Category: Eye Care News (Page 1 of 7)


We have talked about this new lens technology on our blog before. We thought it was worth another look considering the amazing benefits of these lenses. Keep reading to see if they will be a good fit for you!

What is Neurolens?

Neurolens are specifically designed lenses that use a contoured prism to realign your eyes and relieve pressure on the trigeminal nerve. These lenses are designed to help with digital eye strain and help with reading or doing work up close.

In today’s world, blue light is almost completely unavoidable. We all work or spend time on a laptop, smartphone or watching a television. Blue light has been proven to cause digital eyestrain. You can check out more about digital eye strain in our other blog here: PUT LINK HERE

How does Neurolens Work?

It has been found that there is a direct correlation between the trigeminal nerve and the eyes. The trigeminal nerve is the biggest nerve connected to the brain and responsible for neck and head sensations. Headaches, tension and eye strain are caused by misaligned eye’s that can put pressure on this nerve.

There is a specialized diagnostic that Neurolens uses to try to find any misalignment in the eyes and what the severity of the problem is. Once the measurement device measures where the gap between your eyes should be versus where it actually is, it can determine if you have a misalignment and how to fix it. It is a very quick and easy test.

Neurolens is the first to use a contoured prism that helps with misalignment at different distances.

Benefits of Neurolens

If you suffer from digital eye strain, this could be the best solution for you. The main symptoms of digital eye strain are:

  • Eye strain
  • Headache
  • Neck and shoulder tension or pain
  • Eye irritation
  • Dry Eyes

Neurolens has helped so many people already to relieve them of these symptoms.

Is Neurolens for you?

It is best to talk to your eye doctor about your options. If you spend a lot of time on a computer or struggle to read, and suffer from any of the above symptoms you could be a perfect candidate!

Next time you are in for an eye exam, ask us about it!

Refractive Errors

One of our favorite things to do with our blogs is to educate our patients. There is so much misinformation out there, we want to make sure our blogs are accurate and informative

There are many vision problems you could suffer from, but there are four main vision errors that are more common than the rest. These four errors are the main Refractive errors your eye doctor is looking for when doing a vision test.

What are Refractive Errors?

Refractive errors happen when your eye shape keeps light from focusing correctly on your retina. These types of errors make it hard to see clearly.

These are the most common types of vision problem, more than 150 million Americans have a refractive error. Sometimes the vision impairment isn’t as obvious so many people do not know they could be seeing better. Eye exams are an important step to finding out if you have a refractive error and your eye doctor can help determine the best way to fix it.

What are the 4 types?

There are four common types of refractive errors:

  • Nearsightedness (myopia) – this error makes far away objects look blurry.
  • Farsightedness (hyperopia)- this error makes nearby objects look blurry.
  • Astigmatism – this error makes objects look blurry or distorted regardless of how far away they are.
  • Presbyopia – this error is prevalent in middle aged or older adults and makes it hard for them to see things up close.


There are many symptoms associated with these refractive errors. Some symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Squinting
  • Hazy Vision
  • Double Vision
  • Seeing a glare or halo around bright lights
  • Eye Strain
  • Trouble focusing

Since it is so easy to mis-interpret, or not realize that you are suffering from these symptoms it is so important to have regular eye exams. Your eye doctor is going to be able to diagnose you, even if you haven’t realized you have an issue.

What Causes These Errors?

Refractive errors in vision can be caused by many different things. Your eyeball length, problems with the shape of your cornea, and aging of the lens of your eye are just a few things that can cause it.

Some things to keep in mind are that Refraction is the bending of light rays as they pass through one object to another. The cornea and lens bend light rays to focus them on the retina. When the shape of the eye changes, it also changes the way light rays bend and focus which in turn can cause blurry vision.


Once your eye doctor determines what refractive error you are suffering from, they will recommend your best options for treatment.

Some treatments include, glasses, contacts or even surgery. Your eye doctor will help walk you through the best options for you!

