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How Sleep Apnea Affects The Eyes

Did you know that some eye conditions are associated with sleep apnea? According to the National Sleep Foundation, more than 18 million Americans have sleep apnea, and Health Canada reports similar prevalence. It’s a sleep disorder where people stop breathing — often multiple times per night — while sleeping.

If you have sleep apnea: it tends to take longer for your tears to be replenished, you’re more likely to have ocular irritation, you have a higher chance of developing floppy eyelids, and you’re at increased risk for glaucoma.

What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?

There are different types of sleep apnea. The most common one is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). During OSA, your airway becomes partially blocked due to relaxed muscles in your nose and throat. This causes apnea (the absence of breathing) or hypopnea (abnormally shallow, slow breathing). It’s twice as common in men, and is more likely to affect people with obesity, hypertension, diabetes or heart disease.

What are the common symptoms of sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax too much to allow normal breathing. These temporary breathing lapses cause lower-quality sleep and affect the body’s oxygen supply, which can lead to potentially serious health consequences.

While snoring is a common symptom, not everyone who snores has sleep apnea. Interrupted sleep can cause excessive daytime sleepiness, fatigue, irritability or depression, headaches in the morning, difficulty concentrating and thinking, and a sore throat.

Which Eye Conditions Are Associated With Sleep Apnea?

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when increased pressure within the eye damages the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain, leading to vision loss and sometimes blindness. In some cases, it might be due to a drop in blood oxygen levels, which happens when you stop breathing. However, CPAP machines, one of the most common treatments for sleep apnea, can also cause glaucoma.

So, people with sleep apnea — even if it’s being treated — need to get their eyes checked on a regular basis for glaucoma.

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome

Floppy Eyelid Syndrome (FES) is an eye condition where a person has an unusually large and floppy upper eyelid. It can cause eye redness, irritation, discharge, or blurry vision — and over 90% of people with FES also have sleep apnea.

Non-Arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy

Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is an eye condition that occurs when there is a loss of blood flow to the optic nerve. Patients typically complain of significant vision loss in one eye without any major pain. Approximately 70-80% of patients with NAION have been found to have OSA.

Retinal Vein Occlusion

Also referred to as an ‘eye stroke,’ retinal vein occlusion (RVO) is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. A recent study of 114 RVO patients found that sleep apnea was suspected in 74% of the patients that had previously been diagnosed with RVO.

Other Eye Health Issues Associated With Sleep Apnea

Some other ocular conditions that are more common in patients with sleep apnea include: papilledema, keratoconus, and central serous chorioretinopathy. Furthermore, in addition to glaucoma mentioned above, CPAP machines are associated with dry eye syndrome and bacterial conjunctivitis.

Talk To Your Doc

Get eye exams regularly to rule out eye disorders and prevent potential vision loss, especially if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea. At EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights we encourage you to share your medical history with us so we can better diagnose and treat any eye conditions or ocular diseases you may have, and help you keep your eyes nice and healthy.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Palmer N. Lee

Q: What Causes Sleep Apnea?

  • A: Sleep apnea occurs when in-part or completely stop breathing when sleeping. This causes your lungs to strain harder for oxygen, and makes the brain send signals that jerk your body awake to resume proper breathing.

Q: What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?

  • A: A common sign of sleep apnea is loud snoring. Snoring that is loud enough to disturb the sleep of the patient as well as others around, even across the walls. That said, not everyone who snores suffers from obstructive sleep apnea.

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

3 Benefits of Anti-Glare Coating

Glare refers to the excessive brightness caused by direct or reflected light. It can cause eye strain, digital eye strain (when using a computer, for example), halos, and headaches. Glare can also reduce visibility, making it unsafe to drive.

Anti-glare coating, also known as anti-reflective (AR) coating, is a thin layer applied to the surface of your eyeglass lenses that allows more light to pass through your lenses. By reducing the amount of glare that reflects off of your lenses, you can see more clearly and experience more comfortable vision. You can request anti-glare coating for lenses when you buy eyeglasses.

AR Coating Offers 3 Major Advantages

Better Appearance

Without an anti-glare coating on your glasses, camera flashes and bright lights can reflect off your lenses. This can hinder your appearance when speaking to people or in meetings, cause flash reflections when picture-taking, and make it difficult to find the right angle for video calls. Anti-reflective coating eliminates the harsh reflections and allows others to clearly see your eyes and face.

