Skip to main content
Myeyetore logo 2
Hopewell

Adjacent to the Constitution Bank and The Peasant Grill on Broad Street

Lambertville

At the Intersection of River Rd (RT 29 & Rt 179) and Bridge Street

609-466-0055
Appointment
609-397-7020
Appointment

For 24/7 Emergency Eyecare Services call: 609-213-5008. Contact Us.

Home »

Uncategorized

FSA (Flexible Spending Accounts) For Eye Health Care

Flexible Spending Accounts and Eyecare

Eye health and Vision care and materials are a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) eligible expense.

Eye exams for your kids and yourself, and the expenses for eyeglasses, contact lenses, contact lens solution, refractive surgery (LASIK), myopia (nearsighted) control, Orthokeratology, dry eye treatments and more are FSA and HRA eligible. Learn more by visiting us at www.seelife.net

Hopewell Lambertville LOGO compressed

Did you know that nearly two out of every three Americans wear prescription glasses, and yet it’s surprising there’s so much confusion around the FSA eligibility of eye wear and vision care. What’s even more surprising is why more Americans aren’t using their tax-free funds to pay for the products and services necessary to maintain proper eye health. And we’re not just talking eyeglass repair kits and lens wipes — there are some seriously surprising eye care items on our Eligibility List.

With the end of the year coming soon and as we approach the winter, it time to get ahead of your eye health and well being checks. With the many issues facing us there can be some major issues that can be addressed through a comprehensive eye health exam. We can address the optimization, check the eye health for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and more as well relations to the systemic issues such as diabetes, high blood, thyroid disease, cardiovascular concerns, cancer…..

Prevention starts with protection… The Eyes are the Windows to Your Health
No, we’re not talking about high school health class… But the same thinking applies. According to a survey from The Vision Council, 75% of American adults in a survey are concerned about UV eye exposure, but only 31% report wearing sunglasses when going outside.

And cloudy days aren’t much safer than sunny ones; you can still do some damage when it’s overcast, because UV rays break through clouds and can damage unprotected eyes. Prescription sunglasses are FSA-eligible, so what’s stopping you from being smarter than the 69% of people who leave their eyes unprotected?

Are Contact lenses covered by FSA / HRA? Yes!

Let’s be clear: there are plenty of places to buy contact lenses. But how many of them allow you to the comprehensive care you deserve and a choice of options that will best suite your lifestyle needs. And yes, contact lenses entirely covered with your FSA. Maybe we’re a little biased, but we think you’ll enjoy buying your contacts this way. Contacts can be purchased through our office directly, or via several online options. https://www.seelife.net/contact-us/order-contact-lenses-online-2/

Refractive and Surgical Options: Orthokeratology; Myopia Control and LASIK

For your kids, we are concerned about the potential of nearsighted or myopic progression that can lead to difficulties in academics, sports, daily activities and long term potential pathology. As such we offer many options in myopia (nearsighted control) including soft and gas permeable lenses, orthokeratology and more.
For the adults seeking a new life without or limited use of eyewear or contacts we offer many refractive surgical options including (laser eye surgery) called LASIK. Which can be completely eligible for FSA and HSA reimbursement. Even though LASIK is expensive, think again. With respect the future lack of needed eyewear and in combination of the tax benefit cost reduction using FSA/ HRA accounts, it makes the procedure very affordable.

Cost is obviously important, but we stress the clinical care and aspects of eye health prior to any decision.
It’s not limited to LASIK, either. Medically necessary treatments and routine eye exams are all part of FSA eligible vision care.

If you have any questions, please visit out website: www.seelife.net or feel free to call the office to arrange an appointment. Hopewell 609-466-0055 Lambertville 609-397-7020

COVID-19 Office Updates

As of June 8th, 2020 – we will resume hours for patient care. With this – we have instituted an extensive protocol for the safety of our patients and staff. 

Please call into the office upon your arrival and NO walk -ins.

Please complete all forms prior to presenting to the office.  

To assure the safety of our patients and our staff we will be instituting the following guidelines:

1)             Providing all staff with full PPE (protection)

2)             Extensive office sanitization

3)             Temperature of everyone whom enters our offices.

4)             Limiting exams to 30 min. to allow for proper social distances, limit office            occupancy and time to clean the office.

SAFETY PROTOCOL 

Procedures to Ensure Your Safety:

The health of our patients, doctors, and associates is our highest priority as we reopen to service your needs. We want to take the time to remind you of the precautions we are taking to ensure your health and community safety.

