Sixty Percent of Americans with Diabetes Skip Annual Sight-Saving Exams

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Sixty Percent of Americans with Diabetes Skip Annual Sight-Saving Exams

People with diabetes are at increased risk of developing serious eye diseases, yet most do not have sight-saving annual eye exams, according to a large study.

This is especially timely as the Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic (CVEC) joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in reiterating the importance of eye exams during the month of November, which is observed as Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. Researchers at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia have found that more than half of patients with the disease skip these exams. They also discovered that patients who smoke – and those with less severe diabetes and no eye problems – were most likely to neglect having these checks. The researchers collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to review the charts of close to 2,000 patients age 40 or older with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to see how many had regular eye exams.

Their findings over a four-year period revealed that:

  • Fifty-eight percent of patients did not have regular follow-up eye exams
  • Smokers were 20 percent less likely to have exams
  • Those with less-severe disease and no eye problems were least likely to follow recommendations
  • Those who had diabetic retinopathy were 30 percent more likely to have follow-up exams

One in 10 Americans have diabetes, putting them at heightened risk for visual impairment due to the eye disease diabetic retinopathy. The disease also can lead to other blinding ocular complications if not treated in time. Fortunately, having a dilated eye exam yearly or more often can prevent 95 percent of diabetes-related vision loss.

Eye exams are critical as they can reveal hidden signs of disease, enabling timely treatment. This is why the CVEC and the Academy recommend people with diabetes have exams annually or more often as recommended by their ophthalmologist.

“People with diabetes need to know that they shouldn’t wait until they experience problems to get these exams,” says Rahul N. Khurana, M.D., clinical spokesperson for the Academy. “Getting your eyes checked by an ophthalmologist can reveal the signs of disease that patients aren’t aware of.”

To schedule your annual eye exam, call 715-834-8471.

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Scary Lenses: Five Frightening Risks of Wearing Costume Contact Lenses

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Scary Lenses: Five Frightening Risks of Wearing Costume Contact Lenses

Scary-looking costume contact lenses may elevate your Halloween’s fright factor, but wearing them without a prescription could result in something far more terrifying – blindness. Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in ensuring the public understands the risks of wearing over-the-counter contact lenses.

It is illegal to sell non-prescription contact lenses, but they can still be easily purchased at places such as beauty supply stores, costume shops and on the Internet. Falsely advertised as “one-size-fits-all” or “no prescription necessary,” these lenses can cause serious eye damage.

Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic reminds patients of five frightening consequences of ignoring the warnings:

1.Scratches to the eye – If contacts are not professionally fitted to your eye, they can scratch the clear front window of the eye. This is called corneal abrasions, which is not only painful, but can cause permanent damage.

2.Research shows – wearing non prescription contacts increases the risk of an infection called keratitis by 16 times. Early treatment with antibiotic or steroid drops may preserve vision, but sometimes surgery, such as corneal transplantation, is necessary.

3.Pink eye – Never share contacts because doing so can spread germs, causing conditions such as pink eye. Highly contagious, pink eye treatment depends on the cause, but typically includes some home remedies and antibiotic eye drops.

4.Decreased vision – Whether from a corneal scratch or infection, wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to decreased vision.

5.Blindness – It’s no scare tactic: wearing non-prescription contacts can lead to permanent vision loss. Learn how to take proper care of your contact lenses to avoid dangerous eye infections.

One night of looking scary in costume lenses is not worth losing your eyesight. Protect your vision by getting prescription lenses from an eye health professional.

Prescription contact lenses are available to order through Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic.

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Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic Encourages Making Your Eyes Part of a Healthy Aging Strategy

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Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic Encourages Making Your Eyes Part of a Healthy Aging Strategy

According to a national survey released by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly two out of three American adults report having eye or vision problems. A significant percentage of them, however, fail to seek medical attention in the form of regular, sight-saving eye exams. In observance of Healthy Aging Month in September, Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic joins the American Academy of Ophthalmology in emphasizing the importance of having regular eye exams to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

Some of the more common age-related eye diseases include age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. Early detection and treatment of these conditions can help to save sight before vision loss occurs. Ophthalmologists recommend a dilated comprehensive eye exam as the best way to prevent these conditions from becoming debilitating.

U.S. Adults Do Not Get Eye Exams as Often as Recommended

The survey results emphasize a need for more education about the importance of medical eye exams. Findings showed that 64 percent of adults had at least one or more of the following issues with their eyes or vision:

  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Blurry vision
  • Reading up close
  • Flashes of light
  • Red, watery eyes
  • Double vision

Despite experiencing some level of impairment, only 13 percent admitted they had been seen by an eye care professional.

How Often Do Adults Need Eye Exams?

Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic recommends that a healthy adult get a baseline exam at age 40, even if they have no history of eye problems or eye disease. Those who have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, may require more frequent exams.

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, call 715-834.8471.

Schedule your appointment.

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Good Vision and Overall Health are Vital to Learning

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Good Vision and Overall Health are Vital to Learning

Back-to-school time is just around the corner, and the scramble to buy school clothes, new pencils and backpacks will begin. Ophthalmologists remind busy parents not to neglect one of the most important learning tools: their children’s eyes. Good vision and overall eye health are vital to learning. Because children are still growing, being vigilant about eye health is important.