Cold Weather

Here in South Carolina, our cold weather is few and far between. We are lucky that in our part of the country the warm weather stays longer and the cold weather can be relatively mild. The snow storms we have had can be counted on two hands.

Just because we have mild winters, doesn’t mean our eyes wont be affected by the cold weather. Cold weather, even mildly cold, can cause eye issues.

With this recent cold snap we have experienced, it is starting to actually feel like Fall! We wanted to remind our patients of the eye problems cold weather can create and how to combat them.

Dry Eye

One of the main issues during cold seasons is Dry Eye Syndrome. This is an eye condition that happens when your eye tears are unable to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. There are many issues that can cause dry eye, these issues disrupt the healthy tear film of your eye. Your tear film has three layers:

  • Lipid (fatty oils)
  • Aqueous fluid (water)
  • Mucus

A balance of these three layers is what keeps the surface of the eye lubricated and comfortable. If the balance of these three layers is interrupted by environment, it can cause dry eyes.

Colder months result in a rise in dry eye cases. There is a lack of moisture in the air that was there during spring and summer. The colder season also brings the use of central heating in our homes. Central heating is one of the biggest contributors to dry eyes because it speeds up the evaporation of eye moisture.

Common symptoms of dry eye are:

  • itchiness
  • soreness
  • redness
  • gritty sensation

Other Ways Cold Weather Affects Your Eyes

Dry eye is the most common issue during colder months, there are a number of other eye conditions that are more common in the winter than the rest of the year.

Excess Tearing – this is the opposite of dry eyes. Excess tearing and watery eyes can be caused by cold air and wind. The best way to protect your eyes is to wear sunglasses or goggles while outside in cold temperatures.

Eye Redness – this condition is another symptom of central heating and less moisture in the air. A way to combat redness and discomfort is to apply a cold compress over your eyes.

Snow Blindness – we don’t really deal with this here in SC, but if you plan to take any trips to the mountains where there will be snow, it is an important one to remember. Snow is highly reflective, and in the winter the UV rays that come off the snow can cause you to essentially sunburn your eyes. It is incredibly important that you wear sunglasses or UV protecting goggles while enjoying any activities in the snow.

Vision Changes – due to the lower temperatures, your blood vessels around the eye may constrict. If this happens it may cause blurriness and double vision. These symptoms are usually temporary but if they persist your eye doctor can use eye drops to help bring the vessels back to their normal size.

While we don’t have some of the harsher winter weather other parts of the country may have, we do still have the same risks when temperatures drop.

Healthy Lifestyle and Your Vision

It is widely known that a healthy lifestyle is good for you. There are many benefits to leading a healthy lifestyle. Did you know, that a lot of healthy lifestyle choices can also affect your vision and longevity of your eyesight.

When considering a healthy lifestyle there are a number of things to think about. Below are a few things that are part of a healthy lifestyle that can also benefit your vision health.

A Balanced Diet

It may seem to be common sense that a healthy diet is important. The big point here is that it is important to also make sure your diet has wide variety of different foods to get you all the benefits possible. Some foods that are known to help improve or preserve vision are:

  • Raw Red Peppers – they have the most vitamin C per calorie, which is good for the blood vessels in your eyes. When heated some of that vitamin C is broken down, so its best to eat it raw for the eye benefits.
  • Sunflower seeds and nuts – seeds or almonds have a large amount of Vitamin E, which together with other nutrients have been found to help slow aged-related macular degeneration.
  • Dark Leafy Greens – this includes kale, spinach and collard greens. They are rich in vitamins C, E and A. The plant based vitamin A found in these foods lower your risk of long term eye diseases.
  • Salmon – The omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon are needed by your retinas. There is also some evidence these omega-3’s seem to protect your eyes from glaucoma.
  • Sweet Potatoes -these are high in beta-carotene, which is a form of vitamin A that help with night vision.
  • Squash – this vegetable has lutein and zeaxanthin, which are two nutrients your body can’t make. It is also high in vitamin C and zinc.

