The Mystery of Your Eyes Changing Color (Part Two)

The eyes can hold a lot of mystery and intrigue. They might also be telling us more than we might know or understand!


Hello, Summerville! Welcome back to part two of our blog series covering the reasons behind why your eyes change color. As we mentioned in our last blog, many of these reasons can be harmless. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t alert us if these changes appear. Some very serious conditions cause your eyes to change color and need to be looked at right away. If you read through either part of this blog series and have any concerns, please let us know. The majority of the first part of this blog was dedicated to how conditions and changes related to the iris can affect the color of your eyes. In this blog, we will be discussing some serious situations and interesting hypotheses that are linked to the eyes changing color. From famous rock stars with unique eyes to everyday situations, changes in your eye color can happen when you least expect it.


[RARE CONDITIONS]

One of the rarest conditions you see in the eyes is called heterochromia. This condition causes the eyes to be two different colors. This can happen in humans and animals alike. There are a few different kinds of heterochromia. The first is partial heterochromia. This condition will cause different parts of the iris to be many different colors. Then, there is central heterochromia. This condition causes the iris to have two different colored rings. If you’re born with any form of heterochromia it’s not a threat to your health but, heterochromia can be caused by many health-related issues such as eye surgery, eye injury, tumors in the iris, and more. These issues can lead to permanent or potentially dangerous effects on your eye’s overall health.


[TRAUMA]

Trauma to the eye can start from a very early age. As we mentioned in the first part of this blog, a child is usually born with blue or grey eyes. According to the Fort Lauderdale Eye Institute, babies can be born with two different color eyes due to trauma that happened in the womb or during birth. It can also be the cause of a genetic disorder or an issue with the pigment in the child’s eyes. Trauma can hurt or damage the iris, which can lead to tissue loss, according to the AAO. The loss of tissue can make the eye color look completely different.


[EMOTIONS]

It has been quoted in books from fact to fairy tale that someone’s mood can change the color of the eye. Although this is not exactly true, this ideal isn’t totally incorrect. Your mood can change the size of your pupils, which will either show more or less of your iris. This can sharpen the color or dampen it, affecting how the color looks. Your mood and your body’s natural reaction isn’t actually changing the color of your eyes. This situation is more of a mental mind trick. The effect can still be very interesting. The size of your pupil can also be changed due to stroke, brain damage, or trauma according to the AAO. When the pupil doesn’t return to its normal size, the condition is called anisocoria. Rock star David Bowie had this condition, which was the reason behind the unique look to his eyes.


[NATURE]

The color of your eyes is determined by genetics. Over time, as you age, your eyes naturally change color due to the same reason. The color change shouldn’t be drastic, but if it is, it could be a sign of glaucoma. This will need attention right away.  

[STORE BOUGHT]

Of course, there are many other ways to change the color of your eyes if you wish. From colored contacts to surgery, the options are out there. Implant surgery, according to Healthline, can be very dangerous. It was first developed to treat eye injuries and conditions like aniridia, which is when the entire iris is missing. Now, it is a very popular option in cosmetic surgery, even for those who have their irises. Cosmetic iris implant surgery is currently very controversial. There is no current evidence that shows if the procedure is fully safe or not. We, of course, would not condone putting your eyes through treatment that is potentially dangerous. 


Have you ever noticed the color of your eyes changing? Have you noticed your loved ones’ eyes changing color? Now you know why this might be happening. If you have any questions or concerns about the color of your eyes, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Remember, if the color change is drastic, contact us right away. Make sure you have your back to school eye exams planned with us as well. We are taking every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe. We are dedicated to making you feel as safe as possible during your visit! We look forward to seeing you and your family very soon!

The Mystery of Your Eyes Changing Color (Part One)

Eyes have been the subject of writers and artisans alike. They have also captured our attention for hundreds of years. These fragile and powerful organs help us see the world around us and hold a lot of mystery.


Hello Summerville! We might be seeing this school year a little differently, but yearly checkups should still be on your family’s to-do list. We are taking every precaution to keep our patients and staff safe. We look forward to seeing you and your family very soon!

If you are the slightest bit familiar with famous works of art, poetry, and popular music from the 1900s on, you’ll notice that the eye has been a popular muse and inspiration throughout these platforms. There is a reason why Shakespeare wrote his famous line “the Eyes are the window to your soul”. The eye holds a key to our personality, our body language, and lets us see the world around us. They are precious and should be cared for as such. The eyes can also be very mysterious. They can show signs of illness, distress, or undiagnosed conditions. In this two-part blog, we are going to be talking about how eyes can change colors and why this might be happening.


