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8 Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet for Healthy Eyes

Healthy food such as avocado, blueberry, nuts, and leafy vegetables portrayed for healthy eyes

8 Foods to Incorporate into Your Diet for Healthy Eyes

We all know that we should maintain a well-balanced diet to keep ourselves healthy, but did you know that a healthy diet can impact your eye health as well?

The truth is, the food we eat can affect our vision. It can even help reduce the risk of developing certain eye conditions. In some cases, you can even avoid severe eye conditions entirely if you incorporate certain foods into your diet.

Do yourself a favor and extend your vision care routine past your annual eye exam. Keep reading to learn the top 8 foods you should include in your diet to keep your eyes healthy!

What Eye Conditions are Impacted by Food Choices?

Before we get into the types of foods that can improve your eye health, it is important to understand what eye conditions you can affect through your diet. Eye conditions that you may be able to prevent with a healthy diet include:

Even if you don’t suffer from any of the above eye conditions, your eyes will still benefit from eating healthy.

What Vitamins & Antioxidants Your Eyes Need

To keep your eyes healthy, you should include a range of foods with many different vitamins, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. Some of these include:

Salmon filet, broccoli, nuts, eggs, and fish oil on wooden table.

8 Foods that can Improve Your Eye Health

To make sure you’re incorporating the right foods into your diet to maintain healthy eyesight, we compiled a list of the top 8 foods that can improve your eye health.

Seeds & Nuts

Seeds and nuts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E. These nutrients boost your eye health and protect the cells in your eyes from free radicals which can break down the eye’s tissue leading to vision issues.

Fish

Your retinas are responsible for organizing and sending visual information to your brain, enabling you to see. For your retinas to work correctly, they need two types of omega-3 fatty acids: DHA and EPA. Both of these can be found in fish and other types of seafood.

Omega-3s also appear to protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and dry eye.

Eggs

There are three main components in eggs that can improve your vision: zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin.

These three components work together to help boost the amount of pigment in the macula of your eye, which is the part of your eye that controls your central vision.

Beans and Legumes

Beans and legumes are high in zinc which can help keep your vision sharp and protects your eyes against age-related macular degeneration.

Dairy

Dairy products, such as milk or yogurt, contain vitamin A as well as Zinc. Vitamin A protects the cornea, while zinc helps bring that vitamin to the eyes. Together, zinc and vitamin A can help with night vision and can help to prevent cataracts. Dairy from grass-fed cows provides the highest levels of vitamin A and zinc.

Orange-Colored Fruits & Vegetables

Orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots, mangos, oranges and sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, a specific form of vitamin A. Beta-carotene can help increase your night vision.

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach are excellent for promoting eye health. These types of food are rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, and zeaxanthin. These nutrients lower your risk of developing long-term eye diseases. Unfortunately, most people don’t include enough dark leafy greens in their diet.

Lean Meat & Poultry

Like dairy products, lean meat and poultry are high in vitamin A and zinc, which help better your night vision. Types of lean meat and poultry you can benefit from working into your diet include:

  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken
  • Turkey

Raw Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are high in vitamin C. In fact, raw bell peppers have the highest vitamin C per calorie compared to any other food. Vitamin C strengthens the blood vessels in your eyes, which can lower your risk of getting cataracts. Heat will break down vitamin C, so you should opt for eating bell peppers raw when you can.

Other Tips for Improving Your Eye Health

Eating the 8 eye-healthy foods previously mentioned is not the only way to protect your eyes. Other ways you can keep your eyes healthy include:

  • Visiting an eye doctor and receiving an annual eye exam
  • Wearing sunglasses and other protective eyewear
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Managing blood sugar by avoiding foods with added sugar

      10 Signs You Need Emergency Eye Care

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      10 Signs You Need Emergency Eye Care

      Your eyes are sensitive, hard-working organs. If you’re experiencing sudden eye pain, vision loss, or changes to your vision, take action immediately to care for your eyes and protect your vision.

      In some cases, waiting too long to deal with an eye emergency could lead to permanent vision loss. In other cases, new eye symptoms might be an indication of an undiagnosed eye disease or condition.

      Contact us as soon as possible for a same-day emergency appointment. Existing patients can access our 24-hour answering service, but we’re also available to provide emergency appointments during business hours for first-time patients to our practice.

