Serious Eye Conditions Growing in Young People

eye problemsAccording to Medical News Today, a recent survey of optometrists has shown that the number of young people being diagnosed with serious eye conditions such as dry eye and blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) is growing. Many of these doctors were also concerned that certain sight-stealing vision conditions may be developing at a younger age:

  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Age-related macular degeneration

This phenomenon of deteriorating eye health may be due to any number of reasons, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Poor nutrition
  • Increased usage of computer, tablet or smart phone screens
  • Smoking
  • Lack of sunglasses
  • Improper contact lens usage

It’s important to note that even if you have your vision corrected through a procedure such as LASIK in Longmont, and even if you achieve 20/20 vision after the procedure, it is still possible to develop serious eye conditions. Regular eye exams are vital to the overall health of your eyes because they can detect any “silent” problems that are developing so treatment options can be explored.

If you are experiencing any changes in your vision or would like to learn more about ways to protect and preserve your eyesight, contact Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado at 303-772-3300 or eyecaresite.com to schedule an eye exam in Longmont. Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado also offers free LASIK Consultations to help patients reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts.

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Does Your Computer Need Glasses?

Computer Vision

If you are over age 40, you may be experiencing the effects of presbyopia on your eyesight. Presbyopia is the gradual stiffening of the eye lens that makes it more difficult for the eyes to focus on near objects. This condition happens to almost everyone as they age (even if you’ve had successful LASIK vision correction surgery) and is the reason why so many adults need reading glasses to read things like menus, books, tablets, computers and smart phones clearly.

But what if your computer screen wore your glasses for you?

Researchers at UC Berkeley are developing a technology that may, in essence, create glasses for your computer, tablet or other type of screen. They have developed a prototype of a vision-correcting display using a printed pinhole screen in between two layers of clear plastic to enhance image sharpness. The “computation” technique distorts the screen image based on each user’s unique visual impairment, allowing the image to look clear for that individual. The ultimate goal is to reduce or eliminate the need for glasses or contacts to read displays on screens.

Will this technology eventually replace LASIK in Longmont? Probably not, because LASIK not only corrects farsightedness; it also corrects nearsightedness and astigmatism. However, it may help those individuals who have had successful LASIK surgery reduce their need for reading glasses later in life when presbyopia creeps in – at least when looking at displays. Time will tell.

If you are experiencing any changes in your vision or want to reduce your dependence on glasses or contacts, contact The Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado at 888-702-1188 or eyecaresite.com to schedule an eye exam or a free LASIK Consultation in Longmont.

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Celebrate Comic Book Day with Superhero Vision

LASIK Superhero VisionSeptember 25 is National Comic Book Day. There are many genres of comic books from which to choose, such as superhero, manga, humor, science fiction/fantasy, horror, comics and more. People of all ages love comics because they have interesting characters, exciting story lines and detailed graphics.

Today comics are available electronically on tablets, websites and smart phones. But if you prefer the “old school” way of reading printed comics, and you are farsighted (meaning you see distant objects clearly but close-up objects are blurry), you probably have to wear glasses or contacts to read their fine print.

If you’re a comic book fan over age 21, wouldn’t it be great to pick up any comic, any time, day or night, and be able to read it? LASIK vision correction in Longmont can correct farsightedness, allowing many patients to achieve 20/20 vision after the quick procedure. The LASIK process uses a laser to slightly alter the shape of the cornea with superb precision, allowing light to properly focus on the back of the eye (the retina). The actual procedure takes just a few minutes per eye, is virtually painless and most patients are back to work within a day or two.

The procedure is so effective that some of our doctor’s happy LASIK patients at The Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado consider them a superhero! Find out if your eyes are ready for an “Adventure in Longmont LASIK.” You won’t have X-ray, night or freeze vision after LASIK, but you may still feel like you have super strength vision when you can wake up in the morning and see without glasses.

Visit eyecaresite.com or call 888-702-1188 to schedule your free LASIK Consultation or take the free online LASIK Self-Evaluation as a first step.

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Can Eye Exercises Improve Your Vision?

If you have to wear corrective lenses to see clearly, you may be tempted to purchase eye exercise kits or start on an eye exercise regimen in order to reduce your need for glasses or contacts. The truth is that there has been no scientific evidence that eye exercises can improve your vision if you have:

  • Nearsightedness: good close-up vision but poor distance vision due to the shape of the cornea
  • Farsightedness: good distance vision but poor close-up vision due to the shape of the cornea
  • Astigmatism: blurry distance and close-up vision due to the shape of the cornea or lens
  • Presbyopia (the need for reading glasses): blurry close-up vision due to the loss of elasticity in the eye lens

There is no scientific research that clearly proves that eye exercises will change the shape of your cornea, the shape of your eye or restore flexibility to the eye lens.

Nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism are caused by a refractive error that can be corrected through laser procedures such as LASIK in Longmont. This process uses a laser to alter the cornea’s shape so light is focused correctly on the back of the retina. Many patients can achieve 20/20 vision with this procedure.

LASIK, however, cannot fully correct presbyopia. Monovision LASIK is one alternative for presbyopia, which corrects one eye for distance vision and one eye for close-up vision.

