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Is an Annual Eye Doctor Visit Necessary?

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Is an Annual Eye Doctor Visit Necessary?

eye examTwice a year, you go see your general practitioner just to have a medical exam. ls the same true with an eye doctor? Do you need to check in every year or is this an unnecessary expense that you can avoid until you feel you need to get a new pair of glasses? Believe it or not, there are several ways that an annual eye exam can help you avoid serious illnesses making it a valuable tool for protecting your health.

Detecting cancers and tumors

Did you know an optometrist can be fundamental in detecting some brain tumors? In addition, certain types of cancer are specific to the eye and surrounding tissues. Without an exam from an optometrist, these conditions can be difficult to catch early.

Minimizing headaches and migraines

Instead of spending time and money on neurology appointments or treatments, getting your eyes throughly checked may be the simplest solution to prevent headaches. It is not true in all cases, but when you get headaches that are around your eyes and worsen as you are on the computer or driving for long periods of time. In addition to detecting any refractive problems with your eyes, several types of treatments can be coated on your eyeglasses that will reduce the amount of glare you deal with, therefore reducing the possibility of getting migraines.

Preventing blindness and degenerative eye diseases

Did you know that many people that slowly become blind over time do not realize how serious this can be? Avoiding treatment for blindness can often make getting medical help to get it corrected difficult. Thankfully, common degenerative eye diseases that lead to blindness can be picked up early if regular eye exams are made.

Finding signs of cardio-vascular issues

Are bloodshot eyes a sign of something else? In some cases, they could indicate an underlying health problem. For example, high cholesterol can show up in an eye exam without drawing any blood. High blood pressure can also cause physical changes to the blood vessels inside your eyes.

Eyes can indicate a pre-cursor to diabetes

Signs of diabetes can appear in your eyes years before you get a diagnosis for diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy, for instance, can be a sign that you are having blood sugar problems. When an optometrist does the eye exam and sees the signs of retinopathy, you will be immediately referred to your primary caregiver for more tests.

Schedule your annual eye exam today

Most people have health insurance that covers an annual optometrist visit plus a new pair of corrective lenses. When the time comes to make your annual exam, visit us at The Vision Centers. With 4 convenient locations, we can get you in and out of our offices on your lunch break. To get started, visit us or give us a call. Thank you again for considering us!

Why Runners Need Eye Protection

Are you a runner that is prone to getting headaches from sun glare? Or, do you have problems with bugs and dust creating painful styes? Finally, you may be concerned about developing skin cancer around your eyes because sunscreens are easily removed from the skin due to frequent sweating. While running is a great exercise, it is important to take care of your eyes before you hit the trails.

At The Vision Centers in Las Vegas, we regularly give advice to runners about ways to decrease their chances of damaging their eyes during this activity. From prescription sunglasses to techniques proven to deter UV rays, we have the answers you need. To speak to one of our optometrists or opticians, give us a call today.

How the sun damages a runners’ eyes

Runners are usually performing their activities outdoors, and this means that they must be diligent against developing skin cancer. Unfortunately, reports from top researchers around the world have agreed that the sun does not only cause skin cancer. Instead, UV rays can also damage parts of the eye including the retina, cornea, and lens. In some cases, it is thought to be a contributor to cataracts and macular degeneration.

Preventing eye damage for runners

One of the best ways to protect your eyes as a runner is to keep them covered. This means that you may need sunglasses that have your prescription in them that cover more of your face. For example, wraparound prescription sunglasses mean you are covered on all sides.

These types of glasses found in an optometrist’s office can help to block UV rays, but they also keeps dirt, sand, and insects from damaging the area around your eye. Generally speaking, they are sunglasses that are high-caliber enough to block the sun’s harmful rays will have 99 to 100 percent UA and UVB blocking abilities.

Get a pair of runner’s sunglasses today

To keep your eye health in optimal condition during any physical activity, consult with the experts. We will gladly schedule you for an appointment at one of our four Las Vegas locations, and we are dedicated to bringing you the high-quality care you need. Do not continue to take chances with your eye health, and give us a call at The Vision Centers today.

In Plain Sight: Why it’s Important to Schedule an Annual Eye Exam

The Importance of Scheduling an Annual Eye Exam

eye-exam-300x230While plenty of people make sure to get their annual checkup from a physician and even their 6-month cleaning form their neighborhood dentist, scheduling an annual eye exam sometimes tends to be the forgotten checkup that can often leave patients with headaches, blurred vision, and even serious medical problems that might require a physician’s assistance. Before assuming that everything’s just fine, and skipping this crucial annual exam, consider the reasons that making time for the eye doctor is so very crucial.

