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What’s the Link Between Sleep and Glaucoma?

Sleep is usually a time for restoration and healing, but the way we sleep, how much we sleep and conditions like apnea can increase your chances of developing a serious eye condition: glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a sight-threatening optic nerve disease that generally affects people over 50 and, in its early stages, usually presents no symptoms until permanent vision loss has occurred.

This is why it’s essential to have your annual eye exam, especially if you’re 50 or older or at high risk of developing glaucoma. Regular check-ups enable your eye doctor to detect any eye problems, including glaucoma, early on. This can maximize the effectiveness of eye disease treatment and management.

If you’re due for your annual eye evaluation, schedule your eye exam with at in today.

Sleep and Risk Factors for Glaucoma

The quality and amount of our sleep and the way we sleep can increase our risk of developing glaucoma due to the following factors:

Eye Pressure and Glaucoma

The pressure within our eyes is affected by the amount of aqueous fluid and its ability to drain from the eyes. The aqueous fluid doesn’t drain efficiently when we lie flat on our back. The lack of drainage due to positioning during sleep can increase ocular pressure, which can strain the optic nerve and increase the risk of glaucoma.

Blood Pressure and Glaucoma

When we sleep, our blood pressure decreases. This is often good for people who suffer from hypertension because it takes some pressure off the cardiovascular system. However, long periods of low blood pressure, or hypotension, during sleep has been shown to exacerbate glaucoma symptoms.

Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma

Sleep apnea is marked by the occasional or frequent cessation of breathing during sleep. Usually, the person is unaware that they have sleep apnea, and only a partner or someone else who sleeps in the same room will notice that they make choking or gasping sounds as they stop breathing.

These periods of interrupted breathing can lessen the flow of oxygen and damage the optic nerve. There is an observable link between people who have sleep apnea and those who suffer from glaucoma, which may suggest a causal connection. The risk of people with sleep apnea developing glaucoma could be as high as 10 times the average. Individuals with sleep apnea should consult with their primary care physician, who can suggest lifestyle changes and devices such as oral appliances to help treat the condition.

Glaucoma and the Amount of Sleep

Too little or too much sleep can affect general health and contribute to eye problems. As mentioned above, extended periods of lying down can increase pressure on the optic nerve and contribute to the development of glaucoma. Yet too little sleep causes fatigue and has been associated with field vision loss.

According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2008), those who slept 10 hours or more a night had triple the risk of developing glaucoma compared to people who slept only 7 hours a night. Getting three hours of sleep a night tripled the risk of field vision loss.

Among other lifestyle glaucoma prevention tips, such as maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, getting the right amount of sleep — not too much or too little — are important steps towards preventing optic nerve problems.

How Glaucoma Interferes with Sleep

Not only does the amount and way we sleep affect the development and progression of glaucoma. This optic nerve disease can interfere with our sleep. This occurs because the communication between the retina’s photosensitive cells and the hypothalamus — the part of the brain that contains the circadian clock that regulates sleep — is disrupted in glaucoma patients.

The hypothalamus no longer sends a message to the pineal gland to secrete melatonin and induce sleep at the proper time. The result: people with glaucoma may also experience sleep disturbances.

Risk factors for Glaucoma

Since many glaucoma patients do not experience symptoms prior to diagnosis, it is essential to undergo regular eye exams, especially for those considered at higher risk:

  • Aged 50 or older
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Hypertension, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, heart disease
  • Are African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Have corneas that thin at the center
  • Eye injury or prior eye surgery
  • High myopia (severe nearsightedness)
  • Take corticosteroids such as eye drops, pills or creams

How is Glaucoma Detected?

A digital eye exam maps out the eye with 3D full color images allowing your eye doctor to detect any problems early.

Retinal imaging can detect glaucoma and show optic nerve damage. Eye dilation is occasionally required before the imaging of the eye to enable your optometrist to more easily see the inside of your eye.

To facilitate the early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases and conditions, schedule an appointment with at in today.

Q&A

What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of glaucoma.

Open-angle glaucoma results from a lack of drainage of fluid from the eye. It generally has no obvious symptoms in its early phases. In its later stages, it presents with:

  • Blind spots and patches in the central or peripheral vision
  • Tunnel vision

Acute angle-closure glaucoma occurs when there is a sudden buildup of fluid pressure in the aqueous humor. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Eye redness
  • Appearance of halos

What Causes a Feeling of Pressure Behind the Eye?

