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.

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.

Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

Eye_careDid you know that about nine percent of the population has diabetes? According to the American Diabetes Association, 29 million Americans suffer from diabetes. November is American Diabetes Month, so we have listed a few ways that diabetes can affect your eyes and how to maintain proper eye care.

Eye Care and Diabetes

Cataracts—People with diabetes are 60% more likely to develop cataracts, and they tend to get them at a younger age. However, there are a few easy ways to ensure that you have proper eye care that can protect your eyes from developing cataracts. Wearing sunglasses can have a tremendous effect on the health of your eyes, especially since they will reduce the glare of everyday life. Depending on the severity of your cataract, your optometrist may recommend other treatment plans.

Glaucoma—Glaucoma occurs when there is built-up pressure in the eye, which will pinch the blood vessels that carry blood to the retina. This can cause a loss of vision because it will damage the retina, and it can also cause watery eyes and headaches. If you suffer from diabetes, you are 40% more likely to suffer from glaucoma, but have no fear—there are several treatments that will reverse the effects of this disease, including prescriptions to reduce the pressure in the eye.

Blurry vision—If you’re suffering from high blood sugar, blurry vision may be one of the first signs. The lens in your eye can swell if you have high blood sugar, which will cause blurry vision. To ensure proper eye care—as well as proper health in general—you should get your blood sugar back to the target range.

To learn more information about eye care and diabetes, or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Dry Eye is Common in Phoenix

Phoenix_optometristSince the humidity is so low in Phoenix, dry eye is one of the most common ailments that a Phoenix optometrist can treat. 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 vision is at its best for the coming months.

What Are Warning Signs of Dry Eye?

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

Phoenix Optometrist Treats Dry Eye

Artificial tears—For mild cases of dry eye, which can be caused by computer use, reading, or other situational causes, the best form of treatment may be to hydrate your eyes. This can be done with the help of artificial tears, either prescription or over-the-counter.

Air humidifiers—Because our environment is so dry, producing some extra humidity will lubricate your eyes.

Limit your electronic use—Staring at a computer, a television, or a phone screen can dry out your eyes, so Phoenix optometrists recommend that you limit the number of hours you spend looking at a screen each day. If you cannot avoid screens because of your work or family 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, and it will also help to clear your vision.

Don’t let dry eye affect your daily routine. To learn more information about dry eye, contact a Phoenix optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center by calling (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Health Safety Tips for Kids

Eye HealthIt’s that time of year again! Families rushing to buy binders, books, clothes, backpacks, and all other last-minute items to get their kids ready for the new school year. Unfortunately, with the back-to-school rush, it is easy to forget about taking your child to get an eye exam or ensure they are taking good care of their peepers. While the new school year can be exciting for your kids, having an underlying eye health condition could seriously compromise their academic success. Since August is Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, here are a few ways to make sure that your kids’ eyes are in great shape for the school year ahead.

Eye Health Tips and Vision Development for Young Children

If you have a newborn in the family, make sure to keep him or her out of direct contact with the sun, as babies are very sensitive to light. After babies are one month old, they will be able to see more clearly and sharply, and they will also be able to see color. When babies are four months old, they can differentiate colors and will see the entire spectrum of the rainbow. To ensure that your baby can see well, you should make sure that he or she can track objects and recognize you.

Eye Health Tips for Older Children

As your child ages, you should make sure to schedule a regular eye exam with an optometrist, even if your child appears not to have any vision problems. Astigmatism, a general blurriness that is caused by a misshapen eye, can develop at any age, but children can also grow out of this vision ailment. If your child complains of difficulty when reading or writing, or suffers from frequent headaches, these are signs that he or she may have an eyesight problem that should be examined by a professional. Most schools require kids to have yearly eye exams so that their vision is checked frequently.

If you have any questions about kids’ eye health or would like to book an appointment at Valley Eyecare Center, give us a call at (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Care Is Always In Season

Eye CareSpring is almost here, and what better time to take care of your sight? Your eyes are one of the most vital and most easily injured parts of the body which is why it is important to practice good eye care. Follow these tips to ensure your healthy eyesight year-round!

Eye Exams

Eye exams aren’t just about keeping track of your vision’s accuracy. Certain eye conditions are early warning signs of other health concerns including diabetes and some neurological disorders. Your eyes are also a window to your body’s overall health.

