We’re here, our last installment in our Save Your Vision series. If you haven’t checked out our other posts, click here to see a full roundup of each post. These are great tips for taking good care of your vision, so you won’t want to miss them.
In our last post, we’re chatting about digital eye strain. As we use more and more devices, we begin to see the effects of digital eye strain more and more. Digital eye strain is defined as the physical discomfort experienced after two or more hours of staring at a screen. You might experience symptoms like dry, red or irritated eyes, blurred vision, fatigued eyes and back, neck or shoulder pain. You may also experience headaches. The symptoms of digital eye strain are not permanent and should dissipate after you discontinue use of digital devices. But, there could be long term damage as a result of digital eye strain.
The strain that focusing on mid-range digital screens causes our eyes tires the eye’s focusing system, causing possible long term damage. Another damaging element of digital eye strain and digital devices is the high-energy visible (HEV) or blue light emitted by these devices. Research suggests that overexposure to HEV light can damage the retina and increase the likelihood and severity of eye disorders like age-related macular degeneration and cataracts (source).
The Vision Council finds that six in 10 adults are unaware of the harmful consequences of HEV light – chances are you may be one of them. Here’s what you should know and how you can help reduce the likelihood of the long term damaging effects of digital eye strain;
1. The optical industry has developed several technologies that help address the causes of digital eye strain. Computer glasses are designed for the mid-distance range of computer screens, and they help bring digital content into focus. Computer glasses can be combined with special lens coatings and tints to help reduce screen glare and block out harmful HEV and blue-violet light.
2. Always be sure to use the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
3. Be sure your workstation is optimized for your eyes with proper lighting, seat adjustments and monitor settings.
4. Enlarge your computer’s text, this can also be done on your smartphones and tablets. Enlarging the text helps to reduce strain.
5. This may be the simplest thing you can do – remember to blink. Staring at computer screens can dry your eyes. If you think you may be suffering from chronic dry eyes – schedule an appointment and we can help you.
If you spend a lot of your time behind the screen and find that you are suffering from the symptoms of digital eye strain, stop in and let Dr. A discuss options for how to help you. There are a wide range of options including computer glasses.
Click here to make an appointment at eye2eye Optometry Corner!
In our third installment of the Save Your Vision series, we’re talking dry eyes. The risk of acquiring dry eye increases with age, we also see dry eye more commonly among post menopausal women. Common symptoms of dry eye include dry, red and inflamed eyes, as well as discomfort and sensitivity to light.
We’re sharing our best tips for relieving dry eyes below.
1. Use artificial tears – Preservative free artificial tear supplements are available. You want to choose a preservative free supplement in order to minimize your exposure to preservatives since you will be using the drops 2 or more times a day.
2. The 20/20/20 rule – When working on the computer or reading, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Computer use and reading decrease your blink rate and the surface of your eye dries out faster than normal.
3. Use a humidifier – Add a humidifier near your desk at work and near your bed at home. At work, this will help alleviate some of the drier air you get in large office settings and even older buildings. At night, a humidifier would help because Sometimes your eyelids may not close all the way while sleeping and the exposed surface will dry out faster. A humidifier helps to keep your eyes moist throughout the night.
4. Single use contacts – If you are a contact lens-wearer, decrease your wear time in your contact lenses. Your days of over-wearing your contact lenses are over…If you want to stay a happy, comfortable wearer, take out lenses earlier and wear your glasses. Give your eyes more of a break! The best solution? Single use contacts-what feels better than a clean, fresh lens on your eye each day?
5. Visit your eye doctor – Your eye doctor can make sure that there isn’t a larger problem at hand. They can also prescribe eye drops not available over the counter.
6. Diet – Improving your diet. Increase your intake of salmon, tuna, walnuts and flaxseed. They are all great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids. You may also take an Omega-3 supplement. Ask your doctor which supplement would be best for you.
7. Proper lid hygiene – Properly cleaning your eyelids helps to make sure that your tear ducts aren’t blocked – if they are blocked they can’t secrete the tears your eyes need to remain lubricated. While in the shower, use warm soapy water or a clean washcloth to gently clean your lids and eyelashes. Ladies, you have to get that makeup off at the end of the day!
8. Stay hydrated – Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will help ensure you are well hydrated.
If you are experiencing dry eyes and are looking for relief, schedule an appointment here. We can help you establish the cause of your dry eyes, and help you implement a wellness strategy to improve them.
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:
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.
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.
March is Save Your Vision month, and we’re talking about the best ways you can take of your vision and make sure you are seeing clearly for years to come. One of the best ways you can take care of your vision is by getting an annual comprehensive eye exam.
Comprehensive eye exams help to establish a baseline for your eye health. This enables you and your eye doctor to have conversations about your risk for certain eye diseases, to monitor your vision and to care for your whole health.
