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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. 

What are the benefits of Blue Light Glasses?

Optical Store and Eye Exams in Mill Creek

Optical Store and Eye Exams in Mill Creek

What Are Blue Light Glasses and Do They Make a Difference?

Many people spend most of their waking hours staring at screens, exposing them to the potentially harmful effects of blue light. In fact, if you’re reading this on one of your screens, you’re exposing your eyes to blue light at this very moment.

All this screen time comes at a price: It can cause headaches, eyestrain, insomnia, and possibly eye disease. Blue light glasses (also known as computer glasses) have been touted to combat these problems head-on. But do they really make a difference to those who spend many hours a day staring at screens?

What Exactly Is Blue Light?

Blue light is a color in the light spectrum visible to human eyes — though it doesn’t actually appear blue to the naked eye.

It’s a short wavelength that produces high amounts of energy (from 400 to 500 nanometers) and is often referred to as high-energy visible light (HEV). In fact, any source of visible light emits blue light, whether it’s an artificial source like a digital screen or a light bulb, or a natural one, like the sun.

How Does Blue Light Affect Your Eyes?

It Obstructs the Wake/Sleep Cycle

Prior to the invention of artificial light, the sun regulated our sleep schedules. After sundown, the darkness signals to our bodies that it’s time to produce melatonin, the hormone responsible for enabling us to sleep.

Nowadays, we’re exposed to blue light throughout the day and late into the night. While exposure to any light in the evening hours delays the production of melatonin, blue light waves can be particularly problematic as they radically disrupt these signals, causing less melatonin to be generated.

This essentially throws off our natural body clocks, since the brain associates blue light with daytime, making it harder to fall asleep at night and wake up in the morning.

It May Heighten the Risk of Macular Degeneration

A 2018 study by the University of Alcalá suggests that a high level of blue light exposure may increase one’s risk of macular degeneration later in life, which can lead to permanent vision loss.

This is because blue light penetrates right through the cornea to the retina, damaging light-sensitive cells in the retina.

It Can Potentially Cause Eye Strain

Blue light scatters more easily than other visible light. This unfocused light reduces contrast and can contribute to digital eye strain, characterized by headaches, neck pain and blurred vision.

That’s where blue light glasses come in.

Research has indicated that lenses that filter out blue light significantly increase contrast. Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses may improve comfort levels when viewing digital devices for prolonged periods of time.

Are There Benefits to Wearing Blue Light Glasses?

As mentioned above, computer glasses reduce blue light exposure from computer screens and other digital devices. But are they worth getting?

According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation, blue light can cause retinal damage “at greater intensities,” but the amount of light emitted by screens is quite low. Whether there is a cumulative effect requires further research.

Getting Blue Light Glasses

If you decide to get blue-light blocking lenses, you can find stylish options with or without a prescription. So if you’re farsighted and wear progressive lenses or bifocals, you can get single-lens computer glasses to match your prescription.

You may want to consider getting photochromic lenses, as they provide protection from both UV and blue light, whether indoors or out in the sun. These lenses seamlessly and automatically darken when exposed to UV rays outdoors, and become clear again when indoors.

Mill Creek Vision in Mill Creek offers a variety of blue light glasses and lenses. Contact us today to discuss the optimal lens features for your lifestyle and get fitted for your perfect pair.

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

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COVID Protocol Update - Sept. 26, 2020

We would like to thank you for your co-operation with assisting us in preventing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2.

We are finding the most difficulty in limiting the number of patients desiring “walk-in” assistance. Unfortunately, due to the number of patients in our clinic, we may not be able to provide immediate “walk-in” eye care or optical, eyeglass, services. We ask that you make appointments for any of your optical or health care needs to help us to continue to manage social distancing.

We continue to limit our appointments for exams and optical to one person, the patient only, in the office. Of course if the patient is a minor or unable to communicate, than one accompanying adult is permissible. For example a translator for the patient or someone who assists an aging patient.

