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.

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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.

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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.

I Think I Have a Broken Blood Vessel in My Eye. What Should I Do?


If you look in the mirror and notice that the normally white part of your eye has turned red, don’t be alarmed. A broken blood vessel is a tiny injury that will heal quickly. Here is everything you need to know about broken eye blood vessels.

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What happens- Sometimes, a small blood vessel in your eye breaks just underneath the conjunctiva, or the clear surface of your eye. As the conjunctiva cannot absorb blood quickly, the blood is trapped there, and part of the eye turns red. This minor injury is also known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Symptoms- You probably will not even realize that one of the tiny blood vessels in your eye has broken until you look in the mirror and notice that the normally white part of your eye is red. A subconjunctival hemorrhage should cause no change in vision and no severe pain. You may feel a mild scratchy sensation on the surface of the eye.

Probable Causes- A broken blood vessel usually occurs without causing actual harm to your eye. As little as a strong sneeze or a cough can break one of the blood vessels in your eye. Other causes can be rubbing your eyes or an incident of blunt trauma, such as an object directly hitting your eye.

What you should do- Health complications from a broken blood vessel in the eye are rare. If you have recurrent subconjunctival hemorrhages or experience other bleeding in the area, see a doctor. A variety of health conditions, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and blood-clotting disorders, can aggravate the problem and make further steps to reduce the risk of frequent subconjunctival hemorrhages necessary. For regular prevention, simply be gentle with your eyes.

A broken blood vessel in your eye is usually nothing to worry about! To consult a professional opinion and discuss specific eye care needs, book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.

The Positive Effects of Exercise on Vision

Most people already know that exercise is beneficial to your health, but did you know that exercise also has significant positive impacts on your vision health? Regular exercise can help you to see better, for longer.

Reduces the risk of developing series eye diseases

There are direct links between inactivity and the likelihood of suffering form serious eye diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), studies have shown that people who regularly exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop glaucoma than people who are inactive. Other research has identified a distinct relationship between physical activity and age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60, revealing that people who exercise just three times a week are significantly less likely to develop macular degeneration.

Exercise tips for eye health

It might not be easy to make the time to get to the gym every day, but eye-healththat’s not the only way to exercise. Simply taking regular walks or light jogs around your neighborhood or doing yoga and other bodyweight exercises are easy ways to fit exercise into a busy schedule. Just working out two or three times a week will go a long way in ensuring your long-term vision health!

The bottom line on exercise and your vision

Research shows time and time again that being active will significantly decrease your risks for vision-threatening conditions, so make exercise a priority! Also, don’t forget to visit your eye doctor regularly. Comprehensive, routine check-ups are critical to finding and treating eye conditions in the early stages.

Try exercising for the sake of your eyes! To learn more ways to protect your vision health or to have your eyes examined, 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.

 

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.

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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.

 

 

 

 

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.