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Your Eyes Are the Windows to Your Health

Your eyes aren’t just the windows to your soul — they can also reveal valuable information about your general health beyond whether you need glasses, including: diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. It is not unusual for people to come in for an eye exam just to check their eyesight and then have certain health issues or predispositions picked up by the optometrist.

Eye Exams and Your Health

Eye examinations can help doctors detect general health conditions early enough to intervene. Advanced screenings enable eye doctors to better predict cardiovascular incidents like stroke, and possibly detect signs of mental changes such as Alzheimer’s. Read below to learn how eye exams can unveil a whole lot more than just eye health.

Brain Cancer & Stroke

Because of the similarities between the blood vessels in the eye and brain, an eye doctor can occasionally detect an issue taking place in the brain by examining the blood vessels in the eyes. If swelling or shadows in the eye is observed, it may indicate a serious condition in the brain, like a tumor, or clots that might result in a stroke.

Diabetes

Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). If an optometrist detects leaky blood vessels in the eye, the patient would be advised to see a doctor to help control their blood sugar. Changes are gradual, and they start before visual symptoms are noticed. The earlier diabetic eye disease is managed, the better the chances are of preserving eyesight.

Hypertension

High blood pressure, characterized by having too much pressure in the blood vessels, can be detected during an eye exam, sometimes even before it’s diagnosed by your regular doctor. The damaged blood vessels lead to swelling, hemorrhages, and leaking — all of which can be observed in the eyes. According to the CDC, hypertension “the silent killer” affects nearly 1 in 3 adults, and up to a whopping 20% of those don’t even know they have it. So early detection at an eye doctor’s evaluation can be truly life-saving.

High Cholesterol

Eye exams can also detect a buildup of cholesterol. High cholesterol is among the easiest conditions to spot during a complete eye exam, as the cholesterol deposits manifest on the front of the eye, appearing as a thin, gray rim around the cornea. It can also be detected in the retina by assessing artery and vein patterns.

These deposits may indicate the current or future development of Retinal Blood Vessel Occlusion, a condition where blockages restrict blood flow to the back of the eye, causing temporary or permanent vision loss.

First Eye Care Prestonwood Eye Clinic and Eyes and Health in Dallas, Texas

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future?

Our Dallas eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Heart Conditions

In some cases, heart conditions associated with a buildup of plaque in the carotid artery in the heart can also lead to deposits that clog the ocular arteries in the eye. If an optometrist detects such changes to the vascular structure at the back of the eye, he or she will typically recommend going to a specialist.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

Sudden vision loss may be attributed to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While the optometrist can recognize signs indicating the presence of MS, such as the color and appearance of the optic nerve, such cases will be referred for further testing to confirm the diagnosis.

Thyroid

Thyroid disease can make itself apparent through the eyes in several ways. The thyroid gland controls the hormones that regulate tear production so some thyroid disorders can cause dry eye disease. Additionally, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can make the extraocular muscles enlarge and stiffen, causing bulging eyes — an indicator of Graves’ disease.

Inflammation

Systemic conditions that are associated with inflammation in the body can have an inflammatory effect on the eyes. Uveitis, for example, causes eye inflammation, redness, and blurred vision, and tends to occur in people with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.

Cancer

Breast cancer, leukemia, and other metastatic cancers are occasionally discovered during an eye evaluation. In addition to brain cancer mentioned above, melanoma and basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) can be detected, and eye doctors can also diagnose lymphoma and other eye tumors. Eye exams save lives.

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What the Future Holds

Alzheimer’s

Recent studies show that a non-invasive and precise imaging device called Octa (optical coherence tomography angiography) can signal the presence of eye changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Because the retina is in many ways an extension of the brain, the altered blood vessels at the back of the eye offer a glimpse into the changes taking place within the brain.

Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s Disease can often be misdiagnosed as its early symptoms are characteristic of other conditions. Research has shown that subtle eye tremors, an early Parkinson’s marker, could be detectable using advanced eye exam technology. One day soon, practitioners may send patients to an eye doctor to test for this and other diseases.

Your Eye Doctor’s Appointment Could Change Your Life

So the next time you visit Dr. Elyse Lemery at First Eye Care Prestonwood in Dallas, remember that a comprehensive eye exam can do more than determine your eyeglasses or contacts prescription. Dr. Elyse Lemery can evaluate your eyes for existing or potential health issues, and communicate them to your primary care physician for the best possible care. By knowing that you’re at risk for a certain disease, you can take precautions early on and manage the condition as needed. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Call First Eye Care Prestonwood on 972-980-1772 to schedule an eye exam with our Dallas optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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8 Tips to Relieve Winter Dry Eyes

Signs of Eye and Vision Problems in Infants

Your Eyes Are the Windows to Your Health

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Wearing Colored Contact Lenses This Halloween? Beware and Take Care!

