Your Eyes Benefit From Vitamin E

Which foods can help keep your eyes healthy and reduce your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration?

Nuts and seeds are a great source for vitamin E, but what is vitamin E? It’s a “powerful antioxidant that helps protect membranes of cells throughout the body against damage caused by metabolic by-products called free radicals,” according to AllAboutVision.com. The harmful radicals can be a result of environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke.

Recent studies have suggested that vitamin E can prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

One study from Age-Related Eye Disease Study involved 5,000 people. Researchers discovered a 25 percent lower risk of developing advanced stages of macular degeneration when vitamin E was taken. It also included high levels of vitamin A and C and zinc.

Additional studies also believe vitamin E may help prevent cataracts. There are also some studies that have provided conflicting findings and some eye doctors believe more research needs to be done before coming to a conclusion.

How much vitamin E should we have?

The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults and children 14 or older is 15 mg per day of vitamin E. It’s recommended 19 mg for women who breastfeed. Those who smoke should consume more vitamin E as well as A and C.

What are the best vitamin E foods?

Sunflower seeds and nuts are among the best resources. Other great sources include whole grain cereal, almonds, frozen spinach, hazelnuts, mixed nuts with peanuts, avocado, and dry roasted peanuts.

There are some side effects of too much vitamin E. A 2011 study suggested men 50 years old and older showed an increased risk of prostate cancer when taking 400 IU of vitamin E compared to men who didn’t. It can also interfere with the body’s blood clotting ability.

It’s important to discuss these potential benefits and side effects with an eye care professional at Performance Eyecare and a general physician.

PeC has the latest trends in performance sunglasses

Performance EyeCare Illinois Sport Sunglasses

The interest in performance-oriented sunglasses has surged in recent years, as well as outdoor activities such as mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and in-line skating.

The boom in outdoor sports activities like mountain biking, snowboarding, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, golfing and in-line skating has also created a demand for sports- and performance-oriented sunglasses.

These special-purpose sunglasses are designed to be exceptionally light and comfortable, able to withstand extreme conditions and stay comfortably in place during any activity.

Lenses

Perhaps the most important aspect of effective sports sunwear is the optical quality and visual enhancement properties of the lenses. In particular, sports and performance lenses are available in a wide variety of tints to modify light in certain ways to enhance contrast. This allows you to see certain objects (a tennis ball, for example) with greater clarity to enhance your reaction time.

Polycarbonate lenses are the lens of choice for most sport sunglasses because they are lightweight, super strong and more impact-resistant than lenses made of other materials.

Polarized lenses are also in demand, because they reduce glare from light reflecting off flat surfaces such as water or a field of snow. There is, however, some debate about the advisability of polarized lenses for sports like downhill and mogul skiing, since seeing sunlight reflecting from icy patches on the slopes is often beneficial.

Frames

The frames for performance and sport sunglasses are made of lightweight and durable materials such as polyamide, which keeps its shape even under stress. Styles are typically aerodynamic, with sleek lines. No-slip temple grips and nose pads are popular features to help keep the eyewear in place despite wearer perspiration during the heat of competition.

What’s your sport?

Each sport has its own unique visual requirements, which has led to the development of sport-specific sunglasses. Frames and lenses are now available that are targeted specifically to the golfer, the cyclist, the boater, the rock climber and so on.

For example, a certain lens tint might help a golfer notice subtle changes in the direction of the blades of grass on a green that could affect the line of their putt, while a completely different tint might be better to help a hunter see the contrast of a flying bird against an overcast sky.

If you prefer to be a Jack (or Jill) of all sports, there are also multipurpose sports sunglasses that feature interchangeable lenses with different tints for different sports and lighting conditions.

For more information on prescription sunglasses, visit your local Performance Eyecare location!

Eyeglass Fashion For Teens

portrait of a teenage girl wearing eyeglasses

We understand that teenagers can have extremely picky taste when it comes to anything, but especially when it involves fashion.

Here are five tips to help you look fabulous in your new eyeglasses:

Tip 1: Eyeglass frames should complement your face shape, features and coloring

If your face is angular or square, round and oval frames look best. The opposite is also true: if your face is round or oval, you’ll look good in square and angular frames. Also, if the top of your face is wider than the bottom (often called heart-shaped), select a frame with a dramatic (wider, heavier, etc.) bottom edge to even out your face. Of course, if your face is wider on the bottom, choose a frame with a dramatic top edge.

