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In the excitement of the much awaited solar eclipse make sure you don’t forget the one thing that you’ve grown up listening to – Do not look at the sun with your naked eyes. This solar eclipse is no exception to the rule so if you plan to catch a glimpse of the rare event taking place on August 21, here are 7 tips to keep in mind:

  1. Sunglasses, color films, media X-ray films, floppy disks, and smoked glass should never be used for viewing a solar eclipse as none of these options offer any protection against harmful UV radiation.
  2. You can use a telescope or binoculars to project the sun’s image on a screen while avoiding the side-mounted finder scope.
  3. You can also buy eclipse glasses at a local welding supply store but be sure to check that the glass grading meets the safety requirements set by the ISO.
  4. If you happen to live in the path of the solar eclipse, you can safely witness it with your naked eyes at the moment of totality when the moon blocks the sun completely.
  5. Those of you who do not wish to take any risk can view the event from the comfort of your couch while it is being streamed live on your TV screen.
  6. If you normally wear glasses do not remove them to put on your eclipse glasses. Instead, wear your eclipse glasses over your normal eyeglasses or you can also hold them in front of your regular glasses.
  7. If you are into a lot of DIY, an alternative method is using a pinhole projector where you stream the sunlight from a small pencil hole onto a makeshift screen. Make sure you do not look at the eclipse through this pinhole but only at the partially eclipsed sun on the projector screen.

Eclipse blindness is not a myth so do not risk your lifelong healthy vision when viewing a grand solar phenomenon for a few seconds. You pair of sunglass definitely won’t protect you against the harmful UV rays and infrared light. In order to educate people on the perils of unsafe viewing practices and how to view this captivating celestial occurrence safely, two experts – Dr. Eric Poulsen and Dr. White have made a few recommendations. Read them in detail here and enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime experience safely:

http://abc30.com/amp/society/tips-for-safely-viewing-the-solar-eclipse/2311505/

Could you have cataracts? When should you have them operated on? These are probably the thoughts going through your mind right? Don’t worry as you are not alone in this and this article is sure to help you put some of your doubts to rest. Cataracts are an eye condition, particularly common amongst elderly people, that causes the lens of the eye to become clouded and reduces your vision. Cataracts are different from glaucoma which cannot be reversed; cataracts can be treated with eye surgery by an ophthalmologist. Here are 7 facts that you need to know about cataracts:

1. Cataract Eye Surgery Replaces Your Clouded Lens with Artificial Lens

Cataract surgery can restore your vision that was lost due to cataracts. A cataract occurs when proteins clump together in your eye which causes clouding or causes the loss of transparency in your natural eye lens. Cataract surgery removes the non-functioning eye lens and replaces it with artificial implants which are called intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL then become a permanent part of your eye.

2. Cataracts are Common

Cataracts are common, the age-related clouding of the eye and the number one cause of blindness globally. More than half of all Americans will have had or undergone cataract surgery by the age of 80, more than 3.5 million cataract surgeries are performed annually and it is one of the safest and most effective types of surgeries.

3. Age is Not a Factor Anymore as the Number of Surgeries Have Risen

The annual number of cataract surgeries is increasing annually and the average age of the surgery patient is dropping. Research indicates that the rate of cataract surgery had increased 5 times between 1980 and 2010. The average age of a patient undergoing cataract surgery has now dropped to 65. Records show that the average age for the same was previously 73 to 75 years in 2004.

4. Cataract Surgery Allows You to See Things More Clearly

After having cataract surgery, you will experience the best possible vision due to accurate incisions and corrections which will help you achieve your goal of being less dependent on your spectacles. Studies have shown that there was a decline in car accidents amongst the elderly after their cataract surgeries. Another study depicted a drop in the rate of falls experienced by older women after they underwent cataract surgery. A study in Australia found that there were less reports of anxiety or depression after cataract surgery, this was probably due to improved visibility, improved confidence, reduced social isolation and increased activity.

5. Cataract Surgeries are Not Painful

Cataract surgery is not as painful as most patients have described a mild sensation around their eyes. In certain cases, your doctor may administer a small anesthetic block around your eye. The majority of patients have not found the operation stressing or painful. You can also opt for a general anesthetic to knock you out throughout the procedure.

