Home Eye Safety Tips

Believe it or not, eye injuries are quite common. Your eyes are a very vulnerable part of the body and it’s important to protect them. Whether you’re at home, outdoors, or at work, it’s crucial to take safety precautions when it comes to your eyes. Read on to discover eye safety tips you can use at home.

eye-safety

  1. Use Eye Protection

Rule No. 1 of eye safety, use eye protection. Yard work and home improvement projects can be dangerous to your eyes. Debris and dust can fly into your eyes and injure them even under the safest circumstances. Protect your eyes with safety goggles to prevent shards of eye-safetywood, dirt, or chemicals from injuring them.

  1. Pay Attention to Warnings and Instructions

Many everyday household products, such as bleach, cleansers, and detergents, are all harmful to your eyes. To keep your eyeballs safe, be sure to read instructions carefully and avoid touching them when managing chemicals. Do not mix harsh cleaning products—the combination can pose a risk to your eyes. For additional protection, where chemical grade safety goggles.

  1. Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands does not just protect you from illness, it also keeps your eyes safe from harmful chemicals. Rubbing chemicals into your eyes can cause painful and damaging effects. Be sure you wash your hands after working around the house.

  1. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

Flying debris and even tripping can cause eye injuries. For eye safety, make sure you have adequate lighting and clean surroundings. For example, if you’re about to mow the lawn, inspect for loose branches or pieces of metal in the yard. These objects can injure your eyes if sent airborne. Be sure to have plenty of lighting when working on home projects, especially ones that involve tools and sharp materials.

If you injure your eyes or just want additional tips to keep them safe, connect with an eye doctor at Valley Eyecare Center. Be sure to book an appointment with one of our talented eye doctors today. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule your next appointment online.

Symptoms and Causes of Blepharitis

Those who suffer from blepharitis not only endure discomfort, but also deal with unsightly blemishes around the eyelids caused by the disease. Induced from infections, skin conditions, and even parasites, blepharitis can be a very serious disease if not treated properly. Read on to learn about the symptoms and treatments for blepharitis.

What Causes Blepharitis?

A variety of circumstances can induce blepharitis. Infections caused by bacteria or fungus can spur this troublesome condition. Gland dysfunction, rosacea, allergies, and parasites, such as eyelash mites or lice, can all cause blepharitis.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis typically occurs conjointly with dry eyes. Doctors debate whether blepharitis is a result of dry eyes or vice versa. Some believe they are symptoms of a single eye condition called dry eye blepharitis syndrome, or DEBS.

Common Symptoms of Blepharitis

The symptoms of blepharitis are uncomfortable and often, unsightly. Common symptoms include:

  • Irritated, watery, red eyes
  • Burning or stinging sensation
  • Itchy and swollen eyelids
  • Crusty eyelashes
  • Peeling skin around eyes
  • Frequent blinking
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Unusual growth or loss of eyelashes

Blepharitis can cause long term damaging effects if not treated properly. An eye examine coupled with testing a sample of the skin around your eyes will determine if you’re infected with blepharitis.

Treating Blepharitis

If diagnosed with blepharitis, treat the condition with urgency. When left to its own devices, an overgrowth of bacteria can develop, creating a layer of biofilm. The biofilm encourages plaque buildup on teeth and acts as food for eyelash mites.

Combating blepharitis typically requires at home and in-office treatments. Your doctor will provide you with a daily routine with prescription or non-prescriptions cleansers to address the biofilm and mites. At the doctor’s office, your health care provider will likely treat you with more high tech procedures. Additionally, you may receive antibiotics or steroid eye drops.

Be aware the blepharitis is a chronic condition and can likely come back, especially if it’s not treated properly. Once under control, remember to keep a consistent eye care routine to reduce the likelihood of a fair up.

Living with blepharitis is difficult, but you don’t need to tackle it on your own. Consulting with a physician will speed up your recovery. Book an appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor today. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule your next session online.

 

 

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!

Can Diet Really Improve Your Eyesight?

Visiting your Phoenix eye doctor at least one time per year is important to maintaining vision and eye health. Other factors, including eye safety, overall health, and diet, can also contribute to keeping your eyes healthy. Most people have heard that carrots help to improve your eyesight. Is there any truth to the claim that food, including carrots, can improve eye health? Fish, vegetables and whole grains all play a part in providing nutrient rich vitamins that can help reduce the risk of eye disease.

Cold water fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids which can help protect against dry eyes and even cataracts. If you don’t eat fish, you can turn to fish oil supplements that contain omega-3s. There are also vegetarian supplements that have black currant seed oil or flaxseed oil which offer similar benefit.

Colorful fruits and vegetables like carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, pumpkin, corn, and cantaloupe all provide good sources of vitamins A and C to the body. The bright color from fruits and veggies, in addition to making them more appealing, also make them good for you and can help reduce the risk of different eye diseases.

Whole grains can also play a big role in helping you maintain healthy eyes. When you have a diet that consists of foods with a low glycemic index (a system that ranks foods on a scale from 1 to 100 based on their effect on blood-sugar levels), you can reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration. The Macula is a small area of the retina that controls visual acuity.

Having a healthy diet is one part of maintaining a healthy body which means your eye health will benefit the same way as your body does. If you have any questions about what else you can do to improve your eye health, book an appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Give us a call 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.

Why Do I Keep Getting Styes?


Has your eyelid ever become red or painful for no reason? A stye is an infection of the eyelid that causes a red bump. Here is everything that you should know about eye styes.

Symptoms— A stye is the swelling of your eyelid, also known as a hordeolum. The primary symptoms of a stye are redness and swelling. Your eyelid will probably feel irritated or be painful upon touch. The infection is either at the base of an eyelash follicle (external hordeolum) or in an oil gland (internal hordeolum).