Countless adults, teens and even children will be wearing colored contact lenses this Halloween, but few are aware of the risks involved. Ever wondered what those cat-eye contacts are doing to your eyes? If you got them without a prescription, beware of health complications.

Enjoy a safe and happy Halloween by educating yourself and others about the dangers of wearing colored contact lenses without a prescription.

Why Can Over-The-Counter Colored Contact Lenses Cause Eye Damage?

Contact lenses made to change one’s appearance go by many names: cosmetic, theatrical, Halloween, circle, decorative, colored, or costume contact lenses. While it’s illegal to sell colored contact lenses without a prescription, authorities rarely enforce the law — which means they’re still accessible in many places.

Many people believe that wearing non-prescription color contact lenses can cause no harm. This unfortunate myth has led to many contact lens complications. For instance, when a person feels that a contact lens is “dry”, it could be because the lens is not a good fit. Ideally, the lens should follow the contour of the eye, and stay centered, with enough lens movement to allow tear exchange beneath the lens.

First Eye Care Prestonwood Eye Clinic and Colored Contact Lenses, Halloween in Dallas, Texas

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Dallas eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Furthermore, non-medical colored contact lenses are often produced by unlicensed manufacturers that tend to use inferior plastic and toxic materials, such as lead (often used in lens coloring), which can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. These illegal lenses may also contain high levels of bacteria from unsanitary packaging, shipping, and storage conditions.

Therefore, purchasing any kind of contact lenses without a prescription or medical oversight can result in a variety of eye complications, such as corneal abrasions, eye sores, conjunctivitis, other eye infections, vision impairment and, in rare cases, even permanent vision loss.

Even if you have perfect vision, all contact lenses, including colored contacts, require a prescription and proper fitting by an optometrist.

Contact us at First Eye Care Prestonwood and make an appointment with us to get properly examined for a contact lens prescription.

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The Dos and Don’ts of Colored Contact Lenses

DO make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam by an optometrist who will measure your eyes and properly fit you for contact lenses.

DO get a valid prescription that includes the measurements, expiration date and the contact lens brand name.

DO purchase the decorative contact lenses from a reliable retailer (hint: they should demand a prescription.)

DO follow the contact lens hygiene directives (cleaning, inserting and removing lenses) provided by your eye doctor.

DO make sure to undergo follow-up eye exams as directed by your eye care professional.

DON’T ever share contact lenses with anyone else.

So don’t let an eye infection get in the way of your fun this Halloween.

Wearing decorative lenses without a valid prescription can result in serious harm to your eyes, which can haunt you long after October 31st.

Get your comprehensive eye exam and contact lens fitting by an eye doctor in Dallas at First Eye Care Prestonwood.

Call First Eye Care Prestonwood on 972-980-1772 to schedule an eye exam with our Dallas optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Summer Heat Wave and Your Eyes

This summer, heat waves with scorching temperatures have hit communities nationwide, making an already hot summer even hotter. With high temps and heat waves in certain areas, it’s now more important than ever to protect yourself.

For best practices and tips for maintaining healthy vision in the summer heat, talk to us at First Eye Care Prestonwood.”

How Can Heat Affect Vision?

Staying out in the sun too long can give you a sunburn and make you feel exhausted. Did you know that it can affect your vision, too?

If you get dehydrated, lack of moisture can make it hard for your eyes to naturally produce enough tears, which can contribute to seasonal dry eye. If you already have dry eye, extremely dry heat can exacerbate your symptoms of itchy, red, sore, and irritated eyes.

Do you sit in front of a fan or air conditioning system? That may feel great, but it can also contribute to dryer and less comfortable eyes.

To give your eyes some temporary relief, keep artificial tears on hand. If your eyes still feel dry or uncomfortable, contact First Eye Care Prestonwood.

First Eye Care Prestonwood Eye Clinic and Dry Eyes, Sunglasses in Dallas, Texas

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Dallas eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

If You Love the Sun, Read This

Golden sunshine may sound dreamy, but too much isn’t a good thing.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be very harmful, and your eyes are no exception. UV radiation, which can gradually contribute to eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Dr. Elyse Lemery recommends that you always wear sunglasses with 100% of UVA and UVB light blocking protection. There’s no shortage of trendy and sunglasses, designed with a flair for fashion, so you won’t have to compromise on style while protecting your eyes from dangerous UV rays.

