The Most Valuable Christmas Gift: Eye Health

“Where did you buy that gift?” “I went to Performance Eyecare.”

Okay, that may sound weird for two reasons: 1. The gift didn’t come from the epicenter of Christmas shopping, the mall and 2. The gift came from the eye doctor.

But don’t count us out when you’re searching for a Christmas gift this year. We have the most valuable Christmas gift in town and that’s the gift of vision.

For starters, we have the most fashionable eyeglasses and sunglasses in the St. Louis area. We’re sure you overheard a relative or a friend say they wish they had a different pair of sunglasses or new stylish frames at some point this year. The reality is people keep wishing and never do anything about it.

Bring them into Performance Eyecare to check out the several hundred eyeglass and sunglass frames on display at one of our 8 locations around Missouri and Illinois. We have glasses in all price ranges and for infants on up.

Our top designer frames are made with the highest quality and come from Lafont, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tom Davies, OGA, Tom Ford, Maui Jim, OGI, and many more. You won’t have a problem finding the perfect style.

Eyeware Gift Ideas

Every year you buy the avid golfer on your Christmas list the same thing: a dozen golf balls and a gift card to the golf store. Well, switch it up without switching the gift theme. We carry top of the line golf sport sunglasses that will help any scratch golfer or golf ball hacker see the ball better.

We also have baseball eyewear, football contact lenses, tennis lenses, shooting and hunting specialty eyewear, and more. Give the gift of sight improvement this holiday season!

Eyeglasses and sunglasses are the obvious gift choice, but you could give a more important gift: overall vision.

We all have a relative or friend that wears glasses or contacts and still says “I can’t read that. What does it say?” It’s time to bring those loved ones in for an updated eye exam because eyes change and they need to wear the right prescription of eyeglasses or contacts. Plus, you won’t have to be their eyes for them anymore which is a relief if you’re always being asked to read things for them.

After all, it’s the thought of the gift that counts.

When is eye pain an emergency?

Eye pain can be a complicated matter because the severity of the pain does not indicate the cause of the discomfort. A relatively minor problem, such as a superficial abrasion of the cornea, can be very painful. However, a serious eye problem such as cataracts, macular degeneration or a detached retina, may cause no pain.

The eye’s cornea is one of the most sensitive tissues of the body and can be very useful because it’s the first line of defense against external injury to the eye. You’ll be sure to notice something irritating the front surface of your eye.

Blurred vision, redness and sensitivity to light often accompany eye pain. So what are the common causes of eye pain?

Corneal foreign body

Metal shavings, sawdust and other organic material are common foreign bodies that can become embedded in the surface of the cornea. This pain ranges from mild to severe and is most bothersome when you’re blinking.

Blurred vision and sensitivity to light are common and most corneal foreign bodies can be removed in the doctor’s office.

Corneal abrasion

To put is simply, this is a scratched cornea. Most of these are not serious. These scratches can be uncomfortable and cause sensitivity to light and watery eyes.

Many scratches will heal on their own within 24 hours. Deeper abrasions can lead to serious eye infection and even a corneal ulcer if left untreated.

You should see an eye doctor for any sharp discomfort of the eye that doesn’t resolve quickly to determine the cause.

Dry eyes

Dry eye usually begins slowly and gradually increases in pain compared to eye pain from a corneal foreign body or abrasion. They can sometimes lead to a corneal abrasion because there aren’t enough tears to determine the severity of the dryness.

Other eye pain causes

– Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
– Eye infections
– Iritis (inflammation of the iris)
– Contact lens discomfort

What about pain behind your eye? This is usually caused by migraine headaches and sinus infections.

A migraine headache usually has pain behind one eye accompanied by pain elsewhere on the same side of the head. Pain behind the eye from a sinus infection is usually less severe and both eyes may be affected.

If you’re suffering from eye pain, stop in to see the professional eye doctors at Performance Eyecare. Our eye experts give the special attention everyone deserves. We will help you get back to living a pain-free life and seeing clearly!

