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Year: 2020

How to Disinfect Glasses to Help Prevent COVID-19

Coronavirus and Your Eyeglasses

Did you know that our glasses (this includes the lenses and the frame) can potentially transfer viruses, such as COVID-19, to our eyes, nose, and mouth? This is because viruses — as well as bacteria —  are easily transferred from our surroundings to our hands and then from our hands to our glasses.  

In fact, research has shown that coronavirus can remain on glass surfaces for as long as 9 days. If we’re not careful, we can easily touch our glasses then touch our eyes, nose, or mouth, thus continuing the contagion cycle. 

The danger is even higher for people with presbyopia, age-related farsightedness that generally affects those aged 40 and above. Presbyopes who wear reading glasses tend to put them on and take them off several times throughout the day. What’s more worrisome is that this age group is at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

The good news is that disinfecting your glasses is easy! Let’s delve into ways you should and should not disinfect your lenses at home. 

What NOT to Use to Cleanse Your Glasses

Many of us may have rubbing-alcohol at home, and although it may seem like a perfectly good idea to use it to disinfect your specs, we discourage you from doing so. It may be too harsh for your eyeglasses, especially if you have any special coatings on your lenses.

Other products you should stay away from include ammonia, bleach, or anything with high concentrations of acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, which can damage lens coatings and some eyewear materials. 

How to Safely Disinfect Your Glasses

Now that we’ve eliminated the substances and chemicals that should not be used on your lenses, let’s see what is safe to use to clean eyewear.

Dish Soap and Water

The absolute easiest and most efficient way to disinfect and clean your lenses is to use lukewarm water with a gentle dish soap. Massage the soap onto each lens, rinse, and dry using a microfiber cloth (not paper towels, as the fibers can easily scratch lenses). While you’re at it, don’t forget to include your frame’s nose pads and earpieces.

Lens Cleaning Wipes 

Pre-moistened lens wipes are excellent for cleaning your glasses, as well as your phone, tablet and computer screen. They remove bacteria, dust, dirt and germs from your glasses and the formula restores shine to glass surfaces without leaving any streaks or residue. The durable material is tough enough to remove stains, while being gentle enough not to scratch your screens or lenses. Contact Galleria Eyecare to find out how you can access these. 

So, In Summary:

  • Do not use rubbing alcohol to disinfect your glasses.
  • Avoid using household cleaners or products with high concentrations of acid. 
  • Clean your glasses with a gentle dish soap and lukewarm water, or lens wipes.
  • Dry your glasses with a microfiber cloth to prevent smudging and scratching. 

Disinfecting your glasses shouldn’t be stressful or worrisome. Just follow the easy steps above to protect your lenses and your health. 

On behalf of everyone at Galleria Eyecare in Bee Cave, Texas, we sincerely hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe during this uncertain time.

Coronavirus and Your Eyes – What You Should Know

As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, health professionals are demanding that people limit their personal risk of contracting the virus by thoroughly washing their hands, practicing social distancing, and not touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that the eyes play an important role in spreading COVID-19. 

Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through droplets that an infected person sneezes or coughs out. These droplets can easily enter your body through the mucous membranes on the face, such as your nose, mouth, and yes — your eyes. 

But First, What Is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, causes mild to severe respiratory illness associated with fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically appear within 2 weeks of exposure. Those with acute cases of the virus can develop pneumonia and other life-threatening complications. 

Here’s what you should know: 

Guard Your Eyes Against COVID-19 

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Although we all engage in this very normal habit, try to fight the urge to touch your eyes. If you absolutely must, first wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Tears carry the virus. Touching tears or a surface where tears have fallen can spread coronavirus. Make sure to wash your hands after touching your eyes and throughout the day as well.
  • Disinfect surfaces. You can catch COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, such as a door knob, and then touching your eyes. 

Coronavirus and Pink Eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, refers to an inflammation of the membrane covering the front of the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, watery, and itchy eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, too.

According to a recent study in China, viral conjunctivitis may be a symptom of COVID-19. The study found conjunctival congestion in 9 of the 1,099 patients (0.8%) who were confirmed to have coronavirus. 

