Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Sports-Related Eye Injuries

Since September is Sports Eye Injury Prevention Awareness Month, THE DOCS wanted to answer some of your questions about eye injuries caused by participation in sporting events.

1.        My child will be participating in school sports this year.  Do we need to worry about eye injuries?

According to Liberty Sport, more than 600,000 eye injuries related to sports and recreation occur each year.  Of these injuries, 42,000 are of a severity that requires Emergency Room attention.  The highest rate of injury occurs in children between the ages of 5 to 14.  The doctors at Memphis Family Vision & SEE Main Street strongly recommend that patients participating in athletic events wear protective eyewear.

2.        If I wear glasses on a regular basis, will that prevent an eye injury?

Actually, sports participants that wear corrective eyewear or sunwear are at a higher risk of eye injury than participants using no eye protection at all.  The lens could pop out and cut the eye, or the frame itself could cause injury.

3.       What should I look for when purchasing sports eyewear?

The frame you buy should be labeled as protective eyewear for sports use, such as Rec Specs.   The lenses should be polycarbonate lenses at least 2.0 mm thick.  You often see notification that the eyewear is certified ASTM F803 to maximize impact resistance. 

4.        Which sports have the highest risk of eye injury?

According to Liberty Sport, the following sports are considered a high-to-moderate risk of eye injury: Basketball, Baseball, Softball, Lacrosse, Hockey, Tennis, Soccer, Volleyball, Water Polo, Football, Air Rifle, BB Gun, Paintball, Boxing, Martial Arts, Cricket, Squash, Racquetball, Fencing, Badminton, Fishing and Golf.  Please note the chart below that breaks down eye injuries by category and age.

5.       What about Contact Lenses as protection, since the cornea is covered by the lens?

No contact lens, whether hard or soft, can protect against an eye injury.  Impact to the eye can actually cause an increased chance for injury in contact lens wearers because the lens can dislodge or fold over.  Besides, many injuries are caused by blunt trauma, like being hit by a stick or a ball, which won’t be prevented by wearing a contact lens.

6.        If I wear a protective helmet or faceguard, won’t that protect against injury to the eye?

Fingers and sports equipment can still penetrate the opening of the facemask.  In addition, a helmet can be knocked off, which will leave you completely vulnerable to injury.

7.        If I get a minor eye injury, should I be worried?

Seemingly minor eye injuries can actually cause major problems.  You should check with your eye doctor if you or your child has an eye injury.  If the injury causes loss of vision, severe pain or tenderness, or a cut around the eye, you should seek medical attention.

Memphis Family Vision and SEE Main Street have a nice selection of protective sports eyewear, both prescription and non-prescription, in a variety of styles, shapes and colors. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Children's Vision

FAQ: Children's Vision

Our patients often ask questions about their children's eyes. The doctors at Memphis Family Vision and SEE Main Street do perform vision exams on children, usually from the age 5 and above.  We also have a nice selection of children's eyewear in our optical dispensary.  Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about Children's Vision.

How can I tell if my child has vision problems?

According to All About Vision, one in four school-age children have vision problems that can affect learning ability, personality and adjustment in school. Parents should be aware of these 10 signs that a child's vision needs correction:
  1. Consistently sitting too close to the TV or holding a book too close
  2. Losing their place while reading or using a finger to guide their eyes when reading
  3. Squinting or tilting the head to see better
  4. Frequent eye rubbing
  5. Sensitivity to light and / or excessive tearing
  6. Closing one eye to read, watch TV or see better
  7. Avoiding activities which require near vision, such as reading or homework, or distance vision, such as participating in sports
  8. Complaining of headaches or tired eyes
  9. Avoiding using a computer, because "it hurts my eyes"
  10. Receiving lower grades than usual

My pediatrician or school nurse does an eye exam on my child. Is that good enough?

A vision screening performed by your pediatrician or school nurse is not a comprehensive eye exam. These screenings are designed to alert parents to the possibility of a visual problem. They are helpful, but they can miss serious vision problems. Studies have found that up to 11% of children who pass a vision screening actually have a vision problem that needs treatment.

The best way to make sure your child has the visual skills they need to excel in and outside of the classroom is to schedule routine vision exams with one of our doctors at Memphis Family Vision and SEE Main Street.

Do your doctors perform pediatric eye exams and how often should they be tested?

The doctors at Memphis Family Vision and SEE Main Street usually see children right before they are ready to enter 1st grade, around the age of 5.  If the child does not need prescription glasses at the time of the exam, we usually recommend that he/she comes back for another check-up in two years.  If eyeglasses are prescribed, then an annual examination is necessary. 

