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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 Sidney 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 Sidney 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 250- 655-1122 or visit us in person at Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, 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.

Sidney Optometrist – 5 Foods Can Help Improve Eye Health

Beyond your annual eye exam, there’s one big thing you can do for yourself to prevent eye disease and keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy. Eat right!

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5 Popular Foods For Great Vision and Healthy Eyes

At Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, our eye doctors care about your overall vision and eye health. During an eye exam, we’ll check for the presence of eye conditions and diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. We’ll also check if you need glasses or contacts for refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.

But what foods help the most for keeping your eyes healthy? Here’s a list of 5 popular foods for optimum vision and eye health:

Spinach

Spinach is a great example of a dark leafy green that is high in folic acid. This helps preserve the health of the optic nerve (the part at the back of the eye that sends visual information to the brain) and prevent degeneration. It is also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that can’t be naturally produced by the body, and which act as a sort of “sunglasses” for the macula, helping protect it from the harmful effects of blue light and UV radiation. High concentrations of these antioxidants reduce your risk of macular degeneration.

Sweet Potato

For a great source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are a great choice. Eating a baked sweet potato or a slice or two of sweet potato pie can help maintain eye health by reducing your risk of developing eye infections. Eye care professionals also suggest that vitamin A may also help reduce or prevent dry eye symptoms and improve night vision.

Carrots

If there is one superfood that our eye doctors would recommend for a huge boost to your eye health, it would be carrots. A single carrot provides a whopping 200% of the recommended minimum daily amount of vitamin A. Throw in critical minerals such as vitamins B, K, and C, as well as fiber and magnesium, and carrots simply can’t be beat as a must-have in your eye health diet.

Orange

Sweet potatoes, carrots… If we’re talking about orange foods, you can’t forget the delicious tang of oranges! These tasty citrus fruits are heavyweights when it comes to vitamin C, promoting overall body health and reducing inflammation in the eyes that can lead to dry eyes and infection.

Vitamin C also helps promote blood vessel health. This prevents weak blood vessels from leaking into the retina, causing diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment.

Amla

Not everyone has heard of this native Indian fruit, which is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as carotene. These are all essential for preserving the healthy structure and function of the eye and preventing various eye disorders and diseases. Eating only one of these delicious fruits each day can reduce cataract problems and intraocular tension, as well as combat itchy, red, watery eyes.

Eating right is a great way to minimize your risk of developing potentially sight-threatening eye diseases and conditions. To find out more about what foods can help keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy, speak to our optometrists at Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists in Sidney today.

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 250- 655-1122 Today!

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Sidney Optometrist – 3 Signs It’s Time To Get New Glasses

Did you know that people spend an average of seven hours every day staring at screens? What’s more, studies have shown that a whopping 68% of people regularly use more than one digital screen at the same time. This could mean using a smartphone while watching TV, a laptop while on a tablet, or any other combination of similar digital devices.

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How Do I Know If I Need New Glasses?

If you’re constantly tethered to your electronic devices, it’s important to learn to recognize when you need a change for better, more comfortable vision.

Don’t let your vision suffer because of too much screen time! Visit your Sidney eye doctors at Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists and make sure you have the perfect pair of new glasses to give you crisp, comfortable vision all day long.

3 Signs You Need New Glasses:

Changes in your vision:

If you experience vision problems like blurry or double vision or if you have to squint in order to read or see objects clearly, it may be time to visit us for a comprehensive eye exam. New glasses with an updated lens prescription may be just what you need to get your vision back on track.

Eye strain and fatigue when doing computer or other close work:

If you work on your computer or other digital screens for significant parts of your day, you may experience symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, and dry eyes. These can signal a condition known as digital eye strain. Along with a new prescription, you may also consider speaking to our eye doctors about special anti-glare and anti-blue-light coatings for your lenses, to provide an additional layer of protection.

Lots of time in the sun:

Long periods of time in the sun either as leisure or as part of a job that requires a lot of time outside, can cause your eyes to become irritated. Prescription sunglasses with a gray tint and a high rating for UV protection can help keep vision clear and comfortable while you’re out and about.

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 844-655-9822 Today!

