Should I Worry About Eye Floaters?

What are Eye Floaters?

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Eye floaters are gray or black spots, squiggly lines, or cobweb-like shapes that drift across your field of vision as you move your eyes. While they may be annoying, they usually do not indicate a serious eye condition.

Causes of Eye Floaters:

Most floaters are the result of age-related changes in the eye. Our eyes are filled with a gel-like substance called vitreous. As we age, this gel can become partially liquefied. This causes collagen protein fibers in the vitreous to clump together and cast shadows on the retina. In rare cases, different eye diseases and disorders can cause floaters or flashbulb-like bursts of light, including

  • a detached or torn retina,
  • bleeding in the vitreous,
  • eye injuries,
  • diabetic retinopathy,
  • eye tumors, or
  • inflammation in the retina or vitreous.

When to See An Eye Doctor:

If you only have a few floaters that do not change over time or significantly interfere with your vision, you do not have to worry. In some instances, they may improve on their own with time. You can also try to move them out of your field of vision by moving your eyes up and down. You should see an eye care professional immediately if you notice

  • floaters associated with sudden flashes of light,
  • a sudden increase in the number of floaters,
  • floaters associated with eye pain,
  • floaters following eye surgery or trauma,
  • a loss of side vision, or
  • your symptoms worsen over time.

These symptoms can be indications of a detached retina or other serious conditions that can lead to permanent vision loss if not treated quickly.

Are Treatments Available For Eye Floaters?

In some instances, a laser can be used to break up large floaters so that they are less noticeable. If you have so many floaters that they significantly interfere with your vision, a surgical procedure is available in which the vitreous is removed and replaced with a saline solution.

Performance Eyecare is proud to offer preventative and emergency eye care services to patients in Creve Coeur, MO; Alton, IL; and Swansea, IL. Contact us today to schedule your appointment.

What Is The Leading Cause Of Blindness?

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Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a condition which 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. The retina 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.

Now Available: Online Appointment Scheduling

Time for an Eye Exam?

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Performance Eyecare now offers online appointment scheduling. Scheduling eye exams for yourself or your family has never been easier, or more convenient!

Your days are busy – we get that! Between work and family, it seems like you’re always on the go, and finding the time to call and schedule doctors’ appointments sometimes seems impossible. Or maybe you remember that you need to schedule an appointment, and it’s after hours. Now you can make an appointment with your eye doctor when it’s convenient for you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

To schedule your appointment online, visit our website. There you will find the heading “Schedule an Appointment” with links to each of our locations: Creve Coeur, Missouri; Swansea and Alton, Illinois. Select your preferred location, and the link will take you to a page where you can select your preferred provider, the type of appointment you would like to make (routine eye exams or medical visits) and then the day and time that works best for you. You will need to enter your contact information, any symptoms or problems, and your insurance provider (if applicable). Click “Request Appointment” and you’re done! One of our receptionists will be in touch to confirm your appointment.

Performance Eyecare is a full-service eye care practice, serving the needs of adults and children requiring routine vision care, specialized medical eye care, LASIK eye surgery, and an optical boutique. Our friendly staff and caring doctors look forward to seeing you soon!

For more information please contact us. PS – Did you know you can order your contacts online now too?

Schedule an Eye Appointment in Swansea, Creve Coeur, or Alton!

Three Different Eye Diseases Diabetics Need to Watch Out For

People with diabetes are at a greater risk for eye disease.

High glucose levels can damage the blood vessels in the eye, which can lead to vision loss or blindness; many eye diseases have no symptoms in the early stages, so regular eye exams are a must for diabetics.

There are many different eye diseases that can plague the diabetic; the list is long, however; this article will focus on three particularly serious eye problems: cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy.

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Cataracts

Diabetics are 60% more likely to get cataracts; and at a younger age than people without diabetes. Poor control of blood sugar speeds it up so tight control over your blood sugar and regular eye doctor visits are most important.

Cataracts are cloudy areas that develop within the eye lens, thereby blocking light to the retina where images are processed, and making it harder to see. They don’t cause symptoms like pain, redness or tearing, and some might stay small enough to not affect your eyesight at all.

Large, thick cataracts are generally removed via surgery.

Glaucoma

People with diabetes are 40% more likely to get glaucoma, and the longer you have diabetes, your chances become greater. Glaucoma usually has no symptoms, but it can cause bright halos or colored rings around lights. Left untreated, it can cause an increase in eye pressure damaging the optic nerve and resulting in vision loss and blindness.

Glaucoma can be diagnosed by your ophthalmologist performing these five exams: tonometry (measuring the pressure in your eye), gonioscopy (inspecting your eye’s drainage angle), ophthalmoscopy (inspecting the optic nerve), a field vision test which tests your peripheral vision, and pachymetry, which measures the thickness of your cornea.

