Your Vision After Age 60

60 Years OldAs you age, there are more ways to improve your vision than just wearing reading glasses! 

Most people know that as our eyes age, extra help with near vision is a must!  But there are also other age-related changes that can also affect the quality of your vision.

Of course, any changes to your vision are an indicator that you need to schedule an appointment with our eye doctors. However, here are some normal issues that you may experience as your eyes age.

Cataracts: Glare and halos around lights are signs of developing cataracts. Glasses with special lenses or coatings can help reduce glare and halos if your cataracts are not quite ready for surgery. Be aware that certain medications and exposure to UV light can influence the rate at which your cataracts grow.

Lamp with good light

 

Smaller Pupil Size:  An aging eye has a smaller pupil. Reading and working in low light may become more difficult. Improve your lighting to help you see better at work and at home.  When you are in your 60s, you will need three times more light to read than you did in your 20s! Simple lighting changes can make a big difference.

 

Dry Eyes: Tear production decreases as we age. Other changes in our bodies, like menopause and some medications, can significantly make our eyes drier. Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears, can help relieve the discomfort of dry eye. If the condition is more severe, there are prescription eye drops and dry eye therapy treatments that can help improve your tear quantity and quality.

Floaters: As we age, the likelihood of floaters in the eye increases. Although one or two floaters are a nuisance, they are usually harmless. However, if you notice an increase in the number of floaters, or you see flashes of light in your vision, you should contact your doctor right away because it could be a sign of a more serious condition, a possible retinal detachment.

Peripheral vision decreases

Changes to Peripheral Vision:  There is a gradual narrowing of your visual range as you age.  Because the change is subtle, you may not notice that you are losing a few degrees of your peripheral vision with each decade of age. To help compensate for this loss, make sure turn your head when driving and walking so that you are aware of everything around you.

 

The above list provides some general strategies to help seniors see better. To find out specifics about your unique vision needs, just click to schedule an appointment.

Make an Appointment Online!

Is that a Stye in My Eye?

If you notice a red bump on your eyelid that is tender to the touch, you may be developing a stye.

What is a stye?

A stye is a painful red bump on the edge of your eyelid, usually at the base of an eyelash.  It occurs when a gland becomes infected by bacteria. You can often see a small yellowish spot on the stye where pus has collected. Styes can develop on the upper or lower eyelids of both children and adults.

Styes develop gradually, and most of them will go away on their own. 

However, if a stye lasts for over a week, interferes with your vision, or continues to get worse, you should come in to see our doctors.  They will carefully examine your eye and may prescribe medication to help clear the infection and reduce inflammation.

Styes can be painful.

Here are some home care tips to speed healing:

Clean washclothes

Close up of clean rolled white towels

  1. Warm compresses will help you to feel more comfortable and reduce swelling. Rinse a clean washcloth with warm water. Wring out the excess water and lay it across your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes 4 times a day.
  2. Keep your eyelids clean. Using a cotton ball or gauze, clean your eyelids with a mixture of warm water and baby shampoo.
  3. Don’t wear eye makeup. If you cover up a stye, you could slow healing. After your eye has healed, replace all makeup that may be contaminated.
  4. Take a break from contacts. Wear your glasses until the stye is gone.
  5. Styes are contagious. Keep your hands clean and don’t share washcloths or towels with others.

How do I keep styes from recurring?

Keep your eyelids clean

 

Keeping your eyelids clean is the best way to prevent styes.  Be sure to remove ALL makeup before you go to bed each night.

Cleanse your eyelids in the morning as well to keep the lid margins clear.  Wash away those overnight crusties!

 

Have a question for our eye care experts?

Our blog presents a great opportunity for us to share our expertise.  If you have a general question about eye care or vision, let us know, we are happy to answer.  If you have a specific concern about the health of your vision, please make an appointment for an exam.

Our D.C. Office on K Street
1629 K St NW
Suite 502
Washington, DC 20006
202-659-2010

Our Chevy Chase Office
4600 N Park Ave. Plaza
North Plaza
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
301-841-6776

 

 

 

Custom Scleral Lenses with EyePrintPRO

Exclusively at Eye Rx in the DMV area.

“EyePrintPRO is an optically clear prosthetic scleral device designed to match the exact contours of the individual eye providing the best vision and comfort possible.”

For patients who are visually impaired due to corneal disease and irregularities, EyePrintPRO offers improved quality of vision and quality of life.

Dr. Teller

 

Dr. Benjamin Teller is the only Certified EyePrint Practitioner in the DMV area. 

EyePrintPRO is a prosthetic scleral cover shell which improves vision through the creation of a smooth refractive surface for the eye.  Made from a high oxygen permeable material, this product offers the ultimate solution in comfort, health, and vision.

