Routine Eye Care

ADULT VISION CARE

As with most things about our bodies, our vision changes with age. Some age-related eye changes, such as presbyopia, are almost universal and aren’t related to any sort of disease. Cataracts are considered to be an age-related disease, but again, they are so common with people over the age of 60 that they are really just normal occurrences.

Unfortunately, there are some age-related eye diseases that occur more frequently as the years pass. These conditions include macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

Here’s a timeline of common vision changes by the decade. Things don’t really change until we hit 40.

Vision Solutions for All Age - Visit The Eye Associates
  • 40s – Presbyopia becomes almost universal sometime after we turn 40. This means our eyes have trouble with near vision focus. Hello, reading glasses. The risk of having dry eye or computer vision syndrome increases now, too.
  • 50s – Risks increase for cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. Often these show no symptoms until damage is already done. This is why it’s important to have eye exams at least every two years. Dry eye increases, especially with women exiting menopause.
  • 60s – Risks for the above-mentioned eye diseases increase significantly. Your ability to see in low lighting decreases. You will develop and seemore floaters and spots in your vision, especially when looking at a blank background such as a clear blue sky. You need to have physicals every year to check for problems such as diabetes that can lead to eye problems. Also, while just about everyone develops protein globs in the interior of their eyes that create shadows on the retina (floaters), if they develop suddenly, that’s a problem that needs instant attention.
  • 70 & 80s – By this point, research shows that four out of five seniors either have cataracts or have already had corrective surgery. Surgery to replace the clouded lens is the only treatment, and it is around 99% successful. Color vision declines. We also lose some peripheral vision by this time — the loss can be up to 30 degrees.

PEDIATRIC EYE CARE

Pediatric Eye Care in Merdian, Idaho - The Eye AssociatesChildhood eye exams are important to ensure your child’s vision health, and promote success in the classroom. And early detection is the key to successful prevention or treatment of serious vision conditions your child may have.  If your child is struggling to read or complete schoolwork, you can feel confident that our eye doctors will provide your family with thoughtful, professional care and effective, affordable solutions for all of your child’s vision care needs. The Eye Associates proudly offers a large variety of name-brand eyeglasses just for kids. Feel free to stop by and browse our wide selection of metal and plastic frames in fun, bright colors your child will love!

DRY EYE TREATMENT

Dry eye is a complicated problem.  Factors affecting tear production and the ocular surface result in symptoms of tearing, stinging and poor vision.  When severe, dry eye can cause damage to the ocular surface, resulting in increased osmolarity of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface. Dry eye is one of the most under-diagnosed ocular diseases, and yet it is the most common reason why patients visit their eye care professional.

Dry eyes are common in our climate; and treatment is done in a step-wise fashion.  We start with simple modifications to your daily routine.

  • Dry Eye Center of Excellence - Dry Eye Treatments in Boise, IdahoAvoid exposure to wind and the elements, as well as forced air (i.e. ceiling fans, air vents). Sometimes these situations are unavoidable, but doing the best you can to protect your eyes will greatly reduce your symptoms. There are even special sunglasses made to block exposure, which are available in our optical department.
  • Remember to blink. When we read, work on the computer, or watch television, we tend to stare and blink less frequently. Try to be conscious of this and pause every five minutes to blink.
  • Lubricate your eyes regularly. Use artificial tears at least 4 times a day (more if you’re noticing symptoms or are experiencing increased exposure to air movement). Brands we recommend are Systane, Refresh, Blink, Genteal, Freshkote, and TheraTears.
  • Supplement with Omega 3’s orally. You need 1000mg from a fish-derived source (fish, krill or salmon oil) and 1000mg from a vegetable-derived source (flax seed, evening primrose or borage oil). We suggest you alternate your use of these, taking one in the morning and the other in the evening for maximum benefit. High quality fish oils are very important for proper absorption. Some recommended brands are PRN (sold here), Nordic Naturals or Core Omega.
  • In cold weather, use a humidifier in your home.

 

If the treatment outlined above fails to improve your symptoms sufficiently, more advanced treatments may be called for:

  • Restasis and Xiidra prescription eye drops to help you create more of your own natural tears.
  • MiBo ThermaFlo, which provides a gentle heat treatment to unclog the oil glands along the margins of your eyelids and restore a healthy tear film.
  • Tear-saver plugs, which help retain moisture in your eyes by plugging some or all of your tear drains.
  • Punctal cautery if other treatments are ineffective.

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