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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

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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  • 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.

5 Tips To Encourage Your Child To Keep Their Glasses On

Eye Doctor in Belmont

Eye Doctor in Belmont

If your child wears glasses, then you may be familiar with the struggle of trying to keep their glasses on. Whether their specs are constantly falling off, or they refuse to wear them in the first place, here are a few tips to help ensure that your child’s glasses remain where they belong: on their face!

1. Highlight Other Family Members Who Wear Glasses

Kids are sometimes apprehensive to try new things, especially things that seem foreign to them. That’s why it may be helpful to show them how common glasses are by pointing out other family members and friends who wear glasses. Once they view glasses as commonplace, they may be more accepting of wearing them.

2. Involve Them In Choosing Their Frames

Inviting your child to pick out their new frames will give them a sense of control and ownership. This will, in turn, lead them to want to wear their glasses. So next time you buy them glasses, select a few options and have them choose the pair they like most.

3. Compliment Their New Look

If your child chooses a frame style that isn’t your first choice, avoid showing any disappointment. A parent’s positive and encouraging attitude is crucial for kids who are resistant to wearing glasses.

Aside from discussing how glasses help people see, play up the style aspect of glasses to help your child love their new look.

4. Fix The Fit

If your child’s glasses are frequently sliding down their face, consider this:

A child’s nose bridge isn’t as developed as an adult’s, which means that glasses have a harder time staying in place on their small faces. Many types of children’s frames take this into account and have adjustable nose pads.

If you find that the fit still isn’t secure and comfortable, bring your child to Family Eye Center Optometry, where we’ll be happy to adjust the glasses to perfectly fit their face.

5. Consider Using a Band or Other Anti-Slip Product

Slipping glasses is all too common with children, which is why companies have created products to secure children’s glasses. Ask your local optician about bands that attach to the temples, or anti-slip nose grips.

Adjusting to new glasses can take time, and that’s okay. With a positive attitude and a healthy dose of patience, parents can use these tips to help ease their child’s transition to wearing glasses.

If your child is having trouble with their glasses or experiencing any other vision-related issue, we can help. To schedule an appointment and learn about what we offer, contact Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often do children need to have their eyes examined?

  • A: Typically, a child’s first eye exam should be around 6 months of age. The next comprehensive eye exam should be between ages 3-5, and before first grade, and then annually thereafter. A child’s vision can change quickly, so don’t skip your child’s next eye exam!

Q: How can I tell if my child needs new glasses?

  • A: Signs that your child needs new specs may include: blurred vision, eye fatigue, headaches or squinting. It’s also advisable to get your child a second pair of glasses as a backup. The best way to know whether your child needs new glasses is through a comprehensive eye exam.

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


5 Ways To Maintain Good Vision And Healthy Eyes

Here’s what you need to know about keeping your eyes and vision healthy, and why you shouldn’t skip your annual eye exam.

Having healthy vision allows us to discover new information and experience life’s adventures. That’s why it’s important to keep those peepers healthy and safe.

Here are our top 5 tips for keeping your eyes and vision in great condition for a lifetime.

5 Ways To Maintain Great Eye and Visual Health

1. Wear Sunglasses Whenever You’re Outdoors Sunglasses aren’t just a fashionable accessory — they actually play a key role in keeping your eyes healthy. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can cause sight-threatening conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma.

You should wear your sunglasses any time you are outdoors, whether it’s cloudy and overcast or hot and sunny. Sport your shades year-round for optimal eye protection.

Be sure to choose a quality pair of 100% UVA/B sunglasses. Sunglasses that don’t offer UV protection can actually harm your eyes.

2. Include Eye-Healthy Foods In Your Diet

Here’s a way to keep your eyes healthy from the inside out: eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are essential for keeping your eyes seeing well and feeling good. You may even be able to ward off sight-threatening diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Try to include foods like salmon, tuna, green leafies, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, citrus fruits, eggs, beans, and nuts.

3. Make Sure You’re Wearing The Correct Prescription

Wearing glasses and contact lenses with the wrong prescription can be a headache — both literally and figuratively. If you experience eyestrain, headaches, or eye discomfort, there’s a good chance you may not be wearing the most accurate prescription.