Regular Exercise Routine

Recent studies have found that there could be a link between regular exercise and eye health. While of course regular exercise is important for your overall health, it could also help with slowing eye damage or even preventing it. The recommended amount of exercise from the CDC is about 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

Getting Enough Sleep

Sleep is so important for your eye health. As with the rest of your body, your eyes are replenishing themselves while you sleep at night. Your eyes need at least five hours of sleep a night in order to replenish themselves. If you don’t get enough sleep it can lead to dry eyes, itchy eyes or bloodshot eyes.

Taking a Break From Screens

We have talked about this habit a lot. The blue light from computer, tablet, phone or television screens does have a negative affect on your eyesight. If you have to work on a computer every day, it is recommended that you wear blue light blocking glasses.

If you are able to take a break from screens all together that is best. In our current society this may be pretty difficult. If you are working on or using screens it is recommended that every 20 minutes, you look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This is known as the 20x20x20 rule.

Keeping Your Vision Healthy

At the end of the day, it is possible to ward off, or reverse some eye diseases with healthy lifestyle choices. It may not always been the answer, but if you have any questions about your eyes make sure to bring it up at your next appointment with us!

Computer Vision Syndrome

You have seen our posts and blogs before about the risks that blue light poses to vision. In our current day it is common for us to be looking at a screen for a significant amount of time every day. Most jobs require computer work, we watch tv, use tablets and all of us are walking around with a small screen in our pocket all day.

The threat of blue light is a newer issue that has come to light in the last 20 years and the effects are still being studied. Currently the average American worker spends seven hours a day on the computer. The main problem is referred to as Computer Vision Syndrome.

What is Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS)

You may also hear it referred to as digital eye strain. Both names are referring to a group of eye and vision related problems that can result from prolonged screen time.

When reading or working on a computer screen, your eyes are working harder than usual. Uncorrected vision problems can also worsen CVS if left untreated. In most cases the symptoms of CVS occur because the visual demands of the task exceed the visual abilities of the individual performing them.


There are many symptoms that could indicate you are suffering from CVS such as:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Dry Eyes
  • Blurred Vision
  • Neck and Shoulder Pain

People who are spending 2 or more hours on a computer or using a digital screen each day are highest risk for developing these types of symptoms. Many of the symptoms are temporary and do decline after they stop looking at a screen. In some severe cases though, some people can experience blurred distance vision even after stopping their screen time. If nothing is done to address the cause of the problem the symptoms can get worse.

How to Diagnose It

A comprehensive eye exam is the best way to determine if you are suffering from CVS. Like we mentioned, some vision problems can worsen CVS symptoms if left untreated. These vision impairments include:

  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Presbyopia

Your eye doctor will be able to determine if you are suffering from any of the above and will assess the amount of time you are using a computer screen and all the symptoms you have been suffering from.

How to Treat CVS

There are many different ways to solve CVS and your eye doctor will help you to determine what course of action is best for you.

In some cases, eye glasses or contact lenses can be prescribed to help protect your eyes from the blue light that is emitted from electronic screens. Of course, if it is determined you need vision correction that will be offered too.
The way in which you view the computer can also be a factor in helping with symptoms of CVS. It is helpful to have the computer screen slightly lower than your normal view.

What sets us apart?

At TriCounty Eye Associates, we offer Neurolens which are an enhancement on the old blue light blocking lenses. These lenses are specially made to help with headaches, eye strain and eye misalignment.

If you think you could be suffering from symptoms of CVS, make sure to mention it at your next appointment!

Diabetes and Your Eyes

Diabetes affects 11.3% of the United States population. That is around 37.3 million people. According to the CDC 8.5 million people who have diabetes, haven’t been diagnosed yet. With these high numbers, we wanted to bring some attention to how diabetes can affect your eye’s.

When someone has diabetes, there are a group of eye problems that can affect them. This group of problems is called diabetic eye disease.

What is Diabetic Eye Disease?