Reduced Digital Eye Strain

You know that tired, irritated feeling you get after staring at a digital screen for several hours? That’s digital eye strain. Anti-glare coating helps reduce digital eye strain by lowering exposure to excessive glare from digital devices and lighting.

Safe Driving at Night

The bright headlights from cars driving in the opposite direction can pose a serious danger when driving at night. These sudden glares can lead you to momentarily lose focus of the view ahead. AR coating on your prescription eyewear effectively reduces reflections from headlights at night, allowing you to enjoy a better view of the road and safer driving at night.

Let your eyes look and feel better every day with anti-glare coated lenses. Contact us to book your appointment today!

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

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

What You Should Know About Night Blindness

If you don’t see well while driving at night, there’s a chance you have night blindness. Night blindness, or nyctalopia, is the inability to see well at night or in dim lighting. It’s not considered an eye disease, but rather a symptom of an underlying problem.

Our eye doctor in Citrus Heights can help diagnose, manage and treat your night blindness with specialized digital eye exams, so that you can enjoy being out and about at night again.
Here are 4 things you should know about night blindness:

Causes of Night Blindness

The inability to see well at night can be the result of a condition such as:

    • Vitamin A Deficiency — Vitamin A helps keep your cornea, the layer at the front of your eye, clear; it’s also an important component of rhodopsin, a protein that enables you to see in low light conditions. Although uncommon in North America, deficiency of this vitamin can induce night blindness.
    • CataractsA buildup of protein clouds the eye’s lens, leading to impaired vision, especially at night and in poor lighting conditions.
    • Diabetic RetinopathyDamage to the eyes’ blood vessels and nerves can result in vision loss, including difficulty seeing at night.
    • GlaucomaThis group of eye diseases is associated with pressure build-up in the eye that damages the optic nerve. Both glaucoma and the medications used to treat it can cause night blindness.
    • MyopiaAlso called nearsightedness, myopia makes distant objects appear blurry, and patients with it describe a starburst effect around lights at night.
    • KeratoconusAn irregularly shaped cornea causes blurred vision and may involve sensitivity to light and glare which tend to be worse at night.
    • Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP)A progressive genetic eye disease which can be associated with other diseases, RP leads to night blindness and peripheral vision loss.
    • Usher SyndromeThis genetic condition causes both hearing loss and vision loss, including night blindness and RP, mentioned above.

Symptoms of Nyctalopia

Since night blindness is a symptom of some serious vision problems, it’s important to get your eyes checked regularly to ensure that everything is in good working order. Contact your eye doctor as soon as possible if you notice that you don’t see as well in dim light as you used to, such as when driving at night or when adjusting from being outdoors in the sunshine to being indoors.

Symptoms of Night Blindness Include:

  • Reduced contrast sensitivity
  • Difficulty seeing people outdoors at night
  • Difficulty seeing in places with dim lighting, like a movie theater
  • Trouble adapting to the dark while driving
  • Excessive squinting at night
  • Trouble adjusting from bright areas to darker ones

Treatments for Night Blindness

Your eye doctor will want to diagnose the cause of your night blindness in order to treat it. For example, in the rare case of vitamin A deficiency, it can be treated with vitamin supplements and vitamin-A rich foods; myopia can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Other conditions may require medications or surgery.

If night blindness is caused by a birth defect, Usher syndrome, or retinitis pigmentosa, low vision aids and devices can help you make the most of your remaining vision.

Prevention

While there is no proven way to prevent night blindness resulting from genetic conditions or birth defects, consuming healthy, nourishing foods and taking certain vitamin supplements may prevent or slow the onset of some eye conditions that cause night blindness.

If you experience poor vision at night or in dim lighting, we can help. Contact EYEcenter Optometric in Citrus Heights to schedule your appointment today.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Herring

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

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

What to Expect Following Glaucoma Surgery

happy senior couple 640Glaucoma is a sight-threatening eye disease that can start as early as age 40 and often has no signs until it’s too late and permanent damage to your eye has already begun. Left untreated, glaucoma leads to vision loss (‘tunnel vision’) or even total blindness. While there’s no cure for glaucoma, the earlier it’s diagnosed, the better the outcome.

In the early stages, medication can often control glaucoma by facilitating the drainage of excess eye fluid from the eye. Eventually, however, surgery may be necessary.