Let’s walk through what a comprehensive eye exam looks like.
1. After scheduling your appointment and submitting all your paperwork (which you can find here) you will arrive for your appointment. Our staff will greet you and make sure everything is in order. Please be sure to bring your current glasses and sunglasses to your appointment.
2. Your exam will start with preliminary testing – done in our office by a skilled technician. These tests include:
– Taking measurements of your eye’s focusing ability.
– Taking measurements of the front surface of the eye to determine if there is any astigmatism.
– You will undergo a visual field screening to determine any defect in your peripheral vision.
– You will then undergo macula pigment testing – a brand new, cutting edge test – that will determine your risk for macular degeneration. To read more about this testing – click here.
3. The doctor will then read over your chart, using the data from your tests to begin your exam.
4. Once you are with the doctor, a thorough ocular and medical history will be taken – be sure to mention any concerns with your family history as well. The doctor will address any new or old visual complaints.
5. The doctor will then test the eyes for distance, near and computer distances to determine your ability to see and how they work together.
6. The doctor then examines the exterior and interior portions of the eye looking for any abnormalities.
7. Any additional issues like dry eyes, allergies, styes, conjunctivitis, cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetes and uncontrolled blood pressure are reviewed and discussed as these can all effect overall eye and vision health.
8. Based on the findings of your appointment the doctor will write a prescription if needed and recommend a return appointment.
Exams help to maintain eye health and monitor any long term problems. Ready for your appointment? Schedule one here.
During the month of March we celebrate Save Your Vision Month, held every year since 1927.
Our commitment at eye2eye is to care for your vision so you can savor the most important moments in life, big and small.
Join us over the next couple of weeks as we share the most important steps you can take to care for your vision and help protect it for years to come.
To follow along, tune in here, visit our blog and follow us on Instagram.
To read the first post in our Save Your Vision series, click here.
Save Your Vision Series:
1. Comprehensive Eye Exams
2. Eye Healthy Foods
3. Dry Eye
Every year, we see patients who’ve injured their eyes using unsafe contact lenses or costume contact lenses. We want to share a few tips to help make sure you enjoy your Halloween without the creepy eye infection. Eye-ehancing or eye-changing contact lenses can be safe, if you do it right! Follow these easy dos and don’ts and your eyes will thank you.
- Make sure to schedule an eye exam with at our office or your local optometrist to be fitted for all contacts. This ensures that the product you’re purchasing are safe and fit properly.
- When putting in your new contact lenses, make sure you wash your hands before applying your contacts.
- Properly clean and store your lenses after each use. Ask your optometrist for advice on how to clean and store them, or click here to learn our recommendations.
- Buy contact lenses without a prescription.
- Buy at convenience stores, flea markets or retail shops or any other non medical shop. You risk infection and irreversible damage to your eyes.
- Swim while wearing contacts, costume contacts or vision correction contacts.
- Swap or share contacts with others – this is a definite no-no.
- Sleep in your contacts unless they’re specifically designated for that purpose,
- Wear longer than recommended.
Check out this helpful infographic from the AOA.
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.
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.
Tis the season for stuffing stockings and piling gifts under the tree!
We’ve got gifts for everyone on your list – from sunglasses to frames. Today we’re sharing one of our favorite gift ideas for your make-up lovers (and eye care obsessed). We Love Eyes is a fantastic line of eyelid cleansing products that uses natural + non-toxic ingredients to make your eyes feel happier, brighter and look beautiful.
This tea tree eyelid cleansing oil is a perfect stocking stuffer. Have red, itchy or irritated eyes? You may have blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) or dry eyes caused by greasy eyelid debris: bacteria, dirt, demodex mites and allergens. Read: it’s affecting your life and your smile. Say goodbye to soap & water and put this all natural, vegan, cruelty-free cleanser in the palm of your hand instead.
Swing by our Hilltop or Del Ray locations and pick up a bottle of We Love Eyes eyelid cleansing oil!
We have had several patients mention that finding our new Hilltop office location using their GPS has been difficult. The Hilltop Village Center shopping center that eye2eye Hilltop is located in is brand new – even the roads are new! So, with the renaming of several roads leading into the shopping center, and the creation of new roads throughout the shopping center, it seems to be confusing GPS and navigational systems (including Google Maps, Waze, etc).
We wanted to help alleviate some of the annoyance with finding our new location. The best way to navigate to the new location is to enter the Alexandria Wegmans into your GPS.
Here is the Alexandria Wegmans address: 7905 Hilltop Village Center Drive, Alexandria, VA 22315
Below is a map you can use to navigate to eye2eye Hilltop, simply plug in your starting address.