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Why Eye Exams Are More Important Than Ever

Why Are Eye Exams near you in Houston, Texas Important?

Since the onset of COVID-19, many children have been learning remotely through distance learning programs. While parents are concerned about their children falling behind academically, eye doctors are concerned that undiagnosed vision problems may impact the child’s school performance.

Undetected vision problems may hinder a child’s ability to learn. That’s why eye doctors strongly recommend that children undergo a thorough Eye Exam before the new school year begins.

While it’s tempting to rely on vision screenings provided by schools, these superficial visual acuity tests can identify only a limited number of vision problems. Only a comprehensive Eye Exam conducted by an eye doctor can accurately diagnose and address a wide range of problems related to vision and eye health.

How Is Vision Affected By Online Learning?

The amount of time children spend looking at digital screens was already a concern in the pre-pandemic era—but the covid pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. According to the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, children spent twice as much time on screens during COVID-related closures than they did prior to the pandemic.

For one thing, spending prolonged periods of time on digital screens forces the eyes to work harder, making children and adults more susceptible to digital eye strain, one of the hallmark symptoms of computer vision syndrome. People who spend 2 or more consecutive hours staring at a screen are at higher risk of developing this condition.

Some digital eye strain symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

These symptoms can be caused by a combination of the following factors:

  • Glare and reflections from the screen
  • Excessive time looking at a screen
  • Poor lighting
  • Poor posture
  • Screen brightness
  • Undetected vision problems

In addition to digital eye strain, several studies have found that children who spend many hours indoors doing “near work” — writing, reading and looking at computers and other digital devices — have a higher rate of myopia progression.

A study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s professional journal, Ophthalmology, found that first-graders who spent at least 11 hours per week playing outside in the sunshine experienced slower myopia progression. Some researchers theorize that exposure to sunlight and looking at distant objects while playing outdoors might help prevent myopia progression.

Our optometry practice near you in Houston, Texas, offers a wide range of eye care services, including pediatric eye exams, contact lenses fitting and ocular diseases management

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Up to 80% of a child’s learning is visual, so even the slightest vision problem can have a negative impact on their academic achievement. Taking a child in for an Eye Exam once a year will allow your eye doctor to detect and correct refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, and check their visual skills, such as convergence insufficiency, binocular vision, focusing and more.

Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to detect mild and serious eye health conditions. Eye exams are especially important for children with a family history of eye health problems.

While regular eye exams are essential for every member of the family, they’re especially for those who spend a good portion of their day in front of a screen.

Don’t put off your child’s annual Eye Exam. Schedule an appointment with Optomedica Eye Consultants in Houston today!

Optomedica Eye Consultants, your Houston eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Schedule a Back To School Eye Exam With Our Optometrist in Houston, Texas

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At what age should a child have an Eye Exam

According to the American and Canadian Optometric Associations, it’s recommended for a child to have their first Eye Exam between 6-12 months of age.
Before a child starts school, they should undergo an Eye Exam, and every one to two years after that, based on their Eye Doctor’s recommendation.

Does my child need an Eye Exam if they passed the school vision screening?

Yes! School vision screenings are superficial eye evaluations designed to diagnose a limited number of vision problems like myopia. They do not check for visual skills and other problems that may hinder your child’s academic success.
Your Eye Doctor will evaluate your child’s vision and eye health, along with visual abilities, including depth perception and eye tracking, to let you know whether your child’s eyes are “school-ready.”

Why Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive To Light?

Why Do Your Eyes Need Sun Protection?

Eyes of all colors need shielding from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to UV light can contribute to the formation of short-term and long-term eye conditions such as corneal sunburn and macular degeneration.

That’s why it’s so important to choose high-quality Sunwear with 100% UV blocking lenses and to throw on a sun hat for an added layer of protection.

UV protection is important for individuals of all ages—especially children—who are more susceptible than adults to the sun’s harmful rays and tend to spend more time outdoors. It is estimated that up to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 18.

Why are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light?

