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Month: November 2017

Why Are My Eyes Red?

by Jamie Peters

Certain eye conditions initiate an inflammatory response in your eyes. This may cause the blood vessels in your eyes to enlarge, giving your eyes a reddish appearance. In today’s post, Vision Solutions, your leading provider of reliable glaucoma treatment and other eye care services, discusses some common causes of red eyes.

1509954970Why Are My Eyes Red

Eye Allergies

Eye allergies happen when trigger substances come into contact with your eyes and irritate them. This may result in eye redness and itchiness. Eye allergies are a common problem in the fall with ragweed pollen and plant debris from falling leaves being major culprits. We can prescribe antihistamine and anti-inflammatory medications to relieve your discomfort.

Contact Lens-Related Complications

Improper handling of your contact lenses is another possible reason behind red eyes. This is why following your doctor’s instructions on how to handle and care for your contacts is so critical. To reduce the risk of contact lens-induced problems, always adhere to your contacts’ replacement schedule. We also advise using only our prescribed lens solution when cleaning or storing your contacts.

Dry Eye Disease

Any irregularities with the quantity or quality of your tears can reduce the lubrication in your eyes, leading to dry eye disease. This may make your eyes itchy, red, and watery. We may advise applying a warm compress or artificial tears to improve your visual health and comfort.

Eye Injuries

Corneal abrasions or any other form of eye trauma may compromise your eyes’ structural integrity, resulting in eye redness. If you sustain an eye injury, do not rub or press your eyes. Avoid self-medicating as well. The best thing to do is to head to your trusted eye care clinic for an evaluation.

Computer Vision Syndrome

Using electronic devices like computers, tablets, or smart phones for a prolonged period can cause computer vision syndrome. Common symptoms include eye fatigue, as well as heavy, sore, and red eyes. Practicing the 20-20-20 rule is an effective remedy to this problem. After spending 20 minutes or more in front of your electronic devices, rest your eyes by looking 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds.

For more information about common causes of red eyes, call us at (619) 461-4913. You may also complete our form to schedule an appointment. We serve La Mesa, CA, and nearby areas.

10 Eye Healthy Foods to Eat This Year

The New Year is coming and many people include healthier eating and exercise in their resolutions for the year ahead. Well other than weight loss and overall health and disease-prevention, a healthy diet and regular exercise can protect your eyes and your vision. In particular, there are certain vitamins and minerals that are known to prevent eye disease and act to strengthen and safeguard your eyes. Here are 10 foods that you should make sure to include in your healthy diet regimen this coming year and for the rest of your life.

  1. Dark, leafy green vegetables: Greens like kale, spinach or collards are rich in vitamin C which strengthens the blood vessels in your eyes and may prevent cataracts, and vitamin E, lutein and zeaxanthin which are known to prevent cataracts and reduce the risk and slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
  2. Orange vegetables and fruits: Orange foods such as sweet potatoes, butternut squash, carrots, cantaloupe, mangoes, orange peppers and apricots are rich in beta-carotene which improves night vision and may slow the progression of AMD, specifically when taken in combination with zinc and vitamins C and E.
  3. Oily Fish: Fish such as salmon, mackerel, tuna or trout are a complete source of Omega-3 fatty acids which boost the immune system and protect the cells and nervous system. They are essential for retinal function and the development of the eye and vision. Omega-3s can alleviate dry eye symptoms and guard against AMD and glaucoma. They are also rich in vitamin D which may also reduce the risk of AMD.
  4. Beans and legumes: Beans and legumes such as chickpeas, black-eyes peas, kidney beans and lentils are high in zinc. Zinc is a trace mineral that assists in the production of melanin, a pigment that protects the eye. Zinc is found in a high concentration in the eye in general, specifically in the retina and the surrounding tissues. Zinc can reduce night blindness and may help in reducing the risk and progression of AMD.
  5. Eggs: Eggs pack a big punch in terms of valuable vitamins and minerals. They are rich in zinc, lutein and zeaxanthin, and vitamins D and A. In addition to the eye benefits already discussed, vitamin A protects against night blindness and may prevent dry eyes. Some eggs are also a source of Omega 3.
  6. Squash: Squash is also a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin and vitamin C. Winter squash also has vitamin A and Omega 3 fatty acids, while summer squash is a good source of zinc.
  7. Cruciferous vegetables: These vegetables which include broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts have a power combination of nutrients including vitamins, A, C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. These antioxidant compounds protect the cells in your body and your eyes from free radicals that can break down healthy tissue and cause disease.
  8. Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds, peanuts, hazelnuts and almonds are rich in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Flax and chia seeds also good sources of omega 3, vitamins and antioxidants. These boost your body’s natural protection against AMD, dry eye, and other diseases.
  9. Lean meat, poultry, oysters and crab meat: These animal products are all good sources of zinc.
  10. Berries: Berries such as strawberries, cherries and blueberries are rich in bioflavonoids which may protect the eyes against AMD and cataracts.

Many patients ask about taking vitamins or supplements for eye health nutrients and the answer depends on the individual. While some of the eye nutrients may be better absorbed in the correct proportions when ingested as food rather than supplements, some patients have sensitivities or conditions (such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or allergies) that prevent them from eating certain foods such as fish or leafy greens. In these cases there are a number of good lutein and Omega 3 supplements that they might be able to tolerate better than ingesting the actual food. Seek the advice of your eye doctor to determine what is right for you. While studies have indicated that higher levels of certain vitamins are required to slow the progression of certain eye diseases like AMD, these supplements should only be taken under the guidance of your eye doctor.