Allergy Season & Contact Lenses

Allergy season is extra harsh for those who wear contacts! It’s bad enough to have allergies, but to have allergies AND wear contacts can add extra discomfort to your life during the pollen season.

According to the American Optometric Association, more than 75 percent of contact-wearers suffer from eye discomfort caused by allergens. Soft lenses are likely the main culprit of the irritation as they function as sponges which keeps the allergens in the eye.

Tips for Allergy Season

So what can contact-wearers do to combat the allergy season? Here are a few ideas!

  • Switch to eyeglasses. It’s easier said than done for those who normally wear contacts from morning to night, but it might be the simplest thing to do. Allergens, such as pollen and dust, tend to stick to plastic surfaces of contacts, so wearing glasses should decrease your chances of an attack.
  • Contact-wearers should also wash the allergens out of the eye and moisten irritated eyes with artificial tears. It’s recommended that you don’t buy over-the-counter redness relievers to treat your allergic symptoms because most of those products are considered cosmetic-only.
  • How often do you clean your contacts? It’s recommended you clean your contacts more often and using a preservative-free solution to avoid allergic reactions. Those who wear disposable lenses should consider replacing them more frequently.
  • This might be the hardest tip: try not to rub your eyes. Rubbing will only cause it to get worse. Instead, place a cool, damp cloth over your eyes to reduce any swelling or itching. It might look weird doing this, but it won’t look as bad as having excessively red and puffy eyes.
  • The most important tip is to see your eye doctor. Allergy sufferers can choose from medical products specifically designed to protect their eyes. The doctor can also check to see if the symptoms are caused by a different medical problem.

Eye Care Tips for Vacations

With the summer coming to an end, many families have plans for one more family trip. If so, there are some eye care travel tips you should know about before you go.

It’s always important to carry an extra pair of contact lenses, eyeglasses and sunglasses when you plan on going away – even if it’s just a short weekend trip. The extra pair will come in handy in case you lose your original pair or they get damaged. Not only is it important to pack an extra pair, but if you wear contact lenses it’s definitely important to remember your contact lens solution. If you are flying to your destination, be sure to check-ahead at the rules for carrying on liquids so you can pack accordingly.

It’s all fun in the sun, until you forget your sunglasses. Be sure to bring sunglasses that block 100 percent of the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. It’s likely that sunglasses will be handy considering we spend a lot of time outside during vacations.

Keep yourself from suffering from dry eyes if you are flying or visiting a dry climate. These two things can irritate your eyes, so be sure to bring moistening eye drops to help prevent any irritation. It might be best if you wear eyeglasses instead of contact lenses on flights.

Consider your eye health during activities such as swimming. You shouldn’t wear your contact lenses while swimming because it increases your risk of an eye infection from bacteria. You should wear goggles when you’re in the water.

Schedule an appointment at Performance Eyecare before you leave for your trip, so you can be sure to have the correct eye prescription and protection needed. We carry the latest designer styles in eyeglasses and sunglasses from brands such as Lafont, Oakley, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Maui Jim, OGI and many more.

We also have a special in-office eyeglass lens creation. This allows us to give you clear and comfortable vision shortly after an eye examination.

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to have regular eye exams, at least once per year. Diabetes increases your risk of eye problems, so it is important to not delay in caring for your eyes.  However, you are also at risk for diabetic retinopathy: damage to the blood vessels located in your retina.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

This disease is the most common among those suffering from diabetes – both type 1 and 2; is the leading cause in America for blindness. In some people, the blood vessels in the retina may swell and leak fluid, however in other people you may develop new vessels on the surface of your retina. This eye disease typically affects both eyes, not just one.

If you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, we will recommend a treatment to help the progression of this disease which may include more than one visit to the doctor per year. Do not let this go untreated.

Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

You can’t always prevent diabetic retinopathy. However, you can help prevent vision loss and other complications of diabetic retinopathy

  • Monitor your blood sugar level by checking levels regularly and working with your doctor to establish a routine.
  • Manage your diabetes with a healthy diet and ample physical activity.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control by losing excess weight, committing to a healthy lifestyle, and incorporating medication if needed.
  • Pay attention to vision changes. Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision suddenly changes or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy.

