VisualEyes Optometrists Blog

Coronavirus and The Eyes

28 March 2020

Coronavirus and The Eyes in Fairfax, VA

An anecdotal report reveals that coronavirus has another possible transmission aside from droplets produced from coughing and sneezing. It suggests that transmission via aerosol contact with conjunctiva is plausible. In this respect, they interpret that those who traveled overseas and affected local regions with active outbreaks or a relative that just returned more likely carry the disease.

How can it be transmitted?

As stated by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, coronavirus is spread through respiratory droplets generated by an infected person by coughing or sneezing. However, it can also be transmitted by touching a contaminated object where the virus is present and then touch the nose, mouth, and eyes.

"SARS-Cov-2" the recent coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19 usually manifests as common flu to a more serious condition. Those with the positive cases of the disease often show the following signs and symptoms - fever, cough or shortness of breath. However, some reports prompt that the virus can also conjunctivitis and it can be transmitted through aerosol contact with the conjunctiva. Patients with conjunctivitis who have recently traveled to places with reported outbreaks are suspected to have carried the virus.

Unfortunately, as of now, there is no specific cure or treatment for the disease. Although some known anti-viral drugs are now being tested and have shown efficacy. The US government has yet to confirm these findings and make a formal announcement. However, many supportive treatments are now applied to relieve the symptoms and improve the prognosis of those infected.

How to protect yourself?

  • Wash hands with soap and water frequently
  • Apply an antiseptic solution to your hands every after you hold anything outside your home
  • Avoid close contact with people who are coughing or sneezing
  • Put social distancing into action by maintaining a 1-meter distance from other people
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands thereafter
  • Seek medical attention when you have a recent travel history and manifested the signs and symptoms

Recommendations from the American Academy of Ophthalmology

  • The institution recommends postponing any elective visits or surgery
  • In case your case is urgent and you have the symptoms, the patient can expect to answer a couple of additional questions about your seasonal health when you call to schedule an appointment or when we call to confirm your appointment.

Contact VisualEyes Optometrists for clinic updates and appointments.


Flu and Corona Virus Screening

16 March 2020

Flu and Corona Virus Screening in Arlington, VA

Regarding the spread of seasonal flu, the common cold, and the “Corona Virus”:

We are taking proactive steps to protect you, your family, and our caring staff. Please call to reschedule your appointment if you are actively sick or exhibit symptoms like cough, runny nose, fever, or sore throat.

Regarding the steps we are taking to ensure your health and safety:

Pre-Appointment Phone Screenings

All patients can expect to answer a couple of additional questions about your seasonal health when you call to schedule an appointment or when we call to confirm your appointment.

In Office Screenings

If a patient arrives showing symptoms of the seasonal flu or the common cold, we will politely and respectfully request that they reschedule their appointment to reduce the risk to other patients and our staff.


Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Why Know About It

28 February 2020

Age-Related Macular Degeneration and Why Know About It in Alexandria, VA

Macular degeneration happens when the macula, a tiny portion of the retina starts to deteriorate. Since it occurs as people get older, it is often referred as age-related macular degeneration. The disease can get worse in the course of time. Although it may not cause blindness, it can lead to severe vision problem.

Macular degeneration comes in two forms:

  • Dry form - A yellow deposit called drusen can form to patients with dry macular degeneration. Few tiny drusen may not affect the vision. However, as they increase in number and size, it may cause distortion of the vision and patient will experience a dimmed vision. When the disease turn for the worse, the macula becomes thinner and later die. Patient can experience blind spots in the center of the vision. As the condition gets severe, patient may lose central vision.
  • Wet form - In the wet macular degeneration, blood vessels extend beneath the macula. These blood vessels drains fluid and blood into the retina. This causes distorted vision making straight lines appear rippled. Blind spots and loss of central vision may happen as well in this form. The blood vessels as well as the bleeding ultimately form a scar which causes irreversible loss of central vision.

Symptoms of macular degeneration:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dark, blurry areas in the central vision
  • Different color perception

In case you have any of these symptoms, have an eye doctor check your condition. Contact VisualEyes Optometrists as soon as possible.


What is the Eye Condition “Heterochromia”?

