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Are You Susceptible To Vision Loss?

Ask Our Eye Doctor in Washington, Lowa, how To Prevent Vision Loss

Vision loss is more common than you may think! In fact, it’s among the most prevalent disabilities in adults and children. Knowing what puts you at risk of developing vision loss is important and can help you to be proactive about caring for your eyes.

Below, we’ll explore the most common causes of vision loss and the risk factors associated with each.

Spreading awareness and education about visual health is just one way that our eye doctors near you can help. To schedule your Comprehensive eye exam, call us today 319-519-0050.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by a buildup of pressure within the eye. Too much inner-eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

Since symptoms don’t usually manifest in the early stages of glaucoma, getting regular eye exams is all the more crucial. Advanced or rapidly progressing glaucoma can show a variety of symptoms, such as blurred vision, headache, severe eye pain and redness, seeing halos around lights, and nausea.

Risk factors for developing glaucoma include:

  • Being 60 years or older
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African, Asian, or Hispanic descent
  • High myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Previous eye injury or certain eye surgeries
  • Certain medications, like corticosteroids
  • Thin corneas
  • Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and sickle-cell anemia

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy. A healthy lens is clear and allows light to pass through it undisturbed.

Common cataract symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, light sensitivity, double vision in the affected eye, and seeing colors as faded or yellowish.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye surgery, injury, or inflammation
  • Alcoholism
  • Extended use of corticosteroids

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 60. It occurs when the macula (the small central portion of the retina, which is responsible for sharp, colorful, central vision) begins to wear down.

Early stages of AMD usually go unnoticed, but later stages of the disease can produce symptoms like blurred vision, dark or blurry areas in your central vision, and problems with color perception.

There’s not yet a cure for AMD, but certain treatments can help prevent vision loss.

Risk factors for developing AMD include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Long-term sun exposure
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of AMD
  • Light-colored eyes
  • Farsightedness

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a complication of Type 1 or 2 diabetes that affects the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye called the retina.

Initially, diabetic retinopathy shows no symptoms but can eventually lead to blindness. As it develops, it can cause increased floaters, impaired color vision, dark spots in your visual field, and blurred vision.

Risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Length of time from diabetes diagnosis — the longer you’ve had it, the higher your chances of developing visual complications
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • African American, Hispanic, and Native American ethnicities
  • Family history of DR

So, what’s the bottom line?

Multiple factors contribute to eye disease and vision loss, and some may even be relevant to you. If you think you may be at risk for vision loss or experience any of the symptoms listed above, speak with your eye doctor in Washington as soon as possible. We also recommend you have your eyes thoroughly examined every 1-2 years, or as often as your eye doctor recommends. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Modern Eye Care today.

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.

Modern Eye Care, your Washington eye doctor for eye exams and Contact lenses

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Can blindness be prevented?

When caught early, many eye diseases can be treated to halt or slow the progression of the disease and potentially prevent vision loss. The best things you can do to preserve your vision for the long term is to lead a healthy lifestyle and make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years.

Which eye diseases are genetically inherited?

More than 350 ocular diseases have some sort of genetic component. Certain diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa and albinism, are directly inherited through chromosomal information. In other cases, a predisposition to the disease is inherited, rather than the disease itself.

Are Contact Lenses Safe For Young Children?

Here’s a question we often get at our practice: Is my child too young for contact lenses?’ This is an important question, and the answer may surprise you.

For children with myopia (nearsightedness), contact lenses can be a convenient method of vision correction. It allows kids to go about their day without having to worry about breaking or misplacing their glasses, and enables them to freely participate in sports and other physical activities.

Local Contact lens supplier near you in Washington, Iowa

Some children and young teens may ask their parents for contact lenses because they feel self-conscious wearing glasses. Contact lenses may even provide children with the confidence boost they need to come out of their shell. Moreover, these days, it is very popular for children to wear single-use one-day disposable soft contacts, since there is no cleaning or maintenance involved.

Some parents may deny their child’s request for contacts due to concerns about eye health and safety. There’s no reason to worry: contact lenses are just as safe for children as they are for anyone else.

Modern Eye Care Eye Clinic and Eye exam, contact lenses, myopia in Washington, Iowa

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive 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? Our Washington eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

At Modern Eye Care, we provide children, teens, and patients of all ages with a wide variety of contact lenses. If you’re concerned about the safety of contacts for your child, we’ll be happy to explain and explore ways to ensure maximum safety, optimal eye health and comfort. To learn more or to schedule a pediatric eye exam for contact lenses, contact us today.

