Family Vision Blog

Diabetes Can Lead to Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or is not able to use the insulin effectively. As a result, the glucose in the blood (often called blood sugar) becomes too high.  The disease can cause damage throughout the body, including the eyes.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a serious complication of diabetes which causes progressive damage to the retina.  It occurs when blood vessels, that have been damaged due to diabetes, leak blood and other fluids, causing the retinal tissue to swell, and results in cloudy or blurred vision.  If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.

Symptoms Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Symptoms of diabetic retinopathy may include the following:

  • Seeing spots or floaters
  • Blurred vision
  • Having a dark or empty spot in the center of your vision
  • Difficulty seeing well at night

In the early stages of the disease, symptoms may be very mild or even go unnoticed.  As it progresses into more advanced forms, the symptoms will get progressively worse.  Early detection can greatly reduce the chance of vision loss due to this disease, and therefore regular comprehensive eye exams are extremely important for anyone with diabetes.

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed by your eye care professional, like Family Vision Development Center, through a comprehensive eye exam.  Dr. Martin will complete a patient history and will perform the proper testing to evaluate the macula and retina in order to determine the presence of the disease.

Treatment will vary depending on the extent of the disease.  Possible options may include medication injections to decrease inflammation or laser surgery to seal leaking blood vessels.  Again, early detection can significantly reduce the treatment needed to control the progression of the disease.  Call Family Vision at 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment for your eye exam or use our convenient online appointment request form.

Referenced article HERE

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When You Should Wear Protective Eyewear

Eyes are very susceptible to injury, and there are many different types of environments that warrant wearing protective lenses.  Here are some situations where protective eyewear could save your vision:

At Work

If you work in an environment where you encounter flying debris, particles, dust or dangerous materials, safety goggles should always be worn for protection.  Jobs that involve working with chemicals, construction work or welding are all occupations where protective eyewear is a necessity to avoid potential injury.

When Playing Sports

Regular prescription glasses or contacts do not protect against eye injuries, so special protective eyewear with impact-resistant lenses should be worn when playing sports that involve a ball, a puck, a racquet or anything that might hit you in the face.  But flying objects are not the only hazard.  Many eye injuries come from pokes or jabs by fingers and elbows, especially during games where players are in close contact with each other.

When Out In The Sun

You may not think of sunglasses as protective eyewear, but they most definitely fall into this category.  The sun’s UV rays are very harmful to your eyes, and extended exposure has been linked to eye damage such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  Always look for sunglasses that block 100 percent of both UVA and UVB rays.

In High-Speed Vehicles

Anytime you are in or on a high-speed vehicle, such as a motorcycle, snowmobile, race car or jet ski, for example, a visor or helmet with a protective shield can protect the eyes from high winds or flying debris or dust.  The lenses need to be shatterproof, so fragments would be blocked from entering the eye if there was an impact.

Family Vision Development Center in Aurora, IL can provide you with a large selection of eyewear, from the latest fashion designs to the most up-to-date lens technology.  Call us at 630-862-2020 to learn more about the role we can play in protecting your vision.

Referenced article HERE

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The Many Benefits of Wearing Eyeglasses

At some point in most people’s lives, there will come a time when vision correction is needed.  Here are some advantages to wearing eyeglasses.

Improve Your Vision

Of course, the main reason a person would wear glasses would be to improve their vision.  Just like maintaining our health in other ways, eye health should also be a priority.  As we age, our eyesight tends to deteriorate.  It may become more difficult to read fine print and corrective lenses are often needed.  At all ages, there are many conditions that can compromise vision, but regular eye exams can often provide early detection and allow for treatment with eyeglasses.

Benefits Of Eyeglasses Over Contact Lenses

Given the choice of eyeglasses or contacts, there are a number of reasons why eyeglasses might be the better option.

  • They can protect eyes from trauma – glasses can provide a level of protection against common irritants such as dust, sand, grass or even insects when participating in everyday activities like taking a walk, playing outside or mowing the lawn.
  • UV protection – sunglasses and even some varieties of eyeglasses can contain lenses that block harmful UV rays from damaging the eyes.
  • Convenience – glasses require much less cleaning and maintenance than contacts, are often considered to be more comfortable to wear, and have a far lower chance of being lost than contacts.

