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Can I Swim With Contact Lenses?

Contact Lens Eye Exams in Belmont, California

Contact Lens Eye Exams in Belmont, California

Though tempting, wearing contact lenses while swimming can leave your eyes vulnerable to contamination by harmful bacteria and chemicals present in the water. This can result in eye irritation, infections and sight-threatening conditions such as corneal ulcers. Moreover, swimming in contact lenses may alter their shape, causing blurred vision and discomfort.

If you absolutely must wear contact lenses to swim, opt for daily disposables and combine them with waterproof swimming goggles. Alternately, you can wear prescription goggles to see clearly underwater.

Why Should I Avoid Wearing Contact Lenses While Swimming?

Swimming pools, rivers, oceans, and other bodies of water (including tap water) are laden with bacteria, viruses, and microorganisms—many of which can harm your eyes. The soft contact lenses’ porous material easily absorbs chemicals and bacteria, increasing the risk of eye irritation and infection.

One of the more harmful organisms often found in water sites is Acanthamoeba, which, when in contact with your contact lenses can potentially lead to eye infections. This condition, called Acanthamoeba Keratitis, may cause permanent vision loss and even require a corneal transplant to recover lost vision if not treated early enough.

Moreover, contact lenses absorb water, causing their shape to change. This results in contact lens discomfort as well as blurred and distorted vision.

What if I must wear contact lenses to swim?

If, for whatever reason, you must wear contact lenses to swim, consider wearing daily disposables together with waterproof swimming goggles. Aside from protecting your vision, goggles reduce the risk of your contacts dislodging from your eyes.

Because water hosts many potentially harmful microorganisms, daily contact lenses allow you to swim in lenses without needing to sterilize them afterward. Just insert them prior to heading into the water and dispose of them immediately after.

If at any point during your swim, you feel eye discomfort, immediately remove the lenses.

For more advice on swimming with contact lenses, speak with Dr. Kagan at Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont, California today.

What are the Alternatives to Wearing Contact Lenses For Swimming?

Custom-made prescription swimming goggles are a worthwhile investment for regular swimmers.

Just like glasses, they correct refractive errors, such as myopia (shortsightedness or nearsightedness), hyperopia (longsightedness or farsightedness) and presbyopia. Moreover, prescription goggles are sealed so that water doesn’t come into contact with your eyes. This allows you to see clearly underwater without any risk of contamination.

Certain brands conveniently offer ready-made prescription swimming goggles. But prior to making the purchase, we advise that you check the goggles against your prescription to make sure they match.

Dr. Kagan at Family Eye Center Optometry will be happy to advise you on your best eyewear options for swimming and other activities you enjoy.

What if Water Comes Into Contact With My Contact Lenses?

In the event that water comes into contact with your lenses, make sure to immediately remove, clean and disinfect your contact lenses. This will reduce your risk of eye irritation and other complications.

Contact Dr. Kagan immediately if you experience prolonged eye irritation or sensitivity to light after wearing your contact lenses in water.

Family Eye Center Optometry serves patients from Belmont, throughout California .

We offer the best eye care services for you & your family. Most vision and medical insurances accepted.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are disposable contact lenses good for my eyes?

  • A: They’re perfectly fine, but it all depends on your eyes. Each person has a different tolerance level to contact lenses. Speak with your eye doctor to determine whether contacts are a good option for you.

Q: What are the advantages of daily disposable contact lenses?

  • A: Daily disposable contact lenses are great for many reasons. The possibility of infection diminishes since a new sterile lens is inserted every day. In other words, there’s no need to clean the lens or case. Dailies are also a great option for patients that have allergies, contact lens solution sensitivities and dry eye, as it eliminates the build-up of contaminants on the lenses that can exacerbate those problems. Dailies make for a low-maintenance and comfortable option for any patient!

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


Discover the Right Lenses for Your Lifestyle

Eye Care and Eyeglasses in Belmont, California

Eye Care and Glasses in Belmont, California

So many of life’s moments are worth capturing. Whether it’s seeing a magnificent mountain during a hike, your favorite band in concert or the smiling faces of family and friends, a perfect pair of lenses can help you see your world with clarity, comfort, and enjoyment.

Do you love to run outdoors during the day? Do you spend most of your working hours in front of the computer? No matter your lifestyle, Family Eye Center Optometry offers plenty of lens options to choose from to suit your every need.

