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How Pregnancy Can Affect Your Eyesight

Pregnancy can impact almost every part of a woman’s body and health — including her eyes. In fact, an estimated 14% of pregnant women report experiencing visual changes during pregnancy that usually resolve on their own within a couple of months after giving birth.

Knowing the different visual symptoms that can present when you’re expecting can help alert you to potential underlying health concerns that your physician may need to address.

Normal Visual Changes During Pregnancy

Blurred Vision

Blurred vision is the most common visual symptom that pregnant women may experience. Hormonal fluctuations are usually to blame for the temporary decrease in visual acuity, and your eyesight will likely return to normal soon after giving birth.

The influx of pregnancy hormones causes fluid retention in some areas of the body and can cause the cornea to thicken slightly. As a result, the light entering the eye isn’t focused accurately and vision may be blurred.

Less commonly, blurred vision can signal gestational diabetes, a pregnancy complication affecting 6-9% of pregnant women. The rise in blood sugar level impacts the focusing lens of the eye, leading to blurry vision. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, including gestational diabetes, it’s a good idea to book an eye exam to monitor for retinal changes.

Blurred vision is also a common side effect of dry eye syndrome, a condition characterized by tears that don’t adequately lubricate the eyes, which can be brought on or exacerbated by pregnancy.

Eye Dryness

Pregnancy hormones can cause a reduction in the amount of tears your eyes produce or affect the quality of the tears. These changes can affect a woman throughout her entire pregnancy, but studies show that eye dryness is particularly common in the last trimester. For this reason, some women find it difficult to wear contact lenses in their third trimester and temporarily switch to glasses.

Eye Puffiness

Yet another body part that swells during pregnancy: the eyelids and tissues around the eyes.

Pregnancy-related water retention may cause your eyelids to appear puffier than during your pre-pregnancy days. You may also notice darker areas under the eyes. If your puffy eyes bother you, try limiting your salt and caffeine intake, as they can worsen the problem.

Visual Changes That May Indicate a Problem

The following visual changes warrant a prompt call to your eye doctor or obstetrician to rule out any underlying complications.

Flashes or floaters

Seeing stars during pregnancy can signal high blood pressure, which is associated with preeclampsia — a serious medical condition that requires close monitoring by your physician and possible treatment.

It’s crucial to have your blood pressure monitored throughout your pregnancy, as preeclampsia can potentially endanger the life of mother and child, as well as damage the cornea and retina.

Temporary vision loss

Temporary vision loss is concerning for pregnant and non-pregnant individuals. Vision loss is another warning sign of preeclampsia, so contact your doctor promptly if you suddenly lose any portion of your visual field.

Sensitivity to light

Light-sensitivity can either be a normal side effect of fluid retention in the eye, or it can signal dangerously high blood pressure and preeclampsia.

How We Can Help

At ​​Family Eye Center Optometry, our goal is to keep your vision and eyes healthy throughout your pregnancy and beyond. If you experience any visual symptoms, we can help by thoroughly examining your eyes to determine the underlying cause and provide you with guidance on what next steps to take.

Pregnancy is a wonderful time, when self care should be at the forefront — and that includes comprehensive eye care.

To schedule an eye exam or learn more about our eye care services, call Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont today!

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Q&A With Our Eye Doctor in Belmont, important?

Having your eyes evaluated by an optometrist on a regular basis is crucial for detecting early signs of eye diseases and changes in your prescription, including during pregnancy. Many serious eye diseases don’t cause any noticeable symptoms until they’ve progressed to late stages, when damage to vision may be irreversible. Whether or not you wear glasses or contact lenses for vision correction, ask your optometrist about how often to schedule a routine eye exam.

Will my baby need an eye exam after birth?

According to the American Optometric Association and the Canadian Association of Optometrists, babies should have an eye exam within the first 6-12 months of life, even in the absence of noticeable vision problems. Healthy vision is a significant part of healthy overall development, so be sure not to skip your baby’s eye exams!

What is Excessive Screen Time Doing to Your Kid’s Vision?

Schools across the country are learning virtually, which means kids are spending long hours staring at a computer screen. This has prompted eye care professionals everywhere to question the impact of prolonged screen time on children’s eyes.

Long periods of screen time have been associated with lasting effects on kids’ vision and physical health. Since much of the time spent on digital devices is for learning purposes and therefore unavoidable, it’s vital to teach kids healthy habits to prevent future eye problems. Our eye doctor near you summarizes the concerns and provides advice for how parents can help mitigate the effects.

