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Month: September 2016

An Active and Eye Safe Lifestyle

90%! That’s the number of sports eye injuries that studies show can be prevented using proper eye protection. Yet most sports leagues don’t require protective eyewear as part of their uniform or safety requirements. This leaves it up to athletes, parents and coaches to ensure that proper measures are taken to keep eyes safe during athletic play.

Protective sports eyewear can come in a number of forms depending on the sport, and includes sports glasses or goggles, eye shields and eye guards. Regular prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses do not protect the eyes and can sometimes cause greater injury if impact is made and lenses or frames are shattered or broken. If you do wear prescription eyewear, there are a number of options including wearing contact lenses with safety eyewear, purchasing prescription safety eyewear or wearing safety goggles over your regular prescription glasses.

What Makes Safety Eyewear Safer?

Protective eyewear is made of impact resistant lenses from materials such as polycarbonate or trivex, which are much stronger than other types of plastic used to make typical eyewear lenses. Polycarbonate has a long history of safety eyewear use in adults and children and Trivex is a newer optical material that is lighter than polycarbonate and offers better optical quality. Both materials have built in ultraviolet protection to protect your eyes from damage from the sun.

Sports frames are also made from strong, impact-resistant materials such as strong plastics or polycarbonates. They tend to cover larger areas than traditional glasses to protect more of the area around the eye and block dust, sunlight and other elements from entering from the sides or top of the frame. Sports glasses and goggles usually incorporate impact resistant padding to create a cushion between the frame and the face or nose for increased comfort, impact absorption and to prevent slipping.

Some goggles do not fit well under helmets, such as those used in football and lacrosse, so it is wise for athletes to bring in their helmets when shopping for sports eyewear to ensure they fit under the helmet properly.

Although athletes often shy away from wearing sports eyewear due to concerns of reduced performance, in reality they often can improve performance with new innovations in sportswear that offer improved peripheral vision.

Common Sports Eye Injuries

Eye injuries commonly occur in baseball, basketball, racquetball, tennis, badminton, and other sports. Here are some of the common types of injuries.

  • Scratched eye or corneal abrasion – This is when damage occurs to the external surface of the eye and commonly occur from being poked, scratched or rubbed when there is a foreign body present on the surface such as sand or dust. Corneal abrasions can be very painful, cause redness and sensitivity, particularly to light. Scratched eyes should be treated immediately by a doctor because bacteria can enter through the eye causing serious infections, that can even lead to blindness.
  • Blunt trauma/swelling – is when an object, such as a ball or an elbow impact the eye causing swelling or bleeding such as a black eye (in which the eyelids bruise and swell) or a subconjunctival hemorrhage (bleeding from a blood vessel between the white of the eye and the clear conjunctiva). Black eyes may not appear serious but they should be checked out by a doctor to make sure there is no internal damage.
  • Traumatic iritis – an inflammation that occurs following an eye injury such as a blunt trauma that affects the color part of the eye that surrounds the pupil. The inflammation should be treated to ensure there is no permanent vision loss.
  • Penetrating injury – injuries that occur when a foreign object enters the eye, causing the eye to rupture, can cause severe damage, swelling and bleeding. These should be considered a medical emergency and treated immediately.

As you can see, most of these injuries can be prevented simply by wearing proper protection over the eye. Your vision is essential for playing the sports you love, so don’t put it as risk by failing to protect your eyes properly. With the increasing selection of frames and lenses for safety and sports eyewear at affordable pricing, an active lifestyle can also be safe.

Orthokeratology: The Next Big Thing in Vision Care

by Caroline Cauchi, OD

Wearing glasses or contacts is necessary for some people to have clear enough eyesight to function in daily life, but they can also be a nuisance. Glasses can fall off your face or even break if you play sports or have a physical job, and contacts often lead to dry eyes or are uncomfortable to put in place. The trusted optometrist in La Mesa, CA, aims to fix these problems with the help of orthokeratology.

What Is Orthokeratology?

Orthokeratology, commonly referred to as Ortho-k, is the use of specially designed contact lenses that are rigid and made of durable, oxygen-transmitting plastic. The lenses work to reshape your cornea while you sleep, allowing you to remove them during the day and still be able to see more clearly. These lenses are sometimes referred to as corneal reshaping lenses or overnight lenses. The Food and Drug Administration only approves lenses that are breathable.

Reasons to Use Ortho-K

Ortho-k is prescribed for one of two reasons: to correct a refractive error or to slow the progression of myopia in children. Overnight lenses can treat up to -6.00 diopters of myopia. Refractive errors include astigmatisms, hyperopia and nearsightedness, although Ortho-k is most often used for nearsightedness. In some cases, an optometrist may also prescribe them to treat presbyopia. Orthokeratology is a temporary fix, but many patients say that wearing the lenses each night does improve their eyesight for most of the next day.

Is Orthokeratology Right for You?

Ortho-k is an option for most people who suffer from mild to moderate myopia. It is also not a good option for people who are not a good candidate for LASIK either because they are too young or because they suffer from dry eyes or another condition that prevents LASIK. If you play a lot of contact sports, work in a dusty environment or work in entertainment and need to change your look often, Ortho-k may be a good fit for you.

There is little risk involved with Ortho-k and you can stop wearing the contacts at any time. The trusted optometrists at Vision Solutions can provide more information and a consultation during your next eye exam in La Mesa.

How to Recognize and Prevent Glaucoma

by Jamie Peters

When did your eye doctor in La Mesa, CA, last check your eyes for signs of glaucoma? If you can’t remember, it is probably time to make an appointment. Glaucoma is a serious eye disease that damages your optic nerve and progresses to irreversible loss of eyesight, making it the second leading cause of vision loss. Read on to learn how you can recognize and prevent glaucoma.

Symptoms of Glaucoma

There are two types of glaucoma. Open-angle glaucoma does not usually present any noticeable symptoms in the early stages. Instead, it develops slowly, and because it takes over peripheral vision first, most people do not notice vision loss for years. For this reason, it is usually in very advanced stages before a person takes action.

Angle-closure glaucoma develops quickly and presents itself in the form of several symptoms. People suffering from the disease may notice their vision becomes hazy or blurry, or they may see rainbow-colored circles when looking directly at bright lights. They may also suffer from nausea, vomiting or severe pain in the eyes and head. Angle-closure glaucoma is considered rare.

Are You at Risk?

While anybody can develop glaucoma, several factors seem to be linked to a higher chance of suffering from the disease. It most commonly affects people over the age of 60, especially if there is a family history of the disease or if they are of Asian or Hispanic descent. Steroid users or those who suffer from hypertension or have had an eye injury are also more likely to develop glaucoma.

How to Prevent the Disease

Regular eye exams are the biggest key to preventing glaucoma. If you are over 40 years old, you should have an eye exam every four years. If you are older than 65, have one every two years. However, if there is a history of glaucoma in the family, it is important to schedule exams more often and in accordance with your eye doctor’s recommendations. You can also prevent the disease by exercising to reduce eye pressure, wearing protective eyewear in dangerous environments and using prescription eye drops as directed. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Starr, O.D. or Dr. Cauchi, O.D. to receive a comprehensive glaucoma eye exam in La Mesa.