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Eyes of Lubbock

HOW TO PREVENT GLAUCOMA

By Eye Exams

The older we get, the more maintenance our bodies seem to require. Our efforts to maintain a simple balance of health and enjoyment from life become less straightforward. We find ourselves giving in to the advice we previously ignored and seeking easy solutions to nagging issues. Our joints hurt. Our muscles ache. We can’t hear. We can’t see. 

At Eyes of Lubbock, we can help with at least one of those matters, and with regular eye exams, we can address potential problems before they become an issue. 

What is Glaucoma? 

The leading cause of Blindness in adults over 60, glaucoma is a disease associated with damage to your eye’s optic nerve caused by a buildup of fluid in the front part of your eye. The fluid creates pressure that pushes back on the optic nerve, killing the fibers and creating gradual “blindspots” within the eye that are irreparable. 

There are two types of Glaucoma, rather than a solitary condition, that define the disease. 

OPEN-ANGLE GLAUCOMA

Open-angle glaucoma is the most common form of the disease. With this type of glaucoma, vision is lost gradually due to fluid buildup over time. There is usually no pain associated with open-angle glaucoma, and vision loss may not be perceived until later on. Due to the gradual loss of vision deterioration, it’s essential to have regular eye exams that monitor eye pressure. These exams will help to maintain healthy vision and prevent extraneous optic nerve damage caused by prolonged fluid pressure. 

ANGLE-CLOSURE GLAUCOMA

Angle-closure glaucoma or closed-angle/narrow-angle glaucoma can lead to an emergency and needs to be addressed immediately. This type of glaucoma occurs when a person’s iris is too close to the drainage angle in their eye, blocking the drainage angle and causing fluid pressure to rise quickly. An acute attack like this needs immediate treatment, or blindness can occur. 

Who is at Risk of Glaucoma? 

While almost anyone over 60 is susceptible to glaucoma, The following groups of people have a higher risk and should consider regular eye exams to be proactive against the onset of glaucoma. 

  • People over 40 who are of African, Asian, or Hispanic heritage
  • People who use long-term steroid medications
  • People with high blood pressure or diabetes
  • People with poor circulation or have frequent migraines
  • People with a family history of glaucoma

If you fall within any of the above categories, consider calling an eye expert today to get an eye exam. Glaucoma is not a curable disease, but catching symptoms early can help you slow and, in some cases, prevent vision loss. 

How Do I Prevent Glaucoma? 

Even though there isn’t a cure for glaucoma, your sight can still be preserved, and vision loss can be prevented or even slowed if the symptoms are found early enough. You should tell your doctor if you are at higher risk of glaucoma to make sure a complete eye exam is administered. During this exam, the ophthalmologist will check your eye pressure, inspect drainage angles, check for optic nerve damage, and test blindspots in your vision. 

While the test is a good indicator of whether or not you have or are susceptible to glaucoma, the effectiveness of treatment depends on how well you communicate with your doctor and how well you follow their treatment plan. 

Most treatment plans consist of eye drops and frequent visits to your ophthalmologist. The eye drops are medicated to reduce eye pressure and relieve strain on the optic nerve. Other treatment plans include laser surgery to treat the disease. In these cases, the surgery helps to correct the drainage angle so that fluid can flow out more efficiently. When the pressure is relieved, so is potential damage to the optic nerve. 

These treatments can bring back any amount of vision that has already been lost, but they can prevent further sight deterioration. The sooner that symptoms are identified, the sooner treatment can begin. 

Eyes of Lubbock know how vital your vision is to you. Glaucoma is a silent sight killer, and it’s essential to be diagnosed before it affects your ability to perform everyday tasks. If you are worried about the possibility of glaucoma affecting you, call Eyes of Lubbock today to get a complete eye exam scheduled today!

12 Tips to Promote Good Eye Health and Protect Your Sight

By Eye Exams

 

Eye health is more holistic than you think. Eyes are affected by what you eat, what activities you choose, your habits, and even how you dress. It’s important you make good choices throughout your daily life to keep this body part functioning in top shape! Here are 17 tips to protect your eyesight and keep your eyes healthy in the long run.

Watching What You Ingest

While our eyes aren’t always the first parts of our body we think of when sticking to a healthy diet, they are profoundly affected by what we eat. Your eyes need a wide variety of nutrients to function at their best.

If you suffer from dry eyes, you may try eating:   

  • fatty fish like oysters and salmon  
  • vegetarian options like fruits, nuts, and seeds 
  • Eyes need lots of vitamins for cell protection and anti-aging effects. Examples of brightly colored foods that have positive eye health benefits include: 
  • Berries 
  • Kale 
  • Carrots
  • Mangoes
  • Broccoli 

Ingesting smoke can have a great negative effect on your eye health. Smoking should always be avoided when caring for your eye health. 

How an Active Lifestyle Benefits Your Eyes 

Protecting your eyes isn’t just about eating healthy. Having an active lifestyle prevents the progression of diabetes and other diseases that directly affect vision and ocular wellness.