20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 Rule encourages you to move your gaze away from the computer screen every 20 minutes, for a duration of at least 20 seconds, and you should be looking at an object that is at least 20 feet away. Following this simple rule will help you relieve your eyes of strain or tiredness

Keep Your Prescription Current

A lot of people keep old glasses as backups, or break a pair and then simply go back to their previous prescription. This is extremely stressful on the eyes, and can contribute to long-term degeneration form the increased eye strain. Avoid using an old prescription any longer than is absolutely necessary.  Always keep your prescription current.

Eat Eye-Friendly Foods

Good eye care can be as easy as watching what you eat. Foods like dark green leafy vegetables such as kale and spinach, and red and orange vegetables such as carrots and some squashes, have a high content of the nutrients your eyes need to stay healthy and properly adjust to the light/dark.

Good eye care today will pay off in improved vision in your later years. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Valley Eyecare Center, click here.

Use Your Benefits Before They Expire

Eye ExamHealth care has become financially challenging for many people, which is why medical and vision benefits are very important. Whether you have a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), an insurance program or another eye care plan, your benefits should be used before the end of their term—and some have a December 31, 2015 deadline.

At Valley Eyecare Center, we believe it is important for our patients to not allow their 2015 eye care benefits slip away. Since we recommend patients to get an eye exam every one to three years, they should be aware of their plan’s deadlines. We encourage patients to talk with the plan administrator in order to determine specific benefit requirements before they expire.

Furthermore, it’s imperative for patients to know that aside from eye examinations; contact lenses, eyeglasses, and prescription sunglasses may also qualify for coverage or reimbursement.

For any further questions or to schedule an eye exam, call 602-955-2700 or visit our website. Don’t let the year-end rush keep you from using your benefits. Contact us now!

Is Your Kid’s Eye Health Affecting Their Grades?

Kid's Eye HealthHave you seen your bright, hard-working child’s grades begin an unexplained slide? There is a good possibility that the cause has nothing to do with a change in work habits. Your kid’s eye health plays a significant role in successful classroom learning and homework completion.

How vision and learning are connected

While many people learn more easily through seeing rather than hearing, the concept is particularly true for kids. You might be surprised to learn that during your child’s first year of school, approximately 80 percent of the learning process occurs visually.

Impaired eyesight has a secondary effect that also impacts learning. Poor vision is linked to behavioral problems, which can result in reduced or non-existent concentration and focus.

Diagnosing vision problems

Children have a difficult time communicating about illness or other physical problems they are experiencing. Compounding the issue is the likelihood that your kid doesn’t have enough life experience to realize that there is a problem.

An optometrist can perform a thorough exam to evaluate all aspects of your kid’s eye health. Tests are conducted to determine visual acuity, eye muscle balance and other measures related to vision and overall wellness. Schedule eye exams annually to monitor changes that occur during the growing process.

What if your child needs glasses?

Wearing glasses will require a major adjustment for your child. Make the transition smoother by letting him or her be actively involved in the choice. Allow your kid some leeway in the style so the final selection will express his or her personality, making the wearing of glasses more fun and less of a burden.

Our knowledgeable and caring optometrists are as concerned about your kid’s eye health as you are. Book an appointment today at Valley Eyecare Center and have your child ready to make this the best school year yet.

Protecting Your Eyes During Football Season

eye_safetyWith the kids heading back to school and joining sports teams, it’s important to keep eye safety in mind.

Football is notorious for all sorts of injuries, but eye injuries are extreme hindrances to daily activities—whether in the form of UV sun damage, flying dirt from the football field or direct trauma to the eye area.

Whether your child is at football practice after school or in the middle of a tournament, eye protection is always of the utmost importance. Here at Valley Eyecare Center, we have a few tips on how to keep the eyes safe during this sports season.

With all the running and kicking involved in football, it is easy to get dirt or other debris lodged in the eyes. There are goggles and protective eyewear available that are compatible with football helmets. That way, your child is safe this season from getting debris in the eyes that could impair his or her vision during a big game.

During practice, kids don’t often think about the UV exposure their eyes are receiving. Goggles equipped with UV shading or sunglasses worn under a helmet will help boost eye safety and protect the eyes from harmful UV rays during practice or a game.

A protective helmet that shields the eyes from a flying elbow, a kicking leg or a rogue pigskin is always a must when it comes to playing football. A blunt-force injury to the eye area can be detrimental to one’s vision, so it is crucial to wear proper gear during sports season this year.

If you have more questions about how to practice eye safety during football season or how you can help equip your kids with proper eye protection, book an appointment with us at Valley Eyecare Center today! Give us a call at (602) 955-2700.