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What Exactly is an Eye Chart?

If there’s one aspect of optometry that everyone recognizes, it’s the traditional eye chart, with its rows of big letters on top, which gradually become smaller the farther down you go. This chart is usually known as the Snellen chart.

Yet how much do you really know about this eye chart? Are all eye charts the same? How are these eye charts used? And when were they invented?

Here’s everything you need to know about eye charts and more!

What is an Eye Chart?

An eye chart is one of the tools your eye doctor uses to assess your eyesight. Based on how well you can see various letters on the chart, your optometrist will determine whether you have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) or astigmatism, and will measure the prescription that will give you the clearest, most comfortable vision.

Are All Eye Charts The Same?

There are a number of variations to the standard Snellen eye chart. The one an eye doctor uses depends on the personal needs and abilities of the patient. For example, eye doctors will use charts with pictures or patterns for younger children who may not have learned to read or identify letters and numbers.

There are also certain charts that specifically measure distance vision, while others are better for measuring near vision.

History of the Snellen Eye Chart

The Snellen eye chart was developed by Dutch eye doctor Hermann Snellen in the 1860s. Before this standardized eye chart was developed, each eye doctor had their own chart that they preferred to use.

Having so many different eye charts made it impossible to standardize the vision correction available to patients. Eyeglass makers didn’t receive the defined measurements they needed to accurately design, manufacture and measure the optical prescriptions their patients needed.

For the first time, the Snellen eye chart allowed a person to provide a standardized prescription from any eye care provider they chose to any eyeglass maker, and get the same optical lenses to accurately correct their vision.

How The Snellen Chart Is Used in Eye Exams

The standard Snellen chart displays 11 rows of capital letters, with the first row consisting of a single large letter. The farther down the chart you go, the smaller the letters become.

Your McKinney eye doctor will ask you to look through a phoropter – an instrument used to test individual lenses on each eye during an eye exam – and look at the Snellen chart placed 20 feet away. Your eye doctor will prescribe the lenses that provide you with the clearest and most comfortable vision.

In many offices, where 20 feet of space may not be available, you’ll be asked to view the chart through a mirror. This provides the same visual experience as if you were standing 20 feet away.

If you have 20/20 vision, it means you can see what an average person can see on an eye chart from a distance of 20 feet. On the other hand, if you have 20/40 vision, it means you can only see clearly from 20 feet away what a person with perfect vision can see clearly from 40 feet away.

If you have 20/200 vision, the legal definition of blindness, this means what a person with perfect vision can see from 200 feet away, you can see from 20 feet away.

Does 20/20 Visual Acuity Mean Perfect Vision?

No. While eye chart tests identify refractive errors, they can’t detect signs of visual skill deficiencies or diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. These are diagnosed using advanced equipment as part of a comprehensive eye exam with your local McKinney eye doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions are essential to ensuring long-term vision and eye health.

For more information, give us a call at 972-525-7029 or visit us in person at Complete Family Eye Care, today!

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

How do you keep your eyes healthy?

You only have one set of eyes – don’t take them for granted!

Make sure to implement the following habits for healthy eyes (and body). These include:

  • Eating a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables
  • Drinking plenty of water to hydrate your body and eyes
  • Not smoking, and avoiding 2nd-hand smoke
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • Maintaining normal BMI with regular exercise
  • Regular visits to your eye doctor as recommended

What health conditions can an eye exam detect?

A comprehensive eye exam can often detect certain underlying diseases that can threaten your sight and eye health, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tumors, autoimmune conditions and thyroid disorders. This is why having your eyes checked regularly is key. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome and the higher your quality of life.

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression

The Link Between Dry Eyes and DepressionDepression is a serious illness that impacts a person’s mood and emotional well-being. It creeps into all areas of a person’s life, and can become life-threatening if left untreated.

Not only does depression impact mental health; it can manifest as physical symptoms, too, like insomnia, chronic pain and inflammation, weight loss or gain and heart problems, among others. These physical problems can worsen depressive thoughts — sometimes leading to a vicious cycle.

Interestingly, many patients with depression also suffer from severe dry eye symptoms. The question is, how are these two conditions related?

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, is a chronic condition that results from inadequate lubrication of the eyes. Ocular hydration is crucial when it comes to keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear. Your tears are responsible for maintaining this necessary hydration, and in healthy eyes fulfill their unique mission each time you blink.

Your tear film is made up of three layers, consisting of oil, water and mucus. If any of these layers become compromised, inadequate tear quality or insufficient tear quantity can result and lead to a host of uncomfortable dry eye symptoms.

The most common dry eye symptoms include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Gritty eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision

Can Depression Cause Dry Eye (or Vice-Versa)?