Eyeglasses Allow You To Show Personal Style

Eyeglass frames come in a wide variety of shapes and colors and changing your look can be as easy as trying out a new pair.  You can keep up with new trends by upgrading to the newest fashion lines, or you can maintain your own personal style by matching your frames to your favorite wardrobe items.

Family Vision Development Center has a great selection of eyeglasses to fit any style.  After a thorough eye exam Dr. Martin will determine the appropriate prescription, so your glasses not only look good, but your vision will be properly corrected as well.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 or use our online appointment request form to make your appointment.

Full referenced articles HERE and HERE

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Light Sensitivity Can Be Caused by Many Conditions

Photophobia, or light sensitivity, is a condition in which light hurts your eyes.  Exposure to light can cause pain or discomfort, as well as the need to close or squint your eyes.  Photophobia is not an eye disease, but rather a symptom of a number of possible conditions.

Migraines

Migraines are severe headaches that can be triggered by a number of factors, such as hormonal changes, stress or the environment.  Light sensitivity is a very common symptom of migraines and many people feel the need to dim the lights during a migraine attack in order to help ease the pain.

Conditions That Affect The Brain

Photophobia can be associated with certain serious conditions that are caused by inflammation in or surrounding the brain, or bleeding near the brain, such as encephalitis, meningitis or subarachnoid hemorrhage.  These conditions can be life-threatening and immediate care should be sought if they are suspected.  Photophobia can also be caused by mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) or concussions.

Conditions That Affect The Eyes

Light sensitivity can also be caused by a number of eye conditions including:

  • Dry eye syndrome – tears do not provide adequate moisture
  • Conjunctivitis – also known as “pink eye”
  • Cataracts – cloudy coverings over the lenses of the eyes
  • Corneal abrasion – a scratch or injury to the cornea
  • Scleritis – inflammation of the white part of the eye

Treatment For Photophobia

Treating light sensitivity is most often accomplished by addressing the specific underlying condition.  To ease the symptoms of photophobia, try avoiding bright sunlight or wear brimmed hats, dark tinted sunglasses, polarized sunglasses or eyeglasses with photochromic lenses which darken automatically outdoors.

To understand the treatment options available for certain eye conditions, it is best to consult your eye doctor.  Family Vision Development Center can diagnose and manage many types of ocular conditions, as well as provide a wide range of eyewear options.  Visit our convenient Aurora location or call 630-862-2020 to schedule an appointment.

Full referenced articles HERE and HERE

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Glaucoma Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Glaucoma is an eye disease in which fluid builds up and causes pressure on the front part of the eye.  It is a relatively common disease in older adults, but if left untreated it can cause damage to the optic nerve or lead to loss of vision or even blindness.

Types Of Glaucoma

Primary Open-Angle Glaucoma – this type happens gradually, as eye pressure builds due to poor fluid drainage in the eye.  There may be little to no symptoms at first but as the disease progresses, blind spots can develop in your peripheral vision.  Regular eye exams can detect damage to the optic nerve before symptoms have begun to appear.

Angle-Closure Glaucoma – eye pressure rises very quickly due to the drainage angle being completely blocked.  This acute attack is a true emergency and you need to contact your eye doctor right away.  Some symptoms of this type of attack include sudden blurry vision, severe eye pain, headache, nausea, vomiting or the appearance of rainbow-colored rings around lights.

Glaucoma Treatment

Glaucoma damage is permanent and cannot be reversed.  But there are a number of options that can help prevent further damage from occurring.    Typically it is treated with medicated eye drops that lower eye pressure.  Other options include in-office laser surgery which can be effective in helping drain fluid from the eye, or surgery performed in an operating room which creates a new drainage channel for fluid to exit the eye.

Eye Exams Are Crucial For Diagnosis

The only sure way to diagnose glaucoma is with a complete eye exam.  Some forms of glaucoma can cause blindness if not treated quickly, but symptoms are often not apparent until the damage is severe and your vision has already been compromised.  This is why regular eye exams are so important, as they can detect signs of glaucoma that would otherwise go unnoticed.

