Skip to main content
Home »

News

Tips for Healthy Eyes If You’re Over 40

woman eyeglasses profile 640×350

If you’re in your 40s, you may have noticed physical changes that affect many aspects of your life, including your vision. Like the rest of your body, your eyes may need some extra care to function efficiently as you enter middle-age. The following tips will help you keep your eyes healthy from age 40 and beyond.

These tips do not replace a comprehensive eye exam and professional advice from your eye doctor.

1. Be Aware of Age-Related Changes in the Eyes

Understanding the way your eyes change after the age of 40 is the key to being proactive with eye care. For instance, if you find it more difficult to read the fine print in a book or computer screen than in the past, the problem is likely presbyopia, age-related farsightedness.

The lens inside the eye is responsible for changing focus, allowing us to see objects clearly both far away and up close. As the lens becomes harder and less flexible, it impairs the ability to focus up close. This makes it difficult to read the text in books or to see the images displayed on digital devices or computer screens. That’s why most people need reading glasses, multifocals or bifocals in their forties.

You should also be on the lookout for any changes to your vision, such as blurry night vision. Most often, this is due to cataracts — which cause blurry or cloudy vision due to the denaturation of protein in the eye’s natural lens — or macular degeneration, which is blurry or distorted vision caused by a deterioration of the central part of the retina. Glaucoma, which is caused by high eye pressure and results in tunnel vision, usually has no noticeable symptoms until vision loss has occurred.

Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Alice Unger at Unger Eye Care in Troy, who will assess your eyes for these sight-threatening eye diseases. Early diagnosis can prevent or minimize vision loss.

2. Watch for Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye syndrome is usually caused by the impaired functioning of the meibomian glands, located inside the eyelids. These glands produce oils that create a protective film for the tears that lubricate and protect the front surface of the eye. When there is a malfunction in these glands, tears can evaporate easily and the eyes can become dry, red and itchy.

Once over the age of 40, these tiny glands are more prone to becoming blocked, or the oils may become thicker.

Women who have undergone menopause have a higher likelihood of developing dry eye than younger women or men. In a study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, dry eye symptoms were reported by 17.9% of aging women compared with 10% of aging men.

Menopausal women should be aware of dry eye symptoms and consult their eye doctor, who may prescribe eye drops or other ways to [moisturize] their eyes. Wrap-around eyeglass frames protect the eyes from dry, windy weather, allergens and irritants.

3. Keep Your Optical Prescription Up-to-Date

Since eye changes tend to occur more rapidly among people over 40, it is important to ensure that your prescription glasses and contact lenses are still suitable for your eyes. This means consulting with an optometrist if you notice any difficulties seeing and reading, which may necessitate an updated prescription.

4. Schedule Regular Eye Exams

The older you get, the more important it is to have regular eye exams, particularly if you have symptoms of eye problems or have been diagnosed with diabetes. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, keeping your eyes healthy after the age of 40 requires consistent care. Schedule an eye exam with Dr. Alice Unger at Unger Eye Care in Troy today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Are Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration?

  • A: Macular degeneration often occurs among adults over the age of 60, although it can also occur in younger people. Since women tend to live longer than men, they have a higher rate than males of developing MD. Certain medications, such as vasodilators and oral beta blockers, can also increase the risks. Lifestyle also plays a significant role: Smoking, poor nutrition, obesity, high blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle can all increase the chances of developing macular degeneration.

Q: Can the Progress of Macular Degeneration be Slowed?

  • A: Over the past several years, there have been significant advancements in the treatment of MD, and extensive research shows that specific nutrients can slow its progression. Omega 3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin can act to prevent the disease from developing to an advanced stage. They can lower the risks of the “dry” form of MD transforming into “wet” macular degeneration, a rarer but faster-developing form of the disease that can cause sudden and significant vision loss. Certain treatments, such as eye injections and laser therapy, can often delay MD’s progression. Eye injections for the “wet” form may even be able to restore lost sight.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Unger Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


6 Things To Know About Keratoconus

happy couple in winter 640×350Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes the cornea, the clear dome-shaped front surface of the eye, to become misshapen and bulge. This progressive disease usually occurs in both eyes and affects approximately 50-200 in every 100,000 individuals.

