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Year: 2020

Protect Your Children’s Vision By Getting Them To Play Outside This Winter!

child playing snow 640As temperatures drop, some parents may be wondering how to get their kids outside for some healthy outdoor play.

Below, we share tips on fun outdoor activities you can do and explain why playing outside can help your child’s vision.

How Outdoor Play Impacts Myopia

Studies have shown that children who spend at least 11 hours per week outside during daylight hours have a slower rate of myopia progression than children who don’t. Although researchers aren’t exactly sure why, it appears that sunlight and the child’s use of distance vision outdoors may play a role.

So why would parents want to slow down their child’s myopia? The answer may surprise you.

Having myopia in childhood places the child at heightened risk for developing sight-threatening eye diseases later in life. These include cataracts, macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and glaucoma.

3 Outdoor Activities to Do With Your Kids This Winter

Play With Snow

Whether you have a toddler or a teenager, playing with snow is something that everyone can enjoy. Bundle up your child so they stay safe and warm, and send them out to build a snowman, have a snowball fight, build an igloo, or make a snow angel. Older children and teens may enjoy building a snow maze.

If your kids like a bit of competition, you can conduct a snow castle building contest. This activity can be fun for the entire family!

If you don’t have enough snow to build a snowman or castle, you can play tic-tac-snow on the snow-covered ground.

Go Sledding

Sledding and tobogganing are classic winter activities that your child will love. All you need is a sled and a snowy hill — easy, right?

But before you soar down those snowy slopes, here are some guidelines that will ensure a safer sledding experience:

  • Use a sled that can be steered and has a brake
  • Protect your head with a helmet
  • Dress warmly, but leave your scarf at home, as it can get caught under the sled
  • Children under the age of 6 should always sled accompanied by an adult

Create Outdoor Art

This activity is perfect for kids who like to get a little messy. To make a colorful masterpiece on a canvas of snow, give your child a few squirt bottles filled with water and a few drops of food coloring gel. They’ll have heaps of fun squirting the colored liquid on snow or ice.

They can also paint on snow using watercolors and a paintbrush.

If it doesn’t snow where you live, you can always give your child some sidewalk chalk and let them get creative on the pavement. The important thing is to have your child play outdoors.

At The Myopia Management Center At Jeffrey H. Brown, OD, our goal is to help slow down your child’s myopia progression and keep their eyes healthy for a lifetime.

To learn more about our myopia management program or to schedule your child’s eye exam, call us today!

The Myopia Management Center At Jeffrey H. Brown, OD serves patients from Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Fountain Valley, and throughout California.

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Call 714-942-0880

Gift The Gift Of Sight Month

Jeffrey H. Brown, OD How Do I Know If Contact Lenses Are Right for Me?

The month of December has been declared “The Gift of Sight Month” by Prevent Blindness — the nation’s oldest non-profit voluntary eye health organization. Never heard of Prevent Blindness? Read on to learn more about the organization and what “The Gift of Sight Month” means to them.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Costa Mesa eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

What Is Prevent Blindness?

Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness was established by volunteers to decrease the amount of preventable blindness in children. They helped to almost eliminate a condition called ophthalmia neonatorum, a leading cause of blindness in infants at the time.

Over the years, volunteers at Prevent Blindness have conducted the first nation-wide glaucoma screenings, assembled resources for the development of vision-testing equipment for infants, and conducted a national study which showed that blindness prevention is the third most important eye health concern among Americans.

With over 8 million individuals affected by blindness in North America, the work of Prevent Blindness is significant and necessary for the betterment of everyone’s eye health, sighted or not.

To this day, Prevent Blindness continues to spread awareness and spearhead legislation of various health concerns.

So, What is “The Gift of Sight Month”?

Prevent Blindness has given December this title in hopes of giving people an opportunity to contribute to their cause. They are asking that fully-sighted people reflect on the joys and privileges that accompany healthy vision and to donate to Prevent Blindness.

Because Prevent Blindness is operated by volunteers and is not for profit, they need financial help to continue their mission of preventing blindness and preserving sight.

