Why are regular eye exams important?

Think you don’t need to see an eye doctor because your vision is fine? Think again.

Eye exams aren’t only for people with poor vision. They’re an important way of detecting eye problems before you have symptoms. We can also catch other health problems — like diabetes — early.

Sight threatening diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and others often have no outward signs or symptoms in early stages, which is why eye exams, including a thorough retinal evaluation, are important to protect vision. In an effort to provide a more thorough eye exam, Twelve Bridges Vision Care has incorporated the iWellnessExam™ SD-OCT and Retinal Imaging as part of our comprehensive eye exam.

Like an MRI of the eye, but taking only seconds to perform, the iWellnessExam™ provides high definition cross sections of your retina and optic nerve which can reveal signs of disease in exquisite detail that are invisible to traditional examination methods. Retinal Imaging captures comprehensive digital images of the surface of the retina.

Together, these unique technologies can help detect potentially vision threatening and systemic diseases in their very early stages. They also provide your doctor with a permanent baseline record of your retinal examination for comparison during future exams.

As part of your pre-examination work-up, our technician will perform these two tests which Dr. LeSueur will review with you during your examination. Any questions you have about these tests can be discussed when you come in for your examination.

We believe that the selection of a personalized contact lens solution needs to be based on your vision issues, prescription, overall eye health, lifestyle, age and comfort. Dr. LeSueur and our entire staff are very hands-on and will personally customize the right contact lens for YOU. Whether it be single vision lenses, lenses to correct for astigmatism, multifocal lenses, or even specialty lenses for those patients who have keratoconus or other unique conditions. Ask about daily or one-use lenses. Dr. LeSueur is a big proponent of these lenses, as they provide the best in comfort, convenience, and are by far the healthiest option for the eyes.

Our office is well stocked with diagnostic lenses of all the best brands in a huge variety of prescriptions. So it is very likely that you will leave our office with trial lenses on your first visit. Our goal will be to stock an inventory of lenses so that patients may purchase them while in office.

We keep our prices for contact lens products as low as possible so we are competitive with major online retailers. Plus, if you’re not using your insurance benefits, we offer an extra 10% discount if you buy a one year supply of contacts, and a 5% discount if you buy a half-years supply of contact lenses at once. Combine that with available rebates, we often beat the prices found at the big box stores or online vendors.

A cataract is a cloudiness of the normally clear crystalline lens inside the eye. Cataracts cause blurred vision and increased glare. We will all develop cataracts at some point in our life. Cataracts are surgically removed and replaced with a lens implant. The end result is better vision, and often without the need for glasses. If it is determined that you would benefit from cataract surgery, we provide you the education so you know what to expect and guide you through the whole process, from the pre-operative exam and measurements, coordinating the surgery, and the post-operative care and treatment. And we have some of the top surgeons in the area to ensure that you have the best procedure possible.

Having a surgical procedure to correct your myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism, can be a major decision also, and we specialize in providing you with objective facts and counseling so you can make the right choice. If you decide to proceed, again, we have some of the best refractive surgeons in the area to ensure that you have the best outcome possible. And again, we take care of everything from the pre-op exam and measurements, coordinating the surgery with you, and all of the post-op care and treatment needed.

Dry eye disease, also called dry eye syndrome, or ocular surface disease, is an extremely common condition that affects men and women of all ages, especially those over 40. Inflammation and an imbalance (not necessarily a deficiency) of the tear film are the underlying mechanisms that cause dry eye. When quality tears are not able to produce the proper balance, the ocular surface become inflamed.

The prevalence of dry eye increases with age and is far more common in women. Other risk factors include the use of certain medications, autoimmune inflammatory diseases, contact lens wear, LASIK and refractive surgery, and menopause. Quality of life and daily activities can be greatly impacted by dry eye symptoms, creating a significant psychological impact. Patients have reported a willingness to trade years at the end of their lives to be free of dry eye disease.

Common symptoms of dry eye, as described by patients, include:

  • Dryness
  • Burning
  • Light sensitivity
  • Foreign body sensation
  • Ocular pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Visual fatigue
  • Discomfort

Right Treatment
There are many treatment options available for dry eye syndrome, depending on the cause and severity of the condition. The most important factor in the success of dry eye treatment is patient compliance. Many people find the treatment too much trouble and do not follow through with their doctor’s recommendations. This can lead to frustration and discouragement for both the patient and the doctor.

With patience and perseverance, some of the following treatments have shown to decrease the symptoms of dry eye syndrome:

  • Artificial tears and punctual occlusion.
  • Warm compresses and eyelid scrubs.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications, such as Restasis, doxycycline, or mild steroid drops have been shown to decrease MMP-9 activity.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids, preferably from cold water fish sources. Also flax seed oil can improve the symptoms.

Here at Twelve Bridges Vision Care, we strongly support the idea of being proactive, rather than reactive, when it comes to eye disease. That is why we encourage patients to take an active approach to their eye health.

The first step in the prevention of eye disease is awareness. Many common eye diseases are strongly linked to diet, environment, and lifestyle. To maintain good vision and ocular comfort, one must steer clear of eye disease. While many eye diseases are unavoidable, some can be prevented, slowed or suppressed by specific foods, nutrients, and lifestyle choices. For example, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Cataracts, Dry Eye Syndrome, and Eye Lid Disorders are influenced by nutrition and lifestyle.

While factors such as age and genetics, which we can’t modify, can influence our eye health, lifestyle choices and general health can also influence it. The following have the greatest negative impact on the prevention of eye disease:

  • UV and blue light exposure
  • Low physical activity
  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Body mass index
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Waist circumference
  • Low macular pigment

Computer Vision is a relatively new term within the optometry field and refers to eye problems associated with the prolonged use of computers and electronics that use a digital screen. Although it can be temporary, there are times when computer vision can strain the eyes to a degree that permanently affects your vision as well. An existing eye condition can worsen as the eyes try to focus and adjust to a computer screen and precautions should be taken if you spend long hours in front of a computer screen. Some people with an astigmatism will feel completely normal until they get in front of a computer and the condition seems to come back into play. Just as some people use glasses for driving at night there are glasses specifically designed for use with a computer.

Simple factors, such as proper lighting and posture, can make a big difference. Most people don’t realize how hard their eyes are working in front of a computer screen and preventive measures may sound obvious but are frequently overlooked or ignored. Adjusting the screen resolution or checking the brightness and contrast can instantly ease the tension on your eyes. Double check the screen settings for your computer and take breaks if you spend long hours in front of the computer as well. If you have been experiencing blurry vision, dry eyes, eye strain, headaches, neck or back pain, try adjusting the lighting, posture, and the distance in front of your computer screen. If computer vision symptoms persist, call us to set up a consultation and we can do a full diagnosis. We will evaluate the best method in treating your digital eye strain so computer vision does not become an ongoing issue and lead to a bigger eye problem. This eye condition is quite common so don’t hesitate to take the proper steps to improve your vision today.

Eye disease of any kind should be taken very seriously. We are skilled in treating a wide variety of eye diseases including:

  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Conjunctivitis/Pink Eye
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Blepharitis
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Retinal Detachment

We’ll keep your eye health in tip-top shape through regular eye health evaluations, communication, and education. Our goal is for you to leave our office happier and healthier.

Please call us now to setup an appointment or if you have an emergency related to an eye disease – 916-645-3937!