Excessive sun exposure can cause headaches, blurry vision, eye pain, and eyestrain. So while you’re out at the pool, hanging out at the beach, sunbathing, or at a backyard barbeque, pay close attention to how much time you’re outside.

If you love the sunshine, you just need to protect yourself. Wear hats, sunscreen, and, of course, 100% UV protective polarized sunglasses. But if you experience discomfort or symptoms that don’t go away on their own, then it’s time to visit your eye doctor.

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Computer Vision Syndrome in the Summer

There’s nothing quite like a family road trip or flying to a vacation getaway over the summer. Yet something about being stuck in the backseat of a car or inside of an airplane makes kids feel closed in and restless. It’s then that many kids will play on a smartphone, iPad, or gaming device over many hours to help pass the time.

When it comes to kids and computer use, they’re just as susceptible to the effects of digital eye strain, also called Computer Vision Syndrome, as adults are. In fact, studies show that 25% of children spend more than 3 hours each day on digital devices.

In the summer, when the heat is sizzling, it’s tempting for kids to spend more time than usual watching TV, using a computer, or playing games on their smartphones. To help ease the effects of digital eyestrain, Dr. Elyse Lemery suggests following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something at least 20 feet away. It’s a great way to counteract the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome and let the eyes rest.

This summer, however you choose to beat the heat, don’t forget to protect your vision and keep your eyes strong and healthy. First Eye Care Prestonwood is always here to help if you have any questions.

Have a great summer!

Call First Eye Care Prestonwood on 972-980-1772 to schedule an eye exam with our Dallas optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Top 4 Eyecare Tips for Summer Vacation

This summer, whether you’re headed across state lines on a family road trip, flying off to Europe, grabbing a quick weekend getaway, or taking a vacation in your own backyard, don’t forget to protect your eyes! Check out our top 4 tips for ensuring healthy eyes this summer, and remember, your eye doctor is here to help make the most out of your vision. Dr. Elyse Lemery sees patients from all over the Dallas, Texas area. Let us give you the top-quality eye care you and your family deserve, not only during the summer, but all year long.

First Eye Care Prestonwood Eye Clinic and Eye Care, Summer in Dallas, Texas

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Dallas eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Don’t Leave Home

Without It If you have a chronic illness and need to head out of town for a few days, you would never leave home without your medications, right? That’s because you know that if something happens and your meds aren’t with you, you could suffer discomfort or complications to your health. The same is true for your vision. If you suffer from dry eyes, make sure to take artificial tears or medicated eye drops with you when you travel. Preservative-free eye drops are a traveler’s friend. They’re also available as individual strips, which are recommended since there’s less risk of contamination. Running low on disposable contact lenses? Include an extra pair in your carry-on suitcase and stock up on new lenses ahead of time. If you wear eyeglasses, bring a spare set and a copy of your prescription along with you, just in case they get lost or broken. We recommend speaking to Dr. Elyse Lemery before you leave for vacation to make sure your vision needs are all set.

It’s Getting Hot

Outside Usually, most people think of protecting their skin from sunburns when they’re at the beach, by the pool, or just spending time outdoors.

Did you know that your eyes can get sunburned, too? This happens when the cornea is exposed to excessive UV rays. When the sclera (the white part of your eye) looks red, that’s a sign that you’ve got sunburned eyes. You might also notice symptoms like a sudden sensitivity to light, or your eyes may feel like something is stuck in them, or they could feel sore.

The best way to prevent sunburned eyes? Always wear sunglasses with 100% of UVA and UVB light blocking protection. ”

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Watch Out for the Pool

Swimming is one of summer’s greatest pastimes. There’s nothing quite like a dip in a pool or ocean to cool off from the sweltering summer heat. While you’re slicing through the water, remember to protect your eyes.

Remove contacts before going swimming, wear goggles while underwater, and rinse your eyes with cold water when you get out of the pool (it helps get the chlorine or salt out). If your eyes feel dry or scratchy after a swim, use some moisturizing eye drops to lubricate your eyes.

Back to School is Sooner Than You Think

Your kids will be back in school before you know it. Help them prepare for the upcoming school year by scheduling an eye exam now. If they need new glasses because their prescription has changed or your teen simply wants a new look for the new school year, come in to First Eye Care Prestonwood for a consultation and take a look at the newest selection of frames and contact lenses.

