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Eye Safety Awareness For Toys and Games

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Gift-giving season is just around the corner, and you may already be planning what toys or games to purchase for your little loved ones. The unfortunate reality, however, is that between 2015 and 2018 over 1 million toy-related injuries were treated at emergency rooms across the US. Not surprisingly, boys account for almost 2 out 3 of all these injuries. Some of these injuries have resulted in permanent vision loss, even blindness.

Data computed from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported on eye injuries from toy guns with projectiles: over a ten year period (2010-2019), 6,617 cases of ocular trauma due to toy guns were recorded in ED across the US, most concerning is that over 60% of these eye injuries were in children under age 9.

The most common pediatric eye injuries include corneal abrasions (scratches to the outer surface of the eye), corneal hyphema (collection of blood inside the eye, from an internal injury), a ruptured or punctured eyeball, and retinal detachment.

That’s why it’s so important to be aware of which features make a toy less or more likely to cause injury. By keeping the following tips in mind when picking out gifts, you’ll minimize the risk of any toy-related eye injuries.

Toys With a High Risk of Causing Eye Injury

1. Shooting Toys/Guns

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has made public statements about the risks that toy guns pose to children’s eyes. Even toy guns that shoot soft projectiles or darts are considered unsafe.

Many of these guns can shoot projectiles 75-150 feet away, making them especially dangerous for younger children who may play with them indoors and in close range of other children or adults, as they may not realize the power of these toy guns.

Even water balloon launchers can cause blunt force trauma to a child’s eye and lead to retinal detachment or vision loss.

If you decide to purchase this type of toy, make sure that the children are supervised and that they wear protective eyewear while using them.

2. Toys with Pointed or Sharp Ends

This one doesn’t require much explanation — if it’s pointy, it’s risky.

Toys like swords, fishing poles, wands, bows and arrows, darts and sabers are all hazardous to eye health as even the briefest contact between the object and the eye can cause a serious eye injury.

Even if the toy’s packaging says that it’s age appropriate, think twice before handing over a pointy object or any item with sharp edges to a child, especially if other children are around.

3. Aerosol Spray/Spray Streamer

If the product that comes out of these aerosol cans gets into a child’s eye, it can cause chemical conjunctivitis (pink eye) or sight-threatening chemical burns, depending on the nature of the spray. When used at close proximity to a child’s face, spray streamers can also cause corneal abrasion, which can lead to bacterial, viral or fungal eye infections and even vision loss.

4. Fireworks/Firecrackers

Several organizations, including Prevent Blindness, recommend that children never be allowed to play with fireworks or firecrackers. There simply isn’t a safe way for non-professionals to handle these explosive devices.

Protect the children in your life from probable danger by avoiding gifting fireworks or firecrackers, no matter the occasion.

5. Bright Flashlights and Laser Pointers

The light intensity of laser pointers can be damaging to kids’ eyes and even cause permanent vision loss.

Though flashlights aren’t toys, kids love playing with them. When shone directly into a child’s eyes, the bright light can cause temporary blindness, which puts them at risk of getting injured in other ways, like tripping or bumping into things.

How To Choose Eye-Safe Toys

  • Try shopping in-store rather than online so you can see what the toy looks like in person.
  • Examine the toy closely for any potential factors for eye injury, as outlined above.
  • Consult with the child’s parents before giving a gift to be sure they’re okay with the toy you’d like to buy.
  • If you’re purchasing sports equipment, make sure to supply the appropriate protective eyewear as well.
  • Bear in mind the ages of the other children who may come into contact with the toy.
  • Consider the age and maturity of the child you are shopping for. Just because the age recommendation on the box says it’s appropriate, it doesn’t guarantee that it is safe for all children. Take the child’s level of maturity and penchant for risk-taking into account.

Some eye-safe toys and games for kids include many types of arts and crafts kits, card games, building toys and board games. Arts and crafts projects involving wood, glass or other potentially sharp objects should be used with protective eyewear.

No matter what toy or game you decide to purchase for a child, make sure they are always supervised when playing. The good news is that most pediatric eye injuries are preventable with the correct protective eyewear and supervision, and by choosing low-risk toys and games.

