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What Exactly is an Eye Chart?

If there’s one aspect of optometry that everyone recognizes, it’s the traditional eye chart, with its rows of big letters on top, which gradually become smaller the farther down you go. This chart is usually known as the Snellen chart.

Yet how much do you really know about this eye chart? Are all eye charts the same? How are these eye charts used? And when were they invented?

Here’s everything you need to know about eye charts and more!

What is an Eye Chart?

An eye chart is one of the tools your eye doctor uses to assess your eyesight. Based on how well you can see various letters on the chart, your optometrist will determine whether you have myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), presbyopia (age-related farsightedness) or astigmatism, and will measure the prescription that will give you the clearest, most comfortable vision.

Are All Eye Charts The Same?

There are a number of variations to the standard Snellen eye chart. The one an eye doctor uses depends on the personal needs and abilities of the patient. For example, eye doctors will use charts with pictures or patterns for younger children who may not have learned to read or identify letters and numbers.

There are also certain charts that specifically measure distance vision, while others are better for measuring near vision.

History of the Snellen Eye Chart

The Snellen eye chart was developed by Dutch eye doctor Hermann Snellen in the 1860s. Before this standardized eye chart was developed, each eye doctor had their own chart that they preferred to use.

Having so many different eye charts made it impossible to standardize the vision correction available to patients. Eyeglass makers didn’t receive the defined measurements they needed to accurately design, manufacture and measure the optical prescriptions their patients needed.

For the first time, the Snellen eye chart allowed a person to provide a standardized prescription from any eye care provider they chose to any eyeglass maker, and get the same optical lenses to accurately correct their vision.

How The Snellen Chart Is Used in Eye Exams

The standard Snellen chart displays 11 rows of capital letters, with the first row consisting of a single large letter. The farther down the chart you go, the smaller the letters become.

Your eye doctor will ask you to look through a phoropter – an instrument used to test individual lenses on each eye during an eye exam – and look at the Snellen chart placed 20 feet away. Your eye doctor will prescribe the lenses that provide you with the clearest and most comfortable vision.

In many offices, where 20 feet of space may not be available, you’ll be asked to view the chart through a mirror. This provides the same visual experience as if you were standing 20 feet away.

If you have 20/20 vision, it means you can see what an average person can see on an eye chart from a distance of 20 feet. On the other hand, if you have 20/40 vision, it means you can only see clearly from 20 feet away what a person with perfect vision can see clearly from 40 feet away.

If you have 20/200 vision, the legal definition of blindness, this means what a person with perfect vision can see from 200 feet away, you can see from 20 feet away.

Does 20/20 Visual Acuity Mean Perfect Vision?

No. While eye chart tests identify refractive errors, they can’t detect signs of visual skill deficiencies or diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts or macular degeneration. These are diagnosed using advanced equipment as part of a comprehensive eye exam with your local eye doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment of eye conditions are essential to ensuring long-term vision and eye health.

For more information, give us a call at or visit us in person at , today!

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

How do you keep your eyes healthy?

You only have one set of eyes – don’t take them for granted!

Make sure to implement the following habits for healthy eyes (and body). These include:

  • Eating a balanced diet rich in fiber, fruits and vegetables
  • Drinking plenty of water to hydrate your body and eyes
  • Not smoking, and avoiding 2nd-hand smoke
  • Wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) rays
  • Maintaining normal BMI with regular exercise
  • Regular visits to your eye doctor as recommended

What health conditions can an eye exam detect?

A comprehensive eye exam can often detect certain underlying diseases that can threaten your sight and eye health, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, tumors, autoimmune conditions and thyroid disorders. This is why having your eyes checked regularly is key. The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome and the higher your quality of life.

Meridian Optometrist – 5 Foods Can Help Improve Eye Health

Beyond your annual eye exam, there’s one big thing you can do for yourself to prevent eye disease and keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy. Eat right!

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5 Popular Foods For Great Vision and Healthy Eyes

At Bright Eyes Family Eye Care, our eye doctors care about your overall vision and eye health. During an eye exam, we’ll check for the presence of eye conditions and diseases such as macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma. We’ll also check if you need glasses or contacts for refractive errors such as myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism.

But what foods help the most for keeping your eyes healthy? Here’s a list of 5 popular foods for optimum vision and eye health:

Spinach

Spinach is a great example of a dark leafy green that is high in folic acid. This helps preserve the health of the optic nerve (the part at the back of the eye that sends visual information to the brain) and prevent degeneration. It is also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that can’t be naturally produced by the body, and which act as a sort of “sunglasses” for the macula, helping protect it from the harmful effects of blue light and UV radiation. High concentrations of these antioxidants reduce your risk of macular degeneration.