What Are the Risks of Having My Child Wear Contact Lenses?

Local Eye exam, contact lenses, myopia in Washington, Iowa

Read what our patients have to say on Google Reviews

A study published in the January 2021 issue of The Journal of Ophthalmic & Physiological Optics found that kids aren’t at a higher risk of experiencing contact lens complications.

The study followed nearly 1000 children aged 8-16 over the course of 1.5-3 years to determine how contact lenses affected their eye health.

The results indicate that age doesn’t have an effect on contact lens safety. In fact, the researchers found that the risk of developing infections or other adverse reactions was less than 1% per year of wear — which is comparable to contact lens wearers of other ages.

But before you decide that contact lenses are right for your child, you may want to consider whether your child is ready to wear them. During his or her eye doctor’s appointment, the optometrist may ask about your child’s level of maturity, responsibility, and personal hygiene. Since many children are highly motivated to wear contacts, they tend to display real maturity in caring for their lenses. That said, in the initial stages, parents may need to play an active role, as their child gets used to inserting and removing the new contact lenses.

It’s important to note that just as with any other medical device, contact lenses are not risk-free. Anyone who wears contact lenses has a chance of developing eye infections or other complications with contact lenses. However, when worn and cared for according to your eye doctor’s instructions, contact lenses are low-risk and perfectly safe for children and teenagers.

So, go ahead and bring your child in for a contact lens consultation! We’ll help determine if your child is ready for contacts and answer any questions you or your child may have. To schedule your child’s contact lens fitting or eye exam, contact Modern Eye Care in Washington today.

Call Modern Eye Care on 319-519-0050 to schedule an eye exam with our Washington optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

"The Sneak Thief of Sight" Is On Our Minds This January

New To Contact Lenses? Here Are Our Top 5 Tips!

Top 5 Tips for Managing Eye Allergies This Spring

Inside a Life With Color Vision Deficiency

Top 5 Tips for Managing Eye Allergies This Spring

Spring is a season of new beginnings, when the cold harsh winter months are behind us, flowers bloom, and people begin spending more time outdoors.

For people with allergies, spring means one more thing: suffering. Spring may be in the air, but for allergy sufferers, so is pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust. These airborne allergens can trigger uncomfortable reactions such as watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, congestion, and sinus pain.

There are some things you can do to minimize the discomfort throughout the spring season.

Check out Our Top 5 Tips for Getting Through Eye Allergy Season:

  1. Pollen tends to have a higher count in the mornings and early evenings. During these times, stay inside and keep windows closed. If you enjoy an early morning exercise run, consider an alternative indoor workout during peak allergy season.
  2. Take a shower before going to sleep. Doing this at night can rinse away any lingering allergens and leave you with a clearer eye and nasal area, as well as a more restful night’s sleep.
  3. Keep artificial tears close by. They can temporarily alleviate ocular allergy symptoms by lubricating your eyes when they feel dry and itchy, and they’re usually small enough to fit inside a purse or pocket. If you don’t have any good eye drops, use a cool compress as an alternative method of relief.
  4. If your allergies are caused by dust or pet dander, vacuum. A lot. Dust collects quickly and can be difficult to spot until there’s a high amount of it. Pets can shed fast and often, and just when you think you’ve removed all the fur from your sofa, carpet, or bed, you suddenly find more, so vacuum a few times each week.
  5. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and change your linens more often during the spring season. Remnants of airborne allergens can stay on your hands, towels, and bed sheets. Washing them more frequently can minimize some of your allergic reactions.

Though it may be tempting, don’t rub your eyes. This can actually aggravate the allergy response. If you find yourself using artificial tears more than 4 times a day, or other short-term solutions aren’t enough, speak with your eye doctor. You may be able to receive antihistamine eye drops or other prescription medications to ease your discomfort.

When It’s More Than Allergies

Certain eye allergy symptoms can also be signs of eye conditions or diseases, so pay close attention to any reactions that don’t dissipate after allergy season ends.

These Eye Symptoms can include:

  • Dryness
  • Excessive tearing
  • Itchiness
  • Persistent eye pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

These Symptoms Can Indicate Eye conditions, Such As:

  • Blepharitis (inflamed eyelids)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Corneal Abrasions
  • Dry Eye Disease
  • Styes (an oil gland infection that causes a bump or pimple-like shape in the eyelid)

Eye Allergies and Contact Lenses

If you wear contact lenses, speak to your doctor about daily disposable contacts. These can be a great option for allergy sufferers. Since dailies are thrown away at the end of the day, there’s no heavy allergen buildup on the lenses to worry about.

