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Year: 2020

15 Things You Do That Can Harm Your Eyes

Eye health isn’t just about going for that yearly eye exam. Certain actions you take (or don’t take) in your daily routine can also have drastic effects on the health of your eyes and vision. Here’s our list of 15 things you may be doing that could pose damaging risks to your eyes.

It’s important to note that before changing any of your habits, consult with a medical professional to make sure they are right for you and your overall health.

1. Smoking

We all know that smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, but its effects on the eyes are far less known to many. The truth is that smoking can actually lead to irreversible vision loss by significantly increasing the risk of developing macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. It can also cause dry eye syndrome. If you are a smoker, do your eyes (and body) a favor and try to kick or reduce the habit.

2. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Exposing your eyes to the sun’s harmful UV radiation can damage the eye’s cornea and lens. Overexposure to UV rays can also lead to cataracts and even eye cancer. That’s why it’s important to always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses while outdoors, all four seasons of the year. Always check the sunglasses have FDA approval.

3. Sleeping with Makeup On

When you sleep with eyeliner or mascara, you run the risk of the makeup entering the eye and irritating the cornea. Sleeping with mascara on can introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause an infection. Abrasive glitters and shimmery eyeshadow can scratch the cornea as well. Be careful to remove all makeup with an eye-safe makeup remover before going to bed.

4. Buying Decorative Contact Lenses Without a Prescription

Although ordering decorative lenses without first visiting your optometrist may sound more convenient, purchasing them without a prescription isn’t worth the long term risks. Decorative contact lenses are sometimes made by unlicensed manufacturers who tend to use poor-quality or toxic materials that can get absorbed through the eyes into the bloodstream. They also may contain high levels of microorganisms from unsanitary packaging and storage conditions.

5. Not Washing Your Hands Thoroughly

Frequently washing your hands helps to reduce the possibility of bacteria and viruses entering the eye. Pink eye (conjunctivitis) and corneal ulcers are common eye conditions that can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, or parasites. When washing your hands, be sure to use warm water, soap, and thoroughly wash in between each finger and over the entire palm area. If you plan to insert or remove your contact lenses, wash and then dry your hands completely with a lint-free cloth or paper towel.

6. Overwearing Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses for longer periods of time than intended can lead to inflammation of the cornea (keratitis), conjunctivitis, eyelid swelling, and contact lens intolerance. Always follow the recommended wear time as instructed by your optometrist.

7. Being Nutrient Deficient

Poor nutrition can cause permanent damage to the visual system. Try to include lots of nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables in your diet, along with adequate amounts of Omega-3. Some of the best vitamins and nutrients for eye health include Vitamins A, C, E, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc.

8. Using Non-FDA Approved Products

Whether it’s eyebrow enhancers, eye makeup, or eyelash growth serums, always choose products that have been FDA approved and/or meet government safety regulations. Non-approved products have been known to cause infections or allergic reactions in or around the eye area.

9. Not Cleaning Your Contacts Properly

If you are wearing contact lenses that need to be replaced once every two weeks or once a month, maintaining the highest level of contact lens hygiene is essential. Optometrists will tell you that a common reason patients come in to see them is due to an eye infection from contact lenses that haven’t been properly cleaned or stored. Some patients use their contact lens cases for too long, which can also cause eye irritation. To avoid eye infections, carefully follow your eye doctor’s instructions on how to clean, store, and handle your contact lenses.

10. Showering or Swimming with Contact Lenses

There is a significant amount of bacteria that can be carried in tap water and swimming pools. For this reason, it’s important to make sure that water and contact lenses don’t mix. If you need vision correction while swimming, it may be worth investing in a pair of prescription swimming goggles.

11. Not Following Medication Instructions

When it comes to eye disease, following the medication instructions is crucial. Forgetting to insert eye drops, or administering the incorrect dosage could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of treatment, or even do harm. Speak with your eye doctor if you’re not sure about when or how to take your medication.

12. Not Taking a Holistic Approach

Your eyes are just one part of the whole system — your body. Ignoring health conditions you may have, like high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar, can pose serious risks to your eyes.

13. Not Wearing Protective Eyewear

Shielding your eyes with protective glasses or goggles while working with potentially sharp or fast-moving objects, fragments or particles (wood working, cutting glass, welding, doing repairs with nails, certain sports) is the best defense against eye injury. In fact, 90% of all eye injuries could have been prevented by wearing protective eyewear.

14. Using Unsafe Home Remedies

Some might think that because something is “natural” that it is safe for use around the delicate eye area. Home remedies, like using breastmilk to cure pink eye, could introduce harmful bacteria to the eye and cause infection. If your eyes are giving you trouble, make an appointment to see your local optometrist.