Sweet Potato

For a great source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, sweet potatoes are a great choice. Eating a baked sweet potato or a slice or two of sweet potato pie can help maintain eye health by reducing your risk of developing eye infections. Eye care professionals also suggest that vitamin A may also help reduce or prevent dry eye symptoms and improve night vision.

Carrots

If there is one superfood that our eye doctors would recommend for a huge boost to your eye health, it would be carrots. A single carrot provides a whopping 200% of the recommended minimum daily amount of vitamin A. Throw in critical minerals such as vitamins B, K, and C, as well as fiber and magnesium, and carrots simply can’t be beat as a must-have in your eye health diet.

Orange

Sweet potatoes, carrots… If we’re talking about orange foods, you can’t forget the delicious tang of oranges! These tasty citrus fruits are heavyweights when it comes to vitamin C, promoting overall body health and reducing inflammation in the eyes that can lead to dry eyes and infection.

Vitamin C also helps promote blood vessel health. This prevents weak blood vessels from leaking into the retina, causing diabetic retinopathy and retinal detachment.

Amla

Not everyone has heard of this native Indian fruit, which is rich in vitamins A and C, as well as carotene. These are all essential for preserving the healthy structure and function of the eye and preventing various eye disorders and diseases. Eating only one of these delicious fruits each day can reduce cataract problems and intraocular tension, as well as combat itchy, red, watery eyes.

Eating right is a great way to minimize your risk of developing potentially sight-threatening eye diseases and conditions. To find out more about what foods can help keep your vision clear and your eyes healthy, speak to our optometrists at Bright Eyes Family Eye Care in Meridian today.

Bright Eyes Family Eye Care, your Meridian eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 601-202-4622 Today!

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Covid Patients Are 40% More Likely to Get Diabetes – What Does That Mean for Your Vision?

Covid 19 Patient Sick in BedHave you had Covid-19? After your fever and cough have subsided, you may think the virus is behind you. However, even after your Covid test comes back negative, you may experience health problems in the near future, including diabetes.

Recent studies have found that a significant percentage of post-Covid-19 patients developed diabetes within a year of contracting the virus. This is particularly problematic, as diabetes raises the risk of developing many health problems, including several sight-threatening eye conditions that can rob people of their vision.

What Does the Research Show?

A March 2022 Lancet study that evaluated the records of 181,280 U.S. military veterans found a 40% higher risk of developing Type-2 diabetes in those who had Covid. Although those at greatest risk were over 65, African American and/or had underlying health conditions, many younger patients also developed Type 2 diabetes.

A study published in January 2022 by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) found that children and teens under 18 were more likely to receive a new diabetes diagnosis (both Type 1 and Type 2) at least 30 days after infection than those who never contracted Covid.

Scientists are investigating exactly why Covid-19 raises the risk of developing diabetes. In many cases, it’s believed that the virus targets pancreatic cells, which are responsible for making insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. A lack of insulin causes diabetes.

Some scientists also theorize that inactivity and weight gain due to lockdowns and quarantines may have raised the risk of developing diabetes.

Diabetes-Related Conditions

Diabetes is linked to many eye conditions, including:

Blurry Vision – High blood sugar drives the lens inside your eye to swell, causing your vision to blur.

Cataracts – Diabetes can cause cataracts, cloudy patches that form in the lens of the eye.

Glaucoma – This disease develops from high pressure inside the eye and can lead to severe vision loss.

Diabetic Retinopathy – High blood sugar levels damage the small fragile blood vessels on the retina, leading to vision loss.

Maculopathy – Swelling of the macula, the center of the retina, can make it difficult to drive, read or see detail.

Some of these conditions have no noticeable symptoms during their early stages when it’s still possible to prevent or minimize vision loss. So having regular comprehensive eye exams is crucial.

How to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes Post-Covid

Even after you’ve recovered from Covid, you may still be at a higher risk of developing diabetes. So, along with people who have a family history of the disease, make sure to book a comprehensive eye exam, eat a healthy and balanced diet, don’t smoke, maintain your appropriate weight, and ask your physician to monitor your blood sugar levels.

Also, if you have any eye symptoms, such as blurry vision, schedule an appointment with immediately. Remaining vigilant and aware of the risks can help safeguard your vision thanks to early intervention and treatment.

Are you concerned about the effect having Covid may have on your eyes? Schedule an appointment with today!

Our practice serves patients from Meridian, Collinsville, Marion, and Enterprise, Mississippi and surrounding communities.

