Category: Eye Health

Eye

When you work in an office every day, you tend to spend a lot of time staring at a computer screen. This causes a lot of stress on your eyes which can lead to a condition called computer vision syndrome. Symptoms include eye fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, red eyes and eye twitching.

Here are a few things you can do to protect your eyes while at work.

Make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam

During your appointment make sure to mention your working habits, including how long and how often you use a computer or other digital device while at work. Even if you have good vision and don’t think you need glasses, even a mild prescription can improve your eyestrain and curb fatigue when working at a computer.

Good lighting is key

Excessively bright light, whether due to outdoor sunshine coming in through the window or harsh interior lighting, is a common cause of eyestrain. When using your computer, your ambient lighting should be about 50% dimmer than what is typically found in your traditional office. You can reduce exterior light by closing blinds or by using lower intensity light bulbs. Computer users often find that turning off overhead fluorescent lights and replacing them with floor lamps is easier on their eyes.

Don’t forget to blink

When you start to focus on device or screen, you are less likely to blink. This prevents the eye from remaining moist and fresh. Making a conscious effort to blink more while working or watching can prevent dryness and irritation.

Take breaks

Use the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from your computer every 20 minutes and gaze at something else located 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds. This will help with focusing fatigue. The 20-20-20 rule helps relax the eyes focusing muscles and reduce computer vision syndrome.

Please schedule an appointment at one of our many locations. Our doctors here at Coastal Eye Associates take your eye health very seriously. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 

blue light

What is your routine as you get ready for bed?

Most of our nightly routines include items like brushing teeth, taking out contact lenses, and washing our faces, but how many of us also make sure to check our smartphones for any last updates before we go to sleep? This probably isn’t the best way to end the day, because the blue light in our screens has significant effects on our eyes and our internal clocks.

The Visible Light Spectrum

The colors we see make up a tiny section of the electromagnetic spectrum, with infrared rays just below what we can see and ultraviolet rays just above it in frequency. Blue light, the highest-energy light in the visible spectrum, scatters more easily than the other colors, which is why the sky and ocean look blue to us.

Artificial and Natural Blue Light

Before electricity, basically the only source of blue light we had was the sun. We are programmed to respond to natural blue light. In daylight, we feel more attentive, our memory works better, we have more energy, we react faster, and we generally feel better. Blue light is the signal to our brains that it’s time to be awake. The absence of it signals that it’s time for sleep.

The trouble is that thanks to all the computer and smartphone screens in our lives, blue light no longer only comes from the sun. When we pull out our phones right before bed, our brains get the signal from the artificial blue light that we’re supposed to stay awake, so they don’t start releasing melatonin. This makes it harder to sleep and lowers the quality of the sleep we do manage to get, contributing to a wide range of potential negative health effects.

To keep blue light from messing up our sleep cycles, we can simply avoid looking at our screens in the hour or two before bed. That isn’t always possible, though, so it might be worth it to try the night mode on your phone or look for an app that reduces blue light at night.

How Blue Light Affects Our Eyes

Blue light is right next to UV radiation on the electromagnetic spectrum, so many people are concerned that it might be harmful to our eyes in similar ways. The good news is that our screens don’t emit nearly as much blue light as the sun, and even though it’s close to the frequency of UV radiation, it isn’t UV radiation.

While you might experience digital eye strain after too much screentime, there is no evidence to suggest that it will cause permanent damage to your eyesight. If eye strain is a problem for you, computer glasses or a screen filter could help, but so does following the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, focus on something 20 feet away from the computer for 20 seconds.

Bring Us Your Blue Light Questions

If you have concerns about the effects of blue light, just schedule an eye appointment with us. We can make sure that your eyes are healthy and answer any questions you have about digital eye strain or other problems.

*Source: Vision Source
tips for healthy eyes

With it being a new year, keeping your eyes healthy should be on the top of your resolutions list. The health of your eyes is imperative for good health. Below are 8 tips for keeping your eyes healthy in 2020.

Annual Comprehensive Eye Exam

The National Eye Institute recommends an annual eye exam for everyone regardless of whether you need vision correction. Click here to Schedule an Appointment Online.

