Start Your New Year with Better Eye Health

Another year has come and pass which means it’s another year of making New Year’s resolutions, some new and some old, some reasonable and some way out of reach.

So what will your New Year’s resolution be? Here’s an easy one to choose: take better care of your eyes. All it takes to start is one phone call and appointment! It’s recommended you do the following:

Get an eye exam

A regular eye exam is a good idea even if you think they are healthy. Many eye diseases don’t have symptoms so it’s imperative you have a yearly exam. Also, January is the perfect month for an eye exam because it’s easy to remember – a new year, new eye exam.

Get screened for glaucoma

You need to get regular glaucoma screenings if you are 40 or older. This terrible disease is known as the “silent thief of sight” because it can cause vision loss before you know you have it.

Update your prescription

Your eyeglass or contact lens prescription might be outdated or wrong for your activities. You should get your prescription checked out yearly, especially if you begin to get headaches or dry eyes after working at a computer.

Performance Eyecare is the perfect place for you to put your vision first in the new year. We offer quality services including high-tech eye exams to detect diseases as well as designer eyeglass and sunglass frames.

We can begin treating your dry eyes, red eyes, pink eye, eye infections and more starting with one visit. Seeing correctly is important during your daily activities, so isn’t it time you scheduled an appointment to see us soon?

ADHD & Vision Problems

Children Diagnosed with ADHD May Actually Have Vision Problems

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Have you ever considered whether your child’s attention issues are directly related to their vision? Most people would probably answer no to this question, but the American Optometric Association discusses just that in this article; they state that children with the following symptoms may not actually have attention issues or ADHD, but problems with their visual skills:

  • Avoid reading and other near visual work as much as possible.
  • Attempt to do the work anyway, but with a lowered level of comprehension or efficiency.
  • Experience discomfort, fatigue and a short attention span.

What Signs Should I Look For?

The Center for Disease Control, the CDC, has a checklist dedicated to ADHD and the symptoms that may show in a child who has ADHD. Here are a few of the symptoms. A full list can be found here:

  • Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  • Is often forgetful in daily activities.
  • Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn’t want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).

As you can see, the signs of vision problems can mimic the signs of ADHD. Ruling out a potential vision issue may help your child succeed in school because they can get the medical or therapeutic help that they need. On the other hand, if what they need is glasses, we can help with that.

If your child is experiencing any of the above struggles, it’s time to get them in for an eye exam to rule out potential vision problems. Undiagnosed vision issues can lead to your child under-performing in school because they cannot see well enough to complete their work in order to succeed. Because your child’s eye needs can change over time, it’s possible that you are seeing these issues arise for the first time. Catching the problem as early as possible is vital. Children’s eyecare starts with regular examinations to catch potential issues before they hamper a child’s ability to succeed in school.

Performance Eyecare Can Help

At Performance Eyecare, we regularly treat a variety of eye conditions in children. We have offices all around the St. Louis region for your conveinence. Our experienced optometrists can complete your child’s eye exam, diagnose any issues with their vision, and then we can create a pair of custom glasses for your child in our in-office eyeglass laboratory.

Please contact us to schedule an appointment. Our experienced optometrists will be happy to answer any questions that you may have regarding children’s eye exams or vision problems and school performance, as well as what makes our eyeglass facility stand out in terms of quality and price. We look forward to hearing from you.

What Is The Leading Cause Of Blindness?

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Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a condition that is the leading cause of blindness among Americans. People diagnosed with diabetes should get regular eye exams. Early stages of DR need detection to prevent more serious eye problems. These conditions could lead to complete blindness.

DR affects the retina, which is tissue in the back of the eyeball. Through the retina, light turns into electrical currents which translates into the images we perceive. Hence, damage to the retina adversely affects vision.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is a high prevalence of DR. One third of Americans over the age of 40 have a diagnosis of DR. One third of these cases occur among African-Americans and Mexican-Americans. Overall, 4.2 million Americans were recently diagnosed with DR and 655,000 of these cases led to severe eye-damage.

As a diabetic, regular testing of blood sugar is important to maintain good control. A diabetic ideally tests his or her blood sugar before and after every meal. It is necessary to have A1c tests every three months. This tests glucose levels over an extended period of time. For diabetics, an A1c level of 7 is preferable. Insulin injections and medication also help control diabetes.

Along with regular diabetic maintenance, It is vital that DR be detected early to prevent the onset of severe eye damage. If an ophthalmologist diagnoses somebody with DR, prompt medical treatment will prevent further damage. Though it is preventable, it is potentially treatable with proper self-care.

To learn more about common eye conditions, please contact us on our website.