15. Skipping Your Recommended Eye Exam

Your eye doctor will advise you how often you need to come for an eye examination. Adults should visit their eye doctor at least every year for a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether their optical prescription is up-to-date, and to check for the beginning stages of eye disease. Catching eye diseases in their early stages offers the best chance of successful treatment and preserving healthy vision for life.

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 314-254-2211 or book an appointment online to see one of our Overland eye doctors.

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How Bad Is It to Rub Your Eyes?

According to eye care experts, eye rubbing is a total no-win for your vision! Your eye tissues and the surrounding skin are delicate and sensitive. So when your eyes feel sore or tired, our eye doctor in Overland and St. Charles urges you to hold back from risking damage by rubbing them.

If you suffer from eye irritation and feel like you need to rub your eyes, book an eye exam instead, to determine the root of your problem and get soothing treatment.

5 Reasons to Avoid Eye Rubbing

  1. Increases your risk of ocular disease: Eye rubbing can compromise the strength of your cornea, weakening and thinning the tissue so it changes shape from a dome to a cone. (This condition is called keratoconus.)
  2. Corneal scratches: Even though corneal abrasions usually health on their own within a few days, they can also develop into a sight-threatening corneal ulcer.
  3. Worsens myopia: If you’re nearsighted, eye rubbing can actually make your myopia deteriorate. Think your vision has worsened? Book an eye exam in Overland or St. Charles.
  4. Eye infection: Fingers get into many things, picking up germs and bacteria all day long. When you rub your eyes, you can transfer the bacteria. Currently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, eye rubbing is particularly discouraged, because studies have shown the virus can infiltrate ocular tissue.
  5. Dark bags and bloodshot eyes: Vigorous rubbing can burst the tiny blood vessels in your eye, leading to red eyes. It can also cause swelling under your eyes, giving you a raccoon-like look.

In sum, even if eye rubbing leads to short-term relief, it can also cause long-term damage. Only a comprehensive eye exam will help you benefit from treatment to relieve your discomfort.

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 314-254-2211 or book an appointment online to see one of our Overland eye doctors.

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Why It’s Important to Wear Sunglasses, Even In The Winter!

Designer Sunglasses at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

Designer Sunglasses at Overland Optical Family Eye Care

Sunglasses are sometimes considered a summer-only accessory. The truth is that high-quality sunglasses are an essential component of keeping your eyes healthy all year round. In fact, certain factors make winter an even more important time to sport your sunnies. Below we’ll explain why.

Why Wear Sunglasses This Winter?

Shield Your Eyes From Damaging UV Rays

Over time, the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of light can damage your eyes due to repeated and prolonged exposure. Studies have shown that excessive UV light exposure raises your risk of developing eye diseases like cataracts, eye cancers, macular degeneration, and growths on or around the eye. High exposure to intense levels of UV rays can also harm the eye’s cornea and lens.

While this is true year-round, the cold winter months can also pose a higher risk of increased UV exposure due to the wet and icy weather. Surfaces like water, snow, and ice can reflect up to 95% of UV radiation back into your eyes!

That’s why it’s important for both adults and children to wear high-quality sunglasses with 100% UV blocking lenses whenever they venture outdoors, especially if for extended times or over the middle part of the day. Rain or shine, sunny or cloudy weather — sunglasses are essential because up to 80% of UV light can pass through clouds.

Eye protection is especially important if you do outdoor winter sports. People who spend time in the snow or ice or on the water are especially prone to photokeratitis, a condition where overexposure to UV rays damages the cornea. Photokeratitis is especially common in high altitudes, where the air is thinner and therefore UV rays arrive at your eyes with a greater level of intensity..

Snow blindness is a form of photokeratitis and is common among snowboarders and skiers. Symptoms of snow blindness can include eye pain, swollen and red eyes, blurred vision, headache, and sensitivity to light. If the eyes are no longer subjected to any UV exposure, this condition can heal on its own within 48 hours, just as an ordinary sunburn would, but occasionally might require treatment from an eye doctor.

The good news is that snow blindness is preventable! Before you hit the slopes, make sure to get yourself a top-quality pair of sunglasses or UV-protected sports goggles to keep your eyes healthy and comfortable.

How You Can Protect Your Eyes This Winter

Invest in a high-quality pair of 100% UVA and UVB blocking sunglasses to wear whenever outdoors. Not only will they shield your eyes from UV light, but they’ll also act as a barrier between winter’s cold winds and your eyes.

