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Bifocals vs. Thick Lenses

Bifocals vs. Thick Lenses

Created on: Wednesday, October 03, 2012
See Clearly Vision

Author: Dawn L. Williams, O.D. 

I spend a lot of my time explaining untruths to patients they’ve heard for many years concerning the eye and vision. One of the most commonly heard is very poor vision will require the use of bifocals. This is not an accurate statement. Let’s find out why. 
When a person experiences blurred vision, they likely have one of the following conditions: myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (far-sightedness), or astigmatism. In most cases, the use of spectacles can provide clear vision. There are varying degrees of these conditions that will dictate how thick your lenses will be. Generally speaking, the higher the value, the thicker the lenses will be. Thick lenses are not called bifocals. They are simply single vision lenses that happen to be thicker. Luckily, there are new technologies that will allow higher powered lenses to be made thinner and more lightweight. 
The term bifocal means to have two areas of focus. When referring to eyeglasses, it means there is correction for distance vision and another for near vision. The power and thickness of the lenses has nothing to do with your need for a bifocal. The condition that warrants the use of that type of lens is termed presbyopia. 
Wear Eye Makeup Safely

Wear Eye Makeup Safely

Created on: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
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Author: Christine Burris Wisecarver, O.D., See Clearly Vision

Hygiene and application techniques are important factors when wearing eye makeup. Follow the tips below to ensure your eyes stay healthy and beautiful.
  • Wash hands before handling your cosmetic bag or cosmetics to keep the cases free of germs.
  • Replace cosmetics frequently. Mascara and eyeliner should be replaced every 3 months at a minimum.
  • Wash brushes, applicators, and lash curlers often.
  • Never use a pencil for both eyes and lips.
  • Never share makeup. Ensure clinical hygiene is maintained when sampling makeup.
  • Never use water or saliva to thin clumpy mascara.
  • Apply makeup only to the external part of the eye (outside the lash line). Do not apply eye liner to the “water line”.
  • Never apply makeup to a red or irritated eye. If symptoms persist for more than 24 hours or you have pain, discharge, or light sensitivity, see your eye doctor.
  • Always replace eye makeup after an eye infection.
  • Remove eye makeup every night. Do NOT use waterproof formulations. Sterilid and Ocusoft Foaming Cleanser are OTC products well suited for cleaning the exterior part of the eye.
  • Patients can develop allergies at any point in time, even to a product they have used for years. If you have redness, itchiness, or flaking of the skin, discontinue makeup and see your eye doctor. They can treat the inflammation and help guide you on how to reintroduce products one at a time.  Add new products one at a time to monitor for allergenicity.
  • Never multi-task while applying makeup near the eye or tweezing, and never apply makeup in a moving vehicle. Corneal abrasions are painful and can lead to serious infections or corneal scarring.


Created on: Wednesday, September 19, 2012
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Author:  Khoa D. Hoang, M.D., See Clearly Vision

Quite often, when patients come in for an exam, they complain of seeing floaters. So, what are floaters? In the eye care world, floaters are anything that interferes with the visual pathway by casting a shadow on the retina. They can be caused by debris in the tear film on the corneal surface, or of greater concern, in the vitreous gel. When we’re children, the vitreous gel is more solid; however as we age, parts of the gel will liquefy. These liquefied portions will cast a shadow on the retina, thereby causing you to see floaters. This is not an uncommon phenomenon. 

However, if the floaters you’re experiencing an increase in abnormal floaters that occur with or without flashing lights, you should seek immediate attention from your eye care professional. This can be a sign of a more serious complication involving the retina. Retinal tears or detachments, if left unchecked, can lead to permanent vision loss. If the retinal tear or detachment is found early, intervention can be quite simple. However, retinal repair surgery in an operating room may be needed to repair the issue.   

Child\'s First Eye Exam

Child's First Eye Exam

Created on: Wednesday, September 12, 2012
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Author: Sushil K. Jain, O.D., See Clearly Vision

As a parent, you may wonder whether your child has a vision problem or when you should schedule your child's first eye exam.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) says on its website that child’s doctor is likely be the first medical professional to examine your child's eyes.
If eye problems are suspected during routine physical examinations, a referral might be made to an eye doctor for further evaluation. Eye doctors have specific equipment and training to assist them with spotting potential vision problems. Eye exams for children are extremely important, because 5 to 10 percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. Early identification of a child's vision problem can be crucial because children often are more responsive to treatment when problems are diagnosed early.
According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. Children then should have additional eye exams at age 3, and just before they enter the first grade at about age 5 or 6.
For school-aged children, the AOA recommends an eye exam every two years if no vision correction is required. Children who need eyeglasses or contact lenses should be examined annually or as recommended by their optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Eye examinations at early age are crucial to make sure children have normal, healthy binocular vision so they can perform better at schoolwork or play. Early eye exams also are important because children need the following basic skills related to good eyesight for learning:
Near & Distance Vision
Binocular (two eyes) Coordination
Accurate Eye Movements
Focusing Ability
Peripheral Awareness
Eye-Hand Coordination for writing and sports skills

For these reasons, some states require a mandatory eye exam for all children entering school for the first time.


