Choosing the right glasses for your child

Just the thought of buying eyeglasses for your child can make you want to pull your hair out. First, there is the initial selection to consider. Second, you must consider what your child is willing to wear. Third, which eyeglasses will be the most durable?

Then there is the pressure from your child, who is likely more worried about what the other kids might say and if their glasses look cool to others.

We’ve seen how stressful this process can be. Don’t worry, we’re here to help make it a lot smoother for everyone involved.

As noted by Liz DeFranco of AllAboutVision.com, there are other variables to this journey such as what kind of glasses are needed (near- or farsighted) and how often will they be worn.

Here are DeFranco’s 10 items to consider when buying kids’ eyewear.

1. Lens Thickness

It’s important to consult with the optician about the eyeglass prescription before looking at frames. Stronger lenses are likely going to be thick, so it is important to keep the frames as small as possible to reduce the final lens thickness.

2. Fashion

Sadly, other kids might comment with either nice compliments or unnecessary jokes about your child’s eyeglasses. It is important your child is comfortable with his/her new specs so don’t let them choose ones that you think might be a cause for concern with other kids later.

The goal is to get your child to wear the glasses.

3. Plastic or Metal

Children’s frames are made of either plastic or metal. Boys’ frames have double bridges while girls’ frames have single frames, which can also be unisex.

Plastic frames in the past were considered a better choice for children because they were more durable, less likely to be bent or broken, lighter in weight and less expensive.

Now manufacturers are creating metal frames to incorporate these features as well.

Also, ask for hypoallergenic materials if your child has shown sensitivity to certain substances, such as nickel.

4. Proper Bridge Fit

Children’s noses aren’t fully developed which makes this a tough part of the consideration process. They don’t have a bridge to prevent plastic frames from sliding down, but metal frames are usually made with adjustable nose pads to fit everyone’s bridge.

5. Temple Style

Temples that wrap all the way around the back of the ear, called “cable temples,” help keep glasses from sliding down or falling off your child’s face completely.

Another option is a strap that goes around the head.

6. Spring Hinges

A nice feature to look for is temples with spring hinges because kids aren’t always careful when they put on or take off glasses. Spring hinges can prevent the need for frequent adjustments to be made to the glasses.

7. Lens Material

Children’s lenses should be made of polycarbonate or a material called Trivex because the lightweight materials are more impact-resistant than other lens materials. They are also lighter in weight, have built-in protection from damaging UV rays, and are scratch-resistant coated by the manufacturer.

The least desirable material is glass. It must be treated for impact resistance, but it still shatters when it breaks which can be hazardous to the eye.

8. Sports Eyewear

If your kid plays sports, a proper sports goggle with polycarbonate lenses will provide the best protection against an eye injury. These goggles also must be fitted properly.

9. Warranties

If your child is a toddler or a first-time wearer, opt for a warranty if it’s offered. Not all warranty plans are the same, but it can be useful in case the eyewear needs to be replaced or fixed.

10. Backup Pair

It’s always good to have a backup pair of glasses because kids aren’t always the gentlest being to their belongings. Another pair might be best especially for those with strong prescriptions and wouldn’t be able to function without their glasses.

Ask your optician if special discounts apply for second pairs, especially if they’re purchased at the same time as the primary pair.

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.

PEC Grows Through the Pandemic, Becoming Largest Independently Owned Provider in the STL Area

While many local businesses have closed their doors since the pandemic began, one St. Louis entrepreneur has used the uncertain times to grow into the largest independently owned eyecare provider in the St. Louis area.

Since March of 2020, Performance Eyecare has expanded from 4 locations to 9 across the St. Louis Metro plus Columbia, MO. Even in the tight labor market, their team has expanded to over 50 members, and has grown from 4 to 12 eye doctors on staff. Gross revenue has increased from $3.6M to a projected $9M this year – and they’re not done growing yet. 

Performance Eyecare founder Dr. Dirk Massie is a St. Louis local who has always seen potential in the Midwest market. “Our community is dominated by big corporate healthcare conglomerates who care more about the quantity of people coming through the door than the quality of service they receive. When it comes to something as important as someone’s ability to see, people deserve to work with a doctor who cares as much as they do.”

“Patient retention is extremely important to our team,” says Dr. Massie. “Our goal isn’t just to get new people in the door – we love to watch our patients grow up, have families, and bring their kids in to see us as well.” 

When asked about the key to their impressive retention rates, he shares, “Our offices are designed to put people totally at ease. From a comfortable, no-puff exam, to kind and knowledgeable doctors, to a welcoming, friendly face greeting you when you walk in the door, we help people actually enjoy their eye doctor experience.”  