Why not be part of the cause and help protect and preserve healthy vision? Prevent Blindness is asking that anyone who is able to donate to their organization, please do so. To be part of this important cause, go to the Prevent Blindness website and show your support.

To learn more about how to keep your vision healthy for a lifetime, visit an optometrist near you. For all eye health matters in the Costa Mesa area, call Jeffrey H. Brown, OD for an eye exam.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Jeffrey H. Brown, OD, your Costa Mesa eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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The Importance of Eye Exams for Contact Lenses

Are you planning on wearing contact lenses for the first time? Do you need a new contact lens prescription? Are your current contacts not as comfortable as you wish they were? Your eye doctor will perform a contact lens eye exam to ensure that your vision with contacts is clear, comfortable, and safe, providing you with the right lenses for you. 

What is a contact lens exam?

If you wear or want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need an eye exam for contact lenses, in addition to your regular comprehensive eye exam. Special tests are performed during a contact lens exam to evaluate your eyes and vision with contacts. 

Are eyeglass prescriptions the same as contact lens prescriptions?

No, a prescription for glasses cannot be used for contact lenses. An eyeglass prescription is for lenses that are positioned approximately 12 millimeters from your eyes, whereas a contact lens prescription is measured for lenses that sit directly on the surface of your eye.

The prescription for contact lenses also includes the brand, lens diameter and curvature, which are not part of an eyeglass prescription.

Contact lenses fitting: One size does not fit all

One contact lens size doesn’t fit all eyes. If a contact lens is too flat or too steep for your corneal shape, you may experience discomfort or even eye damage. Your eye doctor will take certain measurements to determine the best contact lens design and fit for your eyes. 

Corneal curvature

This measures the curvature of your eye’s clear front surface (cornea) so the eye doctor can select the optimal curve and diameter for your contact lenses. If your eye’s surface is somewhat irregular because of astigmatism or other conditions, you may require a special lens. 

Pupil and iris size

The size of your pupil and iris (the colored part of your eye) is also important in determining the best contact lens design.

Tear film evaluation

This test evaluates the quality of your tears, to determine whether they will be able to keep contact lenses and your cornea sufficiently hydrated throughout the day. If you have dry eye disease, standard contact lenses may not be right for you. 

Trial lenses

Following the eye exam, you will be provided with trial lenses to verify that the chosen contact lenses offer clear and comfortable vision. This will allow the eye doctor to make any fine adjustments to the prescription.

Contact Lens Eye Exam Near You

Wearing the correct contact lenses for your eyes allows you to enjoy all of the benefits of wearing contacts, while keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable. 

If you’re already a contact lens wearer, visit your eye doctor at least once a year to make sure the lenses are still providing you with optimum vision and comfort.

Contact Jeffrey H. Brown, OD in Costa Mesa to book your contact lens eye exam today!

Costa Mesa Contact Lenses Supplier

Jeffrey H. Brown, OD How Do I Know If Contact Lenses Are Right for Me?

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Costa Mesa eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Contact Lens exam in Costa Mesa, California

Have you been wearing eyeglasses for years, but now, you can’t deal with the way your glasses fog up when wearing a face mask? Or were you just diagnosed with a vision condition and can’t figure out whether to choose contacts over glasses? Our eye doctor shares some facts to help you make the right decision for you.

Contacts Fit an Active Lifestyle

If you’re an athletic type and constantly on the move, glasses can shift or slip off your nose. Also, flying objects can hit your eyeglasses, breaking the lenses or frames and possibly causing an eye injury. Tell our optometrist about your lifestyle so we can fit you with the most appropriate type of contact lenses; we stock a wide variety of types in our modern eye clinic.

Hard vs. Soft Contact Lenses

Depending on your particular eye condition, our eye care professional will recommend either soft or hard contact lenses.

Soft contact lenses are certainly the more popular option nowadays. Made from silicone hydrogel, they allow a large quantity of oxygen to reach the eye. Soft lenses also come in various wearing schedules: daily disposables, bi-weekly disposables, and monthly disposables. The advantage of dailies is that you insert a fresh pair every morning, which drastically reduces the chances of eye infection, dryness and irritation.

