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.

New Eyewear for Mother’s Day

EyewearWhether they are career women or stay-at-home parents, mothers tend to have a very busy schedule—especially when it comes to updating their look. Much like clothes, glasses do not fit everyone the same way, and while trying on as many frames as possible can help you find the perfect fit, it is an unrealistic scenario to most people. At Valley Eyecare Center we know how important it is to choose eyewear without wasting time, which is why we have put together this short guide to help you narrow down your choices.

Face Shape

When choosing you glasses, you should take your face shape under consideration.

Oval: Look for frames that are as wide as the broadest part of your face—these will maintain the natural balanced proportions of an oval face.

Round: Frames shaped like a square or rectangle can help your face look longer and slimmer, adding balance to round features.

Square: Look for narrow, oval or round frame styles that sit high on the bridge of your nose. These will soften the appearance of the angles of a square face.

Oblong: To balance your face, opt for frames that have more depth than width, contrasting temples or sit low on your nose bridge.

Heart: Look for glasses with low-set temples and bottom heavy frame lines, round frames with curved edges, and square frames with round edges. These will help minimize the appearance of a broad forehead.

Base-down Triangle: Look for heavy-top frames (such as cat-eyes) to draw away attention from wide cheeks and chin.

Diamond: Frames that are wider than the cheekbones or curve up are ideal for this face shape. Look for cat-eye and oval eyeglass frames to accentuate your features.

Skin Tone

Cool: If your skin has a cool tone, you should opt for colors such as black, plum, gray, magenta, blue, mauve, pink, and silver. These will bring out your undertones.

Warm: Avoid pastels, as well as black and white frames. Earth tones such as gold, khaki, brown, beige, copper, peach, red, warm blue, eggshell, coral, orange, and dark green are the most flattering colors for your skin tones.

Treat yourself with new frames for mother’s day! Stop by one of our Valley Eyecare Center locations today!

Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Eye_HealthMost women know that taking care of their health is crucial. However, many forget about the importance of also getting their eye health in check—especially because women are at higher risk than men for ocular diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. Fortunately, there are different ways to reduce this increased eye health risk and protect your eyes from many diseases. Learn how to properly care for your eyes and ensure that they are healthy today and in the future.

Regular Eye Exams

Vision changes as you age – it’s a fact of life. Conditions develop that may not have been present before. This is why regular eye exams are necessary, even if you don’t seem to have any vision problems. Trained eye doctors will detect and treat any conditions early, so that you can avoid serious issues later in life. If left untreated, diseases like glaucoma can lead to blindness. Take care of your eye health by making an appointment for a comprehensive exam.

Protective Eyewear

Another risk women face in regard to their eyes is injury. Many injuries happen right inside the home, such as during home improvement projects. The best way to prevent eye-damaging accidents is to protect yourself while doing any sort of work that may lead to slips or falling debris. Protective eyewear like safety goggles should be kept in your home for easy access any time you need them.

Overall Health

Several health conditions result in vision impairment. Diabetes and high blood pressure, for example, both affect your ability to see clearly. Taking precautions to maintain your physical health will, in turn, maintain your eye health. Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet are two sure ways to prevent eye-threatening diseases.

As a woman, you have many health risks that are unique to your gender, and your eyes are no exception. With a heightened risk for conditions like glaucoma, it’s important to take steps that will ensure the health of your eyes. Receiving regular eye exams, using protective eyewear, and maintaining your physical health are all crucial to your eye health.

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

Tips For Switching To Contacts

ContactsOne of the most common questions that people ask their optometrist is whether they should be switching from conventional glasses to contacts. While both are great to correct your vision, it comes down to a matter of personal choice based on cost, looks, and care that pertain to each option. If you are thinking about ditching the good old glasses for contacts, these tips will help you ensure that the transition period runs smoothly.

Hygiene

Always wash your hands before you put on or remove your contacts. Touching your eyes with dirty hands can lead to eye irritations and infections.

Eye Drops

Always carry eye drops with you and use them as often as needed—especially if you are constantly looking at computer screens or other electronics, and if you live somewhere with harsh weather conditions. When contacts dry up, they can become uncomfortable, cause ocular irritations, and potentially scratch your eyes.

Rest

Your eyes need a chance to breathe, so make sure you give them a rest from contacts. If you have to wear your contacts every day throughout the day, you should opt for contacts that are breathable and take them off when you are at home or relaxing.

Contact Solution

Contact solution is very important as it is what you will be using to clean your contacts and store them in. Make sure you always have solution available at home and never use water as an alternative. Water does not sterilize and since it does not contain salt like regular contact lens solution, it is absorbed into the lenses instead.

Don’t Mix Your Contacts

Mixing your contacts can lead to eye infections and other conditions. It is important to create a habit of properly storing them in your contact lenses case by putting your left contact on the “L” side and your right one on the “R” side.

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

How Can Stress Affect Your Eyesight?

Eye HealthMost of us are aware of how stress affects our body, but did you know that it can also have a negative impact in your eye health? Trying to not let stress affect us might be an unrealistic expectation, which is why our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center want you to learn about its impact to our eye health.

Eye Strains

Eye strain, also known as Asthenopia, is a very common condition that occurs when eyes are overused.  Most of us are guilty of spending a lot of time looking at electronics and computer screens daily—and it can really take a toll on our eyes. While research hasn’t proved that screens can cause true damage to the eyes, you’re still at risk for headaches and eye soreness.

Headaches and Migraines

Stress can trigger a migraine or tension headache—especially if you have lost your appetite. Migraines are hightened headaches that are accompanied by a multitude of other symptoms such as flashing lights or colors in your vision field, pain so severe that you can barely think, nausea and vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light. Tension headaches affect your forehead, are less severe and lack most of the other symptoms.

Eye Twitch

An eye twitch is when the tissues and small muscles around the eye experience involuntary movement. The twitch may last minutes, hours, or even days and even though it typically isn’t dangerous, this condition can certainly interrupt your concentration and focus.

Glaucoma

When blood pressure goes up, your internal eye pressure may do the same. Glaucoma is a condition that results from high eye pressure damaging the optic nerve, and has the potential to cause permanent vision loss and blindness.

It is important that people learn how to manage their stress to avoid compromising their sight. For more information about eye health or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists, visit our website.