The process of eyes changing color begins as early as infancy. Most babies are born with light blue or grey eyes, due to their lack of pigment. Once pigment does develop, they will grow into their permanent eye color. Many things can make the eyes seem to change color; like the color of your clothing, the amount of light shone on them, and what is surrounding the person whose eyes you are looking at. After you’ve grown into your permanent eye color, your eye color rarely changes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, color changes can be linked to trauma, changes in the iris or other parts of the eye, disease, genes, and medications. If you do notice any changes in the color of your eyes, please contact us right away.


[The Iris]When it comes to the iris changing the coloring of your eye, it can be related to many different conditions. The most common are Fuchs Heterochromatic Iridocyclitis, Lisch nodules, iris nevi, and iris freckles. Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis, according to the AAO, is the most dangerous of these four conditions and can lead to glaucoma. It is an inflammation in the front part of the eye, including the iris. The cause is still unknown, and the loss of pigment in the eye and cataracts can be two symptoms of this condition. These two symptoms can cause the iris to change color. Lisch nodules are growths found on the iris. The iris takes on the color of the growths, which will change the original color of your eyes. This condition is linked to neurofibromatosis, which is a disorder of the nervous system. The condition, according to the AAO, has a genetic link between family members. It can change the color of your eyes but it usually doesn’t affect your vision. Iris nevi look like small moles that grow on the iris, also changing its natural color. They are harmless and grow very slowly according to the AAO, but can become a risk for cancer. Lastly, iris freckles can appear on the iris, just like freckles do on your skin. They are caused by exposure to the sun and are very common.


Other serious conditions that can change the color of the eye due to its link to the iris include iridocorneal endothelial syndrome (ICE), pigment dispersion syndrome, uveitis, and Horner’s Syndrome. These conditions can cause the eyes to change color for many different reasons, but their effect on the iris can lead to the biggest changes in color. Pigment dispersion syndrome, also know as pigment loss according to the AAO, is the loss of pigment from the back of the iris. It can lead to the eye changing color, but most of the time those who have this condition might not even feel or see symptoms right away. This syndrome is sometimes not found until a glaucoma diagnosis has been given. Glaucoma treatments can help treat this condition.


There are a few more reasons that could explain the cause behind your eyes changing colors that we want to discuss, but we are going to save them for our next blog! If you have any questions or concerns about the current state of your irises or see a drastic change in the color of your eyes, let us know. Until next time, we look forward to seeing you at your next appointment!

Your Child and Contacts: What Time Is The Right Time?

Making the transition from glasses to contacts can be a very exciting time for your child. But, is there a right time to do so? 


The topic of your child’s yearly eye checkups might not be the only optic topic of conversation in your household! Your pre-teen or teenager might be wanting to officially make the switch from glasses to contact lenses. As you schedule your next appointment with us, we wanted to share this blog with you. Think of it as food for thought, and something to discuss with your family as you start to plan for contacts. 


A recent study was done by the American Optometric Association (AOA) dedicated to this very topic. The study was focused on finding out what age groups were most likely to be fitted for their first set of contacts and for what reasons these decisions were made. The study focused on children between the ages of 8 and 17. Most optometrists reported that they usually start fitting a child for their first set of contacts between the ages of 10 and 12. Although, most of their patients who wear contacts are 18 years or older. Many of the optometrists in this study felt that the 10 to 12 year age group was a suitable age for a child to take on the responsibility of caring for their contacts. When children required eye correction at age 8 or younger, according to this study, 67% of these optometrists fit them for glasses. But, as the child gets older, the percentages of these same optometrists fitting their young patients for contacts start to overcome that of fitting them for glasses. By the time they are in the 15 to 17-year-old range, they are 66% more likely to fit them for contacts than glasses. To learn more about this study and the specifics, if you’re interested, follow the link below! 
https://www.aoa.org/documents/npr10520_executivesummarychildrenandcontactlensesstudy_final.pdf


There are a lot of reasons why an optometrist would choose to fit a child for contacts over glasses that go beyond their age. It depends on the child’s habits and hygiene, their lifestyle, and their level of responsibility. It can be due to the child’s prescription and overall need, too. If a child has a strong want or motivation to wear contacts, that will be the first consideration. If a child wants to wear them, they are more likely to take up the responsibility to properly do so. Their maturity level will be reflected in this decision, too. Contacts are a much safer option for very active children who are involved with sports, dance, and fast-paced activities. Self-esteem, too, still plays a huge role in the reasoning behind a child’s want in wearing glasses, according to the AOA. Even with how popular glasses are right now in pop culture, children are still bothered by the stigma that wearing glasses can bring.


