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!

Minimize Stress To Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Big project due? Bills need to be paid? Trying to find a job? These are a few things that can cause stress. That stress can cause other problems to your health including your eyes.

Life can be hectic as we try to best manage our tasks in an orderly fashion, but sometimes the anxiety takes control of us and our body. Hypertension, or constant high blood pressure, can put us at a higher risk of Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO), according to HealthMeUp.com. This disease affects about four out of 1000 people and is considered a “heart attack or stroke selectively affecting the retina.”

This can lead to blurred vision or total loss of vision if not treated.

Our eyes are the most sensitive part of our body which is why stress easily affects our vision. High blood pressure obviously affects the heart and it also damages the vessels that supply blood to our eyes. This damage is in the form of clots.

How Can I Keep My Eyes Healthy?

The best way to treat this problem is to address your stress. Stress can cause major physical damage throughout our body, including our eyes. Finding ways to cope with our stress will lead to less anxiety. This will keep our eyes and the rest of our body healthy.

Fortunately, technology has also helped with controlling the damage done to our eyes due to stress. These new treatments include injections, lasers and surgery. Get your blood pressure checked regularly to help prevent RVO from affecting you and your eyes.

If your vision is becoming blurred, please schedule an appointment to see one of our Performance Eyecare doctors. It’s important to understand why your vision is blurred and to address it immediately. Our team is available for regular wellness exams, as well as emergency appointments to make sure you get the care you need!

A Five-Star Warranty

Performance Eyecare offers a warranty you won’t see anywhere else!

Yes, that pun was intended, but we do stand by our five-star warranty and are confident in what we have to offer. Our eyeglasses come with a 1-year warranty for breakage at no additional cost to you. Along with a one year warranty, you can also utilize our 14-day exchange policy. Meaning, if you do not like your frames’ shape or color like you thought you did when you walked away with them, as long as it’s within 14 days you may return them for another. However please note that if you are in need of new lenses, please note that there may be a small lab fee acquired depending on the type of lens require for your frames.

So, what do I have to do?

If your glasses break, which will happen from time to time based on situation and circumstance, simply bring them back into our Creve Coeur, MO; Alton, IL or Swansea, Illinois office and our eyeglass specialists will repair or replace the glass for you!

Dry Eye Syndrome

How Do I Know If I Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry Eye Syndrome is caused by chronic lack of sufficient lubrication and moisture on the surface of your eye. This is more common among women. Although there is no determining factor for this, we believe dry eyes could possibly be due to hormonal fluctuations.

Symptoms You May Have Dry Eye Syndrome

  1. Blurriness
  2. Sensitivity to light
  3. Irritation from windy conditions
  4. Fatigued eyes, especially at the end of the day
  5. Irritation, or problems wearing contact lenses
  6. Gritty or scratchy feelings
  7. Excessive tearing
  8. Red eyes

If you suffer from any of the above, get in touch with your local Performance Eyecare office to take a look and possibly diagnose for treatment.

Possible Causes

  1. Heavy reading, or excessive digital device use
  2. LASIK eye surgery
  3. Prolonged contacts lens wearing
  4. Living or working in dry environments
  5. Diets lacking in fatty acids
  6. Certain prescriptions such as allergy drugs, beta-blockers, etc
  7. Deficiency of tear-producing glands
  8. Certain health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, lupus & more

Your Eyes Benefit From Vitamin E

Which foods can help keep your eyes healthy and reduce your risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration?

Nuts and seeds are a great source for vitamin E, but what is vitamin E? It’s a “powerful antioxidant that helps protect membranes of cells throughout the body against damage caused by metabolic by-products called free radicals,” according to AllAboutVision.com. The harmful radicals can be a result of environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke.

Recent studies have suggested that vitamin E can prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

One study from Age-Related Eye Disease Study involved 5,000 people. Researchers discovered a 25 percent lower risk of developing advanced stages of macular degeneration when vitamin E was taken. It also included high levels of vitamin A and C and zinc.

Additional studies also believe vitamin E may help prevent cataracts. There are also some studies that have provided conflicting findings and some eye doctors believe more research needs to be done before coming to a conclusion.

How much vitamin E should we have?

The U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for adults and children 14 or older is 15 mg per day of vitamin E. It’s recommended 19 mg for women who breastfeed. Those who smoke should consume more vitamin E as well as A and C.