      10 Eye Care Emergencies To Know

      In many cases, flushing the affected eye with clean water for 15 minutes is a good first step while you seek further help. Always avoid rubbing your eyes, especially in an eye care emergency.

      If you, your child, or someone you’re assisting is experiencing any of these situations or symptoms, contact us for an appointment. In serious situations where you can’t reach us immediately, please call 911 or head straight to an emergency room.

      1. A Scratch On The Eye

      The outer layer of your eye, called the cornea, can be scratched when debris makes contact with it. This is called a corneal abrasion and while minor cases can often be treated by flushing the eyes, an eye exam can help assess whether there’s any risk of infection or inflammation.

      The scratch might be caused by dust, dirt, a contact lens, sand, or particles of metal, wood, or glass. Symptoms might include:

      • Pain or a gritty feeling in your eye
      • Lots of tears
      • Redness
      • Sensitivity to light
      • A headache
      1. Foreign Object in Eye

      Do not attempt to remove something that is lodged in the eye. Head straight to an emergency department for assistance.

      For small particles in the eye, you may be able to wash away the debris. If possible, remove any contact lens, which could be trapping particles underneath and prolonging the pain.

      1. Blunt Force Trauma

      Blunt force trauma to the eye commonly happens during sports, especially thanks to errant balls. Being hit on or near the eye can cause damage to the eye itself, as well as the eyelid and surrounding bones.

      Symptoms after being hit in the eye can vary widely, but might include:

      • Visual symptoms (blurry vision, double vision, loss of vision)
      • Physical symptoms (pain, bleeding, bruising, cuts, swelling)

      Treatment will depend on an optometrist or ophthalmologist’s assessment of the situation, but could include ice packs, pain medication, bed rest, or even surgery.

      1. Chemical Eye Burn

      A chemical eye burn can result from exposure to a wide variety of chemicals, including ammonia or other cleaning products, fertilizer, acids, tear gas or pepper spray.

      In many cases of chemical exposure, flushing the eye is the best first step, though you may also want to consult your local poison control center for further steps in addition to booking an emergency eye care appointment.

      Initial symptoms of a chemical eye burn can include:

      • Eye pain, redness, and irritation
      • Excessive tearing
      • Being unable to keep the eye open
      • The sensation of something in the eye
      • Eyelid swelling
      • Blurry vision
      1. Sudden Increase in Floaters & Flashes

      It’s normal to occasionally see floaters, which look a bit like dust marks in your vision, or flashes, which are like sparks of light that seem to come from within your eye. But a sudden increase in either of these could be due to something serious.

      A sudden increase in floaters and flashes may be a sign of:

      • An eye infection or injury
      • Inflammation in the eye
      • Bleeding inside the eye
      • Retinal detachment, which is a serious emergency that requires immediate attention or could result in permanent vision loss (see #10 for more information)

      An appointment with your eye doctor can help determine the likely cause of your symptoms.

      1. Black Spots or “Holes” in Vision

      Any type of vision loss is a reason to seek timely medical help. Holes or black spots in your vision, along with flashes of light and blurry vision, could be a sign of diabetic retinopathy.

      Diabetic retinopathy is a serious disease that can affect the eyes of people with diabetes when their blood sugar is not well-controlled over a long period of time. Diabetic retinopathy typically has no symptoms in its earliest stages, but it can be detected in an eye exam, which is why it’s so important for people with diabetes to keep up with their annual eye exams.

      Timely treatment can prevent diabetic retinopathy from causing permanent vision loss.

      Keplr 2

      1. Sudden Eye pain

      Any sudden eye pain is a potentially serious situation.

      Sudden sharp pain in your eye could be caused by:

      • Contact lenses, including a scratch or infection related to improper contact lens use or hygiene
      1. Unexplained Redness, Blurry Vision, & Light Sensitivity With Pain

      Together, redness, blurry vision, light sensitivity and eye pain could be signs of uveitis, which is an inflammation of part of your eye called the uvea.

      Uveitis can be caused by infection or injury, or it could be related to an autoimmune disorder, though it’s not always possible to determine the cause. Untreated, uveitis may lead to optic nerve damage and permanent vision loss.

      See your eye doctor soon if you think you might have symptoms of uveitis, and make an emergency appointment right away if you have sudden pain or vision loss.

