Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and while you start eyeing your favorite foods, consider thinking about the foods that will also promote eye health. After all, your eyes are important, and certainly something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. With a bit of preparation, your Thanksgiving feast can be more than just eye candy. We’ve put together a list of food you can prepare that benefit your eyes while fitting right into the Thanksgiving theme.
Sweet potatoes are a staple among Thanksgiving dinners throughout the country, and they’re also a very good source of vitamin C and vitamin E. These vitamins are valuable assets in promoting good eye health in that they help keep the eye’s healthy tissue from breaking down.
Skip the mashed potatoes (especially if you already have sweet potatoes on the menu) and make a mouthwatering mash of cauliflower. A very good source of vitamin C and omega-3s, cauliflower is linked to promoting good eye health.
Whether it’s green bean casserole or simply warmed in a microwave, green beans contain nutrients that help protect the retina.
Complete with bioflavonoids and vitamin C, cranberries protect against pollution and the body’s metabolic process. So go ahead and apply liberally to your turkey!
Yes, you read that right. Pumpkin pie is good for the eye, so if you get an eyebrow raised for going for seconds or thirds, you can always counter that with its health benefits. Pumpkin contains vitamin A, which is good for promoting night vision and protecting the lens and other areas of the eye.
When it comes to Thanksgiving dinner, you can have a delicious feast while still focusing on foods for eye health. Of course, it’s always good to have an eye exam in order to get a closer look at the health of your eyes. Schedule an appointment with us today!
Colored Contact Lenses
The only safe way to get colored lenses is by first getting a prescription from an eye doctor. Your eyes are a unique shape and size. One-size-fits-all novelty contacts may not fit your eye correctly, resulting in discomfort and even injury. The wrong size contact can scratch your eye or not rest properly on your eye. Prescription contacts come in various sizes, and your eye doctor will prescribe the right size for you.
While the practice is widespread, selling contact lenses to anyone without a prescription is illegal in the U.S. You shouldn’t trust a contact lens distributor or retailer who does not abide by the law.
To prevent infections, you should always wash your hands before putting your lenses in or taking them out. Your eye doctor will advise you on what kind of contact solution to use. You should follow the directions as to how long you can wear your contacts at one time.
Eye make-up is a safer alternative to masks that can obscure your vision. Face make-up that is sold especially for Halloween may contain different ingredients than traditional, everyday make-up. If it’s a brand or type of make-up you haven’t used before, do a test patch before Halloween. Place a small amount of the make-up on your arm to ensure you don’t have an allergic reaction. When applying costume make-up, you should always keep it away from your eyes.
In addition, care should be taken with false eyelashes. Using too much glue, or applying glue with an unsteady hand, can result in a trip to the emergency room. If you want to wear lashes, considering having a licensed cosmetologist apply them.
Halloween shouldn’t end with an eye injury. Follow these tips so you can have a safe, fun Halloween. If you have any questions about Halloween eye safety, especially regarding makeup or contacts, give us a call at (757) 643-8800 or stop by our office!
What’s the Difference? Optometrist vs. Ophthalmologist:
Optometrists and ophthalmologists are highly trained specialists who are trained to care for the human eye. However, there are some distinctions between these two types of eye doctors and what they are specifically trained to do. These differences can be highly important when it comes to which type of eye doctor you choose to see based on the needs you have at the time.
In this post, we will explore the differences between an optometrists and ophthalmologists and which option is better for you based on the needs you have at that specific time:
What Do Optometrists Specialize In?
Optometrists do not have to spend as long in school ophthalmologists, however, the schooling still takes 7 to 8 years to complete and the student also must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree to qualify to go to school for this specialty. These doctors can do basic eye examinations and some are able to detect more common abnormalities or issues that you have with your eyes during your routine exam.
A few of these doctors may take an additional one-year specialty that helps them diagnose specific diseases or abnormalities within the eye. However, these doctors tend to specialize in general eye care and are trained to fit both contacts and glasses to people who need vision assistance.
What Do Ophthalmologists Specialize In?
Ophthalmologists specialize in specific disease of the eye. These are physicians who went through 4 years of school and then go on to specialized medical schools to help them distinguish specific conditions of the human eye and how to treat them. To get their ophthalmologist degree, the student must go on past medical school to complete a one-year residency internship in medicine followed by a three-year residency in an ophthalmologist-specific program.
Ophthalmologists can also fit people for glasses or contacts and do basic eye exams as well. However, they are also able to treat specific conditions of the eye and provide treatment accordingly.
Which Doctor Should I Choose?
When it comes to deciding between an optometrist vs. ophthalmologist, what it comes down to is your personal needs and preferences. Both doctors are well-qualified to provide basic eye examinations and fit you with either contacts or glasses. However, if you have a family history of a lot of eye conditions such as glaucoma or other issues that need treatment, then an ophthalmologist may be your better choice of an eye doctor. They can provide the basic eye examinations as well as the contacts and glasses you may need, and they also will be able to assist you with any conditions of the eye that may appear throughout your lifetime. Moreover, they will be able to determine what treatment will be appropriate for you if a condition that needs treatment arises.