Glaucoma surgery stabilizes eye pressure and helps prevent future vision loss. Glaucoma surgery is successful in about 70-90% of cases and the benefits may be long-lasting.

Below Are the 5 Things You Should Expect as You Recover From Glaucoma Surgery

You’ve finally had your glaucoma surgery. Now it’s time to relax and give your eyes time to heal. It is crucial to take care of your eyes in order to protect them from injury.

Though recovering from glaucoma surgery usually involves only mild discomfort, each person’s general physical health and type of surgery will affect their recovery experience and time.

Blurred Vision and Minor Discomfort

Following glaucoma surgery, it’s common for your vision to become blurred. This can last from a few days to 6 weeks. Inflammation, swelling, redness, or irritation in the eye are all common during the first few days post-surgery. You may also experience a slight itchy feeling caused by the stitches and your eyes may also tear up or water more than usual during the recovery period.

If you experience a sudden loss of vision during this time, it’s important to contact your eye doctor immediately, as this could signal surgery-related complications.

No Driving

Driving is not recommended while recovering from glaucoma surgery, particularly right after the surgery. Make sure you have someone to drive you home after the surgery and to drive you to follow-up appointments with your eye doctor.

During your follow-up visits, your eye doctor will advise you when you can get behind the wheel again, but in general, most patients can resume driving approximately two weeks after surgery. But always discuss this with your eye doctor first.

Rest and Relaxation

During the recovery process, it’s important to take your time to relax and allow the eye to slowly heal. This means avoiding any heavy lifting and strenuous exercise. Restrictions can sometimes include simple tasks like reading, writing, or typing, as even these activities can place stress on the tiny surgical incisions made during the surgery.

Be sure to ask your eye doctor when you can resume certain daily tasks and hobbies.

Follow Doctor’s Orders

As with any surgery, a successful recovery depends on closely following the post-op care and instructions you receive. After glaucoma surgery, your your eye doctor will place an eye shield and padding or a bandage to protect the eye that has undergone surgery. Be sure to keep this in place until your doctor tells you to remove it.

Your eye doctor will likely recommend a series of eye drops that contain anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. It’s important to insert these drops as instructed to prevent infection, facilitate healing, and ease irritation.

The staff will set up your post-surgery follow-up appointments to ensure that your eyes are healing properly, with no signs of infection.

Proper Care and Hygiene

A few tips:

  • The eye shield is placed on the eye directly after the surgery in order to prevent you from rubbing or touching your eyes, as this can severely damage your delicate eyes.
  • Make sure you remember to wash your hands with soap and warm water prior to using eye drops.
  • Take care while showering the day after surgery. Make sure that shampoo, soap, hair spray, etc., don’t enter your eyes, especially during the first week.
  • It’s especially important to wear protective eyewear during your recovery, particularly during summertime. Eyewear protects your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, as well as from particles that can irritate sensitive eyes.
  • You may need to refrain from taking steroids for a period of time, since they can cause increased eye pressure and glaucoma risk. Your eye doctor will discuss all your medications with you.
  • Avoid swimming pools and hot tubs, as they can carry bacteria that can enter the eye and cause an infection. If swimming and other water sports are important to you, seek your eye doctor’s approval prior to jumping in.

Other things to consider:

  • Following glaucoma surgery, you should wear your glasses and not contact lenses
  • At night, you should wear the eye shield provided by your eye doctor
  • If you find your eyes are sensitive to light, wear sunglasses to reduce any discomfort
  • Do not wear eye makeup and avoid face cream for at least two weeks post-op

Protecting Your Vision and Eye Health

To protect your eye health and vision, it’s necessary to see your eye doctor for routine exams, as they can help catch glaucoma and other eye diseases early, when treatment is most effective.

To ensure that you have the best recovery possible, make sure to follow your eye doctor’s instructions. We will work with you to find the best treatment options. Contact today to consult with our optometric team and discover how we can help preserve your vision.

serves patients from Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, and Elk Grove, all throughout California .

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Herring

Q: Can you request lenses made from glass? Is glass still used for lenses?

  • A: Yes. Opticians still sometimes use glass for lenses. However, glass is not used very often because they aren’t as safe. If these glass lenses breaks, they can shatters into many pieces and can injure the eye. Glass lenses are much heavier than plastic lenses, so they can make your eyeglasses less comfortable to wear.

Q: Can a coating be added to eyeglasses to protect them from further scratches?

