Dry Eyes and Allergen Problems? We Can Help!

There are many unpleasant feelings in this world – an itch you can’t reach to scratch, having a hangnail or two, and, of course, dry, itchy eyes that never seem to go away!

Allergen problems are oftentimes hereditary and happen due to processes that are associated with other types of allergic responses. When an allergic reaction takes place, your eyes may be overreacting to something that they perceive as harmful, even though it usually isn’t harmful. These usually harmless substances that bother your eyes so much are called allergens!

One very common allergen that most people experience problems with is dust. It is harmless to most people, but in allergic individuals, dust can cause an excessive production of mucus and tears in the eyes.

Did you know that about 30% to 50% of all residents in the United States have allergy symptoms and problems? About 75% of those symptoms also affect the eyes!

What Are The Symptoms?

How do you know you are experiencing trouble with allergens? Here are the typical symptoms one experiences when combating allergens:

  • Red, swollen, or itchy eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing and coughing
  • Itchy nose, mouth, or throat
  • Headache from sinus congestion
  • Fatigue and a lack of sleep

How To Deal With Dry Eyes

What can you do if you’re experiencing dry eyes and problems with allergies? We recommend the following tips to help you through allergen issues:

Avoid The Triggers – One of the most common pieces of advice given to those who suffer from allergens is to avoid whatever causes your eye allergy to flare up as much as you possibly can. If you have dry, itchy eyes, do your best to keep your home free of dust and pet dander, and remember to keep your pets off of the furniture. When the pollen count is high, stay indoors with the air conditioner on. During the cold months, use high quality furnace filters, which will trap common allergens. Be sure also to replace your furnace filters frequently.

Take Medicine – If you’re unsure what’s causing your eye allergies to flare up or you cannot avoid the allergens that affect you, your next best bet is to probably take some medicine to at least help alleviate the symptoms you might be experiencing. You can also take over-the-counter drops, but be sure to ask your doctor which kind of eye drop is right for you!

Use Eye Drops – Nothing feels as refreshing and alleviating as eye drops to dry, itchy eyes. Eye drops may have one or more active ingredients to help with symptoms such as antihistamines, decongestants, or mast cell stabilizers that inhibit inflammation. Be sure to talk to your doctor or to me about using eye drops for your dry eyes!

Talk to Me If You Wear Contact Lenses – You may generally wear contact lenses pretty successfully, but allergies can make your contacts uncomfortable or even unbearable. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses and can also stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your tears. These can bind to your contacts and cause blurry vision and even more discomfort to occur. Ask us about eye drops that can help relieve your symptoms and also help keep your contact lenses clean.

Try Daily Disposable Contact Lenses – If you wear contact lenses and experience allergy problems, you may want to consider acquiring daily disposable contact lenses, which you discard at the end of the day. Because you replace these types of contacts much more frequently than usual, you are unlikely to develop irritating deposits that can build up over time and cause or increase any allergy-related discomfort you may feel.

If you’re experiencing dry eyes and allergy problems and would like to make an appointment, give your local Performance Eyecare office a call or schedule your appointment online. You don’t have to suffer from dry, itchy eyes – just come see us, and we can make your eyes feel so much better!

The Top Five Reasons To Get Your Eyeglasses From Performance Eyecare!

There’s a lot more to purchasing glasses than picking out a frame and getting some lenses put in it.  You want to purchase a quality pair that is going to hold up while you wear them and last for a couple of years  And if something were to go wrong with them, you want it fixed.  You also want to feel good wearing eyeglasses, knowing they work well with your face, style and that they represent you.  This is where PERFORMANCE EYECARE comes in.  We can take away the stress of worrying about all of these things while picking out your eyewear.

In fact, we’ve compiled a list as to why you should buy your next eyeglasses (and sunglasses) from us!  Check it out.

Reason #1: We’ve Got the Best Selection of Frames in the Metro-East

Our optical selection is one of the best in the area with over 700 quality eyeglasses and sunglasses to choose from. Whatever your style or budget is, we are confident that we have several frames that you will love.

Reason #2: Our Opticians Are Specially-Trained to Fit You in a Frame

We have a custom selection-process to fit your optical needs and our non-commissioned opticians pick frames for you according to your face shape, skin tone, brow structure, and so much more! We also have the ability to fit you into specialty eyewear, including sport sunglasses, sport goggles, and even scuba goggles!

Reason #3: We Have Our Own Eyeglass Laboratory

We make eyeglasses in the office with our state-of-the-art edging instruments. We can grind lenses for most prescriptions in our office to ensure the best quality. This also decreases turnaround time so that your new eyeglasses are ready sooner.

Reason #4: We Carry Quality Products

Like most products, there is a wide spectrum of quality among lenses and frames in the optical industry. We offer the most technologically advanced lenses that allow you to see your absolute best. Our frames are that of the highest quality, which hold adjustments. They’re built to last for many years to come.

