Meet Dr. Baldwin

dr-seth-baldwinWe are very excited to introduce our newest optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center! This week, we will be talking to Dr. Baldwin to learn more about his contributions to our eye care team!

New Optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center

Q: How did you end up at Valley Eyecare Center?

A: Honestly, it seemed as if it was just meant to be. I decided to join the civilian workforce after six years in the Army, and this was at the same time that Valley Eyecare Center was looking for a new optometrist to grow the practice. It has been a great fit, and I am very excited to join this team.

Q: Why did you decide to go into optometry?

A: I have always had an interest in optometry as I required glasses from a very young age. I made the decision to pursue a career in optometry while studying Physiology at the University of Arizona. After shadowing optometrists, I knew it was the right path for me.

Q: What services do you provide at Valley Eyecare Center?
A: I can provide full and comprehensive optometry services, including contact lens fitting, pediatric care, and diagnosis and management of ocular diseases.

Q: What is your favorite part of working at Valley Eyecare Center?
A: The staff. I feel very blessed to work with a team of professionals who have great attitudes and are focused on their patients.

Q: What is one piece of advice that you tell all of your patients?
A: Wear sunglasses. There are so many different ocular conditions that are associated with and accelerated by UV exposure, so it is important to make sure that you have a pair of sunglasses handy at all times.

Q: How often should you get an eye exam?

A: I recommend an annual routine eye exam if a person is not experiencing any problems and has no previously documented ocular conditions. Various reasons may necessitate more frequent care, however.

We are happy to have Dr. Baldwin on our team now! To learn more about our practice, or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Treating a Scratched Cornea

eye-careDid you know that a scratched eye is one of the most common eye injuries? A healthy cornea is essential for optimal vision, so if you accidentally scratch your eye, it is important that you see your eye doctor as soon as possible. Put your eye care first and learn more about scratched corneas!

Eye Care Tips for Scratched Eyes

What causes a scratched cornea? A scratched cornea can be caused by anything from paper to makeup brushes, and these can inflict significant pain to your eye. You may be more at risk for getting a scratched cornea if you suffer from dry eye, especially when you awaken from sleep.

Do contact lenses protect the eye from corneal abrasions? No, unfortunately, contact lenses do not protect your eyes from scratches. In fact, if you wear your contacts too long, or if you wear a damaged pair of contacts, you may have an increased risk of scratching your eye.

What are the symptoms of a scratched cornea? A corneal abrasion can be very painful and can feel as if you have a rough object in your eye. Other symptoms include redness, tearing, light sensitivity, and headaches. Schedule an appointment with your eye care professional if you think you scratched your eye.

How is a scratched cornea treated? Treatment depends on the severity of each case, but minor scratches can be treated with drops to moisten the eye, which will make it feel more comfortable as it heals. More severe cases may require antibiotic ointment that will decrease scarring and inflammation. While you have a corneal abrasion, you should make sure to wear eyeglasses instead of contacts so that your eye has a chance to heal.

Keep your eyes healthy and safe by making sure that your eyes are properly hydrated. To learn more about corneal abrasions, or to schedule an appointment with one of our eye care specialists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Reading Your Eyeglass Prescription

optometristIf you’ve just had an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, you may notice that your prescription has quite a few notations, abbreviations, and numbers that you may not understand. Of course, being nearsighted or farsighted is fairly straightforward, but the other notations may not be so obvious. Learn to decipher all the parts of your prescription so that you can be knowledgeable about the state of your eyes.

Understanding Your Prescription by an Optometrist

What is OD? What is OS? These abbreviations are the first step in understanding your eyeglass prescription. OD is short for the Latin phrase, oculus dexter, and OS is short for oculus sinister. These are the terms for the right and left eye, respectively. If you see anything labeled OU, that is short for oculus uterque, which refers to both eyes. In rare instances you may see RE (right eye) or LE (left eye).

How can I tell if I’m near or farsighted? If you see SPH, this indicates the word “sphere,” which signifies the amount of lens power prescribed to correct your nearsightedness or farsightedness. A negative sign indicates that you are nearsighted, and a positive sign means that you are farsighted.

