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Safeguard Your Child’s Eyes with Sports Glasses

43 percent of all sports-related eye injuries occur in children 15 and under. Eye injuries are a leading cause of blindness and visual impairment among children in the United States alone. Luckily, 9 out of 10 sports-related eye injuries can be prevented with the right protective eyewear.

What Is Protective Eyewear?

Protective eyewear is eyewear made of ultra-strong polycarbonate, a type of plastic that is impact resistant, which means it can take a hit and not break. They are also a more flexible material and protects eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays. Types of protective eyewear for sports include safety goggles, face guards, and special eyewear designed for specific sports.

Most protective eyewear can utilize a child’s prescription, although protective eyewear is vital even for children with perfect vision. Safety goggles can usually be worn over a child’s regular glasses or contacts.

Different sports require different kinds of protective eyewear.

  • For high-risk sports like baseball or softball, soccer, football, tennis, hockey, volleyball, or basketball, one-piece plastic sports frames with prescription or nonprescription polycarbonate lenses allow for clear vision and protection.
  • For lower-risk sports like cycling or skating, look for strong eyeglass frames with polycarbonate lenses.

The Importance of Protective Eyewear In Sports

The main reason being, to protect your eyes from injuries. Injuries may include getting hit in the eye, getting jabbed or poked, or a flying object in the eye.

While children – and adults wear protective eyewear first and foremost to protect their eyes, doing so can also help your child have better all-around vision while playing sports. With protective eyewear, they can focus on the game and not be worried about getting something in their eye, or breaking or losing their regular frames or contact lenses. Sport goggles allow their peripheral vision to be clear and can help increase their hand and eye coordination.

Start protecting your child’s eye from sports-related eye injuries and give them better vision while playing, by contacting Professional VisionCare today!

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doct

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6 Common Myths About Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which increased pressure causes progressive, permanent vision loss and even blindness. Unfortunately, many misconceptions about the disease can leave you misinformed. Below we sort fact from fiction by debunking 6 of the most common glaucoma myths.

Glaucoma Facts vs. Myths

MYTH 1: Glaucoma is a single disease

FACT

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases; the most common ones are open-angle glaucoma (OAG) and angle-closure glaucoma (ACG).

In open-angle glaucoma, the drainage structure in your eye (called the trabecular meshwork) doesn’t allow the fluid inside the eye to flow out as it should, causing an increase in internal ocular pressure that damages the optic nerve. OAG develops slowly, and usually by the time people perceive symptoms, such as peripheral vision loss, they already have optic nerve damage.

In angle-closure glaucoma, the eye doesn’t drain fluid as it should because the drainage channel between your iris and cornea becomes too narrow, causing increased eye pressure. This pressure damages the optic nerve, leading to vision loss. ACG can occur suddenly or gradually.

MYTH 2: Only the elderly suffer from glaucoma

FACT

Although it’s true that people over 60 are at a greater risk of developing open-angle glaucoma compared to people in their 40s, there are other types of glaucoma that can affect people aged 20 to 50 and even young infants (due to abnormal ocular development).

In addition to age, those with a higher risk of developing glaucoma include:

  • African Americans and Hispanics
  • Individuals with a family history of glaucoma
  • Patients with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or sickle cell anemia
  • Those who have previously sustained an eye injury
  • People taking steroid medications over the long term

MYTH 3: Glaucoma shows symptoms early on

FACT

The most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, shows virtually no signs or symptoms until its later stages when vision loss sets in. Despite what people may think, the increased eye pressure causes no pain. And since peripheral vision is the first to go, you may not recognize vision loss until your vision has become significantly impaired. The only way to detect glaucoma is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam.

MYTH 4: Nothing can be done once you have glaucoma

FACT

While there’s currently no cure for glaucoma, many effective treatment options exist: eye drops, oral medications, as well as laser and surgical procedures that can help slow glaucoma progression. Each treatment option is used to get the fluid to flow properly out of the eye, reducing pressure inside the eye and decreasing damage to the optic nerve.