1. Glaucoma is a Serious Impairment that Merits Annual Testing

Glaucoma is one of the most serious conditions to affect most patients, and it’s something that occurs so gradually that it’s hard to notice the problem until it has gotten severe. That is, of course, unless an annual eye exam is scheduled so that an optometrist can test specifically for the disease and treat it before it leads to permanent vision loss. Don’t let this gradual, silent, and permanent loss of vision lead to lifelong problems simply because an eye appointment was missed or never scheduled.

2. Eye Strain Can Lead to Headaches, But it’s Easy to Fix

Eyes are always changing, and that means they might gain or lose some of their ability to see near objects or far distances over time. The human body will do its best to adapt, but that often means focusing the eyes excessively and straining them in the process. The result is a splitting headache that never seems to go away. With new glasses or contacts, however, patients can enjoy better vision and less headaches almost immediately. With a simple vision test each year, doctors will assess changes in the eye and prescribe glasses or contacts that lead to better peace of mind until the next yearly appointment.

3. Last Year’s Glasses are This Year’s Old Hat

Trends change, and those changes affect glasses just as significantly as they effect hairstyles, clothing preferences, and more. Even if a patient is experiencing great eye health and relatively consistent vision problems, a new pair of glasses can give new life to their style and confidence. All it takes is a yearly exam and a new prescription, and patients can be sure they fall in line with the latest trends right away.

From Health to Style, Eye Exams are an Essential Yearly Event

Patients who want to keep their vision healthy, their headaches few, and their glasses trendy, should get in touch with their eye doctor right away. There is simply no better way to proactively check for eye problems, assess changes in the eyes over the past 12 months, and prescribe a new set of lenses that will be as trendy as they are helpful n everyday reading, perception, and work.

Back to School Eye Exams

Back to School Routine Should Include Eye Exam

If you are a parent of a school-age child, you may be wondering whether your child has a problem with their vision or should have an eye exam. It is very important that children have eye exams, especially because it is known that up to 10 percent of pre-schoolers and 25 percent of older children of school age have problems with their vision. Identifying these children early is critical because their eyes are more easily treated with vision problems if spotted early.

Vision Affects Learning


Poor vision affects learning directly. If your child has problems focusing or has cloudy vision, their attention and learning can be affected. According to the American Optometry Association (AOA), an estimated 60 percent of child learning disabilities are due to vision problems. In fact, some parents take their child who has been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD to have an eye exam for this reason.

Eye problems can affect not only learning and behavior, but certain vision problems can even alter a child’s neurological and physical development. One example is “strabismus”, commonly known as “crossed eyes”. This can be caused by eye muscle imbalances that can lead to amblyopia or “lazy eye”. This is a situation in which the brain partially blocks vision from one eye so that double-vision is prevented. Permanent vision loss can be the result if this type of problem goes untreated.

Physical abilities like athletic performance can also be affected by vision loss. Eye muscle imbalances or vision disturbances may affect depth perception, resulting in clumsy movements like tripping and inadequate hand-eye coordination.

Eye Exams Should Be Basic Care For Your Child

Fortunately, the majority of childhood eye problems can be effectively treated or corrected if caught early. A comprehensive eye examination is the most effective way to diagnose and identify these types of vision problems before they become serious. Sadly, too many children are not receiving early eye exams as part of their routine care.

One common reason parents fail to get eye exams for their children is that they view eye doctors as someone to be contacted only when there is an obvious problem. The difficulty with this practice is that often by the time problems are noticed, the child is likely having difficulties like learning and behavior problems, headaches, or worse. Just by having your child undergo regular eye exams, you can prevent many of these problems before they cause significant harm. This is why it is so important that you consider eye exams as part of your child’s normal healthcare routine.

The AOA recommends that infants undergo their first eye exam at the age of 6 months. They should then have follow up exams upon their 3rd birthday and right before entering the first grade. Most children are about age 5 or 6 at this time.

For children of school age, the AOA has recommended they get an eye exam every other year if no corrective vision steps are needed. Children needing contact lenses or eyeglasses require an annual eye examination.

Early eye examinations for children are critical because they need these general vision skills in order to learn:

  • Near vision
  • Distance vision
  • Binocular coordination (coordination between the two eyes)
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Focusing skills
  • Eye movement skills

Even Kids Passing Vision Screenings Need Eye Exams

Some parents become complacent about their child’s vision based upon their passing a vision screening at school. What they do not realize is that one out of three screenings miss eye problems. This is because a quick eye screening and a comprehensive eye exam are two different things.

Screenings last only about five minutes, while a comprehensive eye exam is just that — comprehensive and lasting from 30 to 60 minutes. They are much more thorough than simple eye screenings that only catch obvious problems.

Schedule An Eye Exam Today

If you have not done so already, be sure to call The Vision Centers to schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child before they start school if possible. Choose a time when they are normally alert and happy.