      1. Nausea, Vomiting, Headache, Blurry Vision, & Sudden Severe Eye Pain

      A combination of nausea, vomiting, headache, blurry vision, and sudden eye pain could be signs of acute closed-angle glaucoma. This is a form of glaucoma that happens fast and needs immediate emergency treatment.

      You may be at a higher risk if closed-angle glaucoma runs in your family, or if you’re of Southeast Asian or Alaska Native origins.

      1. ACurtain-Like ShadowAcross Vision, Flashes or Floaters, & Blurry Vision Without Pain

      A sudden increase in flashes or floaters alone can be a sign of retinal detachment, which is a serious emergency that requires immediate care for the best chance of preserving your vision. Retinal detachment may also be accompanied by blurry vision and a curtain-like shadow across your field of view.

      Retinal detachment is painless, but can cause permanent blindness if it’s not treated right away.

      You might be at a higher risk of retinal detachment if:

      • You’re over 50
      • You have a previous history of an eye injury
      • You have a family history of retinal detachment

      How To Prevent Eye Injuries

      Every year, more than 850,000 Americans suffer eye injuries at work, at home, and while playing sports.

      Here are some tips to keep you safer around the house:

      • Never mix cleaning products
      • Check your lawn for hazards before mowing
      • Keep your tools in good working condition
      • Clear kids and other bystanders out of the area when making repairs or doing yard work

      Come See Us

      Your long-term vision health is our top priority. Please contact us immediately if you think you’re experiencing an eye care emergency, so we can support you to get the medical assistance you need.

      What is Neurolens & How Does it Work?

      Neurolens2

      What is Neurolens & How Does it Work?

      Suffering from daily headaches or computer vision syndrome can significantly affect your overall well-being and quality of life. Daily activities can become monumental tasks when suffering from the symptoms caused by these vision-related problems.

      Eye misalignment may be the root of your discomfort, and Neurolens can help correct eye misalignment issues that cause headaches and computer vision syndrome.

      If you are unsure about Neurolens or do not know the cause of your symptoms, book an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam at Shady Grove Eye Clinic; Our team of professionals will be able to help you discern what is causing your symptoms and get you the most effective treatment for your specific needs.

      What is Eye Misalignment?

      Each of our eyes collects information from our surroundings independently; the images captured by each of our eyes are slightly different and consolidated by our brain to form a single image. This process is continuous, and the line of communication between our eyes and brain will work as long as our eyes are open and collecting information. When someone’s eyes are perfectly aligned, this process of consolidation allows images to be clear, seamless, and free of any distortion.

      Eye misalignment is when the process of creating the consolidated image in our brain is not seamless — rather, the misalignment of our eyes causes our brain to have to manually combine the slightly different images from both of our eyes. This causes stress on the trigeminal nerve and can lead to headaches, eye strain, and other visual problems.

      Misalignment is usually more pronounced when focusing on an object or area that is in near range. With our current reliance on digital technology for work and entertainment, this close-range factor can cause significant discomfort for those with problems with eye misalignment who have to use digital screens in their daily lives.

      Computer vision syndrome can be aggravated and influenced by the presence of eye misalignment.

      How Does Neurolens Work?

      The Neurolens Measurement Device

      The Neurolens measurement device (nMD) measures eye alignment and calculates a patient’s AC/A (Accommodative Convergence to Accommodation ratio). The nMD does not rely on subjective responses, which helps eliminate biases and variabilities from both clinicians and patients during measurement recording. The nMD is able to take objective measurements by employing an eye-tracking system that focuses on the patients’ eyes while they are being dissociated and associated by the device.

      The nMD employs an iterative procedure of misalignment measurements that will provide a patient with a final Neurolens prism correction value which will be used to create their specialized lenses. The nMD does this by:

      • Measuring the gap between where your eyes want to be and where they need to be.
      • Isolating peripheral and central vision so a comprehensive assessment of the patient’s eye alignment and synchronization can be recorded.
      • Getting patients to focus on a single point while a display of rotating planets and stars activates peripheral and central vision, accumulating in measurements of distance and near eye alignment.

      Neurolens1

      What Are Neurolenses?

