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4 Risks of Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses This Halloween

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

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

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

Checklist for Decorative Contact Lens Wearers

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

Enjoy your Halloween without the stress or agony of an eye infection or a damaged cornea by following these contact lens safety instructions. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are decorative contact lenses safe?

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

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

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

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


Eye Makeup Tips For Those With Dry Eyes

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

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

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

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

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

How Can Eye Makeup Lead to DES?

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

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

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

Eye Makeup Tips For Those With DES

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

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

Please don’t hesitate to contact Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. for all your eye care needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

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


3 Reasons to Buy Eyeglasses from an Optical Store vs Online

Quality Eye Care in Washington, D.C.

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

Quality Eye Care in Washington, D.C.

Accuracy

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

High Quality

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

Personal Service and Continuity

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

Q: How frequently should I replace my glasses?

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

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


What To Do if a Mosquito Bites Your Eyelid

Many of us spend the warm weather outdoors, barbecuing, camping, hiking, swimming. Although the itchy mosquito bites are typically associated with summer, mosquitos can be relentless and be a major pest, in the spring and even into the fall.

Why do Mosquitoes Bite?

Mosquitoes are small flying insects, but they don’t actually “bite”. They pierce the skin to reach a person’s blood vessels to access a source of protein for the female’s eggs. Male mosquitoes do not consume blood.

While most mosquitoes are harmless, others may carry dangerous diseases, such as malaria, in certain parts of the world. In rare cases, mosquito bites can cause other complications.

What does a mosquito bite on the eyelid look like?

A mosquito bite on the eyelid typically causes redness and inflammation of the eyelid and the surrounding area.

Since the tissue around the eye is loose, fluid accumulation and inflammation following an insect bite is common. In severe cases, it can even inhibit the eye from opening, especially after lying down, as the fluid gravitates to that area.

The skin around the eye is sensitive, so the itching and discomfort from a bite on the eyelid may feel particularly intense. Rest assured that most of the time the itchiness lasts only a few days, but try to avoid rubbing your eyes as it can exacerbate the swelling and irritation.

Are Mosquito Bites on the Eyelid Dangerous?

Usually not, but they can cause severe itching and swelling.

Young children are at a higher risk for acute swelling from a mosquito bite, as they tend to have a stronger immune response than adults do. While your child’s eye may look concerning, the inflammation should naturally subside within a few days.

Signs of an infected mosquito bite

Although uncommon, there are instances when a mosquito bite can become infected and require medical attention. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • An eyelid that develops a deep red appearance
  • An eyelid that is hot and hard to the touch
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Intense pain around the eye
  • Swelling doesn’t subside after 2-3 days

Sometimes, if the bite becomes infected, the infection will spread to the second eye and symptoms will likely be apparent in both eyelids.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or if your vision is affected by your swollen eyelid, contact us for an eye exam and to determine the best course of treatment. If the eyelid isn’t infected, the following home remedies may help.

Home Remedies to Reduce Eyelid Discomfort and Swelling

Try these tips to help relieve your discomfort and promote healing.

  1. Cold Compresses. Place a cold, wet compress on your eye for around 20 minutes, 2-3 times per day to reduce the swelling and numb the itchiness. Be sure that the compress is not too cold as it can damage the skin around your eye.
  2. Allergy Medicine. Take an antihistamine, either in liquid or tablet form, to reduce itching and inflammation. Be sure to read the directions on the bottle for proper dosage information.
  3. Eye Drops. Eye drops can help further reduce inflammation and provide additional relief, especially if your vision is being affected. Vasoconstrictor eye drops are generally recommended to reduce the swelling of the blood vessels in the eyes. These drops should be used sparingly as they can cause a rebound effect – making the eyes red once they heal. It’s best to consult with your eye doctor before using any eye drops, just to be sure.

Most mosquito bites will heal on their own without any need for additional treatment. However, the eyelid is a sensitive area and may require special care to speed up the healing process.

Experiencing symptoms of an infected mosquito bite on the eye? Have any questions or concerns about your eye health or vision? We’re here to help! Simply contact Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. and one of our professional eye care professionals will be happy to assist.

Q&A

What is an eye infection?

An eye infection is a condition in which viruses, bacteria or other microbial agents attack the eye, causing itchy and red eyes. The infection can also affect the eyelid, cornea, and conjunctiva (the thin area that covers the inside of the eyelids and outer part of the eye).

​​What are the typical symptoms of an eye infection?

Usually people with an eye infection experience at least one of the following:

Eye pain, persistent itching, grittiness, sensitivity to light, watery eyes, fluid discharge, blurred vision, irritation, swelling and dryness. These symptoms can often be confounded with dry eye disease. To determine the source of the issue and receive optimal treatment, contact Washington Eye Doctors today.

5 Ways That Vision Problems Can Affect Your Overall Health

Eye Doctor in Washington, D.C.

Eye Doctor in Washington, D.C.

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

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

1. Increased Risk of Depression

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

2. Increased Risk of Anxiety

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

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

3. More Likely To Fall

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

4. Greater Incidence of Car Accidents

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

5. Vision Loss Is Associated With Increased Mortality

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

How to Preserve Vision And Overall Eye Health

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

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

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

To schedule your eye exam, call Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I have an eye exam?

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

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

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

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


5 Tips To Encourage Your Child To Keep Their Glasses On

Eye Doctor in Washington, D.C.

Eye Doctor in Washington, D.C.

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 Washington Eye Doctors, 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 Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. 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 Washington Eye Doctors for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


How Poor Nutrition and Lifestyle Can Lead to Cataracts

Optometrists in Washington, D.C.

Optometrists in Washington, D.C.

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 Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C., 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 Washington Eye Doctors for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Diet and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C.

Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C.

“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 Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. we care about you and your vision. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Rosenblatt 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 Washington Eye Doctors 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:

    • Age-Related Macular Degeneration
    • Cataracts
    • Glaucoma
    • Diabetic Retinopathy

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 Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. to check your eye health today!

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.

Back-To-School: Why [Eye_Exams] Are More Important Than Ever

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 eyesight 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.

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Up to 80% of children’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. Routine eye exams are especially important for children with a family history of eye health problems.

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 devices 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 computer vision syndrome 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 think that exposure to sunlight and looking at distant objects while playing outdoors might help decrease myopia progression.

While regular eye exams are essential for every member of the family, they’re especially important 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 Washington Eye Doctors in Washington, D.C. today!

Q&A

1. 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.

2. 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.”