Skip to main content
Map
Menu

Oxmoor

(502) 450-9183

Springhurst

(502) 450-9177

LaGrange

(502) 450-9178

Carrollton

(502) 316-6603
Home »

News

12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene

By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a higher risk of suffering from cataracts, macular degeneration, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, and low vision.

So make sure you maintain great eye health by following these 12 tips for optimal eye health.

1. Avoid rubbing your eyes

Itchy eyes can be a hallmark symptom of allergies, and though rubbing may bring temporary relief, it ultimately increases swelling and worsens the itch. If you wear contact lenses, rubbing your eyes can also dislodge or even break a lens, causing the lens to get lost or scratch the cornea. Plus, eye rubbing can lead to eye infections, since our hands are typically covered with a host of germs.

2. Regularly wash your hands

Conjunctivitis (pink eye) is often caused by germs and bacteria carried to your eyes by unclean hands. Frequently washing your hands with soap and warm water helps keep bacteria away and prevents eye contamination. Prior to inserting or removing contact lenses, make sure to wash your hands with mild soap and dry them using a lint-free towel.

3. Beware of UV rays

By exposing yourself to sunlight and UV rays, you increase the risk of developing macular degeneration and corneal sunburn. Beyond just adding some style and zest to your look, sunglasses should protect your eyes from dangerous UV rays. Speak to your optometrist about the different options available for people who wear prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses too, to keep your eyes safe in the sun.

4. Stay hydrated

Staying hydrated is crucial for your body’s overall health and wellbeing — and that includes your eyes. Among other complications, if you don’t have enough fluid in your body, it impacts tear production and can cause dry eyes and irritation. Drink up! ”

Gaddie Eye Centers Eye Clinic and Eye Health in LaGrange, Kentucky

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, 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? Our LaGrange eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

5. Don’t smoke cigarettes

Need some extra motivation to quit smoking?

Smokers are more prone to developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, and other eye conditions. Cigarette smoking can also destroy optic nerves, which can adversely affect your vision over time. So think twice before you light up, and speak to your doctor about getting help to quit.

6. Eat a healthy diet

Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to ensure that your diet is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamins A and C. These can be found in leafy greens (your mom was right about spinach!), orange vegetables (think, carrots and sweet potato) and citrus fruit. Furthermore, fatty fish like salmon contain essential omega-3 fatty acids which also promote excellent eye health.

7. Keep a healthy distance from screens

Nip digital eye strain in the bud by positioning your computer monitor about an arm’s length away from the eyes and 20 degrees below eye level. Ideally, work in a room with enough diffused lighting to reduce stress on your eyes from the computer light.

8. Remember the 20-20-20 rule

Speaking of computers, have you heard of the 20-20-20 rule? When using digital devices, rest your eyes every 20 minutes by looking 20 feet away for 20 continuous seconds.

Once you’re at it, blink 20 times in succession to prevent dry eyes, and make it a habit to rise from your seat and take 20 steps to promote good posture and blood circulation, which helps your vision too. ”

Local Eye Health in LaGrange, Kentucky

Read what our patients have to say on Google Reviews

9. Be careful with eye make-up

Make sure that your eye shadow, mascara, and eyeliner don’t cause your eyes an allergic reaction. Get in the habit of removing your make-up before going to sleep in order to avoid bacterial build-up from residual make-up left in the eye area. And, from time to time, clean your make-up brushes, especially those used to apply cosmetics around the eye area.

10. Sleep is golden

Just as with the rest of your body, your eyes need a break. So make sure that you get sufficient shut-eye (8 hours) each night to keep your eyes revitalized and healthy.

11. Wear protective eyewear

Whatever you do, make sure your eyes are well-protected. If you’re swimming, wear goggles to prevent chlorine from entering your eyes. If you’re gardening or engaged in a DIY project at home, wear safety glasses to keep dust particles and bacteria at bay and prevent eye injuries. Ask your local eye doctor about protective eyewear for sports and other activities.

12. Regularly visit your eye doctor

Don’t underestimate the importance of getting a routine eye exam, whether you need an updated prescription or not. Even if you can see well today, a comprehensive eye exam can pick up early signs of eye diseases and conditions before symptoms become noticeable, such as glaucoma, diabetes, retinal holes which could lead to retinal detachment, and cancers like melanoma. Early detection and management can prevent further complications and serious vision loss down the line.

Only an eye doctor has the required knowledge, experience, tools and techniques to determine whether you have these or other eye conditions.” “It is recommended that everyone gets a comprehensive eye exam once a year (or at least every two years). Children, whose eyes are rapidly developing, and people at higher risk for developing eye problems such as diabetics and older people, need to undergo eye exams even more frequently: at the minimum, yearly.