At Lifetime Eyecare Associates, we are here to assist with all matters of eye health and care, and wish a safe and healthy holiday season to all of our valued patients!

To schedule an eye exam or to ask any questions about our services, call Lifetime Eyecare Associates in The Woodlands today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I do in the event of a toy-related eye injury?

  • A: If your child sustains a toy-related eye injury, seek medical attention from your eye doctor, without delay. Do not try to remove an object that’s lodged in the eye, unless you are certain that it’s easy to remove, like a piece of dust or eyelash. Instruct your child not to rub their eyes, as rubbing can often worsen the problem. If your eye doctor is unavailable, seek emergency medical care at your nearest urgent care center.

Q: Can a toy-related injury cause corneal abrasion?

  • A: Yes. A sharp piece of metal or debris, like a tiny shard of glass, can scratch the cornea—known as corneal abrasion.
    A deep abrasion can cause an eye infection or a corneal ulcer, so if your child gets a foreign substance in their eye without successfully flushing it out, contact your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


7 Signs That Your Child May Need Glasses

optometrist near you eye exam for kids

Poor eyesight can cause children to lag behind in class or on the sports field, which may impact their self-esteem.

So how can parents tell when it’s time to take their child to an eye doctor? Here are some signs that your child’s eyesight may benefit from prescription eyeglasses.

1. They Squint a Lot

If your child sometimes squints their eyes when trying to focus on a distant object, they may have a condition called myopia, or nearsightedness. Squinting reduces the amount of light that enters the eye and helps to focus incoming light onto the center of the retina, resulting in sharper vision.

2. They Complain of Headaches

Children who have uncorrected farsightedness or astigmatism are very susceptible to headaches, especially after reading or doing near work. That’s because their eye muscles have to work very hard to focus on the words or objects in front of them.

3. They Frequently Rub Their Eyes

Eye rubbing can be a sign of tiredness or eye infection, but pay attention to when your child rubs their eyes. If they do so when trying to read or visually concentrate on something, they may have a vision problem. Many children don’t have the verbal skills to communicate a vision problem and may simply rub their eyes to try and eliminate the blurry vision they’re experiencing.

4. They Sit Too Close to the Board, TV or Digital Screen

Is your child holding up their book or phone too close to their face? Do they bring their seat right up to the TV screen? If so, their eyesight might be to blame. While nearsightedness is a fairly common problem, it is easily correctable with a pair of prescription glasses.

5. They Close One Eye

When a child closes one eye to focus on something, it may indicate an uncorrected refractive error or binocular vision problem. When the two eyes aren’t able to work in tandem, the child may unconsciously close one eye to enable the stronger eye to send a clear image to the brain.

6. They Seem Clumsy

Do they keep tripping or bumping into things because they are clumsy, or because they simply can’t see very well? The best way to tell is through a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist.

7. Reading Is a Challenge

Refractive errors and other vision problems can make it very difficult for a child to read. Children with uncorrected vision problems may often lose their place while reading, skip lines, use their fingers to point to each word or may avoid reading altogether. In fact, many children who have undiagnosed vision problems are mistakenly diagnosed with a learning disability. That’s why it’s important for children who are struggling in school to undergo a thorough eye exam with their optometrist.

We Provide Pediatric Eye Exams and More!

If any of the above signs apply to your child, it’s time for a thorough evaluation with an optometrist. At Lifetime Eyecare Associates, our friendly and knowledgeable staff use a very gentle and welcoming approach with young patients to help every child feel safe and comfortable throughout the process.

Whether your child needs glasses, contact lenses or other eyewear, we can help them find their perfect fit.

And remember, basic vision screenings offered by schools or pediatricians do not replace the care and expertise of an optometrist.

To schedule your child’s appointment and learn more about the services we offer, call Lifetime Eyecare Associates in ​​The Woodlands today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often do children need to have their eyes examined by an optometrist?

  • A: According to the American Optometric Association, children should have their eyes evaluated by an optometrist at ages 6 months, 3 years, before entering first grade and every school year after that. Some children may need more frequent optometrist visits, depending on their risk factors or other conditions.

