Diabetes and Related Eye Diseases

Those Living with Diabetes Are Three Times More Concerned about Losing Vision than Possible Side Effect of Kidney Failure

 More than 30 million Americans have diabetes and another 84 million have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In addition, diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults. As prevalent as the condition is, 79 percent of Americans don’t know diabetic eye diseases have no visible symptoms and more than half do not know comprehensive eye examinations can detect diabetes, according to a recent American Eye-Q® Survey conducted by the American Optometric Association (AOA).

“In 2016, doctors of optometry identified diabetes-related manifestations in more than 320,000 patients who were unaware they had diabetes, leading to prompt diagnoses and care, which minimizes the risk of complications,” said Lindsey Clyde, O.D., an eye doctor at Valley Eyecare Center in Phoenix, AZ. “A comprehensive eye examination with a doctor of optometry is important not just to maintain eye and vision health but can be a first line of diagnosis for many systemic diseases.”

During November’s Diabetes Awareness Month, the AOA and Valley Eyecare Center are committed to educating the public about the relationship between diabetes and eye health, as the Eye-Q survey shows that after learning about the topic many participants said they would be prompted to take steps to ensure their eye health. The AOA advocates for regular, comprehensive eye exams for those with diabetes, or at risk for diabetes, because the alternatives, like online vision apps, only check for refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and cannot detect diabetes.

“During a comprehensive eye exam including Optomap scan, dilation, or both, your eye doctor is able to examine the retina for signs of diabetic eye disease and prescribe a course of treatment to help preserve an individual’s sight,” Dr. Lindsey Clyde said. “Many eye problems show no symptoms until they are in an advanced stage, but early detection and treatment can truly save a person’s vision. No online app can do that.”

For additional resources, visit http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/diabetic.htm.

To schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Are Lash Enhancement Products Bad for You?

In the world of lash enhancement products, some products reign supreme, while others fall dramatically short. It’s important to do research before diving lash-first into the cheapest, or flashiest product around. Here are some tips to spot top quality and subpar eye care products.

What do Lash Enhancement Products Do?

Lash enhancements products, or serums encourage the growth, thickening, and darkening of your natural lashes. You can buy basic lash serums over-the-counter, or opt for more potent prescriptions, such as the medication bimatoprost. Deciding which avenue of product to take can be tricky—it depends on the results you’re searching for your eye care.

Over-the-Counter Products Might Not Do the Trick

Although they may be cheaper, that lower price tag can produce subpar results. These products can be effective to a point. With ingredients like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, as well as vitamins, these serums can improve the overall health of your lashes. But, if you’re looking for incredibility and dark lashes, over-the-counter products often fall short of their prescription counterpart.

Prescription Lash Enhancers Are Effective But Know the Risks

Although they may be cheaper, that lower price tag can lead to uncomfortable consequences. Potential symptoms include eye irritation, hair growth in unwanted areas, darkened eyelids, decreased eye pressure, and permanent iris pigmentation. Dramatic side effects like discoloration are rare but are more likely to occur if not administered with care. Prescription lash serums should only be used under the supervision of a doctor.

Also, understand that prescription lash serums are expensive. You may shell out hundreds of dollars a year on treatments.

Visit a Professional

Seeing a professional for your eye care can be expensive, but when it comes to lash eye care, it’s worth paying the expense. For the best results, get a prescription serum versus an over-the-counter product.

Realize that you’ll need to use the serum continuously to see results. Your lash beauty is a long-term commitment! When used carefully and as directed, lash enhancement products are safe.

Whether you’re looking for longer lashes or just healthier eyes, it’s important to consult a physician about your eye care. Remember to book an appointment with your Valley Eyecare eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online, today!

What to Do If you Scratch Your Eye


You probably know basic first aid, but do you know first aid for eye scratches? Your eyes do a great job of protecting themselves with eyelashes and fast reflexes, but accidents still happen. Here is everything that you should know about eye care for eye scratches.

eye-care

What happens when you scratch your eye?

Most eye scratches fall into the category of corneal abrasions, or scratches to the outer layer of the eye. Corneal abrasions are usually mild and heal in just a couple of days. However, the cornea plays a large role in your vision by focusing light as it enters you eye, so if a corneal abrasion were to scar, it could cause blurry vision or an increased sensitivity to light. If you have a corneal abrasion, you might feel as if there is something large in your eye. Other symptoms include redness, tearing, blurry vision, light sensitivity, or a dull ache.

If you think you’ve scratched your eye, you SHOULD: Rinse your eye gently with clean water or a mild saline solution. This can flush any remaining foreign objects out of your eye. Follow this by blinking repeatedly. If redness and pain continue after you clean your eye, seek your eye doctor. They will be able to assess the degree of the scratch and prescribe eye drops to promote fast healing.

If you think you’ve scratched your eye, DON’t: Whatever you do, don’t rub or touch your eye as you might be tempted to do. This can make the abrasion much worse, and touching your eye will not actually help remove any foreign objects. Your eye can do this much better on its own. If you normally wear contact lenses, wear your eyeglasses instead until your eye has healed.

The best way to take care of corneal abrasions is to avoid getting them! Still, if you do scratch your eye, follow these eye care tips in order to ensure that your eye heals quickly and without lasting impact. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

How UV Exposure Impacts Your Eyes


Most people are aware of the connection between the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation and skin cancer, but UV radiation can actually lead to a number of eye problems. Whether it comes from the sun or from a machine, UV radiation can cause serious damage to your vision. Here is everything you need to know about UV radiation and eye care in order to minimize the negative impact of UV exposure on your eyes!