14 February 2020

Do you know someone with two different eye colors? Then, you probably have seen a person with heterochromia. It's a rare eye condition that only affects three out of every 500 people. It occurs for a number of reasons.

Genetics

In the vast majority of cases, heterochromia results from unique genetics, a non-malignant alteration that affects the pigment development in one or part of one iris.

Traumatic

Some people can develop heterochromia as an adverse result of injury or disease. Trauma can lead to change in the eye appearance. Disease such as glaucoma and diabetes can make the eyes appear differently than the other.

Types of Heterochromia

Heterochromia can be complete heterochromia, segmental, or central.

  • Complete Heterochromia (or heterochromia iridum) - each iris has different color
  • Segmental Heterochromia (heterochromia iridis) - there's a patch of a different color in one iris.
  • Central Heterochromia - two irises are matched but rings of a different color appears around the pupils.

If your heterochromia is not inborn but you notice one or both of your eye color suddenly change, it's highly recommended to see your eye doctor to assess your eye condition. If in case it is due to unaddressed adverse effect from an injury or a health condition, contact VisualEyes Optometrists. We will help you find out the cause and proper treatment of your eye condition.


Combating the Eye Disease Diabetic Retinopathy

31 January 2020

Combating the Eye Disease Diabetic Retinopathy in Fairfax, VA

Diabetes is a leading contributor to the eye disease diabetic retinopathy. The disease occurs when blood sugar levels rise and damages the blood vessels in the retina. It can cause swelling, leakage, and constriction of the eye’s blood vessels. In some cases, unusual blood vessels sprout on the retina. These alterations can severely affect the vision.

The following are symptoms of diabetic retinopathy:

  • blurring of vision
  • seeing spots or floaters
  • dark spot in the center of the vision
  • night vision problems

A comprehensive eye examination is necessary to diagnose the disease. Other tests include:

  • Patient history - to detect vision problems, diabetes, and other health conditions that may be affecting vision.
  • Visual acuity measurements - to assess the severity of the damage of central vision
  • Refraction - to determine if a new prescribed eyeglasses are necessary
  • Ocular structure and retina evaluation through a dilated pupil
  • Eye pressure measurement

How It Is Treated?

The treatment greatly depends on the stage of the disease. The treatment goal is to mitigate the disease progression.

Regular monitoring is recommended at the early stage of non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy. It is important to control blood sugar levels in order to slow down or stop disease progression.

Medications through injections in the eye are also recommended in some patients to prevent abnormal blood vessel formation and can also help decelerate the damaging effects of the disease.

Injections of medication in the eye are aimed at discouraging the formation of abnormal blood vessels and may help slowdown the damaging effects of diabetic retinopathy.

To stop blood and fluid leakage into the retina, laser treatment is recommended. The laser beams will slightly burn the areas of the retina where the abnormal vessels grow to seal the leaks.

For more information the treatment of diabetic retinopathy, contact VIsualEyes Optometrists.


Your Next Eye Exam Can Protect Against Glaucoma

14 January 2020

Your Next Eye Exam Can Protect Against Glaucoma in Arlington, VA

We are all familiar to the term, "Prevention is Better Than Cure" and this is undoubtedly true about the eye disease called Glaucoma. Early diagnosis and treatment lessens the devastating effect of the disease.

Many new year’s resolutions involve the commitment to improved health. However, many are not aware that taking an eye exam is one of the most effective way of uncovering a multitude of health issues that effect more than vision. Your Doctor of Optometry is skilled at diagnosing the potential for hypertension and diabetes.

Back to glaucoma, its detrimental impact upon vision is detected through an eye exam even before a patient observes symptoms. The disease is asymptomatic in early stages. Patient may not notice any vision loss or experience any pain. It is accurately referred to as the “sneak thief of sight.” When symptoms present to the sufferer, irreversible eye damage might have occurred.

Glaucoma can lead to loss of sight by injuring the optic nerve. This nerve is responsible in transmitting information from the eyes to the brain. Peripheral vision will start to diminish when the optic nerve is damaged. Over time, when left untreated, glaucoma can affect the central vision. Unluckily, vision cannot be restored when it is lost to glaucoma. It can be lessened, however, if the disease is detected and treated early.

