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COVID-19 –  What Constitutes an Eye Care Emergency? 

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An eye care emergency is defined as medical care for conditions requiring prompt medical attention due to a sudden change in ocular or visual health.

Eye trauma, chemical exposure to the eyes, foreign objects in the eye, and ocular infections are all considered eye emergencies and should be given immediate medical attention. If you have an eye emergency, it’s critical to get immediate care in order to avoid permanent damage to your vision.

While some may opt to visit an emergency room for an eye injury, research shows that most emergency room visits for eye emergencies could have been treated by an experienced optometrist. Furthermore, going to the hospital for an eye emergency during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t the fastest or safest way to treat the problem; the hospitals are already overloaded and you risk catching the virus during your visit.

Dr. Eric White can offer personalized treatment for a wide range of eye emergencies and other ocular conditions. Call Complete Family Vision Care for further instructions or call the number provided in the voicemail.

What Is an Eye Emergency?

Eye emergencies refer to any sudden onset of symptoms or obvious eye trauma that affect vision. These emergencies range from severe eye pain or vision loss to a sudden blow to the eye or chemical exposure. Call us if you experience any of the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Bleeding of the eye
  • Blood in the white of the eye
  • Swollen or bulging eye
  • Vision loss or double vision
  • New eye flashes or floaters
  • Pupils that are unequal in size
  • Severe photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Being hit in the eye
  • Bruising around the eye
  • Eye discharge
  • Suspected eye infection
  • Severe burning, stinging, itching eyes
  • Scratched or cut eye or eyelid
  • Split contact lenses in the eye
  • A piece of broken eyeglass lens in your eye
  • Foreign object stuck in the eye

If you’re uncertain whether or not your condition is an emergency, contact Complete Family Vision Care immediately.

What Should I Do If I Have An Eye Emergency?

If you have a cut or foreign object in your eye, or if you suffered from other forms of eye trauma, DO NOT:

  • Rub your eye
  • Attempt to remove any foreign objects embedded in the eye
  • Use tweezers or swabs in your eye
  • Put any ointments or medication into your eye

First Aid for Eye Injuries

Refer to the following guidelines to prevent any long-term vision loss or eye damage.

Chemical Exposure

If a contact lens is in the eye, do not attempt to remove the contact lens using your fingers. Instead, flush saline solution or water over the lens immediately as it may dislodge the lens. Contact lenses can trap harmful chemicals against the cornea, causing unnecessary damage.

Seek emergency medical care promptly after flushing.

To avoid eye exposure to toxic or abrasive chemicals, always wear protective eyewear and use caution when handling these types of products.

Foreign Objects

Although your first instinct may be to rub your eye to get the foreign object out, try to resist the urge–as rubbing can further damage the eye.

If the object isn’t embedded in the eye, you may try to remove it by flushing it out. First, wash your hands with warm water and soap to prevent contamination or infection. Then, flush the eye thoroughly with clean water or preferably saline, if available. You can also try to induce tearing by using your fingers to gently lift the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid. Causing the eye to tear may flush out the foreign object.

If the object is visible, and not embedded on the eye, you can try to gently wipe it away with a damp, clean washcloth.

Seek immediate medical attention if the above methods do not work.

Blows to the Eye

To treat a black eye, apply a cold compress to decrease swelling and support healing. Use the compress for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, allowing the eye to rest between applications. A cold compress can be made by wrapping a bag of peas, or other soft frozen items, in a clean cloth.

Never place ice directly on the skin; use a clean cloth between the skin and ice.

Call Dr. Eric White immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms after the eye is impacted:

  • Changes in vision
  • Persistent or increasing pain
  • Bleeding or any blood on the outside or inside the eye
  • Any visible difference to the appearance of your eyes

Cut or Puncture to the Eye

This type of injury always requires immediate medical care, so after you call us, make sure to follow these precautionary measures to avoid further injury:

  • Don’t attempt to remove something embedded in the eye
  • Don’t wash the eye or eyelid
  • Try to shield the eye with something protective, for example – use a pad of cotton wool as an eye shield and tape it to the surrounding eye area

If you have an eye emergency, don’t delay treatment. Timing is everything — the earlier you get treatment, the less vision damage you’ll have over the long term. Take immediate action by contacting Complete Family Vision Care today. Dr. Eric White will treat any eye emergency you have or refer you to specialized care (i.e. surgery), as needed.

