Meet Dr. Baldwin

dr-seth-baldwinWe are very excited to introduce our newest optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center! This week, we will be talking to Dr. Baldwin to learn more about his contributions to our eye care team!

New Optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center

Q: How did you end up at Valley Eyecare Center?

A: Honestly, it seemed as if it was just meant to be. I decided to join the civilian workforce after six years in the Army, and this was at the same time that Valley Eyecare Center was looking for a new optometrist to grow the practice. It has been a great fit, and I am very excited to join this team.

Q: Why did you decide to go into optometry?

A: I have always had an interest in optometry as I required glasses from a very young age. I made the decision to pursue a career in optometry while studying Physiology at the University of Arizona. After shadowing optometrists, I knew it was the right path for me.

Q: What services do you provide at Valley Eyecare Center?
A: I can provide full and comprehensive optometry services, including contact lens fitting, pediatric care, and diagnosis and management of ocular diseases.

Q: What is your favorite part of working at Valley Eyecare Center?
A: The staff. I feel very blessed to work with a team of professionals who have great attitudes and are focused on their patients.

Q: What is one piece of advice that you tell all of your patients?
A: Wear sunglasses. There are so many different ocular conditions that are associated with and accelerated by UV exposure, so it is important to make sure that you have a pair of sunglasses handy at all times.

Q: How often should you get an eye exam?

A: I recommend an annual routine eye exam if a person is not experiencing any problems and has no previously documented ocular conditions. Various reasons may necessitate more frequent care, however.

We are happy to have Dr. Baldwin on our team now! To learn more about our practice, or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Is Lasik Surgery the Answer?

eye-careAre you tired of glasses and contacts? Restoring your vision doesn’t mean that you have to wear either glasses or contacts. Lasik eye surgery is also a great way to correct your eyesight. Get amazing results with this eye care procedure!

Lasik Surgery and Eye Care

What is Lasik eye surgery? Lasik eye surgery is one of the leading ways to correct your vision, using a laser to correct the vision impairments in your eye. Correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, Lasik eye surgery is an option for most patients, especially those with a moderate prescription.

Is Lasik eye surgery permanent? Most of our patients have found that their results are permanent. Designed to last a lifetime, this eye care procedure is often performed only once in your lifetime. However, there are a few factors that can influence the duration of your results, and occasionally, a treatment may need to be repeated in rare cases.

What does recovery look like after the surgery? Recovery from Lasik eye surgery is fairly minimal. A full recovery takes about three to six months, as your eye needs several months to heal, but you will no longer feel pain or discomfort within a short time after treatment. Post-operation checkups are usually scheduled 24-48 hours after you have received the eye care treatment.

Am I a good candidate for treatment? Your eyes and the rest of your body must be healthy in order to receive Lasik eye surgery, and you must have had stable vision for at least a year without a significant change in your vision. You also must have a low or moderate prescription; people with high prescriptions often do not make good candidates for Lasik eye surgery.

Talk to your optometrist to learn more about whether your vision can be corrected with Lasik eye surgery! To learn more about this eye care procedure, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Managing Your Glaucoma

optometristHave you recently been diagnosed with glaucoma? You may be wondering how to manage this eye condition. Learn more about glaucoma from the optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center!

Optometrists Explain Glaucoma Treatment

Understand your condition and treatment—If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, make sure that you take time to understand what is happening to your eyes. Glaucoma is a condition that increases pressure within the eye, and it can eventually cause a gradual loss of vision. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, your optometrist may recommend certain eye drops to help you maintain your current level of vision. Discuss your treatment plan with your optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center to create a customized plan just for you.

See your eye doctor for regular checkups—Just like any other eye condition, it is extremely important to schedule regular appointments with your optometrist. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed, it is still important to go to your annual eye exam, as glaucoma does not have many symptoms, and only your eye doctor can determine the state of your eyes.

Lead a healthy lifestyle—Taking a walk and eating the right foods can be more beneficial than you think. Diet and exercise are two crucial elements of your health, and your eye health is directly impacted by the way you treat the rest of your body.

Be open about your condition with your family—Glaucoma can be passed down to future generations, so it is important to discuss any and all medical history events with your family. If you have children, they should make sure to get checked for glaucoma each year at their annual eye exams.

Glaucoma management and possible prevention starts with annual checkups with your local optometrist. To learn more about glaucoma, or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Treating a Scratched Cornea

eye-careDid you know that a scratched eye is one of the most common eye injuries? A healthy cornea is essential for optimal vision, so if you accidentally scratch your eye, it is important that you see your eye doctor as soon as possible. Put your eye care first and learn more about scratched corneas!

Eye Care Tips for Scratched Eyes

What causes a scratched cornea? A scratched cornea can be caused by anything from paper to makeup brushes, and these can inflict significant pain to your eye. You may be more at risk for getting a scratched cornea if you suffer from dry eye, especially when you awaken from sleep.