6. People are Opting to Have Cataract Surgeries Earlier Nowadays

The Boomer generation is opting to have cataract surgery earlier than their predecessors. Their line of reasoning being that the surgery is safe with a lot less complications due to technological advancements. Most patients want to get rid of the cataracts immediately rather than waiting for them to get worse. Research indicates that today’s generation does not want to slow down in their lives due to vision problems and choose to get rid of their vision problems as soon as possible.

7. Cataract Surgery is Not Risk-Free But due to Major Advancements it Offers Benefits Beyond Improved Vision

The rate of there being any serious risks is pretty low ranging between 1-4% according to the American Academy of Opthalmology. You need to discuss with your surgeon about whether the future benefits to your eyes are worth the small risks he will take when removing your cataracts. Today patients may spend just 15 minutes having their surgery with an incision which is just 1/5 the previous size with no sutures after which the patient has to spend just 2 hours at the outpatient surgical center.

If you are facing any symptoms of cataracts then it’s time for your eye exam! Contact our team of professionals at Insight Vision Centre in Fresno, California to schedule your eye exam today!

Photo Refractive Keratectomy is a laser eye surgery that is designed to correct vision problems. PRK recovery takes a bit longer than recovery from LASIK eye surgery. Both surgeries are done by changing the shape of the cornea.

Both LASIK and PRK treatment provide great visual outcomes. So why should you have to choose between PRK vs LASIK? Some patients prefer LASIK for its faster healing, and others prefer PRK for its extra safety.

What is PRK?

Photo Refractive Keratectomy is a type of refractive surgery to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. PRK is the very first type of laser eye surgery for vision correction and is the predecessor to the popular LASIK procedure. PRK recovery takes a bit longer in terms of recovery than the LASIK procedure. PRK is still commonly performed and still offers advantages over LASIK for some patients.

PRK works by reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser, allowing light that enters the eye to be properly focused onto the retina for clear vision.

In PRK the thin outer layer of the cornea is removed and discarded prior to reshaping the underlying corneal tissue with an excimer laser. The epithelium heals itself back over the corneal surface within a few days.

PRK vs. LASIK- What’s the Difference?

In LASIK eye surgery, the eye surgeon makes an incision in the cornea to create a flap of tissue. The flap of tissue is lifted so the laser can be applied to reshape the inner layers of the cornea. The laser is computer controlled and reshapes the layers of the cornea to repair imperfections in curvature that lead to a distorted vision. The corneal flap is then placed back into place and heals over the reshaped part of the cornea in a few days.

The 2 Differences

  • 1) In the PRK procedure, the eye surgeon does not create a flap of corneal tissue but rather removes the outer layer of the cornea to expose an area for a laser to reshape. This makes PRK the best choice for people whose eyes meet a certain criteria, such as having thin corneas or dry eyes as well as a much shorter healing time as the outer layers of the cornea need time to heal.
    PRK patients are given prescription eye drops to promote healing and to reduce discomfort after eye surgery and the drops are usually prescribed for several months post surgery as it may take up to 6 months for your vision to gain absolute peak clarity and vision. Longer recovery time, discomfort during recovery and the results can take longer to manifest, maybe even 6 months.
  • 2) Only certain people are eligible for LASIK hence PRK is recommended for people who have either thin corneas, steep corneas, have a history of dry eye syndrome and people with large pupils. So anyone who is worried about flap complications can opt for PRK.

What to Expect from PRK?

You will have to have a thorough eye exam conducted on your eyes which covers the following factors:

  • The size of your eye pupils
  • How moist your eyes are, to evaluate the risk of developing dry eyes after laser eye surgery and have them treated accordingly.
  • Measuring the corneal curvature, using a corneal mapping device to measure the contours of the front surface of your eye.

Corneal thickness is also measured and taken into considerationPRK can be the best procedure under certain circumstances. Your doctor will assess all the above factors before taking the decision about whether you are a suitable candidate.

What is Right For You

The best way to getting rid of your glasses and contacts is to visit a few of your local area eye doctors for a consultation and see if you are eligible for either or both procedures. It is possible that you may be a candidate for only one or both surgical procedures; these doctors will give you their professional opinions, options, and recommendations. It is advised that you visit a couple of eye doctors in your area and their professional opinions on what to do regarding your eyes after which you can draw up your own conclusion.

To learn more about the best laser corrective procedure for you, contact our professionals at Insight Vision Center in Fresno today!