Most of all, we would like to thank you for wearing your masks and washing your hands. These are very important actions we can perform to help control the pandemic. It will also help control the spread of the flu as we move into this flu season. History has demonstrated that similar public sanitation actions such as fresh drinking water and public sewage disposal systems have had major impacts on reducing mortalities from “bugs” rather than dependence upon drugs alone.

For those who are concerned about the spread of viruses when running errands or visiting doctors, consider double masking.

We are also experiencing delays in the availability and delivery of some drug prescriptions, eyeglass lenses, eyeglass frames, and contact lenses at times. We thank you for your patience in the disruption of the supplies of these products.

You are making a difference. Our Seattle Times reported the state 28 day average of positive SARS-CoV-2 TESTS was 3.2% on Sept 24, 2020. It was 4.5% on June 30, 2020 and peaked around 5.8% around late July 2020. Our Washington State goal is 2% over a two week period. We are getting close to the next phase of reopening!

Wishing you good health,

Fred Arima, OD, FAAO

August 18, 2020 - Hybrid Eye Exams

The pandemic has dictated many changes in how doctors examine you. Currently to prevent the spread of this stubborn virus we utilize two basic principles. Sanitation and social distancing. Of course the wearing of face masks is one aspect of social distancing. An element of distancing is also minimizing face to face interactions with our patients. In health care we refer to this as the Hybrid Exam. We adopt these protocols to minimize the spread of the virus to other patients, our employees, and our families.

You will find we are using new testing instruments and technologies that reduce the face-to-face time doctors interact with you. The following changes have taken place in our patient care:

1) After testing data has been obtained by our assistants you will be seated in an exam room. Your doctor will be remotely analyzing and evaluating your test results from another room. Once you are seated in your room, it may be 15- 20 minutes before the doctor will have face to face contact with you to perform any additional tests that are necessary as well as explain the results of your examination.

2) We are using different exam rooms for different patients. Some of our rooms are designated for use with high risk patients. We thank you in advance for your patience with the delays this may cause.

3) Some examination results may require an extra amount of time to explain the results. It may be necessary to continue the explanation with a tele-med examination link or a phone call after your visit with us is completed.

4) If you are a high risk patient or living in a high risk situation (such as living with older family members or family members with high risk health conditions), please inform us at the time of scheduling your appointment. We will schedule you for a first patient of the day or first patient in the afternoon appointment.

5) Face masks are required by state law. If you cannot wear a mask for health reasons, please inform us when you schedule your examination so we may schedule you at a time to allow extra social distancing from others.

6) We now offer tele-med eye care. Please note. Not all conditions may be cared for with this remote technology. It does require use of your smart phone. Some insurance plans are not reimbursing for this exam type at this time.

7) It is important we maintain distancing in our optical area. Please call to schedule for any optical, eyeglasses, service. We are sorry, but we may not be able to help you if you  “walk-in” without an appointment or if you wish to use our optical immediately after an eye examination. We may need to schedule you for the first open optical appointment available.

8) Like other industries we are experiencing shortages and delays of products and services in eye care. We are encountering shortages of some prescription medications by pharmacies. We are also experiencing delays from optical lab services as well.

We thank you in advance for your understanding and patience in these unusual times.

 

 

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.

COVID-19 –  What Constitutes an Eye Care Emergency? 

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An eye care emergency is defined as medical care for conditions requiring prompt medical attention due to a sudden change in ocular or visual health.

Eye trauma, chemical exposure to the eyes, foreign objects in the eye, and ocular infections are all considered eye emergencies and should be given immediate medical attention. If you have an eye emergency, it’s critical to get immediate care in order to avoid permanent damage to your vision.

While some may opt to visit an emergency room for an eye injury, research shows that most emergency room visits for eye emergencies could have been treated by an experienced optometrist. Furthermore, going to the hospital for an eye emergency during the coronavirus pandemic isn’t the fastest or safest way to treat the problem; the hospitals are already overloaded and you risk catching the virus during your visit.