Glaucoma is often caused by pressure on the optic nerve. However, a feeling of pressure behind the eye is generally only felt with closed-angle glaucoma.

An excessive amount of fluid in the eye, called the aqueous humor or a sudden blockage to proper drainage causes a buildup and increased pressure on the optic nerve. Drainage of the aqueous humor is through the trabecular meshwork, which is located where the cornea and the iris meet.

Eye Vitamins: Can They Prevent or Treat Glaucoma?

Some initial studies have shown a potential link between Vitamin A and Vitamin C and a protective effect related to glaucoma. However, a systematic review of the literature on vitamins and glaucoma (Nutrients, March 2018), concludes that these studies are inconclusive and more research, including randomized clinical trials, are needed to establish any clear link between specific vitamins and preventing or treating glaucoma.

2022 Sunglasses Styles For Men

uv you winter sunglasses fb ad min

Sunglasses complement your wardrobe and express your sense of style while protecting your eyes against sun damage. Below, we’ve included the most popular sunglass styles which can be worn all year long.

Square Wire Frames

Square wire frames communicate casual sophistication and are ideal for round faces. Look for box wire frames that fit symmetrically square lenses and are plated with silver, gold or other metals. These eyeglasses are lightweight and are favored by celebrities like David Beckham.

Aviator Sunglasses

Invented in the 1930s to protect the eyes of American airmen, iconic Aviator sunglasses gained a new lease on life decades later, thanks to films like Top Gun. Look for a pair of Aviator glasses with sturdy yet lightweight metal frames so you can wear them for years, and lenses that screen out 100% of UV rays.

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

Today, shoppers care about the environment and seek out sustainable eyewear. The market for eyeglasses made from renewable materials has expanded and now you can find glasses made with plant-based acetate or titanium. Some eyeglass companies will donate a pair of glasses each time they sell sunglasses.

Sporty Wraparound Sunglasses

Oval lenses and wraparound frames may tempt you to hit the open road. Not only are they retro and striking, but wraparound sunglasses provide more protection by screening out the sun’s rays all around and not just with the lenses at the front.

Mirrored or Tinted Frame Sunglasses

Reflective coatings are not just for hiding from the paparazzi–they are a fun and stylish way to make a statement. Invest in a high-quality pair of mirror-lens sunglasses, because cheaper coatings tend to wear off quickly.

In addition to mirrored lenses, tinted sunglasses can add a sense of fun to your outfit. Each color not only creates a distinct look and mood but can enhance vision. Dark turquoise can help you see the contrast in intense light and yellow is ideal for object definition.

Retro Round Sunglasses

Round frames are reminiscent of the 1960s rock era, most specifically, John Lennon’s signature eyeglasses. Round sunglasses are the epitome of cool, and you can look right over the top of them with a completely unobstructed view. Elijah Wood and Ryan Gosling are often seen in these charming retro shades, and round lenses have retained their appeal for decades.

Cool Clip-Ons

These aren’t the clip-ons that you find in the drugstore. Clip-ons no longer have to be tacky, but designers have created cool and convenient clip-ons. However, many of the newest styles are not clipped on but magnetic and create a seamless connection to the eyeglass frame.

Wearing sunglasses not only makes you look like a celebrity, but they protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation. In addition, to choosing the right sunglasses, it is important to schedule eye exams to ensure your eyes are healthy. Call Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant and schedule an appointment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can performance and sport sunglasses enhance vision?

  • A: Many performance and sport sunglasses are tinted, and each kind of tint can improve an aspect of visual acuity. For instance, amber tints are the right choice for skiing and snowboarding because they allow wearers to detect contrast. Grey lenses reduce glare without compromising color detection. Photochromic lenses start clear and become darker in the sun. Anti-reflective coatings can reduce glare.

Q: Which non-prescription sunglasses should I choose?

  • A: Non-prescription sunglasses have lenses that do not correct vision. Therefore, you can choose regular non-prescription sunglasses if you do not need to wear glasses. Contact lens wearers can wear sunglasses without a prescription. If you wear glasses, choose a pair of sunglasses you like and ask youreye doctor if they can have prescription lenses made that can be placed in the sunglass frames. Make sure that your non-prescription lenses screen out harmful UV rays.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Why Are My Eyes Dry in the Morning?

dry eye treatment in Mt Pleasant

If your eyes regularly feel dry when you wake up in the morning, it’s important to know why. Inflammation, age, medications and environmental factors can all dry out your eyes and cause other symptoms, such as a burning sensation in or around the eyes.