Treatment may include eye drops, pills, laser surgery, traditional surgery or a combination of these methods.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is damage to blood vessels inside the retina caused by blood sugar buildup. During the early stages there is no pain and vision is not likely to change until the disease increases in severity. Over time, however; the walls of your blood vessels may leak fluid, and after having diabetes for a while, blood vessels can form scar tissue and pull the retina away from the back of your eye, leading to severe vision loss and possibly even blindness.

Retinopathy is diagnosed during a thorough eye exam using a special dye to find leaking blood vessels.

Treatment in early stages is a laser surgery that seals the blood vessels and stops them from leaking and growing. It can’t restore lost vision, but combined with follow-up care, it can lower the chance of blindness by as much as 90%. Later stage treatment may consist of surgery to remove scar tissue, blood and cloudy fluid from inside the eye, improving vision.

As you can see from these three different eye diseases, keeping control of your blood sugar is most important if you wish to keep your eyesight. Contact us today to find out more about how we can help.

LASIK Eye Surgery: Safe and Effective

If you’re an eyeglass or contact lens wearer, you may have experienced a desire at one time or another to permanently discard your glasses or contact lens. However, despite that desire, fear is one of the primary reasons why many eyeglass and contact lens wearers have not elected to use LASIK eye surgery to correct their vision.

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Fortunately, in 2014, the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) conducted a study and affirmed that LASIK eye surgery is not only safe but effective.

Specifically, the FDA LASIK Quality of Life Collaboration Project (Project) revealed that over 95% of survey respondents achieved 20/20 or better binocular vision. The Project’s study also indicated that the prevalence of symptoms such as ghosting, glare, halos, and starburst did not increase postoperatively after LASIK. In fact, according to Lance Kugler, MD, President of the Refractive Surgery Alliance, “Patients with ghosting actually decreased from 33% before surgery to 6% after surgery.”

LASIK eye surgery is an easy and simple procedure which has helped millions achieve improved vision without the aid of glasses or contact lenses. So let’s walk through the basics of LASIK eye surgery to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of this procedure.

What is LASIK Eye Surgery?

LASIK eye surgery is a laser-assisted procedure which reshapes the cornea or the clear dome in the front of the eye to improve how the eye focuses on light rays and corrects vision.

Prime candidates for LASIK eye surgery

LASIK eye surgery is safe and there are a few criterion if met that may facilitate the process and identify prime LASIK candidates. For instance, good LASIK eye surgery candidates should generally possess the following attributes:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Healthy eyes are preferable
  • Good general health
  • No history of dry eyes

The Surgical Procedure

LASIK eye surgery is an outpatient, surgical procedure where an eye drop of anesthetic numbs the eye surface. The surgery requires 10 to 15 minutes for each eye and both cornea are often reshaped during the same procedure. Healing usually occurs within a few days with minimal recovery time.

Performance Eye Care Commitment

Performance Eye Care, through a partnership with TLC LASIK Eye Center provides premium LASIK eye surgical services. Dr. Stephen Wexler and Dr. Massies of the TLC LASIK Eye Center possess a commitment to ensure superior, post operative care and follow-up exams. TLC LASIK Eye Center also provides a Lifetime Commitment to Clear Vision which ensures satisfied customers by offering lifetime enhancements to clear their newfound LASIK vision upon request at no additional charge. Contact us online or call us at (314) 380-4129 for our St. Louis location or (618) 223-6281 for the Swansea location to schedule a consultation and discuss the benefits of LASIK vision.

Vision over 40 – Reading Glasses Make Life Easier

Most people have natural vision changes after they reach age 40.

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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.

What You Need To Know About Colored Contacts

Colored Contacts are all the rage these days, giving people the option to change the look of their eyes in an instant. Even if you don’t need contacts to correct your vision, you can purchase them for cosmetic reasons, just like you can purchase glasses with non-prescription lenses. There are 3 types of colored contact lenses that can change your eye color and look.

Enhancement contacts change light-colored eyes into different shades of blues, greens and grays. Each will look different depending on your original eye color, as the two blend together uniquely. These contacts do not change eye colors that are originally darker.

Opaque contact lenses are very popular because they totally change the color of your eyes whether you have light or dark eyes. They can give you a dramatic new look.

Special effects lenses are used to add flair and reality to Halloween costumes and for stage performances, such as to look more like a vampire or zombie and the like. They can create a special effect or simply be a bold fashion statement. Some companies are making new types of lenses called circle lenses that widen the look of the iris by adding a black circle around the outside of the lens. This is especially popular in Korea.