      Neurolenses are designed to help correct eye misalignment by incorporating technology called “contoured prism,” which places the proper corrective power on a lens where it is needed the most. Neurolenses are customizable and can work with any prescription; since they are a premium lens option, they come standard with high-quality materials and an anti-reflective coating.

      The nMD will find the necessary Neurolens prism correction value that will be used to prescribe Neurolenses. Using a proprietary contour design, Neurolenses will seamlessly vary the prismatic correction needed by the eyes at different distances — this allows eye doctors to customize lens correction for different patients depending on their needs.

      Neurolenses can lead to effective symptom relief of headaches and computer vision syndrome; 93% of patients who have worn Neurolenses have experienced symptom relief. A study from Neurolens shows that 81.6% of patients suffering from chronic daily headaches experienced substantial reductions in their symptoms after wearing Neurolenses for 90 days.

      Neurolens also reported in a study that 100% of patients suffering symptoms of computer vision syndrome had a positive response to wearing Neurolenses. Most patients were able to greatly reduce or even eliminate the need to take supplementary pain-relieving medications to combat computer vision syndrome.

      Am I a Candidate for Neurolens?

      Shady Grove Eye Clinic can help you determine whether Neurolens is the right solution for your needs. A two-step process to make this determination:

      • Our eye doctors will evaluate the frequency and severity of your symptoms.
      • Our eye doctors will clinically measure the amount of eye misalignment using an nMD. This diagnostic test takes only a few minutes and will help our eye doctors create your unique Neurolenses.

      To start, take the online Neurolens test. This will help our doctors determine the severity of your symptoms and decide if Neurolens is a potential solution for you.

      4 Signs You Need to See Your Optometrist

      4 signs 1

      Has it been a while since your last eye exam? Are you having trouble reading this sentence? We sure hope not — but those aren’t the only reasons you might need to visit your eye doctor!

      It’s not always easy to know when to visit your eye doctor, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Not all eye conditions present obvious symptoms at first, but many become severe and irreversible if left untreated. Use the following checklist to make sure you’re not overdue for a visit—and schedule an appointment as soon as possible if you are!

      When to See Your Optometrist (in General)

      Let’s get one thing out of the way before we start: it’s a good idea to see your optometrist regularly—regardless of whether or not you think it’s necessary. In this case, “a regular basis” means at least once every two years for most adults.

      Just to be safe, we recommend going for a routine eye exam with your optometrist as often as once each year. You may need to go even more often if you meet the following criteria:

      • A family history of degenerative eye diseases such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration
      • High blood pressure
      • Diabetes
      • A job that requires demanding vision usage
      • A job with conditions that may put the eyes at risk of damage (excessive glare, bright UV light, etc.)
      • A personal history including eye surgery or eye injury

      If any or all of the conditions listed above apply to you, talk to your optometrist as soon as possible. They’ll be able to tell you how often you should set up eye exams to monitor your condition.

      4 Signs it’s Time to See Your Optometrist Now

      Even if you’re in the habit of having regular eye exams, there are certain cases where it’s best not to wait. If you find yourself dealing with any of the following situations, contact your optometrist right away and set up an appointment.

      Foreign Objects in One or Both Eyes

      Dirt and debris can damage your eyes, along with various chemicals. If any of those substances enter your eyes, rinse them under clean and cool water for no less than 15 minutes.

      You can also rinse with water to clear away small objects stuck in your eyes. However, avoid using tweezers or your fingers to remove the offending items at all costs, and do not rub your eyes. Such tactics can move the objects around and damage sensitive tissues.

      If something enters your eye and you can’t rinse it out, contact your optometrist immediately. If they are unavailable, go to the nearest emergency room.

      4 signs 2

      Signs of an Eye Infection

      Some eye infections go away naturally over time, but others can cause vision loss if left unchecked. If you think you might have an eye infection, don’t tempt fate—schedule an eye exam with your optometrist and make sure you know what’s causing it.

      Common signs of eye infection include:

      • Swollen, red, or itchy eyelids
      • Discoloured whites of the eyes
      • Abnormal amounts of eye discharge (which can be light-brown, green, yellow, white, or clear)

        Intense or Ongoing Eye Pain

        If you experience mild or infrequent pain in one or both eyes, don’t panic. However, severe or long-lasting eye pain is a reason to see your optometrist—especially if it’s getting worse. Eye pain may signify an infection, but it can also be a sign of injury. In some cases, it may also accompany serious eye diseases such as glaucoma, which require early detection and management to prevent significant vision loss.