What makes EyePrintPRO different from other scleral lenses, is the EyePrint Impression process, which creates a mold of the patient’s ocular surface.  This individually tailored prosthesis is unique for each wearer, offering the best in vision and comfort for those patients with highly irregular corneal surfaces.

STEP 1.  Dr. Teller will create a mold of the ocular surface using a specially designed impression material which captures the curvatures of the ocular surface. The impression is comfortable and gentle to the eye. The process takes just a few minutes.

 

STEP 2. This custom mold is then sent to EyePrint Prosethetics LLC. Using this mold, a prosthetic scleral shell is designed using precise technology in 3D scanning and computer-controlled machining systems.  The result is an exact match for each patient’s individual cornea and sclera.

 

STEP 3. The lens is then returned to our office where Dr. Teller will work with each patient on the proper use and care of these custom lenses for maximum benefit.  We will then continue to monitor each patient’s vision and corneal health.

 

Who is a candidate for EyePrintPRO?

This product has been developed for patients with corneal issues including:  Keratoconus, Irregular Astigmatism, Ocular Surface Disease, Trauma, Chemical Burns, Pinguecula, Pterygium.

Contact Eye Rx to set up an appointment for an evaluation to see if you are a candidate for this custom-made solution for your vision issues Schedule an Appointment

For more information, and to see videos on the EyePrintPRO process, visit  https://www.eyeprintpro.com/

Illustrations and information courtesy: www.eyeprintpro.com

 

 

Our Top 5 Winter Eye Care Tips

One of the most common winter eye complaints is dry, irritated eyes. As the temperature goes down, the number of dry eye issues goes up!

Winter eye care

 

Of course, the best thing to do if your eyes are irritated is to make an appointment to come in for an exam.

In the meantime, here are our TOP FIVE  suggestions to make winter a little easier on your eyes!

 

 

Cool mist humidifier

ONE – Humidifier: Using a humidifier in your home or office, can improve the air quality. Indoor heating and the heat from fireplaces can cause the air to be dry. Give yourself a more comfortable environment with a humidifier.

 

TWO – Artificial Tears: Supplement your tear film with over-the-counter artificial tears. This simple solution provides instant relief for dry eyes.  Artificial tears can be used as often as needed, so you don’t need to worry about using too much. Give your eyes the moisture they need!  Contact lens wearers should keep artificial tears handy to keep their lenses comfortable.

 

THREE – Sunglasses & Ski Goggles: The UV rays of the sun can be just as damaging in cold weather as in warm weather. In fact, the reflection of the sun off of the snow can make the need for UV protection even more critical.  When you are out having fun in the snow, choose eyewear with UV protection.

Antihistamines

 

FOUR – Medications: If you have a cold, and are taking antihistamines to dry up your sinuses, that medication can cause drymouth and dry eyes too.  If you are picking up antihistamines at the pharmacy, don’t forget to add artificial tears to your shopping list. Artificial tears will help combat the added dryness from cold medicines.  (See #TWO above!)

 

Hand washing

FIVE – Wash Your Hands!: Keeping your hands clean and free from germs will help prevent the spread of pink eye. People who are most at risk to contract pink eye include students of all ages, teachers, and daycare workers.  Hand washing is important all year round, but it is even more essential in the winter!

 

 

The doctors and staff of Eye Rx want you to be well and see well every season of the year!  For reliable eye care information, read more on the Eye Rx blog!  

 

 

New Website Feature: On-Line Bill Pay

We’ve made bill paying a little easier, to help make your life a little easier.

We’ve added a new feature to our website, allowing you to click and pay online!

To access our new bill pay portal, just go to http://www.EyeRx.com click on “About Us” and scroll down to Pay Online.

You’ll be directed to our new bill paying service MD-PAY.com. At this site, all you need to do is enter the following information to log in.  All of the information you need is listed on your medical bill from Eye Rx.Log in Information

  1. Complete the information, and press “Click to Pay”.
  2. Next, complete the pop-up payment form, and press “Send Payment Now”.
  3. We will automatically process and post your payment.

There is never a charge for making a payment online!  You can be sure that your bank information and your credit card are protected by this secure website.

If you have questions about paying your Eye Rx bill, please don’t hesitate to call our offices.

Chevy Chase: 301-841-6776

K Street: 202-659-2010

 

“Is it Better 1 or Better 2?”

We’ve all had to answer the question “Is it Better 1 or Better 2”?

It’s surprising how many patients dread this test!  They are uncomfortable having to choose the right answer. We hope to dispel any concerns you might have by giving you some insight into how we determine your glasses prescription. It’s called a refraction.

You look at the eye chart through a device called a phoropter. The phoropter contains a collection of lenses to help determine your best vision. We test each eye individually using a series of dials to switch the lenses to find the best power for you.

