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12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene

By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a higher risk of suffering from cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and low vision.

So make sure you maintain great eye health by following these 12 tips for optimal eye health.

1. Avoid rubbing your eyes

Itchy eyes can be a hallmark symptom of allergies, and though rubbing may bring temporary relief, it ultimately increases swelling and worsens the itch. If you wear contact lenses, rubbing your eyes can also dislodge or even break a lens, causing the lens to get lost or scratch the cornea. Plus, eye rubbing can lead to eye infections, since our hands are typically covered with a host of germs.

2. Regularly wash your hands

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is often caused by germs and bacteria carried to your eyes by unclean hands. Frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water helps keep bacteria away and prevents eye contamination. Prior to inserting or removing contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with mild soap and dry them using a lint-free towel.

3. Beware of UV rays

By exposing yourself to sunlight and UV rays, you increase the risk of developing macular degeneration and corneal sunburn. Beyond just adding some style and zest to your look, sunglasses should protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Speak to your optometrist about the different options available for people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses too, to keep your eyes safe in the sun.

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for your body’s overall health and wellbeing — and that includes your eyes. Among other complications, if you don’t have enough fluid in your body, it impacts tear production and can cause dry eyes and irritation. Drink up!

5. Don’t smoke cigarettes

Need some extra motivation to quit smoking?

Smokers are more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions. Cigarette smoking can also destroy optic nerves, which can adversely affect your vision over time. So think twice before you light up, and speak to your doctor about getting help to quit.

6. Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your diet is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and C. These can be found in leafy greens (your mom was right about spinach!), orange vegetables (think, carrots and sweet potato) and citrus fruit. Furthermore, fatty fish like salmon contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which also promote excellent eye health.

7. Keep a healthy distance from screens

Nip digital eye strain in the bud by positioning your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from the eyes and 20 degrees below eye level. Ideally, work in a room with enough diffused lighting to reduce stress on your eyes from the computer light.

8. Remember the 20-20-20 rule

Speaking of computers, have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? When using digital devices, rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 continuous seconds.

Once you’re at it, blink 20 times in succession to prevent dry eyes, and make it a habit to rise from your seat and take 20 steps to promote good posture and blood circulation, which helps your vision too.

9. Be careful with eye make-up

Make sure that your eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner don’t cause your eyes an allergic reaction. Get in the habit of removing your make-up before going to sleep in order to avoid bacterial build-up from residual make-up left in the eye area. And, from time to time, clean your make-up brushes, especially those used to apply cosmetics around the eye area.

10. Sleep is golden

Just as with the rest of your body, your eyes need a break. So make sure that you get sufficient shut-eye (8 hours) each night to keep your eyes revitalized and healthy.

11. Wear protective eyewear

Whatever you do, make sure your eyes are well-protected. If you’re swimming, wear goggles to prevent chlorine from entering your eyes. If you’re gardening or engaged in a DIY project at home, wear safety glasses to keep dust particles and bacteria at bay and prevent eye injuries. Ask your local eye doctor about protective eyewear for sports and other activities.

12. Regularly visit your eye doctor

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a routine eye exam, whether you need an updated prescription or not. Even if you can see well today, a comprehensive eye exam can pick up early signs of eye diseases and conditions before symptoms become noticeable, such as glaucoma, diabetes, retinal holes which could lead to retinal detachment, and cancers like melanoma. Early detection and management can prevent further complications and serious vision loss down the line.

Only an eye doctor has the required knowledge, experience, tools and techniques to determine whether you have these or other eye conditions.

It is recommended that everyone gets a comprehensive eye exam once a year (or at least every two years). Children, whose eyes are rapidly developing, and people at higher risk for developing eye problems such as diabetics and older people, need to undergo eye exams even more frequently: at the minimum, yearly.

During the evaluation, the eye doctor will check for things like:

  • Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia
  • Eye coordination
  • Optic nerve and eye pressure tests to spot glaucoma

It’s also important to be on the look-out for any changes in your vision. If you experience hazy or double vision, worsening eyesight, red eyes, eye pain, swelling or floaters, contact Dr. Michael Rosenblatt.

Incorporate these tips and habits into your lifestyle to maintain healthy eyes and a high quality of life. Washington Eye Doctors offers comprehensive eye exams in Washington, D.C., and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about ways to maintain healthy vision.

Sports-Related Eye Injuries

September Is Sports Eye Safety Month!

