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Eye Care Services

Routine eye exams are important, regardless of your age or physical health. During a complete eye exam, your eye doctor will not only determine your prescription for eyeglasses or contact lenses but will also check your eyes for common eye diseases, assess how your eyes work together as a team, and evaluate your eyes as an indicator of your overall health. Our services include: Comprehenssive Eye Exams, Contact Lense Exams, Eye Conditions Treatments, Eye Disease Managment, Eye Emergencies, LASIK Evaluations, and Latisse.


We do more to care for your eyes. We all know that many things can have an impact on our vision. Not getting the proper sleep, prolonged exposure to UV lighting, and too many hours in front of a computer are just some of the things that can seriously impact our vision. But did you know that stress can also lead to eye strain? In addition to all the other eye care services we provide, we also offer expert Massage Therapy for head, neck, shoulders, & back, and Relaxing Facials. We offer 20, 30, and 45-minute sessions you can book before or after your eye exam.

Eye Nutrition

Among other things that play an important role in eye health is nutrition. Choice Vision Care partnered with a company headed by a team of eye care professionals who did the research and formulated a nutritional supplement focusing specifically on the eye. FitEyez is that company, and you can now purchase this fine product online with our services & products.

Preventative Care

We're big on preventative care because we have seen firsthand how eye disease left undiagnosed hurts the patient and loved ones left with the burden of care that could have been prevented with regular exams. Sal DeCanio OD, a pioneer in the eye care industry, and his associates at Choice Vision Care utilize State-of-The-Art medical devices along with a combined forty years of experience to provide patients the best care possible.

New Treatment for Dry Eyes

In addition to other eye-related therapies, Choice Vision Care & Wellness provides advanced diagnostics & treatment for Dry Eye. It affects millions of Americans who have undergone various medical eye surgeries or have had severe eye trauma or eye disease, to mention a few. Thanks to Oculus, Luvo Darwin can assist our doctors in diagnosing Dry-Eye with unparalleled precision and enable us to treat it with a much higher degree of success. The same technology can now be used to address a multitude of facial skin disorders, some of which you can now be treated for before or after your eye exam. Choice Vision Care & Wellness has a licensed esthetician on the premises, working with our doctors to provide a level of service not standard in the eyecare industry. We invite you to see for yourself what makes us so different!

Our Team

Our team of specialist & associates has been providing professional, attentive eye care to residents of South Florida since 1981. Our board-certified optometric (eye) physicians are caring professionals you can trust with your eye health. We'll give it to you straight. We'll let you know if you've been misled or have an eye disease such as glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, or a degenerative eye condition such as keratoconus. We'll also assess whether or not you were recommended the best contacts or eyeglasses because maintaining good eye health is an ongoing partnership. We encourage you to ask questions and share your health information vital to diagnosing, treating, and monitoring potential problems. So don't put off making an appointment. Contact us today.

Chief Medical Director

Dr. Salvatore DeCanio is a board-certified optometric physician. Fellow: American Academy of Optometry and a native of South Florida. He is the Founder & Chief Medical Director of Choice Vision Care & Wellness, specializing in second-opinion consultations and complete visual health and eye care. He has a wealth of industry-leading experience, including Cataracts, Corneal Shaping without eye surgery(Ortho-K), and LASIK, having treated more than 16,000 patients. He is on the executive board of the prestigious Optometric Council on Cornea, Cataract & Refractive Surgery, is a former adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern College of Optometry, and was formerly the 18-year co-chairman of the nationally acclaimed Palm Beach Winter Seminar. Dr. DeCanio is known for his straightforward, warm, and caring demeanor. He has treated patients in every demographic, from children to the elderly.

Pink Eye

Pink eye (Conjunctivitis) is an inflammation of the transparent membrane that lines the eyelid and eyeball. Small blood vessels in the conjunctiva become more visible when they become swollen and irritated. Pink eye is most often caused by a viral infection, but it also can be caused by a bacterial infection, an allergic reaction, or — in babies — an incompletely opened tear duct.

Subconjunctival Hemorrhage

Subconjunctival hemorrhage can be caused by several things and usually occurs when a blood vessel under the surface of the eye breaks. Often this is nothing to be concerned about, except if due to injury to your eye or head. Then this could indicate bleeding in the brain, and immediate medical care from an eye doctor is advised.


Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that damage the optic nerve. Although age is a significant risk factor for glaucoma, it can happen to infants. It can manifest in childhood and adulthood. The damage caused by glaucoma can't be reversed. But treatment and regular checkups can help slow or prevent vision loss, especially if you catch the disease early.

Dry Eyes

Dry eye disease is common when your tears can't provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. There are many things that can cause Dry Eye Disease, including eye injuries. The good news, Choice Vision May be able to provide a permanent solution for chronic Dry Eyes condition. Talk to us.


Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in the US. Over 24 million people in the United States develop cataracts. Symptoms can include a gradual loss of vision, Cloudy or Blurred vision, Double vision, and poor Night vision. Your eye doctor can diagnose such conditions and recommend the proper treatment.


Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is popular in the US for vision correction. While no surgery is risk-free, we could not find documented cases of anyone going blind due to LASIK surgery. Approximately 92%-96% of people who have had LASIK see 20/20 to 20/40 with few complications. American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Eye Care & Vision Health Archives

Sports Related Eye Injuries

Ocular sports trauma is among North America's leading causes of permanent vision loss. Thousands of people get treated for sports-related eye injuries yearly, with the most common injuries occurring during water sports and basketball. Infections, corneal abrasions, eye socket fractures, and detached retinas are just a few of the typical cases eye doctors encounter regularly. Sports Eye Safety Month is sponsored by Prevent Blindness America (PBA) to remind people to protect their eyes when playing sports. Though young children are usually the most vulnerable to eye injuries, it should be noted that professional athletes can also suffer eye injuries while on the job.
Eye accidents can happen in a split second - the effects can last a lifetime. By wearing protective eyewear, you can safeguard your eyesight without compromising on your favorite sports activities. Athletes who wear contact lenses still need additional eye protection for relevant sports. At Choice Vision Care, our eye doctors are experienced and trained to treat sports-induced eye injuries sustained by our active patients. Dr. Salvatore DeCanio and our dedicated staff are committed to providing the most comprehensive eye care to help get you back on the field again. Furthermore, we provide consultations on a wide array of protective eyewear for all your sporting needs.
What Eye Injuries Can Be Caused by Sports?
Corneal Abrasion - Corneal abrasions, or scratched cornea, are the most common sports-related eye injury. When someone gets poked in the eye, the eye's surface can get scratched. Symptoms may include acute pain, a gritty or foreign body sensation in the eyes, redness, tearing, light sensitivity, headaches, and blurry or decreased vision. Medical care includes prevention or treatment of infection and pain management. If you suspect that you have suffered a corneal abrasion, make sure to see an eye doctor right away.
Traumatic Iritis
Iritis is an inflammation of the iris, the colored part of the eye. The condition rapidly develops and typically affects only one eye. Symptoms include eye or brow region pain, blurred vision, a small or oddly-shaped pupil, and sensitivity to bright lights.
Hyphema is among the more common sports-related eye injuries, with racquet sports, baseball, and softball accounting for more than 50% of all hyphema injuries in athletics. A hyphema is a broken blood vessel inside the eye that causes blood to collect in the space between the cornea and iris, also known as the "anterior chamber." Although the main symptom is blood in the eye, it can be accompanied by blurry or distorted vision, light sensitivity, or eye pain. If you recognize the signs and symptoms of hyphema, seek immediate medical attention to avoid secondary complications.
Angle recession
Angle recession can develop from an eye injury or bruising of the eye caused by getting punched, elbowed, or hit with a ball. The trauma damages the fluid drainage system of the eye, which causes it to back up, increasing the pressure in the eye. In 20% of people with angle recession, this pressure can become so severe that it damages the optic nerve and causes glaucoma (known as "angle-recession glaucoma"). You may not notice any symptoms at first, and it may take years to experience any signs of vision loss. Therefore, it's critical to visit an eye doctor as soon as possible for a complete eye exam and ensure you follow up with routine screenings.
Retinal tear or detachment
Retinal detachment is when the retina gets lifted or pulled away from its normal position at the back of the eye. If not treated immediately, retinal detachment can develop permanent vision loss. Symptoms include seeing flashing lights, floaters, or little black spots in your vision. A retinal detachment is a medical emergency and requires an eye doctor's immediate attention - surgical intervention may be necessary.
Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
This happens when a blood vessel breaks on the white part of the eye. In addition to a sport-related injury, it can be induced by rubbing the eye, heavy lifting, sneezing, or coughing. For those with subconjunctival hemorrhage, the eye appears intensely red - though this minor condition will often clear up within a couple weeks without treatment.
Orbital Fracture
This occurs when one or more of the bones around the eyeball break, often caused by a hard blow to the face, such as a baseball or a fist. This is a significant injury and should be assessed by an eye doctor, like Dr. Salvatore DeCanio, along with X-rays or CT scan imaging to help confirm the diagnosis.
Black Eye or Periorbital Hematoma
A "shiner" can occur when a blunt object, such as a fist or ball, strikes the eye area of the face and causes bruising. Typically, this kind of injury affects the face more than the eye. Blurry vision may be a temporary symptom, but it's a good idea to get a black eye checked out by an optometrist because sometimes there is accompanying damage to the eye, which could impact vision.
One of the most important things one can do to prevent eye injuries is to wear protective eyewear. In fact, wearing eye protection should be part of any athlete's routine. It should be prioritized, just like wearing shin guards or a helmet.
Below are a few tips to prevent sports-related eye injuries:
Wear safety goggles (with polycarbonate lenses) for racquet sports or basketball. For the best possible protection, the eye guard or sports protective eyewear should be labeled "ASTM F803 approved," - which means it is performance tested. Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for baseball. If you wear prescription eyewear, speak with Dr. Salvatore DeCanio about fitting you for prescription protective eyewear. Sports eye protection should be comfortably padded along the brow and bridge of the nose to prevent the eye guards from cutting into the skin. Try on protective eyewear to assess whether it's the right fit and size for you, and adjust the straps as needed. For athletic children who are still growing, ensure that last year's pair fits before the new sports season begins. Consult Dr. Salvatore DeCanio to determine whether the comfort and safety levels are adequate.
Remember that regular glasses don't provide enough eye protection when playing sports. Athletes, whether amateur or pro, have so much more at stake than just losing the game. Fortunately, you can prevent 90% of all sports-related eye injuries by wearing high-quality protective eyewear.