Without further ado, let’s explore the different lens types below:

Single Vision

Single vision lenses are ideal for those with myopia, presbyopia, and astigmatism. Nowadays, lenses are digitally surfaced— meaning that the eye doctor, Dr. Kagan, will take specific measurements to optimize your lenses for your unique visual needs. Compare this to having your suit customized and tailored according to your measurements versus buying a suit off the rack. The obvious choice is clear!

Progressive

Goodbye bifocals and hello progressives! Progressive lenses are an amazing piece of engineering, as they allow multiple vision fields to be incorporated into a single lens. That is, you see clearly both near and far and seamlessly transition at distances in between. Unlike bifocals, these lenses don’t have a line separating near and distance prescriptions — progressive lenses blend the prescriptions. This increases comfort and is an obvious choice for those who switch from activity to activity— such as driving to reading something close up. Furthermore, these lenses provide a sleek, sharp and youthful appearance.

Computer Vision

We live in a digital world and extended screen time is rapidly becoming the norm. When working at your computer for any length of time, it’s not uncommon to experience blurred vision, eye strain, red eyes, and other symptoms. Many try to compensate for their blurred vision by leaning forward, or by tipping their head to look through the bottom portion of their glasses.

If you regularly work at your desktop or laptop, consider getting computer vision lenses. Computer glasses typically have 60% of the magnifying power of reading glasses. But the optimal magnification will depend on how far you’d like to sit from your computer screen and digital devices. These lenses reduce eye strain, blurred vision and unnatural posture that can result in neck and back pain.

Lens Enhancements

You can further customize your lenses with lens enhancements. These protect your lenses from scratches, reduce reflection and smudges, protect your eyes against UV rays, and diminish exposure to blue light.

Anti-reflective (AR) coating

Anti-reflective coating, also known as AR, or non-glare, is a coating that, when applied to the surface of the lens, reduces the amount of glare that reflects off your lenses.

It also allows more light to pass through your lenses to your eye, resulting in clearer and sharper vision.

Because of reduced glare, people will be able to actually see your eyes and not just your lenses, whether in person or in photos. Furthermore, because your vision will be sharper and clearer, you’ll be placing less strain on your eyes in order to see.

Light-reactive lenses

Many people find it a hassle to switch between prescription sunglasses and regular specs. Carrying a pair of each also means that you also have a higher chance of losing one of the pairs. Some may forget to bring their sunglasses along altogether!

The solution? Light-refractive lenses! Also known as photochromic lenses, these prescription lenses cleverly adapt to lighting conditions: when indoors, the lenses are clear, but as soon as you step outside into bright, natural light, they darken, providing you with 100% UV protection.

Photochromics are versatile and are perfect for practically any occasion. Whether for golf or tennis players, where good vision is as crucial as comfort and protection, or when switching between outdoor sports activities and the classroom.

Blue Light Reduction

Many of us have been staring at screens for a large part of our lives, especially in the last 10-15 years, as smartphones, computers, and laptops have become ever more prevalent. The average office worker spends almost 1,700 hours per year in front of a computer screen. And that’s just when we’re at the office— let’s add to that the amount of time we spend staring at our phones before, during, and after work hours.

All of this screen time can result in digital eye strain, a group of eye and vision-related problems that result from prolonged use of digital devices or computers. This can result in blurred vision, dry eyes, headaches, neck and shoulder pain.

Blue light lens enhancements help alleviate any eye strain that results from exposure to the dangerous blue light emitted by sunlight or the display screens of computers, smartphones, and other digital devices. Blue light coating provides relief from sore, irritated, tired eyes so that you can keep working, cramming for exams, reading online, or binge-watching your favorite show in comfort.

If you are seeking a new pair of glasses or are deciding on new lenses, the staff at Family Eye Center Optometry will work with you to find the perfect frames and lenses to match your personal style and lifestyle. Our team is dedicated to providing the vision care needs of our patients in the Belmont, California area, and fitting you for the right eyewear is an important part of our comprehensive eye care services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I borrow and use someone else’s glasses?

  • A: Most glasses are spefically customized for a particular patient. If you are wearing someone’s glasses, it could improve your vision some, but it will not give you the crisp clear vision that a personalized pair of glasses does.

Q: Are glasses better for my eyes than contact lenses?

  • A: Glasses are better because you do not have a foreign material resting on your eyes, however with advancements in technology contact lens material have become very healthy.

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


Is Your Teen Ready To Wear Contact Lenses?