Good vision should be comfortable, so call Family Eye Center Optometry if your prescription lenses are causing you any trouble.

4. Wear Protective Eye Gear

A whopping 90% of all eye injuries could be prevented if people wore protective eyewear. Be sure to wear the appropriate eyewear when performing hazardous tasks like yard work, when using power tools, or when handling potent chemicals.

5. Visit Your Eye Doctor

This may be the most important thing you can do for your eyes and vision. Regular comprehensive eye exams can help detect serious eye conditions and diseases like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy early enough to prevent or halt vision loss.

Children should undergo yearly eye exams to ensure healthy visual development and clear eyesight, both of which contribute to overall success.

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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  • Aren’t sunglasses really only needed in the summer?

    No. Although we think of summer when we think about sunglasses, the damage from UV radiation occurs year-round. Long-term exposure to UV has been shown to increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

  • I see fine. Why do I need to see an Eye Doctor?

    Regular eye exams are the only way to catch “silent” diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions in their early stages when they’re more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam. Those who consider mass-produced, over-the-counter reading glasses are truly doing themselves a disservice, both financially and medically. One-size-fits-all reading glasses not only do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism, or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly, they bypass the opportunity to have their eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions. For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headache and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

  • My vision seems fine. That means that my eyes are healthy, right?

    Unfortunately, no. Most eye diseases will not affect your vision until they are quite advanced. The only way to determine if your eyes are really healthy is to have them examined.

  • Does reading my smart phone or tablet in the dark damage my eyes?

    Reading from a tablet or smartphone in the dark is okay for your eyes, as long as this is not for a long period of time. There is good lighting from these devices, with good contrast. There is, however, the blue light emitted from these devices. Blue light is a short wavelength light, with high energy that may cause damage to the structures of the eye if exposed for a long period of time. As well, studies have shown this blue light can disrupt melatonin production which is required for a healthy sleep cycle. Doctors of Optometry recommend limiting screen use during the last hour before bedtime.

How Poor Nutrition and Lifestyle Can Lead to Cataracts

Optometrists in Belmont

Optometrists in Belmont

Cataracts are a natural part of the aging process. They obstruct vision by clouding the lens of the eye, making it opaque and difficult to see clearly. Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss and blindness worldwide. While there is no non-surgical cure for cataracts, research has shown that some foods and dietary supplements appear to delay the progression of this sight-threatening eye condition in certain people.

According to a study published by Nutrients (2019), oxidative stress causes damage to proteins and enzymes in the lens, which leads to cataract formation. An imbalance between free radicals (atoms that destroy cells in your body) and antioxidants (which diminish them) causes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when you don’t have enough antioxidants to neutralize the free radicals in your body.

Unhealthy foods are one major source of free radicals. According to some optometrists, eating a high-antioxidant diet can help slow the progression of cataracts and even lower your risk of developing cataracts in the first place.

What Foods to Avoid For Good Vision

Leading a healthy lifestyle is one of the surest ways to maintain good vision. This includes exercising, eating enough fruits and vegetables and making informed health decisions. Soft drinks, processed foods, fried foods and sugary snacks should all be avoided, as they’ve been shown to increase the risk of developing cataracts earlier in life.

It’s also a good idea to cut down on your sodium intake, as a study published by the American Journal of Epidemiology (2000) found that a high salt intake makes people more likely to develop cataracts.

Because cataracts are a natural part of aging, most older people will develop them at some point in their lives. To postpone the advent of cataracts, try consuming these foods and supplements.

Which Foods to Include in Your Diet to Prevent Cataracts

Ideally, you should eat 2 servings of fish each week, 3 servings of whole grains daily, and 5 to 9 servings of vegetables and fruits per day to reduce your risk of cataracts. The following are some of the most beneficial food sources for lowering your risk of this common eye disease.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

When it comes to keeping your eyes healthy, omega-3 fatty acids are nothing short of a superfood. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce your risk of developing cataracts and keep your eyes hydrated by supplying essential oils for your tear layer.

Flax seeds are regarded as one of the greatest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Other sources include grass-fed beef, tofu, and fatty fish such as cod, salmon, sardines and halibut.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has long been known to help prevent colds, but it can also help lower your risk of cataracts. Guava and oranges are a good source of this vitamin. Vitamin C is also abundant in red and green chili peppers, bell peppers, dark leafy greens, kiwi, papaya and broccoli.

