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Bloodshot Eyes – Should You Be Concerned?

You wake up in the morning ready to start your day, only to discover that your eyes are bloodshot. That might not be surprising if you stayed up late to finish a project, had too many drinks at a party or spent time in a smoke-filled room.

But bloodshot eyes can also signal an underlying eye problem. If your eyes appear red or bloodshot, make an appointment with an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause and to receive effective treatment.

Why Do I Have Bloodshot Eyes?

When blood rushes to the front of the eye, the tiny red blood vessels on the white of the eye dilate and become visible. This makes the eyes appear red and irritated.

So why do these blood vessels dilate, causing your eyes to look bloodshot?

Bloodshot eyes tend to be caused by:

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritants such as smoke, pollen and perfume
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Spending too much time in front of the computer

Bloodshot eyes due to lifestyle and environmental irritants may disappear on their own, or you can try to relieve them with over-the-counter eye drops or liquid tears. Lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, cutting down on alcohol intake and limiting screen time can often be helpful. If allergies are the culprit, oral antihistamines and antihistamine eye drops may relieve symptoms.

At other times, underlying problems requiring prompt medical attention can cause your eye’s blood vessels to dilate. The following are some of these medical conditions:

Conjunctivitis

You’ve probably heard of “pink eye.” It’s another name for infectious conjunctivitis – an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eyelid and the front surface of the eye.

There are two types of infectious conjunctivitis – bacterial and viral.

If your child has conjunctivitis, they’re not alone. About 12% of kids get bacterial conjunctivitis every year. This highly contagious condition affects children and adults. In addition to reddish eyes, the following symptoms are associated with conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis – irritated eyes, swollen eyelids, eye discharge, crusty eyelids and excessive tearing
  • Viral conjunctivitis – cold or flu-like symptoms, runny nose, fever, itchy eyes, excessive tearing

If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a prompt appointment with an eye doctor, who can diagnose whether the conjunctivitis is viral, bacterial or due to allergies.

Depending on the diagnosis, your eye doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops or creams to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. The viral form may run its course after a few days, but cold compresses and non-prescription eye drops may provide relief.

Dry Eye Syndrome

If your eyes are chronically bloodshot you may have dry eye syndrome (DES). Signs of DES include:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A feeling you have something stuck in your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes

Dry eye syndrome is most commonly caused by a blockage of the tiny meibomian glands in the eyelids. These glands secrete oil that keeps eye moisture from evaporating too quickly. Without the oil, tears dry fast, leaving your eyes feeling dry, itchy and with a bloodshot appearance.

Too much screen time, aging, certain medications such as antihistamines, and medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause dry eye syndrome.

In addition to any medications or in-office treatments your eye doctor recommends, make sure to get plenty of hydration, take frequent breaks from digital screens and use a humidifier in your home.

Uveitis

In addition to bloodshot eyes, if you also experience blurred vision, see floaters or your eyes feel painful, you may have an eye inflammation called uveitis. The causes of uveitis include:

  • Autoimmune or inflammatory condition
  • Infection
  • Medication side effects
  • Cancer (in rare cases)

Unfortunately, uveitis symptoms can often be mistaken for something less serious. That’s the reason it’s important to get an eye exam if your eyes are bloodshot. Left untreated, uveitis can lead to serious conditions such as retinal scarring, cataracts and vision loss.

Depending on the cause and severity, your eye doctor may treat uveitis with prescription eye drops, steroid pills, injections or eye implants.

Eye Injury

It’s vital that all eye injuries receive immediate eye care from an eye doctor.

Even a minor eye injury can cause a big red blotch to form on the white part of the eye (sclera). The cause is a broken blood vessel or a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Although the appearance of this blood looks severe, and can make the entire white part of the eye appear bright red, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually painless and doesn’t cause vision loss. Any time you notice excessive blood on the eye following an eye injury, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to assess the health of your eye.

Glaucoma

In rare cases, bloodshot eyes may signal the presence of glaucoma – a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.

While some types of glaucoma don’t show symptoms in the early phases, bloodshot eyes can indicate the type of glaucoma that requires immediate medical care. This disease causes damage to the optic nerve due to excessive pressure within the eye. When this pressure suddenly rises, the eye’s blood vessels become dilated and visible, making the eye appear red.

