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Tips for Healthy Eyes If You’re Over 40

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If you’re in your 40s, you may have noticed physical changes that affect many aspects of your life, including your vision. Like the rest of your body, your eyes may need some extra care to function efficiently as you enter middle-age. The following tips will help you keep your eyes healthy from age 40 and beyond.

These tips do not replace a comprehensive eye exam and professional advice from your eye doctor.

1. Be Aware of Age-Related Changes in the Eyes

Understanding the way your eyes change after the age of 40 is the key to being proactive with eye care. For instance, if you find it more difficult to read the fine print in a book or computer screen than in the past, the problem is likely presbyopia, age-related farsightedness.

The lens inside the eye is responsible for changing focus, allowing us to see objects clearly both far away and up close. As the lens becomes harder and less flexible, it impairs the ability to focus up close. This makes it difficult to read the text in books or to see the images displayed on digital devices or computer screens. That’s why most people need reading glasses, multifocals or bifocals in their forties.

You should also be on the lookout for any changes to your vision, such as blurry night vision. Most often, this is due to cataracts — which cause blurry or cloudy vision due to the denaturation of protein in the eye’s natural lens — or macular degeneration, which is blurry or distorted vision caused by a deterioration of the central part of the retina. Glaucoma, which is caused by high eye pressure and results in tunnel vision, usually has no noticeable symptoms until vision loss has occurred.

Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Switalski at Switalski Eye Care in Plano, who will assess your eyes for these sight-threatening eye diseases. Early diagnosis can prevent or minimize vision loss.

2. Watch for Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye syndrome is usually caused by the impaired functioning of the meibomian glands, located inside the eyelids. These glands produce oils that create a protective film for the tears that lubricate and protect the front surface of the eye. When there is a malfunction in these glands, tears can evaporate easily and the eyes can become dry, red and itchy.

Once over the age of 40, these tiny glands are more prone to becoming blocked, or the oils may become thicker.

Women who have undergone menopause have a higher likelihood of developing dry eye than younger women or men. In a study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, dry eye symptoms were reported by 17.9% of aging women compared with 10% of aging men.

Menopausal women should be aware of dry eye symptoms and consult their eye doctor, who may prescribe eye drops or other ways to [moisturize] their eyes. Wrap-around eyeglass frames protect the eyes from dry, windy weather, allergens and irritants.

3. Keep Your Optical Prescription Up-to-Date

Since eye changes tend to occur more rapidly among people over 40, it is important to ensure that your prescription glasses and contact lenses are still suitable for your eyes. This means consulting with an optometrist if you notice any difficulties seeing and reading, which may necessitate an updated prescription.

4. Schedule Regular Eye Exams

The older you get, the more important it is to have regular eye exams, particularly if you have symptoms of eye problems or have been diagnosed with diabetes. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, keeping your eyes healthy after the age of 40 requires consistent care. Schedule an eye exam with Dr. Switalski at Switalski Eye Care in Plano today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Are Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration?

  • A: Macular degeneration often occurs among adults over the age of 60, although it can also occur in younger people. Since women tend to live longer than men, they have a higher rate than males of developing MD. Certain medications, such as vasodilators and oral beta blockers, can also increase the risks. Lifestyle also plays a significant role: Smoking, poor nutrition, obesity, high blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle can all increase the chances of developing macular degeneration.

Q: Can the Progress of Macular Degeneration be Slowed?

  • A: Over the past several years, there have been significant advancements in the treatment of MD, and extensive research shows that specific nutrients can slow its progression. Omega 3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin can act to prevent the disease from developing to an advanced stage. They can lower the risks of the “dry” form of MD transforming into “wet” macular degeneration, a rarer but faster-developing form of the disease that can cause sudden and significant vision loss. Certain treatments, such as eye injections and laser therapy, can often delay MD’s progression. Eye injections for the “wet” form may even be able to restore lost sight.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Switalski Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What’s the Link Between Sleep and Glaucoma?

Sleep is usually a time for restoration and healing, but the way we sleep, how much we sleep and conditions like apnea can increase your chances of developing a serious eye condition: glaucoma.

Glaucoma is a sight-threatening optic nerve disease that generally affects people over 50 and, in its early stages, usually presents no symptoms until permanent vision loss has occurred.