What We Ask of You:

  • If you are exhibiting signs of COVID-19 or if you believe you have been in contact with someone who may have been exposed, we ask you to reschedule your exam. (fever, cough, respiratory concerns….)
  • Please come to your appointment by yourself or limit who comes with you to one person so we can adhere to CDC social distancing guidelines.
  • If you need someone to bring you to your appointment, we ask that they wait outside or in their vehicle.
  • Upon your arrival, so that we can maintain proper social distancing, we ask that you wait outside, call (Hopewell 609-466-0055) or Lambertville (609-397-7020) prior to entering the office at which time we will  inform you when it is proper to enter the office for your appointment.
  • We will also be limiting attending staff in order to maintain social distance protocols and as such ask for your cooperation as we offer our services and attention to your care in the most efficient manner with limited staff.

Personal Protective Equipment 

Patient Responsibility 

Patients will be required to present wearing a facial mask and gloves or will not be seen.

NO MASK  – NO CARE  – BILLED AS A NO SHOW

Due to the limited supply – our office cannot provide PPE for patients –  only staff 

Limiting Exams Per Hour

Only 2 patients per doctor per hour will be allowed in order to perform a

thorough cleaning after each exam.

Limiting the Number of Patients

We will be actively limiting the number of patients and exams to adhere to CDC

social distancing guidelines.

Patient Intake Forms

Patient Intake Forms and COVID questionnaire will be emailed or mailed to patients or can be accessed through our website before their appointment and should be completed prior to arrival.

Temperature Check Upon Arrival

We will utilize a contactless thermometer to take temperatures of everyone who enters the location and will ask anyone with a fever to reschedule without penalty.

Hand Washing Upon Arrival

As you enter the office we will ask you to wash your hands

Cleaning of Equipment and Surfaces

As has always been our standard protocol,

All equipment and surfaces will be cleaned after and before each exam.

Frame Selection Safety

Sanitized trays will be provided for patients to place frame selections.

Our associates will individually assist in your frame selection and disinfect all frames.

Hand Hygiene by Staff

As has always been our protocol : Our associates will wash their hands for 20 seconds after every patient interaction. Hand sanitizer will be available for patients.

Social Distancing

We ask associates and patients to observe 6 feet social distancing whenever possible.

Contact Lens Exams

We will be limiting new contact lens fittings at this time

in order to minimize exposure risk and physical contact.

Patients interested in new contact lens fitting may be defer to a later date.

We will continue to monitor CDC guidelines and make changes as appropriate to ensure the safety of the entire community. 

COVID Questionnaire

Our office is requiring that all patient complete a questionnaire prior to your exam to determine if there is a potential risk to staff and others. If it is determined that you are a “risk” patient, Hopewell Lambertville will have the right to ask you to re-schedule without penalty.

If an individual does not abide by the office polices upon presentation for an appointment  

They will not be seen due to potential risks.

They will be charged for the visit which will not be submitted to the insurance carrier and 

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation at this time.

How To Prevent “Mask Fog” on Your Glasses

If you wear glasses and a face mask, you’ve probably struggled with “mask fog.” Your lenses get all misty, requiring you to wipe your eyewear throughout the day. Below are a few strategies to help you prevent your eyeglasses from fogging up when wearing a mask.

But First, Why Do Glasses Fog Up?

Quite simply, condensation forms whenever moist warm air hits a cool surface. Your specs fog up when the mask directs your warm breath upward instead of in front of you — which is great for preventing virus transmission but bad for anyone with less-than-stellar eyesight.

Is Your Mask Well Fitted?

The mask should fit securely over your nose. Ideally, you’ll want to wear a mask with a nose bridge or one that can be shaped or molded to your face. When the mask fits properly, hopefully most of your breath will go through it, not out the top or sides.

Use Your Glasses To Seal the Top of Your Mask

This method works best with large, thick eyewear frames. By pulling your mask up higher on your nose and placing the lower part of your eyeglasses on the mask, you can get a snug fit that blocks your warm breath from escaping upward toward your eyewear.

Tape Your Mask to Your Face

You can always use tape to secure your mask across the bridge of your nose and the top of your cheeks. Use easy-to-remove tape, including adhesive, medical, or athletic. Just be sure to stay away from duct tape.

Soap and Water Help Prevent Fogging

This trick is one that healthcare professionals regularly turn to. All you need for this hack is soapy water (dish soap works best) and a microfiber cloth. Stay away from soaps with lotions in them as they can leave a thick residue, making it even harder to see.

Simply rub both sides of your lenses with a drop of soap, then buff the lenses with a soft microfiber cloth. This effective trick helps prevent your lenses from fogging up as a transparent, thin film of soap acts as a barrier.

Anti-Fog Wipes and Sprays

Another option is to purchase wipes and sprays designed to tackle foggy lenses. Read the fine print, as certain anti-fog solutions may not work as well, or may even damage lenses with coatings that minimize glare and fingerprint smudges, for example.