During the evaluation, the eye doctor will check for things like:

Farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism and/or presbyopia Eye coordination Optic nerve and eye pressure tests to spot glaucoma It’s also important to be on the look-out for any changes in your vision. If you experience hazy or double vision, worsening eyesight, red eyes, eye pain, swelling or floaters, contact Dr. Gary Stocker.

Incorporate these tips and habits into your lifestyle to maintain healthy eyes and a high quality of life. Milpitas Optometric Group offers comprehensive eye exams in Milpitas, California , and will be happy to answer any questions you may have about ways to maintain healthy vision.

Call Gaddie Eye Centers on 502-423-8500 to schedule an eye exam with our LaGrange optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

FOLLOW US


Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

Are You Ignoring Your Dry Eyes?

Does Smoking Affect Vision?

8 Ways Your Eyes Change With Age

How Long Does It Take to Get Used to New Glasses?

Stop squinting – Contact Lens Sunglasses Exist!

Sunglasses have always been your go-to for shading your eyes to stop squinting in the sun, but they’re not always the most convenient accessory. They fog up and slip down your nose when you work up a sweat, and need to be wiped off when you’re hit by water spray at the beach. But what’s the alternative? Is there another way to protect your eyes from UV rays and soothe your vision from the blinding LaGrange, Kentucky, light?

Our Gaddie Eye Centers eye doctors are pleased to offer a revolutionary solution – the new ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ Light Intelligent Technology™ contact lenses. These contact lenses that can act like sunglasses were given FDA approval in April 2018. And they were also awarded to be one of TIME’s Best Inventions of 2018.

Now that we’ve caught your eye with this hot new tech, read on for more info about Acuvue’s contact lenses sunglasses from your favorite LaGrange, Kentucky optometrists’ office.

Smart & Dynamic Contact Lenses

ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ Light Intelligent Technology™ are the first contacts to be developed that “read” the light conditions in your environment and adapt to enhance your vision. These lenses use photochromic technology that was designed in partnership with Transitions™, the leading manufacturer of photochromic eyeglasses lenses. The contacts incorporate a special additive that darkens automatically when exposed to light.

When exposed to outdoor UV and/or blue light from digital devices, these contacts react quickly. And because they respond “intelligently” to changing light conditions outdoors, the lenses do not typically remain in the darkest state the whole time you’re outside. So when you’re on an open stretch of beach, they’re not the same as when you’re standing under the shade of a wide awning. The effects on the appearance of your eyes is minimal, and when you come indoors, they fade back to clear within 60 seconds.

Sharper, Safer Vision – All Day Long

Surveys estimate that 94% of all consumers compensate for bright light conditions by squinting, dimming indoor lights, reducing screen brightness, or shading their eyes. ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ Light Intelligent Technology™ filter indoor and outdoor light, including blue light rays that threaten your eye health. At night, these contact lenses sunglasses are also useful, as they reduce haloes and starburst. Your vision will improve during all hours of the day.

See the Benefits of Contact Lenses Sunglasses

  • Experience the comfort and convenience of going frame-free – while still safeguarding your vision
  • Highest level of UV protection in a contact lens
  • When you go into a darker environment, these contacts help your vision recover from bright light up to 5 seconds faster than normal
  • Ultimate gain, with only a minimal change to the appearance of your eyes and face
  • Crisp nighttime vision, with no disturbing haloes or starbursts
  • Soothing vision all day long, without bothersome glare

Visit our LaGrange, Kentucky, eye doctor to try ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™

We’re thrilled to offer these breakthrough contacts at Gaddie Eye Centers! Our eye doctors would like to point out that while these contact lenses sunglasses are truly remarkable, we don’t recommend that you use them to replace your sunglasses all of the time.

While they offer exceptional UV protection to the areas they cover, contact lenses still leave other parts of your eyes and the surrounding ocular tissue naked to UV light. Sunglasses cover a wider area and therefore give additional protection. In addition, car windshields block close to 100% of UV light, so your ACUVUE® OASYS with Transitions™ won’t darken when you’re behind the wheel. To solve that problem, they can easily be worn under non-prescription sunglasses. So when you visit Gaddie Eye Centers for your contact lenses fitting, check out our nonprescription sunglasses collection too!

Sleep Apnea & Glaucoma: Is There a Connection?

Do you think there is a link between how you sleep and your eyesight?

Are you a snorer? If you wake others and yourself with your nightly noise, there’s a good chance you have obstructive sleep apnea. In addition to making you a terrible roommate, this sleep disorder also robs you of your zzz’s – leading to daytime grogginess and putting you at risk for a long list of health problems. While you may be familiar with many of these problems, (such as memory loss, hypertension, and weight gain), are you aware that it can also raise your risk of glaucoma?