Do contact lenses protect the eye from corneal abrasions? No, unfortunately, contact lenses do not protect your eyes from scratches. In fact, if you wear your contacts too long, or if you wear a damaged pair of contacts, you may have an increased risk of scratching your eye.

What are the symptoms of a scratched cornea? A corneal abrasion can be very painful and can feel as if you have a rough object in your eye. Other symptoms include redness, tearing, light sensitivity, and headaches. Schedule an appointment with your eye care professional if you think you scratched your eye.

How is a scratched cornea treated? Treatment depends on the severity of each case, but minor scratches can be treated with drops to moisten the eye, which will make it feel more comfortable as it heals. More severe cases may require antibiotic ointment that will decrease scarring and inflammation. While you have a corneal abrasion, you should make sure to wear eyeglasses instead of contacts so that your eye has a chance to heal.

Keep your eyes healthy and safe by making sure that your eyes are properly hydrated. To learn more about corneal abrasions, or to schedule an appointment with one of our eye care specialists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Reading Your Eyeglass Prescription

optometristIf you’ve just had an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, you may notice that your prescription has quite a few notations, abbreviations, and numbers that you may not understand. Of course, being nearsighted or farsighted is fairly straightforward, but the other notations may not be so obvious. Learn to decipher all the parts of your prescription so that you can be knowledgeable about the state of your eyes.

Understanding Your Prescription by an Optometrist

What is OD? What is OS? These abbreviations are the first step in understanding your eyeglass prescription. OD is short for the Latin phrase, oculus dexter, and OS is short for oculus sinister. These are the terms for the right and left eye, respectively. If you see anything labeled OU, that is short for oculus uterque, which refers to both eyes. In rare instances you may see RE (right eye) or LE (left eye).

How can I tell if I’m near or farsighted? If you see SPH, this indicates the word “sphere,” which signifies the amount of lens power prescribed to correct your nearsightedness or farsightedness. A negative sign indicates that you are nearsighted, and a positive sign means that you are farsighted.

What about astigmatism? If your prescription includes CYL, which stands for “cylinder,” it is referring to the amount of lens power needed to correct your astigmatism. This condition is a result of the cornea and/or lens being shaped more oblong, rather than round. A number next to CYL may also give you an idea about whether you are near or farsighted.

Is there anything else I should know about? Your optometrist may write specific lens recommendations on your eyeglass prescription, especially if you need progressive lenses or an anti-reflective coating. These recommendations will allow for comfort.

Keep in mind that an eyeglass prescription is different from a contact lens prescription and  cannot be used interchangeably. To learn more about reading your prescription or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700 or visit our website.

 

Back to School Eye Exam

children's-eye-examAs a parent, you may wonder whether your child needs an eye exam or whether your child is having trouble seeing. Since your child’s school may have just started or is just about to start, a children’s eye exam may be the best thing to prepare for the school year.

Children’s Eye Exams at Valley Eyecare Center

Did you know that a children’s eye exam can improve his or her performance in school?

Along with an annual checkup with your pediatrician, taking your child for an eye exam can make sure that your child is healthy and ready for school. Clear vision helps your child understand and respond at school and at home. Undetected vision problems can lead to learning difficulties in the future, especially since the American Optometric Association has found that 80% of learning is visual.

What can you expect at a children’s eye exam?

If it’s your child’s first eye exam, make sure to explain to him or her that eye exams aren’t scary. Walking them through what will happen in an eye exam is a great way to introduce your child to the process. We are a kid-friendly office here at Valley Eyecare Center!

How can you know if your child needs an eye exam?

If your child frequently complains of headaches or tiredness, he or she may be having trouble seeing. If your child used to love reading but suddenly lacks interest in picking up a book, this could also be a sign of a vision problem. In certain cases, your child may even become rather clumsy, bumping into furniture or walls by accident.

A children’s eye exam is a great part of any back-to-school routine! To learn more about our children’s eye care services, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

How to Keep Your Glasses in Good Shape

sunglassesAt Valley Eyecare Center, we know that you invest a lot of time in finding the right pair of eyeglasses and sunglasses. Once you’ve found the perfect pair, it is important to keep these glasses in tiptop shape. Below, we’ve listed a few of our best secrets when it comes to making sure that your glasses and sunglasses are in their best condition!

Maintaining Eyeglasses and Sunglasses

Don’t forget to clean your glasses and sunglasses—You should wash your glasses at least once a day. Although one of your first instincts may be to reach for the bottom of your shirt to clean your glasses, this is one of the worst things you can do to your glasses. Paper towels, tissues, napkins, or shirts can easily scratch the lenses of your eyeglasses or sunglasses. Instead, make sure to rinse off your glasses with water before wiping or cleaning them. Even the tiniest particles of dirt can settle on your lenses, so wiping dry lenses can be abrasive to your lenses.