How The Sun Affects Vision

How Can The Sun Affect Vision?
Did you know that heat and the sun can affect your vision? If you get dehydrated, lack of moisture can make it hard for your eyes to naturally produce enough tears, contributing to seasonal dry eye. If you already have dry eyes, arid heat can exacerbate your symptoms of itchy, red, sore, and irritated eyes. To give your eyes some temporary relief, keep artificial tears on hand. Too much sun isn’t a good thing. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can be very harmful, and your eyes are no exception. UV radiation can gradually contribute to eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. It is recommended that you always wear sunglasses with 100% of UVA and UVB light-blocking protection. There’s no shortage of trendy sunglasses designed with a flair for fashion, so you won’t have to compromise on style while protecting your eyes from dangerous UV rays. But if you experience discomfort or symptoms that don’t go away on their own, then it’s time to visit your eye doctor.


Did you know that over 24 million Americans have cataracts? More than 3.5 million Canadians are blind from cataracts, making it one of the most common – and severe – eye conditions today. Dr. Salvatore DeCanio treats cataract patients from all over Florida with the newest and most effective methods of eye care. With millions of people living with the condition, bringing awareness to this serious condition is more important than ever.
What Are Cataracts?
The lens of the eye is normally clear, which allows you to see things clearly and in sharp detail. Over time, the lens can become cloudy, causing blurry vision. It's as if you're looking through a dirty window and can't see what's outside. This clouding of the lens is called a cataract, and it can affect one or both of your eyes.
What Causes Cataracts?
Aging is the most common cause of cataracts. The lens of your eye contains water and proteins. As you age, these proteins can clump together, and the usually clear lens becomes cloudy. Certain types of major eye surgeries and infections can trigger cataracts? Other issues that can lead to cataracts include congenital birth defects, eye injury, diseases, and various medications. If you're already developing cataracts, be careful when going outside. UV rays from the sun can make cataracts develop faster.
How Can I Lower My Risk of Cataracts?
Certain risk factors increase your chance of developing cataracts. These typically include:

- Diabetes
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Family and medical history
- Medications
- Obesity
- Smoking
- UV ray exposure

To lower your risk, consider reducing your alcohol intake, quitting smoking, starting an exercise program, eating foods rich in vitamins A and C, and wearing 100% UV-blocking sunglasses.
Common Symptoms of Cataracts
If you have cataracts, you may experience some common symptoms like:

