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.

Signs Your Child Has a Vision Problem

eye-examBefore school resumes this fall, you may be wondering what you should do to prepare for the school year. At Valley Eyecare Center, we recommend taking your child into the office for an eye exam, especially if you suspect that your child may have trouble seeing.

Children’s Eye Exams

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if your child has a vision problem. But did you know that, on average, one out of four school-age children has a vision impairment? It’s important to recognize a few warning signs to see if you should bring your child in for an eye exam.

Squinting—If your child is squinting to see things up close or at a distance, this may be a warning sign that he or she cannot see properly. Also closing one eye may be a warning sign too.

Headaches—If your child suffers from headaches, nausea, or dizziness, these all may be signs of a vision problem. Headaches and other symptoms can affect your child’s performance at school, as 80% of your child’s early learning developments are visual.

Rubbing his or her eyes—If your child is rubbing his or her eyes several times per day, this may be a warning sign that your child is having trouble refocusing the eyes.

Avoiding reading—Good vision is required for reading, so if your child has recently reduced the amount of time spent reading or has stopped reading entirely, it may be time for an eye exam.

Children’s eye exams are important for their performance in school. To learn more about the warning signs that your child may need vision assistance, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center before the school year starts back up again, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Importance of UV Protection

eye-careProtecting your eyes from the intense rays of the sun is the most important eye care tip we can give you during the summer. Just as sunscreen is crucial to your skin care routine, sunglasses are equally crucial to your eye care routine.

Sunglasses and Eye Care Tips

UV radiation is harmful to all parts of the body—UV radiation is one of the main causes of skin cancer, but it can also affect your eyes. Contrary to popular belief, the sun isn’t the only source of UV radiation; other sources, such as the light from welding, can also damage eyes. Make sure to cover your eyes with sunglasses or other protective glasses to ensure proper eye care.

Protect your eyes to prevent future eye diseases and conditions—Did you know that wearing sunglasses can help to decrease your chances of developing macular degeneration? Macular degeneration, which is characterized by a blurriness of the eye, can be caused by UV radiation. Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses, and keep your eyes out of the sun as much as possible, especially during the hot summer months.

Keep your time looking at screens to a minimum—Short-wave UV radiation can come from the blue light of screens that we use every day. According to a recent study, Americans spend about two and a half hours each day on a computer, phone, laptop, or tablet. If you work by a computer or come home from work and watch TV, make sure to give your eyes a break. We recommend the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, focus on something that is 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Protect your eyes from UV radiation. To learn more about our eye care tips, or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Firework Safety Tips

eye-safetyAt Valley Eyecare Center, we love the Fourth of July! Celebrating Independence Day is one of the most important holidays of the year. Whether you celebrate by hosting a barbecue for friends and family, or whether you celebrate by setting off a few fireworks of your own, it is important to maintain proper eye safety throughout the holiday.

Firework Eye Safety for the Fourth of July

Perform a little research—Make sure to read all the cautionary items about the fireworks you purchase so that you are familiar with the safety features and how to properly set off the fireworks. Also, be sure to look up any laws and regulations about fireworks in your area, as some areas do not allow fireworks to be set off due to the low humidity in Arizona.

Wear safety glasses—When you get ready to set off your fireworks, your eye safety is of utmost importance. Wearing safety glasses will protect your eyes from the heat of the fireworks and will also protect against anything that sparks from setting it off.

Make sure to find an open area—When you set off fireworks, you want to make sure that you have plenty of room so that nothing will spark or start a fire. Keep fireworks away from any cars or buildings.

Dispose of spent fireworks—If you have a firework that won’t light, don’t try to re-light it. This can be dangerous, especially if your face is near the firework. Simply put it to the side and dispose of it later. Once your show is complete, make sure to properly dispose of the fireworks. Make sure to wet them down and place them in a metal waste bin that is not close to any buildings.