A 2019 article published in The Journal of Glaucoma reported the results of a US-based study that involved more than 6,700 people over 40 years old, and a strong link was found between having glaucoma and sleep problems. Want to learn more? Our eye doctor at Gaddie Eye Centers explains all about glaucoma and the connection to getting enough sleep.

What is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is an ocular disease that involves progressive damage to the optic nerve. When your optic nerve is damaged, you suffer vision loss (which can lead to blindness). Generally, glaucoma is accompanied by increased intraocular pressure. That’s why our LaGrange, Kentucky, eye doctor measures the pressure in your eyeball as a part of your comprehensive eye exam; it is an essential part of glaucoma screening. ‘

What is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)?

If you have OSA, the muscles in your airway relax as you sleep, which prevents you from breathing normally. Some people with sleep apnea can stop breathing for as long as two minutes! The classic symptoms include snoring loudly, gasping for air as you sleep, dry mouth/sore throat, unexplained sleepiness during the day, and waking up with a headache.

What’s the connection between glaucoma and sleep?

Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to hypoxia, which is a reduction in the oxygen levels in your blood. Over time, these lower levels of oxygen may disrupt the normal blood flow to the optic nerve.

Also, as our LaGrange, Kentucky, eye doctor explains, obstructive sleep apnea also causes blood pressure to fluctuate, which can change the balance between blood pressure and intraocular pressure.

There’s a lot of research going on to explore this topic, and our LaGrange, Kentucky, stays current with the latest advances and news. At present, some studies are having patients wear specialized contact lenses while sleeping. These contacts have detected significant changes in intraocular pressure as the people dozed. As a result, an insufficient amount of oxygen reaches the eye, depriving it of the much-needed nourishment that healthy vision needs and leading to optic nerve damage.

How can you help reduce your risk of glaucoma if you have sleep apnea?

If you are diagnosed with OSA, your physician may recommend therapy with a CPAP machine (continuous positive airway pressure). This device is worn while you sleep, and once the OSA is treated properly – the risk for glaucoma and other serious eye diseases goes down.

Why are eye exams so important for people with sleep apnea?

Based on recent studies, our LaGrange, Kentucky, eye doctor recommends that every patient with OSA visit for regular, comprehensive eye exams. These studies showed that glaucoma patients with obstructive sleep apnea were found to have higher eye pressure levels, more extensive damage to their field of vision, and more thinning of the nerve layer in the retina – when compared to people who do not suffer from OSA. And the earlier your eye doctor detects a change in your eye health and/or increase in your intraocular pressure, the earlier you can benefit from treatment to safeguard your vision.

Bottom line: if you have sleep apnea, be sure to tell your eye doctor and to visit Gaddie Eye Centers regularly for eye exams!

UV Safety Awareness Month

July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and no wonder! With the summer sun out in full force, it’s now more important than ever to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.

During this month, people who have suffered from UV ray damage and their loved ones are encouraged to share their experiences and advice. Use the hashtag #UVSafetyAwareness on your social media channels to support others in your community.

Did You Know?

Your eyes can get sunburned. It isn’t only your skin that’s at risk, but your eyes, too. When your cornea is exposed to too much UV radiation, a condition known as keratitis can occur. Keratitis can actually cause a temporary loss of vision, often after using a tanning bed or being out in the sun too long. UV radiation can also cause small growths on the white part of your eye, which are called pterygium and pinguecula. They can make your eyes feel dry, irritated, and scratchy.

If you experience any of these symptoms, Gaddie Eye Centers can help.

UV ray exposure is a risk factor for eye conditions and diseases. In 20% of cataract cases, cataract growth has been linked to UV ray damage. Cataracts develop when the normally clear lens of the eye becomes cloudy. UVA rays are a known risk factor for macular degeneration – the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 65. Macular degeneration occurs when the macula of the eye, which is responsible for clear central vision becomes damaged. It’s critical to be aware of UV ray exposure, especially if you or a family member are in this age group.

What Exactly Are UV Rays?

You may have heard about UV rays without knowing what they actually mean. UV stands for ultraviolet light. That’s a potentially harmful type of radiation, which is typically found in fluorescent lights, tanning booths. But its main source is from the sun, and it’s invisible to the naked eye, so you don’t even feel it as it touches your skin or body.

Why Are UV Rays Dangerous?

So why are they considered dangerous? Well, too much of a good thing isn’t really a good thing. Sunlight helps us make vitamin D, which is healthy. Too much sun exposure, though, can cause premature aging in the skin, burns in the eye, and may even change the shape of your cornea and other serious eye damage, leading to vision problems. It’s even more dangerous for younger people, especially children, because children’s lenses are more transparent and transmit UV rays more easily.

