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The Importance of Eye Exams for Contact Lenses

Are you planning on wearing contact lenses for the first time? Do you need a new contact lens prescription? Are your current contacts not as comfortable as you wish they were? Your eye doctor will perform a contact lens eye exam to ensure that your vision with contacts is clear, comfortable, and safe, providing you with the right lenses for you.

What is a contact lens exam?

If you wear or want to wear contact lenses, you’ll need an eye exam for contact lenses, in addition to your regular comprehensive eye exam. Special tests are performed during a contact lens exam to evaluate your eyes and vision with contacts.

Local Contact lens supplier near you in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

Are eyeglass prescriptions the same as contact lens prescriptions?

No, a prescription for glasses cannot be used for contact lenses. An eyeglass prescription is for lenses that are positioned approximately 12 millimeters from your eyes, whereas a contact lens prescription is measured for lenses that sit directly on the surface of your eye.

The prescription for contact lenses also includes the brand, lens diameter and curvature, which are not part of an eyeglass prescription.

Prate Family Eye Care Eye Clinic and Eye exam, contact lenses in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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 Laurel Springs eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

Contact lenses fitting: One size does not fit all

One contact lens size doesn’t fit all eyes. If a contact lens is too flat or too steep for your corneal shape, you may experience discomfort or even eye damage. Your eye doctor will take certain measurements to determine the best contact lens design and fit for your eyes.

Corneal curvature

This measures the curvature of your eye’s clear front surface (cornea) so the eye doctor can select the optimal curve and diameter for your contact lenses. If your eye’s surface is somewhat irregular because of astigmatism or other conditions, you may require a special lens.

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Pupil and iris size

The size of your pupil and iris (the colored part of your eye) is also important in determining the best contact lens design.

Tear film evaluation

This test evaluates the quality of your tears, to determine whether they will be able to keep contact lenses and your cornea sufficiently hydrated throughout the day. If you have dry eye disease, standard contact lenses may not be right for you.

Trial lenses

Following the eye exam, you will be provided with trial lenses to verify that the chosen contact lenses offer clear and comfortable vision. This will allow the eye doctor to make any fine adjustments to the prescription.

Contact Lens Eye Exam Near You

Wearing the correct contact lenses for your eyes allows you to enjoy all of the benefits of wearing contacts, while keeping your eyes healthy and comfortable.

If you’re already a contact lens wearer, visit your eye doctor at least once a year to make sure the lenses are still providing you with optimum vision and comfort.

Contact Prate Family Eye Care in Laurel Springs to book your contact lens eye exam today!

Call Prate Family Eye Care on 856-205-4141 to schedule an eye exam with our Laurel Springs optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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The Importance of Eye Exams for Contact Lenses

Coronavirus and Your Eyes – What You Should Know

An Active and Eye Safe Lifestyle

Sjogren’s Awareness Month – Understanding The Invisible Disease 

New To Contact Lenses? Here Are Our Top 5 Tips!

For an estimated 56 million North Americans, contact lenses are the preferred form of vision correction. So if you’ve just started wearing contact lenses — you’re in good company.

Advice About Contact Lenses from Laurel Springs Eye Doctor: Dr. Brett Prate Here are 5 tips to quickly help you adjust to wearing and caring for your new lenses so you can enjoy the many benefits they offer.

Local Contact lens supplier near you in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

Learn How to Tell if Your Contact Lens Is Inside Out

This is a common mistake many beginners make when inserting soft contacts. Place the lens on your index fingertip and look carefully at its shape. The edge of the lens should be pointing upwards, like the rim of a teacup. If the edge is flared outward like a blooming flower, the lens is inside out.

Some contact lenses have tiny laser markings of numbers or letters. If the numbers/letters read correctly when you hold the lens on your fingertip, they are properly oriented and the lens is ready to be inserted.

Never Use a Substitute for Contact Lens Solution

Your eye doctor will recommend the appropriate contact lens solution to suit your eyes and lenses. Some people have sensitivities and not all lens solutions are the same.

Even if you run out of contact lens solution, don’t be tempted to rinse your lenses with water, and never use saliva to moisten or clean them.

Using substances other than the recommended contact lens solution to rinse or rewet your contacts can introduce harmful microbes to the eye and cause a serious infection. That’s why it’s best to remove your contacts before showering, swimming, or any other time they might get wet.

Prate Family Eye Care Eye Clinic and Contact Lenses, Eye Care and Eye Doctors in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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 Laurel Springs eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

If Your Contact Lenses Feel Uncomfortable, Take Them Out!