Are you experiencing blurred vision along with sore and irritated eyes? Do you find it difficult to focus your vision some times? If yes, then you like thousands of others might be suffering from strained eyes without realizing it. Other symptoms include dry eyes, double vision, increased sensitivity to light etc.

If neglected for long, eye strain may weaken your vision. Fortunately, there are some easy-to-implement tips which can soothe your tired eyes without much effort. Let’s take a look –

Ensure Correct Display Setting

Always make sure that the display settings of the screen you are working on are set to optimum and maximum brightness, so that you don’t have to strain your eyes. And if you still use the old-fashioned computers or the CRTs, you are at a greater risk of suffering from computer eye strain. Switch to LCD display monitors. These come with superior clarity and a host of display features which make working with them relatively easy for your eyes.

Use Computer Eye Wear

Working for long hours on screen continually, results in irritated and dry eyes. Consult your ophthalmologist and get yourself customized computer glasses. These are prescription glasses for those who have to work long hours on computer. They are anti-glare and ease the strain of your eyes to a great extent.

However, do keep in mind that it is essential to take frequent breaks from staring at the screens to avoid stress building up in your eyes.

Massage Eyes Regularly

This is a quick DIY technique to relive eye fatigue. Close your eyes and use your fingertips to gently massage the eyelids and the area around the eyes. You can also choose olive oil to aid easy movement of fingers. This will not only help relax the muscles around your eyes but also boost blood circulation, thus reducing the stress. If you are in constant contact of digital screens, this should be done 2-3 times a day, regularly.

Exercise to De-stress the Muscles

It has been proven that working with digital screens decreases the frequency of blinking, which is essential to keep eyes moist. So, while working for long hours on your gadgets, remember to look away from your screens and blink a few times. You can also follow the famous 20-20-20 rule, i.e. every 20 minutes look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

There are other simple eye exercises easily available on the internet, and you can even ask your ophthalmologist for some of them to reduce eye fatigue.

Wash Eyes Frequently

Just splashing your eyes with cold water by keeping them closed or open can soothe them within no time at all! The cold water promotes blood circulation and also alleviates pain in the muscles surrounding the eyes. Another great option is to use a warm compress.

Pro-tip: After splashing your eyes with cold water, lightly soak cotton balls in rose water and place them on your closed eyes. Rose water is deemed as a natural relaxer and helps reduce the eye strain.

Work in Appropriate Lighting

Majority of people are oblivious to this aspect. Extremely bright-lighted, under-lighted or shadowy work surroundings can also stress out the eyes. Whether at work or at home, always ensure first that the lighting is appropriate. This means it should neither be too harsh nor too dim, and you should be able to see, read and work without feeling any pressure on your eyes.

Be Regular with Eye Check ups

Religiously getting your eyes checked up as per your ophthalmologist’s prescription can help you save a lot of trouble, not only in terms of your eye health, but also your overall physical health. For instance, Retinopathy – a condition in which the blood vessels around the retina are damaged due to high blood sugar levels, is one of the first symptoms which indicate the presence of diabetes. Your ophthalmologist can warn you for any such risk indicators early and thus help you mitigate any related health issues in time.

In case you have more queries about how you can keep your eyes free from strain and maintain a healthy vision, visit us at Insight Vision Centre today!

Pregnancy is a joyful time, full of expectations and hope, but it can also take a toll on your body. Along with nausea, backaches and mood swings, you may find your vision affected too. LASIK surgery is the most popular choice for vision correction, but you should avoid getting it done during your pregnancy.

Let’s look at some of the ways in which being pregnant could affect your eyes and why LASIK vision correction should be conducted either before or after your pregnancy.

8 Ways in Which Pregnancy Might Affect Your Vision

Here are some common eye-related issues women face during pregnancy:

1. Dry Eyes – Your eyes might feel dry during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, as a result of hormonal changes. This is temporary, so ask your doctor about lubricating eye drops to help keep your eyes moist and comfortable.

2. Vision Changes – Hormonal surges can cause changes in power during pregnancy, but this is also temporary. Your vision should return to normal within a few weeks after giving birth, but get a checkup to ensure there are no serious issues.

3. Distorted Vision – Fluid retention and high blood pressure during pregnancy can affect your cornea, causing changes in its shape or thickness. Blurred vision or spots in front of your eyes will normally go away after delivery or breastfeeding.

4. Central Serous Choroidopathy – Fluid retention may also cause fluid leaks under the retina of your eye, causing blurry vision or making things seem smaller. This will stop after childbirth, but keep your doctor informed about any symptoms.