Dr. Massie credits his team for the much of the business’ success over the last few years. The staff has thrived under the challenging environment of the pandemic, as well as adapting to the quick growth of the company. “The biggest thing we look for in our hiring process is a positive attitude. We can teach the skills people need to get the job done. But it’s the people who enjoy a fast-paced environment and feeling empowered to make business decisions who really thrive.”

Blurred vision at 40

Blurred Vision Eye Care at Performance Eyecare

Are you 40 years old and beginning to experience blurred near vision when reading or working at the computer? You may have developed presbyopia.

Presbyopia is widespread in the United States as the people in the country are growing older than in previous years. The growing number of older citizens generates a huge demand for eyewear, contact lenses and surgery that can help those with presbyopia deal with their failing vision. According to the World Health Organization, more than a billion people in the world were presbyopic as of 2005.

A major sign that someone has developed presbyopia is when they have to hold books, magazines, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at arm’s length in order to focus properly. When they perform near work, they may develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued.

Presbyopia is an age-related process, which differs from astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. Some treatment options include eyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses. Reading glasses or multifocal contact lenses are also available.

At Performance Eyecare, we create eyeglass lenses in our office with our state-of-the-art edging instruments.

Surgical options to treat presbyopia are also available, although some surgical procedures correct the problem only temporarily for a limited amount of time.

For more information or to test your eyes for presbyopia, schedule an appointment with your local PEC office!

Adult Sunglasses at Performance Eyecare

Performance Eyecare St. Louis

While summer is winding down, it’s important to continue to protect your eyes with UV-blocking sunglasses, such as ones that you can find at Performance Eyecare.

As noted by GetEyeSmart.org, we often spend more time in the sun during the summer which increases our chances of developing cataracts and growths in the eye, including cancer. This risk also applies to those who go to tanning beds for their bronze look.

Do you remember that brightness when the sun reflected off a fresh snowfall six months ago? Well, that can cause photokeratitis, which is responsible for snow blindness. This same effect can happen when you’re at the beach or a pool as the sun reflects off the sand or water. This is why it’s always important to wear UV-blocking glasses when you’re out in the sun.

A survey conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), only about half of people who wear sunglasses say they check the UV rating before picking out their pair. The AAO recommends the following:

1. Wear sunglasses labeled as 100% UV protection.

It’s important to wear glasses that protect both UV-A and UV-B rays and are labeled either as UV400 or 100% UV protection.

2. Wear a hat along with your glasses

This is self-explanatory as a hat can help keep the sun away from your eyes. Clouds don’t block UV light, so sunglasses are important to wear even on cloudy days.  And remember that sun rays are strong. So strong they can pass through haze and clouds. Remember: sun damage can happen at any time of year.

3. Stay inside during UV-intense times

The sun’s light is strongest mid-day to early afternoon, at higher altitudes, and when reflected off of water, ice or snow. It’s important to remember this when you leave the house.

As Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frame sunglasses that will not only look stylish on you, but more importantly protect your vision from the sun’s harmful rays.

Performance Eyecare conducts stress-free eye exams

Performance EyeCare STL Eye Examination

We understand the word “exam” can add some unnecessary stress to your life, so we wanted to share with you what a routine comprehensive eye exam usually consists of:

As noted by Gary Heiting, OD, and Jennifer Palombi, OD, the following is what makes up a routine eye exam:

Visual Acuity Test

This measures the sharpness of your vision and it’s usually performed with a projected eye chart to measure the distance visual acuity. It also consists of a small, handheld acuity chart to measure your near vision as well.

Color Blindness Test

This test can check your color vision as well as alert your eye doctor to any possible eye health problems that may affect your color vision.

Cover Test

During this test, your eye doctor will have you focus on a small object across the room and will then cover each of your eyes alternately while you stare at the target. The doctor then assesses whether the uncovered eye must move to pick up the fixation target, which could indicate strabismus or a more subtle binocular vision problem that could cause eye strain or amblyopia, known as “lazy eye.”

Retinoscopy

Your eye doctor may perform this test early in the eye exam to obtain an approximation of your eyeglass prescription.

In retinoscopy, the room lights will be dimmed and you will be given a large target (usually the big “E” on the chart) to fixate on. As you stare at the “E,” your eye doctor will shine a light at your eye and flip lenses in a machine in front of your eyes.

Refraction

During a refraction, the doctor puts the instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes and shows you a series of lens choices. He or she will then ask you which of the two lenses in each choice looks clearer.