If you or a loved one is experiencing vision problems or eye diseases, we can help. Dr. Gaddie sees patients from all over the LaGrange, Kentucky area, and can treat your condition with a number of advanced solutions. Regular eye exams and checkups are critical for keeping your vision healthy, especially during the summer.

UV Safety Can Go a Long Way

Thankfully, it’s pretty easy to protect yourself from long-term exposure to UV rays. Check out our top 3 UV safety tips:

  1. Put on Those Shades

Snag a pair of sunglasses with 100% UVA and UVB blocking power. Anything less than that won’t protect your eyes from harmful rays. Concerned about your look? Don’t worry, There are plenty of awesome sunglass designs, so you’ll protect your eyes without compromising on incredible style. Ask the optometrist which lens is best for you.

  1. Sunscreen and More Sunscreen

Mothers and doctors say it all the time, and with good reason! Use sunscreen before going outdoors and make sure it has a good SPF (Sun Protection Factor) number. If you’re in the water, reapply it every 2 hours. UV rays can reflect off of water, so if you’re hitting the pool or beach, take extra precautions.

  1. I Tip My Hat to You

Protect your head and the skin on your scalp with a hat. A wide-brimmed hat is best for a good amount of sun-blocking coverage, since it also protects the tops of your eyes which might not be shaded by your sunglasses, and is too sensitive for sunscreen. For the fashion-conscious, there are endless styles to choose from, so go shopping!

During this UV Safety Awareness Month, we encourage you to share your stories and successes. If you have any questions, Dr. Gaddie is here to help.

At Gaddie Eye Centers, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 502-423-8500 or book an appointment online to see one of our LaGrange eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

Top 4 Eyecare Tips for Summer Vacation

This summer, whether you're headed across state lines on a family road trip, flying off to Europe, grabbing a quick weekend getaway, or taking a vacation in your own backyard, don't forget to protect your eyes!

12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a...

Sleep Apnea & Glaucoma: Is There a Connection?

If you have sleep apnea, be sure to tell your eye doctor and to visit Gaddie Eye Centers regularly for eye exams! A 2019 article published in The Journal of Glaucoma reported the results of a US-based study that involved more than 6,700 people over...

FOLLOW US:

EDC for Sunglasses Lovers

Review of your everyday carry collection for outdoor vision

What are your daily eyewear essentials for the sunny outdoors? Whether you need prescription eyeglasses to see or not, sunglasses are a must for your personal EDC. And so are many of the updated accessories that trend with them.

To help you put together the best EDC collection for sunglasses lovers, the staff at our LaGrange, Kentucky, vision care center put together this rundown of different elements that matter:

Features for your EDC sunglasses frames

Just like your EDC must be streamlined and lightweight, sunglasses shouldn’t weigh you down. The lighter your glasses, the more comfortable they are on your face and for toting around in your bag or tucked into your collar.

  • Lightweight doesn’t mean fragile. Sunglasses take a lot of abuse and need to have a durable construction with scratch-resistant lenses.
  • A snug – but not pinching – fit is necessary. It’s best to buy frames that are slightly wider than your face, so the temples fit smoothly around your ears, but not loosely or they’ll slip off. It unsightly and annoying to keep pushing your sunglasses up on your nose every few minutes.
  • Lenses must give ultimate function, with 100% UVA and UVB protection and a tint that promotes top performance, as well as soothes your eyes in bright light.
  • As the foundation of all the features above, your EDC sunglasses should have an affordable price tag, not so high that if you lose them it’ll burn a hole in your EDC wallet.

Storage designs for EDC sunglasses

One of the most efficient ways to store sunglasses is in their own customized case. Look out for frames that are engineered to fold up in a collapsible, storable case. Otherwise, there’s a fabulous variety of conventional, and not-so-conventional cases that fit efficiently into your EDC.

  • Microfiber pouches are weightless and prevent smudges and scratches on your lenses as they bump in your bag.
  • Going camping or engaging in the extreme? Semi-rigid cases with a protective padded liner are rugged without bulk. They’re ideal for active people who have real concerns about crushing their EDC sunglasses.
  • Ultralight zippered neoprene cases with a clip are flexible and convenient, attach them to your belt loop or bag for easy access. Plus, they come in a rainbow of fabrics for fun wearing.

Sunglasses straps

One might argue that the primary function of eyewear straps is to keep sunglasses on while playing sports, but they certainly have additional advantages. For example, if you take your sunglasses on and off constantly and are then fretless to find them, you’re the perfect candidate for making straps a part of your EDC.