We wish you a Happy Fourth of July! To learn more about firework eye safety, or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Discover Acuvue Contact Lenses

Contact LensesAt Valley Eye Care Center, your vision is our top priority, and we want to make sure that you see properly. Vision problems can make certain everyday tasks more difficult, but luckily, Acuvue contact lenses will give you the freedom to accomplish anything without a vision impairment. If you’ve been in search of new contacts, Acuvue may be just the thing for you.

Acuvue Contact Lenses Correct Vision

We love Acuvue contacts because they have the ability to correct a variety of vision-related problems, and they are also extremely convenient!

Acuvue contacts are specialized for almost any vision impairment—There are Acuvue contact lenses for people who are nearsighted or farsighted, and there are lenses for astigmatism and even presbyopia. If you suffer from dry eyes, Acuvue offers varieties that will increase the hydration in your eyes. Most options also come with the choice of daily pairs or those that you replace every two weeks, which allows you to adapt your contact lenses to your lifestyle and preference. No matter what vision problems you have now or could develop over time, Acuvue has got you covered.

Convenience is the name of the game—Acuvue contact lenses are a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to go through the hassle of maintaining other types of contact lenses. Since you can simply dispose of the daily contact lenses, these vision correctors will work wonders for your daily routine, as you will not need to devote much time to Acuvue contact lenses. By wearing Acuvue contacts, you may even be able to play sports or take part in other activities that you couldn’t otherwise if you were wearing glasses.

Acuvue contact lenses are convenient and correct your vision! To learn more about these vision correctors, or to schedule, an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Glasses or Contact Lenses—Which is Right for You?

contact-lensesContact lenses and glasses both correct vision and allow you to see properly. While both glasses and contacts are great options to correct your vision, the decision on which one you use is typically a personal preference. Our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center can help you to decide whether you are a glasses or contacts person.

Contact Lenses and Glasses Allow You to See Properly

Glasses require little maintenance—Glasses are very easy to care for. Unlike contact lenses, you do not need to touch your eyes in order to wear them, which can decrease your risk for developing certain eye infections. Glasses are also easier to clean and do not need to be replaced as often as contact lenses.

Glasses are a fashion statement—Whether you have one pair or multiple to go with your outfits, glasses are truly an extension of your personality.

Contact lenses allow you to see without obstructions—If you want to see properly, as if you aren’t wearing glasses, contact lenses may be just the thing for you. Just be sure to care for them, as they do touch your eyes every day. If you’re concerned about putting contact lenses into your eyes, make sure to look into the mirror so that you can focus on the image in front of you, and use your other hand to steady your face so that you do not poke yourself.

Contact lenses may change the color of your eyes—While glasses may be a great fashion statement, certain contact lenses are designed to make your eyes different colors. Make your eyes pop with colorful lenses.

As with any big decision, it is important to consider the different advantages and disadvantages of both contact lenses and glasses. To learn more information about the differences between these two vision correctors, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Care Tips for Men

eye-careThis June is Men’s Health Month! Because your vision is so important to your health and wellbeing, we have tailored a few eye care tips to match men’s health issues.

Men’s Eye Care Solutions

Sunglasses are not only stylish but also key to maintaining proper vision—Protect your eyes from the harmful UV rays from the sun. Sunglasses are not just accessories; they are a necessity for both men and women, especially in Arizona, where the sun is more intense.

Apply sunscreen if you’re outside for a long time—Whether you’re outside playing sports or running errands, sunscreen can help to protect your eyes, as long as it is applied near the eye. Make sure not to get sunscreen in your eye, and also make sure not to apply it too rigorously, as the skin near your eye is very sensitive.

Take a break and look away from the computer screen—Many men may have office jobs and may stare at a screen for hours on end without even taking a break. We are reminding you to take a break for the sake of your eye health! For every 20 minutes you spend looking at a computer screen, spend 20 seconds looking at something that is 20 feet away. This simple exercise can reduce eye strain and blurry vision!

Eating well can truly make a difference—While there may not be an obvious connection between nutrition and eye care, it is extremely important to make sure that you receive all the nutrients that your body needs. Omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins C and E are all great nutrients that will benefit your eyes, so you should take care to get plenty of these nutrients in your diet.