The frame color should complement your coloring, including skin tone (warm or cool), skin color (ranging from fair to dark) and hair color.

Still not sure? Take a look at your veins (they’re easy to see in your wrists and feet, usually): if they seem mostly greenish, you have warm skin, while mostly blue veins mean you have cool skin.

Colors that look nice with warm skin include browns, most metals and colors like turquoise.

Those who are light in skin and hair coloring (ivory skin and blonde hair, for example) look nice with faint-colored frames. Those with medium coloring look nice with light-colored metals and browns. Those with dark coloring look nice is most metallic frames.

Tip 2: Frames must fit you properly to work right and look good

Frames that are too large can cause visual distortion and glare. If it’s too small, you limit your peripheral vision.

Frames shouldn’t be wider than the widest part of your face, with the exception of frames for oval faces. The top of the frames should not be above the eyebrow line and the bottom shouldn’t touch your cheeks. They should also be comfortable around your ears.

Tip 3: They should match your lifestyle

Take into account your life. That means your life on Saturday night, your life at church, your life at grandma’s house and more. What is your overall style? Choose something that pairs well with your typical style whether it’s dressy of jeans and T-shirts.

Tip 4: Certain prescriptions work better with certain frames

Eyeglass lenses that correct nearsightedness are thicker along the edges than in the middle. The opposite is true for farsightedness. Some frames are incompatible with lens edges that are particularly thick or thin.

Tip 5: Construction varies

Generally you can choose eyeglass frames in plastic, metal or a combination of both. Metal frame usually last longer and most have adjustable nose pads, which work well for those with noses too small or large for plastic frames.

You should take into account the kind of jewelry you like to wear as well. If you wear a lot of gold, you might not want silver frames.

At Performance Eyecare, we carry over 700 pairs of high quality and designer eyeglasses and sunglasses. We have eyeglasses of all price ranges, including high end fashion frames made from the latest materials.

Performance Eyecare carries contacts for ‘hard-to-fit’ eyes

eye doctor in Swansea IL & St. Louis

Not everyone is an ideal candidate for contact lenses. If you have one or more of the following conditions, contact lens wear may be more difficult:

  • astigmatism
  • dry eyes
  • presbyopia
  • giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)
  • keratoconus
  • post-refractive surgery (such as LASIK)

But “difficult” doesn’t mean impossible. Often, people with these conditions can wear contacts quite successfully. Let’s take a closer look at each situation – and possible contact lens solutions.

Contact lenses for astigmatism

Astigmatism is a very common condition where the curvature of the front of the eye isn’t round, but is instead shaped more like a football or an egg. This means one curve is steeper or flatter than the curve 90 degrees away. Astigmatism won’t keep you from wearing contact lenses – it just means you need a different kind of lens.

Lenses specially designed to correct astigmatism are called “toric” lenses. Most toric lenses are soft lenses. Toric soft lenses have different corrective powers in different lens meridians, and design elements to keep the lens from rotating on the eye (so the varying corrective powers are aligned properly in front of the different meridians of the cornea).

In some cases, toric soft lenses may rotate too much on the eye, causing blur. If this happens, different brands that have different anti-rotation designs can be tried. If soft lens rotation continues to be a problem, gas permeable (GP) lenses (with or without a toric design) can also correct astigmatism.

Dry eyes can make contact lens wear difficult and cause a number of symptoms, including:

  • a gritty, dry feeling
  • feeling as if something is in your eye
  • a burning sensation
  • eye redness (especially later in the day)
  • blurred vision

If you have dry eyes, the first step is to treat the condition. This can be done a number of ways, including artificial tears, medicated eye drops, nutritional supplements, and a doctor-performed procedure called punctal occlusion to close ducts in your eyelids that drain tears away from your eyes.

Once the dry eye condition is treated and symptoms are reduced or eliminated, contact lenses can be tried. Certain soft contact lens materials work better than others for dry eyes. Also, GP lenses are sometimes better than soft lenses if there’s a concern about dry eyes since these lenses don’t dry out the way soft lenses can.

Replacing your contacts more frequently and reducing your wearing time each day (or removing them for specific tasks, such as computer work) can also reduce dry eye symptoms when wearing contacts.