Q: What are the most common vision problems among children?

  • A: The most common vision problems found in children are refractive errors (farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism), lazy eye, crossed eyes and color deficiency. A thorough visual evaluation will help rule out any of these conditions in your child.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


It’s Autumn! Does that Mean You Should Put Away Your Sunglasses?

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Shorter days and cooler weather can fool us into a false sense of security, especially when it comes to sun damage. Many people think they don’t need to wear sunglasses in the autumn and winter, when there are fewer sunny days and the sun feels less intense. In reality, autumn light can be much more harmful to our eyes than the summer sun.

Here are 5 reasons why you should have your sunglasses on hand and wear them all year long.

The Sun’s Position

The sun is lower in the sky and closer to the horizon in the autumn, so UV rays have a much more direct path to our eyes. Even though the sun might seem less intense than it does during the summer months, there are still very high levels of UV rays and exposure. Wearing UV protective sunglasses can help reduce UV ray exposure.

Autumn’s Dangerous Sun Glare

The sun’s lower angle this time of year causes a lot of glare, especially while driving. A shallow autumn sun reflects a lot more glare than the summer sun. Glare can temporarily blind you, making driving and even walking perilous.

Fortunately, there are lens alternatives available that are capable of dealing with both mid and flat light as well as glare. Our sunglass lenses are particularly popular this time of year because they are polarized to block off glare but allow enough light to see well in less sunny or gloomy settings.

Changing Temperatures

The season’s cool and sometimes severe winds often cause irritating symptoms like dry, red, or watery eyes. The tear oils (meibum) in the eyes stiffen and thicken as the air gets cooler. Tears may be unable to provide adequate protection and moisture to the eye’s tear surface because thicker meibum does not spread uniformly across the surface of the eyes.

Wraparound sunglasses shield the eyes from the chilly air, reducing irritation.

Protection From the Elements

Autumn winds can transport dust, debris and pollutants that can irritate the delicate areas in and around the eyes.

The season also brings less humidity and more wind. Low humidity and strong winds can dehydrate both your eye film and skin around the delicate eye area. Wear sunglasses to protect yourself from irritants and allergens that float around in the autumn air.

UV Rays

Exposure to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation is dangerous all year round, as it can cause sight-threatening eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. That’s why, no matter the season, you should always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses when you’re outdoors.

Even on cloudy days, wear your sunglasses because up to 90% of UV radiation passes through clouds. Outdoor materials, such as pavement and snow, also reflect a substantial quantity of UV rays into the eyes.

In the fall and throughout the year, regardless of the season or climate, you should protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses.

Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates in The Woodlands if you’re looking for a new pair of high-quality sunglasses for the fall, with or without prescription lenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I still need to wear sunglasses, even if the sun doesn’t bother my eyes?

  • A: Yes. UV rays can penetrate clouds, so even on overcast days the sun can damage your eyes.

Q: Do children need sunglasses?

  • A: Sunglasses for kids, including bables, are a must. Children are at greater risk of sun exposure than adults because they spend more time in the sun and their eyes are clear, allowing more UV rays to reach the retina. Since UV damage builds up over a person’s lifetime, start protecting your child’s eyes as soon as possible.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

5 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes, and What You Can Do About It

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Diabetic eye disease refers to a range of vision problems that can affect people who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. While serious, diabetic eye disease is not inevitable. If you have diabetes, there are steps you can take to protect your eyes.

Here are 5 ways diabetes can affect your vision.

Blurred Vision

High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid build-up in the [focusing] lens of the eye, resulting in blurred vision. This fluid build-up occurs because excessive sugar causes the fibres of the lens to swell and change shape. In the short term, regulating your blood sugar can correct the condition. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to permanent changes in your ability to maintain clear focus.

Cataracts

Diabetics are 60% more prone to developing cataracts, which is the clouding of the eyes’ normally clear lens. Diabetic patients are also more likely to acquire cataracts at an earlier age and have a faster progression of the disease During cataract surgery the cloudy lens is replaced with a clear artificial lens.