Use the proper sprays—If you use a chemical to clean your glasses, make sure to use one that is specifically made to clean eyeglass lenses. Do not use household cleaners like Windex, as these chemicals can damage or ruin your glasses or sunglasses.

Handle properly—Store your glasses when you’re not wearing them so that they do not get damaged or dirty. When you go to pick them up, make sure to be careful and grip the piece that comes across the bridge of the nose so that you do not end up bending the frames, and the lenses will still be clean.

Keeping your glasses and sunglasses in good shape is important so that you can keep your glasses for years on end! To learn more about eyeglass maintenance, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

How Hydration Affects Your Eyes

eye-careHydration affects all aspects of your health, including your skin and your eyes. With the hot temperatures and the low humidity in Phoenix, it can be easy to develop dry eye, but making sure you are properly hydrated is an important aspect of any eye care routine.

Eye Care and Hydrating Your Eyes

What causes dry eye, and how do I know if I have it?

Many factors may cause you to have dry eye, including an inadequate amount of tears or a poor quality of tears. If your tears are not adequately hydrating your eyes, you may notice pain, sensitivity to light, redness, or blurry vision.

Can electronics dry out my eyes?

Yes! Electronic devices are one of the main causes of dry eye. Looking at the blue light of the computer, television, or phone screen can affect your eyes, especially if you focus on these objects too long. Try the 20-20-20 rule to combat dry eye due to electronic use—for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, focus on something that is 20 feet away for 20 minutes.

How can I treat dry eye?

Simple over-the-counter eye drops can resolve some mild versions of dry eye. These artificial tear solutions can supplement natural tear production and will not further irritate your eyes. In certain cases, taking an omega-3 fatty acid supplement may also help to naturally increase the production of tears and is a great aspect of any eye care routine.

What else can I do to prevent dry eye?

Try to limit the use of electronic devices, as hard as it may be. Remember to blink regularly when you do use these devices, and increase the humidity in the air at work and at home so that your eyes can become more hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water and wear sunglasses when you are outdoors to further prevent cases of dry eye.

Hydrating your body and your eyes are two of the most important things for your health and your eye care! To learn more about dry eye, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Our Eyeglass Guide

eyeglassesAre you having trouble seeing for the first time, or do you feel as if your prescription has changed since the last time you’ve had an eye exam? If you wear eyeglasses or think you may need to start wearing them, our eyeglass guide can help you determine what kind of glasses would suit you most!

Eyeglasses for Every Lifestyle

At Valley Eyecare Center, we have eyeglasses for every occasion, every fashion style, and every lifestyle. Our quiz will help you determine which eyeglasses are perfect for you!

Lifestyle questions—The eyeglass guide will ask you a few questions about your lifestyle—whether you’ve had eyeglasses in the past or whether you’re wearing them for the first time. These questions also include whether or not you need glasses for reading, driving, or watching TV.

Lens questions—Do you need bifocals? Do you use your glasses inside and outside? Do you typically wear prescription sunglasses, regular sunglasses, or do you not wear sunglasses at all? Do you work in front of a computer, or do you work in an industrial environment where you would need more protection in your lenses? All of these questions are important to answer in order to determine which kind of lenses your eyeglasses will need.

Other questions—The eyeglass guide will also ask you a series of questions about whether certain things bother you, such as the glare from the sun or from headlights or the computer screen. If any of those items give you a headache or causes changes in your vision, your eyeglasses can be customized to make sure that your headaches are minimized and you sight is restored.

Find the perfect eyeglasses for you! To learn more about our eyeglass guide, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Common Summer Ocular Allergies

allergiesSpring and fall aren’t the only times that your eyes can be bothered by allergies. If your eyes feel dry, or if they feel overly watery, you may be suffering from common summer ocular allergies. Learn more about these allergies and how to treat them throughout the summer.

Typical Eye Allergies in the Summer Months

Know the symptoms—The most typical eye allergy symptoms come along with the symptoms that are typical of nasal allergies, such as sneezing, sniffling, or a stuffy nose. Allergies that are specific to the eyes often show signs that include itching, redness, burning, or watery eyes. If you experience any of these symptoms, or if you experience many of them, you probably have eye allergies.

Learn what your triggers are—Whether your eyes become irritated from outdoor allergens, such as pollens from the grass or trees, or whether your eyes become irritated due to indoor allergens, such as pet dander, avoiding your triggers will alleviate your allergies. Once you know what aggravates your allergies, make sure to stay away from your allergens.

Treat your allergies—Treating your allergies can be as simple as using artificial tears to hydrate the eye. You can also try taking an antihistamine, although sometimes these have a tendency of drying out the eye or making you drowsy, so make sure to take one that will not make you tired before operating a vehicle. You can also try allergy shots to alleviate the symptoms associated with eye allergies. If your allergies are caused by outdoor allergens, make sure to stay inside as much as possible.

Get relief from your summer eye allergies! To learn more about common eye allergens, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.