What You Need to Know About Colored Contacts

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Unfortunately, there are companies selling contacts that are non-prescription and are not approved by the FDA. This is against the law and very dangerous to the health of your eyes. If you are considering purchasing colored contacts it is very important to have a vision exam with a certified optometrist to make sure the prescription is correct, as well as to obtain the proper fit. Our eyes are all unique and even if you have 20/20 vision, you will need to be professionally fitted for contacts.

Purchasing contacts without a prescription can lead to problems such as infections, a scratched cornea, pink eye, decreased vision, and blindness. This can be due to the wrong prescription, poor fit, poor care of the lenses, and improperly made lenses. According to FDA optometrist Bernard P. Lepri, O.D., M.S., M.Ed., “Bacterial infections can be extremely rapid, result in corneal ulcers, and cause blindness–sometimes within as little as 24 hours if not diagnosed and treated promptly.”

There are colored contacts to fit most eyes including those with vision correction. They can be purchased from our clinics in Creve Coeur, MO; Swansea, IL; and Alton, IL, in long-wearing styles, daily disposables, or gas permeable. We specialize in fitting even the most difficult to fit contact lens wearer. Contact us today to find out more about the vision exams and colored contacts we offer.

Etnia Barcelona Brings Fresh European Styling to Eyewear

Etnia Barcelona Now Available!

Performance Eyecare is proud to announce that we now offer the Etnia Barcelona line of frames. You are an individual, and your style is your own. Express it!

David Pellicer, founder of Etnia Barcelona, is the third generation of his family to produce eyewear. As a young boy growing up in their family factory, he never understood why glasses only came in two colors: brown and black. Why not reds and yellows? Why not more colors, patterns, or designs? When he started his own company, he set out to change the way we see and are seen.

David combined his family’s heritage of high-quality eyewear production with Barcelona’s colorful spirit. The result has been over 15 years of beautiful elegance built on 70 years of tradition.

Whether acetate, metal, or a resilient Nanoflex frame, Etnia Barcelona allows you to be you. Available in both modern and vintage designs, there is an Etnia Barcelona frame that was made for you. Ask about lens tints and coatings that can help you stand out from the crowd. We are excited to offer this new line to reflect your personality!

Whether you live in metro St. Louis (Creve Coeur, MO) or the metro East St. Louis area, Performance Eyecare has a location close to you. Contact us to schedule an appointment so our patient and courteous staff can see to your eyecare and eyewear needs. Our on-site eyeglass laboratory lets us service your needs locally without the lengthy “order and wait for it” process that can last weeks from other eyewear providers.

We Answer Common Questions Our Patients Have About Contact Lenses

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Q:  How can I be certain that I can wear contact lenses?
A: The optometrist doctors at Performance Eyecare are located in both Swansea, Illinois and Creve Coeur, Missouri. We can assure you that 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! If you are interested in getting a jump start to clearer vision, please call to schedule an appointment (314-380-4129) or (618-223-6281) or make an online appointment from the convenience of your own chair.

Ready to refill your prescription? Order your contacts online.

Visual Freedom Starts Here

Non-Surgical Vision Correction

Available in Creve Coeur, MO & St. Louis, MO

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Lasik Eye Surgery is available at our eye care customers under the care & professionalism of Dr. Stephan Wexler. However, if you are worried about whether you are the perfect candidate for this vision correction surgery you may want to consider our alternate, non-surgical visual correction surgery which is also known as the vision retainer shaping system. This is the process of utilizing retainer contact lens that corrects your overall vision while you are asleep!

You may be asking yourself, “what is the difference between lasik eye surgery, and non-surgical vision correction?” And the answer is this:

  1. Vision Retainer Shaping System is less than half the cost of a laser vision eye surgery.
  2. Good news! The non-surgical method involves zero post pain.
  3. You will not experience any hazy or blurred vision once complete.
  4. Both of your eyes can be corrected in the same visit!
  5. No use, or need for steroid or other drugs as there are with laser surgery patients.
  6. We saved the best for last! This retainer contact lens is reversible, whereas surgical correction is not!

Dr. Massie can help you determine if you are a candidate. We also offer a free consultation! All you need to do to get started is contact our Performance Eyecare Creve Coeur, or St. Louis office. It is important to keep in mind that VRSS is not suitable for everyone, and needs to be performed by a qualified & licensed eye care expert, like Dr. Massie. This non-surgical vision repair is safe for all ages, including children and older adults. To see a list of the eye health insurance plans we accept, please visit our website or call our nearby office today! The road to visual freedom is only an appointment away!

If you have recently undergone VRSS under our care, we would love to know how we did. Leave us a review on our Google Plus Page!