Get Sunglasses for UV Safety Month

Eye SafetyFrom a young age, we were all taught how important it is to keep our eyes protected from the sun. Today, there are not only advancements in sun protection for our peepers but also countless styles of sunglasses suitable for everyone. While you may choose certain sunglasses in order to be trendy, it is crucial to know exactly what to look for in lenses to ensure maximum eye safety.

Protection

The most important feature of sunglasses is the amount of protection they provide while you’re out in the sun. Too much exposure to UV rays can lead to many eye health issues, such as cataracts, muscular degeneration, and even cancer. To prevent these possible side effects, it is best to look for sunglasses that protect against 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB light.

Fit

Style is important when it comes to choosing sunglasses that you will wear every day, but you should keep in mind the purpose for which you are wearing them. The way your glasses fit is crucial to ensure eye safety. If you sunglasses are too large for your face, they may fall easily or leave areas of your eyes unprotected due to misplacement. When looking for the right pair of sunglasses, make sure you can move around without them sliding off your nose.

View

The way your sunglasses look and feel are vital to making sure they are the right pair for you. However, another aspect to take into consideration is the way you see through them. If you wear glasses or contacts, it is best to get sunglasses that work with your lifestyle. Your vision is essential no matter what you are doing or where you are going throughout the day, so always wear sunglasses that support your vision in whatever ways needed.

For more information about UV eye safety or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists, visit our website.

 

Myths About Contact Lenses, Debunked

Contact LensesContact lenses are perhaps the most convenient way to go about your everyday life without pesky vision problems getting in the way. Unfortunately, many people still hold a negative view toward contacts and some are even afraid of trying them. For that reason, our optometrists decided to compile the following list of myths and misconceptions about these innovative vision correctors. Keep reading to find out the truth about contacts.

Myth: They are uncomfortable

Let’s start with the most popular myth: discomfort. The evolution of contact lenses has come a long way, and comfort is the number-one priority when it comes to those who wear them. Contact lenses are now thinner, flexible, and more comfortable than ever—especially for those who suffer from issues such as astigmatism or extreme dryness.

Myth: The upkeep is a hassle

This is most certainly not true. Contact lenses are extremely easy to take care of. There are only two maintenance steps: first, soak them in a solution-filled case every night before you go to bed; second, you should replace your contacts as your doctor recommends. There are no special cleaning instructions; it is as simple as taking them out and putting them in!

Myth: It is difficult to take contact lenses in and out

While it may take some practice at first, the insertion and removal of contact lenses is actually quite easy. Once you receive them, your optometrist will teach you how to use them properly, and if you have any problems, he or she will happily assist you. Once you get the hang of it, it is like second nature and could not be more simple or painless.

Myth: You cannot go in the water with them

You can absolutely go in the water while wearing contact lenses. However, you still need to be careful not to get water in your eyes, as that is something you should avoid in general.

Contact lenses are extremely efficient and easy to use. For more information or to schedule an eye exam with Valley Eyecare Center, visit our website.

What You Need To Know About Low Vision

OptometristSummer can be harsh on your eyes, and the intensity of the sun during July can make it even harder to see. People suffering from low vision may have an especially hard time this month, which is why it is important for them to visit their optometrist more frequently. Learn more about the causes and symptoms of this condition.

Understanding Low Vision

Low vision is vision loss that is irreversible and cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, surgery, or medication. People who suffer from this condition may not be able to complete daily activities as well as those with healthy vision.

Causes of Low Vision

Low vision is caused by macular degeneration (also referred to as AMD), which affects the macula, the area of your eye that is controls sharp detail. Over 15 million people over 50 years old have contracted low vision due to aging, but other factors such as cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy can also cause low vision. If a person has suffered from optic nerve damage, he or she could be born with low vision. It is important to be aware of low vision, as you may suffer from it as you get older, or you may know someone with this problem. Make sure to contact your optometrist if you are not able to see clearly with the aid of glasses or contact lenses.

How to Tell if You Have Low Vision

Contact your optometrist for a low-vision exam to determine if you have the condition. This examination checks your regular eyes’ daily functions and activities. Make sure to have a yearly exam to ensure that you do not wait too long to detect any signs of future or current eye problems. Set up an appointment with your optometrist to get more reliable information on low vision and how to prevent it.

For more information about low vision or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists, visit our website.

Understand Pre-Cataracts

CataractsCataracts are one of the most common factors in the erosion of our eye health. This condition leads to the clouding of the eye’s natural lens, which lies beneath the iris and the pupil. Signs of cataracts usually occur around the age of 40, and the risk of getting them only increases as you get older. If you’re concerned about cataracts, here are a few symptoms to look out for in order to catch this condition in its early stages.

Symptoms

The following symptoms indicate that your eye may have a cataract:

  • Cloudy, fuzzy, foggy, or film vision
  • Double vision
  • Glare from direct contact with lights
  • Difficulty driving at night due to glare from headlights
  • Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription

If you find yourself suffering from any of these symptoms, be sure to talk to your optometrist and find out ways to treat a possible cataract.