To identify the cause and relieve your dry eye symptoms, schedule an eye exam with our optometric team at Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant. Pinpointing the underlying problem is the first step toward waking up in comfort.

What Can Cause Dry Eyes in the Morning?

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos

If you can’t close your eyes fully at night, you may have nocturnal lagophthalmos, which can result from problems with the muscles that control your eyelids, a deformity in the eyelid tissue or partial facial paralysis.

More severe types of lagophthalmos can cause dry eyes during the day as well. With this condition, the eye dries out because the eyelids can’t close fully. This leaves the front of the eye constantly exposed to the air, resulting in excessive evaporation of the tears. If left untreated, any form of lagophthalmos can eventually damage the cornea, resulting in vision loss.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids caused by the malfunctioning of the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are located inside the eyelids and secrete oils into the tears that lubricate the eye and create a protective barrier on the surface of the eye, minimizing tear evaporation.

Blepharitis most often occurs when these glands become clogged or the oil becomes thickened. The main symptoms are inflamed, dry, red and sore eyes. These symptoms may be worse in the morning because not blinking at night results in the glands becoming more blocked, and the vital oil layer of the tears dissipates while you sleep.

Medication

Many types of medication can cause the eyes to feel dry, particularly in the morning. These include:

  • Antipsychotics and antidepressants
  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Hypertension medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Gastrointestinal medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Skin treatments
  • Chemotherapy medications

Age

With age, the eyes produce less moisture and oils and tend to dry out more quickly. As a result, the eyes may become dry, red and itchy. In particular, women going through menopause may notice dry eye symptoms due to hormonal fluctuations.

When people get older, their eyelids may also become more flaccid and fall away from the eyes. This leads to watery tears running out of the eyes more easily, further reducing the volume of the tears.

External Factors

External factors such as air-conditioning and heating units can dry out your eyes, especially if the units are located in your bedroom or if you sleep under a ceiling fan.

Other external factors that can exacerbate dry eyes include air temperature and humidity, pollution and windy conditions.

How do I know if I have dry eye? | Family Vision Care

How to Relieve Morning Dry Eye Symptoms

How to relieve morning dry eye symptoms will depend on the cause.

One of the main treatments for dry eyes focuses on relieving dryness by stimulating the production of oil from the eyelid’s glands.

Your eye doctor may prescribe an ointment to apply before retiring and lubricating eye drops in the morning. Eyelid treatments involving the gentle application of heat and massage can also help the meibomian glands work more efficiently by increasing the release of oil into the tears.

Consider using a humidifier to make the air in your bedroom more comfortable, and wearing a sleeping mask to retain eye moisture.

These tips may provide some relief, but it is essential to schedule an eye exam with
our optometric team at Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant to determine the precise cause of your dry eye symptoms and receive the appropriate treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Should I Know about LASIK Surgery and Dry Eye?

  • A: LASIK surgery corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. This procedure involves making an incision that may damage the superficial nerves of the eye. As a result, the nerves of the eyes may not realize the eyes are dry, and therefore not stimulate the required secretion of tears. The result can be dry eyes.

Q: How to Treat Dry Eye Syndrome Naturally?

  • A: While nothing can replace the advice of your eye doctor, eating oily fish, flaxseeds, and other foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can stimulate oil production in the eyes. Try applying warm compresses to your eyes and gently massaging your eyelids to unclog the meibomian glands. Protective eyewear, such as wraparound eyeglasses, helps block irritants and retain lubrication. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home. Applying eye drops regularly can also help prevent your eyes from drying out.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Vision Exams: What Does 20/20 Vision Really Mean?

eye exam near me

If you’ve had your eyes examined, your eye doctor likely asked you to read letters and numbers from an eye chart. That was to check for changes in your visual acuity, or sharpness of vision. Visual acuity can be measured in different ways, but the most common way is by using a Snellen eye chart — a chart with different sized letters and numbers in descending rows.

In 1862 Dr. Herman Snellen, an eye doctor in Holland, created the Snellen eye chart and coined the term ‘20/20 vision.’ Below we explore what that really means.

What is 20/20 Vision?

20/20 vision describes how clearly a person with normal visual clarity can see. All measurements of vision are taken when the patient is located 20 feet from the eye chart. A person with 20/20 vision can clearly read a certain row of small letters on the Snellen chart from 20 feet away.