Apart from wearing protective sunglasses, other things you can do to keep your eyes happy and healthy in the colder months include:

  • Using lubricating eye drops to keep your eyes sufficiently hydrated
  • Wearing a wide-brimmed hat to offer added protection from sunlight and glare
  • Practicing good hygiene to avoid eye infections (pink eye tends to be more common in the winter)

If your eyes are giving you trouble this winter, we can help. To learn more or to schedule your comprehensive eye exam, contact Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland today.

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 Overland Optical Family Eye Care in Overland to book your contact lens eye exam today!

How Does Smoking Affect You and Your Family’s Vision?

You probably know smoking is bad for your lungs and heart, and you’re also likely aware of the dangers of second-hand smoke. What about its impact on your eyes? Did you know smoking puts your eyes at risk for serious, sight-threatening eye diseases?

Smoking and exposure to second-hand smoke pose an increased threat of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts. Both of these conditions can lead to vision loss and blindness, and they can be diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam by our eye doctor in Overland and St. Charles.

Effects of Smoking On Your Eyes

Smoking causes changes in your eyes, which can progress and lead to vision loss. In fact, people who smoke are twice as likely to develop AMD, and two to three times more likely to develop cataracts than nonsmokers. If you’ve already been diagnosed with AMD, you may be able to slow the deterioration of the disease by quitting smoking.

In addition to AMD and cataracts, smoking can lead to:

  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Damage to color and contrast vision
  • Diabetic retinopathy, if you have diabetes
  • Optic nerve problems
  • Uveitis (inflammation of the middle layer of the eye)
  • In women who are pregnant, exposure to smoke increases the baby’s likelihood of vision problems, including strabismus, Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP, since smoking is associated with premature birth), and other eye health complications.

Only an Eye Exam Can Detect Eye Disease Linked to Smoking

The early signs of eye disease are typically silent, which means the only reliable way to know if your eyes are healthy is by getting an eye exam. Our eye doctor in Overland and St. Charles will dilate your pupils in order to see the retinal tissues at the back of your eye more clearly and inspect for signs of damage.

The best way to protect your vision and your family’s vision against the dangers of smoking is to quit – or never take up smoking!

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 314-254-2211 or book an appointment online to see one of our Overland eye doctors.

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How Sugar Affects Your Eyes Health

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It’s well known that eating a lot of high-sugar foods can have harmful effects on the body. But did you know that consuming too much sugar can also potentially affect your eyesight? If your blood sugar (blood glucose) levels become too high for your body to break down, it can leave your eyes prone to a sight-threatening condition called diabetic retinopathy.

People with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose be absorbed into your cells to supply them with the energy they require to function.

How Does Diabetes Affect Eyesight?

When you consume high-sugar foods like soda, candy, mangoes, and even pineapples, your body will do one of two things: either it will burn the sugar and use it for energy, or it will convert the sugar and store it as fat.

Ordinarily, when a person consumes sugar, the body releases insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. In people with Type 1 diabetes, the body doesn’t produce insulin. In Type 2 diabetes, the body produces insufficient insulin or the cells resist the effects of insulin, causing blood sugar levels to spike.

How Sugar Affects People with Diabetes

Diabetic retinopathy affects up to 80 percent of people who have had diabetes for 20 years or more. Over time, high blood sugar levels damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye, causing them to swell and leak. Left untreated, this damage can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.

Since diabetic eye disease typically shows no symptoms until it has reached more advanced stages, it’s critical to have a comprehensive eye evaluation every year, allowing an optometrist to detect these signs early enough to prevent or halt vision loss.

Importance of Eye Exams

Your eye doctor can detect diabetic retinopathy during a dilated eye exam. The doctor will dilate your pupils with eye drops and then examine your eyes through a device called an ophthalmoscope that uses a bright light to examine your optic nerve, the blood vessels in and around the retina, and the back of the eye.

Your doctor might also use various specialized digital equipment, such as a fundus camera and an OCT device, to capture detailed color images of the retina that warrant further investigation.

Although an optometrist can use certain tests to detect signs of diabetes, without a comprehensive eye exam, the early warning signs that point to diabetes can be missed. To maintain your health, schedule regular eye exams and share any health changes that have occurred since your last appointment.

Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy

There are a variety of treatment options for diabetic retinopathy that may either prevent vision loss. Sometimes they can even improve your vision, even if your eyesight is already blurred. One treatment option entails medication that is injected into the eye to quickly reduce retinal swelling. Another option is laser surgery, which can be used to shrink and seal off swollen and leaking blood vessels in the retina.

