January is the ideal time to start getting eye exams

Eye chart and eye exam at Performance Eyecare

January is a great time to schedule your annual eye exam. Just remember, “a new year, a new eye exam” to help you remember.

Eye exams are often pushed aside by people with great vision and even those with poor sight, but routine exams are important regardless of age or physical health.

The eye doctors do much more than determine your prescription, if any, for eyeglasses or contact lenses during your eye exam. They also check them for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health.

Eye doctors are often the first health care professionals to detect chronic systematic diseases such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

So what does e eye doctor check for during your eye exam? As mentioned above, it’s more than you think.

Eye doctors check the eyes for refractive error, which refers to nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This can be corrected with eye glasses, contacts or surgery.

They also check for amblyopia, which occurs when the eyes are turned or when one eye has a much different prescription than the other. In addition, they can check for strabismus (crossed or turned eyes), eye teaming problems, focusing problems, eye diseases such as glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy, and other diseases.

Be sure to schedule an eye exam soon, especially if you haven’t one in over a year. You can schedule an appointment at any of our MO or IL locations over the phone or online!

Winter weather could irritate your eyes

Dry eye conditions in Winter at Performance Eyecare

The bright sun reflecting off the white snow isn’t the only eye hazard you should be worried about this winter. Other hazards that could irritate your eyes are the cold winds and dry air.

As noted by Osteopathic.org, harsh weather conditions can make eyes constantly dry and irritated, especially for those who wear contact lenses. Also, dry eyes can be troublesome when you’re indoors as well since the indoor heat eliminates moisture from the air.

Eye drops can be used a few times a day to help combat the dry-eye problem as well as installing humidifiers throughout your house to increase the indoor levels of humidity.

Staying hydrated and eating proper nutrition, in addition to eye drops and wearing sunglasses outside, can help keep your eyes moist. Studies have found that supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids, such as cold-water fish (sardines, cod, herring, and salmon), and flaxseed oil can relieve dry eye.

Drinking more water can help as well. The Institute of Medicine states that each day women need 91 ounces of water and men need about 125 ounces to stay hydrated. Experts agree that about 20 percent of the water your body needs comes from the food you eat. The best choices for beverages are water, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices and milk.

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.

 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.

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

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

Snow lovers everywhere are gearing up for winter to officially hit, and many are wondering if this year’s winter will be a winter wonderland or a mild season. Many forecasters are calling for 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 a day at the beach. 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.

Hours of bright sunlight can actually burn the surface of your eyes. This 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.

Winter Eye Protection

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.

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. We have hundreds of frames for you to choose from. Protect your vision this winter with help from your friends at Performance Eyecare!

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.

Performance Eyecare will keep your eyes healthy this winter

What’s the number one concern during the cold winter months? Staying warm, of course! Keep in mind that your eye health shouldn’t take a back seat because these cold months can be just as dangerous as the summer ones.

Here are 3 tips to keeping your eyes healthy this winter:

  1. Keep your eyes moist

We all love to sit around a fire or next to the heater during the winter, but doing this can cause dryness and irritation to your eye. Those who already suffer from dry eyes should really be careful where they sit in relation to a heat source as this can be extremely painful.

Dry eye syndrome is just one of the many eye conditions we can treat at Performance Eyecare. Dry eye syndrome is a common condition, especially in women over 40, but it has many available treatment options.

  1. Wear sunglasses with UV protection

Many of us don’t like snow because it keeps us from traveling outside, but here’s another reason to dislike the snow: it’s super bright when the sun is out. As noted by YourSightMatters.com, “snowy conditions double the sun’s effect as ultraviolet rays can enter the eyes from above and are reflected off the snow into your eyes.”

So what’s the best thing to combat the brightness? Wear sunglasses that block 99 or 100 percent of UV light. In addition, wear a hat or a visor for extra protection.

At Performance Eyecare, we carry a lot of UV-protected sunglasses. What’s even better is that we have designer sunglasses, so yes, you can look fashionable even when you’re wearing a heavy coat and bulky pants to stay warm during the winter. Just stop by for a visit soon to find the right pair for you!

  1. Wear goggles

It can be easy for debris to into your eyes when you’re outside. It can be easier when you’re skiing behind someone or having a snowball fight. It’s recommended that you wear goggles for maximum protection as sunglasses won’t be as effective for protection.