For further information about whether an optometrist or an ophthalmologist is the best fit for you, it will come down to personal needs. If you have a long history of eye conditions within your family, an ophthalmologist most likely fit your needs the best. If you are just after someone who can provide a basic eye exam and glasses or contacts, then a optometrist may better fit your needs. Either way, both are well-qualified to care for your eyes and protect your vision. If you have more questions regarding the differences between an optometrist vs. ophthalmologist, give Hampton Roads Eye Associates a call at (757) 643-8800, or schedule an appointment online. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Almost everyone has had sore, irritated eyes at one time or another. But if the pain and redness just won’t go away, you may have “dry eye” condition.
Normally, when you blink, tears wash smoothly across your cornea, the clear outside part of the eye. Your tears have three layers: an outer oily sheet, a middle watery layer, and an inner mucous film. The oily layer keeps the surface of the tears smooth and protects the water layer from drying out too quickly. The job of the water is to wash away foreign materials that may end up in your eye. But the watery layer could not stick to your eye without the help of the mucus, which spreads the tears across the eye and keeps the eye surface moist. After moving across your eye, excess tears are drained away by small ducts at the inner corners of your eyelids.
Dry eye happens in two ways–either the eye doesn’t make enough tears or something affects one or more of the tear layers. Many people experience dry eyes as they age, and women are often affected due to the hormonal changes of menopause. Other causes of dry eye condition include medications such as antihistamines and blood pressure drugs, medical conditions such as diabetes and eye infections, long-term use of contact lenses, and environmental factors including smoke and dry wind. Staring at a computer screen without blinking may also cause dry eye.
For most people, the main symptoms of dry eye are having eyes that
- sting and burn
- are red and irritated
- feel scratchy or gritty
- have mucus strings
- water excessively, without pain relief.
Your eye doctor will perform an eye exam, including completion of a medical history, assessment of your eyes, and measurement of tear quantity and quality. Based on this information, your doctor will determine the most effective treatment for your condition.
Dry eye treatment focuses on adding tears, saving tears, and treating underlying conditions. To add tears, your eye doctor may prescribe over-the-counter artificial tear solutions; if artificial tears are not enough, the doctor may give you eye medication that increases your tear production. To conserve tears, tiny silicone or gel plugs called punctal plugs may be put into your tear ducts to slow tear drainage. These can be removed later, if desired. If an eye infection is causing your dry eye, your doctor will treat that condition.
To reduce the symptoms of dry eye at home, remember to blink regularly when reading or working at the computer, increase the humidity in your house or office, drink water to avoid dehydration, and wear sunglasses outdoors to decrease wind and sun exposure.
If you have questions about dry eye or need to schedule an appointment, contact us today!
Hampton Roads Eye Associates is proud to announce that they have won THREE Peninsula Gold awards in Coastal Virginia Magazine’s annual “Best of” contest! This “triple crown” comes with awards in the Best Eye Care Center, Best Lasik Eye Surgery Center, and Best Designer Eyewear categories. What an honor!
The Coastal Virginia Magazine ‘Best of” contest is comprised of a nomination and voting process that takes place over a 3 month period. Community members are encouraged to vote for the businesses they love to frequent for their daily needs. At the end of the voting period, the Peninsula’s favorite businesses are announced in an upcoming issues of Coastal Virginia Magazine.
The 2019 nomination and voting process started in January. Nominations ended February 3rd while final voting took place from February 6 – March 31st. Winners votes were tabulated based on the total number of nominations and votes received during that time period. The annual Coastal Virginia Magazine “Best of” edition will be on newstands in July.
Conveniently located in the Oyster Point Area of Newport News, Hampton Roads Eye Associates provides general ophthalmology and eye disease treatment for adult and pediatric patients. We perform diagnostic and treatment procedures on children and adults including cataract surgeries, refractive surgery, cosmetic surgery, glaucoma testing, strabismus treatment, retina imaging and other eye problems diagnosis, treatment, and corrective lens services.
We are incredibly proud of our practice and the work that we do everyday for our patients. A big thank-you to all our patients and the community that voted for us and your continue to support us and our practice!
In honor of Cataract Awareness Month, Hampton Roads Eye Associates is providing some useful information to help you understand the disease and how to protect yourself. Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in the world and affect more than 22 million Americans aged 40 and older.
Cataract is a clouding of the eye’s lens which blocks or changes the passage of light into the eye. Fortunately, vision loss due to cataract can be restored with a simple procedure. Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the United States and has over a 90 percent success rate.