Consider switching to eyeglasses for a while. Even the most comfortable soft lenses can feel irritable during allergy season. Use the springtime to get yourself a new look. With a wide range of incredible styles to choose from, including exclusive eyewear collections from today’s hottest designers, there’s something for everyone. Not sure what the choose? Talk to your optician to help you find a style that’s right for you.

An Ocular Allergy Optometrist Near You

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Contact your eye doctor for any specific questions or concerns about your eye allergies.

The Importance of Sunglasses

Girl wearing two pairs of sunglasses in Washington, IA

Finding the right pair of sunglasses to fit your personal style is often an important part of making your summer outfit picture perfect. But beyond “picture perfect,” a carefully chosen pair of sunglasses can grant you great health advantages and help safeguard your eyes against the elements.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is a familiar concept to many and the damage it can cause to your skin is well known as well. Much less well known, however, is the damage that UV radiation can do to your eyes. Too much UV radiation can give your eyes a kind of 'sunburn of the eye,' called photokeratitis, and excessive UV exposure over your lifetime can significantly increase your chances of developing serious problems with your eyes later in life, such as age-related macular degeneration and cataracts. Expert studies suggest that high-quality sunglasses can significantly reduce the number of UV rays entering your eyes, reducing your risk of photokeratitis and long term damage. Furthermore, since they protect the sensitive skin around the eyes from receiving too much direct UV radiation, wearing sunglasses may also help to reduce wrinkles.

Excessive UV radiation is not the only risk sunglasses can help you reduce. Everyday reflective surfaces, such as snow, water, road surfaces, and car windshields, reflect a great deal of light and can do significant damage to your eyes with extended exposure. Good sunglasses can do a great deal to protect your eyes against this glare. Furthermore, sunglasses can help prevent potentially life-threatening situations by reducing the chances that bright glare may momentarily blind you while driving or biking.

Quality sunglasses are also very important for reducing eyestrain, headaches, and fatigue. The opening at the front of the eye, called the pupil, controls the amount of light that enters your eye. In conditions in which a great deal of light is present, such as when you walk outside on a very sunny day, the pupil may be unable to constrict enough to keep light to a comfortable level, causing you to squint in order to further limit the amount of incoming light. Muscle fatigue associated with constant squinting and the continued constriction of the pupil can cause headaches, fatigue, and eyestrain.

As a general rule, any time you step outside, you should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes. However, there are certain times when this is particularly true: In the summer UV radiation is at least 3 times higher than it is in the winter, and at the beach, no matter the season, reflection from the water can be quite intense. In these situations, sunglasses are an absolute must for proper eye health. This is also true if you've just had any kind of surgery or are taking medicine that makes your eyes extra sensitive to light.

For more information, contact your eye doctor today.

Scleral Lenses

What are scleral lenses?

These hard-to-fit contacts are rigid gas permeable lenses that have an extra-large diameter. They vault completely over your cornea, coming to rest on the whites of your eye (called the sclera). Scleral lenses thereby cover the irregular corneal surface with a rounded optical surface, helping you to achieve clear vision – even if you have keratoconus.

As the shape of scleral lenses creates a bridge over the eye, it leaves a gap that fills with tears. This pocket of tears enhances comfortable vision for people with dry eyes, which makes scleral lenses a great option for people with severe dry eye syndrome.

How safe are scleral lenses?

Although this may be the first time you have heard of scleral lenses, they aren’t a new invention. In fact, they are the oldest type of contact lenses, invented in the early 16th century by Leonardo da Vinci. However, the first prototypes that were manufactured in Europe were not very permeable to oxygen. As a result, they caused many negative side effects, such as corneal swelling.

Nowadays, modern scleral lenses are designed and crafted with precise technology, new materials and computer-driven lathes. This leads to a higher level of safety and comfort. Contemporary sclerals have a high oxygen permeability, which reduces the risk of eye complications. Patients with keratoconus can have crystal-clear vision along with protection of the sensitive corneal surface.

What happens during a fitting for scleral lenses?

The eye doctor will map your cornea using advanced corneal topography equipment. This generates a detailed diagram of your cornea, which is used to make customized scleral contact lenses. We equip our office with the newest technologies in order to ensure an efficient eye care experience and lenses that fit you perfectly.

Is it difficult to insert and care for scleral lenses?

At the very beginning, it can be tricky to insert scleral contacts. Yet, our optometrists provide complete instruction and training. After a short practice period of inserting and removing your lenses, you’ll have no trouble at all! Scleral lenses are very durable and easy to handle.