Before you start an eye exercise program, consult with your eye doctor to make sure this is a safe alternative for vision improvement. If you are looking for a quicker and more effective method of vision correction, contact Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado to schedule a free LASIK Consultation in Longmont to find out if your eyes are right for the procedure. Call 888-702-1188  or visit eyecaresite.com to schedule an appointment online and take a free online LASIK Self-Evaluation.

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Pirates Don’t Wear Glasses

Blackbeard…Captain Kidd…Black Bart…Redbeard…even Jack Sparrow…

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a pirate who wore glasses (there were plenty of eye patches, though). Does that mean that all pirates had 20/20 vision? Probably not; but it’s safe to assume that pirates didn’t have access to good eye care.

Even if a pirate did manage to visit an eye doctor and find out his vision was less-than-perfect, the idea of wearing eye glasses wasn’t too appealing. (After all, a pirate had a reputation to uphold!) And LASIK vision correction wasn’t FDA-approved before the late 1990s, so all the gleamin’ booty in the world wouldn’t make that an option.

Why are we talking about pirates? September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day! It’s a day for you to connect with your inner pirate and toss about a few “Aarrs” and “Blimeys” with friends, family and co-workers. You may even want to don an eye patch for the occasion. But if you have to wear glasses to correct your nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism, it will be almost impossible to look authentic with an eye patch over your glasses.

Avast! If you want to celebrate Talk Like a Pirate Day by looking like a pirate (meaning, no glasses), find out if LASIK vision correction in Longmont is right for you. Call 888-702-1188 or visit eyecaresite.com to schedule your free LASIK Consultation.

Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado won’t hornswaggle you with the cost of LASIK and they will even provide LASIK financing options to make better vision more affordable.

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Will School Make You Nearsighted?

Researchers in Germany have uncovered a possible link between spending more years in school and the prevalence and severity of nearsightedness. In the Gutenberg Health Study, they looked at 4,658 Germans ages 35-74 who had myopia (nearsightedness), which causes distant objects to appear blurry while close-up objects are clear. The study did not include participants with cataracts or anyone who had refractive surgery.

The Findings

  • 53% of university graduates had myopia
  • 39% of high school graduates had myopia
  • 24% of participants without a high school education had myopia

The myopia became more severe with each additional year of school.

Don’t Sacrifice Education for Vision

We are not recommending that people drop out of school to possibly protect their vision. Instead, while you are pursuing your education, be aware of your environment and how it is affecting your eyesight. For example, take frequent breaks from your computer and give your eyes a rest.

Another Reason Why Recess is Important

If these findings are valid, it makes sense for students to increase their time outdoors…making recess an important part of the school day (regardless of your level of education).

Already Nearsighted? You Have Options

Of course, people can have myopia regardless of the amount of schooling – you can be born with this condition where your eye is too long or too steep, causing light rays to focus in front of your retina rather than on the surface. If you are already nearsighted, you have options to correct your vision, including LASIK vision correction in Longmont. This quick and virtually painless procedure uses a laser to microscopically reshape the cornea so light will focus on the retina (the back of the eye) and clear vision can be obtained.

To learn more about your own vision characteristics and find out if LASIK technology in Longmont may help you see with 20/20 vision, contact Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado by scheduling your free LASIK Consultation at eyecaresite.com or by calling 888-702-1188.

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LASIK & Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis is aptly named “pink eye” because the eyes actually look pink, red or bloodshot due to an inflammation of the clear membranes on the white of the eyes and inside the eyelids. This is a highly contagious condition that is easily spread when it is caused by a virus or bacteria.

People of all ages can get pink eye in Longmont. The more you are in contact or close proximity with other people, the greater your risk of contracting pink eye because it can spread through sneezes, coughs or by using an object that was previously used by a person who already has pink eye.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to prevent pink eye, and you can contract the condition at the most inopportune times. For example, if you have a Longmont LASIK procedure scheduled and you contract pink eye, you will have to have the pink eye treated before having LASIK. Your eyes must be healthy to avoid LASIK complications.

Pink Eye Treatment

Viral conjunctivitis will typically clear up over several days, but bacterial conjunctivitis may require medicated eye drops or ointments. It may take 10 days or more for a bacterial infection to clear up. The doctors at Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado can determine when it is safe to have LASIK after pink eye in Longmont.

Pink Eye Symptoms

Besides red eyes, other symptoms of pink eye include:

  • Excessive eye watering
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Burning and itching
  • Crusty eyelids in the morning
  • Light sensitivity
  • Gritty sensation
  • Yellow discharge

If you are considering LASIK in Longmont, schedule your free LASIK Consultation at Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado. Call 303-772-3300 or visit eyecaresite.com. Our doctors will examine your eyes and tell you if your eyes are healthy enough for this amazing vision correction procedure.