Nuts and Seeds

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect the membranes of your eyes. Walnuts, for instance, are high in vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidants.

Almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts and peanuts are among the nuts and seeds that are excellent for your eyes.

Whole Grains

Not only do whole grains boost your eye health but they can reduce your risk of developing cataracts early on. Try adding quinoa, oatmeal, rye, wheat, brown rice, wheat and sorghum to your diet.

Fruits and Vegetables

Carotenoids are the pigments that give yellow, red, and orange fruits and vegetables their color. These items can be eaten raw, but for the best results, you should boil them first. Cantaloupes, sweet potatoes, carrots, and pumpkins contain carotenoids such as beta carotene and vitamin A, which help to prevent cataracts.

According to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2019), adding 10 mg of carotenoids to your diet lowers your risk of developing cataracts by roughly 26%. The maximum antioxidant content is found in vegetables and fruits. When shopping, look for fruits and vegetables with a variety of hues. Eat the skins whenever possible because they’re high in lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamins A, C and E.

No one antioxidant can stop free radicals from causing oxidative stress, so it’s crucial to consume a wide range of antioxidant-rich foods.

Although this list isn’t complete, consuming these foods can help strengthen your eyes and may stave off cataracts for a time.

Routine Eye Exams

Even if you have perfect vision right now, seeing your eye doctor on a regular basis is one of the best ways to preserve it. Your eye care provider can check for signs of cataracts and other eye conditions during annual visits.

Early detection can help save your sight. Contact Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont, to schedule an eye exam to ensure you have healthy vision for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What else can I do to prevent cataracts?

  • A: Besides ensuring you lead a healthy diet, make sure to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. UV rays emitted by the sun are known to increase a person’s risk of cataracts. You can easily do this by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses along with a wide-brimmed hat.In addition, if you smoke, quit smoking, as it releases free radicals in the body, increasing your risk of cataracts.

Q: Can cataracts cause blindness?

  • A: Left untreated, cataracts cause gradual vision loss, eventually leading to legal blindness or even total blindness. Fortunately, there are various measures you can take to prevent this from occurring, such as undergoing cataract surgery.

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


Diet and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Eye Doctors in Belmont

Eye Doctors in Belmont

“Eat your carrots—they’re healthy for your eyes”, or at least that’s what you’ve been told. While carrots contain important nutrients that are beneficial for vision and eye health, dark leafy green veggies contain higher levels of nutrients that may help delay the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

These are not the only foods that may help protect your vision. If you want to keep your eyes healthy, there are others we recommend you consume (or avoid!)

What Diet is Good for Macular Degeneration?

To prevent or delay AMD, you should consume a diet containing adequate levels of certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. A Mediterranean-style diet, which includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, seafood, and nuts and seeds, is a good place to start.

The National Eye Institute advises a nutrient formula to help lower the chance of AMD progression, regardless of how healthy your diet is. That formula is known as the AREDS2 formula eye vitamins. Nonetheless, getting key nutrients from foods and supplements is always a good idea.

Best Foods for Macular Degeneration

Your diet should include the following nutrients:

Antioxidants

Vitamins A, C, and E are all antioxidants that help prevent cellular damage. For Vitamin A, make sure you eat a lot of carotenoids, such as kale, spinach and yams, all of which include the ‘eye vitamins’ lutein and zeaxanthin. Vitamin C can be found in citrus fruits or broccoli, and Vitamin E is abundant in nuts, seeds, and oils.

Omega-3 fatty acids

There are three significant Omega-3s: EPA, DHA (both of which are found in fatty fish), and ALA, found in nuts and seeds. Omega-3 fatty acids help the body fight inflammation, which researchers believe plays a role in AMD. These fatty acids may also help reduce bad cholesterol, which has been associated with AMD.

Zinc and copper

These trace minerals both directly and indirectly contribute to eye health. Zinc, for example, aids in the absorption of the antioxidant vitamin A and regulates cellular function. Zinc is abundant in meats, shellfish, and legumes (i.e. chickpeas). For copper, eat a lot of dark leafy greens as well as seeds, nuts, and eggs.

