What Is Astigmatism?

Eye ExamAlthough there are many issues that can cause vision impairment, one of the most common ocular problems is astigmatism. If the cornea of the eye is misshapen, a person is said to have astigmatism because light is prevented from properly entering the retina, causing blurred vision at every angle. Learn more about symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for astigmatism that you may want to take into consideration before your next eye exam.

Symptoms

Catching symptoms of astigmatism can be tricky, as these can be associated with other eye health issues, making it important to get an eye exam. Aside from blurred vision, symptoms may include fatigue or headaches, both of which can be caused by cloudy eyesight. If you notice a change in your eyesight, make sure to visit your optometrist as soon as possible to get checked for astigmatism.

Diagnosis

Optometrists can discover astigmatism through a comprehensive eye exam. Doctors test the eyes for visual acuity, curvature of the cornea and how the eyes focus light. Depending on the results of these tests, the patient may receive a diagnosis for astigmatism and decide on a method of treatment.

Treatment

There are three popular forms of treatment for astigmatism, all of which are proven to work incredibly well and restore eyesight to its proper state.

  • Eyeglasses: This is the most common form of treatment, as there is little to no upkeep and are easily removable. The glasses made for this condition use a cylindrical lens prescription that works to counteract the astigmatism.
  • Contact Lenses: Patients usually find contacts to work better in terms of overall vision enhancement because the lens covers the entire eye, providing a clearer, wider field of view. We recommend the brand Acuvue, which has a lens created specifically for eyes with astigmatism.
  • LASIK Eye Surgery: This option is a bit more extreme since the tissue causing the curvature around the eye is removed with a laser, but patients have seen excellent, long-lasting results from this surgery. However, we urge you to do research and find an experienced surgeon before booking this procedure.

 

To learn more about astigmatism or to book an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 242-6888 or visit our website.

 

What You Need To Know About Low Vision

OptometristSummer can be harsh on your eyes, and the intensity of the sun during July can make it even harder to see. People suffering from low vision may have an especially hard time this month, which is why it is important for them to visit their optometrist more frequently. Learn more about the causes and symptoms of this condition.

Understanding Low Vision

Low vision is vision loss that is irreversible and cannot be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, surgery, or medication. People who suffer from this condition may not be able to complete daily activities as well as those with healthy vision.

Causes of Low Vision

Low vision is caused by macular degeneration (also referred to as AMD), which affects the macula, the area of your eye that is controls sharp detail. Over 15 million people over 50 years old have contracted low vision due to aging, but other factors such as cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy can also cause low vision. If a person has suffered from optic nerve damage, he or she could be born with low vision. It is important to be aware of low vision, as you may suffer from it as you get older, or you may know someone with this problem. Make sure to contact your optometrist if you are not able to see clearly with the aid of glasses or contact lenses.

How to Tell if You Have Low Vision

Contact your optometrist for a low-vision exam to determine if you have the condition. This examination checks your regular eyes’ daily functions and activities. Make sure to have a yearly exam to ensure that you do not wait too long to detect any signs of future or current eye problems. Set up an appointment with your optometrist to get more reliable information on low vision and how to prevent it.

For more information about low vision or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists, visit our website.

Get An Eye Exam During Men’s Health Month!

Eye_examWhile studies show that women are more likely to develop eye health issues than men, it’s still crucial for men to remember the importance of properly taking care of their eyes and getting a yearly eye exam—especially during National Men’s Health Month! Find out why eye exams are important.

Detect Corrective Needs

Even if it seems that your sight is 20/20, only an optometrist can confirm whether you need a prescription or not. Also, even if you already have prescription glasses or contact lenses, you still need to get your eyes checked. Your eyes change as you age so it is important to monitor any corrective needs through regular eye exams.

Detect Eye Health Problems

Regular eye exams help prevent vision problems before they occur! Don’t assume that your eyes are great because they are not showing any symptoms of a health condition. Many common eye problems actually do not show any symptoms until well after they’re developed. Through an eye exam, your optometrist can detect disorders such as glaucoma and cataracts at an early stage, which can increase the chance of a successful treatment.

Detect General Health Problems

Did you know that eye health is connected to overall health and well-being? Through eye exams, an optometrist can detect more than eye problems; they can also uncover signs of health conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure—making eye exams arguably as important as annual physicals.

Our eyes are one of the most important parts of our bodies—especially when it comes to living our day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, they are very fragile and can easily be damaged. Take advantage of National Men’s Health Month and schedule your eye exam with Valley Eyecare Center today!

For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists, visit our website.

 

School’s Out! Schedule an Eye Exam

Eye_ExamSchool is finally over! And what better time than Summer break to take care of your body by working out; your teeth by brushing, flossing, and going to the dentist; and eating healthy foods to give yourself the proper nutrients. But in all of the things you do to care for yourself, do you neglect your eyes? Even if you have 20/20 vision, regular eye exams are crucial to your health. Going to the eye doctor helps you adapt to vision changes, and detects any eye problems early so that you can begin treatment before the issue worsens. Learn more about the benefits of scheduling yearly eye exams.

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.