You must care for scleral lenses in the same way as standard contacts. Right after you remove them, clean and store them with the recommended disinfectant.

When are scleral lenses an effective option?

Our eye care professionals prescribe scleral lenses typically for patients with keratoconus, corneal dystrophies and degenerations, and in the case of corneal scarring. In addition, they are helpful for people with extreme dry eye syndrome, chronic inflammatory conditions, Sjorgen’s disease and other specific conditions. Many of our patients who try scleral lenses report that they are pleased to finally enjoy sharp and comfortable vision!

Scleral lenses can also be the ideal treatment for people with a vision prescription that exceeds the standard parameters of soft contacts.

Contact our optometrists to schedule a consultation at our optometry practice. We offer expert fittings for scleral lenses and a premium selection of these specialty contacts for hard-to-fit vision conditions. Learn more about Bifocal and Multifocal Contact Lenses.

Women’s Eyeglass Frames

Woman Trying on GlassesWomen’s eyeglasses have come a long way in the last few decades and in today’s eyewear market there is an abundance of options. With constant innovations in style, comfort, and quality, eyeglasses have become as much a fashion accessory as a medical device to improve vision. In addition to all of the optical companies creating eyeglass frames, many of the major designer fashion lines have come to incorporate eyewear into their portfolios as well. So, when it’s time for a new pair, where does a woman start?

When you shop at an optical store, the optician is trained to help you select the right pair of frames. This decision should take into consideration your personal style, your lifestyle and your appearance. The right frame will look great with your complexion, coloring and face shape, feel comfortable and suit your needs in terms of flexibility, durability, cost and style.

The best way to make the shopping process a success is to have some ideas of what you want before you go in. This will help the optician narrow down the options. Here are some questions to ask yourself in advance of your visit to the optician:

1) What shape eyewear looks good with my facial structure? If you currently have eyeglasses, do you want a similar shape?
2) What color eyewear compliments my complexion? What colors do I like? What colors are predominant in my wardrobe?
3) What style do I prefer? Modern or retro? Classic or contemporary?
4) Where do I wear my frames in general? To work, out on the town?
5) Do I play sports or engage in activities that would require durable glasses?
6) Do I have young kids that might pull my glasses off?
7) How much am I willing to spend on my eyeglasses?
8) Do I want to get coatings on my glasses (anti-scratch, anti-glare etc) or consider transition lenses that darken in the sun?

Armed with this information, your optician will have a much easier time assisting you in finding the perfect pair.

Once you have narrowed down the options, you want to make sure that the pair you choose fits well and will be comfortable for extended use. You don’t want to have any reason not to wear your new eyeglasses!

Make sure the frames are the right width for your face – that they don’t slide off when you look down or press on your temples or behind your ears. The frames should be snug but not cause any pressure. Also pay attention to whether they fit comfortably across the bridge of the nose.

Lastly, make sure that your eyes are completely within the frame where the lenses go so you are not looking over the top of the frame.

If you can’t find one perfect pair, you can always consider buying a second pair. This way you can mix and match depending on your outfit and your mood.

Eyeglasses

New clients and all our current patients from Washington are welcome to visit our optical with their current prescription – no appointment necessary.

Proudly serving Iowa’s Washington County and surrounding smaller communities in all directions for more than 41 years.

Our staff will help you find the best fit for your specific needs and explain how different lenses and frames will impact your vision. They will help you narrow down your choices so you can find the look, fit and functionality you want from your eyewear.

Our optical in Washington, IA offers a large selection of eyeglasses, designer frames and sunglasses. We carry the latest European and American designer eyewear collections in a variety of styles, colors and materials including titanium, stainless steel and plastic.

Designer Frames in Washington, IA

We carry a large variety of top designer frames for both eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Eyeglass Basics in Washington, IA

Eyeglasses are more popular today than ever, despite the availability of contact lenses.

Sunglasses in Washington, IA

Sunglasses can add an element of comfort and enhanced performance to your activities, while helping you look great.

Prescription Eyeglasses in Washington, IA

Get tips on caring for your lenses and frames and learn about the benefits of bifocals and progressives lenses.

Specialty Eyewear in Washington, IA

Sports glasses, Protective eyewear, SCUBA diving... we can help you with glasses for your specific needs.

Lens Treatments in Washington, IA

Today’s eyeglass lens treatments make a real difference in what you see, and what you don’t see.

Transitions® Lenses in Washington, IA

Transitions® Lenses Optical, Inc. has developed the world's most advanced photochromic lens technology.