When contact lenses first hit the market, they were available only as hard lenses. But the uncomfortable hard lenses of yesteryear bear little resemblance to today’s hard lenses – usually called rigid gas permeable lenses. These rigid GP contacts are often ideal for people who have an irregularly shaped cornea.

How to Reduce the Risks of Contact Lenses

Our eye doctor is careful to point out that anytime you insert something into your eye, you’re introducing the risk of infection. As we mentioned, daily disposables decrease the incidence of infection, but there are effective ways to lower your risks even if you wear a different type of lenses, such as:

    • Always wash your hands before touching your contacts or your eyes.
    • Follow proper hygiene by soaking your contacts in disinfectant overnight. Replace the solution entirely each day, and never use water to rinse or store them.
    • Replace your contact lens case every three to six months.
    • Don’t try to make your contacts last longer than the wearing schedule recommended by your optometrist. Discard them according to schedule.
    • Don’t sleep in your contact lenses, unless directed to by your optometrist.
    • Use moisturizing artificial tears eye drops if you have dry eyes.

    What Type of Contact Lenses Are Best?

    That’s not a question that can be answered without an eye exam and advice from a qualified eye care provider. There are a wide range of types of contacts, such as soft, rigid gas permeable, toric, multifocal, monovision, scleral, hybrid and ortho-k lenses. Book a consultation at our eye clinic to learn more about the types of contact lenses suitable for your eyes.

    Contact lenses are medical devices, which means it is illegal to sell them without a prescription from an eye doctor. When not fitted properly to the shape and curvature of your eye, contacts can deprive your eyes of oxygen and cause infection. They can also lead to a sore on the surface of your eye, which can result in scarring and permanent vision loss. Well-fitting contact lenses allow tears to flow beneath the lenses, providing your eyes with essential oxygen and nutrients. Also, your eye care provider will provide instructions on how to insert, remove and care for your contact lenses responsibly.

    Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

    Jeffrey H. Brown, OD, your Costa Mesa eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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    5 Facts About Scleral Lenses

    happy teenagers 640Scleral contact lenses are large-diameter gas permeable contact lenses that vault over the cornea and rest on the “white” of the eye (the sclera). In doing so, the lenses form a dome over the irregular cornea that provides clear and comfortable vision for individuals with keratoconus, dry eye and other ocular surface conditions.

    Here are 5 facts about scleral lenses and why they are a great choice for many patients.

    1- They work when nothing else will.

    Patients with an irregularly shaped cornea, whether due to natural causes, an eye condition or complications following surgery, can at times develop vision problems that cannot be corrected using glasses or soft contact lenses. In such cases, scleral lenses provide a more comfortable, stable, secure fit, and improved vision.

    For those with keratoconus, scleral contact lenses provide advanced care that resolves visual distortions and creates clear vision while providing a comfortable wearing experience.

    In addition to helping those with keratoconus, scleral lenses are also recommended for those with an astigmatism, particularly for high astigmatism that other contacts cannot comfortably correct.

    2- Scleral contacts provide relief for those who suffer from dry eye.

    Unlike traditional contact lenses, scleral lenses minimize eye irritation. Since they vault over the dry, irritated cornea and sit on the sclera, they offer comfort and clear vision. Sclerals leave a space between the lens and the cornea containing a liquid reservoir of artificial tears that provides a protective cushion that soothes the eye.

    This is crucial, because even blinking can irritate the eye or injure the cornea due to the mechanical friction of the eyelids on the cornea. Scleral lenses can act as a shield between a patient’s eyes and their eyelids, protecting the eyes from further irritation or damage.

    3- Sclerals are long lasting lenses.

    Constructed from high quality, durable materials, these rigid gas permeable contacts typically last 1-3 years. Therefore, while the initial cost of scleral lenses is higher than standard contacts, you’ll benefit from maximum value for your money.

    While scleral lenses are long lasting, it is important to book follow up visits with your eye doctor to determine when it’s time to replace them with a new pair, so as not to harm your cornea.

