Why Is My Vision Blurry?

Eye ExamBlurry vision is the loss of sharpness of eyesight and can be caused by a few different factors. The most common causes are reflective errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. However, blurred vision can be a symptom to health conditions that are much more threatening to your sight. Find out which are the most common causes of blurred vision and if you are in need of an eye exam.


Myopia, also known as Nearsightedness, is a refractive error that can cause blurry vision in one or both eyes. This condition can also lead to squinting, headaches and eye strains. During an eye exam, an eye doctor can tell you what methods might improve your condition.


Hyperopia, also known as Farsightedness, is a condition in which objects from far away are clear opposed to objects close-up which become blurry. This eye condition can be managed with prescription glasses or contacts.


Astigmatism happens when the cornea has an odd shape and light rays don’t come through a single focal point leading to unclear vision. Similarly to Hyperopia and Myopia, Astigmatism can be corrected with prescription glasses, contacts or surgery.

Dry Eyes

Symptoms of dry eyes can include blurred vision. Artificial tears can help but it is important to see your eye doctor in case your condition requires further care.


Symptoms for cataracts include cloudy vision and may be mistaken for a more simple vision issue. This condition can develop as one ages , if eye lens tissue is injured or due to genetic disorders. See your eye doctor as soon as possible to get the proper treatments for this condition.


Due to hormonal changes in the body, the shape and thickness of the cornea can change, leading to blurred vision. Your eye doctor can give you an accurate diagnosis and treatments to the condition during a comprehensive eye exam.


At Valley Eyecare Center, we can determine the cause of your blurry vision with a comprehensive eye exam. Call 602-242-6888 or visit our website to schedule an appointment.

Eye Condition: Don’t Wait for Symptoms to Appear

Eye ConditionYou faithfully schedule your annual physical even though you feel healthy so you can nip any health problems in the bud. Do you take the same care with your eyes? An eye condition can respond positively to early detection and treatment, but many present no symptoms until well into their development.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 3.4 million Americans aged 40 and older are legally blind or visually impaired. Protect your vision by getting checked for these common eye conditions.


Glaucoma is a build-up of fluids in the eye where the resulting pressure damages the optic nerve. This eye condition is one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. Currently there is no cure for glaucoma, but early treatment such as prescription eyedrops or surgery can keep it controlled.


Cataracts result when the eye’s lens becomes stiff,  causing a cloudiness that makes it difficult to focus. This eye condition develops slowly and often occurs in older people. Early treatment can include glasses or magnifying lenses. Surgery is also used to replace the cloudy lens with an artificial one.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)

AMD is a progressive deterioration of the macula, located in the center of the retina, which causes a reduction in visual detail. This eye condition may be “dry,” where deposits occur on the macula, or “wet,” where the growth of abnormal blood vessels causes leakage into the retina. While only about 10 percent of AMD cases are of the wet form, it accounts for the majority of severe vision loss caused by the disease.

Detached retina

Risk factors for a detached retina include severe nearsightedness, eye injury and family history. Regular eye exams can help prevent detachment by spotting retinal tearing or other changes.

Don’t take chances with your precious eyesight. Schedule an appointment today for a full eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center so we can address any questions or concerns you may have.

How to Limit the Spread of Pink Eye

Eye DoctorsConjunctivitis is an inflammation of the clear membranes that protect the whites of the eye. Eye doctors often refer to the condition by the colorful name of “pink eye” due to the redness it causes.

When caused by allergens such as dust or pollen, pink eye cannot be transmitted. However, the viral and bacterial forms are highly contagious. Use these tips to prevent passing the condition along to others.

Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes

Itchiness may reflexively cause you to rub your eyes, but contact with the drainage resulting from pink eye is what causes it to spread.

Wash your hands frequently

Use plenty of soap and warm water. If they’re not available, use liberal applications of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with a minimum concentration of 60 percent.

Clean your eyes several times a day

Carefully wipe away the discharge with a clean washcloth, cotton ball or tissue. Make sure the washcloth is laundered before reuse.