Causes— Styes develop when bacteria (usually from your skin) gets trapped by dead skin cells on your eyelid to create a swollen bump. Styes are actually contagious because they are caused by bacteria from your skin and that bacteria can easily spread. However, basically everyone has the same type of bacteria and the same potential for getting styes. Just make sure to not let the bacteria come into contact with anyone else’s eyes by keeping your hands clean and not sharing pillowcases or washcloths.

Treatments and Prevention— The main treatment for styes is to keep your eyelids clean. If you have a stye, the first thing you should do is wash your eyelids thoroughly. Also make sure that you carefully wash your hands before using them to wash the stye. Another technique is to apply warm compresses (a washcloth heated with hot water with work) several times a day. Whatever you do, don’t attempt to pop the stye as you might a pimple. This will probably spread the infection and make the stye worse. Avoid wearing eye makeup while you have a stye because it can detain the healing process. If you usually wear contact lenses, wear your glasses instead until your eye heals.

Healthy habits will ensure that your eyes stay infection-free. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

September is Healthy Aging Month – How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy as You Age

Do you know how to protect your vision as you age? September is Healthy Aging Month, which means that it’s time to catch up on the latest eye doctor recommendations to ensure that you experience long-lasting eye health.

Eat healthy— Nutrition is a key component of eye health. For an optimal, vision-supportive diet, include plenty of Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish, nuts, and seeds. Make sure to also incorporate Vitamin C (found in citrus fruits and leafy, green vegetables), Vitamin A, and Beta Carotene (both found in carrots and sweet potatoes).

Quit smoking— If you’ve ever wondered if smoking affects your eyes, here is the answer: yes, yes, YES. Smoking is a eye-healthsignificant factor in the development of several deleterious eye conditions and is shown to increase your chance of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and other eye diseases.

Take computer breaks— If you spend a fair bit of time on the computer, you should be aware of the dangers of digital eye strain. Take breaks every 15 to 20 minutes during which you look away from the computer screen to focus on a distant object and adjust the lighting in the room to minimize glare on your screen.

Wear Sunglasses— Spending time outdoors (and being active!) is definitely a good thing—but make sure that you adequately protect your eyes when you’re outside. Wear sunglasses with UV protection whenever you are in direct sunlight.

Schedule regular eye exams—Scheduling regular eye exams is one of the most important steps in maintaining strong eye health as you age. Your eye doctor will be able to assess and address any problems with your eyes in the early stages and ensure that your vision remains optimal.

It’s never too early to start taking your eye health seriously! Healthy habits and regular eye exams will ensure that your eyes have the best chance of staying healthy as you age. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center eye doctor. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

Can a Concussion Affect Your Vision Long-Term?


eye-healthA concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury that occurs as the result of a blow to the head. Concussions can cause a variety of short-term and long-term symptoms, including vision changes. Understanding the physical repercussions of concussions can be confusing because there are so many different possible effects, so here are some important details you need to know about how concussions impact your eye health!

Common eye symptoms following a concussion— A variety of eye-related conditions can result from a head injury. The most common eye problems include: blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light, partial vision loss, eye pain, abnormal eye movements, and visual motion sensitivity. While these symptoms typically manifest shortly after the injury occurs, others might not develop until hours or even days later. The vast majority of people see all symptoms gone within a few weeks.

The possibility of long-term vision changes— Damage to the brain caused by a concussion can potentially last for as long as decades after the original head trauma, but there is the very small chance that a concussion will affect your long-term vision. Long-term eye conditions are similar to short-term eye symptoms and can include blurred vision, double vision, difficulty with various eye movements, and reduction or loss of visual field. But don’t despairthese visual problems can actually be effectively decreased or even eliminated with appropriate treatments to restore eye health, such as vision therapy and vision rehabilitation programs.

The bottom-line on concussions and long-term vision— A concussion can affect your long-term vision, but only rarely. Concussions usually only produce short-term vision conditions and temporary changes, at worst. Even in the slightest chance that you experience more severe long-term vision problems, there are still possible solutions!

Learn more about the impacts of concussions on eye health! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

 

 

Understanding Fuchs’ Dystrophy


You may have heard of Fuchs’ Dystrophy, but do you really know what it is? Here is everything you need to know about the eye disease, including ways to preserve your eye health.

What is Fuchs’ Dystrophy?

Fuchs’ Dystrophy causes the cornea, or the clear layer on the surface of your eye, to swell. When healthy, the cells on the inside of the cornea maintain a proper balance of fluids within the cornea and prevent inflammation. With Fuchs’ Dystrophy, these cells gradually die which causes a buildup of fluid (edema) within the cornea. The result is vision loss, especially in the morning and in low light conditions, and eye discomfort.

fuchs-dystrophy

Symptoms- Fuchs’ Dystrophy, which usually affects both eyes, can cause a number of symptoms. Vision may be blurred and is usually worse in the morning and improves throughout the day. There may be pain or a sense of grittiness on the surface of the eye. Other symptoms can include distorted vision and a sensitivity to light.

Causes- Smoking and diabetes increase the risk of Fuchs’ Dystrophy. The disease most commonly develops among people in their 30s and 40s, but symptoms do not show until after age 50 or even later. Women are slightly more likely than men to develop Fuchs’ dystrophy. A family history of Fuchs’ dystrophy increases the risk, although the genetic basis of the disease is complicated.

Treatment- There are various medications to relieve Fuchs’ Dystrophy symptoms and maintain eye health. When the disease has progressed, the only means to significantly recover vision is cornea transplant surgery.

Prevention- Regular eye examinations will ensure that early signs of Fuchs’ Dystrophy, or any other eye conditions, are noticed and addressed appropriately. Visit your doctor if you notice any of the above symptoms.

Ensure optimal eye health with regular care and exams! Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.