If you’re hesitant about your child wearing contacts, there are a few things that you might want to keep in mind. According to the Contact Lens Manufacturers Association (CLMA), some contacts can slow down nearsightedness in your child’s eyes. The growth of the eye and how fast it grows can influence how quickly nearsightedness can appear. Contacts can regulate that speed and help slow the process down. According to the FDA, contacts can help improve your child’s quality of vision compared to wearing glasses. This can be an incredible boost in their overall self-esteem. Don’t worry, if your doctor doesn’t feel that your child is ready for this responsibility, they won’t fit them for contacts until they are. 


Here is some interesting food for thought. According to All About Vision, four million children under the age of 18 wear contacts in the US. A child’s eyes can tolerate contacts very well, some infants are even fitted for them. Infants will be fitted for contacts if they have eye conditions or congenital cataracts that are present when they’re born. Children are also less likely, according to All About Vision, to have or develop dry eye. Dry eyes can cause severe eye irritation when wearing contacts in adults. 


Children can be a perfect candidates for contacts, as long as they understand the responsibility that comes with them. If your child or teenager starts asking for contacts, don’t worry! We are here to help you through this transitionm and to anyswer any questions you have. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you do. We are always here for you and your family! 

Strange Myths About Your Eyes; Debunked!

Everyone has heard at least one strange superstition about eyes, but do these old wives’ tales have any truth to them? 


Just like any body part or strange cough or symptom that we come across, it’s so easy to jump down the rabbit hole of Google to diagnose what’s wrong. It’s even easier to do it now with your phones always right within your reach. Imagine what it was like to be concerned about something in a world without Google? Your parents and grandparents grew up like this and had to spend time doing their research, trying home remedies, and calling their doctors instead of looking up their answers on the internet. Imagine even still what it was like caring for yourself and your eyes before modern medicine and before the American Optometric Association came to be! Pretty scary right? Even as we’ve been comfortably sitting with modern medicine for some time now, there are still plenty of myths and superstitions concerning your eyes that we still hear very frequently. We thought it would be fun to discuss and debunk five of the most common myths about eyes that are very common to hear every day. 

  • Myth #1: You’ll Go Blind If You Sit Too Close To The TV!

How many of us were told while we were growing up that sitting too close to the TV will hurt our eyes? While it’s never a good idea to do one thing for too long, there is no actual evidence that this will cause permanent damage, according to FOR EYES and Vision Services Plan. This rumor has been around since television came into our lives and has become a household rumor ever since. Watching too much TV can cause your eyes strain, make them tired, and cause them to be very dry. If this does happen, close your eyes for a few seconds and let them rest. Or, take a break from watching the TV and turn it off for a while. 

  • Myth #2: If You Keep Crossing Your Eyes, They’ll Stay That Way!

Good news, this myth is very far from the truth. Your eye muscles are made to move in every direction and won’t get stuck there. Sure, you might get a headache if you do continuously cross your eyes, but that’s about it. We think this rumor got its start from an annoyed parent or sibling that was bothered one too many times. Crossed eyes that you don’t control are the sign of nerve damage, affected vision, and possibly blood vessel damage. If you are showing signs of crossed eyes, please call us right away. 

  • Myth #3: Carrots Will Give You Night Vision! 

Sorry Marvel and DC fans. Carrots are great for your eyes and a healthy diet, but they won’t give you the night vision you’ve always wanted. But, according to A Vogel, carrots do give your eyes a ton of vitamin A. Vitamin A helps your eyes convert light even when conditions aren’t great, and they protect your corneas. So we understand where this myth got its start. Some argue, though, that carrots aren’t even the biggest and most important superfood that you need to be eating for good vision. According to the AOA fish, spinach, tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, nuts, beans, and meats are the best for your vision. 

  • Myth #4: As Long As You Can See, You Don’t Need To Get Regular Vision Checkups! 

