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COVID-19 Updates

We’re here for you!

We’ve stayed open for Emergencies during this time and can’t wait to serve our patients & community once again.

We are happy to announce that we have received the go ahead from the CDC, AOA, TOA and our governor to renew seeing routine eye exams in our office. We will resume normal business hours on May 4th.

During this difficult time, we have made adjustments to our services to ensure the health and safety of our Patients, our Staff, and our Doctors.

For the Protection of Our Patients, we have implemented the following procedures:

Limited Appointment Scheduling – in order to ensure we are able to properly disinfect and adhere to Social Distancing Guidelines set forth by our local authority. Certainly, urgent and emergency patients will be prioritized.

Fever Free Environment – Temperatures will be taken upon entering the clinic of all patients, staff, and doctors. Anyone with 99.5 degrees or higher will be asked to reschedule.

Pre-Screening Questionnaire – We will continue to ask any patient with upper respiratory symptoms to reschedule their appointments.

Face Covering – We are requiring everyone entering our office to wear some type of facial covering such as a mask.

Wash hands and sanitize – Upon entering everyone will be asked to sanitize their hands.

All Staff and Doctors will be required to wear a mask.

Social Distancing – We are limiting the number of patients in our office and are asking, when possible, only the patient enters our office for their visit. Please ask anyone accompanying you to stay in their car, unless the patient is 18 and under.

Thank you for your support and understanding during these unprecedented times.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Dr. Claudio Lagunas

Lifetime Eyecare Associates

Support Hurricane Harvey Relief with the Purchase of Oakley Sunglasses

oakleyWe are proud to honor the communities of South Texas and help contribute to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

For the month of September, Oakley will donate 100% of the proceeds from two limited edition Texas flag styles to the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) Disaster Relief Fund. These two special models feature a Texas flag design on the icon.

IMG 6050

Limited quantities are available – so stop by now.

Your Vision After Cataract Surgery

Man in living room reading newspaper smilingWill You Need to Wear Eyeglasses or Contact Lenses?

Following cataract surgery, a number of options are available to provide you with clear vision. Advanced lens implants may reduce your dependence upon eyeglasses and contact lenses, or you may prefer eyewear.

To explain, during cataract surgery, your eye doctor will concentrate on two specific issues:

  1. Resolving cloudy vision caused by cataracts
  2. Vision problems caused by the lens power and shape of your eye

Private insurance plans and Medicare typically cover the expense of cataract surgery, along with a single-focus intraocular lens implant – in which a clear lens replaces your opaque lens. However, as your eye doctor performs this surgery, you can also opt to have an additional procedure to improve your vision focus. This can eliminate or reduce your need for eyewear.

Ultimately, you and your eye doctor will decide together upon the most appropriate choice for your personal needs. To make the right decision, it is important to be informed how each option will affect your vision. Here are a few case examples to give you a clearer picture of the possibilities:

Mia:

A true bookworm, Mia is always reading when she is not working in data entry. She has healthy eyes with a mild astigmatism and dislikes wearing eyeglasses. She was just diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. After cataract surgery, Mia would be very pleased to reduce her dependence upon eyeglasses.

A perfect choice for Mia would be multifocal contact lenses, which enable near and far focus without any cumbersome eyeglasses.

Another option would be a procedure described as a “corneal relaxing incision”. During her cataract surgery, Mia’s eye doctor would make an additional incision in the cornea to reshape it.

Ethan:

Ethan is an avid outdoorsman who has mild astigmatism in both eyes and wears eyeglasses for sharp vision. Recently, he was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes. He is not bothered with wearing glasses for reading or close tasks, yet he would love to bike, swim and jog without his prescription glasses.

An ideal vision correction for Ethan would be an intraocular lens implant that resolves astigmatism. Called a toric lens, this implant can focus his distance vision and thereby reduce the need for eyeglasses when engaging in outdoor physical activities. Most likely, he will still need reading glasses to see fine print and the computer screen, as a toric lens does not help with both near and distant vision.

Matthew:

Matthew was never a fan of reading glasses. Therefore, for over 15 years, he has worn monovision contact lenses successfully to provide distance for presbyopia. Monovision lenses correct one eye for distance and one eye for near vision. After his cataract surgery, he would like to continue wearing monovision contacts. However, this is not his only option.