Some newcomers mistakenly think that if their contacts feel uncomfortable or gritty, they simply need to “get used to them.” Contact lenses are supposed to be comfortable, so if you are experiencing discomfort there may be something wrong.

With clean fingers, remove your contacts and rinse them, inside and out, with the solution or rewetting drops as recommended by your eye doctor. Dust or dirt could have gotten stuck between the lens and your eye, causing irritation. Flushing the lenses with contact lens solution will help remove the irritant.

If your eyes still feel irritated, don’t place the contact lenses back in your eyes. Instead, wait until they are no longer red or irritated, and try inserting them again. If the problem persists, contact your eye doctor.

Wear Contact Lens-Friendly Makeup

Wearing makeup around the eyes can be a source of irritation and infection whether you wear contact lenses or not. Here’s what we recommend when it comes to eye makeup and contact lenses:

  • Choose hypoallergenic makeup.
  • If using a cream-based product around your eyes, choose a water-based formula instead of an oil-based one.
  • Keep your eye closed during application to avoid makeup particles entering your eye.
  • Don’t apply eyeliner or eyeshadow to the inner rims of your eyelids.
  • Replace eye makeup at least once every 3 months to minimize the growth and spread of bacteria.
  • Never share eye makeup with friends or family.
  • Remove your contact lenses before removing your makeup.

Local Contact Lenses, Eye Care and Eye Doctors in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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Stick to the Hygiene Guidelines

We can’t emphasize this enough — always thoroughly wash and dry your hands before handling your contact lenses.

Try to avoid washing your hands with oily or heavily scented hand soaps, as they tend to cling to the surface of the lens and could irritate the eye. Additionally, if you touch moisturizers or lotions before handling your contact lenses you run the risk of some residual product adhering to the lens and clouding your vision.

After washing your hands, dry them using a lint-free towel. It’s harder to grasp contact lenses with wet hands, and — as mentioned above — lenses shouldn’t come into contact with tap water.

Bonus Tip: Get an Eye Exam

While all this advice can be very helpful, it doesn’t replace an in-person exam with your eye doctor. Your eye doctor will advise you when to return for your next contact lens consultation. Following this schedule is the best way to ensure you can enjoy the freedom of contact lens wear.

If you are new to contact lenses (or not!) and have any questions or concerns about your eyes or vision, call 856-205-4141. Prate Family Eye Care will be happy to schedule you for a contact lens exam and fitting.

With the help of Dr. Brett Prate, you’ll be an expert in contact lens wear and care in no time!
Call Prate Family Eye Care on 856-205-4141 to schedule an eye exam with our Laurel Springs optometrist.
Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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How Contact Lenses Can be a Danger to your Eyes

Visiting Your Optometrist During COVID-19

What You Need to Know About Firework Eye Safety

UV Safety Awareness Month

How Can My Child’s Myopia Be Corrected?

At Prate Family Eye Care, we help children like yours achieve clear and comfortable vision, so they can succeed at the important things in life.

Methods of Myopia Correction

Contact Lenses

Contacts can be a great choice, especially for physically active children or teens who don’t want to worry about breaking or misplacing their eyeglasses. In some cases of very high myopia, contact lenses can offer clearer vision than glasses.

Corrective contact lenses are usually placed in the eyes upon waking and removed at night before bedtime. There are several types, including: soft contacts, daily disposables, extended wear, and rigid gas permeable (hard) lenses. Navigating through the differences between them can be daunting. Fortunately, if you’re located in Laurel Springs our eye doctor will be happy to guide you. Speak with Dr. Brett Prate to determine whether your child is ready for contact lenses.

Prescription Glasses

Glasses are a popular choice among our younger patients. Choosing from an array of styles makes the process fun and exciting! Allowing the children to be active participants in selecting their eyewear increases the likelihood that they’ll actually wear them. There are strong, flexible and resilient frames which look great and are comfortable too.

The optician can customize the lenses with additions and upgrades like impact-resistant or shatter-proof materials, scratch-resistant and anti-reflective coatings, UV filters, and transition lenses that darken in the sun. For those requiring vision correction for distance and near, we also offer bifocal or multifocal lens prescriptions.

Prate Family Eye Care Eye Clinic and Myopia, Nearsightedness and Children in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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 Laurel Springs eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

We Can Help Correct Your Child’s Myopia

If you’re located near Laurel Springs, New Jersey, an eye exam with our optometrist can determine your child’s exact prescription, and give you the opportunity to receive answers to any questions you may have about your child’s eye health and vision. Progressive myopia, where a growing child’s prescription continues to worsen, is why it’s important for myopic children to undergo eye exams at least once a year.