- Blurry vision
- Colors that used to be bright now appear dim
- Double vision
- Glare from natural sunlight or from artificial light, like light bulbs and lamps
- Halos around lights
- Night vision problems
- Sensitivity to light

If you or a family member notices these signs, talk to Dr. Salvatore DeCanio immediately. The sooner you seek treatment, the faster we can help you regain vision.
Coping With Cataracts
If you're experiencing vision problems from cataracts, there is hope. If you have a mild case, combining a different eyeglass prescription and better lighting in your home, office, or other environment can improve your vision. In more advanced cases, your optometrist will likely recommend cataract surgery to remove and replace the cloudy lens with a clear one.
Cataract Surgery?
During the procedure, the doctor will gently remove the cataract from the eye and replace it with an artificial intraocular lens (known as an IOL). Because it's a standard procedure, cataract surgery is usually performed in an outpatient clinic or your eye doctor's office. There is no need to stay in a hospital; you can usually resume your normal activities in just a few days. Surgery may be an option if you've exhausted every other solution and still suffer from blurry vision from cataracts. Schedule a consultation online or call the number on our website to book an eye doctor's appointment at Choice Vision Care. Together, we'll determine if cataract surgery is right for you.

Managing Eye Allergies

For people with allergies, spring means one more thing: suffering. Spring may be in the air, but so is pollen, pet dander, mold, and dust for allergy sufferers. These airborne allergens can trigger uncomfortable reactions such as watery eyes, coughing, sneezing, congestion, and sinus pain. You can do some things to minimize the discomfort throughout the spring season.
Tips for Getting Through Eye Allergy Season:
- Pollen tends to have a higher count in the mornings and early evenings. During these times, stay inside and keep windows closed. If you enjoy an early morning exercise run, consider an alternative indoor workout during peak allergy season.
- Take a shower before going to sleep. Doing this at night can rinse away any lingering allergens and leave you with a clearer eye and nasal area, as well as a more restful night's sleep.
- Keep artificial tears close by. They can temporarily alleviate ocular allergy symptoms by lubricating your eyes when they feel dry and itchy, and they're usually small enough to fit inside a purse or pocket. If you don't have any good eye drops, use a cool compress as an alternative method of relief.
- If your allergies are caused by dust or pet dander, vacuum. A lot. Dust collects quickly and can be difficult to spot until there's a large amount. Pets can shed fast and often, and just when you think you've removed all the fur from your sofa, carpet, or bed, you suddenly find more, so vacuum a few times each week.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and change your linens more often during the spring season. Remnants of airborne allergens can stay on your hands, towels, and bed sheets. Washing them more frequently can minimize some of your allergic reactions. And use hypoallergenic detergents.
Though tempting, don't rub your eyes. This can actually aggravate the allergy response. If you use artificial tears more than 4 times a day or other short-term solutions aren't enough, speak with your eye doctor. You may be able to receive antihistamine eye drops or other prescription medications to ease your discomfort.
When It's More Than Allergies
Certain eye allergy symptoms can also be signs of eye conditions or diseases, so pay close attention to reactions that don't dissipate after allergy season ends.

- These Eye Symptoms can include:
- Dryness
- Excessive tearing
- Itchiness
- Persistent eye pain
- Redness
- Swelling
These Symptoms Can Indicate Eye Conditions, Such As:
- Blepharitis (inflamed eyelids)
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
- Corneal Abrasions
- Dry Eye Disease
- Styes (an oil gland infection that causes a bump or pimple-like shape in the eyelid)
Eye Allergies and Contact Lenses
If you wear contact lenses, speak to your doctor about daily disposable contacts. These can be a great option for allergy sufferers. Since dailies are thrown away at the end of the day, there's no heavy allergen buildup on the lenses to worry about. Consider switching to eyeglasses for a while. Even the most comfortable soft lenses can feel irritable during allergy season. Use the springtime to get yourself a new look. With a wide range of incredible styles, including exclusive eyewear collections from today's hottest designers, there's something for everyone. Not sure what to choose? Talk to your optician to help you find a style that's right for you.

