.

Talk to your eyecare provider to find the best option for your child.

How Do I Know If I Have Computer Vision Syndrome?

CVS pic 2So many of us work on a computer screen for part of or maybe all of our professional day. Then, we come home and may continue looking at screens on our phones, iPads, or e-readers. No wonder so many of us experience computer vision syndrome and may not even realize it.

What is computer vision syndrome(CVS)? Common symptoms are blurred vision during or immediately after screen use, headaches, eye strain, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms worsen with prolonged screen use, poor lighting, glare, and uncorrected vision problems.

They also usually improve after we’ve stopped looking at our screens for prolonged periods.If you experience what you think is CVS, your first step is to schedule an appointment with your optometrist for a comprehensive vision and eye health exam.

Additional solutions are to position your monitor slightly below eye level and at a distance of 20-28 inches from your eyes. Eliminate sources of glare on your screen, and invest in a non-glare screen or treatment on your glasses. Also, remember to blink, and mind the 20/20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away into the distance for 20 seconds or more.

Woman Campaigns To Raise Awareness After Vision Loss from Dental Accident

A South Jersey mother has lost part of her vision from her dentist thanks to an unfortunate accident that very easily could have been prevented. Her dentist did not take the proper precautions with a federal recommendation that some dentists just do not follow.

“This was 100 percent preventable, what happened to me,” Jenn said. “If eye protection was worn, we wouldn’t be here and I would still have my vision and my life would be a lot different.”

Jenn’s talking about plastic glasses. The CDC and American Dental Association recommend that all dental patients wear eye protection. It’s a guideline that isn’t always followed.

Click here for the full CBS article.

 

Do I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

dry eye man rubbing eyeDry eye syndrome, also known as Keratoconjunctivitis sicca is a prevalent condition affecting millions of men and women (women more often than men). It is characterized by dry, sandy, burning, irritated, red eyes, among other symptoms.

Although, the symptoms are due to lack of lubricating tears, sometimes it can lead to excessively watery eyes. Chronic dry eye can cause damage to the eye’s surface, eventually, resulting in inability to produce tears.

Left untreated, severe forms of dry eye can even damage your vision. Dry eye can be caused or aggravated by factors such as too much tear drainage, contact lens wear, aging, certain medications, different health problems and environmental factors (dry or windy weather, heaters, air conditioners).

Dry eye syndrome is treated with better lid hygiene, warm compresses, artificial tears to lubricate the eyes, medicated eye drops to reduce the ocular inflammation and increase tear production, laser cauterization or punctal plugs to reduce tear drainage, or newer technologies such as LipiFlow that increase the quality of the tears, and even with diet and special vitamin supplements specific for treating dry eye.

The treatment option that is best suited for you depends on many different factors and should be discussed with your eye care provider. Risk Optometric Associates offers dry eye syndrome diagnosis and management. Book an appointment online or drop in to any of our eye doctors in Fayetteville North Carolina and the surrounding areas for a consult and dry eye treatment.

Spare your Sight! Using Shades for Protection and Style

Most people think that they’re at risk only when they’re outside on a sunny day, but UV light can go right through clouds, so it doesn’t matter if the sky is overcast. The sun’s rays are strongest between 2 pm and 4 pm. 36% of Americans spend time outdoors between those hours. Glare and reflections can give you trouble, so have your sunglasses ready if you’ll be around snow, water or sand, or if you’ll be driving (windshields are a big glare source). Did you know that in the winter, snow reflects up to 85% of UV rays? Parents are more likely to wear sunglasses (56%) than their kids (29%). Make sure your children have and wear their sunglasses as well.

