Contact Lens Health Week

How Often Should I Change My Contacts? 

August 16th-21st is Contact Lens Health Week. So there is no better time than this to discuss the importance of replacing your contact lenses! 

How often should I change my contacts? Especially if you’re a new wearer of contacts, this is a very common question. However, the answer has become more confusing over time as more and more types of contacts have become available. Some contacts are replaced once every two weeks, others are replaced every month, and some are even replaced daily! It’s important to know the lifespan of your contacts so that you can treat them well and keep your eyes healthy.

First, check the box of the lenses that you were prescribed by your optometrist.The manufacturer should have provided a “recommended usage,” which will help you know how long your contacts should last. If you can’t find this information, don’t be afraid to consult your optometry office for help. 

The Basics

All contact lenses must be replaced frequently, even those that are perfectly maintained. If contact lenses are not replaced frequently enough, protein deposits and contamination may build up on the surface of the contact, increasing your risk of developing an eye infection. Most people use soft contacts, which are especially susceptible to deposits and contamination. Gas permeable contact lenses can last a year or longer before requiring replacement.

Remember that the wear schedule provided is for a maximum amount of time. So if your contact lens is beginning to irritate your eye or you notice a tear before you’ve reached the end of the wear schedule, throw the lens out and open up a new lens. Always put the health of your eyes first!

The Lifespan of Contact Lenses

When it comes to lifespan, there are five general types of contact lenses:

  • Daily Disposable: Daily disposable contacts are replaced after one day of wear.
  • Bi-Weekly Disposable: Contact lenses are replaced after two weeks of wear.
  • Monthly Disposable: Contact lenses are replaced monthly. 
  • Gas Permeable/Scleral: With proper care, gas permeable lenses can last for years. Scleral lenses are very similar, except they go over the cornea to bypass irregular amounts of astigmatism.

About 40 percent of Americans who wear soft contacts are prescribed monthly contacts, about 35 percent use daily contacts, and about 24 percent use contacts that must be replaced every one to two weeks. Only 1 percent use contact lenses that can be replaced annually. 

Why It’s Important to Stick to Your Replacement Schedule

We know how easy it is to forget when you need to replace your contacts. For some people, it’s also tempting to continue wearing contacts past their expiration date if they aren’t showing wear and tear. Be sure to mark the date on your calendar or add an alert to your phone because it’s dangerous to wear your contacts past their prime. Even if your contacts don’t feel uncomfortable and your vision isn’t blurry, stick to your contact replacement schedule. In addition, even if you didn’t wear your contacts for the full use period (let’s say you opened up 30-day contacts, wore them once, and then wore your glasses for a week), you should still replace your contacts 30 days after you first used them.

If you don’t change them out, your contacts will accumulate protein deposits over time, reducing the amount of oxygen that can reach your eyes. This will make your eyes more prone to a variety of issues, including irritation, infections, blood vessel growth, and inflammation. Over time, these symptoms can lead to contact lens intolerance, permanent eye damage, or even vision loss.

Sleeping in your contacts is also quite dangerous if your lenses are not designed for overnight use. If it happens once, shrug it off but if you make a habit of wearing your contacts longer than they’re intended to be used, you could experience mild side effects like discomfort, red eye, or more major health concerns like corneal hypoxia (during which the eye is starved of oxygen), which can cause a corneal ulcer. In rare cases, this could even cause a severe infection.

Common Eye Exam Misconceptions

We can all agree that having healthy eyes is important, but did you know that only a little over 50% of people get annual eye exams? Why you might ask? According to a recent survey put out by VSP, a majority of people skip eye exams because they don’t think they need vision correction, think eye exams are expensive, or don’t have vision insurance. Although common, these reasons are often related to misconceptions about eye exams. Let’s clear the air and bust these myths.

