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.

Sports Eye Safety Month

Eye_safetyAlthough the Olympics may be over, you may still be in the Olympic mood to play sports and unleash your inner athlete. Whether you’re picking up a sport for the first time, have been a pro for many years, or whether your kids are trying out for a fall team, it is important to remember to be safe. While you may think of putting on shin guards or kneepads to ensure your safety, you should also be sure to protect your eyes from any potential injury. Since September is Sports Eye Safety Month, we have outlined a few tips to make sure that your eyes will be unaffected as you make your way down the court or the baseball field. Read on to learn more about sports eye safety!

Sports Eye Safety

All sports can pose as a potential threat to your eyes, but some are more dangerous than others. Basketball, baseball, boxing, soccer, and any sport involving a racquet are considered “high-risk sports” in which participants should wear protective eyewear. Although high-risk sports may pose the greatest dangers to your eye safety, lower-risk sports can also damage your eye health. In just a game of racquetball alone, the ball can travel between 60 and 200 miles per hour. Since there is a quickly moving object involved in almost any sport, you should make sure to protect your eyes.

How can you ensure that your eyes are safe? Sports goggles are available for nearly all sports, and these polycarbonate goggles will protect your eyes from fast-moving objects. Sports goggles can even be made to have prescription lenses if you need corrected vision. Eye safety can make a huge difference in a game—don’t neglect your eyes the next time you hit the court!

To learn more information about sports eye safety, or to learn more information about our clinic, call Valley Eye Care Center at (602) 955-2700 or visit our website.

Is it Time for a New Prescription?

Eye_examWith the end of summer, we’re starting to get back into the swing of things, and our schedules can get pretty busy. Make sure to keep up your eye health during this busy time! It may be time to get a new eye exam, or it may be time to see about getting new glasses. Read on to see if an eye exam and a new prescription may be in the works for you.

Do You Need A New Eye Exam?

If you haven’t gotten an eye exam in the past year, it’s time to schedule an appointment! Even if you can see well with your current glasses, it’s always a good idea to make sure that your current pair has the proper prescription. Yearly eye exams are a great way to ensure that your eye health is in top shape.

Headaches can be caused by changes in your vision. If you have suffered from headaches recently, these may be due to a change in your prescription. Check in with your optometrist in order to see whether or not your vision has changed since your last eye exam.

Increasing the amount of time working on the computer or watching TV can also cause your vision to change, as you may squint more often so that you can focus on the words on the screen. This action can not only generate headaches but can also dry out your eyes, so ensuring that your prescription is the right one can make a huge difference in the way you see when you work.

If it appears as if your vision has become blurry, or if you have eye strain, these are both signs that your sight has changed. Scheduling an appointment with an optometrist should be one of the first things you do after you notice one of these symptoms.

If you would like to schedule an eye exam or would like to learn more information about our clinic, call Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 or visit our website.

Invest in Computer Glasses

Phoenix_optometristIn this day and age, it seems as if our lives have become more and more focused on a screen. Whether you work in front of a computer, watch TV for multiple hours, or use your phone a lot, the lights from the screens we use every day can cause eye strain, which can lead to migraines. In order to combat this strain on your eyes, Phoenix optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center recommend that you invest in computer glasses. Read on to discover more about the importance and value of computer glasses in the modern world.

Phoenix Optometrists Recommend Computer Glasses for Everyday Use

Computer glasses are different from regular eyeglasses because they improve your vision when you look at a screen. Since most screens are positioned at a distance between reading and distance vision, these glasses are designed to boost your mid-distance vision. Certain computer glasses may have a tint or a coating in order to provide an anti-glare treatment. Computer glasses are typically tinted yellow in order to block the blue light emitted from computer screens that is associated with eye strain and headaches.

These glasses may even improve your posture! Some people adjust their posture when they look at a computer screen; to combat this, computer glasses provide the optimal viewing range for your eyes so that you don’t have to hunch over or squint to see the text on the screen.

Make sure to avoid using the computer right before you go to bed because looking at the blue light can cause headaches and may keep you awake at night. In combination with wearing computer glasses at work and while watching TV, you will notice an instant improvement in your vision!

Don’t delay—get computer glasses today! Blurry vision, eye strain, and headaches don’t have to define your life. If you are considering an investment in computer glasses, or if you would like to learn more about them, contact a qualified Phoenix optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 or visit our website.

Avoiding Dry Eye in Arizona

Dry_eyeDo you, like many other Arizona residents, frequently suffer from dry eyes? While this condition might not be terribly debilitating, it can still take a toll on you and could even lead to more severe eye problems. Ensuring that you take all the precautions necessary can help not only prevent dry eye, but also any eye infections due to this condition. Keep reading for tips on how to prevent and alleviate dry eye.

Eye Drops

While eye drops will not completely resolve dry eyes, they can keep your eyes hydrated and free of dust and debris.

