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Author: cosmin

Women and Eye Health Risks

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Most women understand how important it is to visit the doctor regularly so they can stay healthy and feel their best. However, many don’t realize this means having their eyes checked as well. This is especially important for women since they are more likely than men to suffer from eye-related diseases and conditions such as:

  • Cataract
  • Glaucoma
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

Two out of every three people living with blindness or vision problems are women, according to the National Eye Institute. And unfortunately, many women don’t know about this heightened risk and are not doing enough to care for their healthy sight. This can lead to staggering healthcare costs down the road. In an effort to educate the public on the increased risk for women and vision health issues, as well as steps that can be taken to prevent vision loss, April has been declared Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month. Did you know that other health conditions can also impact vision? Not only are women at greater risk for many eye diseases, they are also at risk for several overall health conditions that impact their vision. These include:

  • Diabetes – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 10 American women over the age of 20 has diabetes. Diabetes increases risk for several eye diseases, diabetic retinopathy, most commonly, as well as damage from ultraviolet (UV) light. People with diabetes often experience light sensitivity, difficulty distinguishing colors in low lighting, and trouble driving at night.
  • Autoimmune diseases – According to the National Institute of Health, women are more likely to develop several autoimmune diseases that can affect the eyes. These include:
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Lupus
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Sjögren’s syndrome
  • Breast and other cancers – Some cancer treatments can cause:
  • Bleeding in the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Cataracts
  • Dry, itchy eyes

While these eye problems may sound scary, your eye doctor can help educate you on the changes and find ways to ease the symptoms, so you have the best chance at maintaining optimal eye health.

Are Your Eyes Putting in Overtime?

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As we continue to work and learn from home, the amount of time we spend in front of a screen is probably more time than we spend doing anything else. Today’s world runs on digital. From the living room to the board room, we rely on our devices to stay informed, connect with others, attend classes and in many cases, earn a living. Mobile devices and computers deliver countless benefits.
However, they can also have an unpleasant side effect – more exposure to blue light.

What is blue light? And how does it impact our eyes?

Blue light is the range of light with the highest amount of energy in the visible light spectrum (the light we can see). Modern devices like smartphones, tablets, and computer monitors all emit blue light. While historically we’ve gotten our daily dose of blue light from the sun, our increased exposure to blue light from these modern devices has been linked to the onset of digital eye strain.

Why does blue light exposure matter?

Your eyes weren’t built to process blue light well; so, they work extra hard trying to bring this light into focus. Think of it like running a marathon where someone keeps moving the finish line back. With 63% of U.S. employees now working from home and parents reporting a recent 500% increase in children’s online screen time, exposure to blue light from digital devices is at an all-time high. Your eyes are putting in overtime daily which can contribute to digital eye strain and symptoms like tired eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and dry eyes.

Is there something that can help?

There are two types of products that can help reduce blue light exposure:

  • A premium anti-reflective coating that targets blue light wavelengths associated with digital eye strain. Because this coating both absorbs and reflects blue light, it has an attractive, near-clear appearance that provides better cosmetic appeal than other blue-light lens products.
  • Light-reactive lenses offer comparable blue light filtration indoors in their clear state. Outdoors, the lenses darken and increase the amount of blue light filtration from sunlight to match the increased intensity of the source.

Interested to learn more? Give us a call! Our doctors can talk to you about blue light lens options and other recommendations to reduce or prevent digital eye strain. EYEcenter Optometric 916-727-6518

10 Ways to Give Your Eyes Some Love This Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is the time to express your love and appreciation to those you care about most. But it’s also a great opportunity to take the time to pamper yourself — so why not start with your eyes?

Practice these 10 healthy lifestyle habits to help protect your eye health and vision.

1. Be Mindful of the Food You Eat

Fill your plate with fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins and whole grains. A well-balanced diet is good for your body and can lower your risk of eye disease.

Studies show that foods high in vitamins A, C, E, Omega-3, lutein and zeaxanthin are especially beneficial for promoting eye health.

2. Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day will keep your body hydrated and your eyes moist — which is essential for preventing dry eye syndrome. To add some flavor to your water, try adding a splash of lemon juice or swap some of those glasses of water for an herbal tea or other non-caffeinated beverage. Caffeinated drinks have a dehydrating effect, so try to limit your coffee consumption as much as possible.