Prevent Blindness America promotes January’s National Glaucoma Awareness Month as it unites other leading eye care groups to educate the public about the disease and what they can do to help save their vision.

Don’t take a chance on the gift of vision. Contact VisualEyes Optometrists here in Arlington today.


Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to You and Yours this Season

23 December 2019

Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to You and Yours this Season

Christmas and Chanukah share a similar spiritual message: that it is possible to bring light and hope into the world. These two holidays occur together this year, which makes this an even more special holiday season.

This is a season to reflect upon how fortunate we are to have you as our customers: our friends and neighbors. During these holidays, we wish you, your family, and your friends a safe, joy-filled, and relaxing season.

Warm wishes for a Happy Hanukkah, a Merry Christmas, and a most Happy New Year! With peace, joy, and love this holiday season and beyond!


Year-End Eye Care Considerations

10 December 2019

Year-End Eye Care Considerations in Arlington, Fairfax, Alexandria, VA

Vision care is a year-round responsibility, but year’s end is a time when many of us give special consideration to eye care. Part of this is due to the cold wind that tend to dry and irritate our eyes more than in the summer. Inside air is typically drier this time of year as well.

So while we’re thinking about our eyes, here are some quick thoughts we share with you in the hope that everyone takes proactive measure to protect the precious gift of sight. The following are eye care tips for better eye health in winter.

  • Choose a Healthy Diet - The holidays can tempt you to indulge in less healthy diet options. Consider healthy food choices like leafy greens, fruits and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Stop Smoking - Smoking has negative effects to almost entire organ in the body which include the eyes. Smokers are more prone to eye disease which can lead to deteriorated eyesight and even blindness.
  • Vision Health Insurance - Take advantage of your vision insurance before they expire at the end of the year. This is the perfect time to have your eye examined and get pair of glasses or contact lenses. Schedule an appointment with your optometrists.
  • Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) balances expire at year’s end. What better way to utilize FSA dollars than on your precious eyesight?
  • Get an Eye Cosmetic Surgery - If you think your droopy eyelids, under eye circles and puffy eyebags are making you appear older than your age, consider getting an eyelid surgery which can correct these issues. Consult your eye doctor to learn more about this treatment.
  • Sharing the gift of vision - You may want to donate to charities that imparts eye care and eyeglasses to those in need.

For more eye care tips, contact VisualEyes Optometrists.


Now is the Time for Us to Say "Thanks" to YOU!

25 November 2019

VisualEyes Optometrists, Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, VA

Thanksgiving Day is the perfect time to remind one another of the many reasons there are to be grateful. We gather on this day to be thankful for what we have, for the family we love, the friends we cherish, the success we have had, and for the blessings that will come.

Thanksgiving is more than the festivities, it gives us time to ponder the lessons that we have learned and how we can spread happiness around, to look back at all the great memories and good people who came into our lives. We appreciate you, our customers and clients, so much.

At this time of year our thoughts turn gratefully to you with warm appreciation. Our best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving.


Professional Eyewear Fitting Makes a Difference

14 November 2019

Professional Eyewear Fitting in Fairfax, VA

When purchasing new eyeglasses, you need to consider the shape of your face as it pertains to the style of frame you choose. There are certain frames that will look good on you and some other styles that will not match your facial figure. To figure out what style will look best on you, get a mirror and take a closer look at the entire shape and contours of your face and head.

The following are common face shapes and eyeglass frame styles that are best for each shape. These will give you an idea on what eyeglass frames can be suitable for you:

Oval

Wider than the larger part of the face like walnut-shaped frames is the most ideal style for oval face shape. This frame style can maintain the natural balance of an oval face shape.

Heart-shaped

When you have a heart-shaped face, go for frame styles with wider bottom. Rimless frames and light-colored ones are excellent choices.

Oblong

For those with longer face and has long straight cheek line, frames with more depth, decorative, and contrasting temples help the face look shorter and more balanced.

Square-shaped

A Facial shape with prominent forehead and wider jaw, and almost have symmetrical width and length is pertained as a square-shaped face. Narrow frame styles that emphasize more width than depth are designs that will help make the face appear longer and subtly softens the angles.

