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Do I Need Glasses? 10 Signs You Need an Eye Exam

One of the clearest signs that you might need glasses is the inability to read an actual sign. But there are many other clues that can reveal if your powers of observation are fading.

There’s no need for the Sherlock Holmes-style looking glass—eye vision problems are more common than you might think. Roughly 60 percent of the world’s population requires vision correction, according to the Vision Impact Institute. That’s a lot of people, but the good news is 80 percent of all visual impairment can be avoided or corrected.

The key to understanding the clues is fortunately not a mystery. It simply takes understanding the symptoms, said Dr. John Lahr, divisional vice president of EyeMed Provider Relations and medical director.

“Symptoms of vision impairment are wide ranging,” Dr. Lahr said. “However, the only way to accurately diagnose a vision problem is to see an eye care professional.”

The 10 signs

Wondering if you need eyeglasses? Dr. Lahr suggests the following 10 signs may signal it’s time to schedule an eye exam:

1. Blurred vision: If you no longer recognize a friend 10 steps away, or your favorite magazine has become too fuzzy to read up close, you may be developing farsightedness or nearsightedness. If you find it difficult to see objects both near and far, that may be astigmatism, a common condition involving a curvature of the eye lens or cornea.

2. Difficulty seeing at night: If your night vision is fading so you no longer can see your dog in the yard or the newspaper on the early morning walkway, you may be experiencing signs of early cataracts, which should be examined as soon as possible.

3. Troubles adjusting from dark to light: If it takes your eyes longer to adjust after seeing bright lights on the highway, it likely means the muscles that help your iris contract and expand are weakening. It’s likely due to age, as are many vision problems.

4. Difficulty at the computer: You can try to blame it on work, but oftentimes those who struggle to read the computer after a time may be experiencing a clue to farsightedness. Start each day with the same page and sit at a measured distance to see if your vision worsens.

5. Eye strain or fatigue: Do 20 minutes of reading wear your eyes out like 1 hour did a year ago? Eye fatigue results from blurry vision or when you regularly squint or blink to bring items into focus, but it also can occur from driving, writing or mobile phone addiction. Try taking regular breaks or change the lighting to reduce glare. If the fatigue persists, see your doctor.

6. Frequent headaches: Sometimes the mechanism that helps the cornea and lens focus on images fails, and the small muscles in the eye are forced to work harder. The result is eye strain, which can lead to headaches. Put in simple terms: When you squint, it can cause headaches, and you may need glasses.

7. Double vision: Drinking jokes aside, double vision can lead to serious issues. Seeing double may indicate problems with your cornea or eye muscles. It can also be a symptom of cataracts. Call the doctor on the double.

8. Wavy vision: Do the blinds covering the kitchen window suddenly look like they are under water? When straight lines appear distorted, or colors look faded, it may be a sign of macular degeneration, the deterioration of the central portion of the retina and a leading cause of vision loss.

9. Seeing halos: if you see halos around objects, and you are not in church, it may signal developing cataracts or night vision problems. These halos are usually more pronounced in the dark and surround objects.

10. Eye pressure: If you feel pressure behind the eye, it may be a sign of developing glaucoma. No need to panic, though, because it’s highly treatable. Pressure buildup can damage the optic nerve that transmits images to your brain, but not everyone who experiences eye pressure has glaucoma. Still, you should get it checked.

While the presence of one or more of these symptoms doesn’t mean a guaranteed vision problem, an eye exam is recommended as a precaution. It is essential to have a qualified eye doctor examine your eyes to understand what’s causing these changes. It’s the only true way to find out if you need glasses, and to improve your power of observation.

To find out if you need glasses, please visit EyeSiteWellness.com.

List of Pros and Cons of Transition Lenses

Transition lenses provide people with the help that they need to experience the world with the correct eyesight. Glasses wearers still need to be shielded from the sun’s harmful UV rays and transition lenses allow them to do so. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with transition lenses, so let’s take a moment to examine these pros and cons.

LIST OF PROS OF TRANSITION LENSES

1. Lenses Darken Quickly
Transition lenses are known to darken immediately, as the wearer steps out into the sun. Within a mere 30 seconds, the person’s regular eyeglasses have turned into a pair of sunglasses with no effort at all. This is a huge plus for glasses wearers whose lifestyles require them to go outdoors, then back indoors several times throughout each day.

2. Decreased Sensitivity To Light
Direct ocular exposure to UV rays can be extremely harmful. Transition lenses provide valuable protection from these rays and keep the eyes from being as sensitive to light. Increased exposure to UV rays can lead to other issues as the person ages, including cataracts. Best of all, the lenses are able to adjust to the specific needs of your eyes.

3. Save Money
People who are required to wear prescription eyeglasses typically had to go out and purchase a second pair of glasses to shield them from the sunlight before transition lenses came along. Now that they are able to purchase a 2 in 1 option, this allows to save money that they would have normally had to spend on a pair of sunglasses to keep their safe.

