Keratoconus

Keratoconus

Keratoconus is a condition in which the cornea of the eye gradually thins and begins to bulge outward and become cone-shaped. This leads to progressive vision impairment, including blurred vision and increased sensitivity to glare and light. As keratoconus progresses, it can become difficult to read, drive, or perform other simple tasks. The condition affects an estimated 1 in 2,000 people. Most people with keratoconus are diagnosed in their teenage years or 20s. The condition often progresses for up to 20 years before finally stabilizing around middle age.

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Diagnosing Keratoconus:

One of the latest methods for diagnosing keratoconus involves corneal topography mapping. This test can be performed by our eye doctors. Corneal topography mapping measures the thickness of the cornea and creates a detailed map of the surface of the eye. This technology also makes it possible to categorize the severity of the disease.

Treatments for Keratoconus:

Early-stage keratoconus is typically treated with soft contacts or glasses. Frequent prescription altercations may be needed as the disease progresses. The contacts may also need to be switched from soft to rigid gas permeable to ensure adequate vision correction. Recent developments in contact lens technology have made the treatment of keratoconus a bit easier, specifically Scleral Contact Lenses. Scleral Contact Lenses cover the entire corneal service and rest on the sclera of the eye. Due to this larger form factor, they provide a more stable fit on the eye.

It is also important to note that advanced keratoconus may require surgical treatment. One surgical option involves inserting crescent-shaped rings into the cornea to correct its shape and improve vision. In cases where there is extensive corneal scarring and thinning, a corneal transplant, also known as a keratoplasty, may be required. This procedure replaces the damaged cornea with a cornea from a healthy donor.

At Performance Eyecare, we are committed to the early detection of different eye diseases by offering our patients the latest in diagnostic technology, including corneal topography and scleral contact lens fitting. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment. We have eye care locations in Creve Coeur, MO as well as Swansea, IL, and Alton, Illinois.

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 Is The Leading Cause Of Blindness?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Non-Surgical Vision Correction While You Sleep

VRSS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

What to Know About Children’s Eyecare

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Your children are one of the most precious things to you, and making sure their eyes are healthy is a top priority for parents and caregivers. Some parents don’t know that both young children and babies should have comprehensive eye exams to make sure their eyes are working properly and don’t need correction.

Since infants and young children may have vision problems you can’t see, an eye exam by a certified optometrist is the best option. Children respond better to treatment and correction during these developing years as their brain is learning how to use their eyes to see.

What to Know About Children’s Eyecare

Children’s Eyecare & First Eye Exam. A baby should receive their first eye exam between the ages of 6-12 months according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). During this examination an optometrist will check for excessive nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The optometrist will also make sure the eyes move in a coordinated way to rule out Amblyopia, commonly called “lazy eye”. They will also make sure your baby’s eyes aren’t overly sensitive to light, can follow an object’s movements and don’t have other health issues.

A Screening Is Not The Same As An Eye Exam. As your child grows, it’s important that they continue getting eye exams each year or at least at ages 3 and 5 and every year after that. Many preschools give vision screenings that may give parents a false sense of security that their child’s vision is fine. Unfortunately these screenings only assess one or two areas of vision and are really meant to indicate if further testing is necessary. A comprehensive vision exam by an optometrist is the only way to ensure proper diagnosis and care for your child’s eyes.

You Can Help Your Child’s Eyes Develop. As a parent or caregiver there are many things you can do to help your child’s eyes develop properly. The AOA recommends that you use a nightlight in their room as a baby, talk to them as you walk around the room, give them plenty of time to explore on the floor, play patty-cake and hide and seek games with them, and roll a ball back and forth with them as they get older. There are many other recommendations on their site for what to do as they grow.

Infant and Child Glasses Options Are Fun! Glasses have come a long way and recent innovations make them more user friendly and fashionable than ever. Many frames are made of flexible materials that fit children well and come in catchy colors and styles to fit any little face. Several styles also come with a band that goes around your baby or child’s head to keep the glasses on and in place.