This myth drives us CRAZY. Even though you think you might have perfect vision, there could be several issues wrong with your eyes that only we can see and notice during an exam using the proper equipment. Like we’ve mentioned before, a lot of eye diseases can go years before appearing. By the time they do, they can be beyond treatment. Glaucoma is one of these issues. Other health issues can be discovered during eye exams like high blood pressure and diabetes that need to be addressed right away. An eye exam is much more than just checking if you need glasses or not. They are an important and necessary part of your overall health! 

  • Myth #5 If You Sneeze With Your Eyes Open, Your Eyes Will Pop Out! 

As terrifying and gross as this story was when we were growing up and loved to say around Halloween, it is NOT true. You close your eyes when you sneeze because it’s a natural reflex, according to the AOA. It actually might be difficult to sneeze if your eyes are open but, if this does happen, you won’t be facing any consequences. 
How many of these myths have you heard before? Did you still believe any of them until you read this blog? Let us know! We’d love to hear your feedback! We are always here to answer any questions you might have and to discuss your best options when it comes to your family’s vision needs. We will see you next time! 

The History of The American Optometric Association

Have you ever been curious about how the rules and regulations that all optometrists follow came to be? It started with the founding of The American Optometric Association! 


Our eyes have been one of the most incredible and delicate organs we’ve had since the dawning of time. The dedication, study, care, and science of our eyes doesn’t have as long a history, and modern medicine was born even later than that. Sure, the care of our eyes does date back to as long as we could care for ourselves or have someone else care for them. But, medieval and ancient practices are not ones we like to look back on, especially when it comes to our eyes. Thankfully, things all changed thanks to the American Industrial Revolution, which not only brought on the birth of modern medicine, it also brought on the birth of the American Optometric Association. 

  • Who They Are 

Founded in 1898, the American Optometric Association has been the “leading authority on quality care” for the care of human eyes since its very beginning. According to their website, the AOA represents over 40,000 doctors of optometry, students, and optometric professionals. Each of these individuals helps provide lifelong care for your eyes’ health. These professionals are responsible to examine, diagnose, and treat any disorder, disease, or injury that appears in the eye. 

  • The History 

 The AOA was founded in New York City, an association that finally represented those who cared for the eyes of American citizens and would help guarantee the quality of care they would now be receiving. To this day, the AOA strives to be an advocate for the quality of eye care and continues to research to improve eye care. When it first began, it was called the American Association of Opticians, with 183 members across 31 states and Canada. In 1910, the name changed to the American Optical Association, to finally reaching its current name of the American Optometric Association in 1919. In its first two years, the association was fairly open for those to join in the medical field. It wasn’t limited to just optometrists until 1900. Not only was it founded to provide the best care and research, but the foundation has also been an active force in raising the bar in the quality of life and in giving back to humanity itself. The AOA is the reason behind the vision tests we have at the DMV and the reason why a code of ethics exists in the industry. They continue to strive to be leaders in education, setting a professional standard, and beyond. They’ve kept this as part of their mantra since day one. 

  • The Impact

One of the biggest steps in giving back came in 2006 when the AOA created Optometry Cares, a nonprofit organization that would change the world of optometry forever. This foundation would change the face of providing care for those in need, too. It led to the founding of the Endowment and a Scholarship fund for future optometric students, InfanteSEE, which we are proudly a part of, and Vision USA. Today, the AOA’s headquarters is in St. Louis and has offices in Virginia. Along with setting a standard for care and research, the AOA fights politically on behalf of those in the profession of optometry and those within its care. It even has its own Journal, “Optometry – Journal of The American Optometric Association” that is now published on their website. 

  • Conclusion

Thanks to the AOA, our eyes will be cared for, protected, and continue to be looked after with new developments. This will be guaranteed all while the AOA continues to set a standard policy granted to everyone who receives care. If anything, the AOA’s mission statement is something that resonates for all of us: “Advocate for the profession and serve optometrists in meeting the eye care needs of the public”. We proudly follow in the AOA’s rich 122-year history and strive to offer the best care we can to our patients based on the principles the AOA has set. We hope this little insight into our history gives you an idea of what importance we put into our standards of care and service. We are always here to answer any questions you might have and to discuss your best options. We are always here to support you and your family! Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs!

The Truth About Vision Insurance

Before you decide to get rid of or not have vision insurance, make sure you know the truth about what you could be giving up! 