To find out how to treat this eye disease, or to make an appointment for your annual checkup, please schedule your appointment today!

15 Facts About Your Eyes

Eyes are very complex and interesting organs. There are seven main parts in the eye that play a role in transmitting information to the brain, detecting light, and focusing. A problem with any of these parts means a problem with your vision.

Here are 15 interesting facts about eyes that you probably didn’t know:

  1. The average blink lasts for about 1/10th of a second.
  2. While it takes some time for most parts of your body to warm up to their full potential, your eyes are on their “A game” 24/7.
  3. Eyes heal quickly. With proper care, it only takes about 48 hours for the eye to repair a corneal scratch.
  4. Seeing is such a big part of everyday life that it requires about half of the brain to get involved.
  5. Newborns don’t produce tears. They make crying sounds, but the tears don’t start flowing until they are about 4-13 weeks old.
  6. Around the world, about 39 million people are blind and roughly 6 times that many have some kind of vision impairment.
  7. Doctors have yet to find a way to transplant an eyeball. The optic nerve that connects the eye to the brain is too sensitive to reconstruct successfully.
  8. The cells in your eye come in different shapes. Rod-shaped cells allow you to see shapes, and cone-shaped cells allow you to see color.
  9. You blink about 12 times every minute.
  10. Your eyes are about 1 inch across and weigh about 0.25 ounce.
  11. Some people are born with two differently colored eyes. This condition is heterochromia.
  12. Even if no one in the past few generations of your family had blue or green eyes, these recessive traits can still appear in later generations.
  13. Each of your eyes has a small blind spot in the back of the retina where the optic nerve attaches. You don’t notice the hole in your vision because your eyes work together to fill in each other’s blind spot.
  14. Out of all the muscles in your body, the muscles that control your eyes are the most active.
  15. 80% of vision problems worldwide are avoidable or even curable.

Have any more questions about eyes? Let us help! Schedule an appointment with us today!

How to tell if Your Child Needs Glasses

Keeping your children happy and healthy is a parent’s number one concern. It is easy to tell when your child feels ill and needs to see a doctor, but how do you know if your child is having difficulties seeing?

There are common signs that your child is having difficulty seeing. If your child is showing one or more of the below signs, you should contact your eye doctor for an examination.

Avoiding activities?

The first way to tell if your child has a vision problem is when they won’t take part in fun activities such as coloring, reading or making things with their hands. Although every child has certain activities they dislike due to personal preferences – a child who decides to sit out while their friends play with bricks, coloring books and games may be suffering from poor vision.

Tired eyes?

Being a child can be exhausting; all that running around in the yard, playing with friends and making hideouts out of bedding would cause anyone to be tired. But there is a line between when your child should be rubbing their eyes due to tiredness (around naptime or bedtime) and when they may be feeling discomfort in their eyes. A child who rubs their eyes, or has watery or red eyes on more than one occasion, may also be struggling to see.

Sitting too close to TV and games consoles?

Another warning sign – and usually the most obvious one – is when your child turns on the TV and sits too close to the screen. In the average living room the TV may be approximately 5 meters away from your couch; an acceptable distance. If you see your child sitting very close to the screen, you may have a problem.

Headaches and frowning?

It’s normal for the occasional bump and bruise as your child explores their world and is active in the classroom. But if your child walks around rubbing her head regularly, complaining of a headache or squinting around bright lights – she may have a vision problem. When we have poor eyesight we find it hard to focus on objects either close up or at a distance. If you need a visual aid but don’t use one, your eyes work overtime to try and focus on that object. This causes  muscles in the back of the eye to tense up, resulting in headaches over the eyes.

Lack of concentration?

Another way to tell if your child has a vision problem is their inability to focus on the task in hand. Those same muscles are working overtime to focus, which can cause your child to feel restless and uncomfortable. The result is them not paying attention for long periods of time at school or at home.