Multifocal lenses can be implanted in both of Matthew’s eyes, thereby giving sharp focus for both near and distance in both eyes. Alternatively, his eye doctor can implant one lens for distance and one for near – following the monovision method. The best candidates for this option are generally patients who are accustomed to wearing monovision lenses, such as Matthew. The final choice is a personal one, based on his preferences.

Jerry:

Jerry has worn eyeglasses since he was a young child, and he is the proud owner of many stylish frames. In addition to providing clear eyesight, Jerry’s eyeglasses function as his trademark fashion accessory.

After cataract surgery, he is a good candidate for basic single focus lens implants. These implants will improve Jerry’s visual acuity without eyeglasses, yet he will still need eyewear to focus well on both distance and near tasks. This option is a great match for his personal preferences.

The type of vision correction you choose after your cataract surgery depends upon your ocular condition, individual lifestyle preferences and the professional recommendation of your eye doctor. Quality vision is the objective of every cataract procedure, and there is more than one way to reach this goal!

Are Your Eyes Sensitive to Light?

outdoor sunshine

Light sensitivity, also known as photophobia, is a condition in which bright light – either natural sunlight or artificial light – can cause significant discomfort, pain and intolerance. People that experience light sensitivity will find themselves needing to close their eyes or squint when exposed to light and often experience headaches and nausea as well. In mild cases, the discomfort accompanies exposure to bright lights or harsh sunlight, but in severe cases even a small amount of light can cause pain and discomfort.

Photophobia is more common in individuals with light eyes. This is because the greater amounts of pigment in darker eyes help to protect the eye from the harsh rays of light. The darker pigment of the iris and choroid absorbs the light, rather than reflecting the light and causing internal reflection or glare experienced by those with lighter eyes. People with albinism, which is a total lack of eye pigment, also experience significant light sensitivity for this reason.

Acute photophobia is usually a symptom that accompanies a condition such as an eye infection or irritation (such as conjunctivitis or dry eyes), a virus, or a migraine (light sensitivity is one of the most common symptoms of migraines). It could also be caused by something more serious such as an eye condition like a corneal abrasion, a detached retina, uveitis or iritis or a systemic disease like meningitis or encephalitis. Light sensitivity is also a side effect of refractive surgery (such as LASIK) and some medications (such as tetracycline and doxycycline).

How to Deal with Photophobia

The most effective way to reduce the discomfort caused by photophobia is to stay out of sunlight and dim indoor lights as much as possible while you are experiencing symptoms. Wearing dark sunglasses and keeping your eyes closed may also provide some relief.

In the summer it is more common for UV to trigger corneal inflammation (keratitis) and cause photosensitivity as well. Wind and eye dryness can also set off photosensitivity, which are more good reasons to wear sunglasses.

If the sensitivity is new and the cause is unknown, you should seek medical attention immediately, especially if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Burning or pain in the eye
  • Fever and chills
  • Confusion and irritability
  • Severe headache
  • Drowsiness
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Numbness
  • Foreign body sensation

In cases where the photophobia is a symptom of an underlying issue, treating the issue will likely cause relief in your sensitivity. This will vary depending on the ailment but could include pain medications, eye drops or antibiotics, or anti-inflammatory medications. If the sensitivity is mild due to your genetic predisposition or a result of surgery, make sure you take your sunglasses every time you leave the house. People who wear prescription eyeglasses may consider photochromic lenses which automatically darken when exposed to light.

If you are uncomfortable, speak to your eye doctor about the best options for your condition.

What Are the Differences Between Daily vs. Monthly Contact Lenses?

Our Lens Experts Explain How to Choose

eyes american woman looking rightMonthly lenses were the gold standard when contact lenses were first released into the consumer market. However, nowadays there are many more types of quality, comfortable lenses out there, and monthly lenses are no longer the popular standard. We offer a wide selection of dailies and monthlies are available in our contact lens collection. Every individual needs to choose the type of contacts that best matches their vision prescription and lifestyle. To do this, a number of issues must be taken into consideration. To assist our patients in making this decision, we offer you an explanation of the main differences between daily and monthly contact lenses:

Learn the Basics of Daily and Monthly Lenses

Daily Lenses

Worn only for one day and discarded when you remove them, daily contacts are typically very thin and have a high water content. Natural deposits from your eyes build up easily on their surface, and they cannot be reused. We offer a large variety of brand-name daily lenses and premium solutions to satisfy all of your contact lens needs.

