SITE MAPSkip to main content
Located in the Mill Creek Clinic Building

Mill-Creek-Vision-Optical-Office-Pic-01

Home »

What’s New

Are You Susceptible To Vision Loss?

Vision loss is more common than you may think! In fact, it’s among the most prevalent disabilities in adults and children. Knowing what puts you at risk of developing vision loss is important and can help you to be proactive about caring for your eyes.

Below, we’ll explore the most common causes of vision loss and the risk factors associated with each.

Spreading awareness and education about visual health is just one way that our eye doctors near you can help. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call us today.

Common Causes of Vision Loss

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases caused by a buildup of pressure within the eye. Too much inner-eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

Since symptoms don’t usually manifest in the early stages of glaucoma, getting regular eye exams is all the more crucial. Advanced or rapidly progressing glaucoma can show a variety of symptoms, such as blurred vision, headache, severe eye pain and redness, seeing halos around lights, and nausea.

Risk factors for developing glaucoma include:

  • Being 60 years or older
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • African, Asian, or Hispanic descent
  • High myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness)
  • Previous eye injury or certain eye surgeries
  • Certain medications, like corticosteroids
  • Thin corneas
  • Certain medical conditions, like diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and sickle-cell anemia

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the eye’s lens becomes cloudy. A healthy lens is clear and allows light to pass through it undisturbed.

Common cataract symptoms include cloudy or blurred vision, difficulty seeing at night, light sensitivity, double vision in the affected eye, and seeing colors as faded or yellowish.

Risk factors for developing cataracts include:

  • Aging
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Smoking
  • Previous eye surgery, injury, or inflammation
  • Alcoholism
  • Extended use of corticosteroids

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

AMD is the leading cause of severe vision loss in adults over the age of 60. It occurs when the macula (the small central portion of the retina, which is responsible for sharp, colorful, central vision) begins to wear down.

Early stages of AMD usually go unnoticed, but later stages of the disease can produce symptoms like blurred vision, dark or blurry areas in your central vision, and problems with color perception.

There’s not yet a cure for AMD, but certain treatments can help prevent vision loss.

Risk factors for developing AMD include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Aging
  • Long-term sun exposure
  • Hypertension
  • Heart disease
  • Family history of AMD
  • Light-colored eyes
  • Farsightedness

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)

Diabetic retinopathy is a complication of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes that affects the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye called the retina.

Initially, diabetic retinopathy shows no symptoms but can eventually lead to blindness. As it develops, it can cause increased floaters, impaired color vision, dark spots in your visual field, and blurred vision.

Risk factors for developing diabetic retinopathy include:

  • Length of time from diabetes diagnosis — the longer you’ve had it, the higher your chances of developing visual complications
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol or blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • African American, Hispanic, and Native American ethnicities
  • Family history of DR

So, what’s the bottom line ?

Multiple factors contribute to eye disease and vision loss, and some may even be relevant to you. If you think you may be at risk for vision loss or experience any of the symptoms listed above, speak with your eye doctor in Mill Creek as soon as possible. We also recommend you have your eyes thoroughly examined every 1-2 years, or as often as your eye doctor recommends. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Mill Creek Vision today.

 

Frequently Asked Questions With Our Mill Creek Eye Doctors

  1. Can blindness be prevented?

When caught early, many eye diseases can be treated to halt or slow the progression of the disease and potentially prevent vision loss. The best things you can do to preserve your vision for the long term is to lead a healthy lifestyle and make sure you undergo a comprehensive eye exam every 1-2 years.

  1. Which eye diseases are genetically inherited?

More than 350 ocular diseases have some sort of genetic component. Certain diseases, like retinitis pigmentosa and albinism, are directly inherited through chromosomal information. In other cases, a predisposition to the disease is inherited, rather than the disease itself.

3 Benefits of Anti-Glare Coating

Glare refers to the excessive brightness caused by direct or reflected light. It can cause eye strain, digital eye strain (when using a computer, for example), halos, and headaches. Glare can also reduce visibility, making it unsafe to drive. 