Based on your answers, your eye doctor will continue to fine-tune the lens power until reaching a final eyeglass prescription.

Autorefractors and Aberrometers

An autorefractor, like a manual refraction, determines the lens power required to accurately focus light on your retina. Autorefractors are especially useful in certain cases such as evaluating young children who may not sit still, pay attention or interact with the eye doctor adequately for an accurate manual refraction.

Slit-Lamp Examination

The slit lamp, also called a biomicroscope, allows your eye doctor to get a highly magnified view of the structures of your eye to thoroughly evaluate your eye health and detect any signs of infection or disease.

During this test, your doctor will have you place your chin on the chin rest of the slit lamp and will then shine the lamp’s light at your eye. The doctor looks through a set of oculars (much like a microscope in a science lab) and examines each part of your eye in turn.

He or she will first examine the structures of the front of your eye (lids, cornea, conjunctiva, iris, etc.). Then, with the help of a special high-powered lens, your doctor will view the inside of your eye (retina, optic nerve, macula and more).

The Glaucoma Test

A common glaucoma test is the “puff-of-air” test, technically known as non-contact tonometry, or NCT. (This test was immortalized on the hit TV show Friends, when Rachel couldn’t sit still for it.)

For NCT, the test begins with you putting your chin on the machine’s chin rest. While you look at a light inside the machine, the doctor or a trained assistant will puff a small burst of air at your open eye. It is completely painless, and the tonometer does not touch your eye.

At Performance Eyecare, we do not use the air puff. Instead, our doctors instills an eye drop and determines your eye pressure while looking with the microscope. There is no pain and this method is much more accurate than blowing air into your eye.

Pupil Dilation

To obtain a better view of the eye’s internal structures, your eye doctor instills dilating drops to enlarge your pupils. Dilating drops usually take about 20 to 30 minutes to start working. When your pupils are dilated, you will be sensitive to light (because more light is getting into your eye) and you may notice difficulty focusing on objects up close. These effects can last for up to several hours, depending on the strength of the drop used.

Once the drops have taken effect, your eye doctor will use various instruments to look inside your eyes. You should bring sunglasses with you to your eye exam, to minimize glare and light sensitivity on the way home. If you forget to bring sunglasses, the staff usually will give you a disposable pair.

Visual Field Test

In some cases, your eye doctor may want to check for the possible presence of blind spots (scotomas) in your peripheral or “side” vision by performing a visual field test. These types of blind spots can originate from eye diseases such as glaucoma.

Analysis of blind spots also may help identify specific areas of brain damage caused by a stroke or tumor.

Performance Eyecare has same day contact lenses

Woman holding contact lens to eye

There’s no need to sit around waiting and wondering when your prescription contact lenses are going to be finished. At Performance Eyecare, we have several hundred contact lenses in our office and can routinely fit our contact lens patients the same day. It is not uncommon to hear from our new contact lens patients, “You mean you have MY contact lens prescription here and I can take my contact lenses home today?”

If you’re new to wearing contact lenses, Liz Segre of AllAboutVision.com has some tips to help you with common questions:

Is my contact lens inside out?

The trick is to place the lens on your finger so that a cup is formed. Then hold the lens up directly in front of your eyes so you’re looking at the side of the cup.

If the lens forms a “U” with the top edges flared out, it’s inside out. If it forms just a “U,” it’s in the correct position.

Applying your contact lenses

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before applying your contact lenses, but avoid scented or oily soaps that might adhere to the lens surface. Especially avoid using products containing lanolin and moisturizing lotions.

Some eye doctors say to always apply the first contact lens in the same eye, so you’ll avoid the possibility of mixing up lenses for the right eye and left eye.

Other basic guidelines for contact lens application:

  1. Gently shake your lens case containing the storage solution, to loosen the contact lens should it be stuck. (Don’t try pulling at the lens with your finger, or you might damage it.)
  2. Slide the lens out of its case and into the palm of your hand. Rinse thoroughly with the appropriate contact lens solution.
  3. Place the contact lens on the tip of your index or middle finger, which should be dry or mostly dry.
  4. With the fingers and thumb of your other hand, simultaneously pull up on your upper eyelid and down on your lower eyelid.
  5. Position the lens on your eye while looking upward or forward, whichever you find to be easier. You also can apply the contact lens by placing it on the white of the eye closest to your ear.
  6. Gently close your eye, roll your eyes in a complete circle to help the lens settle, and then blink.
  7. Look closely in the mirror to make sure the lens is centered on your eye. If it is, the lens should be comfortable and your vision should be clear.