Have you had a sudden eye injury or emergency while on vacation? Don’t wait until you’re back home to handle it — seek immediate care today. Certain eye injuries can damage your vision or lead to ulcers, so if you notice symptoms like redness, eye pain, changes to your vision, or flashing light, contact your eye doctor right away.

Call First Eye Care Prestonwood on 972-980-1772 to schedule an eye exam with our Dallas optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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School and Vision: 2 Important Partners

It’s February and that means we’re smack in the middle of winter, which is also the middle of the school year. It’s the season when kids fervently hope for snow days and parents hope they don’t happen. As we head towards the second half of the school year, you’ve probably attended a few parent-teacher conferences and discussed your child’s education. Like peanut butter and jelly, school and vision go hand-in-hand. Both are important partners in ensuring that children excel in their learning, extracurricular activities, and relationships with their peers.

ADD/ADHD and Vision Problems

Did you know that certain vision problems can mask themselves as behavioral or learning difficulties? In fact, education experts often say that 80% of learning is visual. A 3rd grader may be misdiagnosed with ADD or ADHD if they display behaviors like being fidgety, having difficulty focusing or concentrating, or having a short attention span. These symptoms may not always be purely behavioral; they could be vision-related. A child who experiences blurry vision, suffers from headaches or eyestrain, or itches their eyes excessively may, in fact, have a refractive error such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism, or another condition such as convergence insufficiency.

First Eye Care Prestonwood Eye Clinic and Back-To-School in Dallas, Texas

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Our Dallas eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Undiagnosed myopia, for example can cause these same types of behaviors that are commonly attributed to attention disorders. That’s because if your child has to squint his eyes to see the board clearly, eyestrain and headaches are bound to follow. Struggling with reading or writing is common too. Other vision disorders can cause similar behavior patterns. An additional challenge is that kids don’t always express their symptoms verbally, and often they don’t even realize that other people see differently than do.

This can also impact kids emotionally. When they feel like they’re not keeping up with their peers or their learning is inferior in some way, this may lead the child to act out verbally or even physically.

Distinguishing between colors is an important skill for early childhood development. While color vision deficiency affects both children and adults, kids, in particular, can experience difficulty in school with this condition. Simply reading a chalkboard can be an intense struggle when white or yellow chalk is used. When a teacher uses colored markers on a whiteboard to draw a pie chart, graph, or play a game, this can be a difficult experience for a young student with color blindness. A child, his or her parents, and teachers may even be unaware that the child is color blind.

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What School Vision Screenings Miss

Many parents believe that an in-school vision screening is good enough. However, an eye chart test only checks for basic visual acuity, so kids with blurry or double vision, for example, may be able to pass a vision screening while still struggling to read, write, or focus on the board. Children who have problems with their binocular vision, which means using both eyes together to focus on something, can pass the screening when they use just one eye to read the chart.

Studies show that a whopping 43% of children who have vision problems can successfully pass a school vision screening. This means that the vision test may fail to detect the more subtle but significant and treatable vision problems. Early detection and diagnosis is critical to maintaining healthy eyes. That’s why it’s so important to make eye care a part of your child’s healthcare routine.

The Importance of Yearly Eye Exams

The #1 way to do this is to schedule annual eye exams. Your eye doctor can perform a comprehensive pediatric eye exam to check visual acuity, visual clarity, binocular vision, and screen for any eye diseases or vision problems.

Because children develop so rapidly at different ages, it’s essential that eye exams are done at specific stages of their young lives. In fact, The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends regular eye exams at age 6 months, 3 years, before school starts, and every 2 years thereafter.

Simply being aware of the tendency to associate a child’s learning issues with a learning disability or attention disorder instead of an underlying vision problem is critical for parents and educators. Both are partners in a child’s education and they must work together to ensure that each child gets the health care and attention he or she needs.

If you notice changes in your child’s schoolwork, behavior with friends or in sports or other after-school activities, it may be time to schedule an eye exam. You’ll want to be sure that your kids have all the tools they need to succeed in school and beyond.

Call First Eye Care Prestonwood on 972-980-1772 to schedule an eye exam with our Dallas optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Why You Shouldn’t Rub Your Eyes

Are You Ignoring Your Dry Eyes?

Top 5 Tips for Managing Eye Allergies This Spring

8 Tips to Relieve Winter Dry Eyes

Dry Eye Dx and Tx – When the Crying Doesn’t Stop

You see a last-minute referral for chronic epiphora. It’s allergy season year-round in Texas, so you assume the obvious and fit the patient in. The 59-year-old Hispanic female complained of chronic redness and tearing in her left eye, with moderate-to-severe upper eyelid swelling, itching of the nasal canthi, and left eyelid drooping for the past five to six months. She had been to several urgent care clinics with no improvement after topical antihistamine use.