Q&A with Dr. Phillips

Q: What is a diabetic retinal eye exam?

A: A diabetic retinal [eye__exam] checks for diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the small thin blood vessels in the retina located at the back of the eye. Your optometrist will place eye drops into your eye to open your pupils so they can more easily see the back of your eye. They may take digital images to inspect blood vessels: these full-color 3D images show the cross-section of the retina and measure the retinal thickness to help your optometrist detect any fluid or blood leakage.

Q: How common is vision loss with diabetes?

A: People with diabetes are more likely to experience eye and vision problems. Among people over 45 diagnosed with diabetes, 17.6% experience some degree of vision loss.
– 9.2% is caused by cataracts
– 4.1% is caused by diabetic retinopathy
– 2.2% is caused by macular degeneration
– 2.1% is caused by glaucoma. Therefore, anyone diagnosed with or with risk factors for diabetes should have regular eye exams to protect their vision and eye health.

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression

The Link Between Dry Eyes and Depression 640×350Depression is a serious illness that impacts a person’s mood and emotional well-being. It creeps into all areas of a person’s life, and can become life-threatening if left untreated.

Not only does depression impact mental health; it can manifest as physical symptoms, too, like insomnia, chronic pain and inflammation, weight loss or gain and heart problems, among others. These physical problems can worsen depressive thoughts — sometimes leading to a vicious cycle.

Interestingly, many patients with depression also suffer from severe dry eye symptoms. The question is, how are these two conditions related?

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, is a chronic condition that results from inadequate lubrication of the eyes. Ocular hydration is crucial when it comes to keeping your eyes healthy and your vision clear. Your tears are responsible for maintaining this necessary hydration, and in healthy eyes fulfill their unique mission each time you blink.

Your tear film is made up of three layers, consisting of oil, water and mucus. If any of these layers become compromised, inadequate tear quality or insufficient tear quantity can result and lead to a host of uncomfortable dry eye symptoms.

The most common dry eye symptoms include:

  • Dry eyes
  • Red or irritated eyes
  • Itchy eyes
  • Gritty eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurry vision

Can Depression Cause Dry Eye (or Vice-Versa)?

This is what researchers are trying to find out.

In a March 2022 study published in JAMA Ophthalmology, researchers examined the link between depression and severe dry eye symptoms. The study followed 535 dry eye patients for an entire year.

After a year, the patients who tested positive for depression had more severe dry eye symptoms than the patients who didn’t have depression. Their symptoms were measured based on the Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI), Brief Ocular Discomfort Index and composite dry eye disease sign score.

Additionally, severe depression was associated with more severe dry eye symptoms at baseline, six months, and one year.

The study concluded that depression was associated with more severe dry eye symptoms, which suggests that among patients with moderate to severe dry eye syndrome, those with depression may be likely to have more severe dry eye symptoms.

The researchers said further research is needed to learn exactly why people with depression have more severe dry eye symptoms than those without depression.

Could the sometimes debilitating symptoms of dry eye syndrome actually cause depression and anxiety?

A 2016 dry eye study published in Nature concluded that chronic discomfort and pain from dry eye symptoms can negatively affect the cognitive processes, sleep, mood and mental health. The researchers urged eye doctors to be aware of the higher incidence of dry eye syndrome in people with depression, whatever the underlying cause.

Can Antidepressants Cause Dry Eye Symptoms?

Yes. Antidepressants have been shown to increase dryness in the body, including the eyes. These medications work by blocking signals between nerve cells, which can result in insufficient tear production and dry eye syndrome.

If you’re taking an antidepressant, be sure to inform your eye doctor during your consultation.

How We Can Help

At Bright Eyes Family Eye Care Dry Eye Center in Meridian, we recognize that some of our patients that come in with dry eye symptoms may be suffering from depression.

We’ll diagnose the cause of your dry eye symptoms and offer the most effective dry eye treatments to give you the relief you’re searching for.

Contact us today to schedule a dry eye assessment and take the first step towards regaining your quality of life.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Phillips

Q: Who is affected by dry eye syndrome?

  • A: While dry eye syndrome is most common in adults over 50, it can occur at any age. The following factors can increase your risk of dry eye:
    – Aging
    – Hormonal changes
    – Medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis
    – Prolonged screen time
    – Living in a dry, dusty or windy environment
    – Eye allergies
    – Blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction
    – Certain medications, such as decongestants, antihistamines, antidepressants, hormone replacement therapy
    – Vitamin A deficiency

Q: How can you reduce your risk of dry eye?

