Is it Pink Eye?

Eye ExamConjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the clear membranes that protect the whites of the eye. When pink eye is caused by allergens such as dust or pollen it cannot be transmitted, but when caused by a virus or bacteria, the condition is highly contagious. Unlike other eye diseases, conjunctivitis, can be self diagnosed. However, at Valley Eyecare Center we encourage you to schedule an eye exam to get the right treatment as it differs depending on its cause. Keep reading to learn the cases, symptoms and treatments for pink eye.

Causes

Pink eye is caused by viruses and bacteria that are transported from the hands to eyes. It is not a severe disease, but it lasts over 2 weeks with plenty of discomfort. If caused by a virus or bacteria, it can spread very fast from person to person, by contact.

Symptoms

Symptoms roughly include redness in the white of the eye, excessive tearing up, yellow, green, or white discharge, itching or burning of the eyes, as well as blurred or sensitive vision. Having any of these symptoms, you may want to contact your eye doctor for proper evaluation.

Treatments

Treatments vary regarding what caused the conjunctivitis. If the case was bacteria, it should be treated with antibiotics (either eye drops, ointments, or pills), prescribed by your eye doctor. If the cause of your pink eye were viruses, time is the best remedy. Your conjunctivitis needs to run its course and it will fully go away in about a week. This form of pink eye is quite contagious through simple physical contact. It is recommended to throw away makeup or contact lenses applied while you had pink eye to avoid future implications. If your conjunctivitis was caused by irritants, you can simply use water to flush out the substance for about 5 minutes. Within a few hours, you should see improvement. If the pink eye was caused by some sort of bleach, rinse with water constantly and call your eye doctor right away.

For more information about pink eye or to schedule an eye exam, contact Valley Eyecare Center.

Eye Health Checklist for 2016

Eye HealthWhat’s on your health checklist? Maintain or achieve a healthy weight? Keep cholesterol and blood pressure under control?. Many people tend to worry about their overall health and give little to no attention to their eye health. However, taking care of your sight is more important than you may think. Your eyes benefit from good care as much as the rest of your body does. Follow these tips to keep your eyes and your vision in top shape.

Have a Comprehensive Eye Exam Once a Year

Eye problems are often not readily evident and you may not even realize that your vision has diminished until it’s checked by an optometrist. At Valley Eyecare Center we encourage you to schedule a comprehensive eye exam once a year to ensure your eyes are working properly and to check for any signs of disease or damage.

Protect Your Eyes From the Sun

The sun radiates UV rays that are not very safe for our bodies. Your eyes are very sensitive, so when going out, it is crucial that you protect your eyes with sunglasses to prevent any implications to your eye health. By doing this, you are already reducing the risk of getting cataracts and becoming blind faster.

Establish a Healthier Diet

We have all heard the phrase, “You are what you eat,” but it can also be true when it comes to eye health. Certain elements in our diet can help prevent eye damage and strengthen eye tissue. Eat plenty of nutrient rich foods to maintain and improve your eye health.

Home Eye Safety

Did you know that home eye injuries are more common than injuries at school or work? From cleaning the house to mowing the lawn, an eye injury can be a daily occurrence if one doesn’t take the right safety precautions. Be careful with cleaning products and wear protective eyewear when needed.

Quit Smoking

If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Research has shown that smoking increases your risk of macular degeneration, optic nerve damage and cataracts, conditions that can each lead to blindness.

For more information about eye health or to schedule an appointment, visit our website.

Eyecare Center for Phoenix Families

Eyecare CenterMaintaining healthy eyes requires regular vision and eye health exams. However, finding an eye care provider that is right for you and your family can be challenging. If you are looking for an eyecare center with Optometrists that are experienced in all areas of vision care, keep reading to find out what our friendly staff at Valley Eyecare Center can offer you.