Glaucoma

If you have diabetes, you’re more than twice as likely to develop glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve in your eye and can result in permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis is crucial, because symptoms typically don’t appear until the condition has led to at least some vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in diabetics. It develops when high blood sugar levels damage the retina’s tiny blood vessels. The damaged vessels can leak fluid or blood into the eye, causing distorted vision. There are usually no symptoms in its early stages, and by the time symptoms manifest, the patient has likely suffered some vision loss. The longer an individual has diabetes, the higher the chance of developing diabetic retinopathy. Like glaucoma, the earlier diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, the better the outcome.

Diabetic Maculopathy

Diabetic maculopathy is a kind of diabetic retinopathy that affects the macula. Damage to the macula, the area of the eye that facilitates central vision, is referred to as maculopathy. Blood vessels that leak protein into the macula, generating an accumulation of fluid, are the most common cause.

Why Do Diabetics Get An Annual Eye Exam?

How to Take Care of Diabetic Eyes

The best way to prevent or minimize vision problems related to diabetes is by:

  • Having comprehensive eye exams and retinal scans at least once a year
  • Following a doctor-recommended diet and taking medication to keep your blood sugar levels in check
  • Maintaining safe levels of cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Not smoking and restricting your alcohol consumption
  • Staying as active as possible by including physical activity in your everyday routine

The good news is that if you have diabetes, adequate care and early detection of any diabetes-related eye issues can help you manage your symptoms and safeguard your eyesight. Schedule an appointment with Lifetime Eyecare Associates in The Woodlands today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What vision changes may a diabetic encounter?

A: If you have diabetes you may notice some of the following vision changes:

  • Floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • Blurry or wavy vision
  • Dark areas or vision loss
  • Frequently changing vision — sometimes from day-to-day

Q: How is diabetic eye disease detected?

  • A: A complete eye examination with dilatation is used to diagnose diabetic eye disease. It is the only way to detect early indicators of eye disease, which is critical because early treatment for eye disease leads to a better prognosis.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

Childhood Myopia: What It Is and What You Can Do To Help Your Child

Treehouse eyes carrots minDozens of parents bring their children into our practices every day for eye exams and other services, and many ask us questions about myopia. While instances and awareness of myopia are on the rise, to help spread myopia awareness we’ve written out the basics on childhood myopia, why it matters, and what you as a parent can do to help preserve your child’s eye health in the long run.

What is Myopia?

Myopia (often referred to as nearsightedness) is the most common cause of impaired vision in people under age 40, and its prevalence in children is growing at an alarming rate.

Myopia typically starts in childhood and progresses (the eye keeps getting bigger), or gets worse, until early adulthood. During this time the symptom of myopia, blurry distance vision, gets worse, meaning the patient needs stronger glasses to continue to see clearly. If blurry distance vision is the symptom of myopia, what exactly is myopia? Stated again, myopia is an eye that is growing too long. How do we know this?

We measure it using special non-invasive technology to calculate the length of the eye from the front (cornea) to the back (retina). This distance is known as the axial length and is measured down to fractions of a millimeter with advanced equipment. So, myopia is an abnormal elongation of the eye.

Risk Factors for Myopia

Myopia risk factors include genetics (having one or both parents myopic), an insufficient amount of time spent outdoors, and excessive near work (time spent reading, school work, & digital screens).

Childhood myopia is progressive, which is why your child may need a new prescription every year or two. Unless treated, a child’s myopia will continue to worsen until early adulthood. What some people don’t realize is that myopia is far more than simply blurred vision — it’s associated with drastically higher risk of developing eye disease in the future.

How Can Myopia Impact a Child’s Health?

Childhood myopia places a child at a greater risk of developing serious eye diseases later in life, as compared to non-myopic children, and the odds only increase as myopia continues to progress.

In fact, a child with myopia is 2 to 40 times more likely to develop myopic maculopathy (also known as myopic macular degeneration, a serious vision-threatening complication) depending on their degree of nearsightedness.

Retinal detachment is another serious eye condition that can cause permanent blindness. A myopic child is 3 to 21 times more likely to develop this emergency eye condition in adulthood.