What is UV radiation? UV radiation (also called UV light) is produced naturally by the sun and generated eye-careartificially by lasers and tanning beds. There are two types of harmful UV rays— UV-A and UV-B—and both have deleterious short-term and long-term effects on your body and your eyesight.

How does UV radiation impact eyesight? Excessive exposure to UV radiation will harm your eyes and severely compromise your vision. Many eye diseases and conditions are caused or aggravated by UV radiation, including macular degeneration, cataracts, and skin cancer (in or around the eyelids). Other possible afflictions include Photokeratitis (corneal sunburn or “snow blindness”) and Pterygium (“surfer’s eye”).

How can you protect your eyes from UV radiation? Everyone is at risk for eye damage caused by UV radiation, but the more time you spend in the direct sunlight, the higher your risk. In order to protect yourself from UV light, recognize the dangers and make eye care a priority! Use proper eye protection, namely in the form of polarized sunglasses that block out both UV-A and UV-B light, and wear a sun hat or a cap to further protect your head and your eyes from the sun.

Learn more about the impact of UV radiation on eye health and all relevant eye care tips! 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.

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.

 

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.

5 Reasons You Should See Your Eye Doctor Annually 

We all know that going to see the eye doctor is important, but why do we have to go each year? Even if you think your vision is great, you should still go to visit your optometrist at your annual appointment.

eye-doctor

Why You Should Make and Keep Your Annual Optometrist Appointments

  1. You may not know that you have a vision problem—A recent study found that 58% of people had a significant change in their vision without knowing it before going to see their eye doctor.
  2. An outdated prescription can cause more problems than just squinting—Even if you just squint to see something far away, this vision problem may lead to eye strain, headache, or dizziness.
  3. Your eyes can reveal several important aspects of your health—Your eyes can show signs of other health problems. For example, small “micro-bleeds” in the vessels in your eyes can be signs of heart trouble, and other changes in your vessels may indicate possible brain problems. Additionally, an eye doctor can tell if you have developed certain eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.
  4. As you age, your eyes change—No matter your age, your eyes change each year. Children’s eyes change significantly faster than adults’ eyes, but everyone’s prescription and vision changes.
  5. You may suffer from eye strain without knowing it—If your eyes are tired after looking at your computer or phone, you may be suffering from eye strain. You could benefit from computer glasses, which are tinted yellow, to block the blue light associated with the screens that are a part of our daily lives.

Don’t wait—make your appointment with your eye doctor now! To learn more about why you need an annual checkup with your optometrist, or to schedule your appointment, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

What are Progressive Lenses, and Do I Need Them?

Progressive lenses give you three different levels of vision for a more natural way to view the world. If you need one strength of glasses to read, one strength to drive or look at the computer, or one strength to see things far away, you may want to consider progressive lenses.

Progressive Lenses for a Simpler Way to See

Composition of progressive lenses—Most progressive lenses are divided into thirds. On the bottom third is progressive-lensesthe near vision strength of lenses you would need to read or to look at your phone. In the middle is the intermediate range, in which you look at the computer. The top third of the progressive lenses allows you to see into the distance.

Adjusting to progressive lenses—You may have heard that the adjustment process takes time. Just know that you have to continue wearing the progressive lenses in order for you to get used to them. Resist the temptation to switch back to your old glasses, as this will slow the process of retraining your brain to focus through the new lenses. You should also make sure to wear the glasses high on your nose so that you can easily see the distinction between each part of the lens.

Benefits of progressive lenses—Progressive lenses can simplify your life by reducing the number of glasses you have for each occasion. Although the adjustment process may take some time, you will grow to love wearing progressives because you will not have trouble seeing various distances.

See the world in a crisper, clearer way with progressive lenses! To learn more about this type of lens, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Contact Lens Care and Safety

If you are new to wearing contact lenses, you may have a few questions about how to properly care for your contact lenses. At conta-lens-careValley Eyecare Center, your eyes are our top priority, so we’ll go over the basics of contact lens care this week.

Do’s and Don’ts of Contact Lens Care

Keep the following safety tips in mind when you are caring for your contact lenses.

In your contact lens care routine, please do the following:

  • Wash your hands before touching your eyes or your contact lenses
  • Clean your contact lenses in contact solution
  • Stay hydrated, drinking plenty of water throughout the day and using eye drops when necessary
  • Wear sunglasses in addition to your contact lenses
  • Follow the instructions given to you by your optometrist
  • Replace makeup regularly, especially if it touches your eye
  • Come in for a regular appointment with your optometrist to check your prescription


Please do not do the following:

  • Store your contact lenses in water, especially tap water
  • Sleep with your contact lenses in. Always take them out, even just for a nap! Even if your contact lenses are specifically designed for sleep, it is still a good idea to take them out at night.
  • Reuse old contact solution, as irritants may be in the old solution
  • Put your contacts in if they are inside-out. Your contacts should look like a U, not a V
  • Put your contact lenses in after applying makeup—it’s always safest to put the lenses in before you apply your eye makeup!

Keeping up with your contact lens care routine is important! To learn more about caring for your eyes and contacts, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.