People who have keratoconus often experience problems like blurred vision, distorted vision, night blindness and sensitivity to light. Clear vision correction for keratoconus can be challenging to achieve because the irregular corneal shape makes it difficult or impossible for standard eyeglasses or contact lenses to provide you with sharp vision.

Thankfully, there are ways for people with keratoconus to achieve clear and comfortable vision, something we explore below, along with several other key points about keratoconus.

1. Everyone has different risk factors for developing keratoconus

Some risk factors for developing keratoconus include:

  • Hereditary predisposition
  • Eye rubbing
  • Other medical conditions like Down syndrome, allergic dermatitis and connective tissue disorders
  • Eye inflammation

2. Keratoconus can develop at any age

Although most cases of keratoconus are first diagnosed in adolescence or young adulthood, it can appear during any stage of life. That’s why regular eye exams are crucial, even if your vision seems clear and your eyes appear to be healthy.

3. Early diagnosis is key

This rings true for almost every eye disease, especially keratoconus. Catching it early in its tracks can allow the eye doctor to implement various treatments to slow down its progression during the initial stages, when this condition tends to worsen more rapidly.

4. Keratoconus progresses at different rates throughout life

Keratoconus progression varies from person to person, and one person can experience varying degrees of progression in each eye. Some patients live with mild keratoconus their entire lives, while other patients develop severe keratoconus early on.

Often, optometrists will recommend that patients undergo certain procedures to strengthen the cornea and prevent or slow down further progression.

5. Keratoconus can be treated with surgery or scleral contact lenses

Corneal cross-linking surgery is an effective option to provide enhanced strength to the cornea and is the only FDA-approved method of stopping or slowing keratoconus progression. However, if the condition develops into severe keratoconus, a corneal transplant may be the best option for treating the condition and restoring clear vision.

Scleral contact lenses offer another option to surgery. They are ideal for patients with early or moderate levels of keratoconus because they safely and effectively correct vision without irritating the misshapen cornea. In fact, studies have shown that patients with keratoconus who wear scleral contact lenses greatly reduce their risk of needing keratoplasty (corneal transplant surgery).

The large diameter of scleral contact lenses allows them to vault over the sensitive corneal tissue and then also coat the cornea in a nourishing reservoir of fluid for optimal comfort and visual clarity. Because eye rubbing and corneal irritation are significant risk factors for the progression of keratoconus, the protective qualities of scleral lenses can help to minimize keratoconus progression.

6. You can live a normal life with keratoconus

With the proper care and treatment from your optometrist, keratoconus shouldn’t stop you from living your life to the fullest. Although it can be discouraging to experience vision problems that can’t be resolved with standard lenses or glasses, know that there are other options available.

At Unger Eye Care, we help patients with keratoconus and other corneal abnormalities achieve crisp and comfortable vision using scleral contact lenses and other specialty lenses.

Our practice provides scleral lenses to patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Alice Unger

Q: Who else can benefit from wearing scleral contact lenses?

  • A: Scleral contact lenses are ideal for patients with any of the following conditions: corneal abnormalities, severe dry eye syndrome, post-LASIK or corneal transplant, eye allergies, high refractive error or corneal trauma. Speak with your optometrist to find out if scleral lenses are right for you.

Q: Do all optometrists fit specialty contact lenses like sclerals?

  • A: No. If you are interested in scleral contact lenses, be sure to choose an optometric practice that has years of experience fitting specialty lenses. At Unger Eye Care, we have the knowledge, skill and experience necessary to provide you with the best lenses for your eyes. Call us to learn more or schedule your scleral lens fitting.

