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Thanksgiving 2020

With the holiday season upon us, many of us ponder on the virtue of gratitude.

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Your Thanksgiving may look different this year because of COVID-19 precautions and restrictions.

In spite of the difficulties and disappointments we face, there is always something to be grateful for.

We hope that during this holiday season you can find ways to connect with friends and family, and to recognize the simple things in life that bring you joy.

Here are some great quotes that reflect this attitude of gratitude:

“Reflect upon your present blessings—of which every man has many—not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” Charles Dickens

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” Willie Nelson

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy

“When asked if my cup is half-full or half-empty my only response is that I am thankful I have a cup.” Sam Lefkowitz

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” Epictetus

Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Ashcraft & Staff

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 Westchester, Los Angeles Eye Doctor: Dr. Harold Ashcraft

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.
  1. 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 310-620-6495. Family Eyecare Center of Optometry will be happy to schedule you for a contact lens exam and fitting.

With the help of Dr. Harold Ashcraft, you’ll be an expert in contact lens wear and care in no time!

How Can My Child’s Myopia Be Corrected?

At Family Eyecare Center of Optometry, we help children like yours achieve clear and comfortable vision, so they can succeed at the important things in life.

How to Correct Myopia (Nearsightedness)

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 Westchester, Los Angeles our eye doctor will be happy to guide you. Speak with Dr. Harold Ashcraft 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.

Many children like to wear glasses and some are even disappointed when they are told they don’t need them.

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.

We Can Help Correct Your Child’s Myopia

If you’re located near Westchester, Los Angeles, California, 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.

At Family Eyecare Center of Optometry, 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 Family Eyecare Center of Optometry at 310-620-6495 today.

Are Floaters and Flashes Dangerous?

You’ve most likely experienced occasional visual “floaters” or flashes and may have wondered what they were and if they’re a cause for concern. They look like tiny lines, shapes, shadows, or specks that appear to be drifting in the visual field. More often than not, seeing floaters is a normal occurrence and does not indicate a problem with ocular or visual health. However, when floaters become more frequent and are accompanied by flashes of light, that can indicate a more serious problem.

Eye flashes resemble star-like specks or strands of light that either flash or flicker in one’s field of vision. They can either be a single burst in one visual zone, or can be several flashes throughout a wider area. Flashes can sometimes be missed as they most often appear in the side or peripheral vision.

Floaters & Flashes Eye Care in Westchester, Los Angeles, California

If you suddenly, or with increasing frequency, experience flashes or floaters, call Family Eyecare Center of Optometry and schedule an eye exam with Dr. Harold Ashcraft right away to rule out any serious eye conditions.

What Causes Floaters?

The vitreous in the eye is a clear gel that fills most of the eyeball and resembles raw egg-white. Within the vitreous are small lumps of protein that drift around and move with the motion of your eyes. When these tiny lumps of protein cast shadows on the retina — the light-sensitive lining at the back of the eye — the shadows appear as floaters.

As we age, the vitreous shrinks, creating more strands of protein. This is why the appearance of floaters may increase with time. Floaters tend to be more prevalent in nearsighted people and diabetics, and occur more frequently following cataract surgery or an eye injury.

If seeing floaters becomes bothersome, try moving your eyes up and down or side to side to gently relocate the floaters away from your visual field.

What Causes Flashes?

Flashes result from the retinal nerve cells being moved or tugged on. As the vitreous shrinks over time, it can tug at the retina, causing you to “see stars” or bursts of light. The process of the vitreous separating from the retina is called “posterior vitreous detachment” (PVD) and usually isn’t dangerous.

In about 16% of cases, PVD causes tiny tears in the retina that can lead to retinal detachment — a sight-threatening condition that causes irreversible blindness if left untreated.

Other possible causes of flashes are eye trauma or migraine headaches.

When To Call Dr. Ashcraft About Floaters

If you experience any of the following symptoms, promptly make an appointment with Dr. Harold Aschcraft for emergency eye care in the Southbay, Los Angeles, Ca. area.

Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore

  • A sudden onset of floaters accompanied by flashes (which can be any shape or size)
  • An increase of floaters accompanied by a darkening of one side of the visual field
  • Shadows in the peripheral vision
  • Any time flashes are seen

In many cases, seeing floaters is no cause for concern; however the above symptoms could indicate retinal detachment—which, if left untreated, could cause a permanent loss of sight or even blindness.

If the receptionists pick up the phone and hear the main concern is floaters or flashes, they will try to squeeze in the appointment within 24 hours. Expect the pupils to be dilated during your eye exam, so the eye doctor can get a really good look at the peripheral retina to diagnose or rule out a retinal tear or other serious condition, as opposed to a non-vision-threatening condition such as uncomplicated posterior vitreous detachment (quite common) or ocular migraine.