If you have bloodshot eyes and/or have the following risk factors for glaucoma, immediately schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Aged 60+
  • African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Bloodshot Eyes Won’t Go Away?

Talk to Us Any time you notice bloodshot eyes or blood on the front of the eye, don’t wait. Schedule your eye exam with Dr. Douglas L. Major at Optometric Care Associates in Paso Robles today.

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

Can I get bloodshot eyes after LASIK surgery?

LASIK surgery is highly effective minimally invasive laser eye surgery that can correct refractive errors, but like all surgical procedures, it can have side effects. Your eyes may be bloodshot or you could see halos from a few days to three weeks after surgery. Additionally, you may experience other dry eye symptoms. Eye drops and liquid tears can alleviate these symptoms, but if you have any concerns about your eyes following LASIK surgery contact your eye surgeon.

What Should I Expect from a Glaucoma Exam?

If you have a family history and/or other risk factors for glaucoma, and if your eyes look bloodshot, consider scheduling a glaucoma exam. Your eye doctor may perform the following tests:

  • Tonometry – eye pressure test
  • Gonioscopy – to see how fluid is draining out of your eye
  • Vision field test – to examine the functioning of the optic nerve
  • Dilated pupil exam – to detect any damage to the optic nerve
  • Retinal photo or OCT – digital examination of the retina and optic nerve health

Atascadero Optometrist – 3 Signs It’s Time To Get New Glasses

Did you know that people spend an average of seven hours every day staring at screens? What’s more, studies have shown that a whopping 68% of people regularly use more than one digital screen at the same time. This could mean using a smartphone while watching TV, a laptop while on a tablet, or any other combination of similar digital devices.

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How Do I Know If I Need New Glasses?

If you’re constantly tethered to your electronic devices, it’s important to learn to recognize when you need a change for better, more comfortable vision.

Don’t let your vision suffer because of too much screen time! Visit your Paso Robles eye doctors at Optometric Care Associates and make sure you have the perfect pair of new glasses to give you crisp, comfortable vision all day long.

3 Signs You Need New Glasses:

Changes in your vision:

If you experience vision problems like blurry or double vision or if you have to squint in order to read or see objects clearly, it may be time to visit us for a comprehensive eye exam. New glasses with an updated lens prescription may be just what you need to get your vision back on track.

Eye strain and fatigue when doing computer or other close work:

If you work on your computer or other digital screens for significant parts of your day, you may experience symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, and dry eyes. These can signal a condition known as digital eye strain. Along with a new prescription, you may also consider speaking to our eye doctors about special anti-glare and anti-blue-light coatings for your lenses, to provide an additional layer of protection.

Lots of time in the sun:

Long periods of time in the sun either as leisure or as part of a job that requires a lot of time outside, can cause your eyes to become irritated. Prescription sunglasses with a gray tint and a high rating for UV protection can help keep vision clear and comfortable while you’re out and about.

Optometric Care Associates, your Atascadero eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 805-466-6939 Today!

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Los Osos Optometrist | Best Eye Vitamins for your Vision

Vision supplements are a great way to add to your diet in a way that supports the long-term vision and eye health. Unfortunately, not all vision supplements are created equal. Many of them contain poor-quality ingredients or make claims about their benefits that are not backed up by science.

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Fortunately, there are several supplements out there that our eye care experts at can recommend. Here’s our run-down of the best eye health vitamins of 2022

Best Eye Vitamins of 2022

Vista Clear

According to Vista Clear’s official website, this supplement is formulated based on an ancient aboriginal recipe. Ingredients include chamomile, skullcap, St. John’s wort, lemon balm, and bacopa monnieri.

Vista Clear supplements are specially formulated with 26 individual antioxidants, vitamins, herbs, and minerals to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, promote overall eye health and vision, and support lens, cornea, and macula health.

Eagle Eye 911

This is one of the best vision supplements provided by PhytAge Labs and is an ideal formula for eye health and vision support. Eagle Eye 911 improves overall vision, supports the retinal membrane, develops optimal eye function, and helps reduce eye pressure.

With a blend of components added to their formula, including bilberry, grapeseed, and quercetin, PhytAge 911 has helped people achieve great eye health benefits.