3. Exercise Regularly

Exercise is widely known for its physical and mental health benefits, but studies show that it can also lower your risk of serious eye conditions and diseases. Cardio exercise in particular has been shown to lower eye pressure and improve blood flow to the retina and optic nerve at the back of the eye. So grab your gym bag and get moving!

4. Don’t Smoke

If you’ve been thinking about quitting, there’s no better time than now. Smoking tobacco significantly raises your risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like diabetic retinopathy, cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and can also lead to their early development.

Smoking also robs the body of the essential vitamins and minerals it needs to maintain eye health, and contains around 7,000 chemicals that can lead to eye irritation and dry eye.

5. Practice Good Makeup Hygiene

While wearing makeup can accentuate your eyes and make you feel more beautiful, it’s important to note that if not used properly, certain makeup products can adversely affect eye health.

To keep your eyes and vision healthy, make sure to:

  • Clean your brushes and applicators regularly
  • Toss any expired products, or eye makeup you’ve used during an eye infection
  • Only apply makeup to the outer margin of your eyelids
  • Remove your makeup before going to bed
  • Never share makeup or use in-store testers

Following these safety tips will help to lower your risk of eye infections and other serious complications.

6. Wear Sunglasses

Studies show that prolonged UV exposure can damage the eyes and lead to the development of sight-threatening eye conditions, like cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma, in the future.

Purchase a pair of stylish sunglasses with 100% UV protection and wear them any time you venture outdoors — the sun’s UV rays can penetrate the clouds and reflect off of snow, sand, water and pavement. So keep a pair of sunglasses next to your front door and a spare pair in your bag or car to ensure you have UV protection wherever you go.

7. Prevent Eye Injuries

About 90% of vision loss from eye injuries can be prevented by wearing the right eye protection.

Protective eyewear like sports goggles or glasses with polycarbonate lenses are designed with sturdy materials that are less likely to break or shatter while you play sports, and can protect your eyes from small particles that fly in the air when you mow the lawn or engage in DIY projects.

8. Learn First Aid for Eye Injuries

Let’s be real, accidents can happen even if we take all the right measures to protect ourselves. But knowing what to do in case of an unexpected eye injury can potentially save you or someone you love from permanent eye damage or vision loss.

Note: Any type of eye injury should be taken seriously, and promptly examined by an eye doctor.

9. Avoid Digital Eye Strain

Prolonged screen time can cause eye strain, dry eyes, blurry vision and headaches — and lead to a condition called digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome.

Avoid symptoms of digital eye strain by limiting screen time as much as possible. If prolonged screen time is unavoidable, practice the 20-20-20 rule: set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to take breaks every 20 minutes to focus on an image at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.

10. Visit Your Eye Doctor

Regular eye exams are crucial when it comes to maintaining your eye health. With an eye exam, your eye doctor can identify early signs of sight-threatening eye diseases and conditions — enabling earlier treatment and increasing your chances for optimal results.

From all of us at EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

At EYEcenter Optometric, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 916-727-6518 or book an appointment online to see one of our Citrus Heights eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Q&A

What’s the difference between an eye exam and vision screening?

Vision screenings are basic tests of visual acuity, generally conducted by a school nurse or pediatrician. These screenings can’t identify many vision conditions that impact learning or work performance, and are unable to detect ocular health problems.

A comprehensive eye exam, which is performed by an eye doctor, includes tests for visual acuity and functional vision, as well as close examination of the inner and outer structures of the eye.

How often do I need to have an eye exam?

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), it is important to have your eyes examined every one to two years, depending on your age, whether or not you wear glasses or contacts, your family history of eye disease, and your ocular health to date. Annual eye exams help your eye doctor monitor your eye health and easily identify any changes in your vision.

Why Is My Eyelid Twitching?

What Is An Eyelid Twitch?

Myokymia, more commonly known as an eyelid twitch, occurs when the eyelid muscles spasm uncontrollably. This sensation is generally felt in either the upper or lower eyelid of one eye.

An eyelid twitch can develop for a number of reasons, and can last anywhere from a few moments to several days, depending on the underlying cause.

Eyelid twitches are usually nothing to worry about, though persistent eyelid spasms can signal a more serious underlying condition.

What Causes Eyelid Twitching?

There are a range of factors that could be causing your eyelid to twitch, including:

Stress.

