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Year: 2020

What Services Can I Get Using Tele-Optometry?

Tele-optometry is a branch of telemedicine that can cover a wide range of problems and treatments related to vision and ocular health. Tele-medicine delivers medical care through digital medical equipment and telecommunications technology, such as online videos accessible through smart phones and tablets. This allows patients to easily receive screenings, diagnoses, prescriptions and monitoring from the comfort and safety of their home. 

Optometrists can provide virtual medical eye consultations for a variety of eye problems, including:

  • Eye infections (i.e.conjunctivitis/pink eye)
  • Itchy eyes and allergies
  • Eye pain and redness
  • Scratched eye (i.e. corneal abrasion) 
  • Flashers & floaters
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Distorted vision 
  • Dry eye syndrome 
  • Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid) 
  • Dermatitis

Other services:

  • General Consultations
  • Refractive Surgery Follow-Ups
  • New Prescriptions 
  • Prescription Refills

Which Digital Devices Can I Use For a Virtual Eye Evaluation? 

Laptop/Desktop:

You can easily do your tele-optometric visit from any laptop or desktop that’s equipped with a camera and a microphone. Having a strong internet connection will help ensure high-definition video calls.  

Smartphones/ Tablets/ iPads: 

Many smartphones, tablets, and iPads now have very high-resolution cameras, which are great for taking quality pictures and videos that doctors can use to provide a diagnosis.

How Can an Eye Doctor Diagnose Through a Digital Platform? 

The optometrist will provide a diagnosis based both on the images and the information you supply, and if the eye doctor believes that your issues require emergency care, you will be referred to a specialist to better help treat your condition. With tele-optometry, you can feel confident that you are receiving care from a licensed, practicing eye doctor from the comfort of your home. 

Will Insurance Cover My Virtual Eye Care Visit? 

In most cases insurance plans will cover telehealth visits, but to be on the safe side, we ask that you double-check with your insurance provider prior to the visit.

If you’re experiencing certain eye concerns, including red eyes, pink eye, itchy eyes, flashes, floating spots, or double vision, contact us today to receive a diagnosis and effective treatment plan. 

Make a tele-optometry appointment before going to the emergency room or urgent care clinic to avoid the wait and any potential exposure to COVID-19. Contact us at  Low Vision Optometry of Southern California at Corona to schedule your in-home eye evaluation today! 

COVID-19: Protect Your Eyes From Too Much Screen Time

You and your children are likely spending more time on mobile devices and computer screens than ever before. Too much time spent staring at screens can cause computer vision syndrome, or digital eye strain, in certain people. While not serious, this condition can be very uncomfortable, potentially causing:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Insomnia
  • Tiredness

Below are some useful tips to help you and your children avoid computer vision syndrome:

Blink more! 

Staring at a screen strains the eyes more than reading printed material because people tend to blink 30-50% less. This can also cause your eyes to dry out. Be mindful of blinking and make it a habit when focusing on a screen, as it will keep your eyes healthy and lubricated.

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule 

Give your eyes a break every 20 minutes by looking at an object located 20 feet away for 20 seconds. Doing so will allow your eyes to relax and will give both you and your eyes some rest.

Keep your distance

Your eyes work harder to see close up than at a distance. Try keeping your monitor or screen at arm’s length, or about 25 inches away.

Lighting matters

Make sure that your surrounding light is similar in strength to the light emanating from your screen. Contrasting levels of light, such as looking at a bright screen in a dark room, can strain the eyes.

Take breaks from the screen

You may want to stipulate ‘screen free’ time for yourself and/or your children, such as during meal times or for several hours throughout the day. Engage in hobbies that don’t require a screen, such as drawing, reading books, doing puzzles, playing an instrument or cooking (among many others).

Don’t use devices before bed

Studies show that blue light may affect your body’s circadian rhythm, also known as the natural wake and sleep cycle. Stop using screens one to two hours before bedtime or use nighttime settings to minimize blue light exposure.

Although it may require a bit of planning to protect your family’s eyes during this stressful time, ultimately, it’s all about balance — and what works for you and your family may differ from others.

