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3 Signs That Your Scratched Cornea is Infected

woman at laptop eye painAll it takes is a little sand in your eye or too many hours wearing your contact lenses and you could end up with a scratched cornea. Although that might sound dreadful, it usually doesn’t even cause any noticeable symptoms unless it gets infected. At that point, you’ll definitely know something is up and will likely need to seek prompt care to get your eye to heal up right. Thankfully, our team at Lifetime Vision Center is here to help. Just let us know you need emergency eye care in Grand Forks, North Dakota, upon noticing any of the following symptoms.

Pain and Swelling

If a corneal abrasion causes symptoms, it often feels like a piece of debris is stuck in your eye. When the sensation goes beyond minor discomfort to actual pain, the scratch might be getting infected. Swelling often occurs as the pain worsens, although inflammation can arise if you rub your eye trying to get the suspected debris out.

Difficulty Seeing Clearly

With an infected abrasion right on your cornea, you’ll undoubtedly have a hard time seeing clearly. Your vision may look blurry after infection sets in — even if you normally have 20/20 vision. When your eyes start tearing up, the blurriness will get worse, leaving you unable to complete your normal daily activities.

Light Sensitivity

Light sensitivity often follows the pain and swelling, causing you to clamp your eye shut as bright lights shine your way. You might even find it impossible to leave the dark room without your eye tearing up and weeping uncontrollably. At that point, not even sunglasses will help. Your eye doctor may have you wear an eye patch to shield your eye from light until the antibiotics heal the infection.

If you do notice that you have something in your eye, you can potentially avoid getting a corneal abrasion by coming into see your emergency eye doctor right away. Otherwise, you just need to act fast if you experience any of the above symptoms. Either way, you can schedule your visit by giving us call at 701-746-6745. Upon receiving your call, we’ll help you find a convenient time to come in to our Grand Forks vision center and get the care you need.

Plastic Glasses or Wire Frames? What to Know, How to Choose

eyeglasses on eyechartPlastic eye glasses and wire frame eye glasses are both very different from one another. If you’re trying to decide between these two different types of eye glasses, it helps to have some basic information about each. Knowing the difference between plastic and wire frames can help. Here’s what you need to know about choosing eye glasses in Grand Forks, ND.

Plastic Frames, Pros and Cons

Plastic frames are colorful and vibrant – and often very noticeable. If you’re looking for a glasses frame that will express your personality and stand out against your face, then plastic frames may be right for you. However, there are some negative qualities to having plastic frames.

Namely, plastic frames can be heavier than wire frames. They’re also a little less flexible than wire frames, and they have nose pieces that cannot be adjusted. This means it’s important to find plastic frames that are well-fitted to your face, because you won’t be able to adjust the nose pieces grip your face properly.

Wire Frames, Pros and Cons

Wire frames are the classic eyeglass frames. They’re a tried and true product that are often seen as sophisticated and attractive at the same time. Since they’re lighter-weight than plastic frames, they can also be perceived as being more comfortable. However, there are some negative qualities to wire glasses frames.

They’re far less noticeable, so if you’re looking for a glasses frame that will express your individuality, you might be happier with plastic glasses. In addition, wire frames are easy to bend, which means that they can be easily broken if you are hard on your glasses.

Need to Choose the Right Eye Glasses? Call Today

The best way to choose the right eye glasses – either plastic or wire frames – is to try them on at the eye doctor office. Your eye doctor in Grand Forks, ND can help you decide which glasses look best on your face. In addition, your eye doctor can help you choose a pair that fits you properly. For more information about choosing the best eye glasses for your face, call us today to make an appointment.

What Causes an Astigmatism?

senior woman eye exam optometristAstigmatism affects the curve of the eye, specifically the lens. When one curve is round and the other is oval-shaped, you may start to experience blurred vision regardless of how near or far you are. This is a common condition, one that’s pretty easily treated though. If you’re wondering what the causes are, we’ll look at how it typically occurs and what you can do if you have one.

Slight Imperfections and Causes

Many people are born with astigmatisms, and it’s not always a cause for concern. A slight mismatch between the curves of your eye may not require any medical care at all. For some people, astigmatism is the result of surgery, disease, or injury to the eye. Squinting of any kind, whether it’s from sitting near a TV or reading in poor light, will not cause this disorder. It’s also possible that you can actually develop astigmatism from pressing too hard on your eyes frequently.

Can Astigmatism Occur with Vision Problems?

Yes. You might also experience either near- or farsightedness if you have astigmatism. With nearsightedness, your cornea is curved too much, while with farsightedness, your cornea is curved too little. If you have poor night vision, eyestrain, or headaches, these could be symptoms of astigmatism. Correcting this condition is usually done by wearing proper corrective eyewear.