Wash linens with hot water and detergent

Avoid sharing towels, pillowcases and other fabric items that may come into contact with your face.

Do not wear or share eye makeup

Applying makeup, even if it’s your own, can cause continual reinfection of your eyes. Dispose of all products and purchase new ones after the pink eye has cleared.

Stay out of swimming pools

The water can cause the infection to spread quickly, and the chlorine will further irritate your already sensitive eyes.

Do not wear contact lenses

Once the infection has passed, clean your contact lenses thoroughly before resuming use.

Keep children home from school

If you have kids who develop pink eye, they should stay home to avoid spreading it to their classmates. Most schools and day care facilities have a mandatory 24-hour waiting period after treatment begins before kids can return.

Our skilled eye doctors have extensive experience in effective treatment of pink eye and other conditions. Contact Valley Eyecare Center today to schedule an appointment.

Why are Eye Exams Important?

Eye ExamAn eye exam does more than simply test your visual clarity. Here are some important reasons why you and your family should make eye exams a regular annual activity.

Detect eye conditions

Do you assume that your eyes are fine if you have no redness, itching or blurred vision? Many common eye conditions don’t present symptoms until well into their development. The earlier a disorder such as glaucoma or cataracts is detected, the better the chances of successful treatment.

Help children learn better

Poor eyesight makes it difficult for kids to focus in and out of school. Widespread use of video games, computers and other devices creates additional strain on young eyes. According to the Vision Council of America, one in four children uses digital devices for more than three hours a day. Comprehensive eye exams prepare your kids to make the most of the upcoming school year.

Uncover general health problems

Eye health is closely entwined with overall health. Did you know that an eye exam can detect signs of diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure? Regular eye exams should be as much a part of your wellness program as annual physicals.

Monitor corrective needs

Even if you already have glasses or contact lenses, treatment doesn’t end there. Your eyes change as you age, meaning your prescription will need to be updated periodically. If you’ve been suffering from unexplained headaches or sore, itchy eyes, new corrective lenses could be the answer.

Why not plan your eye exam now while it’s fresh in your mind? Contact Valley Eyecare Center today to book your appointment.

Do you suffer from Astigmatism?

Phoenix_OptometristAstigmatism is a condition of the lens, or the eye, where light rays cannot focus on the retina at a single point. It can become a serious vision impairment issue—and that’s why it is crucial to see your Phoenix optometrist after even the primary signs of an astigmatism.

If you suffer from astigmatism, it’s important to get it checked as soon as possible before symptoms worsen. It is common for this condition to appear at a young age, so make sure to schedule an eye exam for your children at Valley Eyecare Center as well.

Patients who suffer from astigmatism often have football-shaped corneas rather than rounded as they should be. This creates a problem, as light rays focus either behind or in front of the retina. Astigmatism is a visual disorder that is normally characterized by blurred vision, and if left uncorrected for a prolonged time period, headaches and eyestrain can occur. These symptoms are particularly noticeable after activities like reading or staring at a computer screen. Patients who suffer from astigmatism often squint frequently, as they are dealing with blurred vision and are straining the eyes too see properly.

Your Phoenix optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center will be able to diagnose and help correct your astigmatism so you can see clearly and get rid of painful headaches and eye strains you may be experiencing due to this frustrating condition.

Our optometrists can use various instruments and conduct different tests to see if you are suffering from astigmatism. Astigmatism can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery—so your Phoenix optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center can determine what level of treatment you will need to achieve clear vision again.

Make an appointment today with us at Valley Eyecare Center to get rid of astigmatism before it worsens.

Prevent Cataracts this Summer

Cataracts Have you ever had difficulty seeing through a fogged-up window while driving? That’s what the world looks like for people with cataracts. This clouding of the lenses of your eyes begins slowly, but can progress to a point where surgery is required.

According to Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization, more than 22.3 million people in America suffer from this disease. Protect your eye health and keep your vision sunny this summer by following these tips.