This is the most common cause. Any type of physical or mental stress leads to the release of cortisol, a steroid hormone in the body that acts as a stimulant and puts your body into “flight or fight” mode. It can affect the nervous system in uncharacteristic ways, including making the nerves stimulate your muscles to twitch.

Fatigue.

Have you stayed awake later than usual, or are you juggling work and family commitments? Your eyelid twitch may be a sign that your body is craving a few more hours of rest and shut eye.

Allergies.

Itchy, watery, irritated eyes can cause eyelid spasms.

Dry eyes.

Dry, sore eyes may sometimes lead to an eyelid twitch.

Eye strain.

Eye muscle fatigue from prolonged reading or using a digital device can lead to blurry or double vision, dry eyes, headaches and, sometimes, an eyelid twitch.

Caffeine.

Consuming too much caffeine can over-stimulate your mind and body, including the muscles in your eyes.

Alcohol.

Similar to caffeine, excessive alcohol intake can have stimulating effects on your eye muscles.

Nutrient deficiencies.

According to research, a deficiency in vitamins B12 or D, or magnesium, or other electrolyte imbalance can cause an eyelid twitch.

Blepharospasm.

This rare eye condition is caused by a neurological problem that leads to uncontrollable facial and eyelid spasms that generally worsen over time.These spasms may also cause an increase in blink rate and intensity.

Neurological disease.

Although uncommon, an eyelid twitch can be a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s disease or Bell’s palsy.

How to Stop Your Eye Twitch

  • Schedule an eye exam to find out what may be causing your eyelid twitch. Your eye doctor may prescribe glasses to relieve eye strain, or recommend dry eye treatments, Botox injections or oral medication to treat the underlying problem.
  • Practice stress-relieving activities such as yoga and deep breathing exercises, or simply take some time out of your day to relax.
  • Use eye drops to alleviate eye allergies or dry eye symptoms.
  • Take frequent breaks from the screen and consider wearing computer glasses to reduce eye strain.
  • Limit caffeine and alcohol consumption to determine if these stimulants may be the cause of your eyelid twitch.
  • Speak with your physician to find out if you can benefit from taking nutritional supplements and to rule out a neurological disorder, especially if other symptoms are present.

Although an eye twitch is generally not a cause for concern, if it persists for longer than a few days or you notice any changes to your vision, contact our team of eye doctors at EYEcenter Optometric today to schedule an eye exam.

Q & A

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr Palmer N. Lee OD

Q: What is dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic condition that occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or the quality of your tear film is compromised. This results in a range of symptoms that may include dry, itchy, irritated eyes, and sometimes eye twitches. While mild DES can often be alleviated temporarily with over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, moderate to severe DES generally requires specialized in-office treatments.

Q: How can I relieve eye strain after prolonged screen time?

  • A: Digital eye strain, also known as computer vision syndrome, can cause a host of uncomfortable symptoms, including headaches, eye fatigue, dry eyes and blurry vision. Computer vision syndrome may cause your eyelid to twitch.If limiting screen time isn’t practical on a daily basis, try to follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something around 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It is also important to remember to blink frequently and to close your eyes completely. Lastly, speak to your optometrist about wearing computer glasses while you work, as they are designed to eliminate glare from the screen, and reduce eye strain.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Sacramento, California. Visit EYEcenter Optometric for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Don’t Let Glaucoma Steal Your Sight

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Vision problems are often one of the first indications that we are not as young as we feel.

Even people who have never needed glasses or contacts may start to experience blurry vision or other noticeable imperfections. Many of these developments, such as difficulty seeing nearby objects, are a normal part of aging and can be easily treated.

However, serious eye conditions become more likely in middle-age and beyond. That is why it’s important to take vision health seriously as we age, as catching eye diseases like glaucoma in the early stages can lead to more effective treatment.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that gradually steals sight without warning. When the internal pressure in the eyes increases enough it can damage the nerve fibers in the optic nerve and cause vision loss.

There are several types of glaucoma, and most people will not experience any symptoms until the condition has become extremely dangerous. It’s important to see your eye doctor each year so they can spot any warning signs.

Optometrists have a variety of ways to screen for glaucoma, by measuring the pressure in the eyes, examining the inside of the eyes, and dilating your pupils to get a better look at the optic nerve and drainage angle.