Myth: Eye Exams are Unnecessary Those who don’t wear glasses or contacts might think, why would I need an eye exam? It’s a fair question. What most people don’t know is that an eye doctor can help detect early signs of more serious diseases and conditions through a comprehensive eye exam. Diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, thyroid diseases, and certain types of cancers can be detected through your eyes.

Although you might not have needed vision correction in the past, your eyes can change as you age. Perhaps when you were younger you could see objects up close, but as you get older those objects start to become blurry. Changes in your vision can be caught early by your eye doctor at an annual eye exam.

Myth: Children Don’t Need an Eye Exam Until They Start School

Children should have their first eye exam when they are six-months old. Most parents are unaware that eye exams should begin so young. Following a child’s first appointment at six-months old, eye exams should also take place at three years old, before starting elementary school, and then yearly thereafter.

Annual eye exams for kids are important because many children may not be able to articulate that they can’t see well. This becomes problematic because although eight in ten parents agree that regular eye exams help kids do their best in school, almost half wait until their child complains about their vision to schedule an eye exam.

Myth: Vision Insurance is Expensive

It’s important to find a vision insurance plan that fits you and your family’s eye care needs but also your budget. Many employers have insurance plans for their employees to select and give them different benefits depending on which plan is chosen. For those who do not have vision insurance, Ocean Eye, along with many other eyecare practices offer ‘self-pay’ pricing!

In summary, it is crucial to understand the importance of eyecare. If you are unsure about anything, please feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment to speak with one of our eye care providers!

The Importance of Sunglasses

5 Reasons You Should Wear Sunglasses More Often

Have you ever wondered if you actually need sunglasses? 

Summer is right around the corner, so there is no better time to talk about the importance of good quality shades! 

Aside from being known as an awesome style accessory, sunglasses have a load of benefits for your eyes. They cut down on glare, prevent eye conditions, and protect against UV damage. With all that going for them, here are the top five reasons you should get some high-quality shades and wear them regularly!

1. Sunglasses protect your eyes from the elements.

If you love taking part in outdoor activities, such as biking, skiing, or running, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sand, dust, debris, and UV radiation. Sand, wind, and dust can all irritate your eyes and even scratch the cornea, sometimes causing permanent damage. Even snow, while less abrasive, reflects UV rays from the sun at your eyes. If you’re spending a lot of time in the snow without sunglasses, it can cause “snow blindness,” a temporary loss of vision due to overexposure to the UV rays reflected off ice and snow. 

2. Sunglasses help prevent certain eye diseases related to the sun.

Prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can lead to cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium. Cataracts involve a clouding of the eye’s lens that causes blurred vision; macular degeneration results from deterioration of the macula in the retina that destroys central vision; and pterygium involves tissue growth on the eyeball. Studies also report that a number of eye cancers are associated with extreme exposure to UV radiation. You can lower your risk if you wear sunglasses that protect against UVB and UVA radiation.

3. You’ll be able to see more and enjoy the view more than otherwise.

In addition to protecting your eye health, wearing sunglasses will simply help you see better in bright light. They cut down on glare and improve the colors and contrast of your view, so you can better take in your outdoor surroundings or drive more safely. Even on somewhat cloudy days, wearing sunglasses while driving can improve your vision and cut down on glare. If you’re out fishing instead of driving, you’ll also be able to see past the surface of water more easily without that bright, reflective glare! 

4. Sunglasses will help protect your eyes if they are recovering from a procedure.

Corrective eye surgeries are common these days, including LASIK and cataract surgery. It’s important that you continue to wear sunglasses after the procedure to help your eyes heal properly. The sunglasses will help protect your eyes from damage and ensure your eyes heal smoothly and quickly.

5. You’ll be able to avoid headaches and migraines.

For many people who regularly get migraines or bad headaches, bright sunlight can be a major trigger. Wearing sunglasses allows you to soak up the sun without risking extreme pain and discomfort.

Whatever reason appeals most to you, the important message is that sunglasses keep your eyes protected and help you to be more comfortable in the outdoors. So make sure to get a pair of high quality sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays and wear them regularly! 

