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Is an Annual Eye Doctor Visit Necessary?

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Las Vegas Optometrist

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.

Gift Ideas from Glasses Enthusiasts

Beyond Prescription Lenses: Gift Ideas from Glasses Enthusiasts

A great pair of glasses from the eye doctor can make a real difference when it comes to driving, reading, working, or even relaxing. Those glasses aren’t the only ones that can be of great help throughout the year, however. Everything from enjoying a good book to hitting the slopes can benefit from a pair of glasses or goggles that protect the eyes and offer clearer vision throughout an important task. For thoughtful gift ideas or a unique shopping trip, consider the most popular glasses and goggles currently on the market.

1. Computer Glasses

Anyone who’s spent a long day in front of a computer display knows that it can wreak havoc on vision. Eye fatigue is real, and in this case a day in front of such a screen can lead to headaches and a general feeling of lethargy. Computer glasses filter out the constant “noise” on the screen that’s a result of refresh rates, reducing eye fatigue and giving back day-long computer users their nights, energy, and focus.

2. Ski Goggles

Hitting the slopes is exciting for people of all ages, but it presents a real opportunity for long-term eye damage without the proper safety gear. Ski and snowboarding goggles filter out the dangerous, reflective UV light captured by the pure white snow created at ski resorts. This lowers the risk that eyes will suffer from long-term vision loss and it enhances a skier’s vision so that they can more quickly and adeptly navigate even the most challenging trails that they encounter.

3. Safety Glasses

Great for gardeners, outdoorsmen, runners, bikers and more, these glasses look similar to sunglasses but are made of highly durable plastic or glass that can reduce a significant amount of force. That means the debris from lawn mowers, passing automobiles, or even wildlife can be deflected without damaging the eyes or otherwise injuring a person’s face.

4. Reading Glasses

Non-prescription reading glasses are great for the bookworm in the family. Though they require no prescription, their universal appeal lies in the fact that they help to focus and embolden text. When reading is easier on the eyes, it’s much easier to page through multiple chapters before putting the book down and moving on to other tasks. That’s something that every dedicated reader will appreciate, no matter the strength of his or her vision.

Excellent Ideas for Gifts, Safety and Health

Whether it’s safer skiing on the slopes or easier reading of a New York Times best-selling book, each of these options has a myriad of uses both indoors and outside. Each option represents a great gift for someone else, or an excellent impulse buy for those who simply want to ensure the long-term health and safety of their vision.

3D TV – Is It Safe for Your Eyes?

The 3D Debate: Is Viewing TV in Three Dimensions Bad for Vision?

With each new technological development that comes to market, people worry about the long-term side effects of its rise to prominence. Whether it’s the radiation emitted by cellular phones or the 20th-century concerns of parents who feared that too much exposure to television would cause their children to suffer from long-term vision problems, most of these misconceptions have been thoroughly dispelled. Now it’s time to do the same thing regarding 3D television sets and movies.

Is 3D a Detriment to Long-Term Vision and Depth Perception?

Many people have feared that the quick rise to prominence of 3D entertainment in both theaters and home entertainment rooms has left inadequate time for a study of the long-term effects of this new technology. While it’s always a good idea to be concerned an vigilant, new studies are showing that there really is no reason for concern when it comes to immersive, three-dimensional experiences.

In fact, the most severe consequences of watching 3D programming, or playing 3D games for long periods of time, have nothing to do with the eyes themselves. These side effects, which include things like motion sickness and headaches, almost always arise from the way the brain perceives 3D content. After a while, it believes it’s actually part of the landscape and it begins to perceive a small screen as reality. The problem is that the 3D content is surrounded by static, non-moving objects that throw off the brain’s perception.

This bit of confusion does cause eyestrain, and it can lead to headaches in many people after extended periods of viewing or gaming. Eyestrain of this nature, however, is not damaging to the eyes and it’s not a cause for long-term concern. Instead, it might be a good idea to simply restrict 3D viewing and gaming to shorter periods, preventing any headaches that might arise.

Moderation is the Key to Success

As with all new technologies, moderation will lead to better experiences and fewer side effects. Though 3D viewing won’t produce long-term consequences, no one likes to suffer from a headache after a great movie. By proactively limiting 3D viewing periods, most of these side effects can be eliminated rather easily.

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.

National Children’s Vision and Learning Month

As August rolls around, parents with young children are preparing them to head back to school. Many parents think that getting paper, pencils, tissues and crayons is enough to prepare their children for heading back to class, but many fail to consider their children’s eyesight and the effect it can have on their education. August is the National Children’s Vision and Learning Month, and every parent should take notice and do what they can to ensure their child is ready for school.