From all of us at Low Vision Optometry of Southern California at Corona, we wish you good health and please stay safe.

Why All Low Vision Patients Are Upset

Bifocal Type R.By Richard J. Shuldiner, OD, FAAO, FIALVS, Chief Clinical Editor

In 1960, at the age of seven, Wayne F. was diagnosed with amblyopia in his left eye (commonly referred to as Lazy Eye), but it was left untreated. As an adult, Wayne scheduled regular eye exams every few years and received new glasses each time the vision in his right eye changed. In November of 2019, it was time to renew his driver’s license. During all previous DMV visits, Wayne could read the vision charts with the help of glasses. This trip was different.

How Wayne Suddenly Became a Low Vision Patient

Wayne’s vision had slowly deteriorated to the point where the DMV eye chart became impossible to read, and, to his surprise, his license was revoked. Wayne scheduled an appointment with his eye doctor to get new glasses. He expected that a new prescription would improve his vision enough to get his driver’s license reinstated. It also seemed like an opportunity to get new frames and a new look. That’s when Wayne received the news that dry macular degeneration had developed in his right eye, and that new glasses would not improve his vision. He was told, “Nothing more can be done.”

Wayne was devastated. Confusion and worry took over as he asked himself, “How will I get to work? How will I pay the mortgage? How will I support my family? What will become of me?”

Low Vision Patients Have a Reason to Be Upset

ALL low vision patients are upset. Every one of them. And it doesn’t matter if they have a happy disposition, a good attitude or have “accepted” it. They are upset.

As we know, Wayne is not alone. Many patients are struggling with the shocking news that new glasses will not restore their vision. Loss of vision is one of the major fears that people have. When it happens, the upset can be truly debilitating.

Definition of Low Vision

What exactly is “low vision”? There are many ways to say it, but for me, this is the most understandable: Best corrected vision is insufficient to do what you want to do.

The definition contains two variables: vision and task— the amount of vision available to work with, and the tasks the patient wants to be able to do. A person with no visual goals does not have low vision, regardless of the extent of vision loss.

What Is it Like?

Consider the plight of most of the low vision patients we see. They have had decent vision for most of their lives. They needed glasses at some point, for any of the refractive reasons, including presbyopia. Some solved their conditions with glasses, others with contact lenses, vision therapy, or a surgical procedure. In each case, these solutions enabled them to see well enough to do what they wanted to do.

Now, after scores of eye examinations over the years, they once again don’t see well. Still confident that their vision can be corrected, they make an appointment with clear expectations and intentions: stylish new frames, better contacts, clearer vision to enjoy life and be productive. After all, they’ve been through this many times. Only this time, it doesn’t happen.

Instead, they are told they have an “eye condition” that has caused them to lose vision permanently!

And, they are told that if there is a treatment, it won’t bring back the vision they have lost!

And, they may lose more vision!

And it could happen at any time!

And they might go blind!

And lastly, they are told, “There’s nothing more we can do!”

Each sentence stabs like a knife.

What Being Upset Is All About

Surprisingly, there are only three things that upset human beings.

  • Unfulfilled expectations
  • Thwarted intentions
  • Undelivered communications

Think about any time you have ever been upset. Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of who you think was to blame, regardless of what “they” did, regardless of the topic or whom it was with, the upset falls into one or more of the above three categories.

No one expects to lose vision permanently.

No one expects to hear these words from their eye doctor: “There’s nothing more that can be done.”

The expectation is that the doctor will have a solution to the problem.

The intention is to get new glasses, see better, get new frames and have a new, fashionable look.

They walk out in a daze, unable to communicate or even think clearly.

Upset Reactions

Three things happen to a human being when they become upset:

  • A shift in reality
  • A loss of affinity
  • A decrease in communication

Everyone knows not to make decisions when upset. Why? Because the shift in perception of reality leads to bad decisions. We’ve all experienced a reduction in both love and appreciation when we are upset with a loved one. And, we all know that getting someone to open up and communicate when they are upset is nearly impossible.

