Visionary Eye Center

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.

How Can I Take Care of My Eyes?

A young woman gets her eyes tested with a doctor.

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.

A young girl gets her eyes tested through a computer screen-like machine.

Providing Year-Round Reno Family Eye Care at Visionary Eye Center

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. 

What Are The Treatments for 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. 

Schedule an Appointment with a Reno Eye Doctor 

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.  

 

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.

keratoconus

What is Keratoconus?

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.

How many people have Keratoconus?

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. 

Symptoms of Keratoconus

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:

Treatments for Keratoconus 

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.

Schedule an Eye Exam with Your Optometrist 

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.

School Eye Screenings Designated for Students

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.

reno pediatric optometrist

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.

Family Eye Care to Help With Your School Eye Screenings

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!

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If you are a driver who also wears glasses, you’ve probably struggled to decide between which pair of glasses to put on in the car. Either way, you’re hindering your vision one way or the other. By not wearing your eyeglasses, you likely won’t be able to see near or far away depending on your eye condition. But not wearing sunglasses could mean being blinded by the harsh UV rays of the sun. The best option is to get yourself a pair of prescription sunglasses, that way you can achieve optimal vision. 

When it comes to prescription sunglasses, there are many varying types to choose from. One of our favorites is the polarized sunglass lens that provides added protection to your eyes in harsh sunlight. Learn more about prescription sunglasses and polarized lenses below.

The Importance of Protecting Your Eyes with Prescription Sunglasses

Many patients are unaware of just how damaging UV rays can be on their eyes and do very little to protect them from mild or harsh sunlight. Even if there is cloud coverage in the sky, UV rays can still negatively affect your eyes. UV-A rays typically lead to problems with central vision and the macula which is part of the retina. UV-B rays are also damaging, mostly affecting the cornea and lens. Extended exposure to these harmful rays can lead to more serious eye conditions including:

Are prescription sunglasses worth the purchase? 

Though many people are hesitant to spend the money on purchasing a second pair of glasses by buying prescription sunglasses, those who have are sure glad they did. Prescription sunglasses provide much-needed sight assistance even in high-light situations. When you’re driving down the street or taking your dog for a walk and the sun is glaring in your eyes, your regular prescription glasses will do very little to help you see. Likewise, wearing sunglasses with no prescription leaves you with very little vision. Prescription sunglasses, however, block out the sun while providing the same sight assistance as your glasses. 

Prescription sunglasses can also help with light sensitivity, glare-related headaches, and regular eye strain from squinting in the sun.  And if you’re worried about crow's feet, not squinting all the time from either harsh sunlight or blurry vision can help reduce those lines around your eyes. 

What are polarized sunglasses?

First, it is important to note that not all sunglasses are polarized. While all sunglasses are designed to limit UV rays from penetrating through the lenses and limit glare, some are much more effective than others. 

To understand how polarized sunglasses work, you need to know how light is reflected. Most sunlight that reaches our eyes is dispersed and scattered due to the fact that it often reflects off of uneven surfaces such as trees and roads. However, when sunlight is reflected from a smooth, shiny surface like the hood of a car, Lake Tahoe or a phone screen, the light is reflected in just one direction. The dispersed light is much less bothersome and damaging, while light that is directly reflecting into your eyes is more troublesome. 

Polarized sunglasses are manufactured in a unique way that creates a different pattern within the lens that is able to block out more light than typical prescription sunglasses. A special film is laminated in between the lens surfaces in a vertical pattern. This helps block light and eliminate polarized glare entirely.  

Benefits of Prescription Sunglasses and Polarized Lenses

There are many advantages to wearing prescription sunglasses, especially with polarized lenses. Polarized lenses provide clearer vision in bright light, increases contrast, offer minimal color distortion, and reduces glare, reflection, and eye strain. And, the polarization is built directly into the lens, leaving a seamless finish for flawless vision. For anyone who spends time outdoors, polarized lenses will provide the best UV protection for your eyes.  

Prescription Sunglasses from Visionary Eye Center

When it comes to eye protection, eyeglasses and sunglasses are essential. With prescription sunglasses, you never have to worry about choosing which pair of glasses to put on again. 

Visionary Eye Center is your home for custom vision solutions, and we take pride in offering top-tier care for each patient. We want our patients and community to be well informed to make the best health decisions for you and your family. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any general inquiries or concerns, or schedule an appointment for an eye exam!

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Vision problems can be a huge distraction in your daily life, making even casual tasks such as driving extremely difficult. One common vision problem that patients may experience is night blindness. You may be asking yourself, "what is night blindness?" and you're not alone. Someone with night blindness will have difficulty seeing in dark environments, which is especially noticeable when driving at night. Night blindness can be dangerous in some situations, so it’s critical that you get the help you need to alleviate your symptoms and get your eye health back on track. 

For more information about night blindness, read the article below or contact our Reno optometrists today. 

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what is night blindnessWhat is night blindness?

Night blindness, professionally known as nyctalopia, affects your ability to see at night or in poor lighting conditions. Although many people believe night blindness is an eye condition/disease all of its own, this actually isn’t true. Night blindness is the result of an underlying health issue such as cataracts, diabetes, or myopia. It’s also important to note that night blindness does not result in actual blindness but does lead to impaired vision in dark environments. 

Night blindness often presents itself when transitioning from a well-lit area to a dark, poorly-lit environment. Our eyes naturally adjust and adapt to changes in light, but those with nyctalopia are typically unable to do this, resulting in poor visibility. If you have difficulty driving at night due to lousy vision or struggle to see in dark restaurants, movie theaters, etc., then you likely suffer from night blindness. However, many types of night blindness are treatable and symptoms often subside once the underlying issue has been resolved.   

What causes night blindness?

There are several possible causes of night blindness including:

night blindnessSymptoms:

The most common symptom of night blindness is experiencing poor vision in dimly lit or dark environments. However, this isn’t the only symptom that may present itself in those with nyctalopia. Other symptoms include:

How is night blindness treated?

Not all forms of night blindness can be treated, but a majority of them can be managed or remedied in some way. The treatment for your night blindness will vary depending on the cause of your condition. For example, if your night blindness is caused by myopia or nearsightedness, then new glasses or contact lens prescription may be recommended to alleviate your symptoms. And if your night blindness is caused by cataracts, surgery may be the only option for relief. 

Other night blindness treatments may include a change in glaucoma medication or a visit with a retinal specialist. To determine your best course of action, it’s essential to visit your Reno eye doctor. They’ll be able to diagnose the cause of your night blindness and will provide the best treatment plan based specifically on your needs. 

night blindnessSee how you can prevent night blindness

Although some night blindness may be the result of a genetic disposition, other forms of nyctalopia may be prevented with some simple lifestyle changes. Try making these easy changes in your everyday life to help prevent the onset of night blindness:

Visit Your Reno Optometrist Today

Here, at the Visionary Eye Center, we strive for customized eye care solutions for all of our patients in the Reno-Sparks area. As each patients’ needs are unique, your treatment plan should be unique to you as well. We’ll work with you to determine the underlying cause of your night blindness to develop a solution that addresses your symptoms and treats your vision problems. 

Our office uses the latest diagnostic technology and treatment solutions so you can receive cutting-edge options and not the bulk products that are found in other optometrists’ offices. Contact us today to get started with your personalized eye treatment. We look forward to meeting you!

If you have been blessed with good eyesight it is easy to take your vision for granted, but in reality, your life would change dramatically if something were to happen to your eyesight. Eyes usually don’t need a whole lot of attention, but it’s important to be able to realize if your eyes are trying to tell you something.

However, there is a fine line between harmless eye irritation and serious issues, but how do you know which eye symptoms you should never ignore? Keep reading and we will explore some eye issues you should always take seriously.

eye symptoms you should never ignore reno

Eye Pain

While it is sometimes difficult to assess your own personal eye well-being, one tell-tale sign of serious eye issues is pain. If it comes on suddenly, lasts for a few minutes, and is pretty much unexplainable (i.e. nothing irritated it or caused it pain) then you should never ignore this eye symptom.

Right away, you should get in to see the eye doctor. It may be brief, but this is the way that your eye is telling your mind that something is wrong. It could be nothing, but do you really want to risk your eyesight on that?

Floaters and/or Flashes of Light

If you haven’t ever experienced this before, it can be quite alarming, especially if it is vivid for the first time. Floaters are the little squiggly things that sometimes appear before your eyes, best seen when looking at the blue sky or a white wall.

You may have experienced this before and it is quite normal, but if this is happening frequently or causing delusion or pain you should definitely get it looked at.

If you have floaters and are also experiencing flashes of light along with them, it could be a sign of a retinal tear that could possibly lead to a retinal detachment.

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision can be the effect of a few different eye issues, most notably dry eye. Dry eye occurs when there is simply not enough lubrication of the eye and can cause blurry vision, redness, and itchiness.

eye symptoms you should never ignore

Other factors can also cause blurry vision like smoke, wind, extreme heat or cold, certain medications, diabetes, and pregnancy. The easy solution to blurry vision could be as simple as eye drops, but if this doesn’t help improve the situation then you should see the optometrist.

If your blurry vision suddenly gets more severe, it could be a sign of high pressure in your head and spinal cord or inflammation of your optic nerve.

Double Vision

Double vision can be extremely dangerous if it is present in both eyes. It could be a sign of neurological problems, and you should go directly to the emergency room if you notice double vision in both eyes. This could also be accompanied by slurred speech or pain.

However, if double vision is present in one eye it could be a sign of a corneal issue or retinal issue, and you should schedule an appointment with an optometrist if it is occurring regularly. You definitely do not want to ignore double vision.

Redness

While eye redness can be an effect of many different things including allergies, smoke, and lack of sleep, it can also be a sign of pink eye or conjunctivitis. If your eyes are irritated and red you could just need a few days of eye drops, but if pain, a burning sensation, or blurred vision is present you should consult an eye specialist.

Red eyes can be totally harmless if only happens rarely but could be a sign of serious eye infection if it happens often or you wear contacts regularly.

Droopy Eyelids

Some peoples’ eyelids naturally hang down a bit lower and as you grow older gravity starts to take an effect, but a sudden droop in one or both eyelids could be a sign of stroke, muscle disease, or a nerve problem.

A gradual increase of drooping eyelids is natural, but if this occurs out of nowhere then you should take it seriously and report to the emergency room if any other symptoms accompany this.

Visionary Eye Center Reno, NV

Hopefully, this blog has increased your knowledge about which eye symptoms you should never ignore and also given you some peace of mind. Visionary Eye Center is your home for custom vision solutions, and we take pride in offering top tier care for each patient.

We want our patients and community to be well informed to make the best health decisions for you and your family. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any general inquiries or concerns, and we look forward to meeting you!

Book an Appointment

As your eye continuously changes, your brain adapts and makes compromises with these changes, making it hard to tell if your vision is deteriorating. Based on many factors—including age, health, family medical history and personal medical history—the importance of yearly eye exams differs, but we urge you to visit an optometrist at least once a year.

As your eyes are the window to your soul, they are also the window to your overall well-being where other health issues come to light. For this blog, we will explore the importance of yearly eye exams, as well as other factors surrounding the topic. 

Why should I get my eyes examined once a year?

Prevention: Even if you are healthy—or you think you are healthy—prevention is the key to lasting eyesight. Vision impairment can be avoided or prevented if you are able to catch signs early on. Especially with rising numbers of Digital Eye Strain from increasing screen time from work and school; it’s more important now than ever to get in to see your eye doctor.

Your vision changes over time: Vision changes occur naturally, but it’s nothing to be afraid of. However, these changes can and will affect your vision on a daily basis, and only an optometrist will be able to tell you exactly how these changes are affecting your vision. If these changes aren’t monitored or taken care of, you could be facing irreparable damage.

 

In addition, it’s especially important to visit an eye doctor yearly if you already wear glasses or contacts. You could need adjustments after a period of time, and your prescription could change from your previous visit. An out-of-date prescription poses just as much of a threat as non-wearers letting their eyesight deteriorate. 

Your eyes show other health issues: As mentioned formerly, your eyes tell a tremendous amount about your overall health. Your eyes can show signs of diabetes, brain tumors, high cholesterol and high blood pressure by looking at blood vessels, arteries and cranial nerves while your eyes are dilated. These signs will show in your eyes before visible symptoms anywhere else. 

Symptomless eye diseases: There are common eye diseases that show no or limited symptoms until the effects are truly upon you and create irreversible damage. By looking at the optic nerve and the condition of the cornea an optometrist can see signs of eye diseases like glaucoma, dry eye and anterior segment diseases.

What to expect at an eye exam

For a thorough routine eye exam one should expect the following:

 

Visionary Eye Center’s Digital Lifestyle Exam

With our cutting edge diagnostic technology, Visionary Eye Center is offering a Digital Lifestyle Exam that’s perfect for all ages! With this revolutionary eye exam you can spend more time talking face to face with an optometrist on a plan for your eyes rather than staring through a machine.

With this eye exam you can expect:

You can check out everything it has to offer here!

Schedule your appointment today!

Here, at the Visionary Eye Center, we strive for customized eye care solutions for our Reno-Sparks patients. As each patients’ needs are unique, our treatment should be as unique as you.

Our independence allows us the flexibility to use the latest technology, so you can receive cutting edge options and not bulk products that are found everywhere. Contact us today to get started with your personalized eye treatment today. We look forward to meeting you!

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