All posts in Dr. A’s Tips

Back to School Exams

Back to School Exams

August has arrived and with it, back to school shopping lists. One of the most important things you can add to your back to school to-do list is a comprehensive eye exam for the kids, and for yourself.

For many folks, a physical exam is required before school starts. Your family doctor may do a vision screening, but that is not sufficient to asses your child’s near vision as screenings typically only asses distance vision.

Kids spend a lot of their time looking at near objects like textbooks, iPads, and laptops. Near vision struggles can make kids uncomfortable staying focused on near sight required tasks – this can result in a decreased desire to read, poor handwriting skills and trouble focusing.

A comprehensive eye exam done by your family’s eye doctor will help to make sure your child has sufficient near vision and isn’t struggling. And your eye doctor will also be able to identify other vision problems that may impede learning.

To schedule an appointment for a back to school eye exam for your child, click here.


5 Summer Safety Tips

5 Summer Safety Tips

Summer fun has arrived – that means swimming, hiking and other outdoor fun! Keeping your eyes safe during summer activities is easy with Dr. A’s simple tips. Got bug spray in your eye? Not sure if your sunglasses are protecting you properly? Read on for answers.

  • Be careful when spraying bug spray. If bug spray gets in your eyes, be sure to flush them completely with water and call your eye doctor right away.
  • Always wear sunglasses that have 100% UVA & UVB protection, we’ll be covering this topic more in the coming weeks. If you aren’t sure if your sunglasses offer 100% protection, stop in and we’ll test them for free.
  • Wear sunscreen around the eye area to protect your eyelids from burning. Also, wear sunglasses!
  • Chlorine from swimming pools can cause a chemical burn in your eyes. Use preservative free artificial tears to flush out your eyes after exposure, and be sure to rinse off after pool time.
  • Contact lens wearers should be especially careful not to open their eyes underwater in a pool or other water area. River & lake water carry a variety of microorganisms, the most damaging called acanthamoeba. This organism has the ability to attach to your contact lens and as a result cause the cornea to become infected. Scarring can occur if the eye is not treated.

Have a safe and FUN summer by following Dr. A’s summer eye safety tips!


5 Sun Safety Tips for Kids

5 Sun Safety Tips for Kids

Can you believe Memorial Day is almost here? That means summer fun has arrived – splashing in pools, sand castles at the beach, hikes, bikes and more! There is no better time than now to make sure your kiddos have proper UV protection for all their summer activities.

We carry a great selection of sunglasses for your little ones – and your teens too!

Because Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can potentially cause multiple age-related eye problems like cataracts and macular degeneration, protecting your kids eyes is vital to their long term eye health. The more exposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays during your lifetime, the more at risk you are to develop sight-threatening conditions.

Since children tend to spend lots of time outdoors, especially in the harsh summer sun – some experts say nearly half of a person’s lifetime exposure to ultraviolet radiation can take place by age 18. Children are also more susceptible to retinal damage from UV rays because the lens inside a child’s eye is clearer than an adult lens, enabling more UV to penetrate deep into the eye (source).

Here are 5 important things to consider when purchasing sunglasses for your children:

1. Be sure the lenses are impact resistant & the frames made of “unbreakable” material. 

2. Pick a large, close-fitting frame. These are best to help protect children’s eyes during play. 

3. It is most important that your child wear sunglasses between 10am-2pm, when the suns rays are the strongest.

4. Beware of cheap sunglasses. They can pose safety hazards when made of cheap materials and low quality paints. 

5. Know the percentage of UVA & UVB rays being block by the sun – be wary of the phrase “blocks UV rays”. You want a lens that blocks out 100% of UVA & UVB rays. 

All of our children’s sunglasses here at eye2eye are high quality and block 100% of UVA & UVB rays. Bring your kiddos in today for a sunglass fitting and let us help you make sure their vision is healthy for years to come!


6 Ways to Fight Spring Allergies

6 Ways to Fight Spring Allergies

1.) Preventing & treating itchy, watery eyes. 

-Always wash hands and face after coming in from outdoors, be sure to take frequent showers to remove pollen.

-Wash hair more often as pollen can linger in your hair and when you lie down on your pillow or couch, your face can rub around in it, exposing you to more of the allergens.

