Cleansing for the Eyes

eye care services Boise, IDWe like to be clean. The value of cleanliness and hygiene was taught to us from the time we were children. Remember learning to brush your teeth, and how encouraging it was to get gold stars from your parents, or a small treasure from the dentist? By adulthood, the idea of hygiene is so ingrained that we rarely think about it. The problem is, what we learned in childhood – brush and floss and wash our hands – falls a little short. There is such a thing as hygiene for the eyes, and it is something we all want to know.

It is commonly known that the eyes – the ocular structure that allows us to see – are pretty complex. As small as they are, the eyes have numerous parts, and they all need to work together with the brain. When we think of the eyelids, this knowledge of complexity goes right out the window. Eyelids are just the skin that covers the eyes, right? Not really.

There are two types of skin on the eyelids. That alone is rather impressive, but there’s more. The eyelids are also where eyelashes sit, and that means relatively good-sized hair follicles right along the margin of the lid. Finally, it is on the eyelids where glands produce the fluids that keep the eyes moist and clean. Part of the fluid that is secreted by these glands is oil. These factors create prime conditions for bacteria. The eyelashes trap bacteria that may spread from the hands to the eyes, then these microorganisms stick in the oil that is present around the lashes. When this happens, inflammation is likely to follow.

Inflammation at the lid-margin is referred to as blepharitis. This may not be a full-blown infection like conjunctivitis, or pink eye, but it is uncomfortable and frustrating nonetheless. Some people experience such intense symptoms that they require treatment to “shake off” the bacteria-laden crust that has encapsulated the base of the eyelashes. You may not need to go this far.

Eyelid hygiene is not something that should begin after the eyes have become red and gritty, it can begin today. If it does, it may keep you from the pain of blepharitis. To clean the eyelids, apply a warm, moist cloth over the eyes for a few minutes. This loosens hair follicles and softens oil that may have dried around them. Then, a very gentle motion of the eyes can be made to remove the loosened matter from the eyelid. Baby soap may also be used to periodically clean the eyes, as this does not irritate.

There are several ways to pamper the eyes; routine cleansing is one. For personal eye care from our friendly team, call our Meridian or Caldwell office.

If You’ve got High Blood Sugar, You Need to Know about Blurry Vision!

eye care services Boise, IDBlood sugar levels can be a difficult matter to manage for many people. In some cases, diabetes is a genetic problem affecting the metabolic system. In others, the onset of diabetes stems from diet, and how insulin is used by the body to regulate the amount of glucose, or sugar, that is in the blood. We need sugar to fuel our cells, but too much, in particular, can instigate a number of health concerns.

Because sugar is used in every cell of the body, there really is no part of the body that isn’t at risk when the function of insulin and sugar is disrupted. Diabetes can become a chronic condition that ultimately causes secondary health problems, including certain eye diseases that may lead to blurry vision and, eventually, vision loss.

We encourage our patients to take special note of changes to their eyesight. Blurring may be an early warning sign for . . .

  • Macular edema, which is a type of pressure inside the eye. Macular edema describes a swollen macula, the center area of the retina is what enables us to see directly in front of us. The macula that is inundated with excess fluid becomes swollen and thick, which then leads to vision distortions such as blurriness or waves.
  • Glaucoma, or pressure on the optic nerve. Glaucoma is also related to excess fluid inside the structure of the eye. In this condition, fluid buildup occurs in the front of the eye. Glaucoma is a serious condition due to the potential for irreparable damage to the optic nerve, causing vision loss.
  • Proliferative retinopathy, an advanced form of this retinal disease. Diabetic proliferative retinopathy indicates potentially severe damage to the retina due to the growth of delicate new blood vessels within this structure. The weak nature of these vessels allows blood to lead out into the retina and the vitreous fluid of the eye, causing blurring and cloudiness.
  • Cataracts cause more cases of vision loss than any of the previously mentioned conditions. Diabetes is one of the leading risk factors in the development of cataracts, which cloud the eye’s lens gradually over time. Cataracts are not on the lens, they are integrated within it, a buildup of the protein that is naturally present in this structure.

Blurred vision is a good reason to see your eye doctor, even in between annual eye exams. The Eye Associates has locations in Caldwell and Meridian, where we provide friendly, professional service. Contact us for your visit.

Is Technology Tempting You?

Eye Exam Boise, IDTechnology has made life easier in some ways. It has even improved the healthcare industry, altering the way that physicians conduct a wide variety of treatments. It’s somewhat hard to imagine just how much can be accomplished online, without ever leaving the house. Today, people are earning degrees online, ordering food, and even finding their mate. Another activity that is being conducted online is the general eye exam.

Could an online eye exam provide you with the details you need to know about your eyes? Let’s see!

The purpose of the online eye exam is to allow a person to assess his or her vision without having to schedule a visit to the eye doctor. Ok, that may be convenient. The testing process typically involves the “patient” observing a series of characters, lines, and shapes on the computer screen. This does not seem far off from the in-person eye exam. Finally, some online services even include interpretation of results by an optometrist and a prescription for corrective eyewear. What more could a person want? Quite a bit more, it turns out.

There is Value in Face to Face Care

While there is a lot to be said for convenience, and for technology, eye exams are not quite ready to go digital, at least outside of the medical office. Reasons to forego the online eye exam for a visit with your eye doctor include:

  • In-person eye exams focus on the big picture. The current state of your vision is only one aspect of eye testing. In addition to observing refractive errors that may cause nearsightedness, farsightedness, or other acuity problems, your eye doctor will also evaluate the structure of the eyes, including the retina. This in-depth exam process helps us determine if you have signs of an eye condition such as glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration. Because early treatment is pivotal to long-term eye health, an extended exam is ideal.
  • Eyeglass prescriptions are more accurate with an in-person exam. This is because there is an interaction between practitioner and patient. During a professional eye exam, there is time for second-guessing and asking crucial questions that enhance the outcome of vision assessment.
  • Insurance coverage is usually available for eye exams in the optometry or ophthalmology office, whereas online exams may require up-front investment.

We love helping our patients enjoy vibrant, healthy lives. Call us in Caldwell or Meridian to schedule your professional eye exam.