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.

 

Can Children Wear Contact Lenses?

At Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS, we treat patients of all ages, including children. We offer eye exams for children and we carry a wide variety of eyeglasses that your child will be proud to wear. However, one of the questions that we get asked is if children can wear contact lenses.

Some Contact Lenses Are Therapeutic

There has been an exciting new development in contact lenses. There are now lenses that are actually recommended for some children in order to prevent myopia or nearsightedness. These are Ortho-K lenses. Since myopia is partially caused by misshapen eyes, Ortho-K contact lenses can help to prevent this “mis-growth” from occurring. Talk to your vision care professional to see if this is an option for your child.

The Child Must be Mature Enough

Contact lenses require a certain amount of maturity to wear and take care of them. If your child doesn’t properly care for their lenses, eye infection and damage can occur. For instance, most lenses must be cleaned and disinfected daily. As a parent, you have to ask yourself if your child is likely to do this. If you still need to nag your child about washing their face and brushing their teeth nightly, it’s unlikely they’ll have what it takes to ensure their contact lenses are properly disinfected before putting them in each day.

Furthermore, is your child likely to lose their lenses? Contacts have to be placed in their case when not worn, not inside a clump of tissue inside a backpack. Of course, you can always opt for daily wear lenses, which can be thrown away after each use. This is a decision that needs to be discussed with you, your child and your Coldwater Vision Center eyecare professional.

The short answer is that yes, children can and do wear contact lenses. However, depending on the circumstances, it may be easier to have your younger child wear eyeglasses until they exhibit a level of maturity that shows they’re ready for contact lenses.

For more information about corrective eyewear for your children, please contact Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS today. We’re here to help with all of your family’s vision needs.

 

What Are The Various Types of Contact Lenses?

Your eye doctor in Coldwater may recommend contact lenses for nearsightedness and farsightedness. Wearing contact lenses is usually means more convenience and better vision. But did you know that when it comes to contact lenses, there is a wide range of choices? Here are the various types of contact lenses to be aware of so that you and your eye doctor can choose the best option for your particular needs:

Soft Contact Lenses

Statistics have shown that millions of people wear contact lenses in the country. Out of those, a significant number wear soft contact lenses. Some of the reasons for their popularity include comfort, flexibility, and comfort. Because soft contact lenses are flexible, they offer more comfort and can usually be worn for longer hours. Almost anyone who can wear contact lenses, in general, can wear soft contact lenses.

Gas Permeable Contact Lenses

Gas permeable lenses are a form of hard lenses. Since it’s important for the eyes to have access to the air, gas permeable lenses allow a certain amount of airflow. This ensures that the eyes remain healthy, even if hard lenses are worn all day long. Many people choose hard lenses that are gas permeable because they are considered more durable than soft lenses. They are also appropriate for certain kinds of prescriptions as recommended by your eye care professional

Extended Wear Contact Lenses

Extended wear contact lenses can be worn for up to 30 days. This has become possible due to the advancement of technology. The main criteria used for these types of lenses are oxygen permeability. When you sleep, the cornea can only get oxygen from the blood vessels in your eyelids. Extended wear lenses are best suited for those with unpredictable lifestyles and for certain kinds of prescriptions.

Disposable Contact Lenses

Disposable contact lenses are for single-use and made to be disposed of daily. This ensures that the wearer always has a fresh pair of contact lenses to wear. This type of contact lens is thinner and more comfortable, but less durable.

All of the various types of contact lenses mentioned above also offer an additional option, which is coloring. With the aid of contact lenses, wearers can alter the color of their eyes, which is a fun and convenient beauty aid. Talk to your eye doctor in Coldwater today about which type of contact lens is right for you!

 

Adjusting to Your New Contact Lenses: Tips for Success

You have finally gotten your new contact lenses so you do not have to rely on your glasses every day to see. As many advantages that come along with contacts, you may also have a brief period of adjustment to go through when you initially begin wearing them. Take a look at a few tips for success to help you adjust easier to your new contact lenses.

1. Remember to not feel intimidated by the process.

The more you can relax, the easier it will be to get adjusted to your new contact lenses. It can be a little intimidating to be poking something into your eye on a daily basis; that’s an understandable thing. However, contact lenses are perfectly safe as long as you follow your doctor’s guidelines.

2. Keep your eyes and body well hydrated.

The more hydrated your eyes are, including the contact lenses, the more comfortable you will be with the lenses in place. Your eye doctor will give you eye drops to help keep your eyes hydrated, but do your part as well by making sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day.

3. Make sure you keep your contact lenses as clean as possible.

Clean contact lenses are less likely to irritate the eyes. If you are having to take your lenses out frequently to give your eyes a rest, make sure you take the time to properly clean the lenses each time.

4. Set alarms to remind you to change your lenses or take them out.

If you are concerned that you will forget to change your lenses as directed or you will forget to take them out before going to bed, set an alarm on your phone. It can be a lot to remember at first, but after a few weeks, you will be changing and removing your contact lenses almost without even thinking about it.

5. Communicate with your eye doctor throughout the process.

Your eye doctor should be your go-to when you have questions or concerns about your new lenses, and they will be more than happy to help you out with your initial concerns. If you have new contact lenses and need help or have questions, our patients are always welcome to reach out to us at the Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS for help.

A Look at the Often-Missed Signs of Diabetic Retinopathy in Its Early Stages

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common problems diabetics can face with their eyes. Unfortunately, many people who have diabetes dismiss the symptoms they experience, which means the condition continues to progress unkempt and unchecked by a qualified professional.

