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What Exactly is an Eye Chart?

If there’s one aspect of optometry that everyone recognizes, it’s the traditional eye chart, with its rows of big letters on top, which gradually become smaller the farther down you go. This chart is usually known as the Snellen chart.

Yet how much do you really know about this eye chart? Are all eye charts the same? How are these eye charts used? And when were they invented?

Here’s everything you need to know about eye charts and more!

What is an Eye Chart?

An eye chart is one of the tools your eye doctor uses to assess your eyesight. Based on how well you can see various letters on the chart, your optometrist will determine whether you have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) or astigmatism, and will measure the prescription that will give you the clearest, most comfortable vision.

Are All Eye Charts The Same?

There are a number of variations to the standard Snellen eye chart. The one an eye doctor uses depends on the personal needs and abilities of the patient. For example, eye doctors will use charts with pictures or patterns for younger children who may not have learned to read or identify letters and numbers.

There are also certain charts that specifically measure distance vision, while others are better for measuring near vision.

History of the Snellen Eye Chart

The Snellen eye chart was developed by Dutch eye doctor Hermann Snellen in the 1860s. Before this standardized eye chart was developed, each eye doctor had their own chart that they preferred to use.

Having so many different eye charts made it impossible to standardize the vision correction available to patients. Eyeglass makers didn’t receive the defined measurements they needed to accurately design, manufacture and measure the optical prescriptions their patients needed.

For the first time, the Snellen eye chart allowed a person to provide a standardized prescription from any eye care provider they chose to any eyeglass maker, and get the same optical lenses to accurately correct their vision.

How The Snellen Chart Is Used in Eye Exams

The standard Snellen chart displays 11 rows of capital letters, with the first row consisting of a single large letter. The farther down the chart you go, the smaller the letters become.

Your eye doctor will ask you to look through a phoropter – an instrument used to test individual lenses on each eye during an eye exam – and look at the Snellen chart placed 20 feet away. Your eye doctor will prescribe the lenses that provide you with the clearest and most comfortable vision.

In many offices, where 20 feet of space may not be available, you’ll be asked to view the chart through a mirror. This provides the same visual experience as if you were standing 20 feet away.

If you have 20/20 vision, it means you can see what an average person can see on an eye chart from a distance of 20 feet. On the other hand, if you have 20/40 vision, it means you can only see clearly from 20 feet away what a person with perfect vision can see clearly from 40 feet away.

If you have 20/200 vision, the legal definition of blindness, this means what a person with perfect vision can see from 200 feet away, you can see from 20 feet away.

Does 20/20 Visual Acuity Mean Perfect Vision?

No. While eye chart tests identify refractive errors, they can’t detect signs of visual skill deficiencies or diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. These are diagnosed using advanced equipment as part of a comprehensive eye exam with your local eye doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions are essential to ensuring long-term vision and eye health.

For more information, give us a call at or visit us in person at , today!

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

How do you keep your eyes healthy?

You only have one set of eyes – don’t take them for granted!

Make sure to implement the following habits for healthy eyes (and body). These include:

  • Eating a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables
  • Drinking plenty of water to hydrate your body and eyes
  • Not smoking, and avoiding 2nd-hand smoke
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • Maintaining normal BMI with regular exercise
  • Regular visits to your eye doctor as recommended

What health conditions can an eye exam detect?

A comprehensive eye exam can often detect certain underlying diseases that can threaten your sight and eye health, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tumors, autoimmune conditions and thyroid disorders. This is why having your eyes checked regularly is key. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome and the higher your quality of life.

Lincoln Optometrist – 3 Signs It’s Time To Get New Glasses

Did you know that people spend an average of seven hours every day staring at screens? What’s more, studies have shown that a whopping 68% of people regularly use more than one digital screen at the same time. This could mean using a smartphone while watching TV, a laptop while on a tablet, or any other combination of similar digital devices.

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How Do I Know If I Need New Glasses?

If you’re constantly tethered to your electronic devices, it’s important to learn to recognize when you need a change for better, more comfortable vision.

Don’t let your vision suffer because of too much screen time! Visit your Lincoln eye doctors at Eyes on Lincoln and make sure you have the perfect pair of new glasses to give you crisp, comfortable vision all day long.