Advanced Bionutritionals Advanced Vision Formula

This advanced vision formula contains bilberry, lutein, ginkgo biloba, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin. It helps support mental clarity, healthy eyes, and clear vision. It also reduces risk of vision loss from diseases such as macular degeneration by promoting retina, cornea, and lens health.

Many consumer reviews claim that this vision formula has significantly improved their vision.

Provisine

Provisine was created by a 32-year-old industry expert with the goal of helping treat a wide variety of eye diseases and conditions.

Provisine‘s official website claims that this supplement is an all-natural solution that guarantees 20/20 vision within weeks.

It contains lutein, mixed plant extracts, and a wide variety of vitamins & minerals.

Eyesight Max

Eyesight Max is a supplement that claims to treat the underlying reasons for vision loss, and not just the symptoms.

Their official website guarantees clearer vision in only a few weeks, without the need for exercise, surgery, prescription drugs, or anything else.

According to the published list of ingredients, Eyesight Max contains quercetin, bilberry, lutein, and various vitamins and nutrients.

Manufacturers advertise that it is produced in an FDA approved research center, and can protect against blinding eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. It is also marketed as a way to reduce blood sugar and blood pressure.

Divine Vision 12

According to the manufacturers, this supplement uses ingredients inspired by the bible to support vision health.

Ingredients include grapeseed, Bilberry, Marigold, Vitamin E, Zinc, Barley, Beta carotene, and more.

It’s advertised to help reduce the risk of age-related vision loss, promote overall day and night vision, support optimal eye health and reduce blurred vision. It also treats the root causes of macular degeneration.

ReVision

The makers of ReVision claim it is 100 percent natural, safe and effective, and can restore perfect eyesight in 24 hours.

Ingredients include huperzine-A, alpha GPC, phosphatidylserine, caffeine anhydrous, and L-theanine. It is marketed to help protect the eyes from the harmful effects of blue light, support brain health and overall eyesight, and reduce brain fatigue, eye strain and long-term risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Zenith Labs Vision 20

This supplement is especially effective for supporting the clear vision and healthy eyes for older adults and seniors.

With active ingredients including lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, gingko biloba extract, lycopene, astaxanthin, and copper, this supplement is ideal for reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration. This supplement is also gluten-free and vegan friendly.

PureHealth Research Complete Vision Formula

This proven vision support supplement uses essential vitamins to support and enhance your vision.

With essential eye health ingredients such as brown rice flour, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, bilberry, eyebright extract, and zeaxanthin, Complete Vision Formula supports and maintains eye health by providing nourishment to eyes and brain cells, protecting eyes from damage caused by free radicals, and lowering long-term risk of developing cataracts.

PureHealth claims that many consumers were able to go without glasses after a few months of taking their supplements.

Vision MD

Vision MD from 1MD is a nutritional supplement formulated by actual medical experts. It is based on a revolutionary new formula that contains proprietary formulas Lyc-O-Mato lycopene, OptiLut, and EVTene mixed carotenes.

It is advertised to protect the macula and retina from the damaging effects of blue light, improve visual acuity and eye health, support the health of the retina, macula, and lens and promote contrast sensitivity.

Nuzena Vision Support +

Nuzena Vision Support + is advertised as a vision supplement for protection against macular degeneration.

It contains bilberry extract, alpha-lipoic acid, lutein and zeaxanthin, and other nutrients that help promote macular and retinal health and protect against eye diseases such as macular degeneration. It also helps promote the health of the central nervous system, support healthy eyes and vision and reduce the risk of cataract formation.

Lutenol

Lutenol offers a vision support formula that aids in the healthy function of the eyes. It specifically promotes the health of the lens, retina, and macula. Two VitaPost Lutenol capsules a day can help reduce your risk of developing a number of potentially sight-threatening eye diseases.

Customer reviews on the manufacturer website claim there are no side effects.

The supplement contains lutein, zeaxanthin‍‍, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, bilberry, and vitamin E. It helps by reducing the risk of night vision loss, preventing macular degeneration, and boosting brain function and eye healh.

For more information on these and other supplements that can help you better take care of your eyes, contact our Paso Robles eye doctors at Optometric Care Associates today!