Diamond-shaped

It's a unique face shape that has a narrow forehead and jawline, but with wider cheek line that is a bit striking. In order to soften the cheekbones while giving much emphasis to the eye, frames with detailing or distinguishing brow lines will do the trick. You may also try rimless eyeglasses and oval or cat-eye-shaped frames.

Round

This facial shape has curved lines with no angles and with symmetrical width and length. Angular narrow eyeglasses are perfect choices in order to lengthen the face and make it look thinner and longer. Rectangular frames with clear bridge are also good options.

Base-down triangle

This shape has a less broad forehead but has a wide cheek area. Frames with significant detailing and color accents on the top half of the frame will add emphasis to the narrow upper third of the face. Cat-eye-shaped frames are a good choice as well.

With so many options, selecting the right eyeglass frame can be a daunting experience without the right guidance. VisualEyes Optometrists makes the process. We’ll consult you every step of the way. We offer a wide variety of options that can be tailored to suit not only your medical needs but also your fashion preferences. Contact VisualEyes Optometrists in Fairfax, VA.


Use FSA and HSA Dollars BEFORE Year’s End

26 October 2019

Visual Eyes Optometrists, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, VA

Every year, our Arlington-area new eye care patient’s come to us in January asking if they can recover eye care and eye wear expenses by using their Flexible Savings Account (FSA). The answer is most definitely yes but then we also learn from so many of them that they just turned-in “use or lose” FSA dollars from the previous year. Had only they scheduled eye care services for November or December of the previous year. Don’t let this happen to you.

Check out our “Using FSA and HAS Dollars for Care and Products” page that covers everything you need to know about tapping your FSA (use-or-lose savings) and Health Savings Account (HSA) savings. If it is your first time seeking qualified FSA or HSA qualified eye care services in Arlington, we’ll be glad to help explain it all and consult you on how to file your claim. You can use FSA and HSA dollars for both your treatment and for your eye care products. You’re going to love our collection of designer frame eyewear sure to have you looking your best for the upcoming Holiday season.

Just need some questions answered? Feel free to call us anytime!


Using TriCare Vision for Contact Lenses In Arlington / Shirlington, VA

9 October 2019

Using TriCare Vision for Contact Lenses In Arlington / Shirlington, VA

Contact lenses became popular because of the many perks it offers to users. Although many fancy it due to aesthetic benefits, as it allows users to wear different eye colors. We highly advise that you take full advantage of your TriCare Vision insurance to acquire your new contact lenses in Arlington and Shirlington. The following important advantages make it a superior alternative to eyeglasses.

Ease in Viewing - Contact lenses are recommended to those with refractive errors like astigmatism, farsightedness, and nearsightedness. It can help correct these refractive defects while specialty lenses are designed to tackle distinct needs. One good example is scleral lenses. They come in larger diameter to correct corneal irregularities.

Improved Eye Comfort - Modern contact lenses are made from durable material with a soft lens skirt to provide clearer vision while maintaining comfort and eye health.

Broader Visual Access - When you are wearing a contact lens, your central and peripheral visual access is unconstrained. Image distortions and glare reflections are also minimized when the contact lens is worn.

Feeling Normal - Since contact lenses are securely attached to your cornea, you won't experience the hassle and discomfort associated with wearing eyeglasses. When you don't wear glasses you are more comfortable to perform daily activities and routines. Also, you no longer have to worry about fog or splashes of water that may dim your vision. Wearing them is apt for any types of weather.

Aesthetic Benefits

Contact lenses in Arlington, VA are available in a wide array of colors. This allows users to experience wearing different eye colors and choose the best shade that will complement their look. When getting contact lenses even just for cosmetic purposes, we still highly advise to consult an eye doctor to ensure the safety of your eyes and prevent complications related to lens wear.

To learn more about Contact Lenses or if ever you need a pair, contact VisualEyes Optometrists.


About Glaucoma and the Immediate Need to Treat

25 September 2019

VisualEyes Optometrists - About Glaucoma and the Immediate Need to Treat in Alexandria, VA

Glaucoma is globally the leading cause of permanent blindness. The disease does not discriminate which is commonly cited as "the sneak thief of sight". This is because the disease presents itself with no symptoms in the early stage with the slight peripheral vision loss commonly going unnoticed. The condition is permanent once the damage is in progress. For this reason, people are encouraged to have a regular eye examination for glaucoma screening. The frequency of the eye examination depends on person's age, race and family history.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an eye disease which results to irreversible blindness due to optic nerve injury. The injury results from the increase ocular pressure brought about by fluid accumulation.