This is why it’s essential to have your annual eye exam, especially if you’re 50 or older or at high risk of developing glaucoma. Regular check-ups enable your eye doctor to detect any eye problems, including glaucoma, early on. This can maximize the effectiveness of eye disease treatment and management.

If you’re due for your annual eye evaluation, schedule your eye exam with at in today.

Sleep and Risk Factors for Glaucoma

The quality and amount of our sleep and the way we sleep can increase our risk of developing glaucoma due to the following factors:

Eye Pressure and Glaucoma

The pressure within our eyes is affected by the amount of aqueous fluid and its ability to drain from the eyes. The aqueous fluid doesn’t drain efficiently when we lie flat on our back. The lack of drainage due to positioning during sleep can increase ocular pressure, which can strain the optic nerve and increase the risk of glaucoma.

Blood Pressure and Glaucoma

When we sleep, our blood pressure decreases. This is often good for people who suffer from hypertension because it takes some pressure off the cardiovascular system. However, long periods of low blood pressure, or hypotension, during sleep has been shown to exacerbate glaucoma symptoms.

Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma

Sleep apnea is marked by the occasional or frequent cessation of breathing during sleep. Usually, the person is unaware that they have sleep apnea, and only a partner or someone else who sleeps in the same room will notice that they make choking or gasping sounds as they stop breathing.

These periods of interrupted breathing can lessen the flow of oxygen and damage the optic nerve. There is an observable link between people who have sleep apnea and those who suffer from glaucoma, which may suggest a causal connection. The risk of people with sleep apnea developing glaucoma could be as high as 10 times the average. Individuals with sleep apnea should consult with their primary care physician, who can suggest lifestyle changes and devices such as oral appliances to help treat the condition.

Glaucoma and the Amount of Sleep

Too little or too much sleep can affect general health and contribute to eye problems. As mentioned above, extended periods of lying down can increase pressure on the optic nerve and contribute to the development of glaucoma. Yet too little sleep causes fatigue and has been associated with field vision loss.

According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2005-2008), those who slept 10 hours or more a night had triple the risk of developing glaucoma compared to people who slept only 7 hours a night. Getting three hours of sleep a night tripled the risk of field vision loss.

Among other lifestyle glaucoma prevention tips, such as maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking, getting the right amount of sleep — not too much or too little — are important steps towards preventing optic nerve problems.

How Glaucoma Interferes with Sleep

Not only does the amount and way we sleep affect the development and progression of glaucoma. This optic nerve disease can interfere with our sleep. This occurs because the communication between the retina’s photosensitive cells and the hypothalamus — the part of the brain that contains the circadian clock that regulates sleep — is disrupted in glaucoma patients.

The hypothalamus no longer sends a message to the pineal gland to secrete melatonin and induce sleep at the proper time. The result: people with glaucoma may also experience sleep disturbances.

Risk factors for Glaucoma

Since many glaucoma patients do not experience symptoms prior to diagnosis, it is essential to undergo regular eye exams, especially for those considered at higher risk:

  • Aged 50 or older
  • Have a family history of glaucoma
  • Hypertension, diabetes, sickle cell anemia, heart disease
  • Are African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Have corneas that thin at the center
  • Eye injury or prior eye surgery
  • High myopia (severe nearsightedness)
  • Take corticosteroids such as eye drops, pills or creams

How is Glaucoma Detected?

A digital eye exam maps out the eye with 3D full color images allowing your eye doctor to detect any problems early.

Retinal imaging can detect glaucoma and show optic nerve damage. Eye dilation is occasionally required before the imaging of the eye to enable your optometrist to more easily see the inside of your eye.

To facilitate the early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma and other eye diseases and conditions, schedule an appointment with at in today.
At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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What are the symptoms of glaucoma?

Symptoms vary depending on the type of glaucoma.

Open-angle glaucoma results from a lack of drainage of fluid from the eye. It generally has no obvious symptoms in its early phases. In its later stages, it presents with:

  • Blind spots and patches in the central or peripheral vision
  • Tunnel vision

Acute angle-closure glaucoma occurs when there is a sudden buildup of fluid pressure in the aqueous humor. Symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Pain in the eyes
  • Blurry vision
  • Nausea
  • Eye redness
  • Appearance of halos

What Causes a Feeling of Pressure Behind the Eye?