Make sure you mention if your child has any of the following behaviors:

  • Frequent eye rubbing
  • Excessive blinking
  • Poor eye tracking skills
  • Inability maintain focus when looking at an object

Keep in mind that proper vision testing is critical to ensure your child has the visual ability to learn and perform well at their school assignments. Early diagnosis is absolutely vital in keeping problems from affecting their school work and early development.

What is Optomap?

Optomap and How It Works

Having a clear eyesight does not necessarily translate to a perfect health. For this reason, having a comprehensive eye exam should be part of every person’s annual physical exam. This can detect changes in vision that may require a change in grade of eyeglasses or contact lens. In addition to this, there are health conditions that can be detected through a regular examination of the eyes. These include diabetes, glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and even cancer.

There are some vision problems that can manifest early in life. Therefore, it is important to care for children’s eyes from infancy. When detected in their initial stages, eye diseases can be prevented before they can lead to permanent loss of vision. It will take more than a look at the front view of your eyes to see that they are healthy. This is when Optomap’s function comes to play.

Why We Use Optomap?

In the traditional method of eye examination, which is still practiced to this day, the doctor needs to dilate the eyes to clearly view the retina, blood vessels and optic nerve. However, most patients feel uncomfortable about this, especially with the application of eye drops. Thanks to a new technology known as Optomap, a comprehensive retinal examination can be performed without the need of dilating eye drops. This low-powered laser scans the retina. It makes use of different laser light wavelengths to capture the retina’s images, which can be viewed on the monitor of a computer and saved for comparisons in the future.

Optomap is a laser retina scan, which allows doctors to have a panoramic or 80% view of the retina, the back portion of the eyes. When a patient positions their eye on the instrument, the Optomap takes a photograph as quick as a quarter of a second. Two images are captured and evaluated. If they are clear enough, the procedure is repeated with the other eye.

Optomap Advantage

Patients that are extra sensitive to light, struggle to go through dilation. They find it hard to keep their eyes wide open so doctors often do not get a clear view of the retina. With Optomap, our doctors can capture clear images without causing discomfort to the light sensitive patients since the procedure happens in a flash.

While dilation is important in the comprehensive study of a patient’s eyes, Optomap can be used as an alternative for patients who are uncomfortable with this traditional way of eye examination. People should make eye care and examination a regular practice and Optomap can be a convenient method of achieving this.

When Should Your Child Get Contacts

contact-lenses-las-vegas-300x199Every year there are children who dread going back to school due to having to wear eyeglasses, especially if they were prescribed them over the summer and it will be the first time their friends see them in glasses. Children may beg for the chance to wear contacts as opposed to glasses, and allowing them this chance may even be a great idea. Every adult can remember names like ‘four-eyes’ being thrown around to kids with glasses in grammar school, so allowing a child to wear contacts may save them a ton of heartache and improve their confidence. There are some important things to consider, however, when deciding if a child is old enough for contacts.

Wearing contacts is not really a matter of age; it is a matter of maturity. Wearing and maintaining contact lenses is a real responsibility that no parent should let their child take on lightly. Contacts must be put in and removed at certain times, they must be properly stored and cleaned and a doctor’s instructions must be stringently followed. If a child is not responsible enough to do small daily chores, there is a good chance they may not be mature enough for contacts. Some ten year olds realize the benefits of wearing contacts and treat them responsibly, while there are twenty year olds who should’ve never been put into them in the first place. In the end, it is the parent’s responsibility to choose whether or not their child is mature enough for contacts.

Parents who don’t see the benefit in contacts should also consider a few other facts. Contacts are actually much safer to wear than eyeglasses during sports. Since school is one of the few places that children don’t have the option to sit inside and play X-Box all day, contacts are ideal for the rough and tumble play they may experience at school. Contacts are also less likely than eyeglasses to be lost or misplaced. A child may have to remove their glasses for many reasons, and can misplace them if they aren’t paying attention. Contacts, on the other hand, usually have no need to be taken out except for before bedtime. There are many things a parent should consider before granting their child the chance to wear contacts, but in many cases, contacts can be a great choice.

Back to School Eye Exams

There is an almost endless list of supplies that a parent must obtain and tasks they must complete before sending their children back to school after a summer vacation, but most parents don’t realize that a thorough eye examination should be one of these tasks. Doctors say that vision problems can be an impediment to a child’s learning, and unfortunately, these problems often go unnoticed.

Eye problems can cause young children to have problems with visual tasks that teachers present to them, and this in turn can cause a child to earn low grades in school. The biggest problem with visual issues and children is that these issues can actually hinder a child from reading. There are several tell-tale signs that a child may have a vision problem as opposed to a reading problem.