What about astigmatism? If your prescription includes CYL, which stands for “cylinder,” it is referring to the amount of lens power needed to correct your astigmatism. This condition is a result of the cornea and/or lens being shaped more oblong, rather than round. A number next to CYL may also give you an idea about whether you are near or farsighted.

Is there anything else I should know about? Your optometrist may write specific lens recommendations on your eyeglass prescription, especially if you need progressive lenses or an anti-reflective coating. These recommendations will allow for comfort.

Keep in mind that an eyeglass prescription is different from a contact lens prescription and  cannot be used interchangeably. To learn more about reading your prescription or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700 or visit our website.

 

Back to School Eye Exam

children's-eye-examAs a parent, you may wonder whether your child needs an eye exam or whether your child is having trouble seeing. Since your child’s school may have just started or is just about to start, a children’s eye exam may be the best thing to prepare for the school year.

Children’s Eye Exams at Valley Eyecare Center

Did you know that a children’s eye exam can improve his or her performance in school?

Along with an annual checkup with your pediatrician, taking your child for an eye exam can make sure that your child is healthy and ready for school. Clear vision helps your child understand and respond at school and at home. Undetected vision problems can lead to learning difficulties in the future, especially since the American Optometric Association has found that 80% of learning is visual.

What can you expect at a children’s eye exam?

If it’s your child’s first eye exam, make sure to explain to him or her that eye exams aren’t scary. Walking them through what will happen in an eye exam is a great way to introduce your child to the process. We are a kid-friendly office here at Valley Eyecare Center!

How can you know if your child needs an eye exam?

If your child frequently complains of headaches or tiredness, he or she may be having trouble seeing. If your child used to love reading but suddenly lacks interest in picking up a book, this could also be a sign of a vision problem. In certain cases, your child may even become rather clumsy, bumping into furniture or walls by accident.

A children’s eye exam is a great part of any back-to-school routine! To learn more about our children’s eye care services, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Common Summer Ocular Allergies

allergiesSpring and fall aren’t the only times that your eyes can be bothered by allergies. If your eyes feel dry, or if they feel overly watery, you may be suffering from common summer ocular allergies. Learn more about these allergies and how to treat them throughout the summer.

Typical Eye Allergies in the Summer Months

Know the symptoms—The most typical eye allergy symptoms come along with the symptoms that are typical of nasal allergies, such as sneezing, sniffling, or a stuffy nose. Allergies that are specific to the eyes often show signs that include itching, redness, burning, or watery eyes. If you experience any of these symptoms, or if you experience many of them, you probably have eye allergies.

Learn what your triggers are—Whether your eyes become irritated from outdoor allergens, such as pollens from the grass or trees, or whether your eyes become irritated due to indoor allergens, such as pet dander, avoiding your triggers will alleviate your allergies. Once you know what aggravates your allergies, make sure to stay away from your allergens.

Treat your allergies—Treating your allergies can be as simple as using artificial tears to hydrate the eye. You can also try taking an antihistamine, although sometimes these have a tendency of drying out the eye or making you drowsy, so make sure to take one that will not make you tired before operating a vehicle. You can also try allergy shots to alleviate the symptoms associated with eye allergies. If your allergies are caused by outdoor allergens, make sure to stay inside as much as possible.

Get relief from your summer eye allergies! To learn more about common eye allergens, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Signs Your Child Has a Vision Problem

eye-examBefore school resumes this fall, you may be wondering what you should do to prepare for the school year. At Valley Eyecare Center, we recommend taking your child into the office for an eye exam, especially if you suspect that your child may have trouble seeing.

Children’s Eye Exams

Sometimes it can be difficult to determine if your child has a vision problem. But did you know that, on average, one out of four school-age children has a vision impairment? It’s important to recognize a few warning signs to see if you should bring your child in for an eye exam.

Squinting—If your child is squinting to see things up close or at a distance, this may be a warning sign that he or she cannot see properly. Also closing one eye may be a warning sign too.

Headaches—If your child suffers from headaches, nausea, or dizziness, these all may be signs of a vision problem. Headaches and other symptoms can affect your child’s performance at school, as 80% of your child’s early learning developments are visual.

Rubbing his or her eyes—If your child is rubbing his or her eyes several times per day, this may be a warning sign that your child is having trouble refocusing the eyes.