 

Also called eyewear retainers or simply neck cords, these accessories are crafted from various materials. Once upon a time, they were all made from bulky chains, but fortunately for your modern EDC, they’re now made from more contemporary materials – such as nylon climbing rope, neoprene, knitted cotton yarn (washable!), stainless steel wires, and silicone. Choose a lightweight strap with slip-less temple grips that are easy to slide on your sunglasses. If you’re concerned about restricting your neck mobility, don’t buy a design that rests on your neck.

Cleaning cloths for sunglasses

What good are your sunglasses if you can’t see through the lenses? A compact eyewear cleaning kit will fit easily into your EDC. For heavy dirt buildup, there are biodegradable sprays that come with mini-microfiber cloths – give a spritz and wipe for a gleaming shine. Or forego the spray, and polish fingerprints off your sunglasses with a nonabrasive smudge-buster cloth.

Where can you buy sunglasses EDC?

We stock a wide range of inventive, high quality eyewear accessories in our LaGrange, Kentucky, optical store. As you equip yourself for days spent outdoors, pop in to Gaddie Eye Centers to choose sunglasses and all the helpful EDC to complement them.
At Gaddie Eye Centers, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision. Call us today: 502-423-8500 or book an appointment online to see one of our LaGrange eye doctors.

Want to Learn More? Read on!

UV Safety Awareness Month

July is UV Safety Awareness Month, and no wonder! With the summer sun out in full force, it’s now more important than ever to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. Call 502-423-8500 to learn more.

12 Tips for Optimal Eye Health

Good Eye Care Habits & Hygiene By practicing good eye care habits and hygiene, you can prevent many vision problems from occurring. Eye problems and the risks associated with vision loss only grow as you age. By neglecting eye care, you place yourself at a...

School and Vision: 2 Important Partners

Did you know that certain vision problems can mask themselves as behavioral or learning difficulties?

FOLLOW US:

Top 4 Eyecare Tips for Summer Vacation

This summer, whether you’re headed across state lines on a family road trip, flying off to Europe, grabbing a quick weekend getaway, or taking a vacation in your own backyard, don’t forget to protect your eyes!

Summer Eye Care Near You

Check out our top 4 tips for ensuring healthy eyes this summer, and remember, your eye doctor is here to help make the most out of your vision. Dr. Gaddie sees patients from all over the LaGrange, Kentucky area. Let us give you the top-quality eye care you and your family deserve, not only during the summer, but all year long.

  1. Don’t Leave Home Without It

If you have a chronic illness and need to head out of town for a few days, you would never leave home without your medications, right? That’s because you know that if something happens and your meds aren’t with you, you could suffer discomfort or complications to your health.

The same is true for your vision. If you suffer from dry eyes, make sure to take artificial tears or medicated eye drops with you when you travel. Preservative-free eye drops are a traveler’s friend. They’re also available as individual strips, which are recommended since there’s less risk of contamination.

Running low on disposable contact lenses? Include an extra pair in your carry-on suitcase and stock up on new lenses ahead of time. If you wear eyeglasses, bring a spare set and a copy of your prescription along with you, just in case they get lost or broken.

We recommend speaking to Dr. Gaddie before you leave for vacation to make sure your vision needs are all set.

  1. It’s Getting Hot Outside

Usually, most people think of protecting their skin from sunburns when they’re at the beach, by the pool, or just spending time outdoors.

Did you know that your eyes can get sunburned, too?

This happens when the cornea is exposed to excessive UV rays. When the sclera (the white part of your eye) looks red, that’s a sign that you’ve got sunburned eyes. You might also notice symptoms like a sudden sensitivity to light, or your eyes may feel like something is stuck in them, or they could feel sore.

The best way to prevent sunburned eyes? Always wear sunglasses with 100% of UVA and UVB light blocking protection.

  1. Watch Out for the Pool

Swimming is one of summer’s greatest pastimes. There’s nothing quite like a dip in a pool or ocean to cool off from the sweltering summer heat. While you’re slicing through the water, remember to protect your eyes.

Remove contacts before going swimming, wear goggles while underwater, and rinse your eyes with cold water when you get out of the pool (it helps get the chlorine or salt out). If your eyes feel dry or scratchy after a swim, use some moisturizing eye drops to lubricate your eyes.

  1. Back to School is Sooner Than You Think

Your kids will be back in school before you know it. Help them prepare for the upcoming school year by scheduling an eye exam now. If they need new glasses because their prescription has changed or your teen simply wants a new look for the new school year, come in to Gaddie Eye Centers for a consultation and take a look at the newest selection of frames and contact lenses.

Have you had a sudden eye injury or emergency while on vacation? Don’t wait until you’re back home to handle it — seek immediate care today. Certain eye injuries can damage your vision or lead to ulcers, so if you notice symptoms like redness, eye pain, changes to your vision, or flashing light, contact your eye doctor right away.

At Gaddie Eye Centers, we put your family’s needs first. Talk to us about how we can help you maintain healthy vision this summer and throughout the year.