Common Symptoms Caused by Screens

  • Eye strain and fatigue
  • Red eyes
  • Eye rubbing
  • General vision discomfort
  • Headaches

All of the above symptoms can make it harder for kids to learn and focus on the school work they need to get done. However, as children spend more and more time on computers, they often get used to the uncomfortable symptoms and assume they’re normal, so they won’t even complain. That’s why it’s up to parents to spot the signs and consult an optometrist near you. Neglecting to consult with an eye care provider for assistance and relief from the symptoms, may cause your child’s learning to suffer.

Vision Can Change

Hours spent learning online can also change your child’s vision prescription enough that new eyeglasses or contact lenses are required. By not visiting an eye clinic near you for an eye exam to check vision, kids may also begin to dread and avoid learning, because it’s simply too hard to see it clearly and comfortably. If your child’s grades begin to slip, it’s recommended to book an eye exam with vision testing by a qualified eye doctor.

Tips to Help Prevent Vision Problems

It’s essential to be proactive with pediatric vision and not simply to wait until problems surface. By practicing preventive eye care, you can help promote success for children in school and in life. In particular, we recommend kids who learn and play on a computer or other digital device, take regular breaks to play outdoors. Also, book routine pediatric eye exams. Yearly checkups are recommended for school-aged children; for kids under age 5, visit an optometrist near you at one, three, and five years of age.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Astigmatism, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , 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? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Belmont eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Family Eye Center Optometry eye clinic near you in Belmont, California to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 650-399-7060

Family Eye Center Optometry, your Belmont eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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  • My child is struggling in school. Should I have his/her eyes examined?

    A comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist can often determine if there are visual issues interfering with a child’s ability to perform in school. Many visual symptoms, some obvious, others less so, can contribute to a child’s poor academic achievement. The most common symptoms to watch out for: Blur at distance or near Skipping or re-reading lines or words Reduced reading comprehension Difficulty shifting focus from near to far or far to near Difficulty copying from the smart board Double vision Closing or covering an eye when working at near Headaches; especially in the forehead, temple, or eyebrow regions Difficulty attending to near work or an avoidance of reading Poor spelling Misaligning numbers in math Unusual head or body posture when working at near Some of these issues can be alleviated with a good pair of eyeglasses while others may require vision therapy. Vision therapy, like occupational therapy or physical therapy, is a systematic program where the body, in this case, the visual system, can be retrained and strengthened to improve its ability to function.

  • My child says it gets blurry when looking from his paper to the board at school, and getting him to read is difficult. Is there anything I can do to help?

    Your child is not alone. While we have seen some children with focusing problems for many years, there is a huge increase in accommodative(focusing) problems with children today. Dr. Kagan has helped many children make reading easier and more enjoyable. Words shouldn’t move in and out of focus or move around when you are reading. Either with spec lenses with extra power for reading or multifocal contacts, we can make reading more comfortable for many children. There is no reason to make school and reading more difficult by straining and having the eyes work harder to see.

  • My child passed the screening test at school, isn’t that enough?

    Distance and reading are two different things. Someone with perfect distance vision can still have focusing problems up close. Doctors need to check for both, many children have undiagnosed accommodative (focusing) problems because no one ever looked for it before. We always check the distance and near vision of all ages because it is so important. Other areas that need to be checked are eye muscle alignment, color vision, depth perception, and overall health of the eyes.

  • What can I do about Digital Eye Strain?

    We can help! We offer a number of different eyeglass lenses that can help people of all ages relieve Digital Eye Strain and ease fatigue after extended reading or computer use. There are also lens treatments such as anti-reflective and blue light blocking to protect our eyes and make our eyes more comfortable. We also prescribe many different types of contact lenses to make reading more enjoyable and make it easier to focus from distance to near.

What Is the Long-Term Impact of Virtual Learning on Children’s Eyes?

Kids, like adults, are spending more time online. At some point during the COVID-19 pandemic, many children attended school via Zoom and completed assignments online. The trend toward more screen time — whether playing games or being in touch with friends — is likely to continue even after everyone returns to the classroom.

We already know that prolonged screen time can cause digital eye strain as well as dry eye symptoms, among other problems in children and adults. There is some indication that extended exposure to blue light may impact the development of retinal cells. However, studies on actual subjects still need to be done to establish a clear connection.