Ocular sports trauma is among the leading causes of permanent vision loss in North America. Tens of thousands of people get treated for sports-related eye injuries a year, with the most common injuries occurring during water sports and basketball. Infections, corneal abrasions, eye socket fractures, and detached retinas are just a few of the typical cases eye doctors encounter on a regular basis.

Sports Eye Safety Month is sponsored by Prevent Blindness America (PBA) to remind people to protect their eyes when playing sports. Though young children are usually the most vulnerable to eye injuries, it should be noted that professional athletes can also suffer eye injuries while on the job.

Eye accidents can happen in a split second – the effects can last a lifetime…

By wearing protective eyewear, you can safeguard your eyesight without compromising on your favorite sports activities. Athletes who wear contact lenses still need additional eye protection for relevant sports.

At Washington Eye Doctors, our eye doctor is experienced and trained to treat sports-induced eye injuries sustained by our active patients. Dr. Michael Rosenblatt and our dedicated staff are committed to providing the most comprehensive eye care to help get you back on the field again. Furthermore, we provide consultations on a wide array of protective eyewear for all your sporting needs.

What Eye Injuries Can Be Caused by Sports?

Corneal Abrasion

A corneal abrasion, also known as a scratched cornea, is the most common sports-related eye injury. When someone gets poked in the eye, the eye’s surface can get scratched. Symptoms may include acute pain and a gritty or foreign body sensation in the eyes, as well as redness, tearing, light sensitivity, headaches, blurry or decreased vision. Medical care includes prevention or treatment of infection, and pain management. If you suspect that you have suffered a corneal abrasion, make sure to see an eye doctor right away.

Traumatic Iritis

Iritis is an inflammation of the iris, the colored part of the eye. The condition rapidly develops and typically affects only one eye. Symptoms include pain in the eye or brow region, blurred vision, a small or oddly-shaped pupil, and sensitivity to bright lights.

Hyphema

Hyphema is among the more common sports-related eye injuries, with racquet sports, baseball and softball accounting for more than 50% of all hyphema injuries in athletics.

A hyphema is a broken blood vessel inside the eye which causes blood to collect in the space between the cornea and iris, also known as the “anterior chamber”. Although the main symptom is blood in the eye, it can be accompanied by blurry or distorted vision, light sensitivity or eye pain.

If you recognize the signs and symptoms of hyphema, make sure to seek immediate medical attention in order to avoid secondary complications.

Angle recession

Angle recession can develop from an eye injury or bruising of the eye, caused by getting punched, elbowed, or hit with a ball. The trauma damages the fluid drainage system of the eye, which causes it to back up, increasing the pressure in the eye. In 20% of people with angle recession, this pressure can become so severe that it damages the optic nerve, and causes glaucoma (known as “angle-recession glaucoma”).

You may not notice any symptoms at first, and it may take years before you experience any signs of vision loss. Therefore, it’s critical to visit the eye doctor as soon as possible for a complete eye exam and make sure that you follow-up with routine screenings.

Retinal tear or detachment

Retinal detachment is a condition in which the retina gets lifted or pulled away from its normal position at the back of the eye. If not treated immediately, retinal detachment can develop permanent vision loss.

Symptoms include seeing flashing lights, floaters or little black spots in your vision. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency and requires an eye doctor’s immediate attention – surgical intervention may be necessary.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

This happens when a blood vessel breaks on the white part of the eye. In addition to a sport-related injury, it can be induced by rubbing the eye, heavy lifting, sneezing or coughing. For those with subconjunctival hemorrhage, the eye appears intensely red – though this minor condition will often clear up within a couple weeks on its own without treatment.

Orbital Fracture

This occurs when one or more of the bones around the eyeball break, often caused by a hard blow to the face – such as by a baseball or a fist. This is a major injury and should be assessed by an eye doctor, like Dr. Michael Rosenblatt, along with X-Rays or CT scan imaging to help confirm the diagnosis.

Black Eye or Periorbital Hematoma

A “shiner” can occur when a blunt object such as a fist or ball strikes the eye-area of the face and causes bruising. Typically, this kind of injury affects the face more than the eye. Blurry vision may be a temporary symptom, but it’s a good idea to get a black eye checked out by an optometrist in any case, because sometimes there is accompanying damage to the eye which could impact vision.

How Does One Prevent Sports-Related Eye Injuries?