How you take part in these activities is also a factor in how healthy your eyes will remain. Even though spending time outside in the sun prevents nearsightedness in children, it’s important to follow these extra steps:

When outdoors, protect your eyes from the sun with a shady hat and sunglasses that protect you from UV rays. These rays can lead to a wide variety of eye health issues down the line.

Wear goggles and other protective eyewear when you take part in sports and lawncare activities that involve contact and flying debris. An extra bit of safety now can save you from severe eye damage.

How to Protect Your Eyes When Indoors 

Just like the outdoors, it is immensely important that people be mindful of their eye safety when indoors. Interacting with digital screens and electronics contributes directly to eye strain when not used properly. Some symptoms of eye strain include: 

  • Dry eyes 
  • Watery eyes 
  • Headaches 
  • Burning eyes 
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Blurred vision 

While these symptoms are not pleasant, they are usually temporary and not related to more serious conditions. However, many of these symptoms can be prevented altogether by following recommended indoor procedures to protect your eyes.  

  • A good rule of thumb when spending a lot of time indoors is the 20/20/20 rule: for every 20 minutes you spend in front of a screen, spend 20 seconds staring at something 20 feet away.  
  • Try not to stare up at screens or directly into screens. If possible, have the top of your monitor align with your natural gaze while seated.  
  • Every 2 hours of screen time, take a 15-minute break to rest your eyes. This could also be a great time to get some fresh air or go for a short walk.

Communicate with Your Optometrist 

When it comes to your eye health, your optometrist can be an incredible resource. Make sure you and your eye doctor have as much information about your family health history as your own health history.  

  • If members of your family have diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, or other vision-related concerns, your doctor needs to know so they can keep an eye out.  
  • Your doctor also needs a comprehensive list of the medications that you take, both prescribed and over the counter including vitamins.  
  • Let your doctor know about eye injuries, surgeries, and allergies that you have. 

The more information your optometrist has about your medical history, the better service they will be able to provide.  

Take care of your eyes now to prevent problems from developing in the future. Contact the award-winning professionals at Eyes of Lubbock today to schedule an appointment and learn how you can protect your eyesight!  

 

Why Are Eye Exams So Important?  

By Eye Exams

Don’t skip your annual eye exam! Often, people don’t realize just how important this routine checkup can be. Eye exams do a lot more than simply check whether you need glasses or not. Catching eye health problems early is often key to preventing severe vision or health issues down the road. During your annual eye exam, your optometrist can detect many health conditions including diabetes, thyroid disease, high blood pressure, and more!   

How Often Should You Get an Eye Exam?  

The recommended frequency of eye exams can vary depending on age and vision conditions. Many eye doctors recommend annual checkups, especially if you wear glasses. It is also recommended that adults receive an eye exam at the age of 40 as this is when many eye conditions become more likely. Your optometrist will inform you if you need to come more frequently throughout the year to check on your eyes.  

For children, eye exams should start early to address conditions quickly. Children between 6 months and 5 years old should have their pediatric optometrist check their eyes. If left unaddressed, vision problems in children can lead to a slew of developmental and educational problems. After 5 years old, children can begin to see a regular optometrist.  

What to Expect at an Eye Exam  

Like most doctor’s appointments, you will be asked various questions regarding your health history, your family’s health history, and other standard questions. Try to give the doctor as thorough and accurate information as possible to receive the best care. You may also ask the doctor questions that you want to know about the appointment or your eye health. During your appointment, the doctor will conduct various tests on your eyes which could include a preliminary test, measuring visual acuity, measuring eye focusing, digital retinal image, eye pressure test, slit-lamp, or the use of an ophthalmoscope. Other tests the optometrist could potentially run are glaucoma screening, refraction test, color vision, etc. After your exam is complete, the doctor should inform you of your results and let you know the next steps.  

Call Eyes of Lubbock  

If you are looking for a Lubbock, Texas eye doctor, look no further than Eyes of Lubbock. No matter your age or health conditions, Eyes of Lubbock is here to help you with all your vision needs. Call and schedule an eye appointment with us today!   

What to Bring to the Eye Doctor – A Checklist of 10 Must-Haves 

By Eye Exams

Do you need to bring anything to the eye doctor? Many first-time patients tend to ask this question when they’re preparing for their check-up, and the answer is always yes. 

Whether it’s the day before or night before your eye exam, you need to know what to bring to your optometrist appointment. Bring these things along with you to have your appointment run as quickly, efficiently, and smoothly as possible. Your optometrist and future self will thank you for it! 

Identification (Driver’s License)  

The clinic will need some form of identification to verify you are who you say you are. This is a common practice and helps with their records as well as verifying insurance coverage. A driver’s license or other government-issued photo ID should suffice. 

Proof of Vision Insurance 

If you plan to use insurance to help cover the bill, bring your vision insurance card with you. It’s also helpful to have a sense of what is covered by your insurance plan.  

