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Dry Eye Syndrome: When Dry Eyes are Chronic

Dry eyes are a common problem for many individuals particularly during the winter months when exposure to dry air and whipping wind is increased. However, if you are suffering from dry eyes that just won’t go away, you may have what is known as Dry Eye Syndrome – a condition in which the tears that lubricate and nourish the eye are not being produced sufficiently.

Tears serve to keep the surface of the eye moist, smooth and clear, to reduce the risk of infection and to remove foreign substances. Tear ducts in the corner of the eyelid drain the excess tears. Dry eyes syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by inadequate tear production or poor quality of the tears produced. A number of factors contribute to the condition including advanced age, female gender, environmental conditions, medication or particular medical conditions. Extended periods reading or working on a computer without blinking, prolonged use of contacts or refractive eye surgeries can also contribute to decreased moisture and tear production.

An optometrist will be able to determine whether you have chronic dry eye syndrome by examining your eye and your blinking pattern, measuring the amount and quality of your tears and assessing your medical and environmental history.

Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome include:

  • Persistent dry eyes
  • Scratchiness or gritty sensation
  • Burning sensation
  • Feeling like there is something is in your eye
  • Excessively watery eyes
  • Blurred vision

If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is worthwhile to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. If you have dry eye syndrome, there are treatments available to relieve your discomfort.

Computer Glasses: A Growing Necessity in Our Digital World

The need for computer glasses is growing as the digital age means many of us are spending hours in front of a computer or mobile screen each day, often resulting in eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, or neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms and others are often categorized as Computer Vision Syndrome or CVS. Computer eyeglasses are designed to be worn while working on your computer or another small screen to increase physical comfort and reduce eye strain to eliminate these uncomfortable effects of CVS.

What are Computer Glasses?

Computer glasses contain lenses made specifically for viewing a computer screen. Digital screens present a visual field, distance, font and glare that the eyes must accommodate to and therefore individuals that spend more than two hours a day on the computer are susceptible to symptoms of CVS, such as blurred vision and headaches. To avoid eye strain, people tend to compensate by leaning over to get closer to the screen which contributes to neck, back and shoulder pain.

Computer glasses are designed to assist in viewing the screen optimally from a proper position in relation to the computer. As opposed to reading glasses, computer glasses are focused on the intermediate visual zone which is in between distance vision (such as that needed for driving or watching a movie) and near vision (needed when reading). Computer glasses come in single vision, prescription or multifocal lenses depending on the needs of the individual.

It is also important for computer eyeglasses to have an anti-reflective (AR) or anti-glare coating or tint. Such treatments will reduce reflections of light of the computer screen or on the surface of your lenses which can induce eye strain. Some eye doctors also recommend a contrast-enhancing tint for computer glasses to help reduce glare caused by harsh overhead lighting often found in office environments.

Computer vision syndrome can be worsened by underlying vision problems such as accommodating deficiencies – trouble refocusing from the keyboard (near vision) to the screen (intermediate vision) or presbyopia (progressive near vision difficulty that comes with advancing age). Before purchasing computer glasses, you should have a comprehensive eye exam to rule out these or other eye and vision issues which may require an alternative solution.

Where Do I Get Computer Eyeglasses?

Since individual eye and vision needs such as a prescription should be taken into consideration for effective computer glasses, you should schedule an eye exam with a trusted eye care professional. It is also a good idea to measure the distance you generally sit from your computer screen to help your eye doctor determine the optimal power needed for your lens strength. This information will assist your eye doctor in recommending the best lens combination to suit your needs. Remember, these glasses are specifically for computer use only and should not be worn when driving or performing other tasks that require vision enhancement.

Once you are equipped with a proper prescription and lens type, you can select almost any style of frame for your computer glasses, so even sitting at your computer in the office you can look fashionable, see great and feel better at the same time.

Don’t wait for the symptoms of CVS to appear. Particularly if you work at a computer, consult with your optometrist today to find out whether computer glasses are right for you.

The Diabetic Eye

Too many people are not aware that diabetes increases the risk of vision loss. Research by the National Institute of Health (NIH) indicates that diabetes is the leading cause of complete vision loss in adults aged 20 to 74 years old. One of the risks of diabetes is when the retina is damaged by increased pressure in the blood vessels of the eye. This is called diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most serious complications of the disease and it has affected over 3.7 million people in America since 2002.

Early on, this condition is often asymptomatic. Vision problems eventually develop when the blood vessels in the retina begin to leak fluid, oil and small amounts of blood into the retina. When it is not treated, blood vessels may become blocked or new vessels may begin to grow on the retina leading to permanent vision loss.

Because signs are often not seen until it is too late it is imperative to see your optometrist on a yearly basis to perform a comprehensive eye exam if you are diabetic. Warning signs of developing diabetic retinopathy include any kind of vision problems such as fluctuations, spots, shadows, double or blurred vision or pain. In addition to diabetic retinopathy, diabetics are at increased risk of developing cataracts and glaucoma.

With early detection and treatment, we can reduce loss of eyesight. In addition to making sure to schedule a comprehensive eye exam on a yearly basis if you are diabetic, keeping your glucose levels under control is essential to your eye health.

This month, spread awareness of the risks of diabetic retinopathy and speak to your optometrist if you have any questions. In this case, ignorance could cost you your vision

Online Patient Registration Forms

You can now request your next appointment online. 

Visit the Contact Us section of our web site and complete the Patient Registration Form.  The form is secure and our office will be notified once the form is complete.  When you walk in for your next appointment, we'll already  have the information entered into our computers.  We're always looking for ways to serve our patients better.

Call for an Appointment, We are open!

We are making special arrangements with the current public health concerns. When you call Texas State Optical Round Rock, we will space your appointment time to be mindful of social distancing and your personal comfort.

Texas State Optical Round Rock is here for your vision care. We are aware of your concerns and are taking extra precautionary action for your protection and safety. We carefully sanitize all surfaces, including equipment, frames and supplies, frame boards, desks, and keyboards.

When you schedule your eye exam appointment, you can have the extra confidence that you will be safe and comfortable at Texas State Optical.

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