This is what researchers are trying to find out.

In a March 2022 study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, researchers examined the link between depression and severe dry eye symptoms. The study followed 535 dry eye patients for an entire year.

After a year, the patients who tested positive for depression had more severe dry eye symptoms than the patients who didn’t have depression. Their symptoms were measured based on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), Brief Ocular Discomfort Index and composite dry eye disease sign score.

Additionally, severe depression was associated with more severe dry eye symptoms at baseline, six months, and one year.

The study concluded that depression was associated with more severe dry eye symptoms, which suggests that among patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome, those with depression may be likely to have more severe dry eye symptoms.

The researchers said further research is needed to learn exactly why people with depression have more severe dry eye symptoms than those without depression.

Could the sometimes debilitating symptoms of dry eye syndrome actually cause depression and anxiety?

A 2016 dry eye study published in Nature concluded that chronic discomfort and pain from dry eye symptoms can negatively affect the cognitive processes, sleep, mood and mental health. The researchers urged eye doctors to be aware of the higher incidence of dry eye syndrome in people with depression, whatever the underlying cause.

Can Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye Symptoms?

Yes. Antidepressants have been shown to increase dryness in the body, including the eyes. These medications work by blocking signals between nerve cells, which can result in insufficient tear production and dry eye syndrome.

If you’re taking an antidepressant, be sure to inform your eye doctor during your consultation.

How We Can Help

At Complete Family Eye Care in McKinney, we recognize that some of our patients that come in with dry eye symptoms may be suffering from depression.

We’ll diagnose the cause of your dry eye symptoms and offer the most effective dry eye treatments to give you the relief you’re searching for.

Contact us today to schedule a dry eye assessment and take the first step towards regaining your quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Kenneth Garza

Q: Who is affected by dry eye syndrome?

  • A: While dry eye syndrome is most common in adults over 50, it can occur at any age. The following factors can increase your risk of dry eye:
    – Aging
    – Hormonal changes
    – Medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis
    – Prolonged screen time
    – Living in a dry, dusty or windy environment
    – Eye allergies
    – Blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction
    – Certain medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy
    – Vitamin A deficiency

Q: How can you reduce your risk of dry eye?

  • A: While some dry eye risk factors can’t be avoided completely, making some lifestyle changes can help. Practice these recommended tips:
    – Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
    – Wear wraparound sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from harsh winds
    – Take frequent screen breaks and blink often while using your digital device.
    – Quit smoking
    – Use lubricating eye drops
    – Consume a healthy diet including omega 3 and drink plenty of water.
    – Have regular eye exams

Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 972-449-9484

Bloodshot Eyes – Should You Be Concerned?

You wake up in the morning ready to start your day, only to discover that your eyes are bloodshot. That might not be surprising if you stayed up late to finish a project, had too many drinks at a party or spent time in a smoke-filled room.

But bloodshot eyes can also signal an underlying eye problem. If your eyes appear red or bloodshot, make an appointment with an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause and to receive effective treatment.

Why Do I Have Bloodshot Eyes?

When blood rushes to the front of the eye, the tiny red blood vessels on the white of the eye dilate and become visible. This makes the eyes appear red and irritated.

So why do these blood vessels dilate, causing your eyes to look bloodshot?

Bloodshot eyes tend to be caused by:

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritants such as smoke, pollen and perfume
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Spending too much time in front of the computer

Bloodshot eyes due to lifestyle and environmental irritants may disappear on their own, or you can try to relieve them with over-the-counter eye drops or liquid tears. Lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, cutting down on alcohol intake and limiting screen time can often be helpful. If allergies are the culprit, oral antihistamines and antihistamine eye drops may relieve symptoms.

At other times, underlying problems requiring prompt medical attention can cause your eye’s blood vessels to dilate. The following are some of these medical conditions:

Conjunctivitis

You’ve probably heard of “pink eye.” It’s another name for infectious conjunctivitis – an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eyelid and the front surface of the eye.

There are two types of infectious conjunctivitis – bacterial and viral.

If your child has conjunctivitis, they’re not alone. About 12% of kids get bacterial conjunctivitis every year. This highly contagious condition affects children and adults. In addition to reddish eyes, the following symptoms are associated with conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis – irritated eyes, swollen eyelids, eye discharge, crusty eyelids and excessive tearing
  • Viral conjunctivitis – cold or flu-like symptoms, runny nose, fever, itchy eyes, excessive tearing

If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a prompt appointment with an eye doctor, who can diagnose whether the conjunctivitis is viral, bacterial or due to allergies.

Depending on the diagnosis, your eye doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops or creams to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. The viral form may run its course after a few days, but cold compresses and non-prescription eye drops may provide relief.