Optometric Care Associates in Los Osos, your Los Osos eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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Or Call 805-979-2020 Today!

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Can Cholesterol Affect Your Eyes?

When you think about high cholesterol, what do you think of? Most people would say something like “heart problem” or “cardiovascular disease.” But did you know that high levels of cholesterol can also have an effect on your body that goes beyond your heart? You may be surprised that high cholesterol can also have an impact on your eyes.

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High Cholesterol and Your Eyes

Xanthelasma (Fatty deposits) in your eyelid
The most common way that your eyes can be affected is through the presence of xanthelasma. These are small yellow-tinted deposits of fat in the skin around your eyes, specifically, in the upper eyelids and inside the eyelids, around the area of the nose.

Risk factors and causes of xanthelasma
Not everyone who has high cholesterol develops xanthelasma, but more than 50% of people who have xanthelasma have high cholesterol.

Some of the risk factors for xanthelasma include:

  • Heavy drinking.
  • Heart disease.
  • Smoking.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Obesity.
  • Conditions caused by xanthelasma

Usually xanthelasma isn’t painful. Though it’s usually just an issue of looks, xanthelasma can sometimes get worse, causing more serious problems.

Arcus senilis is a condition in which a white or grayish ring or halo appears around the edges of the clear layer of your eye that protects your iris, known as the cornea.

This ring comes from cholesterol deposits in your eye, which don’t impair your vision, but are still a definite sign of issues with high cholesterol which need to be addressed with your doctor.

Hollenhorst plaque is a much more serious issue than arcus senilis. This occurs when small pieces of plaque build-up that result from high cholesterol break loose from the blood vessel walls, travel up to the vessels in the eye, and get stuck there, blocking blood flow in one or more of the blood vessels within your eye. This can lead to potentially severe consequences for your vision, including vision loss and even blindness.

Increased risk of eye diseases and conditions

Along with the immediate signs of high cholesterol that are present in the form of xanthelasma and associated eye conditions, there is also an increased risk of developing several sight-threatening eye conditions, including:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Myopia
  • Treating cholesterol conditions in your eyes
  • Treating these and other eye conditions that result from high cholesterol requires a holistic approach that considers the whole body, One of the most effective ways to address these problems is to adopt a low-fat diet. This includes eating more unprocessed fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that are highly processed, such as potato chips and simple carbs.

In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe certain medications to help lower cholesterol including:

  • Statins (Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin and Lovastatin).
  • Bile acid sequestrants (Cholestyramine, Colestipol, Colesevelam).
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors (Alirocumab, Evolocumab).

Though they may not cause you any pain, these eye symptoms can still do damage to your vision, and are also a sign of an overall issue with your health. Don’t ignore the signs of high cholesterol.

Optometric Care Associates, your Atascadero eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 805-466-6939 Today!

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Types of Eye Exams

With technology making life more and more convenient every day, there’s a growing trend toward online healthcare appointments. And eye care is no different. But what exactly can you get out of an online eye care appointment, and what should you still expect to visit your Paso Robles eye doctor in person for? Let’s find out!

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Online/App Based Appointments

These appointments are ideal for people on the go who are not suffering from any particular vision issues or symptoms. They are meant as a convenient way to update stable prescriptions for young adults between the ages of 18 and 40 who have no eye health issues and are experiencing no change in their vision. No eye doctor is present for these kinds of appointments.

Telehealth Visits

These appointments offer a face-to-face meeting with your eye doctor online, usually through a specialized telehealth service optimized for your privacy. They are for patients who may already be established with the practice or have complaints related to the outside of the eye or the eyelids, such as a black eye or stye. Nonetheless, even a telehealth appointment with the highest-quality webcam can’t give your eye doctor nearly as much information as they can get from high-resolution imaging equipment in-office.

In-Person Comprehensive Eye Exams

This is the most thorough type of eye exam. It allows your eye doctor to utilize the latest eye care technology to measure your level of refractive error, test your inner eye pressure to check for signs of glaucoma, take images and scans of your retina to guard against retinal detachment and macular degeneration, and more.

Many potentially sight-threatening conditions show no signs or symptoms until significant damage to the eye has already been done. These conditions can only be detected with a thorough in-person eye exam.

Optometric Care Associates, your Atascadero eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 805-465-3511 Today!