Who knew the winter months could be so dangerous for your eyes? Luckily, we know and we also know how to treat your eyes with care and precision. Contact us to make an appointment or check-up soon!

Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

Computer Vision Syndrome is a condition resulting from extended use of display devices such as computers, tablets, or cell phones. Though often temporary, the condition can result in symptoms such as blurred visions, headaches, redness of the eye, dry eyes, double vision, or dizziness. CVS affects as many as 90% of computer users who spend more than three hours a day at a computer.

Most instances of CVS are caused by one of the following: glares, poor posture, poor lighting, or uncorrected vision problems.

Addressing CVS

To mitigate the effects of extended computer use, doctors recommend following the 20-20-20 rule; take a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes.

Your glasses can also help prevent eye damage! Consider upgrading to blue-light resistant lenses, which can lesson the impact of screen time.

If you think you may be suffering from CVS, schedule an appointment at one of our offices today.

We Answer Common Questions Our Patients Have About Contact Lenses

Q:  How can I be certain that I can wear contact lenses?
A: We can assure you if you are a great candidate for contact lenses, especially with the advanced technology that our office utilizes. For example, did you know there are bifocal contact lenses for those with presbyopia and lenses for our patients who suffer from astigmatism?

Q: Will the contact lens get lost or stuck behind my eye?
A: Believe it or not, we get this question all the time and the quick answer is no! It is going to take time to adjust to wearing your new contacts, but most people do not even realize or remember that they are wearing them; that is how comfortable they are. And, if you do experience discomfort, we can recommend several remedies for you once we are able to pinpoint the cause of irritation.

Q: Are contact lenses comfortable to wear?
A: For almost everyone, the answer is yes! We use a soft contact lens on most patients which can stick to the lens of your eye when your eye or contact lens is dry, however; simple re-moisturizing by applying saline solution or contact lens solution will bring you back to a comfortable state of vision.

Q: Are they hard to take care of?
A: It does take a responsible patient to take care of their contact lenses, just as it does someone who is wearing glasses with frames. Cleaning & disinfecting your lenses is quick, painless and easy! Or, Performance Eyecare also offers disposable lenses that you can toss out at the end of your day; never having to worry about cleaning them.

Q: Will I experience other eye problems once using contact lenses?
A: If you follow the instructions of contact lens care that our optometrist will give you, then you are less likely to develop any eye problems or infections. Before you leave our eye care offices, we will be sure you are sure how long you are to wear your prescribed lenses, how frequently you should replace them and how to care for them when they are not being used.

Q: What if I can’t get them into my eye?
A: It is going to seem difficult at first, as this is your first time placing something into your eye. Rest assured, our eye care professionals will make sure you feel comfortable knowing how to place and remove your lens before leaving the office.

Q: Is it more expensive to get contact lenses than glasses?
A: Surprisingly, contact lenses can be less expensive than some of our leading brand name eyeglasses. If money is your concern, do not hesitate to talk with our eye care staff as we will make sure you understand the wonderful and cost effective investment you are making for your vision.

Q: Am I too old for them?
A: How old is too old? All of our patients are applicable recipients to wearing contact lenses at the authorization of the Performance Eyecare optometrists. The answer may surprise you, but on your next visit just ask your eye care doctor if you are a good candidate for contact lenses.

For more questions you may have about contact lenses, or the type of services we offer, please contact us online or call us at the location nearest you!

Diabetic Eye Disease Month

Did you know Diabetes can affect your vision?

Diabetes is a debilitating disease affecting over 29 million Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-fourth of this population is not diagnosed. Although most commonly associated with controlling blood sugar levels, diabetes is a systemic disease that, left untreated or poorly managed, can cause damage throughout the body including the heart, kidneys and retina. It is also a leading cause of blindness in the US (National Eye Institute).

November is recognized as National Diabetes Month. Take the time to learn your risk factors and, if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, learn how you can protect your vision.

