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We are beyond ready to get back to work and see everyone that we’ve missed so much! We are phasing in routine eye care now.
We have begun scheduling routine eye examinations for glasses and contact lenses and general eye health evaluations.
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macular degeneration

What Are the Best Ways to Take Care of Your Eyes?

Around the world, more than 30 million people suffer from blindness. Conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic eye disease and eye trauma make up the bulk of these cases. Unfortunately, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, additional factors – such as excessive screen time – have led to a further decline in global eye health. It’s never been a better time to focus on the necessity of quality eye care!

The most significant action you can take to optimize your eye health is to visit an eye doctor near you for regular eye exams. When you consider the fact that about 80% of all vision impairment could have been prevented by early detection and treatment, it’s a glaring alert that too many people are unaware of the need to schedule regular visits to an eye clinic near you.

In addition to eye exams, follow these simple and effective tips for promoting good eye health:

Match your glasses to their function

If you spend a lot of time outdoors, be sure to wear sunglasses with 100% UV protection to protect your eyes from the dangerous effects of UV rays. Too much sun exposure has been associated with cataract formation and other serious eye diseases.

If you spend a lot of time on a computer or any digital device, you can help prevent computer vision syndrome by blocking hazardous blue light emitted from the screen. Ask an optometrist near you about computer glasses with a blue light filter.

Eat Right for Your Eyes

    • Leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach and kale, are rich with lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which can help limit the development of AMD and cataracts. Lutein also boosts the pigments that prevent hazardous UV rays from damaging your eyes.
    • Vitamins C and E and zinc have been linked to a lower risk of age-related macular degeneration.
    • Antioxidants, found in abundance in yellow peppers, egg yolk, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, carrots and blueberries, can help protect your peepers against sun damage.

    Moisturize Your Eyes

    Dry eye syndrome is a common condition, and it is occurring more frequently worldwide as pollution worsens. Long periods spent in front of the computer have also contributed to the growing incidences of dry eye. If you suffer the irritating symptoms of this condition, visit an eye doctor near you for an evaluation and treatment. You can also help yourself by resting your eyes and blinking often enough, which lubricates the eye surface. If necessary, use preservative-free artificial tears eye drops to soothe dry, irritated eyes.

    Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C., your Silver City eye doctorfor eye exams and eye care

    Book an appointment online here

          • What is diabetic eye disease?

            Diabetic eye disease is a condition which can occur at any stage or type of diabetes. In fact, many times diabetes is identified during an eye exam in a person who never suspected they may have diabetes. It is caused by damage to the very delicate blood vessels within the retina. Over time, these blood vessels may start to leak blood and fluid into the retina or other areas of the eye. If the condition progresses, new vessels may begin to grow within the retina, which places the retina at risk of additional and sometimes sudden complications including internal bleeds and retinal detachment.

          • My doctor says I have a cataract, but he wants to wait a while before removing it. Why?

            A cataract usually starts very small and practically unnoticeable but grows gradually larger and cloudier. Your doctor is probably waiting until the cataract interferes significantly with your vision and your lifestyle. You need to continue to visit your eye doctor regularly so the cataract’s progress is monitored. Some cataracts never really reach the stage where they should be removed. If your cataract is interfering with your vision to the point where it is unsafe to drive, or doing everyday tasks is difficult, then it’s time to discuss surgery with your doctor.

          • What exactly is glaucoma?

            Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP) is too high. This means that your eye has too much aqueous humor in it, either because it produced too much, or because it’s not draining properly. Other symptoms are optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma is a silent disease that robs the patient of their peripheral vision. Early detection is very important.

          • Do eye vitamins help stop macular degeneration?

            While there is no definitive cure for macular generation, only treatments to halt or slow the progression, eye vitamins are shown in some studies to help strengthen the macula and aid in keeping this central area of the retina stable. Vitamins for this condition need to be rich in Lutein, Zeaxanthine, and Omega 3’s such as fish oil. Most vitamins for the eye can be found over the counter without a prescription.’