Removing your contact lenses

Always wash your hands before removing contact lenses. If you are standing in front of a sink, use a clean paper towel to cover the drain where the contact lens might accidentally fall.

To remove soft contact lenses, look upward or sideways while you pull down on your lower eyelid. With a finger, gently maneuver the lens onto the white of your eye. There, you can very gently pinch the lens together with your index finger and thumb and lift it off the eye.

Rigid contact lenses can be removed by holding out the palm of your hand, bending over, and then opening your eye wide. With one finger of your other hand, pull the skin between your upper and lower eyelid (just outside the lateral aspect of your eye) outward toward your ear with your eye wide open. Then blink. The contact lens should pop right out and into your open palm.

Contact Lens Myths

Are you afraid of wearing contact lenses? Check out these contact lens myths debunked and then decide if they are right for you.

MYTH: I can’t wear contact lenses

Just about everyone can now wear contact lenses thanks to technological advances. Some of the advances now allow those with astigmatism and those who need bifocal contact lenses.

MYTH: A contact lens will get lost behind my eye

It’s impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind your eye. That’s because a thin membrane called the conjunctiva covers the white of your eye and connects to the inside of your eyelids.

MYTH: Contact lenses are uncomfortable

There is a brief period for you to get adapted to the change, but you will likely not notice that you are wearing contact lenses. There are remedies available should the contact lenses cause discomfort.

MYTH: Contact lenses can get permanently stuck to my eye

Soft contact lens can stick to the surface of your eye if it’s dried out. However, you can remoisten the lens by applying sterile saline or multipurpose contact lens solution to get it moving again.

MYTH: Contact lenses are too much trouble to take care of

One-bottle contact lens care systems make cleaning your lenses easy. Alternatively, you can choose to eliminate the care altogether by getting daily disposables or 30-day extendable wear ones.

MYTH: Wearing contact lenses cause eye problems

If you follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to care for your lenses, how long to wear them and how frequently to replace them, wearing contact lenses is safe.

MYTH: I’ll never be able to get them in my eyes

It might be difficult at first, but your eye care professional will make sure you learn how to apply and remove them before you leave their office.

MYTH: Contacts can pop out of my eye

The old-fashioned hard ones could, but today’s contacts fit closer to the eye so it’s very rare for one to dislodge from a wearer’s eye unexpectedly.

MYTH: Contact lenses are too expensive

They can be less expensive than a good pair of eyeglasses. Even daily disposable lenses can cost about a dollar a day.

MYTH: I’m too old to wear contact lenses

Thanks to the bifocal contact lenses and contacts designed for dry eyes, getting older is no longer a barrier to successful contact lenses. You should ask your doctor if you’re a candidate for contacts.

At Performance Eyecare, we can routinely fit our contact lens patients the same day as their exam. Get in touch with your local office to schedule your contact lens appointment today!

Winter season spurs pink eye

Pink Eye Care at Performance Eyecare

The winter season is the season for colds, which in turn can create a battle against pink eye.

As noted by AllAboutVision.com, anyone can get pink eye. Preschoolers, schoolchildren, college students, teachers and daycare workers are particularly at risk for the contagious types of pink eye due to their close proximity with others in the classroom.

So what is pink eye?

Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye “is inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids. Although the conjunctiva is transparent, it contains blood vessels that overlay the sclera of the eye. Anything that triggers inflammation will cause these conjunctival blood vessels to dilate. This is what causes red, bloodshot eyes.”

There are three types of pink eye, based on cause. They are:

Viral conjunctivitis which is caused by a virus, like the common cold. This type is very contagious, but usually clears up on its own after several days without medication. The symptoms include watery, itchy eyes; sensitive to light. It can be spread by coughing and sneezing.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria and can cause serious damage to the eye if it isn’t treated. The symptoms include: a sticky, yellow or greenish-yellow eye discharge in the corner of the eye. This can be contagious usually by direct contact with infected hands or items that have touched the eye.

Allergic conjunctivitis is caused by eye irritants such as pollen, dust and animal dander. This may be seasonal or flare up year-round. The symptoms include: watery, burning itchy eyes; often accompanied by stuffiness and runny nose, and light sensitivity. This is not contagious.

You should see your eye doctor if you or your child has pink eye symptoms. Give Performance Eyecare a call at (314) 878-1377 (St. Louis location) or (618) 234-3053 (Swansea, Illinois location).

Original article: http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/conjunctivitis.htm

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!

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!