Symptoms

Patients who are suffering from glaucoma usually perceive no pain or symptoms at the early stage. Most people only notice it when their peripheral vision becomes impaired or blind spots occur at the corner of the eye. But contrary to popular belief, there are in fact some early signs and symptoms suggestive of glaucoma that you need learn, these include:

  • Severe pain in the eye or forehead
  • Eye Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • You may see rainbows or halos around bright lights
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Photophobia or painful light sensitivity

Treatment

Various treatment options for Alexandria area glaucoma patients are available. But it depends on the type and severity of the disease:

  1. Eye Drops to reduce eye pressure and an initial attempt to control the onset of the disease.
  2. Laser Therapy variations are decided by the severity of the damage and also a way to control eye pressure.
  3. Surgery is the last resort when all aforementioned treatment fails. It helps repair the damage and restore vision.

Prognosis

There's a positive prognosis when the disease is early detected and diagnosed before optic nerve injury takes place. On the other hand, late diagnosis implies more intensive treatment is required and there's an impending visual loss. Glaucoma patients must be educated to the fact that the disease is a lifetime condition and full compliance with prescribed medications and regular checkups with an eye doctor is critically important.

If you have any reason to suspect that you think have glaucoma-like symptoms, contact VisualEyes Optometrists here in Alexandria for consultation.


Contact Lens Myths Debunked!

10 September 2019

VisualEyes Optometrists - Contact Lens Myths Debunked in Fairfax, VA

Like any other medical myth, contacts lenses has its fair share of silly fiction stories. Let's debunk some of them to set the record straight.

Contact Lens Can Get Lost Behind Your Eyes

It is impossible for the contacts to wander behind your eye since there's a clear, thin membrane called conjunctiva that covers part of the front surface of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids. So there's no way it can slip through it and migrate at the back of your eye.

Using Contacts Is Painful

You may feel a slight discomfort and a bit of irritation at first, but in very short-order you will feel comfortable wearing them.

You May Leave It In Your Eyes Without Taking It Off

If you leave the eye contacts for an extended period beyond that which is recommended, your eye will be prone for oxidative stress and inflammation can occur. You may also experience dry eyes, red eyes, infections, eye ulcers, or an irreversible damage to your vision.

Contacts Are Not Recommended For Those With Astigmatism or High Prescription

Maybe true in days past, but not today. Toric contact lenses are specifically designed for people with astigmatism and those who require high prescription.

Contacts Can Alter Your Eye Color Permanently

Colored contact lenses will only alter the color of your eye when you are wearing them.

Contacts Are Costly

Compared to high-quality glasses, contact lenses can be more affordable. Even disposable contacts can be more economical than eye glasses.

Contact lenses are safe to use. You just need to follow simple instructions on how to properly use it. Contact VisualEyes Optometrists to learn more about contact lenses.


Low Vision Therapy

26 August 2019

VisualEyes Optometrists, Arlington, VA

Low vision pertains to partial vision loss which can't be fully corrected with eye glasses, contact lenses, medication and even surgery. Patients with low vision suffer from different diseases, field defects, and degrees of vision loss. Low vision involves bilateral reduction to visual acuity or field arising out from visual system failure.

Those who suffer partial vision impairment are unable to perform work and daily activities effectively. The quality of life is significantly affected. Low vision therapy is path to an increased quality of life. The therapy is intended to help patients accept their condition and overcome the difficulty associated with it. Helping them maximize their available vision to continue performing their daily tasks despite their condition.

Low Vision Therapy services here in Arlington, VA involves a thorough assessment of our patient's current visual ability, defining what specific life tasks that are negatively affected, and the patient’s goals for improvement. We will define a path to maximize the utility of one’s remaining vision and will develop strategies to better complete daily tasks and improve quality of life. To learn more about Low Vision Therapy, contact VisualEyes Optometrists.


What Is LASIK Eye Surgery?

