Supplements for Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a common eye disease that causes acute vision loss. The good news is, you can protect yourself against macular degeneration with supplements such as MacuHealth Vitamins.

What is macular degeneration? Macular degeneration is caused by the deterioration of the macular, or the central part of the retina. Macular degeneration is the leading cause in vision loss in people over 60 years of age. The disease is incurable, but there are measures that can be taken to prevent and to treat macular degeneration.

MacuHealthWhat are MacuHealth Vitamins? A specific combination of vitamins and minerals can reduce the progression of macular degeneration. Macuhealth Vitamins are a perfect way to protect your eyes against macular degeneration, whether you’ve already been diagnosed by the condition or you’re simply at risk. These eye vitamins contain all three carotenoids (Meso-zeaxanthin, Lutein, and Zeaxanthin) that your eyes need and provide blue light protection in order to help your eyes to rebuild macular pigments and help you see more clearly. Through stimulating your eyes’ production of macular pigments, Macuhealth supports eye health by improving contrast sensitivity and reducing glare.

What else can I do to protect myself from macular degeneration?  There are other ways of protecting yourself against macular degeneration: wear sunglasses in bright sunlight, maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle with regular exercise, and schedule regular eye exams. Routine, comprehensive eye examinations are the only way to detect macular degeneration in the early stages and immediately set you on the right path to slowing the progression of the disease.

Invest in your vision and order MacuHealth Vitamins today! To learn more about ways to protect yourself from macular degeneration or to have your eyes thoroughly examined, book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

5 Eye Safety Tips

Even in the most ordinary of circumstances, there are many things that can threaten the health and safety of your eyes. Here are 5 tips basic eye safety to help you keep your eyes healthy and happy.  

1. Wear sunglasses

Direct exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation can damage your retinas and increase your risk of developing harmful and even dangerous eye conditions, such as cataracts or macular degeneration. Wear sunglasses with UV protection when you are in the bright sunshine, and never (ever!) look directly into the sun. 

2. Consider protective eyewear

Wear eye protection, in the form of goggles or safety glasses, when operating tools and machinery, working with chemicals, or doing any other activity that might involve the risk of something hitting or entering your eyes. Exercise caution when touching your eyes— always stop and think before just rubbing your eyes, and then thoroughly wash your hands before letting them anywhere near your eyeballs. 

Eye-Safety

3. Rest your eyes

Make sure to take frequent eye breaks from your computer screen to avoid digital eye strain. At least once every 20 minutes, look away from the screen and focus on a distant point for around 20 seconds. Adjust your computer screen settings so that the brightness matches the lighting in the surrounding room and the text is a comfortable size for your eyes. Constantly straining your eyes can have unpleasant symptoms such as burning or itching eyes. 

4. Maintain a healthy diet

Nutritious foods with plenty of vitamins and minerals will optimize your long-term eye health. Studies also show that exercising regularly is beneficial to your eyes. 

5. Schedule regular eye exams 

A routine, comprehensive eye exam is critical to the health of your eyes. The early detection of a vision impairment or eye disease is paramount for optimal treatment. Eye exams are also essential for the detection of other health issues beyond just your eyes. Just because you think that you can see just fine is not a total guarantee that your eyes are healthy. 

Learn more tips for ensuring optimal eye safety, discuss your personal eye care needs, or schedule your regular eye exam today! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Five Tips to Relieve Computer Eye Strain

Computer eye strain can be a nightmare. Burning eyes, aching neck, blurring vision, throbbing head — all side effects of the nature of your job. Here are a few ways to reduce and prevent any discomfort caused by staring at a screen all day.

  1. Keep the screen at arm’s length away

Ideally, your monitor should be at least an arm’s length away from your eyes. Adjust the screen so that the top of the monitor is at your eye level and you have to look down at your work, rather than up.