If you suspect you have pink eye, call your eye doctor in Bee Cave right away. Given the current coronavirus crisis, we ask patients to call prior to presenting themselves at the office of Dr. Soltys, as it will allow the staff to assess your condition and adequately prepare for your visit.

Contact Lenses or Eyeglasses?

Many people who wear contact lenses are thinking about switching to eyeglasses for the time being to lower the threat of being infected with coronavirus.

Wearing glasses may provide an extra layer of protection if someone coughs on you; hopefully that infected droplet will hit the lens and not your eye. However, one must still be cautious, as the virus can reach the eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms around your frames. Unlike specialized safety goggles, glasses are not considered a safe way to prevent coronavirus.

Contact Lenses and COVID-19

If you wear contacts, make sure to properly wash your hands prior to removing or inserting them. Consider ordering a 3 to 6 month supply of contact lenses and solution; some opticals provide home delivery of contact lenses and solutions. At this stage there is no recommendation to wear daily lenses over monthlies.

Don’t switch your contact lens brand or solution, unless approved by your optometrist or optician.

Regularly Disinfect Glasses 

Some viruses such as coronavirus, can remain on hard surfaces from several hours to days. This can then be transmitted to the wearer’s fingers and face. People who wear reading glasses for presbyopia should be even more careful, because they usually need to handle their glasses more often throughout the day, and older individuals tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications. Gently wash the lenses and frames with warm water and soap, and dry your eyeglasses using a microfiber cloth. 

Stock up on Eye Medicine

It’s a good idea to stock up on important medications, including eye meds, in order to get by in case you need to be quarantined or if supplies run short. This may not be possible for everyone due to insurance limitations. If you cannot stock up, make sure to request a refill as soon as you’re due and never wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy. 

It is important that you continue to follow your doctor’s instructions for all medications.

Digital Devices and Eyestrain

At times like this, people tend to use digital devices more than usual. Take note of tiredness, sore eyes, blurry vision, double vision or headaches, which are symptoms of computer vision syndrome if they are exacerbated by extensive use of digital devices, and might indicate a need for a new prescription in the near future. This usually isn’t urgent, but if you’re unsure, you can call our eye doctor’s office.

Children and Digital Devices

During this time your children may end up watching TV and using computers, tablets and smartphones more frequently and for more extended periods too. Computer vision syndrome, mentioned above, can affect children as well. We recommend limiting screen time to a maximum of 2 hours per day for children, though it’s understandably difficult to control under the circumstances. 

Try to get your child to take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour, and stop all screen time for at least 60 minutes before sleep. 

Children and Outdoor Play

Please follow local guidelines and instructions regarding outdoor activities for your children. If possible, it’s actually good for visual development to spend 1-2 hours a day outside.

 

From all of us at Galleria Eyecare in Bee Cave, we wish you good health and please stay safe. 

Bee Cave Eye Clinic – How to Improve Your Vision

Galleria Eyecare Our eye doctor in Bee Cave, Texas explains

Your eyes give you so much, isn’t it time to give back?

In the US, it’s been estimated that 12 million people over the age of 40 have some type of vision impairment! Yet, while the numbers are overwhelming, it doesn’t mean poor eyesight is simply inevitable as you age. In addition to taking advantage of our expert eye care services, our eye doctor shares 7 ways to improve and protect your eyes against problems.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Bee Cave eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Eat a nutritious diet

Eating heart-healthy foods also helps to protect your vision. That means following a diet with minimal saturated fats and salt, a moderate amount of lean proteins (legumes and nuts are great options), whole grains, and plenty of fresh fruits and veggies. In particular, antioxidant-rich foods, such as strawberries, walnuts, and dark leafy greens, can help decrease your chances of developing cataracts and macular degeneration.

Visit your eye doctor for eye exams

A comprehensive eye exam can pick up on problems you may not have noticed, because many eye diseases don’t present symptoms at the early stages. That’s why regular eye exams by an eye care professional (not the same as basic vision screening done at your local pharmacy!) are critical, even if you have no vision complaints. Plus, as you age, it’s common for your vision to naturally change, and keeping your prescription up to date is a no-brainer keeping your vision clear.

Keep chronic health conditions stable

Many chronic health conditions, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, put you at higher risk for vision of complications. However, controlling your condition drastically reduces your chances of a problem. With diabetes, keeping blood sugars in the parameters recommended by your physician can help prevent diabetic retinopathy from developing and progressing. Controlling blood pressure also helps prevent retinal bleeding and swelling.