Prevention

Because there is no particular known cause of cataracts, there is not an exact method of preventing them. There are a few steps you can take, however, to ensure that your eyes are in good health. Before the age of 50, you should be getting your eyes checked once every two years. Once you turn 50 years old, though, you should get your eyes checked annually.

Risk Factors

While age is the leading cause of cataracts, there are a few other factors that lead to its development. Below are some factors that may be helpful in early detection.

  • A family history of cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Ionizing radiation exposure
  • The use of statins
  • Long-term exposure to bright sunlight
  • Long-term use of corticosteroids
  • Previous eye inflammation
  • Exposure to lead

Always make sure to take the proper steps to ensure that your eyes are in good health. If you recognize any symptoms of pre-cataracts, schedule an appointment today for an eye exam by calling 602-955-2700 or by visiting our website.

Summer Eye Care

Eye_CareSummer is a great time for family vacations, road trips, and cooling off by the pool. While you may have added sunscreen to your everyday routine during the hottest months of the year, you also need to remember to protect your eyes. Follow these eye care tips to keep your eyes healthy all summer long.

Sunglasses

In Arizona, sunglasses are staple accessories throughout the year, but do you own the right pair? The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends wearing sunglasses with 100% UV protection. These types of lenses block both UV-A and UV-B rays from the sun, which can cataracts or temporary vision loss.

UV-blocking contacts and cloud covers do not completely protect your eyes, which is why our optometrists recommend that you invest in sunglasses, as they are a great defense against the sun’s radiation.

Goggles

If you’re making a dive into the pool, you should protect your eyes from damaging chemicals, especially chlorine. Swimming without goggles can cause redness because the blood vessels in your eyes become dilated. This can cause your vision to become blurry and foggy after an extended period of time in the pool. Also, although saltwater pools do not contain as many eye-damaging chemicals, chlorine tablets are often used to clean them, so goggles should be worn in any pool you swim in this summer.

Avoid Dust Storms

With monsoon season around the corner, it’s important to ensure proper eye care. We recommend that you avoid going outside if there is a monsoon, as dust can land in your eyes. If you do get debris in your eyes, make sure to flush your eyes by rinsing them with water as soon as you can. This will get rid of any irritants that could cause infection or watery eyes.

Whether you’re outside for one minute or one hour, proper eye care is a must.  For more information about eye care or to schedule an appointment with Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 242-6888 or visit our website.

Eye Health Starts with What You Eat!

Eye HealthWe all know that vitamins are good for us; however, taking daily supplements isn’t enough to keep our bodies completely healthy. Eating right is crucial to our overall well-being, but what many people don’t know is that certain foods can also promote great eye health. In observance of National Fruits and Vegetables Month, we have compiled a list of vitamins below that are beneficial for your eyes and how to add them to your diet.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A protects the surface of your eye and can also decrease your risk of getting macular degeneration, an age-related eye disease. This helpful vitamin is found in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, and kale and can also help your immune system, so it is important not only for your eye health but also for your overall health.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is great for your eyes and your immune system. It strengthens your retina and can help reduce the risk of cataracts after long-term use. Since we cannot produce vitamin C ourselves, it is important that we get enough of it in our diet. Vitamin C is prevalent in oranges, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and strawberries.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and can help in preventing cataracts. Make sure to add almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and avocados to your diet, as they are all great sources of vitamin E.

Zinc

Did you know that zinc can help you to see better at night, as well as reduce your risk of vision loss? Zinc ensures that both vitamins A and E, which are also great for eye health, work properly. You can find zinc in beef, lobster, and yogurt.

The key to great eye health is in the refrigerator! By including these foods in your diet, you can support your overall health all season long. For more information on eye health and how to improve your diet, schedule an appointment with Valley Eyecare Center.

Get An Eye Exam During Men’s Health Month!

Eye_examWhile studies show that women are more likely to develop eye health issues than men, it’s still crucial for men to remember the importance of properly taking care of their eyes and getting a yearly eye exam—especially during National Men’s Health Month! Find out why eye exams are important.

Detect Corrective Needs

Even if it seems that your sight is 20/20, only an optometrist can confirm whether you need a prescription or not. Also, even if you already have prescription glasses or contact lenses, you still need to get your eyes checked. Your eyes change as you age so it is important to monitor any corrective needs through regular eye exams.

Detect Eye Health Problems

Regular eye exams help prevent vision problems before they occur! Don’t assume that your eyes are great because they are not showing any symptoms of a health condition. Many common eye problems actually do not show any symptoms until well after they’re developed. Through an eye exam, your optometrist can detect disorders such as glaucoma and cataracts at an early stage, which can increase the chance of a successful treatment.

Detect General Health Problems

Did you know that eye health is connected to overall health and well-being? Through eye exams, an optometrist can detect more than eye problems; they can also uncover signs of health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure—making eye exams arguably as important as annual physicals.