Please contact Family Eyecare Center of Optometry in Westchester, Los Angeles at 310-620-6495 with any further questions, or to schedule an eye doctor’s appointment.

Tips to Relax Your Eyes and Find Relief From Eyestrain

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 Family Eyecare Center of Optometry at 310-620-6495 and schedule an eye exam with Dr. Harold Ashcraft.

Relax and Relieve Your Eyes with These 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 to Relieve Overworked Muscles

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.

The 20-20-20 Rule for Reducing Eyestrain

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.

Consider Computer Glasses and Blue Light Filters

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 Family Eyecare Center of Optometry and get the relief you seek. Call our office to schedule a convenient eye doctor’s appointment.

 

5 Tips to Reduce Digital Eyestrain

Has Working From Home Been Taking Its Toll On You?

Here are 5 Tips To Make It A Bit More Bearable

Friends,

It has been a time of transition for all of us as we find our new normal amid COVID-19. We know many are struggling financially, emotionally, and physically as this pandemic takes its toll. We are thinking of you during this unprecedented time.

With the number of you who have transitioned to working from home, you may be noticing more symptoms of digital eye strain.

The headaches. The dry, tired eyes. The blurry vision. The neck and shoulder pain.

Sound familiar?

Eyefamily

Perhaps you have children who are now doing school online, as are some of my grandchildren. They may be voicing similar complaints.

Just like any other muscle that tires or feels sore after intense exercise, our eyes fatigue after looking at screens for too long. While it is unrealistic to stop using your laptop or smartphone, you can implement a few tricks to give your eyes a much-needed rest.

  1. Practice the 20/20/20 rule: After every 20 minutes looking at a screen, take a rest for 20 seconds by looking at something 20 feet away. This quick activity will allow your eyes to relax and refocus.
  2. Adjust the position of your device: Bad posture may be contributing to your neck, shoulder, or back pain. Sit up tall and prop your screen up so that it is about 10 to 15 degrees below eye level. This will reduce the strain from your eyes and neck and may lessen the frequency of headaches. Additionally, there should be about an arm’s length between you and your screen. Holding a device too close to your face will increase the likelihood of eye strain.
  3. Check the lighting: I’ve been going on walks outside and noticed more people setting up their work space in their dimly-lit garage. Lighting is very important for reducing eye strain. If possible, I recommend setting up a bright lamp near your work space. Just as reading a book in low lighting forces your eyes to work harder to see, so will looking at a dimly lit screen. Adjust the brightness settings on your device so that it is neither too dark nor too bright. It should be about as bright as the light surrounding your space.
  4. Don’t forget to blink: You may not realize it, but many people forget to blink frequently when in front of a screen. Blinking is essential for keeping the eye moist, and not doing it may contribute to your eye irritation, dryness, and red eyes. Making the extra effort to blink more often can make a big difference.
  5. Consider computer glasses: We recognize this may not be possible immediately while we have restrictions for going out, but getting glasses specifically for computer use is a good option if you are prone to digital eye strain. Not only will glasses provide extra comfort in front of your screen, but they can help you see clearer and with fewer side-effects of eye strain.

I’d love to talk to you to see if you are a good candidate for computer eye glasses. (Truth be told, most people notice a huge difference for the better).

Video: How to reduce computer-related eyestrain:

We hope you are staying home and staying healthy.

All the best,

Dr. Ashcraft and Staff

Coronavirus and Your Eyes – What You Need to Know

As we are in middle of this Coronavirus Pandemic, first of all, I hope all of you are doing well health wise, considering the circumstances. I am optimistic and hopeful that “This too shall pass” and sooner is better than later.

Emergency Visits, Contact Lens & Glasses Ordering Available

Dr. Ashcraft is available for emergency visits as needed. We are closed for routine care through the month of April. We are watching the current situation on a day to day basis as far as routine eye care visits are concerned. We are available to answer any of your questions. Please call us at the office at 310-670-4411 as needed.

Contact Lens Orders

If you need to order contacts to tide you over, or for a regular contact lens order, call the office at 310-670-4411. You may also use our online contact lens store. The link is http://yourlens.com/ashcraft. The clickable link is also on the home page of our website familyeyecareoptometrist.com just under the photo near the top of the page.

Covid-19 and your Eyes: What You Need To Know)

As coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads around the world, health professionals are demanding that people limit their personal risk of contracting the virus by thoroughly washing their hands, practicing social distancing, and not touching their nose, mouth, or eyes. In fact, it may surprise you to learn that the eyes play an important role in spreading COVID-19.