What Foods Should I Avoid to Prevent Macular Degeneration

It should come as no surprise that the same things that clog your heart’s blood vessels also clog the tiny blood vessels in your eyes. Avoid fast foods and limit your intake of the following, especially if you have high cholesterol:

  • Tropical oils, like palm oil
  • Fatty pork, beef and lamb
  • Processed foods that contain trans fats
  • Vegetable shortening, lard and margarine
  • High-fat dairy foods

Sweets and sugary drinks should also be avoided since they induce inflammation, which leads to the production of eye-damaging free radicals. Moreover, sugary and fatty foods are abundant in calories and are a leading cause of obesity, which has been associated with AMD.

At Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont we care about you and your vision. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kagan to find out what else you can do to protect your vision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is Age-Related Macular Degeneration?

  • A: Age-Related Macular Degeneration refers to the deterioration of the central part of the retina, the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them back to the brain. When the macula is functioning properly, it collects highly detailed images at the center of our vision and sends neural signals through the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets them as sight. When the macula deteriorates, the brain does not receive these clear, bright images, and instead receives blurry or distorted images. AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people over 60. This number is expected to double to nearly 22 million by 2050.

Q: What are the symptoms of AMD?

  • A: The first symptoms that you may experience of macular degeneration can include:The first symptoms that you may experience of macular degeneration can include:
    • Lines appearing wavy
    • Decreased or blurry vision
    • Blind or dark spots in the center of your vision
    • In rare cases, different color perceptio

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


Can Blue Light Glasses Help with Digital Eye Strain?

Computer Glasses & Designer Frames in Belmont

Computer Glasses & Designer Frames in Belmont

Every day, people around the world are exposed to blue light from the sun, indoor lighting and digital screens.

Blue light causes eye strain and interrupts the circadian rhythm, influencing our sleep patterns. Researchers are now looking into whether excessive exposure to blue light poses any other risks to eye health.

What Exactly Is Blue Light?

Blue light are light rays of a specific wavelength that, although they enter the eye, are not perceived as the color blue.

Blue light has a short wavelength and produces a high amount of energy (from 400 to 500 nanometers). Thus, it’s also known as high-energy visible light (HEV). In fact, blue light is emitted by any source of visible light, whether it’s an artificial source like a light bulb or digital screen, or a natural one like the sun.

How Does Blue Light Affect The Eye?

Each color of visible light has its own energy level and wavelength. Blue light can reach the retina at the back of the eye because of its short wavelength and strong intensity.

A study published by the International Journal of Ophthalmology (2018) found that the retina’s light-sensitive nerve cells can be damaged when exposed to excessively high levels of blue light.

In addition, researchers are concerned about whether the blue light emitted by digital devices like cell phones, tablets and computers is enough to qualify as excessive exposure that could result in eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration.

Since blue light has more energy, it contributes to digital eye strain. When compared to other light rays, this exacerbates light scattering when it enters the eye. As the scattered blue light rays enter the eye, they cause ‘visual noise,’ making it difficult for the eye to focus the light accurately.

Symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Eyestrain and headaches
  • Neck, back and shoulder pain
  • Frequent rubbing or blinking of the eyes
  • Difficulty with accommodation (focusing between far and near)

What Are Blue Light Glasses and Do They Make a Difference?

Blue light glasses, also known as computer glasses, have lenses with a yellow tint, which have been shown to improve comfort levels when viewing digital devices for prolonged periods of time. With blue light blocking glasses, you can enjoy your screen time and reduce or prevent digital eye strain.

Getting Blue Light Glasses

If you decide to purchase blue light glasses, they’re available with or without a prescription. You can also buy single-lens computer glasses to match your prescription if you’re farsighted and wear progressive lenses or bifocals.

You might want to consider buying photochromic lenses, which provide both UV and blue light protection whether you’re indoors or out in the sun. When exposed to UV rays, the lenses automatically darken, and become clear again once indoors.

At Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont we offer a variety of blue light glasses and lenses. Contact us today to discuss your ideal pair of lenses with features to match your look and lifestyle.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Where can blue light be found?