Contact Lens Exam at Family Eye Center Optometry

Contact Lens Exam at Family Eye Center Optometry

Some parents may deny their teens’ requests for purchasing contact lenses, thinking they’re too young. So it may come as a surprise to hear that the FDA deems it safe for children as young as 8 to wear certain types of contact lenses. Caring for and inserting contacts requires some maturity, and each parent must decide if their child is prepared for that level of responsibility. If your child is interested in wearing contact lenses, Dr. Kagan can guide both you and your child down the path to achieving clear and comfortable ‘glasses-free’ vision.

What Makes a Teen Ready For Contact Lenses?

Before deciding whether your teen is ready to wear contacts, consider the following:

Hygiene

Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial for contact lens wearers of all ages. They must thoroughly wash their hands before they insert, remove or clean their lenses. Furthermore, contact lenses are in constant contact with protein molecules in the tears, which leads to protein buildup on the lens surface. This can cause the eyes to feel irritated and itchy, and even cause an infection. Examine your teen’s personal hygiene habits, and discuss the importance of caring for lenses properly and safely.

Adherence to Recommended Wear Time

One of the biggest causes of eye infection in those who wear contact lenses is overuse. Your teen must be able to understand and follow the recommended wearing schedule. If wearing a bi-weekly or monthly disposable lens, they would need to keep track of when to discard the current pair of lenses and open a new pair. Additionally, wearing contacts longer than recommended (such as overnight) can deprive the eyes of oxygen, which can lead to corneal damage.

Daily disposable contact lenses are a great choice for first-time contact lens wearers since users discard them daily, after each use, and don’t need to clean the lenses.

Pre-Existing Eye Conditions

If your child has allergies, dry eye, frequent bouts of pink eye or eye infections, speak with Dr. Kagan to determine whether contact lenses might increase their risk of these conditions.

Why Some Teens Prefer Contact Lenses

Contact lenses offer various benefits that your teen doesn’t experience with glasses. Someone who wears glasses may think twice before participating in some physical activities or sports for fear of losing or damaging their glasses. If your teen enjoys sports or outdoor activities, wearing contact lenses can relieve this fear.

Additionally, contact lenses provide clear peripheral vision, while glasses do not. In some cases of a teen or child with a very high prescription, contact lenses can offer clearer and more natural vision than standard glasses. Soft contact lenses are suitable for a wide range of prescriptions and astigmatisms and could be a great choice for your teen.

Moreover, eyewear — or lack thereof — is an essential part of a teen’s image and personal style. Most teens like the idea of having the option to wear either glasses or contacts.

If you think your teen is ready for contact lenses, we’d be happy to help them find the perfect pair for their individual lifestyle and visual needs. At Family Eye Center Optometry, we offer a wide variety of frames and contact lenses, so that every teen who comes to us leaves with eyewear that makes them feel confident while offering them the clearest and most comfortable vision possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are the latest trends in contact lenses?

  • A: Many contact lens manufacturers are now producing “daily” disposable contact lenses. These are lenses that are inserted in the morning and thrown away at night. This style of contact lens wear is both convenient and healthy. With these lenses, patients buy less solutions and don’t have to keep up with how old their lenses are and when to change them. Daily disposables are also beneficial in causing less allergy and dryness while reducing the risks of infection. Daily lenses are now offered in all types of prescriptions from distance vision to astigmatism and multifocal/bifocal prescriptions.

Q: Can I wear contacts while I sleep?

  • A: Generally, we do not recommend sleeping in contact lenses on a regular or prolonged basis. The eye is a dark, warm place while you are sleeping. Bacteria thrive in dark, warm places. There are contact lenses FDA approved to sleep in, but they should always be removed and thoroughly disinfected every week.

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


Should My Baby Wear Sunglasses Sometimes?

Eye Care & Optical | Family Eye Center Optometry

Does A Baby Need Sunglasses?

Did you ever stop to think, “should my baby wear sunglasses?”

The answer is yes. While adults know the benefits of sunglasses, many parents aren’t aware that a baby’s eyes are especially vulnerable to the sun’s harmful UV rays.

At Family Eye Center Optometry we care about you and your family’s eyes. We help patients of all ages find sunglasses that protect their eyes while making them look and feel great.

Why Should My Baby Wear Sunglasses?

Sunglasses protect the eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet light is linked to the development of macular degeneration, cataracts, benign growths on the sclera (the white of the eye), corneal sunburn, and even eyelid cancers.

