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.

 

 

 

 

 

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!