Dry Eye Syndrome

If your eyes are chronically bloodshot you may have dry eye syndrome (DES). Signs of DES include:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A feeling you have something stuck in your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes

Dry eye syndrome is most commonly caused by a blockage of the tiny meibomian glands in the eyelids. These glands secrete oil that keeps eye moisture from evaporating too quickly. Without the oil, tears dry fast, leaving your eyes feeling dry, itchy and with a bloodshot appearance.

Too much screen time, aging, certain medications such as antihistamines, and medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause dry eye syndrome.

In addition to any medications or in-office treatments your eye doctor recommends, make sure to get plenty of hydration, take frequent breaks from digital screens and use a humidifier in your home.

Uveitis

In addition to bloodshot eyes, if you also experience blurred vision, see floaters or your eyes feel painful, you may have an eye inflammation called uveitis. The causes of uveitis include:

  • Autoimmune or inflammatory condition
  • Infection
  • Medication side effects
  • Cancer (in rare cases)

Unfortunately, uveitis symptoms can often be mistaken for something less serious. That’s the reason it’s important to get an eye exam if your eyes are bloodshot. Left untreated, uveitis can lead to serious conditions such as retinal scarring, cataracts and vision loss.

Depending on the cause and severity, your eye doctor may treat uveitis with prescription eye drops, steroid pills, injections or eye implants.

Eye Injury

It’s vital that all eye injuries receive immediate eye care from an eye doctor.

Even a minor eye injury can cause a big red blotch to form on the white part of the eye (sclera). The cause is a broken blood vessel or a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Although the appearance of this blood looks severe, and can make the entire white part of the eye appear bright red, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually painless and doesn’t cause vision loss. Any time you notice excessive blood on the eye following an eye injury, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to assess the health of your eye.

Glaucoma

In rare cases, bloodshot eyes may signal the presence of glaucoma – a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.

While some types of glaucoma don’t show symptoms in the early phases, bloodshot eyes can indicate the type of glaucoma that requires immediate medical care. This disease causes damage to the optic nerve due to excessive pressure within the eye. When this pressure suddenly rises, the eye’s blood vessels become dilated and visible, making the eye appear red.

If you have bloodshot eyes and/or have the following risk factors for glaucoma, immediately schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Aged 60+
  • African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Bloodshot Eyes Won’t Go Away?

Talk to Us Any time you notice bloodshot eyes or blood on the front of the eye, don’t wait. Schedule your eye exam with Dr. Kenneth Garza at Complete Family Eye Care in McKinney today.

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

Can I get bloodshot eyes after LASIK surgery?

LASIK surgery is highly effective minimally invasive laser eye surgery that can correct refractive errors, but like all surgical procedures, it can have side effects. Your eyes may be bloodshot or you could see halos from a few days to three weeks after surgery. Additionally, you may experience other dry eye symptoms. Eye drops and liquid tears can alleviate these symptoms, but if you have any concerns about your eyes following LASIK surgery contact your eye surgeon.

What Should I Expect from a Glaucoma Exam?

If you have a family history and/or other risk factors for glaucoma, and if your eyes look bloodshot, consider scheduling a glaucoma exam. Your eye doctor may perform the following tests:

  • Tonometry – eye pressure test
  • Gonioscopy – to see how fluid is draining out of your eye
  • Vision field test – to examine the functioning of the optic nerve
  • Dilated pupil exam – to detect any damage to the optic nerve
  • Retinal photo or OCT – digital examination of the retina and optic nerve health

Choose the Perfect Sunglasses for Men

sunglasses near me eye doctor near me

Are you searching for the perfect men’s sunglasses? A pair that goes well with the shape of your face, the color of your eyes and your personal style, with all the features you need? Use this guide to find the sunglasses that are right for you.

What To Consider When Choosing Men’s Sunglasses

There’s no doubt about it. Shades can be the height of cool, but only if they suit your individual style and features. A pair of sunglasses that look great on your friend may not be a good fit for you.

Keep the following in mind when choosing sunglasses that make a statement and protect your eyes:
The shape of your face
The key to choosing eyeglass frames is to find a style that complements your face shape.

Faces are usually categorized as:

Round – the width of your face is roughly the same as the length between your forehead and chin. Your jawline is curved, not angular.

Heart – your chin is the smallest area of your face and your jawline is long and somewhat pointed.

Square – like a round face, the measurements of your face are similar up and down and side to side, except the jawline is sharp and angular rather than curved.

Oval – your face is longer than it is wide, your jawline is curved and your forehead is large.