Book Online
Call Us

The Link Between Myopia Progression and COVID Confinement

The Link Between Myopia Progression and COVID Confinement 640×350Several months into the COVID-19 pandemic eye doctors began to notice that children’s myopia was worsening. Researchers set out to learn whether there was, in fact, a link between the pandemic and increased myopia progression, and if so, why.

How The Pandemic Affected Children’s Vision

A recent study published in JAMA Ophthalmology (2021) found that children aged 6 to 13 experienced an increased rate of myopia progression since the beginning of the pandemic, and the lockdowns and restrictions that accompanied it.

The researchers examined the rate of myopia progression from 2015 to 2020 in more than 120,000 children from 10 elementary schools, based on school vision screenings. By the end of the study, children were shown to have significantly higher rates of myopia progression in 2020 than in previous years.

The higher rate of progression was especially severe in children between the ages of 6 and 8. Researchers theorized that the children’s earlier stage of visual development might have been the crucial factor.

Other studies have already determined that children who spend at least 2 hours a day outdoors experience less myopia progression than their peers who stay mostly indoors.

Researchers from the National Eye Institute found that children who spent significant time outdoors — about 14 hours a week — significantly reduced their chances of needing glasses for myopia. Among children with two myopic parents, the chances of needing glasses are roughly 60% if they don’t spend significant time outdoors. However, this study found that, after spending the prescribed 14 hours per week outside, the same children’s risk of myopia dropped to around 20%.

Similar results appear in a study published by the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (February 2019), that shows a significant link between the amount of time children spend engaged in near-work tasks and increased myopia progression.

Taken together, these studies give us a clearer picture of the challenges children have faced during the COVID-19 pandemic, and why myopia rates in children have soared.

What Can Parents Learn From All Of This?

Parents should make an effort to encourage their children to go outside as often as possible and to spend more time away from screens and other near-work tasks. Moreover, progressive myopia in childhood has been linked to heightened risks of developing sight-robbing eye diseases later in life, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration and cataracts.

If you’re concerned about your child’s myopia, make an appointment with their eye doctor as soon as possible, as delays in seeking professional advice can make myopia management more challenging in the future.

Our practice offers myopia management to patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

 

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33443542/

https://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(17)33464-4/fulltext

 

Book Online
Call Us

2022 Sunglasses Styles For Men

uv you winter sunglasses fb ad min

Sunglasses complement your wardrobe and express your sense of style while protecting your eyes against sun damage. Below, we’ve included the most popular sunglass styles which can be worn all year long.

Square Wire Frames

Square wire frames communicate casual sophistication and are ideal for round faces. Look for box wire frames that fit symmetrically square lenses and are plated with silver, gold or other metals. These eyeglasses are lightweight and are favored by celebrities like David Beckham.

Aviator Sunglasses

Invented in the 1930s to protect the eyes of American airmen, iconic Aviator sunglasses gained a new lease on life decades later, thanks to films like Top Gun. Look for a pair of Aviator glasses with sturdy yet lightweight metal frames so you can wear them for years, and lenses that screen out 100% of UV rays.

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

Today, shoppers care about the environment and seek out sustainable eyewear. The market for eyeglasses made from renewable materials has expanded and now you can find glasses made with plant-based acetate or titanium. Some eyeglass companies will donate a pair of glasses each time they sell sunglasses.

Sporty Wraparound Sunglasses

Oval lenses and wraparound frames may tempt you to hit the open road. Not only are they retro and striking, but wraparound sunglasses provide more protection by screening out the sun’s rays all around and not just with the lenses at the front.

Mirrored or Tinted Frame Sunglasses

Reflective coatings are not just for hiding from the paparazzi–they are a fun and stylish way to make a statement. Invest in a high-quality pair of mirror-lens sunglasses, because cheaper coatings tend to wear off quickly.

In addition to mirrored lenses, tinted sunglasses can add a sense of fun to your outfit. Each color not only creates a distinct look and mood but can enhance vision. Dark turquoise can help you see the contrast in intense light and yellow is ideal for object definition.