Created on: Tuesday, September 04, 2012
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Author:  Rajesh K. Rajpal, M.D., See Clearly Vision

In providing great visual outcomes for patients, we have come a long way since the FDA approved the excimer laser in 1995. With the ability to create flaps using laser technology and by precisely measuring each person's visual aberrations, LASIK can allow most patients to dramatically reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses. The real keys to successful refractive surgery include determining appropriate candidacy for surgery with a comprehensive pre-operative evaluation, meticulous care during the surgical procedure, and close follow up care after the procedure.
Patients who are nearsighted (myopic), farsighted (hyperopic), or have astigmatism can be treated if they meet the appropriate clinical criteria. As part of the initial evaluation, the corneal curvature and thickness are measured. An assessment for dry eye is performed as well as a thorough eye examination. Appropriate review and education of realistic expectations is critical in helping patients decide if the procedure is right for them. Finally, helping guide patients through the day of surgery and their follow up appointments leads to tremendous levels of patient satisfaction.

The Truth About Pink Eye

The Truth About Pink Eye

Created on: Wednesday, August 15, 2012
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Author: Dawn L. Williams, O.D., See Clearly Vision

I am always being asked by family and friends if I can treat their pink eye. The phrase ‘pink eye’ is often used to describe the appearance the eye(s) when they are, well, pink. However, when an eye appears less white than normal it can be its way of letting you that something is not quite right. The redness can be caused by numerous things that can include a type of infection, allergies, dry eye syndrome, and many others.
Allergic conjunctivitis affects numerous individuals during the spring and fall seasons. Affected individuals will mostly complain of itchy, watery eyes. They may also have systemic symptoms such as a running nose and sneezing. This form of conjunctivitis is treated with ocular antihistamine drops that can be purchased in an over-the-counter form. For more severe presentations, however, topical prescription medications and an oral antihistamine may be necessary. 
Bacterial conjunctivitis is one cause of red eyes. Patients will not only have red eyes, but there will be some ocular discomfort and possibly a discharge coming from the eye. This is a contagious form of red eye; therefore proper sanitary precautions should be taken to prevent spreading it to others. Treatment for bacterial conjunctivitis will consist of the use of antibiotic drops several times a day for several days. 
Dry eye syndrome is another common cause of red eyes. Because the ocular surface is dry, it becomes irritated. Because it is irritated, the tiny blood vessels in the eye become inflamed, leading to red eyes. Patients will complain of feeling ocular dryness and possibly lots of tearing. This tearing is in response to the ocular irritation and doesn’t mean your eyes aren’t dry. In order to remedy this vicious cycle, the simplest thing to do is use lubricant eye drops. This will provide some relief to the irritated ocular surface and potentially alleviate the redness and decrease the tearing. There are more aggressive treatment options that can be utilized when lubrication isn’t sufficient. 

These are only a few of the vast number of reasons a person may have what is called ‘pink eye’. In order to be properly diagnosed and receive effective treatment, an eye care professional should be seen.

A Healthy Diet Equals Healthy Vision, Here Are Some Tips to Improve Your Summer Snacking

A Healthy Diet Equals Healthy Vision, Here Are Some Tips to Improve Your Summer Snacking

Created on: Monday, August 06, 2012
See Clearly Vision

 If you want to improve your vision, you had better start with your diet because healthy vision begins with healthy eating habits. Fruits, vegetables, and fish make for healthy, light, delicious meals and snacks during the warm summer months and contain nutrients and powerful antioxidants that are essential to healthy eyes.

Studies have shown that a diet rich in antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E, as well as Zinc, Omega-3 fats, the carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin can help protect your eyes against age-related macular degeneration as well as cataracts.

Certain foods actually have more of these important nutrients than others, but just eating more fruits and vegetables (5 to 9 servings per day) will get you on track to better eye health, and better health overall. The nutrients that are linked the most with eye health are found in fruits, green vegetables, nuts and seafood.  Here are some of the best food sources for improving your eye health:

  • Vitamin C can be found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables such as bell peppers, citrus fruits, berries, tropical fruits, dark, leafy greens, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts
  • Vitamin E can be found in dark, leafy greens, spinach, sunflower seeds, almonds, avocados, sweet potatoes, sardines, as well as vegetable plant oils. 
  • Vitamin A can be found in yellow, orange, and green fruits and vegetables, including carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, broccoli, spinach, kale, dark, leafy greens, squash and pumpkin.
  • Zinc can be found in nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, oysters, lean beef, whole grains, beans, and dark chocolate.
  • Lutein and Zeaxanthin can be found in spinach and other dark, leafy greens, broccoli, Romaine lettuce, zucchini, eggs, corn, and carrots.
  • Omega-3 Fats can be found in salmon, sardines, mackerel, herring, trout, flaxseeds, and walnuts.

So load up on yummy salads and throw some salmon on the grill this summer to start building better eye-health habits that will last year-round!

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