Oshkosh: 920-235-5530
Appleton: 920-733-3629
Oshkosh: 920-235-5530
Appleton: 920-733-3629

5 Reasons Eye Exams Are Important

Your eyes allow you to interact with the world around you every day and are a vital part of your daily life. By taking care of your eyes today, you are ensuring you will see your best for years to come. Let’s take a closer look at five reasons why routine eye exams are so important.

  1. Eye exams help children succeed in school.
  2. Myopia is becoming more common.
  3. Vision screenings should never substitute a yearly comprehensive eye exam.
  4. Glaucoma does not present symptoms in the early stages.
  5. Annual eye exams can help detect other health issues.

Eye Exams and School

During a child’s schooling, 80% of the information presented for learning requires good vision. By scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam, you are ensuring your child sees clearly and comfortably in the classroom. Even more, an eye exam is the only way to know for sure if your child is able to see their best for sports and other activities.

Reducing Myopia Progression

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is being diagnosed more than ever before, and at an earlier age, too. Children who become nearsighted early in life tend to experience a worsening progression of nearsightedness throughout childhood. This progression puts them at a higher risk of developing cataracts, glaucoma, and retinal detachment later in life.

By scheduling a routine eye exam, your doctor can evaluate your risks of developing myopia. When detected early, you and your eye doctor can dramatically slow the progression of myopia and decrease the chances of developing eye problems down the road.

Vision Screenings Vs. Comprehensive Eye Exams

While commonly provided, a vision screening test is not a replacement for a yearly routine eye exam. Vision screening tests only look to see if a vision problem exists. These tests cannot diagnose the vision problem you have but are able to signify a larger exam is needed. During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will perform tests that evaluate your vision and eye health.

As you age, your risk of eye problems also increase. Routine eye exams are essential to detecting eye-related issues when merely getting a vision screening would not.

Reducing Your Risk of Glaucoma

Many people who develop glaucoma often don’t show symptoms at first. These individuals usually develop vision loss before they have learned that something is wrong with their eyes. This type of vision loss is irreversible if caught too late. With a routine exam, your optometrist can detect high eye pressure and other early signs of glaucoma before any serious damage to your vision occurs.

Detecting Issues During Your Annual Eye Exam

An eye exam can detect other health-related issues such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and even cancer. During your exam, your eye doctor will evaluate the health and condition of the blood vessels in your retina, which are predictors of the health of blood vessels throughout your entire body. By scheduling a yearly comprehensive eye exam, you can reduce your risk for diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia.

So do you want to take a burden off of your eyes? Contact our office today and ask our staff any questions that you might have about scheduling your eye exam.

Eyewear for Every Occasion

Your look might change depending on the day, so shouldn’t your eyewear change, as well? These days, it’s uncommon for one pair of eyeglasses to satisfy all of your needs. Specialty eyewear can help you optimize your vision for any occasion!

Below are a few occasions where specialty eyewear can improve your vision.

Computer Glasses

If you spend a lot of time looking at a computer, you are at an increased risk of developing eye strain. While you look at a screen, your eyes try to stay focused and aligned – that’s where computer glasses come into play. These glasses are for close-up distances, and they can reduce strain while staring at screens.

Golf Sunglasses

If you’re an avid golfer, you know that the proper eyewear is an essential item for your golf bag. Some sunglasses utilize colors in the lenses to enhance the green of the grass. Brown and amber lenses can help because it creates contrast against the golf ball. Rose-colored lenses can help during cloudy days and increase the contrast between light and dark colors, and green tints help in sunny conditions, reducing glare.

Boating or Fishing Eyewear

When on the water, the sunlight can reflect and create a glare that makes it hard to see. Polarized lenses can block the light reflected, reducing glare and discomfort. Glasses made for boating and fishing are also thinner and can fit snugly to your face so that the sun can’t enter on the side, top, or bottom of your face.

Driving or Cycling Eyewear

If you find that your lifestyle takes you on the road, driving glasses can provide a benefit. These glasses–either sunglasses or prescription lenses–can help get rid of the glare that makes it hard to focus on the road.