  • A: While some dry eye risk factors can’t be avoided completely, making some lifestyle changes can help. Practice these recommended tips:
    – Use a humidifier to add moisture to the air
    – Wear wraparound sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from harsh winds
    – Take frequent screen breaks and blink often while using your digital device.
    – Quit smoking
    – Use lubricating eye drops
    – Consume a healthy diet including omega 3 and drink plenty of water.
    – Have regular eye exams

Request A Dry Eye Appointment
Do You Think You Have Dry Eye? Call 601-494-3433

Meridian Optometrist – 3 Signs It’s Time To Get New Glasses

Did you know that people spend an average of seven hours every day staring at screens? What’s more, studies have shown that a whopping 68% of people regularly use more than one digital screen at the same time. This could mean using a smartphone while watching TV, a laptop while on a tablet, or any other combination of similar digital devices.

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How Do I Know If I Need New Glasses?

If you’re constantly tethered to your electronic devices, it’s important to learn to recognize when you need a change for better, more comfortable vision.

Don’t let your vision suffer because of too much screen time! Visit your Meridian eye doctors at Bright Eyes Family Eye Care and make sure you have the perfect pair of new glasses to give you crisp, comfortable vision all day long.

3 Signs You Need New Glasses:

Changes in your vision:

If you experience vision problems like blurry or double vision or if you have to squint in order to read or see objects clearly, it may be time to visit us for a comprehensive eye exam. New glasses with an updated lens prescription may be just what you need to get your vision back on track.

Eye strain and fatigue when doing computer or other close work:

If you work on your computer or other digital screens for significant parts of your day, you may experience symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, and dry eyes. These can signal a condition known as digital eye strain. Along with a new prescription, you may also consider speaking to our eye doctors about special anti-glare and anti-blue-light coatings for your lenses, to provide an additional layer of protection.

Lots of time in the sun:

Long periods of time in the sun either as leisure or as part of a job that requires a lot of time outside, can cause your eyes to become irritated. Prescription sunglasses with a gray tint and a high rating for UV protection can help keep vision clear and comfortable while you’re out and about.

Bright Eyes Family Eye Care, your Meridian eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 601-202-4622 Today!

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Bloodshot Eyes – Should You Be Concerned?

You wake up in the morning ready to start your day, only to discover that your eyes are bloodshot. That might not be surprising if you stayed up late to finish a project, had too many drinks at a party or spent time in a smoke-filled room.

But bloodshot eyes can also signal an underlying eye problem. If your eyes appear red or bloodshot, make an appointment with an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam to determine the cause and to receive effective treatment.

Why Do I Have Bloodshot Eyes?

When blood rushes to the front of the eye, the tiny red blood vessels on the white of the eye dilate and become visible. This makes the eyes appear red and irritated.

So why do these blood vessels dilate, causing your eyes to look bloodshot?

Bloodshot eyes tend to be caused by:

  • Dry eyes
  • Irritants such as smoke, pollen and perfume
  • Lack of sleep
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Spending too much time in front of the computer

Bloodshot eyes due to lifestyle and environmental irritants may disappear on their own, or you can try to relieve them with over-the-counter eye drops or liquid tears. Lifestyle changes, such as getting more sleep, cutting down on alcohol intake and limiting screen time can often be helpful. If allergies are the culprit, oral antihistamines and antihistamine eye drops may relieve symptoms.

At other times, underlying problems requiring prompt medical attention can cause your eye’s blood vessels to dilate. The following are some of these medical conditions:

Conjunctivitis

You’ve probably heard of “pink eye.” It’s another name for infectious conjunctivitis – an infection of the conjunctiva, the thin membrane covering the eyelid and the front surface of the eye.

There are two types of infectious conjunctivitis – bacterial and viral.

If your child has conjunctivitis, they’re not alone. About 12% of kids get bacterial conjunctivitis every year. This highly contagious condition affects children and adults. In addition to reddish eyes, the following symptoms are associated with conjunctivitis:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis – irritated eyes, swollen eyelids, eye discharge, crusty eyelids and excessive tearing
  • Viral conjunctivitis – cold or flu-like symptoms, runny nose, fever, itchy eyes, excessive tearing

If you or your child are experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to schedule a prompt appointment with an eye doctor, who can diagnose whether the conjunctivitis is viral, bacterial or due to allergies.

Depending on the diagnosis, your eye doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops or creams to treat bacterial conjunctivitis. The viral form may run its course after a few days, but cold compresses and non-prescription eye drops may provide relief.