  • A: A protective coating can’t be added to a lens after it’s scratched. The coating is applied when the lens is manufactured and can’t be put on later.

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

Protect Your Eyes From Harmful Wildfire Smoke

wildefireWildfires, including those still devastating parts of the western United States and Canada, can harm your health, including your eyes. The hot smoke, ash, and soot billowing into the air contain a mixture of noxious gases and fine particles of burned vegetation that spread with the winds, sometimes hundreds of miles from the fire.

Wildfire smoke is made up of thousands of compounds, including those used in plastic, dry-cleaning solutions, and solvents. Asbestos, a toxic air contaminant, is also released into the air when buildings burn.

These pollutants can harm your eye’s surface, causing blurred vision and redness, and may also cause y a burning sensation leading eyes to become watery, dry, or itchy. Wildfire smoke also aggravates pre-existing health conditions like dry-eyes and ocular allergies and may make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable—even impossible—to wear.

In extreme cases, wildfire smoke may even lead to scarring of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the white of the eye and the eyelids’ underside. Scarring damages the conjunctiva and its protective mucous layer.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests the following steps to keep your eyes healthy when smoke is in the air:

  • Double the quantity of over-the-counter artificial tears you use to address eye conditions and cool the artificial tears’ vials or bottles in a refrigerator before using
  • Apply cool compresses to your eyelids
  • Stay indoors and close the windows to reduce smoke’s effects
  • Use an air purifier or air filter in your home or office
  • Refrain from drawing outside air into your air conditioner
  • Refrain from wearing contact lenses, which attract wildfires’ dust particles
  • Wear eyeglasses, sunglasses, or specialty goggles if you are outdoors

Continue observing these precautions even after the smoke has cleared as particles can linger in the air for up to two weeks.

If smoke-related symptoms or discomfort persist, please contact EYEcenter Optometric. We will examine your eyes and prescribe the appropriate treatment. We treat patients with wildfire-related vision challenges from Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Elk Grove, and throughout California .

References:

Signs That You Might Have Cataracts

Middle Aged Couple Multifocal ContactsThe crystalline lens, which sits inside the eye, allows us to focus on objects near and far. The lens is thin, soft, and clear throughout our youth, but the gradual buildup of protein that begins in our 40s or 50s makes the lens thick, rigid, and opaque. Left untreated, the cataract will disrupt vision, and can eventually cause blindness.

Symptoms of cataracts include:

  • foggy or blurred vision, with less light reaching the retina
  • sensitivity to light, especially strong sunlight
  • difficulty seeing at night, especially while driving, when the headlights of approaching cars appear dispersed
  • frequently needing to update your eyeglass prescription
  • colors becoming less vivid and more yellow
  • images appearing in duplicate, even with only one eye open
  • halos around lit objects

Besides aging, cataracts can develop due to

  • genetics
  • medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • head trauma
  • eye injuries
  • excessive smoking and drinking
  • Poor nutrition

What Can be Done About Cataracts?

Wearing sunglasses, ingesting Vitamins C and E, and eating antioxidant-rich fruits, vegetables, and nuts can delay the onset of cataracts.

If you suspect you may have cataracts, the first step is to contact , where will conduct a thorough examination, including dilating your pupils to check for possible protein buildup on your crystalline lens. If you have cataracts but can still see well, you might benefit from a strengthened eyeglass prescription.

When updating your prescription ceases to help, cataract surgery is the best solution. In that case, will speak with you about the advantages of cataract surgery. If the examination finds cataracts in both eyes, the procedures will almost certainly be performed on separate days to allow each eye to recover independently.

During cataract surgery, will replace the affected lens with an artificial lens. It is done on an outpatient basis, is virtually painless, and has a very high rate of success.

At , we care for patients with cataracts from Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville, Elk Grove, and throughout California .

References:

Vision Goals for 2019

What’s your new year’s resolution? Does it have anything to do with your health? We have a few easy ways to keep your goal of healthy eyes and vision at the top of your priorities list all year long!