    Why You Need to Make Eye Care a Part of Your Health Care Plan!

    Regular physical exams and screenings for disease have become an integral part of routine health care for many people. Yet, what about eye care? Do you remember to visit your eye doctor yearly for eye care services, or do you only go if you have a problem with your vision?

    Many people neglect to include eye care in their regular health care plan. This is a mistake! Regular eye exams can provide your eye doctor with a chance to help you correct vision changes, as well as identify any signs of ocular disease at a very early stage.

    Vision correction

    When you wear glasses or contact lenses, yearly eye exams are important for detecting any changes in your vision that could lead to disturbing symptoms, such as headaches, eye strain, and double vision. Why wait until you experience painful symptoms?

    Your eye doctor will assess your visual acuity and visual skills thoroughly to ensure your prescription is up to date. Vision changes as you age, and conditions such as presbyopia are normal. A pair of reading glasses, bifocals or multifocal progressives can resolve this problem easily.

    Also, a variety of new surgical procedures and treatments are available to correct vision. If you’re interested in seeing clearly without prescription eyewear, ask your eye doctor about the latest eye care services on offer!

    Keep an eye on eye health

    As you reach your 60s and older, it’s important to be informed about different warning signs of age-related ocular health diseases and conditions that can lead to vision loss. Many eye diseases present no early warning signs, so an eye exam by a qualified eye doctor is the only dependable way to diagnose or rule out these problems!

    Vision disorders to watch out for include:

    • Age-related macular degeneration – this condition affects the macula, leading to a loss of central vision.
    • Cataracts – when the normally clear lens of your eye becomes cloudy, which can weaken your sensitivity to contrast, dim colors, and increase sensitivity to glare.
    • Diabetic retinopathy – this can occur in people with any type of diabetes; it’s caused by damage to the small blood vessels that supply oxygen to the retina and can lead to retinal inflammation, blurry vision, and blindness.
    • Dry eye syndrome – this condition is characterized by an inadequate quantity of tears or a poor tear composition, so the eye is lubricated well.
    • Glaucoma – this refers to a group of eye diseases that can damage the optic nerve, leading to permanent vision loss.
    • Retinal Detachment – a tearing or separation of the retina from underlying eye tissue.

    Remember, the earlier these diseases are detected – the more effectively they can be treated, before you suffer permanent damage to your vision.

    Primary eye care is vital for your health. To protect your lasting vision, take advantage of all the preventive, rehabilitative, and curative eye care services your eye doctor has to offer!

    Book an eye exam at Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C. eye clinic near you in Silver City, New Mexico to learn more about your personalized eye care.

    Call 575-221-5116

    FOLLOW US

    • Is it possible to prevent Macular Degeneration?

      Doctors aren’t sure how to prevent macular degeneration. Research suggests that ultraviolet light (and possibly blue light) factors into the problem, so sunglasses could be very beneficial.

    • What are cataracts and how can they be treated?

      Cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye. They are common with age, certain medications and medical conditions. Patients usually feel like they are looking through a dirty window, cannot see colours the way they used to or have increased difficulty with glare. Currently, the treatment is surgery to remove the cloudy lens. Stay tuned for medical advances in cataract treatment in the future!

    • What is diabetic retinopathy?

      Diabetic retinopathy is a condition which can occur at any stage or type of diabetes. In fact, many times diabetes is identified during an eye exam in a person who never suspected they may have diabetes. It is caused by damage to the very delicate blood vessels within the retina. Over time, these blood vessels may start to leak blood and fluid into the retina or other areas of the eye. If the condition progresses, new vessels may begin to grow within the retina, which places the retina at risk of additional and sometimes sudden complications including internal bleeds and retinal detachment.

    • Are there some every day activities that can cause Dry Eye?

      Generally those that suffer with allergies, or have systemic inflammatory diseases like arthritis and sjogrens’, or those who use the computer or digital devices often and even contact lens wearers tend to be more susceptible to dry eye symptoms.