Glaucoma is often caused by pressure on the optic nerve. However, a feeling of pressure behind the eye is generally only felt with closed-angle glaucoma.

An excessive amount of fluid in the eye, called the aqueous humor or a sudden blockage to proper drainage causes a buildup and increased pressure on the optic nerve. Drainage of the aqueous humor is through the trabecular meshwork, which is located where the cornea and the iris meet.

Eye Vitamins: Can They Prevent or Treat Glaucoma?

Some initial studies have shown a potential link between Vitamin A and Vitamin C and a protective effect related to glaucoma. However, a systematic review of the literature on vitamins and glaucoma (Nutrients, March 2018), concludes that these studies are inconclusive and more research, including randomized clinical trials, are needed to establish any clear link between specific vitamins and preventing or treating glaucoma.

2022 Sunglasses Styles For Men

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Sunglasses complement your wardrobe and express your sense of style while protecting your eyes against sun damage. Below, we’ve included the most popular sunglass styles which can be worn all year long.

Square Wire Frames

Square wire frames communicate casual sophistication and are ideal for round faces. Look for box wire frames that fit symmetrically square lenses and are plated with silver, gold or other metals. These eyeglasses are lightweight and are favored by celebrities like David Beckham.

Aviator Sunglasses

Invented in the 1930s to protect the eyes of American airmen, iconic Aviator sunglasses gained a new lease on life decades later, thanks to films like Top Gun. Look for a pair of Aviator glasses with sturdy yet lightweight metal frames so you can wear them for years, and lenses that screen out 100% of UV rays.

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

Today, shoppers care about the environment and seek out sustainable eyewear. The market for eyeglasses made from renewable materials has expanded and now you can find glasses made with plant-based acetate or titanium. Some eyeglass companies will donate a pair of glasses each time they sell sunglasses.

Sporty Wraparound Sunglasses

Oval lenses and wraparound frames may tempt you to hit the open road. Not only are they retro and striking, but wraparound sunglasses provide more protection by screening out the sun’s rays all around and not just with the lenses at the front.

Mirrored or Tinted Frame Sunglasses

Reflective coatings are not just for hiding from the paparazzi–they are a fun and stylish way to make a statement. Invest in a high-quality pair of mirror-lens sunglasses, because cheaper coatings tend to wear off quickly.

In addition to mirrored lenses, tinted sunglasses can add a sense of fun to your outfit. Each color not only creates a distinct look and mood but can enhance vision. Dark turquoise can help you see the contrast in intense light and yellow is ideal for object definition.

Retro Round Sunglasses

Round frames are reminiscent of the 1960s rock era, most specifically, John Lennon’s signature eyeglasses. Round sunglasses are the epitome of cool, and you can look right over the top of them with a completely unobstructed view. Elijah Wood and Ryan Gosling are often seen in these charming retro shades, and round lenses have retained their appeal for decades.

Cool Clip-Ons

These aren’t the clip-ons that you find in the drugstore. Clip-ons no longer have to be tacky, but designers have created cool and convenient clip-ons. However, many of the newest styles are not clipped on but magnetic and create a seamless connection to the eyeglass frame.

Wearing sunglasses not only makes you look like a celebrity, but they protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation. In addition, to choosing the right sunglasses, it is important to schedule eye exams to ensure your eyes are healthy. Call Switalski Eye Care in Plano and schedule an appointment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can performance and sport sunglasses enhance vision?

  • A: Many performance and sport sunglasses are tinted, and each kind of tint can improve an aspect of visual acuity. For instance, amber tints are the right choice for skiing and snowboarding because they allow wearers to detect contrast. Grey lenses reduce glare without compromising color detection. Photochromic lenses start clear and become darker in the sun. Anti-reflective coatings can reduce glare.

Q: Which non-prescription sunglasses should I choose?

  • A: Non-prescription sunglasses have lenses that do not correct vision. Therefore, you can choose regular non-prescription sunglasses if you do not need to wear glasses. Contact lens wearers can wear sunglasses without a prescription. If you wear glasses, choose a pair of sunglasses you like and ask youreye doctor if they can have prescription lenses made that can be placed in the sunglass frames. Make sure that your non-prescription lenses screen out harmful UV rays.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Switalski Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What’s the Difference Between Bacterial and Viral Conjunctivitis?

