Phoenix Optometrists Recommend Wearing Sunglasses Year-Round

Phoenix_optometristsNo matter the temperature or the season, it’s important to keep your eyes healthy! Phoenix optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center remind you this holiday season to protect your peepers by wearing sunglasses in the winter.

Phoenix Optometrists Recommend Sunglasses for Every Season

No matter what season it is, it’s always sunny in Phoenix. Even if it’s colder outside, the sun can still have damaging effects on your eyes. While your skin may need some sun exposure in order to get vitamin D, your eyes do not need to be directly exposed to the sun.

It is especially important to continue to wear sunglasses in the winter because the winter sun is lower in the sky, so it shines more directly into your eyes than in other seasons. Phoenix optometrists recommend that you bring sunglasses everywhere you go so that your eyes are protected.

The sun’s ultraviolet radiation can cause both short- and long-term damage to the eyes. Cataracts can often be caused by the damaging effects of the sun, as the U.V. radiation will damage the lens of the eye over time. Cataract symptoms typically include blurred or obscured vision, but in extreme cases, vision can be completely lost. Macular degeneration can also come about because of the damage of the sun. Macular degeneration, an eye disease in which the eye can completely lose vision, is also caused by exposure to U.V. rays. Both cataracts and macular degeneration occur over time, so it’s important to take action now, and a simple thing that you can do now is to wear sunglasses in the winter!

Sunglasses aren’t just great fashion accessories—they protect your eyes, too! To learn more information about the importance of sunglasses in all months, or to schedule an appointment with one of our Phoenix optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

2016 Eye Care Benefits

Eye_CareBefore you get too busy for the holidays, it’s important to check your health and eye care to make sure that you are in tip-top shape for all of the family get-togethers that come with the end of the year. Take advantage of your eye care benefits at Valley Eyecare Center before December 31.

Eye Care for the Holidays

Many flexible spending, annual deductibles, health savings, and overall insurance benefits are about to renew for 2017, so if you have unclaimed benefits, you may be missing out. Make sure to take advantage of our vision-related services and expenses that may qualify for coverage or reimbursement.

  • Eye exams—While eye exams are a huge part of any eye care routine, they are particularly useful at the end of the year, as your eyes may have been stressed throughout the year. Make sure that your prescription is up to date during the holiday season.
  • Contact lenses—If you have disposable contact lenses, it’s a great time to stock up on them over the holidays, especially if you are traveling or will be busy with family responsibilities.
  • Eyeglasses—After making sure that you have the most recent prescription, it’s always a good idea to get a new pair of eyeglasses or change out the lenses in one of your current pairs of glasses. Update your style for the season with a new pair of eyeglasses from Valley Eyecare Center!
  • Prescription Sunglasses—It may be chilly, but the sun is still out! Make sure that you have the proper eye care for any season by having the perfect pair of sunglasses.

Check with your health insurance plan administrator to determine the specific requirements of your plan. Please let our office know about your major medical or vision plan coverage when you call for or book your appointment online.

To learn more about eye care, or to schedule your next eye exam, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Travel Eye Safety

Eye_safetyIt’s that time of year again when we’re all traveling to see either our friends or family for Thanksgiving. While you travel this week, we have a few tips to make sure that you maintain your eye safety as you journey throughout the holidays.

Eye Safety Is Important While You Travel

Dry eyes—Whether you’re flying home or driving to a friend’s house for Thanksgiving, it’s important to lubricate your eyes. The air conditioning in both an airplane and a car can dry out your eyes, so you may want to bring some eye drops to make sure that your eyes don’t get too dry. If you plan on sleeping either on the plane or in the car, make sure to remove your contacts to keep your eyes hydrated.

Bring contact solution—To ensure your eye safety throughout the holidays, make sure to pack contact lens solution! Water is not enough to clean contact lenses and can have serious implications for your eyes.

Drink water—One of the best things you can do for your eye safety this holiday season is to drink extra water. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water each day so that your eyes and body will be hydrated enough for any obstacles you may face while you travel.

Watch out for changes in your vision—Traveling can be stressful, and any stressful event can cause changes in your vision. Keep your eyes healthy and safe by taking note of any change in your eyesight, and once the holidays are over, make sure to make an appointment at Valley Eyecare Center to check your eyes to see if your prescription has changed.

To learn more about travel eye safety, or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

Eye_careDid you know that about nine percent of the population has diabetes? According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes. November is American Diabetes Month, so we have listed a few ways that diabetes can affect your eyes and how to maintain proper eye care.

Eye Care and Diabetes

Cataracts—People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts, and they tend to get them at a younger age. However, there are a few easy ways to ensure that you have proper eye care that can protect your eyes from developing cataracts. Wearing sunglasses can have a tremendous effect on the health of your eyes, especially since they will reduce the glare of everyday life. Depending on the severity of your cataract, your optometrist may recommend other treatment plans.