Insurance can be one of the biggest complications when it comes to taking care of your body. In the past ten years, we have seen a lot of changes in the insurance industry; how to get it, how to qualify, how much we’re paying for it, and if it is required by law or not. Through all of these changes, one very sad fact has remained the same: if you don’t have insurance, your medical expenses can be outlandish. For those who can’t afford or get proper insurance, it has lead to the decline of getting the proper health care they need. Have you also noticed that in the more affordable and very basic plans, vision insurance is often not even included? Along with dental and other specialized insurance, these parts of our bodies are often left with the burden of not receiving regular care. Without regular visits, treatable issues can go uncared for and turn into serious complications with no knowledge. Sadly, if they had been caught early on, no problems would have arisen. This is the truth for both adults and children. With that being said, please don’t let the lack of vision insurance stand in the way of proper eye care. There are plenty of resources for your whole family that can help provide the assistance that you need. We got to thinking about vision insurance, and that idea inspired this blog. We wanted to share some things that you should know about vision insurance before you make any assumptions about it! 

  • Annual eye exams are extremely important. You will hear us say that time and time again. Vision insurance policies can include an annual eye exam that might cost nothing or just a very small copay. 
  • Sometimes staying within your network of doctors can be challenging, but it could be a challenge worth fighting for. Glasses, contacts, and eye exams can be much more affordable when you stay in one insurance network. 
  • If an insurance policy sounds too good to be true, it usually is. Also, not every vision insurance policy covers the same thing as the next. Make sure to pick a policy that specifically covers your family’s needs. 
  • Your eye doctor did not negotiate your benefits, but they will provide you with the best vision care possible under your policy. 
  • Online purchases may or may not be covered online. They usually only cover in-person visits and procedures. 
  • Some vision plans can help with the cost of vision correction surgeries. 
  • Vision insurance can help provide and offer affordable long term eye and physical health care. 

Insurance can be a tricky thing to deal with, but that doesn’t mean it has to be. We are here to talk you through your options if you have any concerns or questions. Also, make sure to speak with your insurance provider and employer to see what vision insurance is available to you. Before you turn it down because you think you can’t afford it, remember how much more you’ll have to pay when an emergency or yearly visit comes up. Insurance can help you save money in the long run. We are always here to support you and your family! Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs!

Contact Lens Fitting; What To Expect

When it’s time to start wearing contacts, you’ll need to have a Contact Lens Fitting. What does this entail and what should you expect?


In one of our most recent blogs, we talked about the difference between soft and hard contacts. At the very beginning of that blog, we mentioned that we only fit lenses that are healthy for the patient and provide the most comfortable wearing experiences. We wanted to dive a little deeper into this subject and discuss what exactly goes into a proper lens fitting. We want to give you a better idea of what you might expect when visiting our offices to get your contacts!


Please know that we do not offer generic brand contacts and do not fit lenses that have an increased incidence of eye infections. Our physicians and staff will walk you through an extensive patient history to pick which lens material, wear schedule, sleep schedule, and replacement schedule is right for you and your new contacts. Our physicians and contact lens technicians are trained with many different types of lenses including Air Optix, Proclear, Acuvue Oasys, and more! They are also trained in providing multiple types of contact lens designs; Spherical, Toric, and Multi-Focal.


The Appointment

Is it time for contacts? Then it’s time for a contact lens fitting. This is more than just a general eye exam, and it will have a different flow of procedure. Make sure to plan efficient time for this appointment, and give yourself at least an hour to spend with us. Don’t rush through this appointment, especially if it’s your first experience wearing contacts. During your appointment, you will be spending time with our staff and doctors to evaluate which contact lenses are the best for the shape of your eyes, your lifestyle, and what you do for a living. Once a contact is chosen, they will make sure it covers your eye properly, moves as it should, if it causes any surface problems, and if they cause any issue with your cornea. Our staff will also spend time to ensure that you know how to put in and take out your contacts, that you feel comfortable with using them, and that you know how to clean them properly. You will receive a complimentary pair of lenses and any care needed within the first three months of your first fitting. This is generally 1-3 visits.  


What Else To Expect

While a contact lens fitting is different from a normal eye appointment, there are similar features. Your doctor will still check on the overall health of your eye, you will put test contacts in your eyes after a prescription has been determined, and you will spend time getting used to the feel of the contact in your eye. Your doctor will spend time analyzing the shape and condition of your eyes, their specific needs, and your lifestyle before having you put in a pair for the first time. They aren’t going to rush their choice, so the first or second pair will most likely be the best fit for you. Please make sure to speak up if you’re not comfortable with the choices provided. We will make sure to work with you to find the best option possible.