If you have diabetes, over time the disease can damage your eyes. It can cause poor vision or even blindness in extreme cases. Some of the conditions that are known to affect people with diabetes are:

  • Diabetic Retinopathy – this is when blood vessels in the back of the eye can weaken, bulge or leak into the retina. If it worsens, some blood vessels an even close off.
  • Diabetic Macular Edema – this is when diabetes causes swelling in the macula (part of your retina) and the swelling can cause partial vision loss or blindness.
  • Cataracts – this is when the lens of your eye becomes cloudy. This can happen in younger people who have diabetes.
  • Glaucoma – this refers to a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Diabetes doubles the changes of having glaucoma.

It is possible to prevent diabetic eye disease if you catch the issue early. The best way to keep your diabetes from affecting your eyes is to manage it well. Some ways you can manage your diabetes is to:

  • Manage your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Quit smoking
  • Have a dilated eye exam every year

In some cases, you won’t be able to tell eye damage is occurring, so it is important to get a yearly dilated eye exam so an eye doctor can identify damage before the symptoms start.

How does diabetes affect your eyes?

The biggest issue for your eyes when you have diabetes, is when your blood glucose stays high over longer periods of time. If this occurs, it can damage the small blood vessels in the back of your eyes. This damage can start during pre diabetes, when blood glucose is higher than it usually is but not so high that you are diagnosed. Damaged blood vessels can leak fluid that causes swelling in your eye.

What are some of the symptoms?

In many cases there are no early symptoms of diabetic eye disease. When there are symptoms they can include:

  • frequently changing vision
  • poor color vision
  • flashes of light
  • blurry or wavy vision
  • dark areas or vision loss
  • spots or dark strings (floaters)

Is there treatment?

An eye doctor will perform a dilated eye exam in order to diagnose you with diabetic eye disease. This is the only way to know for sure.

Once diagnosed, you and your eye doctor will determine the best course of action to treat your symptoms. In many cases, this will be primarily to manage or control your diabetes. If you can focus on keeping your blood glucose as a normal level, this will help tremendously with your eye health.

In other circumstances there may be a medicine, laser treatment or even surgery needed to help you gain your vision back.

Bottom Line

At the end of the day, we want to encourage you to own your health. Focusing on healthy lifestyle habits can go a long way with managing diabetes, or diabetic eye disease.

Regular doctor appointments, including Eye Exams will help to identify issues early so you can hopefully ward off any damage later in life.

Contacts vs Glasses

So you have gone to the eye doctor and they have diagnosed you as needing vision correction. Once you have come to this realization you will see that you now have two options to choose from. You can either choose eyeglasses or contact lenses to help correct your vision.

It is important to know that this decision does not have a right or wrong answer, it is usually a matter of prefrence. We just like to keep our patients informed so they can make the best decision for themselves. Hopefully you will come away from this article with a better understanding of what will work better for you

Eye Glasses

Some of the great things about glasses are:

  • They are easy to clean and store
  • They don’t need to be replaced often
  • You don’t have to touch your eyes to wear them
  • There are many frame styles to choose from
  • Lenses are customizable
  • They offer another layer of protection from the elements

Some of the things that aren’t so great about glasses are:

  • They can be more expensive if you need to replace them
  • They can be uncomfortable
  • They don’t cover your entire field of vision
  • Some people don’t like the way the look in them
  • The lenses can fog up or get smudged


Some great things about contacts are:

  • They are less noticeable
  • They give you more freedom of movement
  • They allow you to wear non prescription sunglasses
  • They are less obstructive of your vision
  • They are less expensive to replace

Some not so great things about contacts are:

  • They have a stricter cleaning and storage regimen than glasses
  • Touching your eye to put them in or take them out can be hard
  • If you don’t follow the care rules, it can result in eye health issues
  • They might not help ward off computer eye strain

Can you wear both?

The short answer is yes! A way for you to get the best of both words would be to have the option to wear contacts when you want to and wear glasses when you want to. This way you can benefit from all the great things both have to offer but avoid any of the negative things.

We have a current special running that could help you achieve this. If you purchase a years supply of contact lenses you will also get 50% off complete eye glasses as well as a FREE pair of polarized sunglasses.