Gross observation revealed orbital/adnexal asymmetry, with her left orbit and brow positioned slightly lower than her right. She denied prior surgeries or trauma, and when compared to her 2012 driver’s license photo, she looked the same. She had 20/25 monocular acuity OD and OS, and biomicroscopy revealed a 2+ mixed papillary/follicular reaction, superior eyelid edema, and a higher tear prism in the left eye. No pain was reported upon digital palpation and both left puncta appeared partially stenosed with mild mucosal discharge. All other exam findings, including extraocular motility, pupils, confrontation visual fields, and intraocular pressure, were normal.

The patient was prescribed neopoly-dex ophthalmic suspension q.i.d. OS for one week, cephalexin 500mg p.o. b.i.d. for seven days, ibuprofen 200mg p.o. t.i.d. for three days, and diphenhydramine suspension p.o. 25mg q.h.s. PRN for three days.

More Tests, More Information

Punctum dilation and irrigation were performed at her one-week follow-up, which provided temporary relief; however, all signs and symptoms returned three days later. She was quickly referred to a local oculoplastic surgeon for evaluation, and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and orbits, with and without contrast, was ordered to rule out an obstructive or compressive etiology.

The MRI revealed a 5.3cm x 2.2cm x 2.7cm frontoethmoidal expansile mucocele causing globe displacement and volume collapse of the superior lateral orbit and superior rectus muscle (Figure 1). There was no orbital invasion. A benign neoplasm was also observed superior to the mucocele, which was confirmed via biopsy to be a sinonasal Schneiderian inverted papilloma without evidence of dysplasia or carcinoma.

Figure 1. (A) Coronal plane MRI image of the head with a 5.3cm x 2.2cm x 2.7cm left frontoethmoidal mucocele causing secondary proptosis and hypoglobus. (B) A benign intracranial neoplasm known as a sinonasal Schneiderian inverted papilloma.

Figure 1. (A) Coronal plane MRI image of the head with a 5.3cm x 2.2cm x 2.7cm left frontoethmoidal mucocele causing secondary proptosis and hypoglobus. (B) A benign intracranial neoplasm known as a sinonasal Schneiderian inverted papilloma.

The patient underwent immediate resection by a team of specialists consisting of a neurosurgeon, an otolaryngologist, and an oculoplastic surgeon who used an anterior craniofacial approach and subsequent bifrontal craniotomy without periorbital disruption.

Discussion

Progressive enlargement of a mucocele can mimic a space-occupying lesion, compress nearby structures, and cause destruction of its bony walls by pressure-induced necrosis. The proximity to vital structures such as the paranasal sinuses, brain, and orbits can lead to death if not treated promptly.

When we encounter patients who have chronic epiphora, we tend to think of common ocular surface issues such as dry eye disease, seasonal allergies, or pathology involving the nasolacrimal system. However, when asymmetric epiphora does not respond to common topicals or procedures (such as dilation and irrigation), we need to think beyond the lacrimal apparatus for a secondary cause of blockage. CLS

Dr. Rojas specializes in ocular surface disease and specialty contact lenses in a private practice in Dallas. He also practices in an ophthalmology clinic that focuses on refractive and glaucoma surgery. He can be reached LRojas2020@gmail.com.

Dr. Gaume Giannoni is a clinical professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry and is the director of the Dry Eye Center at the University Eye Institute. She is a consultant or advisor to the Shire.

As originally published at https://www.clspectrum.com/issues/2019/january-2019/dry-eye-dx-and-tx

The Dangers of An Online Eye Test

What are the dangers of an Online Eye Test

First Eye Care Prestonwood – What are the dangers of an Online Eye Test, Dallas, Texas

An online eye test may seem like a convenient way to check your vision or get an eyeglass prescription but beware, these tests aren’t all they are chocked up to be. In fact, they may even be dangerous.


First Eye Care Prestonwood - Local Eye Care Clinic in Dallas, Texas

First Eye Care Prestonwood, your local Local Eye Care Clinic in Dallas, Texas.

We are conveniently located at, 5455 Belt Line Road, Suite 150.

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What is an online eye test really testing?

An online eye test is actually not an eye test at all but just a vision or sight test – and a partial test at that. It is designed to measure your visual acuity and refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism) and to determine an eyeglass prescription – which is the lens power needed to correct the refractive error in your vision.