This list may seem overwhelming but if you focus on filling your plate with a variety of fruits and vegetables of all types and colors, eating whole foods and limiting processed foods and sugar, you are on your way to preventing disease and improving your eye health and your overall health for years to come. To health!

Your Vision Correction Options in La Mesa

by Caroline Cauchi, OD

At Vision Solutions, we have a variety of vision correction eyewear options. We offer high-quality eyeglasses in different styles and colors, as well as contact lenses that we can customize to address your specific eye care needs.

1509954694Your Vision Correction Options in La Mesa

To help you pick the best option for your specific needs and preferences, your reliable eye doctor discusses the features and benefits of eyeglasses and contacts.

Contact Lenses

One of the great things about contact lenses is they take the shape of your eyes, giving you a wider field of vision than eyeglasses. Because they are applied directly onto the eyes and are more or less invisible, many people who wear contacts feel that they are a more “natural” vision correction method than eyeglasses.

A common misconception you may have heard about contact lenses is that they are hard to handle and cause eye infections. While they might take a bit of getting used to, rest assured we’ll give you detailed instructions on their proper handling during your eye exam. As long as you follow the instructions, you won’t have to worry about contact lens-related complications.

Eyeglasses

Wearing eyeglasses is a reliable and safe way to experience better visual acuity, which is why eyeglasses have long been the go-to vision correction option. The lenses are easily customizable to accommodate your specific refractive error, and we can apply special UV-protective or blue light-blocking coatings for extra protection. Eyeglasses can also serve as shields, preventing foreign matter and wind from coming into contact with your eyes.

Some people feel that eyeglasses restrict their peripheral vision. To compensate, many designs now feature thin rims and earpieces that provide wider visual coverage. Most eyeglasses these days are made of lightweight materials for improved comfort. We can help you pick a frame that complements your facial features and reflects your personal style. Another great benefit of eyeglasses is that they’re extremely cost efficient. If your lens prescription changes, you may re-use your frames and we’ll just upgrade your lenses.

For more information about our vision correction options, call us at (619) 461-4913. You may also complete our form to schedule a visit. We serve La Mesa, CA, and the surrounding communities.

Women and Diabetes – World Diabetes Day

November 14th is World Diabetes Day. This year, the theme of World Diabetes Day is women and diabetes – our right to a healthy future. The goal of this campaign is to promote awareness of the importance of equal and affordable access for all women, whether they are at risk or already living with diabetes, to the treatments, medications, technology, education and information they need to prevent diabetes and to obtain the best possible outcome of the disease.

Here are some facts about women and diabetes around the World:

  • 199 million – the number of women living with diabetes to date.
  • 313 million – the projected statistic for the year 2040.
  • 2.1 million – the number of female deaths due to diabetes per year.
  • 9 – diabetes is the ninth leading cause of death in women on a global scale.
  • 60 million – which is 2 out of 5 diabetic women, are of reproductive age, which increases the risk of early miscarriage, vision loss and having malformed babies.
  • 10 – women with type 2 diabetes are ten times more likely to develop coronary heart disease.

Much of these incidences of diabetes occur in women lacking access to proper medical care, education, physical activity and information they need to prevent and manage the disease. If more efforts and monies were put toward improving this situation, these numbers could drop significantly.

Pregnant women with hyperglycemia and gestational diabetes are also a major cause of concern. Limited access to screening tests, pre-pregnancy planning services, education and medical care could also improve the outcome of both the mother and the baby in these cases. The majority of instances of gestational diabetes occur in women from low and middle-income countries or households with limited access to maternal care.

Here are some additional facts about diabetes and pregnancy:

  • 1 out of 7 – the number of births worldwide affected by gestational diabetes.
  • 1 out of 2 – the number of women with gestational diabetes that develop type 2 diabetes within 5-10 years after giving birth.
  • 1 out of 2 – the number of cases of gestational diabetes that are found in women under 30 years of age.

Diabetes and Your Eyes

Diabetes damages many systems in your body including your eyes and vision. Most individuals with diabetes will eventually develop some extent of retinopathy or eye disease due to the consistently high levels of glucose in the blood which damage the blood vessels in the eye. Diabetic retinopathy can be a devastating disease that can leave you with permanent vision loss or blindness. It is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Diabetes also speeds up the formation of cataracts and other ocular diseases which can lead to further vision loss and complications.

Women who have been diagnosed with diabetes prior to becoming pregnant have to be especially careful during pregnancy. It is much more difficult to regulate blood sugars during pregnancy, and more rapid progression of diabetic retinopathy can occur if one is not careful. Keeping track of diet and exercise, and taking medications as directed, can prevent or delay the impact of diabetes on the eyes.

In addition to poorly managed blood sugar levels, additional factors that contribute to developing diabetic retinopathy are high blood pressure, high cholesterol, Hispanic or Native American descent, smoking, pregnancy, and the length of time you have the disease. The condition can be managed with regular eye exams in combination with steps to control blood sugar levels.

It’s important to note that diabetes sometimes causes symptoms of vision fluctuation (good days and bad days with vision or focusing) but many times the damage is asymptomatic in its early stages. This is why it is essential to have regular checkups even when you have no pain or vision symptoms.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, regular eye exams are essential to monitor and prevent vision loss. Stay informed and spread awareness about this challenging condition. You can help be part of the change to improve the lives of women and people all over the world that suffer from diabetes and the serious complications that come with it.