WINTER

  1. Eat healthy. We know the holidays can be especially tempting for poor diet choices, but make it a point to add leafy greens, colorful fruit or anything containing omega-3 fatty acids for good eye health. (Need recipe ideas? CLICK HERE)
  2. Quit smoking. No butts about it: Smoking is harmful to almost every organ in your body, including your eyes. Those who smoke are up to four times more likely to go blind in old age. If you are a smoker, make a New Year’s resolution to kick the habit.
  3. Give the gift of vision. During the gift-giving season, consider purchasing frames from Eyes of Faith, EYEcenter’s line of eyewear that provides vision care and eyeglasses to local foster teens. Ask an optician for details!
  4. Vision insurance. If you have vision insurance and health savings benefits that expire at the end of December, be sure to use them in time. This also is a good time to schedule your family’s eye exams for the New Year and take advantage of insurance benefits that cover exams, glasses and contact lenses.

SPRING

  1. Allergy relief. Seasonal allergies can have you in a fog, with itchy eyes and a runny nose. Pay extra attention to what triggers your allergies so you’ll know what to avoid. Click here for more allergy tips and visit EYEcenter if your eyes become red, watery or swollen.
  2. Upgrade your eyewear. Spring fashion trends inspire great new frame designs. Visit any EYEcenter to see what’s in this season–we get all new inventory twice a year!
  3. Recycle unused pairs. After you’ve upgraded your eyeglasses, consider donating your old eyewear to someone in need. You can change the life of someone who can’t afford an eye exam or eyewear. Unsure where to donate? Bring your unused pairs to any EYEcenter location, we’ll take care of it!
  4. Sports eyewear. Almost 90 percent of sports-related eye injuries are preventable with protective eyewear. Sports glasses offer eye protection, color enhancement, light control and more. Ask an optician for help finding the best sports eyewear to keep your eyes safe and enhance your game.

SUMMEREye care Family (1)

  1. Sun protection. It’s important to wear sunglasses all year long, but summertime is great for purchasing new shades for your whole family. Even little eyes need protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. Remember that UV rays can damage eyes even on cloudy days. Wearing sunglasses whenever you are outside can reduce your risk for cataracts and macular degeneration.
  2. Polarized lenses. Don’t let glare from the sun ruin outdoor activities like boating, golfing and even jogging. Polarized lenses for sunglasses can help control glare and provide a clearer view with a special filter that blocks intense reflected light.
  3. Swim goggles. Whether it’s a dip in the pool, a visit to the beach, or jumping into a lake, you should never wear contacts while swimming unless you’re also wearing goggles. Goggles protect your eyes from waterborne bacteria that can cause sight-threatening diseases. Goggles also sharpen your vision while you swim, snorkel or explore underwater.
  4. Eye exams. Before school starts, make sure your kids have comprehensive eye exams to help detect any vision problems that could affect their learning. In-school vision screenings are not a substitute for eye exams.

AUTUMN

  1. Rest your eyes. If you’re spending more time indoors on a computer, or sit in front of a computer at work, remember to rest your eyes. Follow the “20-20-20” rule — take a break every 20 minutes and look at something that is at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds — to reduce your risk of computer vision syndrome.
  2. Shopping. Planning to take advantage of the deals on Black Friday or Cyber Monday? Remember to include new eyewear on your shopping list! Take advantage of your Flex-Spending Accounts to purchase glasses, before they expire at the end of the year.
  3. Stay active. Don’t let the colder weather keep you from exercising regularly. Staying active is good for your entire body and can help protect against diabetes, macular degeneration and more.
  4. Drink lots of water. The fall season brings with it lots of yummy coffee and hot cocoa flavors, but don’t forget to continue to drink lots of water. If you don’t drink enough water, you can dehydrate your body and in turn not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Eye-related symptoms of dehydration include redness, dryness and puffy eyelids.

Throughout the year, if you have any questions or needs not addressed on this list please give us a call! Click here for our contact information, and to schedule an appointment. Cheers to 2019!

 

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

High and Dry: Big ways dry eyes interrupt your life

Watery, scratchy eyes are a drag. But you don’t have to live with them! Relief is easier than you might think! Click here for more information and give us a call, we can help.

Read more About Dry Eyes Here

The Dangers of An Online Eye Test

What are the dangers of an Online Eye Test

EYEcenter Optometric – What are the dangers of an Online Eye Test, Citrus Heights, California

An online eye test may seem like a convenient way to check your vision or get an eyeglass prescription but beware, these tests aren’t all they are chocked up to be. In fact, they may even be dangerous.


EYEcenter Optometric - Local Eye Care Clinic in Citrus Heights, California

EYEcenter Optometric, your local Local Eye Care Clinic in Citrus Heights, California.