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.

Children’s eye exams are important for their performance in school. To learn more about the warning signs that your child may need vision assistance, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center before the school year starts back up again, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Valley Eyecare Center Offers Quality Vision Solutions

Eye_CareAt Valley Eyecare Center, your vision is our top priority. Our ocular solutions will improve your sight and your eye health. Learn more about our services at Valley Eyecare Center!

Whether you need an eye exam or advice about how to resolve eye strain, we’ve got you covered!

Comprehensive eye exams—Get your prescription updated and come in for a comprehensive eye exam. We recommend that you get an eye exam at least once a year so that your prescription is up to date, and you will not suffer from any vision-related problems.

Fitting of contact lenses—If you are thinking about making the switch from eyeglasses to contact lenses, we at Valley Eyecare Center can help! We will help you decide whether soft lenses or hard lenses are better for your lifestyle, and we will give you the best advice on how to put them in if you are nervous about touching your eye.

Eye strain treatments—Did you know that eye strain is one of the most common vision-related problems? Since many jobs require employees to spend many hours of their days on a computer, the blue light from the screen can strain the eyes. For simple remedies, we suggest the 20-20-20 rule—for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, focus on something that is 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

Dry eye remedies—Dry eye can often be fixed by using eye drops that can be purchased either over the counter or through a prescription. However, if you have a more serious condition of dry eye, we can make sure that you receive proper treatment.

We know that vision helps us in every task imaginable, so it’s important that your eye health is as good as it can be. To learn more about our services, or to schedule an appointment for an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Exam Tips for Children

childrens-eye-examsSometimes it can be difficult to determine if your child has a vision problem. Therefore, children’s eye exams are essential because vision is a crucial part of elementary education. It is better to get a problem diagnosed sooner rather than later! Learn more about the importance of children’s eye exams.

Children’s Eye Exams Promote Learning

Did you know that, on average, one out of four school-age children has a vision impairment? Most children have their first comprehensive eye exam before they enter first grade (about five or six years old). If your child needs glasses, he or she should come in for an eye exam every year to update the prescription.

Aforementioned, children’s eye exams are important for their performance in school. According to the American Optometric Association, nearly 80% of learning is visual. If your child is seeing, he or she is learning. However, if your child has a vision impairment, he or she may not be able to learn as quickly or as much. Near vision and distance vision are necessary in the classroom, and focusing skills require good vision as well. Good vision is also crucial for hand-eye coordination for any sports or activities in which your child may be interested.

Know the warning signs. If you child complains of headaches, sits too close to the TV or holds a book too close, these may be signs that he or she is having trouble seeing. Frequent eye rubbing and sensitivity to light can also be warning signs, and your child would most likely benefit from an eye exam.

Children’s eye exams are important for their performance in school. To learn more about the warning signs that your child might need vision assistance, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eye Care Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Safety in the Workplace

This month is Workplace Eye Safety Month! No matter where you work, it is important to keep your eyes safe in the workplace. Learn a few tips on how to keep your vision in its best condition.

Workplace Eye Safety

Eye_SafetyProtect your eyes—If you work in an environment that uses chemicals or oils, it is important to wear eye protection, such as goggles. Working in construction and manufacturing may also require the use of eye protection, as you want to make sure that your eyes are safe as you work.

Wear computer glasses—If you work at a computer for the majority of the day, it is important to save your eyes from eye strain. Maintain your eye safety by investing in computer glasses, which will block some of the blue light from the computer screen. Also, make sure to abide by the 20-20-20 rule—for every 20 minutes you work on the computer, focus on something that is 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds to refocus your vision. This rule applies to phones and televisions, too! Do not spend too much of your day focusing on a screen.

Know your risks—Certain work environments are more dangerous to the eyes than others. Some jobs may require the use of safety eyewear, goggles, or special-use safety glasses. If you work in an environment that is more strenuous on your eyes, it is important to maintain and perhaps even increase your eye safety.

Workplace eye safety is important to your health, as well as your success in your career. Be sure to make your vision a priority no matter where you work so that your can maintain your eye health. To learn more about workplace eye safety, or to schedule an eye exam with one of our optometrists 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.