  1. Adjust your computer’s display settings

Adjust the brightness of the display so that it matches the brightness of your surrounding work space. Alter the text size until it is comfortable to read. Check the color temperature— reducing the color temperature on your display can support long-term viewing comfort.

computer-eye-strain

  1. Reduce glare

Too much surrounding artificial or even natural light can create a strong glare off your monitor that will tire your eyes more quickly. Make sure that no bright light is directly behind or in front of your screen to avoid computer eye strain.

  1. The 20-20-20 Rule

Every 20 minutes, identify an object about 20 feet away to focus your eyes on for 20 seconds. This proven trick exercises your eyes and allows them to rest from the bright monitor. Additionally, you can slowly blink 10 times during these 20 minute eye breaks in order to rest and rewet your eyes.

  1. Consider computer eyewear

Check in with your optometrist about special computer glasses to help your eyes to focus at the exact distance of your screen and avoid computer eye strain. Some glasses are tinted yellow in order to offset the blue light of the screen, and some offer slight magnification to make it easier to read digital text.

Learn more ways to relieve computer eye strain and discuss your personal eye care needs today! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Why Online Vision Tests are a Bad Idea

An online vision test may seem like an appealing way to acquire a prescription while saving time and money, but it is a poor replacement for an actual eye exam.

online-vision-testAn online vision test gives only a prescriptionMost online eye “exams” are just short vision tests that measure visual acuity, refractive error, or color sensitivity. Even if an online vision test identifies a change in your vision, the reason for the change remains a mystery. Taking an eye exam online might be able to support your existing suspicions that your vision is the same or different than it was when you were last issued a prescription, but those results will not help you to actually address the problem.

Online exams are not comprehensivePeople tend to believe that the largest risk associated with online eye exams is that the prescription will be inaccurate, rendering the test a waste of time, and possibly even money. However, inaccuracy is probably the smallest problem with online exams. An online vision test will probably diagnose your vision accurately if you follow the instructions precisely, but the larger problem is that the exam will fail to diagnose real and potentially dangerous problems with your eyes.

Only an “in-person” exam can detect eye disease or illnessMost eye care providers can tell you of countless normal eye exams in which they discovered an infection, illness, or eye disease. The risk of eye disease should not be underestimated. Glaucoma often has no symptoms in early stages but can lead to blindness if not diagnosed early. Macular degeneration and cataracts are other dangerous eye conditions that will be detected and addressed correctly only from regularly scheduled in-person eye exams.

Your eyes can further reveal important aspects of your healthMany diseases that affect your whole body show early symptoms in your eyes. Medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, strokes, multiple sclerosis, and brain tumors can all be identified from a comprehensive eye exam. Early diagnosis ensures optimal opportunity for treatment. An online vision test completely misses one of the primary functions of an eye exam, which is to assess not only the health of the patient’s eyes, but also their overall health.

Support the health of your eyes by scheduling regular eye exams! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

 

Why We Get Dark Circles Under Our Eyes

If you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror to find alarming, dark shadows beneath your eyes, don’t stress! Dark circles under eyes can be caused by a couple common factors that you will be able to easily adjust in order to reclaim a fresh, bright appearance.

dark-circles-under-eyes

 

Lack of sleepFatigue is the most common reason for dark circles to form under your eyes. The position in which you sleep might also make your eyes puffy– if you sleep on your side or stomach, your face can fold into your pillow and place pressure upon your eyes. Consider sleeping on your back or on your side with an extra pillow to elevate and protect your eyes.

Alcohol, salt, or caffeineConsumption of alcohol is a major cause for dark circles under eyes. Other products that can negatively affect your eyes are foods with high levels of sodium and caffeine, which cause your body to retain water and aggravate the skin beneath your eyes.

Use of skin productsMake-up is a tempting solution for hiding the dark circles under your eyes, but skin products can actually irritate your skin further. Be cautious when cleansing your face, as harsh or excessive facial cleansing can also irritate the sensitive skin by your eyes.

Aging or geneticsIt’s possible that the shadowed circles are only the slight hollows that develop under your eyes as you age. Unfortunately, dark circles might also just be hereditary. If the skin near your eyes is naturally thin, the blood is more likely to show through and make it appear darker.