Healthy Vision Month

Promoting the importance of healthy vision and yearly eye exams is a daily commitment for optometrists, but it is a message that is especially strong in May. This month we observe Healthy Vision Month, organized by the National Eye Institute (NEI). 

Healthy vision is a very important part of life and taking good care of your eyes should be a priority just like eating healthy and physical activity. To keep your eyes healthy, you should have a comprehensive eye exam yearly where an eye care professional will check for common vision problems and eye diseases. It is the best way to find out if you need glasses, contacts, or are in the early stages of any eye-related diseases.

Vision Health for All Ages

Though people tend to have more vision problems as they age, children need eye exams to ensure healthy vision, too. Only about 40 percent of preschool aged children have had their vision tested. 

Amblyopia (when vision in one eye does not develop properly during childhood. It is sometimes called “lazy eye”) is the most common cause of vision loss in children, affecting 3 of every 100 children.

Other eye conditions, such as refractive errors, which happen when the shape of the eye prevents light from focusing directly on the retina, are common problems easily corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery. An estimated 11 million Americans aged 12 years and older could have better vision if they used corrective lenses or had eye surgery. 

Some eye conditions can cause vision loss and even blindness. These include:

  • Cataracts – a clouding of the lens.
  • Diabetic retinopathy – associated with diabetes which causes damage to the blood vessels in the back of the eye.
  • Glaucoma – damage to the optic nerve, often with increased eye pressures.
  • Age-related Macular Degeneration – which gradually affects central vision

Eye Exams: How Often?

  • Children’s eyes should be checked regularly by an eye doctor or pediatrician. 
  • The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends vision screenings for all children aged 3 to 5 years to find conditions such as amblyopia or strabismus, which can be treated effectively if caught early.
  • People with diabetes should have a dilated eye exam every year.
  • People that are at a higher risk for glaucoma, including:
    • African Americans 40 years and older
    • All adults older than 60, especially Mexican Americans
    • People with a family history of glaucoma

Nine ways you can help protect your vision

  1. Get annual comprehensive eye exams.
  2. Know your family’s eye health history. It’s important to know if anyone has been diagnosed with an eye disease or condition, since many eye diseases are hereditary.
  3. Stay healthy: In particular, eat plenty of dark leafy greens such as spinach and kale, and fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids
  4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home, such as painting, yard work, and home repairs.
  5. Wear sunglasses that block 99 percent-100 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation.
  6. Wash your hands before taking out your contacts and cleanse your contact lenses properly to avoid infection.

Eyes and Overall Health

Taking care of your eyes also may benefit your overall health. People with vision problems are more likely than those with good vision to have diabetes, poor hearing, heart problems, high blood pressure, lower back pain and strokes, as well as have increased risk for falls, injury and depression. Of people ages 65 and older, more than 50 percent of those who are blind and 40 percent of those with impaired vision say their overall health is fair or poor. Only about 20 percent of older Americans without vision problems reported fair to poor health.

In addition to your comprehensive dilated eye exams, visit an eye care professional if you have:

  • Decreased vision
  • Eye pain
  • Redness of the eye
  • Double vision
  • Diabetes
  • Floaters (tiny specks that appear to float before your eyes)
  • Circles (halos) around light sources or flashes 
  • Family history of eye diseases 

For this Healthy Vision Month, take care of your eyes to make them last a lifetime!

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.


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 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.


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.


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.  


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!

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!

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! 

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. 


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. 


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. 


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! 

Eye Conditions: Glaucoma

As we continue with our most recent blog series, we are going to be discussing our second eye condition found in adults, glaucoma. 