Our eyes are one of the most important parts of our bodies—especially when it comes to living our day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, they are very fragile and can easily be damaged. Take advantage of National Men’s Health Month and schedule your eye exam with Valley Eyecare Center today!

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists, visit our website.

 

Protect Your Eyes This Summer!

Eye_CareSummers are filled with many opportunities for fun activities, but unless you take extra precautions, you might injure your eyes. This Summer, our Optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center recommend that you make some time to protect your eyes.

Tips To Protect Your Eyes During Summer

  • Wear Sunscreen! Did you know that your face is a somewhat reflective surface, and extra UV bouncing off your skin will end up hitting your eyes? Make sure you put sunscreen on your face, especially on your cheeks and around your eyes, to stop reflected UV rays from damaging your eyes.
  • While swimming, be wary of objects that could seriously damage an eye if precautionary steps aren’t taken. Also, be sure to wear goggles when swimming underwater to protect your eyes from hazardous pool chemicals.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection to prevent burned corneas or damaged eyesight! What many people don’t realize is that our eyeballs can also get sunburned from too much UV exposure–and it hurts! In addition, UV exposure has been linked to an increased risk of cataracts in later years.
  • When doing home projects, be sure to wear proper protective eyewear to avoid flying debris like wood chips, nails, etc.
  • Summer sports, especially with kids, can be hazardous to the eyes. If you are going to play sports, the number one eye care best practice is to wear protective gear in sports like softball, volleyball, baseball, or even in activities like paintball to prevent a serious eye injury.
  • Bugs are especially prevalent during summer’s many outdoor activities. Be careful not to spray bug spray near or into the eyes. The same goes for sunscreen—any sort of chemical in the eyes is never a good thing.

Protect your eyes this Summer! For more information about eye care or to schedule an appointment with Valley Eyecare Center, visit our website.

Pool Season And Eye Health

Eye_HealthSummers in Arizona can reach very hot temperatures, which is why many people spend a great amount of time at the pool. Unfortunately, while a dip in the pool is a refreshing way to cool off , it can also cause irritation, or “swimmer’s eye,” which can be a painful result without the proper precautions. To avoid ocular problems and enjoy your time in the pool, follow these summer eye health tips before diving in.

Don’t Wear Contacts When Swimming

Wearing contact lenses while swimming may seem harmless, but this bad habit can provide a surface for bacteria to latch on. Studies show that microbial growth on contact lenses can be present after only one swim. The best solution is to invest in a pair of prescription swimming goggles. If you prefer to continue wearing your contact lenses, use disposable ones or be sure to disinfect the lenses thoroughly after swimming. It’s also a good idea to change your lens case frequently.

Protect Your Eyes to Avoid Dry Eye

Dry eye syndrome is one of the more common eye disorders among adults—especially in Arizona. It results from low tear production and instability of the tear film. While goggles are an effective defense against the drying effects of pool water, you should also apply artificial teardrops before swimming for additional protection.

Minimize The Effects Of Chemicals

Chemicals such as chlorine and saline do affect your eyes, but they merely grease the wheels for the true culprit. Your eye is covered by a tear film that maintains lubrication, but pool chemicals cause this film to evaporate, leaving the dry surface of your eye vulnerable to other chemicals and bacteria. Use goggles to minimize exposure and rinse your eyes with clear, fresh water immediately after leaving the pool to ensure your eye health.

Don’t take a chance with your eye health! For more eye care tips or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists, visit our website.

School’s Out! Schedule an Eye Exam

Eye_ExamSchool is finally over! And what better time than Summer break to take care of your body by working out; your teeth by brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist; and eating healthy foods to give yourself the proper nutrients. But in all of the things you do to care for yourself, do you neglect your eyes? Even if you have 20/20 vision, regular eye exams are crucial to your health. Going to the eye doctor helps you adapt to vision changes, and detects any eye problems early so that you can begin treatment before the issue worsens. Learn more about the benefits of scheduling yearly eye exams.

Monitor Corrective Needs

Even if you already have glasses or contact lenses, treatment doesn’t end there. Your eyes change as you age, meaning your prescription will need to be updated periodically. If you’ve been suffering from unexplained headaches or sore, itchy eyes, new corrective lenses could be the answer.

Vision Changes

While some changes in your vision are obvious, others are minor and may not be discernible without the help of an eye doctor. Even with minor vision changes, you may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Eye strain
  • Headache
  • Trouble focusing on work.
  • Being able to adapt to eye changes is important in preventing the issues listed above. Without regular eye exams, you’ll likely suffer longer than necessary.

Detecting Eye Problems Early

Eye problems can occur at any time during your life, but become more common as you age. Conditions like glaucoma are only treatable with the help of an eye doctor. Regular eye exams allow you to detect the possibility of certain conditions early, so that you can either prevent the conditions, or treat them in time to stop them from worsening.

Now that school is over, make time to properly care for your eyes. For more information about eye care or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, visit our website.