        Too Many Flashes, Spots, & Floaters

        Flashes, spots, and floaters occur naturally in most people’s eyes and are completely harmless in most cases. They appear when small bits of protein and other tissues drift across the vitreous (the transparent gel filling the inside of our eyes).

        However, large clouds of floaters or sudden flashes are often bad news. The same goes for any clouds that appear to form over your vision. These symptoms may indicate a detached retina or other severe conditions that require immediate medical attention.

        Conclusion

        It’s always smart to set up routine eye exams with your optometrist, but be sure to keep looking for signs of trouble between visits. Some eye problems can’t wait, and you need to know when to act fast. Use the information above to help decide when to seek additional assistance so that you can see clearly for many years to come.

        May is Healthy Vision Month

        What does that mean for you? It means that now is the time to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

        While these are one of the exams we may often let fall by the wayside, they are extremely important to maintain our eye health. Comprehensive eye exams serve several purposes. During these exams, pupils, the circular black area in the center of the eye where light enters, are widened with eye drops or viewed without dilation through a special camera. This allows your Eye Doctor to check for vision problems and eye diseases, verify what stage of diseases your eyes may be in, and helps determine if you need glasses, contacts or other treatments.

        Comprehensive eye exams are crucial for all ages, here’s why:

        Pediatric exams test for visual acuity, lazy eye, color vision, ocular health, and more. These are extremely important to test for the school years ahead.

        For older children and teenagers, myopia (nearsightedness) is one of the biggest concerns that comprehensive eye exams detect. Myopia affects the eye’s ability to see distant images clearly. It is important to identify and treat early with glasses or contacts as children and teens begin to learn in larger spaces, play sports, and drive.

        Adult exams are recommended at least every two years, or as recommended by your eye care specialist. Exams for adults are necessary to catch eye conditions that can cause vision loss and even lead to blindness. Some of these conditions are cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration.

        There are several other conditions that comprehensive eye exams can expose that may not be found without a visit to your optometrist.

        Outside of eye exams, here are 5 ways you can help protect your vision:

        1. Healthy eating. You know this! Healthy eating helps every part of your body. For your eyes, make sure to add dark, leafy greens and seafood that is high in omega-3 fatty acids to your plate. A great excuse to treat yourself to sushi! We’re adding a spicy sake maki roll to our cart… for delivery.
        2. Protective eyewear. Whether you’re chopping wood for the bonfire pit, mowing the lawn, painting your bedroom walls, or riding your motorcycle around town, protective eyewear is key. Blue-light protection glasses should also be considered to protect your eyes from all the time spent in front of computer screens.
        3. Sunglasses. Much like protective eyewear, sunglasses help protect your eyes from ultraviolet radiation delivered by sun. Not all sunglasses provide the same level of protection. Let us help you pick the best pair!
        4. Clean hands. Wash your hands before putting your contacts in and before taking your contacts out, simply to avoid infection.
        5. Stop smoking. Smoking is known to cause several diseases, but it can also lead to vision loss. It can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and more. Mark your calendar for your comprehensive eye exam and mark it as the day to stop smoking.

        May is Healthy Vision Month Image.jpeg

        Happy healthy vision month! Get your appointment in the books with us today.

        Cataract Awareness Month

        June is Cataract Awareness Month. During this important time, people living with cataracts (and their loved ones) are encouraged to talk about their personal experiences by giving each other helpful information and sharing their knowledge and advice. Use the hashtag #CataractAwarenessMonth on your social media channels to encourage and support others.

        Did you know that over 24 million Americans have cataracts? More than 3.5 million Canadians are blind from cataracts, making it one of the most common – and serious – eye conditions today. Dr. Alan Glazier treats cataract patients from all over Rockville, Maryland with the newest and most effective methods of eye care.

        With millions of people living with the condition, it’s now more important than ever to bring awareness to this serious condition.

        What Are Cataracts?

        So what exactly are cataracts?

        The lens of the eye is normally clear, which allows you to see things clearly and in sharp detail. Over time, the lens can become cloudy, causing blurry vision. It’s as if you’re looking through a dirty window and can’t really see what’s outside. This clouding of the lens is called a cataract, and it can affect one or both of your eyes.