Sunglasses Styles

Eyeglass designers have many names for their creations, but there are some classic styles that never go out of style:

  • Aviator sunglasses – as the name suggests, these sunglasses were originally developed for pilots, and the frames are classic, teardrop and square shaped.
  • Wayfarer sunglasses – developed in the 1950s, they were among the first sunglasses with plastic frames. The Blues Brothers made these shades famous.
  • Clubmaster – Known as cool, sophisticated and retro, Wayfarers boast thick browlines and may have a tortoiseshell design or a different hue than the rest of the shades.
  • Wrap-around sunglasses – often worn on the beach, wrap-around shades are equally popular with athletes and other active people who want an extra layer of protection against sun and dust.
  • Round sunglasses – these frames are as popular today as they were when John Lennon wore them.

Which Face Shapes Go Best with Which Sunglasses Style?

  • Round Face – Aviators and wrap-around sunglasses
  • Heart Face – Aviators, round and wrap-around sunglasses
  • Oval Face – Aviator, Wayfarers, wrap-around and Clubmaster sunglasses
  • Square Face – Aviators, Wayfarers, round and wrap-around

Colors and Designs

When choosing sunglasses, think about your skin tone, hair color, [eye color] and what shades of clothing you like to wear. Sometimes eyewear can really make an outfit, and in other cases it can clash. Consider investing in more than one pair of sunglasses to suit your different moods and styles.

Protecting Your Eyes

Taking time to select sunglasses that flatter your appearance is a priority, but so is protecting your eyes and safeguarding your vision. UV rays can damage your eyes, so choose a pair that screens out 100% of these harmful rays.

To shield your eyes from glare, particularly if you spend a lot of time on the slopes or the beach, invest in polarized lenses that are specially treated to dim light rays and reduce glare. Polarized lenses can also make driving easier, especially when there is a lot of glare, such as when the roads are wet.

If you regularly wear eyeglasses, consider photochromic lenses that get darker when exposed to bright light. This means you can wear one pair of glasses that will also become sunglasses.

Your Lifestyle

If you like skiing, biking and other outdoor sports, choose sunglasses that are suited to those activities. Skiers should wear glare-resistant sunglasses that wrap around and prevent harsh winds and debris from reaching the eyes. Consider sunglasses with shatter-resistant lenses if you play sports, such as baseball, that could damage your sunglasses if a ball hits them.

Are you ready to find the stylish shades that will not only make you look terrific but keep your eyes healthier? For a wide selection of prescription sunglasses, make an appointment with Dr. Kenneth Garza, at Complete Family Eye Care in McKinney.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why do we need sunglasses?

  • A: Prolonged exposure to UV rays raises the risk of developing macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts and pterygium, among other eye conditions. Sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection significantly lower that risk.

Q: What are some disadvantages of photochromic lenses?

  • A: Photochromic lenses are ideal for people with prescription glasses who don’t want to use clip-ons to shield their eyes from the sun. However, a car’s windshield may block the UV light that triggers photochromic lenses to darken, so they generally don’t become dark enough to use while driving. You can benefit from photochromic lenses, but keep a regular tinted pair of sunglasses or clip-ons in the car for driving.

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


8 Tips to Reduce Eye Strain Caused by Digital Screens

eye exam and glasses near you

Do you spend a significant portion of your day in front of a computer or other digital device? The average person spends around 7 hours per day in front of a digital screen, according to recent studies.

While this may sound exorbitant, consider all the time you work, learn and attend meetings online — and this doesn’t include scrolling through the messages on your phone, checking your social media accounts, watching videos or playing video games.

While the digital world provides many perks, excessive device usage can come at the expense of your eye health and vision. Too much screen time can lead to eye fatigue, eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, blurry vision and neck and shoulder pain — all symptoms of a condition called computer vision syndrome (CVS), also known as digital eye strain (DES).

Fortunately, there are ways to make screen time more comfortable for your eyes and reduce your chances of CVS.

Here are 8 of our best tips:

1. Avoid Bright Light

Bright light, whether it’s natural sunlight or harsh fluorescent bulbs, can create a glare on the screen that’s hard on the eyes. Block excessive light by closing shades and curtains, and consider switching to lower intensity light bulbs and adding a glare filter to your screen.

2. Adjust Your Screen Settings

Adjusting your device’s text size, screen brightness, color contrast and color temperature can significantly improve your visual clarity and comfort and lower your risk of CVS.

3. Blink Frequently

Studies have shown that people tend to blink less frequently when staring at a digital screen. Blinking lubricates the eyes and reduces your risk of dry eyes, a common CVS symptom that can exacerbate eye strain and eye fatigue. So make a conscious effort to blink more often while using your digital device.