Dry Eye Syndrome

If your eyes are chronically bloodshot you may have dry eye syndrome (DES). Signs of DES include:

  • Dry, irritated eyes
  • Burning or stinging eyes
  • Discharge from the eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • A feeling you have something stuck in your eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Watery eyes

Dry eye syndrome is most commonly caused by a blockage of the tiny meibomian glands in the eyelids. These glands secrete oil that keeps eye moisture from evaporating too quickly. Without the oil, tears dry fast, leaving your eyes feeling dry, itchy and with a bloodshot appearance.

Too much screen time, aging, certain medications such as antihistamines, and medical conditions such as Sjogren’s syndrome can cause dry eye syndrome.

In addition to any medications or in-office treatments your eye doctor recommends, make sure to get plenty of hydration, take frequent breaks from digital screens and use a humidifier in your home.

Uveitis

In addition to bloodshot eyes, if you also experience blurred vision, see floaters or your eyes feel painful, you may have an eye inflammation called uveitis. The causes of uveitis include:

  • Autoimmune or inflammatory condition
  • Infection
  • Medication side effects
  • Cancer (in rare cases)

Unfortunately, uveitis symptoms can often be mistaken for something less serious. That’s the reason it’s important to get an eye exam if your eyes are bloodshot. Left untreated, uveitis can lead to serious conditions such as retinal scarring, cataracts and vision loss.

Depending on the cause and severity, your eye doctor may treat uveitis with prescription eye drops, steroid pills, injections or eye implants.

Eye Injury

It’s vital that all eye injuries receive immediate eye care from an eye doctor.

Even a minor eye injury can cause a big red blotch to form on the white part of the eye (sclera). The cause is a broken blood vessel or a subconjunctival hemorrhage.

Although the appearance of this blood looks severe, and can make the entire white part of the eye appear bright red, a subconjunctival hemorrhage is usually painless and doesn’t cause vision loss. Any time you notice excessive blood on the eye following an eye injury, schedule an appointment with an eye doctor to assess the health of your eye.

Glaucoma

In rare cases, bloodshot eyes may signal the presence of glaucoma – a leading cause of vision loss and blindness.

While some types of glaucoma don’t show symptoms in the early phases, bloodshot eyes can indicate the type of glaucoma that requires immediate medical care. This disease causes damage to the optic nerve due to excessive pressure within the eye. When this pressure suddenly rises, the eye’s blood vessels become dilated and visible, making the eye appear red.

If you have bloodshot eyes and/or have the following risk factors for glaucoma, immediately schedule an appointment with your eye doctor.

  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Aged 60+
  • African American, Asian or Hispanic
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure

Bloodshot Eyes Won’t Go Away?

Talk to Us Any time you notice bloodshot eyes or blood on the front of the eye, don’t wait. Schedule your eye exam with Dr. Phillips at Bright Eyes Family Eye Care in Meridian today.

Q&A With Your Local Optometrist

Can I get bloodshot eyes after LASIK surgery?

LASIK surgery is highly effective minimally invasive laser eye surgery that can correct refractive errors, but like all surgical procedures, it can have side effects. Your eyes may be bloodshot or you could see halos from a few days to three weeks after surgery. Additionally, you may experience other dry eye symptoms. Eye drops and liquid tears can alleviate these symptoms, but if you have any concerns about your eyes following LASIK surgery contact your eye surgeon.

What Should I Expect from a Glaucoma Exam?

If you have a family history and/or other risk factors for glaucoma, and if your eyes look bloodshot, consider scheduling a glaucoma exam. Your eye doctor may perform the following tests:

  • Tonometry – eye pressure test
  • Gonioscopy – to see how fluid is draining out of your eye
  • Vision field test – to examine the functioning of the optic nerve
  • Dilated pupil exam – to detect any damage to the optic nerve
  • Retinal photo or OCT – digital examination of the retina and optic nerve health

Are Myopic Parents More Likely to Have Myopic Children?

Myopic Parents 640×350If you have myopia (nearsightedness), can you pass nearsightedness on to your children? Yes, you can. Having myopic parents greatly increases a child’s risk of developing myopia.

Due to heredity and other risk factors, myopia is reaching epidemic proportions – with more than 50% of the population expected to be myopic by 2050. That’s worrying, as having moderate to severe myopia greatly increases the risk of developing sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma and macular degeneration later in life.

What Is Myopia?

If you have myopia, distant objects will appear blurred. This happens when your cornea or eye lens is oval-shaped and excessively curved. As a result, the light entering your eye focuses images in front of your retina instead of directly on it, causing blurred vision.

Can Myopia Be Inherited? What the Stats Say

The answer is yes, myopia can be passed on from parents to children. There are 40 genes that influence the eye’s development and shape, and these could be responsible for nearsightedness.

Children with one myopic parent are 1.5x more likely to develop the condition, and the risk is tripled if both parents have myopia. This makes getting a comprehensive eye exam a must for any child of nearsighted parents.

Other risk factors include spending less than two hours a day outdoors and engaging in “near work” activities like reading and spending time on an electronic device, such as a computer or cell phone. Fortunately, there are ways to manage, slow and sometimes halt myopia progression.

What’s Myopia Management?

Myopia management is a systematic approach to preventing the progression of myopia. It includes lifestyle changes and treatments that help keep your child’s myopia from progressing.

​​We use the latest technology to ensure your child’s vision remains stable and healthy for years to come.

Protect Your Child’s Vision With Myopia Management

Let us help your child diminish the risk of developing ocular disease and vision loss with our effective myopia management program. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tracy Phillips at Bright Eyes Family Eye Care Myopia Management Center in Meridian. We’ll use the latest technology to ensure your child’s vision remains stable and healthy for years to come.

Our practice serves patients from Meridian, Collinsville, Marion, and Enterprise, Mississippi and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Phillips

Q: What are some ways I can reduce my child’s screen time?

  • A: It isn’t easy to change habits, but as a family, you can work together to reduce screen time. Try the following:- Set limits on total amount of screen time per day
    – Create routines around screen use–such as after homework and chores
    – Model healthy screen use for your child
    – Talk to your children about why it is important to limit screen time
    – Engage in physical activity and outdoor sports as a family

Q: When Does Myopia Typically Develop?

  • A: Myopia begins in children as young as 6 and tends to progress until roughly the age of 20. The more it progresses, and the higher the prescription, the greater your child’s risk of developing potentially sight-threatening eye conditions, such as cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and retinal detachment later in life.

Request a Myopia Management Appointment
Want To Discuss Myopia? Call 601-494-3433

Regular Contact Lenses Not Working for You? Consider Scleral Lenses

Woman wearing scleral lensesIf you have dry eye syndrome, a corneal transplant, keratoconus or who simply find conventional contacts uncomfortable to wear, you may want to try scleral contact lenses. Scleral lenses are larger than standard lenses and vault over the entire surface of the cornea. Because the lens sits firmly on the eye, it offers more comfortable and stable vision than traditional lenses.

Eye Problems That Can Make Contact Lens Wearing Difficult

If your cornea is irregularly sized or shaped, standard contact lenses may not fit you properly or may move when you blink. Furthermore, standard contacts can also cause or exacerbate dry eye symptoms, such as red, irritated, itchy or dry eyes.

Below are common eye conditions that can make contact lens wearing a struggle:

  • Keratoconus
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Astigmatism
  • Corneal transplant
  • Post-refractive surgery (i.e. LASIK)

Why are Scleral Lenses a Comfortable Alternative?

These oversized lenses provide relief, clear vision, and visual rehabilitation for dry eye, keratoconus, corneal degeneration, eyelid abnormalities, and corneal ectasia, among other conditions. That’s because the custom-designed scleral lenses are fitted to your unique eye shape, providing a superior level of comfort.

Moreover, a fluid reservoir between the lens and the cornea optically neutralizes any corneal irregularities and hydrates the ocular surface, providing a moist and comfortable environment between the eye and the lens.

How Large are Scleral Lenses?

The average size of regular contact lenses is 9mm, which is smaller than the cornea, whereas scleral lenses measure between 14.5mm to 24mm in diameter. This allows the scleral lens to form a dome over the cornea, creating a cushion of tears between the lens and the eye.

What Happens During a Scleral Lens Fitting?

Scleral lenses are custom-fit to each person’s unique eye shape, corneal curves, and contours, providing unparalleled comfort. Their size and shape also ensure stability.

To design the lenses, your Bright Eyes Family Eye Care Scleral Lens Center eye doctor in Meridian will take exact measurements of your cornea through a process called corneal topography. This process ensures that your personal pair of scleral lenses allows the right amount of light in and sits stably on the eye, thus offering superior vision, all-day ocular hydration, and increased comfort.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Tracy Phillips and talk to us about getting fitted with scleral lenses.

Our practice serves patients from Meridian, Collinsville, Marion, and Enterprise, Mississippi and surrounding communities.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Phillips

 

Q: Can Scleral Lenses Treat or Cure Keratoconus?