Lighter-colored eyes like blue, hazel, and green have less of a pigment called ‘melanin’ than brown eyes do.

Melanin helps protect the retina from UV damage and blue light, putting those with blue eyes at a higher risk of developing UV-related eye damage.

If you have blue eyes, you may have experienced this first-hand. Bright light may be uncomfortable or you may want to reach for your shades as soon as you leave the house on a sunny day.

That’s why optometrists urge blue-eyed patients to be particularly vigilant about UV protection, so as to mitigate their chances of developing eye disease and other complications.

How We Can Help

Whether you have blue eyes or not, sunglasses are an important part of keeping your eyes healthy for a lifetime.

At Optomedica Eye Consultants, we’ll be happy to advise on the perfect high-quality and protective pair of sunglasses to suit your needs and personal style.

Optomedica Eye Consultants, your Houston eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Should I wear sunglasses even when it’s not sunny outside?

Yes! You should wear your sunglasses whenever outdoors during the day, even on an overcast, winter day. UV light can pass through clouds and reflect off surfaces like car windows and pavement.

What type of sunglasses are the most suitable for blue eyes?

The most protective sunglasses are wraparound sunglasses that protect the eyes from every angle. You can also opt for photochromic lenses, which offer total UV protection but only become tinted when exposed to outdoor sunlight, and turn clear when you come indoors again. Your optometrist can help you choose the best lens and frame options for your needs and lifestyle.

Why Are Dilated Eye Exams So Important?

Optomedica Eye Consultants Dilated Eye Exam near you in Houston, Texas

Having your eyes dilated during an eye exam may seem like a nuisance. But when you consider the benefits of a dilated eye exam, the temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light that typically follow are definitely worth it.

What Are Dilated Eye Exams?

At some point during a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will shine a bright light into your eyes to examine the back of your eye, called the retina. The problem is that bright light causes the size of the pupil’s opening to shrink, which makes it hard for the optometrist to see a large portion of the retina.

That’s why eye doctors apply special eye drops in each eye to keep the pupils open. A dilated pupil allows for a much more accurate assessment of your eye’s structures, including the focusing lens, blood vessels and tissues at the back of the eye called the retina, as well as the optic nerve and macula.

Dilating the eyes makes it easier for your optometrist to detect the following conditions and diseases:

It’s important to note that many of these conditions can develop without noticeable symptoms, until they cause vision loss at which point treatment may be more challenging, making dilated eye exams all the more crucial.

The Dilation Process

First, your eye doctor will apply eye drops to each eye to trigger dilation of the pupil. Your eyes should be fully dilated about 10-20 minutes later.

Your eyes will remain dilated for 4-6 hours, and during this time you may be sensitive to light. That’s because the larger pupil allows more light than usual to enter the eye. Many patients find it more comfortable to wear sunglasses until their eyes return to normal.

Reading and using a computer may be difficult with dilated eyes, and your vision may be blurred. Some patients report feeling a tightening sensation in their eyelids, or headaches.

Dilated eye exams are a crucial part of keeping your eyes healthy. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call our optometry practice today!

Optomedica Eye Consultants, your Houston eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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At what age should one have a dilated eye exam?

You should have your dilated eye exam no matter your age. Most eye doctors will dilate a new patient at their first exam regardless of age to get a baseline of their retinal health.

Will I be able to return to work after a dilated eye exam?

Everyone reacts differently, so it’s hard to tell. If your job requires you to focus on small print or detail, it may be challenging. Typing and writing may also be difficult with dilated pupils. To be on the safe side, book your appointment at the end of your work day, clear your schedule after your eye exam and only plan to do activities which aren’t visually demanding.</p

Why Does Bono Always Wear His Signature Shades?

Ask our optometrist in Houston how Do Sunglasses Help People With Glaucoma?

Ever wonder why rock superstar Bono wears sunglasses, even when indoors? It’s not due to his “look”, but rather is related to managing his glaucoma.