But did you know that babies and children are even more vulnerable to UV light than adults? Because children’s eye lenses are clearer than in adults’, 70% more UV light penetrates the eye. Without protection, the damage done by UV rays accumulates over time, leading to an increased risk of permanent eye damage or disease in adulthood.

It’s no wonder that an estimated 80% of UV eye damage in our lifetime occurs by the age of 18!

What to Look for When Purchasing Sunglasses for Your Baby

When buying sunglasses, keep these tips in mind:

UVA and UVB protection – Look for sunglasses that filter at least 95% of UVA and UVB rays. 100% blockage is even better.

Polarization – Polarization leads objects to appear sharper and reduces glare. Keep in mind that that polarization isn’t the same as UV protection.

Wraparound – Sunglasses that wrap around a child’s head prevent light from entering the eye from the sides.

Color – Lenses should be gray-tinted so they don’t interfere with your child’s ability to recognize colors.

Safety and Security – Because babies and toddlers can be rough with sunglasses, make sure you choose ones that don’t break easily. For optimal safety, get polycarbonate lenses as they’re impact-resistant. You’ll also want the sunglasses to stay on your baby’s face, so make sure you select those that include a Velcro strap or a band that holds the two ends together.

Whenever you feel that you should be wearing sunglasses, your baby should be wearing them, too. Whether they’re in a stroller or baby carrier, their eyes need to be protected from potential UV damage.

We at Family Eye Center Optometry care about your child’s eyes. Stop by Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont for help and advice on choosing the perfect pair of sunglasses for your baby.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When should my baby wear sunglasses?

  • A: Sunglasses aren’t just for the summer. Protect your baby’s eyes with sunglasses year-round.

Q: How do I get my baby to keep their sunglasses on?

  • A: The earlier your child is introduced to sunglasses, the more natural they’ll feel. Also, make sure the sunglasses fit well and don’t pinch. No one likes to wear a pair of sunglasses that aren’t comfortable, so why would your baby?

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


Frequently Asked Questions on Eyeglasses

Optical store in Belmont, California

Eye Care and Optical Store in Belmont, California

How can I get rid of reflections on my glasses?

If you’re experiencing annoying reflections on your lenses, have your optician replace the lenses with ones that include an anti-reflective coating (AR coating). Though this will come at an extra cost, the AR coating will help you see more clearly, let others see your eyes better and eliminate annoying glare spots on your lenses.

I’d like to know more about the glasses that transform into sunglasses.

Glasses that transform into sunglasses when in direct sunlight are known as photochromic lenses. The lenses darken once exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation (UV) rays and progressively return to their clear state when no longer exposed to these rays.

Photochromic lenses are an excellent choice for those who wear glasses all day and regularly spend time outdoors, yet don’t want to invest in a pair of prescription sunglasses.

However, it’s important to note that most photochromic lenses don’t darken as well when inside a vehicle. The windshield glass blocks much of the UV required to initiate the lens darkening process. Thus, it’s best to get a separate pair of prescription sunglasses for driving.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I choose glasses that my child will actually want to wear?

If you want your child to wear glasses, get him or her to pick them out. Whenever children choose glasses frames that they like and feel good wearing, they are much more likely to enjoy wearing them.

How can I prolong the life of my eyeglasses?

Below are a few tips to keep your glasses in great condition:

  • If you’re buying a single pair of glasses, avoid trendy frames that could soon go out of vogue.
  • If your child’s prescription changes regularly, ask for the new lenses to be placed in the old frames, rather than purchasing new frames every time.
  • Buy frames with spring hinges. These allow the temples to slightly flex outward without breaking the glasses.
  • Apply scratch-resistant coating to the lenses.

Why do certain glasses leave indents on the sides of my nose?

When nose pads are maladjusted or too tight, they leave indents. Fortunately, this problem can be easily solved with a few adjustments by an optician who will ensure that the pair of glasses evenly distributes pressure on the nose, head width, and ears.

Why do my glasses cause pain behind my ears?

If the arms of the frame are bent too tightly around the ears, you will experience aches behind the ears. Ask your optician to loosen the arms and adjust them as needed for maximum comfort.

My glasses keep sliding off my nose. What should I do?

If your glasses aren’t sitting comfortably on your face, then there’s clearly an adjustment problem. Visit Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont to adjust the frame width and bridge size.

How do I keep my glasses clean?

The most efficient method for cleaning glasses is to run them under water; place a tiny drop of dishwashing soap on the lenses and lather them using the tip of your finger. Rinse with warm water and dry using a microfibre cloth. Keep your lenses away from chemicals and high temperatures, as they can destroy the protective coating on your lenses.

Q: Why should I see an eye doctor when I can easily pick up an inexpensive pair of eyeglasses at the store?

  • A: You should visit your eye doctor for several reasons.Routine eye exams are the only way to detect underlying diseases (i.e. glaucoma) in their early stages. When caught early, they can be more effectively treated before permanent vision loss occurs. Furthermore, the one-size-fits-all reading glasses that you find at a regular store doesn’t correct for astigmatism or those with differing eye prescriptions. This is something only an eye doctor, such as Dr. Kagan, can provide.

Q: When buying reading glasses at a pharmacy or corner store, how do I know which prescription to get?

  • A: Off-the-shelf glasses should only be used for emergency situations, as they can’t perfectly correct your prescription. That said, it is recommended to get a slightly weaker correction than your usual prescription.

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

What Can I Do to Prevent Glaucoma?

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Family Eye Center Optometry

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Family Eye Center Optometry

Glaucoma affects approximately 3.5 million North Americans aged 40 and older. It is a primary cause of preventable vision loss and blindness among adults on this continent and around the world.

Glaucoma is three to four times more common, and 15x more likely to cause blindness in African Americans than in Caucasians. The prevalence of glaucoma rises rapidly in Hispanics over the age of 65.

While there is currently no cure, early detection with an annual comprehensive eye exam can slow or prevent vision loss. So get your eyes checked at Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont before it’s too late.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve. This nerve is the only neural communication between the eyes and the brain, so any damage in that area causes permanent and irreparable vision loss.

The main risk factor is increased pressure inside the eye, known as intraocular pressure (IOP). IOP usually increases due to the buildup of excess fluid inside the eye, which damages the optic nerve, resulting in vision loss and even blindness.

While glaucoma is most common in those aged 40 and over, it can occur at any age. Early detection and treatment can often prevent glaucoma-related damage. This is why it is absolutely crucial to undergo routine comprehensive eye exams that include glaucoma testing.

What Are the Symptoms of Glaucoma?

Open-angle glaucoma (OAG) is the most common type of glaucoma, accounting for over 90% of all glaucoma patients. This type of glaucoma has no obvious symptoms until irreparable damage to the optic nerve has occurred. This condition is often called the ‘Silent Thief of Sight’ and results in vision loss known as ‘tunnel vision.’

Normal-tension glaucoma, also called low-tension glaucoma, affects up to 30-40% of all glaucoma patients with OAG. In these cases, the optic nerve is damaged even though the pressure in the eye is within normal limits. People with this kind of glaucoma may experience:

  • Migraine headaches
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Low blood pressure

A far less common form of the disease is closed-angle glaucoma (CAG), affecting up to 10% of all patients. In this sight-threatening eye disease, the IOP can suddenly spike to over 50mmHg — more than double the normal range. This condition requires immediate emergency medical care as vision loss can be more dramatic and occurs quickly. Closed-angle glaucoma often presents with some or all of these symptoms:

  • Blind spots in the peripheral vision
  • Sudden severe pain in the eye or forehead
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Eye redness
  • Decreased or blurred vision

How to Manage Your Glaucoma

Although there is no cure for glaucoma, the good news is that if it is detected early, the condition can be treated and controlled to prevent vision loss. Most glaucoma patients can successfully manage their condition with eye drops, medication, and on occasion, laser treatment or surgery. All of these help to reduce the pressure on the eye by lessening the production and inflow of aqueous fluid into the eye or increasing the outflow pathways for more effective drainage from the eye.

It’s important to remember that having regular eye exams is vital, as glaucoma can cause permanent vision loss before you are even aware of any signs. Irreparable vision loss and blindness can be prevented if the disease is recognized in its early stages. Contact Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont to book your comprehensive eye exam today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can Glaucoma be treated?

  • A: While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are several treatments that can help slow down or prevent damage to your eyes. Treatments include eye drops, oral medication, surgeries and therapies such as filtering surgery, Laser therapy, drainage tubes, and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS)

Q: Can glaucoma be prevented?

  • A: The only way to prevent glaucoma is to undergo regular eye exams as significant vision loss or blindness can be prevented if glaucoma is diagnosed and treated in its early stages.

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


Macular Degeneration – What Is It?

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Family Eye Center Optometry

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Family Eye Center Optometry

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of severe vision loss in people over 60. An estimated 11 million people in the United States and 1.4 million Canadians have some form of macular degeneration.

