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You’re Never Too Old to Try Contacts!

Are you one of those people who tried contacts in the past, but had no luck? Perhaps you found them dry and uncomfortable, or your allergies made them impossible to wear?  Maybe you were unable to see as clearly compared to your glasses, or you never needed glasses but now you’re struggling to see up close?

If you’ve answered “yes” to any of these questions, it’s time for you to try contacts again!

Advances in Contact Lenses

Over the last decade, contact lens technology has continued to make significant improvements. Do not let your age, prescription, or any previous experiences keep you from giving them another try.

The most common reason for discontinuing contact lenses is due to discomfort, especially at the end of the day. Other common reasons are poor distance vision, or the inability to see both near and far for those over 40 years of age. With the latest contact lens technology, almost all end-of-day discomfort can be eliminated as can the difficulty achieving acceptable vision at all distances.

Early generation soft lenses were thick and known to become dry by the end of the day. Soft lenses today are much thinner, lighter, and more comfortable than the contacts 10 years, 5 years, and even 1-2 years ago.

Wearing contact lenses over a period of days or even weeks causes them to absorb natural oils, mucus, and proteins from our tear film. When these substances accumulate, they can cause contact lenses to dry out faster, resulting in irritation. Today there are many different materials such as silicone hydrogels, water gradient lenses, and other innovations that are designed to reduce drying and enhance the overall comfort.

Disposable Contacts

Are you still having issues with weekly or monthly contacts? Try switching to daily disposable soft contacts! Daily disposables are worn for just one day and then thrown away. Using new, fresh lenses each day avoids the potential problem of debris build-up, which is often the cause of discomfort and blurred vision. In fact, daily disposable lenses may help relieve dry eyes for some users.

Commonly, many people do not close their eyelids completely while blinking, exposing their eyes to air which leads to dehydration. When fitted correctly with the appropriate material, contacts can help seal in moisture to help avoid this issue. The new water gradient design lines both sides of the contact lenses with a thin film of water that keeps the eye moist. The comfort is truly remarkable allowing our doctors to use this lens type for not only vision correction, but for the potential treatment of dry eye as well.

What if I need glasses to see up close while wearing contacts?

Adults over the age of 40 typically have three options when it comes to wearing contact lenses for clear vision. One option is to wear contact lenses for distance vision and then use reading glasses in addition to contact lenses to achieve an acceptable near vision. Second, multifocal contact lenses are designed to allow you to see at both near and far distances and if needed can include an astigmatism correction. Monovision, on the other hand, is the third option which uses a fitting technique fitting one eye with a lens for optimal close-up vision, while the other eye is fitted with a lens for optimal distance vision.

More Information

Need help deciding which option is best for you, or want to schedule a fitting appointment? Give our Palisades Optometrics team a call today at 201-592-8989!

Eye Allergies, Or…?

Hey, allergy season. Welcome back to the time of year when everyone blames almost every distress on allergies! Let us help set the record straight though, since certain symptoms are easily assumed as a seasonal allergic reaction when they can actually be a result of something worth looking into further.

Eye Allergies

But okay, we’ll give eye allergies a little bit of attention since they can be the reason for red, itchy, swollen, sensitive, burning, and overall irritated eyes. First and foremost, don’t forget, it’s not just the pollen. There are several things you can be allergic to from trees to animals to new perfumes, even new contact lenses, believe it or not.

The reason behind the reactions you experience is the release of histamines. Histamines are a chemical that causes all the swelling, tears, et cetera, in an attempt to release allergens and help defend your eyes.

While antihistamine pills and eye drops help calm allergic reactions, it’s suggested that over-the-counters aren’t used for more than a couple of days. Ask us about prescribed eye drops that can be used on a more fluid schedule and can healthily harmonize with any existing eye issues such as glaucoma.

Now that we’ve covered eye allergies, let’s talk about other possible culprits.

Eye Allergies or Eye Infections?

girl with irritated dry red eye or allergy female

The reactions might seem as similar as identical twins in the beginning. But the causes are completely unrelated. Eye allergies are caused by allergens and eye infections are caused by substances like bacteria, parasites, and viruses. If they are not appropriately addressed, symptoms can mutate from a mild itch to more intense pain, light sensitivity and thick, slimy discharge.

Another important thing to know about infections vs allergies: infections can spread to others and allergies cannot. Proper hygiene and following ODs guidance are crucial to healing your own eyes and protecting the eyes of others.

Eye Allergies or Dry Eye?