LIST OF CONS OF TRANSITION LENSES

1. Don’t Work In Vehicles
Transition lenses do not work as well while the wearer is inside of their motor vehicle. A vehicle’s windshield has its own mechanism built into it to block the UV rays. Since the lenses do not receive any contact with UV rays while you are driving, this keeps the transition from being triggered and your glasses will remain the same.

2. Outdoor Photos Are More Difficult
For the shutterbugs out there, it is important to note that the transition lenses darken so quickly, your eyes are almost immediately obscured from sight. Depending on what look you are currently going for, perhaps this will end up in the pro column. This may be a problem for those of us who aren’t trying to be rock stars, however.

3. Lenses Are Not Currently Polarized
A common complaint about transition lenses from prescription eyeglass wearers is that those who are especially sensitive to light are not able to receive the proper protection from the sun’s harmful glare. While this is expected to improve in the future, users who need protection from the hard glare right now may be left out in the cold.

For more information regarding Transition Lenses, please visit OccupyTherapy.com.

Steps For Cleaning Your Glasses

Follow these tips to clean your eyeglass lenses and frames without risk of scratching the lenses or causing other damage. These same tips apply for cleaning sunglasses, safety glasses and sports eyewear, too.

  1. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly.Before cleaning your eyeglasses, make sure your hands are free from dirt, grime, lotion and anything else that could be transferred to your lenses. Use lotion-free soap or dishwashing liquid and a clean, lint-free towel to clean your hands.
  2. Rinse your glasses under a gentle stream of lukewarm tap water.This will remove dust and other debris, which can help avoid scratching your lenses when you are cleaning them. Avoid hot water, which can damage some eyeglass lens coatings.
  3. Apply a small drop of lotion-free dishwashing liquid to each lens.Most dishwashing liquids are very concentrated, so use only a tiny amount. Or apply a drop or two to your fingertip instead. Use only brands that do not include lotions or hand moisturizers (Dawn original formula, for example).
  4. Gently rub both sides of the lenses and all parts of the frame for a few seconds.Make sure you clean every part, including the nose pads and the ends of the temples that rest behind your ears. And be sure to clean the area where the edge of the lenses meet the frame, where dust, debris and skin oils can accumulate.
  5. Rinse both sides of the lenses and the frame thoroughly.Failing to remove all traces of soap will cause the lenses to be smeared when you dry them.
  6. Gently shake the glasses to eliminate most of the water from the lenses.Inspect the lenses carefully to make sure they are clean.
  7. Carefully dry the lenses and frame with a clean, lint-free towel.Use a dish towel that has not been laundered with a fabric softener or dryer sheet (these substances can smear the lenses). A cotton towel that you use to clean fine glassware is a good choice. Make sure the towel is perfectly clean. Dirt or debris trapped in the fibers of a towel can scratch your lenses; and cooking oil, skin oil or lotion in the towel will smear them.
  8. Inspect the lenses again.If any streaks or smudges remain, remove them with a clean microfiber cloth — these lint-free cloths are available at most optical shops or photography stores.

For touch-up cleaning of your glasses when you don’t have the above supplies available, try individually packaged, pre-moistened disposable lens cleaning wipes. These are formulated specifically for use on eyeglass lenses. Don’t use any substitutes.

For more information on cleaning your glasses, please visit AllAboutVision.com.

7 Simple Solutions for Dry Winter Eyes

With cold winter temperatures come wind, dry indoor air and blasting heat, all of which can be annoying for your eyes. In fact, the season is the most common time of year that people complain about dry, itchy and watery eyes. Some people also experience temporary blurry vision, feel like there’s a foreign object in their eyes or complain of fatigue.

The good news is that even if it’s miserable outside, you can still find relief from dry winter eyes with these tips.

1. See your doctor.

Since an occasional bout of dry eyes can eventually progress into dry eye syndrome or dry eye disease— which the National Institutes of Health estimate affects 3.2 million women 50 and older and 1.68 million men age 50 and older— it’s important to have your eyes evaluated.

Your doctor can determine if you don’t have enough water (known as aqueous tear-deficient dry eye), or not enough oil (known as evaporative dry eye or meibomian gland dysfunction). Many times, evaporative dry eye occurs because the oils are thick and not able to be expressed out of the glands, said Dr. Leslie E. O’Dell, director of the Dry Eye Center of Pennsylvania in Mechanicsburg and Manchester. And because of the wind and dry indoor heat in the winter, symptoms tend to be worse.

Depending on the type of dry eye, your doctor may prescribe Restasis, a prescription medication or a low-dose steroid eye drop, or try tear duct plugs or an in-office treatment.

2. Divert heat.

If you notice that your eyes tear up while driving or when you’re indoors, chances are it’s because the heat blasting in your face is causing your eyes to dry out a lot faster and the tear film to evaporate, said Dr. Neeti Parikh, an attending physician in the ophthalmology department at Montefiore Health System in New York City. This “reflex tearing,” is your body’s defense mechanism to keep your eyes hydrated at all times.

To keep your eyes moisturized, point the heat vents in your car away from your eyes and always use a humidifier in your home.