Cataract Awareness Month

June is Cataract Awareness Month. During this important time, people living with cataracts (and their loved ones) are encouraged to talk about their personal experiences by giving each other helpful information and sharing their knowledge and advice. Use the hashtag #CataractAwarenessMonth on your social media channels to encourage and support others.

Did you know that over 24 million Americans have cataracts? More than 3.5 million Canadians are blind from cataracts, making it one of the most common – and serious – eye conditions today. Dr. Gaddie treats cataract patients from all over LaGrange, Kentucky with the newest and most effective methods of eye care.

With millions of people living with the condition, it’s now more important than ever to bring awareness to this serious condition.

What Are Cataracts?

So what exactly are cataracts?

The lens of the eye is normally clear, which allows you to see things clearly and in sharp detail. Over time, the lens can become cloudy, causing blurry vision. It’s as if you’re looking through a dirty window and can’t really see what’s outside. This clouding of the lens is called a cataract, and it can affect one or both of your eyes.

What Causes Cataracts?

Aging is the most common cause of cataracts. The lens of your eye contains water and proteins. As you age, these proteins can clump together, and when that happens, the normally clear lens becomes cloudy.

Did you know that certain types of major eye surgeries and infections can trigger cataracts? Other issues that can lead to cataracts include congenital birth defects, eye injury, diseases, and even various kinds of medications. If you’re already developing cataracts, be careful when going outside. UV rays from the sun can make cataracts develop faster.

How Can I Lower My Risk of Cataracts?

Certain risk factors increase your chance of developing cataracts. These typically include:

  • Diabetes
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Family and medical history
  • Medications
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • UV ray exposure

To lower your risk, consider reducing your alcohol intake, quit smoking, start an exercise program, eat foods rich in vitamin A and C, and wear 100% UV blocking sunglasses.

Common Symptoms of Cataracts

If you have cataracts, you may experience some common symptoms like:

  • Blurry vision
  • Colors that used to be bright now appear dim
  • Double vision
  • Glare from natural sunlight or from artificial light, like light bulbs and lamps
  • Halos around lights
  • Night vision problems
  • Sensitivity to light

If you or a family member notice any of these signs, talk to Dr. Gaddie right away. The sooner you seek treatment, the faster we can help you get back to clear vision.

Coping With Cataracts

If you’re experiencing vision problems from cataracts, there is hope. If you have a mild case, a combination of a different eyeglass prescription and better lighting in your home, office, or other environment can improve your vision. In more advanced cases, your optometrist will likely recommend cataract surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear one.

Do I Need Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures today. In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 2 million people undergo the procedure each year.

During the procedure, the doctor will gently remove the cataract from the eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (known as an IOL). Because it’s a common procedure, cataract surgery is usually performed in an outpatient clinic or in your eye doctor’s office. There is no need to stay in a hospital and you can usually resume your normal activities in just a few days.

If you’ve exhausted every other solution and still suffer from blurry vision from cataracts, surgery may be an option. Schedule a consultation online or call 502-423-8500 to book an eye doctor’s appointment at Gaddie Eye Centers and together, we’ll determine if cataract surgery is right for you.

During this Cataract Awareness Month, share your stories and successes, and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

Spring Allergies & Your Vision

How to relieve your itchy eyes when spring is in the air

Bright, beautiful flowers are blossoming, the bees are buzzing, and new shoots of grass are coating the lawn with green… these are the classic images that herald spring. But they aren’t the only noticeable signs of the changing season. For many people in LaGrange, itchy eyes, swollen eyelids, sneezing, and a runny nose also appear at this time of year. That’s because the loveliest visions of spring typically release an abundance of pollen and allergens into the air – triggering the start of spring allergies.

Effects of spring allergies on your eyes

Although the nose tends to get most of the media attention when hay fever (another name for spring allergies) is discussed, eye irritation is also pretty common. Millions of people in the United States are treated for uncomfortable or painful eye symptoms due to spring allergies, particularly when the level of grass pollen is high.

While all of us in Kentucky love spending the spring days outdoors, we are sad to report that LaGrange is actually one of the worst cities for seasonal allergies. In fact, it’s so bad that the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America ranked LaGrange the #6 spring allergy capital for 2019. This is mainly due to large amounts of tree and grass pollen that get trapped in the air stagnating between the hills to our north and south.

The most common eye symptoms caused by spring allergies are:

  • Swollen, puffy eyelids
  • Itchiness
  • Redness
  • Grittiness
  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light

Also called “allergic conjunctivitis”, the annoying symptoms of eye allergies lead many of our patients to seek eye care at Gaddie Eye Centers. What is the best treatment to soothe your symptoms? And is there anything you can do to get rid of your spring allergies? Our LaGrange eye doctor shares some tips on how to recognize and relieve your painful peepers.