Moreover, children with myopia have a threefold risk of developing glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness worldwide, in the long run.

And although cataracts are considered a normal part of aging, having myopia advances the age at which they develop. According to a study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, individuals with high myopia are more likely to need cataract surgery at an earlier age than those with no myopia.

Furthermore, aside from an increased risk of adult eye disease, untreated myopia can prevent a child from succeeding academically and socially.

A 2019 study published in the Community Eye Health Journal underscores the importance of excellent visual acuity in school-aged children. It found that offering vision correction to students with myopia has more of an educational impact than providing them with vitamins or medications to maintain or improve their physical health.

Myopia has equally serious ramifications outside the classroom. A study published in BMC Ophthalmology (2016) found that adolescents with myopia are more likely to have anxiety than their peers with normal vision.

Furthermore, adverse visual symptoms impact a child’s self-esteem, according to a study published in the Journal of Optometry and Vision Science.

The good news is that certain lifestyle choices, especially when coupled with myopia management treatment, can have a lasting positive effect on your child’s eye health.

What Can Parents Do To Help Slow Myopia Progression?

We know that parents want what’s best for their children. So here are a few recommendations that will help keep your child’s eyes healthy — whether or not myopia has set in.

Take your kids outside to play. Several studies have indicated that children who spend over 2 hours outdoors during the day have lower levels of myopia and slower myopia progression.

A recent study published in BMC Ophthalmology and cited in Review of Optometry (2021) found that for non-myopic children with myopic parents, “a high level of outdoor exposure had a remarkable influence on the risk of new myopia for children even with one myopic parent.”

Although it’s not always easy, try to limit the amount of continuous near work your child does. Whether it’s reading or scrolling through a phone, remind your child to take breaks.

However, the most important thing you can do to protect your child’s long-term eye health is manage their myopia with treatment.

We Can Help Preserve Your Child’s Eye Health

At Treehouse Eyes, our goal is to provide expert care to each and every child with kindness and a smile.

Our state-of-the-art equipment and diagnostic technology enable us to thoroughly assess your child’s visual condition and needs. We offer the latest treatments to manage your child’s myopia and effectively slow down how quickly myopia progresses.

Help your child succeed in school and in activities, and offer them a better overall quality of life with myopia management.

Give your child the tools they need to succeed! To schedule your child’s back-to-school eye exam, call
281-825-5825 or to see a list of all providers near you visit Treehouse Eyes today.

How to Disinfect Your Glasses

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Your glasses, both lenses and frames, have the ability to transmit infections, including COVID-19, to your eyes, nose and mouth via your hands.

According to the Journal of Hospital Infection, COVID-19 can survive on glass for up to four days. It can also be identified on stainless steel and plastic — materials used to manufacture glasses — for up to three days.

One way you can clean your glasses is by using a cleaning spray which your The Woodlands eye doctor will provide you with. Make sure you follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean your specific glasses, as each frame, lens material and coating is different.

If you run out or can’t get cleaning spray from your eye doctor, here are some tips on how to clean your glasses.

Use soap and water

Liquid soap and water provide good protection against viruses and bacteria. Here’s how to keep your glasses germ-free:

  • Wash your hands with soap, and dry them with a lint-free towel or paper towel.
  • Rinse the lenses with water to prevent specks of dirt from damaging your lenses.
  • Apply a drop of dish soap to the lenses and gently massage it around with a microfiber cloth. Disposable lens wipes are fine, too.
  • Remember to clean the nose pads and behind-the-ear pieces as well as the edge where the lens meets the frame.

Rince the glasses with water and dry them with a microfiber cloth, or simply air dry.

Clean your glasses after being out in public

We are often unaware of how frequently we touch our faces, eyes and nose, which is why handwashing is so crucial.

Whether you wear prescription or non-prescription glasses, make sure to clean them after a trip to the grocery store or any place where you’ve been around other people.

Don’t blow on glasses

Many people try to clean their lenses by steaming them up with their breath. Blowing on your lenses can cause them to become even more contaminated.