  • A: The largest source of blue light is sunlight. LED and fluorescent lights, smartphones, computer screens and tablets also emit blue light, but at levels much lower than the sun.

Q: Besides blue light glasses, how can I protect my eyes against blue light?

  • A: Try to reduce the amount of time you spend in front of a digital screen and take frequent breaks to give your eyes a rest.

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


Do Blue Light Glasses Really Work?

man wearing blue light eyeglasses browsing his laptop 640×350

Best Blue Light Glasses in Belmont

In today’s digital world, optometrists everywhere are hearing this question more and more: ‘Are blue light glasses worth it?’

Although some controversy surrounds blue light’s impact on eye health, there’s enough scientific evidence to offer a reliable answer.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is a high-energy, short-wavelength light on the visible spectrum. Blue light is mostly emitted from the sun (hence, the reason our skies appear blue) but is also released by indoor light sources and digital screens.

Our eyes and brain interpret blue light rays as a wake-up signal because they stimulate alertness.

It’s worrying, as more and more people stare at digital screens throughout the day and often into the night.

Is Blue Light Harmful To Our Eyes?

Because blue light has a higher frequency and energy than other colors of light, it can easily penetrate the structures of our eyes and reach the retina, the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye.

Studies, such as the one published in Integrative Biology (2017), found that blue light does have negative effects on human retinal cells and increases oxidative damage—even at frequencies similar to ones emitted by digital screens.

Other research has linked blue light exposure to reduced sleep quality, especially when using a digital device at night.

Prolonged blue light exposure can also lead to digital eye strain, eye fatigue and dry eye syndrome.

For this reason, blue light lens filters and glasses were created to offset the negative effects of blue light overexposure.

How Blue Light Glasses Can Help

Better circadian rhythm

A study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health (2015) found that teenagers who wore blue-blocking glasses in the evening hours had better circadian rhythms than peers who didn’t use blue light glasses. Circadian rhythms regulate the sleep-wake cycle.

Reduces eye fatigue

Another study published in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology (2015) suggested that blue-blocking glasses or lenses may be effective in reducing eye fatigue.

Reduced symptoms of computer vision syndrome

A survey published in the Journal of Medical Imaging (2019) found that radiology residents who wore blue light filtering glasses experienced significantly reduced symptoms of computer vision syndrome (or digital eye strain).

What’s The Bottom Line?

Blue light-blocking glasses can be effective in improving sleep quality and lessening symptoms of computer vision syndrome and eye fatigue when staring at a screen.

If you spend a lot of time in front of a digital screen, speak with your eye doctor to determine if you could benefit from blue-blocking glasses or lenses.

To schedule an eye exam or learn more about what we offer, call Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: In addition to wearing blue-blocking glasses, what are some other tips for relieving digital eye strain?

  • A: Take frequent breaks from screen use and try to stick to the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, shift your gaze to something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. Consider putting a blue light filter on your computer or phone screens. Also, try to avoid screen time at least 2 hours before bed in order to feel less awake. Lastly, speak with your optometrist. If you or a family member has any symptoms of digital eye strain, we can help.

Q: Can children and teens benefit from wearing blue light glasses?

  • A: Yes! Children and teens who use digital screens for schoolwork and recreational activities on a daily basis may experience symptoms of eye fatigue or eye strain without even knowing it. Blue-blocking glasses may be the key to relieving their headaches, blurred vision or improving their circadian rhythms. Speak with us about blue-blocking glasses or lens filters for your child today.

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


Sunglasses For Kids

Designer Sunglasses for Kids in Belmont

Designer Sunglasses for Kids in Belmont

Sun damage is cumulative. So it’s absolutely critical that children wear sunglasses as soon as they begin to spend time playing outdoors.

How Are Children’s Eyes Different From Adults’ Eyes

Children’s eyes allow more UV rays to penetrate, which is why they should wear sunglasses from an early age. Because UV light causes cell damage in the eye, children are at a higher risk for a variety of sight-threatening eye diseases later in life.

Another reason children require additional eye protection is because they tend to spend more time outdoors than adults. Increased exposure, combined with their sensitivity to UV light, warrants the use of eye protection.

