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Posts tagged ‘optometrist’

Focus on Astigmatism

AstigmatismAstigmatism is a type of refractive error of the eye. It is not a disease of the eye. Rather, it is simply a problem with how the eye focuses light. Other types of common refractive errors include nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia). Frequently, astigmatism and nearsightedness or farsightedness affect one or both eyes simultaneously.

Clear and crisp vision is created by how different parts of the eye bend or refract light that passes through them. The process of refracting light to achieve perfect vision starts at the front part of the eye with the cornea. The process continues as light travels through the lens of the eye and ends with light properly focusing at a single point on the retina located at the back of the eye.

In an eye with astigmatism, there is an irregular shape of either the cornea or the lens of the eye. This irregularity makes it difficult to focus light precisely on the retina.  Instead, light comes to a focus either in front of the retina or behind the retina, resulting in distorted vision. Astigmatism usually will cause blurred vision in objects being viewed at both far distances in close proximity.

Corneal Astigmatism

The cornea is the clear, rounded-dome part of the eye covering the iris and the pupil. In a normal eye, the cornea is smooth and equally curved in all directions. As described above, this is essential for properly refracting light that enters the eye and creating clear vision. If the cornea has an irregular shape, it will not refract light properly. This type of astigmatism is called corneal astigmatism.

Lenticular Astigmatism

Just like with the cornea, the shape of the lens of the eye must be equally curved in all directions to correctly refract light and achieve perfect vision. If the lens has an abnormal shape, it will not bend light accurately. This type of astigmatism is referred to as lenticular astigmatism.

Correcting Astigmatism

Similar to nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism can usually be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses.

In the past, rigid contact lenses could only be utilized for astigmatism. Now, special types of soft contact lenses called toric contact lenses are available for astigmatism.

The appropriate type of corrective lens used for the correction of astigmatism, whether eyeglasses, soft contact lenses or rigid contact lenses is typically determined by the severity of the astigmatism.

Surgery is also an option for some people to correct astigmatism, including laser eye surgery (LASIK).

Importance of Starting Regular Eye Exams Early in Life

Astigmatism usually causes vision to be distorted regardless of whether the object being viewed is close or far away.  The blurred vision from astigmatism may lead to squinting, eye strain and chronic headaches. For adults, these symptoms are easily identified. However, they may difficult for a child to recognize.

Astigmatism often occurs early in life. In fact, many people are born with it. Detecting astigmatism early is important for a child not only to identify and correct vision problems but also to help prevent other developmental issues.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends infants have their first eye exam conducted when they reach 6 months of age. Testing for astigmatism is one of the reasons why an eye exam is important so early in a child’s life.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

Learn About Double Vision Double Vision

Double visionDouble vision, or diplopia, is exactly what the name suggests. It’s a condition that causes you to see two images of the same object. The duplicate images may be seen horizontally, vertically or diagonally in relation to one another.

It’s important to understand the basics about diplopia and what double vision may be telling you about your overall health.

Types of Double Vision

There are two types of double vision. Monocular diplopia is double vision that occurs in only one eye. The double vision will not subside when the other eye is covered. Binocular diplopia is double vision that is related to both eyes.  The double vision will stop when one of the eyes is covered.

Causes of Monocular Diplopia

Monocular diplopia can be caused by a variety of eye conditions including:

  1. Astigmatism:  An abnormal curvature of the front surface of the cornea.
  2. Dry Eye:  Insufficient tears are produced to lubricate the eye.
  3. Cataracts: The lens of the eye becomes cloudy and less transparent.
  4. Swelling of the Eyelid:  Swelling in the eyelid may assert pressure on the eye.
  5. Keratoconus: The cornea of the eye becomes thin and cone-shaped.
  6. Pterygium:  The mucous membrane that lines the whites of the eye and under surface of the eyelids (known as conjunctiva) becomes thick.
  7. Dislocated Lens: Ligaments that secure the lens in place are damaged or broken causing the lens to wiggle.

Causes of Binocular Diplopia

Typically, any problem affecting the muscles around the eye that control the direction of your vision (known as extraocular muscles) can lead to double vision. Conditions causing double vision may include:

  1. Diabetes:  This disease can affect the nerves that control movement of the extraocular muscles.
  2. Myasthenia Gravis:  A neuromuscular condition which causes muscles to weaken and tire easily.
  3. Graves’ Disease:  This disease causes the thyroid gland to become overactive and produce too many hormones. As a result, swelling may occur in the muscles that control eye movement.
  4. Strabismus:  This condition is commonly referred to as “cross eye” or “wandering eye”. It’s a condition where the eyes deviate or turn when looking at an object.
  5. Trauma to Eye Muscles:  The muscles that control eye movement can be damaged by some sort of trauma to your face such as being hit in the face with an object or a punch.    