Effects of Diabetes on Vision

Diabetes is becoming much more prevalent around the globe. According to the International Diabetes Federation, approximately 425 million adults were living with diabetes in 2017, and 352 million more people were at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. By 2045, the number of people diagnosed is expected to rise to 629 million. Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, heart attacks, stroke, kidney failure, neuropathy (nerve damage), and lower limb amputation. In fact 2017, diabetes was implicated in 4 million deaths worldwide. Nevertheless, preventing these complications from diabetes is possible with proper treatment, medication, and regular medical screenings, as well as improving your diet, physical activity, and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the hormone insulin is either underproduced or ineffective in its ability to regulate blood sugar. Uncontrolled diabetes leads to hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, which damages many systems in the body, such as the blood vessels and the nervous system.
How Does Diabetes Affect The Eyes?
Diabetic eye disease is a group of conditions caused or worsened by diabetes, including diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, glaucoma, and cataracts. Diabetes increases the risk of cataracts by four times and can increase dryness and reduce cornea sensation. In diabetic retinopathy, over time, the tiny blood vessels within the eyes become damaged, causing leakage, poor oxygen circulation, and then scarring of the sensitive tissue within the retina, which can result in further cell damage and scarring. The longer you have diabetes and your blood sugar levels remain uncontrolled, the higher the chances of developing diabetic eye disease. Unlike many other vision-threatening conditions, which are more prevalent in older individuals, diabetic eye disease is one of the main causes of vision loss in the younger, working-age population. Unfortunately, these eye conditions can lead to blindness if not treated early. In fact, 2.6% of blindness worldwide is due to diabetes.
Diabetic Retinopathy As mentioned above, diabetes can result in cumulative damage to the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye, called diabetic retinopathy. The retina is responsible for converting the light it receives into visual signals to the optic nerve in the brain. High blood sugar levels can cause the blood vessels in the retina to leak or hemorrhage, causing bleeding and distorting vision. In advanced stages, new blood vessels may begin to grow on the retinal surface, causing scarring and further damaging cells in the retina. Diabetic retinopathy can eventually lead to blindness.
Signs and Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy
The early stages of diabetic retinopathy often have no symptoms, which is why it’s vitally important to have frequent diabetic eye exams. As it progresses, you may start to notice the following symptoms:
- Blurred or fluctuating vision or vision loss
- Floaters (dark spots or strings that appear to float in your visual field)
- Blind spots
- Color vision loss

There is no pain associated with diabetic retinopathy to signal any issues. If not controlled, retinopathy continues. It can cause retinal detachment and macular edema, two other serious conditions threatening vision. Again, there are often NO signs or symptoms until more advanced stages. A person with diabetes can do their part to control their blood sugar level. Following the physician’s medication plan and diet and exercise recommendations can help slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Retinal Detachment
Scar tissues caused by the breaking and forming of blood vessels in advanced retinopathy can lead to a retinal detachment in which the retina pulls away from the underlying tissue. This medical emergency must be treated immediately as it can lead to permanent vision loss. Signs of a retinal detachment include a sudden onset of floaters or flashes in the vision.
Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) Diabetic macular edema occurs when the macula, a part of the retina responsible for clear central vision, becomes full of fluid (edema). It is a complication of diabetic retinopathy that occurs in about half of patients and causes vision loss.
Treatment for Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema:
While vision loss from diabetic retinopathy and DME often can’t be restored, with early detection, there are some preventative treatments available. Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (when the blood vessels begin to grow abnormally) can be treated by laser surgery, injections, or a procedure called vitrectomy, in which the vitreous gel in the center of the eye is removed and replaced. This will treat bleeding caused by ruptured blood vessels. DME can be treated with injection therapy, laser surgery, or corticosteroids.
Prevention of Vision Loss from Diabetes:
The best way to prevent vision loss from diabetic eye disease is early detection and treatment. Since there may be no symptoms in the early stages, regular diabetic eye exams are critical for early diagnosis. In fact, diabetics are now sometimes monitored by their health insurance to see if they are getting regular eye exams, and premium rates can be affected by how regularly the patients get their eyes checked. Keeping diabetes under control through exercise, diet, medication, and regular screenings will help to reduce the chances of vision loss and blindness from diabetes.