5. Migraines – Hormonal changes can cause migraine headaches, which are not only painful but may also make your eyes more photosensitive. Consult your doctor before taking any over-the-counter, alternative or prescription medication.

6. Pregnancy Diabetes – Also known as gestational diabetes, this temporary condition can cause blurred vision if the small blood vessels supplying your retina get damaged. Keep sugar levels under control during and after your pregnancy.

7. Pituitary Adenoma – This is a benign tumor that affects the pituitary gland, causing tunnel vision. The tumor may grow when you’re pregnant since hormone secretions from the pituitary gland are higher during this time.

8. Puffiness – Hormonal surges can cause puffiness in the eyelids and around your eyes, affecting your side vision. Stay well-hydrated, eat healthy, and avoid high-sodium or caffeine to reduce water retention during pregnancy.

There are many benefits to LASIK vision correction, and if you’ve been considering the procedure, make sure you time it right. Set up an appointment with your eye care center before you plan to get pregnant, or after delivery.

Why Is It Better to Plan LASIK Before or After Your Pregnancy?

Here’s why you should get LASIK surgery before your pregnancy or delay till after you stop breastfeeding:

1. Medication – You will be given a sedative before the procedure, as well as eye drops to dilate and numb your eyes. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotic eye drops and painkillers, and you should avoid these medications while you’re pregnant.

2. Radiation – LASIK surgery exposes you to very low radiation levels for a few minutes, when the laser is being used to create incisions in the cornea and reshape it. However, even this minimal radiation exposure may pose a risk to your baby.

3. Refractive Changes – Pregnancy and breastfeeding hormones can cause your prescription or power to change temporarily. If you were to get laser surgery during this time, your prescription may change again when your eyes stabilize.

4. Nursing Hormones – Hormonal changes will take place in your body even when you’re breastfeeding. These can interfere with healing or cause temporary changes to the cornea, so LASIK should not be performed when you’re nursing.

How Soon Can You Get LASIK after Your Baby is Born?

Ideally, wait 3-6 months after you stop breastfeeding, or one menstrual period from the baby’s birth if you aren’t nursing. This way, you can be sure that your hormones are stable and your eyes have reverted to normal before you plan LASIK surgery.

To learn more about the best time to plan a laser corrective procedure, contact Insight Vision Center today!

protecting eyes from digital devices

While technology is great, the devices we rely on for everything might be exposing our eyes to danger. Adults and children alike are using computers, smartphones, tablets, TVs, video games, Fitbits, GPS devices and other gadgets on a daily basis. However, staring at backlit LED screens, especially at night, has a negative impact on vision and eye health!

6 Frightening Outcomes of Using Digital Devices on Eye Health

The potential outcomes of overexposure to digital devices include:

1. Digital Eye Strain (DES) – This is a term used to describe problems with vision or eyes that are caused by using computers or digital devices for two hours or more daily. Symptoms include eye strain, headaches, redness, dry eye syndrome, blurry vision and neck/shoulder/back pain. It occurs due to screen glare/position, decreased blinking, and poor posture.

2. Texting-Related Issues – Continuous texting can also cause vision issues, including dryness, eye strain, fatigue, headaches and perhaps even myopia or nearsightedness. This happens because of holding a phone too close to the eyes, not blinking enough while staring at a phone screen, and squinting or straining to read text displayed in small fonts.

3. Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) – CVS is becoming a common problem for those who stare at digital screens for long periods without blinking, from too close, or at uncomfortable angles. It can cause symptoms such as eye strain, headaches, trouble with focusing, dry eyes, blurred or double vision, light sensitivity, and burning, itchiness or watering in eyes.

4. Tension Headaches – Using digital devices for too long can lead to tension headaches, which are caused by extended eye strain. Screen glare and high contrast between dark-colored text and bright screens are usually to blame. Your eyes need to work much harder while focusing on the screen, leading to muscle spasms near the temples.

5. Retinal Damage – High Energy Visible Light (HEV) is the blue/violet light emitted by digital devices with LED screens. It lies at the blue end of the color spectrum, and direct exposure may contribute to retinal damage. This can affect your central vision and cause macular degeneration or make age-related macular degeneration (AMD) worse.

