Eye Care is Important As You Age – Understanding How Your Vision Changes as You Age

Many things change as we age, and your vision is one of the things that can change from year to year, and it can also change significantly as you age. Your eye care is even more important as you age, so make sure to keep up with your eye care routine!eye-care

Eye Care as You Age

Age-related eye diseases may occur—As you age, you may be at a higher risk for certain age-related eye diseases, such as macular degeneration or glaucoma. These two diseases are usually caught first by an optometrist, so it is important that you make your regular appointments and eat a healthy diet to promote optimal vision.

Cataracts happen most often once you’re past 40 years old—Cataracts rarely affect those under 40, and they most frequently affect those over 40. Cataracts, however, are considered a normal aging change, so if you have had a cataract, know that you are not alone. About half of all 65-year-old Americans have had cataracts.

You may have a hard time focusing on things that are up close—This common problem happens to almost everyone over the age of 40. Known as presbyopia, this vision change affects your near-sighted vision so that you may have to hold things a little farther away from you to focus on them. You may notice that you need reading glasses, but have no fear; this is a natural process of aging.

Reduced pupil size—As you age, the muscles that control the size of your pupil lose some of their strength. This may cause your pupil to become smaller and perhaps less responsive to changes in ambient lighting.

Your eyesight can change every year, so making annual appointments with your optometrist is important! To learn more about age-related changes in your vision, or to book an appointment with a specialist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.


Prevent Dry Eye this Winter

The humidity is always lower in the winter, so it’s easy to find that your skin has become dry. Just like your skin, your eyes can dry out and so might suffer from dry eye more easily in the winter than in other months.

Solving Dry Eye

Dry-EyesRecognize the symptoms—Suffering from blurry eyes after reading something on the computer, feeling as if you have something gritty in your eyes, or having excessively red eyes can all be signs of dry eye.

Eat a healthy diet—Foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, and E are all great for your eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids, which are most often found in oily fish like salmon, can also increase the moisture in your eyes. Also, make sure to drink plenty of water to make sure that your eyes are hydrated.

Wear sunglasses—Sunglasses not only protect your eyes from the damaging rays of the sun but also protect your eyes from the wind, which can dry out your eyes. Make sure to pack sunglasses wherever you go!

Avoid wearing contacts all day—If you regularly wear contacts, they may cause dry eye if you’ve been wearing them too much during the week or during the day. If your eyes feel dry, try switching to regular eyeglasses for a while to see if this helps your eyes.

Invest in eye drops—Either over-the-counter eye drops or prescription eye drops can help to hydrate your eyes if they have been feeling dry or itchy.

Look away from screens—Spending a lot of time in front of the computer can cause dry eye. Make sure to follow the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you spend looking at a screen, focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

Preventing dry eye is simple! To learn more about our dry eye treatments, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Glaucoma Treatments and What to Do Next

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with glaucoma, finding out what to do next can be a daunting task. Glaucoma is considered to be a disease that is without a cure.  Eye damage and loss of sight from glaucoma are usually permanent, but there are treatments that can slow down vision loss and save the vision capability that is remaining. If you’re worried about possible vision loss, you should talk to your doctor about setting regular appointments to have your vision checked. Your doctor will tell you how often you need to go in based on your eye health, the shape and size of its inner structures, and any risk factors you may have.

First your doctor will have to confirm that you do, in fact, have glaucoma. Depending on your risk factors (your age, ethnicity, and vision issues), your doctor may want to test your vision. If you experience any vision loss or if your routine eye checks show that your vision may have degraded, your doctor will run a group of eye structure and function tests to see if you may have glaucoma. If your tests show that you do, and it’s found early on in the disease’s progression, your doctor may be able to slow permanent vision loss or protect your remaining visual abilities.

