Summer’s Almost Here – Protect Your Eyes from Harmful UV Rays

Protect-Your-Eyes1Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

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!

At What Age Should My Child See An Eye Doctor?

first eye examA 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.

Initial Exam:

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.

Next Exams:

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.

Also, Remember:

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.


What can an eye exam tell you about your health?

eye exams and healthYou know that seeing your eye doctor is the best way to be sure that your eyes stay healthy. During your exam, your eye doctor may dilate your pupils so he can examine your optic nerves, retinas and blood vessels. Your eye care practitioner can tell a lot about the health of your body by looking at the health of your eyes.
Your Blood Pressure
If during your exam, your doctor notices kinks or tears in the blood vessels of your eyes, you may be asked about your blood pressure.  The condition of those blood vessels could suggest undiagnosed or unmanaged high blood pressure (hypertension).
Your Blood Sugar
Bleeding or yellowish fluid leaking in the blood vessels of the eye can signify diabetic neuropathy. Your eye care professional may encourage you to see your family physician for blood sugar screening. Properly managed blood sugar levels could save your vision.
Your Autoimmune System
Characterized by inflammation throughout the body, a dysfunctional autoimmune system can affect your joints, your internal organs, and your eyes. The immune system can attack the blood vessels in the back of the eye and on the retina, which can affect your vision. Anyone who has an autoimmune disorder should have regular eye exams.
Your Thyroid
Graves eye disease, also called thyroid eye disease, is another autoimmune disorder. In this case, the autoimmune issue causes an overactive thyroid. Symptoms could also include swelling around the eyes and protruding eyeballs. If you have a thyroid disorder, you may also notice fatigue, weight loss, and heat intolerance.
Your Nervous System
The optic nerve is the only area of the brain that can be seen from outside of the body. Vision problems could be one of the first signs you might notice if you were diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Researchers suggest that optic nerve scans could also provide useful information for other neurological conditions.
Your eye doctor would be able to detect many other health conditions before you were aware of a problem. He can warn you of suspected tumors, aneurysms, or even cancer. Your comprehensive eye exam could be your first indication that you have a more serious health concern that should be investigated by your family physician.  Early detection is important for treatment for these critical medical issues.  If you have a known medical condition, be sure to see your eye care provider as often as recommended, and notify him of any changes in your health.

Hampton Roads Eye Associates provides qualified eye care professionals who are trained to identify major health issues during your eye health exam.  Please schedule an appointment with us today, at 757-643-8800.  Our board certified ophthalmologists are ready to help you with your eye care health and treatment.  


Congratulations! Dr. Gary Tanner Voted “Top Doc” for 2016

top doc 2016

Top Doc 2016 – the votes are in!

Hampton Roads Eye Associates Oyster Point is pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Tanner has been voted one of the “Top Docs” in Hampton Roads for 2016 by Coastal Virginia Magazine! The survey was sent to over 4,000 doctors in the area. Each doctor was given the opportunity to complete the peer survey identifying the top professionals they regard as being leaders in their fields. The 2016 Top Doc peer survey is the most selective list in the area, and a wonderful resource for the community.

Dr. Gary Tanner, M.D., a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, joined Hampton Roads Eye Associates in 2006, but has been serving patients in the Tidewater area since 1993 when his military service brought him to Virginia.

Dr. Tanner, a Diplomate of the American Board of Ophthalmology, specializes in the latest techniques in cataract and oculoplastic surgery. In addition, he has extensive training and experience in the care of glaucoma, diabetic eye disease, and dry eyes, as well as comprehensive eye care.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Gary Tanner on his achievement! We love serving the Hampton Roads community with the highest quality comprehensive eye care.  


Hampton Roads Eye Associates Provides Free Eye Exams and Glasses to Kids in Need

Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 12.46.50 PMHampton Roads Eye Associates is dedicated to serving the community by providing comprehensive eye care and patient education. This month, their pediatric department expanded these efforts to include a special program to meet the eye care needs of local children.

Throughout the month of April, Dr. Denise Chamblee, and her team provided full eye exams to 36 elementary, middle and high school students from the Achievable Dream School. The Achievable Dream School is a nationally recognized K–12 program dedicated to the belief that all children can learn and succeed regardless of their socioeconomic background.  Also, 24 children from the Boys and Girls Club received free exams from Hampton Roads Eye Associates.

Each child that was found to need a prescription was provided with a free pair of glasses. In addition, all children involved in the program received a goodie-bag with T-shirt or a fun little camera, compliments of Lynn Di Marco at Screen Shot 2014-05-26 at 12.47.24 PMEssilor. Essilor also provided aspheric lenses for the glasses.

“A child needs many abilities to succeed in school. Good vision is a key. It has been estimated that as much as 80% of the learning a child does occurs through the eyes. It is always an honor to have the opportunity to help ensure the educational success of these children by providing eye exams”,” states Dr. Chamblee.

Dr. Chamblee is grateful for all the help she received from her staff, An Achievable Dream school and school nurses, the Boys and Girls club staff, the Lions Club, Essilor and the frame vendor donors who helped to make the event a success.

Dr. Chamblee states, “We had such a wonderful time with the students from the Achievable Dream School and the kids from the Boys and Girls club.  Their smiles were simply contagious. It was truly a rewarding experience, and we hope to continue to do more events like this in the future.”

The Importance of Yearly Eye Exams

eye glasses and eye chartRegardless of your age or physical health, yearly eye exams should be part of your preventive health care routine.

An eye exam is more than a simple vision check. A comprehensive eye exam includes a series of test which checks neurological function, eye pressure, eye muscle coordination and the health of the external and internal eye structures.

Many people with eye and vision problems may not even be aware of them, because they have no obvious signs or symptoms.  Yearly eye exams help to maintain good vision and eye health. Should you have any vision problems, early diagnosis is your best chance for successful treatment.

Periodic Eye exams are not only important for adults. Children also need eye exams to ensure normal vision development. Children with undetected vision problems may have trouble with learning and schoolwork. Therefore, an eye exam by a doctor who specializes in pediatric eye care is essential for their academic development.

In addition, your eye health can reveal a great deal about your overall health. Comprehensive eye exams can detect the warning signs of more serious undiagnosed health problems such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Good vision and eye health are important and greatly improve quality of life. Make sure to keep your eyes in their best condition by scheduling an eye exam every year.