All About Tears

You use your eyes constantly…make sure that they are performing at their peak!

In today’s world, so much time is spent looking at screens…computers, phones, tablets & televisions…that our eyes are working overtime. Having quality tear film is important to keep both your eyes and your vision in top shape.

 

Tears are important because they perform four basic functions:

  1. Protects the eyes & keeps them lubricated
  2. Washes away irritants & foreign objects
  3. Reduces the risk of infection in the eyes
  4. Maintains a smooth, clear surface on the eye to help you see clearly.

Tears form a protective layer that covers the eye with every blink.

This tear film layer makes your eyes feel comfortable.  It also improves the clarity of your vision. If you don’t have enough tear film, your eyes can feel dry, scratchy and irritated.  Not enough tear film can make your vision blurry.Using Eye Drops

You can get relief for occasional dry, irritated eyes with artificial tears that can be purchased over the counter. If you are already using artificial tears, and you still are having problems, your condition may be something more.

Think you might be suffering from chronic dry eye?

If you can answer YES to any of these questions, you may be right!

            Do your eyes feel gritty or sandy?

            Do you often need to close your eyes because they feel sore?

            Do you have intermittent blurred vision?

            Do you work in a dry, dusty environment?

            Do you take medications like antihistamines, birth control pills or diuretics?

            Do you have problems wearing contacts lenses due to irritation?

            Do your eyes tear a lot?

Our Tear Testing Lab Can Help 

If you are having trouble with dryness, schedule an eye exam. Dr. Teller and Dr. Lobaugh can perform tests that not only measure the quantity of your tears, they can evaluate the quality of your tears as well. This special testing protocol will help us to determine the best course of action for you. Let us put you on the right track to feeling comfortable and seeing your best.

Schedule your appointment, click here!

True or False: Can you pass our Eye Care Quiz?

Can you spot what is TRUE and what is FALSE in our eye care myths and facts quiz?

 

Have you wondered if there is truth in these statements about vision?

  1. T or F: Children’s eyes can be damaged from sitting too close to the TV.
  2. T or F: If you want to see better, eat some carrots.
  3. T or F: If you read without good lighting, you will harm your eyes.
  4. T or F: If you wear glasses too much, you will become dependent on them.
  5. T or F: If your child has a lazy eye, just wait, they will outgrow it.

Check your answers below!

  1. FALSE: Children can focus on close objects without experiencing eye strain.  However, if you notice that your child is holding objects close to the eye on a regular basis, you should have their vision checked, they may be nearsighted.
  2. FALSE: Although carrots contain Vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy vision, eating carrots won’t take away the need for glasses.
  3. FALSE: Reading in low light can make it more difficult to focus which may cause eyestrain, but it won’t result in any permanent damage to your eyes. As you get older, better lighting will definitely help you to see more clearly.  Proper lighting makes it easier to see and prevent eye fatigue.
  4. FALSE: Wearing your glasses won’t make you dependent on them.  But wearing your glasses will give you clearer vision, and you might get used to seeing well.  Although you won’t be dependent on glasses, you will appreciate the difference in clarity!
  5. FALSE: Lazy eye, or amblyopia, won’t go away untreated.  Make sure to set up an appointment to evaluate the best way to treat this condition for your child.  A patch for the stronger eye may be all that is needed to help the weaker eye develop good vision.

Any time that you have an eye care question, get the facts from a trusted source, like the eyecare professionals at Eye Rx.  We can provide the answers you need to help keep you seeing your best.  Connect with us at www.eyerx.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Glaucoma: Important Risk Factors

Mexican Americans are at a higher risk for glaucoma.If you are at risk for glaucoma, regular eye exams are important to maintain your best vision. 

 

Having a yearly eye exam is even more important if you are in one of these high-risk groups for developing this disease.

  • African-Americans over age 40.
  • Everyone over age 60, especially those of Hispanic descent.
  • People with a family history of glaucoma.

“The Silent Thief of Sight” 

Eye with glaucoma

Glaucoma can steal away your vision without any warning signs, which is why it is referred to as “The Silent Thief of Sight.” Increased eye pressure from glaucoma causes damage to the optic nerve, which carries images to the brain. If left untreated, glaucoma will lead to blindness. Although there is no cure, medications and surgery can help slow the disease’s progression.

Don’t wait for a change in vision to schedule an eye exam!

Because there are no noticeable symptoms, many people who are in the early stages of glaucoma are unaware of their condition. When vision loss occurs, the disease has progressed and may have caused irreversible damage.

 The Care and Treatment of Glaucoma

Daily prescription eye drops may be all that is needed to control your glaucoma. At Eye Rx, we provide expert care with routine checks of your eye pressure as well as the health of the optic nerve. We also perform visual field testing as a means of monitoring changes in peripheral vision, which may be an indicator that additional treatment is required.