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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. Samantha Bourdeau at Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists in Sidney 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

Sidney Optometrist | Best Eye Vitamins for your Vision

Vision supplements are a great way to add to your diet in a way that supports the long-term vision and eye health. Unfortunately, not all vision supplements are created equal. Many of them contain poor-quality ingredients or make claims about their benefits that are not backed up by science.

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Fortunately, there are several supplements out there that our eye care experts at can recommend. Here’s our run-down of the best eye health vitamins of 2022

Best Eye Vitamins of 2022

Vista Clear

According to Vista Clear’s official website, this supplement is formulated based on an ancient aboriginal recipe. Ingredients include chamomile, skullcap, St. John’s wort, lemon balm, and bacopa monnieri.

Vista Clear supplements are specially formulated with 26 individual antioxidants, vitamins, herbs, and minerals to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, promote overall eye health and vision, and support lens, cornea, and macula health.

Eagle Eye 911

This is one of the best vision supplements provided by PhytAge Labs and is an ideal formula for eye health and vision support. Eagle Eye 911 improves overall vision, supports the retinal membrane, develops optimal eye function, and helps reduce eye pressure.

With a blend of components added to their formula, including bilberry, grapeseed, and quercetin, PhytAge 911 has helped people achieve great eye health benefits.

Advanced Bionutritionals Advanced Vision Formula

This advanced vision formula contains bilberry, lutein, ginkgo biloba, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin. It helps support mental clarity, healthy eyes, and clear vision. It also reduces risk of vision loss from diseases such as macular degeneration by promoting retina, cornea, and lens health.

Many consumer reviews claim that this vision formula has significantly improved their vision.

Provisine

Provisine was created by a 32-year-old industry expert with the goal of helping treat a wide variety of eye diseases and conditions.

Provisine‘s official website claims that this supplement is an all-natural solution that guarantees 20/20 vision within weeks.

It contains lutein, mixed plant extracts, and a wide variety of vitamins & minerals.

Eyesight Max

Eyesight Max is a supplement that claims to treat the underlying reasons for vision loss, and not just the symptoms.

Their official website guarantees clearer vision in only a few weeks, without the need for exercise, surgery, prescription drugs, or anything else.

According to the published list of ingredients, Eyesight Max contains quercetin, bilberry, lutein, and various vitamins and nutrients.

Manufacturers advertise that it is produced in an FDA approved research center, and can protect against blinding eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. It is also marketed as a way to reduce blood sugar and blood pressure.

Divine Vision 12

According to the manufacturers, this supplement uses ingredients inspired by the bible to support vision health.

Ingredients include grapeseed, Bilberry, Marigold, Vitamin E, Zinc, Barley, Beta carotene, and more.

It’s advertised to help reduce the risk of age-related vision loss, promote overall day and night vision, support optimal eye health and reduce blurred vision. It also treats the root causes of macular degeneration.

ReVision

The makers of ReVision claim it is 100 percent natural, safe and effective, and can restore perfect eyesight in 24 hours.

Ingredients include huperzine-A, alpha GPC, phosphatidylserine, caffeine anhydrous, and L-theanine. It is marketed to help protect the eyes from the harmful effects of blue light, support brain health and overall eyesight, and reduce brain fatigue, eye strain and long-term risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Zenith Labs Vision 20

This supplement is especially effective for supporting the clear vision and healthy eyes for older adults and seniors.

With active ingredients including lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, gingko biloba extract, lycopene, astaxanthin, and copper, this supplement is ideal for reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration. This supplement is also gluten-free and vegan friendly.

PureHealth Research Complete Vision Formula

This proven vision support supplement uses essential vitamins to support and enhance your vision.

With essential eye health ingredients such as brown rice flour, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, bilberry, eyebright extract, and zeaxanthin, Complete Vision Formula supports and maintains eye health by providing nourishment to eyes and brain cells, protecting eyes from damage caused by free radicals, and lowering long-term risk of developing cataracts.

PureHealth claims that many consumers were able to go without glasses after a few months of taking their supplements.

Vision MD

Vision MD from 1MD is a nutritional supplement formulated by actual medical experts. It is based on a revolutionary new formula that contains proprietary formulas Lyc-O-Mato lycopene, OptiLut, and EVTene mixed carotenes.