Know Your Family’s Eye Health History

When you’re discussing the health of family members, make sure to also discuss their eye health. This helps determine if you are at a higher risk for developing any conditions or diseases.

Eating Healthy

Eating a healthy balanced diet is imperative for good health. Eating foods such as green leafy vegetables, salmon, tuna or other oily fish, eggs, nuts, beans and other nonmeat protein sources, oranges and other citrus fruits or juices, oysters and pork are all great options.

Keep a Healthy Weight

Being overweight increases your risk of developing metabolic disorders and diseases such as diabetes. Diabetes can lead to other conditions such as glaucoma.

Quit Smoking

Smoking leads to increased risks of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, and optic nerve damage.

Eye Safety in the Workplace

If your job requires protective eyewear, make sure to actually wear them!!

Rest Your Eyes

If you spend a significant time in front of a television or computer screen, your eyes are no doubt fatigued. Consider the 20-20-20 Rule: every 20 minutes look 20 feet ahead of you for 20 seconds.

Clean Contact Lenses Properly

Make sure to keep your contact lenses clean and don’t forget to replace them as recommended. Always wash your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts. If you need to order contacts you can do so online by clicking here: order your contacts.

If you need to see a doctor, please schedule an appointment online with one of our doctors.

 

pink eye

Pink Eye is a common eye infection. Below is some great information provided from the CDC.

Pink Eye is Common

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, is one of the most common and treatable eye conditions in the world. It can affect both children and adults. It is an inflammation of the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid (conjunctiva) and the white part of the eyeball. This inflammation makes blood vessels more visible and gives the eye a pink or reddish color.

Pink Eye Symptoms

The symptoms may vary, but usually include:

  • Redness or swelling of the white of the eye or inside the eyelids
  • Increased amount of tears
  • Eye discharge which may be clear, yellow, white, or green
  • Itchy, irritated, and/or burning eyes
  • Crusting of the eyelids or lashes
  • Contact lenses that feel uncomfortable and/or do not stay in place on the eye

There are Four Main Causes of Pink Eye

There are four main causes of pink eye:

    • Viruses
    • Bacteria
    • Allergens (like pet dander or dust mites)
    • Irritants (like smog or swimming pool chlorine) that infect or irritate the eye and eyelid lining

It can be difficult to determine the exact cause of pink eye because some signs and symptoms may be the same no matter the cause.

Wash your hands and help children was their hand to help keep pink eye from spreading.

Take Steps to Stop Pink Eye from Spreading

When pink eye is caused by a virus or bacteria, it is very contagious. It can spread easily and quickly from person to person. Pink eye caused by allergens or irritants is not contagious. Follow these simple self-care steps to reduce the risk of getting or spreading pink eye:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
    • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes
    • Avoid sharing makeup, contact lenses and containers, and eyeglasses

Some People with Pink Eye Need to See a Doctor

There are times when it is important to see a healthcare provider for specific treatment and/or follow-up. You should see a healthcare provider if you have pink eye along with any of the following:

    • Moderate to severe pain in your eye(s)
    • Sensitivity to light or blurred vision
    • Intense redness in the eye(s)
    • A weakened immune system, for example from HIV or cancer treatment
    • Symptoms that get worse or don’t improve, including bacterial pink eye that does not improve after 24 hours of antibiotic use
    • Pre-existing eye conditions that may put you at risk for complications or severe infection
    • An infant or newborn with symptoms of pink eye should see a healthcare provider immediately

If you need to see a doctor, please schedule an appointment online with one of our doctors.

beach ball

It’s Summer and many of us enjoy swimming in a pool as a relief to the heat! You need to be aware however that swimming pools can actually be the cause of a number of different eye infections, irritations and sunburns so it’s important to understand how to protect your eyes.

Here are 3 tips for keeping your eyes safe this Summer:

    1. Cover Your Eyes While at the Pool

Sunlight reflects off water, sand and even cement, increasing exposure. Any time you are in the vicinity of a water source keep your eyes covered with 100% UV blocking sunglasses and a wide brimmed hat. Start this habit early. UV radiation builds up over your lifetime and has been linked to eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration in adults. Additionally, even short amounts of exposure to intense sunlight can lead to a sunburn of the eye, which can be painful and affect vision temporarily. 

