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With warm weather only a short time away, spring makes for the perfect time to declutter your home. Unfortunately, your eye care products often fail to get updated as well. Simply because they aren’t used as much as other items, or perhaps because of their durability, eye care products can tend to stay in the cabinet far longer than their original shelf life. While you’re taking the time to clean out your closets and dust around the edges, take the time to replace the following eye care products. Your eyes will be healthier because you did!
Mascara and Other Eye Makeups
Most mascaras should not be kept longer than 3-6 months. While we know that it’s tough to throw away a product that still has something in the tube, your makeup can hold a significant number of bacteria that can cause serious eye infections. It’s a much better idea to refresh these products regularly.
Eye Drops and Contact Solution
Once eye drops encounter air (after the protective seal is broken), oxidation begins to take place in the solution. This can decrease the potency on the medicine in the eye drops and irritate your eyes. It is best to use or dispose of eye drops within a 1-2 month time span. Old contact solution can be a culprit of itchy eyes as well, even causing corneal ulcers in some circumstances. It’s always wise to check the expiration date on these products to make sure that they are not out of date.
Contacts and Glasses
Spring is the perfect time to make sure that your prescription is up to date! Often, your vision can deteriorate and you can simply become accustomed to eye strain without knowing it. Regular eye appointments are helpful for to ensure that your vision is being treated properly and that any deterioration in your vision is treated quickly so that nothing gets worse. This not only saves your vision, it can frequently save on medical bills too. It’s also good time for a reminder that sleeping in daily contact lenses or using contact lenses longer than they are recommended for is just asking for a nasty infection or eye damage. Make sure to remove your contacts daily and replace them regularly!
Need another reason for that routine eye exam at Allied Eye? Your eyes are one of the best determinants of your overall health. A regular eye exam can help show warning signs of certain forms of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and much more.
Additionally, Allied Eye offers state of the art eye allergy testing so that you can make it through the change of seasons without painful itchy, dry, or watery eyes. We’re booking appointments now so call or text us at 423-855-2222.
While many feel as though their eyes are only in danger during the summer months when the sun is burning bright, this is a myth that needs to be debunked. In the winter sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays are just as strong and can often pack a damaging punch for your eyes because of the increased dryness and illnesses present during the winter. It’s important to remember that sunglasses aren’t solely for summertime- they’re a year round investment for the health of your eyes!
Protect Your Eyes
When the cooler weather set in, did you put away your sunglasses? It’s time to bring them back out, as your eyes need just as much protection now as they did from the summer’s UV rays. Harsh UV rays can lead to immediate and ongoing eye problems, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and night vision problems.
When headed outside on a winter day, make sure to pack appropriately.
First and foremost, grab a pair of sunglasses. If needed, keep one pair at home, another in your car, and another at the office so that you never have to worry about being without your shades. If you’re anything like us, it’s easy to forget things, so having a few extras can’t hurt.
If taking a trip this winter to ski or snowboard, exercise outside, or if you work at a job that keeps you outdoors, reflective sports goggles or eye protection are the first thing you should pack with you.
When attending an outdoor sporting event, pack a hat in addition to your sunglasses in order to have extra protection against the winter sun. Hats are not solely to protect your face from a sunburn, they can significantly limit the amount of rays that get to your eyes. Keep in mind that this is important on cloudy days too. In fact, 80 percent of the sun’s harmful UV rays can pass through even on a cloudy day!
Far too often, fear of cataract surgery keeps men and women of various ages from getting their sight back. For years, these individuals struggle with frustrating cloudiness that prevents even the most basic activities like reading, driving, and enjoying time with your family. Worse yet, many allow their condition to worsen, reducing the natural softness of their eye lens that can make surgery even easier for them.
We want to take the opportunity to dispel much of the fear and take time to tell inform our patients of three quick questions that we often hear about cataract surgery.
- What Did I Do to Cause This?
The answer is typically nothing. Think of an eye lens like a camera that continuously focuses light so that you can see clearly. This is what helps you see at all distances. As people get older, some of the natural proteins on the eye lens can come together and make a small cloud-like area on the lens. 22 million Americans above the age of 40 are affected by cataracts, so cataracts are certainly common. Everyone should also feel comforted that cataract surgery is the most common surgery in the world!