-Replace old makeup and use an applicator instead of fingers to prevent pollen contamination.

-There are great prescription eye drops you may use once a day to reduce and/or limit eye allergies. Contact lens wearers may still wear contacts if they wait 10 minutes after inserting the drops.

2.) Start taking your oral allergy medication now. 

– The sooner you start taking your oral allergy medication, the better. Ideally, just before or once the pollen count starts to creep up, then one should start taking their oral allergy medicine as well as their allergy eye drops.

-People new to the area might  feel that they have a cold, and after 1-2 years, they realize the pattern – its allergies! Again, the earlier the better when starting treatment!

 3.) Switch to single use contact lenses during allergy season.

-Use one day disposable contacts during allergy season so that you insert a fresh, pollen free lens each day. This will greatly reduce your symptoms and keep your eyes itch-free.

-For those who have moderate to severe allergies, discontinuing contact lenses when the pollen is at its peak cuts down on the pollen “sticking” on the lens and staying on the eye all day. If using single use lenses is not reducing your symptoms, switching to glasses during peak season may be a better choice.

5.) Warning signs of something more serious. 

If you have pain, decreased vision, or redness that gets worse, it could be signs of other eye issues and you should see the doctor right away.

6.) What about the kiddos?

 -Be sure to encourage kids to wash their hands and face after recess or coming in from outdoors.

-Have them change their clothes when they return home for the day.

-Keep bedroom windows closed during peak pollen days.

-Change pillow case if kids did not wash hair that day.

-Discuss with their pediatrician options for treating their overall allergy symptoms, like taking an oral allergy pill.

Establishing the cause and having a doctor manage your eye allergies will help make sure you suffer less, click here to make an appointment with the doctors at eye2eye. 

Image source


Save Your Vision: Eat for Eye Health

Save Your Vision: Eat for Eye Health

For the second installment of our Save Your Vision series, we’re talking food!

Did you know that incorporating certain foods into your diet is one of the best ways to protect your vision? Eating your way to eye health, that’s right!

Here are the best eye healthy foods to add to your plate:

Yellow Corn
Bell Peppers
Green Peas
Turnip Greens

These delicious veggies contain the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that may protect against cataracts and AMD.


Crunchy & satisfying, nuts like almonds and cashews are packed with vitamin E, which has been shown to reduce the risk of AMD. And walnuts and flaxseed contain omega-3 fatty acids which are known to support eye health.


These popular seafoods are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which support eye health as well as general health.

Citrus Fruits
Berries (like blueberries)

Sweet treats from nature to support your eye health! Citrus fruits are full of eye healthy vitamin C, and so are berries like blueberries.

Add these eye friendly foods to your diet to support your eye health.




3 Back to School Vision Problems

3 Back to School Vision Problems

The kiddos have been back in school for a little while now and as such, it is the ideal time to start monitoring for vision problems.

Here are a few important things to watch out for during the school year, as these issues may help you identify a vision problem. If you are noticing any of these issues, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam for your child.

  1. One out of four kids have an undetected vision problem. 
    Believe or it not, vision problems in childhood are very common and nothing to be alarmed about. While you may have visited your pediatrician and passed a simple vision screening, those screenings don’t always detect larger vision problems. A visit to your eye doctor for a comprehensive exam is the only way to fully assess vision health.
  2. Reading & Writing
    Is your child using their finger to help them follow along with reading and writing? Are they mixing up words? Do they complain of the words “doubling” while they read? Yes, some of these issues could be a learning disorder – but the first place to start is with their vision. Often their eyes are not working well together and a comprehensive exam can help us determine if that’s the case.
  3. Overuse of Digital Devices
    Kids are using digital devices in school and at home. The blue light emitted from these devices can cause what’s called digital eye strain. Symptoms of digital eye strain include dry, scratchy eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and fatigued eyes. An eye exam can help us confirm digital eye strain and we can get your child outfitted with lenses that protect against and filter out the damaging blue light – with or without a prescription.

If you notice your child experiencing any issues like trouble reading or writing, complaining of double vision, dry, scratchy or irritated eyes – schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for a comprehensive exam.