    1. Remove or Protect Contact Lenses

Contact lenses can trap bacteria and microscopic organisms found in water inside your eye resulting in eye infections and irritation. Further, if contacts are worn underwater, they might fall off if you open your eyes. Lastly, there is risk that chlorine or other contaminants will bind onto the contact lens, and certain chemicals cannot be cleaned off or disinfected properly. The best solution is to wear non-prescription swimming goggles over your lenses to keep water and harmful organisms out of your eyes. If you must swim with contact lenses, remove them immediately after you leave the pool and discard or disinfect them thoroughly. It’s preferable to use 1-day disposable contact lenses during water activities, to reduce risk of water contaminating the contacts. Daily disposable lenses allow you to discard the lenses immediately after leaving the water and to start with a fresh lens.

    1. Wear Goggles

Swimming goggles are a good idea even for those who currently have no vision problems. They protect your eyes from the organisms in the water and from chemical irritants such as chlorine and yes, even urine, which are often found in pools. Your eyes will feel much better after swimming if they haven’t been exposed to the water. 

How to Treat Sunburned Eyes:

The cornea at the front of the eye can develop a sunburn from extensive exposure to UV radiation. You can tell you have sunburned eyes when the white of the eye becomes bloodshot and your eyes are sensitive to light and have a gritty feeling (like there is sand in your eye). They may also become sore and sometimes you may experience blurred vision.

If you are experiencing discomfort it may help to soothe your eyes with lubricating eye drops, to rest and to stay out of sunlight as much as possible. Sometimes anti-inflammatory eye drops may be required. Usually the symptoms will resolve themselves within a couple of days. If your symptoms persist longer than two days or worsen, schedule an appointment with us immediately

Avoid eye sunburns and the cumulative effects of the sun on your precious eyes by always wearing 100% UV blocking sunglasses – rain or shine!

 

comprehensive vision examinations

Having clear vision does not always mean your eyes are healthy, as some of the most common eye conditions are asymptomatic in their early stages. That’s why it’s important to schedule routine eye exams to safeguard your vision.

Early Identification of Visual and Medical Conditions

During a comprehensive eye exam, our doctors perform various tests to evaluate your visual health. By checking your eyes on a regular basis, we can quickly identify small changes in your eyes that could be indicative of an underlying disorder.

Immediate Management of Vision Problems

Regular eye exams allow for early detection of conditions such as glaucoma that are often asymptomatic at first. Prompt treatment helps us prevent any eye conditions you might have from advancing into more complex problems, giving us a better chance of preserving your vision.

We offer an array of top-quality eyeglasses at Coastal Eye Associates, to improve your visual acuity. Through routine visual health inspections, we can also monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of our recommended treatments.

Cost-Effective Benefits and Improved Quality of Life

Routine eye exams can also reduce your healthcare costs. They help maintain your eyesight and consequently decrease your risk of needing to undergo more complex and costly procedures. This also makes it easier for you to carrying out daily tasks, improving your quality of life.

To maintain your healthy eyesight, make regular eye exams a priority. Call us today at 281-488-7213 or schedule an appointment online.

 

According to the American Optometric Association, “more than half of all office workers who use computers regularly suffer eye strain”. You’ve probably heard the saying if you stare at the computer too long, you’ll strain your eyes, but the strain is actually coming from the lighting that surrounds you at your home and at work.

Symptoms of Eye Strain

Forcing your eyes to focus in poor lighting can cause symptoms of eye strain. Symptoms of eye strains include: sore neck, shoulders or back; sore, burning or tired eyes; blurred or double vision; watery or dry eyes and an increase in light sensitivity or headaches.

Ways to Reduce Strain

In environments that have harsh lighting such as offices, it’s helpful to use lamps which create a more controllable ambient light than the fluorescent ceiling lights.

