Eyecare Center of Aitkin Blog | Aitkin, MN

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312 Minnesota Ave N Aitkin, MN 56431

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241West Highway 210 McGregor, MN 56431

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

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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).

By aitkineyeca32139567, Nov 22 2019 02:39PM

Between Halloween and Thanksgiving, there are a lot of eye-healthy foods to choose from. Fall foods offer a wide variety of nutritious and delicious options. So when you’re planning out your Thanksgiving meal, make sure some of these are on your list:

• Cranberries: as with other berries and citrus fruits, the antioxidants and nutrients in cranberries can help prevent diabetes (thus decreasing the risk for diabetic retinopathy), cataracts, and macular degeneration.

• Pumpkins: It’s true, the pumpkin isn’t just good for carving jack-o-lanterns and making delicious pie. It’s also packed with Vitamin A, an essential nutrient for protecting your vision. It also helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The same goes for other delicious Thanksgiving foods like sweet potatoes and carrots. Serve up these orange veggies at the dinner table and your taste buds and your eyes will thank you!

• Leafy greens: Yes, those dark green vegetables are extremely good for your vision. Spinach, kale, and even broccoli contain carotenoids that help protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts. Prepare a tasty salad to kick off your meal and reap the benefits to your vision as well.

One of the best things about fall is the food, and an added bonus is the benefit to your eyes. So enjoy that delicious Thanksgiving feast—after all, it’s good for your eyes!

By aitkineyeca32139567, Nov 11 2019 02:00PM

Behavior Disorder or Vision Problem?

If you are concerned your child may be suffering from ADD/ADHD, make sure he or she is screened for vision disorders first. Undetected vision problems can masquerade as ADD/ADHD because symptoms can be very similar.

For example, children who suffer from hyperopia (far-sightedness), eye focusing disorders, or eye teaming disorders will display many of the same warning signs as children who suffer from ADD or ADHD.

When a child is unable to focus properly or control his or her eye movements, it becomes difficult to focus on print while reading or using a computer. As a child, this type of eyestrain can become extremely frustrating, resulting in an avoidance of these tasks. So when your child is getting out of his or her seat, taking frequent bathroom breaks, or just generally moving around and fidgeting, he or she could actually be taking a “vision break.”

Children may not understand that they are seeing anything unusual because it’s normal to them, which is why they could have difficulty communicating that they are having difficulty reading or seeing correctly. This is why scheduling an eye exam to rule out vision disorders is essential before seeking an ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Glasses or eye exercises can relieve the problem.

If your child is struggling in school and you are concerned that ADD/ADHD may be a problem, schedule an eye exam with us first. It could be that a vision problem is contributing to his or her behavioral struggles.

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