Words From an Eye Doctor

Life is full of unexpected and upsetting events and, like a flash of lightning, life can change in an instant. An event, such as being told you have Macular Degeneration (or some other vision-affecting eye condition) and that new glasses won’t help, becomes so upsetting that clear thinking is virtually impossible. What I’ve seen over the years while working with low vision patients is a state of chaos, of not knowing what to do, who to turn to, and how to deal with permanent vision loss. Confusion and fear take over as people have no idea what their lives will be like or what they should do.

Providing a Future

When faced with “going blind,” all the hopes and dreams of the future seem to be destroyed. The idea of having time to read great novels, travel to see famous sights, watch the grandchildren play their sports, and more is crushed in their minds. The future they have imagined is gone.

This is where low vision care comes in. People need a future to live into. Dr. Richard Shuldiner can give them that and reduce the turmoil they feel.

We are telling our patients today: “There is life after vision loss. There are low vision doctors who can help to keep you doing those things you love. Your life is not over.”

Advanced LOW VISION CARE is available at Low Vision Optometry of Southern California and a fulfilling life is attainable. Low vision glasses (i.e. telescopes, microscopes, prismatics, filters, etc.), low vision devices, adaptive technology, large print materials, and auxiliary professionals, such as Occupational Therapists and Orientation/Mobility specialists are available. Dr. Richard Shuldiner is a member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists and has years of experience treating and caring for low vision patients.

This article first appeared here: https://emailactivity1.ecn5.com/engines/publicPreview.aspx?blastID=2606173&emailID=387066764

Is It Possible to Read and Write With Macular Degeneration?

man reading a newspaper 3393375Once you’ve been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you may find yourself overwhelmed with questions. The uncertainty as to whether you will be able to read, write, and recognize faces can be depressing. Before you let these concerns weigh you down, contact a low vision optometrist, such as at , dedicated to helping macular degeneration patients live independent, fulfilling lives.

The Importance of Vision in Daily Tasks

“To help a person do what he or she wants to do” is the central idea behind the work of every low vision optometrist. Our goal is to enable patients to carry out activities that are important to them. The ability to engage in daily tasks concerns patients with macular degeneration the most, as many routine activities, such as reading and writing, rely on central vision.

Reading With Macular Degeneration

Think about how often throughout the day you use your eyes to read labels, street signs, bills, or restaurant menus.

With the loss of central vision, reading can become a true challenge. The good news is that there are devices that can enable you to read again, even with macular degeneration.

Writing With Macular Degeneration

Your grandchildren are about to come for dinner, and you want to cook their favorite dish. First, you need to write the shopping list to buy the necessary groceries. And maybe you want to leave a note for your spouse on the fridge to let them know you went shopping.

With the help of low vision glasses provided by an IALVS optometrist, an eye doctor with advanced training in treating patients with vision loss, you can write shopping lists, sign checks, or fill in your favorite crossword puzzles.

Recognizing Faces With Macular Degeneration

Reading and writing are technical tasks. However, central vision loss due to macular degeneration can have an emotional impact as well. Being able to see the delighted smiles on your grandchildren’s faces when you serve them their favorite dish can bring tremendous joy.

IALVS optometrists understand the emotional impact of vision loss and will address your concerns with compassion. will work to maximize your vision every step of the way, so you can continue to enjoy looking into the eyes of your loved ones.

What Type of Low Vision Glasses Do You Need?

Different types of low vision glasses enable macular degeneration patients to accomplish the tasks mentioned above. These include telescopic, microscopic, and prismatic reading glasses.

Prismatic glasses and microscopic glasses are designed for reading and writing. Both types provide the wearer with clear vision at a close range. Thanks to these lenses, you can continue to engage in the activities you enjoy, such as play cards, knit sweaters, or build airplane models.

For face recognition, a low vision optometrist may recommend telescopic lenses. These help you clearly see things at a far distance — such as the face of a child walking towards you from the front gate.

Consult a Low Vision Optometrist

The three essential tasks for which vision is paramount can be helped with a variety of low vision aids and devices. Consult a low vision optometrist, such as at , who can enable you to engage in a variety of other tasks on your wishlist.

serves patients in Riverside, Orange County, Temecula, Mission Viejo, and throughout California.

8 Ways to Protect Your Eyes at the Office

Everyone seems to be staring at a screen these days, whether their computer, their smartphone or another digital device. The stress it puts on your eyes can cause a condition called “digital eye strain” (DES) or “computer vision syndrome” (CVS). Symptoms include eye fatigue, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, neck and shoulder pain, red eyes, and eye twitching.

How To Protect Your Eyes While You Work

Below are a few things you can do to lower your risk or mitigate any discomfort associated with DES. 

1. See your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam

This is one of the most important things you can do to prevent or treat symptoms associated with computer vision syndrome. During your eye doctor’s appointment, make sure to speak with Dr. Richard Shuldiner about your working habits, including the frequency and length of time you use a computer and other devices at work and at home.

If you get a chance before you come, measure the distance between your eyes and your computer screen and bring that information to the optometrist, so that you can get your eyes tested for that specific working distance.

Computer vision syndrome may be exacerbated by an underlying dry eye disease, which can be diagnosed and treated at our eye clinic in Corona.

Sometimes people who have good visual acuity assume they don’t need any glasses. However, even very mild prescriptions can improve eyestrain and curb fatigue when working at a computer. 

2. Good lighting is key 

Excessively bright light, whether due to outdoor sunshine coming in through the window or harsh interior lighting, is a common cause of eyestrain. When using your computer, your ambient lighting should be about 50% dimmer than what is typically found in most offices. 

You can reduce exterior light by closing drapes, blinds or shades and diminish interior illumination by using fewer or lower intensity bulbs. Computer users often find that turning off overhead fluorescent lights and replacing them with floor lamps is easier on their eyes. 

3. Minimize glare

Eyestrain can be aggravated by glare from light reflecting off surfaces including your computer screen. Position your computer so that windows are neither directly in front of nor behind the monitor, but rather to the side of it. Consider installing an anti-glare screen on your display. If you wear glasses, get anti-reflective (AR) coating on your lenses to reduce glare by limiting the amount of light that reflects off the front and back surfaces of your lenses (more on that below.)

4. Upgrade your display 

If you have a CRT (cathode) screen on your monitor, consider replacing it with a flat-panel LED (light-emitting diode) screen that includes an anti-reflective surface. Old-school CRT screens can be a major cause of computer eye strain due to the flickering images. 

For your new flat panel desktop display, choose one with a diagonal screen size of at least 19 inches, and the higher the resolution, the better.

5. Adjust display settings for added comfort 

Adjusting your computer display settings can help decrease eye strain and fatigue too.

  • Brightness: Adjust your device’s brightness to match the luminance around you. If the white background of this page looks like a light source, then it should be dimmed. However, if it appears dull and gray, it may not provide enough contrast, which can make it hard to read.
  • Text size: Adjust the text size for maximum eye comfort, particularly when reading, editing or writing long documents. Increase the size if you find yourself squinting, but bigger isn’t always better, since overly large text display may force your eyes to track back and forth too quickly for comfort.
  • Color temperature: This refers to the spectrum of visible light emitted by a color display. Blue light is short-wavelength visible light, whereas orange and red are longer wavelength hues. Exposure to blue light helps keep you alert but tends to cause eye fatigue after a while; yellow to red tints are more relaxing and may be better for long-term viewing, especially at night. Many devices allow the user to adjust the color temperature.

6. Get computer glasses

Nearly 70% of North Americans experience digital eye strain related to prolonged use of electronic devices. To combat these effects, Low Vision Optometry of Southern California recommends digital protection coatings, which act as a shield to cut the glare and filter the blue light emanating from digital screens and artificial light.

For the greatest eye comfort, ask Dr. Richard Shuldiner for customized computer glasses, which feature mildly tinted lenses that filter out blue light. These can be made with or without prescription vision correction, for the benefit of those with 20/20 vision or contact lens wearers, though many people with contacts actually prefer to have alternative eyewear to use when their lenses become dry and uncomfortable from extended screen time.

Low Vision Optometry of Southern California can help you choose from a vast array of effective optical lenses and lens coatings to relieve the effects of digital eye strain. 

7. Don’t forget to blink 

When staring at a digital device people tend to blink up to 66% less often, and often the blinks performed during computer work are only partial which aren’t as effective at keeping the eyes moist and fresh feeling. Making a conscious effort to blink more while working or watching can prevent dryness and irritation.

8. Exercise your eyes

Another cause of computer eye strain is focusing fatigue. Look away from your computer every 20 minutes and gaze at an object located 20 feet away, for a minimum of 20 seconds. This “20-20-20 rule” is a classic exercise to relax the eyes’ focusing muscles and reduce computer vision syndrome.

 

The steps above don’t require a tremendous amount of time or money to be effective. Contact Low Vision Optometry of Southern California in Corona to make an appointment with Dr. Richard Shuldiner and learn how the right eye drops, eye exercises, computer glasses, or AR coatings can improve eye comfort, reduce computer vision syndrome and potentially lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction.

I Have Best Disease. Will I Be Able to Drive?

driving with best diseaseThis question reflects the primary concern of almost every patient with Best vitelliform macular dystrophy. The genetic disorder affects central vision, which is vital to reading road signs, seeing traffic lights, and detecting emergencies while driving.

“The thing to know about this disease is that it does not progress to severe vision loss”, says our IALVS colleague and low vision optometrist, Dr. Robert Stamm. Almost all of his patients, he says, can be helped with bioptic telescope glasses. “They can be very efficient, safe, and effective for drivers and help keep their independence through most of their lives with this disease”.

There Are Good Chances for Driving With Best Disease

In most states, low vision optometrists can help you obtain your driver’s license. If you already have a license, but recently experienced a deterioration in your vision, we may be able to help you stay behind the wheel with the help of innovative low vision glasses, custom made to your prescription. Bioptic telescope lenses enable people to keep driving for most of their lives with Best disease.

If you have been told that you won’t be able to drive because your vision does not meet the legal requirements, you should consult a low vision optometrist near you, such as Dr. Richard Shuldiner. Best disease is a rare condition, and not every eye doctor can help guide you on the laws and devices or custom optics that allow you to drive again.

Driving With the Help of Bioptic Telescope Lenses

Bioptic telescope glasses help people with low vision drive and perform many other vital tasks. These low vision glasses combine your regular prescription lenses on the bottom with telescopic prescription lenses on top. The regular lenses are called the “carrier lens”. The second set of lenses are much smaller and provide high magnification, making an object appear larger and closer, so it is easier to see.

Driving while wearing bioptic telescopes is easy; almost anyone can get used to them. Most of the time, you will be looking through the carrier lenses. As you approach a traffic sign you will be able to read it through the telescopic lenses. All you need is to slightly tilt your head down and focus on the sign to read.

Is Driving With Vision Loss Allowed?

Most states permit driving with the assistance of advanced optics, such as bioptic telescopes. However, the regulations vary according to each state and province. A low vision optometrist can assist you in understanding the rules that pertain to you and help you through the process.

You will generally need to reach a certain level of visual acuity with or without glasses to obtain a driver’s license. The minimum vision requirement varies. In some states, bioptic glasses are mandatory from a specific level.

Check out the local driving laws and regulations here: https://www.ialvs.com/dmv-driving-laws/, or simply contact your nearest low vision optometrist at Low Vision Optometry of Southern California.

What Does a Low Vision Optometrist Have to Do With Driving?

Low vision optometrists are familiar with the visual requirements for obtaining a driver’s license. They also know which low vision aids can be used for driving and have the chance of achieving the desired visual acuity for you. Dr. Richard Shuldiner will examine your eyesight and can maximize your remaining vision.

We work with each patient individually to establish the tasks they wish to accomplish. The next step is to assess and determine which devices and optics can help them reach those goals. Many patients are able to continue driving after working with a low vision optometrist.

Are you concerned about driving or carrying out another activity you value? Contact IALVS optometrist, Dr. Richard Shuldiner, at Low Vision Optometry of Southern California today for a consultation. Schedule a low vision exam to get your personal assessment and let us help you optimize your remaining vision.

Low Vision Optometry of Southern California serves low vision patients from Riverside, Orange County, Temecula, Mission Viejo, and throughout California.