Anti-glare coating, also known as anti-reflective (AR) coating, is a thin layer applied to the surface of your eyeglass lenses that allows more light to pass through your lenses. By reducing the amount of glare that reflects off of your lenses, you can see more clearly and experience more comfortable vision. You can request anti-glare coating for lenses when you buy eyeglasses.

AR Coating Offers 3 Major Advantages

Better Appearance

Without an anti-glare coating on your glasses, camera flashes and bright lights can reflect off your lenses. This can hinder your appearance when speaking to people or in meetings, cause flash reflections when picture-taking, and make it difficult to find the right angle for video calls. Anti-reflective coating eliminates the harsh reflections and allows others to clearly see your eyes and face. 

Reduced Digital Eye Strain 

You know that tired, irritated feeling you get after staring at a digital screen for several hours? That’s digital eye strain. Anti-glare coating helps reduce digital eye strain by lowering exposure to excessive glare from digital devices and lighting. 

Safe Driving at Night

The bright headlights from cars driving in the opposite direction can pose a serious danger when driving at night. These sudden glares can lead you to momentarily lose focus of the view ahead. AR coating on your prescription eyewear effectively reduces reflections from headlights at night, allowing you to enjoy a better view of the road and safer driving at night.

Let your eyes look and feel better every day with anti-glare coated lenses. Contact us to book your appointment today! 

Protect Your Eyes From Vision Loss: Diabetes Awareness Month

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is one of the most prevalent eye diseases affecting the working age population. It is thought to be caused by high blood sugar levels which, over time, damage the tiny blood vessels of the retina at the back of the eye, making them swell and leak. Left untreated, DR can lead to vision loss and eventually blindness.

Since diabetic eye disease is typically painless and shows no symptoms until its advanced stages, it’s critical to get your annual eye evaluation, as an optometrist can detect the developing signs early enough to prevent vision loss.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy 

Diabetics may not realize they have diabetic retinopathy, because it develops silently. As the condition worsens, it may cause: 

  • Blurred vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Colors to appear faded or washed out
  • An increased presence of floaters
  • Vision loss
  • Blank or dark areas in your field of vision

Diabetic retinopathy symptoms usually affect both eyes.

Risk Factors

If you are diabetic, caring for your eyes by undergoing routine eye exams and taking care of your body by controlling blood sugar levels are critical to preventing vision loss. There are several risk factors associated with diabetic eye complications, including: 

  • Poor blood sugar control
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol 
  • High blood pressure
  • Pregnancy
  • Excess weight/obesity

Are There Any Treatments for Diabetic Retinopathy?

Today’s treatment options may improve your vision, even if you feel your eyesight has begun to deteriorate. Medications can be injected to reduce swelling, and laser surgery can be used to shrink and seal off swollen and leaking blood vessels — preserving and, in many cases, even improving vision. 

Did you know that Diabetic retinopathy, the most common form of diabetic eye disease, is the leading cause of blindness in adults age 20–74?

While certain treatments may work, frequent monitoring of your eyes coupled with managing your blood sugar levels can go a long way toward preventing or reducing diabetic retinopathy complications. 

If You Have Diabetes, Make Sure to: 

  • Control blood sugar and blood pressure to prevent long-term damage to the fine blood vessels within the retina.  
  • Keep a healthy lifestyle routine, especially during stressful times such as the COVID-19 pandemic. (Plus, while diabetics are in the high-risk category, your chances of developing serious COVID-19 related complications is lower if your diabetes is under control.)
  • Maintain a steady diet and exercise regimen to help the body and mind feel better. 
  • Quit smoking, if applicable; you can reach out to a medical professional for guidance.
  • Get yearly diabetic eye exams.

Preventing and managing diabetic retinopathy require a multi-disciplinary approach involving your eye doctor and other medical professionals. Your eye doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine whether you have diabetic retinopathy, assess its severity, and discuss preventative strategies as well as the latest treatment options. 

Contact Mill Creek Vision at 425-745-5650 to schedule your diabetic eye exam today, and to learn more about what you can do to protect your vision and general health.