Most parents think that simply having their children screened at school for 20/20 vision is enough to ensure they can read correctly. The College of Optometrists in Vision Development, however, specifies seventeen different visual skills that have a direct effect on learning, reading and life in general. These skills include sustaining alignment, spontaneous focus and sustaining focus, just to name a few. Impairment in any of these seventeen skills can directly affect a child’s ability to read, and thus, their ability to learn.

Some schools have cursory screenings for children’s eyesight, but these screenings are only capable of detecting five percent of visual problems. Other problems can go undiagnosed without a trip to an optometrist. Doctors will often check a child’s eyesight during each of their checkups, but a more complete examination performed by an optometrist should be done before a child enters school. Any vision problem can slow a child’s progress, and if left untreated may cause them to be held back during their school years. That’s why during National Children’s Vision and Learning Month, every parent should take a proactive stance in their children’s eyesight and schedule a comprehensive exam with their optometrist.

Effects of 3D Movies on Eyesight

Movies makers have been producing films in three dimensions (3D) for decades now, but scientists are just starting to realize the effects these films can have on a person’s eyesight. Several recent studies have shown that 3D movies can elicit previously unknown problems with someone’s eyesight.

The quickest way for a person to notice these problems is by watching a poorly made 3D movie. This includes movies that were not originally made for this type of viewing, but were later converted and rereleased. However, even top-quality 3D movies can bring about problems. People’s eyes work naturally to converge when they’re looking at something nearby and diverge when they’re looking at something far away. Three dimensional movies violate this norm by bringing perception that seems far away right up to the face of a viewer.

Certain 3D movies are created to allow a viewer to focus on one object at a time, and these movies are far better for a person’s vision due to the fact that the eyes don’t have to continuously adjust to unnatural settings. Even these movies, however, can still cause headaches, eye fatigue and nausea. These symptoms are caused by the close proximity to a viewing screen and the apparent distance of whatever is on that screen. For this reason, a person may experience fewer visual problems if they watch a 3D movie at a theater rather than at home. Screens at movie theaters actually are situated in the distance, so this allows the eyes to focus more normally than if the screen were nearby (ie. home TV screen).

A person who repeatedly experiences headaches, fatigue, or motion sickness when watching 3D movies should consult an optometrist to determine what is happening, and if it can be helped. Many times people have vision problems (like astigmatism) that can be fixed with eyeglasses, and other times people can have more advanced problems with their eye working together properly. This is what optometrists call problems with “binocularity”. There are times eyeglasses and/or vision therapy can help with these symptoms. An optometrist will be able to diagnose and recommend appropriate treatment.

Eye Care for Children

Has your child been complaining about struggling to see the board in school or have you noticed them squinting and straining to see things? If so your child may be experiencing a change in vision and needs to have an exam by an Optometrist. Some schools do perform eye screening but they are not an in depth exam and can easily miss certain ailments like astigmatisms, different vision in each eye, farsightedness and lazy eyes. An eye doctor will be able to detect these ailments and provide you with a prescription for glasses or contacts so that your child is able to see clearly.

How do you determine if glasses or contacts are the right choices for your child? First, you should ask your doctor which option will provide your child the most benefit. Next, you must determine how responsible your child is and whether or not they will properly clean and disinfect their contacts. Improper disinfection and care will cause eye infections in your child. If you feel contacts are the better choice for your child but fear they will not care for them properly, daily disposable contacts are a great choice. If your child is an athlete, contact lenses are a great choice.

Prevention is always better than correction. Sun protection is very important for a child’s eyes. Have your child wear sunglasses outdoors at all times. And not just stylish glasses, sunglasses with UV protection. Children are the most sensitive to UV rays with the eyes for the first 18 years. UV exposure can lead to conditions like cataracts that will not surface until old age.

Decorative Halloween Contacts and the Scary Truth

As the cool brisk fall air starts to begin and we see pumpkins everywhere we know that our favorite spooky holiday is just around the corner. And as we all begin to put our creativity to the test for a great Halloween costume many will consider purchasing decorative contacts to complete their costume. Most people will purchase these contacts from an online retailer or a Halloween costume store. Before opting for these decorative lenses there are a few things everyone should know.

First you should not that these contacts are not vision enhancing and generally not purchased through an optometrists office. When you get contact lenses from an eye doctor they are fitted for your eye. These decorative contacts are not custom fitted and can cause irritation or minor to major injuries to your eye. If you are not familiar with how to care for contacts, store them and clean them properly there is a risk of causing an infection to the eye from improper disinfection.

However, if you are considering a wild decorative pair of contacts for your Halloween costume this year, consult your optometrist las vegas. Schedule an appointment at your optometrist’s office to have your doctor perform an eye exam. The eye doctor can get the correct measurements and prescription for your eyes and assist you in ordering a pair of decorative contacts that are custom fit to you as well as from a reliable manufacturer. Your eye doctor will also teach you how to properly care for contact lenses.