Reason #5: Five-Star Warranty You Won’t See Anywhere Else

We are so confident in our eyeglasses that we carry a 2-year warranty on lenses and frames at no additional cost. If your glasses break, simply bring them back and your glasses will be repaired or replaced for free. We also offer a 60-day exchange policy, so if you decide you don’t like the shape or color, you can return it for another frame. If new lenses are required, a small lab regrinding fee will be charged depending on the type of lens you require.

If you’re ready to buy your eyeglasses now or even if you simply have more questions about what we do, don’t hesitate a minute longer! We can help you find eyeglasses that you will love!

 

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.

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!

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!

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!

Jeepers Creepers! October is Eye Injury Prevention Month!

It’s hard to imagine, but Halloween is just around the corner! It’s time to don your scariest costumes and go Trick-or-Treating or scare up a good time with your friends and family by watching scary movies or perhaps gathering around a bonfire to tell a spooky story or two!

Want to hear something that might send a shiver down your spine?

More than 1 million people suffer from eye injuries every year in the United States. Yes, we said ONE MILLION! Sadly enough, 90% of those injuries could have been prevented if people had worn the appropriate protective eyewear or had taken the proper precautions.

But don’t get too scared! We have some great tips for you to help protect your eyesight! Check them out below!

IN THE HOME

*When using household chemicals, read the instructions and labels carefully! Use them in a well-ventilated area of your home, and be sure to point the spray nozzle away from you! Many chemicals are extremely hazardous and can permanently annihilate the surface of your eyes, which can result in blindness.

*Be careful around hot grease or oil while in the kitchen.

*Watch what you do when hammering or drilling into your walls. Even hanging a simple frame could cause a nail or screw to become a projectile or cause fragments of the wall to fly off and harm your eyes.

IN THE GARDEN

*Use protective eyewear before you use the lawn mower, a power trimmer, or an edger. They can pick up rocks and stones and throw them right at you.

*Protect those around you! Check for stones, rocks, and other potential projectiles before using the lawn mower so that children, passers-by, and even your pets are not harmed.

AT WORK

*Many of the 2,000 employees who attain eye injuries each day tend to not believe that they need eye protection or use their eyewear inappropriately. Be safe and wear the appropriate safety eyewear for your job.

*When working outside, protect your eyes from the harmful ultraviolet rays by wearing sunglasses.

AROUND THE CAR

*Keep protective goggles in the trunk of your car to use in case of emergencies or when tending to everyday repairs.

*Battery acid, sparks, and debris from damaged or improperly jump-started auto batteries can severely damage your eyes. Be proactive and wear protective eye gear when handling battery acid and other hazardous parts or features!

ON THE TEAM

*Eye injuries occur in sports, too! Protect your eyes while participating in sports such as baseball, hockey, basketball, cycling, and more!

*Don’t forget about paint balls, darts, and BB guns. Put on a pair of protective sports glasses before you play as these devices have the power to inflict serious injuries, vision loss, and blindness to you!

And finally, be sure to get your family in to Performance Eyecare for regular eye exams and screenings. Remember, prevention is the most important step in protecting your eyes from harm. If you do happen to experience an eye injury, seek medical attention immediately!

You only have one set of eyes – be proactive and protect your gift of sight! Call us today at (618) 234-3053 or check us out at our website at www.PerformanceEyecare.com to schedule an appointment or for more tips on how to protect your eyes!

Say What?! Performance Eyecare Checks Your Eyesight AND Your Hearing!

Hey, listen up! Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans have hearing loss in at least one ear? That’s right! That comes out to be about 48 million people!

Aside from maybe being totally astounded from that shocking statistic (we know we were!), you might be asking yourself what on earth we’re doing talking about EARS instead of EYES.

Well, guess what? Just because we care for your eyes doesn’t mean we ignore everything else! In fact, our optometrists are focused on providing you with excellent eye care AND improving your total health! That’s why we’re pleased to offer all of our patients hearing services in our office with the help of Hearing Professionals of America!

When you come in for your annual eye exam, we will conduct a FREE one-minute hearing screening to test for any and all hearing loss you may have! Loss of hearing can range from minor loss from wax build-up to serious loss due to health problems such as cancerous tumors.

In case you do not pass the hearing screening, you will be scheduled with our on-staff hearing specialist who will perform comprehensive hearing evaluation for you! He will then determine if you will need any hearing devices or not.

So if you’re experiencing anything out of the norm with your hearing, find it difficult to understand a conversation in a noisy restaurant, or have found that your loved ones have been constantly complaining that you set the volume too high on the TV or the car radio, then you don’t have to worry! You can just come in to see us at Performance Eyecare, and we’ll make sure your hearing is up to par! Just call us at (618) 234-3053 or check us out online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com for more information!

