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.

What You Need to Know During National Glaucoma Awareness Month

How much do you know about Glaucoma?

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Statistics say that not enough people know about it, let alone are aware they have developed it. According to www.glaucoma.org, “over 3 million Americans, and over 60 million people worldwide, have glaucoma” and “experts estimate that half of them don’t know they have it.” If we are going to stop this “epidemic of blindness,” then spreading awareness is key. Here is what you need to know during National Glaucoma Awareness Month:

  1. Early detection is key. While you may not be able to reverse the effects of glaucoma, if you catch it early, progressive development of the disease can be stopped. That means, in order to prevent blindness, you have to catch it during one of your routine eye exams. These exams are vital to detecting glaucoma and creating a plan to prevent further vision loss. Contact Performance Eyecare today to schedule your exam.
  2. Do the research. There are two types of glaucoma: Open-Angle and Angle-Closure. Open-Angle Glaucoma is the most common type as it is chronic, accounts for over 88% of glaucoma cases and is almost undetectable without comprehensive eye exams. Angle-Closure develops quickly and needs immediate attention as the symptoms are damaging and noticeable. Visit Glaucoma Research Foundation to learn more about the disease. The more you know about this disease, the more you can raise concern about it to those around.
  3. Talk about it. If you have glaucoma, don’t be embarrassed or keep it a secret. Use it as motivation to get your family, friends, and community to schedule their routine eye exam for early detection. Share your research about glaucoma and spread awareness about this preventable, but not reversible, disease.

Because glaucoma is so common, not only among the American population but around the world, it is amazing more people do not know about it. During National Glaucoma Awareness Month, be sure to schedule your eye exams and help those around you detect its presence before it is too late.

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.

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.

At Performance Eyecare, we regularly treat a variety of eye conditions in children. We have offices in Creve Coeur, MO; Alton, IL; and Swansea, IL. 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.

Diabetic Eye Disease Month

Did you know Diabetes can affect your vision?

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Diabetes is a debilitating disease affecting over 29 million Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control’s 2014 Statistics Report, more than one-fourth of this population is not diagnosed. Although most commonly associated with controlling blood sugar levels, diabetes is a systemic disease that, left untreated or poorly managed, can cause damage throughout the body including the heart, kidneys and retina. It is also a leading cause of blindness in the US (National Eye Institute).

November is recognized as National Diabetes Month. Take the time to learn your risk factors and, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, learn how you can protect your vision.

Diabetes’ impact on the eyes

Diabetes causes progressive nerve damage and damage to the blood vessels leading to the retina, resulting in several types of diabetic eye disease:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: When the blood vessels are damaged, they will leak blood or other fluids, causing distorted vision and blindness.
  • Diabetic macular edema: The macula is in the center of the retina, and enables sharp central vision. Diabetic retinopathy can cause the macula to swell: blurring vision.
  • Cataracts: Although most people will develop cataracts, diabetics often develop cataracts earlier in life.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve due to elevated pressure in the eye. Diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than other people.

Diabetics can protect their vision and improve their health by:

  • Managing blood sugar levels through good nutrition, exercise and (if prescribed) medication;
  • Regular doctor visits to monitor HBA1C (blood glucose) levels and kidney function;
  • Annual complete dilated eye exams. In a dilated exam, your eye doctor can see things that might not be apparent through a routine vision screening.

For more information on Diabetic Eye Disease and protecting your vision, contact Performance Eyecare.

Now Available: Online Appointment Scheduling

Time for an Eye Exam?

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Performance Eyecare now offers online appointment scheduling. Scheduling eye exams for yourself or your family has never been easier, or more convenient!

Your days are busy – we get that! Between work and family, it seems like you’re always on the go, and finding the time to call and schedule doctors’ appointments sometimes seems impossible. Or maybe you remember that you need to schedule an appointment, and it’s after hours. Now you can make an appointment with your eye doctor when it’s convenient for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To schedule your appointment online, visit our website. There you will find the heading “Schedule an Appointment” with links to each of our locations: Creve Coeur, Missouri; Swansea and Alton, Illinois. Select your preferred location, and the link will take you to a page where you can select your preferred provider, the type of appointment you would like to make (routine eye exams or medical visits) and then the day and time that works best for you. You will need to enter your contact information, any symptoms or problems, and your insurance provider (if applicable). Click “Request Appointment” and you’re done! One of our receptionists will be in touch to confirm your appointment.