Don’t make eye contact with allergens

Go on the defensive and stay away from the allergens that trigger your spring allergies. This is by and large the most important action you can take to prevent your eye irritation. However, since grass and tree pollen are the most common triggers, you’re likely scratching your head (and your itchy eyes) as you wonder how to successfully avoid these widespread, airborne irritants. Before you lock yourself in your bedroom and wait for winter, our LaGrange optometrist has some easier solutions to recommend:

  • Keep your windows closed when the pollen count is high. Use a/c in your home, office, and car in order to keep the air around you clean and clear.
  • Don’t rub your eyes! Rubbing your itchy eyes is a great way to spread the pollen all over, exacerbating your symptoms.
  • When outdoors, wear glasses and sunglasses to block pollen from contact with your eyes.
  • Don’t wear your contact lenses! Contacts can make spring allergies worse for your eyes, because the pollen sticks and accumulates on them.
  • As soon as you go indoors, rinse your eyes with saline drops and wash your hands well.
  • Use a damp mop, not a broom, to clean your floors. Dry sweeping will only push any pollen that’s settled back up into the air.
  • If you have a dog, give him or her a bath after taking a walk. This will keep all the allergens from falling from the dog’s fur onto your furniture.

Our LaGrange eye doctor offers treatment for spring allergies

Some ocular allergy symptoms can be managed well with over-the-counter drugs, especially if you have a mild case. Artificial tears eye drops are a great frontline treatment to keep your eye surface clean. Decongestant eye drops may also help, but use them sparingly and with caution – prolonged use can worsen your condition.

Antihistamine eye drops, mast cell stabilizer eye drops, corticosteroid eye drops, and NSAID eye drops are all accepted short-term treatments for ocular irritation caused by spring allergies. Because these are all prescription drugs, you will need to visit our LaGrange eye doctor (and possibly an allergist too) to determine the best medication for your individual condition.

While some non-sedating oral histamines may also be effective at alleviating your itchy eyes and irritation, they can also dry out your eyes and make the irritation worse. If your spring allergies are extreme and get in the way of normal life, immunotherapy allergy shots or tablets may offer long-term relief.

Are spring allergies disrupting your days? Visit Gaddie Eye Centers for more tips on how to soothe your symptoms in LaGrange!

Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

Do your kids need glasses in order to see clearly? Maybe they have a strong case of nearsightedness, perhaps they have astigmatism, or another type of refractive error. Whatever the cause, getting your kids to wear eyeglasses can be a parenting challenge.

Dr. Gaddie treats patients from all over LaGrange, Kentucky with their vision correction needs. The knowledgeable, caring staff at Gaddie Eye Centers can help you and your kids if they’re struggling with their glasses or don’t want to wear them.

Why Won’t My Child Wear His or Her Glasses?

To help your children get the best vision possible, you first need to understand why they’re fighting with you over their glasses. It usually stems from something physical, emotional, or social, such as:

  • Wrong fit
  • Wrong prescription
  • Personal style
  • Reactions from friends

How do you know which it is? Pay close attention to the signs, from what your kids say, to how they behave, to how they interact with others.

Physical

Improper fit is a big reason why glasses could feel uncomfortable. If they slip down, itch behind the ears, or put pressure on the bridge of the nose, it can explain why a child wouldn’t like to wear them.

If there’s been a big change to their prescription, they may need time to get used to it. If they were given the wrong prescription, they may be straining their eyes, getting headaches, or having eye fatigue. An incorrect prescription can make wearing glasses painful or awkward. It doesn’t correct their vision, either, so they’ll still see blurry images. When this happens, your eye doctor can check the prescription and make an adjustment.

Emotional

Your kids at home aren’t the same as your kids in school, on the sports field, or with their friends. They may be afraid of being made fun of in school, or they may not want the sudden attention on their appearance. These feelings can be even stronger among the tween and teen set.

Social

Even young kids can feel different when they put on a pair of glasses, especially if it’s for the first time. Feeling different or weird, in their eyes, translates to a negative experience. When wearing glasses makes them feel like the odd man out, they may not want to wear them. The last thing your child wants is to feel like a social outcast. After all, everyone wants to belong.

How We Can Help

First, bring your child in to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Our optometrist, Dr. Gaddie, will check to make sure that your child has the right prescription and that any vision problems are being corrected. Next, we’ll take a look at the glasses and place them on your child’s face to determine if they’ve got the proper fit. Our optician will take care of any adjustments that need to be made.