One oddity of dry eye syndrome is that it can lead to watery eyes. This reflex tearing helps to confuse dry eye syndrome and eye allergies. There are so many varied factors that can lead to dry eye. Factors that can develop at any time. One way to help differentiate the two is maintaining awareness of other symptoms that are more prone to dry eye, such as:

  • Heavy eyelids
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye pain that feels different from allergic irritation

Eye Allergies or Adverse Medicinal Reactions?

Some medications can cause severe eye problems, but the puzzling part is they often don’t kick in until after years of use. This is one of the several reasons why it is important to discuss all side effects with your doctors and to share your use of all medications with your trusted optometrist.

Medications that can lead to eye issues fall in every arena. The most common negative results are dry eye, light sensitivity, and in more serious cases, optic nerve damage and loss of visual acuity. If these reactions begin to take place during the months that are often considered “allergy season”, it may be easy to relate them with allergy responses.

Eye allergies usually don’t come on their own. They’re often accompanied by sneezing, a scratchy throat, and a stuffy nose. The best way to confirm the cause? A checkup! Request an appointment on our website with details of what eye irritations you’re looking to calm. Our team at Palisades Optometrics is here to help!

When the Whites of Your Eyes Just… Aren’t Quite White

White eyes have just about the same cosmetic priority as white teeth or unblemished skin. In fact, several surveys reveal that about 30% of people initially notice eyes when they first meet someone. While you can be a generally healthy human with stained teeth and imperfect skin, your eyes can reveal a lot about you… including your health.

First, allow us to introduce you to the sclera. The sclera is simply the medical term for “the white of the eye”. And it comes with high importance.

The sclera is four coats of protection that wrap around most of the eyeball, from the front of the beautiful colored part of the eye- the iris, to the back with sensitive optic nerves. This eye armor is no more than one millimeter thick, which amounts to the thickness of about 10 sheets of paper, layered on top of one another!

The layers of protective armor that give your eye its white color and the sclera its overall strength include randomly patterned collagen fibers and tissues called the episclera, the stroma, the lamina fusca, and the endothelium.

Typically, the entire sclera, not just one layer, changes color or accumulates spots.

Here are 4 hues to keep a lookout for along with a few reasons why:

  1. Yellow: A yellow tone brings along with it a couple of main suspicions, jaundice and “surfer’s eye”.A buildup of red blood cells that are normally filtered out by the liver can have several different causes but can trigger jaundice which often includes a yellowing of the eyes and skin. Surfer’s eye should really be given the nickname of “Outdoor A Lot Eye” as it is a sign of untreated UV damage from the sun combined with high winds or areas filled with dust.
  2. Blue: A tint of blue/gray might not be easy to detect by looking in a mirror, and often these tints are unavoidable because of long-term use of important medications.Tints of blue are still important to observe with help from your OD to consider or dismiss certain health conditions like genetic bone disease or iron deficiency.
  3. Red: Chances are we’ve all experienced eyes with a shade of red, whether it was thanks to allergies or exhaustion or any other typical culprit.
    However, it is still important to schedule an appointment as soon as possible since a red eye can also signal an infection or a broken blood vessel, especially if accompanied by discharge, pain, or blurred vision.
  4. Closeup of an eye of a black manBrown: Brown spots are on both ends of the spectrum. They range from completely harmless to life-threatening. High levels of melanin, the natural skin pigment which makes skin, hair, and the iris of your eyes a darker color can curate spots outside of the iris and within the sclera which are nothing to worry about.
    However, if a dark spot that resembles a freckle that changes over time develops during or after your 30’s, we suggest you make an appointment. These more serious brown spots are not at all melanin-related and can become cancerous if left untreated.

So, when the whites of your eyes just… aren’t quite white, give us a call at 201-592-8989! Keep note of what is accompanying your sclera color change and alert us about anything such as…

    • Blurred vision
    • Discharge
    • Pain
    • Light sensitivity
    • Swelling or bulging

…and our team at Palisades Optometrics will handle the process to lead your eyes—and your entire self—back to health.

Essential vs. Non-Essential Eye Care

As we navigate new processes and protocols as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, you may be wondering, what’s the difference between Essential and Non-Essential Eye Care.

Essential Eye Care services include treatment for medical conditions, including urgent care needs that keep patients from carrying out their regular daily routines. These include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Broken or lost eyewear
  • Eye trauma
  • Vision loss
  • Contact lens-related pain
  • Flashes or floating objects in the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Drooping eyelid
  • Severe or recurring headaches

We are equipped to handle your Essential Eye Care needs so you do not have visit the ER – which may put you at risk of exposure to infection while also potentially taking from patients with critical conditions having no other alternatives.