Is there treatment?

There are several treatment options your eye doctor will consider if you are found to be suffering from glaucoma. These include eye drops, medication, laser surgery, or conventional surgery. The best course of action depends upon the particulars of your case and how you respond to treatment.

A comprehensive vision exam is essential to catch serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma, before irreversible damage is done.

Has it been a while since your last comprehensive vision exam? Give us a call to schedule one today!

5 Ways to Protect and Improve Your Child’s Eyesight

Your child’s vision is their primary window into the world around them. Keeping their eyesight healthy is an important part of allowing them to experience life to the fullest.

Here are 5 tips on how to protect and improve your child’s eye health:

1. Take them to the eye doctor for routine eye exams

One of the most important take-aways from any article you read on the subject of keeping your child’s vision and eyes healthy, is the need to keep up with routine comprehensive eye exams.

Although your kid’s school may perform vision screenings, these tests can only detect the most basic issues, such as myopia (nearsightedness) or severe amblyopia. They are not equipped to check for eye diseases that can affect your child’s long-term ocular health, or binocular vision disorders that can hinder their ability to learn.

Our Citrus Heights eye doctor will be able to perform a comprehensive eye exam to check for the presence of these and other conditions. If ocular diseases or vision disorders are detected, your eye doctor will have the equipment and expertise to properly treat them.

2. Limit their screen time

Digital screens are an ever-present part of our lives. Children can spend hours every day texting, playing video games, watching television, doing schoolwork, and more. It’s all too easy to spend way too much time in front of digital devices that emit blue light, which may contribute to digital eye strain. Symptoms of digital eye strain may include:

  • Tired eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Headaches
  • Sore eyes

To combat digital eye strain and reduce your child’s exposure to blue light, limit their screen time, when possible, and turn off devices a few hours before bedtime to allow your child to wind down.

3. Encourage them to eat healthy foods and get exercise

As with every part of the body, a healthy lifestyle can go a long way in ensuring the long-term health of your child’s eyes.

Eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids is a great way to promote eye health. Good sources include fish such as salmon and herring. For vegans and others who don’t eat fish, flax seeds, chia seeds and walnuts are also a great option.

Leafy greens and fruits are also important, as they’re high in vitamins A, C and E, which are all important for the development and maintenance of healthy vision.

Along with a healthy diet, you should encourage your child to get up and exercise. Physical activity is good for the whole body, and that includes the eyes.

Bonus points if you can get your child outside, as sunlight and outdoor play have been shown to slow or even prevent the development of myopia. Just make sure your child wears sunglasses and a sun hat — UV rays have a cumulative effect that could lead to eye diseases like macular degeneration later in life.

4. Help them avoid eye injuries

Eye injuries are an all-too-common occurrence, especially among children.

If you have little ones at home, make sure that paints, cleaners and other dangerous chemicals and irritants are put away somewhere safe. If these ever get into their eyes, they can cause severe damage to your child’s visual system, including permanent loss of vision.

For contact and ball/puck sports, ensure your child wears the right eyewear to protect their eyes from accidental impacts or pokes. Helmets should also be worn where the sport warrants it, to prevent concussions and other head injuries that can have an effect on vision.

5. Reduce eye infections

Even small, common infections such as pink eye can have an impact on your child’s vision.

Hands are some of the most bacteria-filled parts of our bodies. Your child should learn not to touch their eyes with their unwashed hands, as this is the primary way of introducing germs to the eye that may result in infection.

On a similar note, if you have contact lens wearers, be sure to teach them to wash their hands each and every time they put in or take out their contact lenses. They should also learn to store and clean their lenses strictly according to their eye doctor‘s instructions and should change lenses according to their intended schedule. Daily contacts should be changed daily, monthly contacts, monthly.

For more information on how best to protect and improve your child’s eyesight, contact EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights today.

Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Palmer N. Lee OD

Q: Can I rely on the vision screenings at my child’s school to catch vision and eye health issues?

  • A: No. School-based vision screenings check for basic visual acuity. Even if your child has perfect 20/20 vision, there may still be issues with visual skills or undetected eye diseases that these types of screenings are not equipped to catch.It is important not to rely on school vision screenings as a replacement for an annual comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. During these visits, your eye doctor will be able to assess your child for vision skills such as:

    Eye teaming ability
    Convergence and divergence skills
    Tracking and focusing Visual accommodation

    They will also be able to diagnose and treat conditions such as:

    Amblyopia
    Strabismus
    (Rarely) pediatric glaucoma or cataracts

    These and other conditions can only be diagnosed and treated by a trained optometrist as part of a comprehensive eye exam.