Ever wonder why Bono always wears shades, even when indoors? U2’s frontman doesn’t wear sunglasses simply as part of his image. Bono has had glaucoma, a build-up of pressure in the eyeball, which can damage the optic nerve and potentially lead to blindness if untreated—for over two decades now.

The real reason he wears his trademark shades is due to this progressive, sight-robbing eye disease, to protect his sensitive eyes from light and glare.

How Do Sunglasses Help People With Glaucoma?

People with glaucoma experience sensitivity to light (or photophobia) and glare, among other symptoms. When the sun is strong, those with this condition will be more affected by glare emanating from a variety of surfaces, like water, snow, sand or pavement, than the average person. Furthermore, certain glaucoma medications constrict the pupils, which can further contribute to acute sensitivity to glare and light, as well as redness and irritation.

That’s why people with glaucoma — and lots of people without glaucoma — feel best wearing sunglasses when outdoors on a sunny day, in a bright indoor space, or while driving in the early evening.

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Eyes

By wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection, you can reduce your risk of developing sight robbing diseases, like cataracts and macular degeneration, and reduce glaucoma symptoms. Polarized lenses, in particular, can help with glare. With yearly comprehensive eye exams, early diagnosis and consistent treatment, you can prevent vision deterioration from glaucoma or similar sight-threatening eye diseases. Contact Optomedica Eye Consultants in Houston to book your eye doctor’s appointment today.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Optomedica Eye Consultants, your Houston eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Can glaucoma be cured?

While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, there are many effective treatment options available. Treatments that can help stop or slow the progression of glaucoma include eye drops, oral medications, as well as laser and surgical procedures.

How can glaucoma vision loss be prevented?

The best way to avoid glaucoma-related eyesight deterioration is to undergo regular eye exams, as glaucoma can be detected and treated even in its early stages, which can prevent significant vision loss or blindness. That’s why routine eye exams that include glaucoma testing are so important.

Are You Susceptible To Vision Loss?

Ask Our Eye Doctor in Houston, Texas, how To Prevent Vision Loss

Vision loss is more common than you may think! In fact, it’s among the most prevalent disabilities in adults and children. Knowing what puts you at risk of developing vision loss is important and can help you to be proactive about caring for your eyes.

Below, we’ll explore the most common causes of vision loss and the risk factors associated with each.

Spreading awareness and education about visual health is just one way that our eye doctors near you can help. To schedule your Comprehensive eye exam, call us today 281-769-7145.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by a buildup of pressure within the eye. Too much inner-eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

Since symptoms don’t usually manifest in the early stages of glaucoma, getting regular eye exams is all the more crucial. Advanced or rapidly progressing glaucoma can show a variety of symptoms, such as blurred vision, headache, severe eye pain and redness, seeing halos around lights, and nausea.

Risk factors for developing glaucoma include:

  • Being 60 years or older
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African, Asian, or Hispanic descent
  • High myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Previous eye injury or certain eye surgeries
  • Certain medications, like corticosteroids
  • Thin corneas
  • Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and sickle-cell anemia

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy. A healthy lens is clear and allows light to pass through it undisturbed.

Common cataract symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, light sensitivity, double vision in the affected eye, and seeing colors as faded or yellowish.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye surgery, injury, or inflammation
  • Alcoholism
  • Extended use of corticosteroids

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 60. It occurs when the macula (the small central portion of the retina, which is responsible for sharp, colorful, central vision) begins to wear down.

Early stages of AMD usually go unnoticed, but later stages of the disease can produce symptoms like blurred vision, dark or blurry areas in your central vision, and problems with color perception.

There’s not yet a cure for AMD, but certain treatments can help prevent vision loss.

Risk factors for developing AMD include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Long-term sun exposure
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of AMD
  • Light-colored eyes
  • Farsightedness

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a complication of Type 1 or 2 diabetes that affects the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye called the retina.

Initially, diabetic retinopathy shows no symptoms but can eventually lead to blindness. As it develops, it can cause increased floaters, impaired color vision, dark spots in your visual field, and blurred vision.

Risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Length of time from diabetes diagnosis — the longer you’ve had it, the higher your chances of developing visual complications
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • African American, Hispanic, and Native American ethnicities
  • Family history of DR

So, what’s the bottom line?

Multiple factors contribute to eye disease and vision loss, and some may even be relevant to you. If you think you may be at risk for vision loss or experience any of the symptoms listed above, speak with your eye doctor in Houston as soon as possible. We also recommend you have your eyes thoroughly examined every 1-2 years, or as often as your eye doctor recommends. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Optomedica Eye Consultants today.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Optomedica Eye Consultants, your Houston eye doctor for eye exams and Contact lenses

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Can blindness be prevented?

When caught early, many eye diseases can be treated to halt or slow the progression of the disease and potentially prevent vision loss. The best things you can do to preserve your vision for the long term is to lead a healthy lifestyle and make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years.

Which eye diseases are genetically inherited?

More than 350 ocular diseases have some sort of genetic component. Certain diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa and albinism, are directly inherited through chromosomal information. In other cases, a predisposition to the disease is inherited, rather than the disease itself.

Houston Eye Clinic – Is a Blinding Eye Disease Hiding?

h2>Vision loss can occur with early signs only an eye doctor can see

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Houston eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

During the very early stages of many eye diseases, most people never notice a problem. For example, when age-related macular degeneration (AMD) first appears, blind spots can develop that people don’t see because their brain is compensating. But while the individual with AMD may not be aware of the disease, an eye doctor will detect it during a comprehensive eye exam. That’s why the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) strongly recommends people over age 40 to protect themselves from vision loss by visiting an eye clinic regularly for dilated eye exams.

How common is age-related macular degeneration?

Estimates report that more than 2 million Americans live with the most progressive forms of AMD, and this number is expected to rise to 4.4 million people by 2050. Age-related macular degeneration is the top cause of blindness among white Americans who are older than 40, and it’s one of the most common reasons for permanent vision loss in the world.

What is AMD?

This eye disease occurs when your macula, a part of the retina, is damaged. The macula is responsible for giving you a crisp, clear vision in the center of your field of view. A loss of central vision has far-reaching effects on your life, hampering your ability to read, drive, and see faces.

How often do I need to visit an eye care professional?

According to the AAO, adults with no signs or risk factors for ocular disease are advised to start with regular eye exams from age 40. Then, until age 54, guidelines recommend visiting an eye clinic every two to four years; between age 55-64, you should see your eye doctor every one to three years. By the time you are 65, annual eye exams are encouraged – even if you don’t experience any visual or eye symptoms. Of course, if you have additional risk factors for eye disease, your eye doctor may instruct you to visit more frequently.

Can vision loss from AMD be prevented?

Nowadays, eye doctors have even more technologies to diagnose age-related macular degeneration as early as possible – as long as you are vigilant about visiting your eye clinic for eye exams! Why are all these eye exams so important? Because the earlier AMD is detected and treated; the more effective treatment can be.

Possible treatments to help prevent vision loss from age-related macular degeneration include:

  • Injections of drugs to stop new blood vessels from forming and to block leaking from unhealthy blood vessels (symptoms characteristic of wet AMD)
  • Laser therapy to destroy abnormal blood vessels that are actively growing
  • Photodynamic laser therapy that causes damage to abnormal blood vessels
  • Taking vitamins as eye health supplements

Don’t let your brain fool you into thinking your vision is fine! Instead, let an eye doctor make that decision. In the year 2020, you couldn’t pick a better time to focus on your eyes. Contact an eye care center near you to book an eye exam today.

Call Optomedica Eye Consultants today to make an appointment: 281-769-7145 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Houston Eye Clinic – How to Improve Your Vision

Optomedica Eye Consultants Our eye doctor in Houston, Texas explains

Your eyes give you so much, isn’t it time to give back?