It is advertised to protect the macula and retina from the damaging effects of blue light, improve visual acuity and eye health, support the health of the retina, macula, and lens and promote contrast sensitivity.

Nuzena Vision Support +

Nuzena Vision Support + is advertised as a vision supplement for protection against macular degeneration.

It contains bilberry extract, alpha-lipoic acid, lutein and zeaxanthin, and other nutrients that help promote macular and retinal health and protect against eye diseases such as macular degeneration. It also helps promote the health of the central nervous system, support healthy eyes and vision and reduce the risk of cataract formation.

Lutenol

Lutenol offers a vision support formula that aids in the healthy function of the eyes. It specifically promotes the health of the lens, retina, and macula. Two VitaPost Lutenol capsules a day can help reduce your risk of developing a number of potentially sight-threatening eye diseases.

Customer reviews on the manufacturer website claim there are no side effects.

The supplement contains lutein, zeaxanthin‍‍, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, bilberry, and vitamin E. It helps by reducing the risk of night vision loss, preventing macular degeneration, and boosting brain function and eye healh.

For more information on these and other supplements that can help you better take care of your eyes, contact our Sidney eye doctors at Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists today!

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 844-655-9822 Today!

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Can Cholesterol Affect Your Eyes?

When you think about high cholesterol, what do you think of? Most people would say something like “heart problem” or “cardiovascular disease.” But did you know that high levels of cholesterol can also have an effect on your body that goes beyond your heart? You may be surprised that high cholesterol can also have an impact on your eyes.

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High Cholesterol and Your Eyes

Xanthelasma (Fatty deposits) in your eyelid
The most common way that your eyes can be affected is through the presence of xanthelasma. These are small yellow-tinted deposits of fat in the skin around your eyes, specifically, in the upper eyelids and inside the eyelids, around the area of the nose.

Risk factors and causes of xanthelasma
Not everyone who has high cholesterol develops xanthelasma, but more than 50% of people who have xanthelasma have high cholesterol.

Some of the risk factors for xanthelasma include:

  • Heavy drinking.
  • Heart disease.
  • Smoking.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Obesity.
  • Conditions caused by xanthelasma

Usually xanthelasma isn’t painful. Though it’s usually just an issue of looks, xanthelasma can sometimes get worse, causing more serious problems.

Arcus senilis is a condition in which a white or grayish ring or halo appears around the edges of the clear layer of your eye that protects your iris, known as the cornea.

This ring comes from cholesterol deposits in your eye, which don’t impair your vision, but are still a definite sign of issues with high cholesterol which need to be addressed with your doctor.

Hollenhorst plaque is a much more serious issue than arcus senilis. This occurs when small pieces of plaque build-up that result from high cholesterol break loose from the blood vessel walls, travel up to the vessels in the eye, and get stuck there, blocking blood flow in one or more of the blood vessels within your eye. This can lead to potentially severe consequences for your vision, including vision loss and even blindness.

Increased risk of eye diseases and conditions

Along with the immediate signs of high cholesterol that are present in the form of xanthelasma and associated eye conditions, there is also an increased risk of developing several sight-threatening eye conditions, including:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Myopia
  • Treating cholesterol conditions in your eyes
  • Treating these and other eye conditions that result from high cholesterol requires a holistic approach that considers the whole body, One of the most effective ways to address these problems is to adopt a low-fat diet. This includes eating more unprocessed fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that are highly processed, such as potato chips and simple carbs.

In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe certain medications to help lower cholesterol including:

  • Statins (Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin and Lovastatin).
  • Bile acid sequestrants (Cholestyramine, Colestipol, Colesevelam).
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors (Alirocumab, Evolocumab).

Though they may not cause you any pain, these eye symptoms can still do damage to your vision, and are also a sign of an overall issue with your health. Don’t ignore the signs of high cholesterol.

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 844-655-9822 Today!

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Types of Eye Exams

With technology making life more and more convenient every day, there’s a growing trend toward online healthcare appointments. And eye care is no different. But what exactly can you get out of an online eye care appointment, and what should you still expect to visit your eye doctor in person for? Let’s find out!

