Scary Facts About Glaucoma, the Thief of Vision

Woman's eyeDid you know that 2.7 million people in the United States have glaucoma? If that doesn’t scare you, take this fact in – nearly HALF of those with glaucoma don’t even realize that they have it!

Could you be one of them?

“So what exactly is glaucoma?” you ask. Well, to put it succinctly, glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve and destroy your eyesight without warning. This disease gradually destroys your visions so you will hardly notice it occurring. It can also affect people of all ages, though it generally strikes the middle-aged or the elderly. While there is no cure for the disease, medication and surgery can impede its progression or can prevent further vision loss.

What’s the best way to fight against glaucoma then?

Early detection via an eye exam can work wonders in saving your vision from glaucoma. An eye exam can help detect its appearance or progress, which is vital as the disease is painless, generally has no early warning signs that can be detected without an eye exam, and can come on very gradually. Treating the early stages of this disease can help control it and prevent you from losing anymore of your vision or becoming blind.

It’s true – anyone can get glaucoma, but many are at a higher risk of getting it. This includes African Americans over the age of 40, everyone over the age of 60, and people with a family history of the disease.

Don’t worry; all is not lost! Come in for an eye exam to see if you could have glaucoma. While there are really no symptoms, an eye exam can detect signs of glaucoma such as subtle changes to your optic nerve and an increase to your IOP, that is, your intraocular pressure, which is the pressure that exists inside your eyes.

If you’re ready to come in for your annual eye exam or would like to be examined for glaucoma or other eye health issues, just give us a call at (618) 234-3053 in Swansea or (314) 878-1377 in St. Louis, or you can visit us online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com. Let us help keep you safe from the leading cause of preventable blindness!

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

EyesYou 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.

SunglassesSay “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!

What Are Your Chances of Developing Macular Degeneration? Visit Us to Find Out!

EyeImagine doing your favorite activity right now. Perhaps you picture yourself reading your favorite book, sewing together a gorgeous quilt for your best friend, fixing up a car, or painting a landscape that would even make Monet jealous.

Now imagine yourself doing those same things with low vision or no vision at all. That’s what it would be like to partake in your favorite activities if you suffered from macular degeneration.

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “macular degeneration” but have no idea what it’s all about or maybe you shrug off the worry, thinking that it only strikes the elderly. We at Performance Eyecare are here to tell you that you should take the time out to get tested to ensure that you are not developing the disease that is a huge reason for causing vision loss in people across the world.

It’s true, macular degeneration is a common eye condition that mostly affects people in their 50s or older. What happens when you have macular degeneration is your macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see things in sharp, clear vision, is destroyed gradually, causing you to lose your vision in time. Sometimes the disease advances so slowly that you won’t have vision loss for a long time, and other times it progresses so quickly that you might experience vision loss in one or both eyes, making it hard to recognize your loved ones’ faces, drive your car, or do your favorite hobbies and activities!

So who is at risk for this disease? Macular degeneration typically occurs in those 50 years old and older, and as you age, your risk increases. Other risk factors include smoking and if anyone in your family has developed the disease at some point.

There are some schools of thought that believe that your lifestyle choices can make a difference in developing the disease, especially if you’re predisposed to the disease due to family history. Lifestyle choices such as avoiding smoking, exercising, maintaining a normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and eating a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish might help you prevent this disease.

The most important thing you can do to fight against macular degeneration, however, is to get tested. Seeing your eye doctor at least once a year for a complete eye exam can help ensure that you’re healthy, and the disease is much easier to deal with when it is detected early.

We at Performance Eyecare are happy to inform you that we will be holding a testing day at our office in Swansea on Thursday, January 31! We will be offering the MaculaRisk Genetic Test – the most advanced diagnostic tool for determining your risk of vision loss from macular degeneration – to all who come in on that day! Your health insurance will be billed, so your out-of-pocket expense that day will only be your copay, if you have one.

To schedule an appointment with us on our testing day or to make a regular appointment for an eye exam, just call us here at (618) 234-3053 in Swansea or (314) 878-1377. Be sure to check us out online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com to see what we can do for you!