4. Take Frequent Breaks

Breaking away from your screen will give your eye muscles a much-needed break and lower your risk of CVS. If you can’t get away from your desk, at least practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look at something at least 20 feet away, for at least 20 seconds.

5. Choose a Comfortable Chair

The ideal office chair offers comfort and support and encourages good posture. Sitting up straight and in alignment with your computer screen can help you avoid the neck and shoulder pain often associated with CVS.

6. Adjust the Position of Your Screen

When using a computer, make sure that your screen is about an arm’s length away from your eyes, angled slightly downward, so the center of the screen is 4-8 inches below eye level. Proper screen positioning can lower your chances of eye strain and neck and shoulder aches.

7. Invest in a High-Quality Digital Device

Some devices and computer screens offer greater visual comfort than others. If you’re ready to upgrade your device, choose one that offers optimal eye comfort. We recommend a larger device, with high definition and a flat-panel LED screen that has an anti-reflective surface.

8. Schedule Regular Eye Exams

Many eye conditions and vision problems can cause or worsen CVS symptoms. Having regular eye exams will help you maintain your eye health and ensure that your optical prescription is up-to-date.

Would you like to learn more about how you can protect your eyes and vision? Contact Complete Family Eye Care in McKinney today to schedule an appointment. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions related to keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often do I need an eye exam?

  • A: An eye exam offers a comprehensive assessment of your eye health and vision. Having regular eye exams enables early detection of an eye condition or disease that may require prompt treatment. Most eye doctors recommend having an eye exam every year or two, depending on your age, personal or family history of eye disease, and if you wear corrective lenses for a refractive error like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism.

Q: How can I protect my child from computer vision syndrome?

  • A: The best way to protect your child from CVS is to set a good example. Try to limit their screen time as much as possible and encourage them to play outdoors for at least 1 to 2 hours per day. In addition to helping their eyes relax, studies have shown that children who spend at least 1 hour per day outdoors have a lower risk of developing myopia — nearsightedness.

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


5 Ways to Prevent Dry Eyes During Air Travel

airplane- Dry Eye Air Travel TipsWhile traveling can be taxing on the entire body, the eyes are especially vulnerable — particularly when wearing a mask to protect from COVID. When traveling by plane, the dry air can cause your eyes to become red, parched and irritated. While you can’t control all variables during your travels, eye specialists have discovered a number of ways to reduce the chances of experiencing the unpleasant symptoms of “travelers’ dry eye.”

Prevent Dry Eye From Affecting Your Vision

Drink plenty of water. If your body isn’t properly hydrated, it will have a tougher time increasing tear production in a dry atmosphere. Humidity levels on planes are typically below 20%, which is lower than the Sahara Desert! Keep your eyes moist and comfortable by drinking plenty of water before, during and after your flight.

Wear your glasses. Since contact lenses remove moisture from your eye’s surface tear film, they can contribute to dry eye. Wearing your glasses can help keep your eyes moist.

Wear a sleep mask. Even when your eyelids are closed, your eyes might lose moisture, which happens frequently when you sleep. On a plane, a sleep mask can help prevent additional dryness.

Use hydrating eye drops. When you’re in a dry environment, a good hydrating eye drop can provide a brief respite.

Make sure your face mask fits snugly. When a person’s breath rises upward it can dry out their eyes. A face mask that fits securely around the bridge of the nose can prevent air from reaching the eyes.

Is dry eye making you miserable, especially when traveling? Put an end to the discomfort and struggle by contacting Complete Family Eye Care. Our dedicated eye doctors will get to the bottom of your dry eye and provide effective, lasting treatment.

Our practice serves patients from McKinney, TX and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Kenneth Garza

Q: Can dry eye be cured?

  • A: In some cases, yes. A range of successful treatment options can help manage dry eye for long-term relief. Your eye doctor can also provide in-office treatments for more advanced forms of dry eye disease.

Q: What type of treatments are available for dry eye?

  • A: Depending on the cause of the dry eye, treatment options include:
    – Lubricants
    – Punctal plugs
    – Topical steroids
    – Warm compresses
    – Protective eyewear
    – Intense pulse light
    – Switching to medications that don’t cause dry eye symptoms

Looking for dry eye treatment? Contact Complete Family Eye Care today!

Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 972-449-9484

Can Wearing Blue Light Glasses Help You Sleep Better?

happy woman wearing eyeglasses working from home 640×350

Are you having trouble sleeping at night? Blue light exposure before bedtime can prevent you from getting the restful sleep your body needs to feel refreshed in the morning.

If you’ve made a habit of checking your phone, using your computer or watching your favorite TV show before you turn out the lights, you may want to consider purchasing a pair of blue light glasses.

What Is Blue Light?