    What’s The Link Between Obesity And Eye Disease?

    People who are obese are at higher risk of developing some sight-threatening eye conditions and diseases. Read on to discover why, and how we can help.

    It is well documented that obesity impacts health in numerous ways, from a higher incidence of diabetes to cardiovascular disease. What many people don’t know is obesity’s negative effect on vision and eye health. Speak with our Eye care professionals at Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C. about any concerns you may have about your eye health or vision.

    There is increasing evidence that obese individuals have a greater risk of developing serious, sight-threatening eye diseases.

    Researchers at the Goldschleger Eye Institute at the Sheba Medical Center found a consistent link between obesity and the development of age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.

    The researchers noted that the public is largely unaware of this link, despite the evidence. If more people knew about the risk, they said, it might motivate them to try to shed some extra weight.

    How Does Obesity Impact The Eyes?

    A body mass index (BMI) of 25-30 is considered overweight and any BMI over 30 is considered obese. Recent studies indicate that a handful of ocular diseases can now be added to the list of medical conditions associated with an elevated BMI.

    Diabetic retinopathy, floppy eyelid syndrome, retinal vein occlusions, stroke-related vision loss, and age-related macular degeneration are all risk factors of obesity.

    While the cause is not yet certain, researchers believe this may be due to the peripheral artery disease prevalent among people who are obese. When the tiny blood vessels around the eyes are compromised, they may have trouble delivering oxygen and other nutrients to the eye area.

    Obesity is also a risk factor for developing cataracts (the clouding of the eye’s natural lens). Poor nutrition or high blood sugar levels, which are commonly found in people with obesity, may contribute to the cloudiness.

    Although obesity may contribute to cataract formation, losing weight may not significantly reduce the risk of developing them, partly because cataracts are also a common consequence of aging, whatever one’s weight.

    Additionally, morbid obesity is associated with higher inner eye pressure, which may increase one’s risk of glaucoma and glaucomatous optic neuropathy — leading causes of vision loss and blindness. Morbid obesity is defined as having a BMI of 40 or above, or 35 and above with health conditions like high blood pressure or diabetes.

    Stay Active, Healthy, and Have Regular Eye Exams

    An active lifestyle and a nutritious diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve overall physical and eye health. Try to include several key nutrients into your diets, such as vitamins C and E, zeaxanthin, omega-3, zinc, and lutein, as they may help delay or prevent certain eye diseases.

    While a balanced diet and regular exercise significantly increase your chance of living a healthy life, it’s also crucial to have regular eye exams. A comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Van Dran can help detect the onset of ocular disease and ensure the earliest and most effective treatment to preserve your gift of sight.

    Don’t hesitate to call Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C. in Silver City with any questions or concerns regarding your vision or eye health — we’re here for you.

    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, Astigmatism, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , 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 Silver City eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

    Book an eye exam at Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C. eye clinic near you in Silver City, New Mexico to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 575-221-5116

    Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C., your Silver City eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

    FOLLOW US

    • Is it possible to prevent Macular Degeneration?

      Doctors aren’t sure how to prevent macular degeneration. Research suggests that ultraviolet light (and possibly blue light) factors into the problem, so sunglasses could be very beneficial.

    • My doctor says I have a cataract, but he wants to wait a while before removing it. Why?

      A cataract usually starts very small and practically unnoticeable but grows gradually larger and cloudier. Your doctor is probably waiting until the cataract interferes significantly with your vision and your lifestyle. You need to continue to visit your eye doctor regularly so the cataract’s progress is monitored. Some cataracts never really reach the stage where they should be removed. If your cataract is interfering with your vision to the point where it is unsafe to drive, or doing everyday tasks is difficult, then it’s time to discuss surgery with your doctor.

    • What exactly is glaucoma?

      Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP) is too high. This means that your eye has too much aqueous humor in it, either because it produced too much, or because it’s not draining properly. Other symptoms are optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma is a silent disease that robs the patient of their peripheral vision. Early detection is very important.