3 Signs You Need New Glasses:

Changes in your vision:

If you experience vision problems like blurry or double vision or if you have to squint in order to read or see objects clearly, it may be time to visit us for a comprehensive eye exam. New glasses with an updated lens prescription may be just what you need to get your vision back on track.

Eye strain and fatigue when doing computer or other close work:

If you work on your computer or other digital screens for significant parts of your day, you may experience symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, and dry eyes. These can signal a condition known as digital eye strain. Along with a new prescription, you may also consider speaking to our eye doctors about special anti-glare and anti-blue-light coatings for your lenses, to provide an additional layer of protection.

Lots of time in the sun:

Long periods of time in the sun either as leisure or as part of a job that requires a lot of time outside, can cause your eyes to become irritated. Prescription sunglasses with a gray tint and a high rating for UV protection can help keep vision clear and comfortable while you’re out and about.

Eyes on Lincoln, your Lincoln eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 401-333-0550 Today!

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Bloodshot Eyes – Should You Be Concerned?

You wake up in the morning ready to start your day, only to discover that your eyes are bloodshot. That might not be surprising if you stayed up late to finish a project, had too many drinks at a party or spent time in a smoke-filled room.

But bloodshot eyes can also signal an underlying eye problem. If your eyes appear red or bloodshot, make an appointment with an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause and to receive effective treatment.

Why Do I Have Bloodshot Eyes?

When blood rushes to the front of the eye, the tiny red blood vessels on the white of the eye dilate and become visible. This makes the eyes appear red and irritated.

So why do these blood vessels dilate, causing your eyes to look bloodshot?

Bloodshot eyes tend to be caused by:

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritants such as smoke, pollen and perfume
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Spending too much time in front of the computer

Bloodshot eyes due to lifestyle and environmental irritants may disappear on their own, or you can try to relieve them with over-the-counter eye drops or liquid tears. Lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, cutting down on alcohol intake and limiting screen time can often be helpful. If allergies are the culprit, oral antihistamines and antihistamine eye drops may relieve symptoms.

At other times, underlying problems requiring prompt medical attention can cause your eye’s blood vessels to dilate. The following are some of these medical conditions:

Conjunctivitis

You’ve probably heard of “pink eye.” It’s another name for infectious conjunctivitis – an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eyelid and the front surface of the eye.

There are two types of infectious conjunctivitis – bacterial and viral.

If your child has conjunctivitis, they’re not alone. About 12% of kids get bacterial conjunctivitis every year. This highly contagious condition affects children and adults. In addition to reddish eyes, the following symptoms are associated with conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis – irritated eyes, swollen eyelids, eye discharge, crusty eyelids and excessive tearing
  • Viral conjunctivitis – cold or flu-like symptoms, runny nose, fever, itchy eyes, excessive tearing

If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a prompt appointment with an eye doctor, who can diagnose whether the conjunctivitis is viral, bacterial or due to allergies.

Depending on the diagnosis, your eye doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops or creams to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. The viral form may run its course after a few days, but cold compresses and non-prescription eye drops may provide relief.

Dry Eye Syndrome

If your eyes are chronically bloodshot you may have dry eye syndrome (DES). Signs of DES include:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A feeling you have something stuck in your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes

Dry eye syndrome is most commonly caused by a blockage of the tiny meibomian glands in the eyelids. These glands secrete oil that keeps eye moisture from evaporating too quickly. Without the oil, tears dry fast, leaving your eyes feeling dry, itchy and with a bloodshot appearance.

Too much screen time, aging, certain medications such as antihistamines, and medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause dry eye syndrome.

In addition to any medications or in-office treatments your eye doctor recommends, make sure to get plenty of hydration, take frequent breaks from digital screens and use a humidifier in your home.

Uveitis

In addition to bloodshot eyes, if you also experience blurred vision, see floaters or your eyes feel painful, you may have an eye inflammation called uveitis. The causes of uveitis include:

  • Autoimmune or inflammatory condition
  • Infection
  • Medication side effects
  • Cancer (in rare cases)

Unfortunately, uveitis symptoms can often be mistaken for something less serious. That’s the reason it’s important to get an eye exam if your eyes are bloodshot. Left untreated, uveitis can lead to serious conditions such as retinal scarring, cataracts and vision loss.