6. The Risk of Cataracts – There may be a link between blue light from digital devices and an increase in cataract development. While more studies need to be conducted in this regard, there is cause for concern. Doctors report that some patients in their mid-30s are showing cataracts with the same level of cloudiness normally seen only in patients over the age of 70.

Who Is At Greatest Risk of Vision Issues?

Children using digital devices on a frequent and regular basis face a higher risk of vision-related issues, since their eyes are still developing. They do not have the natural defense against blue light found in adult eyes as a result of the lens yellowing with age, which keeps blue light from efficiently penetrating and reaching the retina.
Millennials who have grown up using digital devices, students, and people working on computers all day are also at a higher risk of eye strain, especially if they do not follow proper eye care practices.

Top 10 Ways to Prevent Digital Eye Strain

Here are 10 preventative measures that can help protect your eyes from damage:

1. Avoiding glare helps prevent eye strain, so use an anti-glare screen or coating on devices that you use often.

2. Follow the “20-20-20” rule – look away from the screen every 20 minutes, at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds.

3. Keep your phone as far from your eyes as possible, but at a distance where you can still comfortably read without straining.

4. Adjust the brightness on your digital display so it matches the brightness of the area around it.

5. Position yourself at an arm’s length from the computer screen, with the screen just below your eye level.

6. Take frequent breaks to rest your eyes. Stretch, go outside or take a nap – whatever works for you!

7. Get an eye exam regularly to help nip any eyesight or eye health issues in the bud, before they get worse.

8. Make a conscious effort to blink more frequently, since this keeps your eyes clean and lubricated.

9. Place a light source behind you instead of behind the device, so your eyes don’t have to work so hard to adjust.

10. Wear glasses with an anti-reflective coating while using any digital device for prolonged periods of time.

Are you experiencing symptoms of eye strain? Schedule a consultation at InSight Vision Center to combat the negative effects of digital eye strain while preventing it from progressing and inviting other problems.

eye-diseases-that-diabetic-patient-suffer-from

Do you have diabetes? If yes, then you are at a risk of developing serious eye diseases. High blood sugar can lead to problems like blurry vision, cataracts, glaucoma, and retinopathy. In fact, diabetes is the primary cause of blindness in adults between 20-74 years. Let us look at some eye diseases that result from diabetes.

4 Eye Conditions Related to Diabetes

1) Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

One of the most serious eye conditions, diabetic retinopathy occurs when the tiny blood vessels present at the back of the eye become blocked and start leaking.

Types of DR

a) Background Diabetic Retinopathy

This doesn’t affect the eyesight but the eyes need to be monitored to ensure that the retinopathy doesn’t worsen.

b) Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

If background diabetic retinopathy gets worse, then many retinal blood vessels get blocked or damaged. If these changes occur over a large area of the retina, then the blood vessels to the retina will be reduced, which the body tries to fix by growing new blood vessels on the retinal surface or into the vitreous gel. However, these new vessels are generally weak and bleed very easily, thus affecting your vision

c) Diabetic Maculopathy

This occurs when the macula is affected by retinopathy. It affects the central vision, which is required to see fine details and color, and makes it blurry.

Causes of DR

The primary cause of this eye disease is chronically high blood sugar from diabetes as it directly damages the tiny blood vessels in the retina.

Symptoms

The early stages usually don’t have any symptoms, which is why the disease progresses unnoticed until it starts affecting your vision.

If the abnormal retina blood cells start bleeding, then it can cause an appearance of ‘floating spots’ in the eye. These spots may be clear on their own but if there is no proper treatment, the bleeding will recur and increase the risk of permanent vision loss.

Treatment

If your eye condition is detected in the early stages, then you will be given a laser treatment. It helps in preventing bleeding or growth of new blood vessels.

Reducing Risk

You can reduce the risk of DR by:

  • Controlling the blood glucose levels
  • Controlling the cholesterol levels
  • Controlling the blood pressure
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quitting smoking

Get a regular retinal screening as it can help in detecting diabetic retinopathy at an early stage and early treatment will stop you from losing sight. You must have the retinal screenings more often if you’re pregnant and have gestational diabetes. The screenings must be done during your pregnancy and after your baby is born.

2) Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

This eye disease causes an accumulation of fluid in the macula, which is a part of the retina that controls our detailed vision abilities, due to the leaking of blood vessels. You must have diabetic retinopathy in order to have DME. It damages the blood vessels and results in vision impairment. If left untreated, these blood vessels begin to build up pressure in the eye and leak fluid, causing DME.