Be Prepared

Contact and glasses fittings are two very different things. Glasses are measured and picked to sit away from your eyes while contacts are measured to sit right on the surface of your eyes. Be prepared to talk about different types of contacts. Your doctor could walk you through the pros and cons of soft and hard contacts. Also, be prepared to discuss the future of your contacts and how you want them to help your changing eyesight over time. When coming into a fitting, if you already wear glasses, bring those with you. Do not wear eye makeup. This will allow your contacts to stay clean as you put them and take them out.


We hope our last few blogs dedicated to contacts have been eye-opening. We hope this helps you feel more confident in making this step if it appears in your future. We are always here to answer any questions you might have and to discuss your best options. We are always here to support you and your family! As we begin to head back to some sense of normal, continue to stay safe. Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs!

Is Screen-Time Affecting Your Child’s Eyesight?

With the world making us spend more time indoors, our smart devices are being used more than ever. How is this changing and affecting your child’s eyesight? 


The last few months have been dedicated to getting through them safely and staying as healthy as possible. With schools closing and spending so much time at home, we have all be spending more time on our smart devices. Our children finished their school year online, stayed in touch with their friends virtually, and stayed active by participating in online activities. How is this screentime affecting their eyes? Before the pandemic made its appearance tablets, phones, and other smart devices were becoming more popular with younger generations. The discussion debating what this was doing to young eyes, and how it could affect them later down the line, had already begun. Now that these smart objects have become necessities, how will they continue to affect our children’s eyes? How can we protect them?  

Screentime can go beyond harming your eyesight. It can also begin to disturb your sleep patterns. Children need a lot of sleep every day to help with growth and development. Messing with this can interfere with their progress.  When children are tired, they also may have more tantrums, difficulty focusing at school or on everyday tasks, and have a weaker immune system. Plus, a tired child leads to tantrums, not being able to focus at school or during everyday tasks, and can affect their immune system. There is a blue light that is emitted from your phone and smart screens that when looked at in the evening, can trick the brain into thinking it’s daytime. This will shift the body’s circadian rhythm. Movies and video games can also give off this blue light. When it’s getting close to bedtime, start winding down without any devices. It is recommended that you don’t keep or use any smart devices in your child’s room for this reason. 


Too much screentime can lead to irritated and dry eyes. Staring at a screen for long periods can cause the eyes to blink less often. This denies the eyes of staying properly lubricated. It can also cause the eyes to become tired and strained, which puts a lot of pressure on young eyes. It can also damage the flexibility of your child’s eyes, as they remain stationary to a screen or item up close. Thankfully this is not a permanent issue, but it can be very frustrating for our little ones. Headaches can also become an issue, while temporary, they can return frequently and be very painful. Neck pain, double vision, head pain, burning and itchy eyes, fatigue, and loss of focus can also appear in children who spend too much time staring at their screens. 


According to the American Optometric Association, 41% of parents say their kids spend at least 3 hours a day on their digital devices. The same study shows that 66% of kids have their own tablets or smartphones. The pandemic has changed how children are learning. They are using their eyes in different ways and putting new demands on their bodies. To help with social standing and keep their children entertained, parents have also relaxed their strict rules about how long their children can stay on these devices on days when their children have to be indoors. This additional screentime can begin to cause other issues, such as nearsightedness. Glasses and contacts can correct this issue, but having very severe nearsightedness can indicate more serious issues down the line; it can lead to macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and glaucoma. 


How to Help: 

  • Take more time to play outdoors and as a family.  
  • Make clear rules about how long your children can watch TV, play video games, be on the computer, be on their phones, and when. Make sure they know when they’re allowed to use them for fun and when they need to be used as educational tools. 
  • Make a “no screen rule” together, where no one is allowed on their phones. For example, having no screen time at the dinner table, out to eat, or while you’re driving. 
  • If your children have to work on their smart devices, make sure they take a 20-second break every 20 minutes. Have them get up and stretch and look at something different father away from the screens they were looking at. 
  • Remind your children to blink while they’re working. 
  • Switch up the media your children are using. If they are reading online, have them alternate between the screen and an actual book. 
  • Try to not use computers outside. Natural light reflected by the screen can be damaging to the eyes. 
  • Promote good posture with your children while they’re working at the computer or any smart device. Make their workspace comfortable and supportive during long hours of work. Have a desk and chair that supports them, keeps their posture up, and is comfortable. 