Risk factors for developing cataract include:
- Family history of cataract
- Diabetes, smoking
- Extended exposure to UV rays
- Serious eye injury
- Use of steroids
Cataracts generally do not cause pain, redness or tears. However, these changes in your vision may be signs of cataract:
- Blurred or hazy vision
- Double vision in one eye
- Poor vision in bright light
- Seeing halos around lights
- Poor vision at night
- Yellowish tinged vision
- Frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescription
Click to learn more about the cataract surgery options offered at Hampton Roads Eye Associates.
Can I prevent cataracts?
There is no proven way to prevent age-related cataracts. However, making these healthy decisions may help to slow the progression of cataracts:
- Avoid or quit smoking
- Reduce exposure to UV rays
- Eat healthy foods
- Wear proper eye protection to avoid eye injury
One of the most important ways we can protect our vision is to make a commitment to take care of your eyes today. This includes getting a dilated eye exam, which helps to protect your sight for the future not just from cataract, but other eye diseases as well. If you have not had your yearly eye exam, you can schedule one today by calling us at 757.643.8800, or filling out our online form.
Many would agree that our vision is important to our quality of life. Therefor it is crucial to take proper care of our eyes, including protecting them against harmful UV rays. Hampton Roads Eye Associates in Oyster Point shares some facts about the damage the sun can do to your vision.
Over time, the sun’s rays can damage the eyes and surrounding skin, sometimes leading to vision loss and conditions from cataracts and macular degeneration to eye and eyelid cancers. However, simple daily protective strategies, including wearing sunglasses, will help keep our eyes and the sensitive skin around them healthy.
Just in time for summer, our optical shop is offering a special promotion on prescription sunglasses. Save 50% off Prescription Sun Lenses with the purchase of a frame OR save 25% off prescription sun lenses only! We are standing by to help you make a selection that will meet your unique needs.
For proper protection, sunglasses should offer the following:
- The ability to absorb and block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB light. Ideally, they should also guard against HEV light.
- Sufficient size to shield the eyes, eyelids, and surrounding areas. The more skin covered, the better. Wraparound styles with a comfortable close fit and UV-protective side shields are ideal.
- Durability and impact resistance.
- Polarized lenses to eliminate glare, especially when driving, but also out in the snow or on the water, where reflection greatly magnifies glare. Continuing glare can cause fatigue, headaches, and even migraines.
Additionally, be sure to receive routine comprehensive eye exams. Eye exams allow us to monitor your eye health, maintain good vision, and keep you up to date on the latest in UV radiation protection. Schedule yours today!
A common question that parents ask is: What age should my child first see an eye doctor?
Hampton Roads Eye Associates has an answer that is fairly straightforward.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends that a child have a first comprehensive eye exam at their 6 month checkup. This exam will generally be performed by the pediatrician at their checkup. The main objective will be to see if the child is following objects and observing the environment in a normal manner for their age and development.
Additional eye exams are recommended at age 3 and then again before entering Kindergarten or 1st grade, which is generally between ages 5 and 6.
This is because eyesight is essential for students to be able to learn appropriately as they enter their primary school years.
There are a variety of conditions that could keep children from learning properly during their years in primary school, including:
- near vision problems
- distance vision problems
- a lack of binocular (two eye) coordination
- a lack of eye movement and following skills
- a lack of eye focusing skills
- a lack of peripheral awareness
- a lack of hand-eye coordination
Schools have required an eye exam for all students entering school for the first time to screen out any vision problems that may exist and inhibit their learning.
What Are the Findings of These Initial Exams?
These eye exams at ages 3 and then again at 5-6 are finding that about 10-15% of school-aged children have some sort of vision issue.
Most of these issues are easily fixed by prescribing corrective eyewear that is determined by your child’s individual needs. Rarely, a child needs corrective surgery for a vision issue, which would be performed after diagnosis and other, less invasive treatment is attempted.
Tell Your Eye Doctor the Following:
While most eye exams are pretty self-explanatory, be sure to tell your doctor about anything specific that may affect your child’s vision exam.
The following are some key factors your eye doctor may need to know to help provide your child with the best quality eye exam possible:
- a history of a premature birth
- any sort of delayed motor development
- frequent eye rubbing
- excessive blinking
- failure to maintain appropriate eye contact
- inability to maintain a gaze (fixation) while studying or looking at a specific object
- any poor eye tracking skills you observed
These can all be signs of other problems that your child may be developing with their vision. Our doctors use this information along with the results of their eye exams to determine if issues exist with your child’s vision.
Regular eye exams ensure that any issues your child is having with their vision are corrected immediately before these issues impact their ability to function and learn appropriately. Routine eye exams are meant to detect problems and treat them so your child has the best chance to excel in the future.
To schedule a comprehensive eye exam for your child, contact Hampton Roads Eye Associates – Oyster Point at (757) 643-8800. Our pediatric specialists are specially trained to detect and treat vision issues in children.