Performance Eyecare is a full-service eye care practice, serving the needs of adults and children requiring routine vision care, specialized medical eye care, LASIK eye surgery, and an optical boutique. Our friendly staff and caring doctors look forward to seeing you soon!

For more information please contact us. PS – Did you know you can order your contacts online now too?

Schedule an Eye Appointment in Swansea, Creve Coeur, or Alton!

Customer Appreciation Month 2016

In Honor of Customer Appreciation Month – 50% Off Frames!

September is customer appreciation month at Performance Eyecare, and to show how much we really do appreciate you we’re offering an incredible 50% off frames! That means you can get a complete pair of glasses for a whole lot less all this month!

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Come in and browse our great selection of frames from names like Calvin Klein, Kate Spade, Jones New York, Lucky Brand, Converse and many more. And for the rest of September, enjoy a whopping 50% discount on the frame of your choice!

It’s an opportunity that definitely doesn’t come along every day, so don’t waste a single moment. Need an eye exam? Our Optometrists use the latest digital technology for a complete and comprehensive vision and eye-health exam, including “puff-free” Glaucoma testing that’s state-of-the-art accurate. Bring the kids, even the little ones — we see kids as young as three years old, and we have all the necessary equipment and eye charts to give them a complete and thorough exam as well. We’re also famous for our revolutionary vision retainer shaping system, a non-surgical vision corrector that prevents kids who are near-sighted from worsening as they grow. (Ask us about how it works!)

We have three convenient locations in Creve Coeur, Swansea and Alton, and every one on our staff at all three locations is psyched up for this special event and ready to show you a little customer appreciation! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to get the best care possible for you and your family, and save some serious money in the process! If we can answer any questions or be of service before your visit, please contact us.

Month Encouraging Parents to Protect Their Children’s Sight

Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month

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With the new school year right around the corner, parents like you are busily preparing themselves and their children to head back to school. However, among the throng of enrollment forms, doctor checkups, and back-to-school shopping, you might not even think to schedule an eye exam for your children. The importance of regular eye check-ups for children cannot be stated enough. Not only can a child’s academic performance suffer due to untreated vision problems, some serious eye problems may lead to blindness.

Because most eye problems are invisible or produce vague symptoms, it’s important that children receive an annual eye exam. Your child’s pediatrician can examine their eyes during regularly scheduled appointments; however, regular vision testing should be conducted starting when a child is about three years old. Regular eye exams can not only catch physiological eye problems that show outward signs, they can also help catch refractive vision errors (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) while they are still easily corrected.  If your child is diagnosed with an eye problem, their pediatrician can refer you to an eye health professional who can provide them with the appropriate treatment.

When it comes to your child’s vision health, you shouldn’t only worry about physiological disorders. According to Prevent Blindness, 125,000 eye injuries are caused by common household products every year, and a sports-related eye injury is treated in an emergency room every 13 minutes.  Because these injuries can result in permanent blindness, it’s important to ensure your children’s eyes are protected.  Around the house, secure hazardous objects and chemicals which can cause serious harm if children were to get into them, and make sure your children only play with age-appropriate toys to reduce the risks of play-related eye injuries. If your children are active in sports or other outdoor activities, make sure they wear the appropriate protective eye-wear to guard against injury.

Before sending your kids off on the school bus this year, remember that August is Children’s eye & Safety Month and schedule an appointment to have their eyes checked.  At Performance Eyecare our highly trained optometry staff is able to assist you and your child with everything from vision exams to glasses and contact lenses.  For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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; the list is long, however; 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 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, thereby 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, and some might 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, your chances become greater. 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 and resulting 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 until the disease increases in severity. Over time, however; the walls of your blood vessels may leak fluid, and after having diabetes for a while, blood vessels can form scar tissue and pull the retina away from the back of your eye, leading 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.