For extra protection, polarized sunglasses protect your eyes against sun glare on any occasion, and they can help increase the contrast, making objects easier and sharper to see.

Shop Work & Safety Glasses

Depending on your lifestyle, you may need glasses that provide extra protection. This eyewear–safety glasses, sports goggles, or shooting glasses–is durable and offers more coverage than typical designs. Some safety glasses add even more protection by having a frame with a wraparound design that has larger shields on the top or side of the glasses. These glasses, although sturdy, should still include a lightweight lens for comfort and superior eye protection.

Want to learn more about your specialty eyewear options? Give our office a call or ask our staff your questions at your next appointment. Our team is prepared to help you choose the right vision management options for your lifestyle.

Healthy Living for Healthy Eyes

Everyone probably tells you to eat healthy, exercise, and spend time away from the screen. Sure, it’s good for your health, but does it help your eyes? Absolutely! Here are a few key areas of healthy living that are also essential to your healthy eyes and vision.

>Healthy Diet

To help keep your eyes healthy, make sure to load up on nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zinc, and vitamins c and e. Foods like green leafy vegetables, salmon or other oily fish, eggs and nuts, oranges, and pork contain these essential nutrients. Additionally, the vitamins and minerals found in these foods can help prevent many age-related problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

A well-balanced diet also helps maintain a healthy weight. Generally speaking, when you eat healthily and are at a lower risk of obesity, you have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, the leading cause of blindness in adults.

>Exercise

Exercise also impacts your eye health. By simply going for a walk, you can significantly lower the chances of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, and glaucoma. When someone develops glaucoma, doctors usually treat it by lowering high intra-ocular pressure. Recent research has implicated that, by exercising, you can reduce the pressure in your eye, helping to lower your risk for glaucoma.

Staying Hydrated

Staying hydrated is another critical factor to consider in keeping your eyes healthy. When you don’t drink enough water, your body’s instinct is to conserve it in any way that it can. This conservation includes altering your eyes! Your body will decrease the number of tears produced when it doesn’t have enough water. When this happens, you may develop symptoms of dry eye or eye strain. So what can you do? Drink water! The average water intake per day is about eight, 8-ounce glasses of water, but make sure to consume more during warmer weather or intense exercise.

Habits to Avoid

There are a few bad habits most individuals do that are bad for your eyes.

Rubbing Your Eyes

First, make sure you don’t rub your eyes! Rubbing your eyes can break blood vessels under eyelids, causing bloodshot eyes or dark circles that make you look tired.

Overusing Eye Drops

Another problem that you may not realize is the overuse of eye drops. While eye drops may temporarily soothe your eyes, overusing them may cause your eyes to become irritated over time.

Do you have more questions about ways your lifestyle can help your eyes? Contact our office today and ask us your vision questions!

FAQ: Dry Eye Syndrome

What is dry eye syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome is caused by your eyes not producing enough lubricant to keep the surface of your eyes moist. You may experience a burning and aching sensation, heavy and itchy eyes, sore and dry sensation, and blurred vision. Dry eye syndrome is a common eye condition, and if you are a female, aging, and use the computer often, you are at a higher risk.

What causes it?

So what exactly causes dry eye? Your eye’s tears contain three components: an oily component, a water component, and a mucous-like component. Each of the three plays an essential role in helping the tears in your eyes from evaporating too quickly. A problem with any of the tear components can result in dry eye syndrome.

Many factors can increase the chances of developing dry eye. If you use a computer, it’s normal not to blink as much, which leads to more of the liquids in your eyes evaporating, increasing the risk of developing dry eyes. You are also more likely to develop dry eye after the age of 50.

Another factor that increases the risk of developing dry eye syndrome is heavy use of air conditioning and forced-air heating because they lower the amount of humidity in the room, speeding tear evaporation. Smoking also causes various problems for the eyes, such as dry eye, macular degeneration, and cataracts.

How is it treated?

If you believe that you have dry eyes, contact your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will look at your medical history to see if medications or environmental factors may be making your eyes worse. Your doctor may also look at your eyelid structure and evaluate your blinking pattern to see if it is contributing to your dry eyes.