 

To learn more about ways to keep your glasses from fogging while wearing a mask, contact Hopewell-Lambertville Eye Associates in Hopewell today.

The 6 Best Sunscreens For Sensitive Eyes

Why You Regularly Need to Replace Your Sunglasses

Did you know that sunglasses, or at least sunglass lenses, regularly need to be replaced?

According to a study conducted at the University of São Paulo, the UV protection that sunglasses provide deteriorates over time. You may adore your current ones, but if you’ve been rocking those shades for two or more years, it might be time to get a new pair.

In addition to the UV-blocking properties, anti-reflective and anti-scratch coatings wear down, and the frame material may become brittle over the years, too. Even if you have the most durable sunglasses available, regular lens-replacement is the best way to ensure that your vision is maximally protected from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light.

UV Light and Sunglasses

The protective efficacy of your sunglasses comes in large part from the lens coating of dyes and pigments that reflect and absorb ultraviolet radiation. They create a barrier that prevents UV radiation from penetrating your eyes.

However, this protective coating can, and often does, break down over time. Wear and tear can cause an invisible web of tiny abrasions, compromising its UV-blocking power. Furthermore, the protective dyes and pigments aren’t able to absorb UV rays indefinitely; the more sunlight they’re exposed to, the more rapidly they’ll become ineffective.

A pair of shades worn on occasion and in mild conditions is likely to remain effective longer than a pair that is heavily used in a more intensely sunny environment. For example, if you spend long days on the water paddling, kayaking, or canoeing, the protective coating on your lenses will deteriorate more quickly than it would if you only wear your shades to go grocery shopping or sit in a cafe.

Why It’s Important to Protect Your Eyes From UV

Protecting your eyes from the sun is critical no matter where in the world you are, as UV exposure places you at risk for developing eye diseases like eye cancer, pterygium, and pinguecula — which can result in disfigurement and discomfort — as well as cataracts and macular degeneration — which cause vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness.

Even short-term overexposure can result in photokeratitis, a corneal sunburn. Symptoms include eye pain, swelling, light sensitivity, and temporary vision loss. Some people experience it when spending too much time boating or skiing without wearing eye protection. Snow and water can increase solar exposure because they reflect sunlight toward your face.

What to Look for When Getting New Sunglasses

When choosing new sunglasses, make sure they’re labeled 100% UV protection or UV400. Although most pairs sold in the United States and Canada offer this degree of protection, it’s still worth confirming before making the purchase. Keep in mind that factors like cost, polarization, lens color, or darkness don’t have much to do with the level of UV protection. Even clear prescription lenses can be UV protective.

It’s important to note that there is a lot of counterfeit sunwear in the marketplace. This is dangerous since counterfeit eyewear may not provide much-needed ultraviolet protection. So if the price of a renowned brand is too good to be true, it’s probably a fake.

The size and fit of the sunglasses is important. Bigger is definitely better if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Larger wrap-around eyewear is best if you regularly ski or spend many hours in the water, as this style blocks light from all directions.

To find out whether it’s still safe to wear your favorite shades, visit a Hopewell eye doctor to determine whether your lenses still offer the right level of UV protection. It’s also a good opportunity to discuss prescription sunwear.

For more information about UV safety, or to get the perfect sunglasses tailored to your vision needs and lifestyle, contact Hopewell-Lambertville Eye Associates in Hopewell today!

The 6 Best Sunscreens For Sensitive Eyes

References

https://biomedical-engineering-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12938-016-0209-7

 

COVID-19 –  What Constitutes an Eye Care Emergency? 

coronavirus 4914026 640

An eye care emergency is defined as medical care for conditions requiring prompt medical attention due to a sudden change in ocular or visual health.

Eye trauma, chemical exposure to the eyes, foreign objects in the eye, and ocular infections are all considered eye emergencies and should be given immediate medical attention. If you have an eye emergency, it’s critical to get immediate care in order to avoid permanent damage to your vision.

While some may opt to visit an emergency room for an eye injury, research shows that most emergency room visits for eye emergencies could have been treated by an experienced optometrist. Furthermore, going to the hospital for an eye emergency during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t the fastest or safest way to treat the problem; the hospitals are already overloaded and you risk catching the virus during your visit.

Dr. Daniels can offer personalized treatment for a wide range of eye emergencies and other ocular conditions. Call Hopewell-Lambertville Eye Associates for further instructions or call the number provided in the voicemail.

What Is an Eye Emergency?