Is your eye red, swollen and teary? Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a likely culprit.

Conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the white part of the eye, and is usually caused by a viral or bacterial infection or a severe reaction to an allergen, such as pollen. Infectious conjunctivitis is highly contagious, so it’s best to head to your eye doctor as soon as possible to receive an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan.

What is Bacterial Conjunctivitis?

Bacterial conjunctivitis is an eye infection most commonly caused by staphylococcal, streptococcus or haemophilus bacteria. It generally affects one eye, but can be present in both eyes.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Whites of the eyes appear pink or red
  • Excessive tearing
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Burning in the eyes
  • Scratchy feeling in the eye
  • Yellow or green discharge from the eye
  • Crusting of the eyelids or lashes, especially in the morning

Bacterial conjunctivitis is generally treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointments to eliminate the infection.

What is Viral Conjunctivitis?

Viral conjunctivitis is the most common type of pink eye. It generally affects both eyes and often accompanies a cold, sore throat, runny nose or fever.

The most common symptoms include:

  • Whites of the eyes appear light pink or salmon color
  • Excessive tearing
  • No presence of discharge
  • Itchy eyes

Viral pink eye typically resolves on its own within three to seven days, and is no longer contagious once the eyes have stopped tearing. To alleviate any discomfort, your eye doctor may recommend placing cold compresses on the eyes or applying artificial tear eye drops several times throughout the day. Let your eye doctor know if the symptoms persist after a few days.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of conjunctivitis, contact Switalski Eye Care in Plano to schedule an eye exam today.
At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

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Can I wear contact lenses with infectious pink eye?

No. Contact lens wear is not recommended if you have an eye infection, as the virus or bacteria can remain on your contact lenses and reinfect your eyes following treatment. It is best to wait until the eye infection has completely cleared and your eye doctor has approved you to wear contact lenses again. All disposable lenses, whether daily or monthly, that were worn when the eyes were infected should be disposed of and a fresh pair used when you resume wearing lenses.

Why Are My Eyes Dry in the Morning?

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If your eyes regularly feel dry when you wake up in the morning, it’s important to know why. Inflammation, age, medications and environmental factors can all dry out your eyes and cause other symptoms, such as a burning sensation in or around the eyes.

To identify the cause and relieve your dry eye symptoms, schedule an eye exam with Dr. Switalski at Switalski Eye Care in Plano. Pinpointing the underlying problem is the first step toward waking up in comfort.

What Can Cause Dry Eyes in the Morning?

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos

If you can’t close your eyes fully at night, you may have nocturnal lagophthalmos, which can result from problems with the muscles that control your eyelids, a deformity in the eyelid tissue or partial facial paralysis.

More severe types of lagophthalmos can cause dry eyes during the day as well. With this condition, the eye dries out because the eyelids can’t close fully. This leaves the front of the eye constantly exposed to the air, resulting in excessive evaporation of the tears. If left untreated, any form of lagophthalmos can eventually damage the cornea, resulting in vision loss.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids caused by the malfunctioning of the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are located inside the eyelids and secrete oils into the tears that lubricate the eye and create a protective barrier on the surface of the eye, minimizing tear evaporation.

Blepharitis most often occurs when these glands become clogged or the oil becomes thickened. The main symptoms are inflamed, dry, red and sore eyes. These symptoms may be worse in the morning because not blinking at night results in the glands becoming more blocked, and the vital oil layer of the tears dissipates while you sleep.

Medication

Many types of medication can cause the eyes to feel dry, particularly in the morning. These include:

  • Antipsychotics and antidepressants
  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Hypertension medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Gastrointestinal medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Skin treatments
  • Chemotherapy medications

Age

With age, the eyes produce less moisture and oils and tend to dry out more quickly. As a result, the eyes may become dry, red and itchy. In particular, women going through menopause may notice dry eye symptoms due to hormonal fluctuations.

When people get older, their eyelids may also become more flaccid and fall away from the eyes. This leads to watery tears running out of the eyes more easily, further reducing the volume of the tears.

