Don’t Take Your Eyesight For Granted

Many people tend to take several things in their lives for granted– their vehicles, their homes, their spouses, and so much more. Amongst that list is the ability to hear, taste, and perhaps most importantly, see.

Think about it – what would life be like for you if you had poor vision or no eyesight at all? You wouldn’t be able to drive. You’d find the things you love doing such as sewing, painting, and playing sports much more difficult.

According to the National Eye Institute, more than 3.3 million Americans 40 years old and older have low vision or blindness. The institute also claims that the figure will increase greatly by the year 2020.

How Can I Prevent Vision Loss?

Going to the eye doctor on a regular basis can help save your vision. In fact, you could even save your life.

When you visit your local optometrist or ophthalmologist for your yearly eye exam, you will know what kind of shape your eyesight is in. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can also detect if you have any eye conditions such as glaucoma or macular degeneration, conditions that can go undetected and intensify until they wreak irreversible havoc on your vision.

If that isn’t amazing enough, your optometrist or ophthalmologist can also detect if you have any life-threatening issues when you receive your yearly eye exam. That small network of arteries in your retinas provides a great window to your overall health, and your eye doctor can determine your overall health, especially concerning blood pressure and brain health. Even very serious diseases such as diabetes, brain tumors, and cancer can be found when you get your eye exam.

Even though you may be in good health and your eyesight is doing well.  Eye health can change and deteriorate throughout your life, depending on how you treat your eyesight and if your current prescriptions are beneficial to your eyes or not.

We Help You Make Time!

At Performance Eyecare we know your time is important and we work hard to stay on schedule so our patients do not have to wait in our office. Typically, patients are examined and eyeglasses are selected in under an hour.  We also have locations all over the St. Louis Metro and Illinois Metro East, so you can find an office close to home or work.

Your eyes are one of the most important things that you have in your life. Call us here at Performance Eyecare at (618) 234-3053 to schedule your annual eye exam TODAY!

What to Know About Children’s Eyecare

Children's eyecare, Performance Eyecare Alton, Performance Eyecare STL, Children Eye exams

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.

Toy Related Eye Injuries

Each year, children are emitted into the hospital due to eye injuries due to toy relations. Nearly half of these injuries are to the head and face, and many are eye injuries. Toy related injuries are often sustained by children 5 years of age and under.

Online surveys conducted by All About Vision revealed that 41% of parents either hardly or rarely considered eye safety when shopping & selecting toys for their kids. Keep in mind that when these same parents were asked if they thought the toys their kids currently had at home could potentially cause eye damage, 54% of them answered definitely, and 22% said possibly. Injuries to the eyes due to toy mishaps may include scratches to the surface, also known as corneal abrasion; or a more serious injury can occur such as bleeding inside of the eye, traumatic cataracts or corneal ulcers.

As you prepare for Christmas this year, keep in mind these 6 toys that pose a higher risk for eye injury than others, especially is these toys are used without adult supervision and/or assistance

Performance Eyecare, Maryland Heights eye doctor

Silly String, also known as Aerosol String – If this string enters the eye it can cause an irritation or possibly even lead to pink eye due to the chemical in the product.

Toys That Can Cause Harm To The Eye, Performance Eyecare St. Louis, Performance Eyecare Maryland Heights
Children’s Fishing Poles– These can be especially dangerous to other nearby children. These should always be used with adult supervision. Example toys may include Catch of the Day.

Girl in bubble bath, foam
Party foam – This chemical can cause a burn to the eyes that can result in red eyes, blurred vision and eye infection.

 

 

Vision over 40 – Reading Glasses Make Life Easier

Most people have natural vision changes after they reach age 40.

Eye chart and eyeglasses, Performance Eyecare, Glasses, Designer Frames

The main issue with vision over 40 is presbyopia, which means that you find yourself holding that restaurant menu at arm’s length to see it better. When you begin to see blurry text and have trouble with computer glare it is time to get a good pair of prescription reading glasses.

Presbyopia is normal but progressive. The lens of your eye becomes less flexible and cannot focus on close objects. This is why you are suddenly holding books at a distance. Other issues can be glare or color shade distinction. Presbyopia continues to decline through your 40s and 50s but slows down by age 60.