Sunlight consists of a rainbow of colors, known as the visible light spectrum, which ranges from red to blue light. On this spectrum, blue light, also called high energy visible (HEV) light, has the shortest wavelength and emits the highest amount of energy into the atmosphere.

While blue light naturally radiates from the sun, it’s also emitted by interior lighting, computer screens, tablets and all other digital devices.

Healthy doses of daytime blue light exposure can be beneficial to your physical and mental health, as it boosts alertness, improves cognitive function and memory, can elevate your mood, and regulates your circadian rhythm – the body’s natural sleep/wake cycle.

However, overexposure to this high energy light, especially before bedtime, can interfere with your natural sleep cycle and prevent you from getting a good night’s rest.

How Does Blue Light Affect Sleep?

The darkness of night stimulates the body to produce melatonin, the sleep hormone that helps your body relax and fall asleep.

Exposure to blue light in the evening hours, and especially before bedtime, can delay melatonin production and even impact the amount of melatonin your body produces. These lower-than-usual levels of melatonin signal to your brain that it’s still daytime and confuses your body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

So, scrolling on your phone or using your computer before bedtime can actually increase alertness and lead to problems with falling and staying asleep, resulting in poor sleep quality and daytime tiredness.

Can Blue Light Glasses Help?

If you’re having trouble sleeping at night, wearing blue light-blocking lenses for evening screen time may be the solution you’ve been searching for.

Blue light glasses are designed to filter out blue light to reduce the negative effects associated with blue light exposure.

A study published in the Journal Of Adolescent Health (2015) reported that teenagers who wore blue light glasses in the evening while using a digital device had healthier circadian rhythms than those who didn’t wear blue light glasses.

If you spend a significant amount of time in front of your computer or other digital device during the evening hours, wearing computer glasses or adding blue light filters to your lenses can help you get the good night’s sleep you’ve been dreaming about.

Computer glasses are available with or without a prescription, and are customized to meet your visual needs and lifestyle.

To learn more about computer glasses or about adding blue light filters to your lenses, call Complete Family Eye Care in McKinney today. Your rested self will thank you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can blue light cause computer vision syndrome?

  • A: Yes. Due to its high energy and shorter wavelengths, blue light causes an inconsistent flow of light emissions. This creates a glare or flickering on the screen that can result in eye strain, headaches, blurred vision, dry eyes, and mental and physical fatigue — a condition known as computer vision syndrome. That’s why many eye doctors recommend wearing blue light glasses any time you use a digital device, and not just in the evening.

Q: What are the long term effects of blue light exposure?

  • A: Scientific studies are underway to determine whether long-term exposure to blue light can damage the retina at the back of your eye and increase your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other sight-threatening eye conditions.

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


5 Common Dry Eye Symptoms and How to Treat Them

5 Common Dry Eye Symptoms 640×350Are your eyes dry, itchy, and red? Is it difficult to wear contact lenses? Dry eye symptoms can be hard to live with, but fortunately, there are many treatment options.

Most cases of dry eye syndrome are caused by a blockage of the tiny eyelid glands that produce the tears’ essential oil. The oil keeps the liquid in the tears from evaporating too quickly and helps keep the front of your eyes feeling lubricated. Without this oil, your eyes will feel dry and itchy and may become red and more prone to infection.

The following are some common problems related to dry eye, and how they’re treated. syndrome.

Eyelid Inflammation

Eyelid inflammation, known as blepharitis, may contribute to dry eye syndrome because an inflammation and swelling of the edges of the eyelids can prevent the glands from releasing oil. Your eye doctor may prescribe antibiotics or steroids eye drops to treat inflamed eyelids.

Eye Redness

If your eyes are reddish or bloodshot, you should have an eye exam right away to rule out bacterial or viral conjunctivitis (pink eye). If your eye redness is a symptom of dry eye, your eye doctor will recommend the most effective treatment based on what’s causing your dry eyes. While over-the-counter artificial tears can sometimes lessen the redness by constricting blood vessels in your eye, their effect is usually temporary and doesn’t treat the underlying cause of your eye redness.

Corneal Damage

The moisture in your eyes helps prevent infections by washing away bacteria and other pathogens. Left untreated, dry eyes can lead to long-term corneal damage, known as ocular surface disease. Your eye doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, which are effective at treating inflammation short-term, but can increase pressure inside the eye if used for too long.

Discomfort Wearing Contact Lenses

If your eyes feel dry and irritated, wearing contact lenses can be uncomfortable, even impossible. Your eye doctor will discuss effective treatment options to give you the best chance of enjoying the many benefits of contact lenses.

Using over-the-counter eye drops may moisten your eyes in the short-term, but might not give you the total eye comfort you need to wear contact lenses. Your eye doctor can prescribe

eye drops or offer effective in-office dry eye treatments to treat the underlying cause of your symptoms.