Seeing a Doctor

It’s important to know that astigmatism can occur at any age. Misperceptions of different kinds of eye disorders can often cause people to dismiss astigmatism as a possibility. You should also know that there’s a wide degree of severity when it comes to this disorder. As long as you’re having regular eye checkups, your doctor will be able to tell you whether your astigmatism needs treatment. Usually, treatment comes in the form of custom eyewear but laser surgery may also be an option as well.

If you’re between eye checkups though and start noticing problems with your vision — enough that it’s causing interference in daily activities — it may be time to schedule an impromptu visit. This way, you can get timely updates about your eyes and determine the best course of treatment.

How to Protect Your Little One’s Eye Glasses

son mother trying on eyeglassesKids aren’t known for taking good care of expensive, breakable objects. If you’re a parent of a little one who needs corrective lenses, you might be nervous about how your child will treat their glasses. The following tips can help your child develop good habits with their glasses, while also preventing loss or breakage. Here’s what you need to know.

Develop Good Glasses Habits

Teach your child from the very beginning which habits can help them avoid breaking and losing their glasses.

  • Teach your child to wear their glasses every day, and not to take them off.
  • When your child does take off their glasses, teach them to put their glasses in a location where they’re easy to find.
  • Pick one spot in your child’s room where their glasses “live,” so your child will know where to put their glasses at the end of the day.

Use Special Tools to Prevent Loss and Breakage

There are many tools that can prevent your child from losing or breaking their glasses.

  • Strap. Straps help keep glasses on infants and toddlers who might be inclined to rip the glasses off their face.
  • Bluetooth tracker. These devices attach to the inside arm of the glasses and then allow you to find the glasses with a tracking app on your phone.
  • Sports glasses. If your child plays rough sports, consider buying them durable sports glasses.
  • Glasses case. Some children will diligently put their glasses away in a case which makes their glasses easy to locate. Buy your child a glasses case that is brightly colored, so it’s easier to spot in a messy room.

How to Find Your Child’s Glasses

Get used to noticing where your child puts down their glasses throughout the day. When your child can’t find their glasses, return to these places first. If your child is forgetful, be sure to buy glasses in a bright color that’s easy to see.

Does Your Little One Need Glasses? Contact Lifetime Vision

Buy the right glasses for your little one. The more comfortable and fitted they are to your child’s face, the more they’ll want to keep them on. To get started buying your child’s glasses, call Lifetime Vision today.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome?

woman computer glasses laptopThe average American spends about 7 hours per day in front of a digital screen, according to the American Optometric Association. This impressive amount of screen time can lead to an uncomfortable condition known as computer vision syndrome. Here are five things you need to know about this modern-day health problem.

1. Computer vision syndrome is common.

Computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain, affects kids and adults. Up to 90 percent of computer users experience computer vision syndrome.

2. Symptoms of computer vision syndrome can be disruptive.

Classic signs of computer vision syndrome include headaches, eye fatigue, blurry vision, dry eyes, and neck and shoulder pain. These symptoms are usually temporary, but if left unaddressed they can get worse over time.

3. Causes of computer vision syndrome are usually preventable.

Risk factors for computer vision syndrome include:

  • Frequent scanning and refocusing while looking at a screen
  • Infrequent blinking, which can impair the healthy tear film over our eyes
  • Glare, poor ambient lighting, and high contrast on the screen itself
  • Poor posture and ergonomics

Research also suggests that chronic exposure to excessive amounts of blue light—which is emitted from digital devices like phones, tablets, and computers—may lead to long-term damage to eye tissues and increase the risk of conditions like macular degeneration and cataracts.

4. Uncorrected vision problems can worsen computer vision syndrome.

Refractive errors like astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, or presbyopia can make computer vision symptoms more pronounced and longer-lasting.

5. An eye doctor can help you avoid computer vision syndrome.

We know it’s not possible to completely unplug from our digital devices. That’s why our Grand Forks optometrists are happy to introduce our patients to solutions that can prevent computer vision syndrome. Here are our top recommendations:

  • Keep prescription eyewear up-to-date
  • Improve the ergonomics at your desk
  • Think 20/20/20: after 20 minutes of computer use, look away from your screen for 20 seconds at an object about 20 feet away
  • Ask us about our blue light blocking lenses and lens coatings!

Call the Lifetime Vision Center today at 701.746.6745 to schedule your next eye exam with a Grand Forks optometrist and stop struggling with computer vision syndrome!

Comprehensive Guide to Contact Lens Care

contact on finger toward caseIf you take care of your contact lenses, you’ll be able to wear them for as long as you need to. Here is a comprehensive guide to contact lens care to ensure that you get the most use out of them.