External Factors

External factors such as air-conditioning and heating units can dry out your eyes, especially if the units are located in your bedroom or if you sleep under a ceiling fan.

Other external factors that can exacerbate dry eyes include air temperature and humidity, pollution and windy conditions.

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How to Relieve Morning Dry Eye Symptoms

How to relieve morning dry eye symptoms will depend on the cause.

One of the main treatments for dry eyes focuses on relieving dryness by stimulating the production of oil from the eyelid’s glands.

Your eye doctor may prescribe an ointment to apply before retiring and lubricating eye drops in the morning. Eyelid treatments involving the gentle application of heat and massage can also help the meibomian glands work more efficiently by increasing the release of oil into the tears.

Consider using a humidifier to make the air in your bedroom more comfortable, and wearing a sleeping mask to retain eye moisture.

These tips may provide some relief, but it is essential to schedule an eye exam with
Dr. Switalski at Switalski Eye Care in Plano to determine the precise cause of your dry eye symptoms and receive the appropriate treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Should I Know about LASIK Surgery and Dry Eye?

  • A: LASIK surgery corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. This procedure involves making an incision that may damage the superficial nerves of the eye. As a result, the nerves of the eyes may not realize the eyes are dry, and therefore not stimulate the required secretion of tears. The result can be dry eyes.

Q: How to Treat Dry Eye Syndrome Naturally?

  • A: While nothing can replace the advice of your eye doctor, eating oily fish, flaxseeds, and other foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can stimulate oil production in the eyes. Try applying warm compresses to your eyes and gently massaging your eyelids to unclog the meibomian glands. Protective eyewear, such as wraparound eyeglasses, helps block irritants and retain lubrication. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home. Applying eye drops regularly can also help prevent your eyes from drying out.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Switalski Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Vision Exams: What Does 20/20 Vision Really Mean?

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If you’ve had your eyes examined, your eye doctor likely asked you to read letters and numbers from an eye chart. That was to check for changes in your visual acuity, or sharpness of vision. Visual acuity can be measured in different ways, but the most common way is by using a Snellen eye chart — a chart with different sized letters and numbers in descending rows.

In 1862 Dr. Herman Snellen, an eye doctor in Holland, created the Snellen eye chart and coined the term ‘20/20 vision.’ Below we explore what that really means.

What is 20/20 Vision?

20/20 vision describes how clearly a person with normal visual clarity can see. All measurements of vision are taken when the patient is located 20 feet from the eye chart. A person with 20/20 vision can clearly read a certain row of small letters on the Snellen chart from 20 feet away.

A person with 20/40 vision who is 20 feet from the eye chart can only see the letters double the size of the letters that a person with normal vision can see.

Likewise, a person with 20/80 vision, who is 20 feet from the chart can only see letters four times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Legal blindness is considered to be 20/200 vision, and means that an individual with this sight at 20 feet away from the eye chart can only see letters 10 times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Is 20/20 Perfect Vision?

Not necessarily. This is a standard of measurement used by optometrists to help assess distance vision and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts, but vision is more than just 20/20 sight.

Several other visual skills are essential to functioning in today’s world and even a person with 20/20 vision can lack other necessary visual skills. Well-developed visual skills help individuals succeed at school, in the workplace and sports. For example, skills like eye tracking, teaming, convergence and visual processing all need to be up to par for a person to truly have ‘perfect vision.’ Visual acuity is just one piece of the puzzle.

Additionally, 20/20 isn’t the clearest possible vision. Some people have 20/15 or even 20/10 vision. This means their visual acuity is higher than a person with 20/20 sight.

How To Correct Visual Acuity

The first step in correcting a visual acuity problem is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. If your vision requires correction, your eye doctor will explain the different methods of vision correction, including prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Some people choose to correct their vision with refractive surgery, but like any surgery, it comes with the risk of surgical complications.

At Switalski Eye Care, our goal is to help all patients achieve clear, crisp and comfortable vision, no matter their visual condition.

Not sure you have 20/20 vision? Call Switalski Eye Care in Plano today to schedule your eye exam today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What conditions can impair visual acuity?

  • A: Conditions like astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and an age-related loss of focusing ability (presbyopia) all impact sharpness of vision at various distances. Other conditions, including dry eye syndrome and cataracts, can also affect visual clarity.