Quit smoking

While genetics may be the number one risk factor for age-related macular degeneration, smoking is the number two risk factor! Smoking is also linked to cataract progression. You may not be able to control the genes you inherit, but you can control whether or not you smoke.

Call Galleria Eyecare today to make an appointment: 512-640-2820 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Visiting Your Optometrist During COVID-19

Is your eye doctor’s appointment coming up? Are you worried about going to the eye clinic during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic? Rest assured, keeping our patients and staff are safe is our top priority. 

We anticipate that this outbreak will continue for a while, and do not want our patients to neglect their eye care needs during this critical time. Our optometric clinic is prudent and has adopted specific measures to protect our patients and staff from potential exposure to COVID-19 during this time of uncertainty. 

That said, guidelines for slowing the spread of this epidemic are rapidly changing. Please pay close to attention to local regulatory changes to get the most up-to-date information on whether practices can still remain open/ accept non-emergency cases. 

Here Are the Precautions Our Eye Clinic Is Taking to Limit COVID-19: 

We employ a strict office policy that mandates that all eye doctors, opticians, office staff, and patients not enter if they are feeling unwell or have a fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath, or have been exposed to a known case of COVID-19 or traveled outside of the country within the last 14 days.

The staff may ask you to wait outside rather than in the waiting area in order to protect yourself and others from any circulating germs. Furthermore, we are trying to schedule our appointments in such a way that our waiting room remains as empty as possible.

During your eye exam: 

  • The eye doctor may use a special plastic barrier called a slit-lamp breath shield to block the exchange of breath between patient and doctor. 
  • The optometrist may wear a mask with a plastic shield over the eyes. 
  • The practitioner will wait for your slit-lamp eye exam to be over before speaking with you or answering any questions you may have. 
  • We sanitize all equipment and patient contact surfaces after every use and at the end of the day. 
  • We sanitize all surfaces and equipment (front desk counters, telephones, pens, door handles, waiting room chairs) with antibacterial wipes. 
  • All staff members wash their hands after contact with each patient and throughout the day.
  • Our office is equipped with several sanitizing stations.
  • We request that patients sanitize their hands prior to and after trying on frames. We also make sure to clean frames that have come into contact with patients with soap and hot water.
  • If we don’t shake hands with our patients during this time, please don’t take it personally.

Please call Galleria Eyecare at 512-640-2820 with any questions or concerns you may have. If you feel it’s best for you or a member of your family to reschedule your appointment, we encourage you to do so.

To stay abreast of the coronavirus pandemic, please visit the following official health organizations:

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) at www.CDC.gov
  • World Health Organization (WHO) at www.WHO.int 

Thank you and stay safe!  

Pink Eye Treatment Clinic Bee Cave

Local Pink Eye Treatment Clinic in Bee Cave, Texas

If you wake up and find your eyes sealed shut with crusty gunk, you probably have conjunctivitis, better known as pink eye. This type of eye infection can look and feel pretty nasty, but you’re in good company. It’s one of the most common eye conditions in the world, and it’s highly treatable. Contact your eye clinic as soon as possible to get treatment and relief from the icky symptoms.

Galleria Eyecare Our eye doctor in Bee Cave, Texas explains

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam, pediatric eye exam and contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, or dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Our Bee Cave eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

What is conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the thin, transparent membrane that lines the whites of your eyes and the inside of your eyelids. It can be caused by a variety of things, and your eye doctor will help figure out the cause in order to recommend the best treatment.

What causes pink eye, and what are the symptoms?

  • Viral infection a virus, such as the common cold, leads to viral conjunctivitis. This type of eye infection is highly contagious, but it also tends to clear up on its own within a few days. Most of the time it affects both eyes, and you may have a cough or runny nose along with it.
  • Bacterial infection a bacterial infection is to blame for bacterial conjunctivitis. This is the kind of pink eye that most often leads to yellow, crusty, and sticky discharge that builds up in the corner of your eye and along the lash line. When this discharge is severe, it can glue your eyelids together as you sleep. Typically, bacterial conjunctivitis starts in one eye and moves to the other.
  • Allergic reaction allergic conjunctivitis is caused by airborne eye irritants such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. It is often seasonal, although cases can flare up all year round. Even people who aren’t allergic to these substances may experience allergic conjunctivitis, just because the lining of the eye is easily irritated and can get inflamed.

