It’s pretty painful to get a sunburn after missing a spot on your skin with sunscreen. Just imagine how a corneal sunburn would affect your quality of life during some of the best weather of the year. Also known as photokeratitis, this issue occurs during short-term exposure to high intensity UV-B rays. Photokeratitis is painful but temporary and is similar to a sunburn, but on your corneas (the clear portion of your eye in front of your pupil) instead of skin. It can look like a yellow, thickened area in the whites of your eyes. Too much exposure with ultraviolet rays can temporarily damage your conjunctiva, which is the clear layer of tissue covering the inside of your eyelid and whites of your eye.
Summertime activities that can put someone at increased risk for photokeratitis include mountain climbing, hiking, skiing, and swimming. It can also occur if you use sunlamps and tanning beds, or spend time in an environment with consistent UV light exposure.
There are two types of UV light proven to contribute to eye, skin, or health issues. UV-A rays can pass through your eye’s cornea to reach the lens and retina. UV-B rays can’t pass through glass but still can cause eye damage.
The symptoms of photokeratitis are pain and redness in the eyes, swelling, light sensitivity, headaches, temporary loss of vision, twitching eyelids, and seeing halos (like in the photo below). They can last from six to twenty-four hours but typically disappear after forty-eight hours.
Photokeratitis is most often formally diagnosed after an eye exam, and your doctor will place drops containing a special dye known as fluorescein in your eyes to reveal any superficial irregularities on the surface of your cornea. As for treatment, go indoors immediately after experiencing symptoms and avoid bright lights. Once in a darkened area, place a cold washcloth over your eyes and take ibuprofen. If you wear contact lenses, remove them and use artificial tears to reduce discomfort.
The longer you were exposed to UV lights, the more severe the symptoms. Long term exposure to even the tiniest amount of UV radiation can increase the risk of developing a cataract or macular degeneration (an eye disease that leads to vision loss in the center), or cause tissue elevations on the surface. These conditions are known as pinguecula and pterygium, but can be prevented by wearing sunglasses.
If you wear contacts, ask about ones that absorb UV rays when working or playing in a sunny environment. But even with these types of contacts it’s still important to wear protective sunglasses to shield your eyelids and conjunctiva from the suns’ rays.
The good news is that photokeratitis is preventable simply by wearing the proper eye protection when outside, like prescription sunglasses or snow goggles in the winter. Glare from snow, sand, or water can cause burns to your eyes even if it’s overcast. A wide brimmed hat can help filter out the sun’s rays as well.
When purchasing a pair of sunglasses, it’s worth noting that not all sunglasses are polarized. Polarized sunglasses are manufactured in a distinctive way that creates a different pattern in the lens to block out more light than a usual pair of sunglasses. When choosing a pair, look for one that provides one hundred percent UV protection or UV 400 protection. Prescription sunglasses help with overall light sensitivity, headaches caused by glare, and regular eye strain from squinting in bright sunlight.
For more information, check out our other blog post on prescription sunglasses here.
Be sure to visit your eye specialist once a year to stay up on your eye health and catch any issues early. It’s never been a better time to make an appointment with the team at Visionary Eye Center to get the perfect pair of prescription sunglasses for your summer adventures. Shop our collection from the comfort of your own home at our online store.
Our Reno eye care facility is one of the best in preventing photokeratitis in our patients.
As the school year comes to an end, it’s important to make sure that your child’s eye health remains on track during the summer and beyond. Younger generations are more susceptible to myopia, which is caused by the lengthening of the eye from front to back. Consequently, light is focused in front of the retina and not directly on it, causing distant objects to be blurry. The best way to prevent child myopia from developing or worsening is to get them in to see a Reno optometrist who will create a treatment plan designed specifically for their eye needs.
Myopia is prominent in children today because of environmental factors ranging from poor lighting and not enough time outdoors to excessive screen time. Genetics also can play a role based on if both parents or only one is myopic. A fifty percent chance of myopia is possible if both parents have it, a thirty-three percent chance if one parent has it, and a twenty-five percent chance if neither parent is myopic.
Children who spend at least two hours a day outside with sunglasses on are less likely to become myopic. However, researchers found that once a child has become nearsighted, outdoor time does not slow myopia progression.
Myopia can put an individual at risk for complications like retinal detachment, glaucoma, cataracts, chorioretinal degeneration, and more as they age. It is definitely considered an epidemic with a forty percent diagnosis rate in young patients and climbing.
