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Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

WHY SHOULD I SEE AN EYE CARE PROVIDER?

Thursday, April 18th, 2019

There are many silent diseases like glaucoma and diabetes which can only be detected through a regular eye exam. If these conditions are discovered earlier rather than later they are much easier to manage and treat which may allow for better preservation of eyesight.

Also, drugstore reading glasses often do not work well since most people have some type of astigmatism or even varying prescriptions in each eye. Drugstore glasses often result in individuals experiencing constant eye fatigue and headaches. Not having an eye exam also forgoes the opportunity to screen for diseases that are treatable like the ones mentioned above.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I GET NEW GLASSES?

Generally speaking, visits to the eye doctor should take place annually but it really depends on many factors such as an individuals changing needs and their taste. It’s best to consult your doctor right away if you notice problems with vision or if you’re having headaches that way you can get a full evaluation and new glasses if you need.

HOW CAN I DETERMINE IF I NEED BIFOCALS?

Presbyopia is a medical condition which makes it difficult to see clearly both at a distance and when reading. It is more common for those over 40 years of age to be prescribed Bifocals and progressive lenses but they are suitable for any patient presbyopia. Over Crossing of the eyes when viewing close objects can be treated with bifocals as well. To see if Bifocals are right for you it is worth completing an eye exam with a qualified eye doctor.

CAN I USE PROGRESSIVE LENSES INSTEAD OF BIFOCALS AND STILL USE A SMALLER EYE GLASS FRAME?

Yes. Progressive lenses may be the right choice for you if you need more precision in your viewing range while still maintaining a smaller lens diameter. However, some frames may still be too small to fit properly. Finding a frame that is sized correctly for not only your face shape but also sized correctly for your lenses, should only be done by a trained optician or eye doctor.

WHY DO MY LENSES SEEM SO THICK?

The final thickness of your lenses depends on how strong your prescription is, how big your frame is, and the measurements of your face. In some cases, lenses now are 60% thinner than before. This is due to increase in technology and innovations in materials. If you’re concerned about your lens thickness notify your Eye Care Professionals’ staff and they will help you choose a frame that may allow for a thinner lens.

WILL I ALWAYS HAVE TO WEAR EYE GLASSES?

Unless you elect to use contact lenses or opt for corrective laser eye surgery then you will most likely need to wear glasses. However the great news is that there are so many advancements in Eye Care technology that nothing is impossible.

Simple Tips for Healthy Eyes

Monday, March 4th, 2019

Your eyes are an intricate part of your health. There are a lot of things you can do to make sure you’re seeing your best and to keep them healthy. Just follow these simple rules for keeping your eyes healthy as you age.

Have a comprehensive dilated eye exam.

You may think your eyes are healthy and that your vision is okay but seeing your eye doctor for a comprehensive dilated eye examination is really the only way you can be sure. Some people don’t realize that they could definitely see better with contact lenses or glasses when it comes to vision problems. Also many common eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, or diabetic eye disease many times have no warning signs. The best way and sometimes only way to detect these diseases in the early stages is with a dilated eye exam.

When you have a comprehensive dilated eye examination your eye doctor places drops into your eyes which dilates them to allow the most light possible into the eye so that way your eye care professional can get a good look at the back of your eye and examine them for any diseases or damage to it. Your eye doctor is the only way to ensure that you’re seeing your best and that your eyes are healthy.

Know your family’s eye health history. Strike up a conversation with the members in your family about their eye health history if anyone has been diagnosed with and I disease or a condition it’s important to know because some of these are hereditary. This will help you to see if you are at a higher risk for developing a condition or an eye disease.

Protect your sight by eating a healthy balanced diet. The time old saying that ‘Carrots make you see better in the dark’ is actually not far from the truth. Good eye health can easily be enhanced by a diet rich in dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale or collard greens.

It has also been proven by scientific research that eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna or halibut is highly beneficial to good eye health.

Maintain a healthy weight. Other health factors such as obesity can increase your chances of developing diseases such as diabetes which can result in vision loss and diabetic eye problems such as disease or glaucoma.

