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Dry Eye Syndrome: When Dry Eyes are Chronic

eye brown twinkle close upDry eyes are a common problem for many individuals particularly during the winter months when exposure to dry air and whipping wind is increased. However, if you are suffering from dry eyes that just won’t go away, you may have what is known as Dry Eye Syndrome – a condition in which the tears that lubricate and nourish the eye are not being produced sufficiently.

Tears serve to keep the surface of the eye moist, smooth and clear, to reduce the risk of infection and to remove foreign substances. Tear ducts in the corner of the eyelid drain the excess tears. Dry eyes syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by inadequate tear production or poor quality of the tears produced. A number of factors contribute to the condition including advanced age, female gender, environmental conditions, medication or particular medical conditions. Extended periods reading or working on a computer without blinking, prolonged use of contacts or refractive eye surgeries can also contribute to decreased moisture and tear production.

An optometrist will be able to determine whether you have chronic dry eye syndrome by examining your eye and your blinking pattern, measuring the amount and quality of your tears and assessing your medical and environmental history.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome include:

  • Persistent dry eyes
  • Scratchiness or gritty sensation
  • Burning sensation
  • Feeling like there is something is in your eye
  • Excessively watery eyes
  • Blurred vision

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. If you have dry eye syndrome, there are treatments available to relieve your discomfort.

Computer Glasses: A Growing Necessity in Our Digital World

The need for computer glasses is growing as the digital age means many of us are spending hours in front of a computer or mobile screen each day, often resulting in eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, or neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms and others are often categorized as Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. Computer eyeglasses are designed to be worn while working on your computer or another small screen to increase physical comfort and reduce eye strain to eliminate these uncomfortable effects of CVS.

What are Computer Glasses?

man reading news on laptopComputer glasses contain lenses made specifically for viewing a computer screen. Digital screens present a visual field, distance, font and glare that the eyes must accommodate to and therefore individuals that spend more than two hours a day on the computer are susceptible to symptoms of CVS, such as blurred vision and headaches. To avoid eye strain, people tend to compensate by leaning over to get closer to the screen which contributes to neck, back and shoulder pain.

Computer glasses are designed to assist in viewing the screen optimally from a proper position in relation to the computer. As opposed to reading glasses, computer glasses are focused on the intermediate visual zone which is in between distance vision (such as that needed for driving or watching a movie) and near vision (needed when reading). Computer glasses come in single vision, prescription or multifocal lenses depending on the needs of the individual.

It is also important for computer eyeglasses to have an anti-reflective (AR) or anti-glare coating or tint. Such treatments will reduce reflections of light of the computer screen or on the surface of your lenses which can induce eye strain. Some eye doctors also recommend a contrast-enhancing tint for computer glasses to help reduce glare caused by harsh overhead lighting often found in office environments.

Computer vision syndrome can be worsened by underlying vision problems such as accommodating deficiencies – trouble refocusing from the keyboard (near vision) to the screen (intermediate vision) or presbyopia (progressive near vision difficulty that comes with advancing age). Before purchasing computer glasses, you should have a comprehensive eye exam to rule out these or other eye and vision issues which may require an alternative solution.

Where Do I Get Computer Eyeglasses?

Since individual eye and vision needs such as a prescription should be taken into consideration for effective computer glasses, you should schedule an eye exam with a trusted eye care professional. It is also a good idea to measure the distance you generally sit from your computer screen to help your eye doctor determine the optimal power needed for your lens strength. This information will assist your eye doctor in recommending the best lens combination to suit your needs. Remember, these glasses are specifically for computer use only and should not be worn when driving or performing other tasks that require vision enhancement.

Once you are equipped with a proper prescription and lens type, you can select almost any style of frame for your computer glasses, so even sitting at your computer in the office you can look fashionable, see great and feel better at the same time.

Don’t wait for the symptoms of CVS to appear. Particularly if you work at a computer, consult with your optometrist today to find out whether computer glasses are right for you.

Diabetic Eye Disease

Are you aware that being diabetic puts you at risk for serious eye damage? Diabetes is the main cause of loss of sight in adults between 20 and 74 according to recent studies by the NIH. One of the most serious complications of diabetes is retinal damage caused by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy causes severe vision impairment and even blindness. Anyone with the disease is at risk and it is projected to affect 11 million people by 2030.

Diabetic retinopathy can be asymptomatic until it is too late. When the pressure in the blood vessels in the retina builds up they start to leak resulting in retinal damage. This can cause vision loss and when not treated, blindness.

If you are diabetic and you notice any sort of vision problems, such as fluctuations in eyesight, floaters, double vision, shadows or spots or any pain in your eye make an appointment with an eye doctor. Cataracts and glaucoma are also more common in individuals with diabetes than in the average population.

The risk of diabetic eye disease is higher when glucose levels are uncontrolled. Controlling your sugar levels through diet, exercise and staying healthy and annual eye exams is the best combination for keeping your eyes healthy.

This month, spread awareness of the risks of diabetic eye disease and consult with your optometrist to discuss questions or concerns. In this case, ignorance could cost you your precious eyesight

Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

contacts 3DAre you aware that there are contact lenses especially for people with astigmatism? Astigmatism means that your eye has an irregularly shaped cornea (football-shaped, unlike a normal cornea, which is spherical), and that changes how light enters the eye. It’s not able to hit the retina properly, which drastically changes one’s ability to see clearly.

Contact lenses designed to correct this condition, which are called toric contact lenses, are made from exactly the same material as regular spherical contact lenses. What separates these from common lenses is the design. Regular lenses have just one power, but toric lenses have two: one for myopia or hyperopia and one for astigmatism. In contrast to regular lenses, which can easily move around on your eye and have no effect on your vision, toric lenses must stay in place. A great feature of astigmatism-correcting lenses is the fact that they’re weighted at the bottom, which helps them stay in place when you blink or rub your eyes.

Just like regular lenses, toric lenses are available as soft disposable contact lenses, daily disposable lenses, and frequent replacement lenses. And those with astigmatism need not worry about options; toric lenses even come in color, or as multifocals. Hard contact lenses are made from a tougher substance that keeps their form even when you blink, and might provide even sharper vision than soft lenses. But the downside is that they are usually less comfortable. There’s a contact lens which perfectly suits your unique needs, and we’ll find it for you.

Toric lens fittings often take longer than regular lens fittings. This is because it’s a more complex product, and we want to make sure that you leave with a pair that fits you perfectly. This all might seem like a bit of effort, but it’s worth the end result; effective treatment. Getting the right product will only improve your vision, and thus your quality of life.

Call for an Appointment, We are open!

We are making special arrangements with the current public health concerns. When you call Texas State Optical Glenbrook, we will space your appointment time to be mindful of social distancing and your personal comfort.

Texas State Optical Glenbrook is here for your vision care. We are aware of your concerns and are taking extra precautionary action for your protection and safety. We carefully sanitize all surfaces, including equipment, frames and supplies, frame boards, desks, and keyboards.

When you schedule your eye exam appointment, you can have the extra confidence that you will be safe and comfortable at Texas State Optical.

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