Monthly Lenses

Replaced either monthly or bi-weekly, these contact lenses are thicker than daily disposables. The thicker composition makes them more durable and long-lasting, and they are usually more resistant to drying out. However, they must be disinfected regularly in order to ensure healthy wearing. Monthly lenses are available in an extensive range of prescriptions, and we keep a full inventory in our boutique contact lens store.

What is your vision correction prescription?

Not all contacts are available for all prescriptions. Your vision prescription is therefore one of the most important factors to take into account when selecting suitable contact lenses. As monthlies are made with a harder composition, they are able to give better vision at higher magnifications. If you have a more complex correction, such as toric (astigmatism) or multifocal, then a monthly contact lens may be the only reliable way for you to enjoy sharp vision with lenses.

Are your eyes sensitive?

Some people experience irritation in response to particular contact lens materials. If you have sensitive eyes, you may need lenses with a higher water content or increased oxygen permeability so that they feel comfortable. Dailies and monthlies differ with respect to many of these characteristics. Our experienced optometrists will evaluate your eyes to recommend the best composition of lenses for your personal condition. Nowadays, there are so many types of contacts that even people with sensitive eyes can enjoy comfortable vision with their contact lenses.

Where and when do you plan to wear your contacts?

Sports players or anyone who is very physically active may prefer the convenience of daily lenses, as they can be removed and replaced instantly after contact with dirt, water, sunscreen or sweat. The disadvantage of daily lenses for anyone with an active lifestyle is that the thinner contacts tend to dry out more quickly.

If your plan is only to wear contacts occasionally, this is one of the best reasons to purchase daily lenses. Packs generally come with 30 lenses, and therefore a one-month supply will last you quite a while – with no need to buy expensive disinfectants or replenish your lenses frequently.

If you intend to spend the bulk of your day in a controlled environment, such as an office or home, then monthly lenses may be preferred. Time isn’t as pressured and you’ll have plenty of opportunity to sterilize the lenses, as needed. If you’ll need to remove your contacts more than once a day, or switch back and forth between eyeglasses and contacts daily, monthly wear lenses are also recommended.

Do daily lenses and monthly lenses cost the same?

The expense is comparable. Note that dailies can be pricier if you’re switching them more frequently than once a day, yet monthlies come along with the cost of cleaning solutions for sterilizing and storing your lenses.

 

Who’s the winner: dailies or monthlies?

If you can achieve crisp vision for your eyes with either monthly or daily lenses, then the final decision is a personal one related to your lifestyle. This is a choice that you and your professional eye doctor should make together! For more information and to schedule a contact lens fitting, contact us and we’ll provide you with full contact lens services.

Got a Shiner!

What Exactly Is a Black Eye?

A black eye, also known as a periorbital hematoma, is usually not an injury of the actual eye (which is why it is called “periorbital”- around the eye). It typically occurs when there is an injury to the face or the eye socket which causes bleeding beneath the skin and bruising. The term, “black eye” comes from the dark coloring of the bruising that occurs underneath the skin around the eye.

When a blunt force hits the eye socket, this can cause capillaries in the area to burst, causing hemorrhaging, also known as a hematoma. This blood can accumulate in the eye socket and as it begins to be reabsorbed into the surrounding tissues, the colors of the bruising begin to change. That’s why you will often notice the coloring of the black eye to go from a dark purplish-red color to brownish and then yellow.

Sometimes along with the external bruising, you might also notice a small amount of bleeding on the white surface of the eye, which is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. This is when the tiny blood vessels on the white sclera are broken and leak blood. It’s generally harmless but sometimes looks scarier to the patient than the black eye does. This condition will also reabsorb on its own and is nothing to be concerned about.

While most black eyes can look pretty serious due to the dramatic color, an uncomplicated black eye will typically heal within a week to ten days. If it doesn’t, there could be a more serious issue such as a bone fracture or an orbital blowout fracture.This could present with restricted eye movement, especially if looking up or down, and numbness of the cheek and/or upper lip on the same side as the black eye. The eye may even appear sunken in. Further, if there is bleeding within the actual eye (called a hyphema) or floaters or flashes in the vision, then it is definitely advisable to see your eye doctor as soon as possible. These could be signs of more serious damage such a corneal or retinal damage and can lead to vision loss.