Don’t use bleach or rubbing alcohol

Don’t use sanitizing cleaning solutions that contain alcohol or bleach, as they can be harsh on anti-reflective or non-glare lens coatings. They might also weaken the frame.

It’s easy to clean your glasses. Doing so can safeguard your health and keep your glasses in the best possible condition.

Contact Lifetime Eyecare Associates in The Woodlands if you have any further questions related to your eye health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long will it take to clean my glasses?

  • A: A thorough cleaning of your glasses should take no more than 10 minutes and regular maintenance should take no more than 5 minutes (and just a minute or two, if you incorporate glasses-washing into your hand-washing routine).

Q: Can I put sanitizing wipes on my glasses?

  • A: No. Household cleaning/antibacterial wipes may ruin your lenses, so avoid using them.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

What Role Does Family History Play In Eye Disease?

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Your Family Eye Doctor Cares About Your Health

Each of us inherits a wealth of traits from our parents, grandparents and previous generations. But sometimes, there are some less desirable characteristics in one’s genetic code and family history that we inherit along with the good.

Genetics play a vital role in eye health, so knowing what conditions and diseases are found in your family tree can clue in your eye doctor to your personal risk factors and overall health.

Genetics and Eye Disease

Most eye diseases have multiple causes, but more than 350 eye diseases and conditions have a clear genetic component. Below, we outline the most common eye conditions that can develop primarily, or in part, due to your genes.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness around the world and results from both genetic and environmental factors. Glaucoma causes permanent damage to your optic nerve, impacting the visual signals sent from the eye to the brain, resulting in ‘Tunnel Vision.’ Having a family member who’s been diagnosed with glaucoma increases your chances of developing the disease by 4 to 9 times. Family history is also valuable in predicting one’s chances of becoming blind from glaucoma and the rate of its progression.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is another sight-threatening eye disease that tends to run in families. AMD causes significant loss of vision due to damage to your central vision. In fact, about 1 in 5 patients with AMD will also have an affected sibling or parent. Having a close relative with AMD also makes a person about 4 times more likely to develop the late, more serious stage of the condition.

Genetics are also partially responsible for the development of cataracts, the clouding of your natural lens, inside the eye. Research published in IOVS (July 2001) found that up to 58% of age-related cataracts are due to genetics, while the rest of the cases are due to environmental factors and eye injuries.

Diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the retinal health of diabetics, is another example of an eye disease that one can inherit. A study published in Current Genomics estimates that a person’s genes account for 20-25% of their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, as well as how quickly it progresses.

Less common eye conditions are also linked to genetics. About 4 out of 10 people with strabismus (crossed eyes) have a relative with the same condition. Amblyopia (lazy eye), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and hyperopia (farsightedness) also tend to run in families.

Regular Eye Exams are Crucial For Eye Health

The good news is that even if you have a family history of eye disease, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have the same diagnosis. As a matter of fact, lifestyle can play a massive role in maintaining your visual health.

Consuming an eye-healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy body weight, refraining from smoking and getting enough sleep have all been shown to mitigate the risk of certain eye diseases. But the best thing you can do for your eyes is to schedule yearly eye exams with your optometrist to help catch eye disease early in its tracks before significant vision loss develops. This is especially relevant for those having family members with any sort of eye disease or condition.

At Lifetime Eyecare Associates, we work together with our patients to preserve and protect their eyesight and eye health for a lifetime.

To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Lifetime Eyecare Associates in The Woodlands today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to have my eyes checked if I don’t have any visual problems or a family history of eye disease?

  • A: Yes. Many serious eye diseases like glaucoma and AMD typically begin without any warning signs or symptoms. The only way to detect the onset of such diseases is by having a thorough and comprehensive eye evaluation. Many eye conditions can start at any age, making yearly eye exams important for all.

Q: Which lifestyle factors contribute to the onset and progression of eye diseases and conditions?

  • A: Each disease has its own set of environmental risk factors, but there are a few common denominators. Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and severe nutrient deficiencies can all harm eye health. Risk factors for nearsightedness include excessive near work (reading, looking at a digital screen) and not enough time spent outdoors. Speak with your optometrist about how your lifestyle may be impacting your eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


4 Risks of Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses This Halloween

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Wish your eyes were a different color or that you could change their ‘look’? That’s exactly why some people find decorative contact lenses appealing. Cosmetic, theatrical, circular, decorative, costume, colored and Halloween contact lenses are some of the names used to describe the lenses that give you eyes a new appearance.