Depending on the cause and severity, your eye doctor may treat uveitis with prescription eye drops, steroid pills, injections or eye implants.

Eye Injury

It’s vital that all eye injuries receive immediate eye care from an eye doctor.

Even a minor eye injury can cause a big red blotch to form on the white part of the eye (sclera). The cause is a broken blood vessel or a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Although the appearance of this blood looks severe, and can make the entire white part of the eye appear bright red, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually painless and doesn’t cause vision loss. Any time you notice excessive blood on the eye following an eye injury, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to assess the health of your eye.

Glaucoma

In rare cases, bloodshot eyes may signal the presence of glaucoma – a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.

While some types of glaucoma don’t show symptoms in the early phases, bloodshot eyes can indicate the type of glaucoma that requires immediate medical care. This disease causes damage to the optic nerve due to excessive pressure within the eye. When this pressure suddenly rises, the eye’s blood vessels become dilated and visible, making the eye appear red.

If you have bloodshot eyes and/or have the following risk factors for glaucoma, immediately schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Aged 60+
  • African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Bloodshot Eyes Won’t Go Away?

Talk to Us Any time you notice bloodshot eyes or blood on the front of the eye, don’t wait. Schedule your eye exam with Dr. Nicholas Feucht at Eyes on Lincoln in Lincoln today.

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

Can I get bloodshot eyes after LASIK surgery?

LASIK surgery is highly effective minimally invasive laser eye surgery that can correct refractive errors, but like all surgical procedures, it can have side effects. Your eyes may be bloodshot or you could see halos from a few days to three weeks after surgery. Additionally, you may experience other dry eye symptoms. Eye drops and liquid tears can alleviate these symptoms, but if you have any concerns about your eyes following LASIK surgery contact your eye surgeon.

What Should I Expect from a Glaucoma Exam?

If you have a family history and/or other risk factors for glaucoma, and if your eyes look bloodshot, consider scheduling a glaucoma exam. Your eye doctor may perform the following tests:

  • Tonometry – eye pressure test
  • Gonioscopy – to see how fluid is draining out of your eye
  • Vision field test – to examine the functioning of the optic nerve
  • Dilated pupil exam – to detect any damage to the optic nerve
  • Retinal photo or OCT – digital examination of the retina and optic nerve health

Lincoln Optometrist | Best Eye Vitamins for your Vision

Vision supplements are a great way to add to your diet in a way that supports the long-term vision and eye health. Unfortunately, not all vision supplements are created equal. Many of them contain poor-quality ingredients or make claims about their benefits that are not backed up by science.

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Fortunately, there are several supplements out there that our eye care experts at can recommend. Here’s our run-down of the best eye health vitamins of 2022

Best Eye Vitamins of 2022

Vista Clear

According to Vista Clear’s official website, this supplement is formulated based on an ancient aboriginal recipe. Ingredients include chamomile, skullcap, St. John’s wort, lemon balm, and bacopa monnieri.

Vista Clear supplements are specially formulated with 26 individual antioxidants, vitamins, herbs, and minerals to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, promote overall eye health and vision, and support lens, cornea, and macula health.

Eagle Eye 911

This is one of the best vision supplements provided by PhytAge Labs and is an ideal formula for eye health and vision support. Eagle Eye 911 improves overall vision, supports the retinal membrane, develops optimal eye function, and helps reduce eye pressure.

With a blend of components added to their formula, including bilberry, grapeseed, and quercetin, PhytAge 911 has helped people achieve great eye health benefits.

Advanced Bionutritionals Advanced Vision Formula

This advanced vision formula contains bilberry, lutein, ginkgo biloba, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin. It helps support mental clarity, healthy eyes, and clear vision. It also reduces risk of vision loss from diseases such as macular degeneration by promoting retina, cornea, and lens health.

Many consumer reviews claim that this vision formula has significantly improved their vision.

Provisine

Provisine was created by a 32-year-old industry expert with the goal of helping treat a wide variety of eye diseases and conditions.