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Viewing Eye Health Via Big Data

Eye Statistics At A Glance infographic

Eye Disease Definitions With Eye Health Statistics At A Glance

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of the lens in the eye leading to a decrease in vision. It can affect one or both eyes. Often it develops slowly. Symptoms may include faded colors, blurry vision, halos around lights, and trouble with bright lights. Difficulty seeing at night can interfere with driving, reading, or even recognizing faces. Poor vision also increases the risk of falling as well as depression, especially in the elderly. Cataracts are the cause of half of blindness and 33% of visual impairment worldwide, but the treatment options are relatively quick and have a great success rate.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases which result in damage to the optic nerve and resulting vision loss. There are multiple types of glaucoma. Most cases of glaucoma are related to internal eye pressure and develop slowly and painlessly. Typically, side vision begins to decrease, followed by central vision resulting in tunnel vision if not caught early. Rarely, glaucoma can have a more sudden onset involving eye pain, blurred vision, mid-dilated pupil, redness of the eye, and nausea, leading to blindness if not treated. Vision loss from glaucoma, once it has occurred, is generally permanent. However, if caught early, glaucoma can be treated to prevent damage, which is why we screen patients for early pre-symptomatic signs of glaucoma development.

Visual Impairment

Visual impairment or low vision can be defined as a decreased ability to see to a degree which is not totally treatable with corrective lenses like glasses or contacts. Some definitions also include those who have a decreased ability to see because they do not have access to eyeglasses or contact lenses. If a person’s best corrected visual acuity is worse than 20/40 or 20/60, they are said to be visually impaired. The term blindness is used for complete or nearly complete vision loss. Visual impairment and blindness can cause difficulties with normal daily activities such as driving, reading, socializing, and even walking. It affects millions of people; as your eye doctors, we are here to help.

Color Blindness

Color blindness is not an actual blindness; rather it refers to color vision deficiency, the inability or decreased ability to see color or perceive color differences, under normal lighting conditions. Color vision deficiency affects a significant percentage of the population. It is commonly caused by a problem with one or more sets of retinal cones, which are supposed to perceive color and transmit that information to the optic nerve. This type of color blindness is usually a sex-linked condition. The genes that produce the photopigments of the retinal cones are carried on the X chromosome; only one copy of a functional gene for photopigments is necessary for color vision. That’s why color blindness is more common in men, because they only have 1 copy of the X chromosome, so if some of these genes are missing or damaged, color blindness will be expressed.

Can you Sleep in Contacts?

inserting overnight contact lenses in FayettevillePatients ask me every day if they can sleep in their contacts.

I find this to be an interesting question. Nobody “sees” while they are asleep, so why would you need to wear your contacts while sleeping? There are only two reasons why patients want to sleep in their contacts. For safety and laziness.

Some patients are so “blind” without glasses or contacts that they are defenseless and helpless once they open their eyes. The world they see is just a smear without corrective lenses. Nobody wants to feel helpless especially if someone is breaking into your home, or the house is on fire. Although these are rare events, they nonetheless are real events that are considerably worse if you cannot instantly see when you open your eyes.

Laziness is just human nature. It takes effort and time to clean contacts and when you do this day after day, it becomes easy to want to skip the hassle of this routine maintenance. Fortunately, contact lenses have come a long way and there are several brands of contacts that have been approved by the FDA for overnight wear. Some can be slept in for a week and there are some that can be slept in for a month.

This puts me, the optometrist, in a weird situation. I want to give patients what they want for convenience and safety, but I also want what is healthiest for the patient. The problem with overnight or extended wear contacts is that there is a greater risk of eye infection with this method of wear. Most people don’t take eye infections seriously because they are self-limiting, but there are two microscopic bugs out there called Acanthamoeba and Pseudomonas that can eat through your eye and cause blindness within 24 hours. These two critters can get stuck under your contacts and if your eyelid does not wipe them away, they can eat your eye, literally. These microscopic organisms can be found in hot tubs, swimming pools, showers, and bodies of non-sterile water (including tap water!). If you wash your face with water containing these critters, they can get under your contact lenses. Remember they are microscopic.

So why are overnight contacts approved by the FDA? It has to do with safety. If you wear the contacts as directed and avoid contaminating your eyes, the risk of serious infection is small. My concern is the risk is not zero. It is hard to go through life with zero risk, and one could argue the risk of not sleeping in contacts also carries risk if a house is on fire.