Eye emergencies refer to any sudden onset of symptoms or obvious eye trauma that affect vision. These emergencies range from severe eye pain or vision loss to a sudden blow to the eye or chemical exposure. Call us if you experience any of the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Bleeding of the eye
  • Blood in the white of the eye
  • Swollen or bulging eye
  • Vision loss or double vision
  • New eye flashes or floaters
  • Pupils that are unequal in size
  • Severe photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Being hit in the eye
  • Bruising around the eye
  • Eye discharge
  • Suspected eye infection
  • Severe burning, stinging, itching eyes
  • Scratched or cut eye or eyelid
  • Split contact lenses in the eye
  • A piece of broken eyeglass lens in your eye
  • Foreign object stuck in the eye

If you’re uncertain whether or not your condition is an emergency, contact Hopewell-Lambertville Eye Associates immediately.

What Should I Do If I Have An Eye Emergency?

If you have a cut or foreign object in your eye, or if you suffered from other forms of eye trauma, DO NOT:

  • Rub your eye
  • Attempt to remove any foreign objects embedded in the eye
  • Use tweezers or swabs in your eye
  • Put any ointments or medication into your eye

First Aid for Eye Injuries

Refer to the following guidelines to prevent any long-term vision loss or eye damage.

Chemical Exposure

If a contact lens is in the eye, do not attempt to remove the contact lens using your fingers. Instead, flush saline solution or water over the lens immediately as it may dislodge the lens. Contact lenses can trap harmful chemicals against the cornea, causing unnecessary damage.

Seek emergency medical care promptly after flushing.

To avoid eye exposure to toxic or abrasive chemicals, always wear protective eyewear and use caution when handling these types of products.

Foreign Objects

Although your first instinct may be to rub your eye to get the foreign object out, try to resist the urge–as rubbing can further damage the eye.

If the object isn’t embedded in the eye, you may try to remove it by flushing it out. First, wash your hands with warm water and soap to prevent contamination or infection. Then, flush the eye thoroughly with clean water or preferably saline, if available. You can also try to induce tearing by using your fingers to gently lift the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid. Causing the eye to tear may flush out the foreign object.

If the object is visible, and not embedded on the eye, you can try to gently wipe it away with a damp, clean washcloth.

Seek immediate medical attention if the above methods do not work.

Blows to the Eye

To treat a black eye, apply a cold compress to decrease swelling and support healing. Use the compress for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, allowing the eye to rest between applications. A cold compress can be made by wrapping a bag of peas, or other soft frozen items, in a clean cloth.

Never place ice directly on the skin; use a clean cloth between the skin and ice.

Call Dr. Daniels immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms after the eye is impacted:

  • Changes in vision
  • Persistent or increasing pain
  • Bleeding or any blood on the outside or inside the eye
  • Any visible difference to the appearance of your eyes

Cut or Puncture to the Eye

This type of injury always requires immediate medical care, so after you call us, make sure to follow these precautionary measures to avoid further injury:

  • Don’t attempt to remove something embedded in the eye
  • Don’t wash the eye or eyelid
  • Try to shield the eye with something protective, for example – use a pad of cotton wool as an eye shield and tape it to the surrounding eye area

If you have an eye emergency, don’t delay treatment. Timing is everything — the earlier you get treatment, the less vision damage you’ll have over the long term. Take immediate action by contacting Hopewell-Lambertville Eye Associates today. Dr. Daniels will treat any eye emergency you have or refer you to specialized care (i.e. surgery), as needed.

Hopewell-Lambertville Eye Associates serves patients from Hopewell, all throughout New Jersey.

Bringing Myopia Control into Sight

eye chartAs myopia among children is being described as ‘epidemic,’ a variety of techniques for treating them are coming to the forefront.

A 6-year-old Asian female who presented for an exam already had –1.00D of myopia, and both her parents were significantly myopic. As studies have shown, early manifestations of myopic refractive error and the number of myopic parents are significant predictors of the child’s risk of myopia progression. Her young age and the onset of myopic shift related to refractive error and axial length before the onset of juvenile myopia.

The clinical question we have with this patient: What options do we have for slowing this patient’s myopic progression?

We could obviously prescribe glasses to correct the presenting ametropia and re-evaluate in six months, or flat-top bi-focals or progressive addition lenses could be used to relax accommodative stress. However, these options will not have a lasting effect on myopic progression, delaying it by only 0.25D to 0.50D.

We could also consider using atropine in conjunction with corrective spectacle lenses. Studies suggest that might be appropriate, particularly if the child is not ready to be fit with contact lenses.

There are also behavioral modifications, such as an extra 40 minutes of time outdoors, which research shows can reduce the progression of myopia, and following the 20-20-20 rule (a 20-second break to view something 20 feet away every 20 minutes) to reduce eyestrain from increased use of digital devices.

The other option: using contact lenses to halt the progression of myopia.

IMAGE SHELL

The simple essence of myopia control is to focus all incoming images into the fovea centralis and bring parafoveal defocused images (the image shell) into focus to prevent accommodative stress.

