Eyecare Center of Aitkin Blog | Aitkin, MN

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Eyecare Center of Aitkin - Eyecare and Services | Aitkin, MN

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By aitkineyeca32139567, Jan 20 2020 02:00PM

Are You at Risk for Glaucoma?

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, and I wanted to share with you the importance of being monitored for this “sneak thief of sight.” Glaucoma slowly causes the loss of eyesight by damaging the optic nerve.

Because symptoms often don’t accompany glaucoma and because it’s not usually painful, you may be suffering from this condition and not even know it. Thankfully, your eye doctor can monitor your risk levels if you stay committed to regular exams. Glaucoma can be controlled but not cured, so early detection is critical.

If you have any of the risk factors for glaucoma and haven’t had an exam recently, you definitely need to be seen by your optometrist. Some risk factors include age (60 years or older), ethnicity (African-Americans and Hispanics are at a higher risk), family history, steroid use, diabetes, high-blood pressure, and high eye pressure levels.

If you fall into any of these categories, make an appointment today to assess your risk for glaucoma. Eyesight is precious; don’t let the “sneak thief of sight” take it from you.

By aitkineyeca32139567, Jan 16 2020 07:45PM

Happy New Year!

2020 is the perfect year to make your eyes a priority. If you are not in the habit of getting an annual eye exam this is the perfect year to schedule a comprehensive vision and eye health exam.

We all tend to take our vision for granted. When we see a beautiful sunset, enjoy watching a movie or TV show, or read a text on our phone we rarely think about all that has to happen in our eyes to “see”. Our eyes have to be healthy and all the parts work together properly to see 20/20.

A comprehensive vision and eye health examination can detect a need for glasses as well as detect signs of diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Don’t take your eyes for granted. Make sure you are seeing your best now and ensure you see well for years to come. A comprehensive eye exam is a great idea every year… but especially in 2020!

By aitkineyeca32139567, Dec 9 2019 02:00PM

Watery Eyes: Nuisance or Sign of Serious Eye Condition?

Tears play an important role in vision and eye health. Tears keep the surface of our eyeballs clean and moist, and help protect our eyes from damage. Although they appear to be nothing but water, tears are actually made of mucus, water, and oil. Mucus functions to coat the surface of the eye and bind tears to the eye; water with various salts and proteins to rinse the eye; and oil to prevent evaporation of the tears.

Every time we blink, we wash our eyes with tears produced by the lacrimal glands in our upper eyelids. When our eyes are irritated or inflamed, these same glands produce extra tears. Normally, tears are drained out of the eye and into the nose through ducts in the corners of our eyes. When we produce too many extra tears, or when our normal tear drainage is blocked, our eyes may get watery.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the causes for watery eyes. Excess tears can be caused by:

Allergies. The most common allergens to cause irritated, watery eyes are grass, tree, and weed pollens, pet dander, dust mites, and molds.

Infections. Tears are produced to wash away germs and discharge, but they don’t always keep the bacteria away. Conjunctivitis, commonly known as “pink eye” will produce excess tears, in addition to redness, blurred vision, and discharge. Blephartis is another common infection of the eyelid known to cause watery eyes.

Irritants. As a response to irritations like dry air, bright light, wind, smoke, dust, an eyelash, or eyestrain, eyes will produce excess tears.

Dry-eye syndrome. Seems contradictory, but when eyes dry out, the lacrimal glands will produce an overabundance of tears to make up for the dryness, often overwhelming the eye’s natural drainage system.

Blocked tear ducts. Although less common, there is a chance watery eyes are caused by a blockage of the ducts that normally drain away tears.

In general, watery eyes are nothing to be overly concerned about and will clear up on their own, but if you notice the following symptoms with watery eyes, please give us a call:

• Reduced vision

• Pain around your eyes

• A foreign body sensation

• Unexplained tearing over a long period of time

• Red eyes that are producing discharge

By aitkineyeca32139567, Dec 2 2019 02:00PM

What are Floaters?

You’re seeing specks, spots, threads, or cobweb-like objects in your field of vision, but when you try to focus on them, they never stay still long enough to be visible. What’s going on? You’re experiencing eye floaters, and although these phantom forms can be a bit unnerving at times, you likely have nothing to worry about.

Eye floaters generally occur as you age. The most common cause is from the natural degeneration of your eye’s vitreous, the gel-like substance that helps maintain the round shape of your eyeball. Over time, the vitreous can dissolve, shrink, and liquefy, causing the vitreous to have a stretched or string-like consistency. When this happens, the usually transparent vitreous casts shadows on your retina, ultimately appearing in your vision as an eye floater.

Unfortunately floaters can be a sign of something much more serious and sight-threatening… a retinal detachment. If you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, it’s time to call our office:

- You suddenly begin seeing new floaters

- They interfere with your regular vision

- Your eye floaters are accompanied by flashes of light or vision loss

- Eye floaters that develop shortly after eye surgery or trauma.

Most floaters are a nuisance and are nothing to worry about, but if you experience any of the signs or symptoms listed above, call our office to schedule an appointment.

By aitkineyeca32139567, Nov 26 2019 02:00PM

Advice from your optometrist:

We often get asked what you can do to keep your eyes healthy and seeing their best. Many eye conditions run in the family. Even though you can’t change your genes, there are some habits that can reduce your chances of getting eye diseases and help keep your vision at its very best:

Get a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years. Even if you think your vision is just fine, a comprehensive vision exam can help detect the early signs of diseases such as glaucoma, diabetes, and macular degeneration. Likewise, an eye exam may point out common vision problems you didn’t even know you had.

Maintain a healthy diet and get regular exercise. You already know how important diet and exercise is for healthy living, but did you know it can also affect your eyes? A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, can help sustain good vision. And maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of diabetes, which can often lead to vision loss.

Invest in protective eyewear and sunwear. Whether you’re playing your favorite sport or finishing up some home improvement projects, wear appropriate protective eyewear such as safety glasses, goggles, and shields/guards to prevent accidental injury. Just the same, protective sunwear will guard against UV-A and UV-B radiation from the sun’s rays.

Don’t smoke. We all have heard that smoking is not good for us, but did you know smoking is particularly bad for the eyes? Smoking is a major risk factor for many eye diseases including cataracts and macular degeneration.

Practice good eye hygiene. This may be common sense, but it bears repeating to ensure you’re avoiding the risk of infection. Before you touch your eyes, be sure to wash your hands (especially if you wear contact lenses).

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