Whether it concerns your vision or your hearing, you can be confident that we have your best interest in mind!

Don’t Miss Out on Scratch-Off September!

 

What does the month of September mean to you? Do you think about the change of seasons from the hot summer to the crisp, cool fall and switching out your sandals for tennis shoes and your swimsuits for scarves? Do thoughts of Labor Day weekend and back-to-school activities spring to your mind?

You know what SHOULD come to mind? Your eyesight!

We at Performance Eyecare are once again hosting our famous Scratch-Off September event here at our place in business in beautiful Swansea, Illinois!

Don’t have vision benefits? No problem! During Scratch-Off September, you don’t NEED benefits to participate! Whether you’re a long-time patient, a newcomer, or a curious passer-by, all are welcome to come in and take advantage of this awesome promotion!

If you’re not familiar with Scratch-Off September, then boy, are you missing out! Throughout the entire month of September, you can come in anytime during our business hours to take advantage of some awesome discounts!

What do you have to do? Simple – just bring in your lucky penny and get ready to scratch!

When you come in, you’ll be handed your very own scratch-off card. All you’ll need to do is use your penny to scratch your card, and you will reveal your discount. You can get up to 50% off toward your eye exam AND frames for prescription glasses or sunglasses!

If you’re ready to take advantage of all of our special promotions, come on over to our office or call us at (618) 234-3053 to find out more information! You can also check out all that we have to offer on our website at www.PerformanceEyecare.com. Call today to schedule your appointment and come on in sometime during the month of September to make sure that you don’t miss out on our great deals! Your eyes (and your wallet!) will thank you!

The 7 Must-Know Tips For Purchasing Glasses for Your Child

Buying your child’s first pair of glasses can be a very exciting time, but it can also become a confusing and very overwhelming endeavor if you’re not certain what to look for. After all, there are so many choices available out there when it comes to eyewear that it’s nearly impossible to choose the perfect frame! What’s a parent to do?

Sometimes, your optometrist might make a specific recommendation about which frames would work best for your child, but usually that choice is yours alone to make. To make the decision easier on you, check out our 7 most essential tips for purchasing eyeglasses for your child!

Through Thick and Thin – Your child’s prescription is always the most important choice when it comes to selecting glasses, and you should consult with your optician about the lenses before you choose the frames. As a rule of thumb, if your child’s lenses are thick, try to find the lightest frame for them so the glasses won’t be so heavy. Keep in mind also that smaller lenses usually have fewer higher-order aberrations near the end of the lenses than larger lenses do so blurred or distorted peripheral vision shouldn’t be a big problem for your child.

Lens Material Matters! In addition to the thinness and thickness of your child’s lenses, you must also be sure that the lens material will not only help your child to see but will also protect his or her eyesight. Lenses should be made of polycarbonate or a material called Trivex. These materials are lightweight and can take much more tough love than other lens materials. They also usually include protection against potentially harmful ultraviolet rays and are coated with scratch resistant materials. Ask your optician’s opinion on the matter if you’re in doubt.

Metal or Plastic? Frames are made of two types of material – metal (that is, wire) or plastic. In the past, plastic was a popular choice because it was seen as more durable and lighter in weight and in price, but anymore, manufacturers are making metal frames that have the same advantages as plastic frames. When in doubt, be sure to ask your optician which material is the better choice for your child.

Take It to the Bridge! Perhaps one of the most difficult parts of the entire decision is the bridge fit of the frames. After all, children’s noses aren’t yet fully developed, so glasses can have a tendency to slide down a child’s face, especially when they’re playing. Many frames, especially metal ones, tend to be made with adjustable nose pads to help fit the glasses to everyone’s bridge, so keep a look out for frames with nose pads!

Choose Your Earpiece Style – Essentially, there are two types of earpiece styles: cable temples, which feature a more curved earpiece that reaches around the ear, and standard temples, which are a straight edge. Cable temples tend to be very advantageous for very young children or for times when children are playing since they tend to not slide off the child’s face. Standard temples are great for those who wear glasses only some of the time since they are easier to take on and off.

Find the Cool Frames – Wearing glasses usually subjects the child to a good amount of teasing, especially when they’re wearing them for the first time. Try to avoid frames that aren’t pricey, inappropriate for their age, or make them look “uncool.” Remember, the real goal is to get your child to keep wearing his or her glasses, so make sure that they like the glasses that you choose!

Plan B – Children can be pretty tough on eyewear, so it might be a good idea to have an extra pair of glasses just in case the pair that you plan on having them wear is lost or broken. An extra pair is particularly advantageous for children who have strong prescriptions and can’t function without the use of their glasses.

If you’re ready to pick out your child’s eyeglasses, don’t wander around in the dark! Stop by to see us at Performance Eyecare for all of your eyecare needs! Give us a call at (618) 234-3053 or check us out online at www.PerformanceEyecare.com to see what we can do for you!