Protect your eyes. Protecting your eyes with the appropriate protective eyewear when doing potentially harmful activities may seem obvious but it is fundamental to avoiding injury. Anything from safety goggles, glasses, safety shields and eye guards can be used depending on the activity. Most protective eyewear lenses are made of polycarbonate, which is 10 times stronger than other plastics. Many eye care providers sell protective eyewear, as do some sporting goods stores.

Quit smoking or never start. Smoking is as bad for your eyes as it is for the rest of your body. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataract, and optic nerve damage, all of which can lead to blindness.ii,iii

Be cool and wear your shades. Sunglasses are a great fashion accessory, but their most important job is to protect your eyes from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When purchasing sunglasses, look for ones that block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation.

Give your eyes a rest. If you spend a lot of time at the computer or focusing on any one thing, you sometimes forget to blink and your eyes can get fatigued. Try the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, look away about 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds. This can help reduce eyestrain.

Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly. To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Make sure to disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.

Practice workplace eye safety. Employers are required to provide a safe work environment. When protective eyewear is required as a part of your job, make a habit of wearing the appropriate type at all times and encourage your coworkers to do the same.

Treating Conjunctivitis

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

With kids back in school, one of the most common eye conditions parents have to watch for is Pinkeye or conjunctivitis. While Pinkeye is one of the most common eye conditions for both children and adults, it also one of the most treatable.

Pinkeye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin, clear tissue that lines the inside of the eyelid and the white part of your eyeball. The highly contagious infection spreads easily via contact and with kids in close contact during the school year and touching the same surfaces, cases rise while school is in session.

It is commonly thought that pinkeye is always due to a bacterial infection. However, this condition can be caused by things such as viruses, allergens and irritants.

These other types of conjunctivitis will typically resolve spontaneously without any additional treatment. However, bacterial conjunctivitis is very contagious and can quickly spread throughout a household or classroom. Therefore a physician should be consulted when bacterial conjunctivitis is suspected.

There are some easy ways to try and help prevent and deal with bacterial conjunctivitis.

One of the easiest is to wash your hands (for at least 15 to 20 seconds) and use alcohol sanitizer when water and soap are not available. Eye make-up should be avoided during an infection. Eye make-up that’s been used should be thrown away because it probably is contaminated.

It’s also a good idea to take your contacts out if you’ve been diagnosed with Pinkeye and wear your glasses until the infection has run its course. Try to avoid touching your eyes with your fingers, since that’s the way conjunctivitis spreads from one eye to another. Work and school should be avoided until you’ve been treated with antibiotics for at least 24 hours.

Child Eye Tests

Friday, January 4th, 2019

Your child’s first eye exam can be a little confusing, a little daunting and a real adventure. While it might seem obvious to some, exactly who to set up an appointment with for your child first exam can be a little blurry. Is it the optician? Or is it the optometrist? And how about the ophthalmologist?

Kids do not have to be able to read or identify letters in order to have a successful comprehensive eye exam. A pediatric optometrist uses other specially designed equipment, matching games, toys, lights, and other techniques to effectively evaluate a child’s visual function, depth perception, focusing, and eye teaming. Pediatric eye exams should be fun for kids but also to identify anything that may hinder their learning and development.

Don’t worry, here’s a quick guide for picking the type of eye care professional to match the needs of your child.
You can cross an optician off the list for your child’s initial exam. An optician is not an eye doctor, they don’t do eye exams and they don’t prescribe glasses. What an optician does do is make and fit glasses and educate wearers – especially those new to glasses, like kids – in the proper use and care of eyewear.

Most likely you’re going to make the initial exam for your child with a Doctor of Optometry, better known as an optometrist. They are licensed eye care professionals who are trained to perform eye exams, diagnose and treat vision problems. Optometrists can also prescribe eyeglasses.