Contact lenses for giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC)

Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) is an inflammatory reaction on the inner surface of the eyelids. One cause of GPC is protein deposits on soft contact lenses. (These deposits are from components of your tear film that stick to your lenses and become chemically altered.)

Usually, changing to a one-day disposable soft lens will solve this problem, since you just throw these lenses away at the end of the day before protein deposits can accumulate on them. Gas permeable lenses are also often a good solution, as protein deposits don’t adhere as easily to GP lenses, and lens deposits on GP lenses are more easily removed with daily cleaning.

In some cases of GPC, a medicated eye drop may be required to reduce the inflammation before you can resume wearing contact lenses.

Contact lenses for presbyopia

Presbyopia is the normal loss of focusing ability up close when you reach your 40s.

Today, there are many designs of bifocal and multifocal contact lenses to correct presbyopia. Another option for presbyopia is monovision. This is wearing a contact lens in one eye for distance vision and a lens in the other eye that has a modified power for near vision.

During your contact lens fitting we can help you decide whether bifocal/multifocal contact lenses or monovision is best for you.

Contact lenses for keratoconus

Keratoconus is a relatively uncommon eye condition where the cornea becomes thinner and bulges forward. The term “keratoconus” comes from the Greek terms for cornea (“kerato”) and cone-shaped (“conus”). The exact cause of keratoconus remains unknown, but it appears that oxidative damage from free radicals plays a role.

Gas permeable contact lenses are the treatment option of choice for mild and moderate keratoconus. Because they are rigid, GP lenses can help contain the shape of the cornea to prevent further bulging of the cornea. They also can correct vision problems caused by keratoconus that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses or soft contacts.

In some cases, a soft contact lens is worn under the GP lens for greater comfort. This technique is called “piggybacking.” Another option for some patients is a hybrid contact lens that has a GP center, surrounded by a soft “skirt”.Contact lenses after corrective eye surgery

More than one million Americans each year have LASIK surgery to correct their eyesight. Sometimes, vision problems remain after surgery that can’t be corrected with eyeglasses or a second surgical procedure. In these cases, gas permeable contact lenses can often restore visual acuity and eliminate problems like glare and halos at night.

GP lenses are also used to correct vision problems after corneal transplant surgery, including irregular astigmatism that cannot be corrected with eyeglasses.

GP lenses prescribed after LASIK and corneal transplants sometimes have a special design called a “reverse geometry” design to better conform to the altered shape of the cornea. The back surface of these lenses is flatter in the center and steeper in the periphery. (This is the opposite of a normal GP lens design, which is steeper in the center and flattens in the periphery.)

Problem-solving contact lens fittings cost more

Fitting contact lenses to correct or treat any of the above conditions will generally take much more time than a regular contact lens fitting. These “hard-to-fit” cases usually require a series of office visits and multiple pairs of trial lenses before the final contact lens prescription can be determined. Also, the lenses required for these conditions are usually more costly than regular soft contact lenses. Therefore, fees for these fittings are higher than fees for regular contact lens fittings. Call our office for details.

Find out if you can wear contact lenses

If you are interested in wearing contact lenses, call our office to schedule a consultation. Even if you’ve been told you’re not a good candidate for contacts because you have one of the above conditions or for some other reason, we may be able to help you wear contact lenses safely and successfully.

Causes Of Eye Allergies

Many allergens (substances that can evoke an allergic response) are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eyedrops also may cause eye allergies.

Similar to processes that occur with other types of allergic responses, the eye may overreact to a substance perceived as harmful even though it may not be. For example, dust that is harmless to most people can cause excessive tear production and mucus in eyes of overly sensitive, allergic individuals. Eye allergies are often hereditary.

Allergies can trigger other problems, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and asthma. Most of the more than 22 million Americans who suffer from allergies also have allergic conjunctivitis, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Allergy signs and symptoms

Common signs of allergies include: red, swollen, tearing or itchy eyes; runny nose; sneezing; coughing; difficulty breathing; itchy nose, mouth or throat, and headache from sinus congestion.

What causes eye allergies?

Many allergens are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eyedrops also may cause eye allergies.

Eye allergy treatment

Avoidance. The most common “treatment” is to avoid what’s causing your eye allergy. Itchy eyes? Keep your home free of pet dander and dust, and stay inside with the air conditioner on when a lot of pollen is in the air. If you have central air conditioning, use a high quality filter that can trap most airborne allergens and replace it frequently.