Common Eye Problems Caused by Sunlight

UV exposure has been shown to increase the risk of the following eye conditions:

Cataracts

Cataracts refers to the clouding of the eye’s lens, typically described as seeing through a frosty window. However, to prevent or delay the onset of this disease, it’s important to limit UV exposure.

Pterygium

Pterygium, often called “surfer’s eye”, is a wedge-like growth of the conjunctiva, the outer protective layer of the eye. It develops when UV radiation causes cells in the conjunctiva to divide abnormally, resulting in a whitish growth near the cornea. Pterygium is a condition that affects both eyes and can expand to the pupil. When this happens, your cornea becomes misshapen and vision distorted.

Photokeratitis & Photoconjunctivitis

In both cases, UV radiation from the sun causes inflammation of the tissues within the eye. Photokeratitis is the inflammation of the cornea, while photoconjunctivitis is the inflammation of the conjunctiva, the eye’s outer protective membrane that lines the eye, eye socket and eyelids.

These conditions are common in children and may be accompanied with various unpleasant symptoms, like pain and blurred vision.

Skin Cancer Near the Eyes

Although sunscreen is necessary for skin protection when outdoors, most people forget to apply it near their eyes. Unfortunately, this may raise the risk of developing skin cancer around the eyes. It’s important to note that skin cancer tends to develop as a result of years of UV exposure, so the sooner you protect the skin around your child’s eyes, the better.

Regular Eye Exams

Not all sunglasses are the same, and not all kids have the same requirements. Schedule an eye exam with Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont to find sunglasses that meet your child’s needs and preferences. We can assess whether your child requires prescription lenses and guide them in finding a suitable fit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I convince my child to wear sunglasses?

  • A: If you allow your child to choose a pair of sunglasses that they like and that fully protect their eyes, they will most likely be happy to wear them.

Q: How do I know what kind of sunglasses to buy for my child?

  • A: When purchasing sunglasses for your child, make sure that they block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. They should be large enough to cover as much area around the eyes as possible.

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


6 Ways To Maintain Eye Health If You’re Over 50

Aging and certain lifestyle choices can affect your vision, especially if you’re in your 50’s and up. While it’s normal for your eyes and vision to change, there are certain actions you can take to protect your sight.

6 Tips for 50+ Eye Health

  1. Eat Well

    A well-balanced diet helps maintain a healthy body including healthy eyes, and reduces your odds of developing some very serious eye diseases. Nutrients and nutritious foods, which help prevent vision loss include:

    • Vitamin A: Carrots, spinach, kale, egg yolks, dairy products
    • Vitamin C: Citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, potatoes, green peppers
    • Vitamin E: Whole grains, eggs, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils
    • Fatty Acids: Coldwater fish, such as mackerel, rainbow trout and salmon; corn oil, sunflower oil
    • Lutein: Kale, spinach, broccoli, brussels sprouts, corn
    • Zinc: Poultry, meat, fish, dairy products, whole grains
  1. Quit Smoking

Smoking can significantly increase the chances of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as diabetic retinopathy in diabetics. So if you’re a smoker, the sooner you quit, the better.

  1. Exercise

Exercising for at least 20 minutes a day is great for your whole body, including your eyes, by increasing blood flow to the optic nerve and retina! It isn’t necessary to engage in strenuous exercise—in fact, a brisk walk will suffice.

  1. Protect Your Eyes

Sunglasses

Protecting your eyes from ultraviolet rays with UV-blocking sunglasses can slow down the development of cataracts, prevent sun damage to your retina, and lower the risk of skin cancer near your eyes.

Protective eyewear

Another way to protect your eyes is to wear protective eyewear. If you play sports or work with materials such as wood, glass or metal, protective eyewear can shield your eyes from splinters and shards, as well as fast-moving objects like balls and hockey pucks.

  1. Give Your Eyes a Rest

If you spend a lot of time reading, driving or looking at digital devices, you may develop eye strain and eye fatigue. By implementing the 20-20-20 rule, especially during prolonged computer or smartphone use, you can give your eyes some much-needed rest. All you need to do is this: every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

  1. Have Regular Eye Exams

And finally, a comprehensive eye exam is crucial, as it can detect eye conditions that don’t display any symptoms until vision loss has already occurred.

