Are Sunglasses Really Necessary?

If you want to protect your eyes for a lifetime of good vision, then you should consider wearing sunglasses. Sunglasses can be made to fit your prescription eyeglasses in Coldwater, MS so that when you’re outside you can switch your eyewear to your prescription sunglasses. Following are all the reasons why sunglasses should be part of your defense against all kinds of eye damage.

The Dangers of UV Light

Many individuals are unaware that their eyes, like their skin, can become sunburned in a similar way that skin does. Photokeratitis is caused by exposure to too much UV light in a short period of time. Pain, inflamed eyes, high light sensitivity, tears, and a gritty sensation in the eyes are some of the symptoms. Fortunately, it is just transient, similar to a sunburn. Regrettably, it may be excruciatingly painful.

Long-Term Damage Over Time

Beyond photokeratitis, prolonged sun exposure causes further long-term issues. UV damage builds up over time. This is why your eye doctor in Coldwater, MS advises people to wear sunglasses when outdoors for long periods of time. The sun’s rays are a significant cause of premature eye aging, but the damage may be postponed for a lifetime of healthy vision. Sun protection in the form of sunglasses can help you to avoid a variety of eye problems, including:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Cataracts
  • Skin cancer
  • Abnormal growths

Less Squinting With Sunglasses

Sunglasses not only protect your eyes, but they also improve your everyday comfort. They lessen squinting because they diminish glare. In turn, this reduces the onset of wrinkles around the eyes. Some people aren’t even aware of how sensitive they are to light until they find that wearing a nice pair of sunglasses improves their comfort.

Given the health advantages of sunglasses, it’s no wonder that the American Optometric Society (AOA) advises them for everyone, regardless of whether or not they use corrective lenses. There are a variety of choices for protecting your eyes from the sun, depending upon your needs.

The short answer is that, yes, sunglasses are necessary if the health of your eyes is vital to you. Come on in today to discuss wearing prescription or non-prescription sunglasses with your eye care professional. Contact us to book your appointment.

3 Ways a High-Sodium Diet Affects Your Eye Health

Do you eat a lot of salty foods? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average American consumes at least 3400 milligrams of sodium every day even though less than 2300 milligrams is the recommendation.

Unfortunately, a high-sodium diet can be detrimental to your health, even your visual health. One thing you may not expect to hear when you go in for an eye exam in Coldwater, MS is that your salt intake could be too high. Check out some of the ways that a lot of salt can negatively affect your visual health.

Heightened risks of cataracts

High sodium intake has been directly linked to cataract formation in the eyes, specifically posterior subscapular cataracts. Salt affects a lot of things about how the eye functions, which may heighten your risks. If you are at risk of cataracts already, it is important to be especially vigilant about monitoring how much salt you consume on a daily basis.

Changes in intraocular pressure

Intraocular pressure is a medical term used to refer to the level of pressure within the eye on the blood vessels. Individuals with glaucoma usually have abnormally high levels of intraocular pressure, which over time affects the quality of eyesight. Unfortunately, consuming a lot of salt may negatively affect intraocular pressure and generate even more risks of glaucoma.

Restricted blood flow to your eyes

Salt changes how fluid is distributed throughout the body, including in your eyes. If you have restricted blood flow to the eyes, this can mean your visual health is at risk. When blood flow is impeded to a great extent, this can actually cause your vision to get blurry. The blood pumped into the eye feeds oxygen to the retina, and without the oxygen, the retina cannot function properly.

Monitor Your Visual Health with the Help of a Coldwater Eye Doctor

So many aspects of your everyday life can have a part to play in your visual health. Be sure to work with a Coldwater, MS eye doctor to form a comprehensive preventative care plan for your eyes. Reach out to us at the Coldwater Vision Center to schedule an appointment.

What Is a Dilated Eye Exam? 

During a dilated eye exam, your eye doctor in Coldwater, MS, uses eyedrops to widen your pupils. This allows them to more clearly see the retina in the back of your eyes. A healthy retina is necessary for good vision, and this test is often part of a routine eye exam, especially if you have existing medical conditions or a family history of glaucoma.

Uses for a Dilated Eye Exam

A dilated eye exam is used to diagnose diseases and conditions that affect the eye. These include:

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Brain tumor
  • Head injury
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Age-related macular degeneration

Early diagnosis and treatment are key in preventing vision loss. A dilated eye exam can help your eye doctor develop an early treatment plan in the event you have a medical condition that affects your vision.