What to do: 

If you feel your child may have a vision problem, and she exhibits one or more of the signs mentioned above, it is really important that you take them to an optometrist as soon as possible. Speak to your child about your concerns and explain that an eye test is not painful. If it turns out that your child does need glasses, gently tell them that this is the case and remember that wearing glasses is not a bad thing. There are many glasses styles available for kids, so not only will they look fashionable and cool – they will also be more comfortable in the classroom and participating in activities.

Eyeglass Styles For Men

Style is important in every setting, which is why it’s important to choose frames that not only feel good, but also look good.

Picking out the perfect pair of eyeglasses can be tough for anyone. While getting the correct prescription is the most important thing for eyeglass wearers, you shouldn’t settle for bland looking glasses that don’t fit your personality and style.

According to Antonio Centeno, the founder of Real Men Real Style, men need to consider at least five things when choosing their next pair of glasses: should they be noticeable, face shape, color, sizing and materials.

1. Should a man’s glasses be noticeable?

The traditional thought is that glasses should be unobtrusive, which is impossible to achieve even with the thinnest wire frames.

The thin-wire frame look may not be the best look for your face, but it’s also important not to let whichever pair you buy define your style. Glasses are meant to complement your style and a fashionable pair can become a part of your visual identity.

Don’t let the old tradition of thin-wire glasses be your style if it isn’t. Choose a pair of glasses that enhance your style even if it is the traditional thin-wire glasses.

At Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frames of the highest quality and also affordable name brands such as Lafont, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tom Davies, OGA, Tom Ford, Maui Jim, OGI and many others.

2. Face shape

It’s important to keep your style in mind when choosing glasses, but don’t forget your face shape. Keeping your face shape in consideration will determine which frame shape is best for you.

Glasses for round faces

A “round” face is considered to be the same width and height with a curving chin and cheeks. Centeno suggests something angular and slimming for people with a round face.

Rectangular glasses will make your face appear longer and thinner. The corners of the glasses should be squared off and the frames should lean toward thin more than thick.

Glasses for square faces

A “square” face is similar to a round face in that it’s equal in width and height, but its features are more angled with a broad chin and strong jaw. Men who want to soften their impression can wear rounded lenses. Those who want a stronger profile and don’t want the glasses to look imposing can still wear squared-off lenses, but need to be sure the lenses are large and even in width and height.

Glasses for oval faces

“Oval” faces work well with most styles as long as you don’t go too extreme. An oval face is taller than it is wide with a rounded chin and high cheekbones. Oval faces can wear both squared-off and curving frames, narrow or wide.

The thing to look out for is if the frames are too square or circular. A thicker frame can add definition, but make sure it doesn’t overpower your features.

Glasses for heart-shaped faces

“Heart-shaped” faces have narrow cheekbones and a small chin. If you want to take away from your narrow chin, then choose wider frames at the top than the bottom. It’s also important to stay away from too block or squared-off because of the curves in your face’s shape.

3. Choosing the color

Most people wear the same glasses for years, so you better get used to the color. Men who wear suits and ties have a limited dress code which also narrows down the color selection for frames. Base metallic colors (gold and silver tones) or a fine black are acceptable. Suit-and-tie men should avoid thick, plastic-looking or brightly colored frames.

Casual dressers have a greater number of options to add colors, either as the solid base of the frames or as detailing. Thinner frames are best for men looking to add color.

4. Frame sizing

The rule of thumb here is that thinner frames will generally sit more comfortably and allow a closer fit. Large, heavy frames may need to be sized looser than normal.

Eyeglass frames are sized with three numbers representing in order: size of the lens, size of the bridge across the nose, and the length of the temples (the hooks that go over your ears). These measurements don’t take into account the shape of the wires or the thickness which means one set of frames may not be as comfortable as another with the identical measurement.

5. Frame materials

Plastics and nylon-based composites are usually used for brightly colored glasses. Higher-end sports glasses are made from more flexible nylon materials.

Titanium and titanium alloys are popular for their flexibility and the lighter weight. People with sensitive skin need to be more cautious with cheaper metals because some include nickel, which some have a contact allergy.

Aluminum frames are cheap, but not durable.