Diabetes’ impact on the eyes

Diabetes causes progressive nerve damage and damage to the blood vessels leading to the retina, resulting in several types of diabetic eye disease:

  • Diabetic retinopathy: When the blood vessels are damaged, they will leak blood or other fluids, causing distorted vision and blindness.
  • Diabetic macular edema: The macula is in the center of the retina, and enables sharp central vision. Diabetic retinopathy can cause the macula to swell: blurring vision.
  • Cataracts: Although most people will develop cataracts, diabetics often develop cataracts earlier in life.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve due to elevated pressure in the eye. Diabetics are twice as likely to develop glaucoma than other people.

Diabetics can protect their vision and improve their health by:

  • Managing blood sugar levels through good nutrition, exercise and (if prescribed) medication;
  • Regular doctor visits to monitor HBA1C (blood glucose) levels and kidney function;
  • Annual complete dilated eye exams. In a dilated exam, your eye doctor can see things that might not be apparent through a routine vision screening.

For more information on Diabetic Eye Disease and protecting your vision, contact Performance Eyecare.

Foods That Will Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Many of us were told when we were kids to eat our carrots if we want to have healthy eyes. But healthy eyes go beyond just carrots.

Are you eating the right foods to keep your eyes healthy and your vision strong? Here are a couple great options to support your eye health:

Leafy greens have antioxidants, called lutein and zeaxanthin, which can lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts according to recent studies. So that salad isn’t just good for those looking to lose weight.

Eggs are also a great source for these antioxidants. They also have zinc which can help reduce your risk for macular degeneration, according to Paul Dougherty, MD, of Dougherty Laser Vision in Los Angeles.

Food with vitamin C, especially berries and citrus, have also been discovered to reduce your risk of macular degeneration and cataracts. So when you’re eating eggs for breakfast make sure to have a glass of orange juice with it!

Another great vitamin to fight your risk of macular degeneration is vitamin E. Almonds are a great source of vitamin E and the best part is that one handful is roughly half of your recommended daily intake.

Food rich in DHA, such as fatty fish like salmon, tuna, anchovies and trout can help you fight dry eye syndrome. Low levels of DHA, a fatty acid found in your retina, have been linked to dry eye syndrome according to Jimmy Lee, MD, of Montefiore Medical Center in New York City.

If you have been having vision problems or due for a checkup, please contact the eye care professionals at Performance Eyecare. We look forward to assisting with all your glasses, contacts, or other eye care needs!

Specialty Eyewear

Just as “one-size-fits-all” doesn’t always fit, neither does one pair of eyeglasses for all situations.

Whether you want optimum vision and comfort for a specific activity, such as computer use, work, hobbies or driving, or you need glasses that provide an extra margin of safety for work or recreation, special-purpose eyeglasses will usually meet these needs better than your “everyday” glasses.

Computer glasses

If you spend much time in front of a computer, you probably already know that eye strain, fatigue and muscle strains are common problems associated with prolonged computer use. “Computer glasses” have lenses that are specially-designed to maximize your vision at the intermediate and close-up distances you use during computer work. Computer-specific eye wear will give you the best correction for these distances and help reduce eyestrain.

Reading and hobbies

If you wear bifocals, you may find you have to tip your head back slightly to use the reading portion of the lens. That’s fine for most things, but if you want to sit and read a novel, this head-back posture can cause neck discomfort and fatigue. Often, a pair of single vision reading glasses are a much better solution for prolonged reading and other detailed near vision tasks, such as sewing or needlepoint work.

Working in the yard or with power tools

Lawn mowers, power trimmers, grinding tools and other power tools can all cause serious eye injuries from high-speed projectiles. Even something as simple as hammering a nail can cause flying debris. Safety glasses are a must for these activities.

Sports Eye Wear

Did you know that wearing specially-tinted eyeglass lenses can improve your visual acuity on the tennis court, golf course or on the slopes? Sport-specific eyewear can enhance performance by improving visual clarity while protecting your eyes from injury.

Driving glasses

Driving glasses come in two different categories: sunglasses designed specifically for driving and clear prescription driving glasses. Many sunglasses made for driving feature polarized lenses to reduce glare and special tints to enhance contrast for safer, more comfortable vision on the road on sunny days. Eyeglasses for night driving should include your distance prescription and anti-reflective (AR) coating to reduce the glare from streetlights and oncoming headlights and allow more light to reach your eyes for better vision on dark roadways.

We can help

Nearly everyone can benefit from specialty eyewear. Let us know about all the different things you like to do, and we can tell you about the best special-purpose eyewear to fit your needs.