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Online/App Based Appointments

These appointments are ideal for people on the go who are not suffering from any particular vision issues or symptoms. They are meant as a convenient way to update stable prescriptions for young adults between the ages of 18 and 40 who have no eye health issues and are experiencing no change in their vision. No eye doctor is present for these kinds of appointments.

Telehealth Visits

These appointments offer a face-to-face meeting with your eye doctor online, usually through a specialized telehealth service optimized for your privacy. They are for patients who may already be established with the practice or have complaints related to the outside of the eye or the eyelids, such as a black eye or stye. Nonetheless, even a telehealth appointment with the highest-quality webcam can’t give your eye doctor nearly as much information as they can get from high-resolution imaging equipment in-office.

In-Person Comprehensive Eye Exams

This is the most thorough type of eye exam. It allows your eye doctor to utilize the latest eye care technology to measure your level of refractive error, test your inner eye pressure to check for signs of glaucoma, take images and scans of your retina to guard against retinal detachment and macular degeneration, and more.

Many potentially sight-threatening conditions show no signs or symptoms until significant damage to the eye has already been done. These conditions can only be detected with a thorough in-person eye exam.

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 844-655-9822 Today!

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Effective Tips for Reducing Computer Vision Symptoms

In this day and age, you simply can’t escape the glow of smartphones, tablets, computers, and TVs. Unfortunately, this can have some very damaging effects on your eyes.

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After a full day in front of screens, many people report experiencing symptoms such as eye strain, light sensitivity, and headaches. All of these have been linked to extended screen time, and are often referred to as computer vision syndrome.

These symptoms can be especially bad for those with myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism.

Since many of us need these screens for school and work, we don’t have the luxury of significantly reducing our daily screen time. Nonetheless, there are still many creative ways to reduce the painful and uncomfortable effects of extended digital screen usage.

Here are four effective ways to minimize eye fatigue and other computer vision symptoms.

Ask about ways to reduce blue light exposure

One of the most common unseen problems with digital screens is blue light exposure. Though blue light is natural, and even healthy for your eyes in moderation, excessive amounts like that experienced from long hours on screens can cause issues with sleeping and result in strain on your retina that has been linked to an increased risk of long-term retina damage.

One easy and inexpensive way to reduce the effects of blue light on your eyes is by asking your eye doctor during your annual eye exam about anti-glare and anti-blue light coatings for your glasses. Many electronics stores will also sell blue light filters for your computer and other digital screens.

Try the “20-20-20 Rule.

Research shows that spending long hours concentrating on computer work significantly decreases the number of blinks you take per minute, leading to dry, red, itchy eyes.

Try the “20-20-20 Break and Blink Rule” to help increase the number of blinks you take while working. Every 20 minutes in front of your computer, look at an object 20 ft away from you for 20 seconds and blink. This gives your eyes a chance to “reset” before continuing to work and helps prevent eye strain, dry eyes, and headaches.

Take Eye Health Supplements.

Eye health supplements contain healthy and essential nutrients and vitamins and minerals that can help reduce the harmful effects of digital screens. Zeaxanthin and Lutein are anti-oxidants found in many supplements that can’t be naturally produced in the body and help protect the macula from blue light damage.

High-quality eye health supplements can reduce computer vision symptoms, as well as minimize the long-term risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Lubricate your eyes.

Naturally, our eyes lubricate themselves by blinking. However, because of the reduced rate of blinking mentioned earlier, eyes tend to dry out faster while concentrating on digital screens.

One way to combat this is by the use of lubricating drops or artificial tears. Though over-the-counter eye drops are easy to obtain, it’s always better to speak to your eye doctor to get the best advice on what will help you the most. In many cases, prescription eye drops or artificial tears will be much more effective.

For more information on how you can reduce eye strain and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome, speak to our eye care professionals at today!

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 844-655-9822 Today!

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How to Practice Natural Eye Care

It’s a fact of life. Eye health and vision naturally decline as you age. However, while some of these changes are inevitable, there are still natural actions (we’re not talking about taking medications!) you can do to improve eye health, even with the passing of years.