What Are Your Chances of Developing Macular Degeneration? Visit Us to Find Out!

EyeImagine doing your favorite activity right now. Perhaps you picture yourself reading your favorite book, sewing together a gorgeous quilt for your best friend, fixing up a car, or painting a landscape that would even make Monet jealous.

Now imagine yourself doing those same things with low vision or no vision at all. That’s what it would be like to partake in your favorite activities if you suffered from macular degeneration.

Perhaps you’ve heard the term “macular degeneration” but have no idea what it’s all about or maybe you shrug off the worry, thinking that it only strikes the elderly. We at Performance Eyecare are here to tell you that you should take the time out to get tested to ensure that you are not developing the disease that is a huge reason for causing vision loss in people across the world.

It’s true, macular degeneration is a common eye condition that mostly affects people in their 50s or older. What happens when you have macular degeneration is your macula, the part of the eye that allows you to see things in sharp, clear vision, is destroyed gradually, causing you to lose your vision in time. Sometimes the disease advances so slowly that you won’t have vision loss for a long time, and other times it progresses so quickly that you might experience vision loss in one or both eyes, making it hard to recognize your loved ones’ faces, drive your car, or do your favorite hobbies and activities!

So who is at risk for this disease? Macular degeneration typically occurs in those 50 years old and older, and as you age, your risk increases. Other risk factors include smoking and if anyone in your family has developed the disease at some point.

There are some schools of thought that believe that your lifestyle choices can make a difference in developing the disease, especially if you’re predisposed to the disease due to family history. Lifestyle choices such as avoiding smoking, exercising, maintaining a normal blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and eating a healthy diet rich in green, leafy vegetables and fish might help you prevent this disease.

The most important thing you can do to fight against macular degeneration, however, is to get tested. Seeing your eye doctor at least once a year for a complete eye exam can help ensure that you’re healthy, and the disease is much easier to deal with when it is detected early.

We at Performance Eyecare are happy to inform you that we will be holding a testing day at our office in Swansea on Thursday, January 31! We will be offering the MaculaRisk Genetic Test – the most advanced diagnostic tool for determining your risk of vision loss from macular degeneration – to all who come in on that day! Your health insurance will be billed, so your out-of-pocket expense that day will only be your copay, if you have one.

To schedule an appointment with us on our testing day or to make a regular appointment for an eye exam, just call us here at (618) 234-3053 in Swansea or (314) 878-1377. Be sure to check us out online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com to see what we can do for you!

There’s a New Doctor in the House! Meet Dr. Dudney!

Dr. DudneyThings are busy over here at Performance Eyecare! Not only have we expanded our locations into St. Louis, but we have also been seeing a lot of new faces working here over the past few months!

This month we want to tell you all about our newest doctor – Dr. Dudney!

Dr. B. Wayne Dudney, who has been with Performance Eyecare since November 2012, earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed a vitreo-retinal surgical fellowship at the National Retina Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

He is also board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology!

Dr. Dudney has a great deal of experience and several awards and honors. He had an externship in Ocular Oncology at Willis Eye Hospital as an Ophthalmic Coding Specialist. He received the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences Scholarship Award for mentoring in Ophthalmology in 2009 and was an Imhotep Society Inductee, which is a select leadership society in which membership is awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional leadership on campus, at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 2003. He also received the Pediatric Oncology Education Fellowship Award at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2001 and the Research Fellowship Award at the National Institutes of Health in 2000.

He is a member of several associations and memberships including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Society of Retina Specialists, American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives, American College of Eye Surgeons, American College of Surgeons (Associate Fellow), and the St. Louis Ophthalmological Society.

Dr. Dudney is excited to be here with us at Performance Eyecare and is looking forward to developing new patient relationships! If you’re interested in making an appointment with Dr. Dudney, just call our office at (618) 234-3053 in Swansea or (314) 878-1377 or visit us online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com! We’ll be more than happy to help you with all of your eyecare needs!

There’s a New Doctor in the House! Meet Dr. Dudney!