Retro Round Sunglasses

Round frames are reminiscent of the 1960s rock era, most specifically, John Lennon’s signature eyeglasses. Round sunglasses are the epitome of cool, and you can look right over the top of them with a completely unobstructed view. Elijah Wood and Ryan Gosling are often seen in these charming retro shades, and round lenses have retained their appeal for decades.

Cool Clip-Ons

These aren’t the clip-ons that you find in the drugstore. Clip-ons no longer have to be tacky, but designers have created cool and convenient clip-ons. However, many of the newest styles are not clipped on but magnetic and create a seamless connection to the eyeglass frame.

Wearing sunglasses not only makes you look like a celebrity, but they protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation. In addition, to choosing the right sunglasses, it is important to schedule eye exams to ensure your eyes are healthy. Call Unger Eye Care in Troy and schedule an appointment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can performance and sport sunglasses enhance vision?

  • A: Many performance and sport sunglasses are tinted, and each kind of tint can improve an aspect of visual acuity. For instance, amber tints are the right choice for skiing and snowboarding because they allow wearers to detect contrast. Grey lenses reduce glare without compromising color detection. Photochromic lenses start clear and become darker in the sun. Anti-reflective coatings can reduce glare.

Q: Which non-prescription sunglasses should I choose?

  • A: Non-prescription sunglasses have lenses that do not correct vision. Therefore, you can choose regular non-prescription sunglasses if you do not need to wear glasses. Contact lens wearers can wear sunglasses without a prescription. If you wear glasses, choose a pair of sunglasses you like and ask youreye doctor if they can have prescription lenses made that can be placed in the sunglass frames. Make sure that your non-prescription lenses screen out harmful UV rays.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Unger Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Why Are My Eyes Dry in the Morning?

dry eye treatment in Troy

If your eyes regularly feel dry when you wake up in the morning, it’s important to know why. Inflammation, age, medications and environmental factors can all dry out your eyes and cause other symptoms, such as a burning sensation in or around the eyes.

To identify the cause and relieve your dry eye symptoms, schedule an eye exam with Dr. Alice Unger at Unger Eye Care in Troy. Pinpointing the underlying problem is the first step toward waking up in comfort.

What Can Cause Dry Eyes in the Morning?

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos

If you can’t close your eyes fully at night, you may have nocturnal lagophthalmos, which can result from problems with the muscles that control your eyelids, a deformity in the eyelid tissue or partial facial paralysis.

More severe types of lagophthalmos can cause dry eyes during the day as well. With this condition, the eye dries out because the eyelids can’t close fully. This leaves the front of the eye constantly exposed to the air, resulting in excessive evaporation of the tears. If left untreated, any form of lagophthalmos can eventually damage the cornea, resulting in vision loss.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids caused by the malfunctioning of the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are located inside the eyelids and secrete oils into the tears that lubricate the eye and create a protective barrier on the surface of the eye, minimizing tear evaporation.

Blepharitis most often occurs when these glands become clogged or the oil becomes thickened. The main symptoms are inflamed, dry, red and sore eyes. These symptoms may be worse in the morning because not blinking at night results in the glands becoming more blocked, and the vital oil layer of the tears dissipates while you sleep.

Medication

Many types of medication can cause the eyes to feel dry, particularly in the morning. These include:

  • Antipsychotics and antidepressants
  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Hypertension medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Gastrointestinal medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Skin treatments
  • Chemotherapy medications

Age

With age, the eyes produce less moisture and oils and tend to dry out more quickly. As a result, the eyes may become dry, red and itchy. In particular, women going through menopause may notice dry eye symptoms due to hormonal fluctuations.

When people get older, their eyelids may also become more flaccid and fall away from the eyes. This leads to watery tears running out of the eyes more easily, further reducing the volume of the tears.

External Factors

External factors such as air-conditioning and heating units can dry out your eyes, especially if the units are located in your bedroom or if you sleep under a ceiling fan.

Other external factors that can exacerbate dry eyes include air temperature and humidity, pollution and windy conditions.