12 August 2019

VisualEyes Optometrists, Fairfax, VA

Has your vision taken a notable turn for the worse? Have you known for sometime that you are nearsighted, farsighted, or perhaps know that you have an astigmatism? These are all common vision problems that can be corrected through a safe, effective, and affordable procedure called LASIK or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. This procedure corrects vision issues by reshaping the cornea.

When you are nearsighted, your cornea is too steep. When the cornea is flat you may be farsighted. A football-shaped cornea is linked to astigmatism. In LASIK surgery here in Fairfax, the certified eye surgeon will form a flap of tissue that will serve as a protection in outer layer of the cornea and with the use of a laser, it eliminates microscopic cells in the layer beneath. The procedure will only take a few minutes. The surgeon will return the flap back into position which will serve as a bandage while the eye is healing. In few month post-surgery, the patient's visual acuity is improved.

LASIK eye surgery offers a long-term alternative solution to eyeglasses or contact lenses. The operation uses numbing drops so only minimal pain will be felt during procedure. Since LASIK is a complex procedure, it's important to seek a highly-experienced eye surgeon to perform the surgery. If you think you are a good candidate for this refractive treatment, contact VisualEyes Optometrists here in Fairfax.


Treating Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)

24 July 2019

VisualEyes Optometrists, Arlington, VA

Conjunctivitis (better knows as pink eye) is an inflamed or infected conjunctiva caused by several factors that include virus, bacteria, allergies, fungi, and other irritants. The conjunctiva is a thin membrane that lines the inside of the eyelids and covers the white part of the eye or sclera.

Conjunctivitis is a highly contagious disease. Kids can easily get them when an outbreak takes place at school. Although it's not a serious disease, patients are recommended to visit their eye doctor in Arlington, VA to treat it quickly. Permanent vision issues are rare in older children and adults but some may develop corneal inflammation and can be a serious case to newborns, for it may lead to irreversible vision problems.

Patients suffering from conjunctivitis have these following symptoms:

  • eye redness
  • swollen conjunctiva
  • increased tearing
  • thick yellow or green discharge
  • itchy and burning eyes
  • increased sensitivity to light
  • vision may be blurred

You need to see a certified optometrist right away when you experience a lot of yellow or green discharge from the eye, when it is accompanied with fever and chills, severe eye pain extending to the face and loss of vision. If you suspect of conjunctivitis, contact VisualEyes Optometrists in Arlington, VA to get immediate treatment.


How To Treat Astigmatism?

10 July 2019

VisualEyes Optometrists, Alexandria, VA

A normal eye is perfectly round. When the light enters the eye it bends evenly providing you clear sight. Unfortunately for people suffering astigmatism, that person's eyeball and/or cornea is irregular in shape. The problem with this is that eye fails to properly bend and present light to the retina. This results in partial focus upon the targeted visual zone. A person with astigmatism suffers blurred and distorted vision. The condition usually occurs after an eye injury and becomes progressive over time.

What Are The Symptoms?

  • Blurred / Distorted Vision
  • Eye Strain
  • Headache
  • Eye Irritation

An Eye Exam can help diagnose this condition. Typically, people with astigmatism may also have myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness).

How It is Treated?

Corrective lenses can help correct this eye condition. Toric, a soft contact lens, can be prescribed by optometrists. These special type of eye glasses or contacts will curve the light more in one direction than the other. For those with severe cases a gas-permeable rigid contact lens is prescribed. Refractive surgery is also an option to discuss with your optometrist. This is laser surgery that re-shapes the cornea.

In order to know what treatment is best for you, you need to see your eye doctor for in Alexandria, VA.

Contact VisualEyes Optometrists in Alexandria to help you figure out the right treatment for your condition.


Protect Your Eyes From the Dangerous Summer Sun

15 June 2019

Visual Eyes Optometrists, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, VA

As promised, we here at Visual Eyes Optometrists (serving the fine people of Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax) are pleased to post our first educational eye care-related blog post here on our new blog. Today’s work provides you valuable tips to take care of your vision during these long summer days where your exposure to sun risk is the highest it will be all year.

We’re now enjoying the longest days of the year and all the benefits of days with maximum sunshine. It’s the time when many of us attempt to make up for lost time and go out and enjoy the weather without abandon – hit the beach, dust off that home improvement project, maybe join a pickup basketball game. But please, take care of your eyes! Today’s blog post is intended to help you do just that.