  • Comprehensive Eye Exams – During a comprehensive eye exam, our Optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center can determine what prescription you need for glasses or contact lenses, check for common eye diseases, and ensure that your eyesight is in good shape and that your eyes are working as they should.
  • Management of Glaucoma – Although incurable, we can help you manage Glaucoma by offering surgery, pills, and eye drops. The goal of any treatment is to prevent loss of vision, as vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. If detected early, there is a high chance that loss of vision would not happen.
  • Ocular Allergies – Some people with ocular allergies suffer from itchiness, and although some do not, it is the main cause of discomfort. Others can experience a stinging sensation and sleepiness that causes the rubbing of eyes. Symptoms also involve swelling of the lid, sensitivity to light, heavy sensation on the lids, redness, etc.
  • Age Related Macular Degeneration – Although no cure is yet available, age related macular degeneration treatments can aid in the prevention of vision loss or subdue the advancement of the disease.
  • Eyeglass Guide – Eyeglass Guide will help you better comprehend the many lens choices we have for you. This tool will take you through a survey of questions about you, your lifestyle and your specific eyeglass needs. Once you have reached the end, you will receive eyewear suggestions specifically tailored to meet your requirements.

We look forward to serving you at Valley Eyecare Center. For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our Optometrists, visit our website.

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

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

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

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.

Cataracts

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.

Pregnancy

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

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

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.

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.

How Often You Should Get an Eye Exam

eye_examsEye exams are crucial when it comes to maintaining your eye health. Regular checkups should occur every one to three years, depending on your eye health history and related risk factors.

Children who have no eye damage or are not at risk of eye issues should see their eye doctor at Valley Eyecare Center about every two years for a checkup. On the other hand, children who wear glasses or contact lenses should be scheduled for an annual eye exam.

Adults between the age of 18 and 60 should have eye exams every two years (and annually for anyone above the age of 60). Risk factors for eye problems include diabetes, high blood pressure or a family history of macular degeneration and glaucoma. Anyone who is associated with any of these risks should schedule their eye checkups on a more frequent basis, or as recommended by your eye care professional at Valley Eyecare Center.

If you have had eye surgery in the past or if your job poses daily hazards to your eyesight, be sure to schedule your checkups more frequently.

We offer comprehensive eye checkups to test your vision and see if you have ocular allergies or diseases, and if you need corrective lenses to help boost your visual clarity.

It is important to book your appointments in a time frame that is appropriate for you and your children’s eye health status. If you run the risk of eye damage, book an annual appointment or a time when your eye doctor sees fit. Patients with no risks and no corrective lenses are safe to book eye exams about every two years, unless instructed otherwise.

Book your next eye exam with us at Valley Eyecare Center so we can help answer any questions you may have and ensure that your eyes are healthy.

When to Start Visiting the Eye Doctor

Young girl smiling while undergoing eye test with phoropterChildren’s eye care should begin as soon as birth, and should then continue regularly throughout childhood. Just as you take your child to the pediatrician for check-ups, you need to have his or her eyes routinely checked for signs of potential problems. Early eye health and vision checks will be done at your pediatrician or family doctor, but any concerns should immediately be taken to a certified eye doctor. Here’s a general guideline for taking care of your children’s eye care needs.

Infants and Toddlers

Newborn babies are generally checked for eye health while still in the hospital, soon after birth. From that point, professionals recommend all infants be routinely screened for eye health during the first year of life. These screenings are done during regular check-ups by the baby’s primary care physician. Additionally, the American Optometric Association (AOA) states that infants should receive their first comprehensive eye exam when they reach six months of age.

Beginning around the age of three, children should start receiving visual acuity tests, which measure vision sharpness, in addition to general eye health screenings.

School-Aged Children

The next eye exam a child should have is around the age of five or six, before entering the first grade. From that point on, the AOA recommends a comprehensive eye exam every two years if there are no vision problems present in your child. However, if correction is needed through glasses or contact lenses, then your child should see an eye doctor once a year, or as determined by the optomologist.

Signs of Eye Trouble

In addition to the above schedule, children should see an eye doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Constant rubbing of the eyes;
  • Sensitivity to light;
  • Problems focusing;
  • Trouble visually tracking objects;
  • Chronic eye redness;
  • Chronic eye tearing;
  • White pupils.