We are conveniently located at, 5959 Greenback Lane #120 & 130.

Order your Contact Lenses here!.

What is an online eye test really testing?

An online eye test is actually not an eye test at all but just a vision or sight test – and a partial test at that. It is designed to measure your visual acuity and refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism) and to determine an eyeglass prescription – which is the lens power needed to correct the refractive error in your vision.

Given that there is no one with medical training actually performing or checking the accuracy of the test, it is questionable how well the exam does even this. In fact, when an eye doctor does a refraction for glasses or contact lenses it also involves some judgement on the doctor’s part. The eye doctor will often adjust the prescription slightly based on the patient’s age, occupation or hobbies. The doctor may prescribe a prism in the lenses to help with binocularity and to prevent double vision in those who have deviations of the eye. There is no way an online exam can do any of this.

Further, a refraction is only one very small part of an eye exam and if it takes the place of a regular comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor, you put your eyes and vision at serious risk.

The American Optometric Association is warning consumers about possible risks associated with online refractive eye exams. Such online sites tout convenience. But any alleged advantages come with risks, the AOA cautions.

Comprehensive Eye Exams

Even if the eyes see clearly and you have 20/20 vision, there may still be vision problems or eye disease present even without pain, blurred vision or other symptoms. What the online eye test fails to measure is your complete visual health and capacity (beyond just visual acuity), the curvature of the eye (which is needed for accurate lens prescriptions- especially for contact lenses) and an assessment of the health of the eye itself.

Just as we need regular medical and dental checkups as a part of preventative health care to prevent disease and maintain our health, we also need regular eye exams. A vision test does not suffice. A comprehensive eye exam will examine much more than just how well you see. It will also check for visual processing, color vision, depth perception and proper eye movement. It will measure your eye pressure, examine the back of your eye and look for early signs of eye disease or conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, tumors and high blood pressure – many of which threaten your eyes and vision if not caught early.

If you do have some vision loss, the doctor will be able to determine if there is any serious underlying problem that is causing the disturbance in your vision. If you don’t have symptoms that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Many serious eye conditions develop gradually without any symptoms. Some eye diseases do not affect the macula, and therefore you may still have good vision even though there is a problem (such as glaucoma, early dry macular degeneration, early cataract, diabetes, blood pressure and even tumors). Many of these conditions threaten the eyes and even general health if not caught early and when undetected they can cause permanent and irreversible damage to your vision

Eye exams are the best way to detect these early and treat them before they develop into serious eye problems.

Whether online vision tests are inaccurate, misleading or simply insufficient, they can fail to provide essential information and can delay or prevent vision saving treatments. Additionally, you could be walking around with the wrong vision prescription which can cause unnecessary eye strain, headaches and difficulty.

Local Eye Care Clinic in Citrus Heights, California

Online Eye Test

No. Besides the fact that most eye exams are covered by insurance, the eye exam you are getting from an eye doctor is much more thorough and comprehensive than an online eye test, so you are not comparing apples to apples. The eye doctor’s exam uses real equipment and performs a complete and professional evaluation of your vision and eye health. There is simply no comparing this to a self administered test on a computer screen.
An online eye test may be touted as a time and money saving convenience however, that is hardly the case. An eye exam is a medical procedure that requires training, precision, and proper equipment. Anything less can put your eyes and vision at serious risk.

In addition to visual acuity testing to check your vision prescription, we will perform various procedures during your eye exam to inspect ocular health. Using advanced optics and high-powered magnification, our eye doctors will check for any abnormalities in your eye tissues. Comprehensive eye exams are the only way to discover the beginning stages of eye disease.

Why is it so important to catch eye disease as early as possible? Because the earlier you receive treatment, the easier it is to prevent vision loss and complications.

Call EYEcenter Optometric on 916-727-6518 in Citrus Heights, California to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist.

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Why You Shouldn’t Rub Your Eyes

Why You Shouldn’t Rub Your Eyes

EYEcenter Optometric – Why You Shouldn’t Rub Your Eyes, Citrus Heights, California

While it may seem like a harmless action, rubbing your eyes can actually cause a lot of damage. There are a number of different reasons that people rub their eyes and for the most part, it does more harm than good. While rubbing your eyes might feel really good in the short term, it’s best to find other ways to get relief from your symptoms.