A person with 20/40 vision who is 20 feet from the eye chart can only see the letters double the size of the letters that a person with normal vision can see.

Likewise, a person with 20/80 vision, who is 20 feet from the chart can only see letters four times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Legal blindness is considered to be 20/200 vision, and means that an individual with this sight at 20 feet away from the eye chart can only see letters 10 times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Is 20/20 Perfect Vision?

Not necessarily. This is a standard of measurement used by optometrists to help assess distance vision and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts, but vision is more than just 20/20 sight.

Several other visual skills are essential to functioning in today’s world and even a person with 20/20 vision can lack other necessary visual skills. Well-developed visual skills help individuals succeed at school, in the workplace and sports. For example, skills like eye tracking, teaming, convergence and visual processing all need to be up to par for a person to truly have ‘perfect vision.’ Visual acuity is just one piece of the puzzle.

Additionally, 20/20 isn’t the clearest possible vision. Some people have 20/15 or even 20/10 vision. This means their visual acuity is higher than a person with 20/20 sight.

How To Correct Visual Acuity

The first step in correcting a visual acuity problem is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. If your vision requires correction, your eye doctor will explain the different methods of vision correction, including prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Some people choose to correct their vision with refractive surgery, but like any surgery, it comes with the risk of surgical complications.

At Family Vision Care, our goal is to help all patients achieve clear, crisp and comfortable vision, no matter their visual condition.

Not sure you have 20/20 vision? Call Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant today to schedule your eye exam today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What conditions can impair visual acuity?

  • A: Conditions like astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and an age-related loss of focusing ability (presbyopia) all impact sharpness of vision at various distances. Other conditions, including dry eye syndrome and cataracts, can also affect visual clarity.

Q: How common is it to have 20/20 vision?

  • A: Approximately a third of adults in America have 20/20 vision without the use of any vision correction, and 75% of American adults have 20/20 vision when wearing prescription lenses or other forms of vision correction.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Can Restricting Online Gaming Time Reduce Myopia Progression?

Two kids playing online gamesThe Chinese government recently implemented a new policy that’s sparked conversations about childhood myopia and online gaming.

Under the policy, Chinese children and teens under the age of 18 are only permitted to play online video games for one hour on weekend evenings and public holidays — a significant reduction compared to their previous online gaming allotment. This restriction includes all forms of video games, from handheld devices to computer and smartphone gaming.

The government hopes to combat a common condition called online gaming disorder, or video game addiction, which affects more than 30% of children in China. Another potential benefit of limiting online gaming may be a reduction in childhood myopia progression, something we explore below.

The Link Between Online Gaming and Myopia Progression

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition that causes blurred distance vision. Several factors contribute to the onset and progression of myopia, including genetic and environmental.

Several studies have found that screen time, along with other forms of near work, is associated with higher levels of myopia and myopia progression in children.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (2019), children who engage in screen time for more than 3 hours per day have almost 4 times the risk of becoming myopic. Younger children, around ages 6-7, are even more susceptible to experiencing screen-related nearsightedness, with 5 times the risk compared to children who don’t use digital screens.

Limiting screen time may also encourage children to spend more time outdoors in the sun, a protective factor against developing myopia and slowing its progression.

In The Sydney Adolescent Vascular and Eye Study (2013), researchers found that spending at least 21 hours outdoors per week was more important for delaying the onset of myopia than limiting near work in both younger and older children, although both were effective.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Although online gaming can give children a sense of community and togetherness, excessive online gaming can increase a child’s risk of developing myopia and contribute to its progression.

The good news is that parents can make eye-healthy choices for their children that can have lifelong benefits. Limiting near work activities like online gaming and other screen time, and encouraging your children to play outdoors can significantly reduce their chances of developing high (severe) myopia.

How Myopia Management Can Help

The best thing that parents can offer their children to prevent myopia and halt its progression is a custom-made myopia management treatment plan with an eye doctor.

Whether or not myopia has set in already, we can help preserve your child’s eye health and lower their risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal detachment in the future.

To learn more about our services or schedule your child’s myopia consultation, contact Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant today!

Family Vision Care offers myopia management to patients from Mt Pleasant, Charleston, Drum Island, and Sullivan's Island, South Carolina and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with our optometric team

Q: Who is an ideal candidate for myopia management?

  • A: Children, teens, and young adults who are nearsighted or are at risk of becoming nearsighted are ideal candidates for myopia management. If you think myopia management is right for you or your child, speak with us about how we can help. Remember, the sooner your child starts myopia management, the better their outcome will be.