    4- Scleral contacts are worth the cost

    People assume that because sclerals must be fitted and customized to fit each individual eye, they are exorbitantly expensive. In fact, the lenses are often covered by insurance and certain vision and health savings plans.

    These lenses provide enough of an improvement over regular lenses — in both comfort and vision — to justify the investment.

    5- Scleral lenses are very comfortable.

    Some people mistakenly assume that rigid contacts aren’t comfortable. In reality, scleral contact lenses are very comfortable because they don’t touch the cornea and lubricate the eyes.

    If you have irregular corneas, dry eye or hard-to-fit eyes, scleral lenses may be right for you. Find out more about scleral lenses by scheduling an eye exam at The Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center at Jeffrey H. Brown, OD today!

    The Scleral Lens and Keratoconus Center at Jeffrey H. Brown, OD serves patients from Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Fountain Valley, throughout California.

    Book Online
    Call 714-942-0880

    Are Face Masks Causing Dry Eye Symptoms?

    woman wearing a mask 640Face masks and social distancing have become the first line of defense in COVID-19 prevention.

    While these protective measures are essential to combating the virus’ spread, eye doctors are seeing an increase in dry eye cases among people who wear masks. If you are seeking relief, contact us.

    What is Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE)?

    Mask-associated dry eye (MADE) was first described by an ophthalmologist in May 2020 based on the higher rate of dry eye he was seeing in his practice among patients who wore masks. Patients with existing dry eye reported worsening symptoms when wearing a mask.

    When a face mask doesn’t fit securely, it can push air from the nose and mouth upward, onto the eyes, causing the tear film — the liquid layer that coats the eyes’ surface — to evaporate more quickly. This leads to MADE.

    Dry eye leaves the eyes feeling sore, gritty, dry and irritated. Left untreated, dry eye can cause damage to the cornea.

    There are many causes of dry eye, including eye and health conditions, age, gender and certain medications. Insufficient blinking when looking at a digital device or book, poor indoor air quality and pollution can all play a role. Situations that increase how quickly the tear film evaporates can quickly and significantly dry the eye’s surface, leading to more pronounced symptoms.

    What Causes Dry Eye When Wearing a Mask?

    Wearing a face mask significantly reduces the spread of air when breathing out from the mouth and nose. Instead of moving out, the air moves upwards towards the eyes’ surface. This forces a stream of air over the surface of the eye, causing the tears to evaporate more quickly.

    This is the same reason that eyeglasses fog up when wearing a mask.

    When masks are worn for long periods of time, this repeated evaporation may lead to dry spots on the eyes’ surface.

     

    How to Prevent or Alleviate MADE?

    Here are some simple measures to help reduce dry eye while wearing a mask:

    1. Ensure your mask fits well, and consider taping the top edge to prevent air from rising from your mouth toward your eyes.
    2. Limit your time in air-conditioned or heated environments when possible. Also, take regular breaks from digital devices.
    3. Consult your eye doctor, who will examine your eyes and prescribe the best treatment.

    Having to wear a face mask to prevent COVID-19’s spread may cause dry eye, but relief is available. Contact The Dry Eye Center at Jeffrey H. Brown, OD if you are experiencing dry eye symptoms. We will determine the underlying cause of your dry eye and offer you the best solution so you can get back to having comfortable eyes and vision.

     

    The Dry Eye Center at Jeffrey H. Brown, OD serves patients from Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Fountain Valley, throughout California.

     

    Book Online
    Call 714-942-0880

    Costa Mesa Digital Eye Strain relief.

    Jeffrey H. Brown, OD Rising Risks of Digital Eye Strain During Quarantine

    Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Costa Mesa eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

    Our Eye Doctor Shares Tips to Prevent Painful Computer Vision

    You and your kids are staying home, practicing social distancing in order to reduce the potential spread of Covid-19. It’s certainly the responsible, safe thing to do. However, the current stay-at-home lifestyle has also led to people spending more time on digital devices. Screen time is dedicated to both work and leisure, which keeps everyone busy and entertained, but unfortunately, it has also led to a higher rate of digital eyestrain and other vision complications.