Of course, even after successful LASIK, you can still contract pink eye. It’s important to take measures to protect yourself against pink eye, such as:

  • Wash hands frequently
  • Avoid touching your eyes
  • Use hand sanitizers
  • Avoid sharing hand towels and personal items
  • Wear goggles when swimming
  • Follow contact lens wear instructions
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Alcohol’s Effects on Night Vision

We all know that alcohol impairs judgment and coordination and slows reaction time.
But here is yet another reason to cut back on your alcohol consumption: A study coming out of the University of Grenada has shown that overconsumption can also adversely affect your night vision. The study examined 67 subjects who had consumed various quantities of wine. The researchers used a “halometer” visual test to determine the level of night vision disturbances and optical image quality. What they found was that the greater the breath alcohol content level, the greater the visual disturbance.

Alcohol disturbs the tear film that covers the surface of the eye. The ethanol (intoxicating agent) present in alcoholic drinks disturbs the outer tear film layer, causing the aqueous part of the tear to evaporate. When tear film is disturbed, the image quality that forms on the retina is also negatively affected, leading to the presence of halos and other visual disturbances in night vision.

Now add into the equation a pre-existing vision condition, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism. If your vision is already impaired due to a refractive error and you consume alcohol, the tear film disturbance combined with poor choices (such as not wearing glasses or contacts) can lead to disastrous consequences for yourself and others. LASIK vision correction in Longmont can correct these types of refractive errors, but even having 20/20 vision will not reduce the negative effects of alcohol on your vision.

In the past, some LASIK patients also complained of night vision problems after their procedure; however, today’s LASIK technology has effectively reduced this type of complication of LASIK. To learn more about Longmont LASIK and find out if you might be a good candidate for the procedure, contact Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado at 888-702-1188 or eyecaresite.com. And whether or not you have LASIK, please never drink and drive.

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Choose Sunglasses Wisely

One of the top benefits that LASIK vision correction provides is the opportunity to wear any type of sunglasses you want. Patients who achieve 20/20 vision after LASIK are usually excited to get rid of their expensive prescription sunglasses and start choosing a variety of fashionable sunglasses off-the-rack.

While most people know that it’s important to wear sunscreen with a high SPF to protect their skin from sun damage, few worry about UV protection in their sunglasses. The fact is that UV radiation can lead to serious eye problems, including cancer, cataracts, macular degeneration, painful sunburns of the cornea (photokeratitis) and damage to the eye lens and other parts of the eye. You should wear sunglasses any time you are outdoors – even in the shade, even in winter, even if you wear contact lenses that block UV rays.

At Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado, we not only help people achieve better vision through our advanced LASIK technologies in Longmont, CO, we also want our patients to keep their eye health a priority after LASIK. When choosing sunglasses after LASIK, it’s important to look for UV protection details on the labels and choose shades that provide 100% UVA and UVB protection. The color and darkness of the lenses has no impact on the amount of protection. Frames that wrap around and cover the sides of the eyes are also beneficial in protecting your eyes from harmful rays.

This subject is so important that scientists in Brazil have developed and installed a free self-serve sunglass UV testing kiosk in San Carlos so people can test how well their sunglasses block UV rays. In a test of 800 users of the kiosk, 20% found their sunglasses provided inadequate protection. If you are unsure about your own sunglasses, talk to your optician, optometrist or ophthalmologist or invest in a new pair of sunglasses that meet the right requirements.

To find out if you might benefit from LASIK and have the opportunity to choose any sunglasses you want, take the free online LASIK Self-Evaluation at eyecaresite.com. Then call our doctors at 888-702-1188 to schedule your free LASIK Consultation.

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Is LASIK Better Than Contacts?

A recent study has measured patient satisfaction with LASIK compared to contact lenses for vision correction. The study found that LASIK results in fewer vision problems with night driving both with former contact lens wearers and former glasses wearers. However, complaints about dry eye were common among people who had LASIK as well as those who wore contact lenses or glasses.

The study, led by Francis Price Jr., M.D., gathered patient satisfaction over a three-year period. Patients in the study were between 18 and 60 years of age and included:

  • 356 participants who wore contacts only
  • 448 participants who wore contacts then had LASIK
  • 154 participants who wore glasses and then had LASIK

Participants were asked if they would recommend LASIK or contacts to a friend or family member. The results were as follows:

  • 53% of patients who wore contacts agreed that they would recommended contacts
  • 87% of patients who wore contacts and then had LASIK agreed that they would recommend LASIK
  • 77% of patients who wore glasses and then had LASIK agreed that they would recommend LASIK

Another question asked of the group was whether patients believed LASIK works better than wearing contact lenses; 96% answered that they either “agreed” or “strongly agreed.”

Still another question addressed night vision difficulties. The rate of night driving problems decreased after LASIK for those participants who had previously worn contacts or glasses. “Overall, LASIK improves night driving vision and that was very significant,” said Dr. Price.

If you have been “on the fence” about having LASIK vision correction in Longmont, this new study may help you decide to take the first step toward improved vision. At Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado, we have performed thousands of LASIK procedures.

Learn more about the risks of LASIK, the benefits of LASIK and whether your eyes are right for LASIK by scheduling a free LASIK Consultation at Eye Care Center of Northern Colorado. Call 888-702-1188 or visit eyecaresite.com to schedule your appointment. Or take our free online LASIK Self-Evaluation here.

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