Provisine‘s official website claims that this supplement is an all-natural solution that guarantees 20/20 vision within weeks.

It contains lutein, mixed plant extracts, and a wide variety of vitamins & minerals.

Eyesight Max

Eyesight Max is a supplement that claims to treat the underlying reasons for vision loss, and not just the symptoms.

Their official website guarantees clearer vision in only a few weeks, without the need for exercise, surgery, prescription drugs, or anything else.

According to the published list of ingredients, Eyesight Max contains quercetin, bilberry, lutein, and various vitamins and nutrients.

Manufacturers advertise that it is produced in an FDA approved research center, and can protect against blinding eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. It is also marketed as a way to reduce blood sugar and blood pressure.

Divine Vision 12

According to the manufacturers, this supplement uses ingredients inspired by the bible to support vision health.

Ingredients include grapeseed, Bilberry, Marigold, Vitamin E, Zinc, Barley, Beta carotene, and more.

It’s advertised to help reduce the risk of age-related vision loss, promote overall day and night vision, support optimal eye health and reduce blurred vision. It also treats the root causes of macular degeneration.

ReVision

The makers of ReVision claim it is 100 percent natural, safe and effective, and can restore perfect eyesight in 24 hours.

Ingredients include huperzine-A, alpha GPC, phosphatidylserine, caffeine anhydrous, and L-theanine. It is marketed to help protect the eyes from the harmful effects of blue light, support brain health and overall eyesight, and reduce brain fatigue, eye strain and long-term risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Zenith Labs Vision 20

This supplement is especially effective for supporting the clear vision and healthy eyes for older adults and seniors.

With active ingredients including lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, gingko biloba extract, lycopene, astaxanthin, and copper, this supplement is ideal for reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration. This supplement is also gluten-free and vegan friendly.

PureHealth Research Complete Vision Formula

This proven vision support supplement uses essential vitamins to support and enhance your vision.

With essential eye health ingredients such as brown rice flour, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, bilberry, eyebright extract, and zeaxanthin, Complete Vision Formula supports and maintains eye health by providing nourishment to eyes and brain cells, protecting eyes from damage caused by free radicals, and lowering long-term risk of developing cataracts.

PureHealth claims that many consumers were able to go without glasses after a few months of taking their supplements.

Vision MD

Vision MD from 1MD is a nutritional supplement formulated by actual medical experts. It is based on a revolutionary new formula that contains proprietary formulas Lyc-O-Mato lycopene, OptiLut, and EVTene mixed carotenes.

It is advertised to protect the macula and retina from the damaging effects of blue light, improve visual acuity and eye health, support the health of the retina, macula, and lens and promote contrast sensitivity.

Nuzena Vision Support +

Nuzena Vision Support + is advertised as a vision supplement for protection against macular degeneration.

It contains bilberry extract, alpha-lipoic acid, lutein and zeaxanthin, and other nutrients that help promote macular and retinal health and protect against eye diseases such as macular degeneration. It also helps promote the health of the central nervous system, support healthy eyes and vision and reduce the risk of cataract formation.

Lutenol

Lutenol offers a vision support formula that aids in the healthy function of the eyes. It specifically promotes the health of the lens, retina, and macula. Two VitaPost Lutenol capsules a day can help reduce your risk of developing a number of potentially sight-threatening eye diseases.

Customer reviews on the manufacturer website claim there are no side effects.

The supplement contains lutein, zeaxanthin‍‍, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, bilberry, and vitamin E. It helps by reducing the risk of night vision loss, preventing macular degeneration, and boosting brain function and eye healh.

For more information on these and other supplements that can help you better take care of your eyes, contact our Lincoln eye doctors at Eyes on Lincoln today!

Eyes on Lincoln, your Lincoln eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 401-333-0550 Today!

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Can Cholesterol Affect Your Eyes?

When you think about high cholesterol, what do you think of? Most people would say something like “heart problem” or “cardiovascular disease.” But did you know that high levels of cholesterol can also have an effect on your body that goes beyond your heart? You may be surprised that high cholesterol can also have an impact on your eyes.

