Tips to Prevent Macular Degeneration

macular_degenerationMacular degeneration is a disease that causes vision loss by a deterioration of the macula, which controls visual activity. Although macular degeneration is related to both age and genetics, there are a few ways that you can reduce the risk of developing the disease.

Reduce the Risk of Developing Macular Degeneration

Load up on leafy greens—Eating dark, leafy green vegetables will provide you with vitamins and nutrients that other foods do not. Spinach and kale are high in lutein, which is a great nutrient for your eyes, as it helps to control the part of your retina that provides you with detailed vision.

Take your supplements—Taking a multivitamin is always a great idea and can provide not only your eyes but also your entire body with the nutrients it needs. Taking a fish oil supplement can also benefit your eyes because of the high omega-3 content, which boosts eye health and protects your retinas.

Exercise regularly—Exercise does not need to be a grueling task! Even a quick walk can be considered exercise, and it is important to keep your body moving and healthy.

Wear sunglasses—No matter what season it is, sunglasses will help your eyes to stay healthy by blocking the UV light that can damage your eyes.

Schedule a regular eye exam—Whether it is to check your prescription or to make sure that your eyes are generally healthy and getting the proper attention they need, an annual eye exam is always a good idea. If you’re ever concerned about the state of your eyes, be sure to come in for an additional consultation with one of our optometrists.

There may not be a cure for macular degeneration yet, but there are a few ways to make sure that you can reduce your risk of developing the disease. To learn more about our eye care tips, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

New Year, New Glasses

eyeglassesThe most popular New Years resolution is to be the best version of yourself. At Valley Eyecare Center, we believe that in order to be the best you that you can be, you should put your eyes first! Come in for your annual eye exam or get new eyeglasses for the New Year!

Eyeglasses for 2017

Update your prescription. One of the best things you can do for your eyes is to keep your prescription up to date. If you’ve had difficulty reading—either the computer or signs that are far away—your prescription may need to be adjusted. Even a small difference in your prescription can make a huge difference in your vision, so it is important to make sure that your eyeglasses are as updated as possible.

Invest in computer glasses. If you use the computer often, it is an excellent idea to purchase some computer lenses. The blue light that emanates from screens can cause eye strain. In an effort to keep your eyes as comfortable as possible and keep headaches at bay, computer eyeglasses may be just the thing for you. Computer glasses’ yellow tint will minimize the effect of the blue screen and will make working on the computer far easier than before.

Prescription sunglasses are perfect for those Phoenix residents. Since it is always sunny in Arizona, sunglasses are necessary year-round! Prescription sunglasses are not only stylish but also practical, as they will help you to drive easier, and you will be able to go about your daily tasks with ease and visibility.

The coming of 2017 is the perfect opportunity to put your eyes first! Don’t let your eyes go another day without making sure that they are healthy. To schedule your yearly eye exam or get new eyeglasses at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

New Years Resolutions for Healthier Eyes

eye_exam2017 is coming up quickly, and it may be time to start thinking about a New Years resolution! We think that the best resolution you can make is to have healthier eyes in 2017. With the start of the New Year, we have listed a few tips, including an annual eye exam, so that you can accomplish this goal!

Eye Exams and Healthier Eyes in 2017

Eat right—One of the best things you can do for your eyes is to eat right. Foods that are rich in omega-3, vitamins C and E, and lutein are great for your eyes! Make sure to load up on leafy greens like spinach or kale, oily fishes like salmon or tuna, and non-meat proteins like nuts or eggs.

Wear sunglasses—It may seem counterintuitive to wear sunglasses year-round, but in Phoenix, it’s always sunny, no matter the season! Sunglasses not only work as great additions to any outfit but also protect your eyes from the intense rays of the sun.

Don’t stare at the computer—Although it may seem to be impossible, try not to stare at a screen for too long. The blue light that emits from the computer, the television, and the cell phone can strain your eyes, so it is important to take breaks whenever possible. We suggest the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, take a 20-second break by looking at something that is 20 feet away from you. This will help your eyes to focus on something that is far away and will help to prevent eye strain.

Don’t forget about your annual eye exam—It’s always a great idea to check in with an optometrist and make sure that your eyes are in tip-top shape! Make sure that your prescription is up-to-date at your annual eye exam.

Take care of your eyes throughout the New Year! To learn more about how to get healthier eyes in 2017, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Safety During the Holidays

eye_safetyThe holidays are great opportunities to spend time with your family, friends, and those you love most. This time of year is exciting for people of all ages, but it can also be a common time for eye injuries. Make sure to keep your eye safety a priority throughout the holidays.

Holiday Eye Safety

Christmas trees—Whether you’re trimming the tree to make sure its branches look good for the inside of your home, or whether you’re decorating the tree with your children, eye safety is a must! Christmas tree-related eye injuries are fairly common throughout the holidays, so be sure to wear protective eyewear if you’re trimming the tree, and make sure not to get any glitter in your eyes or your children’s eyes while you decorate the tree! If you decorate with the tree with glass ornaments, be careful and do not hang them within reach of small children.

Toys—As you help the little ones open their toys this holiday season, make sure to get rid of any packaging that could be sharp. Also make sure that gifts are age appropriate so that your child’s eye safety is protected.

Driving—If you’re driving to visit family, don’t forget to wear sunglasses! No matter where you go in the country for your holiday season, it is important to protect your eyes. Even if you drive in snow, the sun’s rays will reflect off of the snow, and you’ll want to have your sunglasses with you in order to protect your eyes. Also, make sure to keep the windshield clean so that you can clearly see the road ahead without any glare.

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

Reversing Dry Eye in the Winter

Winter is harsh on your eyes, so it is important that you have the proper eye care routine for the change in season. If you’ve noticed that your eyes are irritated throughout the holidays, we’ve listed out a few tips to combat dry eye this winter.

Eye Care Tips to Hydrate Your Eyes

Dry_EyeFirst, it’s important to understand that dry eye is a serious condition and can damage the eye’s surface if it is not treated on a long-term basis. Keeping up with your eye care is extremely important, no matter the season.

Keep your contact lenses clean—Wearing contact lenses can dry out your eyes. Make sure to keep them clean, and if you use disposable lenses, ensure that you are wearing new lenses as directed. If your eyes still feel dry, try wearing eyeglasses for a few days to increase the moisture in your eyes.

Spend less time on the computer—Staring at the blue light of the computer, television, or phone screen can cause dry eye because you often do not blink enough times to lubricate your eyes. Make sure to take breaks and to look away from the computer every once in a while, no matter how much work you have to do. Since it can be hard to tear yourself away from the computer, television, or phone, you might want to try setting a timer to remind yourself to take a break.

Try eye drops—Sometimes all you need is the simple help of over-the-counter eye drops. Make sure to have some on hand so that you can hydrate your eyes during the low-humidity months of the winter.

Consult with your optometrist—If you’re concerned about your eyes, the best thing you can do is to talk to your optometrist about the problem. Schedule an appointment at Valley Eyecare Center to check on the state of your eyes.

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

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.