Protect Your Eyes From Harmful Wildfire Smoke

wildefireWildfires, including those still devastating parts of the western United States and Canada, can harm your health, including your eyes. The hot smoke, ash, and soot billowing into the air contain a mixture of noxious gases and fine particles of burned vegetation that spread with the winds, sometimes hundreds of miles from the fire.

Wildfire smoke is made up of thousands of compounds, including those used in plastic, dry-cleaning solutions, and solvents. Asbestos, a toxic air contaminant, is also released into the air when buildings burn.

These pollutants can harm your eye’s surface, causing blurred vision and redness, and may also cause y a burning sensation leading eyes to become watery, dry, or itchy. Wildfire smoke also aggravates pre-existing health conditions like dry-eyes and ocular allergies and may make wearing contact lenses uncomfortable—even impossible—to wear.

In extreme cases, wildfire smoke may even lead to scarring of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the white of the eye and the eyelids’ underside. Scarring damages the conjunctiva and its protective mucous layer.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests the following steps to keep your eyes healthy when smoke is in the air:

  • Double the quantity of over-the-counter artificial tears you use to address eye conditions and cool the artificial tears’ vials or bottles in a refrigerator before using
  • Apply cool compresses to your eyelids
  • Stay indoors and close the windows to reduce smoke’s effects
  • Use an air purifier or air filter in your home or office
  • Refrain from drawing outside air into your air conditioner
  • Refrain from wearing contact lenses, which attract wildfires’ dust particles
  • Wear eyeglasses, sunglasses, or specialty goggles if you are outdoors

Continue observing these precautions even after the smoke has cleared as particles can linger in the air for up to two weeks.

If smoke-related symptoms or discomfort persist, please contact Mill Creek Vision. We will examine your eyes and prescribe the appropriate treatment. We treat patients with wildfire-related vision challenges from Mill Creek, and throughout Washington.

References:

How Long Does It Take to Get Used to New Glasses?

Most people who wear glasses are familiar with the excitement and confidence boost that accompanies wearing new specs for the first time. But sometimes there is an adjustment period before your vision is fully comfortable. Things may look blurry, or you may notice feeling dizzy after prolonged wear. Some of these symptoms can be a normal part of the adjustment period, but sometimes they’re a reason to contact your eye doctor. If your new glasses are giving you trouble, speak with Dr. Fred Arima about ensuring that your eyesight is both clear and comfortable. 

If you have always had frequent headaches, eyestrain, and dizziness when reading or viewing monitors, be sure to mention this to your doctor before you are tested for new eyeglasses. Changing the power of the lenses may not help your symptoms. You may have Trigeminal Dysphoria and require contoured prism or Vision Therapy to help your symptoms. 

When Will My Eyes Adjust to My New Glasses?

It can take a few days to a few weeks for your eyes and brain to fully adjust to your new eye wear, whether you are changing your prescription or wearing eyeglasses for the first time.

Even if you are getting new glasses with the same prescription, different frames or lenses can alter your vision until you get used to the new frame style or lens type. The complexity of your prescription and whether you buy a lens with premium optics versus basic spherical lens or polycarbonate material all can affect the adjustment time. 

Progressive lenses tend to be the most difficult to adjust to. This is related to the peripheral soft focus zones, which are much less blurred for customized lenses prescribed by your local optometrist. Not all progressive lenses have the same optical design. The optical lens designs differ from one brand to another. You may prefer the unique optics of one brand versus another brand. 

What Are Some Possible Visual Symptoms I Could Experience?

Some common experiences shared by those adjusting to new eyewear include:

  • Eye strain, headache
  • Blurry vision
  • Trouble with depth perception, nausea and dizziness
  • “Barrel distortion” — objects appear distorted, for high plus lenses
  • “Fishbowl effect” — the feeling that your visual field is being bent along the edges, as if you’re looking through a fishbowl, common in high minus prescriptions 

Why Do My New Glasses Give Me a Headache? 