Other ways to reduce eye strain at work include adjusting the brightness of your monitor- you want to reduce the blue light so that it is about the same as the rest of your surroundings.

Having an office with windows can be great but the glare on your computer can be doing more damage to your vision. If you don’t have the option of covering the window, you can purchase special eyewear that is designed to reduce the glare.

Protect your eyesight by taking frequent breaks when you’re working on a computer. Be sure to look away at a distance for several seconds every couple of hours and be sure to step completely away for a few minutes.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you’re experiencing symptoms of eye strain please contact us today or schedule an appointment online with with one of the expert doctors here at Coastal Eye Associates.

Sunglasses

With Spring and Summer arriving soon to Texas, it’s important to remember sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement. Wearing sunglasses on a regular basis is a great way to protect your vision and avoid common eye diseases and conditions.

The Different Ways Sun Can Damage Your Eyes

Just like too much sun can be bad for your skin, it is also just as bad for your eyes. When you spend time in the sun without adequate eye protection, you may be more likely to develop a variety of eye issues, ranging from corneal “sunburns” to cataracts. Eye conditions associated with sun exposure include:

  • Photokeratitis: According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Photokeratitis is a painful eye condition that occurs when your eye is exposed to the invisible rays of energy called UV rays, either from the sun or from a man-made source. It’s basically like having a sunburn on your eye. Symptoms include pain, redness, blurriness, tearing, gritty feeling, swelling, small pupils, sensitivity to bright light, eyelid twitching, and headaches.
  • Pterygium: A pterygium is a growth of the conjunctiva or mucous membrane that covers the white part of your eye over the cornea. This benign or noncancerous growth is often shaped like a wedge. Symptoms include redness, blurred vision and eye irritation.
  • Macular Degeneration: Sun exposure may be a factor in the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The condition causes a blind spot in the center of your vision and is a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 and older, according to the National Eye Institute. Although there is currently no effective treatment for AMD, low vision aides can help you make the most of your usable vision.
  • Cataracts: The sun also plays a role in the formation of a cataract, or cloudy lens. The lens of your eye focuses light rays on your retina and is necessary for clear vision. When it clouds, you may experience blurry or faded vision, halos around lights, double vision, light sensitivity and difficulty driving at night. Cataracts are removed during outpatient surgery when they begin to affect the quality of your life.
  • Cancer: Cancer is another potential consequence of sun exposure. Melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, can affect several parts of your eyes, including the eyelids, iris or choroid, a layer of tissue between the retina and sclera. Common treatments include radiation, thermotherapy, and surgery.

Things to Consider When Shopping for Sunglasses

Fortunately, it’s easy to reduce your risk of developing sun-related eye conditions and diseases by wearing sunglasses every day. When you shop for sunglasses, keep these suggestions in mind:

  • Look for Glasses That Offer Maximum Protection. The most effective sunglasses block 99 percent of ultraviolet B (UVB) rays and 95 percent of ultraviolet A (UVA) rays, according to the American Optometric Association. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive to be effective. Both inexpensive and costly glasses can provide the same protection from UVA and UVB rays.
  • Choose Gray, Green or Amber Lenses for Better Vision. Although lens color doesn’t have an impact on ultraviolet ray transmission, it can improve contrast, making it easier to see in sunny weather.
  • Choose Wraparound Styles. You may still experience eye damage if the sun’s rays penetrate the sides or top of your sunglasses. Styles that wrap around your face offer the best protection.
  • Make Comfort a Priority. If your sunglasses are uncomfortable, they’ll spend more time in their case than on your face. The most comfortable glasses may not necessarily be the most stylish, although manufacturers offer plenty of attractive frames in every price range.
  • Buy a Spare Pair. Sunglasses are one of the most common items collected by lost and found departments. In fact, more than 55 percent of adults lose or break their sunglasses every year, according to The Vision Council. Purchasing a backup pair will help you ensure that you’re always protected.

You can shop for sunglasses via our website by clicking here: sunglasses. If you think you may be experiencing any of the above mentioned complications, please schedule your appointment online as early as possible so that one of our expert doctors here at Coastal Eye Associates can start you on the path to healing.

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.