Our Sidney eye doctor, Dr. Samantha Bourdeau has prepared a list of seven lifestyle hacks for enhancing your eye care naturally:

  1. Upgrade Your Diet : In our fast-paced, instant-gratification society, ready-to-eat junk food abounds. It can be challenging to consistently maintain a healthy diet. But if you are sincerely dedicated to improving your health, it’s time to look closely at what you’re putting into your body and make changes, as necessary. Over time, poor nutrition can lead to a variety of serious health problems, many of which can affect your vision.

    Your diet should consist of plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, with healthy fats and carbohydrates mixed in. Choices such as berries and vegetables with carotenoids (carrots, bell peppers, squash), dark leafy greens, and fish, for example, are recommended to boost eye health.

  2. Manage Your Weight : Obesity can lead to many life-threatening conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and arterial disease. These serious health issues are linked to vision damage. In addition to improving your diet, it’s vital to add exercise to your daily routine. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of physical activity. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to get it over within one-shot or spend all those minutes at the gym. Pick a physical activity that you enjoy, be it walking the dog, swimming in the community pool, or biking with your kids. Anything that keeps your body in motion, ideally for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time, qualifies.
  3. Wear Sunglasses : Too much sun exposure and UV rays can damage your eyes. Put on a pair of sunglasses with 100% protection against UVA and UVB rays every time you head outdoors, even if it’s cloudy. Wearing a hat and sunscreen is also advised.
  4. Don’t Smoke : Tobacco products aren’t meant to be introduced into your body. Smoking is a risk factor for many diseases, including eye disease. So if you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, now’s the perfect time to quit.
  5. Brew a Cuppa Green Tea : Praised as a “miracle drink,” green tea may not be a scientific cure-all – but it certainly helps promote heart health, skin health, and weight loss. It has also been associated with reducing the risk of cancer, cognitive decline and diabetes, as well as helping to defend your eyes againstlens damage and retinal problems.
  6. Limit Screentime : Nowadays, so many parts of our lives are immersed in screens – from work to study to entertainment. Modern technology is amazing and beneficial, but it can also be hazardous to your eye health. Take care to take breaks when working in front of a computer; practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your screen at something about 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds.
  7. Visit an Optometrist Near You for Eye Exams : While following these recommendations for natural eye care can help you keep your peepers healthy, it doesn’t eliminate the need for regular eye exams from a qualified eye care provider. Eye exams check for major issues that can’t be detected or treated at home.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Astigmatism, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you? Do you suffer from Digital Eye Strain? Our Sidney eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists eye clinic near you in Sidney, [state] to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 844-655-9822

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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    • Which foods are good for the eyes?

      Your diet should consist of plenty of fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, with healthy fats and carbohydrates mixed in. Choices such as berries and vegetables with carotenoids (carrots, bell peppers, squash), dark leafy greens, and fish, for example, are recommended to boost eye health.

    • Can your weight affect your eyes?

      Obesity can lead to many life-threatening conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes, and arterial disease. These serious health issues are linked to vision damage. In addition to improving your diet, it’s vital to add exercise to your daily routine. Aim for a minimum of 150 minutes a week of physical activity. Of course, that doesn’t mean you need to get it over within one-shot or spend all those minutes at the gym. Pick a physical activity that you enjoy, be it walking the dog, swimming in the community pool, or biking with your kids. Anything that keeps your body in motion, ideally for a minimum of 20 minutes at a time, qualifies.

    • How often should you get an Eye Exam

      While following these recommendations for natural eye care can help you keep your peepers healthy, it doesn’t eliminate the need for regular eye exams from a qualified eye care provider. Eye exams check for major issues that can’t be detected or treated at home.

    • Can screen time affect your eyesight?

      Nowadays, so many parts of our lives are immersed in screens – from work to study to entertainment. Modern technology is amazing and beneficial, but it can also be hazardous to your eye health. Take care to take breaks when working in front of a computer; practice the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from your screen at something about 20 feet in the distance for 20 seconds.

What is Excessive Screen Time Doing to Your Kid’s Vision?

Schools across the country are learning virtually, which means kids are spending long hours staring at a computer screen. This has prompted eye care professionals everywhere to question the impact of prolonged screen time on children’s eyes.