Eye Protection This Halloween

As noted by Kristina Tarczy-Hornoch, M.D., there are several tips parents should be aware of before letting your child roam around for candy.

  1. Don’t wear decorative (non-prescription) contact lenses

This addition to costumes is on the rise, especially amongst teenagers, but it’s causing a major concern for eye doctors.

It’s against the federal law to sell contact lenses in unlicensed outlets such as costume and party stores, but it’s sometimes loosely followed. These decorative lenses may be made from inferior plastic or contain toxic dyes.

Eye infections can become a major concern for those who improperly wear and handle contact lenses. It can rapidly develop into corneal ulcers and possible blindness.

If blurred vision, redness, discomfort, swelling or discharge occurs, discontinue use of the contact lens immediately. Schedule a visit with a physician sooner rather than later to address any remaining damage.

  1. Only use make-up approved by the FDA on the face and around the eyes

If your child plans on wearing face paint and make-up, please use a hypo-allergenic brand and pay close attention to the label.

When applying make-up near or around the eye, stay away from the lid margin (lash line). If you decide to use make-up close to your eyes, please use only products approved for use in that area such as eye-liner or eye shadow.

Remove the make-up with cold cream instead of soap and water. Rinse your eye with water if make-up gets into it. See an eye care professional as soon as possible if redness or irritation persists.

  1. Avoid swords and other pointed objects on kids’ costumes

We all hear from our kids how they need a sword, knife, spear or wand to complete their costume. It may be tempting, but a serious eye injury can occur if one of those pointed objects hits someone.

If your pirate needs a sword, find a belt carrier where it can stay safely nestled while he or she roams the neighborhood. You should buy or construct only accessories made of soft or flexible materials.

If your child does get poked in the eye, you should inspect it for signs of redness, decreased vision or pain. Eye injuries may be more serious than they appear. You should take your child to the doctor if he or she reports pain or blurred vision or if the eye is discolored or bloodshot.

If you notice irritation in your child’s eyes after Halloween, reach out to our team and we will be happy to help!

Are Contact Lenses a Good Choice for Kids?

A common question many parents have about contact lenses and kids is: “When is my child old enough to wear contact lenses?”

Physically, your child’s eyes can tolerate contact lenses at a very young age. Some babies are fitted with contact lenses due to eye conditions present at birth. And in a recent study that involved fitting nearsighted children of ages 8-11 with one-day disposable contact lenses, 90% had no trouble applying or removing the contacts without assistance from their parents.

A matter of maturity

So the important question is whether or not your child is mature enough to insert, remove and take care of their contact lenses. How they handle other responsibilities at home will give you a clue. If your child has poor grooming habits and needs frequent reminders to perform everyday chores, they may not be ready for the responsibility of wearing and caring for contact lenses. But if they are conscientious and handle these things well, they may be excellent candidates for contact lens wear, regardless of their age.

Contact lenses for sports

Many kids are active in sports. Contact lenses offer several advantages over glasses for these activities. Contacts don’t fog up, get streaked with perspiration or get knocked off like glasses can. They also provide better peripheral vision than glasses, which is important for nearly every sport. There are even contact lenses with special tints to help your child see the ball easier.

For sports, soft contact lenses are usually the best choice. They are larger and fit closer to the eye than rigid gas permeable (GP) lenses, so there’s virtually no chance they will dislodge or get knocked off during competition.

Controlling nearsightedness

If your young son or daughter is nearsighted, rigid gas permeable (GP) contacts may be the best choice. In some cases, GP contact lenses may slow the progression of myopia in children. (Soft lenses don’t offer this potential benefit.) Also, GP lenses are more durable and often provide sharper vision than soft contacts.

Building self-esteem with contact lenses

Contact lenses can do wonders for some children’s self-esteem. Many kids don’t like the way they look in glasses and become overly self-conscious about their appearance because of them. Wearing contact lenses can often elevate how they feel about themselves and improve their self confidence. Sometimes, even their school performance and participation in social activities improves after they switch to contact lenses.

Glasses are still required

If your child chooses to wear contact lenses, they still need an up-to-date pair of eyeglasses. Contact lenses worn on a daily basis should be removed at least an hour before bedtime to allow the eyes to “breathe.” Also, there will be times when your child may want to wear their glasses instead of contact lenses. And contact lenses should be removed immediately any time they cause discomfort or eye redness.

Don’t push contacts on your kids

Motivation is often the most important factor in determining whether your son or daughter will be a successful contact lens wearer. If you wear contact lenses yourself and love them, that still doesn’t mean they are the right choice for your child. Some children like wearing glasses and have no desire wear contact lenses.