MYTH 5: Testing for glaucoma is painful

FACT

Actually, testing for glaucoma is practically painless. One of the tests includes a non-contact device that blows a gentle puff of air into each eye to test the intraocular pressure. The sound of the puff may be startling, but it’s over in a second and is painless. With the Goldmann applanation tonometry test, an anesthetic eye drop is inserted into each eye, which may cause a stinging sensation for a few seconds. Your eye doctor will then use a blue light to quickly and gently touch the cornea to precisely measure intraocular pressure. The most accurate of all, however, are visual field testing and OCT (optical coherence tomography), non-invasive imaging, both of which are also painless.

MYTH 6: You can’t prevent glaucoma

FACT

Regular eye exams are the only way to prevent glaucoma, as blindness or significant vision loss can be prevented if the disease is diagnosed and treated in the early stages. That’s why routine comprehensive eye exams which include glaucoma testing are so important.

Getting your eyes checked regularly can ensure that any existing eye problems are detected early enough to prevent or slow ocular damage. Contact Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center to book your comprehensive eye exam today!

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Amy R. Lay

Q: If one of my parents has glaucoma, does that mean I will develop it as well at some point?

  • A: Having a parent with glaucoma does not mean that the child will automatically develop the condition too. However, those people with an immediate family history (parents, siblings) of glaucoma are at more risk to develop this disease. Patients should have a comprehensive eye examination each year to evaluate the health of the eyes and to look for signs of glaucoma. Some of these signs can be an increase in the pressure of the eyes as well as changes to the appearance of the optic nerve. Many times there are no symptoms noticed by the patient. If there is suspicion of glaucoma, more frequent visits to the eye doctor along with additional nerve testing are often required.

Q: Why do I need to scan my retinas/back of the eye?

  • A: The retina shows us a lot about the overall ocular health as well as systemic conditions that can affect the eyes. Often diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol can be observed from a retinal scan. Also, retinal scans allow us to diagnose and treat macular degeneration and glaucoma. Scans are often very important for a complete eye check up.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses In Lewis Center, Ohio. Visit Professional VisionCare for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Why Do Onions Make Us Cry?

Onions are one of the most common staple foods around the globe. Ironically, for a vegetable so delicious, they can often be tear-jerkers.

Read on to learn why onions cause your eyes to tear and sting, and what you can do to minimize discomfort.

Why Does Cutting Onions Cause Tearing?

Onions produce a sulfur compound called propyl sulfoxide that is stored in the cells of the onion bulb (the part of the onion we eat). Onions grow underground, where they can be eaten by all types of creatures. This odorous sulfuric compound acts as a deterrent to small animals with big appetites.

When one slices into an onion and breaks open its cells, the sulfur compound is released and mixes with the moisture in the air — turning it into smelly and irritating sulfuric acid. When this chemical rises up and comes in contact with your eyes, it stings!

To keep your eyes from potentially being damaged from this chemical exposure, your brain triggers your eyes to tear and flush out the irritating gas particles. Once enough tears have flushed out the sulfuric acids particles from the eye, clear vision and comfort is usually restored. Although your eyes may sting and feel unpleasant, symptoms are temporary and the sulfuric acid won’t damage your eyes.

How Can I Reduce Eye Discomfort When Chopping Onions?

Most experienced chefs will tell you that chilling your onions in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before slicing them will reduce the amount of tearing they cause. Propyl sulfoxide escapes slower in cooler temperatures, reducing the amount of sulfuric acid in the air.

You can also try cutting the onions at arm’s length, or direct the odorous air away with a small fan. Some say that chopping onions immersed in water also helps. Another option is to wear kitchen goggles to protect your eyes.

Furthermore, try to use fresh onions whenever possible. The longer an onion has been stored, the more likely it will induce tearing and discomfort. Try to avoid slicing near the root end of the bulb, as that area has the highest concentration of sulfuric compounds.

Still Having Eye Problems Out of the Kitchen?

If you frequently suffer from eye irritation — and not just while cutting onions — we can help. At Professional VisionCare, we treat a wide range of eye conditions and can provide you with the treatment and relief you seek.