Q: Is myopia management based on scientific evidence?

  • A: Yes! The treatments used in myopia management are all safe and clinically proven to slow the onset and progression of myopia in children and teens. There have been several scientific studies that support its effectiveness.

Myopia Management Appointment
Want To Discuss Myopia? Call 843-881-2492

Blinking Exercises for Dry Eye

Blinking Exercises 640×350Did you know that the average person spends around 7 hours a day looking at a screen? The glare and reflections from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens can reduce blink rates by as much as 60%. When we concentrate intensely we tend to blink less, which can, in turn, lead to dry eye syndrome.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include red and dry eyes, irritated eyes, blurred vision, painful or stinging eyes, light sensitivity and mucus around the eyes.

Blinking helps keep our eyes healthy and comfortable. With every blink, the ocular surface is cleaned of debris and lubricated, so less blinking means more irritation and dryness.

Below are a few blinking exercises to help you ensure that your eyes remain lubricated and refreshed throughout the day.

Blinking Exercises

Blinking exercises are simple to do and can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine. These exercises should be done a few times an hour. Try alternating between the 2 exercises below.

1. Close-Pause-Pause-Open-Relax

  1. Without squeezing, gently close your eyes.
  2. Pause and keep your eyes closed for 2 seconds.
  3. Gently open your eyes and relax them.
  4. Repeat 5 times

2. Close-Pause-Pause-Squeeze-Open-Relax

  1. Without squeezing, gently close your eyes.
  2. Pause and keep your eyes closed for 2 seconds.
  3. While keeping your eyes closed, squeeze your eyelids together slowly and gently.
  4. Gently open your eyes and relax them.
  5. Repeat 5 times

The Importance of Fully Blinking

It’s important to fully blink to completely lubricate your eyes. If you’re only partially blinking, it can render your dry eye symptoms worse.

To find out whether you are fully blinking, just look at your eyes in the mirror. If they feel dry or appear red, or if you see a horizontal stripe of red blood vessels across your eyes, then you have been partially blinking.

If you’ve incorporated blinking exercises into your routine but are still experiencing eye irritation, you may have dry eye syndrome. We can diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms, and offer a variety of dry eye treatments to alleviate any discomfort. Schedule an eye exam with Family Vision Care today to receive effective, long-lasting relief.

Family Vision Care serves dry eye patients from Mt Pleasant, Charleston, Drum Island, and Sullivan's Island, South Carolina and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with our optometric team

Q: What is dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Dry eye syndrome is caused either by insufficient tears or poor tear quality. Every time you blink, you leave a thin film of tears over the surface of your eyes. This helps keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy. If your tears don’t keep the surface of your eye moist enough, you will experience dry eye symptoms. Some medical conditions, certain medications, dysfunctional glands, allergies and environmental irritants can all cause dry eye symptoms.

Q: What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

  • A: Symptoms of dry eye include irritation; a gritty, scratchy or burning sensation; blurred vision; excessive tearing; and/or a feeling of having something stuck in the eye.

Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 843-881-2492

5 Contact Lens Health Tips

Contact lenses are a convenient way to correct vision without glasses or LASIK surgery. To keep their eyes healthy, contact lens wearers should adopt a care regimen that involves regular rinsing, disinfecting and replacing their lenses when needed.

A contact lens exam and fitting session with Family Vision Care in ​​Mt Pleasant will ensure that you receive the best lenses for you and your lifestyle. The eye doctor will also instruct you on how to clean and care for them.

The following tips are essential for healthy and safe contact lens use:

  1. Replace contact lenses as advised by your eye doctor
  2. Wash hands carefully before touching the lenses, either removing or inserting
  3. Only use the prescribed solution to rinse lenses
  4. Disinfect contact lenses as instructed by your eye doctor
  5. Schedule a contact lens exam and fitting
  6. Always attend your contact lens follow up exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems

Replace Contact Lenses as Instructed

It’s important to replace your contact lenses as directed by your eye doctor. The period of time you can wear your lenses before using new ones depends on the type of lenses you have:

  • Daily disposable lenses – one-time use
  • Bi-weekly disposable lenses – replace every two weeks or sooner
  • Monthly lenses – every month
  • Traditional (non-disposable) lenses – replace every 6 to 12 months, or as per your eye doctor‘s advice.