Q: Can vision problems be misdiagnosed as ADHD/ADD?

  • A: It is unfortunately common for learning-related vision problems to go undetected. These vision problems can often mimic the symptoms of ADD/ADHD, leading to misdiagnosis and mistaken treatment.As many as 1 out of every 4 school-age children suffers from some form of visual dysfunction. If not properly treated, a child may struggle throughout their entire school career, harming their learning and possibly their long-term self-confidence.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Sacramento, California. Visit EYEcenter Optometric for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Eyesight

Pregnancy can impact almost every part of a woman’s body and health — including her eyes. In fact, an estimated 14% of pregnant women report experiencing visual changes during pregnancy that usually resolve on their own within a couple of months after giving birth.

Knowing the different visual symptoms that can present when you’re expecting can help alert you to potential underlying health concerns that your physician may need to address.

Normal Visual Changes During Pregnancy

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is the most common visual symptom that pregnant women may experience. Hormonal fluctuations are usually to blame for the temporary decrease in visual acuity, and your eyesight will likely return to normal soon after giving birth.

The influx of pregnancy hormones causes fluid retention in some areas of the body and can cause the cornea to thicken slightly. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused accurately and vision may be blurred.

Less commonly, blurred vision can signal gestational diabetes, a pregnancy complication affecting 6-9% of pregnant women. The rise in blood sugar level impacts the focusing lens of the eye, leading to blurry vision. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, including gestational diabetes, it’s a good idea to book an eye exam to monitor for retinal changes.

Blurred vision is also a common side effect of dry eye syndrome, a condition characterized by tears that don’t adequately lubricate the eyes, which can be brought on or exacerbated by pregnancy.

Eye Dryness

Pregnancy hormones can cause a reduction in the amount of tears your eyes produce or affect the quality of the tears. These changes can affect a woman throughout her entire pregnancy, but studies show that eye dryness is particularly common in the last trimester. For this reason, some women find it difficult to wear contact lenses in their third trimester and temporarily switch to glasses.

Eye Puffiness

Yet another body part that swells during pregnancy: the eyelids and tissues around the eyes.

Pregnancy-related water retention may cause your eyelids to appear puffier than during your pre-pregnancy days. You may also notice darker areas under the eyes. If your puffy eyes bother you, try limiting your salt and caffeine intake, as they can worsen the problem.

Visual Changes That May Indicate a Problem

The following visual changes warrant a prompt call to your eye doctor or obstetrician to rule out any underlying complications.

Flashes or floaters

Seeing stars during pregnancy can signal high blood pressure, which is associated with preeclampsia — a serious medical condition that requires close monitoring by your physician and possible treatment.

It’s crucial to have your blood pressure monitored throughout your pregnancy, as preeclampsia can potentially endanger the life of mother and child, as well as damage the cornea and retina.

Temporary vision loss

Temporary vision loss is concerning for pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. Vision loss is another warning sign of preeclampsia, so contact your doctor promptly if you suddenly lose any portion of your visual field.

Sensitivity to light

Light-sensitivity can either be a normal side effect of fluid retention in the eye, or it can signal dangerously high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

How We Can Help

At ​​EYEcenter Optometric, our goal is to keep your vision and eyes healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you experience any visual symptoms, we can help by thoroughly examining your eyes to determine the underlying cause and provide you with guidance on what next steps to take.

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, when self care should be at the forefront — and that includes comprehensive eye care.

To schedule an eye exam or learn more about our eye care services, call EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights today!

Q&A

Frequently Asked Questions with Palmer N. Lee OD

Q: Why are regular eye exams important?

  • A: Having your eyes evaluated by an optometrist on a regular basis is crucial for detecting early signs of eye diseases and changes in your prescription, including during pregnancy. Many serious eye diseases don’t cause any noticeable symptoms until they’ve progressed to late stages, when damage to vision may be irreversible. Whether or not you wear glasses or contact lenses for vision correction, ask your optometrist about how often to schedule a routine eye exam.