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High Cholesterol and Your Eyes

Xanthelasma (Fatty deposits) in your eyelid
The most common way that your eyes can be affected is through the presence of xanthelasma. These are small yellow-tinted deposits of fat in the skin around your eyes, specifically, in the upper eyelids and inside the eyelids, around the area of the nose.

Risk factors and causes of xanthelasma
Not everyone who has high cholesterol develops xanthelasma, but more than 50% of people who have xanthelasma have high cholesterol.

Some of the risk factors for xanthelasma include:

  • Heavy drinking.
  • Heart disease.
  • Smoking.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Obesity.
  • Conditions caused by xanthelasma

Usually xanthelasma isn’t painful. Though it’s usually just an issue of looks, xanthelasma can sometimes get worse, causing more serious problems.

Arcus senilis is a condition in which a white or grayish ring or halo appears around the edges of the clear layer of your eye that protects your iris, known as the cornea.

This ring comes from cholesterol deposits in your eye, which don’t impair your vision, but are still a definite sign of issues with high cholesterol which need to be addressed with your doctor.

Hollenhorst plaque is a much more serious issue than arcus senilis. This occurs when small pieces of plaque build-up that result from high cholesterol break loose from the blood vessel walls, travel up to the vessels in the eye, and get stuck there, blocking blood flow in one or more of the blood vessels within your eye. This can lead to potentially severe consequences for your vision, including vision loss and even blindness.

Increased risk of eye diseases and conditions

Along with the immediate signs of high cholesterol that are present in the form of xanthelasma and associated eye conditions, there is also an increased risk of developing several sight-threatening eye conditions, including:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Myopia
  • Treating cholesterol conditions in your eyes
  • Treating these and other eye conditions that result from high cholesterol requires a holistic approach that considers the whole body, One of the most effective ways to address these problems is to adopt a low-fat diet. This includes eating more unprocessed fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that are highly processed, such as potato chips and simple carbs.

In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe certain medications to help lower cholesterol including:

  • Statins (Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin and Lovastatin).
  • Bile acid sequestrants (Cholestyramine, Colestipol, Colesevelam).
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors (Alirocumab, Evolocumab).

Though they may not cause you any pain, these eye symptoms can still do damage to your vision, and are also a sign of an overall issue with your health. Don’t ignore the signs of high cholesterol.

Eyes on Lincoln, your Lincoln eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 401-333-0550 Today!

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Types of Eye Exams

With technology making life more and more convenient every day, there’s a growing trend toward online healthcare appointments. And eye care is no different. But what exactly can you get out of an online eye care appointment, and what should you still expect to visit your Lincoln eye doctor in person for? Let’s find out!

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Online/App Based Appointments

These appointments are ideal for people on the go who are not suffering from any particular vision issues or symptoms. They are meant as a convenient way to update stable prescriptions for young adults between the ages of 18 and 40 who have no eye health issues and are experiencing no change in their vision. No eye doctor is present for these kinds of appointments.

Telehealth Visits

These appointments offer a face-to-face meeting with your eye doctor online, usually through a specialized telehealth service optimized for your privacy. They are for patients who may already be established with the practice or have complaints related to the outside of the eye or the eyelids, such as a black eye or stye. Nonetheless, even a telehealth appointment with the highest-quality webcam can’t give your eye doctor nearly as much information as they can get from high-resolution imaging equipment in-office.

In-Person Comprehensive Eye Exams

This is the most thorough type of eye exam. It allows your eye doctor to utilize the latest eye care technology to measure your level of refractive error, test your inner eye pressure to check for signs of glaucoma, take images and scans of your retina to guard against retinal detachment and macular degeneration, and more.

Many potentially sight-threatening conditions show no signs or symptoms until significant damage to the eye has already been done. These conditions can only be detected with a thorough in-person eye exam.

Eyes on Lincoln, your Lincoln eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 401-333-0550 Today!

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Effective Tips for Reducing Computer Vision Symptoms

In this day and age, you simply can’t escape the glow of smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs. Unfortunately, this can have some very damaging effects on your eyes.

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After a full day in front of screens, many people report experiencing symptoms such as eye strain, light sensitivity, and headaches. All of these have been linked to extended screen time, and are often referred to as computer vision syndrome.