Small Floaters in the Eyes

Floaters look like small dark shadows in your field of vision. Some people see floaters as “strings” of black or grey in their field of sight. Most of the time, these floaters are hard to focus on to get a good look because they move when you redirect your gaze. These floating bits are actually shadows of blood or broken vessels that are floating around in the fluid at the back of your retina. These can be directly linked to diabetic retinopathy.

Changes in Vision That Come and Go

One of the trademark symptoms of unstable blood sugar levels is changes in vision that seem to come and go. When blood glucose levels are higher, it can mean you cannot see quite as well. If you are doing what you can to maintain blood glucose levels by eating a good diet and following the doctor’s guidelines, these issues should happen less frequently. But if you persistently have variances in your visual abilities, it can also be a sign of diabetic retinopathy.

Pain in the Eyes or Pressure in the Eyes

Pain or feelings of pressure in the eyes can be a sign of diabetic retinopathy, but this issue is perhaps one of the most commonly dismissed symptoms. It is easy to assume your eyes hurt because you are tired, not getting enough sleep, or perhaps spending too much time watching a screen. However, this pain and pressure can come from inflammation of the blood vessels in the sensitive parts of the eyes.

Keep Track of Your Eye Health with an Optometrist in Coldwater, MS

Diabetes can have a detrimental effect on several aspects of your physical health, including the health of your eyes. If you are diabetic, it is important that you have your eyes checked regularly for signs of trouble. Reach out to us at the Coldwater Vision Center in Coldwater, MS to schedule an appointment.

 

Are Contact Lenses a Good Idea for Children?

Many children do end up needing glasses, but glasses can change your appearance enough that some kids are uncomfortable with the idea and prefer to get contact lenses. This can leave parents with a lot of questions about the safety of pediatric contact lenses. Are getting contact lenses for your child a good idea? Here are a few things to consider.

Several Types of Lenses Are Available for Pediatric Patients

Even though it is a common misconception that contact lenses are not good for children, there are several eye doctors that do offer pediatric contact lenses. The thing is, there are specific types of lenses that can be viable options for certain children with specific needs. The two primary types of contacts used for children are soft lenses and gas-permeable lenses. Both of these contact lens types are a good fit for pediatric patients because they are easy to fit and can be disposable, which means less maintenance of the lenses and less risk of eye irritants due to improper cleaning.

Parent Training Is Hugely Important to Successful Contact Lens Use

Normally, the eye doctor will explain directly to the patient how they should properly use their new lenses, but with pediatric patients, parents are very much involved. For younger patients, it is usually the parents that do the majority of taking the lenses out and helping the child put them in. Likewise, it is important that parents know how to properly clean the lenses and watch for any issues the child is having.

Pediatric Contact Lenses Are Most Often Used for Specific Pediatric Vision or Eye Problems

Even though pediatric patients can be fitted with contact lenses, most eye doctors prefer to only prescribe lenses for pediatric patients that have certain types of ailments. General near or farsightedness is common in childhood as the eyes develop. But conditions like bilateral aphakia and anisometropia can be fitting for contact lens use, especially if there are issues with the child wearing glasses or if other forms of vision therapy don’t work.

Find Out More About Pediatric Contact Lenses in Coldwater, MS

Some children are good candidates for contact lenses. If you believe your child could be, reach out to us at Coldwater Vision Center to schedule an appointment.

How to Care For Your Contact Lenses

If you experience eye problems, your doctor may recommend eyeglasses or contact lenses. The latter has numerous benefits for wearers. First, they’re more convenient for active people. You can comfortably engage in exercises such as running or mountain climbing while wearing contact lenses. But how do you take care of them? Read on to find out more.

Use Soap and Water to Wash Your Hands and Dry Them Well

Touching the lenses with dirty or wet hands may result in damages. The germs in your hands may be transferred to the contact lenses and the case. The cleaning exercise is necessary whenever you’re inserting or removing your lenses.

Remove the Contact Lenses before Sleeping

Many of them are designed to be worn during the day and when sleeping. However, when you sleep in contact lenses, you increase the risk of eye infections significantly. According to some experts, you’ll be 4 or 5 times more likely to suffer from medical complications.

Learn About Effective Cleaning Methods

Besides ensuring your hands are clean and dry before you touch contact lenses, ensure you clean them daily. The most common way of cleaning is rubbing each of them gently with your index fingers. You can place them in the palm of your hand during the cleaning exercise. This helps to remove any contaminants that may have accumulated on the surfaces. The best cleaning technique may vary from one lens to another, and you may need to consult your doctor about your specific type of lenses. The choice of cleaning solution is also vital. There are numerous solutions designed for contact lenses. Avoid using tap water or saliva to clean your lenses at all costs, as this may spread germs all over them. Some researchers have revealed that contaminated lenses are major causes of eye infections. An invisible layer in contact lenses can become a breeding ground for germs that cause eye infections. You can easily get rid of the germs by cleaning your lens using disinfectant solutions and wiping dry using a tissue.

Store the Lenses Inside Their Cases After Removing Them

Some people may decide to store their lenses on surfaces such as countertops or cabinets when they’re not wearing them. Although you can still clean them later, placing them in such areas may cause damages as they’re exposed to bacteria.

As you can see, it’s easy to care for contact lenses once you understand the different steps involved. Talk to your eye doctor at Coldwater Vision Center to learn more.