Inspect your lenses carefully. If they are showing signs of wear and tear, replace them sooner. Exceeding the maximum time frame for contact lens wear can increase the risk of eye irritation and infection, and may even damage your eyes to the point where you can no longer wear contact lenses.

Wash and Dry Hands Carefully Before Applying Contact Lenses

Teens and adults often lead active lives and it can be easy to skip important routines like washing your hands with soap and water and drying them thoroughly with a lint-free towel or paper towel before applying contact lenses. This step shouldn’t be ignored as unwashed fingers transmit germs onto the lenses, which can enter the eye and lead to serious eye damage and vision loss.

So make sure you use plain soap (and not heavily scented varieties that may contain irritants) and dry your fingers with a lint-free towel before inserting or removing your contacts.

Use Solution to Rinse Contact Lenses

Rinsing contact lenses properly keeps tiny particles of makeup residue and microbes from reaching your eye. Apply the solution generously and rub the lens in the palm of your hand.

Even if you are at school or work and feel you are in too much of a hurry to get your solution, do not use tap water to rinse your lenses. Tap water is teeming with minerals, impurities and microbes that can damage lenses, irritate your eyes and spread infection.

Disinfect Contact Lenses

Disinfecting contact lenses kills germs and pathogens that can cause eye infections. There are several products and methods for disinfecting:

  • Multipurpose solution
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Disinfecting devices

A multipurpose solution (MPS) can be used for routine rinsing as well as disinfecting. The procedure involves rinsing the lenses twice, placing them in a case filled with the multipurpose solution, letting the lenses soak, then rinsing them again before use.

The vast majority of eye doctors recommend an MPS for all disposable lenses

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant that should be used with care and only with a [neutralizer]. Rinse the lenses and place them in a special contact lens container, then dip them in the solution. A [neutralizer] may be built-in to special lens holders or is available in tablet form. After the solution has been [neutralized], you can rinse, dry, and wear the contact lenses.

Schedule a Contact Lens Exam, Fitting and Follow Up

To keep your eyes healthy and vision sharp, your contact lenses should be the right size and type to suit your vision requirements and lifestyle. A thorough contact lens exam and fitting are essential. Your eye doctor will perform a series of tests, including measurements of the cornea, iris and pupil, an evaluation of tear production and of the surface of your eyes.

A contact lens exam also includes questions about lifestyle and what kind of lenses you prefer. For instance, a teenager who is on a high school sports team may also need disposable lenses for road games and swim meets. The exam also involves a fitting session as well as follow-up exams to ensure the lenses do not cause irritation.

Follow up appointments are essential to allow the eye doctor to observe your eye health and make any adjustments to the lenses or your care regimen. It is essential to come to these exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems.

To schedule a contact lens exam, fitting or follow-up exam, contact us at Family Vision Care in ​​Mt Pleasant. We serve patients of every age, from children to seniors. Book your appointment with Family Vision Care today

At Family Vision Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 843-881-2492 or book an appointment online to see one of our Mt Pleasant eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Q&A

Why do my eyes feel dry when I wear contacts?

There are a few possible reasons your eyes may feel dry or irritated when wearing contacts. Your contacts may not be fitting properly or something may have entered into your eyes. There may also be an issue with your eyes and may be suffering from dry eye disease. It’s best to speak with your eye doctor and choose the optimal lens for ultimate comfort and hydration. If dry eye disease is diagnosed, your eye doctor will provide guidance and help you get the treatment you need for lasting relief.

Protecting Your Eyes This Winter

winter vision care eye exam and sunglasses

Some people enjoy winter, while others can hardly wait for it to end. What no one disputes is the effect that months of cold temperatures, dry air and winter sun can have on the eyes. Here are some suggestions for keeping your eyes healthy and vision clear this winter.

Wear Sunglasses

While the sun may not shine as brightly in the winter, it can still damage your skin and eyes. Even on the coldest days you need to protect yourself from UV radiation. To lower your risk of developing complications and eye diseases like sunburned eyes, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration, look for sunglasses that offer 100 % UVA and UVB protection.

Wear a Hat

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat limits UV exposure by preventing the rays from reaching your eyes.

Keep Your Eyes Moist

Winter is a dry-air season. The chilly air is known to induce eye discomfort and can aggravate dry eye symptoms, whether due to the wind or the heat from an indoor heating system. Keep moisturizing drops on-hand to combat the dryness of the season and use a humidifier to keep the air moist.