Given that there is no one with medical training actually performing or checking the accuracy of the test, it is questionable how well the exam does even this. In fact, when an eye doctor does a refraction for glasses or contact lenses it also involves some judgement on the doctor’s part. The eye doctor will often adjust the prescription slightly based on the patient’s age, occupation or hobbies. The doctor may prescribe a prism in the lenses to help with binocularity and to prevent double vision in those who have deviations of the eye. There is no way an online exam can do any of this.

Further, a refraction is only one very small part of an eye exam and if it takes the place of a regular comprehensive eye exam by an eye doctor, you put your eyes and vision at serious risk.

The American Optometric Association is warning consumers about possible risks associated with online refractive eye exams. Such online sites tout convenience. But any alleged advantages come with risks, the AOA cautions.

Comprehensive Eye Exams

Even if the eyes see clearly and you have 20/20 vision, there may still be vision problems or eye disease present even without pain, blurred vision or other symptoms. What the online eye test fails to measure is your complete visual health and capacity (beyond just visual acuity), the curvature of the eye (which is needed for accurate lens prescriptions- especially for contact lenses) and an assessment of the health of the eye itself.

Just as we need regular medical and dental checkups as a part of preventative health care to prevent disease and maintain our health, we also need regular eye exams. A vision test does not suffice. A comprehensive eye exam will examine much more than just how well you see. It will also check for visual processing, color vision, depth perception and proper eye movement. It will measure your eye pressure, examine the back of your eye and look for early signs of eye disease or conditions such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetes, tumors and high blood pressure – many of which threaten your eyes and vision if not caught early.

If you do have some vision loss, the doctor will be able to determine if there is any serious underlying problem that is causing the disturbance in your vision. If you don’t have symptoms that doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem. Many serious eye conditions develop gradually without any symptoms. Some eye diseases do not affect the macula, and therefore you may still have good vision even though there is a problem (such as glaucoma, early dry macular degeneration, early cataract, diabetes, blood pressure and even tumors). Many of these conditions threaten the eyes and even general health if not caught early and when undetected they can cause permanent and irreversible damage to your vision

Eye exams are the best way to detect these early and treat them before they develop into serious eye problems.

Whether online vision tests are inaccurate, misleading or simply insufficient, they can fail to provide essential information and can delay or prevent vision saving treatments. Additionally, you could be walking around with the wrong vision prescription which can cause unnecessary eye strain, headaches and difficulty.

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Online Eye Test

No. Besides the fact that most eye exams are covered by insurance, the eye exam you are getting from an eye doctor is much more thorough and comprehensive than an online eye test, so you are not comparing apples to apples. The eye doctor’s exam uses real equipment and performs a complete and professional evaluation of your vision and eye health. There is simply no comparing this to a self administered test on a computer screen.
An online eye test may be touted as a time and money saving convenience however, that is hardly the case. An eye exam is a medical procedure that requires training, precision, and proper equipment. Anything less can put your eyes and vision at serious risk.

In addition to visual acuity testing to check your vision prescription, we will perform various procedures during your eye exam to inspect ocular health. Using advanced optics and high-powered magnification, our eye doctors will check for any abnormalities in your eye tissues. Comprehensive eye exams are the only way to discover the beginning stages of eye disease.

Why is it so important to catch eye disease as early as possible? Because the earlier you receive treatment, the easier it is to prevent vision loss and complications.

Call First Eye Care Prestonwood on 972-980-1772 in Dallas, Texas to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist.

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Eye Dangers in the Dorm – Eye Health for College Students

College Student Eye Care Help

First Eye Care Prestonwood – College Student Eye Care Help, Dallas, Texas

It’s almost back to school time for college students and whether this is your first time away from home or you are already a pro, you want to be prepared with as much knowledge as possible to live safely on your own.

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First Eye Care Prestonwood, your local Dry Eye Treatment in Dallas, Texas.

We are conveniently located at, 5455 Belt Line Rd, Ste 150, and service Carrollton, Richardson & North Dallas.

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This knowledge includes eye and vision safety, as failing to take care of your eyes today could cause damage to your eyes and vision now and in the future.

So put down your text books for a second and learn these four simple lessons about protecting your precious eyes:

Blue Light Protection

College students spend a LOT of time in front of screens. From each class, homework assignment, and research project, to texting, tinder, netflix and gaming – life is largely digital. This comes with a slew of potential side effects known as computer vision syndrome, including sore and tired eyes, headaches, neck, shoulder and back pain, dry eyes and blurred vision, largely due to the effect of the blue light emitted from the screens. Research shows that blue light can also impact your sleep quality and may possibly be connected to the development of retinal damage and macular degeneration later in life.