The risk of suffering from AMD increases from 2% for ages 50-59, to nearly 30% for those over the age of 75.

Currently, there is no cure for macular degeneration. However, with lasers and injections, Family Eye Center Optometry can help you manage the condition and occasionally even restore some lost vision.

What is Macular Degeneration?

Macular degeneration is the deterioration of the central part of the retina, called the macula. It’s responsible for central vision, making it an extremely important part of our eyes. A large part of our ability to see fine detail and color comes from our central vision. Clear central vision is vital to our quality of life as it allows us to drive a car, recognize faces, read, watch TV and so much more.

The retina is the back layer of the eye that consists of nerves to record images and send them back to the brain. When functioning properly, the macula collects extremely detailed images at the center of our vision. It then sends signals through the optic nerve to the brain. When the macula deteriorates, the retina sends distorted and blurred images to the brain.

One way to understand the impact of AMD: When you look at a loved one, the image of their face is focused onto your macula. The deterioration of the macula makes it difficult, sometimes impossible to see clearly, impacting our enjoyment of life.

Types of Macular Degeneration

There are two main types of macular degeneration: “wet” and “dry.” Between 85% to 90% of people with macular degeneration have dry form. The dry form can eventually lead to the wet form.

Stargardt disease is another form of macular degeneration, which occurs in young people. Caused by a defective gene, it affects 1 in 10,000 people.

Wet vs. Dry Macular Degeneration

  • Wet (exudative) macular degeneration – this occurs when very fragile new blood vessels form in the retina. These abnormal blood vessels leak fluid and blood into the retina, causing vision to become distorted, resulting in lines that appear wavy instead of straight, or black spots in your vision. As the blood vessels continue to bleed, they form a scar, potentially leading to full or partial loss of central vision.
  • Dry (atrophic) macular degeneration – this occurs when yellow deposits of proteins called drusen build up under the retina and cause retinal distortion. While a few small drusen may not change your vision, when they grow bigger they may start to distort or dim your vision, particularly while reading. As the condition worsens, light-sensitive cells in your macula can deteriorate and eventually die. In your central vision, you may also notice large blind spots.

Stages of Dry Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration happens in three stages.

  • Early AMD – At this point most people have no loss of vision. This is when medium-sized drusen deposits accumulate under the retina and there are no pigment changes or deterioration of vision.
  • Intermediate AMD – Most people don’t experience any problems with daily tasks; however, there may be mild vision loss. This is when large drusen deposits accumulate and/or pigment changes occur, indicating that macula cells are starting to die.
  • Late AMD – Noticeable vision loss has occurred due to extensive damage to the macula.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

You might not have any noticeable symptoms in the early stages of AMD. Irreversible damage may occur by the time significant symptoms reveal themselves. Wet AMD may cause the sudden appearance of these symptoms.

The first symptoms that you may experience of macular degeneration can include:

  • Blind or dark spots in the center of your vision
  • Decreased or blurry vision
  • Different color perception, in rare cases
  • Lines appearing wavy

What Eye Exams Can Help Detect AMD?

Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam to check for macular degeneration. This will include:

  • Dilated Eye Exam – Your eye doctor will need to dilate your pupils using eye drops. This will allow the doctor to see a magnified view of the drusen and macula, and detect any abnormal blood vessels.
  • Fluorescein Angiography – A dye is injected into the bloodstream to detect any leakage in the blood vessels in the retina.
  • Digital Retinal Image – This non-invasive, diagnostic tool produces high-resolution digital colored images of your retina, optic nerve, and blood vessels in the back of your eye, allowing your eye doctor to see more details of your eye.
  • Ophthalmoscopy – Your doctor will use a hand-held light to detect any changes or damage in the macula and retina.
  • Amsler Grid – This is used by a patient at home and allows for self-examination of your vision. It will help you notice any sudden appearance of blank or blurry spots in your field of vision. Immediately report any changes of vision to your eye doctor. This should not replace your yearly comprehensive eye exam.
  • Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) – This test allows eye doctors to see a cross-section of the retina and examine the blood vessels and layers beneath the surface of the retina. This includes the retina, optic nerve, macula, and choroid. The OCT provides 3D and full-color images.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are Macular Degeneration and Glaucoma Related?

  • A: While macular degeneration does not affect glaucoma, it can contribute to decreased vision along with glaucoma. The vision loss that may occur in macular degeneration tends to affect central vision, whereas glaucoma usually affects side vision. If both conditions arise, they do not actively affect one another. However, the visual impairment that may result will affect a larger area of vision than glaucoma alone.