In the US, it’s been estimated that 12 million people over the age of 40 have some type of vision impairment! Yet, while the numbers are overwhelming, it doesn’t mean poor eyesight is simply inevitable as you age. In addition to taking advantage of our expert eye care services, our eye doctor shares 7 ways to improve and protect your eyes against problems.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Houston eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Eat a nutritious diet

Eating heart-healthy foods also helps to protect your vision. That means following a diet with minimal saturated fats and salt, a moderate amount of lean proteins (legumes and nuts are great options), whole grains, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. In particular, antioxidant-rich foods, such as strawberries, walnuts, and dark leafy greens, can help decrease your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Visit your eye doctor for eye exams

A comprehensive eye exam can pick up on problems you may not have noticed, because many eye diseases don’t present symptoms at the early stages. That’s why regular eye exams by an eye care professional (not the same as basic vision screening done at your local pharmacy!) are critical, even if you have no vision complaints. Plus, as you age, it’s common for your vision to naturally change, and keeping your prescription up to date is a no-brainer keeping your vision clear.

Keep chronic health conditions stable

Many chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, put you at higher risk for vision of complications. However, controlling your condition drastically reduces your chances of a problem. With diabetes, keeping blood sugars in the parameters recommended by your physician can help prevent diabetic retinopathy from developing and progressing. Controlling blood pressure also helps prevent retinal bleeding and swelling.

Quit smoking

While genetics may be the number one risk factor for age-related macular degeneration, smoking is the number two risk factor! Smoking is also linked to cataract progression. You may not be able to control the genes you inherit, but you can control whether or not you smoke.

Call Optomedica Eye Consultants today to make an appointment: 281-769-7145 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Pink Eye Treatment Clinic Houston

Local Pink Eye Treatment Clinic in Houston, Texas

If you wake up and find your eyes sealed shut with crusty gunk, you probably have conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye. This type of eye infection can look and feel pretty nasty, but you’re in good company. It’s one of the most common eye conditions in the world, and it’s highly treatable. Contact your eye clinic as soon as possible to get treatment and relief from the icky symptoms.

Optomedica Eye Consultants Our eye doctor in Houston, Texas explains

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Houston eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin, transparent membrane that lines the whites of your eyes and the inside of your eyelids. It can be caused by a variety of things, and your eye doctor will help figure out the cause in order to recommend the best treatment.

What causes pink eye, and what are the symptoms?

  • Viral infection a virus, such as the common cold, leads to viral conjunctivitis. This type of eye infection is highly contagious, but it also tends to clear up on its own within a few days. Most of the time it affects both eyes, and you may have a cough or runny nose along with it.
  • Bacterial infection a bacterial infection is to blame for bacterial conjunctivitis. This is the kind of pink eye that most often leads to yellow, crusty, and sticky discharge that builds up in the corner of your eye and along the lash line. When this discharge is severe, it can glue your eyelids together as you sleep. Typically, bacterial conjunctivitis starts in one eye and moves to the other.
  • Allergic reaction allergic conjunctivitis is caused by airborne eye irritants such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. It is often seasonal, although cases can flare up all year round. Even people who aren’t allergic to these substances may experience allergic conjunctivitis, just because the lining of the eye is easily irritated and can get inflamed.

How do eye doctors treat pink eye?

Treatment for conjunctivitis is largely dependent on which type of infection you have. Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam – paying close attention to your symptoms to determine if your pink eye is viral, bacterial, or allergic.

Like other viruses that you pick up, there’s no treatment for viral conjunctivitis; it just needs to run its course. You can apply warm compresses to help alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms. For bacterial conjunctivitis, your eye doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic ointment or eye drops. The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis may be diminished and relieved by allergy medications.

Should I stay home if I have conjunctivitis?

If you suspect you or your child has conjunctivitis, don’t rush off to work or send your kid to school! Instead, head to an eye clinic for an eye exam with an eye doctor near you as soon as possible. In the meantime, the golden rule is to practice good hygiene to avoid spreading your infection to family and friends.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is spread through direct contact with infected hands or any objects that made contact with your infected eye. Try not to touch others when you have pink eye, and do your best not to touch any shared items to your eye. If you have viral conjunctivitis, sneeze and cough into your elbow or a tissue.

