What is the Purpose of a Diabetic Eye Exam?

Youroptometrist in Falls Church, VA, serves many purposes beyond giving you a prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses. At Nova Vision Center, we’re proud to offer diagnoses and treatment for a wide range of optometric problems, including things like dry eye syndrome, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy, to name a few. One of the ways that we diagnose certain problems is through a diabetic eye exam. If you’re unsure of the purpose of this important kind of optometric exam, read on.

What is a Diabetic Eye Exam?

A diabetic eye exam is a special eye exam designed to detect warning signs of eye endangerment due to diabetes and related disorders. The primary focus of a diabetic eye exam is to check for signs of diabetic retinopathy, the most common and one of the most serious eye conditions associated with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye. This damage can lead to blood and other fluids leaking into the retina, causing swelling and the formation of deposits known as exudates. If left untreated, diabetic retinopathy can progress to more severe forms, potentially leading to retinal detachment or severe vision loss. This is why it’s so crucial to have a diabetic eye exam regularly if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes.

How is a Diabetic Eye Exam Done?

A comprehensive diabetic eye exam typically includes a visual acuity test and pupil dilation to examine the retina and optic nerve thoroughly, as well as possibly the use of imaging techniques such as optical coherence tomography (OCT) and fluorescein angiography. These tests provide detailed images of the eye structures and can reveal changes not visible through routine eye exams. Whether or not you’ve been officially diagnosed with diabetes, you should get a diabetic eye exam on occasion. Interestingly, sometimes a person is unaware they have diabetes until an optometrist conducts a diabetic eye exam and sees the warning signs.

Remember, even persons without diabetes should get adiabetic eye exam in Falls Church, VA. This kind of exam can only reveal warning signs that your eyesight might be in danger. Contact us today to book yours.

Pros and Cons of Scleral Lenses

State-of-the-art scleral lenses that cover more of the eye’s surface than traditional contacts may be just what the doctor ordered if you have previously had trouble wearing contacts and want to put aside external eyeglasses.

But what are the associated benefits and disadvantages?

Here’s what you need to know: Because scleral lenses are larger than traditional contacts, and because they are hard rather than flexible, they can be worn by people with irregularly-shaped corneas and by those who have had lasik surgery. They are also said to be comfortable for people with chronic dry eye.

Scleral contacts, with proper training, may also be easier to insert and wear because of their size. They are crafted of gas-permeable material, so they allow oxygen to reach your cornea, and they can be worn for longer periods without discomfort or damage to the eye.

However, there are some cautionary guidelines:

For wearers who are new to scleral lenses, adapting to this type of contact may be challenging at first. Even though this type of contact lens was first developed in 1887, they are a relatively recent option for most contact lens wearers. Previous disadvantages, primarily that earlier versions were not gas-permeable and unsuitable for extended wear, have been addressed. Scleral contacts are now as versatile as other types of contacts, and they can provide much-improved vision correction if properly fitted.

The learning curve for user insertion of scleral lenses may be high, and new users will be given intense training and direction on how to properly insert and remove the lenses.

Close monitoring can prevent problems.

Your vision specialist will monitor your use of scleral lenses closely for at least a month with weekly checkups and then every three months thereafter. This type of contact is subject to lens fogging, clouding, and scratches. If monitored closely, though, potential problems can be addressed before they become critical.

If you’re interested in learning more about modern contact lens options, schedule an appointment withNova Vision Centerfor a consultation and vision check.

What Is InfantSEE®?

InfantSEE® is an amazing program developed by the American Optometric Association. The beauty of it is that it offers a free one-time comprehensive eye exam for infants. This program is available free to everyone. It doesn’t matter what your income is or if you don’t have insurance. However, it’s only available to children between six and 12 months of age.

What Happens During an InfantSEE® Assessment?

The optometrist will perform several non-invasive tests during an InfantSEE® exam in Falls Church, VA.

  • Visual Acuity Testing
  • Eye Movement Testing
  • External Eye and Lid Health Check
  • Pupil Response

Your optometrist will then provide you with any guidance and recommendations based on your child’s needs.

When Should I Schedule My Child’s First Eye Exam?

You should schedule your child’s first eye exam between the ages of six to 12 months. Then, at 4-5 years of age, you should schedule a vision screening test. The caveat is that if you notice something unusual, schedule an eye exam for your child immediately.

Where Can I Schedule an InfantSEE® Exam?

Early pediatric eye exams are extremely important! Early intervention will help minimize or prevent many visual issues and developmental delays. So don’t wait! You can get an InfantSEE® exam at Nova Vision Center or any other participating optometrist.

Looking for an Eye Doctor in Falls Church, VA?

Don’t wait to have your child’s eyes examined especially if you’ve noticed something that doesn’t seem quite right. Please Contact Nova Vision Center today. Let us examine your child’s eyes. Then, you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing everything is OK or getting the early intervention treatment needed if it’s not.

Does the InfantSEE® Program Cover School-Aged Children?

InfantSee is a public health program courtesy of the American Optometric Association. It was created to highlight the importance of early childhood vision, particularly when early intervention can potentially help a child’s visual health change course. We’ll look at the details if you’re curious about what it is and whether your child is eligible.

Who Is Eligible for InfantSee?

As the name suggests, this national free program is only available during infancy. New parents are often so bogged down with their new responsibilities (and the accompanying costs) that they can easily push eye doctor visits to the bottom of their to-do lists. Children between 6 and 12 months receive treatment and care for eye or vision problems to prevent bigger issues and ensure a lifetime of eye health.

Early Childhood Eye Conditions

Common childhood eye conditions include cross-eyes or lazy eyes, which are both relatively easy to correct with targeted eye exercises. Children may also be born with congenital cataracts, which affect the lens of the eye and can cause cloudy vision or even blindness. Most infants born with cataracts will need surgery to repair them. If you’re interested in this program, it’s important to find a pediatric optometrist in Fall Church, VA, with plenty of experience.

Pediatric Eye Doctors in Falls Church

With the InfantSee program in Falls Church, VA, parents can see an eye doctor to assess their child’s visual health at no cost. A doctor will evaluate common symptoms, such as redness, constant fluttering, eye pus, or white pupils. While school-age children might not be eligible, this program can help parents protect their children’s eyes for the rest of their lives. If you’re looking for a participating practice in your area, call Nova Vision Center today.

Emergency Eye Care: When to Seek Immediate Assistance

The eyes are among the most vulnerable parts of the body, and vision is undeniably important to one’s well-being. Therefore, when one experiences a critical situation with their eyes, it is important to seek emergency eye care in Falls Church as soon as possible.

Recognizing Signs of Eye Emergencies

Whenever the eye, the structures of the eye, or the tissue surrounding the eye sustains trauma or is causing extreme pain, it is important to seek emergency treatment. Signs of an eye emergency may include:

  • A foreign body lodged in the eye
  • Severe eye pain
  • Drastic changes in your vision
  • Infection-related symptoms
  • Visual flashes or floaters that appear suddenly

Common Eye Injuries and Traumas

  • Corneal abrasions: Scratches on the cornea, often caused by foreign objects or contact lens misuse, which cause discomfort and light sensitivity.
  • Chemical burns: Exposure to acidic or alkaline substances causing severe eye irritation and potential vision loss.
  • Hyphemas: Bleeding inside the eye, typically due to trauma, which leads to pain and decreased vision.
  • Retinal detachment: Separation of the retina from its underlying tissue causing sudden flashes of light and floaters; immediate medical attention is required to prevent permanent vision loss.
  • Orbital fractures: Fractures of the bones surrounding the eye leading to swelling, bruising, and double vision.

Steps to Take in Case of Eye Emergency

If you are experiencing an eye health emergency, contact an eye doctor immediately for advice. If something is lodged in the eye, don’t try to remove it. Conversely, if chemicals or other fluid contaminants have splashed into your eyes, wash your eyes with clean water as soon as possible.

Are you experiencing an eye health emergency and need advice from a Falls Church eye doctor? Contact the team at Nova Vision Center for professional guidance on what to do.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Dry Eye

Dry eye disease is a disorder that affects roughly 20 million Americans, says theAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology. Also called dysfunctional tear syndrome, this itchy, irritating condition is caused by inadequate lubrication of the sensitive tissues that cover the eye. Either, your body is not producing enough tears, or the tears are not remaining on the surface of the eye long enough to lubricate it. Fortunately, youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, has solutions.

How Is Dry Eye Diagnosed?

Your vision specialist may discover dry eye disease during your routine eye exam. If so, they may perform several additional tests to find out why your eyes are drier than normal. This may mean examining the volume of tears your body is producing or testing the quality of tears produced. They may use special, staining eye drops to find patterns on your corneas or examine the composition of your tears to help them better understand what’s happening.

Once you have a diagnosis of dry eye disease, your eye doctor can recommend a simple course of treatment. Usually, this condition is not difficult or invasive to treat.

Treatment Options for Dry Eyes

Prescription or over-the-counter eyedrops may be required to lessen dry eye symptoms. Or, your specialist may prescribe oral medications that stimulate tear production or reduce inflammation in the eyes. Tiny plugs inserted into your tear ducts may help keep tears from draining away too quickly. Tiny inserts that you place in your eyes daily may also be effective. They dissolve beneath the eyelid, acting as a type of artificial tear.

For more help withdry eye disease in Falls Church, VA, call Nova Vision Center to schedule an appointment. Our experienced professionals are happy to sit down with you to discuss treatment options for dry eyes.

What Happens During a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Have you ever wondered what a comprehensive eye exam is? Youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, has probably recommended you have one. But what is it, and what does it entail?

Let’s take a look.

What Happens During a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Acomprehensive eye exam in Falls Church, VA, is a several-step process. Here is how the process goes.

Step One: Consultation

Your eye doctor will talk with you about your medical history and visual health. They will also ask you about your lifestyle and any concerns you might have. Your eye doctor will use this information to personalize your comprehensive eye exam to best suit your needs.

Step Two: Evaluate Your Visual Health

The eye doctor will then need to test your visual acuity. This will involve having you read an eye chart. Doing so will help determine how well you can see at various distances. Once this is done, they will do a refraction test. This helps the doctor see if you have any refractive issues. The refractive test will show if you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or an astigmatism.

Step Three: Intraocular Pressure Checks

This step involves using some advanced technology to examine the internal structures of your eyes. The pressure check will help your doctor see if there are any signs of disease present. For example, glaucoma, cataracts, or macular degeneration.

Step Four: Eye Doctor Recommendations

Your eye doctor will then discuss the findings of your comprehensive dental exam with you. At this point, the doctor will address any concerns they might have and make recommendations for maintaining or improving your vision.

Do You Need an Eye Doctor in Falls Church, VA?

If you need an eye doctor in Falls Church, VA, pleaseContact Nova Vision Center. Don’t take the health of your eyes for granted. Take the first step in maintaining good vision and schedule an appointment today. Your eyesight is irreplaceable, so don’t delay.

Symptoms of Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a very common condition in America. It occurs when the macula, located in the center of your retina, becomes damaged. Because the macula is responsible for helping you see clear details, such as facial features, macular degeneration can greatly impact your quality of life. Keeping regular appointments with youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, can lead to early diagnosis and better outcomes for patients who have age-related macular degeneration.

Early Warning Signs of Macular Degeneration

Symptoms of age-related macular degeneration include:

  • Straight lines that appear wavy
  • Blurred vision
  • Dark or empty spots in vision
  • Problems recognizing familiar faces
  • Difficulty with central vision

Unfortunately, symptoms such as these can greatly impact your quality of life. Left untreated, AMD can lead to severe vision loss. But before you lose your vision, you may lose other abilities, such as your ability to drive or read. This is why it’s so important to keep appointments with your vision specialist, especially as you age. Early diagnosis of AMD can help you protect the vision you have and may prevent your vision from worsening.

What Can Be Done? 

Your eye doctor has interventions that can lessen the damage of AMD. Injections or laser therapy may be helpful. Low-vision devices, such as magnifying lenses, may also be beneficial. While there’s no current cure for age-related macular degeneration, seeking early diagnosis and treatment may preserve the vision you have. It will also help you learn to manage your condition so that it has less negative impact on your daily routine.

Help for AMD in Fall Church, VA

If you need help with symptoms ofAMD in Falls Church, VA, call Nova Vision Center today. Our experienced professionals will be happy to perform a routine eye exam to find out what’s happening with your vision.

When Should I Have a Diabetic Eye Exam?

Diabetes is a condition that affects many areas of the body, including the eyes. The tissues and blood vessels in the eyes are very delicate and can be easily damaged by diabetes. When this happens, it’s called diabetic retinopathy. Youreye doctor in Falls Church, VA, offers special diabetic eye exams to patients who need them. The question is, when should you have a diabetic eye exam, and how often?

When to Have a Diabetic Eye Exam

If you have diabetes, the American Diabetes Association says that you should have an annual diabetic eye exam no later than five years after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. If you have Type 2 Diabetes, you should have your first diabetic eye exam as soon as possible after diagnosis.

However, these are general guidelines. There are two other things to consider. One is the sooner diabetic retinopathy is detected by your eye doctor, the sooner it can be managed, and more of your vision could be saved. The other is that if you experience any symptoms of deteriorating eye health from diabetes, you should see your eye doctor immediately, no matter when you were diagnosed or even if you’ve yet to be diagnosed.

Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy

  • Pressure or pain in the eye
  • Seeing flashing lights or “sparkles”
  • Dark spots or missing patches in your field of vision
  • Increase in number of floaters (moving spots or lines)
  • Seeing red streaks in your field of vision
  • Sudden worsening of night vision
  • Sudden double vision
  • Sudden blurred vision

All of these could be signs of diabetic retinopathy, and indicate that you should have a diabetic eye exam as soon as possible.

To schedule yourdiabetic eye exam in Falls Church, VA, contact our office today to book your appointment. The sooner that diabetic retinopathy is detected, the better outcome for your eyesight.

3 Changes to Make Today to Lower Your Risks of Macular Degeneration  

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most concerning eye diseases. The condition is progressive, and there is no cure; there are only methods of slowing progression. While we offer macular degeneration services in Falls Church, VA, taking preventative steps before diagnosis is always a good plan. Take a look at a few things you can do differently starting today that can lower your risks of macular degeneration.

1. Adopt a Healthy Diet

Your diet plays a large role in your overall risks of AMD. Include food choices and ingredients in your everyday diet that are rich in valuable nutrients, including antioxidants, important vitamins, and vital minerals. Dark, leafy greens, colorful fruits and vegetables, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids can support eye health and reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

2. Exercise Regularly

Engage in regular physical activity, as it promotes overall well-being and health, including your eye health. Exercise contributes to good blood circulation throughout the body, which is essential for maintaining healthy eyes and reducing the risk of AMD.

3. Protect Your Eyes from the Sun

UV exposure is directly related to the risks of AMD development. Therefore, work to protect your eyes from the sun. Wear sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays. This is a simple yet effective way to prevent damage to the eyes and lower the risk of macular degeneration.

Discuss Visual Health with a Falls Church, VA Eye Doctor

Discussing your visual health with an eye doctor in Falls Church, VA, is essential for early detection and management of eye-related issues. At Nova Vision Center, our experienced team is dedicated to providing comprehensive eye care services. Schedule an appointment today to prioritize your eye health and reduce the risks associated with macular degeneration.