How do I know if I have dry eye? | Unger Eye Care

How to Relieve Morning Dry Eye Symptoms

How to relieve morning dry eye symptoms will depend on the cause.

One of the main treatments for dry eyes focuses on relieving dryness by stimulating the production of oil from the eyelid’s glands.

Your eye doctor may prescribe an ointment to apply before retiring and lubricating eye drops in the morning. Eyelid treatments involving the gentle application of heat and massage can also help the meibomian glands work more efficiently by increasing the release of oil into the tears.

Consider using a humidifier to make the air in your bedroom more comfortable, and wearing a sleeping mask to retain eye moisture.

These tips may provide some relief, but it is essential to schedule an eye exam with
Dr. Alice Unger at Unger Eye Care in Troy to determine the precise cause of your dry eye symptoms and receive the appropriate treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Should I Know about LASIK Surgery and Dry Eye?

  • A: LASIK surgery corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. This procedure involves making an incision that may damage the superficial nerves of the eye. As a result, the nerves of the eyes may not realize the eyes are dry, and therefore not stimulate the required secretion of tears. The result can be dry eyes.

Q: How to Treat Dry Eye Syndrome Naturally?

  • A: While nothing can replace the advice of your eye doctor, eating oily fish, flaxseeds, and other foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can stimulate oil production in the eyes. Try applying warm compresses to your eyes and gently massaging your eyelids to unclog the meibomian glands. Protective eyewear, such as wraparound eyeglasses, helps block irritants and retain lubrication. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home. Applying eye drops regularly can also help prevent your eyes from drying out.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Unger Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Vision Exams: What Does 20/20 Vision Really Mean?

eye exam near me

If you’ve had your eyes examined, your eye doctor likely asked you to read letters and numbers from an eye chart. That was to check for changes in your visual acuity, or sharpness of vision. Visual acuity can be measured in different ways, but the most common way is by using a Snellen eye chart — a chart with different sized letters and numbers in descending rows.

In 1862 Dr. Herman Snellen, an eye doctor in Holland, created the Snellen eye chart and coined the term ‘20/20 vision.’ Below we explore what that really means.

What is 20/20 Vision?

20/20 vision describes how clearly a person with normal visual clarity can see. All measurements of vision are taken when the patient is located 20 feet from the eye chart. A person with 20/20 vision can clearly read a certain row of small letters on the Snellen chart from 20 feet away.

A person with 20/40 vision who is 20 feet from the eye chart can only see the letters double the size of the letters that a person with normal vision can see.

Likewise, a person with 20/80 vision, who is 20 feet from the chart can only see letters four times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Legal blindness is considered to be 20/200 vision, and means that an individual with this sight at 20 feet away from the eye chart can only see letters 10 times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Is 20/20 Perfect Vision?

Not necessarily. This is a standard of measurement used by optometrists to help assess distance vision and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts, but vision is more than just 20/20 sight.

Several other visual skills are essential to functioning in today’s world and even a person with 20/20 vision can lack other necessary visual skills. Well-developed visual skills help individuals succeed at school, in the workplace and sports. For example, skills like eye tracking, teaming, convergence and visual processing all need to be up to par for a person to truly have ‘perfect vision.’ Visual acuity is just one piece of the puzzle.

Additionally, 20/20 isn’t the clearest possible vision. Some people have 20/15 or even 20/10 vision. This means their visual acuity is higher than a person with 20/20 sight.

How To Correct Visual Acuity

The first step in correcting a visual acuity problem is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. If your vision requires correction, your eye doctor will explain the different methods of vision correction, including prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Some people choose to correct their vision with refractive surgery, but like any surgery, it comes with the risk of surgical complications.

At Unger Eye Care, our goal is to help all patients achieve clear, crisp and comfortable vision, no matter their visual condition.

Not sure you have 20/20 vision? Call Unger Eye Care in Troy today to schedule your eye exam today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What conditions can impair visual acuity?