How do eye doctors treat pink eye?

Treatment for conjunctivitis is largely dependent on which type of infection you have. Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam – paying close attention to your symptoms to determine if your pink eye is viral, bacterial, or allergic.

Like other viruses that you pick up, there’s no treatment for viral conjunctivitis; it just needs to run its course. You can apply warm compresses to help alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms. For bacterial conjunctivitis, your eye doctor will likely prescribe an antibiotic ointment or eye drops. The symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis may be diminished and relieved by allergy medications.

Should I stay home if I have conjunctivitis?

If you suspect you or your child has conjunctivitis, don’t rush off to work or send your kid to school! Instead, head to an eye clinic for an eye exam with an eye doctor near you as soon as possible. In the meantime, the golden rule is to practice good hygiene to avoid spreading your infection to family and friends.

Bacterial conjunctivitis is spread through direct contact with infected hands or any objects that made contact with your infected eye. Try not to touch others when you have pink eye, and do your best not to touch any shared items to your eye. If you have viral conjunctivitis, sneeze and cough into your elbow or a tissue.

No matter which type of pink eye you have, our eye doctor’s best advice is to wash your hands often! And even when you’re feeling better, follow your eye doctor’s advice about when you can be around others without the risk of spreading the infection.

Call Galleria Eyecare today to make an appointment: 512-640-2820 or alternatively you can book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Bee Cave Eye Clinic – 14 Eye Care Secrets

Why didn’t my eye doctor tell me?

How much do you really know about eye care? Here’s a rundown of how you should treat your eyes so you can enjoy clear, healthy vision for as long as possible.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Bee Cave eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

1.Sunglasses offer more than style

Just like you slather on the sunscreen before a day outdoors, you also need to protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Putting on a pair of trendy sunglasses will give you more than a fabulous look, it will also help safeguard your eyes against damage. Wraparound frame designs are ideal.

2.Polarized sunglasses aren’t always best

When you shop your eye clinic for sunglasses, don’t automatically reach for the ones with polarized lenses. While they are exceptional for reducing glare, they can make it near impossible to read the LCD display on your navigation system or phone. Banking at an ATM also becomes challenging when wearing polarized sunglasses.

3.Carrots are not the ultimate eye-healthy food

We’re not out to debunk your mother’s wisdom, but to let you in on a secret – dark, leafy veggies like kale and spinach are just as good, if not better for your lasting eye health than carrots. But that doesn’t mean orange and yellow foods don’t have anything to offer. Carrots, pumpkin, and other sunshine colored foods are also rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which help protect against age-related macular degeneration.

4.Eye make-up should smell fresh

Did you know bacteria can lurk and breed in your eye cosmetics? By using old make-up, you risk exposing your eyes to nasty germs that can lead to eye infections. Rule of thumb is to toss your eye cosmetics every three months. But if you can’t bring yourself to do that, sniff the product before applying. If it has a funky “off” smell, it’s possible bacteria have taken root.

5.Eye drops are better when chilled

To prevent your eyes from stinging when inserting eye drops, store them in the refrigerator.

6.OTC eye drops aren’t always safe

Before buying eye drops off the drugstore shelf, speak to your eye doctor! Even better, visit your eye clinic for an eye exam. If you have an infection, steroid drops can clear up the redness but worsen the infection. Your eye doctor will recommend the best type of eye drops for your condition.

7.Don’t be afraid of the dark

You may be surprised to hear that reading in dim light won’t damage your eyes. However, you may get a headache.

8.Eyeglasses need special care

Tissues and toilet paper aren’t made for cleaning your glasses. Think about it, paper is made from wood, which can scratch your lenses. Soft and silky microfiber cloths are best.

9.Smoking can affect your eyes

Everyone knows about the effects of smoking on the lungs and heart, but did you know smoking has also been linked with the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD)? Cigarette smokers are at a 4x greater risk of being blinded by AMD than non-smokers – and even more frightening is that the risk lasts for up to a decade after you quit smoking.