  • A: While scleral lenses aren’t a cure for keratoconus, they are highly effective at correcting vision if you have irregular-shaped corneas or cone-shaped corneas.Because those with keratoconus have irregular, cone-shaped corneas, glasses and standard contact lenses cannot conform to the shape of the eyes and thus cannot adequately correct the patients’ vision. The best solution, therefore, is scleral contact lenses, since they sit on the sclera without touching the cornea and deliver maximal clarity while being perfectly comfortable in most cases.

Q: Can Scleral Lenses Help Improve Vision Following Corneal Transplants?

  • A: Though corneal transplants have a high rate of success, it can take more than a year for the eye to recover from surgery. This is because the eye needs time to adapt to the new cornea, during which time nearsightedness or astigmatism may develop. For this reason, scleral lenses are the ideal choice for clear and comfortable vision following a corneal graft.

 

Request A Scleral Lens Appointment
Can Scleral Lenses Help You? Find Out! 601-494-3433

Meridian Optometrist | Best Eye Vitamins for your Vision

Vision supplements are a great way to add to your diet in a way that supports the long-term vision and eye health. Unfortunately, not all vision supplements are created equal. Many of them contain poor-quality ingredients or make claims about their benefits that are not backed up by science.

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Fortunately, there are several supplements out there that our eye care experts at can recommend. Here’s our run-down of the best eye health vitamins of 2022

Best Eye Vitamins of 2022

Vista Clear

According to Vista Clear’s official website, this supplement is formulated based on an ancient aboriginal recipe. Ingredients include chamomile, skullcap, St. John’s wort, lemon balm, and bacopa monnieri.

Vista Clear supplements are specially formulated with 26 individual antioxidants, vitamins, herbs, and minerals to help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, promote overall eye health and vision, and support lens, cornea, and macula health.

Eagle Eye 911

This is one of the best vision supplements provided by PhytAge Labs and is an ideal formula for eye health and vision support. Eagle Eye 911 improves overall vision, supports the retinal membrane, develops optimal eye function, and helps reduce eye pressure.

With a blend of components added to their formula, including bilberry, grapeseed, and quercetin, PhytAge 911 has helped people achieve great eye health benefits.

Advanced Bionutritionals Advanced Vision Formula

This advanced vision formula contains bilberry, lutein, ginkgo biloba, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin. It helps support mental clarity, healthy eyes, and clear vision. It also reduces risk of vision loss from diseases such as macular degeneration by promoting retina, cornea, and lens health.

Many consumer reviews claim that this vision formula has significantly improved their vision.

Provisine

Provisine was created by a 32-year-old industry expert with the goal of helping treat a wide variety of eye diseases and conditions.

Provisine‘s official website claims that this supplement is an all-natural solution that guarantees 20/20 vision within weeks.

It contains lutein, mixed plant extracts, and a wide variety of vitamins & minerals.

Eyesight Max

Eyesight Max is a supplement that claims to treat the underlying reasons for vision loss, and not just the symptoms.

Their official website guarantees clearer vision in only a few weeks, without the need for exercise, surgery, prescription drugs, or anything else.

According to the published list of ingredients, Eyesight Max contains quercetin, bilberry, lutein, and various vitamins and nutrients.

Manufacturers advertise that it is produced in an FDA approved research center, and can protect against blinding eye diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. It is also marketed as a way to reduce blood sugar and blood pressure.

Divine Vision 12

According to the manufacturers, this supplement uses ingredients inspired by the bible to support vision health.

Ingredients include grapeseed, Bilberry, Marigold, Vitamin E, Zinc, Barley, Beta carotene, and more.

It’s advertised to help reduce the risk of age-related vision loss, promote overall day and night vision, support optimal eye health and reduce blurred vision. It also treats the root causes of macular degeneration.

ReVision

The makers of ReVision claim it is 100 percent natural, safe and effective, and can restore perfect eyesight in 24 hours.

Ingredients include huperzine-A, alpha GPC, phosphatidylserine, caffeine anhydrous, and L-theanine. It is marketed to help protect the eyes from the harmful effects of blue light, support brain health and overall eyesight, and reduce brain fatigue, eye strain and long-term risk of age-related macular degeneration.

Zenith Labs Vision 20

This supplement is especially effective for supporting the clear vision and healthy eyes for older adults and seniors.

With active ingredients including lutein, zeaxanthin, zinc, gingko biloba extract, lycopene, astaxanthin, and copper, this supplement is ideal for reducing the risk of developing macular degeneration. This supplement is also gluten-free and vegan friendly.

PureHealth Research Complete Vision Formula

This proven vision support supplement uses essential vitamins to support and enhance your vision.

With essential eye health ingredients such as brown rice flour, copper, vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, bilberry, eyebright extract, and zeaxanthin, Complete Vision Formula supports and maintains eye health by providing nourishment to eyes and brain cells, protecting eyes from damage caused by free radicals, and lowering long-term risk of developing cataracts.