  • A: Conditions like astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and an age-related loss of focusing ability (presbyopia) all impact sharpness of vision at various distances. Other conditions, including dry eye syndrome and cataracts, can also affect visual clarity.

Q: How common is it to have 20/20 vision?

  • A: Approximately a third of adults in America have 20/20 vision without the use of any vision correction, and 75% of American adults have 20/20 vision when wearing prescription lenses or other forms of vision correction.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Unger Eye Care for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Can Restricting Online Gaming Time Reduce Myopia Progression?

Two kids playing online gamesThe Chinese government recently implemented a new policy that’s sparked conversations about childhood myopia and online gaming.

Under the policy, Chinese children and teens under the age of 18 are only permitted to play online video games for one hour on weekend evenings and public holidays — a significant reduction compared to their previous online gaming allotment. This restriction includes all forms of video games, from handheld devices to computer and smartphone gaming.

The government hopes to combat a common condition called online gaming disorder, or video game addiction, which affects more than 30% of children in China. Another potential benefit of limiting online gaming may be a reduction in childhood myopia progression, something we explore below.

The Link Between Online Gaming and Myopia Progression

Myopia, or nearsightedness, is a condition that causes blurred distance vision. Several factors contribute to the onset and progression of myopia, including genetic and environmental.

Several studies have found that screen time, along with other forms of near work, is associated with higher levels of myopia and myopia progression in children.

According to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology (2019), children who engage in screen time for more than 3 hours per day have almost 4 times the risk of becoming myopic. Younger children, around ages 6-7, are even more susceptible to experiencing screen-related nearsightedness, with 5 times the risk compared to children who don’t use digital screens.

Limiting screen time may also encourage children to spend more time outdoors in the sun, a protective factor against developing myopia and slowing its progression.

In The Sydney Adolescent Vascular and Eye Study (2013), researchers found that spending at least 21 hours outdoors per week was more important for delaying the onset of myopia than limiting near work in both younger and older children, although both were effective.

What’s the Bottom Line?

Although online gaming can give children a sense of community and togetherness, excessive online gaming can increase a child’s risk of developing myopia and contribute to its progression.

The good news is that parents can make eye-healthy choices for their children that can have lifelong benefits. Limiting near work activities like online gaming and other screen time, and encouraging your children to play outdoors can significantly reduce their chances of developing high (severe) myopia.

How Myopia Management Can Help

The best thing that parents can offer their children to prevent myopia and halt its progression is a custom-made myopia management treatment plan with an eye doctor.

Whether or not myopia has set in already, we can help preserve your child’s eye health and lower their risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration and retinal detachment in the future.

To learn more about our services or schedule your child’s myopia consultation, contact Unger Eye Care in Troy today!

Unger Eye Care offers myopia management to patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Alice Unger

Q: Who is an ideal candidate for myopia management?

  • A: Children, teens, and young adults who are nearsighted or are at risk of becoming nearsighted are ideal candidates for myopia management. If you think myopia management is right for you or your child, speak with us about how we can help. Remember, the sooner your child starts myopia management, the better their outcome will be.

Q: Is myopia management based on scientific evidence?

  • A: Yes! The treatments used in myopia management are all safe and clinically proven to slow the onset and progression of myopia in children and teens. There have been several scientific studies that support its effectiveness.

Book Online
Call Us

What’s a Multifocal Intraocular Lens?

Multifocal Intraocular Lenses 640×350A cataract clouds the eye’s natural lens, leading to significant visual distortions that can affect your ability to see clearly. Eventually, the natural lens will need to be removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) that provides clear vision.

While most patients pick monofocal IOLs, many patients choose multifocal IOL lenses. Discuss with your [eye_ doctor] which type of IOL is right for you.

What Is a Multifocal Intraocular Lens?

A multifocal IOL allows patients to see all distances clearly. These IOLs allocate different optical powers on the IOL. The varying optical powers are created by the IOL design, which incorporates concentric rings on the surface of the lens. These allow images at a variety of distances to be in sharp focus.