When should I see a doctor? In very rare cases, dark circles under eyes may be a sign of a more serious condition. If swelling and discoloration appear only under one eye, arrive suddenly and are extremely dark, or do not go away after a few days, seek medical attention.

Don’t let the dark circles under your eyes bring you down! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

 

When Should Children Get Their First Eye Exam?

If you have a young child, you might be wondering if it’s time to schedule their first eye exam. If your child is at least six months old, the answer is probably yes! Here is what you need to know about children’s eye exams.

childrens-eye-exam

Early examinations are incredibly importantEarly eye exams are extremely important for diagnosing problems and ensuring that children are able to see clearly! Only during children’s eye exams are professionals able to identify existing and potential threats to vision and eye health before the children are heavily impacted and perform treatments or continue regular checks as necessary.

When to scheduleThe first medical professional to examine your child’s eyes is usually a pediatrician or a doctor. This initial infant comprehensive eye exam takes place when they are around six months old. The doctor will check your baby’s responsiveness to light and ability to follow objects with his or her eyes. If problems are found, you will likely be referred to an optometrist. If there are no problems, the American Optometric Association recommends the next eye exam to take place when your child is around 3 years old. After that, they recommend that children’s eye exams take place every two years if no vision correction is necessary and every year for children who wear glasses or contact lenses.

What to expectThe doctor will likely inquire into your child’s medical and family history. A children’s eye exam usually involves tests that use symbols to assess the child’s vision and a random dot stereopsis to ensure that the child’s eyes work well together. The most common problems that are diagnosed in young children are nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. However, there are a few other less frequent conditions found in children: amblyopia (also known as lazy eye), strabismus (crossed eyes), or convergence insufficiency (eyes do not work together properly focusing up close). In the event that any of these conditions are found, appropriate treatments will be prescribed.

Don’t hesitate to schedule your child’s first eye exam! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

 

 

 

 

How to Protect Yourself from Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is a common eye disease that causes acute vision loss. There are many simple measures that can be taken to help prevent the eye disease.

What is macular degeneration? Macular degeneration, also often known as age-related macular degeneration, occurs when the retina begins to deteriorate. The result is severely impaired vision. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60.

How to protect yourself:

Wear sunglasses There is a proven association between age-related macular degeneration and eye damage caused by macular-degenerationoverexposure to various light rays. Wear sunglasses that have ultraviolet and blue light protections in the outdoors to protect yourself.

Quit smoking Smoking has been shown to largely increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration. Smokers are more than three times as likely to develop macular degeneration than non-smokers.

Maintain a healthy diet Doctors advise that you strive to follow a balanced diet to reduce the likelihood of eye diseases. Seek to partake of vegetables high in carotenoids, such as spinach and collard greens, and omega-3 fatty acids, which are found primarily in fish. Avoid cholesterol and saturated fat. Taking vitamin supplements with antioxidants and zinc is also advised.

Exercise regularly Studies indicate that engaging in exercise on a regular basis benefits your eyes. People who lead an active lifestyle are as much as 70 percent less likely to develop macular degeneration.

Schedule regular eye exams Eye exams will be able to detect macular degeneration in its early stages. Be cognizant of your own vision and see your eye doctor immediately if you begin to notice distinct vision loss.

Having your eyes checked regularly is essential for diagnosing and addressing macular degeneration right away. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Why Does My Eye Doctor Have to Dilate My Eyes?

Eye dilation is a standard part of all thorough eye exams. It provides your eye doctor a comprehensive view of your eyes to check for potential problems.

eye-doctorWhat happens during dilationUsually, when light shines into your eye, your pupils shrink. To dilate your eyes, your eye doctor applies eye drops that cause your pupils to widen and allow in more light. All eyes react differently, but it typically takes around 15 to 30 minutes for your pupils to become completely dilated, and 4 to 6 hours before your eyes feel completely normal again. Your eyes may be sensitive to light during this time, but dilation will not affect your distance vision.