10.Over 60? Get LASIK after you have a cataract

If your insurance is paying for cataract removal surgery, your eye doctor can fix your vision at the same time. Also, if your finances make it hard to get cataracts removed as soon as they are diagnosed, waiting is rarely dangerous. Cataracts may blur your view, but generally they won’t hurt you.

11.Pink eye isn’t always harmless

Pink eye can be caused by various culprits, including bacteria and viruses. If you have pink eye as a result of a bacterial infection, you need antibiotic treatment. Leaving it untreated can lead to lasting problems, such as light sensitivity or vision loss.

12.Keep your feet cold, not your face

Aim the a/c vents in your car at your feet, not at your eyes. Hot and cold dry air from car a/c units can rob your eyes of all moisture, leading to dry eye syndrome and an increased risk of eye infection.

13.Regular eye exams are a must

We know the typical question – “Why should I visit my eye clinic until I have a problem?” The answer is that many sight-threatening eye diseases don’t have symptoms until they’ve already damaged your vision permanently. A yearly routine eye exam is the only way to spot the signs of certain problems early on.

14.Don’t sleep in extended-wear contacts

Even though they’re called extended-wear, these contact lenses post a 10-15x greater risk of eye infection if you sleep in them. It’s best to remove them before bed.

Looking for more eye care tips? Head to your eye clinic to learn more about how to benefit from clear vision and healthy eyes.

Galleria Eyecare, your Bee Cave eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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8 Ways to Protect Your Eyes at the Office

Everyone seems to be staring at a screen these days, whether their computer, their smartphone or another digital device. The stress it puts on your eyes can cause a condition called “digital eye strain” (DES) or “computer vision syndrome” (CVS). Symptoms include eye fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, red eyes, and eye twitching.

How To Protect Your Eyes While You Work

Below are a few things you can do to lower your risk or mitigate any discomfort associated with DES. 

1. See your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam

This is one of the most important things you can do to prevent or treat symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome. During your eye doctor’s appointment, make sure to speak with Dr. Soltys about your working habits, including the frequency and length of time you use a computer and other devices at work and at home.

If you get a chance before you come, measure the distance between your eyes and your computer screen and bring that information to the optometrist, so that you can get your eyes tested for that specific working distance.

Computer vision syndrome may be exacerbated by an underlying dry eye disease, which can be diagnosed and treated at our eye clinic in Bee Cave.

Sometimes people who have good visual acuity assume they don’t need any glasses. However, even very mild prescriptions can improve eyestrain and curb fatigue when working at a computer. 

2. Good lighting is key 

Excessively bright light, whether due to outdoor sunshine coming in through the window or harsh interior lighting, is a common cause of eyestrain. When using your computer, your ambient lighting should be about 50% dimmer than what is typically found in most offices. 

You can reduce exterior light by closing drapes, blinds or shades and diminish interior illumination by using fewer or lower intensity bulbs. Computer users often find that turning off overhead fluorescent lights and replacing them with floor lamps is easier on their eyes. 

3. Minimize glare

Eyestrain can be aggravated by glare from light reflecting off surfaces including your computer screen. Position your computer so that windows are neither directly in front of nor behind the monitor, but rather to the side of it. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your display. If you wear glasses, get anti-reflective (AR) coating on your lenses to reduce glare by limiting the amount of light that reflects off the front and back surfaces of your lenses (more on that below.)

4. Upgrade your display 

If you have a CRT (cathode) screen on your monitor, consider replacing it with a flat-panel LED (light-emitting diode) screen that includes an anti-reflective surface. Old-school CRT screens can be a major cause of computer eye strain due to the flickering images. 

For your new flat panel desktop display, choose one with a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches, and the higher the resolution, the better.

5. Adjust display settings for added comfort 

Adjusting your computer display settings can help decrease eye strain and fatigue too.

  • Brightness: Adjust your device’s brightness to match the luminance around you. If the white background of this page looks like a light source, then it should be dimmed. However, if it appears dull and gray, it may not provide enough contrast, which can make it hard to read.
  • Text size: Adjust the text size for maximum eye comfort, particularly when reading, editing or writing long documents. Increase the size if you find yourself squinting, but bigger isn’t always better, since overly large text display may force your eyes to track back and forth too quickly for comfort.
  • Color temperature: This refers to the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light, whereas orange and red are longer wavelength hues. Exposure to blue light helps keep you alert but tends to cause eye fatigue after a while; yellow to red tints are more relaxing and may be better for long-term viewing, especially at night. Many devices allow the user to adjust the color temperature.