To prevent complications, infection and potential vision loss, all contact lenses should be purchased using a prescription from your eye doctor. Otherwise, your risk the following:

  1. Scratches to the eye – If your contacts aren’t fitted properly or are of inferior quality, they can harm your cornea. A corneal abrasion is a painful condition that can result in lasting damage and even vision loss.
  2. Inflammation of the cornea – According to studies, wearing non-prescription contacts raises the incidence of keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)16-fold. In the best of cases, early treatment with antibiotics or steroid drops may help to maintain vision, and in the worst of cases—surgery may be required.
  3. Pink eye – Many people think it’s not a problem to wear someone else’s cosmetic lenses. In reality, sharing contacts can transfer germs and lead to infections like pink eye. To treat pink eye, your eye doctor will need to understand the root of the issue, but usually antibiotic eye drops suffice.
  4. Vision loss – Wearing non-prescription contacts may cause vision loss—and in extreme cases even blindness—as a result of corneal damage or infection.

Checklist for Decorative Contact Lens Wearers

  • Make sure you get a comprehensive eye exam from an eye doctor, who will properly measure your eyes to fit your contacts.
  • Obtain a prescription from your eye doctor that contains all pertinent information, such as the
    specifications of the contacts, the expiration date, and the brand name.
  • Check that the contact lenses you ordered are identical to the prescription.
  • Decorative contact lenses should always be purchased from a reputable source. Note that only reliable retailers demand a prescription.
  • Follow your eye doctor hygiene guidelines for cleaning, inserting, removing, and storing contact lenses.
  • Make an appointment for a follow-up eye exam as recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Never let anyone else use your contact lenses.

Enjoy your Halloween without the stress or agony of an eye infection or a damaged cornea by following these contact lens safety instructions. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Lifetime Eyecare Associates in The Woodlands today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are decorative contact lenses safe?

  • A: Yes, if they are prescribed by an optometrist. Most people are able to wear tinted contact lenses safely if they are used as instructed. Following your optometrist’s instructions is essential for successful contact lens wear.

Q: Do I need a prescription? What if I don’t require vision correction?

  • A: Yes. Even if you don’t need vision correction, contact lenses are medical equipment that should be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Eye Makeup Tips For Those With Dry Eyes

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Most eye makeup is formulated specifically for the sensitive eye area and is considered safe to use. But does this apply to those prone to dry eye syndrome?

Do you experience discomfort while wearing eye makeup? Find out whether the problem might be dry eye syndrome and learn what you can do to prevent future irritation.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic lack of hydration on the eye’s surface. It occurs when your tear quality or quantity are off-balance, and can lead to symptoms like eye dryness, redness, irritation, watery eyes, light sensitivity and blurred vision.

How Can Eye Makeup Lead to DES?

The surface of your eye is covered by a nourishing layer of tears composed of mucus, oil and water. The production and turnover of the tear film helps keep our eyes feel comfortable and see clearly.

When you wear eye makeup, especially powder or glitters, the loose particles can cause the tear film to break down and evaporate too quickly, leaving your eyes feeling dry and irritated. This usually occurs within 30 minutes of applying your makeup.

Eye makeup can exacerbate symptoms in people who already have DES, or can trigger it in people who don’t. That’s why it’s important to apply your eye makeup in a way that will lessen your symptoms and support a healthy tear film.

Eye Makeup Tips For Those With DES

  1. Apply lubricating eye drops to each eye about 30 minutes prior to doing your makeup.
  2. Disinfect your applicators before each use to avoid contamination.
  3. Apply makeup products to the outside of your eyelashes. Avoid lining the inner rim of your lashes, as this area is very close to the tear film.
  4. Use a minimal amount of mascara, or simply curl your lashes without mascara for a lifted effect.
  5. Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all makeup products and should be tossed out 2-3 months after opening to avoid eye infection or clogging the meibomian glands in your eyelids.
  6. When possible, choose cream-based products and avoid anything containing glitter, even glitter promoted as ‘eye-safe.’
  7. Never share your eye makeup with anyone.
  8. Be diligent about thoroughly removing your makeup at the end of the day.
  9. Never apply eye makeup when your eyes are irritated or red.