Q: Will my baby need an eye exam after birth?

  • A: According to the American Optometric Association and the Canadian Association of Optometrists, babies should have an eye exam within the first 6-12 months of life, even in the absence of noticeable vision problems. Healthy vision is a significant part of healthy overall development, so be sure not to skip your baby’s eye exams!

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Sacramento, California. Visit EYEcenter Optometric for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

How to Disinfect Your Glasses

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Your glasses, both lenses and frames, have the ability to transmit infections, including COVID-19, to your eyes, nose and mouth via your hands.

According to the Journal of Hospital Infection, COVID-19 can survive on glass for up to four days. It can also be identified on stainless steel and plastic — materials used to manufacture glasses — for up to three days.

One way you can clean your glasses is by using a cleaning spray which your Citrus Heights eye doctor will provide you with. Make sure you follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean your specific glasses, as each frame, lens material and coating is different.

If you run out or can’t get cleaning spray from your eye doctor, here are some tips on how to clean your glasses.

Use soap and water

Liquid soap and water provide good protection against viruses and bacteria. Here’s how to keep your glasses germ-free:

  • Wash your hands with soap, and dry them with a lint-free towel or paper towel.
  • Rinse the lenses with water to prevent specks of dirt from damaging your lenses.
  • Apply a drop of dish soap to the lenses and gently massage it around with a microfiber cloth. Disposable lens wipes are fine, too.
  • Remember to clean the nose pads and behind-the-ear pieces as well as the edge where the lens meets the frame.

Rince the glasses with water and dry them with a microfiber cloth, or simply air dry.

Clean your glasses after being out in public

We are often unaware of how frequently we touch our faces, eyes and nose, which is why handwashing is so crucial.

Whether you wear prescription or non-prescription glasses, make sure to clean them after a trip to the grocery store or any place where you’ve been around other people.

Don’t blow on glasses

Many people try to clean their lenses by steaming them up with their breath. Blowing on your lenses can cause them to become even more contaminated.

Don’t use bleach or rubbing alcohol

Don’t use sanitizing cleaning solutions that contain alcohol or bleach, as they can be harsh on anti-reflective or non-glare lens coatings. They might also weaken the frame.

It’s easy to clean your glasses. Doing so can safeguard your health and keep your glasses in the best possible condition.

Contact EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights if you have any further questions related to your eye health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will it take to clean my glasses?

  • A: A thorough cleaning of your glasses should take no more than 10 minutes and regular maintenance should take no more than 5 minutes (and just a minute or two, if you incorporate glasses-washing into your hand-washing routine).

Q: Can I put sanitizing wipes on my glasses?

  • A: No. Household cleaning/antibacterial wipes may ruin your lenses, so avoid using them.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit EYEcenter Optometric for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

What Role Does Family History Play In Eye Disease?

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Your Family Eye Doctor Cares About Your Health

Each of us inherits a wealth of traits from our parents, grandparents and previous generations. But sometimes, there are some less desirable characteristics in one’s genetic code and family history that we inherit along with the good.

Genetics play a vital role in eye health, so knowing what conditions and diseases are found in your family tree can clue in your eye doctor to your personal risk factors and overall health.

Genetics and Eye Disease

Most eye diseases have multiple causes, but more than 350 eye diseases and conditions have a clear genetic component. Below, we outline the most common eye conditions that can develop primarily, or in part, due to your genes.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness around the world and results from both genetic and environmental factors. Glaucoma causes permanent damage to your optic nerve, impacting the visual signals sent from the eye to the brain, resulting in ‘Tunnel Vision.’ Having a family member who’s been diagnosed with glaucoma increases your chances of developing the disease by 4 to 9 times. Family history is also valuable in predicting one’s chances of becoming blind from glaucoma and the rate of its progression.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is another sight-threatening eye disease that tends to run in families. AMD causes significant loss of vision due to damage to your central vision. In fact, about 1 in 5 patients with AMD will also have an affected sibling or parent. Having a close relative with AMD also makes a person about 4 times more likely to develop the late, more serious stage of the condition.

Genetics are also partially responsible for the development of cataracts, the clouding of your natural lens, inside the eye. Research published in IOVS (July 2001) found that up to 58% of age-related cataracts are due to genetics, while the rest of the cases are due to environmental factors and eye injuries.

Diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the retinal health of diabetics, is another example of an eye disease that one can inherit. A study published in Current Genomics estimates that a person’s genes account for 20-25% of their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, as well as how quickly it progresses.

Less common eye conditions are also linked to genetics. About 4 out of 10 people with strabismus (crossed eyes) have a relative with the same condition. Amblyopia (lazy eye), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and hyperopia (farsightedness) also tend to run in families.

Regular Eye Exams are Crucial For Eye Health

The good news is that even if you have a family history of eye disease, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have the same diagnosis. As a matter of fact, lifestyle can play a massive role in maintaining your visual health.

Consuming an eye-healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy body weight, refraining from smoking and getting enough sleep have all been shown to mitigate the risk of certain eye diseases. But the best thing you can do for your eyes is to schedule yearly eye exams with your optometrist to help catch eye disease early in its tracks before significant vision loss develops. This is especially relevant for those having family members with any sort of eye disease or condition.

At EYEcenter Optometric, we work together with our patients to preserve and protect their eyesight and eye health for a lifetime.

To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to have my eyes checked if I don’t have any visual problems or a family history of eye disease?

  • A: Yes. Many serious eye diseases like glaucoma and AMD typically begin without any warning signs or symptoms. The only way to detect the onset of such diseases is by having a thorough and comprehensive eye evaluation. Many eye conditions can start at any age, making yearly eye exams important for all.

Q: Which lifestyle factors contribute to the onset and progression of eye diseases and conditions?

  • A: Each disease has its own set of environmental risk factors, but there are a few common denominators. Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and severe nutrient deficiencies can all harm eye health. Risk factors for nearsightedness include excessive near work (reading, looking at a digital screen) and not enough time spent outdoors. Speak with your optometrist about how your lifestyle may be impacting your eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit EYEcenter Optometric for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


4 Risks of Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses This Halloween

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Wish your eyes were a different color or that you could change their ‘look’? That’s exactly why some people find decorative contact lenses appealing. Cosmetic, theatrical, circular, decorative, costume, colored and Halloween contact lenses are some of the names used to describe the lenses that give you eyes a new appearance.

To prevent complications, infection and potential vision loss, all contact lenses should be purchased using a prescription from your eye doctor. Otherwise, your risk the following:

  1. Scratches to the eye – If your contacts aren’t fitted properly or are of inferior quality, they can harm your cornea. A corneal abrasion is a painful condition that can result in lasting damage and even vision loss.
  2. Inflammation of the cornea – According to studies, wearing non-prescription contacts raises the incidence of keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)16-fold. In the best of cases, early treatment with antibiotics or steroid drops may help to maintain vision, and in the worst of cases—surgery may be required.
  3. Pink eye – Many people think it’s not a problem to wear someone else’s cosmetic lenses. In reality, sharing contacts can transfer germs and lead to infections like pink eye. To treat pink eye, your eye doctor will need to understand the root of the issue, but usually antibiotic eye drops suffice.
  4. Vision loss – Wearing non-prescription contacts may cause vision loss—and in extreme cases even blindness—as a result of corneal damage or infection.

Checklist for Decorative Contact Lens Wearers

  • Make sure you get a comprehensive eye exam from an eye doctor, who will properly measure your eyes to fit your contacts.
  • Obtain a prescription from your eye doctor that contains all pertinent information, such as the
    specifications of the contacts, the expiration date, and the brand name.
  • Check that the contact lenses you ordered are identical to the prescription.
  • Decorative contact lenses should always be purchased from a reputable source. Note that only reliable retailers demand a prescription.
  • Follow your eye doctor hygiene guidelines for cleaning, inserting, removing, and storing contact lenses.
  • Make an appointment for a follow-up eye exam as recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Never let anyone else use your contact lenses.

Enjoy your Halloween without the stress or agony of an eye infection or a damaged cornea by following these contact lens safety instructions. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are decorative contact lenses safe?

  • A: Yes, if they are prescribed by an optometrist. Most people are able to wear tinted contact lenses safely if they are used as instructed. Following your optometrist’s instructions is essential for successful contact lens wear.

Q: Do I need a prescription? What if I don’t require vision correction?

  • A: Yes. Even if you don’t need vision correction, contact lenses are medical equipment that should be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit EYEcenter Optometric for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


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