Expert eye care advice at Ridlington’s Opticians
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Your Eye Care Questions
How often should I get my eyes examined?
Ridlingtons optometrists recommend yearly eye examinations. It’s especially important to have annual eye exams if you have health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, cataracts, or glaucoma, or wear contact lenses. Changes can occur without you being aware of them and early diagnosis and prevention is the key to good eye health.
If I don’t wear glasses and see well, I don’t need an exam right?
As we get older our eyes don’t perform as well. Often by the time we are in our 40’s we need help to see clearly when reading. Eye health is an indicator of other potential problems such as high cholesterol and diabetes; these are some of the reasons we recommend annual comprehensive eye exams. During the refraction part of the exam patients are often surprised to find that they aren’t seeing as well as they thought!
I like the idea of using contacts to change the color of my eyes. Since I don’t need to correct my vision I don’t need to see an eye doctor do I?
You should never buy or use any kind of contact without first seeing an eye specialist/optometrist.
UV Protection, what you need to know
Ultraviolet (UV) eye protection matters. UV radiation from the sun can damage not only the skin of your eyelid but also the cornea, lens and other parts of the eye. UV exposure also contributes to the development of certain types of cataracts, growths on the eye and possibly macular degeneration.
To protect your eyes, look for sunglasses that:
Block 99% to 100% of both UVA and UVB rays
Screen out 75% to 90% of visible light
Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortions and imperfections
Have lenses that are gray for proper color recognition
The color of the lenses and the degree of darkness the sunglasses provide have nothing to do with the sunglasses’ ability to block UV rays. Opt for wraparound sunglasses or close-fitting sunglasses with wide lenses that protect your eyes from every angle. Some contact lenses also offer UV protection, but should be worn in combination with sunglasses to maximize protection.
Dry eye management
Dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. Tears can be inadequate for many reasons. For example, dry eyes may occur if you don’t produce enough tears or if you produce poor-quality tears.
Dry eyes feel uncomfortable. If you have dry eyes, your eyes may sting or burn. You may experience dry eyes in certain situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, while riding a bike or after looking at a computer screen for a few hours.
Treatments for dry eyes may make you more comfortable. These treatments can include lifestyle changes and eyedrops. You’ll likely need to take these measures indefinitely to control the symptoms of dry eyes.
Signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:
A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
Sensitivity to light
A sensation of having something in your eyes
Difficulty wearing contact lenses
Difficulty with nighttime driving
Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
Blurred vision or eye fatigue