For further questions or to schedule an eye exam, call us today.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Carole Burns

Q: What exactly is glaucoma?

  • A: Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP) is too high. This means that your eye has too much aqueous humor in it, either because it produced too much, or because it’s not draining properly. Other symptoms are optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma is a silent disease that robs the patient of their peripheral vision. Early detection is very important.

Q: What’s the difference between vision insurance and eye insurance?

  • A: Vision insurance” really isn’t insurance, but rather a benefit that covers some of your costs for eyewear and eye care. It is meant to be used for “routine” care when you aren’t having a problem but want to be sure everything is OK, like having an annual screening exam with your Primary Care Physician. It often, but not always, includes a discount or allowance toward glasses or contact lenses. It is usually a supplemental policy to your medical health insurance. Medical health insurance covers, and must be used when an eye health issue exists. This includes pink eye, eye allergies, glaucoma, floaters, cataracts, diabetes, headaches, and many other conditions. Blurry vision is covered medically if it relates to a medical condition, for example the development of a cataract. For some reason, however, it is considered non-medical if the only finding is the need for glasses or a change of prescription. Of course you can’t know this until you have the exam. In this case, with vision coverage, you would only be responsible for your co-pay, but with medical coverage without vision coverage, you’d be responsible for the usual charge.

Q: How does high blood pressure affect vision?

  • A: If the blood pressure is very high it can be called malignant hypertension and cause swelling of the macula and acute loss of vision. Otherwise hypertension can cause progressive constriction of the arterioles in the eye and other findings. Usually high blood pressure alone will not affect vision much, however hypertension is a known risk factor in the onset and/or progression of other eye disease such as glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration as well as blocked veins and arteries in the retina or nerve of the eye that can severely affect vision.

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REFERENCES

https://www.britannica.com/story/why-do-onions-make-you-cry

https://theconversation.com/why-do-onions-make-you-cry-129519

5 Tips for Keeping Your Eyes Safe from Blue Light and Computer Vision Syndrome

Blue light bombards your eyes from all directions, and even more so nowadays when the COVID-19 pandemic has kept many people plugged in to a digital device, constantly. So what’s the problem with the blue light?

Eye doctors worldwide warn of the damaging effects to eye health from overexposure to blue light. A variety of uncomfortable visual symptoms can be caused, such as eye strain, irritation, difficulty focusing and headaches. These symptoms are characteristic of computer vision syndrome, which our Lewis Center optometrist now diagnoses regularly in patients of all ages.

How Can You Protect Your Peepers from Computer Vision Syndrome?

The #1 way to keep your vision safe is by decreasing your exposure to blue light. Here’s a list from our optometrist of different ways you can accomplish this:

  1. Limit screen time and take frequent breaks to relax your eyes.
  2. Use blue light filters on your computer screen and the screens of all digital devices. These screen filters are available for tablets, smart phones, computers and basically every gadget with a screen. They work by reducing the amount of blue light emitted from your device so less radiation reaches your retina, thereby decreasing the amount of eye damage that can occur. Check with our Lewis Center eye care center to find the right blue light filter for your needs.
  3. Wear computer glasses with tinted lenses to block blue light and increase visual contrast, relieving the tiring symptoms of computer vision syndrome.
  4. Fit your glasses with lenses that have an anti-reflective coating to diminish glare
  5. Consult our optometrist in Lewis Center to learn about other options to help protect your eyes and your children’s eyes from the hazards of computer vision syndrome.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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15 Things You Do That Can Harm Your Eyes

Eye health isn’t just about going for that yearly eye exam. Certain actions you take (or don’t take) in your daily routine can also have drastic effect could ts on the health of your eyes and vision. Here’s our list of 15 things you may be doing that pose damaging risks to your eyes.

It’s important to note that before changing any of your habits, consult with a medical professional to make sure they are right for you and your overall health.

1. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, but its effects on the eyes are far less known to many. The truth is that smoking can actually lead to irreversible vision loss by significantly increasing the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also cause dry eye syndrome. If you are a smoker, do your eyes (and body) a favor and try to kick or reduce the habit.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lens. Overexposure to UV rays can also lead to cataracts and even eye cancer. That’s why it’s important to always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors, all four seasons of the year. Always check the sunglasses have FDA approval.