Medications. If you’re not sure what’s causing your eye allergies, or you’re not having any luck avoiding them, your next step will probably be medication to alleviate the symptoms.

Over-the-counter and prescription medications each have their advantages; for example, over-the-counter products are often less expensive, while prescription ones are often stronger.

Eyedrops are available as simple eye washes, or they may have one or more active ingredients such as antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers. Antihistamines relieve many symptoms caused by airborne allergens, such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing.

Decongestants clear up redness. They contain vasoconstrictors, which make the blood vessels in your eyes smaller, lessening the apparent redness. They treat the symptom, not the cause.

In fact, with extended use, the blood vessels can become dependent on the vasoconstrictor to stay small. When you discontinue the eyedrops, the vessels actually get bigger than they were in the first place. This process is called rebound hyperemia, and the result is that your red eyes worsen over time.

Some products have ingredients that act as mast cell stabilizers, which alleviate redness and swelling. Mast cell stabilizers are similar to antihistamines. But while antihistamines are known for their immediate relief, mast cell stabilizers are known for their long-lasting relief.

Other medications used for allergies include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids. In some cases, combinations of medications may be used.

Immunotherapy. You may also benefit from immunotherapy, in which an allergy specialist injects you with small amounts of allergens to help your body gradually build up immunity to them.

Eye allergies and contact lenses

Even if you are generally a successful contact lens wearer, allergy season can make your contacts uncomfortable. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses, causing discomfort. Allergens can also stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your tears that bind to your contacts, adding to your discomfort and allergy symptoms.

Ask your eye doctor about eyedrops that can help relieve your symptoms and keep your contact lenses clean. Certain drops can discolor or damage contact lenses, so ask your doctor first before trying out a new brand.

Another alternative is daily disposable contact lenses, which are discarded nightly. Because you replace them so frequently, these lenses are unlikely to develop irritating deposits that can build up over time and cause or heighten allergy-related discomfort.

Stylish frames to look younger!

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to settle for the grandma look when it comes to glasses. Take a look at these tips to consider the next time you pair a new set of frames.

As noted by Julyne Derrick of Beauty.About.com, there are many frames and styles that will help you achieve a more youthful look.

Black frames are a classy look that show sophistication and a sense of style. These frames can be oversized but they will still appear flattering. It’s recommended you steer away from excessive jewelry and other accessories to pull off the black frame look.

Want a subtle look when wearing glasses? Try a frameless pair that won’t bring attention to your glasses. They will blend into the face better, as will thin frames. Frameless glasses also let off a sophisticated look.

There’s three things you should consider when you choose glasses. Most of us think about our face shape, but it’s also about hair color and personality. Square frames can balance out a longer face shape and black frames can complement a lighter hair color.

Don’t go alone when you’re shopping for eyeglasses. Always bring a friend who knows your style and can be honest with you. No one wants to buy a pair of frames and later find out they don’t look as flattering as they previously thought.

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.

Keep your eyes safe on the golf links

The weather is warming up and many of us will be hitting the links to play a round of golf this spring. Before you take your first swing of the season, make sure you’re wearing the proper golf eyewear.

Did you know Performance Eyecare is one of only a few offices in the St. Louis area to specialize in golf vision and prescription sunglasses for golfing?

It’s important to wear sunglasses when you’re outside to begin with, but many sunglasses aren’t optimized for the game of golf. This is why we carry several different styles of golf sunglasses in our stores.

We all have troubles finding our golf ball from time to time, but it’s become a little easier with the latest eyewear from Rudy Project Ketyium. This eyewear features a green-tinted lens which enhances all green colors and helps enhance the contrast of the white golf ball.

It also has a wrap-style frame to provide greater eye coverage for the golfer and it can also incorporate a prescription.

While finding your golf ball easier is great, the main reason you should wear sunglasses on the golf course is for protection from UV rays. Sunglasses can limit your chances of developing cataracts and possibly macular degeneration as it protects the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye. You should choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.

Stop in soon or schedule an appointment to Performance Eyecare and let us help pick out the best eyewear for your style and health. The eye care professionals at Performance Eyecare give each of our patients the personal attention and care that everyone deserves and ensures that your eye health is our number one priority.