There is treatment available for dry eye syndrome, and your doctor may suggest using artificial tears while also implementing small lifestyle changes, such as taking breaks from using a computer.

If you have any of the symptoms of dry eye syndrome, contact our office today! We are ready to answer all of your questions and help you with all of your vision care needs.

Five Types of Eyewear Everyone Needs!

Your day-to-day tasks change, so the glasses you need will vary. Below are five types of eyewear everyone needs!

Computer Eyewear

The average person spends about eight hours looking at their computer a day, and this often results in tired and strained eyes. Computer eyewear helps alleviate the eye strain that is associated with staring at a computer screen for extended periods. There are three options when it comes to this type of eyewear:

Single Vision Computer Eyewear: used to reduce blurred vision and help alleviate eye strain and poor posture

Occupational Progressive Lenses: a multifocal lens that corrects near, intermediate, and distance vision

Occupational Bifocal Lenses: higher zone and improved vision for intermediate and near vision

Computer eyewear comes with many benefits, including clearer vision and a reduction in the need to strain your eyes and back.

Photochromic Lenses

It’s essential to protect your eyes outside, but it can be inconvenient to switch between eyeglasses and sunglasses. With photochromic lenses, you can protect your eyes without having to switch between frames. They are clear while you are inside but darken when exposed to ultraviolet light. Even on an overcast day, your photochromic lenses will protect your eyes from the sun’s UV rays.

Polarized Eyewear

With polarized lenses, you can prevent the glare from sunlight reflecting off of surfaces and into your eyes. These lenses can be helpful in many situations which boating, fishing, going to the beach, and even driving.

Safety Glasses

It might be worth looking into glasses strictly meant for protecting your eyes. This eyewear–often in the form of safety glasses, sports goggles, or shooting glasses–is durable and useful for protecting your eyes and providing more coverage than typical lenses.

Fashion Eyewear

Depending on the look you are going for, you may find it necessary to have a pair of glasses complementing the look. A night out on the town is going to require a more stylish frame than what you need for work. Having different styles of glasses can help remove the dilemma of having a pair that doesn’t match the occasion by giving you situation-specific options.

Do you want to take the next steps in getting eyewear for all occasions? Contact our office today to ask our staff any questions you have about these types of eyewear.

Are You Overexposed to Blue Light?

Blue light is the type of light with the shortest wavelength and highest energy. It’s everywhere! Although many people associate blue light with technology, the sun is the primary source of these rays.

Many human-made devices also emit blue light, and in recent years, the time individuals are spending on these devices has increased dramatically.

Key Points

About Blue Light

The anterior structure of your eye, made up of the cornea and lens, is very effective at blocking UV rays from reaching the retina, located at the back of your eye. However, blue light cannot be filtered naturally by the eye and passes through the cornea and reaches your retina. Your retina’s continued exposure to these harmful rays can result in a higher risk of developing macular degeneration over time, and eventually, permanent vision loss.

Not all blue light is bad, though. Some exposure is proven to be good for your health. Blue light–taken in appropriate amounts–can boost alertness, improve memory and cognitive functions, and elevate your mood.

Symptoms of Overexposure

Some of the most notable signs of overexposure are:

  • Eye Strain
  • Headaches and Migraines
  • Blurry Vision
  • Dry Eyes
  • Inability to Focus
  • Disruptions in Sleep Patterns

Protecting Your Eyes

Digital devices aren’t going anywhere, so it’s essential to ensure that you are taking preemptive steps to protect your eyes from blue light. With electronic devices, consider these few tips to reduce the harmful rays reaching your retina.

  • Hold your Device at an Angle
  • Wear Blue Light Blocking Glasses
  • Use a Screen Filter
  • Install a Blue Light Blocking App
  • Take Advantage of “Comfort View” Settings

Ready to take protection to the next level? Ask us about computer eyewear! Computer eyewear will drastically reduce eye strain by filtering emitted light before it reaches your eyes. Many electronic devices are starting to offer apps or different settings that are intended to lessen the amount of blue light that is emitted so it’s less harsh on your eyes. While these settings don’t necessarily protect your eyes from the blue light, it does cut down on eye strain considerably by lessening the contrast.