Non-Essential Eye Care services might also be called “routine,” and not impeding a patient from his/her day-to-day activities, such as:

  • Routine eye exam with no problems
  • First time routine contact lens fittings

As always, our top priority is always your well-being. If you have questions or concerns about any eye health or eye care services – reach out! We are here to help you in any way we can!

Macular Degeneration

As you get older, your risk for developing certain eye conditions impacting the health and the quality of your vision increases. One of these conditions is age-related Macular Degeneration, which affects more than 2 million adults in the United States and is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. To protect the ongoing health of your eyes and to preserve your eyesight, it’s important to visit the office Visionary Eye Partners for a comprehensive examination. We’ll monitor your eyes and vision and provide guidance as to how to you can take steps towards preventing macular degeneration and preserve your eyesight as you age.

The retina is located at the back of the eyeball and is responsible for transmitting light into signals via the optic nerve to help the brain form a visual image. As the central part of the retina, the macula contains a high concentration of photoreceptors, which means it is integral to the proper functioning of the retina. Macular degeneration occurs when the cells of the macula gradually deteriorate, eventually compromising your eyesight. Advanced cases of macular degeneration result in a profound loss of central vision, while peripheral vision may remain intact. In its early stages, people with macular degeneration may not experience any vision loss or symptoms.

As part of comprehensive eye examination, we’ll perform a visual acuity test and utilize advanced diagnostic tools to evaluate the anatomy and function of your retina. To reduce your risk of vision loss due to age-related macular degeneration or other conditions, it’s important to get a baseline exam at the age of 40 and then comprehensive exams as recommended thereafter. You can also help reduce your risk of developing age-related Macular Degeneration by making the right dietary choices, managing your weight, quitting smoking and wearing sunglasses outside.

At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

By Visionary Eye Partners
November 10, 2019

Eye Safety

Did you know that 90% of all eye injuries could are preventable? At work or play, it’s simple to protect your eyes! At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we provide guidance and care to help you guard against injury and protect the health of your eyes.

Why speak to your eye doctor about the best options for protective eyewear? The reason is clear. The statistics on sports-related eye injuries are alarming. According to statistics, approximately 40,000 eye injuries each year in the United States are attributable to sports. The fact of the matter is that every 13 minutes, an emergency room is treating someone for sports-related eye trauma. While all this sounds alarming, there’s also good news to report. As awareness of the connection between sports and eye trauma grows, more and more athletes and sports enthusiasts of all ages are using protective sports eyewear.

When getting eyewear to use on the playing field or during recreational activities, it’s important to get an eye exam. If a refractive error is detected at this time, we will determine if a correction built in to your new protective eyewear is also required. With eyewear that incorporates a vision correction, we can do more than protect your eyes from injury. By making sure you are comfortably enjoying the benefits of clear, crisp, and glare-free vision, we can help you boost your on-field performance and enjoyment of the game. We’ll also provide ample guidance on the most appropriate eyewear for a particular activity and advise you of any existing eye problems or vision impairments that might increase your risk for serious injury, limit your participation in particular sports, or require extra precautions. Remember, for growing children; protective sports eyewear should be periodically adjusted or replaced to remain effective and account for changes as they develop.

At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

By Visionary Eye Partners
October 10, 2019

Cataracts

Blurred vision could be a sign of cataracts. At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we can provide a proper diagnosis and make sure you get the care you need!

What Are Cataracts?

Cataracts are films that form in the lens of the eye that can impair your vision. This is a very common condition for both men and women aged 60 and over. If you do have cataracts, rest assured, they can be removed and your vision will be restored.

What Causes Cataracts?

Cataracts form due to a breakdown of the protein in the lens of your eye. This is a normal part of the aging process and usually develops slowly, over time. When the protein breaks down it can result in cloudy vision.

Some other causes of cataracts include:

  • Family history of cataracts
  • Diabetes
  • Certain eye injuries
  • Sun damage
  • Certain medications such as corticosteroids

It’s always important to wear anti-UV ray sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. This can even help slow the development of cataracts. We can discuss with you the best ways to care for your eyes and provide a referral if you would like to get more information about cataract surgery.