Local Myopia, Nearsightednes, and Children in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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At Prate Family Eye Care, our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to recommend the most suitable method of correcting your child’s myopia to meet his or her individual needs. Thanks to the wide range options available, your child will walk away with eyewear that will not only enhance his or her style but will also be a boost of confidence.

Let us help your child see the world in a whole new light. To schedule your child’s annual eye exam or if you have any further questions, contact Prate Family Eye Care at 856-205-4141 today.

Call Prate Family Eye Care on 856-205-4141 to schedule an eye exam with our Laurel Springs optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Four Great Tips to Relax Your Eyes

Do your eyes hurt after spending a significant amount of time reading, playing video games, driving, or staring at a screen? These visually intense activities can sometimes be hard on the eyes, causing uncomfortable symptoms like headaches and blurry vision. Other symptoms of eye strain can include light sensitivity, neck and shoulder pain, trouble concentrating, and burning or itchy eyes.

Fortunately, preventing painful computer vision syndrome and eye fatigue symptoms can be as simple as trying a few of these eye exercises. To learn more about digital eye strain and discover the best relief options for you, call Prate Family Eye Care at 856-205-4141 and schedule an eye exam with Dr. Brett Prate.

Relax Your Eyes with These Supportive Techniques

Many of these exercises are designed for computer users. Eye strain resulting from long drives, reading, or other activities, can be alleviated by modifying some of these recommendations.

The Clock Exercise

The clock exercise relieves strain on overworked eye muscles and can help you avoid headaches and eye pain, among other symptoms. Begin the exercise by imagining a large analog clock a few feet in front of you. Keep your head still and move your eyes to the imaginary 9, then to the imaginary 3.

Keep moving your eyes to the opposite pairs on the clock — 10/4, 11/5, 12/6, and so on. Hold your gaze for a second or two on each number before moving on to the next one. Continue doing this for 4-5 minutes.

Prate Family Eye Care Eye Clinic and Eye Strain, Computer Vision and Eye Exercises in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

The 20-20-20 Rule

The 20-20-20 rule helps you avoid dry eyes and eye strain by giving your eyes frequent breaks. After about 20 minutes of screen time or doing close-up work, focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This gives the eyes a much needed rest and helps them relax. There are also free apps available that provide pop-up reminders that notify you when it’s time to shift your gaze.

Screen Ergonomics

The American Optometric Association recommends placing computer monitors 20 to 28 inches, or 50-70 cm, away from your eyes and the top of the computer should be at eye level or right below for optimum eye comfort. Glare filters can reduce the amount of glare produced by digital devices and improve your viewing experience.

Poor sitting posture can also contribute to eye strain. Your chair should be situated so that your feet are flat on the floor, or use an angled footrest for additional comfort.

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Optimize your Eyewear

Since regular prescription lenses or glasses may not adequately meet your visual needs for lengthy computer use, you may benefit from wearing computer glasses. These prescription glasses are customized to your needs and also reduce glare and block blue light.

You don’t have to live with the discomforts of eye strain. If symptoms persist, it may be time to visit Prate Family Eye Care and get the relief you seek. Call our office to schedule a convenient eye doctor’s appointment.

Call Prate Family Eye Care on 856-205-4141 to schedule an eye exam with our Laurel Springs optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Laurel Springs LASIK – What to Expect After LASIK?

Laurel Springs contact lenses, Are contact lenses better than glasses?

What’s in Your Household Cleaning Supplies?

Are Your Eyes Sensitive to Light?

How to Disinfect Glasses to Help Prevent COVID-19

Coronavirus and Your Eyeglasses

Did you know that our glasses (this includes the lenses and the frame) can potentially transfer viruses, such as COVID-19, to our eyes, nose, and mouth? This is because viruses — as well as bacteria — are easily transferred from our surroundings to our hands and then from our hands to our glasses.

In fact, research has shown that coronavirus can remain on glass surfaces for as long as 9 days. If we’re not careful, we can easily touch our glasses then touch our eyes, nose, or mouth, thus continuing the contagion cycle.

The danger is even higher for people with presbyopia, age-related farsightedness that generally affects those aged 40 and above. Presbyopes who wear reading glasses tend to put them on and take them off several times throughout the day. What’s more worrisome is that this age group is at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19.

The good news is that disinfecting your glasses is easy! Let’s delve into ways you should and should not disinfect your lenses at home.

What NOT to Use to Cleanse Your Glasses

Many of us may have rubbing-alcohol at home, and although it may seem like a perfectly good idea to use it to disinfect your specs, we discourage you from doing so. It may be too harsh for your eyeglasses, especially if you have any special coatings on your lenses.

Other products you should stay away from include ammonia, bleach, or anything with high concentrations of acid, such as lemon juice or vinegar, which can damage lens coatings and some eyewear materials.

Prate Family Eye Care Eye Clinic and Corona Virus, Glasses, Eye Health in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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 Laurel Springs eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

How to Safely Disinfect Your Glasses

Now that we’ve eliminated the substances and chemicals that should not be used on your lenses, let’s see what is safe to use to clean eyewear.

Dish Soap and Water

The absolute easiest and most efficient way to disinfect and clean your lenses is to use lukewarm water with a gentle dish soap. Massage the soap onto each lens, rinse, and dry using a microfiber cloth (not paper towels, as the fibers can easily scratch lenses). While you’re at it, don’t forget to include your frame’s nose pads and earpieces.

Local Corona Virus, Glasses, Eye Health in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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Lens Cleaning Wipes

Pre-moistened lens wipes are excellent for cleaning your glasses, as well as your phone, tablet and computer screen. They remove bacteria, dust, dirt and germs from your glasses and the formula restores shine to glass surfaces without leaving any streaks or residue. The durable material is tough enough to remove stains, while being gentle enough not to scratch your screens or lenses. Contact 20/20 Eye Care Center to find out how you can access these.

So, In Summary:

  • Do not use rubbing alcohol to disinfect your glasses.
  • Avoid using household cleaners or products with high concentrations of acid.
  • Clean your glasses with a gentle dish soap and lukewarm water, or lens wipes.
  • Dry your glasses with a microfiber cloth to prevent smudging and scratching. “
  • Disinfecting your glasses shouldn’t be stressful or worrisome. Just follow the easy steps above to protect your lenses and your health.

On behalf of everyone at 20/20 Eye Care Center in Fullerton, California, we sincerely hope you and your loved ones stay healthy and safe during this uncertain time.

Call Prate Family Eye Care on 856-205-4141 to schedule an eye exam with our Laurel Springs optometrist.
Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Decorative Lenses Could Cost You Your Vision

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8 Ways to Protect Your Eyes at the Office

Everyone seems to be staring at a screen these days, whether their computer, their smartphone or another digital device. The stress it puts on your eyes can cause a condition called “digital eye strain” (DES) or “computer vision syndrome” (CVS). Symptoms include eye fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, red eyes, and eye twitching.

How To Protect Your Eyes While You Work

Below are a few things you can do to lower your risk or mitigate any discomfort associated with DES.

1. See your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam

This is one of the most important things you can do to prevent or treat symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome. During your eye doctor’s appointment, make sure to speak with Dr. Brett Prate about your working habits, including the frequency and length of time you use a computer and other devices at work and at home.

If you get a chance before you come, measure the distance between your eyes and your computer screen and bring that information to the optometrist, so that you can get your eyes tested for that specific working distance.

Computer vision syndrome may be exacerbated by an underlying dry eye disease, which can be diagnosed and treated at our eye clinic in Laurel Springs.

Sometimes people who have good visual acuity assume they don’t need any glasses. However, even very mild prescriptions can improve eyestrain and curb fatigue when working at a computer.

2. Good lighting is key

Excessively bright light, whether due to outdoor sunshine coming in through the window or harsh interior lighting, is a common cause of eyestrain. When using your computer, your ambient lighting should be about 50% dimmer than what is typically found in most offices.

You can reduce exterior light by closing drapes, blinds or shades and diminish interior illumination by using fewer or lower intensity bulbs. Computer users often find that turning off overhead fluorescent lights and replacing them with floor lamps is easier on their eyes.

Prate Family Eye Care Eye Clinic and Computer Vision Syndrome, Eye Care in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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 Laurel Springs eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

3. Minimize glare

Eyestrain can be aggravated by glare from light reflecting off surfaces including your computer screen. Position your computer so that windows are neither directly in front of nor behind the monitor, but rather to the side of it. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your display. If you wear glasses, get anti-reflective (AR) coating on your lenses to reduce glare by limiting the amount of light that reflects off the front and back surfaces of your lenses (more on that below.)

4. Upgrade your display

If you have a CRT (cathode) screen on your monitor, consider replacing it with a flat-panel LED (light-emitting diode) screen that includes an anti-reflective surface. Old-school CRT screens can be a major cause of computer eye strain due to the flickering images.

For your new flat panel desktop display, choose one with a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches, and the higher the resolution, the better.

Local Computer Vision Syndrome, Eye Care in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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5. Adjust display settings for added comfort

Adjusting your computer display settings can help decrease eye strain and fatigue too.

Brightness: Adjust your device’s brightness to match the luminance around you. If the white background of this page looks like a light source, then it should be dimmed. However, if it appears dull and gray, it may not provide enough contrast, which can make it hard to read.

Text size: Adjust the text size for maximum eye comfort, particularly when reading, editing or writing long documents. Increase the size if you find yourself squinting, but bigger isn’t always better, since overly large text display may force your eyes to track back and forth too quickly for comfort.

Color temperature: This refers to the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light, whereas orange and red are longer wavelength hues. Exposure to blue light helps keep you alert but tends to cause eye fatigue after a while; yellow to red tints are more relaxing and may be better for long-term viewing, especially at night. Many devices allow the user to adjust the color temperature.

6. Get computer glasses

Nearly 70% of North Americans experience digital eye strain related to prolonged use of electronic devices. To combat these effects, Prate Family Eye Care recommends digital protection coatings, which act as a shield to cut the glare and filter the blue light emanating from digital screens and artificial light.

For the greatest eye comfort, ask Dr. Brett Prate for customized computer glasses, which feature mildly tinted lenses that filter out blue light. These can be made with or without prescription vision correction, for the benefit of those with 20/20 vision or contact lens wearers, though many people with contacts actually prefer to have alternative eyewear to use when their lenses become dry and uncomfortable from extended screen time.

Prate Family Eye Care can help you choose from a vast array of effective optical lenses and lens coatings to relieve the effects of digital eye strain.

7. Don’t forget to blink

When staring at a digital device people tend to blink up to 66% less often, and often the blinks performed during computer work are only partial which aren’t as effective at keeping the eyes moist and fresh feeling. Making a conscious effort to blink more while working or watching can prevent dryness and irritation.

8. Exercise your eyes

Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. Look away from your computer every 20 minutes and gaze at an object located 20 feet away, for a minimum of 20 seconds. This “”20-20-20 rule”” is a classic exercise to relax the eyes’ focusing muscles and reduce computer vision syndrome.

The steps above don’t require a tremendous amount of time or money to be effective. Contact Prate Family Eye Care in Laurel Springs to make an appointment with Dr. Brett Prate and learn how the right eye drops, eye exercises, computer glasses, or AR coatings can improve eye comfort, reduce computer vision syndrome and potentially lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

Call Prate Family Eye Care on 856-205-4141 to schedule an eye exam with our Laurel Springs optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

FOLLOW US


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3 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Vision and Eyes

Did you know that people with diabetes are 20 times more likely to get eye diseases than those without it? There are three major eye conditions that diabetics are at risk for developing: cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy. To prevent these sight-threatening diseases, it’s important to control your blood sugar level and have your eyes checked at least once a year by an eye doctor.

But First, What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease that is associated with high blood glucose levels. Insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas, helps our cells get energy from the sugars we eat. Diabetes develops when the body doesn’t produce or respond to insulin effectively, leaving too much sugar in the blood stream instead. Over time, diabetes can lead to potentially irreversible ocular damage and poor eyesight. However, by taking care of your blood sugar levels and your eyes, you can prevent vision loss.

Annual eye exams are recommended for everyone, but routine screenings are even more important for diabetics. Eye doctors may send diabetic eye health reports to a patient’s primary care physician or internist to adjust medication as needed to prevent complications.

Prate Family Eye Care Eye Clinic and Diabetes in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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 Laurel Springs eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

What’s the Link Between Vision and Diabetes?

Blurred vision or fluctuating eyesight clarity is often one of the first noticeable signs that diabetes has begun to affect your eyes. Sometimes, fluid leaking into the eye causes the lens to swell and change shape. This, in turn, makes it difficult for the eyes to focus, resulting in fuzzy vision. Such symptoms can indicate that an eye disease is developing, or may simply be due to imbalanced blood sugar levels which can be rectified by getting your blood sugar back to healthy levels.

If you start to notice blurry vision, make an appointment with Dr. Brett Prate as soon as possible.

Local Diabetes in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

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The 3 Ways Diabetes Impacts Vision

Cataracts

While cataracts are extremely common and a part of the natural aging process, those with diabetes tend to develop cataracts earlier in life. Characterized by a clouding or fogging of the lens within the eye, cataracts impede light from entering the eye, causing blurred vision and glares. The best treatment is cataract surgery, which is very safe and effective.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye diseases characterized by optic nerve damage. Since it tends to impact peripheral vision first, glaucoma often goes unnoticed until significant damage has occurred. However, routine glaucoma screenings can detect warning signs; early treatment can prevent disease progression and vision loss.

Although there is no true cure for glaucoma, most glaucoma patients successfully manage it with special eye drops, medication, and on occasion, laser treatment or other surgery. The earlier glaucoma is diagnosed and managed, the better the outcome.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels on your retina (capillaries) become weakened and then balloon (microaneurysm) due to poorly controlled blood sugar levels. The resulting poor blood circulation in the back of the eye causes more abnormal blood vessels to grow, which also bleed or leak fluid, and can lead to scar tissue, retinal detachment and even blindness, over time.

Often there are no symptoms until the advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy, where patients may begin to see spots and missing patches in their vision. Retinopathy can be treated through surgery and eye injections, but the best way to prevent this disease from progressing is to regularly have your eyes screened.

The good news is that diabetic eye disease can often be prevented with early detection, proper management of your diabetes and regular diabetic eye exams. Contact Prate Family Eye Care in Laurel Springs to set up your eye doctor’s appointment today.

Call Prate Family Eye Care on 856-205-4141 to schedule an eye exam with our Laurel Springs optometrist.

Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Laurel Springs Contact Lenses- Overuse of Contact Lenses – What Happens? How Can You Prevent It?

Prate Family Eye Care Tips from our eye clinic on how to keep your eyes healthy with contact lenses

Contact lenses can be a fantastic way to see crisp and clear without bothersome eyeglasses. They give a wider field of view and healthy, comfortable vision – as long as you don’t overuse them!

Nowadays, with so many quality contact lenses on the market that provide exceptional visual clarity and convenience, it’s easy to abuse their use. However, this practice poses serious risks to your eyes. To avoid damaging your vision, our eye clinic shares the following information about avoiding the overuse of contact lenses.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens 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? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Laurel Springs eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

How much use is overuse?

You should be removing your contact lenses for a minimum of 18 awake hours per week, giving your eyes time to rest and get sufficient oxygen. Your eyes need to absorb oxygen from the air (not from your lungs, like other organs), so allowing your eyes time to breathe without contact lenses in the way is essential.

Don’t leave home without eyeglasses

If you insert your contacts in the morning and will be out into the wee hours of the night, pack along a pair of glasses to switch to later in the day. This will help prevent eye strain and, ocular irritation.

Don’t sleep in contact lenses

Keeping your contacts in while dozing will damage your eyes, depriving them of oxygen and hydration. Without enough moisture, your contact lenses can dry out and lead to problems, such as corneal scratches.

Replace your contact lenses on time

Because modern contact lenses are made from advanced materials, they offer supreme comfort. That’s why so many people end up wearing them longer than prescribed – until they become uncomfortable. However, this is a risky practice that can lead to vision damage. When used for too long, contacts can develop tiny tears and accumulate calcium or protein deposits that can seriously irritate or injure your eyes. When you buy contacts from our eye clinic, we’ll provide you with instructions on how long each pair lasts and when to replace them.

What happens from the overuse of contacts?

There are three main problems that can result:

  • Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC): wearing your contact lenses for too long without changing them can lead to deposits in the lenses that cause Papillae (large granules that rub against the cornea) to form under the eyelids. As a result, you can experience itching, red eyes, light sensitivity, and the constant feeling that something is stuck in your eye.
  • Corneal ulcer: this is a serious infection that occurs on the outer layer of the eye and can damage vision. Wearing contact lenses while swimming can allow dangerous microbes to enter your eye. When these microbes stick to contacts, it increases your risk of corneal ulcers. Symptoms include redness, blurred vision, eye pain, and watering. Corneal ulcers require prompt medical treatment to prevent irreversible vision loss.
  • CLARE – Contact Lens Associated Red Eye: this sudden redness in your eye is typically caused by wearing contact lenses during bedtime. Insufficient oxygen to your cornea (because of tight-fitting contacts) is the culprit. It is a relatively mild problem, but you’ll need an eye exam at our eye clinic to determine whether you’re suffering from CLARE or an infection.

When you visit our eye clinic for a contact lens eye exam or fitting, we’ll be happy to provide you with instructions on the proper way to use your contacts – and not overuse them!

Prate Family Eye Care, your Laurel Springs eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Laurel Springs Eye Clinic- Eye Stroke – How is it similar to a stroke? What are the risks?

Prate Family Eye Care Our eye doctor in Laurel Springs, NJ explains

High blood pressure and other heart diseases put your overall health at risk. That’s a health fact that you probably know. But did you ever think about how high blood pressure affects the delicate tissues of your eye?

Hypertension can damage the arteries in your eye, leading to vision loss. When one or more damaged arteries have a blockage (due either to a clot or a build-up of cholesterol), eye stroke occurs. Eye stroke refers to when there is inadequate blood flow to the eye, and it can cause sudden loss of vision. While the vision loss can be temporary, it will become permanent if you don’t seek urgent treatment from an eye care professional! Call an eye clinic near you to book an emergency eye exam.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens 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? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Laurel Springs eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Types of eye stroke

Retinal vein occlusion (RVO): this is the most common type of eye stroke; it involves decreased blood flow in a vein that carries blood away from the eye. As a result, the blood vessels connected closely to that vein become backed up. Retinal arterial occlusion (RAO): this is not as common as RVO, yet it can be more serious; it is caused by a direct blockage of blood flowing into the eye, and it can be a strong indicator for a brain stroke. Ischemic optic neuropathy (ION): this obstruction of blood flow to the optic nerve is associated with giant cell arteritis, a condition that involves damaged or swollen temporal arteries in the brain. If left untreated, permanent vision loss can result. Non-arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION): this is associated with a disruption of healthy blood flow to the optic nerve and is similar to ION.

Symptoms of eye stroke

While eye stroke is generally painless, it is still a dangerous sight-threatening condition! Usually, the primary symptom is vision loss, which is temporary and happens in just one eye. However, vision damage can become irreversible if you don’t seek treatment quickly from a qualified eye doctor.

Other possible symptoms include:

    • A sudden or gradual change in vision (such as seeing gray or black in one eye), even if it improves within a few minutes
    • New floaters
    • Blurry, distorted vision.
    • Sensation of discomfort or pressure in the eye

    Risk factors for eye stroke

      • Being male
      • Age – eye stroke happens most commonly in people in their 60s
      • High blood pressure
      • High cholesterol
      • Diabetes
      • Narrowing of the carotid or neck artery

      Diagnosis by your eye doctor

      An eye stroke is diagnosed by reviewing your medical history, including any pre-existing health conditions (such as hypertension and diabetes), and performing a dilated eye exam. Your visual field and central visual acuity will be assessed, and your optic nerve and retina will be inspected. Advanced optometric imaging equipment may also be used to take pictures of your inner eye structure to check the blood flow in your eye.

      Treatment of eye stroke

      If the source of the blockage is a blood clot, you may be prescribed blood-thinning medication to dissolve the clot. Lowering pressure in the eye can also prompt the clot to flow out of the eye. To do this, your eye doctor may insert a needle into your eye and withdraw fluid. Another in-office treatment to reduce pressure in your eye can involve having you breathe into a paper bag to increase the level of carbon dioxide in your blood.

      The difference between eye stroke and brain stroke

      The main similarity between eye strokes and brain strokes is that typically, they are both caused by reduced blood flow. The risk factors for both problems are also similar, such as cardiovascular disease, age, and hypertension. However, brain strokes can also occur due to rupture and bleeding from an artery.

      Keep in mind that the blood circulation to the retina is the same circulation that flows to the front of the brain, so eye strokes and brain strokes are connected in that way. Also, eye strokes are a significant risk factor for experiencing a brain stroke.

      Symptoms of eye stroke? Visit your eye doctor for emergency eye care

      Even if your symptoms clear up quickly and your vision returns to normal, it’s critical to visit an eye care professional as soon as possible. It only takes a few minutes for eye strokes to cause permanent damage. Also, a comprehensive eye exam can reveal that you are at risk of having a stroke in the brain. Therefore, a visit to a nearby eye clinic can help prevent the debilitating trauma of brain stroke.

      Prate Family Eye Care, your Laurel Springs eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

      Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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      Your Eyes Are the Windows to Your Health

      Your eyes aren’t just the windows to your soul — they can also reveal valuable information about your general health beyond whether you need glasses, including: diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer. It is not unusual for people to come in for an eye exam just to check their eyesight and then have certain health issues or predispositions picked up by the optometrist.

      Eye Exams and Your Health

      Eye examinations can help doctors detect general health conditions early enough to intervene. Advanced screenings enable eye doctors to better predict cardiovascular incidents like stroke, and possibly detect signs of mental changes such as Alzheimer’s. Read below to learn how eye exams can unveil a whole lot more than just eye health.

      Brain Cancer & Stroke

      Because of the similarities between the blood vessels in the eye and brain, an eye doctor can occasionally detect an issue taking place in the brain by examining the blood vessels in the eyes. If swelling or shadows in the eye is observed, it may indicate a serious condition in the brain, like a tumor, or clots that might result in a stroke.

      Diabetes

      Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina at the back of the eye, resulting in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME). If an optometrist detects leaky blood vessels in the eye, the patient would be advised to see a doctor to help control their blood sugar. Changes are gradual, and they start before visual symptoms are noticed. The earlier diabetic eye disease is managed, the better the chances are of preserving eyesight.

      Hypertension

      High blood pressure, characterized by having too much pressure in the blood vessels, can be detected during an eye exam, sometimes even before it’s diagnosed by your regular doctor. The damaged blood vessels lead to swelling, hemorrhages, and leaking — all of which can be observed in the eyes. According to the CDC, hypertension “the silent killer” affects nearly 1 in 3 adults, and up to a whopping 20% of those don’t even know they have it. So early detection at an eye doctor’s evaluation can be truly life-saving.

      High Cholesterol

      Eye exams can also detect a buildup of cholesterol. High cholesterol is among the easiest conditions to spot during a complete eye exam, as the cholesterol deposits manifest on the front of the eye, appearing as a thin, gray rim around the cornea. It can also be detected in the retina by assessing artery and vein patterns.

      These deposits may indicate the current or future development of Retinal Blood Vessel Occlusion, a condition where blockages restrict blood flow to the back of the eye, causing temporary or permanent vision loss.

      Prate Family Eye Care Eye Clinic and Eyes and Health in Laurel Springs, New Jersey

      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 Laurel Springs eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

      Heart Conditions

      In some cases, heart conditions associated with a buildup of plaque in the carotid artery in the heart can also lead to deposits that clog the ocular arteries in the eye. If an optometrist detects such changes to the vascular structure at the back of the eye, he or she will typically recommend going to a specialist.

      Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

      Sudden vision loss may be attributed to Multiple Sclerosis (MS). While the optometrist can recognize signs indicating the presence of MS, such as the color and appearance of the optic nerve, such cases will be referred for further testing to confirm the diagnosis.

      Thyroid

      Thyroid disease can make itself apparent through the eyes in several ways. The thyroid gland controls the hormones that regulate tear production so some thyroid disorders can cause dry eye disease. Additionally, overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can make the extraocular muscles enlarge and stiffen, causing bulging eyes — an indicator of Graves’ disease.

      Inflammation Systemic conditions that are associated with inflammation in the body can have an inflammatory effect on the eyes. Uveitis, for example, causes eye inflammation, redness, and blurred vision, and tends to occur in people with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.

      Cancer Breast cancer, leukemia, and other metastatic cancers are occasionally discovered during an eye evaluation. In addition to brain cancer mentioned above, melanoma and basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) can be detected, and eye doctors can also diagnose lymphoma and other eye tumors. Eye exams save lives.”

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      What the Future Holds

      Alzheimer’s

      Recent studies show that a non-invasive and precise imaging device called Octa (optical coherence tomography angiography) can signal the presence of eye changes associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Because the retina is in many ways an extension of the brain, the altered blood vessels at the back of the eye offer a glimpse into the changes taking place within the brain.

      Parkinson’s Disease

      Parkinson’s Disease can often be misdiagnosed as its early symptoms are characteristic of other conditions. Research has shown that subtle eye tremors, an early Parkinson’s marker, could be detectable using advanced eye exam technology. One day soon, practitioners may send patients to an eye doctor to test for this and other diseases.”

      Your Eye Doctor’s Appointment Could Change Your Life So the next time you visit Dr. Brett Prate at Prate Family Eye Care in Laurel Springs, remember that a comprehensive eye exam can do more than determine your eyeglasses or contacts prescription. Dr. Brett Prate can evaluate your eyes for existing or potential health issues, and communicate them to your primary care physician for the best possible care. By knowing that you’re at risk for a certain disease, you can take precautions early on and manage the condition as needed. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

      Call Prate Family Eye Care on 856-205-4141 to schedule an eye exam with our Laurel Springs optometrist.

      Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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

      New Study Shows How Your Eyes Shed Light on Your Health

      Eye Dangers in the Dorm – Eye Health for College Students

      How to Encourage Young Kids to Wear their First Pair of Glasses

      This Halloween Be Wary of Costume Contact Lenses