We can usually tell at your child’s contact lens consultation if they really want to wear contact lenses. If it appears that they would rather stay in glasses, we will certainly respect their decision – and you should, too.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing. Often, a child may feel they don’t want contacts, but a year or two later, they do. There’s always time to make that decision.

When your child is ready to try contacts

When you and your child agree it’s time for contacts, call our office to schedule a contact lens consultation. We welcome the opportunity to help kids of all ages enjoy wearing contact lenses.

For more information on whether contact lenses might be a good fit for your child, schedule an appointment with our team today!

Top Trends in Eyeglasses You Need to Try

If you’re into fashion and need vision correction, you’re in luck. Glasses are definitely in style right now and are even being worn as a fashion accessory by people who don’t need them to see.

Now is the time to be fashion forward with a great pair of eyeglass frames. Here are some top trends that you need to have your eye on.

wood textured eye glasses

Wood Textures

Plastic frames with the look of wood have become popular for men and women. The look is studious but fun and takes your inner geek to a new level of style.

Metallic Hues

All types of metallic colors, silvers in particular, are currently making a splash in eye wear.

Round Lenses

Look for frames with lenses that are a perfect circle. These are typically surrounded by plastic and can come in any color, but soft pastels are fashionable for women.

For men, round lenses are popping up in aviator styles.

Translucent Frames

These plastic frames are colorful, but you can see right through them. This light and breezy look is casual and comfortable.

Ombre Patterns

This style is marked by color patterns that start out dark and then fade to light or the other way around. You’ll see this style in blue gray hues as well as pinks.

Animal Patterns

Animal patterns are a trend that has been coming and going for years, and right now, the animal pattern is seeing a surge in popularity. Look for zebra and cow patterns as well as the traditional leopard.

Rose Quartz

You’ve heard of seeing the world through rose colored glasses, and now is the time to make that happen. Rose quartz and other dusty pinks are currently the hottest color in eye wear for women.

Your glasses are more than just tools that help you see. They are also a reflection of your personal style. Check out these top trends, and you’ll be inspired to find just the right eye wear look for you.

For more information on choosing great frames, contact Performance Eyecare.

Non-Surgical Vision Correction While You Sleep

VRSS

VRSS, Visual Correction, Performance Eyecare Alton IL, Illinois Eye Doctor

Few things are as precious as our eyesight. When our sight is less than perfect, it reduces our quality of life by making everything more difficult. If you don’t want to wear glasses because they’re bulky on your face or you just dislike the look, and you don’t want to deal with contacts or can’t wear them, and you’re uncomfortable with the idea of having surgery on your eyes, another option to help your vision does exist.

There’s now a new technology, started in 2010, called the Vision Retainer Shaping System. This procedure provides non-surgical vision correction while you sleep. It works similar to a dental retainer, but it’s for your eyes.

The special lenses involved are only worn at night while you sleep. They gradually reshape the cornea to reduce (or even eliminate) myopia or astigmatism. The lenses are comfortable to wear and easy to care for. You’ll feel no pain, and you can wear lenses in both eyes at the same time. Take them out in the morning, and you’ll have clearer vision all day long.

The treatment is most effective on mild to moderate cases. More severe cases may still require additional vision correction. If you’re not happy with the results for any reason, this process is also completely reversible. Simply stop wearing the lenses at night, and your vision will gradually return to its original state.

Because this system doesn’t work on every cornea shape, only specially trained optometrists can evaluate your suitability for this treatment and perform the procedure. The optometrists at the Vision Centers of Performance Eyecare in St. Louis & Illinois have received the special training necessary and have the proper diagnostic equipment and expertise to perform VRSS.

Contact us today for a free consultation. We’ll review your prescription and let you know if the Vision Retainer Shaping System is right for you!

Should I Worry About Eye Floaters?

What are Eye Floaters?

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Eye floaters are gray or black spots, squiggly lines, or cobweb-like shapes that drift across your field of vision as you move your eyes. While they may be annoying, they usually do not indicate a serious eye condition.

Causes of Eye Floaters:

Most floaters are the result of age-related changes in the eye. Our eyes are filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous. As we age, this gel can become partially liquefied. This causes collagen protein fibers in the vitreous to clump together and cast shadows on the retina. In rare cases, different eye diseases and disorders can cause floaters or flashbulb-like bursts of light, including

  • a detached or torn retina,
  • bleeding in the vitreous,
  • eye injuries,
  • diabetic retinopathy,
  • eye tumors, or
  • inflammation in the retina or vitreous.