Complete Family Vision Care serves patients from San Diego, all throughout California.

Progressive Myopia: When Your Child’s Vision Keeps Getting Worse

What Is Progressive Myopia?

Nearsightedness or myopia is one of the most prevalent eye disorders worldwide and its incidence is increasing. In fact by 2050, myopia is projected to affect half of the world’s population!

Many children diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia) experience a consistent worsening of their vision as they grow into adolescence. This condition can be so aggressive that for some, each time they take their child to the eye doctor for a vision checkup, their prescription gets higher.

This is called progressive myopia and can be a serious condition for many children now and in the future. Not only is there a financial burden and inconvenience associated with having to replace eyeglasses on a regular basis, but high myopia is a risk factor for many eye diseases later in life such as retinal detachment, early onset cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

What Causes Progressive Myopia?

Myopia is a refractive error that happens when the eye focuses incoming light in front of the retina, rather than directly on it, resulting in blurred distance vision. While an exact cause of progressive myopia is not known, most research indicates that a combination of environmental and genetic factors trigger the condition.

First of all, there is evidence that a family history of nearsightedness is a contributing factor. Additionally, spending a lot of time indoors may play a role in myopia development, as studies show that children who spend more time outside have less incidence of myopia. Lastly, near point stress, which can be caused from looking at a near object for an extended period of time, can prompt the eye to grow longer and result in myopia. Several eye doctors recommend following the 20-20-20 rule when using digital devices (stopping every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds) to reduce near point stress caused by computer use.

What Can Be Done To Prevent or Treat Myopia?

There are several treatments that have been shown to slow the progression of myopia.

Orthokeratology (ortho-k):

Also known as corneal reshaping, this treatment uses rigid gas permeable contact lenses that are worn while the patient sleeps to reshape the cornea, which is the clear, front part of the eye. During the day, the patient is usually able to see clearly, glasses-free. In addition to allowing glasses-free vision during the day, this treatment has been shown to reduce the progression of myopia in many children.

Distance Center Multifocal Contact Lenses:

This treatment uses distance center (which means the area for seeing at a distance is in the center of the lens) multifocal soft contact lenses to provide clear vision and slow the progression of myopia. The lenses are worn as normal contact lenses during the day.

Prescription Eye Drops:

Prescription eye drops are a daily-use prescription eye drop that has been shown to reduce myopia progression. It can be used alone or in combination with ortho-k or multifocal contact lenses.

Additional Myopia Treatments:

While these treatments are available in all of North America, some countries offer additional options that are approved for myopia control. For example, in Canada, ZeissTM MyoVision glasses that have an innovative lens curvature design are available to help reduce the rate of myopia progression. Additionally some doctors in Canada offer Coopervision MiSight® lenses, which are 1-day contact lenses that are worn during the daytime. These contacts have a multifocal lens design with distance centre and near surround that is specifically designed for children.

Myopia & Your Child

If your child’s vision keeps getting worse, it’s more than an annoyance – it can be a serious risk factor for their eye health and vision in the future. The best strategy for myopia control depends on the child and the severity of the case, and requires consultation with an experienced eye doctor in order to determine the best solution. If your child wears glasses, make his or her vision a priority; schedule an eye exam to ensure stable vision and healthy eyes.

 

Focusing on Convergence Insufficiency

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Does your son or daughter have a hard time with school? You may be relieved to know that he or she could have a hidden but very real vision problem that hinders learning, called Convergence Insufficiency (CI).

