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wear eye protection

Not every eye condition is preventable, but there are definite steps that can be taken for people to try to avoid sight threatening conditions from occurring in the first place.

Know your family history

Knowing your family history is the extremely important. Many eye diseases show a direct correlation to your family history, and even if there are no exam findings to indicate a disease is present, it can be a great help to know what may happen in the future.  Two common eye diseases that are very strongly related to family history are glaucoma and age related macular degeneration. 

I was working and something flew into my eye and now I’m in pain

The easiest preventative health measure that can be taken is to wear safety glasses.  It doesn’t matter how experienced you are, wear your glasses. The worst part about many eye injuries of this type is that they can cause permanent scarring of the clear cornea on the front of the eye.  Even if the piece of metal/rock/other object is taken out, there is a risk of a permanent scar forming that will cause an irreversible reduction in vision. All safety frames will have a designation on them with a label Z87.1 meaning that both the frame and lens have passed testing to ensure protection from high impact objects.  Don’t risk it, just wear the glasses.

Your diet is important

A healthy diet that focuses on fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve your eye health.  We recommend a diet full of dark green leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, greens) to promote eye health.  Two key nutrients found in these greens are lutein and zeaxanthin which are both very important for maintaining the health of the retina over time.  Another key dietary component for maintaining eye health is omega 3 fatty acid.  This has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of macular degeneration, and it has also been shown to improve dry eye disease.  This can be found in fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and sardines.  Many omega 3 supplements are also available, but these have not been shown to be as effective towards macular degeneration as food sources. 

Wear Sunglasses

Long term exposure to sunlight without sun protection can contribute to many eye health conditions including cataracts, macular degeneration and pterygium.  A good pair of sunglasses will block 100% UVA and UVB radiation and should provide full coverage to also block reflected rays off of the ground. 

Schedule an Appointment

Coastal Eye Associates offers complete and comprehensive eye care for you and your entire family. Our mission is to be the most ethical and caring eye care provider in the Bay Area. If you have more questions you can contact us here and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible. You can also request an appointment here. We have 5 convenient locations to better serve you.

Cataracts

Could you have cataracts?

You use the lens of your eye every day, for everything from reading to driving to bird watching. With age, the proteins inside your lens can clump together turning the lens from clear to cloudy. Certain behaviors can put you at a higher risk for getting a cataract. These include:

  • too much time in the sun without eye protection
  • smoking
  • high blood sugar
  • using steroid medications
  • exposure to radiation

According to the CDC, “over 20 million Americans over the age of 40 have cataracts in one or both eyes, and 6 million have had corrective surgery”. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Cloudy vision

Cataracts start small and initially may have little effect on your vision. Things might seem a little blurry. This effect usually increases over time. The world will seem cloudy, blurry, or dim.

There are three main types of cataracts, affecting different parts of the lens:

  • posterior subcapsular cataracts
  • nuclear cataracts in the center of the lens
  • cortical cataracts on the side of the lens, which appear as small streaks

Those with nuclear cataracts may briefly see their vision improve. This sensation is sometimes called “second sight.”

Impaired Night Vision

As cataracts become more advanced, they begin to darken with a yellow or brown tinge.

This begins to affect night vision and makes certain nighttime activities, such as driving, more difficult.

Light Sensitivity

Light sensitivity is another common symptom of cataracts. The glare of bright lights can be painful, especially to those with posterior subcapsular cataracts. These types of cataracts start at the back of the lens, blocking the path of light and often interfere with your reading vision.

Halos everywhere?

The clouding of the lens can result in diffraction of light entering your eye. This can cause a halo to appear around light sources. Rings around every light, sometimes in a variety of colors, can make driving very difficult. This is another reason why driving at night, especially when there are streetlights and headlights, can be dangerous if you have a cataract.

Frequently changing prescription

If you find yourself frequently needing stronger glasses or contacts, you may have cataracts. Simply buying a strong pair of reading glasses from the drugstore won’t fix the problem. See an eye doctor if your eyesight is changing rapidly. You may have cataracts or another eye condition that will benefit with prompt treatment.

Yellow tint

As cataracts progress, the clumps of protein clouding your lens may turn yellow or brownish. This results in all the light coming into your eye having a yellow tint. This changes how you see color and reduces your ability to tell the difference between colors.