Eat a nutritional diet

Vitamins C and E have antioxidant properties that have been shown to reduce the development and progression of the disease. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids found in the eye lens, so intake of food with these nutrients will also help maintain good health. Include plenty of green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits and berries, and almonds and sunflower seeds in your diet.

Protect your eyes from the sun

Ultraviolet rays can contribute to the development of cataracts. Shield your eyes by wearing sunglasses or wide-brimmed hats. You should also avoid sunlamps and tanning booths.

Stop smoking

The dangers of smoking are well-known, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it can also negatively affect your eye health. Cigarette smoke contains free radicals that damage the proteins and fiber cell membrane in the eye lens. In addition, smoking reduces your body’s level of antioxidants that protect cells from free radicals.

Control diabetes

Diabetes is a major risk factor for cataracts. Controlling your blood sugar will cut down on the chances of this development.

Get an annual eye exam

Early detection is key to successful treatment. Make sure you schedule a full checkup every year.

Our Phoenix optometrists are happy to answer any of your questions about prevention and treatment of cataracts. Contact us today to schedule your eye exam.

5 common causes for spring allergies

download (1)Springtime is infamous for a condition called ocular allergy, or eye allergy. Also known as allergic conjunctivitis, ocular allergy occurs when something irritates the membrane covering your eyes. This leads to symptoms like itching, redness, and swelling. Below are common causes, and ways to manage the condition.


With the approach of spring comes the invasion of pollen. As plants start to bloom, pollen is released into the air, causing eye irritation. Here are some facts about allergens that occur outdoors.

  • Trees – Trees begin their seasonal pollination anytime between January and April, depending on climate. The most bothersome for Arizona residents are:
    • Olive
    • Alligator Juniper
    • Oneseed Juniper
    • Arizona Ash
    • Palo Verde
  • Grass – Grass pollen is highest during the late spring and early summer months. Although there are numerous types of grasses, the pollens are similar on all of them. So if you suffer from grass allergies, then you will likely experience the problem no matter where you live.
  • Flowers – While people commonly believe that the brightly colored flowers blooming in the spring are the cause of their allergies, this may not be the case. It’s true that these flowers can cause allergy symptoms if sniffed up close, but because they are pollinated by insects instead of the wind, the irritation they cause is minimal.


While indoor triggers are present all year, there are a couple of reasons you’ll notice an increase in symptoms during springtime.

  • Pet Dander –Being allergic to pet dander is extremely common. Many pets begin to shed their winter coat as the weather gets warmer. This leads to even more dander than normal, resulting in an increase in allergy symptoms.
  • Dust Mites – Yes, dust mites exist year-round, but if you participate in “spring cleaning,” you may notice an increase in symptoms during this time.


If your ocular allergy condition is being caused by indoor triggers, use special air filters to reduce allergens. You should also limit exposure to any pets that may be causing your symptoms.

It’s difficult to control the outdoor environment, but there are things you can do to minimize your ocular allergy pain. Wear a hat and sunglasses to protect your eyes, and apply eye drops after being outside.

To find out if you’re suffering from ocular allergy, schedule an eye exam today.

Protect Your Eyes By Practicing Good Hygiene


downloadHealthcare professionals stress the importance of good hygiene to prevent the spread of flu, colds and other contagious illnesses. Germs also pose a threat to the health of your eyes, making cleanliness a major factor of eye care as well.


If you don’t wash your face thoroughly or you leave makeup on overnight, you run the risk of developing styes. These pimple-like red bumps are caused by an infection in the oil glands at the edge of the eyelid. While styes normally resolve themselves and do not generally cause serious injury, chronic stye development can lead to scarring over time.

Corneal Abrasions

It’s easy to rub your eye without even thinking about it, but this habit can result in corneal abrasions. These scratches on the clear “skin” that covers the iris and pupil are extremely painful due to the large number of nerve endings on the cornea. The injury can come from dirt on your hands or from aggravating a particle that is already inside your eye.