Does Obesity Impact Eye Health?

Nation-wide awareness about the vast dangers of obesity is at an all-time high, with TV shows like “The Biggest Loser” and health initiatives such as Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” campaign shining a spotlight on the importance of fitness and good nutrition. However, despite the public’s knowledge of obesity’s effects on hypertension, stroke, and diabetes, many are not aware of how it damages eye health and vision.

Increasing evidence shows that people who are clinically obese have an elevated risk of developing serious eye diseases. It is widely known that expanding waistlines place people at a higher risk of getting diabetes, heart disease, and cancer — but researchers say the link between obesity and deteriorating vision is the “risk factor that no one talks about”. Professor Michael Belkin and Dr. Zohar Habot-Wilner, from the Goldschleger Eye Institute at the Sheba Medical Center, found a consistently strong correlation between obesity and the development of four major eye diseases that may cause blindness: 

  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Cataracts
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetic retinopathy

The researchers said that although the evidence was out there suggesting a link between obesity and these conditions, their study emphasizes the optometric risks of obesity which can help motivate people to shed those extra pounds.

How Obesity Contributes to Eye Disease

A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 25 is considered overweight and above 30 is regarded as obese. A high BMI is tied to several chronic systemic health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, among others. Recent research indicates that a handful of ocular diseases can now be added to that list. 

Serious eye conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration are more common in individuals with obesity, as well as floppy eyelid syndrome, retinal vein occlusions, thyroid-related eye diseases, and stroke-related vision loss. 

The connection between obesity and these eye diseases is likely due to the increased risk of peripheral artery disease. This occurs when the tiny blood vessels bringing oxygen to parts of your body like the feet, kidneys, and eyes become compromised.

Your eyes are particularly prone to damage from obesity because the blood vessels in the eyes (called arterioles) are easily blocked, since they’re extremely thin and small — as thin as ½ the width of a human hair! 

Most people are not aware that obesity may increase the rate of developing cataracts, too. Cataracts result when the focusing lens in the eye becomes cloudy and requires surgery to be replaced. In addition to age, cataract development is associated with obesity, poor nutrition, gout, diabetes and high blood sugar levels, though the exact cause isn’t clear.

A Healthy Lifestyle Can Reduce Your Risk of Ocular Disease

Knowing about the risk of vision loss may give those with a high BMI the extra motivational boost they need to lose weight. The good news is that a few lifestyle changes can reduce the associated risks.

An active lifestyle and a balanced, nutritious diet lower obesity and improve overall physical and eye health. Give your body a boost by incorporating important nutrients, such as vitamins C and E, zeaxanthin, omega 3, zinc, and lutein, many of which are found in green leafy and dark orange vegetables, as they have been shown to reduce the onset, progression, and severity of certain eye diseases. 

We Can Help Keep Your Eyes Healthy in Corona

While a healthy diet and regular exercise greatly increase your chances of living a disease-free long life, they alone are not enough to ensure long term healthy eyesight. Regular eye exams with Dr. Richard Shuldiner can help prevent or detect the onset of ocular disease, and maintain vision that is clear and comfortable.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your vision or eye health, don’t hesitate to call Low Vision Optometry of Southern California — we’re here for you. 

When To Contact A Low Vision Doctor: When You Can’t See To Do What You Want To Do

Question mark on blackboardWhen you break your leg, you feel the pain of the fracture and visit a doctor to repair the broken limb. When you hurt your back, you go to a chiropractor to relieve the intense pain. But what happens when you experience vision loss without even noticing it? How do you know when to visit a low vision doctor if you don’t feel any pain?

What Are the Common Symptoms of Vision Loss?

Some signs of vision loss often go unnoticed until the symptoms are far along. Signs of vision loss typically include the following:

  • Blurry vision
  • Cloudy vision
  • Decreased peripheral (side) vision
  • Difficulty seeing clearly at night
  • Frequent headaches
  • Reduced central vision (what you see straight ahead)
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Sensitivity to light

Especially in its earlier stages, certain signs of low vision can easily be attributed to other things. Frequent headaches can be triggered by stress or excessive computer use, light sensitivity can develop from migraines, anxiety, or certain medications, and even blurry vision may be the result of an eye infection, exhaustion, or dehydration.