Fatigued eye muscles can cause headaches. But your eyes aren’t the only things adjusting to your new lenses. Your brain is also working hard to create a clear picture of the messages it’s receiving from your eyes. This extra brain activity can sometimes bring on a headache, which should only last about a day or so. All lenses magnify or minify objects. The degree to which things look larger or smaller may vary due to the amount of lens power change from an old lens prescription to a new lens prescription. It takes time to adapt to this new way of viewing the world. And of course all lenses have a prism effect in them. When you view things through the periphery of your lens rather than through the center of your lenses you will experience more prism when you are looking through the periphery of your lenses. Also “stronger” lens powers will have more prism effects than “weaker” lens powers. Prism shifts the position of objects being looked at. Your eye muscles need to compensate for this shift in object position. The eye muscle “memory” of both eyes requires time to adjust. 

Why Do I Feel Dizzy With My New Glasses?

Dizziness and nausea can be caused by problems with depth perception, similar to motion sickness. With motion sickness, you feel uneasy because your brain is having difficulty understanding the position of your body in relation to the space surrounding it. So when you wear your new glasses, your brain may need some time to understand how to interpret the new images it’s receiving, causing you to feel disoriented or dizzy. Our visual system is sensitive. Some more sensitive than others. Just like the differences in pain tolerance amongst individuals. The improper adjustment of eyeglasses can cause unwanted magnification, prism, or minification effects. These factors change depending upon factors like the distance the plane of the lenses set away from your eyes, the curvature of the front of your eyeglasses, and the tilt of the plane of your eyeglasses relative to the plane of your face. Ever notice how you can make things look larger of smaller while looking through the lenses and moving them closer or farther from your eyes?

Try this experiment. Have a friend who wears glasses face you with their glasses on. Watch your friend’s eyes through their glasses. Ask her to move her glasses slowly farther from her eyes and then back closer to her eyes. Does the size of her eyes appear to change when you watch her eyes through her glasses? Ask her what she experiences while she is looking at you through the lenses and moving the glasses away from and back toward her eyes.

When Should I Call My Eye Doctor?

When the adjustment period extends beyond a few weeks, there is a possibility that there was an error in the manufacturing of the lenses or an improper fit of the eyeglasses.  Many people purchase eye wear from somewhere other than their eye doctor or order glasses online, and some studies have shown that up to 40% of online eye wear is made incorrectly or inaccurately. 

It’s important to note that many offices may charge fees to check eye wear that is not made by them and that there may be fees for rechecking a patient’s refraction when glasses are made by another source.

Discomfort that lasts longer than a couple of weeks means it’s time to call your optometrist. Persistent symptoms like headaches, dizziness, or blurry vision can indicate that your glasses aren’t well suited to your eyes and need adjusting. Your optometrist will double check the prescription of the glasses among other things to ensure that the new glasses are right for you. 

If you need new glasses or are having a hard time adjusting to a new pair, don’t hesitate to contact Mill Creek Vision to schedule an appointment with the Mill Creek opticians or doctors. As we learned above, there are “side effects” to lens optics and the improper adjustment of eyeglasses, just as their are “side effects” to medications. The power of the lenses, the lens prescription, is just the start of the process of clear, comfortable, vision. 

Can I Get Sunglasses With Progressive Lenses?

Optical Store in Mill Creek

Optical Store in Mill Creek

If you wear prescription bifocal or progressive eyeglasses, you may be wondering whether you can get “progressive sunglasses” — sunglasses with progressive lenses. The answer is yes, you can!

Progressive sunglasses offer sharp vision at any distance. They allow you to go on hikes and road trips, or enjoy a lazy afternoon reading under the sun. Enjoying sharp vision at every distance—without needing to switch glasses—is worth the short adjustment period most people need to feel fully comfortable with their new progressive lenses.

Contact Mill Creek Vision to learn more about progressive sunglasses. Our dedicated eye care team is here to answer any questions you may have, and will be happy to help you find the perfect progressive sunglasses for your face shape, style, and lifestyle.

