Happy 2020! The Year of the Optometrist or the year of PERFECT VISION!
Are you cold? Yeah, me too! And if you hate the cold weather and everything that comes with it-ice, bulky clothing and dryness in your skin and eyes. Too much cold air, or too much heat, has a tendency to dry out my eyes. Fortunately, there are lots of options to help alleviate my symptoms.
Having dry eyes doesn’t have to be a product of cold weather. It can happen at any time of the year. Did you know that approximately 3 million people suffer from Dry Eye Syndrome? It’s more common than we think, due to tear production, environmental factors (smoke, dry air or bad air quality) previous ocular surgeries, and even aging.
DES occurs when your body lacks good tear production. The tears that keep your eyes lubricated are made up of water, oils, and mucus. While using artificial tears and drops are a good way to temporarily relieve you of the dry, gritty sensation you feel, there are many other options available to you to help you produce better quality tears.
Aside from drops, Dr. Ramsey can offer you a variety of options based on your needs and lifestyle.
Think of punctal plugs like your own tiny drain stopper. This micro-sized devices are inserted into your tear ducts and block your tear canals to prevent your eyes from draining your natural tears. We use only safe, dissolvable plugs that you won’t feel. We offer permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary options.
Dry Eye Mask
This is a good option for those who have oil-deficient dry eyes, often related to screen usage . DES masks are used while warm, and help open your glands to help with oil flow to your eyes. Masks are excellent for daily use and a good option for those who travel.
The first of its kind in ocular health, this medical device is a patient favorite! Drop-free, drug-free, and hassle-free, and instant. Designed with neurostimulation, TrueTear™ sends tiny pulses of energy to your nasal passage through a golf ball sized device to instantly produce tears. Curious about how it works? Try it in our office today!
Only experiencing dry eyes in the winter? Here are some tips for keeping your eyes healthy in the cold weather:
-Keep a safe distance from heaters.
-Make sure your thermostat is kept at a mild temperature
-Wear proper sun protection, especially in the snow. Polarized sunglasses provide the best protection against UV rays and glare from snow.
-Drink lots of water and eat foods high in omega 3 fatty acids such as fish.
Stay warm out there!
With Halloween right around the corner, many of us are thinking about what our costumes are going to be (stayed tuned for our group costume!) Wigs, makeup, and funky Halloween contact lenses are the icing on the cake for an awesome costume. While it seems innocent enough, eye related infections and injuries are 90% preventable. All contact lenses are medical devices and require a proper exam and fitting to find the right one for you. Over-the-counter cosmetic contact lenses are a medical device and not a “one size fits all” product. The come in different curvatures and sizes, and a fitting from your optometrist is the only way to determine the best size for you.
Colored and decorated contact lenses are often thick, due to the paint and color being used. This makes them less “breathable” and harder for your cornea to tolerate. One of the biggest risks includes corneal abrasions, or a scratch on the surface of your eye. While an abrasion, or scratch, may not be too painful, it can lead to infections if not treated properly. This could also lead to an ulcer, which can often leave you with a scar. Your eyes will be red, irritated, swollen, and vision can become permanently decreased.
Keratitis, a bacterial infection, is another risk from improper wear and care of contact lenses. This causes uncomfortable itching and inflammation of the cornea. When decorative lenses are bought from online retailers, convenient stores, or boutiques, you run the risk of purchasing a product that is expired, not stored in proper solution, or older than advertised. Yikes! The scariest thing about Halloween should be your costume and decorations, not your eyes!
It’s back to school time! And whether you’re starting kindergarten (like my niece and nephew) or heading off to college (Go Gators!) congratulations and good luck! Are you ready to start a new year with the best vision possible?! EC4U is dedicated to out patients’ ocular health and vision. We go one step further to help you achieve that. All summer, and through the month of September (the best month ever) we offer FREE blue-light filtered lenses for any student when they purchase a new frame. Want a Nike to show off your sporty side? FREE LENSES. Want a pastel Lilly Pulitzer with a paisley print? FREE LENSES. Round, funky, and colorful frames? FREE LENSES.
Blue-light filtered lenses help reduce the amount of blue light you are being exposed to. With increased use of digital devices such as computers, smart phones, and tablets, there are raised concerns over the impact that blue light has on our eyes, especially long term. Eye strain, dry eyes, visual fatigue, headaches, and trouble falling asleep are a few symptoms associated with blue light exposure.
Start the new school year off on the right foot, and with the right eyewear. Stop in, or give us a call if you’d like to setup an eye exam. Already had your exam this year with Dr. Kara? Awesome, you’re ahead of the game! Come on in and see me-no appointment needed, and let’s get you fit in a frame that suites your uniqueness and reduces your blue light exposure.
We are slowly inching into summer – my favorite season! The hotter, the better, I say. If you’re anything like me, you spend as much time outside as you can during the warmer months. Unfortunately, this means MORE exposure to UV light. Even on overcast days, or in the winter, we are being constantly exposed to the harmful rays of UV light. Did you know that prolonged exposure can result in cataracts? Cataracts are not the only UV-related problem caused by UV exposure; there are other diseases, such as growths on the eye, called pterygiums. Pterygiums can show up in our teens or twenties, especially in anyone who spends long hours outdoors. This includes fishermen, farmers, and even sports enthusiasts.
But have no fear – there are many ways to protect yourself!
-First and foremost, use sunscreen! Even on cloudy days, the sun’s rays can be damaging.
-Wear a hat!
-Wear sunglasses! I ALWAYS recommend polarized lenses to everyone (except pilots). Polarized lenses in your sunglasses enhance your visual experience by filtering glare and providing clarity and contrast while on the water.
-NEVER stare directly at the sun! Staring at the sun or an eclipse can result in solar retinopathy, which is irreversible damage to your retina. YIKES!
Hi, everyone. My name is Laura, and as you may know, I am Dr. Kara’s optical manager here at EC4U. Originally from Coral Springs, Florida, I moved to NC ten years ago to be closer to my family. I worked for many years at a great office in Mooresville, NC before moving to the Apex area, and wanted to continue being an optician at an equally great office, which shares the same ideas and patient care values that I was used to. Lo and behold, Dr. Kara and I came across one another on LinkedIn, and the rest is history.
I have to be honest – the Direct Care movement scared me a bit at first. This would be the first time I would be working for a doctor who was strictly Direct Care. But after learning how this was incredibly beneficial to the patient, I will never look back! So, what exactly is Direct Care? Glad you asked, because I love explaining it.
Direct Care is a way to bring the doctor and patient together without the interference of that pesky middle man, your insurance company. Too many times, your insurance company dictates what kind of testing, billing, and care each patient gets. The only one who truly knows what kind of care YOU need is you and your doctor, not some insurance company. With that said, Dr. Kara includes ALL testing and screenings in her exams (Yes, even a retinal photo!). She will even take up to one hour with each patient to ensure you don’t feel rushed, and all your questions are answered, for one low price. That one low price (of just $99 for new patients) covers your vision for an entire 365 days. That means, 3 months, 6 months, or even 11 months after your annual exam, should you feel like your vision has changed, we are happy to see you again for a recheck at NO EXTRA COST.
According to the National Billing Guidelines, and most insurance companies, each time a patient sits in the exam chair, the doctor is required to bill either the patient or the insurance. On top of that, most vision insurances only allow one visit per year. That’s not the kind of care we are willing to compromise at EC4U.
After the crazy year I’ve had with switching all my doctors from Mooresville to Apex (primary care, the dentist, etc.), I wish all doctors were Direct Care providers. That would make my life, and wallet, a lot happier!