    More people of all ages have been visiting our eye clinic complaining of uncomfortable or painful vision, and our optometrist regularly diagnoses digital eyestrain. To protect yourself from a range of annoying symptoms, read these eye care tips to prevent computer vision problems:

    • Pay attention to position

      When you sit down at your office desk, it’s probably equipped with ergonomic furniture and set at the perfect height. But your home workspace may not meet the same requirements. Take care to position your computer screen about an arm’s length and slightly beneath your line of vision. This will protect both your eyes from strain, as well as your posture and neck. Additionally, good back support will reduce discomfort caused by sitting for long periods. To reduce glare and accompanying eye fatigue, point your screen away from any bright lights.

    • Take coffee breaks

      Even if you’re not in the mood for another java, regular breaks to stand up and stretch are vital for your body and eyes! Get up and walk around your house a bit. Any activity that allows you to look away from your screen will give your body and eye muscles a well-needed respite.

    • Watch for warning signs

      In general, our eye doctor hears patients complain about the following computer vision symptoms when they visit our eye clinic:

      1. HeadachesWhen the pain is concentrated at the front of your head, it’s typically vision related. When it’s at the back of your head, it’s usually posture related. If your temples are throbbing, it’s probably tension.
      2. Neck and shoulder painThis is a direct result of a poorly positioned workspace. Your chair, screen, desk and keyboard all need to be aligned correctly for healthy posture.
      3. Blurry visionIf blinking clears up your sight, it could indicate a dry eye problem. But if your blurred vision usually occurs at the end of the day, it could point to mild farsightedness that’s being exacerbated by so many hours of close work.
      4. Dry eyesProlonged screen time leads to reduced blinking, which leaves your eyes exposed and compromises your moisturizing tear film. Burning or itching eyes are usual symptoms of dry eye syndrome.

      Computers can compromise children’s eye health

      During quarantine, kids depend heavily on digital devices for entertainment and socializing. There are no afternoon clubs or groups to attend, minimal opportunities to socialize, and education itself has become remote in most places. Computers are filling a range of roles in kids’ lives.

      While digital tech has been highly successful at keeping children occupied and happy, research also shows that kids who don’t spend time outdoors are at an increased risk for myopia (nearsightedness) and progressive myopia, especially if it runs in the family.

      During the pandemic, more and more parents are bringing their children to our eye care provider for eye exams. The most typical signs of a problem include:

      • Squinting at the TV or moving closer and closer to the screen
      • Headaches, particularly at the end of the day
      • Difficulty reading (when they didn’t have previous trouble)
      • Problems sleeping at night

      Tips from our optometrist

      • Practice the 20-20-20 rule for ocular health: every 20 minutes, look 20 feet into the distance for 20 seconds. This will help your eyes feel comfortable for longer.
      • Keep appropriate distance from screens: mobile phones should be about one foot from the face, desktops and laptops should be about two feet away, and TV screens should be about 10 feet away
      • Encourage kids to engage in physical activity outdoors, taking permitted walks or even kicking a ball around the backyard
      • Drink enough to stay hydrated
      • Remember to blink regularly
      • Don’t use digital devices within 2 hours of bedtime, so the blue light doesn’t disrupt your circadian rhythms

      Suffering from digital eye strain? Our eye doctor can help! Stop by our eye clinic to learn more about various strategies and products that can prevent and soothe the painful symptoms of computer vision.

      Jeffrey H. Brown, OD, your Costa Mesa eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

      Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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    8 Ways Your Eyes Change With Age

    Our eyes and vision change with age. Your eye doctor can monitor these changes — some of which are a natural part of the aging process — and identify any eye conditions or diseases early enough to treat them and prevent vision loss. Read on to learn more about the different types of eye changes one may encounter with age.