Q: How common is it to have 20/20 vision?

  • A: Approximately a third of adults in America have 20/20 vision without the use of any vision correction, and 75% of American adults have 20/20 vision when wearing prescription lenses or other forms of vision correction.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Switalski Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Ocular Hypertension

What is Ocular Hypertension?

The term ocular hypertension usually refers to any situation in which the pressure inside the eye, called intraocular pressure (IOP), is higher than normal. Eye pressure is measured in millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). Normal eye pressure ranges from 10-21 mm Hg. Ocular hypertension is usually defined as an IOP of greater than 21 mm Hg.

Because ocular hypertension is the most frequent cause of permanent optic nerve damage, having high pressure inside your eye can raise your risks of developing glaucoma. The optic nerve is the only connection between the eye and the brain, so any damage leads to lifelong vision loss and even ‘Tunnel Vision.’

However, glaucoma doesn’t develop in everyone with ocular hypertension.

What Causes Ocular Hypertension?

Aqueous humor is the fluid that fills the front part of your eye, behind the cornea, known as the anterior chamber. The fluid acts to nourish the tissues in this area and removes waste products while also assisting in maintaining the shape of the eye.

Because your eyes constantly produce aqueous humor, it must be allowed to drain out of the eye. Drainage occurs at the anterior angle, which is the part of the eye where the fluid can leave the eye into the surrounding blood vessels. To maintain normal ocular pressure, the drainage system must work efficiently.

When aqueous humor is unable to drain correctly, eye pressure rises, leading to ocular hypertension, which raises the risk of damage to the optic nerve.

Symptoms of ocular hypertension

Ocular hypertension is a condition that usually has no obvious symptoms. As a result, it’s common to develop ocular hypertension without realizing it.

Treatment For Ocular Hypertension

Ocular hypertension by itself is generally not treated with eye drops or medication, and in most cases the eye doctor will observe your eyes closely to detect if the ocular hypertension is causing the first signs of glaucoma.

Patients with high IOP, without any signs of glaucoma are often referred to as ‘Glaucoma Suspect’ and require annual eye exams.

Once the eye doctor is concerned that the high IOP is leading to glaucoma, prescription eye drops are used to treat ocular hypertension. These drops will either help aqueous fluid drain from your eye or reduce the amount of aqueous humor produced by your eye.

Your eye doctor will most likely schedule a follow-up session a few weeks later to assess the effectiveness of the eye drops.

Additionally, because ocular hypertension raises the risk of glaucoma, it’s critical to see your eye doctor for an eye exam at least once a year or as adviced by your eye doctor.

Schedule an eye exam with Switalski Eye Care in Plano. Our eye doctors can evaluate your ocular pressure and determine whether you have ocular hypertension.

At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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How is ocular hypertension different from glaucoma?

Ocular hypertension occurs when a person has increased intraocular pressure without any optic nerve damage or vision loss. Glaucoma, on the other hand, is diagnosed once the pressure starts to damage your optic nerve. Glaucoma can eventually cause vision loss, including Tunnel Vision, or complete blindness, if left untreated.

How does ocular hypertension affect my visual health?

While ocular hypertension itself does not cause vision changes, it dramatically increases your chances of developing glaucoma. This is why it’s crucial to have comprehensive eye exams on a regular basis. During your exam, your eye doctor will perform a range of glaucoma tests to detect any changes to your optic nerve as early as possible..

Do I Need to Be Refitted for Contact Lenses?

When it comes to contact lenses, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work; each person’s eyes are unique and change over time. These changes necessitate a visit to your eye doctor, who will fit the lenses to ensure that they are safe and comfortable. Lenses that don’t fit aren’t stable on the eye, leading to eye irritation and poor vision.

Why You Need to Get Your Contact Lenses Measured

Many patients don’t realize that their worsening myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) or astigmatism is a result of their eyes changing shape.

For this reason, your eye doctor needs to measure your eyes to correctly fit your new contact lenses. Contacts that don’t fit properly can cause poor vision, discomfort and even damage your cornea. For a contact lens fitting, your eye doctor will collect the following measurements:

  • Corneal curvature
  • Tear film evaluation
  • Pupil or iris size

If you are getting your eyes assessed for contact lenses, a contact lens measurement and fitting should be included to ensure you receive the optimal lenses for your vision and lifestyle. Schedule an appointment with Switalski Eye Care in Plano today.