Bring your current glasses or contact lenses along with you. Your optometrist might ask to see them, as this helps them figure out your prescription if you are unable to bring your past ones.  

Glasses & Contact Lenses and Case 

While most places provide contact lens cases for any lens samples they offer, bring a spare to put your old ones into if you might receive replacements during the visit. 

Questions 

Our minds tend to blank on any questions we had for our doctor once we’re in the room. Jot down all the questions you have on a note or on your phone to ask the doctor when the time comes.  

Symptoms and Issues List 

In as much detail as possible, make a list of your symptoms and issues that brought you here. Also mention any services, procedures, or lens alternatives that you might be interested in in the future to make your doctor aware of. 

Medical History  

Make sure you’re knowledgeable about the following things your optometrist might ask you about: 

  • Updated list of medications  

A Planning App/ Planner  

It’s good practice to schedule your next appointment while you’re still there. Eye exams are an annual affair, so most places will ask you to book your next visit during the current one. Bring something like a planner or a reminder app to put the next appointment in so you don’t forget! 

Your Current or Past Prescription 

If you’ll be visiting a new doctor or are changing clinics, it’s a good idea to bring past prescriptions. Providing this info to your doctor can help them speed up the process and familiarize them with your conditions and eyesight much faster. 

Payment 

Depending on your coverage, insurance might not cover the whole visit and you’ll need to pay the rest out of pocket. Call your insurance provider ahead of time to answer any of your insurance questions! Always bring your desired form of payment, as well as a backup in case they don’t accept the other option. If you’re unsure what method of payment the doctor takes, call ahead and ask! 

Sunglasses or a Driver 

After your appointment, you might not be able to see as well as you did when you walked in. Even in routine check-ups, your optometrist may use eye drops to dilate your pupils for examination. While the drops usually wear off by the end of your appointment, exposure to bright sunlight before the effect is over can make it difficult to see the road. This sensitivity can be fixed by bringing sunglasses to improve your vision. 

Other times, it may not be advisable for you to drive. Err on the side of caution and bring a friend or family member to drive you just in case. 

Are you in need of an eye exam? The experts at Eyes of Lubbock are here to answer all your questions and provide you with the best service possible. Contact us now to schedule an appointment!  

kids glasses care

Tips for Teaching Your Kids Proper Care of Their Glasses  

By Eye Exams, Eyeglasses

If your child is new to wearing glasses or you are looking for ways to promote more independence in eyewear care, you’re in the right place. Glasses can be an investment, and it’s essential to teach children to take proper care of them at a young age.  

Here are some tips to help you prepare your kids for how to take care of their glasses as you teach them proper eye care and protection.   

Encourage Self-Expression 

When your child picks out their glasses, it’s a big step toward becoming a responsible glasses wearer. They will naturally care more about the glasses if it’s a pair they love. They’ll want to keep them safe and in good shape. So, you should encourage your child to be excited about these eye care accessories.  

Understand Your Child’s Needs  

Glasses must fit comfortably while your child plays, learns, reads, and participates in extracurricular and daily activities. So, ask your child to look down, lay down, twist around, and bend over to test how their glasses fit and feel. 

When the glasses are comfortable and easy to wear, your child will be likelier to wear them. They’re also more likely to take care of their glasses, particularly as they notice how much easier it is to see, read, and participate in their normal activities with the help of glasses.  

Of course, those activities might also require special consideration. So, talk to our team at Eyes of Lubbock to see what materials we suggest for your child’s regular activities. We may recommend a sports band and heavy-duty case to keep those glasses safe and in place.  

Give Them Age-Appropriate Instructions 

Your child may be more (or less prepared) to take care of their eyeglasses depending on age, attention span, and motor skills. If your child is aged 4+, they’ll probably be able to follow basic instructions and be able to take care of their glasses:   

  • Remove their glasses with two hands, one on each ear stem to prevent uneven frame wear  
  • Rinse their glasses in water  
  • Dry them with an eyeglass cleaning cloth  
  • Store them in a hard eyeglass case to prevent damage in backpacks.  

To help your child get used to wearing glasses, you can get them to practice with prescription-free (fake) glass frames.  Depending on their age and readiness, you can also try rewards or even use a sticker chart to track how they’re doing with wearing their new glasses.

Stress the Importance of Proper Glasses Care 

Overall, stress the importance of glasses as a tool to promote and protect their vision. They must learn how to properly care for and protect their glasses to continue to benefit from better vision. Depending on their vision level and age, you can also offer incentives to encourage proper care.  

Eyes of Lubbock Can Help Your Kids Understand Eyeglass Care  

Our eye care team at Eyes of Lubbock can offer special tips and suggestions to your child to help them better understand the importance of proper eyeglasses care. Schedule your appointment to get all your questions answered by our experienced Lubbock optometrists as we work together to achieve better eye care and vision protection for you and your family.