Causes Of Eye Allergies

Many allergens (substances that can evoke an allergic response) are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eyedrops also may cause eye allergies.

Similar to processes that occur with other types of allergic responses, the eye may overreact to a substance perceived as harmful even though it may not be. For example, dust that is harmless to most people can cause excessive tear production and mucus in eyes of overly sensitive, allergic individuals. Eye allergies are often hereditary.

Allergies can trigger other problems, such as conjunctivitis (pink eye) and asthma. Most of the more than 22 million Americans who suffer from allergies also have allergic conjunctivitis, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Allergy signs and symptoms

Common signs of allergies include: red, swollen, tearing or itchy eyes; runny nose; sneezing; coughing; difficulty breathing; itchy nose, mouth or throat, and headache from sinus congestion.

What causes eye allergies?

Many allergens are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. Airborne allergens include pollen, mold, dust and pet dander. Other causes of allergies, such as certain foods or bee stings, do not typically affect the eyes the way airborne allergens do. Adverse reactions to certain cosmetics or drugs such as antibiotic eyedrops also may cause eye allergies.

Eye allergy treatment

Avoidance. The most common “treatment” is to avoid what’s causing your eye allergy. Itchy eyes? Keep your home free of pet dander and dust, and stay inside with the air conditioner on when a lot of pollen is in the air. If you have central air conditioning, use a high quality filter that can trap most airborne allergens and replace it frequently.

Medications. If you’re not sure what’s causing your eye allergies, or you’re not having any luck avoiding them, your next step will probably be medication to alleviate the symptoms.

Over-the-counter and prescription medications each have their advantages; for example, over-the-counter products are often less expensive, while prescription ones are often stronger.

Eyedrops are available as simple eye washes, or they may have one or more active ingredients such as antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers. Antihistamines relieve many symptoms caused by airborne allergens, such as itchy, watery eyes, runny nose and sneezing.

Decongestants clear up redness. They contain vasoconstrictors, which make the blood vessels in your eyes smaller, lessening the apparent redness. They treat the symptom, not the cause.

In fact, with extended use, the blood vessels can become dependent on the vasoconstrictor to stay small. When you discontinue the eyedrops, the vessels actually get bigger than they were in the first place. This process is called rebound hyperemia, and the result is that your red eyes worsen over time.

Some products have ingredients that act as mast cell stabilizers, which alleviate redness and swelling. Mast cell stabilizers are similar to antihistamines. But while antihistamines are known for their immediate relief, mast cell stabilizers are known for their long-lasting relief.

Other medications used for allergies include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroids. In some cases, combinations of medications may be used.

Immunotherapy. You may also benefit from immunotherapy, in which an allergy specialist injects you with small amounts of allergens to help your body gradually build up immunity to them.

Eye allergies and contact lenses

Even if you are generally a successful contact lens wearer, allergy season can make your contacts uncomfortable. Airborne allergens can get on your lenses, causing discomfort. Allergens can also stimulate the excessive production of natural substances in your tears that bind to your contacts, adding to your discomfort and allergy symptoms.

Ask your eye doctor about eyedrops that can help relieve your symptoms and keep your contact lenses clean. Certain drops can discolor or damage contact lenses, so ask your doctor first before trying out a new brand.

Another alternative is daily disposable contact lenses, which are discarded nightly. Because you replace them so frequently, these lenses are unlikely to develop irritating deposits that can build up over time and cause or heighten allergy-related discomfort.

Stylish frames to look younger!

Getting older doesn’t mean you have to settle for the grandma look when it comes to glasses. Take a look at these tips to consider the next time you pair a new set of frames.

As noted by Julyne Derrick of Beauty.About.com, there are many frames and styles that will help you achieve a more youthful look.

Black frames are a classy look that show sophistication and a sense of style. These frames can be oversized but they will still appear flattering. It’s recommended you steer away from excessive jewelry and other accessories to pull off the black frame look.

Want a subtle look when wearing glasses? Try a frameless pair that won’t bring attention to your glasses. They will blend into the face better, as will thin frames. Frameless glasses also let off a sophisticated look.

There’s three things you should consider when you choose glasses. Most of us think about our face shape, but it’s also about hair color and personality. Square frames can balance out a longer face shape and black frames can complement a lighter hair color.

Don’t go alone when you’re shopping for eyeglasses. Always bring a friend who knows your style and can be honest with you. No one wants to buy a pair of frames and later find out they don’t look as flattering as they previously thought.

At Performance Eyecare, we offer designer frames of the highest quality and also affordable name brands such as Lafont, Oakley, Oliver Peoples, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Tom Davies, OGA, Tom Ford, Maui Jim, OGI and many others.

Winter season spurs pink eye

Pink Eye Care at Performance Eyecare

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

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

So what is pink eye?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

September 2015 Frame Sale

50% Off Frames at Performance Eyecare

For the month of September, receive 50% off frames at Performance Eyecare. Think ahead: this is the perfect back-to-school or Christmas gift.

Frames For Sale, Performance Eyecaree

Customized Eye Prescriptions

Did you know that Performance Eyecare is one of the only eye centers that customizes Eye prescriptions in Scuba Diving Masks in our St. Louis, MO & Swansea, IL area? We provide affordable pricing on specialty lenses made to custom fit into your scuba mask to help you see at distance and also up close to see your gauges and watch.

Or, that we make eyeglasses in the office with our state-of-the-art edging instruments? And that we have a custom selection-process to fit your optical needs and we pick frames according to your face shape, skin tone and brow structure? Our staff and selection makes us the premiere eyecare center in St. Louis.

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!