What are the best vitamin E foods?

Sunflower seeds and nuts are among the best resources. Other great sources include whole grain cereal, almonds, frozen spinach, hazelnuts, mixed nuts with peanuts, avocado, and dry roasted peanuts.

There are some side effects of too much vitamin E. A 2011 study suggested men 50 years old and older showed an increased risk of prostate cancer when taking 400 IU of vitamin E compared to men who didn’t. It can also interfere with the body’s blood clotting ability.

It’s important to discuss these potential benefits and side effects with an eye care professional at Performance Eyecare and a general physician.

Keep your eyes safe on the golf links

The weather is warming up and many of us will be hitting the links to play a round of golf this spring. Before you take your first swing of the season, make sure you’re wearing the proper golf eyewear.

Did you know Performance Eyecare is one of only a few offices in the St. Louis area to specialize in golf vision and prescription sunglasses for golfing?

It’s important to wear sunglasses when you’re outside to begin with, but many sunglasses aren’t optimized for the game of golf. This is why we carry several different styles of golf sunglasses in our stores.

We all have troubles finding our golf ball from time to time, but it’s become a little easier with the latest eyewear from Rudy Project Ketyium. This eyewear features a green-tinted lens which enhances all green colors and helps enhance the contrast of the white golf ball.

It also has a wrap-style frame to provide greater eye coverage for the golfer and it can also incorporate a prescription.

While finding your golf ball easier is great, the main reason you should wear sunglasses on the golf course is for protection from UV rays. Sunglasses can limit your chances of developing cataracts and possibly macular degeneration as it protects the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye. You should choose sunglasses that block 99 to 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.

Stop in soon or schedule an appointment to Performance Eyecare and let us help pick out the best eyewear for your style and health. The eye care professionals at Performance Eyecare give each of our patients the personal attention and care that everyone deserves and ensures that your eye health is our number one priority.

Blurred vision at 40

Blurred Vision Eye Care at Performance Eyecare

Are you 40 years old and beginning to experience blurred near vision when reading or working at the computer? You may have developed presbyopia.

Presbyopia is widespread in the United States as the people in the country are growing older than in previous years. The growing number of older citizens generates a huge demand for eyewear, contact lenses and surgery that can help those with presbyopia deal with their failing vision. According to the World Health Organization, more than a billion people in the world were presbyopic as of 2005.

A major sign that someone has developed presbyopia is when they have to hold books, magazines, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at arm’s length in order to focus properly. When they perform near work, they may develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued.

Presbyopia is an age-related process, which differs from astigmatism, nearsightedness and farsightedness. Some treatment options include eyeglasses with bifocal or progressive addition lenses. Reading glasses or multifocal contact lenses are also available.

At Performance Eyecare, we create eyeglass lenses in our office with our state-of-the-art edging instruments.

Surgical options to treat presbyopia are also available, although some surgical procedures correct the problem only temporarily for a limited amount of time.

For more information or to test your eyes for presbyopia, schedule an appointment with your local PEC office!

Contact Lens Myths

Are you afraid of wearing contact lenses? Check out these contact lens myths debunked and then decide if they are right for you.

MYTH: I can’t wear contact lenses

Just about everyone can now wear contact lenses thanks to technological advances. Some of the advances now allow those with astigmatism and those who need bifocal contact lenses.

MYTH: A contact lens will get lost behind my eye

It’s impossible for a contact lens to get lost behind your eye. That’s because a thin membrane called the conjunctiva covers the white of your eye and connects to the inside of your eyelids.

MYTH: Contact lenses are uncomfortable

There is a brief period for you to get adapted to the change, but you will likely not notice that you are wearing contact lenses. There are remedies available should the contact lenses cause discomfort.

MYTH: Contact lenses can get permanently stuck to my eye

Soft contact lens can stick to the surface of your eye if it’s dried out. However, you can remoisten the lens by applying sterile saline or multipurpose contact lens solution to get it moving again.

MYTH: Contact lenses are too much trouble to take care of

One-bottle contact lens care systems make cleaning your lenses easy. Alternatively, you can choose to eliminate the care altogether by getting daily disposables or 30-day extendable wear ones.