What to Expect During Your Dilated Eye Exam

A dilated eye exam is relatively routine. First, your eye doctor places drops in your eyes that cause your pupils to dilate, or widen. This allows more light to enter and makes it easier for your vision specialist to see what’s happening inside your eye. It takes around 15 to 20 minutes for the eyedrops to become fully effective. At this point, your eye professional will shine a light into your eyes to examine them.

A dilated eye exam is not painful, though your vision may remain a bit blurry for a few hours afterward. Your eyes may also feel sensitive to bright light for several hours following your exam. Sunglasses will help. If you anticipate a dilated eye exam, bring a friend with you to your appointment, so they can drive you home afterward.

Call Coldwater Vision Center Today

If it’s time to schedule a dilated eye exam in Coldwater, MS, Coldwater Vision Center is happy to help. Call today to schedule an appointment with our friendly and experienced vision specialists, and be sure to inform your eye doctor if you’re worried about glaucoma, retinopathy, or other conditions that affect the eyes. A dilated eye exam is easy enough to perform, and it can help you obtain the early diagnosis you need to begin treatment for common eye disorders.

How Are Dry Eyes Treated?

Itching, redness, burning, discomfort—dealing with dry eyes on a regular basis is no joke and can really hinder your plans. Dry eye treatment in Coldwater, MS is one of the most common reasons people seek out an eye doctor for anything outside of vision checkups. A lot of patients assume that dry eyes are easy to treat, but most eye doctors will take a multifaceted approach to help find relief.

Recommended Lifestyle Changes

Things present in your environment and even your daily habits can be a major underlying causation factor of dry eyes. Therefore, this is the first thing an eye doctor will ask you about when you come in for an appointment. You may be dealing with problems due to:

  • Facial cosmetics that you wear on a regular basis
  • Aerosol or fragrant products that you use in your home
  • Pets that you have in your home
  • Chemical irritants that you are exposed to at work
  • Spending a lot of time on a computer or phone

Sometimes, making slight changes in your environment or even the products that you use can drastically reduce the problems you are experiencing.

Medications

The eye doctor may prescribe medications that will help deter issues with dry eyes by combating some of the symptoms. For example, if tear production seems to be lacking, the doctor may prescribe lubricating eye drops. Or, if allergies seem to be causing the problem, the doctor may work with your general practitioner to make sure you are taking the proper allergy medications.

Devices and Other Procedures

In the most severe cases of dry eye, you may need more direct treatments and procedures to control the problem. For example, a procedure may be done to partially plug tear ducts, which will keep moisture from draining out of your eyes as it normally does, to keep the corneal lens lubricated longer. Special-made glasses may also be an option if the eyes need protection from the environment.

Need Dry Eye Treatment in Coldwater?

Dry eyes can bring about so many uncomfortable situations with your eyes. If you have problems with dry eyes but have never obtained a legitimate diagnosis, it may be time to see a Coldwater eye doctor for help. Reach out to us at Coldwater Vision Center to schedule an appointment.

Is Your Teen Ready for Contacts? 4 Signs

Many kids and teens who wear glasses eventually decide that they want to wear contact lenses. If you’re considering contact lenses for your teenage child, it’s important to first evaluate whether your teen is a good candidate for contact lenses.

Contact lenses require your teen to take on a lot more responsibility than glasses – and they’re not a good fit for everyone. Here’s what you need to consider before getting your teen contacts in Coldwater MS.

1. Your Teen Takes Care Of Their Glasses

Does your teen routinely lose their glasses, or forget to put their glasses on? Then they may not be a good fit for contact lenses. Contacts are smaller than glasses and come in a case that can be easily lost.

In addition, contacts will require regular care from your teen. If your teen is already having a hard time with their glasses, then they may not be able to handle the responsibility of caring for their contacts.

2. Your Teen Maintains Routines Well

Some contacts need to be removed nightly, while others are left in for longer periods of time. Either way, all contacts need to be periodically removed and maintained. If your teen’s contacts aren’t taken out when needed and cleaned when needed, then your teen could end up with an eye infection. Your teen needs to be up to the responsibility!

3. Your Teen Demonstrates Responsibility In Everyday Life

Does your teen get themselves up on time for school? Can they be trusted to perform basic chores around the house without reminders? Do they get good grades and make an effort to act responsibly most of the time?

If the answer to these questions were yes, then your teen is probably a good candidate for contact lenses. If the answer to these questions was no, then your teen might be better off with glasses.

4. Your Teen’s Eye Doctor Thinks Contacts Are Appropriate For Your Teen

Before you can get contacts for your teen, their eye doctor in Coldwater MS will need to evaluate their eyes. Call Coldwater Vision Center to make an appointment today.