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6 Top Treatment Options for Presbyopia

Presbyopia is a condition that occurs as a person ages, which causes the lens of the eye to become less elastic. This results in issues with near vision for people 40 years old and over, which can cause difficulties with simple everyday tasks like reading, writing, or working on a computer.

Fortunately, your Paso Robles eye care team at Optometric Care Associates can easily diagnose presbyopia as part of a routine comprehensive eye exam. Once diagnosed, we can offer a number of treatment options to make sure you enjoy your best vision at all times.

Here are six of the most common treatments for presbyopia correction:

Bifocal and Progressive Lens Eyeglasses

Bifocal and progressive lens eyeglasses are far and away the simplest and most commonly prescribed treatment for presbyopia.

A bifocal lens offers two distinct sections in a single lens. The primary section helps correct for distance vision, while the secondary section, usually a much smaller section of the lens, allows for clear near-vision.

Progressive lenses function in a similar manner. However, instead of the distance and near vision sections being in distinct zones, they’re more blended. This offers a more seamless viewing experience, though it can sometimes take longer to get used to.

Contact Lenses

There are two common types of contact lenses when it comes to the treatment of presbyopia with contacts:

Monovision contact lenses come in different prescriptions for each eye; one eye is fitted with a lens for distance vision and one for near vision. This solution may not be for everyone, however, as it can sometimes take some time to get used to.

Multifocal contact lenses work in much the same way that multifocal eyeglasses do. They’re designed to offer clear vision across distance, moderate and near vision. They come in various types, including soft disposable, rigid gas permeable, and hybrid contact lenses.

Corneal Inlays

Corneal inlays are very small implantable lenses that your eye doctor surgically places in the cornea to address issues with presbyopia. There are a few different kinds of corneal inlays currently available. Each of these lenses works in a slightly different way:

Corneal inlays that rely on exploiting the pinhole effect are implanted in the non-dominant eye allowing the lens to extend the patient’s overall range of vision.

Corneal inlays that are made from biocompatible hydrogel are designed to imitate the cornea in your eye. This inlay treats presbyopia in the same way as multifocal contact lenses, changing the curvature of the eye, and altering the way light enters and is focused on the retina.

Monovision LASIK

Although traditional LASIK procedures don’t address presbyopia, certain variations can help reduce symptoms and minimize your reliance on bifocals or reading glasses.

Monovision LASIK is the most widely used surgical correction for presbyopia. It corrects the dominant eye so that you can see better at a distance while leaving the less-dominant eye nearsighted. This relies on the idea that the non-dominant eye is only mildly nearsighted, so it is still able to see things up close without the need for reading glasses.

Refractive Lens Exchange

For refractive lens exchange (RLE), an eye surgeon replaces your eye’s natural lens using an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL improves near vision and reduces your need for near vision solutions such as reading glasses. There are multiple strategies that can be employed to address your particular case, including different types of lenses in each eye. Speak to your eye doctor to find out what will work best for you.

Eye drops are among the newest solutions for the treatment of presbyopia and are most effective in patients who have just begun to experience symptoms. They are miotic drops, meaning they rely on making the pupil contract to create a “pinhole effect” that mimics the eye’s natural ability to focus. This allows for improved vision close-up in patients with presbyopia.

For more information on how we can help you see your best with presbyopia, contact our Paso Robles eye care team at Optometric Care Associates today!

Q&A

Are multifocal contact lenses difficult to get used to?

Some people will be able to adjust immediately to multifocal contacts, while others may take around a week to adjust. During the adjustment period, you may find that your distance vision is not as crisp as you like, and that you see shadows around some images up-close.

What is the pinhole effect?

The pinhole effect is a method of focusing your vision by causing the pupil to dilate or get smaller. This causes light that is scattered and unfocused to be able to enter your eye, leaving only focused light to enter and reach your retina. This results in sharper, more focused vision.

Effective Tips for Reducing Computer Vision Symptoms

In this day and age, you simply can’t escape the glow of smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs. Unfortunately, this can have some very damaging effects on your eyes.

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After a full day in front of screens, many people report experiencing symptoms such as eye strain, light sensitivity, and headaches. All of these have been linked to extended screen time, and are often referred to as computer vision syndrome.