MYTH: Wearing contact lenses cause eye problems

If you follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to care for your lenses, how long to wear them and how frequently to replace them, wearing contact lenses is safe.

MYTH: I’ll never be able to get them in my eyes

It might be difficult at first, but your eye care professional will make sure you learn how to apply and remove them before you leave their office.

MYTH: Contacts can pop out of my eye

The old-fashioned hard ones could, but today’s contacts fit closer to the eye so it’s very rare for one to dislodge from a wearer’s eye unexpectedly.

MYTH: Contact lenses are too expensive

They can be less expensive than a good pair of eyeglasses. Even daily disposable lenses can cost about a dollar a day.

MYTH: I’m too old to wear contact lenses

Thanks to the bifocal contact lenses and contacts designed for dry eyes, getting older is no longer a barrier to successful contact lenses. You should ask your doctor if you’re a candidate for contacts.

At Performance Eyecare, we can routinely fit our contact lens patients the same day as their exam. Get in touch with your local office to schedule your contact lens appointment today!

When is eye pain an emergency?

Eye pain can be a complicated matter because the severity of the pain does not indicate the cause of the discomfort. A relatively minor problem, such as a superficial abrasion of the cornea, can be very painful. However, a serious eye problem such as cataracts, macular degeneration or a detached retina, may cause no pain.

The eye’s cornea is one of the most sensitive tissues of the body and can be very useful because it’s the first line of defense against external injury to the eye. You’ll be sure to notice something irritating the front surface of your eye.

Blurred vision, redness and sensitivity to light often accompany eye pain. So what are the common causes of eye pain?

Corneal foreign body

Metal shavings, sawdust and other organic material are common foreign bodies that can become embedded in the surface of the cornea. This pain ranges from mild to severe and is most bothersome when you’re blinking.

Blurred vision and sensitivity to light are common and most corneal foreign bodies can be removed in the doctor’s office.

Corneal abrasion

To put is simply, this is a scratched cornea. Most of these are not serious. These scratches can be uncomfortable and cause sensitivity to light and watery eyes.

Many scratches will heal on their own within 24 hours. Deeper abrasions can lead to serious eye infection and even a corneal ulcer if left untreated.

You should see an eye doctor for any sharp discomfort of the eye that doesn’t resolve quickly to determine the cause.

Dry eyes

Dry eye usually begins slowly and gradually increases in pain compared to eye pain from a corneal foreign body or abrasion. They can sometimes lead to a corneal abrasion because there aren’t enough tears to determine the severity of the dryness.

Other eye pain causes

– Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
– Eye infections
– Iritis (inflammation of the iris)
– Contact lens discomfort

What about pain behind your eye? This is usually caused by migraine headaches and sinus infections.

A migraine headache usually has pain behind one eye accompanied by pain elsewhere on the same side of the head. Pain behind the eye from a sinus infection is usually less severe and both eyes may be affected.

If you’re suffering from eye pain, stop in to see the professional eye doctors at Performance Eyecare. Our eye experts give the special attention everyone deserves. We will help you get back to living a pain-free life and seeing clearly!

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to have regular eye exams, at least once per year. Diabetes increases your risk of eye problems, so it is important to not delay in caring for your eyes.  However, you are also at risk for diabetic retinopathy: damage to the blood vessels located in your retina.

What is Diabetic Retinopathy?

This disease is the most common among those suffering from diabetes – both type 1 and 2; is the leading cause in America for blindness. In some people, the blood vessels in the retina may swell and leak fluid, however in other people you may develop new vessels on the surface of your retina. This eye disease typically affects both eyes, not just one.

If you are diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, we will recommend a treatment to help the progression of this disease which may include more than one visit to the doctor per year. Do not let this go untreated.

Preventing Diabetic Retinopathy

You can’t always prevent diabetic retinopathy. However, you can help prevent vision loss and other complications of diabetic retinopathy

  • Monitor your blood sugar level by checking levels regularly and working with your doctor to establish a routine.
  • Manage your diabetes with a healthy diet and ample physical activity.
  • Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol under control by losing excess weight, committing to a healthy lifestyle, and incorporating medication if needed.
  • Pay attention to vision changes. Contact your eye doctor right away if your vision suddenly changes or becomes blurry, spotty or hazy.

To find out how to treat this eye disease, or to make an appointment for your annual checkup, please schedule your appointment today!