These symptoms can be especially bad for those with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism.

Since many of us need these screens for school and work, we don’t have the luxury of significantly reducing our daily screen time. Nonetheless, there are still many creative ways to reduce the painful and uncomfortable effects of extended digital screen usage.

Here are four effective ways to minimize eye fatigue and other computer vision symptoms.

Ask about ways to reduce blue light exposure

One of the most common unseen problems with digital screens is blue light exposure. Though blue light is natural, and even healthy for your eyes in moderation, excessive amounts like that experienced from long hours on screens can cause issues with sleeping and result in strain on your retina that has been linked to an increased risk of long-term retina damage.

One easy and inexpensive way to reduce the effects of blue light on your eyes is by asking your eye doctor during your annual eye exam about anti-glare and anti-blue light coatings for your glasses. Many electronics stores will also sell blue light filters for your computer and other digital screens.

Try the “20-20-20 Rule.

Research shows that spending long hours concentrating on computer work significantly decreases the number of blinks you take per minute, leading to dry, red, itchy eyes.

Try the “20-20-20 Break and Blink Rule” to help increase the number of blinks you take while working. Every 20 minutes in front of your computer, look at an object 20 ft away from you for 20 seconds and blink. This gives your eyes a chance to “reset” before continuing to work and helps prevent eye strain, dry eyes, and headaches.

Take Eye Health Supplements.

Eye health supplements contain healthy and essential nutrients and vitamins and minerals that can help reduce the harmful effects of digital screens. Zeaxanthin and Lutein are anti-oxidants found in many supplements that can’t be naturally produced in the body and help protect the macula from blue light damage.

High-quality eye health supplements can reduce computer vision symptoms, as well as minimize the long-term risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Lubricate your eyes.

Naturally, our eyes lubricate themselves by blinking. However, because of the reduced rate of blinking mentioned earlier, eyes tend to dry out faster while concentrating on digital screens.

One way to combat this is by the use of lubricating drops or artificial tears. Though over-the-counter eye drops are easy to obtain, it’s always better to speak to your eye doctor to get the best advice on what will help you the most. In many cases, prescription eye drops or artificial tears will be much more effective.

For more information on how you can reduce eye strain and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome, speak to our eye care professionals at today!

Eyes on Lincoln, your Lincoln eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 401-333-0550 Today!

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5 Need-to-Know Facts About Glaucoma

elderly couple sitting outside width=While most people have heard of glaucoma, many aren’t aware of how and why it can lead to vision loss and blindness, and why or how regular eye exams can help safeguard their vision. To get a better understanding, check out these 5 important facts.

Glaucoma Causes Permanent Vision Loss

Glaucoma is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness, affecting more than 1 in 50 adults. Nowadays, more than 80 million people around the world have glaucoma, with the number is expected to reach a staggering 111 million by 2040!

Vision loss is caused by abnormally high pressure within the eye which permanently damages the optic nerve that delivers the eye’s messages to the brain.

The rise in eye pressure results from the buildup of fluid in the eye that does not drain effectively out of the eye.

Though it’s possible to manage glaucoma symptoms, vision loss can’t be reversed once it’s occurred. That’s why it’s crucial to catch this serious eye condition in its early stages.

Half the People With Glaucoma Don’t Know They Have It

Yes, you read that correctly. One of the most worrying things about glaucoma is that half the people with this condition don’t even know they have it! The most common type — primary open-angle glaucoma — has no obvious symptoms in its early stages. It’s no wonder glaucoma is called the ‘Thief of Sight.’

The best way to avoid any vision loss from glaucoma is to have regular eye exams to detect the condition as soon as possible.

Some Are More At Risk for Glaucoma Than Others

The following are risk factors for glaucoma:

  • Being 60 or older
  • A family history – particularly of open-angle glaucoma
  • African, Asian or Hispanic descent
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Underactive Thyroid

Glaucoma Can Be Treated, Not Cured

There is no cure for glaucoma and vision that has already been lost to the condition can’t be restored. However, glaucoma can be treated, and the progression of the disease can be stopped or slowed.