Coronavirus is transmitted from person to person through droplets that an infected person sneezes or coughs out. These droplets can easily enter your body through the mucous membranes on the face such as your nose, mouth, and yes — your eyes.

But First, What Is The Coronavirus?

Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, causes mild to severe respiratory illness associated with fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Symptoms typically appear within 2 weeks of exposure. Those with acute cases of the virus can develop pneumonia and other life-threatening complications.

Here’s what you should know:

Guard Your Eyes Against COVID-19

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes. Although we all engage in this very normal habit, try to fight the urge to touch your eyes. If you absolutely must, first wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Tears carry the virus. Touching tears or a surface where tears have fallen can spread coronavirus. Make sure to wash your hands after touching your eyes and throughout the day as well.
  • Disinfect surfaces. You can catch COVID-19 by touching an object or surface that has the virus on it, such as a door knob, and then touching your eyes.

Coronavirus and Pink Eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, refers to an inflammation of the membrane covering the front of the eyeball. Conjunctivitis is characterized by red, watery, and itchy eyes. Viral conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be spread by coughing and sneezing, too.

According to a recent study in China, viral conjunctivitis may be a symptom of COVID-19. The study found conjunctival congestion in 9 of the 1,099 patients (0.8%) who were confirmed to have coronavirus.

If you suspect you have pink eye, call Dr. Ashcraft right away. Given the current coronavirus crisis, we ask patients to call first and talk personally to Dr. Ashcraft as it will allow him time to assess your condition and it will allow the staff time to prepare for your visit if needed.

Contact Lenses or Eyeglasses?

Many people who wear contact lenses are thinking about switching to eyeglasses for the time being to lower the threat of being infected with coronavirus.

Wearing glasses may provide an extra layer of protection if someone coughs on you; hopefully that infected droplet will hit the lens and not your eye. However, one must still be cautious, as the virus can reach the eyes from the exposed sides, tops and bottoms around your frames. Unlike specialized safety goggles, glasses are not considered a safe way to prevent coronavirus.

Contact Lenses and COVID-19

If you wear contacts, make sure to properly wash your hands prior to removing or inserting them. Consider ordering a 3 to 6 month supply of contact lenses and solution; Home delivery may be available. At this stage there is no recommendation to wear daily lenses over monthlies.

Don’t switch your contact lens brand or solution, unless approved by Dr. Ashcraft.

Regularly Disinfect Glasses

Some viruses such as coronavirus, can remain on hard surfaces from several hours to days. This can then be transmitted to the wearer’s fingers and face. People who wear reading glasses for presbyopia should be even more careful, because they usually need to handle their glasses more often throughout the day, and older individuals tend to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 complications. Gently wash the lenses and frames with warm water and soap, and dry your eyeglasses using a microfiber cloth.

Stock up on Eye Medicine

It’s a good idea to stock up on important medications, including eye medicine, in order to get by in case you need to be quarantined or if supplies run short. This may not be possible for everyone due to insurance limitations. If you cannot stock up, make sure to request a refill as soon as you’re due and never wait until the last minute to contact your pharmacy.

It is important that you continue to follow your doctor’s instructions for all medications.

Digital Devices and Eyestrain

At times like this, people tend to use digital devices more than usual. Take note of tiredness, sore eyes, blurry vision, double vision or headaches, which are symptoms of computer vision syndrome if they are made worse by extensive use of digital devices, and might indicate a need for a new prescription in the near future. This usually isn’t urgent, but if you’re unsure, you can call our eye doctor’s office.

Children and Digital Devices

During this time your children may end up watching TV and using computers, tablets and smartphones more frequently and for more extended periods too. Computer vision syndrome, mentioned above, can affect children as well. We recommend limiting screen time to a maximum of 2 hours per day for children, though it’s understandably difficult to control under the circumstances.

Try to get your child to take a 10 to 15 minute break every hour, and stop all screen time for at least 60 minutes before sleep.

Children and Outdoor Play

Please follow local guidelines and instructions regarding outdoor activities for your children. If possible, it’s actually good for visual development to spend 1-2 hours a day outside.

From Dr. Ashcraft and all of our staff at Family Eyecare Center of Optometry, we wish you good health and please stay safe.

Trouble Seeing Your Grandkids’ Faces?

Are you frustrated that your poor vision is it getting in the way of life?
Is it hard to do simple things, such as seeing your adorable grandchildren's facesolder woman w glasses

You’re not alone. Many people develop vision problems later in life, which can be difficult and overwhelming. Your vision problems may become so severe that you become dependent on those around you to perform simple tasks. For those who are accustomed to an active and independent life, this is very challenging.