If you have diabetes, it’s important to:

  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle
  • Stick to a steady diet and exercise regimen
  • Control blood sugar and blood pressure to prevent damage to the fine blood vessels within the retina over the long term

Preventing and managing diabetic retinopathy is possible and requires a team, including 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.

Keep your eyes healthy and schedule an appointment with Overland Optical Family Eye Care and learn more about what you can do to protect your vision and general health.

5 Ways to Set Up Your Home Computer to Reduce Eye Strain

Overland Optical Family Eye Care | Computer Glasses in Overland

Overland Optical Family Eye Care | Computer Glasses in Overland

Nearly 60% of people who routinely use computers or digital devices experience symptoms of digital eye strain — also called computer vision syndrome — according to recent data. Since COVID-19 began, the number of hours spent on a computer for tasks like working from home, online schooling, and online shopping has increased dramatically.

Symptoms of computer eye strain include eye fatigue and discomfort, dry eye, headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain, eye twitching, and red eyes.

If your eyes feel dry and tired, your vision is blurry by the end of the day, or your head, neck, and shoulders ache, the way you utilize your computer and other digital devices might be to blame.

How to Reduce Eye Strain

Spending less time in front of your computer is the best way to reduce digital eye strain, but if you’re working from home or you or your children are learning online, that might not be an option.

Here are 5 steps you can take to lower your risk of eye strain:

1. Use proper lighting

Excessively bright light, either from sunlight or from interior lighting, can cause eye strain.

By reducing exterior light (by closing your drapes, shades or blinds), and tweaking the lighting inside your home (using fewer light bulbs or fluorescent tubes, or lower intensity bulbs and tubes) you can lower glare and reflections off the screen.

Also, if possible, position your computer screen so the windows are to the side, instead of in front or behind it.

2. Blink more often

When staring at a screen, people blink one-third less frequently than they normally do. Blinking moistens your eyes to prevent dryness and irritation.

To reduce your risk of dry eye during computer use, every 20 minutes blink 10 times by closing your eyes very slowly. This will lubricate your eyes and help prevent dry eye.

3. Relax your eyes

Constantly staring at a computer screen can lead to focusing fatigue, which causes digital eye strain. To reduce your risk of tiring your eyes, look away from your computer at least every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object (at least 20 feet away) for at least 20 seconds.

Some eye doctors call this the “20-20-20 rule.” Looking far away relaxes the focusing lens inside the eye to reduce fatigue.

4. Take frequent breaks

Taking frequent breaks from your screen can help reduce eye strain and neck, back and shoulder pain during your workday.

It is recommended to take at least one 10-minute break every hour. During these breaks, stand up, move about and stretch your arms, legs, back, neck and shoulders to reduce tension and muscle aches.

5. Modify your workstation

Poor posture also contributes to digital eye strain. Adjust your workstation and chair to the correct height so your monitor is not too close to, or too far from your eyes, or in a position that causes you to crane your neck.

Position your computer screen so it’s 20 to 24 inches from your eyes. The center of your screen should be about 10 to 15 degrees below your eyes for comfortable positioning of your head and neck. With this adjustment, you will not only reduce neck, back, and shoulder pain, but reduce eye strain as well.

People experience different levels of digital eye strain, so if after you have shut down your computer the symptoms persist, then you may have a visual problem that requires attention from your eye doctor. If these symptoms are ignored and nothing is done to alleviate the eye strain the problem will only worsen.

Having a yearly checkup can help you preserve your eye health. Contact Overland Optical Family Eye Care to learn more about how to keep your eyes healthy and reduce eye strain when working on computers.

5 Winning Tips for Athletes On Eye Protection

Sports Vision is More than Keeping Your Eye on the Ball

Sports are an exceptional way to enhance your physical and mental performance. But sadly, they can also put your eyes at risk. In America alone, approximately 30,000 sports-related injuries occur each year! Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help keep your eyes out of that statistic.

As you get your body in shape, our eye doctor in Overland and St. Charles recommends the following ways to enjoy safe, top-ranking sports vision too.

The Riskiest Sports for Eyes

Airsoft and paintball are considered to be the most dangerous sports for your vision, followed closely by soccer and racket sports. If any of these are your game, be sure to book an eye exam and consultation for the most protective frames and lenses for sports vision.

In case you were wondering, the next most hazardous set of sports for eye injuries includes swimming, lacrosse, archery, football, hockey, skiing and snowboarding. Visit our Overland and St. Charles eye care center for advice on the best eye gear for whatever physical activity you favor.