Dr. DudneyThings are busy over here at Performance Eyecare! Not only have we expanded our locations into St. Louis, but we have also been seeing a lot of new faces working here over the past few months!

This month we want to tell you all about our newest doctor – Dr. Dudney!

Dr. B. Wayne Dudney, who has been with Performance Eyecare since November 2012, earned his medical degree with honors from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He completed his ophthalmology residency at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and completed a vitreo-retinal surgical fellowship at the National Retina Institute in Baltimore, Maryland.

He is also board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology!

Dr. Dudney has a great deal of experience and several awards and honors. He had an externship in Ocular Oncology at Willis Eye Hospital as an Ophthalmic Coding Specialist. He received the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences Scholarship Award for mentoring in Ophthalmology in 2009 and was an Imhotep Society Inductee, which is a select leadership society in which membership is awarded to those who demonstrate exceptional leadership on campus, at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 2003. He also received the Pediatric Oncology Education Fellowship Award at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2001 and the Research Fellowship Award at the National Institutes of Health in 2000.

He is a member of several associations and memberships including the American Medical Association, American Academy of Ophthalmology, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, American Society of Retina Specialists, American Academy of Ophthalmic Executives, American College of Eye Surgeons, American College of Surgeons (Associate Fellow), and the St. Louis Ophthalmological Society.

Dr. Dudney is excited to be here with us at Performance Eyecare and is looking forward to developing new patient relationships! If you’re interested in making an appointment with Dr. Dudney, just call our office at (618) 234-3053 in Swansea or (314) 878-1377 or visit us online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com! We’ll be more than happy to help you with all of your eyecare needs!

Meet Dr. Susan Dreyer!

Dr. Susan DreyerYou’ve probably heard by now that we’ve opened another location in Creve Coeur in St. Louis, but do you know who will be taking care of your eyes in our newest location?

Well, wonder no more! We are extremely pleased to introduce to you the newest member of the Performance Eyecare team, Dr. Susan Dreyer!

Dr. Susan Dreyer is a 1990 graduate of the University of Missouri – St. Louis School of Optometry, and she has been practicing optometry in the St. Louis area for over 20 years. In fact, she spent the last 12 years serving the Creve Coeur area in St. Louis!

She holds two undergraduate degrees from Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in which she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology and also a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish. Upon graduating from Dickinson College, she was honored to be awarded the Low Vision Clinical Award for her exceptional performance in this specialized area.

A native to the St. Louis area, Dr. Dreyer spent her high school and college years on the east coast before she returned to St. Louis to establish her clinical practice as a Doctor of Optometry.

She is married with three fantastic children and is very active in her community. When she’s not serving patients in need in the St. Louis region, she volunteers to work fish fries, serves on a school board, or co-chairs annual auctions!

Whenever she has free time, she thoroughly enjoys traveling and spending time with her family while hanging out outdoors!

Dr. Dreyer is extremely pleased to be part of the team here at Performance Eyecare. She believes that the quality of care and professionalism that we exhibit is simply unmatched. Much like how we at Performance Eyecare operate, people have always come first in Dr. Dreyer’s practice. Becoming a part of the Performance Eyecare team allows her to not only provide excellent care to her many valued patients, but also to build on that service in ways that take advantage of recent advances in optometry and technology.

Dr. Dreyer is excited to share this enhanced experience with her previous patients and develop new patient relationships! If you’re interested in making an appointment with Dr. Dreyer, just call our office in St. Louis at (314) 878-1377 or visit us online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com! We’ll be more than happy to serve you and help you with all of your eyecare needs!

Is Your Eyesight in Need of Protection During the Winter? We Say YES!

Snow lovers everywhere are gearing up for winter to officially hit the northern hemisphere once more, and many are wondering if this year’s winter will be a winter wonderland or a mild season like last year. Many forecasters are calling for a return to the norm with more wintery precipitation than last year in the St. Louis area.

You might be one of the many who dread winter and are currently putting away your shorts, flip-flops, and swimsuits for the rest of the year. One important “summer” item that you shouldn’t put away – your sunglasses!