One of the most important things one can do in order to prevent eye injuries is to wear protective eyewear. In fact, wearing eye protection should be part of any athlete’s routine, and should be prioritized just like wearing shin guards or a helmet.

Below are a few tips to prevent sports-related eye injuries:

  • Wear safety goggles (with polycarbonate lenses) for racquet sports or basketball. For the best possible protection, the eye guard or sports protective eyewear should be labeled “ASTM F803 approved” – which means it is performance tested.
  • Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for baseball.
  • If you wear prescription eyewear, speak with Dr. Michael Rosenblatt about fitting you for prescription protective eyewear.
  • Sports eye protection should be comfortably padded along the brow and bridge of the nose, to prevent the eye guards from cutting into the skin.
  • Try on protective eyewear to assess whether it’s the right fit and size for you and adjust the straps as needed. For athletic children who are still growing, make sure that last-year’s pair still fits before the new sports season begins. Consult Dr. Michael Rosenblatt to determine whether the comfort and safety levels are adequate.
  • Keep in mind that regular glasses don’t provide nearly enough eye protection when playing sports.

For athletes, whether amateur or pro, there is so much more at stake than just losing the game. Fortunately, by wearing high-quality protective eyewear, you can prevent 90% of all sports-related eye injuries.

Speak with Dr. Michael Rosenblatt at Washington Eye Doctors about getting the right sports-related protective eyewear to ensure healthy eyes and clear vision. Our eye care clinic serves patients from Washington, D.C. and the surrounding areas.

Summer Heat Wave and Your Eyes

This summer, heat waves with scorching temperatures have hit communities nationwide, making an already hot summer even hotter. With high temps and heat waves in certain areas, it’s now more important than ever to protect yourself.

For best practices and tips for maintaining healthy vision in the summer heat, talk to the Washington Eye Doctors.

How Can Heat Affect Vision?

Staying out in the sun too long can give you a sunburn and make you feel exhausted. Did you know that it can affect your vision, too?

If you get dehydrated, lack of moisture can make it hard for your eyes to naturally produce enough tears, which can contribute to seasonal dry eye. If you already have dry eye, extremely dry heat can exacerbate your symptoms of itchy, red, sore, and irritated eyes.

Do you sit in front of a fan or air conditioning system? That may feel great, but it can also contribute to dryer and less comfortable eyes.

To give your eyes some temporary relief, keep artificial tears on hand. If your eyes still feel dry or uncomfortable, contact Washington Eye Doctors.

If You Love the Sun, Read This

Golden sunshine may sound dreamy, but too much isn’t a good thing.

The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be very harmful, and your eyes are no exception. UV radiation, which can gradually contribute to eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Dr. Michael Rosenblatt recommends that you always wear sunglasses with 100% of UVA and UVB light blocking protection. There’s no shortage of trendy and sunglasses, designed with a flair for fashion, so you won’t have to compromise on style while protecting your eyes from dangerous UV rays.

Excessive sun exposure can cause headaches, blurry vision, eye pain, and eyestrain. So while you’re out at the pool, hanging out at the beach, sunbathing, or at a backyard barbeque, pay close attention to how much time you’re outside.

If you love the sunshine, you just need to protect yourself. Wear hats, sunscreen, and, of course, 100% UV protective polarized sunglasses. But if you experience discomfort or symptoms that don’t go away on their own, then it’s time to visit your eye doctor.

Computer Vision Syndrome in the Summer

There’s nothing quite like a family road trip or flying to a vacation getaway over the summer. Yet something about being stuck in the backseat of a car or inside of an airplane makes kids feel closed in and restless. It’s then that many kids will play on a smartphone, iPad, or gaming device over many hours to help pass the time.

When it comes to kids and computer use, they’re just as susceptible to the effects of digital eye strain, also called Computer Vision Syndrome, as adults are. In fact, studies show that 25% of children spend more than 3 hours each day on digital devices.

In the summer, when the heat is sizzling, it’s tempting for kids to spend more time than usual watching TV, using a computer, or playing games on their smartphones. To help ease the effects of digital eyestrain, Dr. Michael Rosenblatt suggests following the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take 20 seconds to look at something at least 20 feet away. It’s a great way to counteract the effects of Computer Vision Syndrome and let the eyes rest.

This summer, however you choose to beat the heat, don’t forget to protect your vision and keep your eyes strong and healthy. The Washington Eye Doctors is always here to help if you have any questions.

Have a great summer!

Parkinson’s Awareness Month and Your Vision

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month in the USA and Canada, a time when those living with the disorder, their family members, friends, and community come together to raise awareness and share helpful information. People with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and their loved ones are encouraged to share their stories, struggles, and successes in order to educate and support others.

The Parkinson’s Foundation has announced this year’s theme: #KeyToPD and Parkinson Canada advocates the same involvement. What is the key to living a high quality of life while living with Parkinson’s? Patients, doctors, caregivers, and families are encouraged to use this hashtag on social media to give of their knowledge and experience.

In order to successfully manage the disorder, it’s essential to understand the disease, symptoms, and treatments. After all, knowledge is power.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control physical movement. It typically affects middle aged people and the elderly. Parkinson’s causes a decrease in the brain’s natural levels of dopamine, which normally aids nerve cells in passing messages within the brain. According to The Parkinson’s Foundation and Statistics Canada, the disorder affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States, 55 000 Canadians, and 10 million globally.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Although much research has been done on the subject, the exact cause of the disease isn’t really known. What doctors and scientists do know is that certain nerve cells located in the brain somehow break down. This damage interferes with both motor and non-motor functions.

How Does Parkinson’s Affect Vision?

Parkinson’s can have a significant impact on vision and ocular health. Patients with PD often find themselves unable to control blinking. Blinking is good for the eyes as it moisturizes the surface and clears it from foreign substances. Less blinking can cause Dry Eye Syndrome, resulting in itchy, red, or gritty-feeling eyes. Other people blink too much or can’t keep their eyes open.

In more serious cases, Parkinson’s affects the nerves that help us see. Someone with PD may experience blurry vision, double vision, difficulty seeing color and contrast, problems with focus, and other visual symptoms.

In addition to the inherent impact of the disease, some of the medications used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms have known side effects including dry eyes, blurred eyesight and even hallucinations in advanced PD.

Common Visual Symptoms of Parkinson’s

Although the most recognized physical symptom is uncontrollable tremors, patients can experience other symptoms that affect their vision. These typically include:

  • Apraxia (inability to open the eyelids)
  • Blurry or double vision
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye twitching
  • Focusing problems

Parkinson’s Patients and Eye Exams

Eye exams can be particularly challenging for a PD patient, so choosing the right doctor is essential. Make sure your eye doctor regularly treats patients with PD. They’ll understand your or your loved ones’ unique needs and will take the time needed.

Common Non-Visual Symptoms of Parkinson’s

PD affects other areas of the body that may or may not – depending on each patient – be related to their eye health and visual needs.

Some of the most common non-visual symptoms are:

  • Depression
  • Excessive saliva
  • Loss of smell
  • Moodiness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Slow movement (bradykinesia)
  • Stiff limbs
  • Tremors

Coping With Vision Problems From Parkinson’s

Despite the struggles caused by this degenerative disease, there is hope. Talk to your eye doctor. He or she may recommend medicated ointments or drops, injections, therapeutic lenses, visual aids, vision therapy, or a combination thereof. Additionally, a Neuro-Optometric Rehabilitation doctor can provide comprehensive eye care specifically designed for neurological disorders like PD.

Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

Is Too Much Screen Time Dangerous For Your Kids?

Screen Time Pros and Cons

Whether it is homework, email, gaming, chatting with friends, searching the web or watching Youtube, kids these days seem to have an endless number of reasons to be glued to a screen. Many parents out there are wondering how bad this can be for their kids and whether they should be limiting screen time.

There are certainly benefits to allowing your kids to use digital devices, whether it is educational, social or providing a needed break. However, studies show that excessive screen time can have behavioral consequences such as irritability, moodiness, inability to concentrate, poor behavior, and other issues as well. Too much screen time is also linked to dry eyes and meibomian gland disorders (likely due to a decreased blink rate when using devices), as well as eye strain and irritation, headaches, back or neck and shoulder pain, and sleep disturbances. Some of these computer vision syndrome symptoms are attributed to blue light that is emitted from the screens of digital devices.

Blue light is a short wavelength, high-energy visible light that is emitted by digital screens, LED lights and the sun. Studies suggest that exposure to some waves of blue light over extended periods of time may be harmful to the light-sensitive cells of the retina at the back of the eye. When these cells are damaged, vision loss can occur. Research indicates that extreme blue light exposure could lead to macular degeneration or other serious eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness. Studies show that blue light also interferes with the regulation of the the body’s circadian rhythm which can have a disruptive impact on the body’s sleep cycle. Lack of quality sleep can lead to serious health consequences as well.

Beyond these studies, the long term effects of blue light exposure from digital devices are not yet known since this is really the first generation in which people are using digital devices to such an extent. While it may take years to fully understand the impact of excessive screen time on our eyes and overall health, it is probably worth limiting it due to these preliminary findings and the risks it may pose. This is especially true for young children and the elderly, who are particularly susceptible to blue light exposure.

How to Protect the Eyes From Blue Light

The first step in proper eye protection is abstaining from excessive exposure by limiting the amount of time spent using a computer, smart phone or tablet – especially at night, to avoid interfering with sleep. Many pediatricians even recommend zero screen time for children under two.

The next step would be to reduce the amount of blue light entering the eyes by using blue light blocking glasses or coatings that deflect the light away from the eyes. There are also apps and screen filters that you can add to your devices to reduce the amount of blue light being projected from the screen. Speak to your eye doctor about steps you can take to reduce blue light exposure from digital devices.

As a side note, the sun is an even greater source of blue light so it is essential to protect your child’s eyes with UV and blue light blocking sunglasses any time your child goes outside – even on overcast days.

The eyes of children under 18 are particularly susceptible to damage from environmental exposure as they have transparent crystalline lenses that are more susceptible to both UV and blue light rays. While the effects (such as increased risk of age-related macular degeneration) may not be seen for decades later, it’s worth it to do what you can now to prevent future damage and risk for vision loss.

 

Progressive Myopia: When Your Child’s Vision Keeps Getting Worse

What Is Progressive Myopia?

Nearsightedness or myopia is one of the most prevalent eye disorders worldwide and its incidence is increasing. In fact by 2050, myopia is projected to affect half of the world’s population!

Many children diagnosed with nearsightedness (myopia) experience a consistent worsening of their vision as they grow into adolescence. This condition can be so aggressive that for some, each time they take their child to the eye doctor for a vision checkup, their prescription gets higher.

This is called progressive myopia and can be a serious condition for many children now and in the future. Not only is there a financial burden and inconvenience associated with having to replace eyeglasses on a regular basis, but high myopia is a risk factor for many eye diseases later in life such as retinal detachment, early onset cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration.

What Causes Progressive Myopia?

Myopia is a refractive error that happens when the eye focuses incoming light in front of the retina, rather than directly on it, resulting in blurred distance vision. While an exact cause of progressive myopia is not known, most research indicates that a combination of environmental and genetic factors trigger the condition.

First of all, there is evidence that a family history of nearsightedness is a contributing factor. Additionally, spending a lot of time indoors may play a role in myopia development, as studies show that children who spend more time outside have less incidence of myopia. Lastly, near point stress, which can be caused from looking at a near object for an extended period of time, can prompt the eye to grow longer and result in myopia. Several eye doctors recommend following the 20-20-20 rule when using digital devices (stopping every 20 minutes to look 20 feet away for 20 seconds) to reduce near point stress caused by computer use.

What Can Be Done To Prevent or Treat Myopia?

There are several treatments that have been shown to slow the progression of myopia.

Orthokeratology (ortho-k):

Also known as corneal reshaping, this treatment uses rigid gas permeable contact lenses that are worn while the patient sleeps to reshape the cornea, which is the clear, front part of the eye. During the day, the patient is usually able to see clearly, glasses-free. In addition to allowing glasses-free vision during the day, this treatment has been shown to reduce the progression of myopia in many children.

Distance Center Multifocal Contact Lenses:

This treatment uses distance center (which means the area for seeing at a distance is in the center of the lens) multifocal soft contact lenses to provide clear vision and slow the progression of myopia. The lenses are worn as normal contact lenses during the day.

Prescription Eye Drops:

Prescription eye drops have been shown to reduce myopia progression. It can be used alone or in combination with ortho-k or multifocal contact lenses.

Additional Myopia Treatments:

While these treatments are available in all of North America, some countries offer additional options that are approved for myopia control. For example, in Canada, ZeissTM MyoVision glasses that have an innovative lens curvature design are available to help reduce the rate of myopia progression. Additionally some doctors in Canada offer Coopervision MiSight® lenses, which are 1-day contact lenses that are worn during the daytime. These contacts have a multifocal lens design with distance centre and near surround that is specifically designed for children.