The Vision They Need, The Style They Want

Fashion isn’t only for adults. Your budding fashionista or trendy young stud wants to look awesome, so don’t forget about style. When your kids look great, they’ll feel great! Give them the top-quality eyewear they need without compromising on style. Your kids are a lot more likely to wear glasses when they like the way they look.

What You Can Do to Help

Encourage, stay positive, and don’t give up. Avoid telling them what you want them to wear. Let them choose for themselves. In the end, they’re the ones wearing the glasses. Making decisions is an important life skill, something they’ll need as they grow up and become more independent.

For younger children, use positive words to encourage them. Talk about how glasses are like magic, letting them see beautiful things around them. Show them how a pretty flower or a bright red truck looks with the glasses on, and how different it looks with the glasses off. For older kids, throw in a little pop culture. Tell them how trendy they’ll look by showing them pictures of celebrities who also wear glasses. You’ll also rack up some cool parent points.

At Gaddie Eye Centers, we have the experience and unique approach to children’s eyewear that will make your kids want to wear their glasses. Schedule an eye exam today – you can book an appointment online right here. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

Mental Health and Your Vision

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in the USA; in Canada, Mental Health week is May 6th to 12th. Since 1949, it has been observed throughout the United States as a way of drawing attention to the importance of proper mental health. This year’s theme is #4Mind4Body. The idea is that using elements around us, such as the people in our lives, faith, nature, and even pets, can strengthen wellness and overall mental health.

Did you know that your vision can affect your mental health? While things like stress, trauma, and family history are factors that impact mental health, vision can also impact it.

How Does Vision Affect Mental Health?

Certain types of eye diseases and visual impairments can lead to emotional problems like anxiety and depression. This is particularly common in cases of severe vision loss. Patients with glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, for example, can experience mild to acute vision loss. This can make everyday activities like driving, running errands, watching TV, using a computer, or cooking, a difficult and painful experience. When this happens, it can cause a loss of independence, potentially leaving the person mentally and emotionally devastated.

Like most surgical procedures, LASIK corrective surgery is permanent and irreversible. Although it has very high success rates, LASIK has been considered the cause of depression and mental health issues in a few instances.

Kids’ Vision and Mental Health

Increased screen time among school-age children and teens has been shown to reduce emotional stability and cause repeated distractions and difficulty completing tasks, while also increasing the likelihood of developing nearsightedness.

Kids with visual problems often experience difficulty in school. If they can’t see the board clearly or constantly struggle with homework due to poor vision, they may act out their frustration or have trouble getting along with their peers.

Coping with Vision Problems

One of the most important ways to cope with visual problems is awareness. Simply paying attention to the signs and symptoms — whether the patient is an adult or a child — is a crucial first step.

Family members, close friends, colleagues, parents, and teachers can all play an important role in detecting emotional suffering in those with visual difficulties. Pay attention to signs of changes in behavior, such as a loss of appetite, persistent exhaustion, or decreased interest in favorite activities.

Thankfully, many common vision problems are treatable. Things like double vision, hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness), amblyopia (lazy eye), and post-concussion vision difficulties can be managed. Vision correction devices, therapeutic lenses, visual exercises, or special prism glasses may help provide the visual clarity you need. Your primary eye doctor can help and a vision therapist or low vision expert may make a significant impact on your quality of life.

How You Can Help

There are some things you can do on your own to raise awareness about good mental health:

Speak Up

Often, just talking about mental health struggles can be incredibly empowering. Ask for help from family and friends or find a local support group. Be open and honest about what you’re going through and talk with others who are going through the same thing. Remember: you’re not alone.

If you experience any type of sudden changes to your vision — even if it’s temporary — talk to your eye doctor. A delay in treatment may have more serious consequences, so speak up and don’t wait.

Get Social

Developing healthy personal relationships improves mental health. People with strong social connections are less likely to experience severe depression and may even live longer. Go out with friends, join a club, or consider volunteering.

Have an Animal

Having a pet has been shown to boost mental health and help combat feelings of loneliness. Guide dogs can be especially beneficial for people suffering from vision loss.

Use Visual Aids

If you or a loved one is experiencing mental health issues caused by vision loss, visual aids can help. Devices like magnifiers or telescopic lenses can enlarge text, images, and objects, so you can see them more clearly and in greater detail.

Kids can benefit from vision correction like glasses, contacts, or specialized lenses for more severe cases of refractive errors. Vision therapy may be an option, too. It is a customized program of exercises that can improve and strengthen visual functions.

Always talk to your eye doctor about any concerns, questions, or struggles.

Thanks to programs like Mental Health Awareness Month, there is less of a stigma around mental health than just a few decades ago. Advancements in medical technologies and scientific research have led to innovative solutions for better vision care.

During this Mental Health Awareness Month, share your share your struggles, stories, and successes with others. Use the hashtag #Mind4Body and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.