“Summer activities pose a number of potential hazards to your vision. Your exposed higher levels of UV radiation which can increase your risk for developing certain conditions, including cataracts and cancerous growths. With more activity outdoors and around your home, you increase your risk for eye injuries.

Here are 10 Summer Eye Protection Tips to Reduce the Risk of Injury or Vision Loss

  1. Choose sunglasses with full UV protection: Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is much stronger in summer, and just because the lenses are dark doesn’t mean your eyes are protected from these damaging rays. Look for glasses labeled either UV400 or 100 percent UV protection, which means that the lenses will block the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays.
  2. Pay attention to the lens style: Wraparound styles can provide better summer eye protection, since they cover your peripheral vision. And if you plan to be in situations where you could increase your risk for injury – such as taking a spike to the face during a game of beach volleyball with friends – choose shatter-proof polycarbonate lenses.
  3. Buy sunglasses from a reputable retailer: Some online sources will sell products that can be dangerous for your eyes. Do your research.
  4. Wear a hat as often as possible when outside: “This includes on cloudy days. Clouds don’t block all spectrums of UV light. Not only will this give your eyes some extra protection, it will also protect your scalp and face from sun damage.
  5. Always wear swim goggles: Goggles are necessary for both indoor and outdoor pools. Even in chlorinated pool water, some microorganisms may survive and cause an infection, and this infection risk increases in lakes and other non-chlorinated water areas, such as hot tubs. These communal areas may be teeming with bacteria, including acanthamoeba, which causes an intense infection that is difficult to treat.
  6. Don’t swim in contact lenses: “If you wear contact lenses, you’re more susceptible to infection, given that your eyes are more likely to get irritated.
  7. Choose the right eye protection for your sport: Depending on the sport, this might include goggles, a face guard or a helmet. The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) has developed protection standards for every sport. In addition, by supplementing any official standard with the tips above (wearing a hat, full UV sunglasses, etc.), you can increase your summer eye protection.
  8. Be careful when working around the house: From cutting the grass and gardening to woodworking or digging into a car project, summertime also means an increase in risk from hazardous chemicals or flying debris. When engaging in these or other similar activities, wear glasses, goggles or a face shield that features “ANSI Z87.1” on the lens or frame. This designation means that it has met the American National Standards Institute safety standard for protective eyewear.
  9. Avoid indoor tanning: Tanning beds can produce far greater UV levels than the sun, increasing your risk for both skin cancer and serious eye damage. If you do use a tanning bed, make sure to wear protective UV-blocking goggles, not sunglasses.
  10. Wash your hands frequently: “While this is important any time of the year to help prevent the spread of eye infections, in the summer, people are more active outside. This makes it easier for infections to spread, including pink eye. So make sure to wash your hands regularly, and especially before you touch your eyes or put in your contacts.”

So, all ten suggestions are pretty simple to do, right? But as vision care professionals, we can’t emphasize strongly enough how valuable these actions are to help protect the priceless resource of good vision. We’ll add an 11th suggestion here. Be sure to have your eyes examined annually or as directed by your optometrist. You can call or schedule an eye exam in Alexandria, Arlington, or Fairfax with us anytime. Enjoy your summer!


Welcome to Our New Eye Care Public Service Blog

1 June 2019

Visual Eyes Optometrists, Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, VAGreetings to our years-long optometry patients and to all of you finding us for the first time as well. All of us here at Northern Virginia’s Visual Eyes Optometrists are proud and pleased of our new website and we hope it serves all of you well. This is the first of what will be regular recurring blog posts offered as a public service to educate the general public on all things related to promoting and maintaining healthy vision.

For those who don’t know us, for over a decade now we’ve provided superior eyecare services in Alexandria, eyecare services in Arlington, and eyecare services in Fairfax as well. We invite you to meet our doctors, all with a celebrated history in providing superior optometry services.

It is our sole goal to improve your quality of life whether that involves helping you maintain your fully healthy vision or treating even the most dreadful of eye diseases. Call us to get things started and we hope to see you visiting our blog on a regular basis to help you take care of one of your most precious resources…your vision!