Double Vision

Diffraction from the lens clouding in a cataract can lead you to see two or more images of a single object. Many things can cause double vision, also called diplopia, including:

  • brain tumor
  • corneal swelling
  • multiple sclerosis
  • stroke
  • cataracts

Binocular double vision, which causes two images to be visible only if both eyes are open, can be a sign of serious health concerns, including:

  • brain injury
  • uncontrolled diabetes or hypertension
  • Graves’ disease
  • myasthenia gravis

Monocular double vision, which causes multiple images to appear in one eye but not the other, is more likely to be an issue with your eye’s cornea or lens. Cataracts is a common cause of diplopia. As the cataract grows larger, this effect may go away.

Schedule an Appointment

Cataracts can cause significant changes in vision. Cataracts occur people of all ages. Injury, certain medications, and genetic conditions can result in cataracts.

It should be noted that not all vision changes are the result of cataract. Several of the above mentioned symptoms can be signs of very serious and life-threatening conditions. See your eye doctor to discuss your vision changes and any other symptoms you may be experiencing.

contact lens wearer

Wearing contacts for the first time can be a little bit difficult and a little bit scary. Below are some of our tips for first time contact wearers.

Putting in your lenses

  • Always wash your hands with soap before you touch your eyes or contacts.
  • Make sure the lens isn’t inside out. To do this, put the lens on the tip of your finger and hold it up to the light. You want to make sure it looks like a smooth edged cup. If the edges are flared out, it’s inside out.
  • Using the opposite hand, hold open your upper eyelid.
  • Carefully pull down your lower eyelid with the free fingers of the hand with the contact.
  • Slowly and carefully move your contact towards your eye. It often helps to look upwards as you place the lens on your eye.
  • Slowly release your eyelid and close your eye for a moment to allow the lens to settle.
  • Repeat for the other eye. 

How to remove contacts

  • Before you touch your eyes or lenses, wash your hands with soap.
  • Look up at the ceiling and carefully pull down your lower eyelid with your middle finger.
  • Slowly bring your index finger close to your eye until you touch the lower edge of the lens.
  • Slide the lens down to the lower white part of your eye.
  • Gently squeeze the lens between your thumb and index finger and remove it.
  • Repeat for other lens.
  • If you have reusable lenses- clean and disinfect. If you have disposable lenses discard them daily.
  • Never rinse your lenses or their case with tap water.

Eye Makeup and Contact Lenses

Be careful when applying makeup while wearing your lenses. Makeup can stick to your lenses. 

  • Put your lenses in before applying makeup.
  • Use only non-allergenic makeup. 
  • Cream eye shadow is less likely to get in your eye than powder. As a good rule of thumb it’s always better to choose water based creams than oil based.
  • If you choose to use powder instead, keep your eyes closed during the application.
  • Only apply eyeliner on the portion of your lashes that is well away from your eye and never between your lashes and your eye.
  • When removing eye makeup always wash and dry your hands first. Remove your contacts and then use your makeup remover.
  • It’s important to replace your makeup frequently. Over time bacteria can get into your make up products and then into your eyes leading to an infection. Also never share your eye makeup with others.

Dry Eyes with Contacts

If your current lenses fit well and you still experience discomfort, you may need a different type of lens or a different wearing schedule. Many types of contact lenses are available today, and you may find newer options are more comfortable than your old lenses. Here are a few solutions that may make your contact lens wear more comfortable:

When wearing contacts, check the appearance and comfort of your eyes daily. If you have redness or discomfort, consult your eye doctor immediately.
  • Daily disposables: If lenses with built-up deposits are making you uncomfortable, then starting each day with a new lens may help. This is true especially if you suffer from allergies and are bothered by the airborne allergens that can stick to your lenses, or if your tear chemistry is such that difficult-to-remove lipids and proteins are accumulating on your lenses. Several brands of daily disposable lenses are available from the major contact lens manufacturers.
  • Lenses with a different water content: Hydrogel (soft) contact lenses hold different amounts of water when they are fully hydrated, based on characteristics of the lens material. Some people are more comfortable with lenses in materials that have a low water content; others are more comfortable with lenses that have a high water content. If your eyes feel dry, ask your eye doctor if changing to lenses with a different water content might help.
  • Silicone hydrogels: These advanced soft lenses allow more oxygen to reach the eyes and may stay moist longer than conventional soft (hydrogel) contact lenses. 
  • FDA-indicated for dryness: Some soft contact lenses have been specially developed to relieve dryness. 

For more questions contact us or schedule an appointment with one of our doctors here at Coastal Eye Associates.