Causes of DME

High blood sugar is one of the main causes of DME. It can make the blood vessels leak or grow uncontrollably in your retina. DME occurs when the fluids leak into your retina. This leaking will cause the retina to swell, thus hampering the work of your macula.

Symptoms

It usually doesn’t have symptoms, however, you may experience the following:

  • Blurry images that are directly in front of you
  • Washed out colors

3) Cataract

This occurs when there is clouding or fogging in the otherwise clear lens of the eye. Since the lens allows you to focus and see images clearly, the cataract will cause blurry, cloudy or glazed vision. Cataract can strike anyone but those with diabetes can get cataract at an earlier age than others and the condition will progress more rapidly in diabetic people.

You can treat cataract through a surgery where the cloudy lens is removed or cleaned out and replaced by a clear man-made lens.

4) Glaucoma

Glaucoma damages the eye’s optic nerve. It occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye. This extra fluid builds pressure in the eye and damages the optic nerve and blood vessels, thus affecting the vision.

Symptoms

It does not cause any symptoms until it starts affecting the eyesight and you have major vision loss. However, in the early stages, you can experience headaches, blurred vision, eye aches, watery eyes and halos around a light.

Treatment

The treatment of glaucoma includes medications that can treat open-angle glaucoma. They lower eye pressure, reduce the amount of liquid the eye produces and speeds up the drainage.

Preventive Steps to Take

  • If you have type 1 diabetes, you should have a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist within three to five years after diagnosis.
  • Those with type 2 diabetes should have a dilated eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist shortly after diagnosis.
  • Annual eye exams are a must for people suffering from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. You can make the check-ups more frequent if necessary.
  • Women with a history of diabetes considering pregnancy should have an eye exam before and during pregnancy. This does not pertain to women with gestational diabetes.

Make an appointment today with an eye doctor at Insight Vision Center to rule out any eye diseases that may be caused due to diabetes.

dark-side-of-wearing-contact-lenses

Getting your first set of contact lenses would feel like an amazing upgrade to eyeglasses. You can see the world more clearly just by popping them in and you would look good too! They can fit in easily onto the eye and allow you to perform numerous tasks that might be uncomfortable in glasses such as traveling, exercising, etc.

However, if you do not use contact lenses properly, you will be exposed to some side effects which could even affect your vision in the long run.

8 Risks and Side Effects of Using Contact Lenses

1. Blockage of Oxygen Supply to the Eyes

Since contact lenses lie directly on the eye and cover the entire cornea, the amount of oxygen reaching your eyes will decrease. Good oxygen supply is absolutely critical to keep the eyes healthy.

Choose soft or silicone hydrogel lenses as they transmit more oxygen than the conventional soft contact lens materials. They will even be better for your eyes in the long run. Avoid wearing contact lenses for long hours at a stretch.

2. Dry Eyes

Contact lens reduces the quantity of tears getting on the cornea as they absorb most of our tears to keep itself soft. This lack of tears causes dry eye syndrome leading to itchiness, burning sensation and redness of the eyes. If the eyes get too dry, it will lead to the scarring of the cornea which can be extremely painful.

If you suffer from chronic eye dryness, use eyedrops to lubricate the eyes to provide some relief to them.

3. Irritation when Combined with Medication, especially Birth Control Pill

Concurrent use of contraceptive pills and contact lens together will result in chronic dry eyes and irritation. You will experience changes in the tear film, which primarily consists of three main layers which come together to protect, bathe and nourish the eye surface.

The combination of birth control pills and contact lenses will upset this balance in the tear film and cause excessive tearing, burning eyes and a gritty foreign body sensation in the eye. The restricted flow of oxygen to the eye will aggravate the condition.

Avoid using lenses as long as you are on the pill.

4. Diminished Corneal Reflex

Using contact lenses may cause diminished corneal reflex in the eye. Corneal reflex is a protective mechanism of the eye where the brain signals the eyelids to drop down to protect our eyes whenever the slightest amount of pressure is applied to the cornea. Corneal reflex makes sure that we close our eyes if something may cause a direct trauma to them, like a flying object coming towards our eyes or if someone tries to poke us.

When you use contact lenses constantly, you teach your body to ignore the natural corneal reflex. This may dull the eye’s response to corneal reflex, which could lead to the eye being damaged if you can’t shut your eyes fast enough in case of danger.