Long periods of screen time have been associated with lasting effects on kids’ vision and physical health. Since much of the time spent on digital devices is for learning purposes and therefore unavoidable, it’s vital to teach kids healthy habits to prevent future eye problems. Our eye doctor near you summarizes the concerns and provides advice for how parents can help mitigate the effects.

Common Symptoms Caused by Screens

  • Eye strain and fatigue
  • Red eyes
  • Eye rubbing
  • General vision discomfort
  • Headaches

All of the above symptoms can make it harder for kids to learn and focus on the school work they need to get done. However, as children spend more and more time on computers, they often get used to the uncomfortable symptoms and assume they’re normal, so they won’t even complain. That’s why it’s up to parents to spot the signs and consult an optometrist near you. Neglecting to consult with an eye care provider for assistance and relief from the symptoms, may cause your child’s learning to suffer.

Vision Can Change

Hours spent learning online can also change your child’s vision prescription enough that new eyeglasses or contact lenses are required. By not visiting an eye clinic near you for an eye exam to check vision, kids may also begin to dread and avoid learning, because it’s simply too hard to see it clearly and comfortably. If your child’s grades begin to slip, it’s recommended to book an eye exam with vision testing by a qualified eye doctor.

Tips to Help Prevent Vision Problems

It’s essential to be proactive with pediatric vision and not simply to wait until problems surface. By practicing preventive eye care, you can help promote success for children in school and in life. In particular, we recommend kids who learn and play on a computer or other digital device, take regular breaks to play outdoors. Also, book routine pediatric eye exams. Yearly checkups are recommended for school-aged children; for kids under age 5, visit an optometrist near you at one, three, and five years of age.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Astigmatism, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Sidney eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists eye clinic near you in Sidney, British Columbia to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 844-655-9822

Ray Dahl Optical & Optometrists, your Sidney eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

FOLLOW US

  • My child is struggling in school. Should I have his/her eyes examined?

    A comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist can often determine if there are visual issues interfering with a child’s ability to perform in school. Many visual symptoms, some obvious, others less so, can contribute to a child’s poor academic achievement. The most common symptoms to watch out for: Blur at distance or near Skipping or re-reading lines or words Reduced reading comprehension Difficulty shifting focus from near to far or far to near Difficulty copying from the smart board Double vision Closing or covering an eye when working at near Headaches; especially in the forehead, temple, or eyebrow regions Difficulty attending to near work or an avoidance of reading Poor spelling Misaligning numbers in math Unusual head or body posture when working at near Some of these issues can be alleviated with a good pair of eyeglasses while others may require vision therapy. Vision therapy, like occupational therapy or physical therapy, is a systematic program where the body, in this case, the visual system, can be retrained and strengthened to improve its ability to function.

  • My child says it gets blurry when looking from his paper to the board at school, and getting him to read is difficult. Is there anything I can do to help?

    Your child is not alone. While we have seen some children with focusing problems for many years, there is a huge increase in accommodative(focusing) problems with children today. Dr. Samantha Bourdeau has helped many children make reading easier and more enjoyable. Words shouldn’t move in and out of focus or move around when you are reading. Either with spec lenses with extra power for reading or multifocal contacts, we can make reading more comfortable for many children. There is no reason to make school and reading more difficult by straining and having the eyes work harder to see.

  • My child passed the screening test at school, isn’t that enough?

    Distance and reading are two different things. Someone with perfect distance vision can still have focusing problems up close. Doctors need to check for both, many children have undiagnosed accommodative (focusing) problems because no one ever looked for it before. We always check the distance and near vision of all ages because it is so important. Other areas that need to be checked are eye muscle alignment, color vision, depth perception, and overall health of the eyes.

  • What can I do about Digital Eye Strain?

    We can help! We offer a number of different eyeglass lenses that can help people of all ages relieve Digital Eye Strain and ease fatigue after extended reading or computer use. There are also lens treatments such as anti-reflective and blue light blocking to protect our eyes and make our eyes more comfortable. We also prescribe many different types of contact lenses to make reading more enjoyable and make it easier to focus from distance to near.