Do you have more questions about how you can protect your eyes? Stop by our office or give us a call and we would be more than happy to answer your questions!

What is the Right Age for Contact Lenses?

Children today are developing myopia sooner than in the past. Myopia, or nearsightedness, results in prescription glasses or contact lenses. Many parents might prefer the traditional frame over having their child wear contact lenses. But, the same question crosses through a lot of minds: contact lenses for children – what is the right age?

The answer depends on the eye doctor.

The right age for contact lenses

In a recent study, 51% of eye doctors surveyed felt the earliest age to prescribe contact lenses is 10, while only 12% felt 8 is a good time to introduce them.

67% of eye doctors felt if your child is younger than eight years old, they should stick to a traditional frame. But as your child gets older, the introduction of contact lenses becomes more prevalent. 66% of eye doctors recommended contact lenses as the primary vision correction method for children between the ages of 15-17.

For eye doctors that prescribe contact lenses at an earlier age, most say they prescribe daily disposable lenses for ease of use and maintenance.

Reasons for contacts

Two out of five optometrists say that many parents request their child be fit to wear contact lenses because their child refuses to wear glasses, or the frames interfere with sports or even their daily activities.

Many young people feel more confident wearing contacts. Some kids feel self-conscious in glasses. For children active in sports, contact lenses offer added convenience and safety. If. Sport contact lenses can eliminate the chance that their glasses break or cause injury. They provide other benefits as well, such as better peripheral vision since there is no frame in the way.

Do you want to take the next steps in ensuring your child has options with his or her vision? Contact our office with any questions.

Don’t Wait For Symptoms

Many people with medical eye diseases don’t show symptoms immediately, but with an underlying disease, the damage is already underway. Regular comprehensive eye exams are essential in diagnosing eye diseases early.

Comprehensive Eye Exams Diagnose Medical Eye Disease

By not getting a comprehensive eye exam on a regular basis, you’re putting your eyes at risk because once symptoms show, it might be too late for effective treatment. If detected early, your eye doctor can help treat and improve your vision.

An eye exam can reveal health conditions unrelated to your eyes. During an eye exam, your eye doctor can evaluate the health of the blood vessels in your retina and help predict the overall health of the blood throughout your body. Diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia can all appear during a routine eye exam

Common Eye Diseases

Refractive Errors

Refractive errors are the most commonly diagnosed eye disorder in the United States. Myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism (distorted vision), and presbyopia (loss of the ability to focus up close) are all refractive errors that can be corrected if diagnosed early. Early symptoms of a refractive error include seeing a glare around bright lights, having to squint, and having double vision.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is typically associated with aging. The results are a loss of the clear central vision needed for many day-to-day tasks.

Wet age-related macular degeneration: abnormal blood vessels form under your retina. They may eventually bleed and leak fluid, and cause the macula to rise and distort your central vision.

Dry age-related macular degeneration: more commonly diagnosed than wet age-related macular degeneration, this eye condition presents fewer symptoms in the early stages. By the time symptoms appear, vision is likely already impaired.

Cataracts

A cataract is a clouding of your eye’s lens. A cataract makes it challenging to read, drive a car, and perform day-to-day activities. Cataracts can strengthen over time and interfere with your vision. Symptoms usually include clouded or blurred vision, sensitivity to bright light, a halo effect around bright lights.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy causes damage to the blood vessels in your retina. As the disease progresses, common symptoms include floating dark spots, blurred vision, impaired color vision, or vision loss. It usually shows no symptoms in the early stages, but can eventually lead to blindness.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerves and doesn’t typically show symptoms in the early stages. Signs in the later stages include eye pain, blurred vision, red eyes, and seeing halos around bright light. There is no cure for vision loss caused by glaucoma, so it’s essential to have annual vision exams before it’s too late.

Contact our office today and ask our staff any questions you might have about scheduling your eye exam and treating medical eye diseases.