6. Get computer glasses

Nearly 70% of North Americans experience digital eye strain related to prolonged use of electronic devices. To combat these effects, Galleria Eyecare recommends digital protection coatings, which act as a shield to cut the glare and filter the blue light emanating from digital screens and artificial light.

For the greatest eye comfort, ask Dr. Soltys for customized computer glasses, which feature mildly tinted lenses that filter out blue light. These can be made with or without prescription vision correction, for the benefit of those with 20/20 vision or contact lens wearers, though many people with contacts actually prefer to have alternative eyewear to use when their lenses become dry and uncomfortable from extended screen time.

Galleria Eyecare can help you choose from a vast array of effective optical lenses and lens coatings to relieve the effects of digital eye strain. 

7. Don’t forget to blink 

When staring at a digital device people tend to blink up to 66% less often, and often the blinks performed during computer work are only partial which aren’t as effective at keeping the eyes moist and fresh feeling. Making a conscious effort to blink more while working or watching can prevent dryness and irritation.

8. Exercise your eyes

Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. Look away from your computer every 20 minutes and gaze at an object located 20 feet away, for a minimum of 20 seconds. This “20-20-20 rule” is a classic exercise to relax the eyes’ focusing muscles and reduce computer vision syndrome.

 

The steps above don’t require a tremendous amount of time or money to be effective. Contact Galleria Eyecare in Bee Cave to make an appointment with Dr. Soltys and learn how the right eye drops, eye exercises, computer glasses, or AR coatings can improve eye comfort, reduce computer vision syndrome and potentially lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Does Obesity Impact Eye Health?

Nation-wide awareness about the vast dangers of obesity is at an all-time high, with TV shows like “The Biggest Loser” and health initiatives such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign shining a spotlight on the importance of fitness and good nutrition. However, despite the public’s knowledge of obesity’s effects on hypertension, stroke, and diabetes, many are not aware of how it damages eye health and vision.

Increasing evidence shows that people who are clinically obese have an elevated risk of developing serious eye diseases. It is widely known that expanding waistlines place people at a higher risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — but researchers say the link between obesity and deteriorating vision is the “risk factor that no one talks about”. Professor Michael Belkin and Dr. Zohar Habot-Wilner, from the Goldschleger Eye Institute at the Sheba Medical Center, found a consistently strong correlation between obesity and the development of four major eye diseases that may cause blindness: 

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy

The researchers said that although the evidence was out there suggesting a link between obesity and these conditions, their study emphasizes the optometric risks of obesity which can help motivate people to shed those extra pounds.

How Obesity Contributes to Eye Disease

A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 is considered overweight and above 30 is regarded as obese. A high BMI is tied to several chronic systemic health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, among others. Recent research indicates that a handful of ocular diseases can now be added to that list. 

Serious eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are more common in individuals with obesity, as well as floppy eyelid syndrome, retinal vein occlusions, thyroid-related eye diseases, and stroke-related vision loss. 

The connection between obesity and these eye diseases is likely due to the increased risk of peripheral artery disease. This occurs when the tiny blood vessels bringing oxygen to parts of your body like the feet, kidneys, and eyes become compromised.

Your eyes are particularly prone to damage from obesity because the blood vessels in the eyes (called arterioles) are easily blocked, since they’re extremely thin and small — as thin as ½ the width of a human hair! 

Most people are not aware that obesity may increase the rate of developing cataracts, too. Cataracts result when the focusing lens in the eye becomes cloudy and requires surgery to be replaced. In addition to age, cataract development is associated with obesity, poor nutrition, gout, diabetes and high blood sugar levels, though the exact cause isn’t clear.

A Healthy Lifestyle Can Reduce Your Risk of Ocular Disease

Knowing about the risk of vision loss may give those with a high BMI the extra motivational boost they need to lose weight. The good news is that a few lifestyle changes can reduce the associated risks.