We hope this gave you a better idea of how long screen times can affect your children’s eyes and what you can be doing to help prevent issues in the future. If you have any questions or worries, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to support you and your family! As we begin to head back to some sense of normal, continue to stay safe. Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs! 

Soft Vs. Hard Contacts; What’s the Difference?

Curious about the perfect contact for your eyes? We are here with all of the information you need to know! 


Your eye care journey can be an interesting one. You might make many different choices and changes over the years. Sometimes something that worked for you in the beginning, won’t always last the whole lifespan of needing contacts and glasses. That’s ok! Needing to make the switch from soft to hard contacts? Have you never worn contacts before? Are you making the switch from glasses to contacts? Have no fear! All your answers are here! Here at Ocean Eye, we only fit lenses that are healthy for the patient and provide the most comfortable wearing experience. 


Making the switch to contacts or wearing contacts isn’t for everyone. Making the choice is a very personal one and one you need to take very seriously. Sometimes this decision is based on pure need. Contacts can help you stay safe while being active, working, driving, and beyond. Other times, wearing contacts is just the preferred look of the wearer. Whatever choice you make, make sure you are taking proper care to clean, store, and wear your contacts correctly. Make sure you wear them as prescribed, and change them when it’s time. Make sure that if you don’t know how to put in or care for your contacts that a professional shows you how. 


We are here to help you pick out your perfect contacts. Some contacts you only wear once and replace every day. Others can be worn up to a whole month. There are different types of contacts out there too. The type you wear will be recommended to you based on comfort, need, and eye shape. The most common types of contacts are soft and rigid gas permeable contacts. Rigid gas permeable contacts are also referred to as hard contacts. What’s the difference between the two? What are some of the pros and cons? What are some tips to help to wear and care for both? In today’s blog, that is what we will be discussing! 


SOFT CONTACTS 

Soft contacts first made their appearance in the optic world in the early 70’s. This type of contact is known as the most comfortable and the easiest to wear between the two. They are also the most commonly prescribed by doctors. They are made of light, soft, and very flexible silicone hydrogel. They mold to the shape of your eyes and stay put. The plastic allows oxygen to pass through the cornea, which promotes both comfort and the overall good health of your eyes. They are easy to get used to for first-time wearers and long term wearers. They can help with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and more. Daily contacts that you throw out after one use don’t need to be cleaned. You can also get soft contacts that come with tints and bifocals. They are also more difficult to pop out of your eye than RGP contacts, which ensures that you lose them less frequently! 

  • Disadvantages: 
    • Your vision might not be as sharp compared to RGP contacts. 
    • They do wear out and need to be replaced frequently. 
    • They are less durable than hard contacts. 
    • They do not correct every eye problem. 
  • Tips for Wearing: 
    • Wash and dry your hands before putting them in and taking them out. 
    • Clean your case every day and let it dry. 
    • Clean, rinse, and disinfect them after every use. 
    • Always use the proper drops and solutions made for your soft contacts. 
    • Don’t wear them beyond their prescribed time. 

HARD CONTACTS

Rigid gas permeable contacts are made out of stiff plastic that does not mold to your eye as soft contacts do, but they have a lot of other wonderful benefits. Sadly, as beneficial as they can be, hard contacts come with a bad reputation. They were very uncomfortable in their early years, but they have come a long way since the 70’s. They used to be made out of material that didn’t allow hardly any oxygen into the cornea. Today, RGP contacts allow plenty of oxygen to reach the cornea. They give the wearer very crisp and clear vision and are very durable. They have been known to help slow the development of nearsightedness and can correct most astigmatism. They are very easy to care for, they don’t get dry or dehydrate, they always keep their shape, and they can help with cornea refraction therapy. RGP contacts don’t change shape so they are always in focus. They allow more oxygen into the eyes than soft contacts do, making them the healthiest option. They are a great option for wearers who have unique eye shapes that don’t adjust to soft contacts well. They are also great for those who suffer from dry eyes. If you’ve been unsatisfied with soft contacts, consider trying RGP contact lenses instead. While it does take time to get used to them and they aren’t as comfortable, if they’re well cared for, they can last up to 2 to 3 years before needing to be replaced! 