Maintaining regular children’s eye care is important not only to their eye health, but also to their ability to do well in school. Childhood eye exams set your child up for a lifetime of success by detecting and preventing problems early. For more information or to schedule an eye exam for your child, contact Valley EyeCare Center in Phoenix today.

Women at Greater Risk for Eye Problems

Optometrist In Exam Room With Woman In ChairAs a general rule of thumb, women are at greater risk for eye problems than their male counterparts. In fact, according to an article by Lighthouse International, two-thirds of people in America who suffer from vision impairment are women. The reasons are numerous, ranging from life expectancy to hormone control. Here are a few of the factors that increase women’s risk for eye problems, as well as an explanation of why regular eye exams are important in combating the issue.

Age

Because women tend to live longer than men, they naturally have a greater chance of developing eye health issues that are age-related, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. As if that isn’t bad enough, these conditions all have the ability to cause uncorrectable loss of vision. So while living longer is one advantage women can claim over men, it doesn’t come without its downfalls.

Pregnancy and Hormones

Women have to deal with much more than men in the way of body changes and developments. Pregnancy, birth control, and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) can all lead to vision issues in one way or another, whether directly or indirectly. Birth control and HRT can both lead to side effects like stroke and blood clots, which often cause eye problems. Additionally, HRT can increase women’s risk of cataracts.

Pregnancy can also cause a woman to see changes in her vision. Here are some common eye concerns that pregnant women face:

  • A change in lens prescription;
  • Dry eye syndrome;
  • Vision-disturbing migraines;
  • Gestational diabetes – which can lead to blindness.

It’s important to see an eye doctor right away if you’re pregnant and experience vision problems, since these could be a sign of – or lead to – a more serious condition.

Prevention

For women, prevention is the key to good eye health. Just as with everything else in a woman’s body, your eyes need extra care and attention. Regular comprehensive eye exams are crucial to maintaining your eye health. Don’t ignore possible problems; even minor concerns should be addressed during eye exams. To learn more about women’s eye health, or to schedule an eye exam, contact Valley EyeCare Center today.

Keep your Eyes Healthy

Health care, medicine and vision concept - woman with eye chart on color backgroundWhen it comes to your health, are your first thoughts about issues like weight, cholesterol and blood pressure? Eye health may not be a topic that often springs to mind, which is one of the reasons why May is designated as Healthy Vision Month.

Your eyes benefit from good care as much as the rest of your body does. Follow these tips to keep your eyes and your vision in top shape.

Have a comprehensive eye exam once a year

Eye problems are not readily evident. You may not even realize that your vision has diminished until it’s checked by an optometrist. A thorough eye exam will also check for signs of disease or damage.

  Use protective eyewear 

Even if you’re performing a simple home repair, wear safety glasses or goggles to prevent sharp objects or particles from entering your eyes. If your kids participate in sports, make sure they use the appropriate eye protection. Always wear sunglasses whenever you’re outside on sunny days.

  Keep your hands clean

During the day your hands come into contact with an infinite number of germs and bacteria, from both objects and other people. The best practice is to avoid touching your eyes entirely, but frequent hand-washing will reduce the possibility of irritation or infection.

  Take a visual break 

Increasing use of high-tech devices like computers and cell phones has also increased the potential for eye strain. Eye care professionals recommend the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, turn your gaze about 20 feet into the distance and hold for about 20 seconds.

 Learn your family’s eye history

Many diseases and conditions are hereditary. Become informed about any issues your parents and grandparents may have had so you can monitor your eye health for signs and symptoms.

  Quit smoking

If you don’t smoke, don’t start. Research has shown that smoking increases your risk of macular degeneration, optic nerve damage and cataracts, conditions that can each lead to blindness.

Why not take Healthy Vision Month as your cue to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with our Phoenix optometrists? Get peace of mind with a full picture of your eye health.