There is also a range of special contact lenses that keep the eyes more hydrated than standard contacts.

Eye Dryness – Too Few Tears

If you have dry eye syndrome, you may not be producing enough tears. While eye drops or artificial tears may provide temporary relief, speak to your [eye-doctor] about cellulose eye inserts that can be placed in your lower eyelid and dissolve to supply your eyes with more tears. The insert is designed to slowly dissolve, at which time a new one can be inserted. Using inserts can be more convenient than having to apply eye drops multiple times a day.

Your eye doctor may also prescribe tear-producing medications like cholinergics, which are available in pills, gels or eye drops.

You don’t have to put up with dry eye symptoms! Dr. Kenneth Garza at Complete Family Eye Care in McKinney will determine the underlying cause of your dry eye symptoms and prescribe the treatment that’s right for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Our practice serves patients from McKinney, TX and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Kenneth Garza

Q: What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?

  • A: – Aging, particularly if there are also hormonal changes, such as menopause
    – Medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome, eye allergies and rheumatoid arthritis
    – Medications such as decongestants, antihistamine, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy
    – Inflamed eyelids, such as blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction
    – Not blinking enough, which occurs with extended digital screen use and close activities like reading
    – Exposure to dry or polluted air and heat
    – Vitamin A deficiency

Q: How Can You Minimize Dry Eye Symptoms?

  • A: – Use a humidifier in your home to add moisture to the air.
    – When outside, wear wraparound or another type of quality sunglasses to remove the effects of harsh winds and screen out UV rays.
    – Take breaks while using your digital device.
    – Take time to blink repeatedly to spread moisture over your eyes.
    – Stop smoking.
    – Use eye drops as recommended by your eye doctor.
    – Consume a healthy diet including omega 3 oils and drink plenty of water.
    – See your eye doctor regularly.


References

Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 972-449-9484

Top Sunglasses Styles For Men in 2022

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If you’re looking for the perfect final touch of “cool” for your 2022 wardrobe, you can’t go wrong grabbing a pair of sleek sunglasses at our McKinney optical. We offer just the right pair of shades to complement your personal style while protecting your eyes from the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Here are some of our top men’s sunglasses styles for 2022:

Square Wire Frames

If you’re looking for that casually sophisticated look, you can’t beat square wire frames. You’ll want box wire metal frames that fit symmetrically square lenses. These stylish eyeglasses look especially good on people with round faces. They’re lightweight and comfortable, which is why they’re loved by celebrities like David Beckham.

Aviator Sunglasses

Invented in the 1930s to protect the eyes of American airmen, iconic Aviator sunglasses have never gone out of style. From Elvis Presley to Tom Cruise in Top Gun, Aviators have been synonymous with “cool” for more than three-quarters of a century. While today’s Aviators are as classic, strong and lightweight as ever, there are more varieties to choose from, including frames in a wide range of colors.

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

Saving the planet one pair of glasses at a time! If you’re environmentally conscious, you’ll be happy to hear that sustainable eyewear is a real option today. The market for eyeglasses made from renewable materials has expanded, and it’s now possible to find frames made of plant-based acetate and even bamboo. What’s more, certain eyeglass companies promise that for every pair of sunglasses sold, they will donate a pair of glasses to someone less fortunate.

Sporty Wraparound Sunglasses

Hit the road with oval lenses and wraparound frames! Not only do they offer an especially striking retro look, wraparound sunglasses also provide more eye protection by screening out the sun’s rays from all directions.

Sunglasses With Mirrored or Tinted Lenses

Reflective coatings aren’t just for hiding from the flash of the paparazzi. They’re 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.

Various colored lenses are also a great option for athletes looking to keep their eye on the ball by increasing visual definition, eliminating visual noise and decreasing glare.

Retro Round Sunglasses

You may feel like you live in a Yellow Submarine when wearing retro round sunglasses!

These may evoke fond memories of the 1960s rock era — think John Lennon’s signature frames. But don’t worry, they’re just as cool today as they were back then. In addition to being fashionable, round sunglasses are also functional: their ample lenses provide a completely unobstructed view.
Who’s wearing them today? Elijah Wood and Ryan Gosling are just two of the many men who wear these retro shades.

Cool Clip-Ons

Clip-ons don’t have to be tacky! Many designers now create cool and convenient clip-ons or magnetic lenses that attach to regular glasses, which provide a seamless connection to the eyeglass frame.

Sunglasses are not only a great way to protect your eyes from the harmful effects of UV radiation while you’re out and about. They can also be an essential part of showing off your personal sense of style. Speak to our friendly and experienced optical staff at Complete Family Eye Care in McKinney today for help finding the right sunglasses to show the world just who you are.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can performance and sport sunglasses enhance vision?