We care about our patients and strive to give you the information you need to preserve your vision and keep your eyes healthy.  If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate!  Contact our office for a complete eye exam.

For more information about Glaucoma, check out the Glaucoma Research Foundation GRF.

Good Nutrition for Healthy Vision

Healthy Eating is Good for your Sight!

Eating the right foods can improve your vision!

 

You know that a balanced diet is good for your overall health.  Did you also know that a diet high in certain vitamins is good for your vision as well?

Be sure that you are getting enough of what your eyes need to stay healthy. Your vision will benefit from a diet filled with antioxidants and nutrients such as:

 

Lutein & Zeaxanthin: found in green leafy vegetables and eggs, these ingredients have been proven to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

 

Vitamin C: eating fruits & vegetables high in vitamin C can lower the risk of developing cataracts.

 

Vitamin E: this powerful antioxidant found in nuts, fortified cerealsand sweet potatoes can protect the cells in the eye.

 

Omega 3: these essential fatty acids have been shown to help with visual development and retinal function.

 

Zinc:  this mineral helps to aid in the delivery of Vitamin A to your eye. It works in the development of melanin, which is a protective pigment in the retina.

Patients often ask, “Do I need to take eye vitamins?”

That’s a great question to ask our doctors, because the answer depends on your condition. If you have a specific issue, such as age-related macular degeneration, our doctors will likely recommend a supplement to help manage your condition.

Patients who suffer from chronic dry eye may benefit from omega-3 supplements.  These supplements, such as fish oil capsules, have been shown to make a difference in the treatment of this condition.

However, if you are younger, enjoy a balanced diet, and are healthy overall, you may not need extra vitamin supplements for your eyes.

The produce section offers lots of eye-healthy choices!

It’s easy to add some eye-healthy ingredients to your diet!

To help get you started, add some of these items to your next grocery list: From the produce section, pick up kale, spinach, turnip greens, collards, spinach, broccoli, corn, green peas, green beans & lettuce to name just a few!  Don’t forget nuts, eggs & seafood too.

Talk to the professionals at Eye Rx about all the ways you can improve and maintain good vision and good eye health… www.eyerx.com

 

Thinking About LASIK?

Is LASIK Right for You?

If you are thinking about LASIK, ask us!  We can help.  

Talk with the eye care professionals at Eye Rx to see if LASIK vision correction is a good option for you. Dr. Lobaugh and Dr. Teller can discuss whether you are a good candidate for LASIK, taking into consideration your age, vision, health and lifestyle.  LASIK can treat nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

If you are a good candidate for LASIK, we will refer you to an experienced and trusted surgeon.  Our doctors will work closely with your surgeon to ensure your best possible outcome.  You will return to our office for your follow-up care.

What happens during LASIK Surgery?

Before your LASIK surgery begins, you will be given a series of eye drops that will numb your eyes.  Your eye will be held open with a lid holder (speculum) so that you will not be able to blink.

The first step of the LASIK procedure is the creation of the flap.  This flap is a very thin layer of the cornea, about 140 microns thick.  The flap is hinged at the top, so that after the surgery it will be smoothed back into place.

The surgeon opens the flap, much like the page of a book, so that the laser can be applied to the corneal tissue underneath.  The cool laser painlessly reshapes the corneal tissue, which will allow you to see clearly.

During the procedure you will be awake and alert, so that you can focus on the light of the laser. The amount of treatment time varies based on your prescription.  You can expect about 10 seconds of laser application for each diopter of vision.  For example, if your prescription is a -4.50 in your right eye, the laser will be on for about 45 seconds.

After the laser application, the surgeon will close the flap. Your procedure is done!  The surgeon will then move to the second eye and repeat the process.

Many patients are amazed at how quickly the procedure is performed!  It takes just seconds to make a change that lasts a lifetime!

Recovery after LASIK is quick as well. Patients can expect to be driving the day after surgery.  Many people return to work the day after their procedure.

Ask our doctors for the information you need to make the best decision for your vision!  Don’t wait, make an appointment today!

Which Sports have the Highest Eye Injuries?

Protecting eyes from sports-related injuries must be a priority at every level of sport for both children and adults.

Here is the good news:

90% of sports-related eye injuries are PREVENTABLE!

Don’t let your athletes step onto the playing field without their protective eyewear.  Injury to the eye is the leading cause of blindness in children. Sports eye injuries are easily preventable with the use of protective eyewear.

Spring sports are right around the corner.  Since many athletic programs do not require participants to wear eye protection, it is important for parents and coaches to encourage safe practices so that everyone can enjoy the game for years to come.

What are the highest risk sports?