Early glaucoma is usually treated with eye drops or oral medications. The job of the eye drops is to medically lower the eye’s pressure. Glaucoma vision loss happens when eye pressure is too high for the eye and the pressure damages the optic nerve. Once damaged, the vision loss is permanent and the optic nerve can’t be repaired. With high-pressure related glaucoma, vision is lost in the periphery first, and then moves inward. If your eye doctor suspects you may have glaucoma, they’ll use a Tonometer to test to see if your eye pressure is elevated. If it is, they’ll prescribe eye drops to lower your eye’s pressure and keep your optic nerve from being damaged by the increased pressure.

Oral medications for glaucoma often affect the eye’s fluid production or fluid drainage abilities. When the eye is unable to properly drain fluid due to blockage or an incorrect angle of the eye’s structures, the pressure builds and the optic nerve can become damaged from the high pressure. By helping fluid drain better or by causing the eye to produce less fluid altogether, these oral medications are targeting towards working with the drainage issues in the eye to reduce pressure and save the remaining vision in the eye.

If medications are not enough, your doctor might suggest laser trabeculoplasty. This procedure uses a laser to burn tiny, imperceptible holes into your eye’s inner meshwork. These holes stretch the drainage holes in the eye’s meshwork and allow the eye to drain fluid easier. Laser tabeculoplasty is an outpatient procedure administered in the doctor’s office. The effects can eventually wear off, but a successful trabeculoplasty can reduce pressure and save a person’s ability to see.

Another option may be conventional surgery. If medicines, eye drops, and trabeculoplasty are not enough to lower the eye’s internal pressure, your physician might suggest a surgical procedure. Known as trabeculectomy, the surgeon will make a small incision and cut away a piece of tissue so that the eye has a new channel with which to drain fluid that can be building pressure in the eye.

Every person’s experience, success rates, and course of treatment will vary based on their needs, but certain aspects of the disease are the same for everyone. Increased inner eye pressure can be dangerous, and loss of vision around the periphery can lead to permanent loss of central vision as well. Depending on the urgency (if your glaucoma is found in the early stages of the disease or the later stages of the disease), your doctor will implement a treatment plan that is right for you.

Glaucoma, the “sneak theft of sight,” is known for being a disease that can arise before symptoms are obvious. One way to protect your future vision is to see your doctor regularly and have your eyes checked often.


Meredith Rogers


National Glaucoma Awareness Month

This January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month! Glaucoma occurs when there is damage to the optic nerve, which usually occurs later in life. The pressure that builds up in the eye often prevents the eye from draining properly and can cause a loss of vision. Glaucoma is one of the most common visual impairments, so it is important to bring awareness to it.

Glaucoma Information

GlaucomaGlaucoma is the third leading cause of blindness—This visual impairment is common, and by 2020, it is predicted that 76 million people will be affected by the disease.

No early symptoms—Unfortunately, glaucoma does not have any symptoms in its early stages, which is what makes it so dangerous. Once you have begun to notice changes in your sight, the disease has already progressed toward vision loss, which may be very difficult to stop.

Catching glaucoma early is important—Since it is such a dangerous disease, going into regular eye exams with your optometrist is extremely important. Your optometrist can see the signs of glaucoma long before you can.

Treatment of glaucoma—Improvements to the vision lost through glaucoma may be found in the form of surgery, lasers, or medication, depending on the type and severity of the glaucoma. However, not all treatments are successful, as glaucoma in certain stages is irreversible.

Preventing glaucoma as long as possible—While not everyone is able to escape the vision loss associated with glaucoma, it is possible to try to prevent this disease from taking hold by eating a healthy, balanced diet, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and going in for regular eye exams with your optometrist.

Don’t forget to ask your optometrist about glaucoma if you fear you may be susceptible to getting this visual impairment. To learn more about glaucoma, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Women’s Eye Health

eye-healthDid you know that men and women have different reactions to some of the most common eye problems? Because women typically live longer than men, women tend to develop eye conditions that occur later in life. Learn more about the differences between men’s and women’s eye health.

Eye Health for Women

Women are more likely to have vision problems—Approximately two-thirds of people who are visually impaired are women. These impairments can range from astigmatism to blindness, and women seem to be the most affected by any visual impairment.

Women are more susceptible to eye diseases—Women face an increased risk of developing dry eye, age-related macular degeneration, and cataracts. Women with diabetes also face a higher risk of developing age-related eye conditions.