The goal of a proper contact lens design is to control the stress of accommodation in which the eye tries to refocus the image shell. The result of this stress is an increased axial length of the eye, which causes myopia to progress.

Standard gas permeable contact lenses cannot control this stress successfully, because the basic lens design only provides refractive correction. To control accommodative stress, a gas permeable design requires central corneal epithelial compression, with the spread of the tissue to the periphery. This allows the paracentral region to refocus the image shell onto the peripheral parafoveal retina.

ORTHO-K

Standard gas permeable designs do not provide significant control of axial length and myopic progression. Myopia control with orthokeratology, however, is highly achievable.

Orthokeratology dates back more than 70 years. Eyecare practitioners used a progression of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) lenses in a sequentially flatter base curve to compress the central cornea.

As we approached the mid-1990s, manufacturers began using more advanced lathe and computer designs, which enabled them to take the original reverse peripheral curve lenses developed in the 1980s and advanced the study of orthokeratology. This led us to the “modern-day” reverse geometry accelerated corneal reshaping with overnight ortho-k lenses.

There are a variety of orthokeratology lenses for controlling myopia. Each has a unique design but follows similar concepts of method. Ortho-k can reduce the amount of myopic refractive error and affect the progression of myopia as a child ages.

SOFT CONTACT LENS

But, can a child at a younger age, such as my 6-year-old patient, perform the task of contact lens insertion, removal and care? This patient and even an older child may initially do better with a soft contact lens. However, there is a problem. Standard soft lenses only prolong the issue of myopia progression rather than cause a clinically relevant decrease.

A distance-center multifocal soft contact lens may be the best place to start because it can result in 50% reduction in the progression of myopia and a 29% reduction in axial elongation, suggesting the potential for soft multifocal contact lens myopia control.

Two designs from CooperVision, the Proclear, and Biofinity Multifocal, allow for a distance zone of 75% of the child’s average pupil. The peripheral region of the lenses, which progress to intermediate and near plus power, refocus the image shell for the paravisual axis rays. This allows for sustained myopic defocus (refocusing of the image shell) and can slow myopia progression without compromising visual function—even when presented to the retina simultaneously with a clear image. When fitting this design, I tend to use a multifocal add power of no less than +1.50D to +2.00D (“D” design), with the appropriate distance power centrally.

CooperVision also has entered the arena of myopic control with the MiSight daily disposable myopia control contact lens, which has alternating visual correction and treatment zones. A study comparing this lens to a single-vision daily disposable contact lens in 144 myopic children demonstrated that the dual-focus lens effectively slowed myopic progression by 59%, as measured by cycloplegic refraction, and 52%, as measured by mean axial elongation of the eye.

Another new entry to the market is the NaturalVue Multifocal 1 Day Contact Lenses with Neurofocus Optics from Vi-sioneering Technologies, Inc. The lens is designed to provide spectacle-level stereo acuity and vision at near, intermediate and at a distance. A study from the University of Waterloo found the lens designs of –10.00D led to nearly complete inhibition of defocus-induced myopia in chickens compared to control lenses (also –10.00D).

The lack of significant axial length increase seen with the NaturalVue test groups indicates that these lens designs reduced the progression of defocused-induced myopia by inhibiting axial elongation. The optical design suggests a reduction in accommodative lag, another risk factor for myopia progression while having minimal effect on visual acuity, PREP score quality of life and MN-READ scores in children of the age that myopia progresses quickly. They found in additional studies that the corrected peripheral hyperopia so that each meridian was focused within the retina, an improved amplitude test accommodation by 1.00D improved lag of accommodation by 0.50D. Visual quality was rated as the same or better visual quality as compared with a single vision soft lens.

COMPLEX DECISIONMyopia control is a complex management decision based on many factors. The primary factors are the awareness and concern of the parents, while other concerns are the capabilities and understanding of the child. Each approach must be planned from a long-term perspective using a building block approach.

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Managing Dry Eye Syndrome

business man with dry eyesDry eyes are a common condition that leads many people to seek care and treatment from their local eye doctor. Due to an insufficient tear quantity or quality, the irritating symptoms include redness, stinging and constant blinking or eye rubbing. These symptoms can range from mild to severe, depending upon the individual. Yet, no matter what type of irritation you experience, dry eyes can disrupt your comfortable vision and interfere with daily life.

If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, our Hopewell and Lambertville eye care specialists can help relieve your pain. We will perform a thorough eye exam to diagnose your condition and determine the best dry eye treatment for your condition.