        What Causes Cataracts?

        Aging is the most common cause of cataracts. The lens of your eye contains water and proteins. As you age, these proteins can clump together, and when that happens, the normally clear lens becomes cloudy.

        Did you know that certain types of major eye surgeries and infections can trigger cataracts? Other issues that can lead to cataracts include congenital birth defects, eye injury, diseases, and even various kinds of medications. If you’re already developing cataracts, be careful when going outside. UV rays from the sun can make cataracts develop faster.

        How Can I Lower My Risk of Cataracts?

        Certain risk factors increase your chance of developing cataracts. These typically include:

        • Diabetes
        • Excessive alcohol consumption
        • Family and medical history
        • Medications
        • Obesity
        • Smoking
        • UV ray exposure

        To lower your risk, consider reducing your alcohol intake, quit smoking, start an exercise program, eat foods rich in vitamin A and C, and wear 100% UV blocking sunglasses.

        Common Symptoms of Cataracts

        If you have cataracts, you may experience some common symptoms like:

        • Blurry vision
        • Colors that used to be bright now appear dim
        • Double vision
        • Glare from natural sunlight or from artificial light, like light bulbs and lamps
        • Halos around lights
        • Night vision problems
        • Sensitivity to light

        If you or a family member notice any of these signs, talk to Dr. Alan Glazier right away. The sooner you seek treatment, the faster we can help you get back to clear vision.

        Coping With Cataracts

        If you’re experiencing vision problems from cataracts, there is hope. If you have a mild case, a combination of a different eyeglass prescription and better lighting in your home, office, or other environment can improve your vision. In more advanced cases, your optometrist will likely recommend cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear one.

        Do I Need Cataract Surgery?

        Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures today. In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 2 million people undergo the procedure each year.

        During the procedure, the doctor will gently remove the cataract from the eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (known as an IOL). Because it’s a common procedure, cataract surgery is usually performed in an outpatient clinic or in your eye doctor’s office. There is no need to stay in a hospital and you can usually resume your normal activities in just a few days.

        If you’ve exhausted every other solution and still suffer from blurry vision from cataracts, surgery may be an option. Call 301-670-1212 to book an eye doctor’s appointment at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care and together, we’ll determine if cataract surgery is right for you.

        During this Cataract Awareness Month, share your stories and successes, and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

        Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

        Do your kids need glasses in order to see clearly? Maybe they have a strong case of nearsightedness, perhaps they have astigmatism, or another type of refractive error. Whatever the cause, getting your kids to wear eyeglasses can be a parenting challenge.

        Dr. Alan Glazier treats patients from all over Rockville, Maryland with their vision correction needs. The knowledgeable, caring staff at Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care can help you and your kids if they’re struggling with their glasses or don’t want to wear them.

        Why Won’t My Child Wear His or Her Glasses?

        To help your children get the best vision possible, you first need to understand why they’re fighting with you over their glasses. It usually stems from something physical, emotional, or social, such as:

        • Wrong fit
        • Wrong prescription
        • Personal style
        • Reactions from friends

        How do you know which it is? Pay close attention to the signs, from what your kids say, to how they behave, to how they interact with others.

        Physical

        Improper fit is a big reason why glasses could feel uncomfortable. If they slip down, itch behind the ears, or put pressure on the bridge of the nose, it can explain why a child wouldn’t like to wear them.

        If there’s been a big change to their prescription, they may need time to get used to it. If they were given the wrong prescription, they may be straining their eyes, getting headaches, or having eye fatigue. An incorrect prescription can make wearing glasses painful or awkward. It doesn’t correct their vision, either, so they’ll still see blurry images. When this happens, your eye doctor can check the prescription and make an adjustment.

        Emotional

        Your kids at home aren’t the same as your kids in school, on the sports field, or with their friends. They may be afraid of being made fun of in school, or they may not want the sudden attention on their appearance. These feelings can be even stronger among the tween and teen set.

        Social

        Even young kids can feel different when they put on a pair of glasses, especially if it’s for the first time. Feeling different or weird, in their eyes, translates to a negative experience. When wearing glasses makes them feel like the odd man out, they may not want to wear them. The last thing your child wants is to feel like a social outcast. After all, everyone wants to belong.