FAQ: Computer Vision Syndrome

What is computer vision syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome, or CVS, is the discomfort or symptoms caused by focusing on a computer or technological device for a long and uninterrupted time.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Loss of Focus
  • Burning Eyes
  • Tired eyes
  • Red Eyes
  • Double Vision
  • Eye Twitching
  • Blurred Vision
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain

Commonly Asked Questions

What causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

Characters, when read on a computer screen, don’t have the same level of contrast and definition as printed materials. This lack of contrast makes it harder for your eyes to focus. When your eyes and brain react differently to the various characters on a computer screen than on a print, you can develop symptoms of eye strain like blurred vision or headaches.

Who is affected?

Anyone working on a computer for extended periods has an increased risk of developing computer vision syndrome. When you stare at a screen, you are forcing your eyes to focus and refocus for long periods. As a result, your eyes are using more muscles, causing fatigue and tired eyes.

What can I do to reduce symptoms?

It’s easy! Talk to your eye doctor about their recommendations on how you can handle CVS. Your eye doctor may do a few tests to detect vision problems that may worsen your symptoms. Depending on the results, your doctor may recommend computer eyewear to protect your eyes or tips and tricks habits to reduce your symptoms.

For example, try practicing the 20/20/20 rule when using digital devices for an extended period. Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This exercise gives your eyes a break from the continued work of focusing on your computer screen.

Finding a Solution

What is Computer Eyewear?

Computer eyewear are prescription glasses specifically designed for work on a computer. Generally speaking, these lenses enable you to focus better on a computer screen, which is usually at about 20in from your eyes.

Are there Different Types of Computer Lenses?

Yes! When shopping for the right pair of computer eyewear, ask us about the different options. Computer lenses are available in both single vision and progressive lens options to fit your vision needs.

I don’t have Computer Vision Syndrome now. Should I still look into computer eyeglasses?

Yes. Even though you may not have computer vision syndrome now, you can still develop symptoms down the road. Many individuals experience reduced productivity and accuracy when working behind a screen, even without vision problems.

Do you have more questions about computer vision syndrome and the possible solutions that you can take? Contact our office today and ask us your vision questions!

Contact Lenses for Hard-to-Fit Eyes

If you have astigmatism, dry eyes, or keratoconus, you may have a harder time finding contact lenses work for you. Specialty contact lenses may be the answer.

Specialty contact lenses for keratoconus

This condition occurs when your cornea thins and forms into a cone-like shape, causing your vision to become distorted and your eyes more sensitive to light. If you have this condition, you may see better with contact lenses that replace the irregular shape of the cornea with a smooth surface, allowing light to focus better on the retina.

Gas permeable contact lenses

For those with mild to moderate keratoconus, gas-permeable contact lenses may help. They are made with an oxygen-permeable material and keep their shape instead of fitting the cornea. These lenses reduce blur and help provide sharper vision than glasses.

Piggybacking contact lenses

People who use gas permeable lenses may find the rigid lenses uncomfortable to wear at length. In this case, “piggybacking”- wearing a soft contact lens under the gas permeable lens – may be an alternative. The two lenses work together for vision and comfort.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a difference in the shape of the cornea that makes it harder for the eyes to focus on light, which results in blurred vision.

Toric contact lenses

These lenses provide comfort without a period of having to break in the lenses. This option is more complicated because it takes more time to fit than the traditional soft lenses. They are designed specifically for your eyes, and can be pricey.

Contact lenses for dry eyes

Dry eyes are a common issue, and they make it uncomfortable to wear contact lenses. If you have dry eyes and still want to wear contacts, soft contacts help hold in the moisture in your eyes.

Specialty lenses and giant papillary conjunctivitis

This eye condition causes inflammation in the mucous membrane that covers the white part of your eye. Known as pink eye, this condition is caused by bacteria, viruses, or fungi.

Your eye doctor may take different routes with contacts if you have GPC. They may recommend soft and disposable contact lenses that are worn throughout the day and then thrown away.

Lenses for presbyopia

Presbyopia occurs when you lose the ability to focus on objects up close, and your eye doctor may recommend bifocal or monovision contact lenses. These lenses are challenging to fit and require more time and money to get it right. If fit correctly, bifocal or monovision lenses can provide many benefits.

Do you have more questions about the specialty contact lenses you can use for your lifestyle? Contact our office today and ask us your vision questions!

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