Vision Changes

While some changes in your vision are obvious, others are minor and may not be discernible without the help of an eye doctor. Even with minor vision changes, you may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • Eye strain
  • Headache
  • Trouble focusing on work.
  • Being able to adapt to eye changes is important in preventing the issues listed above. Without regular eye exams, you’ll likely suffer longer than necessary.

Detecting Eye Problems Early

Eye problems can occur at any time during your life, but become more common as you age. Conditions like glaucoma are only treatable with the help of an eye doctor. Regular eye exams allow you to detect the possibility of certain conditions early, so that you can either prevent the conditions, or treat them in time to stop them from worsening.

Now that school is over, make time to properly care for your eyes. For more information about eye care or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, visit our website.

Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month

Eye_HealthMost women know that taking care of their health is crucial. However, many forget about the importance of also getting their eye health in check—especially because women are at higher risk than men for ocular diseases such as cataracts, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. Fortunately, there are different ways to reduce this increased eye health risk and protect your eyes from many diseases. Learn how to properly care for your eyes and ensure that they are healthy today and in the future.

Regular Eye Exams

Vision changes as you age – it’s a fact of life. Conditions develop that may not have been present before. This is why regular eye exams are necessary, even if you don’t seem to have any vision problems. Trained eye doctors will detect and treat any conditions early, so that you can avoid serious issues later in life. If left untreated, diseases like glaucoma can lead to blindness. Take care of your eye health by making an appointment for a comprehensive exam.

Protective Eyewear

Another risk women face in regard to their eyes is injury. Many injuries happen right inside the home, such as during home improvement projects. The best way to prevent eye-damaging accidents is to protect yourself while doing any sort of work that may lead to slips or falling debris. Protective eyewear like safety goggles should be kept in your home for easy access any time you need them.

Overall Health

Several health conditions result in vision impairment. Diabetes and high blood pressure, for example, both affect your ability to see clearly. Taking precautions to maintain your physical health will, in turn, maintain your eye health. Getting regular exercise and eating a healthy diet are two sure ways to prevent eye-threatening diseases.

As a woman, you have many health risks that are unique to your gender, and your eyes are no exception. With a heightened risk for conditions like glaucoma, it’s important to take steps that will ensure the health of your eyes. Receiving regular eye exams, using protective eyewear, and maintaining your physical health are all crucial to your eye health.

For more information about eye health, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists, visit our website.

Sunlight and Macular Degeneration

Phoenix OptometristDid you know that macular degeneration accounts for most cases of blindness in older individuals? This condition is caused by drusen that accumulates in the macula—the most important part of the retina—which leads to irreversible visual impairment, including blindness. The biggest risk factor for macular degeneration is age but recent studies have shown that there is a link between sunlight and the condition. These tips from your Phoenix Optometrist will help you protect your eyes and help lower the risk of developing macular degeneration.

Sunglasses

Sunglasses provide much-needed protection from the sun’s dangerous rays, which can lower the risk of not only macular degeneration but also cataracts. Your Phoenix optometrist has most likely already suggested that you use them in your everyday life, as the sun can damage your eyes all year-round.

Eye Exam

Eye exams are crucial when it comes to maintaining your eye health as they do more than simply test your visual clarity. Many common eye conditions don’t present symptoms until well into their development. However, your Phoenix optometrist can diagnose health issues during a thorough eye exam. Macular degeneration, as well as other eye conditions can respond positively to early detection and treatment, which is why it is important to see your eye doctor regularly.

Vitamins

A study published by researchers at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary shows that people who ate a lot of foods rich in carotenoids—such as raw spinach, kale and collard greens—had a 43 percent lower risk of age-related macular degeneration than those who didn’t. Research has also shown that fish and antioxidants can help prevent the development of this condition.

For more information about macular degeneration or to schedule an eye exam with one of our Phoenix optometrists, visit our website.

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? 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.

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

 

Best Practices for Great Eye Care

Eye Health Many people take their eye health for granted until they suffer from vision loss or other eye conditions. Having a thorough eye care routine can go a very long way in maintaining excellent eye health. Don’t be reckless with your sight! Keep reading to find out the best care best practices for your eyes.

Don’t Strain Your Eyes

When working on a computer, phone, or tablet, your eyes eventually get tired and begin to strain to focus on whichever device you’re looking at. This can seriously affect your eye health. Make sure that you receive an ample time of rest and look 20 feet away from the screen every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.

Schedule Regular Eye Check-Ups

Getting an eye exam regularly is the best thing you can do for not only your eyes but also your overall health. Many common eye conditions don’t present symptoms until well into their development. The earlier a condition such as glaucoma or cataracts is diagnosed, the better the chances of successfully treating them. Also, a thorough eye exam can detect signs of diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Ensure That Your Insides Are Healthy

Your diet can alter many things in your body, including eye health. Keeping up a healthy diet reduces your chances of getting diabetes and becoming progressively blind. Aside from a proper diet, smoking is also something to keep out of your healthy lifestyle. Smoking slows down your circulation and also puts you at risk of getting optic nerve damage.

Keep Your Eyes Protected

UV rays are extremely harmful to the eyes. To prevent any UV-related issue with your eyesight, wear sunglasses to block out those dangerous rays. Without any protection, you are prone to develop cataracts and even macular degeneration.

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

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.