Is my child's vision exam covered under insurance?

Under the Affordable Care Act, many insurance plans cover children age 18 and under for routine vision examinations and eyeglasses or contact lenses.  The best way to know for sure, though, is to check with your insurance provider prior to scheduling with our office.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Protecting Your Eyes from Ultra-Violet Light

Protecting Your Eyes from Ultra-Violet Light

Everyone has been told to wear sunscreen to protect their skin from exposure to the sun's harmful ultraviolet light, but did you know that you also need to protect your eyes as well?  

Sunglasses aren't just a fashion statement; they shield your eyes from ultraviolet radiation that comes from the sun, even on cloudy days.  Long term exposure can lead to eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  

It is not clear how much exposure to solar radiation will cause damage, so the American Optometric Association recommends wearing quality sunglasses that offer  both UV-A and UV-B protection, and wearing a hat or cap with a wide brim whenever you spend time outside.  If you spend a lot of time outdoors in bright sunlight, wrap around frames (which are now available with prescription lenses) can provide additional protection from the sun's harmful rays.

It is also very important to remember to provide protection for your children and teenagers. They typically spend more time in the sun than adults.  

There are other opportunities to protect your eyes from UV radiation.  A clear coating can be applied to prescription eyeglasses that will also safeguard your eyes from the harmful rays.  In addition, many contact lenses now are available with UV protection.

Every year there are new advances in ultraviolet protection for your eyes.  When you come to our office for your eye exam, make sure you ask one of our doctors or opticians what would work best for your individual needs.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hot off the Press: The Bausch + Lomb Ultra Contact Lens!

Hot off the Press: The Bausch + Lomb Ultra Contact Lens!

The newest silicone hydrogel contact lens available on the market has been rolled out by Bausch + Lomb and we have it at Memphis Family Vision and SEE Main Street! The Bausch + Lomb Ultra lens is a monthly replacement, super moist, high oxygen transmission contact lens. According to Bausch + Lomb, "the new lens technology, which has been studied and developed for seven years, combines a breakthrough material with new manufacturing processes to produce a contact lens that breaks the cycle of discomfort for unsurpassed comfort and vision all day."

Who might be a good candidate for the Bausch + Lomb Ultra contact lens?

Optometrists have noticed that many patients are spending more than 10 hours each day using digital devices. We know that it is critical to surpass current standards for comfort, vision, and eye health.  The B+L Ultra lens seems to fit the bill.

Dr. Greg Usdan notes, "This lens is a great option for patients with dry eyes, or patients who have dropped out of contact lens wear due to dryness.  The lens is super easy to handle and has a light blue visibility tint so it can be easily seen for insertion." It is currently available only for single vision patients powers from +2.00 to  -9.00, but will be available in extended powers within 90 days.  

This lens has the absolute highest oxygen transmission of any soft lens available today, and also has the new B&L MoistureSeal technology built in, giving it all day comfort and exceptional vision.  

Where can I get this new lens?

The doctors at the Memphis Family Vision Practice are the first office in town to have this lens and will be the only place to get this lens for the near future.  Dr. Usdan has already begun wearing the Bausch + Lomb Ultra contact lens and has been very pleased so far!

If you have been out of contacts due to dryness or handling issues, this may be the answer for you. To see if you're a good candidate for the B+L Ultra Lens, call one of the doctors at Memphis Family Vision or SEE Main Street for an evaluation.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Celebrating American Heart Month

Celebrating American Heart Month

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths is caused by heart disease. To help prevent heart disease and increase awareness of its effects, Memphis Family Vision & SEE Main Street are proudly participating in American Heart Month. 

This project is especially meaningful to our office this year.  In December of 2013 right before Christmas, Dr. Leonard Hampton discovered that he had serious heart disease and immediately had quadruple by-pass surgery.  After just 3 1/2 weeks of recuperation, Dr. Hampton made a joyful return to his practice, has slowly been gaining his strength through rehabilitation, and looks forward to seeing more patients as he builds up to his full schedule.  

The good news? Heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions. Dr. Hampton advises, "Be aware of what's going on in your body and if you're having a problem to get it checked out.  It is very important to lead a heart healthy lifestyle, with lots of exercise, fruits and vegetables!"
You can make healthy changes to lower your risk of developing heart disease. Controlling and preventing risk factors is also important for people who already have heart disease. To lower your risk:
  • Watch your weight.
  • Quit smoking and stay away from secondhand smoke.
  • Control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get active and eat healthy.

For more information, visit