No matter which type of pink eye you have, our eye doctor’s best advice is to wash your hands often! And even when you’re feeling better, follow your eye doctor’s advice about when you can be around others without the risk of spreading the infection.

Call Optomedica Eye Consultants today to make an appointment: 281-769-7145 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Houston Eye Clinic – Does Diabetes Put You at Risk for Losing Your Sight?

Optomedica Eye Consultants Our eye doctor in Houston, Texas explains.

Topics: Diabetes, Pre-diabetes, Diabetes symptoms, Symptoms of diabetes

If you have diabetes, you’ve probably been told about how you’re at risk for a range of serious health complications. Out of all these threatening problems, blindness may be the most feared.

Diabetic eye disease can develop as early as one year after the onset of diabetes, and statistics report that up to 45% of people with diabetes display some degree of damage to their retina. No matter which type of diabetes you have – type 1, type 2, insulin-dependent or not – the risk for eye disease is higher, and it’s increased by the number of years that you have diabetes. Also, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives have a higher chance of losing vision from diabetes.

However, as our eye doctor reminds every patient with diabetes, vision loss is not inevitable! You can lower your chances of diabetic eye disease by taking several important actions.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Houston eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Link Between Diabetes and Eyes

When blood sugar levels aren’t stable and maintained within the normal parameters (as recommended by your physician), it can weaken the blood vessels at the back of the eye. These abnormal retinal blood vessels can start to bleed and leak, blurring vision and impairing sight permanently. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy, and it’s the most common eye problem caused by diabetes. During a diabetes eye exam at our eye clinic, we will inspect your eyes thoroughly for any signs of this dangerous condition.

In addition to retinopathy, people with diabetes are also at a greater risk of cataracts and glaucoma. Both of these eye diseases can blur vision, and glaucoma can damage the optic nerve – causing permanent loss of peripheral vision that can progress to complete blindness when left untreated.

You won’t be able to see diabetic eye disease until it’s too late! You may be surprised to learn that just because you don’t have any symptoms or visual complaints, it doesn’t mean your eyes are healthy. Most of the time, retinopathy doesn’t cause any symptoms until it has advanced to a point where the vision loss is irreversible. That’s why it’s so important to visit an eye care center for regular comprehensive eye exams! At these eye exams, your eye doctor will dilate your eyes to get a detailed view of the retina and optic nerve.

If you do notice symptoms, such as the sudden appearance of many floating spots (similar to spider webs), a “veil” covering your vision, or vision changes in one or both eyes, call your eye clinic immediately.

Diabetes-related Vision Loss Can Be Preventable

When retinopathy and other diabetic eye diseases are detected during their early stages, treatment can be highly effective and prevent permanent damage to your eyes. Early intervention is critical for the lasting health of your vision. If you have diabetes, the importance of visiting your eye clinic for yearly dilated eye exams cannot be overstated!

Additionally, good blood sugar control and healthy blood pressure go far towards protecting your eyes. That means following your physician’s instructions for how to care for your diabetes, be it through medication to keep blood sugars stable, exercising, eating nutritiously, losing weight, and making healthy lifestyle changes.

Treatment Can Save Sight

Various treatments are available for retinopathy. If the results of your eye exam show any problematic blood vessels, your eye doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Possible therapies given at your eye care center include injections of medication to decrease blood vessel leakage and inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels. This will stop the progression of diabetic eye disease. Laser surgery is another option, which may be performed at your eye clinic or local hospital. Treatment for diabetic eye disease can not only stabilize vision, but can sometimes even improve the quality of sight.

Make Visits to Your Eye Doctor a Part of Your Diabetes Care

If you have diabetes, annual eye exams at a qualified eye care center are essential for reducing your risks of eye disease!