Contact Lenses

Proper eye care includes regular maintenance of contact lenses. Keratitis, or inflammation of the cornea, is one of the conditions that can result from poor contact-lens hygiene. Some common practices that create unsafe conditions are handling the lenses without washing your hands or wearing them overnight. Contact-lens cases should be kept clean and replaced frequently to prevent fungus from growing inside.


One of the most widespread eye conditions is conjunctivitis, or pink eye, which is an inflammation of the thin membrane covering the white of your eye and lining the inside of the eyelid. Conjunctivitis is easily transmitted from person to person, so be sure to wash your hands or apply sanitizer after contact with others. Again, the safest precaution is to avoid rubbing or touching your eyes.

Maintain a habit of good hygiene to keep your eyes clear and injury-free. Visit your Phoenix optometrist for more suggestions regarding proper eye care.

A Guide to Photophobia

The term “phobia” normally indicates a fear of some type. However, photophobia does not refer to a fear per se but rather to an extreme sensitivity to light.

What Is Photophobia?

Photophobia itself is not a a disease. It occurs most often as a symptom of an underlying health condition. Moderate cases cause you to squint when you’re in a brightly lit room or outdoors in sunshine, while extreme cases result in pain from exposure to almost any level of light.

Optometry Causes of Photophobia

While photophobia is usually associated with an eye condition, it can sometimes be a symptom of an illness unrelated to eyes. Here are some of the most common causes of photophobia:

  • Migraines
  • Corneal abrasions from sand or other irritants entering your eye
  • Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, which is an inflammation in the tissue covering the white of your eye
  • Dry eye syndrome, which occurs when your eyes remain excessively dry because your tear ducts cannot produce sufficient amounts of tears
  • Excessive use of contact lenses or ill-fitting lenses

Patients who have recently undergone eye surgery may also experience photophobia to one extent or another during their recovery.

Medical Treatment of Photophobia

You should always consult your optometrist if you are experiencing light sensitivity. They will perform an eye exam and ask questions to determine the severity of your case and possible cause.

Commonly prescribed treatments include eye drops and antibiotics for inflammation or infections. Use of artificial tears can relieve dry eye syndrome. Medication and rest is usually called for when dealing with migraines.

Home Treatment and Prevention

While your optometrist is the best source of treatment, there are measures you can take to provide relief for your eyes and help prevent future occurrences. It’s best to avoid sunlight and use limited or no artificial light when indoors. Dark tinted glasses can act to diffuse light.

Good hygiene is an important defense against photophobia. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes. Do not share products such as makeup that come into contact with eyes. If you suffer from migraines, do your best to avoid the triggers that set off your headaches.

Photophobia may be unpleasant, but you don’t have to suffer helplessly. Your Phoenix optometrist can help you determine a course of treatment to relieve your symptoms and make your eyes more comfortable.

Low Vision Awareness Month

Phoenix OptometristFebruary is the time to observe Low Vision Awareness Month. Here is some information to help you better understand this condition.

What Is Low Vision?

The term “low vision” refers to sight that cannot be corrected with glasses, surgery or medication. This condition makes even everyday activities such as cooking, shopping or watching TV a serious challenge.

What Causes Low Vision?

A major cause of low vision is age-related macular degeneration (AMD). As many as 15 million people over the age of 50 suffer from this condition which affects the macula, the part of your eye responsible for sharp detail. Other cases of low vision result from glaucoma, cataracts or diabetic retinopathy. Some individuals are born with low vision due to optic nerve damage.

It’s important to emphasize that low vision does not mean the normal changes in eyesight that come with aging. Low vision can affect people of any age. If you have a hard time seeing clearly even with glasses or contact lenses, you should be tested.

How Is Low Vision Detected?

Your Phoenix optometrist can conduct a low vision examination. This procedure takes into account your daily functions and whether or not your vision is at a level to comfortably accommodate those activities. A yearly exam increases the chances of early detection, which is key to successful treatment. Thanks to medical advances, people with low vision are able to lead full, productive lives. Schedule an appointment with your Phoenix optometrist to learn more about low vision and proper care of your eyes.