Rounding out the group is an ophthalmologist, who is a physician that has specialized in medical and surgical eye car. Most likely they have followed up their time at a medical school with concentrated training in eye surgeries. They are also qualified to treat general eye and vision care and all the other things an optometrist can do, but can also perform eye surgeries.

Flex Spending

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

What is a Flexible Spending Account?

Given the current trend toward expensive healthcare, the physicians at Beach Eye Medical Group in Orange County feel it is important for patients to be aware of the flexible spending account payment option. The major benefit of having a flex spending account, or FSA, set aside to pay medical expenses is that the cost of out-of-pocket healthcare expenses is tax-free. This means that you will save the money you would have spent on taxes when paying for co-payments, deductibles, certain prescription drugs, and various other medical costs through your FSA. In some way it is like having a discount on your healthcare bill.

Why Consider an FSA?

Flexible spending accounts were introduced by the federal government in the 1970s in response to a major increase in health expenses when employers started charging annual deductibles and co-insurance in the 60s. Since then, medical bills have gotten increasingly expensive. At Beach Eye Medical Group your FSA can be used to buy prescription glasses, sunglasses or contacts, and can be used toward the cost of your eye exam in either our Huntington Beach or Irvine office.

How Do They Work?

According to information provided by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which is published on fsafeds.com, an FSA saves individuals about 30% of the cost of medical expenses. The premise is that the separate account allows an individual to set aside a sum of money (up to $2,6000 a year) specifically for health related expenses. The money is deducted from the employee’s paycheck and deposited into the special account before taxes are taken out. This money can be used for healthcare expenses for both the individual and his or her dependent.

Logistics of Your FSA

When settling a health expense you can either pay directly through a debit card linked to your FSA or submit receipts to receive reimbursement for the expenses. Participation does not automatically renew, so patients must re-apply each calendar year. In addition, though your individual benefits depend on the provider’s calendar year, most benefits expire on either March 31 or December 31 of a given year. Any remaining funds are lost after this date.

FSA for Prescription Glasses and Sunglasses

At Beach Eye Medical Group you can pay for your prescription glasses and sunglasses through your FSA. Like prescription glasses, prescription sunglasses are considered a legitimate medical device that qualifies them for purchase through an FSA.

If you’ve been putting off buying a new pair of glasses, now is the time to consider using your FSA tax-free funds for your purchase. Even if you have vision insurance, your FSA can provide a discount as you can pay for any remaining expenses outside your coverage limit through your FSA.

FSA for Prescription Contact Lenses

Your FSA can be used to purchase daily, weekly, or monthly disposable contact lenses so long as you hold a valid prescription. Your FSA can also be used to pay for extra expenses such as contact lens cleaning and storage. Usually, you will be asked to pay the cost of your contacts up-front and will be reimbursed up to the maximum payment allowed.

FSA for Eye Exams

You can use your FSA funds toward deductibles and co-pays for an eye exam at either of our Orange County locations. If you have vision insurance and your exam is already covered you can direct the FSA funds toward your co-pay.

Have more questions? Let our friendly staff help you determine if an FSA is right for you. Call us today at (714) 965-9696.

Sleep Apnea and Your Eyes

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Sleep apnea is the involuntary cessation of breathing during sleep. It affects over 18 million Americans today and puts them at risk for other life-threatening diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. A recent study by the Mayo Clinic has found that sleep apnea also has a strong connection with the eyes. The experts at Beach Eye Medical Group are well aware of the devastating effects that sleep apnea can have on the eyes. This is why they are committed to helping sleep apnea clients living in Huntington Beach and Irvine keep their eyes healthy!

How Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Eyes

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a type of sleep apnea that is characterized by the relaxing of throat muscles that eventually lead to the blocking of the airway. When left untreated, repeated air deprivation can lead to the development of diseases that affect the circulatory system, such as hypertension. When the circulatory system is compromised, the supply of oxygen and nutrients to vital organs is also affected.

Being a highly vascular organ, the eyes are dependent on a steady supply of blood and nutrients. Beach Eye Medical Group has successfully treated many sleep apnea clients living in Huntington Beach and Irvine, California. Our well-trained doctors and healthcare team have helped them minimize the effects of OSA in their lives.