However, there’s no need to suffer. Our eye clinic carries low vision devices to help you see again.

What Is Low Vision?

Low vision generally refers to vision impairment that can’t be corrected fully with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, medications, or surgical procedures. Low vision means significant vision loss, but does not include complete blindness.

People that have low vision are often classified into two groups: partially sighted and legally blind. Those that are considered partially sighted have visual acuity between 20/70 and 20/200 with the aid of corrective lenses. Those that are considered legally blind have visual acuity that is no better than 20/200 with regular corrective lenses.

What Are The Causes Of Low Vision?

The major culprits of low vision problems are age-related retinal conditions. Cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa, cancer of the eye, stroke, eye injury or trauma, albinism, or brain injury can cause low vision.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Vision?

Possible symptoms include blurred or hazy vision, night blindness, loss of central vision, and loss of peripheral vision.

What To Do Now

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Low vision eye diseases such as macular degeneration or glaucoma, while not completely curable, can be treated by our experts. Our low vision doctors have the latest technologies, low vision aids, and glasses to help you see again. Inexpensive optical and non-optical aids, as well as electronic and digital magnifiers, can be extremely effective in treating low vision.

 

Act Now

Having trouble seeing your grandkids can be a tough and painful experience. We can help! Contact us today at to see how we can help you regain your independence and start living life to the fullest. Our low vision center offers patients low vision aids and glasses that will improve your vision and give you healthy and happy eyes.

Top 8 Lighting Tips for People With Low Vision

You’ve got Low Vision and you need some ways of minimizing the effects on your daily activities. One of the best ways to do this is with lighting. Changing the lighting in your home or office can make a significant, positive impact on your functional vision.
Check out Dr. Harold Ashcraft‘s tips for making life with Low Vision more manageable.

Home Is Where the Light Is

Older Woman with Low Vision, Posing with Adult Daughter

Home may be where the heart is, but the lighting is pretty important, too. You may have fixtures that are elegant and classy, fun and colorful, or basic and functional. But no matter how they look on the outside, the bulbs inside are central to how you spend your days and nights.

Using brighter bulbs can give you better vision clarity, so that you can easily maneuver around the things in your home. Using dimmer bulbs may help prevent uncomfortable reactions to strong lights and glare, or simply make it easier to recognize the faces of the people around you.

What’s Your Type?

Thanks to advancements in technology and interior design, there are various types of lighting to choose from without compromising on style, décor, or functionality
Let’s briefly review the 4 most common types of light bulbs:

Incandescent: Although close to natural sunlight, this type of light tends to be concentrated on a few areas, leaving others in a bit of shadow or glare. It is also no longer mass produced since the mid-2000’s when more energy efficient bulbs hit the market.

Halogen: A type of incandescent bulb that is more energy efficient with a longer life. It provides a strong light with great illumination in a room and is best for viewing contrast between objects, images, and surroundings.

Fluorescent: A happy combination of brightness and safety, these bulbs are manufactured in a variety of brightness levels and colors. They are used in both commercial and residential spaces and in the outdoors and indoors, so they offer a lot of versatility.

LEDs: Perhaps the most popular type of lighting due to its many applications, Light-Emitting Diodes (or LEDs, for short) are the most energy

efficient and longest-lasting bulbs on the market. They are best used for when you need light concentrated on a certain spot for a specific function or task. They also come in a variety of colors and designs.

In addition to choosing the right light bulbs, it’s important to understand the difference between lux, lumens, wattage, and CRI (Color Rendering Index). That’s because they can have a big impact on the quality of life for people with vision difficulties Lux is a way of measuring how intense a light is, also known as ‘illumination’. For example, a typical living room probably has 50 lux, while a grocery store or shopping mall may have closer to 750 lux.Grandmother with Low Vision, Wearing Eyeglasses Lumen means how much light is emitted from a particular lighting source. The higher the lumen, the brighter the light. Wattage is the amount of energy that a product consumes, similar to a mobile phone battery’s usage.
Color Rendering Index, or CRI, is how a lighting source displays color when compared to natural light. So you may see something in

the sunlight that looks dark green, while in artificial light, it may appear a much brighter shade of green.
Both Lux and CRI are the most important factors for your lighting needs because they affect how you see the world.

Keep Doing What You Love

With Macular Degeneration and other eye diseases, it’s essential to use different kinds of lighting for the things you do every day, like reading, writing, watching TV, going online, shopping, or cooking. Bright lights may work best for doing housework, while low lights may be the most comfortable for reading or watching TV.

