Ocular Allergies in Spring

optometristWhile it may be warming up outside, your allergies may be suffering from this change in weather. If your seasonal allergies have affected your eyes, take some advice from an optometrist and follow these simple tips to make sure that your eyes are in their tip-top shape!

Allergy Advice from an Optometrist

In Phoenix, it is common to have allergy reactions from trees and grass. Learn more about the following allergies.

  • Over the next three months, the following trees will bloom in Arizona: Cottonwood, Palo Verde, Mesquite, Mulberry, Olive, Arizona Ash, and Sycamore. If you have noticed that your eyes are affected by any of these trees, make sure to take some allergy medication.
  • Pollen can also affect your eyes. Pollen that comes from trees, flowers, and other plants may even get into your house, so it is important to keep doors and windows shut in order to ensure the health of your body and your eyes. Optometrists recommend that if you are allergic to pollen, you should make sure to remove any weeds and Bermuda grass from your yard so that pollen production is reduced.
  • If it’s windy, stay inside. Pollen and other allergens from trees and spores can move easily in the wind, which can easily stir up your allergies and make them worse.
  • Make sure to change the air filters in your house. This simple task can take a difference in the quality of the air that you breathe and that your eyes are exposed to each day. General spring cleaning is also a great way to reduce the amount of pollen and dust in the air in your living environment.

Spring is the season of change and the season of allergies. Make sure to put your eye health first throughout the season. To learn more about allergy prevention, or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Save Your Vision with an Eye Exam

Eye_ExamThis March is Save Your Vision Month! Although we live busy lives, it is important to take time to care for our eyes, as we use them at every waking moment. Learn more about the ways in which your eyes can benefit from an eye exam.

An Eye Exam Can Save Your Vision

Do not stare at the computer—According to a 2016 survey, the average American uses a screen for approximately seven hours each day. However, the blue light that comes from computer screens, phone screens, and the TV can damage your eyes in a number of ways. It is recommended that if you use a screen for more than twenty minutes at a time, you should look 20 feet away from you for 20 seconds so that your eyes have a chance to focus on something that is far away. Make sure to refocus your eyes so that you do not get any headaches associated with eye strain.

Eye strain is damaging to your health—If you suffer from eye strain, you may also suffer from headaches, blurred vision, and a general lack of sleep. If you have any of these side effects, make sure to make an appointment for an eye exam to get your prescription updated and check on the health of your eyes.

To reverse eye strain, come in for an eye exam—An eye exam can ensure that your eyes and your body are in their optimal health if you are concerned that you might have digital eye strain. As your optometrist about computer glasses, which may save your vision if you need to work on the computer for several hours each day.

Put your vision first! Save your eyes with an eye exam this March. To learn more information about digital eye strain, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Sunglasses are a Must in Phoenix

sunglassesWe all know that we live in the valley of the sun, so we need to make sure to keep our eyes protected! As spring approaches, make sure to wear sunglasses throughout all of your activities.

Spring Activities Require Sunglasses

While you’re out enjoying the wonderful weather that comes with spring, keep your peepers safe from the damaging rays of the sun by wearing sunglasses! We’ve listed a few fun activities for you to enjoy this spring.

  • Go to a spring training game—We all love going to a few spring training games! Whether you love the game, the team, or the food, spring training games always make a great weekend activity. Sport your favorite team’s jersey and throw on a pair of sunglasses since you will be outside for a few hours.
  • Hike Camelback—With such nice weather, you may decide it’s a good time to hike up the mountain and see the view of the city from above! Stay hydrated and pack water, and make sure to hike in the morning so that you do not get overheated. Don’t forget your sunglasses to not only reduce the glare from the sun but also to protect your eyes!
  • Have a picnic—Gather up a few friends or family members and enjoy the weather by having a meal outside! Whether you sit directly in the sun or in the shade of a tree, make sure to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. Sunglasses are necessary even if it is a cloudy day, as clouds only block 20% of the damaging UV rays of the sun.

Sunglasses are made for every event in Phoenix! To learn more about our sunglasses at Valley Eyecare Center, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Ask An Optometrist About Contacts

optometristDid you know that over 30 million people wear contacts in the United States? If you’ve been considering switching from eyeglasses to contacts, you’re not alone. Contact an optometrist to update your prescription and make the switch to contacts.

Contact Lens Tips from a Phoenix Optometrist

How do I clean my contact lenses?

Make sure to clean your contact lenses regularly and thoroughly. If you have non-disposable contact lenses, cleaning them is the most important aspect of maintenance. Make sure to use contact lens solution, as opposed to water, because it will keep your lenses free of any chemicals or minerals that may reside in tap water.