- Does Cataract Surgery Hurt?
When patients arrive at the center, our office dilates pupils and then wash and clean the eyes before surgery. The 20 minute operation is almost completely painless. Many patients are not even sedated and choose to only have local anesthesia. Patients are free to go home after about half an hour. After surgery, vision will be slightly blurred and watery for a few days, but this moderate discomfort ends in only a day or two. With the help of drops to prevent infection, healing is complete within two months.
- Does It Matter Where I Get My Surgery?
We believe it does. Not only has Dr. Matzkin performed thousands of surgeries, he also utilizes state of the art technology, like the Alcon LenSx Laser. This laser is much more effective than the one that is used in standard cataract surgeries and produces better results and easier healing time for the patients. Dr. Matzkin routinely performs procedures on patients of all ages, even performing dozens of surgeries on other eye doctors when they need it.
Hear from some of our patients that Dr. Matzkin has helped with their dry and watery eyes!
Ever noticed some shadowy dots or web-like lines in your vision? These shadows can be quite worrisome and alarming, not to mention annoying, as they develop and increase in your vision. Sometimes these shadows can even take the form of a painful brief flash of light in your vision. Commonly referred to as “floaters,” this occurrence frequently occurs in people of all ages, particularly after eye stress or an injury. The floaters are caused by the gel in the back of the eye, called vitreous, undergoing a normal change called syneresis. This gel con tug on your retain and cause a hole, leading to a serious condition called retinal detachment.
Susie recently came to Allied Eye when she was struggling with cataracts. Her vision was affecting many parts of her life, from where she could sit in church to how she could read.
We’re honored that we could help give her 20/20 vision!
We’re not shy about telling you about how valuable we believe proper care for your eyes can impact your life. We love it even more though when we please our patients so much that they want to tell the world about our services!
Check out this glowing review from one of our wonderful patients.
Even though cataracts are the number one cause of vision loss around the world, there remains a significant amount of misinformation and myths surrounding the causes and treatments behind this degenerative eye cloudiness. Cataracts affect between 22 and 25 million Americans, often causing cloudy or blurred vision. We’ve heard all types of myths about cataracts, from treating them with common eye drops to avoiding tasks like reading and utilizing a computer to avoid making cataracts worse. Simply put, cataracts are a naturally occurring dying cells that sit on the eye’s lens, which sits directly on top of the pupil. Worsened by diseases like diabetes, these dying cells cause the cloudiness that is often associated with cataracts.
Avoiding tasks like reading, writing, and utilizing computers won’t stem the effects of cataracts. While you can limit the growth of cataracts, there are no known “reverse treatments” of cataracts outside of surgery. It’s worth noting too that cataract surgery is actually one of the safest and most studied surgeries in the entire medical field and boasts one of its highest success rates. It’s the most common surgery in the country! Here are a few more things our office would like you to know about cataracts:
- Age isn’t the only factor. While most people associate cataracts with the elderly (and about 70% of people do suffer from cataracts by the age of 75), cataracts can affect people of any age. Your lifestyle can impact the potential development of cataracts, such as your smoking habits, obesity, and your exposure to extended amounts of sunlight. Also, some medical conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure have been linked to an increased risk of cataracts. Finally, cataracts can be congenital, which means some babies are born with them.
- While you may not be able to prevent cataracts, you can lower your risk of developing them. Avoiding smoking and extended sunlight exposure by wearing UV-blocking sunglasses and hats can help lower your risk. Diabetes can significantly worsen cataracts, so ensure that you’re watching your diet and getting plenty of exercise.
- Cataract surgery is very common and incredibly safe! The surgery to remove cataracts has a 96% success rate, which means it is one of the safest procedures in modern medicine. The surgery usually only takes about 15 minutes, during which Dr. Matzkin will remove your lens, clean your eye of any debris, and insert a new lens. After surgery, you will have to wear a protective shield to sleep, but recovery time is typically about a month.
If you are suffering from cataracts and wondering what next steps to take, please let us know if we can help. Consultations are free and are always without pressure. We’d be honored to serve you and your family!