These symptoms can be especially bad for those with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism.

Since many of us need these screens for school and work, we don’t have the luxury of significantly reducing our daily screen time. Nonetheless, there are still many creative ways to reduce the painful and uncomfortable effects of extended digital screen usage.

Here are four effective ways to minimize eye fatigue and other computer vision symptoms.

Ask about ways to reduce blue light exposure

One of the most common unseen problems with digital screens is blue light exposure. Though blue light is natural, and even healthy for your eyes in moderation, excessive amounts like that experienced from long hours on screens can cause issues with sleeping and result in strain on your retina that has been linked to an increased risk of long-term retina damage.

One easy and inexpensive way to reduce the effects of blue light on your eyes is by asking your eye doctor during your annual eye exam about anti-glare and anti-blue light coatings for your glasses. Many electronics stores will also sell blue light filters for your computer and other digital screens.

Try the “20-20-20 Rule.

Research shows that spending long hours concentrating on computer work significantly decreases the number of blinks you take per minute, leading to dry, red, itchy eyes.

Try the “20-20-20 Break and Blink Rule” to help increase the number of blinks you take while working. Every 20 minutes in front of your computer, look at an object 20 ft away from you for 20 seconds and blink. This gives your eyes a chance to “reset” before continuing to work and helps prevent eye strain, dry eyes, and headaches.

Take Eye Health Supplements.

Eye health supplements contain healthy and essential nutrients and vitamins and minerals that can help reduce the harmful effects of digital screens. Zeaxanthin and Lutein are anti-oxidants found in many supplements that can’t be naturally produced in the body and help protect the macula from blue light damage.

High-quality eye health supplements can reduce computer vision symptoms, as well as minimize the long-term risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Lubricate your eyes.

Naturally, our eyes lubricate themselves by blinking. However, because of the reduced rate of blinking mentioned earlier, eyes tend to dry out faster while concentrating on digital screens.

One way to combat this is by the use of lubricating drops or artificial tears. Though over-the-counter eye drops are easy to obtain, it’s always better to speak to your eye doctor to get the best advice on what will help you the most. In many cases, prescription eye drops or artificial tears will be much more effective.

For more information on how you can reduce eye strain and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome, speak to our eye care professionals at today!

Optometric Care Associates, your Atascadero eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call (805) 749-2020 Today!

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What to Wear to Protect Your Eyes

Your eyes are among the most important organs in the body when it comes to discovering and interacting with the world around you. Unfortunately, they are also among the most exposed, and vulnerable to damage. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that proper protective gear is worn in places and situations where you might accidentally sustain an eye injury.

Whether it’s participating in sports, working with chemicals while cleaning or in a lab, or working on do-it-yourself projects around the home, it’s important to know what counts as proper protection, and what doesn’t.

Fortunately, our eye doctors at are here to explain.

Do Normal Prescription Glasses Count As Safety Equipment?

In short, no. Prescription glasses are built with materials that are primarily useful in promoting wearer comfort and helping you see better and more clearly.

The kinds of plastics and metals used in the frames are built for comfort, but may not hold up against flying shards of metal and wood.

Likewise, lens materials in prescription eyeglasses are chosen for their ability to be easily shaped and molded to give you optimum vision while minimizing aberrations. This ability to be easily molded does not lend itself well to also being impact-resistant.

Safety equipment gear for the eyes is also built with an extra guard around the sides to protect from flying debris and chemicals from all-around. This extra guard is not present in the vast majority of prescription eyeglasses.

So what IS considered proper safety equipment for protecting your eyes?

Personal Protective Equipment For Protecting Your Eyes

In general, there are three types of accepted safety equipment depending on your particular needs and preferences:

Safety Glasses

are made with shatter-resistant lenses, which are manufactured from materials like propionate plastic or polycarbonate. They also have side shields that help from debris and dust that may enter from the sides of, rather than in front of, the face.

What are safety glasses good for? These glasses are designed to be shatter-resistant and protect the eye from large, physical objects such as wood chips or metal or glass shards that could impact the eye, causing serious injury. Some types of safety glasses also offer laser light filtration, preventing reflections from the laser entering the eye, causing painful retinal burns.

What are safety glasses NOT good for? Safety glasses are not meant for protection from liquids or vapors.