Kid's Optical in Washington, IA

Help your child choose eyewear that suits their lifestyle. The right frame and lens will help them in school, and at play.

EyeGlass Guide in Washington, IA

Visit our online tool and we'll guide you through a series of questions about your lifestyle and your specific eyewear needs

Disposable Contacts

disposable contacts in Washington, IAProper contact lens care can be a daunting task for many. Making sure that you, or your children, are using the right contact lens solution, in the right amount and changing it every day, as well as sticking to your doctor recommended replacement schedule every 2 weeks to a month, is a burden that most are not ready to handle. As a matter of fact, recent studies reveal that as few as 2% of all contact lens wearers actually clean and store their contact lenses as they are supposed to. As a result, the majority of people wearing rigid gas permeable or bi-weekly and monthly disposable contacts, expose their eyes daily to a host of harmful bacteria that can grow on their lenses over time and cause serious eye infections that have the potential to do severe damage to their eyes, up to and including total blindness.

Fortunately, a significantly safer contact lens alternative does exist - daily disposable contact lenses.

With daily disposable contact lenses, you are able to experience crystal clear vision every day, without the worry or stress of proper storage and cleaning. Simply throw today's pair away before bed, and enjoy the benefits and comfort of a brand new, clean, crisp pair of contact lenses the very next morning. Contact lens-related infections and eye conditions that result from improper cleaning and storage are a thing of the past. Now, you can enjoy the simple pleasures of crisp, clean, comfortable vision at the start of every day.

Another important advantage of daily disposable contact lenses is that there is no longer a need for you to worry about being forgetful when it comes to your contact lens replacement schedule. Many people are not aware of the extent of damage that can be done when contact lenses are not changed for a clean, new pair on time. Wearing of contact lenses until they become uncomfortable to wear, and then switching them out, is an all-too-common and very damaging practice. Most people are unaware that by the time their contact lenses feel uncomfortable on the eye, serious damage may have already been done. With daily disposables, if you can remember that every morning starts with a new pair, then you're set.

Daily contact lenses are a great way to start enjoying stress-free, crystal clear vision every day. For more information, and to find out if daily disposable contact lenses are right for you, contact your eye doctor today!

Eyeglass Frames

Are you in the market or mood for a new pair of eyeglasses? The selection is vast, with many fashionable, attractive pairs of glasses to browse through. How can you narrow down your options and choose the style of frames that are best for you?

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing Eyewear

  1. What’s my taste? Do I prefer a bold or subtle expression? Do I favor modern lines, a retro look or more conservative, classic styles?
  2. Where do I plan to wear these frames- at work, in the backyard, or for social outings?
  3. What colors work best with my skin and hair tones?
  4. What are the primary colors in my wardrobe?
  5. What’s the shape of my face?
  6. Do I like my current eyeglasses? If not, then what’s the problem?

Bring this information to your optician when you pay a visit to the eyeglass store, and most of the work will already be done! Your optician, who is highly skilled and an expert in fitting your eyewear will be able to hone in quickly on the eyeglasses that are most suitable.

How to Judge Fit and Comfort

Research conducted by the eyewear industry indicates that women pay more attention to how eyeglasses appear on their face, while men are more interested in how they feel and fit. Yet even if looks are your primary concern, if your eyeglasses aren’t comfortable – you won’t be pleased for long.

To judge the fit of frames when trying them on:

  • Frames should be wide enough for your face and not too snug on sides of your head. The edges of your eyeglasses should extend beyond the sides of your face. This ensures that the temples won’t press in on your head as they rest on your ears.
  • The curves at the end of each temple should go past your ear without pushing down on it. If they don’t, then the temples aren’t long enough.
  • The built-in nose piece or silicone nose pads should fit comfortably and firmly, without pinching the bridge of your nose. Silicone nose pads can generally be adjusted.
  • Your glasses should be able to stay in place when you move your head to and fro. Nod a few times, turn your head right and left, and bend over to touch the floor. Make sure that your glasses don’t slip off.

Is One Pair of Eyeglasses Enough?

Take a look at your closet. You likely own more than one pair of shoes, right? Unless you’re on a very tight budget, more than one pair of eyeglasses isn’t a luxury. Eyewear is a hip accessory, and the same pair may not be appropriate for all parts of your modern lifestyle. Just like your clothing, your eyeglass needs differ for home, work and social occasions.

If owning a solitary pair is enough for you, then choose frames that you love and feel good about no matter what you’re wearing or where you go. These eyeglasses will be on your face constantly, so take your time and pick a style that fits your unique personality and vision requirements.