PureHealth claims that many consumers were able to go without glasses after a few months of taking their supplements.

Vision MD

Vision MD from 1MD is a nutritional supplement formulated by actual medical experts. It is based on a revolutionary new formula that contains proprietary formulas Lyc-O-Mato lycopene, OptiLut, and EVTene mixed carotenes.

It is advertised to protect the macula and retina from the damaging effects of blue light, improve visual acuity and eye health, support the health of the retina, macula, and lens and promote contrast sensitivity.

Nuzena Vision Support +

Nuzena Vision Support + is advertised as a vision supplement for protection against macular degeneration.

It contains bilberry extract, alpha-lipoic acid, lutein and zeaxanthin, and other nutrients that help promote macular and retinal health and protect against eye diseases such as macular degeneration. It also helps promote the health of the central nervous system, support healthy eyes and vision and reduce the risk of cataract formation.

Lutenol

Lutenol offers a vision support formula that aids in the healthy function of the eyes. It specifically promotes the health of the lens, retina, and macula. Two VitaPost Lutenol capsules a day can help reduce your risk of developing a number of potentially sight-threatening eye diseases.

Customer reviews on the manufacturer website claim there are no side effects.

The supplement contains lutein, zeaxanthin‍‍, zinc, vitamin A, vitamin C, bilberry, and vitamin E. It helps by reducing the risk of night vision loss, preventing macular degeneration, and boosting brain function and eye healh.

For more information on these and other supplements that can help you better take care of your eyes, contact our Meridian eye doctors at Bright Eyes Family Eye Care today!

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Can Cholesterol Affect Your Eyes?

When you think about high cholesterol, what do you think of? Most people would say something like “heart problem” or “cardiovascular disease.” But did you know that high levels of cholesterol can also have an effect on your body that goes beyond your heart? You may be surprised that high cholesterol can also have an impact on your eyes.

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High Cholesterol and Your Eyes

Xanthelasma (Fatty deposits) in your eyelid
The most common way that your eyes can be affected is through the presence of xanthelasma. These are small yellow-tinted deposits of fat in the skin around your eyes, specifically, in the upper eyelids and inside the eyelids, around the area of the nose.

Risk factors and causes of xanthelasma
Not everyone who has high cholesterol develops xanthelasma, but more than 50% of people who have xanthelasma have high cholesterol.

Some of the risk factors for xanthelasma include:

  • Heavy drinking.
  • Heart disease.
  • Smoking.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Obesity.
  • Conditions caused by xanthelasma

Usually xanthelasma isn’t painful. Though it’s usually just an issue of looks, xanthelasma can sometimes get worse, causing more serious problems.

Arcus senilis is a condition in which a white or grayish ring or halo appears around the edges of the clear layer of your eye that protects your iris, known as the cornea.

This ring comes from cholesterol deposits in your eye, which don’t impair your vision, but are still a definite sign of issues with high cholesterol which need to be addressed with your doctor.

Hollenhorst plaque is a much more serious issue than arcus senilis. This occurs when small pieces of plaque build-up that result from high cholesterol break loose from the blood vessel walls, travel up to the vessels in the eye, and get stuck there, blocking blood flow in one or more of the blood vessels within your eye. This can lead to potentially severe consequences for your vision, including vision loss and even blindness.

Increased risk of eye diseases and conditions

Along with the immediate signs of high cholesterol that are present in the form of xanthelasma and associated eye conditions, there is also an increased risk of developing several sight-threatening eye conditions, including:

  • Macular degeneration
  • Glaucoma
  • Myopia
  • Treating cholesterol conditions in your eyes
  • Treating these and other eye conditions that result from high cholesterol requires a holistic approach that considers the whole body, One of the most effective ways to address these problems is to adopt a low-fat diet. This includes eating more unprocessed fruits and vegetables and avoiding foods that are highly processed, such as potato chips and simple carbs.

In some cases, your doctor may also prescribe certain medications to help lower cholesterol including:

  • Statins (Atorvastatin, Fluvastatin and Lovastatin).
  • Bile acid sequestrants (Cholestyramine, Colestipol, Colesevelam).
  • PCSK9 Inhibitors (Alirocumab, Evolocumab).

Though they may not cause you any pain, these eye symptoms can still do damage to your vision, and are also a sign of an overall issue with your health. Don’t ignore the signs of high cholesterol.

Bright Eyes Family Eye Care, your Meridian eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

Or Call 601-202-4622 Today!

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