Typical Causes of Dry Eyes

Every patient is unique, with a different lifestyle, environment and health condition. To assess your dry eye syndrome fully, we will ask you to share details about your daily routine and habits. It’s necessary to pinpoint the cause of your dry eyes in order to identify the ideal, effective treatment. Some possible culprits for dry eyes include:

  • Atmosphere: extreme weather – such as frigid temperatures or very arid conditions, can place stress on your eyes, preventing them from making enough lubricating tears. In these surroundings, goggles or wraparound sunglasses can help protect against dry eyes. In very hot climates, staying well hydrated may also help. Smoke, wind and dust may also cause dry eye irritation.
  • A/C or heating: air-conditioning, heating and fans are all associated directly with drying out your eyes. To counter this problem, it’s worthwhile to invest in a humidifier.
  • Allergies: seasonal allergies have been shown to have a powerful impact on eye moisture. When the pollen count is very high in our area, many of our patients complain about dry eye symptoms. An indoor air filter may be the best way to solve this problem.
  • Blepharitis: this skin condition affects the tissue along the edge of your eyelids. Caused generally by blocked oil ducts, blepharitis affects your eye’s ability to produce healthy tears. Rosacea is another skin condition that may block your eyes’ oil glands.
  • Inadequate tear quantity: a decrease in the amount of tears that your eyes produce can be due to many different reasons. Officially called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, this condition may be improved by taking omega-3 fish oil.
  • Aging and health: this is another typical cause of insufficient tears, as well as specific medical conditions – including lupus, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid conditions, Sjorgen’s syndrome, scleroderma and vitamin A deficiency. Undergoing LASIK may also be to blame.
  • Side effects of medication: weak tear production may also be caused by certain drugs. Be sure to tell your eye doctor about any medical treatments or therapies you are taking.

Treatment for Dry Eyes

Although dry eye tends to be a chronic condition with no cure, there are many effective treatments that can alleviate the discomfort. Our eye care providers are experienced and knowledgeable about this condition, and we’ll work with you patiently to manage your dry eye syndrome.

Possible treatments include:

  • Artificial tears or lubricant eye drops, which compensate for your lack of natural tears. Check with your eye doctor regarding the best brand to use for your condition.
  • Prescription eye drops that stimulate tear production, or steroid eye drops for short-term pain relief
  • Heated compresses to open up clogged tear ducts, especially if you suffer from Meibomian gland dysfunction.
  • Specialized eyelid scrubs to treat blepharitis, or antibiotic drops
  • Punctal inserts may be prescribed to treat severe dry eyes. Placed inside your lower eyelid, these inserts gradually release lubrication as the day goes on.
  • Punctal plugs may help with extreme cases. During a quick, in-office procedure, our eye doctors will insert tiny silicone plugs into the corner of your eye to block drainage, which helps tears to disperse better across the eye.
  • Changing the type of contact lenses that you wear. Some types of contacts can dry out eyes, while others can help maintain moisture and resolve the symptoms.

Dry eye syndrome requires constant treatment to keep the irritating symptoms from flaring up. Our optometrists will help design a long-term, efficient strategy to restore your comfortable and healthy vision.

Treating Dry Eyes Near You

 

6 Habits that Cause Dry Eyes

Banner for Dry Eye Specialists in 6 Causes of Dry Eyes at Hopewell & Lambertville Eye Associates

Our Dry Eye Specialists Explain Causes of Dry Eyes

Are you always rubbing your eyes or blinking constantly to spread more moisture across the surface? Dry eyes can be extremely irritating, even painful for some people. Inadequate lubrication may cause sore eyes, redness, an inability to wear contact lenses and overall uncomfortable vision. At our eye care clinic, our experienced, expert eye doctors will perform a thorough eye exam to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome.

As every patient is unique, our eye exam will include questions about your personal lifestyle in order to identify what’s causing your dry eyes. Finding the cause is the best way to find an effective solution!

Depending upon the results of your eye exam, we’ll recommend a number of lifestyle changes to help alleviate the annoying symptoms caused by your dry eyes. We asked our Hopewell and Lamberville Dry Eye Specialists and they’ve offered 6 possible culprits for Dry Eye Syndrome:

1. Extreme Weather Conditions

Whether it’s summer or winter, extreme weather can stress your eyes so that they can’t produce enough tears to keep your eyes lubricated well. In the winter, it’s helpful to wear goggles or glasses to protect your eyes from frigid temperatures and wind. This is particularly beneficial when you hit the ski slopes or lace up your ice skates. In the summer, heat can lead to dehydration, which saps the moisture from your eyes too. The best way to avoid this problem and stay comfortable is simply to drink enough!

2. A/C or Indoor Heating

Air-conditioning, fans and indoor heating are directly linked with drying out your eyes. Blowing air evaporates moisture from your eyes more quickly, and it also dries out the atmosphere inside your home or office. A humidifier is a worthwhile investment to solve this problem. In the winter, a humidifier will give you an extra bonus of keeping your sinuses moist too, which helps to relieve the symptoms of your winter cold.