Show Your Eyes You Love Them With These 8 Simple Eye Care Tips!

You can tell that Valentine’s Day is on its way right now. Every day there are more and more advertisements on the television about jewelers and Hallmark cards, and many radio stations may soon be playing more love songs as Valentine’s Day approaches.

If you think about it, many of those love songs tend to include eyes. Think about it – there’s “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli, and “Brown Eyed Girl,” by Van Morrison.

It makes sense, though – as William Blake once said, “The eyes are the windows to the soul.” We place great value on our eyes and vision, and we wish to give them the best care we possibly can. All to often, however, life gets in the way. We become busy or we simply forget to do a few easy things to keep our eyes healthy and strong.

This Valentine’s Day, don’t just show your love to your special someone by serenading them with these songs (and other great love songs out there) – show much you love and care for your eyes by following these 8 simple eye care tips!

VeggiesEat the Right Foods

Many studies have shown that several nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, lutein, and vitamins C and E can help fight off or slow down age-related vision issues such as cataracts and Macular Degeneration. Be sure to regularly eat the following foods to keep your eyes healthy:

  • Leafy green veggies like spinach, kale, and collards
  • Salmon, tuna, and other oily fish
  • Oranges and other citrus fruits
  • Eggs, nuts, beans, and other non-meat protein sources

Keep in mind also that eating the proper food will not only keep your eyes healthy and your weight maintained, but it will also lower your chances of getting Type II Diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness in adults. What a win-win reason to eat more healthily!

Stop Smoking

If there’s another reason to help you quit smoking, it’s probably this – smoking has been found to increase your risk of getting cataracts, Macular Degeneration, and optic nerve damage. Show your eyes how much you care by quitting smoking!

Protect Your Eyes from Injury

Did you know that about 325,000 sports-related eye injuries occur every year? Perhaps more frightening than that statistic is the fact that more than 90% of those injuries could have been prevented with proper eyewear! When you partake in your favorite hobbies or sports, be sure to wear the proper eyewear. Remember, you only have one pair of eyes. Protect them well!

Avoid Eye Strain As Much As Possible

Computers and smart phones are fantastic inventions and help us accomplish so much these days, but spending so much time in front of them has harmed our eyes. By spending lots of time in front of the bright screen, you can strain your eyes or get dry eyes or blurred vision. Be sure that your computer monitor is 5-9 inches below eye level and that the brightness isn’t very high. Also, be sure to abide by the 20/20/20 rule – every 20 minutes you are looking at the screen, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds to help keep your eyes healthy and well-focused.

Say “No” to UV Rays

Did you know that ultraviolet rays can harm your eyes as much as they can harm your skin? It’s true! In fact, every 15 minutes you are outside adds to the cumulative effect of radiation damage you have accrued. Fight against UV rays by wearing sunglasses or contact lenses that are UV protective. Remember, even if you wear contacts, you’ll still need to wear sunglasses to protect the whites of your eyes.

Be Smart When Driving at Night

Nighttime driving can be hard on the eyes, and since it’s still dark out around rush hour, it’s still an inevitable part of life for commuters. When driving in the dark, try to look at the bottom right of the road whenever you’re able (especially as cars are coming toward you on the other side of the road). Make sure, also, that you use the night setting on your rearview mirror to help reduce headlight glare behind you!

Take Proper Care of Your Contacts

Contacts might seem scary to new users, but they’re actually pretty easy to care for. However, contacts must be kept clean. Every single time you put in your lenses or take them out of your eyes, rinse them out with contact solution. Change the solution in the contact holder every time so that you don’t risk infecting your contacts. Also, don’t fall asleep in your contacts unless your eye doctor gives you instructions to do so.

Get an Eye Exam Every Year

The scary thing about eye problems is that more often than not, they tend to sneak up on you slowly or progress without being detected. Your eye doctor can take a look into your eyes and ensure that your eyes are truly healthy. Your doctor can also tell you if your glasses or contacts are still benefitting your vision and can update your prescription, if need be.

Want to show your eyes some love? Schedule your next eye exam with us at Performance Eyecare! Just give us a call at (618) 234-3053 in Swansea or (314) 878-1377 in St. Louis. We would be more than happy to take a look at your eyes!

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.

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.

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