What Are Progressive Lenses?

Progressive lenses accommodate three prescriptions in a single lens. They offer clear vision and a smooth transition from distance vision to intermediate vision to near vision — without the usual line typically found in traditional bifocal lenses. Progressives have the added benefit of solving the need to buy multiple pairs of prescription glasses or having you switch glasses depending on your activity.

These lenses are used by people of all ages, though the majority are worn by people aged 40 and older, as they tend to develop presbyopia (age-related farsightedness), which prevents them from clearly seeing images or objects up close.

Progressive Sunglasses

Progressive sunglasses offer an excellent solution for those with several prescriptions seeking eyewear for the outdoors. With progressive sunglasses, you’ll not only see better in the sun and protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. You will no longer have to switch between glasses and sunglasses.

Should I Get Progressive Sunglasses?

Although there’s a short adjustment period while learning to use progressive lenses, most people say they’d never go back to bifocal lenses. The same goes for progressive sunglasses! And with essentially three glasses in one, you can be sure you’re making the best choice in terms of comfort, aesthetics and convenience.

Here at Mill Creek Vision in Mill Creek, you’ll find a wide array of sunglasses, from exclusive brands to ultra-affordable models from our own hand-picked suppliers. We’ll be happy to prescribe quality progressive lenses for ultimate comfort in the sun.

Are Mirrored Sunglasses More Than Just a Trend?

Optical Store in Mill Creek

Optical Store in Mill Creek

When people see mirrored sunglasses, the first thing they notice is their trendy style and mirror-like reflective surface. These lenses are among the most popular choices for both prescription and non-prescription sunglasses.

Do people get mirrored sunglasses just because they’re stylish or are there other advantages? Keep reading to see whether this distinctive eyewear is right for you.

What Are Mirrored Sunglasses?

Mirrored sunglasses are made of several coatings, including specialized reflective optical coating (also called mirror coating or flash coating) that create a mirror-like finish. The color of the coating has nothing to do with the tint of the lenses, which, from the wearer’s perspective, appear greyish or brownish in color.

The main advantage of having a mirror coating is that it decreases the amount of light passing through the tinted lens by 10–60%.

Reflecting on the Benefits of Mirrored Glasses

They Keep Glare Away

The fact that mirrored sunglasses reduce glare is particularly useful if you’re driving in high-traffic conditions, where light is often reflected off of other vehicles; if you play outdoor sports; or spend time in higher altitudes.

Undeniably Fashionable

These shades are undeniably stylish and come in several colors. The most popular lenses are blue, silver, and multi-colored, allowing you to rock the shades that most express your personal flair while protecting your eyes from damaging ultraviolet (UV) light!

Durable

Because mirrored lenses are made of multiple layers of advanced coating, they are more durable and scratch-resistant than untreated lenses.

Maintain Anonymity

Mirrored sunglasses conceal your eyes. When people look at you, they see their own reflection, not your eyes. On your end, you’ll have no problem seeing everyone through these one-way mirrored lenses.

Mirrored Sunglasses Offer Extra Eye Protection

Though mirrored sunglasses may at times be pricier than standard shades, the benefits far outweigh the cost. You’re paying not only for the style and quality but for extra eye protection.

At Mill Creek Vision in Mill Creek, we supply an extensive collection of stylish frames and lenses with the most advanced technologies and latest trends from the fashion world, offering you the best solutions — no matter your style.

Choosing The Best Sunglasses

Optical Store Near You

Optical Store & Eye Care in Mill Creek

Sure, sunglasses might add the final touches to your chic ensemble, but the real reason to purchase your shades is to protect your eyes from the sun. Not only does glare from the sun make it difficult to see, but the UV rays it reflects can cause permanent damage to your eyes and vision. You want to make sure your sunglasses offer optimal protection, fit, comfort and of course, the best possible vision. Here are some things to consider when purchasing your next pair.

To purchase the best pair of sunglasses for you consider the following tips .