Hormones play a role in your eyesight— Taking care of your hormones is important not only for your overall health but also for your eye health! Although many experts are still searching for why women have increased risks for developing certain vision problems, hormones are thought to play a factor. For women in particular, estrogen levels can influence the severity and the intensity of dry eye.

Vitamin D helps your eyes—Many women find that as they get older, they have to change their vitamin intake. As you age, you may find it harder to get the proper amount of vitamin D, and many women often suffer from a deficiency of vitamin D, even if they may not know it. A lack of vitamin D can also lead to vision problems.

Women’s eye health is extremely important! In addition to diet and exercise, coming in for a regular eye exam can also help to ensure that your eye health is in its best condition. To learn more about women’s eye health, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Ocular Conditions

eye-examHave you recently noticed a change in your eyes or your vision? Although some ocular conditions may be more obvious to treat, others may not have any visible signs or symptoms. To make sure that your eyes are in their optimal condition, make sure to come into Valley Eyecare Center for a regular eye exam!

Eye Exams Discover Eye Conditions

Low vision—Low vision is a condition in which a person loses a certain amount of eyesight. Everyday tasks can become difficult to complete with this ocular condition. Although most people who have trouble seeing can regain their vision with medication, surgery, glasses, or other options, people with low vision cannot regain their sight and will experience permanent vision loss.

Color blindness—Despite its name, color blindness does not mean that you are actually blind; you simply have a deficiency in the way you see color. Although seemingly obvious, some people do not know that they are color blind until they receive an eye exam that tests for this condition. The most popular form of color blindness is red-green, in which these two colors are often confused for each other.

Cataracts—A cataract is generally categorized as a clouding of the eye’s lens, which lies directly behind the pupil. Cataracts are most often found in people who are 50 years or older. About half of the population suffers from a cataract by the time they are 65 years old. Discovered by an optometrist during an eye exam, cataracts can be treated through a surgery that will restore your vision.

Glaucoma—Glaucoma is a condition that increases pressure within the eye, and it can eventually cause a gradual loss of vision. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, your optometrist may recommend certain eye drops to help you maintain your current level of vision.

Make sure that your eyes in proper health by coming in for an eye exam! To learn more about ocular conditions, or to schedule an appointment with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Eye Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

Eye_ExamYour eye health is important for your overall health. If you experience any eye symptoms that concern you, you may want to consider coming in for an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center. Learn more about the eye symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.

Eye Exams Address Concerns about Eye Symptoms

Flashes and floaters—While floaters can be quite normal, and most people experience them, they can cloud your vision and may come with flashes of light. If you experience the flashes of light, you should probably come in for an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, as this could mean that you have a retinal detachment.

Dry eyes—Having dry eye every once in a while isn’t a big deal, but if you feel as if you cannot make enough tears, or if you feel as if you constantly have dry eye, schedule an eye exam. This may be caused by looking at a computer screen too long, an eye condition known as blue light syndrome. To improve the moisture in your eyes, you can also use eye drops or use the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you look at a blue screen, spend 20 seconds focusing on something that’s 20 feet away.

Eye pain—This one may be obvious, but if your eyes hurt, pay attention to them and come in for an eye exam. This may be a sign of eye injury. Do not put pressure on your eyes—once you come in for an eye exam, the professionals here will take care of you.

Pay attention to any symptoms about your eyes, as these symptoms are key aspects of your eye health and your overall health. To learn more about symptoms you should not ignore about your eyes, or to schedule an eye exam at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Managing Your Glaucoma

optometristHave you recently been diagnosed with glaucoma? You may be wondering how to manage this eye condition. Learn more about glaucoma from the optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center!

Optometrists Explain Glaucoma Treatment

Understand your condition and treatment—If you have been diagnosed with glaucoma, make sure that you take time to understand what is happening to your eyes. Glaucoma is a condition that increases pressure within the eye, and it can eventually cause a gradual loss of vision. Although there is no cure for glaucoma, your optometrist may recommend certain eye drops to help you maintain your current level of vision. Discuss your treatment plan with your optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center to create a customized plan just for you.