Glaucoma—Glaucoma occurs when there is built-up pressure in the eye, which will pinch the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina. This can cause a loss of vision because it will damage the retina, and it can also cause watery eyes and headaches. If you suffer from diabetes, you are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma, but have no fear—there are several treatments that will reverse the effects of this disease, including prescriptions to reduce the pressure in the eye.

Blurry vision—If you’re suffering from high blood sugar, blurry vision may be one of the first signs. The lens in your eye can swell if you have high blood sugar, which will cause blurry vision. To ensure proper eye care—as well as proper health in general—you should get your blood sugar back to the target range.

To learn more information about eye care and diabetes, or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Frightened of Switching to Contacts?

Contact_lensesDid you know that over 36 million people in the United States wear contact lenses? Although this common method of correcting vision is prevalent throughout the U.S., some people are still afraid of switching to contacts. If you’re among those who are afraid of touching your eye, here are a few simple ways to conquer your fears this fall.

How to Conquer Your Fear of Contact Lenses

Talk to an optometrist. No one knows contact lenses better than an optometrist! Even some of the most qualified specialists at Valley Eyecare Center were originally afraid of using contacts, but we have a few tricks to help you get over this fear. If you have specific concerns related to your condition, make sure to discuss them at your next appointment.

Know the process. We suggest starting with the same eye each time so that it will eventually feel like second nature. With the contact lens in one index finger, use your free hand to hold your eyelid and insert the lens. Blink, and you’re done! It’s as simple as that.

Look away. Do not look directly at the contact lens as you put it into your eye. Instead, look into the mirror so that you can take some of the emotion and closeness out of the process.

Some myths aren’t true. Some people may be afraid of wearing contact lenses because they’ve heard a few myths about contacts. Rest easy knowing that your contacts cannot slide behind your eyes, and you will be able to take them out easily. They are designed to stay in and slip out easily when you remove them for the day.

Wearing contact lenses can be far more convenient than wearing eyeglasses, so do not give up. Be patient, and keep trying! For more information on contact lenses, or to schedule an appointment with a specialist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Dry Eye is Common in Phoenix

Phoenix_optometristSince the humidity is so low in Phoenix, dry eye is one of the most common ailments that a Phoenix optometrist can treat. If your eyes have felt dry, or even if your vision has not been as sharp as it once was, it may be time to schedule an eye exam to make sure that your vision is at its best for the coming months.

What Are Warning Signs of Dry Eye?

If your tears do not adequately hydrate your eyes, you may experience any of the following symptoms: pain, sensitivity to light, feeling as if there is sand in your eye, redness, or blurry vision.

Phoenix Optometrist Treats Dry Eye

Artificial tears—For mild cases of dry eye, which can be caused by computer use, reading, or other situational causes, the best form of treatment may be to hydrate your eyes. This can be done with the help of artificial tears, either prescription or over-the-counter.

Air humidifiers—Because our environment is so dry, producing some extra humidity will lubricate your eyes.

Limit your electronic use—Staring at a computer, a television, or a phone screen can dry out your eyes, so Phoenix optometrists recommend that you limit the number of hours you spend looking at a screen each day. If you cannot avoid screens because of your work or family responsibilities, try the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, take a 20-second break and focus on something that is at least 20 feet away from you. This will help to keep your eyes hydrated, and it will also help to clear your vision.

Don’t let dry eye affect your daily routine. To learn more information about dry eye, contact a Phoenix optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center by calling (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

What Do Your Eyes Say About Your Health?

Eye_examBecause your eyes are so critical to your overall health, getting a regular eye exam is important to your health routine. Although you may not realize it, your eyes can also give indications about the state of your overall health, which makes your yearly eye exam even more crucial. Your Phoenix optometrist will look for the following signs during your eye exam.

Eye Exams and Your Overall Health

Discomfort while using the computer—If your eyes become tired, irritated, or feel as if they are burning while you are using the computer, this is a sign that you may be suffering from eye strain, which can cause headaches and can dry out your skin and eyes. To solve this problem, you can reduce glare by closing window shades or look into an antireflective cover for your computer.

Red spots in the whites of your eyes—These small red spots may seem like no big deal, but they may be signs of diabetes. If your blood sugar is too high, blood vessels will swell and cause these tiny red spots.

Itchy, swollen eyes may indicate that you have allergies—If any pollen, dust, or pet dander gets into your eyes, you may react to it. During your eye exam, your optometrist may recommend eye drops or some sort of an allergy medication, depending on the severity of your allergies.

White rings around your eyes—Yellowish bumps on your eyelids and/or white rings around your eyes may be signs that you have high cholesterol. If this is the case, your optometrist may send you to another doctor to have this situation examined further.