UV Protection

There are two types of UV radiation, UVA and UVB. UVA rays are less intense yet more prevalent than UVB rays, making up 95% of the UV radiation that reaches the surface of the Earth. They have been linked to skin cancer, aging and the development of cataracts. UVB rays are very dangerous to the eyes and are the primary cause of sunburns and cancer. While they are dangerous year round, these rays are more intense during the summer months, especially mid-day between around ten in the morning and four in the afternoon. UVB rays also reflect off of snow, water, sand and concrete.

The damage caused by UV rays is irreversible and cumulative, building up over a long period of time. This is why it is important to start wearing sunglasses when you are young (also because your eyes are more sensitive at a younger age). You want to make sure your sunglasses block out 100% of UV rays. This is the most important factor to consider when purchasing your sunglasses.

Additionally, in certain circumstances of intense UV exposure, a condition called keratitis can occur, which is essentially a sunburn on the eye. Symptoms often occur hours after sun exposure and can include temporary vision loss and severe pain.

Eye Doctor Near You

Sunglass Lens Options in Mill Creek

Once you are certain your sunglass lenses have the requisite UV protection, you can begin to consider other lens possibilities.

Here are some other lens options to consider:

Polarized Lenses:

Reduce glare from light reflecting off glass, water, snow, sand or pavement. You should consider polarized lenses if you participate in water or snow sports such as fishing, boating or skiing as the water and snow can create a strong glare. They are also great for comfort while driving by reducing glare and to enhance vision when on the road.

Tinted Lenses:

Certain lens tints enable you to see better or more comfortably under certain circumstances but you have to be careful. Lens tints can distort or reduce vision and some can even harm your vision by increasing your pupil size which leads to an increase of UV radiation penetrating the eye. Look for lenses with a medium tint that keep your eyes comfortable and do not have a negative impact on your vision. Your optometrists’ office can often make specific tint recommendations depending on your lifestyle or particularly activities (ex. golfing vs fishing) and the health of your eyes (for example, cataracts tend to cause more glare).

Photochromic Lenses:

Automatically darken when exposed to UV light. Photochromic lenses are a great option for individuals that wear prescription eyeglasses: one pair can serve you both indoors and outdoors. As soon as you step outside, the lenses will darken, and they’ll reverse when you go back indoors.

Lens Materials

There are also a few options when it comes to lens materials, such as plastics – including polycarbonate or acetate; trivex – which is a polymer material; or glass. The type of lens will determine the durability, clarity of vision and price of your lenses, so you should consider the factors that are most important for you and try out a few options to see how they feel.

Sunwear Frames

Frame Size

The size of your sunglass frame is important for both comfort and protection. Your frames should fit according to your face size and provide ample coverage for your eyes. When you try on your frames, make sure they cover your eyes and feel comfortable around the bridge and temples. Also check that they don’t slip off when you move your head down toward the floor.

Frame Materials

Frames can be manufactured from a number of materials and, these days, frame companies are constantly innovating to come up with new and improved options. These materials vary in strength, flexibility, weight, comfort and price. You need to choose a frame material that is comfortable, safe, and functional and that suits your lifestyle and your fashion style.

Making the Purchase

When purchasing sunglasses, keep in mind that your vision insurance may help to cover the costs when purchased at an optometry office rather than at a sports or recreation store. Check with your insurance and your local optical to find out about any discounts or coverage. Another advantage of purchasing from an optometrist’s optical is that the optician can help you to find the perfect pair to suit your eye and vision needs, as well as your lifestyle and fashion preferences.

The good news about choosing the right pair of sunglasses is that there are ample brands, colors, styles and materials to choose from. So when it comes to your shades, don’t settle for less than optimal protection, fit and comfort for your eyes.

Important Office COVID-19 Update

COVID BASIC OPTICAL RULES 8.5×11 1 page900px

COVID Protocol Update - Jan. 23, 2021

What a difference a few months can make. The state Positivity Rate of the SARS-CoV-2 virus has gone from a low of approximately 3.5% during the late summer to a current 12.4%. A larger Positivity Rate likely indicates the virus has spread more. Unfortunately, the occupancy of the critical care units in our state is also above the desired maximum (less than 80%) at an 83% occupancy.  The welcome news is that vaccinations have started for SARS-CoV-2. 