  • A: Many performance and sport sunglasses are tinted, with each kind of tint improving specific aspects of your vision that are vital to your sport of choice. Amber tints help you if you’re skiing or snowboarding by allowing you to better detect contrast between objects. Gray lenses reduce glare without compromising color detection, and photochromic lenses start off clear and become darker once you step out into the sun. Anti-reflective coatings help you keep your eye on the ball by reducing glare. In sports, every advantage helps, and performance and sport sunglasses may just give you the edge you need.

Q: Which non-prescription sunglasses should I choose?

  • A: Non-prescription sunglasses provide sun protection but don’t correct vision. Even without a prescription, quality sunglasses should block 100% of UV rays and have durable frames. If you play sports, consider buying a pair of non-prescription sports sunglasses or sports goggles that have been designed to withstand harsh conditions.

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


5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Vision Benefits

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Given how much we rely on our eyesight, it’s surprising that only half the people who have insurance or benefits that cover eye care schedule an annual eye exam. In many cases, policy holders don’t realize that their health benefits cover eye care, or what types of eye care.

The good news: most vision plans cover not only eye exam but also offer full coverage or discounts on eyeglass frames, contact lenses and, in many cases, specialized screenings and treatments.

Make the most of your vision benefits to maintain your family’s eye health.

Learn More About Your Plan

While getting coverage for vision care is a priority for most households, it’s easy to ignore the details of your policy. Taking the time to learn about your coverage translates into money you can save on eye exams, lenses, frames and treatments.

Research your policy’s details, including:

  • Co-payments
  • Deductibles
  • Lens enhancement
  • Frame allowance
  • Screening for eye conditions
  • Eye treatments
  • Family vs. individual coverage

Obtain a membership card or keep your membership information handy, so you can use it during your next eye doctor appointment.

Locate an Eye Doctor in Your Network

If you don’t already have an eye doctor who accepts your eye care insurance, choose one in your network, in your geographical location. Do some research to determine if the in-network eye doctor offers all of the services you require.

It is important to establish a relationship with a specific practice whose eye doctors will perform eye exams and provide eye care to you and your family. Steer clear of out-of-network retail eyecare services or websites that claim to accept your insurance or benefits, but only for temporarily discounted services that may not benefit you.

Schedule an Annual Eye Exam

Annual eye exams are covered by most insurance plans and benefits, and are one of the most important steps you can take to protect your family’s eye health. Eye Exams can spot refractive errors like nearsightedness in children before they negatively affect a child’s performance in school.

Annual eye exams can also detect potentially sight-threatening conditions like cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma early, before the patient experiences any symptoms and significant vision loss sets in. Additionally, yearly eye exams assess whether your current prescription for contact lenses or eyeglasses is still suitable, and whether you need an upgrade.

Take Advantage of Discounts and Premium Plans

Most benefits and insurance plans have premium versions that may cost a bit more but can maximize savings. Premier programs can offer:

  • A wider selection of eye doctors in your area
  • Access to eye care specialists
  • A wider variety of frames and lenses
  • Alternative and high-tech treatments
  • Special bonus offers

Look for New Deals on Frames and Lenses

Eyeglasses and contact lenses can be a significant investment and, without eye care coverage, can strain your budget. Learn whether your benefits plan includes recently reduced prices on frames and lenses.

Receive updates from your provider to stay current on discounts for special items, such as photochromic lenses, prescription sunglasses, anti-reflective coatings and designer frames.

Many plans offer a deep discount on a second pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses – often as much as 20%. A spare pair ensures peace of mind when glasses are broken or misplaced.

Dr. Kenneth Garza at Complete Family Eye Care in McKinney accepts various eye care plans. We offer annual eye exams for the entire family, diagnostic screening and treatments for eye conditions and a full range of frames, lenses and contact lenses to improve your vision.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What type of eyewear do insurance plans generally cover?

  • A: Although every type of insurance or vision benefits plan is different, most cover an annual eye exam and prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. Coverage of additional or replacement glasses will depend on the plan, but some offer one replacement pair of glasses annually.

Q: Are photochromic lenses covered by vision benefits plans?

  • A: Photochromic lenses are clear indoors and darken when they are exposed to sunlight. They shield eyes from exposure to glare and potentially damaging UV rays. Photochromic features can be added to prescription eyeglasses, but they raise the cost of the lenses. Fortunately, photochromic lenses are at least partially covered by many vision benefits plans, but the amount will depend on the plan, your eye condition and type of photochromic lenses and eyeglasses you choose.

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