  • Always wash and dry your hands thoroughly whenever handling your contact lenses. Otherwise, bacteria and tiny particles like stray hairs or eyelashes can get transferred to the eye, where they can cause infection.
  • Avoid using your fingernails to insert or remove contact lenses. This will help to avoid unnecessary tears.
  • Find the cleaning solution that is recommended by your eye doctor and stick to it. Don’t experiment with different brands of contact lens cleaning solution.
  • Make a habit of cleaning your contact lenses when you remove them and before being stored in their case, as well as when you take them out and prepare to put them into your eyes.
  • Avoid napping or going to sleep at night with your contact lenses in unless you are wearing extended wear lenses.
  • Throw old lenses away and use brand new lenses according to the contact lens’ recommended wear time. Contact lens material tends to deteriorate over time and if you try to extend that time you can risk damage to your eyes.
  • If you notice a tear in your contact lens, throw it away immediately. Do not attempt to get another days’ use out of it.
  • Use special moisturizing drops made for contact lenses only. Do not attempt to use regular eye drops while wearing contacts.
  • Keep an extra contact lens storage case in your car, office desk, or purse at all times. This will ensure that you always have a safe place to store your lenses if you need to remove them for any reason.
  • Keep your contact lens cleaning solution bottle clean. Avoid touching it with your hands. Run the nozzle under hot water every now again to ensure that the tip is sterilized.
  • Always put the cap back on the cleaning solution bottle after use. This will help to avoid contamination.
  • Never let anyone else try on your contact lenses. If you have a friend or family member who is interested in trying out contact lenses, they can visit an eye doctor in Grand Forks and get a trial pair of their own.

If you have more questions about how to take care of your contact lenses, please contact us today. We’ll be happy to demonstrate how to use and care for contact lenses as well as answer questions that you may have.

What Causes Eye Twitching?

woman eye twitchingAlmost everyone has experienced eye twitching at least once. Eye twitching can be mildly annoying, distracting, and embarrassing. But every now and again, eye twitching can be a real problem, especially if it becomes chronic or happens at inopportune times, such as when driving, operating heavy machinery or trying to do small tasks like sewing. Interestingly, you’re actually more likely to have eye twitching when you’re trying to use your eyes for something important.

What is Eye Twitching?

Eye twitching is nothing more than a muscle contraction. There are very fine muscles in your eyelids. When they spasm—or the muscle contracts repeatedly—you experience that bothersome twitching sensation. Sometimes eye twitching is evident to others but often, you can feel the eye twitching, but others can’t see it unless they are very close. This is why, when you do experience eye twitching, you shouldn’t feel embarrassed; it’s probably not even something that anyone else is aware of when it’s happening to you.

What Causes Eye Twitching?

The most common cause of eye twitching is eye strain. When the eyes become tired or “overworked,” you’re more likely to get an eye twitch. People who do lots of close work, like writers, sewers, knitters, and graphic artists are more likely to get eye twitching if they habitually strain their eyes. Another common cause of eye twitching is excess caffeine. Caffeine, in fact, may cause twitching in other areas of the body when too much is ingested. Even alcohol consumption in excess can lead to temporary eye twitching.

Treatment For Eye Twitching

Eye twitching is usually a completely benign condition that goes away on its own. No treatment is generally needed for eye twitching unless it becomes problematic. If you have chronic eye twitching, it’s probably time to reevaluate your lifestyle. Are you working with adequate lighting? Is your computer screen too close to your eyes? Are you taking too much caffeine or alcohol? For those who don’t drink coffee, remember that tea and chocolate also have caffeine.

Those with dry eye syndrome may have more serious issues with eye twitching. If this describes your situation, you should consult with your Grand Forks eye doctor for treatment advice.

How Old Does My Child Have to Be to Start Wearing Contacts?

pair contact lenses on tableMany parents wonder at what age their child can begin wearing contacts. One of the best ways to answer this question is by referring to a 2017 study that was conducted by the American Optometric Association (AOA), The Safety of Soft Contact Lenses in Children, the goal of this study was to determine how safe soft lenses are for children, which age group optometrists frequently recommend contacts to, as well as the reasons for these recommendations.

What Age is a Good Age to Consider Contact Lenses?

Many optometrists state that they typically begin fitting a child for contacts once he or she reaches the age of 10, 11 or 12. The age of 10 is typically the youngest age that optometrists will recommend contact lenses for because optometrists believe that once children reach the age of 10, they are mature enough to take proper care of their eyes and their contacts.

Study Results

Sixty-seven percent of the optometrists who participated in this study stated that they fit children who are 8 years old or younger for glasses. However, once the child falls within the 15 to 17-year-old age group, 66 percent of the participating optometrists stated that they would be more likely to fit the individual for contacts.