The optimal way to prevent sleep apnea from affecting your eyes is to see your ophthalmologist as soon as you get an OSA diagnosis. A visit with one of our expert eye care professionals can help prevent complications such as:

Sleep Apnea and Glaucoma
There is a strong correlation between sleep apnea and glaucoma since the former is caused by high pressure within the eye. Studies have found that the severity of the glaucoma is directly related to the duration of apnea episodes in patients with OSA.

Sleep Apnea and Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION)
Non-arteritic Anterior Ischemic Optic Neuropathy (NAION) is the sudden, painless loss of vision in one eye. Surprisingly, researchers have found that up to 80% of patients diagnosed with NAION also have sleep apnea.

Sleep Apnea and Papilledema
Papilledema is the swelling of the optic nerve. It is caused by an increase in the pressure within the skull and if unchecked, may lead to blindness. Papilledema is also a common finding among patients living with OSA.

How to Prevent Sleep Apnea from affecting your Eyes

Glaucoma, NAION and Papilledema are just some of the serious eye conditions that can stem from mismanaging your sleep apnea. Beach Eye Medical Group has seen hundreds of patients with sleep apnea and helped them stay on top of their eye health. Located in Huntington Beach and Irvine, CA, Beach Eye Medical Group is managed by well-trained ophthalmologists and surgeons and is equipped with the latest technology and equipment in the field of eye care.

Living with sleep apnea can be dangerous to your health. This is why it is important for you to get in touch with our professionals and set-up an appointment today. Remember, prevention is always better than cure.

Costume Contacts Do’s and Don’ts

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

Costume Contacts
Whether as part of your Halloween costume, for a school play, work event, or “just because,” costume contacts are a fun way to enhance to your appearance. However, as with anything involving the delicate anatomy of the eye, you should always exercise care when using them. Though their self-application makes them easy and convenient, costume colored film contacts are foreign objects that are applied directly over the surface of the eye. As such, being aware of the hygiene and safety implications of costume contacts is imperative to their proper use.

The following is a short list of do’s and don’ts for costume contacts, put together by the dedicated physicians at Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach and Irvine, California.

  1. Have an eye exam before using costume contacts
    Having regular eye exams and check-ups should already be on your radar as an important component of maintaining good overall health. Scheduling an eye exam and consulting with a medical professional before using colored contacts can be the difference in avoiding serious and potentially irreversible damage to your eye.
  2. Do not attempt to use costume contacts without a prescription
    Obtaining a valid prescription for the exact costume contacts that work best for you will prevent you from getting a pair that is not suited for your lens measurements or eye shape. You also want to be sure that the costume contacts you use are designed to adapt to the moisture/dryness of your eyes. For example, you would not take thyroid medication without a prescription, so why take that risk when it comes to your eyes?
  3. Do not purchase costume contacts from a third-party seller
    Just like corrective lenses that require a prescription to correct vision problems, costume contacts are regulated by the FDA as medical devices. This means they should be exclusively purchased from a licensed professional. Though tempting, avoid buying costume lenses online, from a street vendor or beauty supply store, costume shop or Halloween store as chances are the quality of these lenses are not up to par with federal standards.
  4. Do not share your lenses with anyone else
    Regardless if your costume lenses are prescribed as daily or extended-use contacts, and even if you have 20/20 vision and the lenses have no bearing on your eyesight, never share your pair with someone else. If your costume lenses are designed for more than one use, always keep them in a sturdy case with separate pockets filled with clean contact solution in between uses.
  5. Do wash your hands before applying costume contacts (and when taking them out)
    In addition to all care instructions written on the packaging of your costume contacts, always be sure to wash your hands with soap and water before putting them in, and again before taking them out. Applying your lenses with clean hands prevents harmful bacteria from entering the eye and can reduce the chances of infection.