It can take some time for people to adapt to multifocal IOL lenses because the focusing power the lenses provide is different from what people are accustomed to. Since the IOL relies on a different design than the bifocal or multifocal optical lenses used in eyeglasses, the brain might need time to adjust.

To ease the adjustment, most cataract surgeons recommend having multifocal IOLs implanted in both eyes, rather than just one.

Are Multifocal IOLs Right for You?

If you are looking for an IOL that can provide you with clear vision for reading, driving and watching TV, a multifocal IOL may be just right for you.

After cataract surgery, multifocal IOLs can reduce the need for reading glasses or computer glasses. These implanted lenses widen your field of vision, allowing you to see well both up close and far, often without the use of glasses. Many patients who choose multifocal IOLs find that they can go glasses-free or only occasionally need reading glasses for small print after surgery.

Despite the obvious benefits of these lenses, they may not be suitable for everyone. Some patients find that it takes longer to adapt to multifocal lenses than to monofocal lenses. Contact to discover whether IOL multifocal lenses are right for you.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Alice Unger

Q: How does a multifocal IOL work?

  • A: When wearing bifocal or multifocal glasses, you look through the bottom part of the lens for near vision and through the top part of the lens for distance vision. A multifocal IOL is specially designed to provide clear vision at all distances at all times. Your brain adjusts, allowing you to see clearly for the task at hand.

Q: Will a multifocal IOL eliminate the need for glasses?

  • A: Most people find they do not need glasses with multifocal IOLs, but some do, depending on the situation. There may be times when the print or graphics are simply too small or too far away to be seen without glasses.
  • serves patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Screen Time Can Lead To Eye Strain And Convergence Insufficiency In Children

Screen Time 640×350Now that a couple of years have passed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have gotten a clearer picture of the impact that online schooling has had on children’s eyes.

Not only have myopia cases increased, but more children are experiencing symptoms of eye strain and convergence insufficiency due to extended screen time.

Below, we explore what eye strain and convergence insufficiency are, and how vision therapy can help counteract the negative effects of online learning.

Symptoms of Digital Eye Strain

Prolonged use of digital devices like computers or smartphones can cause a condition called computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain. This condition affects around 50% of adults and children.

Symptoms of digital eye strain include:

  • Sore eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Headaches

Children who complain of any of these symptoms should have their eyes evaluated by a developmental optometrist to ensure that vision problems aren’t exacerbating their symptoms.

What is Convergence Insufficiency?

Normally, when your eyes focus on a very near object, like a pencil near your nose, they must point slightly inwards to see a unified and clear image.

With convergence insufficiency, the eyes aren’t able to work in unison to point inward. Instead, one eye may point outward when trying to focus on a near object, leading to blurred or double vision.

Children with convergence insufficiency may struggle to perform visually demanding near tasks like reading and homework. In fact, many children who have vision-related learning problems are often misdiagnosed as having learning disabilities.

How Does Screen Time Lead to Eye Strain and Convergence Insufficiency?

Experts at Wills Eye Hospital recently studied the correlation between prolonged screen time and its effects on children’s eyes. They surveyed 110 students aged 10-17 who attended classes online. Prior to the beginning of online sessions, the students all had healthy vision.

The researchers discovered that the number of hours spent in front of a screen directly correlated to the likelihood of developing digital eye strain and convergence insufficiency. More than half of the students experienced symptoms of both visual conditions, with 17% of cases being severe convergence insufficiency.

These important and timely findings should alert parents to the risks that come with online learning, and encourage them to find solutions and take preventative measures to keep their kids’ eyes healthy. Fortunately, that’s where vision therapy comes in.

How Can Vision Therapy Help?

Vision therapy trains the eyes and brain to work together efficiently to resolve a wide range of visual dysfunctions.

Restoring healthy binocular vision is the goal for children with convergence insufficiency, and vision therapy is a primary treatment for accomplishing that.

According to the National Eye Institute, most children with convergence insufficiency experience significant improvement after just 12 weeks of vision therapy.