See your eye doctor for regular checkups—Just like any other eye condition, it is extremely important to schedule regular appointments with your optometrist. Even if you haven’t been diagnosed, it is still important to go to your annual eye exam, as glaucoma does not have many symptoms, and only your eye doctor can determine the state of your eyes.

Lead a healthy lifestyle—Taking a walk and eating the right foods can be more beneficial than you think. Diet and exercise are two crucial elements of your health, and your eye health is directly impacted by the way you treat the rest of your body.

Be open about your condition with your family—Glaucoma can be passed down to future generations, so it is important to discuss any and all medical history events with your family. If you have children, they should make sure to get checked for glaucoma each year at their annual eye exams.

Glaucoma management and possible prevention starts with annual checkups with your local optometrist. To learn more about glaucoma, or to schedule an eye exam with an optometrist at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Discover Acuvue Contact Lenses

Contact LensesAt Valley Eye Care Center, your vision is our top priority, and we want to make sure that you see properly. Vision problems can make certain everyday tasks more difficult, but luckily, Acuvue contact lenses will give you the freedom to accomplish anything without a vision impairment. If you’ve been in search of new contacts, Acuvue may be just the thing for you.

Acuvue Contact Lenses Correct Vision

We love Acuvue contacts because they have the ability to correct a variety of vision-related problems, and they are also extremely convenient!

Acuvue contacts are specialized for almost any vision impairment—There are Acuvue contact lenses for people who are nearsighted or farsighted, and there are lenses for astigmatism and even presbyopia. If you suffer from dry eyes, Acuvue offers varieties that will increase the hydration in your eyes. Most options also come with the choice of daily pairs or those that you replace every two weeks, which allows you to adapt your contact lenses to your lifestyle and preference. No matter what vision problems you have now or could develop over time, Acuvue has got you covered.

Convenience is the name of the game—Acuvue contact lenses are a great option for anyone who doesn’t want to go through the hassle of maintaining other types of contact lenses. Since you can simply dispose of the daily contact lenses, these vision correctors will work wonders for your daily routine, as you will not need to devote much time to Acuvue contact lenses. By wearing Acuvue contacts, you may even be able to play sports or take part in other activities that you couldn’t otherwise if you were wearing glasses.

Acuvue contact lenses are convenient and correct your vision! To learn more about these vision correctors, or to schedule, an eye exam with one of our optometrists at Valley Eyecare Center, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website.

Hard Contact Lenses vs. Soft Contact Lenses

Contact_LensesNowadays, there are many different types of contact lenses that can help improve your vision. However, for many lens wearers, knowing which contacts are the perfect match for their eyes can be tricky. If you, like many others, are considering getting contact lenses to correct your vision, this guide will help you determine whether hard contacts or soft contacts are best for you.

Hard Contact Lenses

Hard contact lenses are relatively inflexible, maintaining their shape when they are in use. These types of lenses help reduce the effect of nearsightedness in young and adult lens wearers. If some of your concerns are worsening vision and eye infections, hard contact lenses may be the right fit for you. Keep in mind that while these are durable and give you clear, crisp vision, they also can easily become dislodged from the center of your eye and can get scratched. Since hard contact lenses are not disposable like soft contact lenses, extra care care is needed.

Soft Contact Lenses

Because they are more flexible and form to the shape of your eye, soft contact lenses are initially more comfortable than hard contacts. While both hard and soft contact lenses allow oxygen into your eye, some people prefer one’s breathability over the other. Some soft lenses, like Acuvue, are disposable, allowing the wearer to use them for a short period of time and then throw them away. Customized for different vision problems, these lenses are a convenient option for those with allergies or sensitive eyes.

If you’re a current wearer, or if you’ve been considering getting contact lenses to correct your vision, it’s important that you know all of your options. To learn more about hard and soft contact lenses or to book an appointment at Valley Eyecare Center, call us at (602) 955-2700, or contact us on our website.