Practice Good Hygiene

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is more common in the winter. This eye inflammation is usually caused by a viral or bacterial eye infection that spreads easily from one person to another. Wash your hands frequently to safeguard your eyes, refrain from touching your eyes, and don’t share linens during an active infection.

Visit an Eye Doctor

Make an appointment with an eye doctor who can assess your vision, diagnose winter-related eye conditions like dry eye and pink eye, and offer treatment and advice on how to keep your eyes healthy.

The tips above can help protect your eyes from the winter sun and wind, and increase your enjoyment during this winter season. Schedule an appointment with Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant to discover ways you can safeguard your eyes this winter or to schedule an eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I do to protect my eyes when doing winter sports?

  • A: When choosing adequate eye protection for skiing or other winter sports, you need to consider the cold and snowy weather conditions. Because the sun is brighter at higher elevations, there is a greater risk of snow glare. By wearing anti-glare sports goggles with 100 % UV protection, you not only protect your eyes from the sun and glare, but also prevent snow and ice from flying into your eyes.

Q: It’s not sunny out. Do I still need to protect my eyes?

  • A: UV light rays reach the earth even on overcast cloudy days. So make sure you wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays, even when the sun is hidden behind the clouds.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Don’t Lose Your FSA Dollars!

use it or lose it 640×350

Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a special tax-free account employees can contribute to in order to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs.

FSA’s are a great way to pay for eye care and eyewear—but there is one catch: it follows a ‘use it or lose it’ provision, which means that you must use your benefits by the end of the calendar year.

What can you buy with FSA funds?

FSA’s usually cover the majority of out-of-pocket expenses related to health care, including co-payments, deductibles, vision supplies, wearable devices and medical equipment.

But before booking your appointment or purchasing an item, check the details of your FSA account with your employer or representative.

In addition to an eye exam, you can use FSA dollars to pay for the following:

  • Prescription eyeglass lenses. You can get bifocals or progressive lenses, reading glasses, safety lenses, and specialty lenses. You can also order single-vision lenses or have any lens coated with an anti-reflective/anti-glare coating.
  • Sunglasses. Sunglass lenses, whether prescription or non-prescription, come in a variety of hues and types, including polarized and mirrored. You can also get sunglasses designed for sport-specific protection.
  • Frames. Designer frames are available in many different designs, materials, and colors.
  • Contact lenses. Contact lenses are more comfortable than they’ve ever been. To reduce maintenance, consider daily or short-term disposable lenses. Or if you have specific eye needs, you may choose to get bifocals, multifocals, or toric lenses for astigmatism. Colored contact lenses are equally an option.

Accessories. Contact lens cleaning and saline solutions, rewetting drops, and even eyeglass cleaner and wipes can all be purchased using FSA dollars.

​​Act Now Before Time Runs Out

Not using your benefits is comparable to leaving money on the table and walking away. We can help you take advantage of your FSA funds by providing eye exams and offering a wide array of eyeglass frames and contact lenses to choose from.

For more information or to schedule your eye exam, call Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is FSA?

  • A: A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a non-taxed savings account that allows you to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as eye care and eyewear. What you may not know is that many of these benefits will expire at the end of December.While FSA follows a ‘use it or lose it’ rule, according to HealthCare.gov, your employer may elect to give you a grace period of up to 2.5 months to use the funds or allow you to carry over up to $550 to spend the following year. Clarify the details with your employer.

Q: Does FSA also cover eye surgery?

  • A: If you require surgery, such as LASIK, radial keratotomy, or cataract surgery, your FSA may be able to compensate you for the procedure’s medical costs.Because your coverage depends on the surgery, you should check with your insurance representative and your eye doctor to confirm the specifics of your case.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Eye Safety Awareness For Toys and Games

optometrist near you eye exam for kids

Gift-giving season is just around the corner, and you may already be planning what toys or games to purchase for your little loved ones. The unfortunate reality, however, is that between 2015 and 2018 over 1 million toy-related injuries were treated at emergency rooms across the US. Not surprisingly, boys account for almost 2 out 3 of all these injuries. Some of these injuries have resulted in permanent vision loss, even blindness.

Data computed from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported on eye injuries from toy guns with projectiles: over a ten year period (2010-2019), 6,617 cases of ocular trauma due to toy guns were recorded in ED across the US, most concerning is that over 60% of these eye injuries were in children under age 9.