What’s Included in a Contact Lens Exam?

A contact lens exam isn’t the same as a standard eye exam. It includes:

  1. Initial Discussion

The doctor will need to know about your lifestyle and when you wear your lenses. This may include discussing the differences between daily disposable lenses, hard lenses or overnight lenses, reading glasses and multifocals.

2. Eye Surface Measurements

Every lens needs to fit the individual shape and dimensions of the cornea. To ensure the contacts fit correctly, the doctor will take accurate measurements of the corneal power and curvatures, assess for astigmatism and measure the size of your pupil. These measurements are vital for both comfort and vision correction.

3. Tear Film Evaluation

The contact lenses interact with your tears, so tear film evaluation is required to assess the quality of your tear film. If your tear film is insufficient or you suffer from chronic dry eyes, you may need dry eye treatment in combination with your lenses. Many of the newer contact lens designs can be used by people with dry eyes.

4. Contact Lens Trial

The final step of the contact lens exam is to place a trial pair of contact lenses on your eyes. The doctor will then examine the lenses on your eyes to ensure the best fit — allowing them to make changes before working out the final prescription. The trial lenses will enable you to know whether they offer comfort and visual clarity.

At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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5 Contact Lens Health Tips

Contact lenses are a convenient way to correct vision without glasses or LASIK surgery. To keep their eyes healthy, contact lens wearers should adopt a care regimen that involves regular rinsing, disinfecting and replacing their lenses when needed.

A contact lens exam and fitting session with Switalski Eye Care in ​​Plano will ensure that you receive the best lenses for you and your lifestyle. The eye doctor will also instruct you on how to clean and care for them.

The following tips are essential for healthy and safe contact lens use:

  1. Replace contact lenses as advised by your eye doctor
  2. Wash hands carefully before touching the lenses, either removing or inserting
  3. Only use the prescribed solution to rinse lenses
  4. Disinfect contact lenses as instructed by your eye doctor
  5. Schedule a contact lens exam and fitting
  6. Always attend your contact lens follow up exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems

Replace Contact Lenses as Instructed

It’s important to replace your contact lenses as directed by your eye doctor. The period of time you can wear your lenses before using new ones depends on the type of lenses you have:

  • Daily disposable lenses – one-time use
  • Bi-weekly disposable lenses – replace every two weeks or sooner
  • Monthly lenses – every month
  • Traditional (non-disposable) lenses – replace every 6 to 12 months, or as per your eye doctor‘s advice.

Inspect your lenses carefully. If they are showing signs of wear and tear, replace them sooner. Exceeding the maximum time frame for contact lens wear can increase the risk of eye irritation and infection, and may even damage your eyes to the point where you can no longer wear contact lenses.

Wash and Dry Hands Carefully Before Applying Contact Lenses

Teens and adults often lead active lives and it can be easy to skip important routines like washing your hands with soap and water and drying them thoroughly with a lint-free towel or paper towel before applying contact lenses. This step shouldn’t be ignored as unwashed fingers transmit germs onto the lenses, which can enter the eye and lead to serious eye damage and vision loss.

So make sure you use plain soap (and not heavily scented varieties that may contain irritants) and dry your fingers with a lint-free towel before inserting or removing your contacts.

Use Solution to Rinse Contact Lenses

Rinsing contact lenses properly keeps tiny particles of makeup residue and microbes from reaching your eye. Apply the solution generously and rub the lens in the palm of your hand.

Even if you are at school or work and feel you are in too much of a hurry to get your solution, do not use tap water to rinse your lenses. Tap water is teeming with minerals, impurities and microbes that can damage lenses, irritate your eyes and spread infection.

Disinfect Contact Lenses

Disinfecting contact lenses kills germs and pathogens that can cause eye infections. There are several products and methods for disinfecting:

  • Multipurpose solution
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Disinfecting devices

A multipurpose solution (MPS) can be used for routine rinsing as well as disinfecting. The procedure involves rinsing the lenses twice, placing them in a case filled with the multipurpose solution, letting the lenses soak, then rinsing them again before use.