3. Sleeping with Makeup On

When you sleep with eyeliner or mascara, you run the risk of the makeup entering the eye and irritating the cornea. Sleeping with mascara on can introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause an infection. Abrasive glitters and shimmery eyeshadow can scratch the cornea as well. Be careful to remove all makeup with an eye-safe makeup remover before going to bed.

4. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Although ordering decorative lenses without first visiting your optometrist may sound more convenient, purchasing them without a prescription isn’t worth the long term risks. Decorative contact lenses are sometimes made by unlicensed manufacturers who tend to use poor-quality or toxic materials that can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. They also may contain high levels of microorganisms from unsanitary packaging and storage conditions.

5. Not Washing Your Hands Thoroughly

Frequently washing your hands helps to reduce the possibility of bacteria and viruses entering the eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) and corneal ulcers are common eye conditions that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. When washing your hands, be sure to use warm water, soap, and thoroughly wash in between each finger and over the entire palm area. If you plan to insert or remove your contact lenses, wash and then dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

6. Overwearing Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for longer periods of time than intended can lead to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling, and contact lens intolerance. Always follow the recommended wear time as instructed by your optometrist.

7. Being Nutrient Deficient

Poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to the visual system. Try to include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with adequate amounts of Omega-3. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health include Vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

8. Using Non-FDA Approved Products

Whether it’s eyebrow enhancers, eye makeup, or eyelash growth serums, always choose products that have been FDA approved and/or meet government safety regulations. Non-approved products have been known to cause infections or allergic reactions in or around the eye area.

9. Not Cleaning Your Contacts Properly

If you are wearing contact lenses that need to be replaced once every two weeks or once a month, maintaining the highest level of contact lens hygiene is essential. Optometrists will tell you that a common reason patients come in to see them is due to an eye infection from contact lenses that haven’t been properly cleaned or stored. Some patients use their contact lens cases for too long, which can also cause eye irritation. To avoid eye infections, carefully follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean, store, and handle your contact lenses.

10. Showering or Swimming with Contact Lenses

There is a significant amount of bacteria that can be carried in tap water and swimming pools. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that water and contact lenses don’t mix. If you need vision correction while swimming, it may be worth investing in a pair of prescription swimming goggles.

11. Not Following Medication Instructions

When it comes to eye disease, following the medication instructions is crucial. Forgetting to insert eye drops, or administering the incorrect dosage could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of treatment, or even do harm. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re not sure about when or how to take your medication.

12. Not Taking a Holistic Approach

Your eyes are just one part of the whole system — your body. Ignoring health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar, can pose serious risks to your eyes.

13. Not Wearing Protective Eyewear

Shielding your eyes with protective glasses or goggles while working with potentially sharp or fast-moving objects, fragments or particles (wood working, cutting glass, welding, doing repairs with nails, certain sports) is the best defense against eye injury. In fact, 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

14. Using Unsafe Home Remedies

Some might think that because something is “natural” that it is safe for use around the delicate eye area. Home remedies, like using breastmilk to cure pink eye, could introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause infection. If your eyes are giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your local optometrist.

15. Skipping Your Recommended Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will advise you how often you need to come for an eye examination. Adults should visit their eye doctor at least every year for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is up-to-date, and to check for the beginning stages of eye disease. Catching eye diseases in their early stages offers the best chance of successful treatment and preserving healthy vision for life.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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The Surge In Cosmetic Procedures During COVID Raises Eye Health Concerns

COVID-19 has indirectly impacted eye health in ways that few would have anticipated. With many classrooms, business meetings, and hang-outs being relocated to virtual settings like Zoom and FaceTime, people are spending more time scrutinizing other people’s faces — and their own.

For some people, the more time they spend watching themselves in the thumbnail, the more time they focus on real or imagined imperfections and features that make them feel insecure.