  • Dyslexia-like symptoms
  • Skipping around or having to re-read lines
  • Failure to comprehend reading material
  • Excessive time spent doing homework

Unfortunately, these symptoms may lead some pediatricians to believe a child has dyslexia or another learning disability. The important thing to remember is that pediatricians are not trained to diagnose vision disorders. A parent should visit an optometrist to have a full vision examination performed.

It is recommended that children receive eye exams soon after birth. While developing, a child should also be taken to an optometrist at the age of six months, four to five years old, and then annually throughout their remaining developing years. Having these exams done before sending a child back to school can ensure that they have no vision-related hindrances to learning. An eye problem misdiagnosed as a developmental problem will usually have serious effects on a child’s actual development. As we all know, it is each parent’s job to make sure their child has every opportunity to succeed.


sunblock-220x300It’s April, the temperature is beginning to rise, we’ll all be wearing a whole lot less soon, spending more time outdoors and basking in the hot sun of our home in Las Vegas.

With the increased exposure to sunlight and UV radiation, the need for protective eyewear should be in high demand. The majority of us use sunblock to protect our skin. A UV coating or transitional lenses (lenses that darken outdoors) in our regular glasses along with quality sunglasses as “sunblock for our eyes.” The occurrence of eye disease such as cataracts and macular degeneration are highly increased through UV exposure. Excessive sun exposure has also been linked in causing an elevation of the white part of your eye in towards the nose. This elevation can then begin to grow in toward the edge of your pupil. These “bumps” can then begin to appear as a yellowish or red color.

There is an area of the face designated the “T Zone,’ consisting of the chin, nose, forehead and eyes. Within this zone is the highest incidence of various forms of cancer. So as you can see, it’s highly recommend to always have a UV coating in all eyeglass lenses along with an anti-reflective coating. These two lense options provide the patient with the sharpest vision and the highest form of eye protection known to man.

The Vision Centers stock only the highest quality sunglasses to choose from. The majority of our designer sunwear use lenses that are made by such experts as Zeis and their equivalent. We stock many speciality sunglasses as Oakley, Maui Jim and Tag Heuer. If you want to feel safe knowing that your eyes have their highest level of protection, stop in to one of the Vision Centers today and purchase a pair of stylish sunglasses to prepare for outdoor fun.

Caring for Eyesight at Age 65 and Above

We all know that eye sight decreases with age. However many people are unaware how important regular check ups and eye care becomes at the age of 65. Men and Women age 65 and older should be getting a yearly comprehensive dilated eye exam annually. At this age early detection of serious eye problems is very important. There are 4 conditions that are the most common cause of blindness and vision problems for seniors.

Macular Degeneration- This disease is age related as it mainly occurs in people over the age of 50. People experiencing this will have blurred vision that will affect activities like driving and reading.

Glaucoma- This eye disease causes a persons field of vision to narrow while causing damage to the optic nerve fibers of the eye. Early detection and care is important to slow the effects of this disease on eye sight.

Cataracts- This disease causes cloudy and blurry vision, glare when driving at night and seeing faded colors. Most seniors experience this disease but with cataract surgery the cloudy lens can be removed allowing the patient to see clearly again.

Diabetic Retinopathy – Seniors suffering from diabetes are at risk for another eye disease. This disease affects the retina of seniors with diabetes and causes vision problems. Seniors with diabetes have at odds 25 times more likely to experience blindness. Seniors with diabetes should receive an yearly exam by their optometrist with a dilated eye exam.


Most Common Experienced Eye Problems

Everyone has experienced a minor eye problem at some point. Most people are unaware of what causes or how to treat an eye problem and when the problem requires medical attention.

Blurred Vision can occur for a few different reasons. Temporary blurred vision can be from fatigue or from an illness, or cold . If you are experiencing blurry vision that is more than temporary, make an appointment with your eye doctor. Extended bouts or blurry vision can be a result of change in eyesight, cataracts, presbyopia, uveitis, glaucoma or astigmatism. Many of these conditions are age-related as well.

Floaters in vision, are like seeing tiny spots or seeing floating strings that float across the eye every so often. If you are seeing floaters see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Floaters in your vision can be a result of a stroke, diabetes or retinal detachment.

Itchy Eyes. Are your eyes itching, burning and red? Itchy eyes can be a condition treated at home or need a doctors attention depending on the cause. If your eyes are itchy because they are dry or you are suffering from allergies, you can usually treat at home with eye drops. If you are a contact wearer you may want to wear glasses when experiencing itchy eyes to gain some relief. If you believe your eyes are itchy because you are experiencing pink eye or blepharitis, you should see an optometrist for treatment.

Twitching Eyes. While twitching eyes are very bothersome and unpleasant most of the time it is caused by caffeine, fatigue or stress. Try relaxing getting some rest and limiting caffeine intake. Eye twitching can also be caused by tourette syndrome, panic disorders or pink eye. Consult a health care professional if you believe you are suffering from any of these disorders.