The earlier that problems are identified, the sooner they can be addressed. For children to maintain healthy eyes and vision throughout the school year, Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic recommends the following four tips:

1. Get regular childhood vision screenings.

In addition to screenings for infants, children should receive vision exams when they are:

  • Pre-school age, between 3 and 3 and a half
  • Entering school
  • Experiencing a possible vision problem

2. Know and share your family eye health history.

Everyone should find out whether eye conditions or diseases run in their family. If these are not treated in childhood, they can cause permanent vision loss.

3. Watch for signals of eye problems.

Parents should be alert to symptoms that could indicate an eye or vision problem, such as complaints of eyestrain, headaches and squinting when reading or performing other common activities.

4. Wear protective eyewear when playing sports.

Eye injuries while playing sports can cause serious damage, whether by getting smacked with an elbow during basketball or hit with a hockey stick. If your child plays sports, consider having he or she wear certified protective eyewear.

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rice lake 715.234.8444

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Americans’ Love Affair with Digital Screens Seems to be Here to Stay

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Americans’ Love Affair with Digital Screens Seems to be Here to Stay

It seems children and teens are just as locked in as adults…staring at smart phones, laptops and tablets all day at school, then spending much of their free time nose-down on their phones. Our children are exposed to an unprecedented amount of screen time – screens that emit blue light and cause digital eye strain.

With more work, play and education coming in digital form every day, this is our new normal. Research from VSP Vision Care found that nearly 50% of parents surveyed say their children are “addicted” to digital devices.

THE SCREEN LIFE

According to Common Sense Media, tweens (ages 8-12) spend more than 4.5 hours per day on digital devices, and teens (ages 13-18) spend more than 6.5 hours per day. An eye-opening study by VSP Vision Care reports that by age 13, the average American child owns three digital devices and has up to 70 hours a week of screen time (including school homework). By 17, the average child has spent nearly 50,000 hours on digital devices (about a third of his/her life).

DIGITAL DEVICES

Though still being studied, the long-term effects of blue light on eye health may include macular degeneration, cataracts and other retinal diseases as today’s children get older. Right now, however, it’s causing eye fatigue and eye strain — headaches, dry eye (blink rates reduce when staring at a screen), blurred vision and neck pain. In addition, several studies now point to blue light as the culprit in sleep issues as it can interrupt natural circadian rhythms. This is especially true when digital devices are used right up until bedtime. The truth is, digital devices are taking a toll on young patients. VSP O.D.s say they are seeing a 38% increase in reported symptoms in kids from screen exposure. Do your children express any eye fatigue or sleep disturbances? It’s possible it could be related to a blue light issue. Start the discussion with your child on symptoms of eye strain. You might want to consider limiting their screen time, and don’t forget to schedule your child an eye exam.

GO-TO-LENSES

Lens coatings such as BluTech are a great option to add to your prescription glasses that are designed to filter harmful wavelengths known to be associated with digital eyestrain, headaches and sleeplessness. BluTech offers the most near-clear protection against blue light emitted by digital devices and artificial light without distorting color. Ask your optician about adding BluTech technology to your lenses.

THE 20-20-20 RULE:
Every 20 minutes,
look at something 20 feet away
for 20 seconds.

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Buying Glasses Online vs. In-Store Is it Worth the Convenience?

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Buying Glasses Online vs. In-Store. Is it Worth the Convenience?
Sure, it’s 2018, and the majority of our purchases are online these days. It makes sense that most would opt for the convenience of purchasing glasses online too, but be wary of the hassle and inaccuracy that can occur when you don’t order through an optician.
The American Optometric Association (AOA) recently conducted a study on eyeglasses ordered online through 10 of the most popular online retailers. Of the 200 pairs ordered, only 154 were actually received. The prescriptions in these lenses were then analyzed, and it was found that three out of every 10 pairs (29%) had at least one lens that failed to meet the required prescription. This problem is typically discovered and corrected when glasses are ordered through an optician. Check out the other reasons to consider buying in-store:

QUALITY:

Opticians not only stock quality frames, but will work with you to find the perfect frame for your style and needs. When you order online, you likely won’t be able to discover a loose hinge or faulty temple before you receive your eyewear. Opticians are trained and certified to ensure proper fit and quality of your eyewear.

ADJUSTMENTS:

Opticians can adjust your eyewear to sit perfectly on your face, which also means that you will be looking through your lenses at the optimal position for the best vision possible. Opticians can also verify that the lenses match the doctor’s prescription, and address any issues immediately.

TECHNOLOGY:

Not all eyeglasses are made the same. An optician offers digitally surfaced lenses. Instead of the traditional method of grinding lenses to the closest measurement, your exact prescription is mapped onto the lens, reducing distortion and giving you the best sight possible.

MEASUREMENTS:

Your pupillary distance (PD) measurement is the distance measured in millimeters between the centers of the pupils of the eyes. This measurement varies from person to person and also depends on whether you are looking at near objects or far away. PD measurement by an optician helps to ensure that the lenses will be located in the optimal position. Ordering glasses online can be a potential problem if the PD measurement is not accurate.

Correct measurement is also very important when it comes to progressive or bifocal lenses. The OC (ocular center) height must be measured to ensure accuracy in prescription and this measurement is specific to each patient, as well as each pair of glasses.

Eliminate the guesswork that comes with ordering online. Experience the technology, accuracy and quality that our optical provides.

Schedule your appointment.

By submitting this form, you are granting: Chippewa Valley Eye Clinic , 2715 Damon Street , Eau Claire, WI, 54701, permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email.

Locations

eau claire 715.834.8471

menomonie 715.235.8335

rice lake 715.234.8444

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