Minimize Stress To Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Big project due? Bills need to be paid? Trying to find a job? These are a few things that can cause stress. That stress can cause other problems to your health including your eyes.

Life can be hectic as we try to best manage our tasks in an orderly fashion, but sometimes the anxiety takes control of us and our body. Hypertension, or constant high blood pressure, can put us at a higher risk of Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO). This disease affects about four out of 1000 people and is considered a “heart attack or stroke selectively affecting the retina.”

This can lead to blurred vision or total loss of vision if not treated.

Our eyes are the most sensitive part of our body which is why stress easily affects our vision. High blood pressure obviously affects the heart and it also damages the vessels that supply blood to our eyes. This damage is in the form of clots.

How Can I Prevent Stress-Related Issues?

The best way to treat this problem is to address your stress. It’s important for us to understand the physical damage that can be done to our eyes. Finding ways to cope with our stress will lead to less anxiety and keep our eyes and the rest of our body healthy.

Technology has also helped with controlling the damage done to our eyes due to stress. These new treatments include injections, lasers and surgery. It’s important to get your blood pressure checked regularly to help prevent RVO from affecting you and your eyes.

If you’ve noticed your vision is becoming more blurred, please schedule an appointment to see one of our eye doctors at Performance Eyecare. It’s important to understand why your vision is blurred and to address it immediately.

It’s also important to seek other help if you are under uncontrollable stress whether it be from the workplace or your everyday life.

Glasses to Aid Kids’ computer vision

Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome

Did you know October is considered Computer Learning Month? We’re not here to teach you how to use the computer better, but to inform you of computer vision syndrome, especially for children who are likely to use the computer more often.

Take a look at these facts and figures from Gary Heiting, OD and Larry K. Wan, OD:

  • 94 percent of American families with children have a computer in the home with access to the Internet.*
  • The amount of time children ages 8 to 18 devote to entertainment media (including computer and video games) each day has increased from 6.19 hours in 1999 to 7.38 hours in 2009.**
  • In 2009, 29 percent of American children ages 8 to 18 had their own laptop computer, and kids in grades 7 through 12 reported spending an average of more than 90 minutes a day sending or receiving texts on their cell phones.**

Sitting in front of the computer screen stresses a child’s eyes because it forces them to focus and strain a lot more than any other task. This can put them at an even greater risk than adults for developing symptoms of computer vision syndrome.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), parents should consider these factors affecting children and computer use:

  • Children may not be aware of how much time they are spending at a computer. They may perform a task on the computer for hours with few breaks. This prolonged activity can cause eye focusing and eye strain problems.
  • Children are very adaptable. They assume that what they see and how they see is normal — even if their vision is problematic. That’s why it is important for parents to monitor the time a child spends working at a computer and make sure they have regular eye exams as directed by their optometrist or ophthalmologist.
  • Children are smaller than adults. Since computer workstations often are arranged for adult use, this can change the viewing angle for young children. Computer users should view the screen slightly downward, at a 15-degree angle. Also, if a child has difficulty reaching the keyboard or placing their feet comfortably on the floor, he or she may experience neck, shoulder and/or back pain.

Here are tips to reduce the risk of computer vision syndrome in children, according to the AOA:

  1. Have your child’s vision checked. Before starting school, every child should have a comprehensive eye exam, including near-point (computer and reading) and distance testing.
  2. Limit the amount of time your child spends at the computer without a break. Encourage kids to take 20-second breaks from the computer every 20 minutes to minimize the development of eye focusing problems and eye irritation. (Some eye doctors call this the “20-20 rule.”)
  3. Check the ergonomics of the workstation. For young and small children, make sure the computer workstation is adjusted to their body size. The recommended distance between the monitor and the eye for children is 18 to 28 inches. Viewing the computer screen closer than 18 inches can strain the eyes.
  4. Check the lighting. To reduce glare, windows and other light sources should not be directly visible when sitting in front of the monitor. Reduce the amount of lighting in the room to match the computer screen.

Be sure to check out our large selection of high quality and designer eyeglasses!