At Performance Eyecare we take your child’s vision seriously. We work with you to make sure your infant or child gets the best care possible in a friendly, welcoming environment. Contact us for more information about how we can serve you and your children in the St. Louis, MO, Alton, IL or Swansea, IL areas.

3 Reasons You Might Need Contact Lenses

As you consider whether to make the switch to contact lenses, you may be wondering if they’re right for you. There are many aspects to take into consideration, and the choice is not an easy one to make. These facts about lenses might just help you see the best option for your personal eye care.

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  • While glasses may be easier to put on, contact lenses allow for ease of use throughout the day; they don’t smudge, fall down, or break. Because of this, they are useful for anyone who plays sports, exercises, or performs moderate to high physical activity throughout the day. Furthermore, contacts aren’t usually affected by weather; no more foggy lenses!
  • Contact lenses, unlike traditional glasses, can temporarily change the appearance of your eye color. With the use of colored contacts, you can change the color or shape of your eye for parties, celebrations, or casual wear: cat eyes, zombie effects, and even solid color contacts are popular in costume during festive holidays, such as Halloween.
  • Contacts can also provide the wearer with a wider range of vision than traditional glasses can. Peripheral vision is not affected by contacts the way glasses are, and distortion is less likely to occur.

There are many advantages to contact lenses, and new advances are being made every day. In the future, there may be smart contact lenses that provide wearers with a virtual reality experience, aside from and more discreetly than the popular headset. It may well be time to trade in those old lenses for some new, improved, stylish contact lenses.

For more information or any questions or concerns you may have, feel free to contact us.

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.

LASIK Eye Surgery: Safe and Effective

If you’re an eyeglass or contact lens wearer, you may have experienced a desire at one time or another to permanently discard your glasses or contact lens. However, despite that desire, fear is one of the primary reasons why many eyeglass and contact lens wearers have not elected to use LASIK eye surgery to correct their vision.

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Fortunately, in 2014, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a study and affirmed that LASIK eye surgery is not only safe but effective.

Specifically, the FDA LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project (Project) revealed that over 95% of survey respondents achieved 20/20 or better binocular vision. The Project’s study also indicated that the prevalence of symptoms such as ghosting, glare, halos, and starburst did not increase postoperatively after LASIK. In fact, according to Lance Kugler, MD, President of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, “Patients with ghosting actually decreased from 33% before surgery to 6% after surgery.”

LASIK eye surgery is an easy and simple procedure which has helped millions achieve improved vision without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. So let’s walk through the basics of LASIK eye surgery to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of this procedure.

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK eye surgery is a laser-assisted procedure which reshapes the cornea or the clear dome in the front of the eye to improve how the eye focuses on light rays and corrects vision.

Prime candidates for LASIK eye surgery

LASIK eye surgery is safe and there are a few criterion if met that may facilitate the process and identify prime LASIK candidates. For instance, good LASIK eye surgery candidates should generally possess the following attributes:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Healthy eyes are preferable
  • Good general health
  • No history of dry eyes

The Surgical Procedure

LASIK eye surgery is an outpatient, surgical procedure where an eye drop of anesthetic numbs the eye surface. The surgery requires 10 to 15 minutes for each eye and both cornea are often reshaped during the same procedure. Healing usually occurs within a few days with minimal recovery time.

Performance Eye Care Commitment

Performance Eye Care, through a partnership with TLC LASIK Eye Center provides premium LASIK eye surgical services. Dr. Stephen Wexler and Dr. Massies of the TLC LASIK Eye Center possess a commitment to ensure superior, post operative care and follow-up exams. TLC LASIK Eye Center also provides a Lifetime Commitment to Clear Vision which ensures satisfied customers by offering lifetime enhancements to clear their newfound LASIK vision upon request at no additional charge. Contact us online or call us at (314) 380-4129 for our St. Louis location or (618) 223-6281 for the Swansea location to schedule a consultation and discuss the benefits of LASIK vision.