In fact, plastic surgeons and cosmetic doctors all over the world are reporting something called the ‘Zoom Boom’ — the recent surge in cosmetic procedures to perfect ‘Lockdown Face.’ Yep, it’s a thing.

What many don’t realize is that cosmetic facial procedures can pose serious risks to eye health and vision, and in some cases result in serious eye damage or vision loss.

While opting to undergo a cosmetic procedure is a personal choice that each individual should make for themselves, a fully informed decision requires a visit to your eye doctor. Also, those interested in having a cosmetic eyelid lift should consult with a reputable oculo-plastic surgeon who has experience in this particular procedure.

How Can Cosmetic Procedures Impact Your Eyes?

Before undergoing a cosmetic facial procedure, it’s important to know which procedures pose potential risks to your eyes and vision.

Eyelash Extensions

The adhesive used for eyelash extensions has been known to cause allergic lid reactions, infections, styes, and dry eye. Eye doctors unanimously agree that eyelash extensions should be the last resort for those who want fuller, thicker lashes.

Additionally, the addictive nature of eyelash extensions make them particularly risky. A side effect of lash extensions can be reduced eyelashes, which often drives the individual to have this procedure done repeatedly.

A safe alternative to getting eyelash extensions is using a medication called Latisse. This eyelash enhancing product can be prescribed by your eye doctor and may reduce the need for false eyelashes or extensions.

Laser Procedures

Lasers are used for various cosmetic procedures due to their high efficiency and accuracy. However, exposing the naked eye to a laser beam can be dangerous.

All laser procedures should be performed while the patient wears specialized goggles or corneal shields for protection. If the procedure is performed by an unlicensed individual, there is a much greater chance that effective eye protection won’t be used.

A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that ocular injuries can occur even when protective shields are utilized correctly.

Episcleral Tattoos

This procedure is the tattooing of the whites of the eye. Dye is injected beneath the conjunctiva and into the sclera (the white of the eye) to make it appear the desired color.

Episcleral tattoos can cause headaches and severe light-sensitivity, and increase the risk of eye infections, conjunctival hemorrhaging, and permanent vision loss.

Botox Injections

Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures offered today, but they can harm eye health and vision when injected around the eye area.

Some common complications include allergic reactions, blurred vision, and droopy eyelids. Most of these reactions are temporary, but if symptoms persist and if blurred vision is prolonged, see an eye doctor immediately.

Always choose a qualified and licensed doctor to perform the procedure.

When to Visit Your Optometrist

If you are considering having any facial or eye procedures done, speak with your optometrist about how to keep your eyes safe during the process.

An eye exam with Dr. Carole Burns will determine the state of your eye health and what risks would be involved with the procedure you want.

If you’ve already undergone a cosmetic procedure or surgery and are experiencing any eye health or visual symptoms, call Professional VisionCare in for a prompt eye exam.

We want you to feel confident in the way you look, while keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Call Professional VisionCare to schedule your eye exam today.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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5 Facts About Scleral Lenses

happy teenagers 640Scleral contact lenses are large-diameter gas permeable contact lenses that vault over the cornea and rest on the “white” of the eye (the sclera). In doing so, the lenses form a dome over the irregular cornea that provides clear and comfortable vision for individuals with keratoconus, dry eye and other ocular surface conditions.

Here are 5 facts about scleral lenses and why they are a great choice for many patients.

1- They work when nothing else will.

Patients with an irregularly shaped cornea, whether due to natural causes, an eye condition or complications following surgery, can at times develop vision problems that cannot be corrected using glasses or soft contact lenses. In such cases, scleral lenses provide a more comfortable, stable, secure fit, and improved vision.

For those with keratoconus, scleral contact lenses provide advanced care that resolves visual distortions and creates clear vision while providing a comfortable wearing experience.

In addition to helping those with keratoconus, scleral lenses are also recommended for those with an astigmatism, particularly for high astigmatism that other contacts cannot comfortably correct.

2- Scleral contacts provide relief for those who suffer from dry eye.

