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Preventative eye care is a reoccurring theme here at Vista Eye Care.  Dr. Brian Abert and Dr. Deanna Pedroza both work tirelessly to impress upon their patients that a great deal of their future and present ocular health is in their own hands.  By recognizing the importance of preventative eye care, we can get our patients adapting good habits to ensure a lifetime of great sight, as well as to pass those positive habits on to their children.  Vista Eye Care is Thornton, Colorado’s premier family eye care office.  The four keys to preventative eye care are early eye care, regular eye care, ocular nutrition, and eye protection.  Combining these four elements assures that you are doing what you can to keep your eyes healthy.

The concept of early eye care centers around getting patients in to see an eye doctor early in life.  Too many patients arrive for their first eye exams after problems have already started to occur.   Symptoms include blurred vision, headaches, and problems with vision during afterschool activities like sports.  We often see children failing school screening tests at 12 years of age coming in to our office for the first time!  Why wait until a child can’t see to bring them in?  A child’s eye exam should be much more than just reading a letter chart.  Our eye doctors will inquire about patient history, analyze any current eyewear, and test visual acuity, pupils, color vision, binocularity, stereovision, refraction, convergence of the eyes, eye movement, ocular health of the front and back of the eye, and refractive error to determine whether or not the child needs to wear glasses or receive other treatment.

Amblyopia results in those children that do not have a clear retinal image in one or both eyes.  Early diagnosis is key to assuring that a child does not end up amblyopic.  An eye with amblyopia, or a “lazy eye,” is simply an eye that does not see 20/20 (the letter-size goal for a healthy eye).  A carefully prescribed treatment regimen is necessary to assure that the eye recovers visual potential over time.  Adjustments to spectacle lens and/or contact lens powers may be necessary for optimal development of vision.  Amblyopia is a permanent disease of the eye unless vision issues are addressed early in life.  The need for early eye care isn’t only to allow the child to see well when they are young –it is necessary to assure good vision for the rest of a patient’s life.  We recommend all children be seen at 6 to 12 months old, and to emphasize the importance of being seen so early in life, we offer those InfantSEE exams at no charge.  Children’s eyes and vision are that important!

Regular eye care for older children and adults is important to address any changes to refractive error over time and to assure that the patient’s eyes remain healthy.  Subtle changes to the eyes as seen in such disease as glaucoma, diabetes, high blood pressure, cataracts, and macular degeneration highlight the need for early diagnosis.  Regular eye care assures that our patients are seeing the best they can and their eyes are as healthy as they can be.  We recommend yearly eye exams for all our patients, and Vista Eye Care’s comprehensive eye and vision examination includes thorough case history taking, analysis of current eyewear, visual acuity testing, keratometry, pupil testing, color vision testing, binocularity testing, stereovision analysis, visual field, refraction, tearfilm assessment, media assessment, and a through ocular health assessment.  Our optometrists will ask about family eye disease history,  and educate the patient on anything that they should be doing to maintain healthy eyes and vision.  Any necessary follow-up testing or specialty testing will be discussed with the patient.  Vision is the most valuable of our senses and deserves special attention in the form of a yearly comprehensive eye and vision examination.

Ocular nutrition is the concept that you are what you eat.  To maintain healthy eyes and good visual functioning, our eye doctors may suggest nutritional supplementation or alteration to a patient’s existing diet.  Everyone knows that vitamin A, found in carrots, is important for eyes.  Vitamin A, along with vitamin C, vitamin E, and zinc work to prevent oxidative damage caused by ultraviolet light from the sun.  A good diet, rich with these antioxidants, can help prevent ocular disease such as cataracts and macular degeneration.  Lutein and zeaxanthin are found in green leafy vegetables and can also prevent macular degeneration and cataracts.  Omega-3 fatty acids, found in abundance in flaxseed oil and fish oil, help with good retinal function, good visual development, and can even prevent ocular dryness by increasing tear quality and quantity.  Knowing the right types of food to eat can help you and your family maintain healthy eyes.

Eye protection is a broad concept that encourages proper eyewear use to prevent ocular disease.  If a patient suffers from ocular dryness, they may benefit from wearing wrap-style sunglasses and possibly also benefit from using night time ocular ointments.  Keeping ultraviolet light out of the eyes is crucial to preventing diseases like macular degeneration and cataracts.  Residents of Thornton, Westminster, Northglenn, and Brighton are especially vulnerable to these diseases because they live at altitude where more ultraviolet light reaches that Earth’s surface.  Good eye protection habits also include protecting the eyes in the workplace, or from dangerous hobbies.

Knowing how to keep your eyes healthy is the first step to ensure healthy eyes and vision.  Dr. Abert and Dr. Pedroza care about your eyes and we are here for you!  Please call us today to schedule an annual comprehensive eye and vision examination for you and your family today (303) 450-2020.

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