    • What is diabetic retinopathy?

      Doctors aren’t sure how to prevent macular degeneration. Research suggests that ultraviolet light (and possibly blue light) factors into the problem, so sunglasses could be very beneficial.

    Why Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive To Light?

    Why Do Your Eyes Need Sun Protection?

    Eyes of all colors need shielding from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to UV light can contribute to the formation of short-term and long-term eye conditions such as corneal sunburn and macular degeneration.

    That’s why it’s so important to choose high-quality Sunwear with 100% UV blocking lenses and to throw on a sun hat for an added layer of protection.

    UV protection is important for individuals of all ages—especially children—who are more susceptible than adults to the sun’s harmful rays and tend to spend more time outdoors. It is estimated that up to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 18.

    Why are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light?

    Lighter-colored eyes like blue, hazel, and green have less of a pigment called ‘melanin’ than brown eyes do.

    Melanin helps protect the retina from UV damage and blue light, putting those with blue eyes at a higher risk of developing UV-related eye damage.

    If you have blue eyes, you may have experienced this first-hand. Bright light may be uncomfortable or you may want to reach for your shades as soon as you leave the house on a sunny day.

    That’s why optometrists urge blue-eyed patients to be particularly vigilant about UV protection, so as to mitigate their chances of developing eye disease and other complications.

    How We Can Help

    Whether you have blue eyes or not, sunglasses are an important part of keeping your eyes healthy for a lifetime.

    At Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C., we’ll be happy to advise on the perfect high-quality and protective pair of sunglasses to suit your needs and personal style.

    Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C., your Silver City eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

    FOLLOW US

    Should I wear sunglasses even when it’s not sunny outside?

    Yes! You should wear your sunglasses whenever outdoors during the day, even on an overcast, winter day. UV light can pass through clouds and reflect off surfaces like car windows and pavement.

    What type of sunglasses are the most suitable for blue eyes?

    The most protective sunglasses are wraparound sunglasses that protect the eyes from every angle. You can also opt for photochromic lenses, which offer total UV protection but only become tinted when exposed to outdoor sunlight, and turn clear when you come indoors again. Your optometrist can help you choose the best lens and frame options for your needs and lifestyle.

    Exercise Helps Keep Your Eyes in Shape Too!

    Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C. An Active Body is Linked to Healthy Eyes near you in Silver City, New Mexico

    You know all about how regular exercise strengthens your heart and lungs, as well as boosts your energy. Did you also know it can promote healthy vision? Remember, your body is one interconnected unit, and every organ benefits from getting a workout. Our Eye doctor near you in Silver City, New Mexico explains how physical activity helps to preserve your quality vision.

    The Importance of Preventive Health Care near you in Silver City, New Mexico

    A variety of scientific studies have confirmed that regular exercise can reduce the risks of common eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. The effects of exercise on your quality of life are therefore far-reaching, helping to prevent visual impairment and blindness. Sharp vision is intricately connected to your physical and mental health, enabling you to work and enjoy all the activities you love to do.

    When assessing risk factors for ocular disease, eye care providers focus on a holistic view of the person. Eye health can be related to your overall health, with conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes being risk factors for vision loss.

    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, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis, Myopia or Nearsightedness , 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 Silver City eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

    How Much Exercise Is Recommended?

    At our eye clinic near you in Silver City, New Mexico, patients constantly ask about the bottom line: how much is enough exercise to reap the eye health benefits? According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you don’t need to run a marathon. Leading an active lifestyle, such as taking brisk walks, climbing up the stairs instead of using the elevator, and dancing can have a positive impact on eye health. In many cases, these types of exercise are enough to help lower blood pressure and keep blood sugars in control, which in turn helps prevent vision damage.

    The Importance of Preventive Health Care

    • Along with exercising and maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet, the team at our eye care center near you encourages everyone to follow these preventive tips to keep your vision healthy:
      Get routine eye exams so your eye doctor can inspect for any early signs of disease, which will allow you to receive treatment as early as possible. Early detection is essential for effective treatments to slow or prevent damage to your vision.
    • Know your family eye history and share the facts with your eye doctor.
    • Wear sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors, regardless of the season. Dangerous UV rays are always out there.
    • Don’t smoke; smoking increases your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
    • Eat nutritiously, including fruits and vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon.

    Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

    Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C., your Silver City eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

    FOLLOW US

    I see fine. Why do I need to see an Eye Doctor?

    Regular eye exams are the only way to catch “silent” diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions in their early stages when they’re more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam. Those who consider mass-produced, over-the-counter reading glasses are truly doing themselves a disservice, both financially and medically. One-size-fits-all reading glasses not only do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism, or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly, they bypass the opportunity to have their eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions. For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headache and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

    What are cataracts and how can they be treated?

    Cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye. They are common with age, certain medications, and medical conditions. Patients usually feel like they are looking through a dirty window, cannot see colors the way they used to, or have increased difficulty with glare. Currently, the treatment is surgery to remove the cloudy lens. Stay tuned for medical advances in cataract treatment in the future!

    What exactly is glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP) is too high. This means that your eye has too much aqueous humor in it, either because it produced too much, or because it’s not draining properly. Other symptoms are optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma is a silent disease that robs the patient of their peripheral vision. Early detection is very important.

    Is it possible to prevent Macular Degeneration?

    Regular eye exams are the only way to catch “silent” diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions in their early stages when they’re more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam. Those who consider mass-produced, over-the-counter reading glasses are truly doing themselves a disservice, both financially and medically. One-size-fits-all reading glasses not only do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism, or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly, they bypass the opportunity to have their eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions. For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headache and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

    Why Are Dilated Eye Exams So Important?

    Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C. Dilated Eye Exam near you in Silver City, New Mexico

    Having your eyes dilated during an eye exam may seem like a nuisance. But when you consider the benefits of a dilated eye exam, the temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light that typically follow are definitely worth it.

    What Are Dilated Eye Exams?

    At some point during a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will shine a bright light into your eyes to examine the back of your eye, called the retina. The problem is that bright light causes the size of the pupil’s opening to shrink, which makes it hard for the optometrist to see a large portion of the retina.

    That’s why eye doctors apply special eye drops in each eye to keep the pupils open. A dilated pupil allows for a much more accurate assessment of your eye’s structures, including the focusing lens, blood vessels and tissues at the back of the eye called the retina, as well as the optic nerve and macula.

    Dilating the eyes makes it easier for your optometrist to detect the following conditions and diseases:

    It’s important to note that many of these conditions can develop without noticeable symptoms, until they cause vision loss at which point treatment may be more challenging, making dilated eye exams all the more crucial.

    The Dilation Process

    First, your eye doctor will apply eye drops to each eye to trigger dilation of the pupil. Your eyes should be fully dilated about 10-20 minutes later.

    Your eyes will remain dilated for 4-6 hours, and during this time you may be sensitive to light. That’s because the larger pupil allows more light than usual to enter the eye. Many patients find it more comfortable to wear sunglasses until their eyes return to normal.

    Reading and using a computer may be difficult with dilated eyes, and your vision may be blurred. Some patients report feeling a tightening sensation in their eyelids, or headaches.

    Dilated eye exams are a crucial part of keeping your eyes healthy. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C. in Silver City today!

    Dr Rhonda K Van Dran O.D., P.C., your Silver City eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

    Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

    FOLLOW US

    At what age should one have a dilated eye exam?

    You should have your dilated eye exam no matter your age. Most eye doctors will dilate a new patient at their first exam regardless of age to get a baseline of their retinal health.

    Will I be able to return to work after a dilated eye exam?

    Everyone reacts differently, so it’s hard to tell. If your job requires you to focus on small print or detail, it may be challenging. Typing and writing may also be difficult with dilated pupils. To be on the safe side, book your appointment at the end of your work day, clear your schedule after your eye exam and only plan to do activities which aren’t visually demanding.