Here's the breakdown: CI is a condition that gets in the way of one's capability to see things at close distances. This means that a person with CI would struggle with reading, writing and working on things, even if it's a book or activity sitting right in front of them. Someone with CI has trouble, or is more or less not able to coordinate their eyes at close distances, which makes basic tasks, like reading, extremely hard. And to prevent subsequent double vision, people with CI put in extra effort to make their eyes turn back in, or to use the correct medical term, converge. All this added strain often leads to a whole range of prohibitive side effects including headaches from eye strain, blurred vision, double vision, tiredness and decreased concentration, and the inability to comprehend even during relatively brief reading periods. Subsequent side effects include challenges with performing computer work, desk work, playing handheld video games or doing crafts. At the severe end of the CI spectrum, the eyes tend to turn outwards, which is known as strabismus.

Other things that may indicate CI are if your child frequently loses the place when reading, squints, rubs, closes or covers an eye, has trouble remembering what was read, or reports that words on the page seem to move around on the page. Another issue that often comes up is motion sickness.

Unfortunately, CI is often diagnosed incorrectly as dyslexia, ADD or ADHD or even an anxiety disorder. And furthermore, this eye condition slips under the radar when a child gets a simple eye exam using only an eye chart, or a basic eye exam at school. Anyone can have 20/20 eyesight, but also have CI, and the subsequent challenges when it comes to basic skills like reading.

Despite all this, the fact is that CI usually responds well to professional treatment, which involves either supervised vision therapy in a clinical office with home reinforcement, or prismatic (prism) glasses prescribed to decrease some of the symptoms. Sadly, most people aren't screened thoroughly enough, and as a result, aren't getting the attention they require early enough. So if your child is battling to read and concentrate, make an appointment with your optometrist to discuss having that loved one tested for CI.

A Look At Women’s Eye Health and Safety

April is Women's Eye Health and Safety Month.

It's no surprise that the various stages of a woman's life often have a strong impact on her eye health and vision. Eye disease among women is increasingly common, particularly in aging women. In fact, studies show that most women over the age of 40 have some type of eyesight impairment, and risk developing conditions like cataracts, dry eye, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. It's interesting to note that the risk of women being diagnosed with vision loss has grown due to the female population's increasing longevity.

As a woman, an important step to take to maintain strong sight is to schedule a routine eye exam. Be sure to go get a full eye checkup before reaching the age of 40, and that you adhere to the care your eye care professional recommends. Also, be aware of your family medical history, because your genes are a key part of comprehending, diagnosing and preventing eye conditions.

When it comes to nutrition, eat a healthful, varied diet and be sure to include foods full of zinc, omega-3 fats and beta carotene, which all help prevent eyesight loss as a result of eye disease. You can also buy vitamin C, riboflavin and vitamin A supplements, as they are all good starting points to managing top-notch eye health.

If you smoke, make a commitment to stop, because even second-hand smoke can add to the risk of eye disease and is a proven factor in the macular degeneration that can come with aging (AMD), as well as cataracts. UV rays, which can also be a party to the development of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration, are very dangerous to your eyesight. When you go outside, and during the summer AND winter, be sure to wear complete UV blocking sunglasses and a sun hat to protect your eyes from harsh rays.

Hormonal shifts like those that occur due to pregnancy or menopause, can also affect your vision. Often, these shifts can even make contacts less effective or uncomfortable. During pregnancy, you may want to shorten lens wearing time and adjust your prescription if necessary. It's recommended to book an appointment with your optometrist at some point during your pregnancy to talk about any eyesight or vision differences you may be experiencing.

It is also important to shield your eyes from household dangers, such as domestic cleaners. Be sure that household chemicals, including cleaners, bleach and strong detergents are kept safely and properly, and are locked away from young children. Scrub your hands properly after handling all chemicals and wear eye protection when employing the use of strong substances. Use safety goggles when fixing things in your house, especially when working with wood, metal or power tools.