3. Choose eye drops wisely.

Artificial tears lubricant ointments are effective and can be used up to four times a day. If you need drops more often, use preservative-free tears that you can use as many times as you need to. Be sure to stay away from those that tout redness relief because they’re more irritating.

4. Try omega-3 fatty acids.

A fish oil supplement helps to improve the health of the glands, the quality of tear film and has also been shown to thin out the oil gland secretions, although it could take up to 3 months to see any improvement. Aim for 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams a day and be sure to ask your doctor or a nutritionist to recommend a reputable brand.

5. Clean up your make-up bag.

Dry eyes are common in post-menopausal women because of hormonal changes but makeup is a big culprit too.

Avoid waterproof eye makeup because it’s hard to remove and abrasive makeup remover which can strip the natural oils from the surface of the eye. A better alternative? Coconut oil. Ask your doctor about retinols, which are found in many anti-aging creams, because they may also contribute to dry eyes.

6. Take blink breaks.

According to a report by The Vision Council, approximately 22 percent of people said they had dry eye because of digital eyestrain. That’s because when you stare at the screen, you blink about 50 percent less and that blink is what distributes the tear across the surface of your eye, O’Dell said.

Follow the 20-20-20 rule: look away from your screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds at something 20 feet away. Or download an app such as the Donald Korb Blink Training app, which will remind you to take a break and show you how to “exercise” your eyes.

7. Apply a warm compress

If you have meibomian gland dysfunction, a warm compress can help open up clogged glands, yet a warm wash cloth hasn’t been shown to be all that effective, O’Dell said. Some companies like Bruder and Tranquileyes sell products that are safe and stay at the right temperature for the right amount of time. Also, it’s important to clean debris from your lashes with baby shampoo and warm water or with a special lid cleanser.

For more information regarding dry winter eyes, please click here.

Why It’s Absolutely Imperative To Wear Sunglasses In The Winter

When layering for cold weather, you’ve probably got all the basics covered: wool hat and scarf, chunky knit sweater, tights or thermals, comfy boots and a warm coat. But your outfit isn’t complete until you’ve put on a pair of sunglasses.

Just because the sun isn’t scorching hot, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to protect your eyes. In the winter, the sun sits lower in the sky and at a different angle than in the summer months, according to Jessica Lattman, a board-certified ophthalmologist and RealSelf.com advisor. This can actually give you more exposure.

“UV rays can cause your skin to age prematurely causing wrinkles, fine lines, scaly red patches, tough leathery skin and brown spots,” says Lattman. “Research also shows that the sun’s UV rays can contribute to various eye disease such as cataracts and macular degeneration. UV light on the eyelids can also lead to skin cancer.”

That’s why the medical professional strongly advocates for wearing sunglasses in all seasons, especially winter, to help prevent such damage. While you should never step outdoors without wearing sunscreen, Lattman notes that it can be particularly difficult to apply sunblock to the delicate skin just adjacent to the eye. Sunglasses are essential to shield the sun’s damaging rays in this area of the face.

You’ve probably read the terrifyingly true statistic that snow reflects up to 85 percent of the sun’s UV rays. But did you know that reflection off the snow can cause a sunburn on the cornea, which Lattman says is called “snow blindness”?

“UV radiation increases 5 percent for every 1,000 feet you go above sea level,” Lattman explains. “When you are skiing or outside at higher elevations, the exposure is even greater. At 5,000 feet, you will be exposed to 20 percent more radiation from the sun.” That’s a lot to consider the next time your family and friends plan a trip to a ski resort.

Rocking shades during the cold-weather months can even lesson the symptoms of dry eyes. “The sunglasses protect the eyes from wind, blowing debris, snow and ice,” says Lattman. “They decease evaporation of the tears on the surface of the eye. The eyes will feel less irritated and get less red if you keep sunglasses on.”

The stylish accessory also enhances your vision, adds Lattman. “Wearing sunglasses cuts down on glare off the snow and prevents squinting and eye fatigue,” she says. “Excessive squinting can lead to wrinkles. So keep your sunglasses on to keep the wrinkles off your face.”

When shopping for sunglasses, Lattman recommends looking for frames that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB light and are large enough to completely protect your eyes and the surrounding delicate skin.

She explains, “If you are using [sunglasses] for outdoor sports, choose ones that have a nice close fit to your face. Make sure there is no pinching and the weight is evenly distributed between your ears and nose. Also, make sure they are polarized, as this gives better vision and more protection.”

The color of your sunglass lenses also makes a huge difference. Lattman has this handy guide for picking the perfect shade:

  • Grey lenses reduce light intensity without affecting contrast or distorting colors.
  • Brown lenses enhance contrast and are good for snow sports.
  • Amber/yellow lenses significantly enhance contrast and are excellent for snow sports or driving in the winter.

For more information about wearing sunglasses in the winter, please visit HuffingtonPost.com.

Location

Moreland EyeCare
100 Peach Ridge Road
Anna, IL  62906
Phone: (618) 833-9208

Emergency Contact
(618) 521-9679

Hours

Monday: 8:00am - 7:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday - Sunday: Closed
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(618) 833-9208