Back to School Eye Exams

Back to School Eye Exams

It’s that time of year again! Time to schedule your back to school comprehensive eye exams.

It is so important that children get a comprehensive eye exam before they start the school year, as typical vision screenings you may be familiar with (done at school or during physicals) often miss more than they find.

From the AOA:

“Current vision screening methods cannot be relied on to effectively identify individuals who need vision care. In some cases, vision screening may actually inhibit the early diagnosis of vision problems. Screenings can create a false sense of security for those individuals who “pass” the screening but who actually have a vision problem. These people are then less likely to receive treatment for their vision problem-and it could become worse.

Undetected and untreated vision problems can interfere with a child’s ability to learn in school and participate in sports. They can also affect an adult’s ability to do their job or to drive safely. The earlier a vision problem is diagnosed and treated, the less it will impact an individual’s quality of life.”

So in these final weeks of summer break, make an appointment for the kids (and yourself!) for a comprehensive eye exam at one of our two Northern Virginia locations, eye2eye Hilltop and eye2eye Del Ray.

To book appointments at either of our locations, click here.


eyelove + Chronic Dry Eye

eyelove + Chronic Dry Eye

Are you finding yourself using artificial tears often throughout the day? Do your eyes start to bother you when you’re reading, driving, checking email or browsing the web?

You may have chronic dry eye. Chronic dry eye can make life difficult, but it is entirely treatable with a few lifestyle changes and in some cases, prescription artificial tears.

Here is a great self evaluation you can take and bring in to your next appointment with our doctors. (Click here to download.)

Show yourself some eyelove with these dry eye reducing tips:

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Not over-wearing contact lenses
  • Wearing sunglasses outside
  • Taking breaks from staring at your computer
  • Using a humidifier in your bedroom or in the house
  • Lowering the speed of your ceiling fan
  • If you’re still suffering from dry eyes, make an appointment to visit our doctors & let’s have a chat.


Do’s & Don’ts of Eye Makeup

Do’s & Don’ts of Eye Makeup

We’re lucky to have Dr. Pham at our practice, not only is she a wonderful optometrist but she also enjoys makeup. We asked her to give us her top do’s and don’ts for eye makeup, since there are good and bad ways to apply and care for your eye make up that can negatively affect your eye health. Follow her 6 do’s and don’ts to keep your eyes healthy and your makeup on point.

1. Wash eyeshadow brushes and face brushes (blush, contour, etc) once a month with mild (baby) shampoo. Squeeze excess water and allow to air dry. Regularly washing your brushes prevents bacteria build-up, keeping them clean and safe to use. 

2. Avoid oil-based eye makeup removers or removers that contain stronger chemicals. These type of makeup removers may disrupt the lid margin and glands. Use more sensitive eye solvent removers to prevent clogging of lid glands. Eye2eye carries a fantastic brand called We Love Eyes that was created by an optometrist, learn more about it here

3. Some makeup (liquid foundations, liquid eyeliners, gel liners, concealers, etc) have an expiration date. Dispose of them properly for better hygiene and to help prevent breakouts. All expiration dates are listed on beauty products, check the date and toss if it’s expired. 

4. For pencil eye liners (even lip liners), use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to disinfect the liner pencil once a month. This keeps bacteria and other yucky stuff at bay. 

5. Avoid sharing make-up as it is very likely and easy to transfer bacteria and infections from one makeup lover to another. 

6. Avoid wearing eyeliner on the “water line”, while it’s a popular technique, it is also bad for your eyes. 

Book an appointment with Dr. Pham here.


Meet Kirk Cousins + Learn about LASIK

Meet Kirk Cousins + Learn about LASIK

We’re excited to share a fantastic LASIK event that you as our patients can attend! TLC’s Washington DC area team is hosting a free LASIK seminar with Kirk Cousins, our local quarterback and Dr. Holzman on November 15th at 6:00pm. You’ll learn about how LASIK can change your life, get your questions answered by Dr. Holzman, be entered to win raffle prizes autographed by Kirk Cousins and enjoy light refreshments. Seating is limited, so give us a call and we will reserve your spot, (703) 548-0122.

If you book LASIK at this event, you’ll also get a special $500 discount offer.

For more information, give us a call and our staff can answer all of your questions!