Don’t wait to transform your eye care routine! To learn more about men’s eye care, or to schedule your annual eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Common Questions on Cataracts

optometristThis June is Cataract Awareness Month! Unless you’ve had a cataract or know someone who has had one, you may not know as much as you should about this age-related vision problem. This week, our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center are dedicating their time to make sure that you know more about cataracts!

Optometrists Answer FAQs About Cataracts

What is a cataract exactly?

A cataract is generally categorized as a clouding of the eye’s lens, which lies directly behind the pupil. Cataracts are most often found in people who are 50 years or older. About half of the population suffers from a cataract by the time they are 65 years old.

How are cataracts treated?

Typically, a cataract surgery is performed in order to remove the cataract. A qualified optometrist will make a small incision to remove the lens and replace it with an intraocular lens, which will restore the vision to the eye. Because this procedure is a surgery, it is important to check with your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough for the procedure, but it is rare to find a severe complication after a cataract surgery.

Will I need to wear glasses after receiving cataract surgery?

While each person is different and reacts differently to the surgery, most of the surgeries that optometrists perform today can restore your vision to 20/20 vision, which will allow you to see without glasses or contact lenses.

Is it possible to get a cataract again after surgery?

Yes, it is possible. These secondary cataracts show up in about 20 to 30% of the cases we see, but this is often months or years after the initial surgery.

Cataracts can impair your vision, but thankfully they can be corrected easily. To learn more about cataracts, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

How to Treat a Stye

optometristHave you ever developed a stye on one of your eyelids? These pesky bumps can develop at any time and are most often caused by the buildup of dead skin, oil, or dirt around the eye. Treat a stye by following these simple steps from an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center!

Advice from an Optometrist on How to Care for a Stye

Use warm water—Wet a washcloth with warm water, and rest this on your eye for about five to ten minutes. Make sure that the water isn’t too hot and that the washcloth has been wrung out so that it doesn’t drip. Some people may also choose to use a warm tea bag to achieve the same effect. The heat and moisture will help the stye to come to a head, but please make sure not to pop the stye as if it is a pimple! The heat and water will allow the stye to open and drain on its own, which will cause it to heal more quickly.

Wash your hands and your eye—Keeping the surfaces clean is crucial in order to make sure that the stye goes away as quickly as possible. At Valley Eyecare Center, our optometrists recommend that you use diluted tear-free baby shampoo to wash your eyelid without getting too much soap in your eye. Make sure to wash your hands before and after touching your eye.

Avoid wearing makeup—Because makeup can get into your eye or make the stye worse, it is important not to wear makeup so that the stye can heal without anything covering it.

Treat styes easily and quickly with these simple tips to ensure proper eye health! To learn more about caring for styes, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

The Fight Against Dry Eye

eye-healthWith the rising temperatures and the lowering humidity, it can be easy to find that your eyes become dry. If your eyes have felt dry, or even if your vision has not been as sharp as it once was, it may be time to schedule an eye exam to make sure that your eye health is at its best for the coming months.

Your Eye Health is a Priority

Know the symptoms of dry eye—If your tears do not adequately hydrate your eyes, you may experience any of the following symptoms that can affect your eye health: pain, sensitivity to light, feeling as if there is sand in your eye, redness, or blurry vision.

Limit your use of electronics, screens, and computers—Dry eye is often caused by electronic use. Staring at a computer, a television, or a phone screen can dry out your eyes, so our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center recommend that you limit the number of hours you spend looking at a screen each day in order to have optimal eye health.

Try the 20-20-20 rule—If you absolutely cannot avoid screens because of your job or other responsibilities, try the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, take a 20-second break and focus on something that is at least 20 feet away from you. This will help to keep your eyes hydrated, focused, and clear.

Amp up the humidity—To combat the dry air in Arizona, you can try other methods to make sure that your eyes are properly hydrated. Air humidifiers can help to increase the humidity in the air, and artificial tears can lubricate your eyes so that they do not feel as dry.

Ensure your eye health for the summer by combating dry eye! To learn more about dry eye, or to schedule your annual eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.