What is important to take home about sleeping in your contacts is very simple. If you are going to sleep in your contacts, make sure they are approved for overnight wear. Don’t sleep in them longer than they are approved for wear. If you can, try to take them out periodically to allow your eyelids a chance to do their job. Avoid getting water which is unsterile in your eyes.

Finally, and most importantly, if your eye becomes red and you have been wearing contacts, please do not assume you just have an irritation and simply wait a couple of days. Get to your eye doctor immediately to make sure you do not have Acanthamoeba or Pseudomonas. Only an eye doctor can tell you if you have either of these sight-threatening infections by looking at your eye through a microscope.

If you would like to see a news report on this, please click this link: https://youtu.be/E5I0OLzD2Cc

You can book an eye exam at Risk Optometric Associates or visit us at one of our many locations in North Carolina including several eye doctors in Fayetteville, NC.

Tired of Wearing Glasses?

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During clinic, I often hear “I’m over 40 and currently wear bifocals or progressive lenses so I can see far away and up close, but I’m so tired of wearing glasses. They slide down my nose; I can’t wear sunshades without prescription; Do I have any other options?” Well fortunately, you do!!! Your optometrists, as well as the contact lens companies, have heard you. Multifocal or mono-vision designed contact lenses may be the answer. The majority of multifocal design contact lenses are similar to bifocal or progressive glasses where the bottom portion of the contact focuses your near vision, and the top portion focuses for distance. Your optometrist will allow you to trial this type of contact lens design for 1-2 weeks to ensure your individual daily tasks such as driving, computer use, and reading can be completed at ease. A second approach your optometrist may trial to correct distance and near vision in patients over 40, is called mono-vision. A mono-vision contact lens uses your dominant eye for distance vision and your non-dominant eye for near vision, which will be determined during your contact lens examination. Like being fit with multifocal contact lenses, your optometrist will allow you to trial these lenses for 1-2 weeks to allow your brain to adapt to your new vision. Patients are always advised, with mono-vision contact lenses, your depth perception will likely be reduced due to each eye correcting for a different distance, but most patients have little trouble adjusting to this change. If you’re like many other patients who are tired of wearing glasses, please do not hesitate to ask if contact lenses are right for you.

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The Effects of Increased Computer Usage

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With the ever increasing use of computers in our daily lives at work as well as for pleasure, it is important to note the effects that extended computer use can have on our visual system. Extended use of computer screens has been linked to complaints of ocular strain and dry eye symptoms. Do your eyes ache while working on the computer, or do you note blurred vision, a sandy gritty feeling or increased redness? If you answered yes to any or all of those questions, we can help! It could be that something as simple as a prescription for glasses or contacts could eliminate your problem or perhaps a change in your current prescription. If you have dry , tired eyes we can help resolve that issue also. We all work and we all enjoy our screen time but wouldn’t it be nice to eliminate blur, dryness and discomfort. We would love the opportunity to help. For more details about computer vision syndrome please go to the CVS section here on our website.

Contact or office today to schedule a screening and consult with our eye doctors.

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Do I have Presbyopia?

presbyopiaCan you see well to drive and watch television, but find yourself stretching out your arms to read that recipe, backing away from your computer screen to determine if that is an 8 or a 3, or turning every light in the house on to read the newspaper at night? Well if that sounds like you, welcome to the world of presbyopia.

Presbyopia is a natural aging change that affects the focusing system within our eyes, and typically occurs around the age of 40. Inside the eye, the lens and muscle fibers that hold the lens in place harden as we age. This hardening prevents the lens to focus light directly on the retina, a light sensitive tissue in the back of the eye that transfers messages, which will later become the images we see, through the optic nerve to the brain.

If the above mentioned symptoms sound familiar and you have already increased the font size of this blog, schedule yourself for an eye exam. Presbyopia can be corrected with many different options that your optometrist can go over with you during your examination. See you soon!!!

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