Common treatments for glaucoma include:

  • Prescription eye drops that can lower pressure inside the eye
  • Oral medications, such as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors
  • Laser therapy, such as SLT or trabeculoplasty, is used to open up channels to improve the drainage of fluid from the eye
  • Eye surgery or trabeculectomy – surgical removal of obstructions in the eye’s drainage system
  • Trabecular stent bypass – a stent is placed in the eye to make drainage easier

Only an Eye Exam Can Diagnose Glaucoma

As mentioned above, regular eye exams are essential to detect glaucoma, especially in the early stages before permanent vision loss has occurred. Your eye doctor may use several types of tests to detect glaucoma:

  • Tonometry – measurement of eye pressure
  • Visual field – tests for peripheral vision loss
  • Gonioscopy – determines if the drainage system is open.
  • Corneal thickness (pachymetry) – the thickness of the cornea can affect the eye pressure measurements
  • Optic Nerve Exam – detection of any nerve damage using digital imaging

Glaucoma is yet another good reason to get your eyes tested regularly, especially if you’re over 60. To check the health of your eyes, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Eyes on Lincoln Lasik & Cataract Surgery Center today.

Our practice serves patients from Lincoln, Cranston, Woonsocket, and Cumberland Hill, Rhode Island and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Nicholas Feucht

Q: How much time does it take for glaucoma to cause blindness?

  • A: In most cases of open-angle glaucoma, it can take several years from the onset of the disease before significant vision loss occurs. However, in the case of closed-angle glaucoma, where the eye pressure rises suddenly, it can immediately cause severe vision loss. The speed of the onset of glaucoma depends on the type of glaucoma and eye pressure levels. The higher the pressure, the faster glaucoma can drive vision loss.

Q: How many people go blind from glaucoma?

  • A: Overall, the incidence of blindness in at least one eye from glaucoma is 26.5% after 10 years, and 38.1% after 20 years. This means that without effective treatment the chance of going blind in one eye is more than 1 in 4 in just 10 years.

References

Signs It’s Time For Cataract Surgery

Elderly Couple Discussing Cataract SurgeryCataract surgery, which replaces the cataract-affected lens of the eye with a new, clear artificial lens, is the most common surgical procedure in the world. While the procedure is considered safe and effective, patients want to know the optimal time to have the surgery.

Early Signs of Cataracts

During the earlier stages, individuals with cataracts experience cloudy vision and sensitivity to glare and light. Halos may appear around lit objects at night, and night vision may be impaired. Colors may appear washed out, such as bright red hues appearing dark pink.

Signs You Need Cataract Surgery

It’s common for people to live with cataracts for several years before considering surgery. The following are signs it is time to have your cataracts removed:

  • You find it difficult to see well enough to perform tasks at work
  • Your vision has gotten in the way of doing activities around the home, such as cooking and cleaning
  • You no longer see the television screen or printed material clearly
  • Driving, especially at night, no longer feels safe
  • Glare and bright lights are more pronounced

If you experience any of the above, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss cataract surgery.

The Presence of Other Eye Problems

Your eye doctor may encourage you to have cataract surgery if your cataracts render it difficult to examine the back of your eye to treat a range of serious eye conditions, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinopathy. Any of these may require the urgent removal of the cataract so the optometrist can accurately diagnose and manage other serious eye problems.

What Happens If You Delay Surgery?

There are advantages to having cataract surgery earlier rather than later. Cataracts can severely interfere with daily life and can make night driving difficult, even hazardous. If left untreated, cataracts result in vision loss and eventually blindness. Additionally, over time cataracts become thicker, darker and denser, which can add unnecessary complications to the surgery and lengthen the post-surgery recovery period.

However, in certain cases, patients can wait to have cataract surgery. In the meantime, their eye doctor can recommend stronger prescription lenses or the use of bright lights to help them see better.

Whether you decide to get cataract surgery early on or to wait it out, we encourage you to do so under the guidance of Nicholas Feucht O.D., Nikhil Saini O.D. at Eyes on Lincoln Lasik & Cataract Surgery Center.

Our practice serves patients from Lincoln, Cranston, Woonsocket, and Cumberland Hill, Rhode Island and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Nicholas Feucht

Q: What Are the Benefits of Cataract Surgery?