Safety glasses can be purchased with or without prescription lenses and can also be ordered with bifocals.

Safety Goggles

These are another common type of personal protective equipment. They may be vented or non-vented.

Non-vented goggles are used as protection from mists, vapors, fumes, or other airborne hazards that require the eyes to be completely covered.

Vented goggles are meant to protect the eyes from liquid chemicals that pose no danger from vapor or mist. These also have a series of buttons embedded into the plastic that house something called a “baffle plate,” which allows air to pass through, but acts as a blockage so that liquid can’t get in.

Be aware that there are many types of goggles on the market, and some are not meant for certain kinds of work. Common, hardware-store goggles, for example, often have holes drilled into the plastic, which can let vapors and liquids into the mask, making them unfit for laboratory work.

Face Shields

These are actually not meant to be worn as the sole line of protection for your eyes. Rather, they are supplemental protection for the entire face, and goggles worn underneath the face shield block any vapor or liquid which may make it past.

Still not sure what kind of eye protection you need? Come visit our eye care practice to find out more!

At Optometric Care Associates, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 805-749-2020 or book an appointment online to see one of our Paso Robles eye doctors.

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Q&A

Do Normal Prescription Glasses Count As Safety Equipment?

In short, no. Prescription glasses are built with materials that are primarily useful in promoting wearer comfort and helping you see better and more clearly. Safety glasses can be purchased with or without prescription lenses and can also be ordered with bifocals. Safety goggles may be vented or non-vented.

What are Non-vented goggles ?

Non-vented goggles are used as protection from mists, vapors, fumes, or other airborne hazards that require the eyes to be completely covered.

9 Signs Your Child Might Need Glasses

It can sometimes be hard to tell if your child is having trouble seeing. That’s because children are often unaware of their own vision problems, and in many cases may not even have the words to describe what they’re seeing.

Though eye and vision problems are very common in school-age children, the signs are often subtle and easy to miss. When these issues go undiagnosed and untreated, a child may have difficulty learning in the classroom and playing sports, among other things. Fortunately, some vision issues can be easily solved with a simple pair of eyeglasses.

Here are 9 subtle signs that your child may need glasses:

1. They struggle with intense near vision activities like homework, computer use, taking exams or reading. They may also avoid distance vision activities such as sports.

2. They have a hard time keeping their place while reading

3. They tilt their head or squint when watching TV or in class

4. They have problems with unusually teary eyes or frequently rub or squint their eyes

5. They complain about eye fatigue and headaches, especially after reading or other vision-intensive activities

6. They may close one eye while reading or watching TV in order to see better

7. They hold books unusually close to their face in order to read

8. They sit very close to TVs or computer screens in order to see better

9. They use their finger to guide their eyes along the page as they read.

If you notice these or any other signs that your child may be experiencing poor vision, it is important to bring them in for a pediatric eye exam as soon as possible.

Pediatric Eye Exams and Eyeglasses

During your child’s eye exam our eye doctor will test for signs of refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism. If your child has a refractive error, our eye doctor will prescribe prescription glasses to correct their vision and help them thrive at school and at home.

School aged students may be prescribed eyeglasses if their eyes have difficulty focusing. The glasses allow the eyes to function better and remove eye strain. These eyeglasses are often only worn when in class, when reading, using a digital screen or during examinations.

Once the optometrist determines your child’s prescription, our friendly and professional optical team can help you and your child choose just the right frames. Our wide selection of designer frames includes designs and materials to fit every need and sense of style. From versatile metal or polycarbonate frames that can stand up to the rigors of sports, to lightweight frames that are comfortable to wear during the school day, has you covered.

For more information on how to tell if your child needs glasses, and how our eye care practice can help, call us at or visit us in person today!

At Optometric Care Associates, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 805-749-2020 or book an appointment online to see one of our Paso Robles eye doctors.

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Q&A

Can refractive errors cause problems other than poor vision?

Yes. Myopia in childhood has been linked to an increased risk of developing potentially sight-threatening eye conditions later in life. These conditions include glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts. Speak to your eye doctor about the best ways to minimize your child’s risk.

Will wearing glasses weaken my child’s vision?