Dry Eyes

Spending a long time in front of screens can impact how quickly our tears evaporate, because we blink around 66% less when using a computer compared to other daily activities. When tears evaporate too quickly and aren’t replenished with blinking our eyes start to feel dry and gritty. So remember to blink every few seconds to prevent your eyes from drying out!

Blue Light Exposure

Screens, such as those that appear on computers, phones and tablets emit blue light. Recent studies have shown that overexposure to blue light can damage the retinal cells at the back of your eyes. This may increase the risk of vision issues such as age-related macular degeneration which eventually leads to permanent loss of vision.

Excess blue light has also been shown to disrupt the circadian rhythms that regulate our sleep patterns, as it tricks your internal clock into thinking that it is the middle of the day. This may lead to difficulty in falling asleep, insomnia, and daytime fatigue.

Digital Eye Strain

Nearly 60% of people who routinely use computers or digital devices experience symptoms of digital eye strain — also called computer vision syndrome. Symptoms of eye strain include eye fatigue and discomfort, dry eye, headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, eye twitching, and red eyes.

Taking frequent breaks from your screen can help reduce eye strain and neck, back and shoulder pain during your workday.

It is recommended to take at least one 10-minute break every hour. During these breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to relieve tension and muscle aches.

Also, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This relaxes the focusing lens inside the eye to prevent fatigue.

How to Make Virtual Learning Safer For Your Child

The following tips can lessen the impact of screens on your child’s eyes:

  • Reduce overall screen time
  • Encourage frequent breaks
  • Use accessories that filter blue light (for example, blue light glasses)
  • Schedule regular eye exams

Make Sure Your Child Gets Routine Eye Exams

Children need comprehensive eye exams to assess the health of their eyes, correct their vision and spot potential problems which can affect learning and behavior.

To schedule a pediatric eye exam near you, call our optometrist in Belmont today!

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Q&A With Our Eye Doctor in Belmont, California

What are blue light glasses?

Blue light glasses, also known as computer glasses, effectively block the transmission of blue light emitted from devices and computer screens. They often include a coating to reduce glare to further reduce eye strain. These glasses can be purchased with or without a prescription.

What’s the 20-20-20 rule?

If you find yourself gazing at screens all day, whether your computer, smartphone, iPad or television, you’re at risk of experiencing eye strain. So make sure you schedule frequent breaks from your screen and follow the 20-20-20 rule; every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. And while you’re at it, use this time to get up, walk around, and stretch.

What Role Does Family History Play In Eye Disease?

happy family in a field of flowers 640×350 1

Your Family Eye Doctor Cares About Your Health

Each of us inherits a wealth of traits from our parents, grandparents and previous generations. But sometimes, there are some less desirable characteristics in one’s genetic code and family history that we inherit along with the good.

Genetics play a vital role in eye health, so knowing what conditions and diseases are found in your family tree can clue in your eye doctor to your personal risk factors and overall health.

Genetics and Eye Disease

Most eye diseases have multiple causes, but more than 350 eye diseases and conditions have a clear genetic component. Below, we outline the most common eye conditions that can develop primarily, or in part, due to your genes.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness around the world and results from both genetic and environmental factors. Glaucoma causes permanent damage to your optic nerve, impacting the visual signals sent from the eye to the brain, resulting in ‘Tunnel Vision.’ Having a family member who’s been diagnosed with glaucoma increases your chances of developing the disease by 4 to 9 times. Family history is also valuable in predicting one’s chances of becoming blind from glaucoma and the rate of its progression.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is another sight-threatening eye disease that tends to run in families. AMD causes significant loss of vision due to damage to your central vision. In fact, about 1 in 5 patients with AMD will also have an affected sibling or parent. Having a close relative with AMD also makes a person about 4 times more likely to develop the late, more serious stage of the condition.

Genetics are also partially responsible for the development of cataracts, the clouding of your natural lens, inside the eye. Research published in IOVS (July 2001) found that up to 58% of age-related cataracts are due to genetics, while the rest of the cases are due to environmental factors and eye injuries.

Diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the retinal health of diabetics, is another example of an eye disease that one can inherit. A study published in Current Genomics estimates that a person’s genes account for 20-25% of their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, as well as how quickly it progresses.

Less common eye conditions are also linked to genetics. About 4 out of 10 people with strabismus (crossed eyes) have a relative with the same condition. Amblyopia (lazy eye), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and hyperopia (farsightedness) also tend to run in families.

Regular Eye Exams are Crucial For Eye Health

The good news is that even if you have a family history of eye disease, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have the same diagnosis. As a matter of fact, lifestyle can play a massive role in maintaining your visual health.

Consuming an eye-healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy body weight, refraining from smoking and getting enough sleep have all been shown to mitigate the risk of certain eye diseases. But the best thing you can do for your eyes is to schedule yearly eye exams with your optometrist to help catch eye disease early in its tracks before significant vision loss develops. This is especially relevant for those having family members with any sort of eye disease or condition.

At Family Eye Center Optometry, we work together with our patients to preserve and protect their eyesight and eye health for a lifetime.

To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to have my eyes checked if I don’t have any visual problems or a family history of eye disease?

  • A: Yes. Many serious eye diseases like glaucoma and AMD typically begin without any warning signs or symptoms. The only way to detect the onset of such diseases is by having a thorough and comprehensive eye evaluation. Many eye conditions can start at any age, making yearly eye exams important for all.

Q: Which lifestyle factors contribute to the onset and progression of eye diseases and conditions?

  • A: Each disease has its own set of environmental risk factors, but there are a few common denominators. Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and severe nutrient deficiencies can all harm eye health. Risk factors for nearsightedness include excessive near work (reading, looking at a digital screen) and not enough time spent outdoors. Speak with your optometrist about how your lifestyle may be impacting your eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Eye Center Optometry for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


4 Risks of Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses This Halloween

woman wearing a witch costume 640×350

Wish your eyes were a different color or that you could change their ‘look’? That’s exactly why some people find decorative contact lenses appealing. Cosmetic, theatrical, circular, decorative, costume, colored and Halloween contact lenses are some of the names used to describe the lenses that give you eyes a new appearance.

To prevent complications, infection and potential vision loss, all contact lenses should be purchased using a prescription from your eye doctor. Otherwise, your risk the following:

  1. Scratches to the eye – If your contacts aren’t fitted properly or are of inferior quality, they can harm your cornea. A corneal abrasion is a painful condition that can result in lasting damage and even vision loss.
  2. Inflammation of the cornea – According to studies, wearing non-prescription contacts raises the incidence of keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)16-fold. In the best of cases, early treatment with antibiotics or steroid drops may help to maintain vision, and in the worst of cases—surgery may be required.
  3. Pink eye – Many people think it’s not a problem to wear someone else’s cosmetic lenses. In reality, sharing contacts can transfer germs and lead to infections like pink eye. To treat pink eye, your eye doctor will need to understand the root of the issue, but usually antibiotic eye drops suffice.
  4. Vision loss – Wearing non-prescription contacts may cause vision loss—and in extreme cases even blindness—as a result of corneal damage or infection.

Checklist for Decorative Contact Lens Wearers

  • Make sure you get a comprehensive eye exam from an eye doctor, who will properly measure your eyes to fit your contacts.
  • Obtain a prescription from your eye doctor that contains all pertinent information, such as the
    specifications of the contacts, the expiration date, and the brand name.
  • Check that the contact lenses you ordered are identical to the prescription.
  • Decorative contact lenses should always be purchased from a reputable source. Note that only reliable retailers demand a prescription.
  • Follow your eye doctor hygiene guidelines for cleaning, inserting, removing, and storing contact lenses.
  • Make an appointment for a follow-up eye exam as recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Never let anyone else use your contact lenses.

Enjoy your Halloween without the stress or agony of an eye infection or a damaged cornea by following these contact lens safety instructions. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are decorative contact lenses safe?

  • A: Yes, if they are prescribed by an optometrist. Most people are able to wear tinted contact lenses safely if they are used as instructed. Following your optometrist’s instructions is essential for successful contact lens wear.

Q: Do I need a prescription? What if I don’t require vision correction?

  • A: Yes. Even if you don’t need vision correction, contact lenses are medical equipment that should be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Eye Center Optometry for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Eye Makeup Tips For Those With Dry Eyes

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Most eye makeup is formulated specifically for the sensitive eye area and is considered safe to use. But does this apply to those prone to dry eye syndrome?

Do you experience discomfort while wearing eye makeup? Find out whether the problem might be dry eye syndrome and learn what you can do to prevent future irritation.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic lack of hydration on the eye’s surface. It occurs when your tear quality or quantity are off-balance, and can lead to symptoms like eye dryness, redness, irritation, watery eyes, light sensitivity and blurred vision.

How Can Eye Makeup Lead to DES?

The surface of your eye is covered by a nourishing layer of tears composed of mucus, oil and water. The production and turnover of the tear film helps keep our eyes feel comfortable and see clearly.

When you wear eye makeup, especially powder or glitters, the loose particles can cause the tear film to break down and evaporate too quickly, leaving your eyes feeling dry and irritated. This usually occurs within 30 minutes of applying your makeup.

Eye makeup can exacerbate symptoms in people who already have DES, or can trigger it in people who don’t. That’s why it’s important to apply your eye makeup in a way that will lessen your symptoms and support a healthy tear film.

Eye Makeup Tips For Those With DES

  1. Apply lubricating eye drops to each eye about 30 minutes prior to doing your makeup.
  2. Disinfect your applicators before each use to avoid contamination.
  3. Apply makeup products to the outside of your eyelashes. Avoid lining the inner rim of your lashes, as this area is very close to the tear film.
  4. Use a minimal amount of mascara, or simply curl your lashes without mascara for a lifted effect.
  5. Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all makeup products and should be tossed out 2-3 months after opening to avoid eye infection or clogging the meibomian glands in your eyelids.
  6. When possible, choose cream-based products and avoid anything containing glitter, even glitter promoted as ‘eye-safe.’
  7. Never share your eye makeup with anyone.
  8. Be diligent about thoroughly removing your makeup at the end of the day.
  9. Never apply eye makeup when your eyes are irritated or red.

With the right care, wearing eye makeup with dry eye syndrome is possible. If your eyes have been giving you any trouble, we can help.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont for all your eye care needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the best way to remove eye makeup?

  • A: Start off by removing the bulk of your eye makeup with a cotton pad or washcloth and oil-free eye makeup remover. Then, use your face cleanser to wash off the rest of your makeup. Once your face and eyes are basically clean, use an eyelid cleansing wipe to remove any leftover makeup particles from your upper and lower lids.

Q: Which lubricating eye drops work best for dry eyes?

  • A: From soothing to lubricating to anti-redness drops, the pharmacy is full of different types of eye drops. Your optometrist will help you determine which brand and type will work best for your condition and lifestyle.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Eye Center Optometry for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Do your eyes itch or burn when wearing contact lenses? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing contact lens discomfort. Discover the possible causes behind the problem and see what you can do to relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Some of the top causes of uncomfortable contacts are:

Dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that arises when your tears can’t keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated due to an imbalance in the tear film. Certain diseases, medications and environmental factors, like high levels of dryness and wind, can cause or contribute to red, itchy or irritated eyes, especially when wearing contacts.

Allergies

Allergens are typically harmless substances that induce an allergic response in certain people. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are some of the most common airborne allergens that trigger eye allergies. Cosmetics and certain eye drops, such as artificial tears with preservatives, can also induce eye allergies, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Corneal irregularities

The cornea at the front of the eye may be irregularly shaped due to astigmatism, keratoconus, eye surgeries (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery), eye injuries or burns, scarring, corneal ulcers and/or severe dry eye. Irregular corneas often prevent traditional contact lenses from fitting correctly and comfortably.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Burning, itchy, stinging eyes
  • Sensation of something being stuck is in the eye
  • Excessive watering or tearing of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light

How to Relieve Contact Lens Discomfort

Try Different Contact Lenses

Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses on the market, including specialty contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism. Meet with our optometrist for a personalized eye exam for contacts.

With the variety of contact lens brands available, switching to a different contact lens may be the simplest answer if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t connected to improper fitting or issues with tear production. If your existing lenses fit well but still irritate and dry out your eyes, speak to us about trying a different design or brand of contact lenses, or changing your lens-wearing schedule.

Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops are a common way to temporarily relieve contact lens discomfort. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless prescribed by an eye doctor, they may not be treating the root of the problem.

Moreover, certain eye drops are incompatible with contact lenses, and may damage your contacts or harm your eyes. We also recommend staying away from products that claim to remove redness from your eyes, which temporarily reduce the size of blood vessels to lessen redness, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition, and can actually worsen it over time.

Take Good Care of Your Lenses

Inadequate contact lens care leaves residue on your lenses, which can discomfort, harmful eye infections and inflammation. Below are a few important contact lens hygiene guidelines to follow:

  • Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
  • Remove your lenses before showering, bathing or swimming to prevent infection.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are approved for sleeping).
  • Replace your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., don’t reuse daily wear lenses).
  • Regularly clean your contact lens case and ask your eye doctor when to replace it.
  • Only use a contact lens solution that is appropriate for your lenses.
  • Never reuse or mix contact lens solutions.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your contact lenses, get in touch with Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and provide effective solutions for all-day comfort.

Schedule an contact lenses eye exam with Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont, California to check your eye health today!

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Q&A

What kinds of contacts are available?

Contact lenses are available in a wide range of materials and replacement schedules. Disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient for many users.

I’ve already been fitted for contact lenses, so why did my optometrist ask me to come back?

If you’re asked to return a week later, it’s because your optometrist wants to rule out any issues, such as contact lens-related dry eye or irritation.

If it’s been around a year since your last eye checkup, you’ve likely been contacted to check whether your prescription has changed and to evaluate your eye health. The sooner problems are detected and treated, the better the outcome.

3 Reasons to Buy Eyeglasses from an Optical Store vs Online

Quality Eye Care in Belmont

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has grown in popularity. But when it comes to your eye health, nothing beats an in-person eye exam and fitting. While searching for specs online is a fantastic way to discover the current trends in eyewear, there are some key reasons you should buy your glasses from your local eye care shop.

Quality Eye Care in Belmont

Accuracy

According to the American Optometric Association, 29% of glasses ordered online from the top 10 online retailers arrived with incorrect prescription lenses. Incorrect lenses make it impossible to see clearly and can induce headaches and eye strain. When you buy glasses at an optical store, you can be sure you’ll get the perfect prescription and fit, assuring clear vision and maximum comfort.

High Quality

Poor-quality frames may end up costing you more in the long run. While searching the web, frames may appear to be high-end but actually composed of low-grade materials. Frame materials that aren’t up to grade can limit their durability and irritate your skin. Furthermore, after a few months of use, the sun’s intense rays may even bleach the frames.

Personal Service and Continuity

Why do so many individuals return year after year to their neighborhood optical store? Because they receive excellent service from someone they can rely on. Doing so ensures continuity of treatment and the certainty that your doctor will examine your eyes to assess both your visual acuity and eye health.

Finally, by shopping locally, you are contributing to the strength of your community.

When considering where to buy your next pair of glasses, keep all of these criteria in mind. While the initial price difference between an online and in-person purchase may be enticing, it comes at a cost. Looking for a new pair of glasses? Contact Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont to receive the highest level of care and quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I make sure my glasses are adjusted to fit properly?

  • A: Most online stores will adjust them based on a standard fit, while brick-and-mortar eyewear retailers will adjust your glasses to fit your personal needs.

Q: How frequently should I replace my glasses?

  • A: If your prescription has changed, you should get a new pair. See your optometrist every year or two to maintain clear vision.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Eye Center Optometry for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Ways That Vision Problems Can Affect Your Overall Health

Eye Doctor in Belmont

Eye Doctor in Belmont

Healthy vision can often be taken for granted. But eyesight problems, like uncorrected refractive errors and vision loss, can affect your overall health in ways that may seem unexpected.

Here are 5 ways that vision problems can impact your life, above and beyond how well you see.

1. Increased Risk of Depression

Vision loss can be isolating and has been linked to depression. A survey of more than 10,000 adults with vision loss published in JAMA Ophthalmology found a significant association between functional vision loss and depression.

2. Increased Risk of Anxiety

When you don’t see well, your brain has much less sensory intake, which may make you feel less sure about your surroundings and capabilities. Researchers put this theory to the test and examined the anxiety levels of older adults with low vision.

The results, which were published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, found a significant correlation between vision loss and anxiety.

3. More Likely To Fall

Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in older adults. Vision loss not only increases your risk of falling, but can also heighten your fear of falling, research suggests.

4. Greater Incidence of Car Accidents

People with glaucoma often have limited peripheral vision, which makes it difficult to safely navigate busy roads. In fact, a study conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that senior citizens with glaucoma were 65% more likely to be involved in a car collision than those without the eye disease.

5. Vision Loss Is Associated With Increased Mortality

A recent study published in The Lancet found that vision loss is associated with a higher overall risk of death, compared to people with normal vision. Results indicated that the higher the level of vision impairment or loss, the higher the risks of mortality.

How to Preserve Vision And Overall Eye Health

Here’s the good news: approximately 4 out of 5 cases of vision impairment can be prevented or corrected.

Annual eye exams and ongoing consultations with your optometrist will significantly increase your chances of avoiding vision loss and eye disease, and living the healthy life you desire.

Speak with your eye doctor about your medical history, genetic and lifestyle risk factors, and Dr. Kagan will provide guidance to help preserve your vision for an optimal quality of life.

To schedule your eye exam, call Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I have an eye exam?

  • A: The American Optometric Association recommends that healthy, low-risk adults between the ages of 18-64 should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every 2 years, or as directed by their eye doctor. High-risk individuals and adults aged 65 years and older should visit their optometrist annually for a comprehensive eye exam.

Q: What are the leading causes of blindness and vision impairment?

  • A: Globally, the leading causes of vision loss include: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, uncorrected refractive errors, eye infections and traumatic eye injuries.

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All About Cataract Surgery

In a normal, healthy eye, the lens is transparent. When there is a cataract, the lens becomes cloudy. Consequently, cataracts can cause blurred vision, poor night vision, muted color vision, and increased glare around lights.

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the United States, with over 3.5 million cataract removals performed annually. To clear up any confusion about this widespread procedure, our Belmont, California, put together the following list of questions and answers; read on.

When is cataract surgery recommended?

During the early stages of a cataract, the visual symptoms may be so mild that you aren’t bothered. Your doctor will just perform regular eye exams to monitor your condition. However, as the cataract progresses, the effects on your vision usually become more disruptive – to the point that many regular daily tasks become difficult. That’s when your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery. If a cataract gets in the way of treating another eye problem, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration, cataract surgery may also be advised.

What is cataract surgery?

When your ophthalmologist performs eye surgery to remove a cataract, the procedure involves removing the cloudy natural lens of your eye and replacing it with a clear, artificial intraocular lens. This outpatient procedure is often done with laser-assisted technology.

What risks are involved with cataract surgery?

In general, cataract removal is regarded as very safe. Complications are infrequent, and most can be treated successfully. (Note: if you have another ocular disease or a serious medical condition, your risk of complications is higher.)

Some possible risks are:

  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Bleeding
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Dislocation of artificial lens
  • Retinal detachment
  • Glaucoma
  • Secondary cataract
  • Loss of vision (rare)

What happens during cataract surgery?

When your eye doctor performs this eye surgery, you should expect the procedure to last about an hour or less. To begin, dilating eye drops will be inserted and you’ll receive a local anesthetic to numb the region. Sometimes, relaxing sedatives are also given.

During the surgery, the clouded lens will be taken out and a clear artificial lens will be implanted. There are a few different methods for removing cataracts, such as:

  1. Ultrasound waves to emulsify the cataract, which is then suctioned out
  2. Advanced lasers are used to make incisions, soften the cataract, and remove the cloudy lens
  3. Removing the lens intact through a large incision (called extracapsular cataract extraction); this procedure is done infrequently

Your eye doctor will determine the best technique for your cataract removal and intraocular lens implantation procedure.

What should you expect after cataract surgery?

After the procedure, your vision may initially be blurry as your eye heals. It’s also common to see colors as much brighter than you are used to because you are now viewing the world through a new, clear lens.

Itching and some minor discomfort are usual; it’s important not to push on or rub your eye. These symptoms typically disappear after a couple of days, and full healing usually occurs within two months. If you have a cataract in your other eye too, second cataract surgery is usually scheduled after the first eye has recuperated entirely.

For a few days following cataract removal, you may be instructed to apply eye drops or other medication to prevent infection, keep the eye pressure under control, and reduce any swelling. Also, you may need to wear a protective eye shield for a few days or while you sleep, as your eye recovers.

A day or two after your surgery, your doctor will probably perform an eye exam to monitor the healing. Eventually, your eye doctor will tell you when your eyes have recovered sufficiently for you to reach your final vision prescription for glasses.

What is posterior capsule opacification (PCO)?

This technical term is a formal way to describe a secondary cataract or “scar tissue,” which is a common complication of cataract surgery. It occurs when the back of the lens capsule (the part of your lens that was not removed during cataract surgery) becomes opaque or wrinkled, disturbing your clear vision. PCO can happen weeks, months, or years after the first surgery.

Treatment for PCO is relatively easy and efficient. It involves a quick procedure called YAG laser capsulotomy. In this outpatient surgery, your eye doctor will use a laser beam to cut a small hole in the clouded capsule, creating a path for light to pass through so you can enjoy clear vision.

How should you choose a cataract surgeon?

Choosing a cataract surgeon is the first step you need to take once your cataract significantly interferes with your ability to see. You need an eye surgeon who is qualified and has a high success rate.

Here are some tips on choosing a cataract surgeon who is right for you:

  • Consult with your regular eye doctor, who may be able to refer you to an experienced, recommended eye surgeon in the Belmont, California area.
  • Speak to family and friends who have already undergone cataract surgery. Word-of-mouth referrals are powerful – if a patient had a positive experience with their cataract surgeon, it’s worth a lot.
  • Online research and reviews can be a good method for choosing a cataract surgeon near you.
  • When you meet with any prospective surgeons, make sure you feel comfortable with the entire office staff. You want a team that’s professional, polite, and willing to take the time to provide information about the procedure and answer all your questions.
  • Find out who performs eye exams following your cataract surgery. Will it be the surgeon or a different team member, and are you comfortable with the answer?

Do you have more questions about cataract surgery?

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Astigmatism, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , 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? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Belmont eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Family Eye Center Optometry eye clinic near you in Belmont, California to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 650-399-7060

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  • What are multifocal lens implants?

    Multifocal lens implants are often used in cataract surgery to reduce the dependency upon glasses for both distance and near vision after the surgery is completed. As with other medical technology, not everyone will be a good candidate for this type of surgical implant. Patients with conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, etc. may not receive the full benefit of these lenses. Also, some patients with corneal scarring or those with significant astigmatism are not always the best candidates for these lens implants either. Your eye care professional can help determine if this lens implant option is right for you.

  • What are cataracts and how can they be treated?

    Cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye. They are common with age, certain medications and medical conditions. Patients usually feel like they are looking through a dirty window, cannot see colors the way they used to or have increased difficulty with glare. Currently, the treatment is surgery to remove the cloudy lens. Stay tuned for medical advances in cataract treatment in the future!

  • What are cataracts and how do they affect my vision?

    A cataract is a gradual clouding of the crystalline lens, located inside the eye, causing decreased vision. Cataracts most commonly occur with aging and are a normal part of the aging process. Other causes of cataract development include ocular trauma/surgery, radiation, smoking, systemic disease (metabolic and genetic conditions), and certain medications (particularly corticosteroids). Symptoms of cataract vision loss depending on the type, location, and severity of the cataract. Cataracts may cause gradual blurry vision, halos around lights, poor night vision, prescription changes, and glare symptoms. A cataract is treated with outpatient surgery, in which the crystalline lens is removed and replaced with a clear lens implant. Surgery is typically done with local anesthesia, with minimal or no complications. Nearly all patients achieve improved vision and often do not require glasses post-surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the safest and most common surgeries performed in the United States. Your optometrist will evaluate your eyes for cataracts at each comprehensive eye exam. Please let your optometrist know if you experience any of the above symptoms.

  • What is a cataract? How will I know when I have one? What can be done to fix it?

    A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens. The crystalline lens sits behind the iris or the colored part of the eye. Its function is to fine-tune our focusing system by changing shape as we view objects at different distances. Our lens eventually loses its ability to change shape; this is when we require reading glasses or bifocals. In addition, the crystalline lens can become cloudy or yellow as a part of normal aging. This is also known as an age-related cataract. Normal, age-related cataracts are unavoidable and everyone will develop them at some point if they live long enough. The discoloration of the lens leads to an overall blur, a decrease in contrast sensitivity, and a worsening of glare, especially at nighttime. Because they tend to develop gradually, the symptoms are often unnoticed by the patient. A yearly eye exam will allow your optometrist the opportunity to identify cataracts and advise on how to proceed. When your optometrist decides your cataracts are affecting your vision and are advanced enough to remove, you will meet with an ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective outpatient procedure that will reverse any vision loss caused by cataracts, and it is usually covered by your medical insurance.