We offer the the Acuvue Oasis 1-Day contacts, which can be helpful to ward off computer eye strain issues. These lenses help to keep eyes consistently hydrated.

Which do you prefer?

Now that we have laid out all the good and the bad, let us know which you prefer. Come visit us at TriCounty Eye Associates to pick out your next pair of glasses or order your next shipment of contacts!

Back To School Eye Exams

Back to school is upon us! There is always so much to remember about back to school. Meet the teacher, school supplies, new clothes, new books, sometimes the list can feel overwhelming. One thing we want to be sure doesn’t get left off the list is making your kids eye appointments before they go back to school.

There are so many reasons to make sure you are getting regular eye exams but it is especially important for kids to get their exams each school year so that they can avoid any issues while trying to learn.

When should Kids start exams?

It is recommended that kids start getting eye exams as early as six months old. This can help to ensure their eyes are developing normally. As they get older, yearly exams will help to identify any developmental issues or long term problems that may need correction.

Ages 2 to 5 years old eye exams are testing for:

  • Visual acuity
  • Lazy eye
  • Stereopsis
  • Eye tracking
  • Convergence
  • Color Vision
  • Ocular Health

It is important to monitor these skills because they are imperative for learning and success at school.

As kids grow their eye exams will change to focus on different aspects of vision. The skills tested for kids ages 6 to 18 are:

  • Visual Acuity – the ability to see clearly in the distance, up close, and at an intermediate distance.
  • Eye Focusing – maintaining clear vision when changing focus from far away to up close.
  • Eye Tracking – keeping eyes on target if they are looking from one object to another.
  • Eye Teaming – this is the coordination of both eyes to work together ad to judge distances.
  • Eye-hand coordination – this is the ability to direct hands by using visual information.
  • Vision Perception – this is the ability to understand and remember when they read by organizing images into letters.

Why are exams so important for kids?

It is important for any vision problems to be diagnosed as early as possible to set children up for success at school. Yearly exams will help to do this. Sometimes learning disabilities can be mis-diagnosed when the real problem is a vision impairment.

This can help your child learn and progress better than if these possible issues are left undetected. We recommend using the start of school as a good reminder to schedule an exam. This helps to identify any potential issues before the school year begins and make sure your child is set up for success each and every year.

Call us today to schedule your child’s yearly exam!

 Moncks Corner Location

North Charleston Location

Our Planet and Your Eyes: How air pollution can affect eye health

Two things you might not think are connected, air pollution and eye health. We have brought this topic up before but wanted to reiterate how the planet’s climate and pollution can affect your eye health. There is important information we want to make you aware of so you can make small changes in your day to day lives to protect yourself.

Our world is constantly changing, and the affects of pollution are not only making the planet deteriorate. Our bodies including our eye’s are exposed to new and worse pollutants as time goes on.

Climate Change

Climate change has caused an increase in natural disasters over the last 40 years all around the world. This increase is starting to cause concern for eye health as air pollution levels continue to rise.

Some statistics from NASA:

  • Most of the Earth’s warming has happened in the last 40 years
  • The 6 warmest years on record have been since 2014
  • 2016 was the warmest year on record

With these warmer years, we are seeing shorter winters and longer fall and spring seasons. With this in mind, the two biggest eye health threats are air pollution and longer allergy seasons.

Danger to Eye Health

There are a few main issues that are directly related to climate change that are causing the most harm to our eyes.

Air Pollution

Air pollution can lead to a higher risk of age related macular degeneration, dry eye and conjunctivitis (pink eye). There was a study done in Taiwan in 2019 that showed there is a 91% greater risk of developing Age Related Macular Degeneration for those who had been exposed to the highest level of vehicle emissions compared to those who had be exposed to the lowest amount.

Air pollution can also cause immeidate threats. Recently there was a large wildfire in Canada and its smoke and ash polluted the air all the way down the east coast of the United States. These types of air pollutants can blow ash into your eyes causing scratches and discomfort to your eye, as well as cause dry eye symptoms which if not treated can cause other disorders.

Worsen Allergies

Climate change is changing weather patterns that we have grown accustom to. As these weather patterns change so does our environment around us. With a warmer climate world wide, season length is starting to change. Longer spring means longer allergy season for some as well as more pollen being released into the air than in previous years.

With the symptoms of allergies being somewhat misdiagnosed in some cases this can cause issues for people trying to get relief. There is also the issue of the overuse of antihistamines for allergy systems. When used for too long they can cause dry eye and more discomfort.

Higher UV Rays

Climate change is causing our ozone layer to deteriorate which is leading to higher UV ray exposure when outside. UV radiation coming from the sun can cause eye issues such as:

  • Cataracts
  • Snow Blindness
  • Eye Sunburn

There was a global agreement in 1987 that banned ozone depleting chemicals being used, but the damage that was done up until that point has not healed completely.

How to Combat Pollution Related Eye Issues

Everyone can make a difference, even if it feels like you are starting small. It will take all of us to slow down the process of climate change and start to restore our planet to its former glory.

  • There are many ways you can start contributing to air pollution clean up:
  • Recycle any recyclable materials
  • Car pool or use alternative transportation like Bikes
  • Plant Trees
  • Shut off lights in rooms you are not in
  • Use electric yard tools
  • Don’t burn waste

In regards to keeping your eyes safe, always wear a quality pair of sunglasses while outside or exposed to the sun. Avoid being outside in high air pollution areas. Most importantly, regularly see your eye doctor to make sure your eyes are in tip top shape.

Myopia (Nearsightedness)

We have talked about this topic on our blog before, but it has been a little while so we thought it would be good idea to re-visit it this month. According to the AAO this disorder is on the rise for several decades. They estimate that by 2050, almost HALF of the worlds population will have nearsightedness. So lets take a look at what this disorder is and how to treat or prevent it.

What is Myopia?

Myopia is commonly referred to as nearsightedness. It is when objects up close look clear but objects in the distance are blurry. So it may be easy to read something like a restaurant menu, but when you are driving you are unable to read road signs that are far away.

Myopia is currently categorized into two levels, either high or low myopia. You can be diagnosed with either and your eye doctor will prescribe the best contacts of glass lenses to correct your vision for you.

Usually if children are diagnosed with myopia, their level will rise but can level off in their twenties.

How to tell if you have Myopia?

There are some symptoms you could be experiencing that might be because of myopia. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Difficulty seeing things that are far away
  • Blurry Vision

Of course the most effective way to find out if you or your child have myopia would be to schedule an eye exam and let an eye doctor diagnose it.

What Causes Myopia?

If you have myopia, then the shape of your eye is preventing light from bending so that the light is not landing on your retina. In an eye without myopia, the cornea and lens will work together to bend the light you see and have it land directly on the retina. The retina will then send a signal to your brain which allows you to see.

If your cornea is curved too steeply or if your eye is longer than normal it can cause the light rays you are seeing to not fall on your retina which then makes it harder to see.

How is Myopia Treated?

The easiest way to treat myopia is with glasses or contacts. After an eye exam, your eye doctor will prescribe a lens that will help to correct your vision. Your prescriptions will change over time, which is why it is important to see your eye doctor each year. They can change your glasses or contacts to better correct your vision as your vision changes.

There are also surgeries that you could be a candidate for. Theses types of surgeries are called refractive surgeries and include:

  • Epi-LASIK
  • PRK

Refractive surgeries an ophthalmologist removes the natural lens inside your eye and replaces it with an artificial lens. The new lens helps to aim the light at the retina to help you see more clearly.

Can Myopia be Prevented?

There is some research to support being able to prevent myopia from progressing and one of the theories is to encourage children to spend more time outdoors. Balancing indoor and outdoor time can help protect against myopia.

The best way to combat any eye disorder is to regularly see your eye doctor. If you or your children are experiencing any of the above symptoms we described, call us today to make your appointment!

« Older posts