An active lifestyle and a balanced, nutritious diet lower obesity and improve overall physical and eye health. Give your body a boost by incorporating important nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, zeaxanthin, omega 3, zinc, and lutein, many of which are found in green leafy and dark orange vegetables, as they have been shown to reduce the onset, progression, and severity of certain eye diseases. 

We Can Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy in Bee Cave

While a healthy diet and regular exercise greatly increase your chances of living a disease-free long life, they alone are not enough to ensure long term healthy eyesight. Regular eye exams with Dr. Soltys can help prevent or detect the onset of ocular disease, and maintain vision that is clear and comfortable.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your vision or eye health, don’t hesitate to call Galleria Eyecare — we’re here for you. 

Bee Cave Eye Clinic – How to manage digital eye strain?

Galleria Eyecare Tips on how to manage digital eye strain
in Bee Cave, Texas.

If you’re like most people, you’re probably inseparable from your electronic devices – phone, laptop, tablet, etc…, but wish you could part with the headaches and eye strain it’s causing.

On the average, American spend between 2 and 11 hours each day absorbing and processing digital media. This extended screen time can lead to a range of uncomfortable, or even painful visual symptoms. Most commonly, people complain to eye care professionals about dry eyes, blurry vision, headaches, eye twitching, red eyes, neck and shoulder pain. According to statistics reported by The Vision Council, 59% of people who use digital tech regularly experience these symptoms.

Topics: Digital eye strain, Digital eye strain glasses, Digital eye strain symptoms, How long does digital eye strain last

Getting to the root of the problem

What’s really causing digital eye strain? Several reasons are to blame. According to the American Physical Therapy Association, a main problem is the posture we use when starting at a digital screen. When using a mobile device, you probably view downwards, straining your neck. In fact, a 30-degree tilt of the head is said to create a 40 lb. strain on your neck!

At our eye clinic, we also treat many patients who have dry eyes from viewing screens all the time. That’s because people tend to blink less frequently when gazing at a digital device. Blinking is a vital reflex that keeps your eye surface lubricated with fresh, healthy tears. Every time you close and open your eyes, it clears environmental allergens and impurities from your eyes. When using a computer, studies show that you blink a third less times per minute. Consequently, your tear film is decreased – leading to burning, gritty feeling in your eyes, and blurred vision. Over time, reduced blinking may also damage the tear-producing glands in your eyes.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Bee Cave eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Why is blue light bad?

Blue light is a hot topic nowadays, and many of our eye care patients want to know the bottom line about this high-energy short wavelength.

First of all, the sun emits about 100 times more blue light than your phone. However, the sun is millions of miles away from your eyes, while your phone is only inches only. The blue light from your phone can therefore have a powerful effect. One critical way in which blue light affects your health is by disturbing your sleep cycle. When your eyes react to blue light (interpreted as sunny daylight), they send signals to your brain that it’s time to be awake. So using your smartphone in bed can seriously disrupt your body’s daily/nightly rhythm. Overexposure to blue light has also been associated with speeding up the aging process of your eye.

Tips to reduce eye strain

  • Before you do anything else, call an eye clinic near you to schedule an eye exam! Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to pinpoint any risk factors for digital eye strain, such as dry eye or an incorrect vision prescription for your glasses or contact lenses.
  • Adjust your work area. Make sure you are physically comfortable, sitting with good posture – not tilting your head or hunching over to look down at a laptop or tablet for long periods of time. The opposite can also be a problem – make sure your screen isn’t too high. The top of your screen should be at eye level with your head, allowing your eyes to look downward slightly towards the middle of the screen.
  • Check your lighting. Brighter light can help prevent or reduce eye strain. Light fixtures should also be angled in a way that doesn’t cast glare on your screen or shine into your eyes. Ambient lighting that matches the brightness of your screen causes the least amount of stress on your eyes.
  • Take a break every 20 minutes to look about 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds – and blink as you do this! You’ll reset your eyes’ focus and disperse tears across the surface of your eyes. Getting up and taking a short walk can also be beneficial for preventing headaches.
  • Declare the two hours before bedtime as a no-screen zone. Listen to music, read a book, take a bath, or engage in any bedtime routine that doesn’t depend on a screen.

Still suffering from digital eyestrain?