There are a few ways to protect your eyes and vision from blue light and computer vision syndrome:

  • Use computer glasses or blue-light blocking coated lenses or contact lenses when working on a screen for long periods of time. These lenses are made to allow optimal visual comfort for the distance and unique pixelation of working on a computer or mobile screen, by reducing glare and eye strain. They also block potentially harmful blue-light radiation from entering your eyes.
  • Prescription glasses may be considered as well. Many students who never needed glasses previously experience eyestrain with extensive hours studying in university. A minor prescription can make a big difference in reducing eye fatigue and helping to improve concentration.
  • Implement the 20-20-20 rule by taking a break every 20 minutes to look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This allows your eyes to pause from the intensity of the computer screen.
  • Depending on your environment, eye drops prescribed from the eye doctor may be helpful. Your blink rate often goes down substantially when you are concentrating on reading or computer work, which can cause dry eyes. Using eye drops and remembering to blink frequently can help reduce these uncomfortable symptoms.
  • Install bluelight filters on your digital devices to reduce the amount of blue light exposure. There are a number of free apps available to download on your phone or computer.

Widespread use of computers or phones with computer access may cause additional issues with eye strain. Some of these symptoms may include trouble shifting focus from computer documents to paper documents, and “after images” when you turn your glance away from the computer screen. A college student should take eye strain seriously when symptoms include eye discomfort, headaches, double vision or a noticeable change in vision. While college students do not usually put health concerns first, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend regular eye exams for people of all ages

How to use Contact Lenses

Many college students opt for contact lenses as they are convenient and great for the appearance, but they come along with responsibility. The busy days and late nights can sometimes make contact lens care difficult so make sure to plan ahead. If you wear contact lenses you need to make sure that you always get them from an authorized lens distributor and that you follow your eye doctor’s instructions for proper care.

Always follow the wearing schedule and never sleep in lenses that are not designed for extended wear. Clean and disinfect as needed, and don’t rinse them with anything other than contact lens solution. Failing to follow the proper use and hygiene for contact lenses can result in irritation, infections and even corneal scarring which can result in vision loss.

One-day disposable lenses can be a great option especially for college students as they offer ultimate convenience (no cleaning and storing) and optimal eye health.

Further, if you enjoy wearing contact lenses, then remember to get a proper fit from your eye doctor. Many “exclusive” contact lenses available online may actually be poorly fit and made from inferior materials. One size does not fit all.

College Student Eye Care Help in Dallas, Texas

UV Protection

Ultraviolet rays from the sun are known to cause long term eye damage and lead to vision threatening eye conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts. Additionally in extreme cases of unprotected UV exposure you can get sunburned eyes, known as photokeratitis, which can cause a gritty, dry feeling, burning, swelling, light sensitivity, vision changes and sometimes serious pain. These symptoms typically go away within a day or two. Wearing 100% UV reflective sunglasses whenever you are outside – rain or shine – is a first step to eye protection. A large brimmed hat to protect the eyes from exposure from the top and sides is also a recommended addition for sunny days.

Regular eye exams

To start off college with the right foot forward, it’s recommended to get a comprehensive eye exam prior to the start of the the school year, especially if you haven’t had one recently. This way you can ensure that your eyes and vision are in top shape and, if you wear glasses, that your prescription is still accurate. The last thing you want to worry about when getting adjusted to college is problems with your eyes and vision.

It’s also recommended for students that are going away to another city to get a recommendation for a local eye doctor in case of an emergency. Most eye doctors know of colleagues located in other cities who they could recommend.

Just remember to think about your eyes because the better you take care of them now, the healthier eyes and vision you will have down the line.

If you are in front of a computer screen for Prolonged hours not uncommon among college students, this may result in a disorder known as CVS or Computer Vision Syndrome.

Call First Eye Care Prestonwood on 972-980-1772 in Dallas, Texas to schedule an eye exam with our optometrist.

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DRY EYE DX AND TX

VIRAL CONJUNCTIVITIS—OR IMPENDING DEATH?

It’s Friday afternoon, and the last opening on the schedule gets filled with a “red eye walk-in”…the dreaded, all-too-familiar scenario. In this case, a 48-year-old Caucasian male arrived complaining of seasonal allergies, a non-productive cough for the past 10 days, and a one-day, unilateral red eye. The immediate thought was “Yes! Slam-dunk viral conjunctivitis…topical steroid and out the door.” But, after further questioning, the patient recalled having a brief episode of painless vision loss that occurred in his left eye the night before as well as a worsening headache over the past week.