When Low Vision Becomes Serious

Blonde Woman, sad about low vision diagnosisSo how can you know when your symptoms are serious? One way to know is by paying attention to how changes in vision affect your daily life. If driving at night becomes increasingly difficult, if you notice that headaches are becoming persistent, or if reading or watching TV isn’t enjoyable because the images are unclear, it may be more than just a temporary symptom.

Low vision is a significant visual impairment, which isn’t corrected by simply wearing glasses or contact lenses. It not only impacts your everyday activities, but can cause long-term vision loss – even blindness, if left untreated – so if doing what you love is becoming hard because of poor vision, it’s time to visit a low vision doctor.

How Does A Low Vision Doctor Help?

A low vision doctor focuses on maximizing your remaining vision to help you continue doing what you enjoy. Dr. Richard Shuldiner does this with the help of low vision glasses and devices. These tools magnify images, allowing you to see details for sharp, clear vision.

If vision loss makes it hard for you to read your favorite book or a restaurant menu, microscope glasses can help. They enlarge the text so you can enjoy reading once again. Have fun dining out with friends without asking for help reading the menu. It’s all about living an independent life in the best way possible!

Elderly asian man, dark eye-colorWhen it comes to the people closest to you, there’s nothing more painful than being unable to recognize them. Low vision can make it hard to recognize faces, so when your grandchildren come to visit, of course, you want to see their smiling faces in detail. Low Vision Optometry of Southern California can help you with that by providing you with the right low vision devices.

If you love the freedom and independence that driving offers, vision loss can make that difficult. Your low vision optometrist can fit you for bioptic telescope glasses. These devices magnify objects like street signs and traffic lights. These elements of your environment appear sharper, so you can see them clearly and can continue driving safely, even while driving at night.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any symptoms of vision loss, schedule a visit with Low Vision Optometry of Southern California. Dr. Richard Shuldiner will perform a thorough eye exam and talk to you about how to maximize your remaining vision to help you continue doing the things you want to do, for the best quality of life.

Sunburned Eyes? Beware of Snow Blindness!

Playing outside in a snowy winter wonderland can be magical. Under clear skies in the sunshine, the soft white landscape becomes just about irresistible, whether at home or travelling on a winter-weather get-away. 

Before you let your children run outside to build the most adorable snowman or fling themselves onto the ski slopes, make sure their eyes are well protected. Sun and snow can be a dangerous combination for both the eyes and skin. 

Sunlight Reflected in the Snow

We all know why we need to wear sunglasses and sunscreen in the summer. Winter, however, can be deceiving. It’s an illusion to assume that we are safe from sunburns during the colder season. 

Snow acts as a powerful mirror for sunlight and magnifies the effects of UV rays which would otherwise be absorbed by the ground. As a result, the eyes are exposed to both the UV radiation bouncing back from the snowy carpet and the rays shining down directly from the sun. 

If your family is skiing or snowboarding up in the mountains, you need to be even more careful! UV rays are more powerful at higher altitudes. Another important factor to remember is that ultraviolet radiation penetrates through clouds, so even if the sun is hidden behind them, it can still damage your eyes.

Can I Get Sunburned Eyes?

As you may have already guessed, yes —it is possible to get sunburned eyes. The condition is called snow blindness, or photokeratitis. Although most people do not actually experience permanent vision loss, photokeratitis is usually painful, causes extreme sensitivity to light, and can take up to two weeks to fully heal. 

A single day of playing outside in the snow and being exposed to intensive sun glare can be enough to cause snow blindness— though usually with a delay of several hours following sun exposure. What’s worse, if the eyes are repeatedly sunburned there is a risk of long-term damage. 

Symptoms of Snow Blindness

Just like a typical skin sunburn appears only after having been exposed to the sun’s rays, the same is true for the eyes. One sign of overexposure to UV is a stinging or burning sensation in the eyes, or a feeling of having sand in your eyes after a day spent in the snow. 