A: Having cataract surgery:

  • – Restores clear vision
  • – Enhances enjoyment of reading and watching TV
  • – Improves quality of life by allowing you to do everyday activities and hobbies
  • – Lowers the risk of developing other eye problems, such as eye inflammation and glaucoma
  • – Renders it safer to drive in low light environments

Q: How Do I Lower My Risk of Cataracts?

A: The tips below may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts:

  • – Have regular eye exams to catch any problems early
  • – Wear sunglasses to block UV rays – 10% of cataract cases are related to the sun’s harmful UV rays
  • – Maintain healthy blood sugar levels, particularly if you have diabetes
  • – Eat colorful fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamins C and E
  • – Quit smoking and drink only moderate amounts of alcohol
  • – Be aware that steroidal eye drops and corticosteroids may increase the risk of cataracts

References

 

What’s The Link Between Dry Eye and Accutane (Acne Medication)

Teen with severe acne wearing maskAccutane, generically called isotretinoin, is an oral medication that is widely prescribed to treat severe acne that hasn’t responded to other treatments.

Although this drug often does a great job of reducing acne, it has several potential side effects that can affect many bodily systems, including the eyes.

Isotretinoin and Dry Eyes

Isotretinoin works by decreasing the size of the oil glands that secrete oil onto the skin. By reducing the production of the facial oils, the pores become less clogged and the amount of acne diminishes.

As the medication travels through the bloodstream, it also penetrates the eyelids’ meibomian glands, which produce the oil for tears.

These meibomian glands, which line the inner portion of the eyelids, play an important role in keeping the eyes hydrated and healthy by secreting oil to stabilize the tear film. When Accutane suppresses their function, the oil layer in the tear is inadequate, allowing excessive tear evaporation. As a result, the eyes dry out.

A 2012 study published in JAMA Dermatology analyzed the ocular effects of isotretinoin and concluded that taking it places patients at a significantly higher risk of experiencing a range of adverse ocular effects.

Common ocular conditions that were associated with this acne medication were dry eye syndrome, blepharitis, conjunctivitis, photosensitivity, contact lens intolerance and papilledema.

The researchers found that the ocular conditions resulted from changes to the cornea, eyelids, retina and meibomian glands. Additionally, the drug was found in the tear film and caused increased ocular irritation.

The good news is that these effects are often temporary, and resolve within a few months after completing treatment. One study, published in Optometry and Vision Science (2015), however, found that 1% of patients developed permanent meibomian gland dysfunction after taking isotretinoin.

 

How a Dry Eye Optometrist Can Help

Some dermatologists will refer their patients to an optometrist for a dry eye evaluation before prescribing isotretinoin to treat acne. If the patient already has signs of ocular surface disease or is taking other medications that interfere with tear production, the doctor may decide against prescribing isotretinoin.

We can help by thoroughly assessing your ocular condition to help your dermatologist determine the best acne treatment for you, as well as help you manage your dry eye symptoms.

If you or a loved one is currently taking or has taken isotretinoin and is experiencing symptoms of dry eye syndrome such as eye irritation or burning eyes, we can offer lasting treatment and solutions.

To schedule your dry eye consultation or learn more about our services, call Eyes on Lincoln Dry Eye Center today.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Nicholas Feucht

Q: Should I use lubricating eye drops while taking acne medication like isotretinoin?

  • A: Lubricating eye drops may be an appropriate treatment for medication-induced dry eye syndrome However always consult with your optometrist before purchasing drops from the drugstore. The huge range of choices in your local pharmacy can be hard to navigate alone, and not all eye drops will be right for you. We can help guide you to the best eye drops for your condition.

Q: What are the common symptoms of dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include watery eyes, gritty eyes, burning or painful eyes, red and irritated eyes, mucus around the eyes, the inability to wear contact lenses, sensitivity to light and blurred vision. The frequency and severity of these symptoms can range greatly from patient to patient, and treatment will depend on the underlying cause of your symptoms.

Our practice serves patients from Lincoln, Cranston, Woonsocket, and Cumberland Hill, Rhode Island and surrounding communities.