  • Disadvantages: 
    • You have to wear them consistently for your eyes to adjust to them. 
    • They can move around more often.  
    • Debris can get under the lens. 
    • They can get scratched. 
  • Tips for Wearing: 
    • Don’t wear them while swimming or showering. This can help reduce the chance of infection. 
    • Only use solutions and drops that are specifically made for RGP contacts. 
    • Once a week, use an enzymatic cleaner to get rid of any protein buildup on the contact. 
    • Clean and store them properly every night. 
    • Don’t wear them for weeks or days at a time without cleaning. 

Picking out contacts can be a hard decision. There is a lot to consider when it’s time to make a choice. Beyond the information we provided, you also need to consider your eye conditions, your lifestyle, your budget, and which feels best in your eyes. It might take time to come to a permanent decision, but that’s okay. We are here to answer any questions or walk you through any concerns. We are here to support you and your family! As we begin to head back to some sense of normal, continue to stay safe. Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs! 

Eye Conditions: Age-Related Macular Degeneration

For this week’s blog, we are finishing up our series about eye conditions found in adults. We hope you’ve learned something new. We are always here for you in your eye health journey. 


Hello, everyone! This is our third and final blog in our adult eye condition series. Thank you so much for following along. Today we will be discussing Age-Related Macular Degeneration. We will be discussing its early warning signs, how you can prevent it, and its causes. 


Age-related macular degeneration – or AMD – is another cause of vision loss in those over 60. It is a disease that affects your retina and will lead to the loss of vision in the center of your eye. This is caused when a part of your retina, called the macula, wears down. The macula is located at the center of your retina. You will be able to see at the peripheral sides of your vision, but that middle part of your vision will go away. There are two types of AMD, wet and dry. Dry AMD is the most common between the two. If you have dry AMD, little clumps of frusch, or protein, grow and cause you to lose that central part of your vision. Wet AMD is much less common but more damaging to the eye. Abnormal blood vessels grow under your retina and could leak fluids or blood. This causes the macula to become scarred and damaged. This leads to the loss of that central part of your vision. It is important to continue with regular checkups with your optometrist. Many people who have this disease won’t know they have it until their vision begins to blur. It is best to catch it early to slow its progression. According to the America Degeneration Foundation, there is no cure. Research is still being conducted to find one.

The treatment for the early stages of dry AMD includes a healthy diet high in antioxidants to help support the health of the macula. This will make the chances of the macula breaking down much smaller. If dry AMD is further along, it can be treated with supplements with higher levels of minerals and vitamins. This continues to support healthy cell structure within the eye. Treatments for wet AMD are more complicated. Scientists and doctors have found some success with laser treatments. But, these treatments aren’t always guaranteed. Most would prefer to find a much better and different option. 


HOW TO HELP

There are a few things you can do right now to help decrease the risk of AMD. They can also slow down the progress if you’re at high risk. 

  • Continue to get regular eye exams. 
  • Always protect your eyes when you’re outside. Wear sunglasses and a hat. 
  • Maintain a consistent and healthy exercise regime. 
  • Keep your blood pressure at a healthy level. 
  • Eat a healthy and nutritious diet to maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Don’t smoke, and quit if you already are. 

SYMPTOMS

As we’ve mentioned before, pay attention to any changes in your eyes and eyesight. AMD has very specific symptoms to be aware of. 

  • You develop a sensitivity to glares. 
  • You begin having trouble seeing or reading in low light.
  • If you see blurry sections when reading. 
  • Straight lines become wavy or distorted. 
  • Your vision becomes blurry. 

AT RISK

Like many other conditions, there are a few facts that play into your chances of getting AMD. 

  • If your family has a history of AMD.
  • You have high blood pressure, or high blood pressure runs in the family. 
  • You are 50 years of age or older. 
  • If you are a smoker. 
  • If you’re overweight. 
  • If you have a poor diet. 

We hope you enjoyed your continued education in this blog series. After reading all three, continue to take your eye care to heart. Pay attention to all of the risk factors, be aware of your family’s health history, and follow all of the preventative health steps. Don’t forget to get regular eye exams, and call us if you haven’t made an appointment for one yet. We are here to help and support you during this potentially difficult time. As we begin to head back to some sense of normal, continue to stay safe. Until next time, we are here for all of your eye care needs!