Getting a Cataract Diagnosis

We will perform an eye exam to determine if you do have cataracts. You may have them in one or both eyes. If you do, we will refer you to an ophthalmologist to determine if surgery is right for you. Sometimes glasses alone are all that’s needed to correct the vision issue. However, it can be very helpful to have the cataracts removed if you are having trouble seeing or driving or performing your every day activities. It’s typically not an emergency procedure, so you can take time to consider your surgical options in care.

At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

By Visionary Eye Partners
September 9, 2019

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a serious eye disease, but it can be managed. That’s why at the office of Visionary Eye Partners we encourage regular, comprehensive eye exams for early detection.

What Is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease that occurs when too much fluid builds up in the eye. This abundance of fluid results in too much pressure, which can damage the optic nerve and result in vision loss and blindness if left undetected and untreated. There are two main types of glaucoma. Each involves the buildup of fluid due to different structural imperfections of the eye, which impact the way fluid is drained.

Although there is no cure for glaucoma, both types can be managed with the right treatment. While older age, family history, and certain conditions such as diabetes and high blood pressure are risk factors for glaucoma, the exact causes are not fully known.

What is known is that with early detection, glaucoma can be successfully managed and controlled.

Early Detection is Key

Because there are virtually no symptoms early in its onset, the best way to detect glaucoma is with regular, thorough eye exams. The exam includes a series of vision tests and a comprehensive eye examination to check the health of your optic nerve and measure your eye pressure.

You can’t prevent glaucoma, but you can prevent the complications! The best way to do this is to schedule an exam every year to screen for the disease. Based on the exam, we can determine if you have glaucoma and will refer you to an ophthalmologist to discuss treatment options.

As long as you continue to monitor the condition and follow your treatment plan, you can control the condition and slow or stop any damage to the optic nerve.

At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

By Visionary Eye Partners
August 13, 2019

Aging Eyes

As everyone knows, the health of your eyes is essential to your overall function and quality of life. Yet despite the desire to ward off the effects of aging, much like everything else in the body, your eyes and vision are not immune to the changes that come with time. At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we do our utmost to help you protect the health of your eyes and preserve the quality of your vision throughout every stage of life. While the need for reading glasses in middle age is typically part and parcel of the aging process, there may be other emerging vision changes that are indicative of more serious eye conditions. With advancing age, your risk of eye disease significantly increases. In addition to glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts, the incidence of problems such as dry eye, floaters, and retinal detachment also occur with greater frequency in older adults. As a matter of fact, by the age of 65, one in three seniors are affected by an eye condition that results in vision impairment. Since many eye diseases develop without discomfort, routine eye care is essential. For this reason, a baseline eye exam is recommended at the age of 40. By performing an examination at this time, our office can detect eye disease and vision problems early in their onset, when treatment and management to preserve your eyesight are most effective. And, while annual eye exams are essential for older adults, if you are under the age of 40 and have a family history of either glaucoma or macular degeneration, or suffer from systemic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure, it’s also important to get your eyes routinely checked. At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

By Visionary Eye Partners
July 10, 2019

Correcting Refractive Errors

Did you know that more than 150 million people in the United States alone wear some form of corrective eyewear to correct refractive errors? Whether you are nearsighted, farsighted, have astigmatism or presbyopia; the office of Visionary Eye Partners can help you bring a blurry world into focus!

Just as the lens of a camera focuses entering light on a piece of film to produce a sharp image, the lens of your eye focuses light on the retina to form a picture that is then sent to the brain. When the eye is unable to bend and focus light properly, it means a refractive error is present. While typically creating a blurred image, a refractive error can also result in eyestrain, headaches, double vision, or produce glare or halos around incoming light. Refractive errors can occur at any stage of life and may be attributed to any number of causes, including an irregularly shaped cornea (the clear front surface of the eye), the length of the eyeball itself or changes in the lens of the eye with age.

Our office provides the highest quality of vision care and is well equipped to prescribe corrective treatment for all types of refractive errors from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, to aging eyes affected by presbyopia or a combination of these issues. As part of every comprehensive eye exam, we evaluate patients for the presence of refractive errors. By using the latest technology and methods of care, we check eye health and vision as well as provide treatment to help both children and adults “enjoy the view” with improved clarity and focus.

As everyone knows, wearing a pair of eyeglasses to this day remains an excellent way to correct a refractive error. However, there are also other satisfying and effective options in care, including a prescription for contact lenses, or having a refractive surgery such as LASIK to permanently change the shape of the cornea. During your visit, we’ll discuss all your treatment options so that you can make a well-informed decision on care.

At the office of Visionary Eye Partners, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.

By Visionary Eye Partners
June 10, 2019