According to a study done by the National Eye Institute*, the sports with the highest rates of eye injury are:

Baseball/Softball: For children under the age of 14, baseball is the leading cause of sports-related eye injury.  Whether at-bat or in-the-field, players need to have protection from balls in play.  In fact, more eye injuries occur from batted balls, than from pitches thrown to a batter.

Basketball is a leading cause of eye injuries among 15- to 24-year-olds. Flying elbows can pack a powerful impact and are the cause of most of the eye injuries suffered by basketball players.

Other high-risk sports include:

  • Fencing
  • Lacrosse
  • Paintball 
  • Boxing & Martial Arts
  • Racquet Sports – especially racquetball and squash
  • Hockey – injuries can result from flying pucks and high-sticking.
  • Soccer – concussion risk as well

sports glassesWhat’s the best eyewear?

Talk to our doctors about the best kind of protection for every sport. What works for kickboxing might not be right for ice hockey. For outdoor sports, tinted lenses also provide better vision and reduce glare – an added benefit!

In addition to making sure that the eyewear is sports-specific, be sure to have the right size and fit.  A secure yet comfortable fit is important for the best protection.

If you child wears prescription glasses, those glasses may not provide adequate protection for sports.  For the best protection, special impact-resistant, polycarbonate lenses are recommended. This material is 10 times more impact resistant than other plastics. Be sure to check that the eyewear you choose is approved for use for your specific activity.

Click here to make an appointment with Dr. Lobaugh or Dr. Teller to protect the vision of all of the athletes in your family: Make an Appointment at Eye Rx

For more information on eye safety visit National Eye Institute website.

 

 

Your Vision after 40

Understanding Presbyopia – Your Vision after age 40

Man with Reading Glasses

Your vision may start to change when you near your 40th birthday.  You may notice that your near vision is becoming blurry. Things that were once easy to read now may take a while to come into focus. This change is the normal aging of the eye.  The medical term is Presbyopia, which translates from the Latin, meaning “old eye.”

Presbyopia happens to everyone, so you are not alone!  You may find yourself needing glasses for the first time in your life. This change happens gradually and you may not notice it the day you turn 40, but it will happen eventually.

Why can’t I focus? As we age, the lens of our eye becomes less flexible, which makes it more difficult to change focus. At the same time, the muscles that control the lens become less flexible as well. These two issues combine, and the eye isn’t able to focus clearly on items that are close to the eye.

My arms aren’t long enough!  You may be able to avoid reading glasses by holding items further away from your eyes.  Books, menus and ingredient labels can be held at an arm’s length for better clarity. Near-sighted people may see up close more clearly just by taking their glasses off to read.  However, straining to focus can cause headaches and eye fatigue.Reading glasses on book

Let’s talk about your options:  It’s a good time to come in for a complete eye exam, so our doctors can recommend a solution that works best for you and your vision needs.

 If you wear glasses for distance vision:

Bifocal Lenses: The top of these lenses are for distance, the bottom is for near vision.

Progressive Lenses:  These glasses have a gradual transition from distance to near vision.

You may be comfortable taking off your distance vision glasses to see more clearly up close. 

If you wear contacts:

Bifocal Contact Lenses: These lenses have both near and far correction.

Monovision:  One eye will be corrected for distance; the other eye will be corrected for near vision. This option may take a little getting used to. Some patients have difficulty with depth perception with monovision contacts, but many patients make the adjustment with no problems at all.

Magnifying Reading Glasses: You can wear these magnifying glasses over your contacts when you are looking at items up close.

 If you don’t wear glasses:

Magnifying Reading Glasses: These glasses, worn when needed, will help bring near items into focus.

 

If Presybyopia is part of aging, will my near vision get worse?  Unfortunately, yes. You will continue to need a higher prescription for near vision as you get older.  Your eye doctor will be able to test your eyes to find the right prescription for you.

Don’t suffer from blurry vision!  We can help you see well both near and far at any age! 

 

Eye Exams Are Essential to Good Health

Windows to Your Health

Poets say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, but did you realize that eye exams provide a window to your health as well?

exams are windows to health

Eye exams offer our doctors a chance to see into your body in a safe, non-invasive way. When we look into your dilated eye, we can see blood vessels and nerves that can help us to evaluate multiple health issues including

  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Hardening of the Arteries
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Macular Degeneration

In fact, Optometrists are often the first to report diabetes-related complications to patients who may not even realize that they are diabetic, according to a recent study of the American Optometric Association.  Through dilated exams, your eye doctor can see swollen blood vessels and small leaks (hemorrhages) in the retina that are signs of diabetes.

The AOA reported that in just one year, over 250,000 patients were diagnosed with diabetes after their optometrists reported concerns. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital for the health and vision of diabetic patients.