Dr. Harold Ashcraft will be happy to recommend the light bulbs that are the most comfortable for doing the things you love.

Timing Is Everything

Day or night can make a huge difference in your Low Vision lighting needs. For example, putting your living room lights on a timer so that the lights go on in the evenings and off before going to sleep makes your life just a little bit easier. Automatic dimmers let you control the brightness of lights, while smart sensors or motion-detectors can turn on or off simply by walking near them.

Maybe It’s The Lamp

When you need light to view something close up, try using a swivel lamp. It lets you move the light exactly where you’d like it to be. Flexible floor lamps give the right amount of illumination without causing eye strain or headaches, especially helpful for Glaucoma patients. Special Low Vision lamps let you control magnification, position, or even the color of the light, from a soft yellowish white to a brighter pure white.

Mimic The Sun

Senior Woman with Low Vision, Wearing Eyeglasses

Natural sunlight can be either beneficial or harmful for Low Vision patients, depending on how mild or severe their case may be. For some, sunlight

can be helpful when reading a book or writing. For those with sensitivity to light, the brightness can cause a glare or pain. In these cases, patients should use lamps that simulate sunlight, without the harmful side effects.

 

Don’t Leave Home Without It

It’s a fast-paced world out there. Take your lighting devices with you! A small pen light can help you read a menu in a dark restaurant, find your keys in a parking garage, or open the door when coming home at night. Even in brighter light, a handheld lighting device can give you a small, focused light wherever and whenever you need it most.

Distance Makes The Light Grow Fonder

Many Low Vision patients have trouble with distance vision. Viewing an image or object from a distance is just as important as the level of brightness in the room. That’s why it’s necessary to use Low Vision lighting tools that are completely adjustable so they aren’t placed at a fixed distance. Being able to move the neck of a desk lamp, for instance, makes it easier to see a book or photo with greater clarity.

Go ahead and try these lighting tips to help your day-to-day functioning with Low Vision. Dr. Harold Ashcraft can tell you where to buy these kinds of light bulbs and devices. If you have any questions or concerns, speak with our staff at The Low Vision Center at Family Eyecare Center of Optometry and we’ll be glad to help.

Pink Eye Treatment and Symptoms 2020

What Causes Pink Eye?

Conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, is one of the most frequently seen eye diseases, especially in kids. It can be caused by viruses, bacteria or even allergies to pollen, chlorine in swimming pools, and ingredients in cosmetics, or other irritants, which touch the eyes. Some forms of conjunctivitis might be quite transmittable and quickly spread in school and at the office.

Symptoms and Signs of Pink Eye

Conjunctivitis is seen when the conjunctiva, or thin transparent layer of tissue covering the white part of the eye, becomes inflamed. You can identify conjunctivitis if you notice eye redness, discharge, itching or swollen eyelids and a crusty discharge surrounding the eyes early in the day. Pink eye infections can be divided into three main types: viral, allergic and bacterial conjunctivitis.

The viral type is usually a result of a similar virus to that which produces the recognizable red, watery eyes, sore throat and runny nose of the common cold. The red, itchy, watery eyes caused by viral pink eye are likely to last from a week to two and then will clear up on their own. You may however, be able to reduce some of the discomfort by using soothing drops or compresses. Viral pink eye is transmittable until it is completely cleared up, so in the meantime maintain excellent hygiene, remove eye discharge and try to avoid using communal pillowcases or towels. If your son or daughter has viral conjunctivitis, he or she will have to be kept home from school for three days to a week until symptoms disappear.

A bacterial infection such as Staphylococcus or Streptococcus is usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or cream. One should notice an improvement within just a few days of antibiotic drops, but be sure to adhere to the full prescription dosage to prevent pink eye from recurring.

Pink Eye Treatment

Allergic pink eye is not contagious. It is usually a result of a known allergy such as hay fever or pet allergies that sets off an allergic reaction in their eyes. First of all, to treat allergic pink eye, you should eliminate the irritant. Use cool compresses and artificial tears to relieve discomfort in mild cases. When the infection is more severe, your eye doctor might prescribe a medication such as an anti-inflammatory or antihistamine. In cases of chronic allergic pink eye, topical steroid eye drops could be used.

Pink eye should always be diagnosed by a qualified eye doctor in order to identify the type and best course of treatment. Never treat yourself! Keep in mind the sooner you begin treatment, the lower chance you have of giving pink eye to loved ones or prolonging your discomfort.

If you have pain, light sensitivity, or blurred vision, you most likely do not have pink eye. This is urgent. Call today for a priority appointment.

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