Myopia & Your Child

If your child’s vision keeps getting worse, it’s more than an annoyance – it can be a serious risk factor for their eye health and vision in the future. The best strategy for myopia control depends on the child and the severity of the case, and requires consultation with an experienced eye doctor in order to determine the best solution. If your child wears glasses, make his or her vision a priority; schedule an eye exam to ensure stable vision and healthy eyes.

 

6 Summer Eye Care Tips

Start with Stylish Sunglasses in Washington, DC!

Summer means that the sun shines bright and strong, giving us many clear days to spend outdoors. While most associations with summer are warm and pleasant, involving fun vacations, water action, and relaxing in the heat, it is wise to remember that the sun’s summer rays also bring intense ultraviolet rays. In response to these rays, most people slather their skin with sunscreen. However, UVA and UVB sun rays also present additional dangers to your health, particularly to your eyes – and sunscreen cannot help you with that!

Spending too much time in the sun can lead to photokeratitis, a painful burn on the outer eye surface. This condition is a complication that can occur immediately. In addition, overexposure to UV rays is also linked to numerous eye problems that may appear in the future, such as developing cataracts, macular degeneration, skin cancer of the eyelid, and ocular growths.

Eyes are one of the most sensitive sensory organs of your body, and they are as prone to summer injury as your skin. To look after your precious peepers, our Washington, DC, optometrists share the following summer eye care tips:

1. Put on a pair of sunglasses

Sunglasses are the most obvious way to block your eyes from hazardous UV rays. When selecting the perfect pair of sunglasses in Washington, DC, we invite you to shop our fabulous, fashionable optical collection. We stock only high quality frames that are fit with lenses that have 100% UVA and UVB protection. For ultimate protection, the larger the lenses the better, so they cover as much of your eye area as possible; wraparound sunglasses are ideal. To enhance protection, wear a sun hat with a wide brim that shades your eyes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as much as 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to ultraviolet rays occurs before the age of 18. That is because kids typically spend more time playing outdoors, both on land and in water. Also, a child’s ocular lenses don’t filter out UV light as efficiently as an adult’s lenses. To keep your child’s vision safe from the sun, come together to look through our trendy kids’ sunglasses in Washington, DC!

2. Swim with goggles

Don’t swim with naked eyes. Swimming pools are packed with chlorine that can cause extreme eye irritation, nicknamed “swimmer’s eye.” Chemicals that keep the water clean can injure the natural tear film of your eyes, leading to blurry vision, redness, and a gritty sensation in your eyes. Swim goggles prevent this harsh water from injuring your delicate eyes. Another helpful tip is to splash your eyes with fresh water as soon as you exit the pool.

If you usually eyeglasses or contact lenses in order to see clearly, a pair of prescription swimming goggles is your best choice for sharp vision underwater. Although we know it is tempting, do not wear your contacts for swimming! A cosmos of pesky microorganisms live in water, and some of these can lead to serious eye infections. Wearing contact lenses raises your risks of contracting an eye infection.

3. Wash your hands

Classic summer activities put your fingers in touch with a plethora of bacteria, sweat, germs, and other irritating substances – such as sunscreen and sand. Every time you rub your eyes with your bare hands, foreign particles can get into your eyes and lead to allergies or infections.

4. Keep eyes moist with eye drops

Dry eyes and summer go hand in hand. Heat and dry winds can all sap moisture smooth moisture from your skin and eyes. How can you counter the effects? Include lubricating eye drops (artificial tears) in your summer eye care supplies. These over-the-counter medications will moisten dry eyes to diminish or eliminate any painful symptoms.

5. Drink, and drink more

Dehydration is common during the hot summer days. As your body becomes depleted of water, so do your eyes. Tear glands cannot produce enough tears to moisten your eyeballs. When you head out for the day, pack a refreshing bottle of water to tote along.

6. Wear safety eyewear

Summer often means you spend after-work hours or weekends mowing the lawn, playing outdoor sports, or gardening. All of these activities pose a risk of flying objects and airborne irritants getting into your eyes. In fact, according to studies by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, more than a half of all eye injuries are estimated to happen at home – yet only about a third of all people put on protective eyewear. Don’t take chances with your vision – be responsible with your summer eye care and check out our safety eyewear in Washington, DC.

Eye Drops to Treat Dry Eye in Washington, DC

Which eye drops for dry eye are best for you?