The vast majority of eye doctors recommend an MPS for all disposable lenses

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful disinfectant that should be used with care and only with a [neutralizer]. Rinse the lenses and place them in a special contact lens container, then dip them in the solution. A [neutralizer] may be built-in to special lens holders or is available in tablet form. After the solution has been [neutralized], you can rinse, dry, and wear the contact lenses.

Schedule a Contact Lens Exam, Fitting and Follow Up

To keep your eyes healthy and vision sharp, your contact lenses should be the right size and type to suit your vision requirements and lifestyle. A thorough contact lens exam and fitting are essential. Your eye doctor will perform a series of tests, including measurements of the cornea, iris and pupil, an evaluation of tear production and of the surface of your eyes.

A contact lens exam also includes questions about lifestyle and what kind of lenses you prefer. For instance, a teenager who is on a high school sports team may also need disposable lenses for road games and swim meets. The exam also involves a fitting session as well as follow-up exams to ensure the lenses do not cause irritation.

Follow up appointments are essential to allow the eye doctor to observe your eye health and make any adjustments to the lenses or your care regimen. It is essential to come to these exams, even if you are not experiencing any problems.

To schedule a contact lens exam, fitting or follow-up exam, contact us at Switalski Eye Care in ​​Plano. We serve patients of every age, from children to seniors. Book your appointment with Switalski Eye Care today

At Switalski Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 972-424-2019 or book an appointment online to see one of our Plano eye doctors.

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Q&A

Why do my eyes feel dry when I wear contacts?

There are a few possible reasons your eyes may feel dry or irritated when wearing contacts. Your contacts may not be fitting properly or something may have entered into your eyes. There may also be an issue with your eyes and may be suffering from dry eye disease. It’s best to speak with your eye doctor and choose the optimal lens for ultimate comfort and hydration. If dry eye disease is diagnosed, your eye doctor will provide guidance and help you get the treatment you need for lasting relief.

Protecting Your Eyes This Winter

winter vision care eye exam and sunglasses

Some people enjoy winter, while others can hardly wait for it to end. What no one disputes is the effect that months of cold temperatures, dry air and winter sun can have on the eyes. Here are some suggestions for keeping your eyes healthy and vision clear this winter.

Wear Sunglasses

While the sun may not shine as brightly in the winter, it can still damage your skin and eyes. Even on the coldest days you need to protect yourself from UV radiation. To lower your risk of developing complications and eye diseases like sunburned eyes, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration, look for sunglasses that offer 100 % UVA and UVB protection.

Wear a Hat

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat limits UV exposure by preventing the rays from reaching your eyes.

Keep Your Eyes Moist

Winter is a dry-air season. The chilly air is known to induce eye discomfort and can aggravate dry eye symptoms, whether due to the wind or the heat from an indoor heating system. Keep moisturizing drops on-hand to combat the dryness of the season and use a humidifier to keep the air moist.

Practice Good Hygiene

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is more common in the winter. This eye inflammation is usually caused by a viral or bacterial eye infection that spreads easily from one person to another. Wash your hands frequently to safeguard your eyes, refrain from touching your eyes, and don’t share linens during an active infection.

Visit an Eye Doctor

Make an appointment with an eye doctor who can assess your vision, diagnose winter-related eye conditions like dry eye and pink eye, and offer treatment and advice on how to keep your eyes healthy.

The tips above can help protect your eyes from the winter sun and wind, and increase your enjoyment during this winter season. Schedule an appointment with Switalski Eye Care in Plano to discover ways you can safeguard your eyes this winter or to schedule an eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I do to protect my eyes when doing winter sports?

  • A: When choosing adequate eye protection for skiing or other winter sports, you need to consider the cold and snowy weather conditions. Because the sun is brighter at higher elevations, there is a greater risk of snow glare. By wearing anti-glare sports goggles with 100 % UV protection, you not only protect your eyes from the sun and glare, but also prevent snow and ice from flying into your eyes.

Q: It’s not sunny out. Do I still need to protect my eyes?

  • A: UV light rays reach the earth even on overcast cloudy days. So make sure you wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays, even when the sun is hidden behind the clouds.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Switalski Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.