Another increasingly common issue in children today is eye turns, or strabismus. Known as being “cross-eyed,” it’s the result of excessive focusing. Sometimes it is a genetic issue in children, and other times it can be developed between the ages of one year to four years. We can detect and treat both of these issues with vision therapy and surgical treatments, all while ensuring you or your child have the proper depth perception.
The MiSight 1-day program is FDA approved and helps optometrists across the country change the futures of young patients on the road to myopia. According to CooperVision, the corporation behind the high-quality contact lenses, age-appropriate children wearing MiSight experience an average of 59% reduction in myopia progression during a three-year period. There’s also a 52% reduction in eye lengthening, and more than 90% of children continued to express a strong preference for MiSight 1-day contact lenses over their glasses at the five-year check-up. Their parents expressed the same sentiment as well.
We typically recommend MiSight for lower levels of myopia (approximately -1.00 or less), over alternatives like Ortho K for myopia control. If you’d like to learn more about the efforts to educate people and prevent worsening side effects of myopia, check out CooperVision’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.
Over half of the country’s eye care practitioners agree that if myopia is left untreated, it will lead to irreversible vision loss. After some time, detrimental diseases like retinal detachment or myopic maculopathy are possible. MiSight lenses accommodate a more active lifestyle, provide and correct distance vision immediately, and are comfortable at any age.
As a pediatric optometrist in Reno NV, Visionary Eye Center has plenty of experience helping children and even their parents navigate the different tests and procedures for evaluating vision and eye health. Here is a quick rundown of what some of the most common machines we use to treat myopia while lessening its side effects over time:
One of the machines our practice utilizes is the Zeiss IOLMaster for axial length measurements, as it’s the best way to monitor myopia progression. This equipment for ocular biometry measures the size of the eyeball, originally designed to calculate the dioptric power of intraocular lenses implants (IOLs) for cataract surgery, but is now used by leading myopia control doctors to track the growth of the eye.
This is something that can be easily monitored in children because when the elongation progresses beyond 26 millimeters, the risk of potential vision impairment increases dramatically. Even better, this machine is quick and painless – we can measure both of a patient’s eyes in less than a minute!
Measuring axial length is a vital measurement when looking at treatment, as using prescription alone is too variable. Unfortunately, many doctors haven’t equipped their offices with the technology at this time– but we have it here at Visionary Eye Center, setting us apart as experts treating myopia at a higher level.
Measuring axial length is also the only way to track myopic elongation in orthokeratology. Orthokeratology, or Ortho-K, creates specially designed corneal molds to considerably reshape the eye overnight as part of an FDA-approved process for all ages. Similar to how dental braces can reshape your teeth, Ortho-K processes help fix those refractive errors that cause myopia or hyperopia and astigmatism as well.
Topography maps are taken using our Keratograph 5M and are used for fitting contacts like MiSight, as well as dry eye testing with the Crystal Tear Report. It’s an incredibly helpful tool for the diagnosis of and education about dry eye. As an advanced corneal topographer, the Keratograph can examine the meibomian glands in infrared imaging and evaluate the tear lipid layer. The Keratograph is effective in measuring the tear film break-up time and the tear meniscus height measurement in a non-invasive, painless way for patients.
The Maestro is used for the screening of glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and macular degeneration. Taking a look at a patient’s retina, optic nerve, and anterior segment of the eye is a much quicker practice than before. Using Maestro technology allows our Reno optometrist to rapidly and clearly analyze various functions and facets of the eye for the most reliable results.
The team frequently relies on Pentacam technology to custom design gas permeable (GP) and scleral contact lenses. Gas permeable contacts are made of firm, durable polymers with high oxygen permeability. High oxygen permeability helps keep eyes healthy with orthokeratology for myopia control or scleral lenses. The Pentacam allows our Reno optometrists to create a 3D model of the front surface of the eye which can be used to design highly customized contact lenses.
All in all, we strive to have the best technology for our patients and the services and scans provide vast treatment options. If you’re struggling with myopia, dry eye, or the after-effects of either of these conditions, Dr. Jason Bolenbaker is here to help.
All in all, we strive to have the best technology for our patients and the services and scans provide vast treatment options. If you’re struggling with myopia, dry eye, or the after-effects of either of these conditions, Dr. Jason Bolenbaker is here to help.