When eyes are sunburned, they become highly sensitive to light, making it difficult to be outside. Other symptoms include blurred vision, watery eyes, and swollen eyelids. In rare cases, photokeratitis can even cause temporary vision loss, but it doesn’t usually last longer than a day or two.

How Do I Protect My Eyes From Sunburn?

Prevent overexposure to sunlight by wearing sunglasses that absorb at least 95% of ultraviolet radiation when you go outside, no matter what time of year it is. An even more effective solution for winter activities is to strap on a pair of well-fitting UV protective sports eyewear, such as ski goggles. Wrap-around styles are ideal because they stay on even when you’re active, and block the sun’s rays from entering your eyes from the sides too. 

For winter sports lovers, there are plenty of good reasons to wear protective eyewear, and what works well in sports can be good for play as well. 

How Can I Treat Sunburned Eyes?

It’s after the fact, and you’re suffering from photokeratitis… now what? Give your eyes a rest. 

  • Stay out of the sun for a few days until the symptoms die down. 
  • You may find it comforting to wear sunglasses even when indoors. 
  • For additional relief, place a cool, damp cloth over the closed eyelids while resting.
  • Don’t wear contact lenses until the eyes return to normal. 
  • Artificial tears can help keep the eyes moistened, soothe discomfort and promote healing. However, it’s important to consult an eye doctor before running to the pharmacy, since some eye drops are not well-suited for this condition. You can give us a call at 888-610-2020.

Now that you know the risks and precautions to take, you’re all set to enjoy the winter wonderland! Dr. Richard Shuldiner at Low Vision Optometry of Southern California is happy to help you protect yourself and your family from snow blindness, and offers expert treatment for sunburned eyes. 

Where Can I Find A Low Vision Doctor?

woman reading with low vision

  • Reading your favorite books is difficult.
  • You squint a lot while watching TV.
  • When friends or family come to visit, you find it hard to clearly see their faces.
  • Driving is hard because the street signs, exit ramps, and other cars seem blurry.

Does this sound familiar? If you’ve experienced any of these situations, then you know how difficult it has become to do the daily tasks you used to enjoy. Whether your vision loss is a result of an injury, genetic condition, or eye disease, getting the right kind of eyecare is essential.

I Have An Eye Doctor. Why Do I Need A Low Vision Doctor?

Low vision care is different from an eye exam for glasses or contacts for better eyesight. Low Vision care is for those who cannot benefit from new glasses or contacts. It’s about maximizing the remaining vision. Low Vision doctors gain a thorough understanding of your lifestyle and what’s important to you, and optimizing your remaining vision so you can get back to doing what you love.

While your regular eye doctor can give you medical eye care, general vision care and prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, a low vision doctor looks at those tasks that are giving you trouble or are now impossible to do. The goal is to slow down the progression of vision loss and provide you with the right devices and low vision glasses to enhance your remaining vision.

How Do I Find A Low Vision Doctor?

Elderly man having difficulty readingThe International Academy of Low Vision Specialists (IALVS) has a network of low vision doctors who are located all over the US and Canada. That means there is a low vision eye doctor who treats patients in your area, so you won’t have to go very far to receive top-quality care.

Our doctors undergo extensive training and have access to the latest research and technologies for low vision care. IALVS doctors are ready to help you live your best life, even with vision loss. Check out the complete doctor directory online.

How Quickly Will My Visual Activity Improve?

Treating your low vision is about giving you the right tools to maximize your vision for the everyday kinds of activities you enjoy. How quickly your visual activity will improve depends on how much loss of visual acuity you have and how quickly you see a low vision eye doctor.

It’s so important to see a low vision doctor as soon as possible. If you find that cooking isn’t as easy as it used to be, watching a movie gives you a headache, or reading a newspaper causes your eyes to feel tired, it’s time to talk to a low vision eye doctor. The sooner you seek treatment, the quicker we can give you the support you need.

If you or a loved one is experiencing any signs of vision loss – even mild ones – schedule an appointment with one of our low vision doctors.

Even if you’ve been told by another doctor that there’s nothing else to do, don’t give up hope. Talk to an IALVS low vision doctor – we can help you stay independent and live your life with the best vision possible.

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