Unlike traditional contact lenses, scleral lenses minimize eye irritation. Since they vault over the dry, irritated cornea and sit on the sclera, they offer comfort and clear vision. Sclerals leave a space between the lens and the cornea containing a liquid reservoir of artificial tears that provides a protective cushion that soothes the eye.

This is crucial, because even blinking can irritate the eye or injure the cornea due to the mechanical friction of the eyelids on the cornea. Scleral lenses can act as a shield between a patient’s eyes and their eyelids, protecting the eyes from further irritation or damage.

3- Sclerals are long lasting lenses.

Constructed from high quality, durable materials, these rigid gas permeable contacts typically last 1-3 years. Therefore, while the initial cost of scleral lenses is higher than standard contacts, you’ll benefit from maximum value for your money.

While scleral lenses are long lasting, it is important to book follow up visits with your eye doctor to determine when it’s time to replace them with a new pair, so as not to harm your cornea.

4- Scleral contacts are worth the cost

People assume that because sclerals must be fitted and customized to fit each individual eye, they are exorbitantly expensive. In fact, the lenses are often covered by insurance and certain vision and health savings plans.

These lenses provide enough of an improvement over regular lenses — in both comfort and vision — to justify the investment.

5- Scleral lenses are very comfortable.

Some people mistakenly assume that rigid contacts aren’t comfortable. In reality, scleral contact lenses are very comfortable because they don’t touch the cornea and lubricate the eyes.

If you have irregular corneas, dry eye or hard-to-fit eyes, scleral lenses may be right for you. Find out more about scleral lenses by scheduling an eye exam at Professional VisionCare today!

Professional VisionCare serves patients from Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown and Northeast Columbus, throughout Ohio.

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8 Ways Your Eyes Change With Age

Our eyes and vision change with age. Your eye doctor can monitor these changes — some of which are a natural part of the aging process — and identify any eye conditions or diseases early enough to treat them and prevent vision loss. Read on to learn more about the different types of eye changes one may encounter with age.

Age-Related Eye Conditions and Diseases

Cataracts

If your vision is starting to get blurry, you may be developing cataracts. There are a few types of cataracts, but the one usually caused by aging is known as a “nuclear cataract”. At first, it may lead to increased nearsightedness or even a temporary improvement in your reading vision. But with time, the lens gradually turns more densely yellow and clouds your vision. As the cataract slowly progresses, the lens may even turn brown. Advanced yellowing or browning of the lens can lead to difficulty distinguishing between shades of color, and left untreated, it can eventually lead to blindness. Luckily, cataract surgery, where the cloudy lens is replaced with a clear lens, is an extremely safe and effective treatment option.

Blepharoptosis

Blepharoptosis or ptosis is a drooping of the upper eyelid that may affect one or both eyes. The eyelid may droop only slightly or may droop enough to cover the pupil and block vision. It occurs when there is a weakness of the eye’s levator muscle that lifts the eyelid. This condition is usually caused by aging, eye surgery, or disease affecting the muscle or its nerve. Fortunately, blepharoptosis can be corrected with surgery.

Vitreous detachment

This occurs when the gel-like vitreous fluid inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina, causing “spots and floaters” and, sometimes, flashes of light. This occurrence is usually harmless, but floaters and flashes of light can also signal the beginning of a detached retina — a serious problem that can cause blindness, and requires immediate treatment. If you experience sudden or worsening flashes and increased floaters, see Dr. Carole Burns immediately to determine the cause.

Other Age-Related Changes

In addition to the above eye conditions and diseases, the structure of our eyes and vision change as we get older.

Presbyopia

Why do people in their 40s and 50s have more difficulty focusing on near objects like books and phone screens? The lens inside the eye begins to lose its ability to change shape and bring near objects into focus, a process is called presbyopia. Over time, presbyopia, also known as age-related farsightedness, will become more pronounced and you will eventually need reading glasses to see clearly. You may need multiple prescriptions – one prescription to enable you to see up close, one for intermediate distance, and one for distance vision. In that case, people often get bifocals, multifocals or PALs, and they can be combined with contact lenses as well.