Can a Child Who is Younger Than 10 Get Contact Lenses?

Possibly, there are a variety of reasons that an optometrist may consider a child who is younger than 10 for contact lenses instead of glasses. For example, if a child practices good personal hygiene, is very responsible and really wants to wear contacts instead of glasses, he or she may be a good candidate for contacts. When a child wants to wear contacts, the likelihood that he or she will take proper care of them increases. In addition, an optometrist may recommend contact lenses for a child who participates in sports, fast-paced activities and dances because contacts are safer than glasses while participating in these kinds of activities.

If you reside in the Grand Forks, North Dakota, area and your child needs an eye exam, glasses or contact lenses, contact Lifetime Vision to schedule an appointment with an experienced optometrist. To schedule an appointment by phone, please call 701-746-6745 or, if you prefer, you can use our online form by clicking here. Lifetime Vision is located at 2900 South Columbia Road, Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Common Optometric Issues Resulting from Cancer Treatments

woman eye test optometristCancer treatment can range depending on the situation. However, chemotherapy, immunotherapy drugs, steroids, and radiation treatment continue to be some of the most commonly used forms of treatment. While effective, these types of cancer treatment can lead to a long list of other health concerns, including problems with your eyes. Here is a look at some of the eye health issues you may experience during cancer treatment.

Dry Eyes or Lacking Tear Production

Dry eyes can be the result of certain medications taken during cancer treatment. For example, steroids and certain chemotherapy drugs may block tear production and lead to your eyes feeling dry and irritated. The eye doctor may be able to help by giving you eye drops that help keep your eye lubricated throughout treatment. As an adage, some patients experience the opposite problem; they deal with excessive tearing.

Sensitivity to Sunlight

Some cancer treatment drugs can actually make you more sensitive to sunlight or UV rays. You may notice that your ordinary sunglasses no longer offer enough protection. You may also notice your eyes seem to burn or get irritated easily when you are outdoors.

Changes in Eye Color

While not as common, some cancer patients do experience changes in eye color during the more intensive forms of treatment like radiation or treatment with chemotherapy drugs. Even though changes in eye color are usually just a cosmetic change, it is important that you have an eye doctor assessing the situation carefully to ensure nothing further is taking place.

Changes in Vision

Blurry vision is perhaps the most common complaint patients have during cancer treatment. Numerous types of treatment can cause changes in your vision. You may notice blurriness, but you may also notice things like:

  • Dark spots in your field of vision
  • Eye floaters
  • Changes in peripheral vision
  • Issues with depth perception

Work with an Optometrist in Grand Forks to Protect Your Eyes During Cancer Treatment

When you find out what your treatment will look like after a cancer diagnosis, it is a good idea to get your eye doctor on board to protect your vision through the process. Reach out to us at Lifetime Vision Center in Grand Forks, ND to schedule an appointment.

What to do if You Get Something in Your Eye

woman putting in eyedropIn most cases, if something gets in your eyes, you can easily remove it. Foreign objects are dangerous as they can scratch the cornea. It may take several days for a scratched cornea to heal, and you may also need to visit your doctor. This part of the eye is a protective covering for the front of your eye. Light enters the eye through the cornea and focuses it on the retina. Foreign items refer to things that get into the eyes from outside the body. This can be any object that doesn’t naturally belong in your eyes, from dust particles to metal shards.

Flush With Water

You may be able to flush out foreign objects in your eyes using a gentle stream of clean, warm water. Place an eyecup or small drinking glass on the bone below your eye socket. Another easy way of doing this is opening the eyelid and aiming a gentle stream of water on the forehead. If you’re wearing contact lenses, ensure you remove them before or when applying the water. Some objects may be stuck under the lens. Avoid rubbing the eyes or using sharp objects when touching the eyeball.

How Do You Look at Your Eye?

It’s not always easy to tell where a foreign item is located inside your eye. Therefore, ensure you have enough light while trying to remove it. First, open your eyes wide. Secondly, pull the lower lid down and look into a mirror. Lastly, lift the upper lid and look into the mirror again.

How to Remove Makeup in the Eyes

If some makeup gets into your eyes, you may be easily able to remove it. The ideal method will depend on where the items are located. If they are in the lower eyelid, pull the eyelid out and press on the skin below it. If you see the particles, use a damp Q-tip to remove it. Take caution to avoid damaging the eyeball. If anything more substantial gets in your eyes, contact your eye doctor for assistance.

When Should You Get Medical Help?

If you cannot easily remove the foreign objects in your eye, or need emergency treatment, contact your eyecare professional as soon as possible.