While it is tempting to buy reading glasses at the dollar store, you will use them daily and need a comfortably fitting frame with a prescription tailored to your eyesight. Also, after age 40 it is best to have a licensed optometrist examine your eyes every two years. They are trained to look for many different kinds of eye problems, not blurry vision. Diabetes, high blood pressure and medications for various other health issues are all linked to vision changes.

Some people who wear single vision glasses balk at the idea of switching to dowdy bifocals. Consider progressive lenses, which look better than bifocals and hide the need to use reading glasses. The lens is made with a seamless integration of distance, middle and near visions. Progressive lenses fit your natural gaze with no jump in vision as you look up and down.

We’d love to talk to you about how to adapt to vision changes after age 40. Contact us to set up an appointment and explore our wide range of eyecare services.

ADHD & Vision Problems

Children Diagnosed with ADHD May Actually Have Vision Problems

ADHD, Performance Eyecare, Illinois Doctos, Missouri Doctors

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.

What Signs Should I Look For?

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.

Performance Eyecare Can Help

At Performance Eyecare, we regularly treat a variety of eye conditions in children. We have offices all around the St. Louis region for your conveinence. 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.

What Is The Leading Cause Of Blindness?

Diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, Performance Eyecare, Eye Health, Eye Doctor in Illinois, Eye Doctor In Missouri

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a condition that 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, which 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.

Eye Protection This Halloween

As noted by Kristina Tarczy-Hornoch, M.D., there are several tips parents should be aware of before letting your child roam around for candy.

  1. Don’t wear decorative (non-prescription) contact lenses

This addition to costumes is on the rise, especially amongst teenagers, but it’s causing a major concern for eye doctors.

It’s against the federal law to sell contact lenses in unlicensed outlets such as costume and party stores, but it’s sometimes loosely followed. These decorative lenses may be made from inferior plastic or contain toxic dyes.

Eye infections can become a major concern for those who improperly wear and handle contact lenses. It can rapidly develop into corneal ulcers and possible blindness.

If blurred vision, redness, discomfort, swelling or discharge occurs, discontinue use of the contact lens immediately. Schedule a visit with a physician sooner rather than later to address any remaining damage.

  1. Only use make-up approved by the FDA on the face and around the eyes

If your child plans on wearing face paint and make-up, please use a hypo-allergenic brand and pay close attention to the label.

When applying make-up near or around the eye, stay away from the lid margin (lash line). If you decide to use make-up close to your eyes, please use only products approved for use in that area such as eye-liner or eye shadow.

Remove the make-up with cold cream instead of soap and water. Rinse your eye with water if make-up gets into it. See an eye care professional as soon as possible if redness or irritation persists.

  1. Avoid swords and other pointed objects on kids’ costumes

We all hear from our kids how they need a sword, knife, spear or wand to complete their costume. It may be tempting, but a serious eye injury can occur if one of those pointed objects hits someone.

If your pirate needs a sword, find a belt carrier where it can stay safely nestled while he or she roams the neighborhood. You should buy or construct only accessories made of soft or flexible materials.

If your child does get poked in the eye, you should inspect it for signs of redness, decreased vision or pain. Eye injuries may be more serious than they appear. You should take your child to the doctor if he or she reports pain or blurred vision or if the eye is discolored or bloodshot.

If you notice irritation in your child’s eyes after Halloween, reach out to our team and we will be happy to help!

Non-Surgical Vision Correction While You Sleep

VRSS

VRSS, Visual Correction, Performance Eyecare Alton IL, Illinois Eye Doctor

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!

Should I Worry About Eye Floaters?

What are Eye Floaters?

Eye Floater, Eye Floaters, My Doctor Says I have Eye Floaters, Performance Eyecare, Eye care, What Are Eye Floaters

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.

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; this article will focus on three particularly serious eye problems: cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.

Performance eye, diabetes and eye health

Cataracts

Diabetics are 60% more likely to get cataracts, and often 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, 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. Some might even 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 the greater your chances are. 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. This can result 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. Over time, the walls of your blood vessels may leak fluid, and blood vessels can form scar tissue and pull the retina away from the back of your eye. This can lead 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.