Dry eye syndrome is a common problem nowadays. Besides yourself, you probably know others who suffer from similar irritating symptoms due to dry eye. Yet, even if everyone shares the same symptoms – it doesn’t mean that their dry eyes share the same cause or will be helped by the same eye drops and dry eye treatment. Dry eye syndrome can result from aging, the side effects of medication, specific systemic diseases, lifestyle habits, and the environment.

If you experience dry eye in Washington, DC, our eye doctors are experienced and knowledgeable about effective ways to alleviate your pain to restore comfortable vision. Depending upon the results of your comprehensive eye exam, we will customize your dry eye treatment to address your unique condition.

In general, the frontline defense against dry eye irritation is eye drops. A variety of types of eye drops are available, including over-the-counter versions and prescription eye drops. Which eye drops are right for you? Let’s look together at your options.

OTC Eye Drops / Non-Prescription Artificial Tears

You’ll find many brands of OTC eye drops on the drugstore shelves. They are the most common dry eye treatment and can provide temporary symptomatic relief. Be forewarned though that it may take some trial and error before you pinpoint the brand that works best for you.

Most non-prescription eye drops contain substances that help preserve moisture on the surface of your eye. Yet the ingredients vary, and some of these eye drops contain preservatives, while others are preservative-free. What’s the problem with preservatives? Many people find that they sting and irritate eyes. If you try a certain brand of eye drops for your dry eye in Washington, DC, and it causes stinging – don’t give up! Try a preservative-free version instead.

Also, our Washington, DC, optometrists caution against buying eye drops that only remove redness from your eyes, as they are not designed to treat dry eye. In addition, if you suffer from glaucoma or another eye disease, it is critical to check with your eye doctor before inserting any OTC eye drops. In general, when choosing artificial tears, we advise you to consult with your eye doctor to recommend the most suitable type.

Prescription Eye Drops

If you start treating your dry eye syndrome with artificial tears, yet find that you need to apply eye drops constantly, you may have a severe case of dry eye that requires prescription treatment. Prescription eye drops work different from OTC types, and they help to treat the underlying causes – in addition to relieving the annoying, painful symptoms.

  • Restasis is one of the most popular medicines prescribed for dry eye. These eye drops work by reducing inflammation and helping to enhance tear production. Restasis is a cyclosporine eye drop recommended for long-term use. It is associated with some undesirable side effects.
  • Xiidra eye drops are another common dry eye treatment. This drug can heal your eyes from the damage of dry eye syndrome and protect your eyes from developing the painful symptoms.

Do You Have Dry Eye? Ask Your Washington, DC, Eye Doctor for Help!

To figure out which eye drop will remove your painful vision most effectively, self-medication isn’t your smartest move. A better plan is to schedule a thorough eye exam with our expert eye care professionals. We’ll assess your personal situation to recommend the best eye drops and other forms of dry eye treatment.

For more information about OTC and prescription eye drops, and to find out if which medicine is most appropriate for your dry eye in Washington, DC, we invite you to book a consultation today. We are your leading local site for sore eyes.

Tips for Coping with Dry Eyes in the Winter

How to Deal with Your Dry Eyes When Cold Winds Blow

Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition linked to a number of irritating symptoms, such as stinging, burning, itching, the sensation of sand under your eyelids, and redness. This uncomfortable and sometimes painful condition develops when your eyes are not well lubricated. A known cause for dry eye syndrome is the air around you, such as the cold, blustery winds of winter, as well as a dry environment due to indoor heating.

Rubbing your eyes and blinking constantly are an automatic way that people deal with their dry eyes in the winter. Yet, this is typically ineffective behavior that could even make your condition worse. For genuine, lasting relief, you need to visit your expert Washington, DC, optometrist for a thorough eye exam. We’ll assess your dry eyes to offer the best treatment and strategies to alleviate your discomfort.

Protect Your Eyes from the Elements

Dry eyes in the winter can often be prevented with some basic lifestyle hacks. Try the following tips for protecting your sensitive eyes from the crisp and cold winter air and the hazards of indoor heating:

  • Don’t sit next to the heater or radiator at home or work
  • Use a humidifier to reverse the drying effects of your heating system
  • Apply warm compresses to your dry eyes to relieve mild symptoms
  • Choose to wear eyeglasses more frequently in the winter, instead of contact lenses
  • Wear wraparound sunglasses or goggles (with UV protection) when outdoors, especially when you hit the slopes
  • Use artificial tears eye drops to restore moisture to your eyes; check with our Washington, DC, optometrist about which brand is best for your condition
  • Take eye health supplements with omega-3 fatty acids
  • Refrain from rubbing your eyes, as this could lead to scratches on your eye’s surface

Dry eyes in the winter are common, yet you don’t need to sit back and suffer until the season changes. If you don’t experience relief by implementing the tips listed above, our eye doctors can offer medical treatment for dry eyes. We’re knowledgeable and experienced in a range of therapies, including prescription medicines and minor surgical procedures. Don’t wait for your symptoms of dry eye to become severe, contact our Washington, DC, office to schedule a consultation as soon as winter blows in.

