22 Oct A Comprehensive Guide to Eye Care
Your eyes play an essential role in everyday life, no matter your age. Newborns, school-aged children, adults, and grandparents should all get regular eye exams as this allows your eye doctor to monitor any vision changes and identify eye issues early on. Here at Art of Optiks, we strive to provide every patient with a quality experience explicitly catered to their unique needs. From correcting a child’s refractive error or diagnosing early cataracts to providing relief for eye inflammation and reducing blue light exposure, our eye doctors are ready to help you with all of your eye care needs.
Do You Need Vision Correction?
Regardless of your age, there are several signs and symptoms that could mean you need vision correction. It’s incredibly essential to become familiar with these symptoms, so you or a loved one can get the relief they need. From recurring headaches and troubles seeing at night to frequent squinting and losing your place while reading, your vision influences your daily performance, meaning it’s vital to regularly check in with yourself to ensure you’re in optimal health.
What Is a Refractive Error?
Refractive error is a term used by eye care professionals to describe the event in which a patient’s eyes cannot clearly focus the images in surrounding environments. Refractive errors result in blurred vision and can easily be corrected with eyeglasses, contacts, or surgery. Three are four common types of refractive error:
Should I See an Eye Doctor?
Your eyes’ health is incredibly important to monitor, as with many other areas of the human body. Whether you’ve already been scheduling regular eye exams or are just starting to make appointments, there are a few tell-tale symptoms that could indicate a much larger health issue.
Blurry Vision + Seeing Double
While blurry and double vision commonly occur as a result of astigmatism or dry eye, it may be a sign you need the opinion of an experienced eye doctor. Blurry vision can indicate a range of health issues, from an inflamed optic nerve and diabetes to Lyme disease and brain hemorrhaging. Double vision can be an indicator of much more severe health issues, such as a neurological or autoimmune condition. Regardless, if you experience blurry or double vision for an extended period of time, contacting your eye doctor must take place immediately.
If you’re experiencing eye discomfort of any kind, it’s time to schedule a visit with your eye doctor. Pain, burning, or grittiness are all signs that a larger issue may be under the surface. From an infection or severe inflammation to a foreign object, oil gland blockage, or mites, don’t ignore eye discomfort as it will be more beneficial to catch and remedy the cause early on.
Pupils, Flashes, and Floaters
All of us will likely experience floaters at some point in our lives, especially as we age. Flashes and floaters are commonly caused by changes in the consistency of your vitreous. If you notice flashes, floaters, or extreme vision changes, you must make an appointment with your eye doctor. Changes in vitreous consistency can put extra stress on your retina, which, at times, can result in posterior vitreous detachment or a retinal tear or detachment.
The pupils in your eyes adjust naturally to varying light levels by shrinking or dilating. Unless your eye doctor has diagnosed you with unequal pupil sizes or physioloical anisocoria, you must seek medical advice immediately upon noticing any asymmetry or unusual size or shape to your pupils. Unequal pupil sizes can indicate many serious medical issues, from a brain aneurysm or tumor to brain infections and strokes.
The Importance of Pediatric Eye Exams
Your child’s vision plays a substantial role in their well-being and quality of life. Regular pediatric eye exams not only ensure a child’s vision is developing correctly but allows eye care professionals to identify any medical issues early on. Regardless of your child’s age, it’s recommended to schedule the exam for a time when they’re usually happy and energetic.
- Newborns and Infants: Parents are encouraged to schedule a pediatric eye exam following their child’s birth, as this allows doctors to verify that they are healthy. Following the newborn eye exam, a child should get another at six months of age to ensure that their eyesight is developing correctly, and no refractive errors exist.
- Preschool: At the age of three, your child should have another eye exam. Your eye care provider will further verify their eyesight is developing correctly, monitor any potential eye health issues, and identify possible vision impairments.
- School Age: Once your child enters grade school, it’s incredibly important to stay on schedule with regular eye exams as any refractive errors should be corrected at this point. Your child’s vision impacts their ability to learn, making it essential that you regularly check in with them to ensure that vision issues are addressed immediately with a comprehensive eye exam.