        How We Can Help

        First, bring your child in to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Our optometrist, Dr. Alan Glazier, will check to make sure that your child has the right prescription and that any vision problems are being corrected. Next, we’ll take a look at the glasses and place them on your child’s face to determine if they’ve got the proper fit. Our optician will take care of any adjustments that need to be made.

        The Vision They Need, The Style They Want

        Fashion isn’t only for adults. Your budding fashionista or trendy young stud wants to look awesome, so don’t forget about style. When your kids look great, they’ll feel great! Give them the top-quality eyewear they need without compromising on style. Your kids are a lot more likely to wear glasses when they like the way they look.

        What You Can Do to Help

        Encourage, stay positive, and don’t give up. Avoid telling them what you want them to wear. Let them choose for themselves. In the end, they’re the ones wearing the glasses. Making decisions is an important life skill, something they’ll need as they grow up and become more independent.

        For younger children, use positive words to encourage them. Talk about how glasses are like magic, letting them see beautiful things around them. Show them how a pretty flower or a bright red truck looks with the glasses on, and how different it looks with the glasses off. For older kids, throw in a little pop culture. Tell them how trendy they’ll look by showing them pictures of celebrities who also wear glasses. You’ll also rack up some cool parent points.

        At Shady Grove Eye and Vision Care, we have the experience and unique approach to children’s eyewear that will make your kids want to wear their glasses. Schedule an eye exam today – you can call to book an appointment. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

        8 Tips to Relieve Winter Dry Eyes

        Whether you live in a climate with cold winter weather or you are planning a ski trip up north, winter can be a challenge if you suffer from dry eyes. Dry, cool air, cold winds and even drier indoor heating can cause eye irritation, burning, itchiness and redness, and sometimes even excessively watery eyes as more tears are produced to compensate for the dryness. Many people have a chronic feeling that they have something in their eye and some even experience blurred vision. These symptoms can be debilitating!

        Dry eyes is one of the most common complaints eye doctors get from patients during the winter season, especially in the cooler climates. That’s why we’d like to share some tips on how to relieve dry eye discomfort, and how to know when your condition is serious enough to come in for an evaluation.

        Tips to Relieve Winter Dry Eyes:

        1. Keep eyes moist using artificial tears or eye drops. You can apply these a few times each day when the eyes are feeling dry or irritated. If over-the-counter drops don’t help or if you have chronic dry eyes, speak to your eye doctor about finding the best drops for you. Since not all artificial tears are the same, knowing the cause of your dry eye will help your eye doctor determine which brand is best suited for your eyes.
        2. Use a humidifier to counteract the drying effects of indoor heaters or generally dry air.
        3. Point car vents or indoor heaters away from your face when the heat is on. Try to keep your distance from direct sources of heating, especially if they blow out the heat.
        4. Drink a lot! Hydrating your body will also hydrate your eyes.
        5. Protect your eyes outdoors with sunglasses or goggles – the bigger the better! Larger, even wrap-around glasses as well as a hat with a wide brim will keep the wind and other elements out of your eyes. If you wear goggles for winter sports, make sure they fit well and cover a large surface area.
        6. Soothe dry eyes using a warm compress and never rub them! Rubbing your eyes will increase irritation and may lead to infection if the hands are not clean.
        7. Give your eyes a digital break. People blink less during screen time which is why extensive computer use can lead to dry eyes. Follow the 20/20/20 rule by taking a break every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds and make sure you blink!
        8. For contact lens wearers: If you wear contact lenses, dry eyes can be particularly debilitating as the contact lenses can cause even further dryness and irritation. Contact lens rewetting drops can help your eyes feel better and may also allow you to see more clearly. Not all eyedrops are appropriate for use with contact lenses, so ask your optometrist which eyedrop is compatible with your contacts and cleaning solution. If rewetting drops don’t help, consider opting for glasses when your dry eyes are bad, and speak to your optometrist about which brands of contact lenses are better for dry eyes. Many people find dry eye improvement when they switch to daily single use contact lenses.

        Chronic Dry Eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome

        Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition in which the eyes do not produce enough tear film, or do not produce the quality of tear film needed to properly keep the eyes moist. While winter weather can make this condition worse, it is often present all year round. If you find that the tips above do not alleviate your discomfort or symptoms, it may be time to see a optometrist to see if your condition requires more effective medical treatment.

        Diabetes and Your Eyes

        Diabetes is becoming much more prevalent around the globe. According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 425 million adults were living with diabetes in the year 2017 and 352 million more people were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By 2045 the number of people diagnosed is expected to rise to 629 million.

        Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness as well as heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, neuropathy (nerve damage) and lower limb amputation. In fact, in 2017, diabetes was implicated in 4 million deaths worldwide. Nevertheless preventing these complications from diabetes is possible with proper treatment, medication and regular medical screenings as well as improving your diet, physical activity and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

        What is Diabetes?

        Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the hormone insulin is either underproduced or ineffective in its ability to regulate blood sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, which damages many systems in the body such as the blood vessels and the nervous system.

        How Does Diabetes Affect The Eyes?

        Diabetic eye disease is a group of conditions which are caused, or worsened, by diabetes; including: diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma and cataracts. Diabetes increases the risk of cataracts by four times, and can increase dryness and reduce cornea sensation.

        In diabetic retinopathy, over time, the tiny blood vessels within the eyes become damaged, causing leakage, poor oxygen circulation, then scarring of the sensitive tissue within the retina, which can result in further cell damage and scarring.

        The longer you have diabetes, and the longer your blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled, the higher the chances of developing diabetic eye disease. Unlike many other vision-threatening conditions which are more prevalent in older individuals, diabetic eye disease is one of the main causes of vision loss in the younger, working-age population. Unfortunately, these eye conditions can lead to blindness if not caught early and treated. In fact, 2.6% of blindness worldwide is due to diabetes.

        Diabetic Retinopathy

        As mentioned above, diabetes can result in cumulative damage to the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy.

        The retina is responsible for converting the light it receives into visual signals to the optic nerve in the brain. High blood sugar levels can cause the blood vessels in the retina to leak or hemorrhage, causing bleeding and distorting vision. In advanced stages, new blood vessels may begin to grow on the retinal surface causing scarring and further damaging cells in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to blindness.

        Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

        The early stages of diabetic retinopathy often have no symptoms, which is why it’s vitally important to have frequent diabetic eye exams. As it progresses you may start to notice the following symptoms:

        • Blurred or fluctuating vision or vision loss
        • Floaters (dark spots or strings that appear to float in your visual field)
        • Blind spots
        • Color vision loss

        There is no pain associated with diabetic retinopathy to signal any issues. If not controlled, as retinopathy continues it can cause retinal detachment and macular edema, two other serious conditions that threaten vision. Again, there are often NO signs or symptoms until more advanced stages.

        A person with diabetes can do their part to control their blood sugar level. Following the physician’s medication plan, as well as diet and exercise recommendations can help slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy.

        Retinal Detachment

        Scar tissues caused by the breaking and forming of blood vessels in advanced retinopathy can lead to a retinal detachment in which the retina pulls away from the underlying tissue. This condition is a medical emergency and must be treated immediately as it can lead to permanent vision loss. Signs of a retinal detachment include a sudden onset of floaters or flashes in the vision.

        Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

        Diabetic macular edema occurs when the macula, a part of the retina responsible for clear central vision, becomes full of fluid (edema). It is a complication of diabetic retinopathy that occurs in about half of patients, and causes vision loss.

        Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema

        While vision loss from diabetic retinopathy and DME often can’t be restored, with early detection there are some preventative treatments available. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (when the blood vessels begin to grow abnormally) can be treated by laser surgery, injections or a procedure called vitrectomy in which the vitreous gel in the center of the eye is removed and replaced. This will treat bleeding caused by ruptured blood vessels. DME can be treated with injection therapy, laser surgery or corticosteroids.

        Prevent Vision Loss from Diabetes

        The best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic eye disease is early detection and treatment. Since there may be no symptoms in the early stages, regular diabetic eye exams are critical for early diagnosis. In fact diabetics are now sometimes monitored by their health insurance to see if they are getting regular eye exams and premium rates can be affected by how regularly the patients get their eyes checked. Keeping diabetes under control through exercise, diet, medication and regular screenings will help to reduce the chances of vision loss and blindness from diabetes.

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