Vision therapy can also be effective for treating symptoms of digital eye strain in children. According to the Optometrists Network, a free and extensive online library for eye care, vision therapy can relieve symptoms of digital eye strain by strengthening the visual system.

To learn more about the benefits of vision therapy or to schedule your child’s functional visual evaluation, contact Unger Eye Care today!

Unger Eye Care offers vision therapy to patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Alice Unger

Q: What is a functional vision evaluation?

  • A: A functional visual evaluation assesses a multitude of visual skills that normally aren’t tested in standard eye exams or vision screenings. Some examples of those visual skills include convergence, eye tracking and teaming, visual processing, eye movement, focusing, eye alignment and accommodation flexibility.

Q: Who is a candidate for vision therapy?

  • A: Children and adults who have varying degrees of visual dysfunction are ideal candidates for vision therapy. Many patients may not be aware of problems with their visual systems but suffer from symptoms like headaches or dizziness, which may be rooted in their vision. Children with learning problems or any visual symptoms may benefit from a customized vision therapy program.

Book Online
Call Us

Blinking Exercises for Dry Eye

Blinking Exercises 640×350Did you know that the average person spends around 7 hours a day looking at a screen? The glare and reflections from computer, smartphone, and tablet screens can reduce blink rates by as much as 60%. When we concentrate intensely we tend to blink less, which can, in turn, lead to dry eye syndrome.

Symptoms of dry eye syndrome include red and dry eyes, irritated eyes, blurred vision, painful or stinging eyes, light sensitivity and mucus around the eyes.

Blinking helps keep our eyes healthy and comfortable. With every blink, the ocular surface is cleaned of debris and lubricated, so less blinking means more irritation and dryness.

Below are a few blinking exercises to help you ensure that your eyes remain lubricated and refreshed throughout the day.

Blinking Exercises

Blinking exercises are simple to do and can be seamlessly integrated into your daily routine. These exercises should be done a few times an hour. Try alternating between the 2 exercises below.

1. Close-Pause-Pause-Open-Relax

  1. Without squeezing, gently close your eyes.
  2. Pause and keep your eyes closed for 2 seconds.
  3. Gently open your eyes and relax them.
  4. Repeat 5 times

2. Close-Pause-Pause-Squeeze-Open-Relax

  1. Without squeezing, gently close your eyes.
  2. Pause and keep your eyes closed for 2 seconds.
  3. While keeping your eyes closed, squeeze your eyelids together slowly and gently.
  4. Gently open your eyes and relax them.
  5. Repeat 5 times

The Importance of Fully Blinking

It’s important to fully blink to completely lubricate your eyes. If you’re only partially blinking, it can render your dry eye symptoms worse.

To find out whether you are fully blinking, just look at your eyes in the mirror. If they feel dry or appear red, or if you see a horizontal stripe of red blood vessels across your eyes, then you have been partially blinking.

If you’ve incorporated blinking exercises into your routine but are still experiencing eye irritation, you may have dry eye syndrome. We can diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms, and offer a variety of dry eye treatments to alleviate any discomfort. Schedule an eye exam with Unger Eye Care today to receive effective, long-lasting relief.

Unger Eye Care serves dry eye patients from Troy, Edwardsville, Maryville, and Glen Carbon, Illinois and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Alice Unger

Q: What is dry eye syndrome?

  • A: Dry eye syndrome is caused either by insufficient tears or poor tear quality. Every time you blink, you leave a thin film of tears over the surface of your eyes. This helps keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy. If your tears don’t keep the surface of your eye moist enough, you will experience dry eye symptoms. Some medical conditions, certain medications, dysfunctional glands, allergies and environmental irritants can all cause dry eye symptoms.

Q: What are the symptoms of dry eyes?

  • A: Symptoms of dry eye include irritation; a gritty, scratchy or burning sensation; blurred vision; excessive tearing; and/or a feeling of having something stuck in the eye.

Book Online
Call Us