Can I use eye drops while wearing contact lenses?

Yes! If your eyes feel dry, make sure to keep them hydrated. Using eye drops while wearing contacts is perfectly safe for your eyes, and it is important to make sure that your eyes do not become dry while wearing contact lenses.

Can I sleep while wearing contact lenses?

No, most optometrists recommend that you remove contact lenses if you take a nap and before you go to bed. Although certain contact lenses can be worn for brief naps, it is a good idea to remove them if you know you are tired. Play it safe and remove contacts before sleeping, as the risk of eye problems arises when contact lenses are worn overnight.

Can contact lenses correct astigmatism?

Yes! Although many contact lenses in the past could not correct astigmatism, new technology has created contact lenses for those suffering from astigmatism. Contact your optometrist if you would like to switch from eyeglasses to contacts if you suffer from astigmatism.

Make the switch from eyeglasses to contact lenses! To learn more about contacts, or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call us at (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Low Vision Awareness Month

visionThis February is Low Vision Awareness Month. Learn more about low vision and how to decrease the chance of developing low vision.

Low Vision and Eyesight Loss

What is low vision?

Low vision is a condition in which a person loses a certain amount of eyesight. Everyday tasks can become difficult to complete with low vision. Although most people who have trouble seeing can regain their vision with medication, surgery, glasses, or other options, people with low vision cannot regain their sight and will experience permanent vision loss.

What causes low vision?

A few eye diseases can cause this condition, including macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and retinis pigmentosa. Although these conditions can occur at any age, they are more frequently seen in older people. Certain eye injuries can also cause low vision.

What are the signs of low vision?

If you cannot complete everyday tasks without experiencing difficulty seeing, you may have low vision. In some cases, a person may experience a “hole” or spots in his or her vision that get in the way of sight. Losing peripheral vision, night blindness, and blurry or hazy vision are also symptoms of low vision. Failing to distinguish facial features and a misperception of depth can also be signs of this condition.

How can low vision be treated?

If your ophthalmologist has diagnosed you with low vision, unfortunately, there is no cure. Instead, you will have to get creative about the way that you can use the vision you still have left. Do not give up your activities, hobbies, or whatever else you enjoy doing. It is important to keep up your normal routine. There are tools and resources for people with low vision, so there is no need to change your lifestyle to adapt to low vision.

To learn more about low vision, or to schedule your annual eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Fall in Love with New Frames

EyeglassesFebruary is the season of love and appreciation. Show your eyes some love by treating them to some new eyeglasses! We’ve listed all of the newest frame styles and trends for 2017.

Love Your New Eyeglasses

If your prescription has changed, now is the perfect time to get a new pair of eyeglasses. Or, if you’re tired of your current frames, come into Valley Eyecare Center to check out our newest styles! Here are a few up and coming trends for 2017 frames:

  • Tortoise shell—We love this trend! There are many color pallets that are sure to fit any skin tone.
  • Oversized cat eye frames—These eyeglasses are perfect for any woman wanting to wear something that looks rather exclusive!
  • Clear frames—Want something that goes with every outfit and every hairstyle? Clear frames might be the way to go! Blending in with your face, these are perfect for anyone wanting to minimize the appearance of wearing eyeglasses.
  • Black frames—This classic look is especially popular in rectangular or square frames. Like clear frames, black frames go with any outfit and complement most facial structures.
  • Semi-rimless frames—These eyeglasses are all the rage and flatter both men and women. Semi-rimless frames can be dressed up or down, and they are a great fashion and business accessory!
  • Cat eye frames—Cat eye frames never seem to go out of style for women. These eyeglasses are great for business or casual looks and may add some whimsy to your outfits. Try a new color to brighten up your look!

Don’t wait to get new eyeglasses! Come in to see our newest frames! For more information about frames, or to schedule your annual eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Signs Your Child Needs an Eye Exam

eye_examDid you know that 80% of what children learn is obtained visually? We all want our kids to do well in school, so it is important that they are able to learn as much as they can by seeing properly. Since it is so crucial that children see well, it is always important to take them in for an eye exam.

Signs that Your Young One May Need an Eye Exam

If you think your child might need an eye exam, the chances are that you’re right. Below we have listed a few symptoms or signs that your child may express if he or she cannot see well.