Fall Allergies and How Washington Eye Doctors Can Help!

We Offer Allergy Relief for Eyes in Washington, DC

Man having trouble with allergies in Washington, DCThe weather is finally cooling down and the vibrant summer blossoms are fading. So why are your allergies getting worse?

While it won’t prevent your fall allergies or bring you allergy relief, you may feel better knowing that you’re not suffering alone. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, allergies affect over 40 million Americans, and Washington, DC, falls within the top 100 most difficult places to live with allergies!

What’s in the air that is causing so many problems?

Ragweed

Although many people associate allergies with spring and summer, fall allergy triggers are just as powerful. In the Washington, DC, area, most fall allergies are due to ragweed pollen or mold spores. While you may not see ragweed floating through the air as clearly as you saw the tree pollens during the spring, it is just as plentiful in the autumn air. In fact, when ragweed matures from late summer to early fall, one single plant can produce up to one billion pollen grains!

Mold

Mold spores breed rapidly in wet areas outdoors, such as in mounds of damp leaves. As soon as you attack your lawn with a rake, you are releasing many of these mold spores into the air – where they travel directly into your eyes.

Dust-mites

After the summer months when many school classrooms and corridors were empty, kids fill the rooms again each fall. Going back-to-school stirs up all the dust mites that settled throughout summer vacation. In addition, when it gets chilly outside and the heat is turned on for the first time, dust mites blast into the rooms along with the warm air.

Eye Symptoms from Fall Allergies

When ragweed pollen, mold and/or dust mites come into contact with your eyes, you may suffer the irritating symptoms of eye allergies. The uncomfortable (and sometimes painful) symptoms of eye allergies include redness, burning, dark circles under your eyes, swelling, itchy eyes, and watery eyes.

Allergy Relief from Our Eye Care Center in Washington, DC

When your allergies flare up, there are various effective treatments that can alleviate your symptoms. Applying cool compresses to your eyes to relieve itchiness and swelling may restore comfort. In addition, various over-the-counter medications, such as decongestant eye drops, artificial tears and/or oral antihistamines may be helpful. Be sure to consult with your eye care specialist about the particular brands that are best for your condition, as some drugs can make your symptoms worse!

When none of the above help you out, our optometrist may prescribe more potent eye drops, such as short-term steroids. Other possible treatments include immunotherapy allergy shots and prescription antihistamines. For the best allergy relief, we recommend working together with an allergist to design a personalized treatment plan.

How to Cope with Fall Allergies

When the leaves change color, it’s also the time of year that many patients seek allergy relief and visit us for eye care in Washington, DC. Our eye doctors recommend the following tips for coping with fall allergies:

  • When pollen is at its peak, stay indoors with the windows and doors shut. Generally, this occurs in late morning or mid-day. Check pollen counts in the Washington, DC, area for detailed information about when ragweed is at a high
  • Don’t turn on your heat for the first time until you change your filter and clean your vents!
  • Install a HEPA filter in your heating system. This will help remove mold spores, pollen, dust mites and other airborne irritants
  • Wear a mask and protective eyewear, such as wraparound eyeglasses or goggles, when you rake leaves or cut the grass
  • Don’t hang your laundry outside to dry, as it allows molds and pollens to collect on them
  • Use a dehumidifier to lower humidity and prevent mold from reproducing

Perhaps the most important tip we can share with you is to Never Rub Your Eyes! Eye rubbing can exacerbate any and all symptoms of eye allergies. We also advise you to remove your contact lenses if you wear them, and switch to daily disposables. Since daily disposable contacts are tossed in the garbage every night, allergens don’t have a chance to build up on the contact lens surface.

If you’re looking for allergy relief during the fall, look no further – we offer expert eye care in Washington, DC, and our eye doctors will help calm your irritated eyes.

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