Dr. Fred Arima can offer personalized treatment for a wide range of eye emergencies and other ocular conditions. Call Mill Creek Vision for further instructions or call the number provided in the voicemail.

What Is an Eye Emergency?

Eye emergencies refer to any sudden onset of symptoms or obvious eye trauma that affect vision. These emergencies range from severe eye pain or vision loss to a sudden blow to the eye or chemical exposure. Call us if you experience any of the following:

  • Eye pain
  • Bleeding of the eye
  • Blood in the white of the eye
  • Swollen or bulging eye
  • Vision loss or double vision
  • New eye flashes or floaters
  • Pupils that are unequal in size
  • Severe photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Being hit in the eye
  • Bruising around the eye
  • Eye discharge
  • Suspected eye infection
  • Severe burning, stinging, itching eyes
  • Scratched or cut eye or eyelid
  • Split contact lenses in the eye
  • A piece of broken eyeglass lens in your eye
  • Foreign object stuck in the eye

If you’re uncertain whether or not your condition is an emergency, contact Mill Creek Vision immediately.

What Should I Do If I Have An Eye Emergency?

If you have a cut or foreign object in your eye, or if you suffered from other forms of eye trauma, DO NOT:

  • Rub your eye
  • Attempt to remove any foreign objects embedded in the eye
  • Use tweezers or swabs in your eye
  • Put any ointments or medication into your eye

First Aid for Eye Injuries

Refer to the following guidelines to prevent any long-term vision loss or eye damage.

Chemical Exposure

If a contact lens is in the eye, do not attempt to remove the contact lens using your fingers. Instead, flush saline solution or water over the lens immediately as it may dislodge the lens. Contact lenses can trap harmful chemicals against the cornea, causing unnecessary damage.

Seek emergency medical care promptly after flushing.

To avoid eye exposure to toxic or abrasive chemicals, always wear protective eyewear and use caution when handling these types of products.

Foreign Objects

Although your first instinct may be to rub your eye to get the foreign object out, try to resist the urge–as rubbing can further damage the eye.

If the object isn’t embedded in the eye, you may try to remove it by flushing it out. First, wash your hands with warm water and soap to prevent contamination or infection. Then, flush the eye thoroughly with clean water or preferably saline, if available. You can also try to induce tearing by using your fingers to gently lift the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid. Causing the eye to tear may flush out the foreign object.

If the object is visible, and not embedded on the eye, you can try to gently wipe it away with a damp, clean washcloth.

Seek immediate medical attention if the above methods do not work.

Blows to the Eye

To treat a black eye, apply a cold compress to decrease swelling and support healing. Use the compress for 5 to 10 minutes at a time, allowing the eye to rest between applications. A cold compress can be made by wrapping a bag of peas, or other soft frozen items, in a clean cloth.

Never place ice directly on the skin; use a clean cloth between the skin and ice.

Call Dr. Fred Arima immediately if you notice any of the following symptoms after the eye is impacted:

  • Changes in vision
  • Persistent or increasing pain
  • Bleeding or any blood on the outside or inside the eye
  • Any visible difference to the appearance of your eyes

Cut or Puncture to the Eye

This type of injury always requires immediate medical care, so after you call us, make sure to follow these precautionary measures to avoid further injury:

  • Don’t attempt to remove something embedded in the eye
  • Don’t wash the eye or eyelid
  • Try to shield the eye with something protective, for example – use a pad of cotton wool as an eye shield and tape it to the surrounding eye area

If you have an eye emergency, don’t delay treatment. Timing is everything — the earlier you get treatment, the less vision damage you’ll have over the long term. Take immediate action by contacting Mill Creek Vision today. Dr. Fred Arima will treat any eye emergency you have or refer you to specialized care (i.e. surgery), as needed.

Mill Creek Vision serves patients from Mill Creek, all throughout Washington.

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