The MiSight program is just one of the ways we reach our goals based on our philosophy of how an educated patient makes better health decisions for their families. We want our patients to be educated on every treatment option offered to them, and make the best choices for their care.
Our team of optometrists in Reno is ready to help patients of all ages begin their eyesight correction journey and prevent any further issues. Contact the Visionary Eye Center today and make an appointment with a medical care team you can trust.
March is National Save Your Vision Month, so what better time to schedule your annual eye exam. With Spring Break quickly approaching, it’s the perfect time for the whole family to see an optometrist in Reno. Dr. Bolenbaker and his team at the Visionary Eye Center look forward to meeting you and your family and taking care of your eye vision needs. As the best eye doctor in Reno, we offer pediatric eye care services to ensure that your child is developing proper depth perception, essential binocular skills and more.
Preventative eye care is important because eyesight is one of the most important senses. Eighty percent of what we perceive is because of our eyesight, so protecting your eyes will reduce the chance of blindness, vision loss, and long term eye diseases like cataracts and glaucoma. Vision disability is one of the top 10 disabilities among adults 18 years and older, and is one of the most prevalent disabling conditions among children. Because of our aging population, the CDC reports that the number of visually impaired individuals in the United States will double by 2030 and triple by 2050.
Other reasons to see an eye doctor in Reno include getting assistance with any decreased vision, eye pain, or double vision issues. We strongly encourage people to take care of their vision health, and the first step to it is making sure to schedule an annual eye exam. Visionary Eye Center can offer these important services in addition to exams:
Take care of your eyes and correct mild cases of farsightedness and presbyopia by beginning the safe processes of orthokeratology, myopia control, and more at our center today. The Lasik procedure is a great refractive practice to help with easily fixing any vision issues too.
Our Reno family eye care center is also one of the only low vision specialty clinics around, and there’s nothing more enriching than helping the partially sighted regain their independence.
We want the Reno community to be well informed on the best eye health decisions all year round. We offer several services for your eye health, whether it’s dry eye care, contact lenses, or myopia control. Don’t put off something as important as preventative eye care. The team at Visionary Eye Center are Reno optometrists with plenty of experience. Click here to schedule an appointment today. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any general inquiries or concerns, and we look forward to meeting you!
Here at Visionary Eye Center, we treat plenty of patients with blepharitis, so you aren’t alone. An estimated 82 million Americans have been diagnosed with the eyelid disease. As eye doctors in Reno with decades of experience, we strive to make sure that our patients understand the cause of blepharitis: simply just an abundance of bacteria near the eyelids.
Because the disease contributes to dry eye syndrome, it leads to other symptoms like itching, a gritty feeling in the eyes, eyelid crusting that looks like dandruff, and red, swollen eyes. In addition to serious discomfort, blepharitis can negatively affect those scheduled or in the process for cataract or LASIK refractive surgeries. If left untreated, blepharitis can cause patients to experience chronic red-eyes, styes, or damage to their corneas.
There are two different types of blepharitis: posterior and anterior. Posterior blepharitis is usually caused by inflammatory conditions like rosacea. Anterior blepharitis is typically caused by microbes like Staphylococcus bacteria (which causes staph infections) and Demodex mites.
Demodex are mites that live on skin and thrive in hair and lash follicles. Younger children or the elderly are more likely to have an abundance of mites. Demodex mites’ average lifespan is estimated to be several weeks, but that is enough time to cause serious cases of blepharitis. They cause irritation with burrowing and laying eggs, and producing small amounts of waste products which feeds further bacterial growth.
Treatment for blepharitis is possible. One common option for Reno optometrists to utilize is ZEST, or Zocular Eyelid System Treatments. It works by gently exfoliating the eyelids to restore the natural state and cleans the eyelid margins to open up the meibomian gland. ZEST ensures the glands can release oils into the eye to create a healthy tear film and reduce symptoms of dry eye, all while providing thorough treatment for blepharitis and other potential diseases. This natural procedure is completed in about ten minutes and helps solve crusting around the eye.
Blepharitis can damage the meibomian glands along the edge of the eyelid where the eyelashes are. These glands create oil needed for tears. The oily layer is the outside of the tear that prevents them from drying too quickly. A number of eye issues can involve these glands, and for more information on additional treatments and procedures, head to our informational page on dry eye syndrome.
It is not too late to seek out treatment for Demodex mites on your lids or blepharitis. With a variety of eye care methods, including the use of ZEST, the team here at Visionary Eye Center can relieve your eye concerns. Book an appointment today with the best Reno optometrists in the city.
According to Dry Eye Directory, approximately 5-15% of the American population experiences dry eye syndrome. While the climate in Reno influences many to experience this disease year round, the winter months heighten symptoms for most Northern Nevadans. Nevada’s winter season leads to increased dryness due to decreased humidity in the atmosphere.
As an eye doctor in Reno we want to make sure that the Reno community is aware of two solutions we offer to help combat discomfort in the eye. If dry eyes are not properly addressed, you can experience inflammation in the eye which could damage its surface.
Our eyes produce tears to help maintain moisture and wash away any particles collected throughout the day that shouldn’t be there. This is crucial to prevent dry eyes, noting that Reno’s climate is not the only culprit influencing this issue. Someone may experience dry eye syndrome due to their body’s inability to produce tears properly or the quick evaporation of tears being produced.
People experience this problem due to unhealthy habits, older age, climate, smoking, the use of allergy medicine, and the use of contact lenses.
The Ocular Surface Disease Index Test helps us monitor your symptoms with the use of 20 scientifically validated questions. Feel free to take the quiz to help you understand the severity of your symptoms and help us when guiding you towards the most appropriate treatment.
Dry Eye Syndrome leads to discomfort in the form of a stinging or burning sensation, a gritty feeling, dryness in the eyes, red eyes, and watery eyes. These symptoms can be a pain causing many individuals to become sensitive to light, experience increased eye fatigue, filmy vision, or difficulty wearing contacts. Using one of the many dry eyes treatments we offer can help combat challenges created when dealing with this common disease.
One of the latest treatments offered at our clinic is TearCare. This treatment applies heat to the eyelids using a tool that helps remedy meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). This issue is commonly experienced due to clogged oil glands located near the edge of your eyelashes. These glands are important because they produce an oil layer for your tears to prevent them from drying out too quickly.
This procedure is a comfortable, wearable technology that applies gentle heat to the eyelids to liquify the meibomian allowing blockages to loosen. Once these blockages are cleared, you will experience improved production of the oils that help keep your eyes from getting dry. One benefit of this procedure is how quickly it can be done. The procedure is non-invasive and can be completed in minutes.
At the Visionary Eye Center we offer you another simple solution to help you solve and prevent dry eye disease. Zest (Zocular Eyelid System Treatment) focuses on exfoliating the eyelids to help return them to their natural state.This natural procedure is completed in about ten minutes and helps solve crusting around the eye associated with blepharitis, a condition caused by bacterial biofilm overgrowth.
By using this procedure, you can reduce your eye's collection of bacteria which causes dry eyes. Just like TearCare, this improves the outflow of the oils needed to prevent unfavorable symptoms from occurring by removing the film blocking the meibomian gland openings.
Now is a great time to take action and get rid of dry eyes fast. Whether you experience symptoms all year long or notice heightened sensitivity during the colder months, the Visionary Eye Center offers you a solution. With a variety of eye care methods and treatments, we can help you combat the many symptoms associated with dry eyes. We aim to provide custom eye care solutions for our patients in the Reno-Sparks area. Come visit us at the Visionary Eye Center and allow us to relieve your dry eye concerns.
Keratoconus may not be a familiar word for many people, but the disease affects a large number of eye care patients. Keratoconus (KCN) is a progressive eye disease that causes complications with the cornea. It results in vision problems that range from mild to severe and will likely require some form of corrective methods to improve the person’s ability to see.
Through years of research, professionals have been able to determine generally how many people have keratoconus, and the results are surprising. Since a 2017 study performed by Dr. Daniel Godefrooij, it was found that KCN affects roughly 5-10 times more patients than the original findings suggested. Let’s take a deeper dive into what keratoconus is below.
As stated above, keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that can impair a person’s vision and significantly affect the cornea. For patients with keratoconus, the cornea in one or both eyes becomes thin and scars in the center. Specifically, keratoconus involves the central portion of the cornea, which affects a large portion of the eye. The result is a noticeably protruding cornea that has an irregular conical shape followed by poor eyesight.
It’s typical for keratoconus to become present during puberty, or a person’s teen years, and worsens or progresses over time. By the 5th or 6th decade of life the disease will stabilize, but typically a patient with keratoconus will experience irregular astigmatism or scarring that might not be treatable by corrective lenses alone. In the worst cases, a patient may require a corrective procedure known as a corneal transplant.
Originally, research done in part by NKCF (National Keratoconus Foundation) suggested that 1 in 2,000 people were diagnosed with KCN. Years later in 2017, these numbers were questioned by Dr. Daniel Godefrooij who determined that these rates are significantly higher than what was traditionally found. When determining how many people have keratoconus, LASIK (laser in situ keratomileuses) eye surgery played a critical role.
LASIK is a popular method of vision correction that uses lasers to correct the refraction of eye lenses for patients suffering from myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. With the increased popularity of LASIK therapy came the realization that keratoconus affects more people than had been previously reported.
Today, Dr. Daniel Godefrooij reports the ratio of people suffering from KCN being 1 in 375. That’s more than 5 times as many people as researchers had originally found.
The cause of KCN is still mostly undetermined, but the development and progression of the disease have been heavily studied over time. Some research has suggested that chronic rubbing of the eyes may contribute to and possibly expedite the overall progression of the eye disease. The most common symptoms of keratoconus to be aware of include:
The plan of treatment for keratoconus will depend on the severity of the patient’s condition. Of utmost importance is early detection, as a recently FDA approved treatment called corneal cross-linking is now available to stabilize the condition. Mild KCN may be treated with the use of corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. Moderate cases will likely require specialty contact lenses like gas permeable (GP), hybrids or scleral lenses to provide acceptable vision. However, severe forms of KCN may require more aggressive treatment methods such as a corneal transplant or Intacs Corneal Implants.
Keratoconus treatment focuses primarily on slowing the progression of the disease and improving vision. Essentially, there are three types of treatment to help with KCN symptoms which consist of corrective lenses, therapy, or surgery.
If you’ve been experiencing vision problems, it’s important to meet with your Reno optometrist to properly diagnose the issue at hand. You may be suffering from keratoconus and not even realize it. A licensed, trained optometrist can evaluate your vision problems, assess your eye health, and provide an effective method of treatment.
It may be necessary to consider eye surgery and specialty contact lenses to correct your vision problems caused by keratoconus. Dr. Bolenbaker at the Visionary Eye Center can help to develop a unique treatment plan that’s designed to suit your eye care needs.
It’s August, and that means it’s National Children’s Vision Month! Back-to-school season is also here, and there couldn’t be a better time than before your child returns to the classroom to take them to the eye doctor. One out of four school-age children suffer from some type of uncorrected vision problem, which can seriously impair their success in the classroom. Children are not always able to recognize by themselves that blurry vision or struggling to see near or far is actually a concern. And vision problems aren’t always issues with blurry vision, but rather eye alignment and focusing issues that lead to struggles in school, despite the fact they can see the classroom board clearly.
A routine school eye screening by an optometrist is necessary to detect vision problems and maintain overall optical health. You may have believed a school or pediatrician vision screening is enough. These are brief exams that evaluate visual acuity, the ability to read small letters or see a picture on a chart. These screenings are not comprehensive and can’t evaluate the way your child’s eyes work while reading or doing school work, nor can they adequately evaluate your child’s eye health. This means many vision problems aren’t detected, contributing to your child struggling in their academics or athletics.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, it’s recommended that children receive an eye evaluation once before the age of 3, and at least every one to two years until the age of 19. Preschoolers should see a pediatric optometrist to ensure their eyes are aligned and focusing properly to address developing issues and halt progress down the road. During adolescence, a person’s eyesight can change rapidly and often, especially impacted by puberty, so they should continue to receive annual checkups. Of added importance, detecting myopia early is key as we now have FDA-approved technologies like the MiSight lens to slow the progression of near-sightedness or myopia. So we can now actually do something about your child’s prescription getting worse every year using myopia control techniques.
Scheduling an eye exam with your child’s optometrist before school begins will ensure they start the school year with the best overall vision to succeed! It eliminates the concern that vision or eye health could be interfering with your child achieving their highest academic potential. Proper eyesight can also prevent headaches, fatigue, and lack of focus in the classroom. You should also have your child’s lens prescription checked and kept up-to-date, especially if they are active in team sports or have a new classroom seat each year. Being proactive in ensuring your child regularly visits an optometrist is essential. After all, they own their eyes for life!