Keep the usage of the lenses to a minimum. Use glasses when you are at home to ensure that corneal reflex isn’t diminished too much by constant use.

5. Corneal Abrasion

There is a possibility of the contact lenses scratching your cornea, causing corneal abrasion if they are not fitted properly or when your eyes are too dry.

Never sleep with contact lenses in as the risk of abrasion will increase. The lenses will trap particles like dirt and sand and rub against your cornea. These abrasions will create an opening for bacteria and virus to seep through and give birth to eye infections, which can result in loss of vision too.

You may even scratch your cornea when you insert or extract contact lenses carelessly. Ensure that you fit the lenses carefully and you never sleep in them.

6. Red Eye or Conjunctivitis

There will be a high risk of conjunctivitis and stye if you wear contact lenses for long hours at a stretch, especially through the night. They provide a moist environment which acts as a potential breeding ground for microorganisms like viruses and bacteria. Additionally, since less oxygen reaches the cornea when you wear lenses, the body doesn’t fight off an infection that is caused by bacteria or viruses as effectively as it should.

Giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) is the most common type of conjunctivitis that contact lens wearers get due to repeated irritation from the contact lenses.

Always, always, always remove your contact lens before sleeping.

7. Ptosis

Ptosis is a condition where the eyelids start drooling and the affected individuals are unable to open their eyes fully.

If you use contact lenses, they may move into the eyelid tissues causing scarring and contraction, which further leads to a lid retraction. This especially holds true for hard contact lens wearers as the eyelid is repeatedly stretched during lens removal.

Switching to soft contact lenses would be a good idea.

8. Corneal Ulcer

This occurs when an open sore caused by fungus, bacteria, parasite infection or viruses is formed in the eye’s cornea. A corneal ulcer can cause permanent blindness if it is not treated quickly. If it does lead to blindness, a corneal transplant will probably be the only way to restore vision.

Preventing Side Effects Caused by Contact Lens

Do not over-wear your contact lenses and discard/replace them as directed by the doctor. Remember that lens deposits will continue to build up on your contact lenses over a period of time. The longer you go without replacing the lenses, the more will be the lens deposits — this will reduce the oxygen supply to the corneas, eventually damaging the eyes.

Do not miss your routine contact lens eye exams. Being regular with the check-ups will help your eye doctor detect problems caused by the contact lens in the early stages and prevent them from getting serious by giving you timely treatment.

If your current contact lenses are uncomfortable, try changing them or get an updated prescription. This will help in relieving contact lens irritation. Moreover, you can consider LASIK as a permanent solution to contact lens discomfort.

blurred-vision-during-pregnancy

Pregnant women are generally aware of some common symptoms such as morning sickness, back ache, fatigue, constipation, itching, swollen feet etc. However, blurred vision is a type of symptom which many women may not be aware of. There is no specific time frame of pregnancy during which it occurs, as it is mainly caused because of the fluctuating levels of hormone in the body.

In most of the cases, the vision returns to the previous normal state, after delivery. However, even if these changes in eyesight are quite common during and post pregnancy, it is important to know the causes behind them, so that they can be treated as required.

Described below are the reasons for blurred vision during pregnancy and ways to handle them, which will enable you to maintain your eye health.

What can be the possible reasons for blurred vision?

There are multiple reasons as to why pregnant ladies experience a hazy vision.

  • The most prominent reason is pregnancy hormones. They cause fluid retention which alters the cornea to make it thicker, along with an increase in the fluid pressure within the eyeball. This results in a blurred vision. Another effect of these hormones is that they decrease the tear production which in turn diminishes the acuity of vision.
  • Expecting mothers with other health conditions such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes can also suffer from vision problems. Apart from blurry vision, the former condition can cause light sensitivity, temporary vision loss, auras and flashes of light. And, the latter health issue can cause alterations in the cornea and even damage the retina. So the blood sugar levels should be monitored regularly and if distorted vision persists, a physician should be consulted immediately.
  • Even increased progesterone levels during pregnancy can cause the tissues of cornea to soften. This can also lead to unclear or doubled vision.

What are the options for dealing with it?

So, if you or someone you know is pregnant and is experiencing blurred vision during pregnancy, here’s what can be done.