Q: Can my vision improve if I am treated for AMD?

  • A: While there is no cure, certain treatment options can help improve your vision. For those with advanced dry macular degeneration in both eyes, one option to improve vision may be surgery to implant a telescopic lens in one eye. A telescopic lens looks like a tiny plastic tube that has lenses that magnify your field of vision.

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


3 Reasons To Wear Prescription Sunglasses

Designer Frames & Sunglasses at Family Eye Center Optometry

Designer Frames & Sunglasses at Family Eye Center Optometry

Sunglasses offer clear, comfortable vision while also protecting your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet light — which is a known risk factor for developing cataracts, macular degeneration, and other sight-threatening eye conditions. That’s why it’s important to always wear sunglasses whenever outdoors.

If you don’t already own a pair of prescription sunglasses, below we’ll explore 3 compelling reasons to pick up a pair from your local optometrist in Belmont.

They’re Convenient

When you have a pair of prescription sunglasses, protecting your eyes while outdoors becomes a no-brainer.

Even those who wear contact lenses can benefit from owning a pair of prescription sunglasses for days when you just want to give your eyes a break from lenses.

They’re Customizable

Ask your eye doctor about how to personalize your prescription sunglasses to suit your needs.

Whether you prefer anti-reflective coatings, polarization, or other optical upgrades — your pair of prescription sunnies can be tailor-made for your eyes.

You can even order a pair of bifocal or multifocal sunglasses if you require more than one prescription.

They Offer Better Protection

When you order a pair of prescription sunglasses from your local optometrist, you can be sure you’re getting superior quality.

Sunglasses should always offer 100% UVA and UVB protection, but the fact is that many sunglasses available from other vendors don’t always provide that level of protection. And don’t be fooled by “UV blocking” stickers on the lenses — “UV blocking” is not the same as “100% UV protection”.

At Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont, we carry a wide range of fashionable, high-quality, protective sunglasses that will keep your eyes feeling and looking their best.

For all of your optical needs, we’re here for you. Call us today to learn more or schedule your appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is it important to wear sunglasses?

  • A: It’s important to wear sunglasses all year round. Prolonged exposure to harmful UV light has been known to cause a handful of sight-threatening diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration, and photokeratitis. Sunglasses also shield your eyes from harsh winds that carry debris and irritating allergens.

Q: Why should I buy eyewear from a local optometrist rather than online?

  • A: Whether you’re buying glasses, contact lenses, or sunglasses, it’s best to order them directly from your eye doctor rather than an online source. Online eyewear is more prone to manufacturing errors that can cause visual discomfort and even damage your eyes. When you buy from a local optometrist you get personal care and attention and can bring in your eyewear for adjustments and repairs.

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

Refs & Inspo
https://www.allaboutvision.com/sunglasses/reasons-you-need-prescription-shades/

Are You Susceptible To Vision Loss?

Vision loss is more common than you may think! In fact, it’s among the most prevalent disabilities in adults and children. Knowing what puts you at risk of developing vision loss is important and can help you to be proactive about caring for your eyes.

Below, we’ll explore the most common causes of vision loss and the risk factors associated with each.

Spreading awareness and education about visual health is just one way that our eye doctors near you can help. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call us today.

Common Causes of Vision Loss

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by a buildup of pressure within the eye. Too much inner-eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

Since symptoms don’t usually manifest in the early stages of glaucoma, getting regular eye exams is all the more crucial. Advanced or rapidly progressing glaucoma can show a variety of symptoms, such as blurred vision, headache, severe eye pain and redness, seeing halos around lights, and nausea.

Risk factors for developing glaucoma include:

  • Being 60 years or older
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African, Asian, or Hispanic descent
  • High myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Previous eye injury or certain eye surgeries
  • Certain medications, like corticosteroids
  • Thin corneas
  • Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and sickle-cell anemia

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy. A healthy lens is clear and allows light to pass through it undisturbed.

Common cataract symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, light sensitivity, double vision in the affected eye, and seeing colors as faded or yellowish.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye surgery, injury, or inflammation
  • Alcoholism
  • Extended use of corticosteroids

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 60. It occurs when the macula (the small central portion of the retina, which is responsible for sharp, colorful, central vision) begins to wear down.

Early stages of AMD usually go unnoticed, but later stages of the disease can produce symptoms like blurred vision, dark or blurry areas in your central vision, and problems with color perception.