Have more questions? With two convenient locations, one in Huntington beach and another in Irvine, California, the expertly trained staff at Beach Eye Medical Group would love to meet with you to discuss using costume contacts on a more personalized level. Call us today at (714) 965- 9696 to schedule your consultation or to book a custom eye exam.

The Importance Of Sports Eye Safety

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

Sunglasses photo

When we are playing sports we typically try to protect our legs, arms, fingers, and many other parts of our body from being harmed. While all of those parts of our body are definitely important, it’s even more important to make sure our eyes are protected. Many sports actually mandate the wearing of protective eye-wear, but even for those sports that don’t we should still recognize when and how we should be keeping our eyes safe. The Orange County eye-care specialists at Beach Eye have a few tips regarding sports and eye safety.

Why Does Protecting Your Eyes Even Matter?
One of the leading causes of children’s blindness is eye injuries. Most of these injuries are caused during sports. what makes it even more problematic, is that according to the National Eye Institute up to as many as 90% of sports-related eye injuries may have been prevented if the children were just wearing protective eye-wear. So let’s take a moment now to examine the different types of protective eye-wear there is for different sports.

Choosing The Right Sport Protective Eye-wear
Depending on the sport you’re playing, different protection may benefit your eyes. Certain sports don’t require eye protection, but it’s still a good idea to protect your eyes. High risk sports that require eye safety, include: archery, football, lacrosse, swimming, hiking, skiing and snowboarding. It’s easy to find specialized face masks and goggles that are meant to protect your eyes, along with other safety equipment designed to prevent eye-related injuries while having fun.

For popular sports such as basketball, baseball, biking and tennis, the best eye-wear option is polycarbonate goggles. These fit snugly over glasses and offer stronger protection than traditional plastic shades. This means they’re resistant to shattering when hit with blunt force, or sudden impact with foreign objects. Another key benefit to polycarbonate goggles is their ability to be matched with your prescription, so you don’t have to wear contacts or glasses along with safety goggles.

When it comes to water sports or surfing, traditional eye protection can become dangerous. An accidental elbow to the face, or a rough wave can shove a pair of goggles into the eyes and risk further damage. So, it’s probably much safer to opt for ergonomically designed swimming goggles if you participate in a water sport.

Beach Eye Will Help You Choose The Right Eye Protection!
If selecting the best type of eye gear for your favorite sport is confusing, come visit Beach Eye Medical Group, and our specialists will help you choose the best sports sunglasses or goggles to protect your eyes from harsh ultraviolet rays. If you or your teammates happen to sustain an eye injury, it’s important to visit an eye doctor immediately for treatment, or a hospital if that isn’t an option.

We proudly serve patients seeking top-notch eye care in the Orange County area!

Enjoy the season!

What are correctable vision problems?

Monday, August 27th, 2018

Everyone wants perfect vision, don’t they? Wouldn’t it be great to just be able to see anything that you wanted without glasses or contact lenses? That would be awesome! Unlikely however since laser vision like Superman has only happens in the comic books. Not many people can see perfectly and just about all of us have at least one vision problem or another.

Our eyes are extremely complicated and even the smallest Distortion in the lens retina cornea or Iris May dramatically alter our vision. Thank goodness however through a comprehensive eye exam aided by a pair of prescribed corrective lenses and contact lenses. Here are a few vision related problems commonly corrected by our team of Orange County eye specialists:

Commonly Corrected with Prescription Contacts or Glasses

  • Presbyopia: A commonly experienced vision disorder, attributed to aging. Some people refer to presbyopia as the aging eye condition. This eye disorder interferes with the ability to focus closely on objects and is related to refraction in the eye.
  • Myopia: Also referred to as nearsightedness, myopia is another type of refractive vision error. Though objects up close may still appear clearly, myopia causes objects in the distance to appear blurry.
  • Astigmatism: Astigmatism is experienced by many patients. This type of refractive error interferes with the eye’s ability to disperse light onto the retina evenly, interfering with the light-sensitive tissue located toward the back of the eye.
  • Hyperopia: Most commonly referred to as farsightedness, hyperopia causes objects far away to be seen more clearly than that of those up close. This condition is unique, some patients may experience blurry vision at both close and far distances. Hyperopia is experienced differently by everyone and a proper diagnosis by a qualified eye doctor can lead to clearer vision.

Vision Problems That Need Additional Correction Stronger Than Prescription Lenses

  • Amblyopia: In circumstances where the eye and brain aren’t working in proper conjunction with each other, amblyopia occurs. This disorder doesn’t impact the visual aspects of the eye, but disrupts functional aspects. Amblyopia is also known as lazy eye.
  • Strabismus: Typically referred to as crossed eyes, strabismus causes the eyes to look different ways when focusing on an object. This condition can occur all the time, or temporarily and may lead to amblyopia (loss of depth perception) if experienced during childhood. If you begin experiencing stabrismus during adulthood, you could develop double vision.
  • Color Deficiency: Most people experience color in the same way, however a select percentage of the population are affected by a color vision deficiency. This means that their perception of colors varies from what other people see.
  • Nyctalopia: Commonly called night-blindness, nyctalopia interferes with the ability to see clearly in situations with low light. Its attributed to different eye diseases Night blindness may exist from birth, or be caused by injury or malnutrition (for example, vitamin A deficiency). It can be described as insufficient adaptation to darkness.
  • Photophobia: Photophobia is a symptom of abnormal intolerance to visual perception of light. An experience of discomfort or pain to the eyes due to light exposure or by presence of actual physical sensitivity of the eyes.

What You Can Do To Relieve Red, Irritated, Blurry Swimmers Eyes

Tuesday, July 17th, 2018

Child head photo

Many of us enjoy the fun Summer months, especially the opportunity to go swimming but all that swimming can also leave you with red blurry eyes. All you need to know are a few basic things like how the swimming pool water actually affects your eye’s health which could stop your irritated swimmer’s eyes from ever happening in the first place..

Ever wondered if either chlorine or saltwater is actually safer for your eyes?

Chlorine treated swimming pools are normally safe and free of bacteria. Organic matter is mixed with Chlorine and destroys unsafe bacteria. The major problem with chlorine however is that it creates compounds made up of harsh chemicals that can irritate your eyes and skin.

Saltwater works pretty much the same way to treat and sanitize pools. Salt keeps the pool clean rather than by actually breaking down into chlorine which is a byproduct of the salt. Very little amounts of chlorine are present in pools sanitized with saltwater.Generally saltwater pools are regarded as safer and more gentle to your skin and eyes.

Swimming in saltwater treated pools is a much more natural, safer effect on your skin, hair, and your eyes. Irritated eyes are typically reduced greatly.by swimming in saltwater. Remember that pools treated with chlorine are safe but just may cause more irritation than in some people.

Is Swimming In Contacts Recommended?
Wearing goggles when wearing contact lenses is always recommended when swimming with your eyes open in pool water. Chlorinated water may damage your contact lenses. Chlorine may change the shape, rip, fold the contact lenses in your eye. It is also possible for the lenses to get flushed out of your eyes which making it not only difficult to see but costly as well. Bacteria may also contaminate your contact lenses which could cause eye infections as well.

What Causes Your Eyes To Turn Red?
When blood vessels at the surface of your eyes become enlarged and dilated red eyes will occur. Exposure to chemicals and other irritants could irritate your eyes. If you’re susceptible to getting red eyes from swimming, then goggles are always recommended to be worn while in the pool.

How Can You Get Relief For Your Red Swollen Eyes?
After spending the day at pool and your vision becomes foggy and blurry make sure and rinse out your eyes with a cool eye wash or even saline eye drops. Either of these remedies provide quick relief. Make sure to keep them with you on your trips to the pool or while enjoying the on in your backyard.

If your eyes are irritated, itchy and red even if you haven’t been swimming, you could have pink eye. Make sure to visit your eye care professional to see if your symptoms match those of the highly contagious infection.

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