3. Seasonal Allergies

Recent studies have shown a strong link between spring allergens and dry eyes. When pollen counts are highest. an increased number of patients visit our eye doctors with complaints of dry eye symptoms. During allergy season, using an air filter indoors may be the most efficient way to avoid the effects of pollen on your eyes.

4. Skin Conditions

Specific skin conditions and disorders are associated with dry eyes. Blepharitis, which refers to an inflammation of the skin along the edge of your eyelids, often leads to Dry Eye Syndrome, because the oil-producing glands are often clogged. This ruins your eyes’ ability to produce tears with a healthy composition of oil. Rosacea, an inflammatory skin condition that generally appears on the face, may also block the oil-producing glands of your eyes.

5. Environmental Effects of the Great Outdoors

While fresh, outdoor air is generally healthy for your eyes, skin and lungs, too much exposure to smoke, wind, dust, and extreme temperatures can certainly lead to eye dehydration. Global climate change has been blamed for many of these ill effects, as your tear film depends upon natural humidity to stay moist. Yet as our environments have changed (and continue to change), the amount of hydration that your eyes can obtain from the outdoor environment has been reduced. Air pollution is also detrimental to healthy eyes, damaging and drying out your tear film.

6. Low-Tear Production

Our eye doctors diagnose many cases of dry eyes that are due to a reduced tear production. Officially termed keratoconjunctivitis sicca, a decreased manufacture of tears can result from a variety of causes. To stimulate tear production, it may be helpful to up your intake of omega-3 fish oil.

Aging is a common reason for inadequate tear production, as well as certain medical disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes, thyroid conditions, scleroderma, vitamin A deficiency and Sjorgen’s syndrome. If you’ve undergone radiation treatments, your tear glands may have suffered damage. Laser eye surgery is another potential culprit, however symptoms of dry eyes due to these procedures are generally short-lived.

When your eyes are unable to keep up with healthy tear production, it’s a good idea to take a look at any medications you’re taking. Common household drugs, such as decongestants and antihistamines are known to affect the moisture level of your eyes. Other medications that could cause dry eyes include: antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy, acne drugs, medication for Parkinson’s disease, hypertension treatment and birth control.

How Do I Treat My Dry Eyes?

Aging Eyes and Driving Safety 

Even if you don’t have any eye or vision problems, the natural process of aging affects your ability to see and react to visual stimuli. It’s important to know the impact the aging can have on your eyes and vision so you can take the necessary precautions to stay safe and protect your eyes.

Driving is one activity that can pose a high risk as safe driving requires not only good vision, but also intact cognition and motor response. As we age, reflexes, reaction time and vision begin to deteriorate, which can impair one’s ability to drive safely, particularly under conditions such as bad weather, twilight glare, or nighttime darkness. Here are some ways that your ability to drive can be impaired as you age and some safety tips to help you to stay safe on the roads.

The Aging Eye

As we age, the eye and vision naturally begin to experience a decline. The pupils in the eye, which allow light to enter, begin to shrink and dilate less, allowing less light to enter the retina. This causes reduced night vision. Additionally, some of our peripheral vision diminishes along with our ability to see moving objects.

Due to deterioration of the cornea and clouding of the lens of the eye, glare becomes more disruptive and contrast sensitivity is reduced, making it harder to perceive images clearly. General imperfections in vision called higher-order aberrations cause a general decline in vision that can’t be corrected with glasses or contact lenses. Additionally, our reaction times slow, adding motor complications to the visual ones. Dry eyes also becomes a bigger problem with age as the lacrimal glands don’t produce as many tears to keep the eyes moist. Many of these symptoms may be present without the individual even noticing a decline and can all contribute to increased risk – for the driver, and others on the road.

If you add in any other vision problems such as cataracts, glaucoma or macular degeneration which are age-related diseases that gradually reduce vision, you can have a serious danger on your hands.

Avoid Distractions

The biggest driving distraction in our day and age is cell phone usage. While many states and provinces have created laws which forbid driving and texting or holding a phone, it is not universal, and this still causes countless accidents and deaths that could be easily avoided. Even hands-free options distract you from the road and put you at risk. If you must use your phone to speak, dial or text, pull over first.

Plan Ahead

If you can avoid driving at night or on hazardous roads with sharp turns, inadequate lighting or that are unfamiliar to you, you will be better off. Plan to make first time trips during the day when you can clearly see street signs and landmarks or take a practice trip with a loved one.

Purchase Night Vision Glasses

There are glasses available that can help to reduce the glare at night and enable better night time vision. Speak to your optometrist about whether this is a good option for you.

Turn Vents Down

Car vents can also cause discomfort, eye irritation and create greater vision hazard, as the air blowing at the eyes can impair vision or cause watering, especially when the eye are already dry.