Biomicroscopy revealed mild ptosis,1+ inferior tarsal follicles, and 3+ diffuse bulbar injection with mild corkscrewing of the subconjunctival vessels of the left eye. The patient had 20/20 monocular acuity, and aside from minor arteriolar attenuation and venous engorgement of the posterior segment (OS>OD), all other exam findings, including blood pressure, ocular motility, intraocular pressures, pupils, and visual fields, were completely normal.

Digging Deeper

The patient was started on prednisolone acetate 1.0% q.i.d. OS for conjunctivitis and 81mg aspirin by mouth q.d. for stroke prophylaxis while a complete blood workup was ordered. He was also referred to a nearby imaging center for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and a magnetic resonance angiogram (MRA) of the head and neck, with and without contrast.

MRA imaging showed complete occlusive internal carotid artery dissection at the level of the petrous region (Figure 1). Thankfully, the patient had patent and healthy anterior cerebellar and posterior communicating artery collaterals to compensate for the reduced blood supply.

Figure 1. (A) Axial 3D time-of-flight MRA image of the head demonstrates a left internal carotid artery dissection with complete occlusion (arrow). (B) Contrast-enhanced MRA coronal image showing the extent of occlusion beginning at the cervical (C1) level of the left internal carotid artery (circle).

Figure 1. (A) Axial 3D time-of-flight MRA image of the head demonstrates a left internal carotid artery dissection with complete occlusion (arrow). (B) Contrast-enhanced MRA coronal image showing the extent of occlusion beginning at the cervical (C1) level of the left internal carotid artery (circle).

The patient’s internist and neurologist began 10mg pravastatin q.d. as well as a five-day course of 4mg oral dexamethasone b.i.d. An echocardiogram was scheduled, and he was ordered to keep a blood pressure log, continue daily aspirin therapy, and avoid excessive exertion for six to eight weeks. Although the exact cause of the dissection remains unclear, his team of specialists are looking into collagen tissue disorders, cardiovascular issues, or the persistent, non-productive coughing as possible explanations.

Don’t Forget the Zebras

The majority of red-eye cases that we encounter each day typically fall into the allergic, infectious, inflammatory, or traumatic categories. Some of these may have a mixed presentation at onset, which makes it easy to reach for that “combination drop,” especially when signs and symptoms don’t necessarily point to a specific cause.

However, this case reminds us to not get overly comfortable with routine diagnoses and to keep our differential list open to all possible etiologies. Although the old adage “when you hear hoofbeats think horses, not zebras,” should still apply to our daily practice, we must remember that any patient in the chair could be that one-in-a-million case. We need to listen to our intuition and not let the seemingly “straightforward” red eye (or the fact that it is 5 o’clock on a Friday) distract us from treating the patient as a whole. CLS

Dr. Rojas specializes in ocular surface disease and specialty contact lenses in a private practice in Dallas. He also practices in an ophthalmology clinic that focuses on refractive and glaucoma surgery. He can be reached LRojas2020@gmail.com.

Dr. Gaume Giannoni is a clinical professor at the University of Houston College of Optometry and is the director of the Dry Eye Center at the University Eye Institute. She also sees patients in a private practice setting. She is a consultant or advisor to Alcon, Allergan, Shire, and Johnson & Johnson Vision Care.

 

Article originally published at https://www.clspectrum.com/issues/2017/august-2017/dry-eye-dx-and-tx

Eyeglasses – Plenty of Great Choices

Eyeglasses Are Back!

Picking out new eyeglasses can be a daunting task, whether you’re getting your very first pair or you’ve worn them nearly all your life. The sheer volume of eyeglass choices can be torture to work your way through if you don’t have any idea what you’re looking for.

Not only are there many different shapes and colors in eyeglass frames, but advances in technology have also brought us a variety of new materials, for both the frames and the lenses, which makes eyeglasses more durable, lightweight and user-friendly. Eyeglass frames are now created from high-tech materials such as titanium and “memory metal” for the ultimate in strength and style, while the lenses are now thinner and lighter than ever before, even in high prescriptions.

Lens options, such as anti-reflective coating, light-changing tints, progressive lenses and new high-tech, light weight materials such as Trivex(TM) and polycarbonate, let you choose a pair of eyeglasses that enhances your vision, no matter what you like to do.

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