Eye doctors can also note changes in visual acuity when patients come in for new glasses. Changes to your prescription can be a reflection of increased blood sugar levels and indicate a need for medical treatment.

dilated eye exams

If you are diagnosed with diabetes, a regular schedule of dilated eye exams is essential.  Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in individuals under the age of 74.  If you know someone who is diabetic, make sure that they are getting the eye care that they need.

Your eye doctor is an important part of your healthcare team. At Eye Rx we care about you!  We want you to know the important role that eye exams play in your overall health.

 

Let Dr. Teller & Dr. Lobaugh help you to have great vision and good health too!

The Right Fit Matters!

How important is a professional fit?

Very Important!

To get your best vision, your glasses should be fit and adjusted by a trained optician.  At Eye Rx, we have certified opticians who work closely with our doctors to give you clear, quality vision.

 

The Right Fit Checklist: 

  1. Frame: When selecting your frame, our opticians will help you choose one that is slightly wider than your face, and properly aligns with your eyes.  You should be able to fit no more than a finger-width of space between the arms and your temple. Frames with the right fit won’t rest on your cheeks or touch your brows.
  2. Bridge or nosepiece: The bridge or nose piece should fit securely and comfortably, keeping your glasses stable. We can make adjustments to the nosepiece so that your glasses rest comfortably, and that your vision is aligned correctly.
  3. Temples: The arms of your glasses should reach your ears before they start to curve to fit securely and comfortably.
  4. Pupil position: Your pupils should be in line with the center of your lenses to give you the best vision. This measurement is especially important for patients with astigmatism, progressive lenses, and bifocals.

 

A professional fit helps you to avoid these issues:

  • Eye strain and headaches can result from glasses that are not aligned properly.
  • Poorly fit glasses may cause your vision to be distorted. Distortion in your vision affects your depth perception that could cause you to trip or fall.
  • Glasses that don’t fit securely or slide down your nose, may change how well you see. A good fitting is especially important when it comes to a progressive or bifocal lens!

We know from experience, if your glasses pinch your nose, hurt your ears, or fall off when you move, you won’t wear them…and that doesn’t just apply to children, adults do it too!

Our trained team of certified opticians will make sure that your glasses are the right fit and style for your best vision.  One of our patients says it well:

The opticians helped me select an awesome pair of glasses, my first ones. When my glasses were ready for pick-up, I received a call and it was sooner than I expected. So happy I found them, satisfied customer here!” Ana C. 

We are sure you will agree!  The opticians in our K Street office are Justin Gooding and Dario Claudio. In our Chevy Chase office, Antionette Love and Malerie Alcantara will be happy to help you.

Do your glasses need an adjustment? Adjustments are available to our patients at no charge. Stop in and see us during regular office hours, no appointment needed.

 

 

Computer Eye Strain Solutions

Suffering from computer eye strain?

You are not alone.  When you add up the amount of time that we spend looking at digital screens, it’s no wonder that many patients come to us with complaints about eye strain. Whether we are at work or at play, it seems as though we are always looking at screens on computers, tablets, and phones.

It’s important that your prescription is up-to-date.  

When you come in for your appointment, tell us about how you spend your day, so that we can offer you the latest options for glasses and contacts that suit your life.  We may recommend a special pair of glasses to use when you are in front of the computer. We also can provide tinted lenses and coatings that may reduce glare.

Our simple strategies that make a BIG difference.

 AT WORK

  •  Minimize glare. Lighting can make a big difference in reducing glare. Set up your work area so that your screen is free from glare from indoor and outdoor brightness.
  • Check your screen settings. Take a look at the options available for your computer. You can adjust the brightness and resolution to help you see more clearly.
  • Adjust your font size.   You have many options to make reading more comfortable. Increase the font and image size and you will increase your comfort level.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule.  Every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Use artificial tears. People tend to blink less frequently when they are focusing on their work or staring at a monitor.  Blinking less often can cause dryness. The solution is a simple one – keep a bottle of artificial tears near your workstation.  Well-lubricated eyes are less irritated, feel more comfortable, and help you to see more clearly! Artificial tears are inexpensive and can be purchased at any drug or grocery store.

AT HOME – follow the above guidelines for work, PLUS…

  •  Add a nighttime filter:  If you are having trouble falling asleep after using your phone or tablet, add a nighttime filter.  Your brain associates blue light with daytime and being awake, eliminating blue light allows you to fall asleep more easily.  This filter can also reduce eye strain when viewing your screen in a darkened room.

No matter where you are or what you are doing – “Take a break!”  Studies have shown that taking a break when your eyes are fatigued may actually IMPROVE overall productivity and reduce errors.

For your best vision, schedule your appointment today: Chevy Chase: 301-841-6766      K Street: 202-659-2010