A good look inside your eyesDilation gives your eye doctor a clear view of the back of your eye because the pupil of your eye remains open as light is shown into it. The entire retina and the optic nerve are visible. Your doctor is consequently able to examine the retina for any damages or early signs of eye tumors.

Monitor common eye diseasesYour eye doctor can also monitor for the signs of eye diseases. Diabetic retinopathy, one of the more prevalent eye diseases, can cause blood vessels in the retina to leak, swell, or grow abnormally. Age-related macular degeneration can result in the unusual growth of blood vessels in the retina; glaucoma generates visible damage to the optic nerve. All of these symptoms are apparent primarily only when your pupils are dilated.

Ensure your eye healthDilation is an important step in accurately assessing the state of your eyes. It can be essential to preventing and treating eye conditions that could lead to vision loss and negatively impact your overall health.

Learn more about why pupil dilation is good for you, and have your eyes examined regularly by your eye doctor to ensure optimal eye health! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

 

Occasionally My Eye Twitches. What Is Going On?

When your eye begins to twitch uncontrollably, it can be both alarming and simply annoying. An eye twitch is not usually a cause for worry and can be traced to a few common causes.

What happensAn eye twitch is when you experience a spasm in your upper or lower eyelid. Intermittent eye twitches can eye-twitchoccur over any period of time that lasts from a minute to several days. Although twitches are usually slight, they can occasionally force your eyelid to momentarily shut.

Causes of eye twitchingSleep deprivation and stress are the most common causes of eye twitches. Other sources include alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Eye twitching can also result from an irritation on the surface of the eye.

Benign essential blepharospasmBenign essential blepharospasm is a rare condition that surfaces in mid to late adulthood and will cause increasingly severe eye twitching. The condition is a result of environmental and genetic factors and can be sparked by excessive fatigue, stress, or air pollution. Only around 2,000 people in the US are diagnosed with benign essential blepharospasm each year.

Seeing your optometristYou should see an optometrist if an eye twitch persists for more than a week, if your eyelid closes completely during twitches, or if there is redness, swelling, or discharge from your eye. There is the small possibility that the eye twitch may be related to a more serious eye or nerve condition.

TreatmentsMost eye twitches are harmless and cease without treatment. Make sure to rest and sleep sufficiently. Seek stress-reducing activities. Consider cutting down upon the consumption of alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine. Your optometrist may also assess that your eyes need to be moisturized, if dryness or irritation is causing the twitch.

We are here to help you remedy a pesky eye twitch! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

 

Understanding Astigmatism

You may not have heard of it, but astigmatism is a very common eye condition that affects the shape of the eye and results in blurred vision.

What happensWhen functioning correctly, the curvature of the cornea and of the lens of your eye bends light and focuses it in a single point. With astigmatism, the cornea or the lens becomes more irregularly shaped. The eye is no longer able to focus light to a single point and instead bends the light unevenly.

Causes of AstigmatismAstigmatism occurs naturally and may increase or decrease at various times during adulthood. AstigmatismMost people have some degree of astigmatism that doesn’t negatively affect their vision or require any treatment. Sometimes the cornea or the lens of an eye can become irregularly shaped following an injury, disease, or surgery. Severe astigmatism can also be the result of a rare condition called keratoconus, in which the cornea becomes thin and cone-shaped.

SymptomsPatients with astigmatism will experience blurred or distorted vision at most distances.

TreatmentsThere are a variety of options for treating astigmatism that can be discussed with your optometrist. Common treatments include eyeglasses and contact lenses that change the way that light enters your eye. These special lenses help your eye to direct light to a single point and generate sharp vision.

OrthokeratologyAnother treatment, orthokeratology, is a noninvasive procedure in which a patient wears a series of specially designed, rigid contact lenses that gradually reshape the shape and the curve of the cornea to correct astigmatism. While orthokeratology cannot permanently improve vision, it may allow patients to temporarily obtain corrected vision without lenses.

Having your eyes checked regularly is essential for diagnosing and addressing astigmatism right away. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.