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Got Burning Eyes? Look for These Common Causes

Got Burning Eyes? Look for These Common Causes

We’ve all been there—burning, red eyes with no real understanding of what is causing the problem. The human eye is more resilient than most people think, but the human eye can also be one of the first body parts to signal you when something is wrong. If you are dealing with burning eyes, it may be time to see a Coldwater eye doctor for a checkup, but here are a few things to consider as well.

Are you getting enough rest?

Lack of sleep is a major culprit behind burning eyes, but also a culprit that is commonly overlooked. When you don’t get enough rest, your tear production can be slowed, which means your eyes may feel more irritated than usual.

Could your environment be to blame?

Are you exposed to a lot of sunlight? Are there chemical irritants being used in your workplace or home? Sometimes, burning eyes can be blamed on what your eyes are exposed to in your regular environment.

Are you suffering from allergies?

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, more than 50 million people in this country have some kind of allergy. Allergies commonly affect the eyes. Your eyes may burn, but they may also feel itchy or water excessively if an allergen is causing a bodily reaction. Some of the most common allergens include:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Pet dander

What kind of makeup do you wear?

Eye makeup has grown to be an everyday part of life for many people. However, eye makeup can also contain ingredients that irritate your eyes. For example, the pigments used in eyeshadow may contain minerals that irritate your eyes, and waterproof eyeliner could make sensitive eyes burn. If you have eliminated other possible irritants, try changing your eye makeup routine to determine if this could be behind your problem.

Talk to a Coldwater Eye Doctor for Help

If you have examined these aspects of your everyday activities and health and still have problems with burning eyes, it may be time to see a Coldwater eye doctor for advice. Sometimes, underlying issues with your visual health could be to blame for eye discomfort. Reach out to us at Coldwater Visual Center to schedule an appointment.

Causes of Sudden Vision Loss

If you or a loved one is dealing with sudden vision loss, it may seem unreal. How can one go from having fine vision to going blind in an instant? Even more unreal are instances where the vision loss is temporary. A person may lose vision for only a few minutes, have it restored and then lose it again in a few days. What is happening and what are the possible causes?

Wet Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is an umbrella term that describes a degeneration of the macula; typically over time. However, there is a certain kind of macular degeneration called “wet” macular degeneration. This can cause a very abrupt loss of sight that may or may not have symptoms such as wavy images, leading up to vision loss. In some instances, wet macular degeneration is not reversible. This is one reason why your Coldwater eye doctor wants you to have regular eye exams.

Retinal Detachment

The retina is a very delicate part of your eye that can tear or become detached from the eye. Retinal detachment may be caused by eye trauma, such as a sports injury or car accident, or it may happen seemingly innocently if it’s been damaged over time. If you or your loved one does experience sudden vision loss, be sure not to touch the eye or pull or tug at the eyelids. If the vision loss is due to retinal detachment, you could risk damaging the retina further. In some cases, the retina can be reattached via surgery, but you would need to get to your eye doctor right away to ensure higher chances of a positive outcome.

Optic Nerve Issues

The optic nerve is responsible for sending signals to your brain in order for you to see. If this transmission is impeded for any reason, vision is diminished. Optic nerve issues can stem from a variety of reasons, including underlying disorders like diabetes. There may even be a growth pressing on the optic nerve that’s preventing the signal from getting through.

Any change in your vision should be taken seriously. Don’t assume it will clear up by itself. Make an appointment with your Coldwater eye doctor for sudden vision problems and always see your eye doctor for routine visits throughout the year.

 

Nutrition Changes to Make to Support the Health of Your Vision

You hear a lot about eating for the good of your body, but eating well can be valuable to your visual health just the same. Here are a few nutrition changes to consider making to support your visual health.

Make sure you are getting in omega-3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are really good for your body, but these fatty acids are also thought to lower your risks of macular degeneration and a handful of other eye health concerns as you age. There are a number of good sources of omega-3 fatty acids including:

  • Fatty fish like salmon or tuna
  • Flaxseed, walnuts, and even chia seeds
  • Canola oil or soybean oil

If you are not getting a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, taking fish oil supplements or general plant-derived omega-3 fatty acid supplements can help.

Fill your plate with colorful fruits and veggies.