Avoid Rubbing

Rubbing your eyes is never a good idea, so you should avoid it as much as possible. Some negative side effects of rubbing your eyes include the transmission of microbes and eye infections. Instead, you should rinse your eyes with water.

Air Humidifiers

Arizona is very arid, which is why dry eye is very common—especially in the lower half of the state. Having an air humidifier at home can help to increase the moisture in the air, which helps to keep your eyes hydrated and reduce the risk of dry eye.

Quit Smoking / Avoid Smoke

Cigarettes are as bad for your lungs and overall health as they are for your eyes. Smoking can double the risk of developing macular degeneration and blindness, and it can also cause dry eye. Quitting this unhealthy habit—as well as avoiding smoke-infested areas—can help to keep your eyes healthy and well-lubricated.

Be Careful With Electronics

Did you know that when your computer or TV screen is above eye level, you open your eyes wider to see it? This action can cause dryness in your eyes, so our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center recommend that you keep screens below eye level so that your eyelids will lower over the top part of your eye.

Give Your Eyes A Break

Eye-intensive activities such as reading, playing videogames, and working for long hours in front of a computer can eventually lead to dry eye. Make sure that you incorporate the 20-20-20 rule into your daily activities—for every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and focus on something that is 20 feet away from you. This simple routine will rest your eyes and keep them well lubricated.

For more information about how to avoid dry eye in Arizona, or to schedule your yearly eye exam, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Hard Contact Lenses vs. Soft Contact Lenses

Contact_LensesNowadays, there are many different types of contact lenses that can help improve your vision. However, for many lens wearers, knowing which contacts are the perfect match for their eyes can be tricky. If you, like many others, are considering getting contact lenses to correct your vision, this guide will help you determine whether hard contacts or soft contacts are best for you.

Hard Contact Lenses

Hard contact lenses are relatively inflexible, maintaining their shape when they are in use. These types of lenses help reduce the effect of nearsightedness in young and adult lens wearers. If some of your concerns are worsening vision and eye infections, hard contact lenses may be the right fit for you. Keep in mind that while these are durable and give you clear, crisp vision, they also can easily become dislodged from the center of your eye and can get scratched. Since hard contact lenses are not disposable like soft contact lenses, extra care care is needed.

Soft Contact Lenses

Because they are more flexible and form to the shape of your eye, soft contact lenses are initially more comfortable than hard contacts. While both hard and soft contact lenses allow oxygen into your eye, some people prefer one’s breathability over the other. Some soft lenses, like Acuvue, are disposable, allowing the wearer to use them for a short period of time and then throw them away. Customized for different vision problems, these lenses are a convenient option for those with allergies or sensitive eyes.

If you’re a current wearer, or if you’ve been considering getting contact lenses to correct your vision, it’s important that you know all of your options. To learn more about hard and soft contact lenses or to book an appointment at Valley Eyecare Center, call us at (602) 955-2700, or contact us on our website.

Nutrition Tips From An Optometrist

Phoenix Optometrist Few things are better for your health than nutrient-rich foods. While they benefit your overall health, foods rich in vitamins such as beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin D are very important for optimal eye health. To better understand the nutrients that can keep your eyes in excellent shape, take a look at these nutrition tips from a Phoenix optometrist.

Carrots, Sweet Potato and Spinach

These three vegetables are full of beta-carotene and are easy to add to just about any meal! Since beta-carotene is made up of antioxidants that help to form a barrier against foreign objects such as bacteria and dust, our Phoenix optometrist stands by beta-carotene as a great shield to protect the surface of your eye. A delicious and easy way to include carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach in one meal is by whipping up a salad. Add a bit of balsamic vinaigrette dressing to sweeten things up!

Bell Peppers, Broccoli and Citrus Fruits

We all know that oranges contain loads of vitamin C, but what about vegetables? Broccoli and bell peppers are also high in this vitamin, building up immunity and strengthening your connective tissue to prevent against cataracts and muscle degeneration. It is crucial to give your body a proper amount of vitamin C, as your body does not produce it naturally. Add bell peppers to your dinner with some light dressing to get your daily dose of vitamin C!

Eggs, Mushrooms and Fatty Fish

Vitamin D is made up of anti-inflammatory properties and aids in keeping your eyes youthful by slowing down the aging process. Consuming the proper amount of vitamin D can help to preserve your eyesight and your overall eye health as you age. Vitamin D is found in eggs and salmon, and mushrooms, so a yummy way incorporate these foods into your diet is to have a mushroom omelet or baked salmon with a creamy mushroom sauce!

With the right recipes and the right ingredients, it is easy to get all the nutrients you need to have healthy eyes and enjoy a scrumptious meal! For more information about nutrition and eye health, or to book an eye exam with one of our Phoenix optometrists, visit our website.