Optomedica Eye Consultants, your Houston eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Houston Eye Clinic – Prevent damage from Blue Light?

Optomedica Eye Consultants Real Tips from Your Houston, Texas Eye Doctor

Summary:

Everywhere you look, there’s an article or blog telling you all about hazardous blue light. However, after years of experience as an optometrist in Houston, I’d like to point out that blue light isn’t the root of all evil. Your computer, phone, tablet, and every digital screen you own pose additional dangers to your vision and your sleep – beyond the dangers of blue light.

Topics: Eye exam Houston, Texas, Eye care services Houston, Texas, Eye Doctor Houston, Texas, Dry eye treatment Houston, Texas

Is Blue Light the Big and Bad Enemy?

Blue light is a short, high-energy wavelength emitted in large amounts by all electronic devices. It can pass through the eye to the retina, and laboratory studies have shown how prolonged exposure to blue light damages the retinal cells in mice. That’s one fundamental reason behind the plentiful warnings to avoid blue light. However, the results of studies on real people (not rodents) didn’t attribute blue light with the same level of risk; other risk factors can be just as threatening to human vision.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Houston eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Eyes Block Blue Light Naturally

Although it’s true that digital tech emits a huge quantity of blue light, you may not know that the sun also shines mainly with blue light. In fact, on a sunny day, the light coming at you is nearly 100,000 brighter than your computer screen. Yet, few scientific studies on humans have uncovered any connection between sunlight exposure and the development of a retinal disease, such as age-related macular degeneration.

Then how did the studies show that blue light damages mice eyes? Because mice and people don’t have the same eyes. Humans have built-in protective elements – macular pigments and the natural filter of our crystalline lens – that protect against blue light. These parts of your eyes absorb the blue light before it reaches the retina at the back of your eye.

Of course, that doesn’t mean sunglasses are unnecessary. By blocking all UVA and UVB rays from your eyes, sunglasses provide many more benefits than just blocking blue light. For example, research has shown that sunglasses slow down the development of other eye diseases, such as cataracts.

Digital Devices Are Still Dangerous

Even though blue light may not be the ultimate threat posed by electronic gadgets, that doesn’t mean blue light has zero negative effects on your eyes or that your digital screens are harmless. Blue light has a powerful, adverse effect on your sleep physiology. That’s because you have photosensitive retinal ganglion cells that convey the time of day to your brain, based on how light it is in the environment. These ganglion cells, which are hypersensitive to blue light, help to set your internal clock to keep you awake and alert during the day. Therefore, when you stare at a digital screen and its blue light, your ganglion cells tell your brain it’s still daylight – even at 2 am.

What if you put a blue-light blocking filter on your tablet whenever you use it in bed? Sorry, no dice. Your retinal cells are also sensitive to light waves other than blue, so filtering out blue light won’t improve your sleep. Really, you need to dim all the colors, all the different wavelengths of light.

How to Relieve Tired Eyes and Promote Sleep

When my Houston eye clinic patients complain that their eyes are tired and they can’t sleep after looking at a screen from dawn through bedtime, I advise them to dim all screens starting from the evening hours. Bright light before bed (even from your phone screen) makes it harder to fall asleep. Even better, accept the challenge of making your bedroom a screen-free zone.

If you suffer from eye strain, it’s a good idea to call your Houston eye doctor and schedule an eye exam. It’s possible that you need a new vision prescription for glasses or contact lenses.

Last, but not least, keep your eyes lubricated! One of the best ways to do that is to blink frequently enough. When you stare at a screen, you’re probably blinking at a slower rate than normal. Consequently, your tear film evaporates and doesn’t get replenished until you walk away from your computer and begin to blink regularly again. In addition to blinking, using preservative-free artificial tears eye drops before you sit down at the computer can help boost your natural tears and keep your eye surface better lubricated.

For more tips on how to keep screens from causing uncomfortable symptoms or damaging your sight, visit your friendly Houston optometrist – I’m always happy to share helpful advice!

Optomedica Eye Consultants, your Houston eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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