What You Need To Know About Colored Contacts

Colored Contacts are all the rage these days, giving people the option to change the look of their eyes in an instant. Even if you don’t need contacts to correct your vision, you can purchase them for cosmetic reasons, just like you can purchase glasses with non-prescription lenses. There are 3 types of colored contact lenses that can change your eye color and look.

Enhancement contacts change light-colored eyes into different shades of blues, greens and grays. Each will look different depending on your original eye color, as the two blend together uniquely. These contacts do not change eye colors that are originally darker.

Opaque contact lenses are very popular because they totally change the color of your eyes whether you have light or dark eyes. They can give you a dramatic new look.

Special effects lenses are used to add flair and reality to Halloween costumes and for stage performances, such as to look more like a vampire or zombie and the like. They can create a special effect or simply be a bold fashion statement. Some companies are making new types of lenses called circle lenses that widen the look of the iris by adding a black circle around the outside of the lens. This is especially popular in Korea.

What You Need to Know About Colored Contacts

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Unfortunately, there are companies selling contacts that are non-prescription and are not approved by the FDA. This is against the law and very dangerous to the health of your eyes. If you are considering purchasing colored contacts it is very important to have a vision exam with a certified optometrist to make sure the prescription is correct, as well as to obtain the proper fit. Our eyes are all unique and even if you have 20/20 vision, you will need to be professionally fitted for contacts.

Purchasing contacts without a prescription can lead to problems such as infections, a scratched cornea, pink eye, decreased vision, and blindness. This can be due to the wrong prescription, poor fit, poor care of the lenses, and improperly made lenses. According to FDA optometrist Bernard P. Lepri, O.D., M.S., M.Ed., “Bacterial infections can be extremely rapid, result in corneal ulcers, and cause blindness–sometimes within as little as 24 hours if not diagnosed and treated promptly.”

There are colored contacts to fit most eyes including those with vision correction. They can be purchased from our clinics in Creve Coeur, MO; Swansea, IL; and Alton, IL, in long-wearing styles, daily disposables, or gas permeable. We specialize in fitting even the most difficult to fit contact lens wearer. Contact us today to find out more about the vision exams and colored contacts we offer.

Glaucoma Awareness Month 2016

See Our Doctors At Performance Eyecare During Glaucoma Awareness Month!

In 2013 we reported that 2.7 million people in the U.S have glaucoma, which has now reached over 4 million people living in the United States. Out of those 4 million people suffering from glaucoma, there are over 100,000 people who are blind from this disease. With statistics on the rise, the doctors at Performance Eyecare are skilled, trained and educated in eye health & have the drive to help you diagnose the early-on symptoms glaucoma can bring.

Glaucoma can be detected early on by the care of our Creve Couer, MO and Swansea, IL eye care professionals when you come in for your annual eye exam. The exam that you will undergo can help determine the appearance of glaucoma or even the progress to which it may already have taken. The good news is that while glaucoma does not currently have a cure, there are some precautions that Dr. Massie can treat which will help control of further eye damage occurring, or vision being lost. Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness among Americans. Do not delay scheduling your eye exam, as it may save your vision.

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It is first important to know that there are two types of glaucoma that can be detected: Angle-Closure Glaucoma, and Open-Angle Glaucoma.

Open-Angle Glaucoma

Known as chronic glaucoma and is the most common form of glaucoma, being accountable for over 88% of all glaucoma cases; according to Glaucoma Research Foundation. This form of the disease is almost undetectable without a comprehensive eye exam.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma

This form of the disease develops quickly, and demands immediate attention with noticeable damage and symptoms.

Glaucoma Testing

If you’re ready to celebrate Glaucoma Awareness month with your own eye health check-up; or if you would like to be tested for glaucoma please give us a call to set up an appointment at (618) 223-6281 in Swansea, IL or (314) 380-4129 in Creve Coeur, MO or you can visit us online to schedule an appointment most convenient to you!