 

Visit Your Eye Doctor

Double vision can be a signal for a variety of conditions outlined above and many other health problems not listed here. If you or a member of your family experience double vision, it’s important to see your eye doctor. Usually, the double vision can be treated by correcting or managing its cause.

Learn more about quality eye care and eye wear from a company and a team of eye care professionals who have been providing a superior level of service for more than 35 years. Please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

A Time for Evaluating Vision and Eye Care

Evaluating Vision and Eye CareThe start of each New Year brings a time for evaluation and change.  Assessing vision and eye care are important steps in maximizing and maintaining eye health for you and your entire family.

 

 

 

Here are a few important questions to ask yourself:

  •  When was my and my family members’ last eye exam?
  • Are my and/or my family’s eye glasses prescription(s) up to date?
  • Are my and/or my family’s contact lenses prescription(s) up to date?
  • Is my and my family members’ vision clear both at a distance and close up?
  • Do I strain or do I notice my family member’s straining to see either at a distance or when reading?
  • Am I happy with the eye care and the eye wear my family and I have been receiving in the past?

 If upon answering these questions, you realize it’s time to see an eye care professional, consider the following:

 Training  

It’s important to find an eye care specialist with the proper training to meet your and your family’s unique requirements. Be sure when selecting an eye doctor you investigate their education, training, licensure and other credentials to confirm he or she offers the services that match your needs. You can confirm credentials by contacting your state’s board of optometry.

 

Experience

Experience is a critical characteristic in the selection of an eye doctor, especially if you or a family member has complicated eye conditions. Experience enhances an eye doctor’s abilities and skills so they can catch eye problems early as well as detect other potential health problems through eye examinations.

 

Reputation

The recommendation of a friend, family member or co-worker can be a great resource to point you in the right direction for selecting an eye doctor.  The Better Business Bureau can also be a great tool.

Quality and Customer Service

When it comes to your eye care and eye wear needs, you are a customer. You have choices of where to go and who to give your business to. You should be treated with respect and provided friendly and professional service. You should also be offered products that are made with quality and serve your eye care needs precisely.

Long Term Relationships

Finding an eye doctor that you and your family can build a long term relationship with is also a vital element that should not be overlooked. You should be relaxed with your eye doctor and communicate with him or her so your eye doctor can understand you, your family, your lifestyle, your careers and how best to provide the eye care that will be critical to the eye health of you and your family members at every stage of life.

To learn about a company and a team of eye care professionals that have been operating based on the above for more than 30 years, please visit www.shawneeoptical.com.

The Importance of Eye Care at Every Stage in Your Life

Vision problems are common and affect everyone from infants to senior citizens. Proper eye care and eye wear at every stage in life are very important in order to see clearly and prevent future eye health issues.

A problem with a child’s vision can be the underlying cause of learning difficulties in school. The process of learning is highly visual and is dependent on clear vision. Eye care for children begins at the start of life. A pediatrician should examine a new born infant’s eyes at birth. Eye examinations should also be performed when a child is 6 months old, 2 years old, then at least every two years after that unless more frequent examinations are required.

Teenagers are prone to ultraviolet rays from the sun and the harmful impact ultraviolet rays can have on eyes if protective eye wear such as sunglasses are not used. Research shows 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to ultraviolet rays occurs by the age of 18. Extra-curricular school activities such as sports often times necessitate protective or corrective eye wear.  Clear vision helps teens participating in these programs perform at their best. Protective eye wear worn during these types of activities prevents eye injuries. Regular eye examinations during the teen years are essential to future eye health.

Corrected vision and healthy eyes are vital to adults. We all live very busy lives and need to take care of all aspects of our health, including eye health, in order to cope with stress and enjoy life to the fullest. While you may not notice any issues with your vision or overall eye health, a regular eye exam is still necessary to detect problems that may be emerging. If your family has a history of eye disease, diabetes and high blood pressure, regular eye exams must be conducted to monitor and identify whether or not these conditions are affecting you.

As we continue to age and reach the advanced stages of life, the risk of eye disease and eye problems increases dramatically.  Annual eye examinations are critical to maintaining vision and staying active during your senior years.

Developing a trusted relationship with an eye care professional is just as important as your relationship with a primary care physician.  At Shawnee Optical, we have been nurturing long-term relationships with patients for over 30 years. We get know our patients, their families and their lifestyles. This helps us understand their eye health history, their susceptibility to specific eye problems, their eye wear needs and enables us to deliver the very best eye care and level of service.  A relationship like this saves our patients both time and money.

To learn more about eye care and Shawnee Optical, please visit our website at www.shawneeoptical.com.

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