Maintain Good Eye Health

Make sure that you get your eyes checked on a regular basis and that any eye conditions you have are being treated and monitored. Good nutrition, exercise and overall healthy habits will help to protect and heal your eyes as well. Further, listen to your instincts, if you feel unsafe driving or if your doctor (or family members) tell you it’s time to hand in the keys, think about utilizing other means of transportation to get around.

Many times people are able to pass their vision test at the driver’s license bureau which gives them a false sense of security, but in reality they are not seeing well, especially at night or in bad weather. In many areas there are courses available for senior citizens to test out driving skills with instructors who do an evaluation and give feedback on their real abilities. It’s critical for seniors to speak to their eye doctors about their true vision level and any restrictions that they recommend.

The key to eye health and safety is awareness. You can’t stop your eyes from aging but you can take the necessary precautions to ensure that you are protecting your eyes, yourself and those around you by knowing how your eyes and vision are affected.

Is Your Teen Ready for Contacts?

Many teens who wear glasses are eager to try out contact lenses for convenience, fashion or to just provide another option for vision correction. For teens who feel self-conscious in their glasses, contact lenses can be a way to improve self-esteem. Young athletes and swimmers find that contacts are an excellent option for sports, especially as younger kids are becoming involved in travel sports and club teams outside of school.

While contacts might appear to be the perfect solution for teens that need corrective eyewear, they are a convenience that comes with a lot of responsibility so it’s not a decision to take lightly. Improper use of contact lenses can cause severe discomfort, infections, irritation and, in the worst cases, eye damage or even permanent vision loss.

“With Privilege Comes Responsibility”

Contact lenses are a medical device and should always be treated as such. They should never be obtained without a valid contact lens prescription from an eye doctor, and always purchased from an authorized seller. Among other issues, poor fitting contact lenses bought from illegitimate sources have been known to cause micro-abrasions to the eyes that can increase the risk of eye infection and corneal ulcers in worst case scenarios.

Particularly when it comes to kids and teens, it is best to purchase contact lenses from an eye doctor as they possess the expertise to properly fit contact lenses based on the shape of the eye, the prescription, the lifestyle of the child and other factors that may influence the comfort, health and convenience of contact lens use.

There is some debate over the recommended age for kids to start considering contact lenses. While some experts will say the ideal age is between 11 and 14, there are many responsible children as young as 8 or even younger who have begun to successfully use them. When children are motivated and responsible, and parents are able to ensure follow-up to the daily regimen, earlier contact lens use can be a success. A good measure of whether your child is responsible enough to use contacts is whether they are able to keep their room clean, or maintain basic hygiene like brushing teeth regularly and effectively.

When you think your child might be ready, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor for a contact lens exam and fitting. The process will take a few visits to perform the exam, complete a training session on how to insert, remove and care for lenses, then to try out the lenses at home and finally reassess the comfort and fit of the contacts. You may try out a few varieties before you find the best fit.

What Kind of Contact Lens Is Best for My Teen?

The good news is that contact lens use has become easier than ever, with safety, health and convenience being more accessible as technology improves. There are a number of options including the material used to make the lenses (soft or rigid gas permeable), the replacement schedule (if disposable, how often you replace the pair – daily, weekly, biweekly or monthly) and the wear schedule (daily or extended overnight wear).

Single use, daily disposable lenses have become very popular, particularly with younger users, because they are easy to use, requiring no cleaning or storing, and therefore they reduce the risk of infection and misuse. You simply throw out the lenses at night and open a new one in the morning. Your eye doctor will be able to help you and your teen determine the best option.

Tips for Contact Lens Wearers

Following are some basic contact lens safety tips. If your teen is responsible enough to follow these guidelines, he or she may be ready for contact lens use:

  1. Always follow the wearing schedule prescribed by your doctor.
  2. Always wash your hands with soap before applying or removing contact lenses.
  3. Never use any substance other than contact lens rinse or solution to clean contacts (even tap water is a no-no).
  4. Never reuse contact lens solution
  5. Follow the eye doctor’s advice about swimming or showering in your lenses
  6. Always remove your lenses if they are bothering you or causing irritation.
  7. Never sleep in your lenses unless they are extended wear.
  8. Never use any contact lenses that were not acquired with a prescription at an authorized source. Never purchase cosmetic lenses without a prescription!

Contact lens use is an ongoing process. As a child grows, the lens fit may change as well, so it is important to have annual contact lens assessments. Plus, new technology is always being developed to improve comfort and quality of contact lenses.

Contact lenses are a wonderful invention but they must be used with proper care. Before you let your teen take the plunge into contact lens use, make sure you review the dangers and safety guidelines.

Call Our Locations

Call Lambertville 609-451-3992

Call Hopewell 609-288-2090