Treatment for a Black Eye

Usually, the best treatment for a black eye is to apply a cold compress (or even better, a bag of frozen vegetables, which is more flexible and can conform to the contours of the face) directly on the area. The cold will reduce swelling and constrict capillaries to reduce internal bleeding as well. Apply the cold for about 15-20 minutes every hour. If there is pain, over the counter pain medications can help.

If however, you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention:

  • Blood on the surface of the eye or a visible incision on the eye
  • Vision changes such as double vision, blurred vision, loss of vision or the appearance of floaters
  • Loss of consciousness, dizziness or fainting
  • Loss of eye movement
  • Persistent headaches
  • Blood or fluids coming from the ears or nose
  • Vomiting
  • Signs of infection such as excessive swelling, pus, redness or a fever
  • Severe pain

In addition to blunt trauma, black eyes can be caused by sinus infections, nasal or eye surgery or other infections in the area such as the teeth infections or cellulitis (a serious infection that can occur around the eyes). A skull fracture can also cause both eyes to turn black, sometimes known as raccoon eyes.

Unless you notice any severe symptoms you can rest assured that your black eye is a bruise just like anywhere else on the body and with a little care, rest and patience, it will clear up in no time.

Join us for Dry Eye Day on Feb. 27

Dry Eye Day at LIfetime Eyecare Associates in The Woodlands, TX

Dry Eye Day is Back by Popular Demand. On the heels of a Successful Event on Jan. 23, we are Running  Another Event. 

Monday, Feb. 27 from 9am to 6pm

(At the Sterling Ridge Location Only)

$500 off Lipiflow® Treatment (normally a $1250 value)

The Lipiflow® advanced technology performed in our Dry Eye Clinic is a fast and virtually painless procedure which opens and clears blocked glands. The treatment includes a Bruder Mask warm compress and artificial tear drops by Retaine MGD.

We also provide the Lipiview diagnostic test which determines if the Lipiflow treatment is applicable.

Call ahead to make an appointment at 281-825-5825. Spots are limited.

 

FDA-Cleared: LipiFlow Treatment

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LIFETIME EYECARE ASSOCIATES INTRODUCES LIPIFLOW TO ADDRESS

DRY EYE CAUSED BY MEIBOMIAN GLAND DYSFUNCTION

FDA-Cleared: LipiFlow Treatment Safely, Effectively Treats Root Cause of Disease

LipiFlow treatmentTHE WOODLANDS, TX,—JULY, 7 2016—LIFETIME EYECARE ASSOCIATES, a full service eye care center, today announced it is now providing a revolutionary new treatment, LipiFlow®, for patients who suffer from dry eye caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). MGD, a progressive disease that affects some 300 million people worldwide, stems from blockages in the oil-producing meibomian glands located in the eyelids. LipiFlow unblocks the glands, allowing the glands to resume the secretion of oily lipids needed for a healthy tear film.

Developed as a result of 30 years of scientific research, LipiFlow is an in-office procedure that uses directed heat and gentle pressure to liquefy and express the contents of meibomian glands. This revolutionary treatment is FDA-cleared and scientifically proven. In a clinical study, 90 percent of patients achieved improvements in gland secretions after a single LipiFlow treatment.

MGD can negatively impact long term vision and ocular health. If left untreated, MGD will worsen over time, leading to eye redness, dryness, irritation, burning, and eye fatigue. These symptoms can hinder daily activities such as reading, using the computer, wearing contact lenses, and being outdoors on windy days.

Patients who suffer from these symptoms should be screened for MGD as part of their routine comprehensive eye examination. Early identification of MGD can yield the best results for long term ocular health.

“Dry eye disease is one of the chief complaints that I hear from patients,” said DR. CLAUDIO LAGUNAS at LIFETIME EYECARE ASSOCIATES. “I am pleased to introduce LipiFlow for my patients who are frustrated with all the ways that MGD negatively impacts their lives. Conventional therapies, such as warm compresses, over- the-counter wetting drops, ointments, and prescription drugs have failed to provide the relief that LipiFlow offers. LipiFlow is safe and the most effective treatment for MGD available today.”