When to See An Eye Doctor:

If you only have a few floaters that do not change over time or significantly interfere with your vision, you do not have to worry. In some instances, they may improve on their own with time. You can also try to move them out of your field of vision by moving your eyes up and down. You should see an eye care professional immediately if you notice

  • floaters associated with sudden flashes of light,
  • a sudden increase in the number of floaters,
  • floaters associated with eye pain,
  • floaters following eye surgery or trauma,
  • a loss of side vision, or
  • your symptoms worsen over time.

These symptoms can be indications of a detached retina or other serious conditions that can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated quickly.

Are Treatments Available For Eye Floaters?

In some instances, a laser can be used to break up large floaters so that they are less noticeable. If you have so many floaters that they significantly interfere with your vision, a surgical procedure is available in which the vitreous is removed and replaced with a saline solution.

Performance Eyecare is proud to offer preventative and emergency eye care services to patients in Creve Coeur, MO; Alton, IL; and Swansea, IL. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

Get Ready for School with a Trip To Performance Eyecare

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends each child has an eye exam prior to starting kindergarten. All children in Illinois are required to have an eye exam prior to kindergarten.

Did you know that 30 percent of learning disorders are caused by visual problems? According to Gary Heiting, OD of AllAboutVision.com, five to ten percent of preschoolers and 25 percent of school-aged children have vision problems. The key to getting your child off to the right start is early detection of vision issues. This is important because children are more likely to be responsive to treatment than adults.

The AOA recommends school-aged children with no vision correction should have an eye exam every two years. Those children with eyeglasses or contacts need to have an annual eye exam, or as recommended by their optometrist.

How Does Good Vision Help My Child in School?

Good eyesight is critical to learning, because children rely heavily on sign and touch to explore the world around them. They use skills such as near vision, distance vision, binocular coordination, eye movement skills, focusing skills, peripheral awareness and hand-eye coordination.

Your family doctor or pediatrician will likely be the first medical professional to examine your child’s eyes. If eye problems are detected, a referral to an eye doctor is likely to happen.

It’s important to choose a time when he or she is usually wide awake and happy! At Performance Eyecare we have a kid-friendly office with a kid’s corner complete with an African animal mural and toys. We understand children can be anxious when going to any doctor so we try to make it as relaxing and enjoyable as possible for them.

To schedule your child’s appointment, find your local office and select your appointment time here!

For more information on why vision matters when kids go back to school, check out the original article: http://www.allaboutvision.com/eye-exam/children.htm

Three Different Eye Diseases Diabetics Need to Watch Out For

People with diabetes are at a greater risk for eye disease.

High glucose levels can damage the blood vessels in the eye, which can lead to vision loss or blindness; many eye diseases have no symptoms in the early stages, so regular eye exams are a must for diabetics.

There are many different eye diseases that can plague the diabetic; this article will focus on three particularly serious eye problems: cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.

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Cataracts

Diabetics are 60% more likely to get cataracts, and often at a younger age than people without diabetes. Poor control of blood sugar speeds it up so tight control over your blood sugar and regular eye doctor visits are most important.

Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop within the eye lens, blocking light to the retina where images are processed and making it harder to see. They don’t cause symptoms like pain, redness or tearing. Some might even stay small enough to not affect your eyesight at all.

Large, thick cataracts are generally removed via surgery.

Glaucoma

People with diabetes are 40% more likely to get glaucoma, and the longer you have diabetes the greater your chances are. Glaucoma usually has no symptoms, but it can cause bright halos or colored rings around lights. Left untreated, it can cause an increase in eye pressure damaging the optic nerve. This can result in vision loss and blindness.

Glaucoma can be diagnosed by your ophthalmologist performing these five exams: tonometry (measuring the pressure in your eye), gonioscopy (inspecting your eye’s drainage angle), ophthalmoscopy (inspecting the optic nerve), a field vision test which tests your peripheral vision, and pachymetry, which measures the thickness of your cornea.

Treatment may include eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to blood vessels inside the retina caused by blood sugar buildup. During the early stages there is no pain and vision is not likely to change. Over time, the walls of your blood vessels may leak fluid, and blood vessels can form scar tissue and pull the retina away from the back of your eye. This can lead to severe vision loss and possibly even blindness.

Retinopathy is diagnosed during a thorough eye exam using a special dye to find leaking blood vessels.

Treatment in early stages is a laser surgery that seals the blood vessels and stops them from leaking and growing. It can’t restore lost vision, but combined with follow-up care, it can lower the chance of blindness by as much as 90%. Later stage treatment may consist of surgery to remove scar tissue, blood and cloudy fluid from inside the eye, improving vision.

As you can see from these three different eye diseases, keeping control of your blood sugar is most important if you wish to keep your eyesight. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.