With the right care, wearing eye makeup with dry eye syndrome is possible. If your eyes have been giving you any trouble, we can help.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Lifetime Eyecare Associates in The Woodlands for all your eye care needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the best way to remove eye makeup?

  • A: Start off by removing the bulk of your eye makeup with a cotton pad or washcloth and oil-free eye makeup remover. Then, use your face cleanser to wash off the rest of your makeup. Once your face and eyes are basically clean, use an eyelid cleansing wipe to remove any leftover makeup particles from your upper and lower lids.

Q: Which lubricating eye drops work best for dry eyes?

  • A: From soothing to lubricating to anti-redness drops, the pharmacy is full of different types of eye drops. Your optometrist will help you determine which brand and type will work best for your condition and lifestyle.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Lifetime Eyecare Associates for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Spooky Things You Didn’t Know About Myopia

myopia management

Myopia (most often referred to as nearsightedness) affects about one in every three children in the United States and has become increasingly prevalent over the last 30 years.

Myopia is an eye disease that occurs when the eye grows too long—like the shape of a football. This causes distant objects to appear blurry and increases the risk of serious, sight-threatening eye diseases in adulthood.

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child. By learning these 5 important facts, you may feel encouraged to do more for your child’s eye health and long-term vision—such as ensuring that they get their eyes checked on a regular basis and turning to myopia management to prevent the rapid progression of this disease.

The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Increased Myopia Prevalence In Children

The significant reduction in outdoor time during the pandemic combined with the surge in screen time has increased the incidence of myopia cases. According to a systematic review and meta-analysis published in Ophthalmic Research (2020), outdoor time helps slow down the change of axial length and reduce the risk of myopia.

Similar results were found in a previous study in Ophthalmology (2013) that investigated the association between myopia in children and adolescents, and the amount of time spent outdoors. The study analyzed over 10,000 children and adolescents aged 20 and under and concluded a substantial correlation between increased time spent outside and the prevalence of myopia. Each additional hour spent outside per week was linked to a 2% reduction in the risk of myopia.

Myopia Increases the Risk of Eye Disease

Those with high myopia and rapidly progressing myopia in childhood are more prone to developing ocular comorbidities or serious sight-threatening eye diseases later in life, such as:

  • Glaucoma
  • Macular degeneration
  • Myopic Maculopathy
  • Retinal detachment

Myopia is a Progressive Eye Disease

Myopia usually starts in childhood and progresses throughout a child’s school years, eventually stabilizing around ages 18-22.

Since the eye grows in sync with the rest of the body, it’s only natural that it ceases elongating in early adulthood when the rest of the body stops growing. This also means that a child’s growth spurts often coincide with a higher prescription.

Fortunately, myopia can be efficiently treated in order to prevent it from worsening as the child grows. Slowing myopia early in life can make a significant difference in your child’s eye health in their present and future.

Myopia Is An Epidemic

Myopia is a global epidemic that continues to worsen, affecting close to 2 billion individuals worldwide.

If current trends hold, roughly half of the world’s population will be myopic by the year 2050, partly due to genetics and increasingly as a result of our society’s preference for staying indoors and spending more time on digital screens.

Myopia Can Be Treated

Myopia cannot be cured; however, its progression can be slowed or even halted.

The goal of myopia treatment, also known as myopia management or myopia control, is to reduce or halt the eye’s rapid growth. Effective myopia treatment entails more than simply correcting a child’s blurry vision with glasses; it’s meant to prevent a child’s vision from deteriorating and, thus lowering their risk of developing severe myopia-related eye diseases later in life.

Give your child the tools they need to succeed! To schedule your child’s back-to-school eye exam, call 281-825-5825 or to see a list of all providers near you visit Treehouse Eyes today.