At Family Vision Development Center, Dr. Martin will evaluate things like eye pressure, peripheral vision, optic nerve condition and the eye’s drainage angle to test for the presence of glaucoma and determine an appropriate treatment plan.  Call 630-862-2020 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Full referenced article HERE

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Convergence Insufficiency May Lead to Trouble in School

Convergence insufficiency is the inability to keep both eyes working together at a close distance.  To see properly, both eyes must turn inward to view objects that are near, but this condition causes one eye to turn outward.  This can result in a variety of problems, and if a child suffers from this condition, the effects on their ability to learn can be profound.

Symptoms

A child with convergence insufficiency must exert more effort to bring both eyes inward while reading which can cause the following to occur:

  • Sore eyes
  • Headaches
  • Squinting or closing one eye
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty concentrating or completing schoolwork
  • Difficulty reading, as the words may appear to float on the page

Diagnoses

Convergence Insufficiency is typically not diagnosed in a routine vision screening that your child may have had for school.  It is very important to have a thorough eye exam performed by an experienced optometrist like Dr. Martin at Family Vision Development Center.  He will ask detailed questions, get a complete medical history and perform the appropriate tests in order to determine if the condition exists.

Treatment

Depending on the severity of the problem, convergence insufficiency can be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses or vision therapy, which uses various eye-focusing exercises designed to increase the eyes’ convergence ability.

Family Vision Development Center will help you maintain your eye health at all ages, from annual eye exams to more complex issues requiring advanced treatment options.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 or read more about us at www.fvdcpc.com.

Full referenced articles HERE and HERE

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Vision Therapy is Effective in Treating Many Eye Conditions

While some eye conditions are best treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses, some forms of vision impairment can be resolved through a treatment known as Vision Therapy.  This type of physical therapy involves a series of eye exercises designed to help patients recover normal visual skills.  It can improve functions such as eye tracking or movement, eye alignment, focusing or visual processing.

Who Can Benefit From Vision Therapy

Children and adults can benefit from vision therapy to treat many visual challenges such as:

  • Poor binocular coordination – when 2 eyes are not working together properly, vision therapy can help develop normal coordination and teamwork of the eyes.  This can be beneficial in cases of Amblyopia (lazy eye), Diplopia (double vision), Strabismus (crossed eyes), hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness) or astigmatism
  • Learning-related vision problems – poor visual skills can result in deficiencies in reading, writing and overall learning abilities.
  • Visual problems caused by computer usage – at school, work or home, constant staring at a computer screen can lead to blurred vision, eye strain, headaches or worsening of existing eye disorders.
  • Sports vision impairment – success in sports cannot be achieved without strong visual skills, including eye tracking, hand-eye coordination and peripheral vision

What Is Involved In A Vision Therapy Program

Patients typically come to the office twice weekly for 30 – 45 minutes each visit. In addition, homework is given to be done at home as reinforcement of what is learned during the office therapy sessions. Commitment to the therapy program, and maintaining a schedule of weekly visits, is important in the success of the program.

Dr. Martin at Family Vision Development Center in Aurora has specialized training in Vision Therapy and Vision Development and truly enjoys helping to restore the visual capabilities of his patients.  Call Family Vision at 630-862-2020 or visit fvdcpc.com for more information.

Full referenced article HERE

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Should Children Wear Contact Lenses?

A common belief is that children should not wear contact lenses under any circumstances, but that is not always the best assumption to make. There are, in fact, many beneficial reasons for a child to wear contacts.  Here are some issues to consider when deciding what is right for your child:

Contacts Can Be Helpful For Sports

Contacts can provide better peripheral vision than glasses, allowing for better awareness and performance on the field or court.  Contacts also eliminate the worry of glasses or frames being broken during a game and causing injury to an eye.

Contacts Can Help Your Child Feel Better

As a matter of self-esteem, some children would just prefer to wear contacts over glasses.  This can lead to improved self-confidence, a more outgoing personality or better performance in school.

There Are Different Types Of Lenses

There are various types of contact lenses available, such as daily-wear soft lenses, extended-wear, extended-wear disposable or rigid gas-permeable.  These options should be discussed with your optometrist, as there are advantages and disadvantages to each.

There Are Drawbacks

Contacts do require more maintenance than glasses, and some kids or teenagers may not be responsible enough to follow the care instructions given by your eye doctor.  Not caring for lenses properly can lead to infections or vision loss, so if your child has a hard time remembering to do homework or chores, contacts may not be the best choice for them.