Protect Your Vision & Eye Health

1. Protective eyewear: Frames and lenses made from impact-resistant polycarbonate are ideal.

2. Check the fit: Properly fitting frames for sports vision are critical. Consult with our eye care team to ensure your eyewear is a good fit.

3. Sunglasses: Overexposure to sunlight raises your risks for developing eye disease, such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration. Choose sunglasses with 100% protection against UV rays.

4. Live healthy: Eat nutritious foods, maintain a healthy weight, manage any chronic conditions and don’t smoke!

5. Eye exams: A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to check if your eyes and vision are healthy. For the best eye care, share your family eye history with our eye doctor in Overland and St. Charles.

The above tips will go far towards keeping your eyes safe and in top shape for sports vision!

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 314-254-2211 or book an appointment online to see one of our Overland eye doctors.

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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 Overland Optical Family Eye Care Dry Eye Center 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.

 

Overland Optical Family Eye Care Dry Eye Center serves patients from St. Louis and St. Charles, Maryland Heights, St. Peter and Florissant, throughout Missouri.

 

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Call Us 314-423-3874

The Surge In Cosmetic Procedures During COVID Raises Eye Health Concerns

COVID-19 has indirectly impacted eye health in ways that few would have anticipated. With many classrooms, business meetings, and hang-outs being relocated to virtual settings like Zoom and FaceTime, people are spending more time scrutinizing other people’s faces — and their own.

For some people, the more time they spend watching themselves in the thumbnail, the more time they focus on real or imagined imperfections and features that make them feel insecure.

In fact, plastic surgeons and cosmetic doctors all over the world are reporting something called the ‘Zoom Boom’ — the recent surge in cosmetic procedures to perfect ‘Lockdown Face.’ Yep, it’s a thing.

What many don’t realize is that cosmetic facial procedures can pose serious risks to eye health and vision, and in some cases result in serious eye damage or vision loss.

While opting to undergo a cosmetic procedure is a personal choice that each individual should make for themselves, a fully informed decision requires a visit to your eye doctor. Also, those interested in having a cosmetic eyelid lift should consult with a reputable oculo-plastic surgeon who has experience in this particular procedure.

How Can Cosmetic Procedures Impact Your Eyes?

Before undergoing a cosmetic facial procedure, it’s important to know which procedures pose potential risks to your eyes and vision.

Eyelash Extensions

The adhesive used for eyelash extensions has been known to cause allergic lid reactions, infections, styes, and dry eye. Eye doctors unanimously agree that eyelash extensions should be the last resort for those who want fuller, thicker lashes.

Additionally, the addictive nature of eyelash extensions make them particularly risky. A side effect of lash extensions can be reduced eyelashes, which often drives the individual to have this procedure done repeatedly.

A safe alternative to getting eyelash extensions is using a medication called Latisse. This eyelash enhancing product can be prescribed by your eye doctor and may reduce the need for false eyelashes or extensions.

Laser Procedures

Lasers are used for various cosmetic procedures due to their high efficiency and accuracy. However, exposing the naked eye to a laser beam can be dangerous.

All laser procedures should be performed while the patient wears specialized goggles or corneal shields for protection. If the procedure is performed by an unlicensed individual, there is a much greater chance that effective eye protection won’t be used.

A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology found that ocular injuries can occur even when protective shields are utilized correctly.

Episcleral Tattoos

This procedure is the tattooing of the whites of the eye. Dye is injected beneath the conjunctiva and into the sclera (the white of the eye) to make it appear the desired color.

Episcleral tattoos can cause headaches and severe light-sensitivity, and increase the risk of eye infections, conjunctival hemorrhaging, and permanent vision loss.

Botox Injections

Botox injections are one of the most popular cosmetic procedures offered today, but they can harm eye health and vision when injected around the eye area.

Some common complications include allergic reactions, blurred vision, and droopy eyelids. Most of these reactions are temporary, but if symptoms persist and if blurred vision is prolonged, see an eye doctor immediately.

Always choose a qualified and licensed doctor to perform the procedure.

When to Visit Your Optometrist

If you are considering having any facial or eye procedures done, speak with your optometrist about how to keep your eyes safe during the process.

An eye exam with Dr. Sara Schmitz, O.D. will determine the state of your eye health and what risks would be involved with the procedure you want.

If you’ve already undergone a cosmetic procedure or surgery and are experiencing any eye health or visual symptoms, call Overland Optical Family Eye Care in for a prompt eye exam.

We want you to feel confident in the way you look, while keeping your eyes healthy and safe. Call Overland Optical Family Eye Care to schedule your eye exam today

At Overland Optical Family Eye Care, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 314-254-2211 or book an appointment online to see one of our Overland eye doctors.

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