Reduced pupil size

As we age, our reaction to light and the muscles that control our pupil size lose some strength. This causes the pupil to become smaller and less responsive to changes in ambient lighting. The result? It becomes harder to clearly see objects, such as a menu, in a low-light setting like a restaurant.

Dry eye

Our tear glands produce fewer tears and the tears they produce have less moisturizing oils. Your eye doctor can determine whether your dry eye is age-related or due to another condition, and will recommend the right over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, or other effective and lasting treatments, to alleviate the dryness and restore comfort.

Loss of peripheral vision

Aging causes a 1-3 degree loss of peripheral vision per decade of life. In fact, one may reach a peripheral visual field loss of 20-30 degrees by the time they reach their 70s and 80s. While peripheral vision loss is a normal part of aging, it can also indicate the presence of a serious eye disease, like glaucoma. The best way to ascertain the cause is by getting an eye exam.

Decreased color vision

The cells in the retina responsible for normal color vision tend to decline as we age, causing colors to become less bright and the contrast between different colors to be less noticeable. Though a normal part of aging, faded colors can at times signal a more serious ocular problem.

Beyond the normal changes that come with age, the risk of developing a serious eye disease, such as age related macular degeneration and glaucoma, increases. Routine eye exams are essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Your eye doctor can determine whether your symptoms are caused by an eye problem or are a normal byproduct of aging.

If you or a loved one suffers from impaired vision, we can help. To find out more and to schedule your annual eye doctor’s appointment, contact Professional VisionCare in Lewis Center today.

Can Eye Exercises Help or Correct Astigmatism?

While astigmatism is quite common, it can also be quite annoying. That’s because astigmatism can complicate many simple daily tasks – such as reading a book.

When you have astigmatism, it means the cornea of your eye is shaped irregularly. As a result, light refracts unevenly on your retina, leading to blurred vision. Also, the muscles around your eyes can place extra stress on your cornea, leading to double vision, eye irritation, headaches, and eyestrain. Typically, prescription eyewear is used to correct astigmatism. However, there are also some natural ways to improve astigmatism, such as eye exercises.

Our optometrist in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio, offers comprehensive eye exams to diagnose astigmatism and recommend the most suitable treatment, such as eyeglasses, contact lenses or LASIK refractive surgery.

People often ask our optometrist if eye exercises can treat astigmatism? While eye exercises cannot fix astigmatism, they may help to relieve risk factors that can worsen the condition. A basic understanding of astigmatism is necessary for understanding the possible effects of vision exercises.

Did You Know There Are Two Types of Astigmatism?

The kind of astigmatism you’re likely familiar with is regular astigmatism. This refers to a football-shaped eye, and the condition is usually genetic and treated with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or LASIK. The other kind of astigmatism is irregular astigmatism, generally caused by damage to the eye. LASIK surgery or contacts are often needed to correct this type of astigmatism.

What these two types of astigmatism have in common is that ocular stress can exacerbate both conditions!

What Causes Ocular Stress?

A number of behaviors that are common among people with astigmatism can worsen ocular stress, such as:

  • Extended computer use
  • Reading books and digital devices
  • Doing fine detailed work, such as sewing or accounting
  • Watching TV or working in dim light
  • Not drinking enough and/or lack of nutrients

What Exercises Can You Do to Relax Your Eyes?

We regularly perform eye exams for patients with astigmatism who complain about headaches, eye fatigue, and other symptoms of ocular stress. In response, our optometrist often recommends eye exercises to strengthen the eye muscles, reduce stress and relax the eyes. Typically, exercises help improve vision gradually or in as little as 2-4 weeks.