  • Squinting or closing one eye in order to see—Your child may squint in order to see things up close or to see things at a distance.
  • Headaches, nausea, or dizziness—If your child is having a hard time focusing to see the board in class or to read a book at home, he or she may suffer from headaches because of the extra effort it takes to see properly.
  • Rubbing eyes several times throughout the day—This sign may indicate that your child is trying to refocus his or her eyes.
  • Excessive clumsiness—Tripping or bumping into things may be a sign that this young one needs an eye exam!
  • 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.
  • Reduced academic performance—Some children may not know how to express that they have trouble seeing. Although they may be trying their hardest at school, they may not be able to achieve everything that they could without improved vision.

We all want the best for our kids! Ensure that your child can see to his or her full potential! To learn more information, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

National Glaucoma Awareness Month

eye_healthAccording to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, over three million people in the United States suffer from glaucoma. January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, so now is the best time to learn about this vision-related disease and how you can maintain your eye health.

Eye Health and Increasing Knowledge of Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can eventually cause blindness through a period of vision loss, starting with the loss of peripheral vision. Because the disease damages the optic nerve, this nerve will no longer be able to carry images from the eye to the brain, causing a loss of sight. An increased amount of pressure in the eye is also common to glaucoma, and this increased pressure may damage the optic nerve.

Although glaucoma is most commonly found in people who are over 60 years of age, it is common for glaucoma to run in the family, especially in families of African-American, Hispanic, or Asian descent. People who are severely nearsighted, or those who have diabetes are also more likely to develop this vision-loss disease.

To make sure that you are maintaining proper eye health, it is important that you have a regular eye exam. Since glaucoma has virtually no symptoms, it is important that you schedule an eye exam regularly so that your optometrist can determine whether your eyes are in optimal health.

It is important that you take care of your eyes, especially if you have noticed any changes in your vision. Make your eye health a priority by coming in for regular eye exams to check your prescription and check on the state of your eyes. To learn more information about glaucoma, or if you would like to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Common Problems with Contact Lenses

contact_lensesContact lenses are a great option for people who do not want to wear eyeglasses, but if you’re new to wearing contacts, you may find that you have a few concerns. Have no fears—we will address the most common problems with contact lenses.

Caring for Contact Lenses

Cleaning contacts—If you have recently switched from wearing glasses to wearing contacts, you’ll want to be a little extra careful in order to ensure that your lenses are properly clean. Make sure to use contact lens solution so that your lenses do not get any build-up on your contacts. If you wear daily contacts, you don’t even have to worry about daily cleanings since these should be thrown away at the end of each day.

You can wear contacts and makeup simultaneously—If you’re concerned about wearing makeup with your contacts, have no fear. Wearing makeup will not interfere with your contact lenses. Just be sure to put your contact lenses in before you apply your makeup so that the oils from the makeup do not get onto the lenses.

Take your contact lenses out if you take a nap—If you decide to rest your eyes—even just for a few moments—it is important that you remove your contacts so that your eyes do not become dry.

If you have allergies, you may want to try daily contact lenses—Suffering from environmental allergies is common no matter what time of year it may be. If you have allergies, switching to daily disposable contact lenses may help you to increase the moisture in your eyes. Also, be sure to remove your contact lenses 15 minutes before using eye drops so that your eyes can fully absorb the moisture from the drops.

Caring for your contact lenses doesn’t have to be difficult. To learn more information about contacts, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

How to Treat Irritated Eyes

eye_careWe’ve all suffered from bouts of red, dry eyes every once in a while, but what causes our eyes to become irritated, and what can we do to soothe them? Optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center recommend eye care treatments for irritated eyes.

Eye Care for Red Eyes

Dry eyes—If your eyes are irritated because they are dry, one of the easiest ways to solve this issue is to use eye drops. You can use either over-the-counter drops or prescription drops in order to hydrate your eyes and to stop any inflammation and irritation in your eyes.

Allergies—Your eyes are exposed to the environment. If you have any allergies, your eyes will show if you are having a reaction. Common allergies include pollen, pet dander, and chemicals that are found in makeup. Make sure to avoid known allergens and to supplement with any allergy medication, such as an antihistamine, in order to maintain proper eye care throughout the year.

Eye strain—If you have been staring at a computer screen for hours on end, it may be time to take a break! It is important to let your eyes focus on something other than a screen. To properly care for your eyes, you should follow the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, you should spend 20 seconds looking at something that is 20 feet away.

Contacts—If you have had your contacts in for several hours on end, your eyes may dry out. Contact lenses can reduce the amount of oxygen that reaches your cornea, so it is important to remove them after a long day so that your eyes can breathe.

Soothe your eyes with these simple tips! To learn more about eye care, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.