    Age-Related Eye Conditions and Diseases

    Cataracts

    If your vision is starting to get blurry, you may be developing cataracts. There are a few types of cataracts, but the one usually caused by aging is known as a “nuclear cataract”. At first, it may lead to increased nearsightedness or even a temporary improvement in your reading vision. But with time, the lens gradually turns more densely yellow and clouds your vision. As the cataract slowly progresses, the lens may even turn brown. Advanced yellowing or browning of the lens can lead to difficulty distinguishing between shades of color, and left untreated, it can eventually lead to blindness. Luckily, cataract surgery, where the cloudy lens is replaced with a clear lens, is an extremely safe and effective treatment option. 

    Blepharoptosis

    Blepharoptosis or ptosis is a drooping of the upper eyelid that may affect one or both eyes. The eyelid may droop only slightly or may droop enough to cover the pupil and block vision. It occurs when there is a weakness of the eye’s levator muscle that lifts the eyelid. This condition is usually caused by aging, eye surgery, or disease affecting the muscle or its nerve. Fortunately, blepharoptosis can be corrected with surgery.

    Vitreous detachment

    This occurs when the gel-like vitreous fluid inside the eye begins to liquefy and pull away from the retina, causing “spots and floaters” and, sometimes, flashes of light. This occurrence is usually harmless, but floaters and flashes of light can also signal the beginning of a detached retina — a serious problem that can cause blindness, and requires immediate treatment. If you experience sudden or worsening flashes and increased floaters, see Dr. Jeffrey Brown immediately to determine the cause.

    Other Age-Related Changes

    In addition to the above eye conditions and diseases, the structure of our eyes and vision change as we get older. 

    Presbyopia

    Why do people in their 40s and 50s have more difficulty focusing on near objects like books and phone screens? The lens inside the eye begins to lose its ability to change shape and bring near objects into focus, a process is called presbyopia. Over time, presbyopia, also known as age-related farsightedness, will become more pronounced and you will eventually need reading glasses to see clearly. You may need multiple prescriptions – one prescription to enable you to see up close, one for intermediate distance, and one for distance vision. In that case, people often get bifocals, multifocals or PALs, and they can be combined with contact lenses as well.

    Reduced pupil size

    As we age, our reaction to light and the muscles that control our pupil size lose some strength. This causes the pupil to become smaller and less responsive to changes in ambient lighting. The result? It becomes harder to clearly see objects, such as a menu, in a low-light setting like a restaurant.  

    Dry eye

    Our tear glands produce fewer tears and the tears they produce have less moisturizing oils. Your eye doctor can determine whether your dry eye is age-related or due to another condition, and will recommend the right over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, or other effective and lasting treatments, to alleviate the dryness and restore comfort.

    Loss of peripheral vision

    Aging causes a 1-3 degree loss of peripheral vision per decade of life. In fact, one may reach a peripheral visual field loss of 20-30 degrees by the time they reach their 70s and 80s. While peripheral vision loss is a normal part of aging, it can also indicate the presence of a serious eye disease, like glaucoma. The best way to ascertain the cause is by getting an eye exam. 

    Decreased color vision

    The cells in the retina responsible for normal color vision tend to decline as we age, causing colors to become less bright and the contrast between different colors to be less noticeable. Though a normal part of aging, faded colors can at times signal a more serious ocular problem. 

    Beyond the normal changes that come with age, the risk of developing a serious eye disease, such as age related macular degeneration and glaucoma, increases. Routine eye exams are essential to keeping your eyes healthy. Your eye doctor can determine whether your symptoms are caused by an eye problem or are a normal byproduct of aging. 

    If you or a loved one suffers from impaired vision, we can help. To find out more and to schedule your annual eye doctor’s appointment, contact Jeffrey H. Brown, OD in Costa Mesa today. 

    Costa Mesa Optometrist – Protect Your Eyes

    Jeffrey H. Brown, OD Eye Doctor in Costa Mesa, California

    Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Myopia or Nearsightedness, Cataracts, Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Costa Mesa eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

    Remote Learning? Blue Light Glasses Can Protect Your Eyes

    In normal amounts, blue light can be beneficial for your health, setting your sleep-wake cycle and boosting your mood. But overexposure to blue light, especially when the source is digital devices, can increase certain health risks. In particular, it can strain your eyes and lead to a slew of painful symptoms. Nowadays, as the number of students learning remotely has risen dramatically, the damaging effects of blue light on eyes has become a hot topic. To protect and soothe your vision, our eye doctor near you recommends purchasing a pair of blue light glasses, available at our eye clinic.