When reading, working at a computer, or doing any kind of detailed work, we encourage regular vision breaks to do eye exercises, such as:

  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule – every 20 minutes, look about 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds. Gaze out a nearby window and focus on the scenery outside, or look into another room and focus on the artwork or shelving.
  • Blinking is another effective eye exercise that can relieve some of the ocular stress
  • Rectus muscle relaxation – place the thumb above the nose and move it clockwise around the nose, breathing deeply the whole time.
  • Eye massage – place two fingers on each eyelid and apply gentle pressure, moving slowly in a circular motion; repeat 10 -15 times, 2 – 4 times a day
  • Reading – open a book and place an object on the side. After reading a paragraph from the book, the kid should focus on the side object and keep doing that until their eyes start to get tired.
  • Head tilting – if you or your child usually tilt your head to one side, spend time each day trying to tilt your head in the opposite direction.
  • Eye yoga – while maintaining a straight posture (sitting or standing), close your eyes and concentrate on your eye muscles. Breathe deeply while moving your eyeballs slowly, side to side. Do this eye exercise several times a day to help strengthen eye muscles and improve focus.

Treatment for Astigmatism Starts with an Eye Exam

Step one is to visit our specially trained optometrists for a comprehensive eye exam in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio. If astigmatism is diagnosed, we’ll recommend the most effective treatment program, which may include eyeglasses, contact lenses, LASIK surgery and/or eye exercises.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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Two Different Colored Eyes? Let’s Talk About It

While relatively uncommon, it’s possible to have two different colored eyes – as quite a few celebrities, such as Dan Aykroyd, Kate Bosworth, Mila Kunis, Christopher Walken and Jane Seymour, can personally attest! Called heterochromia, this condition is typically benign and has no effects on visual acuity. But it can definitely contribute to an exotic, memorable appearance.

To make sure your heterochromia doesn’t indicate a problem, schedule an eye exam at one of our eye care centers in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio. We’ll check your eye health thoroughly and provide a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses, if needed.

3 types of heterochromia

Your eye color is determined by the amount of melanin in the iris. Blue eyes have the smallest quantity of melanin, and brown eyes have the largest amount. There are three types of heterochromia, categorized according to where the different colors are located in the eye:

  1. Complete heterochromia – The iris of one eye is an entirely different color than the iris of the other eye.
  2. Partial heterochromia (AKA sectoral heterochromia) – Only a part (or sector) of one eyes’ iris has a different color; this can occur in one or both eyes.
  3. Central heterochromia – The color near the border of the iris is different from the color near the border of the pupil. Spikes of the central color radiate from the pupil towards the middle of the iris.

Causes of heterochromia – congenital and acquired

This colorful eye condition can be congenital, meaning that it’s either present from birth, or it appeared in early childhood when the iris attained its full quantity of melanin. Congenital heterochromia is benign and genetic, or it can be the result of a genetic mutation during development of the embryo.

When heterochromia develops later in life, it is called acquired heterochromia. Typically, it happens because of a serious injury to the eye, uveitis and particular medications to treat glaucoma. Latisse eye drops, often used nowadays as a cosmetic treatment to thicken eyelashes, can also cause a color change in your iris.

Sometimes, heterochromia appears as a symptom of another health condition, such as Horner’s syndrome. This condition is the combination of partial ptosis, a constricted pupil, and the loss of the ability to sweat on half of the face. All of the symptoms are caused by a disruption of certain nerve impulses to the eye.

Heterochromia: contact lenses vs. eyeglasses

Heterochromia only requires treatment if it was caused by swelling or another underlying health problem. Otherwise, it can be left alone. However, some people are self-conscious about this condition and prefer to hide it by wearing colored contact lenses in one or both eyes. Our eye doctor in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio, can help match you with the best tint of contact lenses to give eyes that show the same exact hue. If you require vision correction to see, both eyeglasses and contact lenses will provide sharp visual acuity – but only colored contact lenses will mask the heterochromia.

Be safe – get an eye exam

Although most cases of heterochromia are there from birth and totally harmless, if you or your child has different colored eyes, book an eye exam to rule out any other serious conditions. Once your eye doctor determines that your eyes are healthy, you can enjoy the exotic appearance heterochromia adds to your look!

If you need vision correction, your eye doctor can fit you with prescription eyeglasses from our trending optical collection, or with premium contact lenses from our full inventory. Bring your current vision prescription to Professional VisionCare, located conveniently in Lewis Center, Westerville, Johnstown, and , Ohio.

At Professional VisionCare, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 614-898-9989 or book an appointment online to see one of our Lewis Center eye doctors.

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