No. Many people mistakenly believe that eyeglasses make your eyes reliant on them, and that this reliance weakens your eyes. Children with refractive errors will experience changes in their vision, even when their nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism isn’t corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

How to Practice Natural Eye Care

It’s a fact of life. Eye health and vision naturally decline as you age. However, while some of these changes are inevitable, there are still natural actions (we’re not talking about taking medications!) you can do to improve eye health, even with the passing of years.

Our Atascadero eye doctor, Dr. Daniel Hile O.D. has prepared a list of seven lifestyle hacks for enhancing your eye care naturally:

  1. Upgrade Your Diet : In our fast-paced, instant-gratification society, ready-to-eat junk food abounds. It can be challenging to consistently maintain a healthy diet. But if you are sincerely dedicated to improving your health, it’s time to look closely at what you’re putting into your body and make changes, as necessary. Over time, poor nutrition can lead to a variety of serious health problems, many of which can affect your vision.Your diet should consist of plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, with healthy fats and carbohydrates mixed in. Choices such as berries and vegetables with carotenoids (carrots, bell peppers, squash), dark leafy greens, and fish, for example, are recommended to boost eye health.
  2. Manage Your Weight : Obesity can lead to many life-threatening conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and arterial disease. These serious health issues are linked to vision damage. In addition to improving your diet, it’s vital to add exercise to your daily routine. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of physical activity. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to get it over within one-shot or spend all those minutes at the gym. Pick a physical activity that you enjoy, be it walking the dog, swimming in the community pool, or biking with your kids. Anything that keeps your body in motion, ideally for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time, qualifies.
  3. Wear Sunglasses : Too much sun exposure and UV rays can damage your eyes. Put on a pair of sunglasses with 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays every time you head outdoors, even if it’s cloudy. Wearing a hat and sunscreen is also advised.
  4. Don’t Smoke : Tobacco products aren’t meant to be introduced into your body. Smoking is a risk factor for many diseases, including eye disease. So if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, now’s the perfect time to quit.
  5. Brew a Cuppa Green Tea :Praised as a “miracle drink,” green tea may not be a scientific cure-all – but it certainly helps promote heart health, skin health, and weight loss. It has also been associated with reducing the risk of cancer, cognitive decline and diabetes, as well as helping to defend your eyes againstlens damage and retinal problems.
  6. Limit Screentime : Nowadays, so many parts of our lives are immersed in screens – from work to study to entertainment. Modern technology is amazing and beneficial, but it can also be hazardous to your eye health. Take care to take breaks when working in front of a computer; practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your screen at something about 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds.
  7. Visit an Optometrist Near You for Eye Exams : While following these recommendations for natural eye care can help you keep your peepers healthy, it doesn’t eliminate the need for regular eye exams from a qualified eye care provider. Eye exams check for major issues that can’t be detected or treated at home.

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

Book an eye exam at Optometric Care Associates in Atascadero eye clinic near you in Atascadero, [state] to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 805-466-6939

Optometric Care Associates in Atascadero, your Atascadero eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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  • Which foods are good for the eyes?

    Your diet should consist of plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, with healthy fats and carbohydrates mixed in. Choices such as berries and vegetables with carotenoids (carrots, bell peppers, squash), dark leafy greens, and fish, for example, are recommended to boost eye health.

  • Can your weight affect your eyes?

    Obesity can lead to many life-threatening conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and arterial disease. These serious health issues are linked to vision damage. In addition to improving your diet, it’s vital to add exercise to your daily routine. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of physical activity. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to get it over within one-shot or spend all those minutes at the gym. Pick a physical activity that you enjoy, be it walking the dog, swimming in the community pool, or biking with your kids. Anything that keeps your body in motion, ideally for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time, qualifies.

  • How often should you get an Eye Exam

    While following these recommendations for natural eye care can help you keep your peepers healthy, it doesn’t eliminate the need for regular eye exams from a qualified eye care provider. Eye exams check for major issues that can’t be detected or treated at home.

  • Can screen time affect your eyesight?

    Nowadays, so many parts of our lives are immersed in screens – from work to study to entertainment. Modern technology is amazing and beneficial, but it can also be hazardous to your eye health. Take care to take breaks when working in front of a computer; practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your screen at something about 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds.