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Tips for Healthy Eyes If You’re Over 40

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If you’re in your 40s, you may have noticed physical changes that affect many aspects of your life, including your vision. Like the rest of your body, your eyes may need some extra care to function efficiently as you enter middle-age. The following tips will help you keep your eyes healthy from age 40 and beyond.

These tips do not replace a comprehensive eye exam and professional advice from your eye doctor.

1. Be Aware of Age-Related Changes in the Eyes

Understanding the way your eyes change after the age of 40 is the key to being proactive with eye care. For instance, if you find it more difficult to read the fine print in a book or computer screen than in the past, the problem is likely presbyopia, age-related farsightedness.

The lens inside the eye is responsible for changing focus, allowing us to see objects clearly both far away and up close. As the lens becomes harder and less flexible, it impairs the ability to focus up close. This makes it difficult to read the text in books or to see the images displayed on digital devices or computer screens. That’s why most people need reading glasses, multifocals or bifocals in their forties.

You should also be on the lookout for any changes to your vision, such as blurry night vision. Most often, this is due to cataracts — which cause blurry or cloudy vision due to the denaturation of protein in the eye’s natural lens — or macular degeneration, which is blurry or distorted vision caused by a deterioration of the central part of the retina. Glaucoma, which is caused by high eye pressure and results in tunnel vision, usually has no noticeable symptoms until vision loss has occurred.

Schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Long at Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs, who will assess your eyes for these sight-threatening eye diseases. Early diagnosis can prevent or minimize vision loss.

2. Watch for Dry Eye Symptoms

Dry eye syndrome is usually caused by the impaired functioning of the meibomian glands, located inside the eyelids. These glands produce oils that create a protective film for the tears that lubricate and protect the front surface of the eye. When there is a malfunction in these glands, tears can evaporate easily and the eyes can become dry, red and itchy.

Once over the age of 40, these tiny glands are more prone to becoming blocked, or the oils may become thicker.

Women who have undergone menopause have a higher likelihood of developing dry eye than younger women or men. In a study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology, dry eye symptoms were reported by 17.9% of aging women compared with 10% of aging men.

Menopausal women should be aware of dry eye symptoms and consult their eye doctor, who may prescribe eye drops or other ways to [moisturize] their eyes. Wrap-around eyeglass frames protect the eyes from dry, windy weather, allergens and irritants.

3. Keep Your Optical Prescription Up-to-Date

Since eye changes tend to occur more rapidly among people over 40, it is important to ensure that your prescription glasses and contact lenses are still suitable for your eyes. This means consulting with an optometrist if you notice any difficulties seeing and reading, which may necessitate an updated prescription.

4. Schedule Regular Eye Exams

The older you get, the more important it is to have regular eye exams, particularly if you have symptoms of eye problems or have been diagnosed with diabetes. Even if you are not experiencing symptoms, keeping your eyes healthy after the age of 40 requires consistent care. Schedule an eye exam with Dr. Long at Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Are Risk Factors for Macular Degeneration?

  • A: Macular degeneration often occurs among adults over the age of 60, although it can also occur in younger people. Since women tend to live longer than men, they have a higher rate than males of developing MD. Certain medications, such as vasodilators and oral beta blockers, can also increase the risks. Lifestyle also plays a significant role: Smoking, poor nutrition, obesity, high blood pressure and a sedentary lifestyle can all increase the chances of developing macular degeneration.

Q: Can the Progress of Macular Degeneration be Slowed?

  • A: Over the past several years, there have been significant advancements in the treatment of MD, and extensive research shows that specific nutrients can slow its progression. Omega 3 fatty acids, lutein and zeaxanthin can act to prevent the disease from developing to an advanced stage. They can lower the risks of the “dry” form of MD transforming into “wet” macular degeneration, a rarer but faster-developing form of the disease that can cause sudden and significant vision loss. Certain treatments, such as eye injections and laser therapy, can often delay MD’s progression. Eye injections for the “wet” form may even be able to restore lost sight.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


2022 Sunglasses Styles For Men

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Sunglasses complement your wardrobe and express your sense of style while protecting your eyes against sun damage. Below, we’ve included the most popular sunglass styles which can be worn all year long.

Square Wire Frames

Square wire frames communicate casual sophistication and are ideal for round faces. Look for box wire frames that fit symmetrically square lenses and are plated with silver, gold or other metals. These eyeglasses are lightweight and are favored by celebrities like David Beckham.

Aviator Sunglasses

Invented in the 1930s to protect the eyes of American airmen, iconic Aviator sunglasses gained a new lease on life decades later, thanks to films like Top Gun. Look for a pair of Aviator glasses with sturdy yet lightweight metal frames so you can wear them for years, and lenses that screen out 100% of UV rays.

Eco-Friendly Sunglasses

Today, shoppers care about the environment and seek out sustainable eyewear. The market for eyeglasses made from renewable materials has expanded and now you can find glasses made with plant-based acetate or titanium. Some eyeglass companies will donate a pair of glasses each time they sell sunglasses.

Sporty Wraparound Sunglasses

Oval lenses and wraparound frames may tempt you to hit the open road. Not only are they retro and striking, but wraparound sunglasses provide more protection by screening out the sun’s rays all around and not just with the lenses at the front.

Mirrored or Tinted Frame Sunglasses

Reflective coatings are not just for hiding from the paparazzi–they are a fun and stylish way to make a statement. Invest in a high-quality pair of mirror-lens sunglasses, because cheaper coatings tend to wear off quickly.

In addition to mirrored lenses, tinted sunglasses can add a sense of fun to your outfit. Each color not only creates a distinct look and mood but can enhance vision. Dark turquoise can help you see the contrast in intense light and yellow is ideal for object definition.

Retro Round Sunglasses

Round frames are reminiscent of the 1960s rock era, most specifically, John Lennon’s signature eyeglasses. Round sunglasses are the epitome of cool, and you can look right over the top of them with a completely unobstructed view. Elijah Wood and Ryan Gosling are often seen in these charming retro shades, and round lenses have retained their appeal for decades.

Cool Clip-Ons

These aren’t the clip-ons that you find in the drugstore. Clip-ons no longer have to be tacky, but designers have created cool and convenient clip-ons. However, many of the newest styles are not clipped on but magnetic and create a seamless connection to the eyeglass frame.

Wearing sunglasses not only makes you look like a celebrity, but they protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation. In addition, to choosing the right sunglasses, it is important to schedule eye exams to ensure your eyes are healthy. Call Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs and schedule an appointment today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can performance and sport sunglasses enhance vision?

  • A: Many performance and sport sunglasses are tinted, and each kind of tint can improve an aspect of visual acuity. For instance, amber tints are the right choice for skiing and snowboarding because they allow wearers to detect contrast. Grey lenses reduce glare without compromising color detection. Photochromic lenses start clear and become darker in the sun. Anti-reflective coatings can reduce glare.

Q: Which non-prescription sunglasses should I choose?

  • A: Non-prescription sunglasses have lenses that do not correct vision. Therefore, you can choose regular non-prescription sunglasses if you do not need to wear glasses. Contact lens wearers can wear sunglasses without a prescription. If you wear glasses, choose a pair of sunglasses you like and ask youreye doctor if they can have prescription lenses made that can be placed in the sunglass frames. Make sure that your non-prescription lenses screen out harmful UV rays.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Why Are My Eyes Dry in the Morning?

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If your eyes regularly feel dry when you wake up in the morning, it’s important to know why. Inflammation, age, medications and environmental factors can all dry out your eyes and cause other symptoms, such as a burning sensation in or around the eyes.

To identify the cause and relieve your dry eye symptoms, schedule an eye exam with Dr. Long at Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs. Pinpointing the underlying problem is the first step toward waking up in comfort.

What Can Cause Dry Eyes in the Morning?

Nocturnal Lagophthalmos

If you can’t close your eyes fully at night, you may have nocturnal lagophthalmos, which can result from problems with the muscles that control your eyelids, a deformity in the eyelid tissue or partial facial paralysis.

More severe types of lagophthalmos can cause dry eyes during the day as well. With this condition, the eye dries out because the eyelids can’t close fully. This leaves the front of the eye constantly exposed to the air, resulting in excessive evaporation of the tears. If left untreated, any form of lagophthalmos can eventually damage the cornea, resulting in vision loss.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelids caused by the malfunctioning of the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands are located inside the eyelids and secrete oils into the tears that lubricate the eye and create a protective barrier on the surface of the eye, minimizing tear evaporation.

Blepharitis most often occurs when these glands become clogged or the oil becomes thickened. The main symptoms are inflamed, dry, red and sore eyes. These symptoms may be worse in the morning because not blinking at night results in the glands becoming more blocked, and the vital oil layer of the tears dissipates while you sleep.

Medication

Many types of medication can cause the eyes to feel dry, particularly in the morning. These include:

  • Antipsychotics and antidepressants
  • Antihistamines and decongestants
  • Hypertension medications
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Gastrointestinal medications
  • Pain relievers
  • Skin treatments
  • Chemotherapy medications

Age

With age, the eyes produce less moisture and oils and tend to dry out more quickly. As a result, the eyes may become dry, red and itchy. In particular, women going through menopause may notice dry eye symptoms due to hormonal fluctuations.

When people get older, their eyelids may also become more flaccid and fall away from the eyes. This leads to watery tears running out of the eyes more easily, further reducing the volume of the tears.

External Factors

External factors such as air-conditioning and heating units can dry out your eyes, especially if the units are located in your bedroom or if you sleep under a ceiling fan.

Other external factors that can exacerbate dry eyes include air temperature and humidity, pollution and windy conditions.

How do I know if I have dry eye? | Medical Arts Optical

How to Relieve Morning Dry Eye Symptoms

How to relieve morning dry eye symptoms will depend on the cause.

One of the main treatments for dry eyes focuses on relieving dryness by stimulating the production of oil from the eyelid’s glands.

Your eye doctor may prescribe an ointment to apply before retiring and lubricating eye drops in the morning. Eyelid treatments involving the gentle application of heat and massage can also help the meibomian glands work more efficiently by increasing the release of oil into the tears.

Consider using a humidifier to make the air in your bedroom more comfortable, and wearing a sleeping mask to retain eye moisture.

These tips may provide some relief, but it is essential to schedule an eye exam with
Dr. Long at Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs to determine the precise cause of your dry eye symptoms and receive the appropriate treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What Should I Know about LASIK Surgery and Dry Eye?

  • A: LASIK surgery corrects vision by reshaping the cornea. This procedure involves making an incision that may damage the superficial nerves of the eye. As a result, the nerves of the eyes may not realize the eyes are dry, and therefore not stimulate the required secretion of tears. The result can be dry eyes.

Q: How to Treat Dry Eye Syndrome Naturally?

  • A: While nothing can replace the advice of your eye doctor, eating oily fish, flaxseeds, and other foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids can stimulate oil production in the eyes. Try applying warm compresses to your eyes and gently massaging your eyelids to unclog the meibomian glands. Protective eyewear, such as wraparound eyeglasses, helps block irritants and retain lubrication. Use a humidifier to moisten the air in your home. Applying eye drops regularly can also help prevent your eyes from drying out.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Vision Exams: What Does 20/20 Vision Really Mean?

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If you’ve had your eyes examined, your eye doctor likely asked you to read letters and numbers from an eye chart. That was to check for changes in your visual acuity, or sharpness of vision. Visual acuity can be measured in different ways, but the most common way is by using a Snellen eye chart — a chart with different sized letters and numbers in descending rows.

In 1862 Dr. Herman Snellen, an eye doctor in Holland, created the Snellen eye chart and coined the term ‘20/20 vision.’ Below we explore what that really means.

What is 20/20 Vision?

20/20 vision describes how clearly a person with normal visual clarity can see. All measurements of vision are taken when the patient is located 20 feet from the eye chart. A person with 20/20 vision can clearly read a certain row of small letters on the Snellen chart from 20 feet away.

A person with 20/40 vision who is 20 feet from the eye chart can only see the letters double the size of the letters that a person with normal vision can see.

Likewise, a person with 20/80 vision, who is 20 feet from the chart can only see letters four times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Legal blindness is considered to be 20/200 vision, and means that an individual with this sight at 20 feet away from the eye chart can only see letters 10 times larger than those seen by a person with 20/20 sight.

Is 20/20 Perfect Vision?

Not necessarily. This is a standard of measurement used by optometrists to help assess distance vision and prescribe eyeglasses and contacts, but vision is more than just 20/20 sight.

Several other visual skills are essential to functioning in today’s world and even a person with 20/20 vision can lack other necessary visual skills. Well-developed visual skills help individuals succeed at school, in the workplace and sports. For example, skills like eye tracking, teaming, convergence and visual processing all need to be up to par for a person to truly have ‘perfect vision.’ Visual acuity is just one piece of the puzzle.

Additionally, 20/20 isn’t the clearest possible vision. Some people have 20/15 or even 20/10 vision. This means their visual acuity is higher than a person with 20/20 sight.

How To Correct Visual Acuity

The first step in correcting a visual acuity problem is to undergo a comprehensive eye exam with your local optometrist. If your vision requires correction, your eye doctor will explain the different methods of vision correction, including prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Some people choose to correct their vision with refractive surgery, but like any surgery, it comes with the risk of surgical complications.

At Medical Arts Optical, our goal is to help all patients achieve clear, crisp and comfortable vision, no matter their visual condition.

Not sure you have 20/20 vision? Call Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs today to schedule your eye exam today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What conditions can impair visual acuity?

  • A: Conditions like astigmatism, nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia) and an age-related loss of focusing ability (presbyopia) all impact sharpness of vision at various distances. Other conditions, including dry eye syndrome and cataracts, can also affect visual clarity.

Q: How common is it to have 20/20 vision?

  • A: Approximately a third of adults in America have 20/20 vision without the use of any vision correction, and 75% of American adults have 20/20 vision when wearing prescription lenses or other forms of vision correction.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Protecting Your Eyes This Winter

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Some people enjoy winter, while others can hardly wait for it to end. What no one disputes is the effect that months of cold temperatures, dry air and winter sun can have on the eyes. Here are some suggestions for keeping your eyes healthy and vision clear this winter.

Wear Sunglasses

While the sun may not shine as brightly in the winter, it can still damage your skin and eyes. Even on the coldest days you need to protect yourself from UV radiation. To lower your risk of developing complications and eye diseases like sunburned eyes, glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration, look for sunglasses that offer 100 % UVA and UVB protection.

Wear a Hat

Wearing a wide-brimmed hat limits UV exposure by preventing the rays from reaching your eyes.

Keep Your Eyes Moist

Winter is a dry-air season. The chilly air is known to induce eye discomfort and can aggravate dry eye symptoms, whether due to the wind or the heat from an indoor heating system. Keep moisturizing drops on-hand to combat the dryness of the season and use a humidifier to keep the air moist.

Practice Good Hygiene

Pink eye, also known as conjunctivitis, is more common in the winter. This eye inflammation is usually caused by a viral or bacterial eye infection that spreads easily from one person to another. Wash your hands frequently to safeguard your eyes, refrain from touching your eyes, and don’t share linens during an active infection.

Visit an Eye Doctor

Make an appointment with an eye doctor who can assess your vision, diagnose winter-related eye conditions like dry eye and pink eye, and offer treatment and advice on how to keep your eyes healthy.

The tips above can help protect your eyes from the winter sun and wind, and increase your enjoyment during this winter season. Schedule an appointment with Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs to discover ways you can safeguard your eyes this winter or to schedule an eye exam.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What can I do to protect my eyes when doing winter sports?

  • A: When choosing adequate eye protection for skiing or other winter sports, you need to consider the cold and snowy weather conditions. Because the sun is brighter at higher elevations, there is a greater risk of snow glare. By wearing anti-glare sports goggles with 100 % UV protection, you not only protect your eyes from the sun and glare, but also prevent snow and ice from flying into your eyes.

Q: It’s not sunny out. Do I still need to protect my eyes?

  • A: UV light rays reach the earth even on overcast cloudy days. So make sure you wear sunglasses that protect your eyes from UVA and UVB rays, even when the sun is hidden behind the clouds.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Don’t Lose Your FSA Dollars!

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Your Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a special tax-free account employees can contribute to in order to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs.

FSA’s are a great way to pay for eye care and eyewear—but there is one catch: it follows a ‘use it or lose it’ provision, which means that you must use your benefits by the end of the calendar year.

What can you buy with FSA funds?

FSA’s usually cover the majority of out-of-pocket expenses related to health care, including co-payments, deductibles, vision supplies, wearable devices and medical equipment.

But before booking your appointment or purchasing an item, check the details of your FSA account with your employer or representative.

In addition to an eye exam, you can use FSA dollars to pay for the following:

  • Prescription eyeglass lenses. You can get bifocals or progressive lenses, reading glasses, safety lenses, and specialty lenses. You can also order single-vision lenses or have any lens coated with an anti-reflective/anti-glare coating.
  • Sunglasses. Sunglass lenses, whether prescription or non-prescription, come in a variety of hues and types, including polarized and mirrored. You can also get sunglasses designed for sport-specific protection.
  • Frames. Designer frames are available in many different designs, materials, and colors.
  • Contact lenses. Contact lenses are more comfortable than they’ve ever been. To reduce maintenance, consider daily or short-term disposable lenses. Or if you have specific eye needs, you may choose to get bifocals, multifocals, or toric lenses for astigmatism. Colored contact lenses are equally an option.

Accessories. Contact lens cleaning and saline solutions, rewetting drops, and even eyeglass cleaner and wipes can all be purchased using FSA dollars.

​​Act Now Before Time Runs Out

Not using your benefits is comparable to leaving money on the table and walking away. We can help you take advantage of your FSA funds by providing eye exams and offering a wide array of eyeglass frames and contact lenses to choose from.

For more information or to schedule your eye exam, call Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is FSA?

  • A: A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a non-taxed savings account that allows you to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as eye care and eyewear. What you may not know is that many of these benefits will expire at the end of December.While FSA follows a ‘use it or lose it’ rule, according to HealthCare.gov, your employer may elect to give you a grace period of up to 2.5 months to use the funds or allow you to carry over up to $550 to spend the following year. Clarify the details with your employer.

Q: Does FSA also cover eye surgery?

  • A: If you require surgery, such as LASIK, radial keratotomy, or cataract surgery, your FSA may be able to compensate you for the procedure’s medical costs.Because your coverage depends on the surgery, you should check with your insurance representative and your eye doctor to confirm the specifics of your case.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Eye Safety Awareness For Toys and Games

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Gift-giving season is just around the corner, and you may already be planning what toys or games to purchase for your little loved ones. The unfortunate reality, however, is that between 2015 and 2018 over 1 million toy-related injuries were treated at emergency rooms across the US. Not surprisingly, boys account for almost 2 out 3 of all these injuries. Some of these injuries have resulted in permanent vision loss, even blindness.

Data computed from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) reported on eye injuries from toy guns with projectiles: over a ten year period (2010-2019), 6,617 cases of ocular trauma due to toy guns were recorded in ED across the US, most concerning is that over 60% of these eye injuries were in children under age 9.

The most common pediatric eye injuries include corneal abrasions (scratches to the outer surface of the eye), corneal hyphema (collection of blood inside the eye, from an internal injury), a ruptured or punctured eyeball, and retinal detachment.

That’s why it’s so important to be aware of which features make a toy less or more likely to cause injury. By keeping the following tips in mind when picking out gifts, you’ll minimize the risk of any toy-related eye injuries.

Toys With a High Risk of Causing Eye Injury

1. Shooting Toys/Guns

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has made public statements about the risks that toy guns pose to children’s eyes. Even toy guns that shoot soft projectiles or darts are considered unsafe.

Many of these guns can shoot projectiles 75-150 feet away, making them especially dangerous for younger children who may play with them indoors and in close range of other children or adults, as they may not realize the power of these toy guns.

Even water balloon launchers can cause blunt force trauma to a child’s eye and lead to retinal detachment or vision loss.

If you decide to purchase this type of toy, make sure that the children are supervised and that they wear protective eyewear while using them.

2. Toys with Pointed or Sharp Ends

This one doesn’t require much explanation — if it’s pointy, it’s risky.

Toys like swords, fishing poles, wands, bows and arrows, darts and sabers are all hazardous to eye health as even the briefest contact between the object and the eye can cause a serious eye injury.

Even if the toy’s packaging says that it’s age appropriate, think twice before handing over a pointy object or any item with sharp edges to a child, especially if other children are around.

3. Aerosol Spray/Spray Streamer

If the product that comes out of these aerosol cans gets into a child’s eye, it can cause chemical conjunctivitis (pink eye) or sight-threatening chemical burns, depending on the nature of the spray. When used at close proximity to a child’s face, spray streamers can also cause corneal abrasion, which can lead to bacterial, viral or fungal eye infections and even vision loss.

4. Fireworks/Firecrackers

Several organizations, including Prevent Blindness, recommend that children never be allowed to play with fireworks or firecrackers. There simply isn’t a safe way for non-professionals to handle these explosive devices.

Protect the children in your life from probable danger by avoiding gifting fireworks or firecrackers, no matter the occasion.

5. Bright Flashlights and Laser Pointers

The light intensity of laser pointers can be damaging to kids’ eyes and even cause permanent vision loss.

Though flashlights aren’t toys, kids love playing with them. When shone directly into a child’s eyes, the bright light can cause temporary blindness, which puts them at risk of getting injured in other ways, like tripping or bumping into things.

How To Choose Eye-Safe Toys

  • Try shopping in-store rather than online so you can see what the toy looks like in person.
  • Examine the toy closely for any potential factors for eye injury, as outlined above.
  • Consult with the child’s parents before giving a gift to be sure they’re okay with the toy you’d like to buy.
  • If you’re purchasing sports equipment, make sure to supply the appropriate protective eyewear as well.
  • Bear in mind the ages of the other children who may come into contact with the toy.
  • Consider the age and maturity of the child you are shopping for. Just because the age recommendation on the box says it’s appropriate, it doesn’t guarantee that it is safe for all children. Take the child’s level of maturity and penchant for risk-taking into account.

Some eye-safe toys and games for kids include many types of arts and crafts kits, card games, building toys and board games. Arts and crafts projects involving wood, glass or other potentially sharp objects should be used with protective eyewear.

No matter what toy or game you decide to purchase for a child, make sure they are always supervised when playing. The good news is that most pediatric eye injuries are preventable with the correct protective eyewear and supervision, and by choosing low-risk toys and games.

At Medical Arts Optical, we are here to assist with all matters of eye health and care, and wish a safe and healthy holiday season to all of our valued patients!

To schedule an eye exam or to ask any questions about our services, call Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What should I do in the event of a toy-related eye injury?

  • A: If your child sustains a toy-related eye injury, seek medical attention from your eye doctor, without delay. Do not try to remove an object that’s lodged in the eye, unless you are certain that it’s easy to remove, like a piece of dust or eyelash. Instruct your child not to rub their eyes, as rubbing can often worsen the problem. If your eye doctor is unavailable, seek emergency medical care at your nearest urgent care center.

Q: Can a toy-related injury cause corneal abrasion?

  • A: Yes. A sharp piece of metal or debris, like a tiny shard of glass, can scratch the cornea—known as corneal abrasion.
    A deep abrasion can cause an eye infection or a corneal ulcer, so if your child gets a foreign substance in their eye without successfully flushing it out, contact your eye doctor as soon as possible.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


7 Signs That Your Child May Need Glasses

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Poor eyesight can cause children to lag behind in class or on the sports field, which may impact their self-esteem.

So how can parents tell when it’s time to take their child to an eye doctor? Here are some signs that your child’s eyesight may benefit from prescription eyeglasses.

1. They Squint a Lot

If your child sometimes squints their eyes when trying to focus on a distant object, they may have a condition called myopia, or nearsightedness. Squinting reduces the amount of light that enters the eye and helps to focus incoming light onto the center of the retina, resulting in sharper vision.

2. They Complain of Headaches

Children who have uncorrected farsightedness or astigmatism are very susceptible to headaches, especially after reading or doing near work. That’s because their eye muscles have to work very hard to focus on the words or objects in front of them.

3. They Frequently Rub Their Eyes

Eye rubbing can be a sign of tiredness or eye infection, but pay attention to when your child rubs their eyes. If they do so when trying to read or visually concentrate on something, they may have a vision problem. Many children don’t have the verbal skills to communicate a vision problem and may simply rub their eyes to try and eliminate the blurry vision they’re experiencing.

4. They Sit Too Close to the Board, TV or Digital Screen

Is your child holding up their book or phone too close to their face? Do they bring their seat right up to the TV screen? If so, their eyesight might be to blame. While nearsightedness is a fairly common problem, it is easily correctable with a pair of prescription glasses.

5. They Close One Eye

When a child closes one eye to focus on something, it may indicate an uncorrected refractive error or binocular vision problem. When the two eyes aren’t able to work in tandem, the child may unconsciously close one eye to enable the stronger eye to send a clear image to the brain.

6. They Seem Clumsy

Do they keep tripping or bumping into things because they are clumsy, or because they simply can’t see very well? The best way to tell is through a comprehensive eye exam with an optometrist.

7. Reading Is a Challenge

Refractive errors and other vision problems can make it very difficult for a child to read. Children with uncorrected vision problems may often lose their place while reading, skip lines, use their fingers to point to each word or may avoid reading altogether. In fact, many children who have undiagnosed vision problems are mistakenly diagnosed with a learning disability. That’s why it’s important for children who are struggling in school to undergo a thorough eye exam with their optometrist.

We Provide Pediatric Eye Exams and More!

If any of the above signs apply to your child, it’s time for a thorough evaluation with an optometrist. At Medical Arts Optical, our friendly and knowledgeable staff use a very gentle and welcoming approach with young patients to help every child feel safe and comfortable throughout the process.

Whether your child needs glasses, contact lenses or other eyewear, we can help them find their perfect fit.

And remember, basic vision screenings offered by schools or pediatricians do not replace the care and expertise of an optometrist.

To schedule your child’s appointment and learn more about the services we offer, call Medical Arts Optical in ​​Hot Springs today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often do children need to have their eyes examined by an optometrist?

  • A: According to the American Optometric Association, children should have their eyes evaluated by an optometrist at ages 6 months, 3 years, before entering first grade and every school year after that. Some children may need more frequent optometrist visits, depending on their risk factors or other conditions.

Q: What are the most common vision problems among children?

  • A: The most common vision problems found in children are refractive errors (farsightedness, nearsightedness, astigmatism), lazy eye, crossed eyes and color deficiency. A thorough visual evaluation will help rule out any of these conditions in your child.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


It’s Autumn! Does that Mean You Should Put Away Your Sunglasses?

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Shorter days and cooler weather can fool us into a false sense of security, especially when it comes to sun damage. Many people think they don’t need to wear sunglasses in the autumn and winter, when there are fewer sunny days and the sun feels less intense. In reality, autumn light can be much more harmful to our eyes than the summer sun.

Here are 5 reasons why you should have your sunglasses on hand and wear them all year long.

The Sun’s Position

The sun is lower in the sky and closer to the horizon in the autumn, so UV rays have a much more direct path to our eyes. Even though the sun might seem less intense than it does during the summer months, there are still very high levels of UV rays and exposure. Wearing UV protective sunglasses can help reduce UV ray exposure.

Autumn’s Dangerous Sun Glare

The sun’s lower angle this time of year causes a lot of glare, especially while driving. A shallow autumn sun reflects a lot more glare than the summer sun. Glare can temporarily blind you, making driving and even walking perilous.

Fortunately, there are lens alternatives available that are capable of dealing with both mid and flat light as well as glare. Our sunglass lenses are particularly popular this time of year because they are polarized to block off glare but allow enough light to see well in less sunny or gloomy settings.

Changing Temperatures

The season’s cool and sometimes severe winds often cause irritating symptoms like dry, red, or watery eyes. The tear oils (meibum) in the eyes stiffen and thicken as the air gets cooler. Tears may be unable to provide adequate protection and moisture to the eye’s tear surface because thicker meibum does not spread uniformly across the surface of the eyes.

Wraparound sunglasses shield the eyes from the chilly air, reducing irritation.

Protection From the Elements

Autumn winds can transport dust, debris and pollutants that can irritate the delicate areas in and around the eyes.

The season also brings less humidity and more wind. Low humidity and strong winds can dehydrate both your eye film and skin around the delicate eye area. Wear sunglasses to protect yourself from irritants and allergens that float around in the autumn air.

UV Rays

Exposure to the sun’s damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiation is dangerous all year round, as it can cause sight-threatening eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. That’s why, no matter the season, you should always wear 100% UV-blocking sunglasses when you’re outdoors.

Even on cloudy days, wear your sunglasses because up to 90% of UV radiation passes through clouds. Outdoor materials, such as pavement and snow, also reflect a substantial quantity of UV rays into the eyes.

In the fall and throughout the year, regardless of the season or climate, you should protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses.

Visit Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs if you’re looking for a new pair of high-quality sunglasses for the fall, with or without prescription lenses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I still need to wear sunglasses, even if the sun doesn’t bother my eyes?

  • A: Yes. UV rays can penetrate clouds, so even on overcast days the sun can damage your eyes.

Q: Do children need sunglasses?

  • A: Sunglasses for kids, including bables, are a must. Children are at greater risk of sun exposure than adults because they spend more time in the sun and their eyes are clear, allowing more UV rays to reach the retina. Since UV damage builds up over a person’s lifetime, start protecting your child’s eyes as soon as possible.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.

5 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes, and What You Can Do About It

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Diabetic eye disease refers to a range of vision problems that can affect people who have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. While serious, diabetic eye disease is not inevitable. If you have diabetes, there are steps you can take to protect your eyes.

Here are 5 ways diabetes can affect your vision.

Blurred Vision

High blood sugar levels can cause a fluid build-up in the focusing lens of the eye, resulting in blurred vision. This fluid build-up occurs because excessive sugar causes the fibres of the lens to swell and change shape. In the short term, regulating your blood sugar can correct the condition. Uncontrolled blood sugar can lead to permanent changes in your ability to maintain clear focus.

Cataracts

Diabetics are 60% more prone to developing cataracts, which is the clouding of the eyes’ normally clear lens. Diabetic patients are also more likely to acquire cataracts at an earlier age and have a faster progression of the disease During cataract surgery the cloudy lens is replaced with a clear artificial lens.

Glaucoma

If you have diabetes, you’re more than twice as likely to develop glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve in your eye and can result in permanent vision loss. Early diagnosis is crucial, because symptoms typically don’t appear until the condition has led to at least some vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in diabetics. It develops when high blood sugar levels damage the retina’s tiny blood vessels. The damaged vessels can leak fluid or blood into the eye, causing distorted vision. There are usually no symptoms in its early stages, and by the time symptoms manifest, the patient has likely suffered some vision loss. The longer an individual has diabetes, the higher the chance of developing diabetic retinopathy. Like glaucoma, the earlier diabetic retinopathy is diagnosed, the better the outcome.

Diabetic Maculopathy

Diabetic maculopathy is a kind of diabetic retinopathy that affects the macula. Damage to the macula, the area of the eye that facilitates central vision, is referred to as maculopathy. Blood vessels that leak protein into the macula, generating an accumulation of fluid, are the most common cause.

Why Do Diabetics Get An Annual Eye Exam?

How to Take Care of Diabetic Eyes

The best way to prevent or minimize vision problems related to diabetes is by:

  • Having comprehensive eye exams and retinal scans at least once a year
  • Following a doctor-recommended diet and taking medication to keep your blood sugar levels in check
  • Maintaining safe levels of cholesterol and blood pressure
  • Not smoking and restricting your alcohol consumption
  • Staying as active as possible by including physical activity in your everyday routine

The good news is that if you have diabetes, adequate care and early detection of any diabetes-related eye issues can help you manage your symptoms and safeguard your eyesight. Schedule an appointment with Medical Arts Optical in Hot Springs today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What vision changes may a diabetic encounter?

A: If you have diabetes you may notice some of the following vision changes:

  • Floaters
  • Flashes of light
  • Blurry or wavy vision
  • Dark areas or vision loss
  • Frequently changing vision — sometimes from day-to-day

Q: How is diabetic eye disease detected?

  • A: A complete eye examination with dilatation is used to diagnose diabetic eye disease. It is the only way to detect early indicators of eye disease, which is critical because early treatment for eye disease leads to a better prognosis.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Medical Arts Optical for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.