The most common pediatric eye injuries include corneal abrasions (scratches to the outer surface of the eye), corneal hyphema (collection of blood inside the eye, from an internal injury), a ruptured or punctured eyeball, and retinal detachment.

That’s why it’s so important to be aware of which features make a toy less or more likely to cause injury. By keeping the following tips in mind when picking out gifts, you’ll minimize the risk of any toy-related eye injuries.

Toys With a High Risk of Causing Eye Injury

1. Shooting Toys/Guns

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has made public statements about the risks that toy guns pose to children’s eyes. Even toy guns that shoot soft projectiles or darts are considered unsafe.

Many of these guns can shoot projectiles 75-150 feet away, making them especially dangerous for younger children who may play with them indoors and in close range of other children or adults, as they may not realize the power of these toy guns.

Even water balloon launchers can cause blunt force trauma to a child’s eye and lead to retinal detachment or vision loss.

If you decide to purchase this type of toy, make sure that the children are supervised and that they wear protective eyewear while using them.

2. Toys with Pointed or Sharp Ends

This one doesn’t require much explanation — if it’s pointy, it’s risky.

Toys like swords, fishing poles, wands, bows and arrows, darts and sabers are all hazardous to eye health as even the briefest contact between the object and the eye can cause a serious eye injury.

Even if the toy’s packaging says that it’s age appropriate, think twice before handing over a pointy object or any item with sharp edges to a child, especially if other children are around.

3. Aerosol Spray/Spray Streamer

If the product that comes out of these aerosol cans gets into a child’s eye, it can cause chemical conjunctivitis (pink eye) or sight-threatening chemical burns, depending on the nature of the spray. When used at close proximity to a child’s face, spray streamers can also cause corneal abrasion, which can lead to bacterial, viral or fungal eye infections and even vision loss.

4. Fireworks/Firecrackers

Several organizations, including Prevent Blindness, recommend that children never be allowed to play with fireworks or firecrackers. There simply isn’t a safe way for non-professionals to handle these explosive devices.

Protect the children in your life from probable danger by avoiding gifting fireworks or firecrackers, no matter the occasion.

5. Bright Flashlights and Laser Pointers

The light intensity of laser pointers can be damaging to kids’ eyes and even cause permanent vision loss.

Though flashlights aren’t toys, kids love playing with them. When shone directly into a child’s eyes, the bright light can cause temporary blindness, which puts them at risk of getting injured in other ways, like tripping or bumping into things.

How To Choose Eye-Safe Toys

  • Try shopping in-store rather than online so you can see what the toy looks like in person.
  • Examine the toy closely for any potential factors for eye injury, as outlined above.
  • Consult with the child’s parents before giving a gift to be sure they’re okay with the toy you’d like to buy.
  • If you’re purchasing sports equipment, make sure to supply the appropriate protective eyewear as well.
  • Bear in mind the ages of the other children who may come into contact with the toy.
  • Consider the age and maturity of the child you are shopping for. Just because the age recommendation on the box says it’s appropriate, it doesn’t guarantee that it is safe for all children. Take the child’s level of maturity and penchant for risk-taking into account.

Some eye-safe toys and games for kids include many types of arts and crafts kits, card games, building toys and board games. Arts and crafts projects involving wood, glass or other potentially sharp objects should be used with protective eyewear.

No matter what toy or game you decide to purchase for a child, make sure they are always supervised when playing. The good news is that most pediatric eye injuries are preventable with the correct protective eyewear and supervision, and by choosing low-risk toys and games.

At Family Vision Care, we are here to assist with all matters of eye health and care, and wish a safe and healthy holiday season to all of our valued patients!

To schedule an eye exam or to ask any questions about our services, call Family Vision Care in Mt Pleasant today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I do in the event of a toy-related eye injury?

  • A: If your child sustains a toy-related eye injury, seek medical attention from your eye doctor, without delay. Do not try to remove an object that’s lodged in the eye, unless you are certain that it’s easy to remove, like a piece of dust or eyelash. Instruct your child not to rub their eyes, as rubbing can often worsen the problem. If your eye doctor is unavailable, seek emergency medical care at your nearest urgent care center.

Q: Can a toy-related injury cause corneal abrasion?

  • A: Yes. A sharp piece of metal or debris, like a tiny shard of glass, can scratch the cornea—known as corneal abrasion.
    A deep abrasion can cause an eye infection or a corneal ulcer, so if your child gets a foreign substance in their eye without successfully flushing it out, contact your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Family Vision Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


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