EYEcenter Optometric - Vision Therapy in Citrus Heights, California

EYEcenter Optometric, your local Vision Therapy in Citrus Heights,California.

We are conveniently located at, 5959 Greenback Lane, Suite 120 & 130, and service Gold River, Rocklin & Folsom.

Contact us for Comprehensive Vision Exams and so much more..

Why People Rub Their Eyes

Rubbing your eyes can feel good for a number of reasons. First of all, it can be therapeutic as the pressure can be soothing and can stimulate the vagus nerve, alleviating stress. It can also lubricate your eyes by stimulating the tear ducts and can flush out or remove dirt and particles.

However, you don’t want to make eye rubbing a habit because there are a number of ways it can cause damage. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons people rub their eyes and some ways to avoid it.

Our fingers and hands are covered in germs. If you rub your eyes without thoroughly washing your hands first, you will be transferring some of the bacteria from your hands on to your eyes. If you are suffering allergies, rubbing your eyes can make them worse with tiny particles (allergens) on your eyelashes and around your eyes being moved into your eyes.

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  • Tired

    If you are rubbing your eyes because you are tired, think again. Rubbing your eyes frequently can contribute to bloodshot eyes and dark circles due to the breakage of tiny blood vessels in and around your eyes. If you are already tired, this can add to an even more worn-out appearance.

  • Itchy

    Itchy eyes can be caused by a number of reasons including allergies, inflammation or infections. In any case, rubbing them can often make things worse. For allergies, rubbing the eyes can actually make your eyes more itchy because it can spread more allergens around. Further, there is an inflammatory cascade response that is aggravated by eye rubbing, which can cause the intense fluid swelling and redness often associated with allergies.

    If you have an infection, rubbing your eye can cause more irritation, and often spreads the infection to your other eye, and potentially to the people around you. In fact, that may be how you got that infection to begin with. The hands carry a good amount of germs and bacteria, and your eyes are an easy access point for these germs to enter. Touching something, even as common as a doorknob or towel, which someone else with an eye infection also touched, is a common cause of conjunctivitis and other contagious eye infections.

  • Something In Your Eye

    If you have something in your eyes, rubbing may seem like the natural response to get it out. However, this can cause the object to scratch your eye and damage the cornea. Rubbing may occasionally push a foreign body deeper into the cornea making it more painful and difficult to remove.

  • Dry Eyes

    Dry eyes can be temporary, resulting from environmental or physical circumstances, or chronic, due to a condition like blepharitis in which the eye produces a poor quality tear film. If you rub your eyes when they feel dry, it can exacerbate your discomfort and even sometimes cause infection if you don’t wash your hands first. When your eyes don’t have enough tears, they may not flush dirt and germs out as readily as well-lubricated eyes might.

  • Other Eye Conditions

    Eye rubbing can be especially risky for people with existing eye conditions such as glaucoma, thin cornea and progressive myopia, as it can worsen eyesight. In glaucoma the eye rubbing can lead to an increase in eye pressure which can lead to nerve damage and eventual vision loss. In individuals with a thin cornea, eye rubbing can exacerbate the problem sometimes resulting in a condition called keratoconus which seriously distorts vision.

Why You Shouldn’t Rub Your Eyes in Citrus Heights, California

Alternatives to Eye Rubbing

  • Eye Wash

    Your eyes actually have built-in mechanisms to flush out particles and irritants, but when these don’t work, eye flushing, eye drops or artificial tears might bring relief or remove foreign bodies. If you think you have a foreign body in the eye, first flush the eye with saline, eye wash or water. If you have something stuck in your eye that you can’t flush out, go immediately to an eye doctor.

  • Eye Drops or Cool Down

    For chronic itching or allergies, speak to your eye doctor as there are remedies such as antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers or even steroid eye drops that can be prescribed to alleviate symptoms. If no prescription eye drops are available when needed, try cooling down by going to a cool area and putting cold water on a paper towel over the eyes for a few minutes. Cooling the eye area will reduce symptoms as the blood vessels constrict, while heat tends to make the itch worse.

If you have dry eyes there are a number of options available for treatment which include drops or procedures to clear out tear ducts to improve eye moisture.

Remember, no matter how good it may feel to rub your eyes, there are potential consequences, some of them serious, so next time, think twice!

How soon can I rub my eyes after LASIK surgery?

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Call EYEcenter Optometric on (916) 727-6518 in Citrus Heights, California to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist.

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