There’s not yet a cure for AMD, but certain treatments can help prevent vision loss.

Risk factors for developing AMD include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Long-term sun exposure
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of AMD
  • Light-colored eyes
  • Farsightedness

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes that affects the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye called the retina.

Initially, diabetic retinopathy shows no symptoms but can eventually lead to blindness. As it develops, it can cause increased floaters, impaired color vision, dark spots in your visual field, and blurred vision.

Risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Length of time from diabetes diagnosis — the longer you’ve had it, the higher your chances of developing visual complications
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • African American, Hispanic, and Native American ethnicities
  • Family history of DR

So, what’s the bottom line ?

Multiple factors contribute to eye disease and vision loss, and some may even be relevant to you. If you think you may be at risk for vision loss or experience any of the symptoms listed above, speak with your eye doctor in Belmont as soon as possible. We also recommend you have your eyes thoroughly examined every 1-2 years, or as often as your eye doctor recommends. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Family Eye Center Optometry today.

 

Frequently Asked Questions With Our Belmont Eye Doctors

  1. Can blindness be prevented?

When caught early, many eye diseases can be treated to halt or slow the progression of the disease and potentially prevent vision loss. The best things you can do to preserve your vision for the long term is to lead a healthy lifestyle and make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years.

  1. Which eye diseases are genetically inherited?

More than 350 ocular diseases have some sort of genetic component. Certain diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa and albinism, are directly inherited through chromosomal information. In other cases, a predisposition to the disease is inherited, rather than the disease itself.

What Are The Main Causes Of Blindness?

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Family Eye Center Optometry

Eye Exams and Vision Care at Family Eye Center Optometry

About 39 million people around the world currently live without sight.

Why so many? What causes it?

There are several reasons people become blind, which we will delve into below. Hopefully, by spreading awareness about the causes of blindness and ways to prevent it, Family Eye Center Optometry in Belmont will help people like you preserve their vision for a lifetime. Call today to schedule your eye exam.

Top Causes of Blindness

1. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

This eye disease is the leading cause of near-vision impairment in people over the age of 50. Patients living with AMD often lose part or all of their central vision, making it hard to perform daily tasks like driving, recognizing faces, and watching television.

2. Cataracts

A cataract occurs when the eye’s natural lens begins to cloud. While most people associate cataracts with advanced age, they can actually occur at any point in a person’s life, and for a variety of reasons. Risk factors for cataracts include genetics, age, radiation, trauma, and certain medications.

An estimated 17% of North Americans above the age of 40 have cataracts. Fortunately, they are easily removed through surgery. Left untreated, cataracts can eventually lead to blindness.

3. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by increased ocular pressure. The two most common forms are open-angle glaucoma and closed- angle glaucoma. Open-angle is more common and typically progresses silently over a long period of time. Closed-angle glaucoma is a more painful and acute form of the disease. All forms of glaucoma can eventually lead to blindness.

Early detection and treatment are key in preventing vision loss from glaucoma.

4. Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

DR is a complication of diabetes that occurs when excess sugar in the blood damages the retina’s blood vessels. There are 4 stages of DR, with the first stages rarely presenting noticeable symptoms. In many cases the condition can be managed and treated by your eye doctor, especially if caught early on.

Regular dilated eye exams are crucial for patients with diabetes, as it helps ensure the earliest possible detection of DR.

Frequently Asked Questions About Vision Care

Q: What does it mean to be ‘legally blind’?

  • A: People often assume those who are blind are unable to see anything. The truth is that to be considered legally blind, a person’s eyesight must be 20/200 — in other words, you’d need to stand 20 feet away from an object that one with healthy vision could see at a distance of 200 feet away. Furthermore, those who are legally blind cannot correct their vision with glasses or contact lenses.

Q: Can blindness be reversed?

  • A: Certain types of blindness are reversible. In cases of cataracts, corneal diseases, wet AMD and some instances of diabetic retinopathy, surgery, injections, and other treatments can return at least some sight to an individual who has experienced vision loss. On the other hand, diseases like glaucoma, retinitis pigmentosa, and dry age-related macular degeneration can cause irreversible vision loss.

Quality Frames For Prescription Glasses & Computer Glasses


As you may have noticed, the underlying theme in preventing all of these sight-threatening conditions is early detection. By undergoing yearly comprehensive eye exams, you stand a higher chance of keeping your eyes and vision healthy for the long term.

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

Refs
https://ibvi.org/blog/what-are-the-main-causes-of-blindness/