Don’t worry that you might give the wrong answer!

The phoropter is just one part of the equation that the doctors at Eye Rx use to determine your eyeglasses prescription.

  1. Auto-Refractor: We take a measurement of your eye with an auto-refractor. You will sit a machine and look at a picture which will come in an out of focus as the machine measures your eye. This machine gives us a prescription based solely on your eye measurements.
  2. Your current prescription. We will ask you to read the eye chart using your current glasses or contacts to see if a change is needed.
  3. Refraction: Then, using the phoropter, we will go through a series of choices asking you which lenses give you clearer vision. It’s ok to ask to see the choices again if you aren’t sure. Sometimes you will notice a dramatic change.  Other times you may not notice a difference at all.  It’s OK to say that you don’t see a difference!

When you look at the eye chart, we listen to what you say and how you say it!  We can tell if the letters are sharp and crisp by how you respond.  A patient who reads the answers confidently and quickly is seeing well.  On the other hand, a patient who is unsure reads hesitantly and slowly.  Listening to your answers gives us additional insight into how clearly you are seeing.

 

Relax, don’t worry!

Determining your best prescription is a process!  We want you to get your best result, and we have many tools to get you there!

P.S. For those patients who think they have the eye chart memorized…let us know!  Reading the eye chart is a vision test, NOT a memory test!  We can change the eye chart to get a true reading of your vision. 

Sunglasses – Right for Every Season

Winter, Spring, Summer & Fall: It’s always the right season to wear sunglasses.

You know that sunlight can cause sunburn on your skin. Did you know that sunlight can also be harmful to your eyes?  The more your eyes are exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, the higher your risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration.

Choose sunglasses that provide UV-A & UV-B protection.  This level of protection is needed year-round. Both UV-A and UV-B light are present in sunlight, no matter if the temperature is below zero or 101 degrees!

The need for sunglasses protection is not only for adults.  Children spend a great deal of time outside. They should wear sunglasses or a hat with a brim that gives their eyes the protection that they need.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), you should wear sunglasses that provide the following protection:

  • block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation;
  • screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light;
  • have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection;
  • have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition.
  • a frame that fits close to your eyes and contours to the shape of your face.

If your outdoor activities also pose the risk of impact to the eye, such as sports, yard work or construction, your sunglasses should be made from an impact resistant material such as polycarbonate.

The best way to make sure that your sunglasses meet these guidelines, is to talk to Dr. Lobaugh or Dr.Teller.  At Eye Rx, we offer sunglasses that will have you looking stylish and keeping your eyes healthy to enjoy safe fun in the sun.

Come in and shop our stylish collection of sunglasses. Our skilled opticians will make sure that you have the right lenses and the right fit for your needs.

Is it Pink Eye?

When students head back to school, the number of cases of pink eye increases.

Pink eye spreads easily when students and teachers work closely together. Students from preschool to college, teachers, and daycare workers are most at risk because of shared items and shared spaces.  Handwashing and proper hygiene are the best defense, but here are some details in case you suspect this very common eye problem.

What is Pink Eye?

Pink eye, also known as Conjunctivitis, is an inflammation of the thin, clear covering of the outermost layer of the eye, the white of the eye and the inside of the eyelids.

The best thing you can do if you suspect pink eye, is to come in to have Dr. Lobaugh or Dr. Teller examine the eye. There are 3 different types of conjunctivitis. It’s important to have the proper diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible!

  1. VIRAL CONJUNCTIVITIS:Viral Conjunctivitis

If it’s viral conjunctivitis, it usually affects one eye.  There is a light discharge, excessive watering, itching and crusting on the eyelids.  It is contagious, but cannot be treated with antibiotics because the cause is viral.

 

 

  1. BACTERIAL CONJUNCTIVITIS

    Bacterial Conjunctivitis

    Bacterial Conjunctivitis

This type of conjunctivitis responds to antibiotics.  It results in heavy yellow or greenish discharge, with crusting on the eyelids.  It often spreads to both eyes.  It’s important to get treatment started as soon as the symptoms appear.

 

 

 

  1. ALLERGIC CONJUNCTIVITIS
Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis comes with Itching, redness, swelling of the eyelid, and excessive tearing in both eyes.  It often is accompanied by other signs of allergies, like a stuffy, itchy and runny nose.  It’s not contagious since it is caused by dust or allergens. Artificial tears, antihistamine drops, and medication can help relieve the irritation.

 

Warm compresses on the on the outside of the eyelids can ease the discomfort of all three types of conjunctivitis.  The problem is very common and easily treated, so don’t delay on seeing the doctor!

 

Diagrams courtesy of www.AllAboutVision.com.

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.