 

Women need to be educated about the risks and considerations when it comes to your eye care. And also, it can never hurt to inform the women in your life, such as daughters and friends, on the best ways to protect their eye and vision health.

Pink Eye: Don’t Let it Go Untreated

Pink eye, formally called conjunctivitis, is one of the most common eye infections, particularly with kids. Pink eye can be caused by a virus, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, ingredients in cosmetics, and chlorine in pools, or other irritants that come into contact with the eyes. Certain types of conjunctivitis are quite communicable and quickly infect many people in close proximity such as in school and at the office or home.

Conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue lining the white part of your eye, gets inflamed. A sign that you have pink eye is if you notice eye itching, discharge, redness or inflamed eyelids and crusty eyes in the morning. Symptoms of pink eye may occur in one or both eyes. The three main categories of conjunctivitis are: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.

Viral conjunctivitis is usually a result of the same type of viruses that produce the familiar red, watery eyes, runny nose and sore throat of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to stick around for one to two weeks and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to alleviate some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral conjunctivitis is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so meanwhile, practice excellent hygiene, wipe away discharge and avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your child has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until they are no longer contagious.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is caused by a common bacterial infection that enters the eye often from something outside entering the eye that carries the bacteria, such as a dirty finger. This form of pink eye is most often treated with antibiotic cream or drops. Usually one should notice the symptoms disappearing within three or four days of antibiotic drops, but make sure to finish the entire course of antibiotics to stop the infection from coming back.

Allergic conjunctivitis is not transmittable. It occurs more commonly in individuals who already suffer from seasonal allergies or allergies to substances such as pets or dust. The allergic symptoms in the eyes may be just part of a larger allergic response. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, the irritant itself must be removed. To ease discomfort, try artificial tears or compresses. When the infection is more severe, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications and antihistamines might be prescribed. In cases of lasting allergic infections, steroid eye drops could be used.

In all forms of conjunctivitis, being certain to maintain good hygiene is the surest way to prevent it from spreading. Try not to touch your eyes, and if you do, be certain to wash your hands well.

While pink eye is often a highly treatable eye infection, it can sometimes worsen into a more severe problem. Any time you think you have conjunctivitis, be sure to see your optometrist in order to determine what the best treatment will be.

San Diego, CA Management for Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and Eye Fatigue

 

The American Optometric Association (AOA) announced that over seven out of 10 of workers that work daily from a computer monitor (close to 143 million ) experience computer vision syndrome or eye strain. Prolonged periods of sitting in front of the computer can cause eye stress and impact normal vision development in children as well as adults. If you spend more than two hours daily at a computer monitor you are likely to experience some degree of computer related eye fatigue.

Signs of Computer Induced Eye Fatigue

Symptoms of CVS include vision problems such as dry eyes, blurred vision, inability to focus or double vision and pain such as headaches, back aches and tired eyes. If you are experiencing a number of these symptoms you may be suffering from CVS.

Causes of Computer Vision Syndrome
Computer eye fatigue and CVS are caused by the need for our eyes and brain to compensate for viewing words on a computer screen in a different way than they do for words in print. While our visual systems have little problem keeping focus on printed content that contains solid black letters with sharp borders, they are less familiar with characters on a digital screen that lack the same degree of clarity and definition.
Characters on a digital screen are composed of combinations of tiny dots of light (pixels), which are most luminous in the middle and diminish in intensity toward the edges. This makes it harder for our eyes to focus on on these images. Instead, our eyes feel more comfortable at the ''resting point of accommodation'' or RPA.

Our eyes involuntarily revert to the resting point of accommodation and then strain to focus on the text. Such continual flexing of the eyes' focusing muscles results in the fatigue and eye strain that often appear with extended computer use. Computer vision syndrome isn't only a concern for computer users. Other digital devices such as mobile phones or tablets can cause the same eye fatigue and in some cases even worse. Since the screens on handheld digital devices are often small the eyes have to put forth even more effort into focusing on the images.