Your eye health and your overall health are closely related, and some signs of a problem may show up first in your eyes. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary that you schedule a regular eye exam. To learn more information about how your eyes are connected to your overall health, or to book an appointment at Valley Eyecare Center, visit our website, or call (602) 955-2700.

4 Major Eye Care Mistakes

Eye_careWe rely on our eyes all the time—from the moment we wake up in the morning to the time we fall asleep at night. Which is why it is so important that we have the correct eye care routine. It is easy to make mistakes when it comes to eye care, so we’ve listed a few ways to make sure that you are taking proper care of your peepers.

Eye Care Mistakes

  1. Sleeping with contact lenses in your eyes. Although there are some FDA-approved contacts that you can wear while you sleep, these may not be the best thing for your eye health, as the risk of developing a corneal ulcer is 10 to 15 times greater in those who sleep in extended-wear contact lenses. If you don’t have extended-wear contact lenses, don’t even think about sleeping in them, as you may dry out your eyes and not be able to remove your lenses.
  2. Staring at screens. Although the majority of our time now is consumed by looking at a screen—whether it is for work or for play—we need to remember to take breaks from the screen. The blue light that emanates from screens can cause eye strain, and it may also dry out your eyes. Remember to follow the 20-20-20 eye care rule—for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, stare at something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  3. Applying makeup to your water line. Although it may be trendy and fashionable, eyeliner applied to your water line will actually get into your eye, and it may deprive your eye of oxygen. Makeup may also cause infection if it gets into your eyes.
  4. Using expired solution or eye drops. Even if it may not seem like a big deal, it is important not to use expired solutions because they contain ingredients that will kill the bacteria on your contact lenses. Eye drops also have expiration dates that you should pay attention to.

Make sure that you take proper care of your eyes! To learn more about eye care, contact one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center by calling (602) 955-2700 or by visiting our website.

Eye Injuries that Occur at Home

Eye_safetyDid you know that there are over one million yearly eye injuries that occur at home? Although we always like to think we’re being careful, it’s a good idea to make sure that we’re being as safe as we can, especially at home. October is Home Eye Safety Month, so we’ve listed a few tips to ensure that you stay safe this fall!

Eye Safety at Home

Cooking—Whether you’re grilling for game day or baking a cake for a birthday party, eye safety is a must, especially in Arizona, where the air is dry. Even if you’re just frying bacon on the stove, you can get a flare-up that may land in your eye if you aren’t careful. Make sure to keep your eyes sufficiently away from any hot surfaces, as they can cause serious damage to your eyes!

Cleaning—If you’re mixing chemicals or using cleaning chemicals, such as bleach, make sure to keep your distance. To be safe, wear goggles or large glasses to protect your eyes from any contact with chemicals. If you end up getting anything in your eye, make sure to wash it out and then seek medical attention. Also, be sure to keep any pesticides and fertilizers in a secure area that is safely stored, as their fumes can affect your eyes.

Avoid tripping hazards—Loose rugs, cords, and stairs are all tripping hazards that you may not even think about when you’re walking through your home. Unfortunately, if you fall, your eyes may be at risk.

Wash your hands—Your hands carry all of the dirt, dust, and debris that you encounter on a daily basis, so it’s important to keep them clean. Always remember to wash your hands before touching your face.

Of course, if you’re going out, sunglasses are a must! To learn more about eye safety, contact one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center by calling (602) 955-2700 or by visiting our website.

How to Avoid Eye Fatigue

Eye_careIn this day and age, many daily tasks can be strenuous on your eyes—especially if you are working in front of a computer, driving for many hours each day, or reading frequently. According to a survey performed by the Vision Council, 65% of all Americans suffer from eye fatigue. In addition, if you’re under 30 years of age, your chances of suffering from eye strain rise to 73%. If you, like many others, have felt headaches or eye discomfort after looking at your computer screen or phone, you’re not alone. The following eye care tips will help you prevent eye fatigue and strain.

Eye Care Tips to Avoid Eye Fatigue

Move your computer screen. Your eyes will focus best on the computer when it is between 20 and 26 inches from your eyes. If you look up at the screen, try moving it so that you look down. Looking up to the computer will open your eyes more than they naturally open, so looking down at the computer will reduce dryness and eye fatigue.

Change the lighting. You may want to cover your computer screen with a filter that will reduce the glare. Also, make sure that the environment in which you work is well lit so that your eyes don’t have to compensate for low lighting.

Purify your eyes. Promote proper eye care by replenishing your eyes. If you feel as if your eyes are dry, use eye drops to restore your eyes’ natural tears. You should air filter to ensure that dust does not get near your eyes.

Take a break. Breaks are important! Get up, stretch, and walk around. Don’t remain idle at your desk. We recommend the 20-20-20 rule. For every 20 minutes you spend working, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

To learn more about eye care, or to schedule an eye exam, call Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 or visit our website.