The phrase “eat the rainbow” is something to really keep in mind when it comes to visual health. When you fill your plate, opt for colorful, fresh fruits and vegetables. So many of these foods contain the nutrients your eyes need to properly function. For example, carrots are high in vitamin A, green leafy kale or broccoli delivers lutein, and red berries are high in vitamin C, all of which are good for your eyes. Taking a multivitamin can be a good way to get in all these nutrients as well, especially if you are a bit particular about fruits and vegetables. In addition, look for healthy cereals, juices, and other foods that are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Get in enough water to stay well-hydrated.

Staying well-hydrated by drinking the recommended six to eight glasses of water every day is vital for your vision. Your eyes rely on water for a number of important things, such as:

  • Staying hydrated to keep the eye comfortable
  • Eliminating bacteria through tear production
  • Washing away dust particles through tear production

If your body is dehydrated because of a lack of water intake, you may be more prone to problems with dry eyes, eye infections, and even irritated eyes that seem to burn and itch.

Work with a Coldwater, MS Eye Doctor to Create a Comprehensive Vision Health Plan

Being proactive about your visual health can mean everything to your vision over the years. Work with us at the Coldwater Vision Center for help keeping your visual health in check.

Eye Health Conditions Related to UV Exposure

3 Dangerous Eye Health Conditions Related to UV Exposure

We all love the sun, and spending time in the sunlight can serve up a host of physical and emotional benefits for your health. However, you do have to take care of your eyes if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Take a look at just a few of the serious eye health conditions that can be related to UV exposure.

Pterygium

Pterygium (sometimes called surfer’s eye) is characterized by the growth of a wing-shaped piece of tissue called a pinguecula. The growth occurs on the white part of the eye but can press against or protrude through the clear cornea if left untreated. The most common instances of pterygium will leave a triangular wing that reaches from the corner of the eye to the iris. The growth usually goes away with time, but may also have to be surgically removed.

Macular Degeneration

UV sun exposure over prolonged periods of time can actually cause direct damage to the retina. The macula lies in the center of the retina, and it is responsible for central vision capabilities. With too much UV exposure, the macula may change shape or alter so visual changes are unavoidable. Macular degeneration is a progressive disease and there is no cure, but certain treatments may slow the progression.

Photokeratitis

Also sometimes referred to as ultraviolet keratopathy, photokeratitis is actually characterized by inflammation or swelling of the clear covering of the eye (the cornea). You may have symptoms like pain in the eyes, blurred vision, or redness of the eyes. Photokeratitis commonly happens to people after they have spent a day out at the beach or on the snow on a sunny day without wearing sunglasses. The condition usually subsides, but repeat instances could cause corneal damage and changes to your vision.

Protect Your Eye Health with Help from a Coldwater Eye Doctor

Your eyes deserve rightful protection from UV rays, so make sure you wear good sunglasses that can protect you from harmful UV rays. Also, make time for annual vision health screenings with the eye doctor to watch for sun damage as it develops. Reach out to us at Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS to schedule an appointment.

Dealing with Seasonal Dry Eye Problems? A Diverse Issue with Many Causes

A number of everyday ailments can be seasonal problems, right down to ailments that affect your eye health. Dry eye problems are one of the most common visual health complaints, but a lot of people do not have problems with dry eyes through all seasons of the year. If you consistently deal with dry eyes during certain seasons, there can be a number of factors to blame.

Seasonal allergens may be to blame.

The world is filled with allergens, but different allergens can emerge during different seasons. For example, if you are particularly sensitive to pollen from flowers, late spring and early summer can mean you have more issues with dry eyes. Likewise, if you live in an area with a lot of smog, the contaminants in the air can be more prevalent during cooler temperatures when humidity is lower.

Dry eyes can be related to indoor environments.

Are you spending more time indoors due to changes in the weather? If so, it could be your indoor environment that is contributing to the problem. Indoor air quality can be poor due to pets, indoor pollutants, and even mold. For example, if you have a pet and start spending more time in the house, the pet dander may be causing problems with dry eyes.

Dry eyes can be relative to spending more time outdoors.

When winter transitions into spring, a lot of people make their way outdoors to enjoy the sunshine and warmer temperatures. If changing seasons take you outdoors, you could be experiencing things outside that are causing problems with dry eyes. For example, pollen can be particularly high in the spring, so the allergen could be contributing to a dry eye problem.

Talk to Your Coldwater Eye Doctor About Dry Eyes

Itching, watering, redness—dry eyes can be so uncomfortable to contend with, even when the problem comes and goes. Your Coldwater eye doctor may be able to help you manage the symptoms so you can get on with life. Reach out to us at the Coldwater Vision Center to schedule an appointment to discuss your problem with dry eyes.