Visit an eye care center for an eye exam and a consultation about more ways we can help to relieve your painful vision, such as computer glasses, blue-light blocking filters, and no-glare coatings on lenses.

Galleria Eyecare, your Bee Cave eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Bee Cave Eye Clinic – Does Diabetes Put You at Risk for Losing Your Sight?

Galleria Eyecare Our eye doctor in Bee Cave, Texas explains.

Topics: Diabetes, Pre-diabetes, Diabetes symptoms, Symptoms of diabetes

If you have diabetes, you’ve probably been told about how you’re at risk for a range of serious health complications. Out of all these threatening problems, blindness may be the most feared.

Diabetic eye disease can develop as early as one year after the onset of diabetes, and statistics report that up to 45% of people with diabetes display some degree of damage to their retina. No matter which type of diabetes you have – type 1, type 2, insulin-dependent or not – the risk for eye disease is higher, and it’s increased by the number of years that you have diabetes. Also, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and American Indians/Alaska Natives have a higher chance of losing vision from diabetes.

However, as our eye doctor reminds every patient with diabetes, vision loss is not inevitable! You can lower your chances of diabetic eye disease by taking several important actions.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Bee Cave eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Link Between Diabetes and Eyes

When blood sugar levels aren’t stable and maintained within the normal parameters (as recommended by your physician), it can weaken the blood vessels at the back of the eye. These abnormal retinal blood vessels can start to bleed and leak, blurring vision and impairing sight permanently. This condition is known as diabetic retinopathy, and it’s the most common eye problem caused by diabetes. During a diabetes eye exam at our eye clinic, we will inspect your eyes thoroughly for any signs of this dangerous condition.

In addition to retinopathy, people with diabetes are also at a greater risk of cataracts and glaucoma. Both of these eye diseases can blur vision, and glaucoma can damage the optic nerve – causing permanent loss of peripheral vision that can progress to complete blindness when left untreated.

You won’t be able to see diabetic eye disease until it’s too late! You may be surprised to learn that just because you don’t have any symptoms or visual complaints, it doesn’t mean your eyes are healthy. Most of the time, retinopathy doesn’t cause any symptoms until it has advanced to a point where the vision loss is irreversible. That’s why it’s so important to visit an eye care center for regular comprehensive eye exams! At these eye exams, your eye doctor will dilate your eyes to get a detailed view of the retina and optic nerve.

If you do notice symptoms, such as the sudden appearance of many floating spots (similar to spider webs), a “veil” covering your vision, or vision changes in one or both eyes, call your eye clinic immediately.

Diabetes-related Vision Loss Can Be Preventable

When retinopathy and other diabetic eye diseases are detected during their early stages, treatment can be highly effective and prevent permanent damage to your eyes. Early intervention is critical for the lasting health of your vision. If you have diabetes, the importance of visiting your eye clinic for yearly dilated eye exams cannot be overstated!

Additionally, good blood sugar control and healthy blood pressure go far towards protecting your eyes. That means following your physician’s instructions for how to care for your diabetes, be it through medication to keep blood sugars stable, exercising, eating nutritiously, losing weight, and making healthy lifestyle changes.

Treatment Can Save Sight

Various treatments are available for retinopathy. If the results of your eye exam show any problematic blood vessels, your eye doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Possible therapies given at your eye care center include injections of medication to decrease blood vessel leakage and inhibit the growth of abnormal blood vessels. This will stop the progression of diabetic eye disease. Laser surgery is another option, which may be performed at your eye clinic or local hospital. Treatment for diabetic eye disease can not only stabilize vision, but can sometimes even improve the quality of sight.

Make Visits to Your Eye Doctor a Part of Your Diabetes Care

If you have diabetes, annual eye exams at a qualified eye care center are essential for reducing your risks of eye disease!

Galleria Eyecare, your Bee Cave eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Reference:

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The health and safety of our patients and staff is a priority. At this time, we have closed due to the escalating coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We continue to monitor the status and look forward to a swift return to normal operations. At this time, we are still able to fulfill contact lens orders and can extend expiration dates in most cases. If you would like to place an order, please visit our website. All online orders approved within 48 hours. Again, thank you for choosing Galleria Eyecare, and we wish you and your family the best in health.

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