    What do blue light glasses do?

    Blue light glasses help to filter out blue light rays. If you have a pair, you can see the difference for yourself – point a blue light pen at one lens, and you’ll notice immediately that the brightness getting through the lens becomes much weaker compared to what happens with a regular unfiltered lens.

    Are all blue light glasses the same?

    No. In addition to coming in all sizes and crafted for just about all prescriptions, blue light glasses come in different color tints that filter out varying amounts of brightness. That’s because blue light comes from various sources that have different intensities, such as the sun, laptops, smartphones and all LED lights. To find the best blue light glasses for your lifestyle, consult with our eye care professional.

    What problems can blue light cause?

    If too much time is spent exposed to blue light, it can interrupt your circadian rhythm, making it hard to sleep, or it can put tremendous strain on your eyes. Consequently, all that time spent learning remotely can make you tired, distracted and less able to focus on your school work.

    Additionally, overexposure to blue light may be linked to an increased risk of vision loss as a result of macular degeneration in the future, as well as potential overstimulation for anyone on the autism spectrum.

    In sum, blue light glasses can enhance your visual comfort and eye health. Stop by our eye care center to book an eye exam with our knowledgeable eye doctor near you, and to learn more about how to stay safe from blue light.

    Jeffrey H. Brown, OD, your Costa Mesa eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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    Protect Your Eyes From Vision Loss: Diabetes Awareness Month

    What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

    Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is one of the most prevalent eye diseases affecting the working age population. It is thought to be caused by high blood sugar levels which, over time, damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye, making them swell and leak. Left untreated, DR can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.

    Since diabetic eye disease is typically painless and shows no symptoms until its advanced stages, it’s critical to get your annual eye evaluation, as an optometrist can detect the developing signs early enough to prevent vision loss.

    Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy 

    Diabetics may not realize they have diabetic retinopathy, because it develops silently. As the condition worsens, it may cause: 

    • Blurred vision
    • Poor night vision
    • Colors to appear faded or washed out
    • An increased presence of floaters
    • Vision loss
    • Blank or dark areas in your field of vision

    Diabetic retinopathy symptoms usually affect both eyes.

    Risk Factors

    If you are diabetic, caring for your eyes by undergoing routine eye exams and taking care of your body by controlling blood sugar levels are critical to preventing vision loss. There are several risk factors associated with diabetic eye complications, including: 

    • Poor blood sugar control
    • Smoking
    • High cholesterol 
    • High blood pressure
    • Pregnancy
    • Excess weight/obesity

    Are There Any Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy?

    Today’s treatment options may improve your vision, even if you feel your eyesight has begun to deteriorate. Medications can be injected to reduce swelling, and laser surgery can be used to shrink and seal off swollen and leaking blood vessels — preserving and, in many cases, even improving vision. 

    While certain treatments may work, frequent monitoring of your eyes coupled with managing your blood sugar levels can go a long way toward preventing or reducing diabetic retinopathy complications. 

    If You Have Diabetes, Make Sure to: 

    • Control blood sugar and blood pressure to prevent long-term damage to the fine blood vessels within the retina.  
    • Keep a healthy lifestyle routine, especially during stressful times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. (Plus, while diabetics are in the high-risk category, your chances of developing serious COVID-19 related complications is lower if your diabetes is under control.)
    • Maintain a steady diet and exercise regimen to help the body and mind feel better. 
    • Quit smoking, if applicable; you can reach out to a medical professional for guidance.
    • Get yearly diabetic eye exams.

    Preventing and managing diabetic retinopathy require a multi-disciplinary approach involving your eye doctor and other medical professionals. Your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you have diabetic retinopathy, assess its severity, and discuss preventative strategies as well as the latest treatment options. 

    Contact Jeffrey H. Brown, OD at 714-979-1811 to schedule your diabetic eye exam today, and to learn more about what you can do to protect your vision and general health.