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.

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.

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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.

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.

 

What is Keratoconus and How is it Treated?

You may not have heard of it, but Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that affects the cornea, causing it to thin and bulge into a cone-like shape. Because the eye shape has changed, vision may be distorted.

Keratoconus Symptoms & Treatments

What happens—As the eye becomes more cone-like, your vision will begin to change. Keratoconus can cause progressive nearsightedness and astigmatism, and this condition may also cause light sensitivity.

Causes of Keratoconus—An imbalance of enzymes in the cornea may cause Keratoconus, especially if this imbalance makes the cornea more susceptible to oxidative damage caused by free radicals. Some people may be genetically predisposed to developing Keratoconus.

Symptoms—Most patients with Keratoconus have changes in their prescriptions every time they come in for an keratoconusappointment with their optometrist.

Treatments—Sometimes treatment can be as simple as eyeglasses or soft contact lenses. However, as the eye continues to change in shape, custom contacts or other forms of treatment may be required. For example, corneal crosslinking can help to strengthen the tissue in the cornea to stop the bulging of the surface of the eye.

Multiple contact lenses—Other treatments include the “piggybacking” of contact lenses. The first layer of the contact lens is typically a soft one, made of silicone hydrogel, and the outer layer is a gas permeable contact lens, allowing the lens to let in oxygen to the eye to make sure that it breathes.

Taking care of your eyes is an important step in treating Keratoconus. Make sure visitValley Eyecare for an appointment to check your eyes! To learn more about Keratoconus or other eye diseases, call (602) 955-2700, or visit our website to book an appointment with an optometrist 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.

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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.

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.

Glaucoma

Meredith Rogers

geriatricnursing.org

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.