  • It’s best to avoid contact lenses during pregnancy as there are multiple and intensive changes going on in the body due to the hormones. One of them is a change in the shape of the corneas. Hence, the contacts may become an incorrect fit and eventually cause irritation and stress. So it’s wise to choose glasses instead. Go for a cheaper pair of glasses because the eye power might alter again in the course of pregnancy.
  • Eye exercises are also a good way. Consult a professional ophthalmologist and he/she can suggest some simple and effective exercises which help the eyes to focus better. An important thing to remember is to never stress your eyes in such situations. Avoid looking at digital screens continually for long and never read or work in poorly lighted surroundings.
  • Above all, do not forget to rest your eyes. A good sleep provides sufficient rest to the eyes, which helps a lot in maintaining a healthy vision.

As your body heals after delivery, the vision also tends to turn normal in a matter of few weeks. If it still persists for long, make sure to consult an eye doctor. You can also go for a vision corrective surgery like Lasik, if you want to get rid of glasses or contact lenses. However, the doctor may prescribe it before you conceive, or a few months later, post-delivery. Lasik is a safe, reliable and cost-effective procedure which can give you a normal and clear vision.

Our expert team at InSight Vision Center can help you understand better about what you may expect in terms of vision changes, when you are expecting a baby. And also guide you to maintain a healthy vision as much as possible. So, make an appointment with us today.

habits damaging eyes

“To change your life, change your habits.”
-Anonymous

Have you ever wondered how some of your seemingly simple and common habits affect your eyes? Like those binge watching sessions of your favorite series late in the night or a quick swimming session with friends without swimming goggles. What’s wrong with relaxing with a good book before sleeping, you might wonder?

Certain habits form a major part of our lifestyle. And gradually they affect our eye health. Listed below are 7 such common habits, which you need to alter or get rid of entirely, to ensure that you maintain a healthy vision:

1. Staring at Screens before Sleeping

Can’t resist checking your smartphone before going to bed? Watching TV late into the night? If these seem familiar, you might be suffering from digital eye strain. Exposing your eyes to digital screens continually and especially before sleeping can lead to hazy vision, dry eyes, nausea and dizziness.

2. Working or Reading under Poor Lighting

Most of the people have the habit of reading late at night. Also, a majority of individuals work in poorly lighted environments. People should be conscious of the lighting levels in their surroundings so as to prevent damage to their eyes. Because, under-lighted settings can cause immense strain on your eyes and this might lead to dryness and irritation.

3. Frequently Rubbing Eyes

Think about how often do you unconsciously rub your eyes; itchy or not. You may be relieved from the itching sensation for a few moments. But the frequent rubbing can cause a lot of damage to your eyes. Firstly, you transfer germs from your hands to the eyes. And secondly, it can lead to wear and tear of cornea and fragile vessels around the eye.

4. Ditching the Protective Eye Wear

A lot of people forget about protective eye wear while playing sports or working with tools, welding machines, etc. For instance, swimmers must never swim without appropriate goggles. Chemicals in water can cause itching, blurred vision and in extreme cases even temporary blindness.

Also, while stepping out in the sun, people often forget to wear sunglasses. Exposure to harmful UV rays can cause Eyelid or Conjunctival cancer, Cataracts, Keratitis or even Corneal burns.

5. Depriving Yourself of Enough Sleep

Apart from several health implications like depression, weight gain, tiredness and decreased immune function, sleep deprivation also affects your eyesight badly. Pain, blurry vision, dry eyes and twitching are some of the adverse effects which you might experience if you don’t get the essential 7-8 hours of sleep at night.

6. Not Quitting Smoking

The chances of health issues related to vision are increased manifolds due to smoking. These include Cataracts, Glaucoma, Dry eye syndrome and Age-related macular degeneration. Those who smoke more and continue it for a long time are even more prone to blindness.

7. Missing Eye Checkups

Numerous people do not go for regular eye checkups. An eye exam can reveal much more than just a change in the eye power. Age, diet, daily activities – there are so many factors affecting your vision. So even if you feel that your vision is normal, you cannot be sure enough unless a professional examines it thoroughly. Many of the eye ailments can be detected in their early stages through periodic eye exams.

If you too are guilty of any or all of the above mentioned unhealthy habits, it’s time you do away with them. Our talented team at InSight Vision Center can help you with any queries and issues regarding eye care. You can also get rid of your glasses or contacts and enjoy a normal vision with the help of our exceptional Lasik services which are safe, reliable and cost-effective. So, make an appointment with us today.

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