These conditions include:

When detected early, treatment can often prevent permanent vision loss or even blindness. Less serious and more common, presbyopia or age-related farsightedness, develops with age, and simply updating your prescription for glasses or contact lenses at your routine eye checkup can keep you enjoying the arm’s-length activities you love.

Age-related vision changes can be challenging, both emotionally and physically. However, some of these can be mitigated by implementing the tips above.

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

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Q&A

How does aging affect your eyes?

Aging causes changes in every part of your body, including your eyes. As you age, the lens inside your eye begins to harden, which leads to presbyopia (age-related farsightedness). This makes it more difficult for your eyes to focus on near objects and tasks like reading. Other common age-related eye problems include:

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Dry Eyes
  • Floaters
  • Changes to Peripheral Vision

Can I do anything about my chances of vision loss?

It is estimated that half of all visual impairment and blindness can be prevented through early diagnosis and treatment. So make sure you get regular eye exams to ensure that all is in check.

Why Eye Exams Are More Important Than Ever

Why Are Eye Exams near you in Belmont, California Important?

Since the onset of COVID-19, many children have been learning remotely through distance learning programs. While parents are concerned about their children falling behind academically, eye doctors are concerned that undiagnosed vision problems may impact the child’s school performance.

Undetected vision problems may hinder a child’s ability to learn. That’s why eye doctors strongly recommend that children undergo a thorough Eye Exam before the new school year begins.

While it’s tempting to rely on vision screenings provided by schools, these superficial visual acuity tests can identify only a limited number of vision problems. Only a comprehensive Eye Exam conducted by an eye doctor can accurately diagnose and address a wide range of problems related to vision and eye health.

How Is Vision Affected By Online Learning?

The amount of time children spend looking at digital screens was already a concern in the pre-pandemic era—but the covid pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. According to the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, children spent twice as much time on screens during COVID-related closures than they did prior to the pandemic.

For one thing, spending prolonged periods of time on digital screens forces the eyes to work harder, making children and adults more susceptible to digital eye strain, one of the hallmark symptoms of computer vision syndrome. People who spend 2 or more consecutive hours staring at a screen are at higher risk of developing this condition.

Some digital eye strain symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

These symptoms can be caused by a combination of the following factors:

  • Glare and reflections from the screen
  • Excessive time looking at a screen
  • Poor lighting
  • Poor posture
  • Screen brightness
  • Undetected vision problems

In addition to digital eye strain, several studies have found that children who spend many hours indoors doing “near work” — writing, reading and looking at computers and other digital devices — have a higher rate of myopia progression.

A study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s professional journal, Ophthalmology, found that first-graders who spent at least 11 hours per week playing outside in the sunshine experienced slower myopia progression. Some researchers theorize that exposure to sunlight and looking at distant objects while playing outdoors might help prevent myopia progression.

Our optometry practice near you in Belmont, California, offers a wide range of eye care services, including pediatric eye exams, contact lenses fitting and ocular diseases management

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Up to 80% of a child’s learning is visual, so even the slightest vision problem can have a negative impact on their academic achievement. Taking a child in for an Eye Exam once a year will allow your eye doctor to detect and correct refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, and check their visual skills, such as convergence insufficiency, binocular vision, focusing and more.

Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to detect mild and serious eye health conditions. Eye exams are especially important for children with a family history of eye health problems.

While regular eye exams are essential for every member of the family, they’re especially for those who spend a good portion of their day in front of a screen.

Don’t put off your child’s annual Eye Exam. Schedule an appointment with Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont today!

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

Schedule a Back To School Eye Exam With Our Optometrist in Belmont, California

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At what age should a child have an Eye Exam

According to the American and Canadian Optometric Associations, it’s recommended for a child to have their first Eye Exam between 6-12 months of age.
Before a child starts school, they should undergo an Eye Exam, and every one to two years after that, based on their Eye Doctor’s recommendation.

Does my child need an Eye Exam if they passed the school vision screening?

Yes! School vision screenings are superficial eye evaluations designed to diagnose a limited number of vision problems like myopia. They do not check for visual skills and other problems that may hinder your child’s academic success.
Your Eye Doctor will evaluate your child’s vision and eye health, along with visual abilities, including depth perception and eye tracking, to let you know whether your child’s eyes are “school-ready.”