Treating Computer Vision Syndrome and Eye Strain
CVS can be extremely uncomfortable so if you are suffering from discomfort it is worthwhile to consult an eye care professional as soon as possible.

At an exam, your eye care professional will perform tests to detect any particular vision problems that could worsen computer vision syndrome. According to the outcome of the exam, your practicioner may suggest prescription computer glasses to reduce discomfort at your computer . Additionally, you should strongly think about getting an anti-reflective coating for computer eyeglasses. An anti-reflective coating lessens reflections on the front and back surfaces of the lenses that cause glare and affect your ability to focus on images on your screen.

Ergonomics for CVS
Visual Ergonomics, or changing your computer workstation to limit strains in vision or posture, can help minimize some physical symptoms of computer related eye strain. Adequate lighting and taking periodic breaks from staring at the screen will help to some extent. However, very often computer eyeglasses are also required to fully eliminate CVS.

If you would like to speak to a professional eye care professional to find out more about the signs and treatments for computer vision syndrome, contact our San Diego, CA optometric practice.

Spring is Eye Allergy Season

Do you have red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes? If yes, you may be suffering from seasonal eye allergies. For some, spring is eye allergy time, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, stinging, burning and watery eyes. Spring eye allergies are caused by the release of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can cause a severe impact on everyday functioning for those that suffer from them.

What can you do to guard your eyes during allergy season? Whenever possible decrease exposure to allergens which means remaining inside, particularly when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, using air conditioners and putting on wrap-around sunglasses when going outside may also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also known to remove allergens from the air inside your home or office.

However, for the majority of us that can't stay indoors the entire spring season, there are medications that can reduce symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. It's possible that a simple lubricating eye drop will soothe and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and flush out irritants. Medications containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to reduce inflammation of the eyes and treat other symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Eye drops are sometimes recommended because they can work better than oral solutions to treat eye problems.

About 20% of Americans are affected by allergies, nearly half of which are allergic eye disease. Eye allergies often run in families and are the result of an over-sensitivity to a particle that has entered the eye regardless of whether it is harmful. The eye releases histamines and other immune mediators which cause excessive tears, itching, burning, redness and irritation.

One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub irritated eyes. This will just increase the irritation. Because some of the products that work to alleviate symptoms do need a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions are not working for you, see your optometrist.

Shopping for Eyeglasses Online…A Good Idea? Maybe Not

While many of us are used to buying anything and everything through the Internet, eyeglasses are an item that you are better off purchasing in person. Why? Although Internet optical dealers often promote cheap rates, the advantages of purchasing glasses at an optical store far overshadow the ''deals'' you might encounter on the Web.

A persuasive reason for buying eyeglasses at an optical boutique is that you have a qualified optician to help you select the proper glasses. Our staff can assist you with the numerous variables you need to consider in choosing the right pair of glasses. If you order online, you don't have the experienced advice of an eye care expert.

In addition to the guidance a professional can provide at a physical eyeglass store, an additional benefit you have is that you get to try on the eye wear before you buy. Eyeglasses that don't fit properly can result in pain and frustration and may also inhibit your ability to see well. Also, you don't get to see what they really look like or how they feel until you have them in your hands to put on. To a greater extent than your wardrobe, glasses require proper fit and comfort to work successfully.

Even more than the comfort and alignment of your glasses, good eyesight demands correct Pupillary Distance measurement. The optical focus of your lenses provides you the clearest vision, making it important to correctly determine the space between your pupils, or PD. It can be complicated to measure your PD by yourself, but without this measurement, your lenses won't be placed correctly within the frames.

True, Web-based shopping can be good for other products, but with eyeglasses you're better off sticking to your nearby vision practice where you can find glasses that fit you and your lifestyle.

Online Registration Forms

Visit the Contact Us section of our web site and complete the Patient Registration Form. The form is secure and our office will be notified once the form is complete. When you walk in for your next appointment, we’ll already have the information entered into our computers. We’re always looking for ways to serve our patients better.

Eyeglasses Are Back!

 

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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