The decision to wear contacts instead of glasses should not be based on age alone, and rather on the needs of the individual child and how mature or responsible they are.  It is always best to talk it over with your eye care provider to determine if contacts would be a good option for your child.

Dr. Martin at Family Vision Development Center will help you make the right choices for your child’s eyes.  From contact and glasses, to vision therapy and rehabilitation, he is there to meet all of your eye health needs.  Call us today at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment at our Aurora location.

Full referenced articles HERE and HERE

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Prevention and Care of Eye Injuries in Children

Each year, thousands of children suffer eye injuries or blindness due to accidents that could have been prevented.  Safety should always be the main concern when it comes to activities that could potentially cause damage to your child’s eyes.

Injury Prevention Inside The House

Even in the safety of your own home, there are many situations that could lead to a serious eye injury.  Injuries can be avoided by following these tips:

  • Keeping harmful sprays or chemicals out of reach of small children
  • Using caution with common items such as paper clips, pencils, scissors, wire hangers or rubber bands, as they all have the potential to cause serious eye injuries
  • Providing only age-appropriate toys that meet national safety standards, and avoiding toys with sharp points like darts or arrows
  • Always requiring your child to wear protective eyewear during potentially dangerous yard work or repair projects

Preventing Injuries Away From Home

It is especially important to use caution when you go out, as you have even less control of the surroundings than you do at home.  Some precautions you can take to lower the risk of kids’ eye injuries while outside are:

  • Children should wear protective eyewear made with polycarbonate lenses when playing sports such as baseball, basketball, racquet sports or lacrosse
  • Kids should not be allowed to play with pellet or BB guns
  • Fireworks are very dangerous, including bottle rockets, and children should not be anywhere near them
  • Kids should be taught to be very careful around dogs while out, as dog bites account for many eye injuries

Caring For Injuries / First Aid

If an eye injury occurs, your primary care doctor or eye doctor should examine the eye as soon as possible.   If chemicals are involved, the eye should be flushed out right away.  In other situations, it is best to gently cover the eye and seek medical attention before applying pressure or medication, or trying to remove any imbedded object.

Family Vision Development Center in Aurora, IL is here for all of your vision needs.  From routine eye exams, to investigating and diagnosing more serious conditions, and providing protective eyewear, we are experienced professionals you can trust with the care of your child’s eyes.  Contact us at 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment today.

Full referenced article HERE

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How to Find Relief From Dry Eyes

The condition known as Dry Eye can cause you to experience redness, itchiness, grittiness, blurred vision or a feeling that there is something in your eye.  Or conversely, it may also lead to episodes of excess tearing that follow periods of dryness, discharge or pain in the eye.  There are a number of reasons that dry eye can occur and luckily there are also ways to treat it.

What Is Dry Eye

Healthy eyes typically produce tears on a continual basis. These tears are made up of a mixture of water, oils, mucus and a large number of proteins, which provide moisture and lubrication, protect against infection and keep the eyes comfortable.  Dry eye occurs when the quantity or quality of tears fails to provide enough lubrication to the surface of the eye.

What Causes Dry Eye

Certain factors can contribute to the occurrence of dry eye, including the following:

  • Some medications have been associated with dry eye including antihistamines, decongestants, antidepressants and high blood pressure medications
  • The natural aging process can cause declines in tear production, especially in people over 50
  •  Certain diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disorders or Vitamin A deficiencies are associated with dry eye
  • Women are at a higher risk of developing dry eye due to hormonal changes during pregnancy or menopause
  • Environmental factors such as wind, smoke, dryness, or seasonal allergies can lead to dry eye

Treatment For Dry Eye

An eye care professional, like Family Vision Development Center, can diagnose and offer treatment suggestions for those who are suffering from the symptoms of dry eye.  Options for treatment include:

  • Over-the-counter medications such as artificial tears to relieve mild symptoms
  • Environmental or lifestyle changes such as reducing screen time, wearing better sunglasses to block wind or dry air, or quitting smoking
  • Prescription dry eye medications
  • Devices that can stimulate tear production
  • Surgical options that partially or completely plug the tear ducts

Contact Family Vision to meet with Dr. Martin for relief of dry eye or for any other eye care needs.  Our office is conveniently located at 452 N. Eola Rd in Aurora, IL.  Use our online appointment request form or call 630-862-2020 to schedule your appointment.

Referenced article can be found HERE and HERE

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