As a parent, you must become aware of the various signs and symptoms that may mean your child is experiencing vision problems. From regular headaches and a low reading comprehension level to lack of eye contact and excessive blinking, these and many more could mean it’s time to schedule a visit with your eye care provider.
What About Cataracts?
As you get older, the likelihood of developing cataracts increases substantially, meaning regular eye exams are necessary. Cataracts form in part due to protein fibers becoming clumped, thus resulting in cloudy vision due to light not passing through your eye like normal. In younger individuals, protein molecules in the lens of your eye are arranged in a latticework layout, which influences clear vision and allows light to pass through the retina efficiently. You must monitor your vision for unfamiliar clouding, blurriness, and light differentiation, as this could be an early sign of cataract development.
Adjust Your Diet
Simple diet adjustments have been proven to not only improve eye health but overall health and well-being. Incorporating antioxidant-rich foods like turmeric and bell peppers into your diet is an excellent way to give your body the required nutrients and lower the chances of developing cataracts. Those diagnosed or have a family history of diabetes are more likely to develop cataracts. It’s recommended to monitor your blood sugar levels, especially if your likelihood is higher, as extreme fluctuations can be an early sign.
Alcohol + Smoking
Many activities in the world today can directly impact our health. Both smoking and alcohol consumption can increase your likelihood of cataracts. Smoking depletes your body of non-toxic chemicals and antioxidants, thus heightening the level of toxins that have been proven to cause cataracts. It’s encouraged to monitor these activities and limit use or quit altogether.
Protect Your Eyes
Similar to protecting your eyes from extended blue light exposure, ultraviolet light can be just as damaging. There are various sunglass styles available on the market today, meaning you can find a pair that’s perfect for your unique lifestyle. From enhanced UVA and UVB blockage to varying tints and style preferences, regularly protecting your eyes from the sun is an excellent way to prevent the onset of cataracts.
Blue Light and Your Vision
Over the years, blue light has slowly become more and more of a concern. Blue light has shorter wavelengths ranging between 380 and 500 nanometers than other light forms but often appears in higher volumes. Because of this, eye care providers have become concerned with the damage blue light can have on your vision over time. While sunlight is the largest blue light source, you come in contact with blue light numerous times throughout the day, from fluorescent and LED lights to electronic devices and even television.
Common Vision Issues
While it takes time for blue light to alter your vision and affect your eyes’ overall health, it can still happen. Many experience digital eyestrain from extended blue light exposure, which can be identified through sore or irritated eyes and difficulties focusing. Blue light passes through your cornea and lens, meaning your retina is the final destination. Because of this, extended blue light exposure can result in damage to light-sensitive cells located in the retina. Ultimately, many experience their eyes aging prematurely, making it incredibly important to take proper preventative measures to limit unnecessary blue light exposure.
Eye care professionals have continued to make advancements in protecting our eyes from extended blue light exposure. Whether it’s altering the amount of time you or a loved one spends in front of a screen or investing in optimized protection, there are many preventative measures we can implement into our daily lives.
- Blue light filters and eyewear: If you or a loved one spends time on electronic devices each day, it may be beneficial to invest in a blue light filter or blue light-blocking eyewear. A blue light filter can be affixed to an electronic device to prevent excess blue light exposure without altering screen visibility. Blue light-blocking eyewear is tinted to ease digital eye strain and increase visible contrast during electronic device use.
- Adjusting screen exposure: The use of electronic devices has continued to grow in popularity as schools, jobs, and everyday life revolves around them. While it may seem like a big adjustment to make, it’s encouraged to consider how much time you and your loved ones are spending in front of screens and limit time accordingly.
- Intraocular lens (IOL): Are you having surgery to remove cataracts? Certain intraocular lenses can enhance protection from blue light exposure. It’s encouraged to check with your surgeon so you can consider this protective solution.
Get the Eye Care You Deserve Today
The health of your eyes shouldn’t be brushed aside, and the award-winning team at Art of Optiks is ready to provide you with a top-quality eye care experience. Whether you’ve recently noticed a vision change in yourself or loved one or are suffering from a recent injury, regularly monitoring the health and condition of your eyes will prolong deterioration as you age. If you’re ready to start improving your well-being and quality of life, contact an experienced eye care professional today to schedule your comprehensive eye exam.