To the point. We are still following the same clinical protocols as before the availability of the vaccine. We still require ALL our patients to wear masks to their appointments, socially distance in our clinic, and reschedule your appointment if you should answer yes to any of the COVID-19 questions or have a body temperature 100.4 degrees F. or more as before.  If you wish to understand the reasoning for this, please continue reading this update, below. 

Having a vaccination helps to create “herd immunity”.  This means those who have had their full vaccinations and later “catch” the SARS-CoV-2 infection are less likely to have a serious reaction to the virus and thereby not require hospitalization. So most in the vaccinated herd react with a “mild” cold when they catch this bug. However, it is possible herd immunity does not stop those in the herd from the spreading of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to others within the herd or outside the herd. We don’t know that, yet. Of course those “outside” the herd (not vaccinated) continue to spread the bug to those “inside” the herd and amongst their peers “outside” the herd. From our CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019ncov/vaccines/faq.html

My patients have asked me if I would I be vaccinated for the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Yes, I have had my first vaccination and I have an appointment to obtain my second vaccination. 

I consider vaccinations like other public health preventive measures, wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets. Wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets are like vaccinations. They protect those of us who use them from more serious injury when they are used (the herd). Those who do not use them are more likely to have more serious injuries and fill the emergency rooms when they get into an accident (the virus). Are seat belts and bicycle helmets 100% protective? No. Are there adverse effects or consequences from using them? Yes. (Allergy to materials). Of course, those with conditions that should not wear helmets, use seat belts, or have the vaccination should avoid them.  But for the majority of us, consider how many more people there would be in critical care if we didn’t wear seat belts and bicycle helmets. Consider the higher virus Positivity Rates similar to driving or cycling when you have the worst traffic density. Wearing seat belts and bicycle helmets (vaccination) does not make one invincible. We still need to keep a safe distance from other vehicles, cycles, and people even if we are vaccinated.

Wishing Us a Healthy 2021,

Fred Arima, OD, FAAO

COVID-19: Protect Your Eyes From Too Much Screen Time

You and your children are likely spending more time on mobile devices and computer screens than ever before. Too much time spent staring at screens can cause computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, in certain people. While not serious, this condition can be very uncomfortable, potentially causing:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness

Should the above symptoms be frequent. Be sure to inform us at your eye examination. A Neurolens exam may be indicated.

Below are some useful tips to help you and your children avoid computer vision syndrome:

Blink more!

Staring at a screen strains the eyes more than reading printed material because people tend to blink 30-50% less. This can also cause your eyes to dry out. Be mindful of blinking and make it a habit when focusing on a screen, as it will keep your eyes healthy and lubricated. Dry eye symptoms are occurring at a younger age. The increase in screen viewing time is being investigated as a possible cause.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object located 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Doing so will allow your eyes to relax and will give both you and your eyes some rest.

Keep your distance

Your eyes work harder to see close up than at a distance. Try keeping your monitor or screen at arm’s length, or about 25 inches away.

Lighting matters

Make sure that your surrounding light is similar in strength to the light emanating from your screen. Contrasting levels of light, such as looking at a bright screen in a dark room, can strain the eyes.

Take breaks from the screen

You may want to stipulate ‘screen free’ time for yourself and/or your children, such as during meal times or for several hours throughout the day. Engage in hobbies that don’t require a screen, such as drawing, reading books, doing puzzles, playing an instrument or cooking (among many others).

Don’t use devices before bed

Studies show that blue light may affect your body’s circadian rhythm, also known as the natural wake and sleep cycle. Stop using screens one to two hours before bedtime or use nighttime settings to minimize blue light exposure.

Although it may require a bit of planning to protect your family’s eyes during this stressful time, ultimately, it’s all about balance — and what works for you and your family may differ from others.

From all of us at Mill Creek Vision at Mill Creek, we wish you good health and please stay safe.