Hello again, everyone! We hope as you read this, you remain healthy and safe. As the (online) school year has begun to wind down, have you scheduled your children’s yearly eye appointments yet? Now that the Lowcountry is slowly reopening, our appointments will begin filling up very quickly. You won’t want to miss out or wait longer than you need to get your child into their next eye appointment! The same goes for you! Don’t forget that your eyes need care and love too. Today, we are going to continue with our blog series on eye conditions found in adults. Our second topic of this series is going to be glaucoma, its early warning signs and risk factors, and how you can slow the progression or help prevent blindness or significant vision loss from the disease.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 60. It can happen at all ages, but it is most commonly found in people over the age of 40. At this time, it can’t be prevented. If it is detected early and is treated right away, it is a condition that can be controlled. Surgery and medication can also help slow or prevent continued vision loss. Glaucoma has no warning signs.  Unless you are having regular eye appointments, it can go unnoticed until you see a drastic change in your vision as a result of glaucoma. These changes can be mild or very drastic. If you do have the condition and it is caught in time, you will most likely be able to maintain your eyesight. You will also have to continue with your glaucoma treatment for the rest of your life. 


There are multiple different types of glaucoma, each with its own scale of symptoms and severity. Glaucoma is a condition that damages the optic nerve by extremely high pressure in your eye. The optic nerve sends important signals from the eye to the brain to register and recognize what it is seeing. In its most basic and common form, primary open-angle glaucoma, the fluid pressure inside the eye increases drastically causing damage to the optic nerve over time and can lead to the loss of nerve fibers. Advanced glaucoma can lead to blindness. Right now, according to the American Optometric Association, there are many theories on what causes glaucoma, but the actual cause is still unknown. 


The symptoms that you could experience if you are developing or have glaucoma vary. Some appear without symptoms until it is very late in the process Other kinds of glaucoma have very painful and uncomfortable symptoms. The second most common form of glaucoma, acute angle-closure glaucoma, could have symptoms such as: 

  • Redness of the eyes
  • You begin to see halos around lights
  • Your vision becomes blurred
  • You experience vomiting or nausea 
  • You experience eye pain 
  • You have severe headaches

If you have developed the most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma, you might experience symptoms such as:

  • Patchy or blind spots in either your central or side vision. This will happen frequently in both of your eyes. 
  • If you’ve reached the advanced stages, you will experience tunnel vision. 

Glaucoma can be very serious. To help, there are a few things you can be doing right now to help prevent it or help to slow its process. 

  • Make sure to wear proper eye protection while working or playing sports. Serious eye damage and injury, that could have been prevented if protection had been worn, could lead to the development of glaucoma. 
  • If you have already been diagnosed and you are now taking medicine to help slow the process, make sure you take them exactly as prescribed. 
  • Maintain a healthy diet, a healthy body weight, and exercise regularly. 
  • Be knowledgeable about your family’s eye health history. It is common for it to be passed down from generation to generation, and glaucoma runs in families. If you know you’re at risk early on, you can begin watching out for it sooner, catching it as quickly as possible if it does appear. 
  • When you do have an eye examination, don’t pass on getting your eyes dilated. Having dilated eye exams regularly will allow your optometrist to give you a total comprehensive eye exam. 

To help with early detection, there is a list of risk factors that you need to be aware of. Each of these could lead to a higher probability of glaucoma appearing in your eyes. 

  • If you take steroids, and steroid eye drops for long periods of time, you could be more susceptible. 
  • Serious eye injury or eye surgery. 
  • Serious farsightedness or nearsightedness. 
  • Thin corneas. 
  • If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, sickle cell anemia, you are more likely to develop glaucoma. 
  • If you have a history of glaucoma in your family. 
  • Your age: If you’re over the age of 60, be aware that you are at high risk. 
  • Your race: Glaucoma is more common to appear if you are African American, Asian, or Hispanic.

If you are over 60, have a family history of glaucoma, or any of these high-risk factors, please make sure to visit us often. If you are experiencing any changes in your eyesight or are experiencing any of the symptoms, we have listed above, please contact us. We are here to help and support you during and through 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!