You may not realize it, but spending a day in the snow can be much harder and detrimental to your eyes than spending a day at the beach can be! That’s because snow reflects nearly 80% of the sun’s rays, which means that more harmful ultraviolet rays are directed into your unprotected eyes!

Perhaps you think, “Eh, no big deal; I don’t need to wear sunglasses during the winter,” but consider this – you could slowly be killing your eyesight.

Hours of bright sunlight can actually burn the surface of your eyes, which then causes a temporary yet painful condition called photokeratitis. As time passes, unprotected exposure to the sun can contribute to cataracts and even cancer of the eyelids and to the skin around the eyes. Ultraviolet exposure can also increase your risk of macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65.

So how do you ensure that your eyes are protected during the winter? Easy! Wear the proper eye gear.

When you go outside to build a snowman, take a walk in the snow, start a snow fight, or attempt to drive to work in the snowy wonderland, always wear a pair of sunglasses that will block out the harmful ultraviolet light. Make sure that your sunglasses can block out 100% of UV light; remember, just because the lenses are dark doesn’t guarantee that they will block out 100% of the light. All of Performance Eyecare’s sunglasses have proper UV protection!

If you plan on hitting the slopes this winter, be sure to wear protective eyewear. Goggles or sunglasses should do the trick and should help ensure your safety!

Most importantly of all, please do remember to wear sunglasses while on the road. Too often we are blinded by the bright light reflecting off the snow, and this can cause harm to ourselves and others around us. Avoid any and all accidents by wearing sunglasses so you can see where you are going.

If you’re looking for the perfect pair of sunglasses for you to wear during the winter (and the rest of the year, too!), come see us here at Performance Eyecare! We have hundreds of frames for you to choose from. Check us out online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com or just give us a call at (618) 234-3053. Protect your vision this winter with help from your friends at Performance Eyecare!

Is Your Eyesight in Need of Protection During the Winter? We Say YES!

Snow lovers everywhere are gearing up for winter to officially hit the northern hemisphere once more, and many are wondering if this year’s winter will be a winter wonderland or a mild season like last year. Many forecasters are calling for a return to the norm with more wintery precipitation than last year in the St. Louis area.

You might be one of the many who dread winter and are currently putting away your shorts, flip-flops, and swimsuits for the rest of the year. One important “summer” item that you shouldn’t put away – your sunglasses!

You may not realize it, but spending a day in the snow can be much harder and detrimental to your eyes than spending a day at the beach can be! That’s because snow reflects nearly 80% of the sun’s rays, which means that more harmful ultraviolet rays are directed into your unprotected eyes!

Perhaps you think, “Eh, no big deal; I don’t need to wear sunglasses during the winter,” but consider this – you could slowly be killing your eyesight.

Hours of bright sunlight can actually burn the surface of your eyes, which then causes a temporary yet painful condition called photokeratitis. As time passes, unprotected exposure to the sun can contribute to cataracts and even cancer of the eyelids and to the skin around the eyes. Ultraviolet exposure can also increase your risk of macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65.

So how do you ensure that your eyes are protected during the winter? Easy! Wear the proper eye gear.

When you go outside to build a snowman, take a walk in the snow, start a snow fight, or attempt to drive to work in the snowy wonderland, always wear a pair of sunglasses that will block out the harmful ultraviolet light. Make sure that your sunglasses can block out 100% of UV light; remember, just because the lenses are dark doesn’t guarantee that they will block out 100% of the light. All of Performance Eyecare’s sunglasses have proper UV protection!

If you plan on hitting the slopes this winter, be sure to wear protective eyewear. Goggles or sunglasses should do the trick and should help ensure your safety!

Most importantly of all, please do remember to wear sunglasses while on the road. Too often we are blinded by the bright light reflecting off the snow, and this can cause harm to ourselves and others around us. Avoid any and all accidents by wearing sunglasses so you can see where you are going.

If you’re looking for the perfect pair of sunglasses for you to wear during the winter (and the rest of the year, too!), come see us here at Performance Eyecare! We have hundreds of frames for you to choose from. Check us out online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com or just give us a call at (618) 234-3053. Protect your vision this winter with help from your friends at Performance Eyecare!