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It's Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month!
Posted on Friday November 15, 2019

Do you or a loved one have diabetes? Did you know that there is an entire month dedicated to diabetic eye disease awareness?  November is Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. The goal of the month is to bring awareness to diabetes and how it affects your eyes. Let’s take a look at different eye conditions related to being diabetic and ways to prevent diabetes.  Eye Conditions Individuals who are diabetic are more likely to develop eye conditions that cause blindness. Some of these conditions include: Glaucoma Individuals with diabetes are two times more likely to develop glaucoma. Glaucoma occurs when eye pressure builds up in your eye and damages the optic nerve. Vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible.  Cataracts Cataracts are a common condition for older adults, but diabetes can make adults develop it at a younger age. Spikes in blood sugar levels can make cataracts develop between ages 20 – 70.   Managing blood sugar levels helps prevent cataracts from developing early on.  Diabetic Retinopathy This is the most common diabetic eye disease. This disease impacts the eye’s retina and small blood vessels. For individuals with diabetes, this is the number one cause of vision loss.  One of the biggest problems diabetics experience is managing their blood sugar levels. Having high blood sugar levels causes damage to the small blood vessels in the retina.  Managing your diabetes is the best way to keep your eyes healthy.  Ways to Prevent Diabetes There are ways for individuals to prevent diabetes from developing. Some of these ways include: Eating Healthy This is one of the best ways to keep your eyes healthy. Eating a balanced diet is the best way to stay healthy.  Eating foods rich in fiber can help keep your blood sugar levels under control. Whole grains have been connected to maintaining blood sugar levels as well. Regular Exercise Being physically active has so many benefits. It can help lower blood sugar levels, lose weight, and increase sensitivity to insulin. This helps you manage your blood sugar levels.  Aerobic and resistance training are connected to managing diabetes. You should exercise a minimum of three times per week for at least thirty minutes.   Having Regular Eye Exams Going to the eye doctor as often as recommended is important for keeping your eyes healthy when you have diabetes. Eye conditions connected to diabetes can be managed, prevented or detected early on by going to the eye doctor regularly.  Not Becoming Obese or Overweight Having diabetes can make it difficult to lose weight. You should work your hardest to prevent yourself from becoming obese or overweight.  If you are overweight, you should work on losing the weight to keep yourself healthy. Diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness in adults. Not all adults with diabetes are at risk for blindness or vision loss.  Minorities or ethnicities are less educated about the problems connected with diabetes. This puts them at a higher risk.  Are you ready to check if your eyes are healthy? Getting a comprehensive eye exam is the best way to make sure your eyes are healthy.   Schedule an appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR today!:

How Do I Know I Have Cataracts?
Posted on Wednesday October 30, 2019

Have you been experiencing blurry or cloudy vision? Do you find it difficult to drive at night?  These are signs that you could have cataracts. Keep reading for more common signs that you could have cataracts! What is a Cataract? You get cataracts when the lens in your eye is no longer clear but cloudy. This is due to proteins in the eye that clump together and distorts vision over time.  People often describe having cataracts as being like looking through a foggy window. When you have foggy vision from cataracts, it can be difficult to drive a car, especially at night.  It can also be challenging to complete detail-oriented tasks like sewing or reading. Cataracts also make it harder to make out facial expressions. As people age, cataracts are a very common diagnosis to receive. Challenges Driving at Night Having cataracts makes it challenging to tell the difference between light and dark. Some patients with cataracts experience headaches while driving at night.  This is often because of headlights and streetlamps while driving at night. Also, some individuals with cataracts see halos around lights while driving at night.  Vision Changes For most patients, their cataracts develop slowly over time. In the beginning, they do not affect your vision.  Over time, cataracts will develop and your vision will start becoming affected. One of the reasons for getting eye exams is they help your doctor diagnose and track cataracts.  If a cataract is eventually found, your eye doctor will be able to watch its progression. Some of the common vision changes are having foggy, blurry, or faded vision.  In the beginning, cataracts are small, and you may not notice them. As they continue developing, this is when they start to affect your vision.  Another symptom you may experience with cataracts is developing a sensitivity to light. Also, some individuals see glares and halos when they look at lights.  Normal levels of light might be too strong if you have a cataract. It is possible that if you look right at a light you might see a halo around it.  Cataracts make it more difficult for light to enter your eye. This can make you experience double vision in one of your eyes.  Requiring More Light While you are trying to do tasks or activities that need a lot of focus, you may need more light. Using more light can be helpful for reading or trying to sew.  In the beginning, more light could be beneficial. As your cataracts continue developing, you'll only need more light.  Color Discoloration As cataracts develop, colors start to become dull and faded. An example is that whites will start looking more like yellow. Cataracts often tinge everything a brown or yellow color until they are removed. Frequent Changes in Glasses or Contact Lens Prescriptions As your cataracts develop, your vision changes too. You can go from not needing reading glasses to needing frequent new prescriptions. Experiencing sudden vision changes is a symptom of having cataracts.  What Can You Do To Prevent Cataracts? There's no way to guarantee you'll never develop cataracts. But there are things you can do to prevent developing them early on.   Prevention techniques can include: Quitting smoking Managing other health conditions  Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables Wearing sunglasses to prevent UV damage from the sun Reducing the amount of alcohol you drink Getting annual eye exams.  If cataracts are impacting your life, talk to your eye doctor about cataract surgery. Do any of these signs sound familiar? If so, you might have cataracts. Schedule a cataract screening at EyeHealth Northwest in Portland, OR today!:

6 Tips For Halloween Safety Month
Posted on Tuesday October 15, 2019

Are you and your family excited for Halloween? Is picking out costumes everyone’s favorite part?  Halloween is one of the most fun times of the year. You get to dress up in costumes, go trick-or-treating and attend parties.  While it's fun, there are a lot of safety hazards to worry about too. Everyone wants their kid to remember how fun the holiday was, not that they got injured. Every Halloween, hundreds of Americans end up in the emergency room with eye injuries. A lot of these injuries are because of makeup, masks, and costumes. Keep reading for 6 tips for Halloween Safety Month!   1. Make Sure You Can See This point is so important. When deciding on a costume, make sure you aren't blocking your vision. If you wear a mask, wig, hat, or eye patch, make sure you can still see while wearing them.  Also, for little kids, make sure that hats or scarves are tied tightly so they do not fall over your child's eyes.  2. Trick-or-Treat During The Daylight While this does not seem very Halloween, it is the safest option. While going trick-or-treating in the dark is spookier, it is easier to get injured.  You can trip and fall, miss a step, or get tangled up in your costume. If you do decide to go trick-or-treating at night, make sure you carry a flashlight to give you enough light.  3. Pick a Safe Costume When picking a costume, you should make sure it is safe. It is important to pay attention to the length.  Make sure there's nothing dragging on the ground to prevent you from tripping or falling. Also, this means avoiding costumes with sharp points or props.  Sharp props include spears, swords or wands. Small kids should especially avoid these. They can hurt themselves or other kids’ eyes.  4. Be Careful with Makeup If you or your kids are going to be using products you do not normally use, make sure you use hypoallergenic makeup. Adults should put makeup on their kids.  When removing it, use cold cream instead of soap, which won't cause eye injuries or sting. Also, if at all possible, use makeup instead of masks.  5. Avoid Cosmetic Contacts Cosmetic contacts can make your eyes look like anything under the sun. You can even change them to a different color!  They do come with the same risks as regular contacts. They are not harmless like you think! Using contacts incorrectly can cause serious eye conditions!  These include infections, swelling, pain, light sensitivity, pink eye, cornea injuries, and loss of sight. If you are going to wear cosmetic contacts, make sure to get a prescription.  Also, do not share or use someone else’s contacts. If you see your kid wearing contacts, please ask where they got them. The only place you should get cosmetic contacts is from your eye doctor.  6. Be Careful with Decorations While costumes can be fun, you can also be creative with decorations. For the safety of everyone, make sure to have your steps, porch, lawn, and door well-lit and obstacle-free.  Also, make sure that candles and jack-o’-lanterns are kept away from trick-or-treaters. The last thing you want to deal with is a Halloween costume that accidentally caught on fire.  Do you want cosmetic contacts for your costume? Schedule a contact lens appointment at EyeHealth Northwest in Happy Valley, OR today!: