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Why Eye Exams Are More Important Than Ever

Why Are Eye Exams near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida Important?

Since the onset of COVID-19, many children have been learning remotely through distance learning programs. While parents are concerned about their children falling behind academically, eye doctors are concerned that undiagnosed vision problems may impact the child’s school performance.

Undetected vision problems may hinder a child’s ability to learn. That’s why eye doctors strongly recommend that children undergo a thorough Eye Exam before the new school year begins.

While it’s tempting to rely on vision screenings provided by schools, these superficial visual acuity tests can identify only a limited number of vision problems. Only a comprehensive Eye Exam conducted by an eye doctor can accurately diagnose and address a wide range of problems related to vision and eye health.

How Is Vision Affected By Online Learning?

The amount of time children spend looking at digital screens was already a concern in the pre-pandemic era—but the covid pandemic has only exacerbated the issue. According to the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology, children spent twice as much time on screens during COVID-related closures than they did prior to the pandemic.

For one thing, spending prolonged periods of time on digital screens forces the eyes to work harder, making children and adults more susceptible to digital eye strain, one of the hallmark symptoms of computer vision syndrome. People who spend 2 or more consecutive hours staring at a screen are at higher risk of developing this condition.

Some digital eye strain symptoms include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye fatigue
  • Eye pain
  • Headaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

These symptoms can be caused by a combination of the following factors:

  • Glare and reflections from the screen
  • Excessive time looking at a screen
  • Poor lighting
  • Poor posture
  • Screen brightness
  • Undetected vision problems

In addition to digital eye strain, several studies have found that children who spend many hours indoors doing “near work” — writing, reading and looking at computers and other digital devices — have a higher rate of myopia progression.

A study published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s professional journal, Ophthalmology, found that first-graders who spent at least 11 hours per week playing outside in the sunshine experienced slower myopia progression. Some researchers theorize that exposure to sunlight and looking at distant objects while playing outdoors might help prevent myopia progression.

Our optometry practice near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, offers a wide range of eye care services, including pediatric eye exams, contact lenses fitting and ocular diseases management

Why Are Eye Exams Important?

Up to 80% of a child’s learning is visual, so even the slightest vision problem can have a negative impact on their academic achievement. Taking a child in for an Eye Exam once a year will allow your eye doctor to detect and correct refractive errors like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism, and check their visual skills, such as convergence insufficiency, binocular vision, focusing and more.

Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to detect mild and serious eye health conditions. Eye exams are especially important for children with a family history of eye health problems.

While regular eye exams are essential for every member of the family, they’re especially for those who spend a good portion of their day in front of a screen.

Don’t put off your child’s annual Eye Exam. Schedule an appointment with Jeffrey D. Hixenbaugh, O.D., P.A. in Palm Beach Gardens today!

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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At what age should a child have an Eye Exam

According to the American and Canadian Optometric Associations, it’s recommended for a child to have their first Eye Exam between 6-12 months of age.
Before a child starts school, they should undergo an Eye Exam, and every one to two years after that, based on their Eye Doctor’s recommendation.

Does my child need an Eye Exam if they passed the school vision screening?

Yes! School vision screenings are superficial eye evaluations designed to diagnose a limited number of vision problems like myopia. They do not check for visual skills and other problems that may hinder your child’s academic success.
Your Eye Doctor will evaluate your child’s vision and eye health, along with visual abilities, including depth perception and eye tracking, to let you know whether your child’s eyes are “school-ready.”

Why Are Blue Eyes More Sensitive To Light?

Why Do Your Eyes Need Sun Protection?

Eyes of all colors need shielding from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Exposure to UV light can contribute to the formation of short-term and long-term eye conditions such as corneal sunburn and macular degeneration.

That’s why it’s so important to choose high-quality Sunwear with 100% UV blocking lenses and to throw on a sun hat for an added layer of protection.

UV protection is important for individuals of all ages—especially children—who are more susceptible than adults to the sun’s harmful rays and tend to spend more time outdoors. It is estimated that up to 80% of a person’s lifetime exposure to UV rays happens before the age of 18.

Why are Blue Eyes More Sensitive to Light?

Lighter-colored eyes like blue, hazel, and green have less of a pigment called ‘melanin’ than brown eyes do.

Melanin helps protect the retina from UV damage and blue light, putting those with blue eyes at a higher risk of developing UV-related eye damage.

If you have blue eyes, you may have experienced this first-hand. Bright light may be uncomfortable or you may want to reach for your shades as soon as you leave the house on a sunny day.

That’s why optometrists urge blue-eyed patients to be particularly vigilant about UV protection, so as to mitigate their chances of developing eye disease and other complications.

How We Can Help

Whether you have blue eyes or not, sunglasses are an important part of keeping your eyes healthy for a lifetime.

At Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, we’ll be happy to advise on the perfect high-quality and protective pair of sunglasses to suit your needs and personal style.

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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Should I wear sunglasses even when it’s not sunny outside?

Yes! You should wear your sunglasses whenever outdoors during the day, even on an overcast, winter day. UV light can pass through clouds and reflect off surfaces like car windows and pavement.

What type of sunglasses are the most suitable for blue eyes?

The most protective sunglasses are wraparound sunglasses that protect the eyes from every angle. You can also opt for photochromic lenses, which offer total UV protection but only become tinted when exposed to outdoor sunlight, and turn clear when you come indoors again. Your optometrist can help you choose the best lens and frame options for your needs and lifestyle.

Exercise Helps Keep Your Eyes in Shape Too!

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA An Active Body is Linked to Healthy Eyes near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

You know all about how regular exercise strengthens your heart and lungs, as well as boosts your energy. Did you also know it can promote healthy vision? Remember, your body is one interconnected unit, and every organ benefits from getting a workout. Our Eye doctor near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida explains how physical activity helps to preserve your quality vision.

The Importance of Preventive Health Care near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

A variety of scientific studies have confirmed that regular exercise can reduce the risks of common eye diseases, such as glaucoma, cataracts, and age-related macular degeneration. The effects of exercise on your quality of life are therefore far-reaching, helping to prevent visual impairment and blindness. Sharp vision is intricately connected to your physical and mental health, enabling you to work and enjoy all the activities you love to do.

When assessing risk factors for ocular disease, eye care providers focus on a holistic view of the person. Eye health can be related to your overall health, with conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes being risk factors for vision loss.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis, Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

How Much Exercise Is Recommended?

At our eye clinic near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, patients constantly ask about the bottom line: how much is enough exercise to reap the eye health benefits? According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you don’t need to run a marathon. Leading an active lifestyle, such as taking brisk walks, climbing up the stairs instead of using the elevator, and dancing can have a positive impact on eye health. In many cases, these types of exercise are enough to help lower blood pressure and keep blood sugars in control, which in turn helps prevent vision damage.

The Importance of Preventive Health Care

  • Along with exercising and maintaining a healthy, nutritious diet, the team at our eye care center near you encourages everyone to follow these preventive tips to keep your vision healthy:
    Get routine eye exams so your eye doctor can inspect for any early signs of disease, which will allow you to receive treatment as early as possible. Early detection is essential for effective treatments to slow or prevent damage to your vision.
  • Know your family eye history and share the facts with your eye doctor.
  • Wear sunglasses whenever you’re outdoors, regardless of the season. Dangerous UV rays are always out there.
  • Don’t smoke; smoking increases your chances of developing age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Eat nutritiously, including fruits and vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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I see fine. Why do I need to see an Eye Doctor?

Regular eye exams are the only way to catch “silent” diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions in their early stages when they’re more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam. Those who consider mass-produced, over-the-counter reading glasses are truly doing themselves a disservice, both financially and medically. One-size-fits-all reading glasses not only do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism, or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly, they bypass the opportunity to have their eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions. For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headache and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

What are cataracts and how can they be treated?

Cataracts are a clouding of the lens inside the eye. They are common with age, certain medications, and medical conditions. Patients usually feel like they are looking through a dirty window, cannot see colors the way they used to, or have increased difficulty with glare. Currently, the treatment is surgery to remove the cloudy lens. Stay tuned for medical advances in cataract treatment in the future!

What exactly is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP) is too high. This means that your eye has too much aqueous humor in it, either because it produced too much, or because it’s not draining properly. Other symptoms are optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma is a silent disease that robs the patient of their peripheral vision. Early detection is very important.

Is it possible to prevent Macular Degeneration?

Regular eye exams are the only way to catch “silent” diseases such as diabetes, glaucoma, and other conditions in their early stages when they’re more easily managed or treated. Many conditions can be discovered in a carefully planned eye exam. Those who consider mass-produced, over-the-counter reading glasses are truly doing themselves a disservice, both financially and medically. One-size-fits-all reading glasses not only do not work well for most people who have a different prescription in each eye, and/or astigmatism, or whose lens and frame parameters are not measured correctly, they bypass the opportunity to have their eyes checked for early detection of many manageable diseases or conditions. For those insisting on selecting glasses not measured specifically for their eyes, headache and eye fatigue are common symptoms.

Why Are Dilated Eye Exams So Important?

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA Dilated Eye Exam near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Having your eyes dilated during an eye exam may seem like a nuisance. But when you consider the benefits of a dilated eye exam, the temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light that typically follow are definitely worth it.

What Are Dilated Eye Exams?

At some point during a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will shine a bright light into your eyes to examine the back of your eye, called the retina. The problem is that bright light causes the size of the pupil’s opening to shrink, which makes it hard for the optometrist to see a large portion of the retina.

That’s why eye doctors apply special eye drops in each eye to keep the pupils open. A dilated pupil allows for a much more accurate assessment of your eye’s structures, including the focusing lens, blood vessels and tissues at the back of the eye called the retina, as well as the optic nerve and macula.

Dilating the eyes makes it easier for your optometrist to detect the following conditions and diseases:

It’s important to note that many of these conditions can develop without noticeable symptoms, until they cause vision loss at which point treatment may be more challenging, making dilated eye exams all the more crucial.

The Dilation Process

First, your eye doctor will apply eye drops to each eye to trigger dilation of the pupil. Your eyes should be fully dilated about 10-20 minutes later.

Your eyes will remain dilated for 4-6 hours, and during this time you may be sensitive to light. That’s because the larger pupil allows more light than usual to enter the eye. Many patients find it more comfortable to wear sunglasses until their eyes return to normal.

Reading and using a computer may be difficult with dilated eyes, and your vision may be blurred. Some patients report feeling a tightening sensation in their eyelids, or headaches.

Dilated eye exams are a crucial part of keeping your eyes healthy. To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call our optometry practice today!

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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At what age should one have a dilated eye exam?

You should have your dilated eye exam no matter your age. Most eye doctors will dilate a new patient at their first exam regardless of age to get a baseline of their retinal health.

Will I be able to return to work after a dilated eye exam?

Everyone reacts differently, so it’s hard to tell. If your job requires you to focus on small print or detail, it may be challenging. Typing and writing may also be difficult with dilated pupils. To be on the safe side, book your appointment at the end of your work day, clear your schedule after your eye exam and only plan to do activities which aren’t visually demanding.

Why Does Bono Always Wear His Signature Shades?

Ask our optometrist in Palm Beach Gardens how Do Sunglasses Help People With Glaucoma?

Ever wonder why rock superstar Bono wears sunglasses, even when indoors? It’s not due to his “look”, but rather is related to managing his glaucoma.

Ever wonder why Bono always wears shades, even when indoors? U2’s frontman doesn’t wear sunglasses simply as part of his image. Bono has had glaucoma, a build-up of pressure in the eyeball, which can damage the optic nerve and potentially lead to blindness if untreated—for over two decades now.

The real reason he wears his trademark shades is due to this progressive, sight-robbing eye disease, to protect his sensitive eyes from light and glare.

How Do Sunglasses Help People With Glaucoma?

People with glaucoma experience sensitivity to light (or photophobia) and glare, among other symptoms. When the sun is strong, those with this condition will be more affected by glare emanating from a variety of surfaces, like water, snow, sand or pavement, than the average person. Furthermore, certain glaucoma medications constrict the pupils, which can further contribute to acute sensitivity to glare and light, as well as redness and irritation.

That’s why people with glaucoma — and lots of people without glaucoma — feel best wearing sunglasses when outdoors on a sunny day, in a bright indoor space, or while driving in the early evening.

Here’s How You Can Protect Your Eyes

By wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection, you can reduce your risk of developing sight robbing diseases, like cataracts and macular degeneration, and reduce glaucoma symptoms. Polarized lenses, in particular, can help with glare. With yearly comprehensive eye exams, early diagnosis and consistent treatment, you can prevent vision deterioration from glaucoma or similar sight-threatening eye diseases. Contact Jeffrey D. Hixenbaugh, O.D., P.A. in Palm Beach Gardens to book your eye doctor’s appointment today.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Can glaucoma be cured?

While there is currently no cure for glaucoma, there are many effective treatment options available. Treatments that can help stop or slow the progression of glaucoma include eye drops, oral medications, as well as laser and surgical procedures.

How can glaucoma vision loss be prevented?

The best way to avoid glaucoma-related eyesight deterioration is to undergo regular eye exams, as glaucoma can be detected and treated even in its early stages, which can prevent significant vision loss or blindness. That’s why routine eye exams that include glaucoma testing are so important.

7 Tips for Dealing with Eye Allergies

Do you suffer from Swollen eyelids, watering, redness, itchiness? Get an Eye Exam from our Palm Beach Gardens Eye Doctor today near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Allergies aren’t uncommon, with statistics reporting that more than one-third of all people experience the annoying symptoms. And as our eye doctor near you can attest, ocular allergies comprise a large number of allergic conditions.

If you think you are suffering from Eye Allergies, visit our Eye Clinic near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida for treatment.

Swollen eyelids, watering, redness, itchiness or sticky mucus discharge from the corners of the eyes are all typical reasons to visit an eye clinic near you for treatment. What do eye care experts generally recommend as a way to prevent and/or soothe these symptoms of eye irritation?

7 Tips for Dealing with Eye Allergies

  1. Avoid the allergen. Stay indoors when the pollen count is high in your area, and keep your indoor air clean and clear. It may be helpful to install an air filter in your home.
  2. Apply cool compresses gently to irritated eyes to help reduce inflammation.
  3. Use artificial tears eye drops to keep your eyes moist and flush out allergens at the same time.
  4. Refrain from inserting your contact lenses during allergy season. Airborne allergens can easily stick to your contacts, keeping them close to your eye surface where they can provoke a stronger allergic reaction. Daily disposable contacts may also be a better solution than standard monthly wear lenses. Consult with a contact lenses supplier near you for more information.
  5. Don’t rub your eyes. Eye rubbing can worsen swelling and irritation.
  6. Topical antihistamines and mast cell stabilizer eye drops can help alleviate the inflammatory response and painful symptoms.
  7. If you have a severe case of eye allergies, our optometrist near you may prescribe topical steroid drops. (These should only be used under the supervision of a certified eye care professional, due to possible side effects associated with them.)

Don’t Delay – Get an Eye Exam

Early treatment of ocular allergies can make all the difference. Although over-the-counter medications may be helpful for soothing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and sinus congestion, they’re often less effective at relieving eye allergy symptoms.

Additionally, what you may think is eye allergies could really be caused by a different ocular condition! The symptoms of viral and bacterial conjunctivitis can be almost identical to ocular allergies. That’s why an eye exam by an eye doctor is necessary to confirm the diagnosis and get the right treatment you need.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Astigmatism Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA eye clinic near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 561-627-8185

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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  • What are the common symptoms of OCULAR allergies?

    Excessive tearing, frequent eye rubbing, constant irritation especially in the corners of your eyes closest to the nose, lid swelling or puffy eyes, and red or pink eyes are some of the most common ocular allergy symptoms.

  • What is meant by the term allergic conjunctivitis? Is that the same as “pink eye”?

    Allergic conjunctivitis is the clinical term of ocular inflammation of the lining or membrane of the eye, called the conjunctiva, caused by allergic reactions to substances. Although a patient may present with red or pink eyes from excess inflammation, the common term “pink eye” can signify a broad term of conditions and can be misleading, as viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other irritating substances can cause redness resembling a “pink eye” Your eye doctor can differentiate between an allergy reaction and a true infection, which can lead to faster healing with proper treatments.

  • ‘I have seasonal allergies. How come my eyes are still itchy even after I take a Claritin pill?’

    You may need an anti-allergy eye drop to target the symptoms in the eye. Much of the time, oral anti-allergy medications are not that effective at treating the symptoms in the eye. In fact, oral anti-allergy medications can cause dry eyes which then worsen the symptoms due to allergies. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, either over-the-counter or prescription-strength eye drops can be prescribed to provide relief. Visit our Eye Doctor today for a consultation.

  • Why does allergy season affect my eyes?

    Excessive tearing, frequent eye rubbing, constant irritation especially in the corners of your eyes closest to the nose, lid swelling or puffy eyes, and red or pink eyes are some of the most common ocular allergy symptoms.

What Causes Halos Around Lights?

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA Local Cataract, Astigmatism, Fuch’s Dystrophy and Glaucoma Eye exams and treatment near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Have you ever seen bright rings or “halos” around sources of light? Read on to learn what can cause halos and when they’re a reason to visit an eye doctor near you.

For local Management of Ocular Diseases near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Seeing bright rings or “halos” around sources of light can either be normal or a cause for concern. Below, we’ll explain the most common reasons that people see halos and when you should visit your eye doctor.

We see halos around light fixtures and headlights when light entering the eye from a bright object is bent in an unusual way. This causes the bright light to appear as if it is surrounded by a ring of light, known as a halo. Several conditions can cause light to bend in this way.

  • CataractsA cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Cataracts usually develop slowly and are most often seen in older people.

    When the lens becomes cloudy, light is dispersed abnormally as it enters the eye and causes a person to see halos around lights. In fact, seeing halos around lights is one of the most common symptoms of cataracts. Other symptoms that may accompany cataracts are blurred vision, light sensitivity, and difficulty seeing at night.

  • AstigmatismThis eye condition occurs when the cornea (the front surface of the eye) is irregularly curved. People with astigmatism may see halos around lights because of the way the cornea refracts incoming light.
  • Fuch’s Dystrophy This progressive genetic disease causes the cornea to swell. As the cornea swells and becomes misshapen, it causes light to enter at an incorrect angle. As a result, people with this condition see halos around lights.
  • GlaucomaGlaucoma occurs when the optic nerve becomes damaged due to high inner eye pressure, and is a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Seeing halos around lights can be an early sign of acute glaucoma, which is considered a medical emergency.

    If you suddenly start seeing halos around lights in addition to other symptoms like headache, vomiting, blurred vision, eye pain, and weakness, seek medical care without delay.

  • Dry Eye SyndromeDry eye syndrome occurs when the eyes are chronically dry. In moderate to severe cases, the eye’s surface can become irregularly shaped, which can cause light to enter at an odd angle.

When To Visit Your Eye Doctor

If you see halos around lights, it’s best to schedule a timely eye exam at an eye clinic near you, even if you suspect you know why it’s happening.

A comprehensive eye exam by a qualified eye care professional is the only way to rule out a serious problem.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA eye clinic near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 561-627-8185

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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  • What is a cataract? How will I know when I have one? What can be done to fix it?

    A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens. The crystalline lens sits behind the iris or the colored part of the eye. Its function is to fine-tune our focusing system by changing shape as we view objects at different distances. Our lens eventually loses its ability to change shape; this is when we require reading glasses or bifocals. In addition, the crystalline lens can become cloudy or yellow as a part of normal aging. This is also known as an age-related cataract. Normal, age-related cataracts are unavoidable and everyone will develop them at some point if they live long enough. The discoloration of the lens leads to an overall blur, a decrease in contrast sensitivity, and a worsening of glare, especially at nighttime. Because they tend to develop gradually, the symptoms are often unnoticed by the patient. A yearly eye exam will allow your optometrist the opportunity to identify cataracts and advise on how to proceed. When your optometrist decides your cataracts are affecting your vision and are advanced enough to remove, you will meet with an ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective outpatient procedure that will reverse any vision loss caused by cataracts, and it is usually covered by your medical insurance.

  • My previous eye doctor told me I have “stigma!” Am I going to go blind?

    Stigma is actually referring to a type of refractive error known properly as astigmatism, and no, you will not go blind from having astigmatism; it is not a disease, in fact, it is relatively common. There are three types of refractive error, myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The former two are more regularly referred to as nearsighted (cannot see far away) and farsighted (cannot see up close). Astigmatism is simply the third category; it affects both the near and far vision at the same time. Much like nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism is corrected using glasses or contacts. Technically speaking an eye with astigmatism requires two different prescriptions to correct vision in one eye due to the more oval shape of the cornea. This will require a more specialized contact lens and a more in-depth fitting procedure. Nonetheless, your eye care provider can, and will, correct your astigmatism with glasses and/or contacts.

  • What exactly is glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is a condition in which the eye’s intraocular pressure (IOP) is too high. This means that your eye has too much aqueous humor in it, either because it produced too much, or because it’s not draining properly. Other symptoms are optic nerve damage and vision loss. Glaucoma is a silent disease that robs the patient of their peripheral vision. Early detection is very important.

  • My eyes are always burning and tired, what is causing this and what can I do about it?

    A cataract is a clouding of the crystalline lens. The crystalline lens sits behind the iris or the colored part of the eye. Its function is to fine-tune our focusing system by changing shape as we view objects at different distances. Our lens eventually loses its ability to change shape; this is when we require reading glasses or bifocals. In addition, the crystalline lens can become cloudy or yellow as a part of normal aging. This is also known as an age-related cataract. Normal, age-related cataracts are unavoidable and everyone will develop them at some point if they live long enough. The discoloration of the lens leads to an overall blur, a decrease in contrast sensitivity, and a worsening of glare, especially at nighttime. Because they tend to develop gradually, the symptoms are often unnoticed by the patient. A yearly eye exam will allow your optometrist the opportunity to identify cataracts and advise on how to proceed. When your optometrist decides your cataracts are affecting your vision and are advanced enough to remove, you will meet with an ophthalmologist. Cataract surgery is a safe and effective outpatient procedure that will reverse any vision loss caused by cataracts, and it is usually covered by your medical insurance.

Who is the Ideal LASIK Candidate?

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA LASIK Guidelines from your Palm Beach Gardens, Florida Eye Doctor. near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Get a local Palm Beach Gardens, Florida , Eye Exam today!

What criteria determine if you are eligible for LASIK?

  • Good eye health, with no ocular disease. Conditions such as chronic eye infections, severe dry eye syndrome, cataracts, corneal disorders, macular degeneration, uncontrolled glaucoma, and eye injuries may make LASIK a poor choice for you.
  • Corneal thickness must be adequate for reshaping your cornea. Performing LASIK on a cornea that is too thin or extremely irregular can reduce the success of the procedure. However, this rule isn’t as steadfast as it once was, because new types of LASIK are now available that enable surgeons to perform the laser vision correction. Our Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, will measure your cornea during your LASIK consultation eye exam to recommend the most suitable method of laser eye surgery.
  • The best visual success with LASIK is with people who have prescriptions in the following parameters: up to +6 diopters for farsightedness, up to 6 diopters of astigmatism (cylinder), and up to -12 diopters of nearsightedness.
  • Ocular maturity is important. The best LASIK results are achieved in people who have had a stable vision prescription for about a year before undergoing refractive surgery.
  • A good overall health condition, with no pre-existing conditions that can slow healing, such as hypertension, Sjogren’s syndrome, and poorly controlled diabetes.
  • LASIK is FDA-approved for patients above age 18. Generally, there is no maximum age for laser eye surgery. But, be aware that once you are in your 40s, you may still require reading glasses to correct near vision after undergoing LASIK.
  • LASIK is not suitable for women who are pregnant or nursing, due to the fact that hormonal changes can affect the corneal shape. Typically, it’s advised to wait a few months after pregnancy.

Set realistic visual expectations

If you are seriously considering LASIK, it’s important to face reality. While most people are thrilled with their LASIK results, there are still risks and possible side effects and complications. You need an experienced eye doctor to perform a personalized eye exam and consider whether or not you are an ideal candidate for laser eye surgery – as well as advise you about which specific type of vision correction is most appropriate.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA eye clinic near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 561-627-8185

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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  • What is LASIK surgery?

    LASIK surgery is a procedure that corrects a wide range of nearsightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia, and astigmatism.

  • Who benefits from LASIK?

    LASIK eye surgery can benefit a significant number of people with myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.

  • Is the LASIK procedure safe?

    Studies show that the LASIK procedure carries only minimal risks of complications. Even if complications do occur, most of the complications are resolved within three months and do not result in long-term interference with vision.

3 Eye Exercises To Relieve Eye Strain

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA To reduce eye strain, try these 3 exercises near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Book an eye exam at Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA eye clinic near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you. Call 561-627-8185

Take a break from digital devices to allow our eyes to rest and prevent eye strain near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

The more time we spend on digital devices for work, school, and entertainment, the greater the risk of developing eye strain. Staring at a screen for an extended period of time tires out our eye muscles and can also cause dry eye, headaches, blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light, and soreness in the neck and shoulders.

Fortunately, there are exercises to relax and refresh your eyes and prevent eye strain discomfort.

Eye Exercises

Since the use of digital screens has become a large part of our daily lives, more people are suffering from eye strain. To prevent or reduce eye strain, try these 3 simple eye exercises:

The 20-20-20 rule

  • Every 20 minutes, look away from your computer for 20 seconds
  • Gaze at an object that is at least 20 feet away
  • Repeat throughout the day

This quick and easy exercise reduces eye strain by resting the eyes and upper body.

Palming

  • Sit in a darkened room with your elbows leaning on a table
  • Relax your back and shoulders
  • Rub your hands together to warm them
  • Place your palms over your eyes — do not press the eye sockets so that your eyes can blink freely
  • Visualize total darkness and breathe deeply for 2 minutes

This exercise relieves stress on the eyes.

Blinking

When we look at a computer screen, we tend to forget to blink. This exercise reduces eye strain and dry eye symptoms.

  • Slowly close your eyes for a few seconds
  • Open your eyes slowly and relax your facial muscles
  • Keep your eyes open for 3-5 seconds
  • Repeat 10-20 times, until your eyes and the muscles around your eyes feel relaxed

While eye strain isn’t a medical emergency, it can negatively affect your quality of life and ability to work and learn. For a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor near you. At Jeffrey D. Hixenbaugh, O.D., P.A., we care about your eyes and health. Contact us today!

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

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  • I can see well. Why do I need to visit an Eye Care Professional?

    Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to prevent “silent” eye diseases like diabetes, glaucoma, and other manageable conditions in their early stages when they are more easily treated. Many conditions can be avoided through planned eye exams.

  • Should my child’s eyes be examined regularly?

    Most Pediatricians test a child’s vision as part of a routine medical examination. They can refer a child to an ophthalmologist if there are signs of an eye condition. Examinations should be done at three years and then regular pediatric eye exams annually.

  • Can my child wear contact lenses and play sports?

    Yes, contact lenses provide excellent vision correction for most sports. However, they can not protect the eyes from injury. Therefore, contact lens wearers should use prescribed sports safety goggles.

  • What is Dry eye?

    Comprehensive eye exams are the best way to prevent “silent” eye diseases like diabetes, glaucoma, and other manageable conditions in their early stages when they are more easily treated. Many conditions can be avoided through planned eye exams.

Vision Loss and What to Do

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA Local Eye clinic near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

According to recent NIH-funded studies, some of the statistics on vision loss may appear unbelievable, but they’re true:

  • The number of Americans who are legally blind (20/200 vision or worse) is estimated to be more than 1 million.
  • The number of Americans who have visual impairment, defined as 20/40 or worse with the best possible correction, is more than 3.2 million people – and rising.

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a Comprehensive eye exam, Pediatric eye exam and Contact lens eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, Pink Eye or conjunctivitis, Myopia or Nearsightedness , Glaucoma, Macular degeneration, Diabetic retinopathy, or Dry eye, you may be overwhelmed by the diagnosis and confused about what happens next. Will you need medications or surgery – now or in the future? Is LASIK eye and vision surgery an option for you ? Our Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor is always ready to answer your questions about eye disease and Contact lenses.

Local Eye Doctor near you in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Most sight-threatening eye conditions do not present with anything more than very subtle symptoms during the early stage if any. That’s why a large percentage of people simply miss the early signs of vision loss.

However, early detection and timely treatment are critical for preventing complications, damage, and vision loss. Routine eye exams are the best way to catch a developing eye disease and treat it before symptoms occur, which is ideal. But, even between appointments, learning to recognize the subtle earliest signs of vision loss and booking an eye exam immediately with an eye doctor near you can play a part in keeping your eyesight sharp and healthy for as long as possible.

Let’s review 5 of the earliest signs and the best ways for you to respond:

Blurred Central Vision

When your central field of vision becomes fuzzy, it could indicate an eye condition. Blurry vision might be the result of something as innocuous as needing a higher prescription or might be a sign of a developing age-related eye disease like cataracts or even macular degeneration which can lead to severe vision loss. The easiest way for you to test your central vision for macular degeneration at home is by looking at an Amsler grid. If the straight lines appear wavy, call an optometrist near you to schedule a comprehensive eye exam. When detected at the beginning, some forms of macular degeneration are treatable.

Yellowing or Fading Color Vision

You may be amazed to learn that the healthy eye can discern more than 10 million different colors! However, this only holds true if your eyes are functioning normally and optimally. If you start to notice colors appear dimmer or faded or have a yellow tint, you could be experiencing early signs of vision loss from cataracts.

Vision with cataracts has been described as viewing the world through a fogged-up window. By the age of 80, more than 50% of all Americans will develop cataracts. Fortunately, cataract removal surgery is highly successful at restoring the ability to differentiate colors without compromising sharp vision. If you notice that colors appear less vibrant, visit an eye clinic near you.

Floaters and Flashes

The sudden appearance of flashes of light or many floaters – seen as transparent squiggly lines or dots gliding across your field of vision can indicate the need for an urgent eye exam. This “debris” in your eye, which doesn’t usually cause any pain, could be a sign of retinal detachment. Visit your eye care provider immediately if you notice recurring flashes of light or a bunch of new floaters. If you require a retinal detachment surgery, it can help restore your vision to full functionality.

Eye Pain

Recurrence of pain around the eye is the most common telltale indication of ocular damage after an eye injury or trauma. The pain may affect one or both eyes, be moderate or extreme, and it is typically felt on or behind the eye. A wide variety of reasons could be to blame, ranging from a corneal scratch to diabetic eye disease. Don’t just take OTC pain-relievers; consult an eye doctor near you for a professional diagnosis.

The normal, healthy pupil — that round circle in the middle of your eye, surrounded by the colored iris — is jet black. When white areas appear in the pupil, it’s not a good sign. It could be due to an eye infection or the development of an eye disease. Either way, it’s a reason to visit your eye care provider for an evaluation.

Your eyes may be a small organ of your body, but they play a huge role in your quality of life. Eyes are also extremely delicate and sensitive, which is why it’s advised to do your utmost to prevent vision loss by contacting an eye clinic near you at the first sign of a problem, even if it’s not yet time for your yearly comprehensive eye exam.

Book an eye exam at an eye clinic near you to learn more about your candidacy for contact lenses and which type is right for you.

Jeffrey D Hixenbaugh OD PA, your Palm Beach Gardens eye doctor for eye exams and eye care

Alternatively, book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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What happens after diagnosis of macular degeneration?

If our eye doctors detect your eye disease when it first begins, many preventive measures can be taken to treat AMD so that your vision remains as healthy as possible. That’s why routine eye exams are so critical! During your eye exam at Jeffrey D. Hixenbaugh, O.D., P.A., we’ll evaluate your ocular health thoroughly to look for any signs of macular degeneration. If we detect any problems, we’ll recommend appropriate treatment immediately.

When is cataract surgery recommended?

During the early stages of a cataract, the visual symptoms may be so mild that you aren’t bothered. Your doctor will just perform regular eye exams to monitor your condition. However, as the cataract progresses, the effects on your vision usually become more disruptive – to the point that many regular daily tasks become difficult. That’s when your eye doctor may recommend cataract surgery. If a cataract gets in the way of treating another eye problem, such as diabetic retinopathy or age-related macular degeneration, cataract surgery may also be advised.

What is pink eye?

Officially called conjunctivitis, pink eye is caused by swelling in your eye. The conjunctiva – which is the thin and transparent tissue that lines your inner eyelids and coats the whites of your eyes – becomes inflamed. This eye infection is highly contagious, especially in kids, and it spreads quickly through schools. The good news is that pink eye is rarely serious and doesn’t usually cause any lasting damage to your vision.

Who is the Ideal LASIK Candidate?

If our eye doctors detect your eye disease when it first begins, many preventive measures can be taken to treat AMD so that your vision remains as healthy as possible. That’s why routine eye exams are so critical! During your eye exam at Jeffrey D. Hixenbaugh, O.D., P.A., we’ll evaluate your ocular health thoroughly to look for any signs of macular degeneration. If we detect any problems, we’ll recommend appropriate treatment immediately.