Exercise Can Help Vision

Regular exercise is essential to overall health and wellness. It is proven that exercise reduces sickness and disease, increases strength, immunity, and mental health, and helps regulate bodily functions and maintain a healthy weight. Research shows that exercise can lower our risk of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, diabetic retinopathy, and diabetic macular edema, as well as other eye diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Whereas a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of these diseases and vision loss, studies show that moderate exercise at least three times a week can improve the prognosis of the above-mentioned chronic illnesses and reduce the risks of developing vision-threatening eye diseases.
Inactivity is an even higher risk factor if you have other co-factors for developing eye diseases, including family history, previous eye injury or surgery, diabetes, high blood pressure, or very high myopia. A combination of healthy lifestyle habits, which include regular exercise and a nutritious diet, and tending to your mental and emotional well-being can reduce these risks significantly.
Tips for Incorporating Physical Activity Into Your Day - Make it a priority. Schedule your exercise time into your day as if it is a non-negotiable appointment. Find the best time of day - for some that is early morning, and for others, late at night. Work your way up to a half hour at least thrice weekly.
- Be realistic. You don’t need to become a fitness expert to experience the benefits of exercise. Walking, yoga, swimming, and even dancing around the house are all options for staying fit. Find a type of exercise that you love, so you will enjoy working this habit into your life.
- Just move. Find ways to move your body throughout your day. Park your car further away from the mall entrance, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or walk or bike to work. Remember, every little bit of movement helps.
- Find something you enjoy. Often finding the proper exercise is a good stress reliever, and reducing stress will also reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.
- It’s never too late. Exercise for the elderly can be challenging, especially during the cold winter months, when many seniors can’t leave the house due to the weather. Even walking up and down the stairs in the house or following an exercise video can be helpful to keep from being sedentary.
Protection & Prevention
If you are exercising outdoors or playing contact sports, make sure to protect your eyes with sunglasses or sports safety glasses to ensure your eye health and safety. Regular exercise can significantly decrease your risks of certain eye conditions. However, you must still ensure that you visit your eye doctor for regular exams. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam every year to ensure your vision and eyes are healthy and catch any possible problems as early as possible. Eye health and disease prevention are just two of the many health and wellness benefits you gift yourself when exercising is a regular part of your lifestyle. Speak to your doctor if you have any health issues that need to be considered. You can find some exercise that works for you at any age or level of physical fitness.


Glaucoma, a silent eye disease, is the most common form of irreversible blindness worldwide. It is a group of diseases that causes progressive damage to the optic nerve.
Glaucoma is a progressive eye disease that can lead to permanent vision loss if not controlled. There is currently no cure for glaucoma, but many treatments are available for stopping and slowing the progressive damage to the eye. Treatment, however, can't reverse the damage that is already done.
Glaucoma affects the optic nerve, which sends visual information from your eye to your brain. Glaucoma is called the "Thief Sneak of Sight" because there are often no symptoms in the early stages, such as pain or "pressure sensation," as one may expect. When it is diagnosed, there may already be permanent vision loss.
When vision loss occurs, peripheral vision is typically affected before central vision. As a result, glaucoma is a major public health issue because individuals usually do not notice any problem with vision until the end stages of the disease when there is severe and irreversible vision loss. Awareness and regular eye exams are key to detecting and preventing vision loss early.
What Causes Glaucoma?
Glaucoma is caused by a buildup of natural fluid that doesn't drain properly from the eye. The buildup of fluid can result in high pressure in the eye, which is the most common cause of the condition. There are many types of glaucoma, including Chronic (open-angle) glaucoma, which occurs when pressure builds up over time, usually due to aging. This is the most common type of glaucoma. Acute (angle closure) glaucoma is when pressure builds up suddenly and demands immediate medical attention. Symptoms include blurred vision, eye pain, headaches, seeing halos around lights, nausea and vomiting. Secondary glaucoma results from another eye disease, condition, or trauma to the eye. Normal tension glaucoma is when there is no pressure buildup, but the optic nerve is still damaged. We are still not yet sure what causes this type of glaucoma.
Who is at Risk for Glaucoma?
Everyone is at risk of glaucoma; however, certain factors increase the likelihood of developing the condition. Vision loss from glaucoma can be greatly reduced when detected and treated early, which is why knowing your risk factors can play a tremendous role in prevention.
Age is one of the biggest risk factors, as your chances of developing glaucoma increase significantly after age 40. In fact, people over 60 years old are six times more likely to get the condition.
Ancestry and Family History
Individuals of African American, Hispanic, Asian Native American, or Aboriginal Canadian descent are at increased risk. Family history is a powerful factor, as the condition occurs twice as much in people with close relatives who have had glaucoma.
Previous Eye Injury, Traumas or Surgery
Eye injuries, traumas, or surgeries have been known to sometimes cause secondary glaucoma, which can happen immediately after the injury or procedure or even years later. Even childhood injuries can result in secondary glaucoma later in life.
Use of Steroids
Studies show that prolonged steroid use is linked to increased elevated intraocular pressure, which increases the risk of open-angle glaucoma. Certain medical and eye conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and high myopia (nearsightedness) also increase a person's risk of developing glaucoma.
Glaucoma Treatment
While there is no cure for glaucoma, there are treatments to slow the disease's progression, including eye drop medications, iridotomies, iridectomies, laser procedures, and surgeries.
Glaucoma Prevention
Other than taking care of any underlying conditions that may increase the risk of developing glaucoma, there is little one can do in the way of prevention. You can, however, reduce your chances of suffering vision loss. The first step is knowing the risk factors and signs of the condition (even though, as mentioned, most cases have no symptoms in the early stages until vision is lost). The best possible way to prevent vision loss is to have regular comprehensive eye exams to check the health of your eyes, and if your eye doctor prescribes medication for glaucoma, make sure to diligently take it as directed. Your eye doctor can conduct certain tests to detect eye diseases such as glaucoma before you even notice symptoms. If you have any of the risk factors above, mention it to your eye doctor, and always be sure to schedule a yearly eye exam, or as often as your eye doctor recommends, to check the health of your eyes and rule out any underlying or developing eye conditions like glaucoma.

Too Much Screen Time

Screen Time Pros and Cons
Whether it is homework, email, gaming, chatting with friends, searching the web, or watching YouTube, kids these days seem to have endless reasons to be glued to a screen. Many parents out there wonder how bad this can be for their kids and whether they should limit screen time. There are certainly benefits to allowing your kids to use digital devices, whether educational, social, or providing a needed break. However, studies show that excessive screen time can have behavioral consequences such as irritability, moodiness, inability to concentrate, poor behavior, and other issues.
Too much screen time is also linked to dry eyes and meibomian gland disorders (likely due to a decreased blink rate when using devices), eye strain and irritation, headaches, back or neck and shoulder pain, and sleep disturbances. Some of these computer vision syndrome symptoms are attributed to blue light emitted from digital device screens. Blue light is a short wavelength, high-energy visible light emitted by digital screens, LED lights, and the sun. Studies suggest that exposure to some waves of blue light over extended periods may harm the retina's light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye. When these cells are damaged, vision loss can occur.
Research indicates that extreme blue light exposure could lead to macular degeneration or other serious eye diseases that can cause vision loss and blindness. Studies show that blue light also interferes with regulating the body's circadian rhythm, which can disrupt the body's sleep cycle. Lack of quality sleep can lead to serious health consequences as well. Beyond these studies, the long-term effects of blue light exposure from digital devices are not yet known since this is the first generation in which people use digital devices to such an extent. While it may take years to fully understand the impact of excessive screen time on our eyes and overall health, it is probably worth limiting it due to these preliminary findings and the risks it may pose. This is especially true for young children and the elderly, particularly susceptible to blue light exposure.
How to Protect the Eyes From Blue Light
The first step in proper eye protection is abstaining from excessive exposure by limiting the time spent using a computer, smartphone, or tablet - especially at night, to avoid interfering with sleep. Many pediatricians even recommend zero screen time for children under two. The next step would be to reduce the amount of blue light entering the eyes by using blue light-blocking glasses or coatings that deflect the light away from the eyes. There are also apps and screen filters that you can add to your devices to reduce the amount of blue light projected from the screen. Speak to your eye doctor about steps you can take to reduce blue light exposure from digital devices. As a side note, the sun is an even greater source of blue light, so it is essential to protect your child's eyes with UV and blue light-blocking sunglasses any time your child goes outside - even on overcast days. The eyes of children under 18 are particularly susceptible to damage from environmental exposure as they have transparent crystalline lenses that are more susceptible to both UV and blue light rays. While the effects (such as increased risk of age-related macular degeneration) may not be seen for decades later, it's worth it to do what you can now to prevent future damage and risk for vision loss.

Ocular Migraines

An ocular migraine is any headache involving a visual disturbance such as flashes of light, seeing stars or zigzags, or the appearance of blind spots in the visual field. Ocular migraines can interfere with your ability to go about your daily tasks, such as driving, reading, or writing. However, the visual symptoms don’t last long and completely disappear after the migraine.
The term ocular migraine may refer to a couple of different conditions. Firstly, migraines with auras often have eye-related symptoms that precede the actual headache. An aura is a physical symptom that is experienced usually within 5 minutes to an hour before a migraine comes on, and can include:
- Blind spots (scotomas) or partial vision loss
- Flashes of light, spots, or zigzag patterns
- Visual, auditory (hearing) or olfactory (smell) hallucinations or disruptions
- Tingling or numbness
- Mental fog, trouble finding words and speaking

These types of ocular migraines commonly appear by obstructing a small area of vision, which spreads gradually over 5 minutes. A second type of ocular migraine is when you experience temporary vision loss or disruptions (flashes, blind spots, zigzag lines, etc.) during or immediately following the migraine headache. Ocular migraines can also sometimes appear without any head pain at all. They may also be called eye, ophthalmic, or retinal migraines.
What Causes Ocular Migraines?
Similar to classic migraines, the exact cause of an ocular migraine is unknown. Genetic predisposition seems to be a factor to some extent, and having a family history of migraines does put you at greater risk. While they don’t know the cause, experts have seen that spasms in the blood vessels and nerve cells in the retinal lining at the back of the eye are associated with ocular migraine symptoms. For some, certain environmental triggers or a combination of factors cause migraines. These differ on an individual basis but can include:
- Stress
- Bright lights or loud sounds
- Strong smells
- A sudden or drastic change in weather conditions
- Eating, or exposure to, certain food substances such as alcohol, caffeine, nitrates, MSG (monosodium glutamate), artificial sweeteners and tyramine

Since triggers are different for everyone, it’s advised to try to identify yours by keeping a journal to track your environment, diet, and lifestyle habits when you experience a headache.
Treatment for Ocular Migraines
Treatment for ocular migraines is usually unnecessary as the symptoms typically resolve within 30 minutes. It is advised to rest and avoid doing things requiring vision and concentration until the headache disappears and the vision symptoms cease. If you are experiencing an ocular headache:
- Lie down in a quiet, dark room when possible
- Massage or apply pressure to the temples and scalp
- Apply a damp towel to the forehead

If you experience auras, taking a migraine medication when the aura occurs can often reduce the intensity of the following headache. In other words, you can use the aura to warn that a headache is ensuing and treat it preventatively. The doctors at Choice Vision Care have lots of experience dealing with Ocular migraines. They may prescribe a pain reliever for associated head pain. If migraines are chronic, a preventative medication may be given. It’s important to note that if you are experiencing any unusual visual symptoms or an increase in the frequency or duration of symptoms, you should see an eye doctor immediately to rule out any serious, vision-threatening conditions. Symptoms such as floaters or flashing lights can also signify a retinal tear or hole. If you get migraines, the best ways to prevent them are to keep your mind and body healthy by eating nutritious foods, getting enough rest, and managing stress effectively.

Eye Symptoms Not To Ignore

While we all know that regular eye exams can help detect warning signs of disease and prevent vision loss, many people fail to seek medical attention when there is an acute problem with the eye. In fact, only about half of Americans at risk for serious vision loss have been examined by an eye doctor within the last year, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While it's true that some eye symptoms resolve on their own, it's better not to take the chance when your eyesight is at risk.
Here are seven eye symptoms that should be checked out by an eye doctor immediately, as they could indicate a serious underlying condition that could threaten your vision. Remember, even if you think the issue is minor, getting proper medical attention could save your vision.
Frequent Floaters
Floaters are shadows or spots that appear to float through your field of vision, particularly when looking at a solid-colored or bright background, such as the blue sky or a white wall. For example, they can appear in various shapes, such as a shower of dots or mosquito-shaped. It is common to see floaters on occasion. However, if you experience a sudden increase, especially with pain, flashes, or loss of peripheral vision, you should see a doctor immediately. Light flashes may appear as a quick spark or jagged streaks of light or arcs, among other shapes. This could be a sign of a severe problem such as a detached or torn retina, a hemorrhage or bleeding inside the eye, an inflammation of the vitreous or retina caused by an infection or injury, or an eye tumor. In the case of a retinal detachment, the different patterns of floaters or flashes depend on how the retina tears. So, if you suddenly notice a distinct pattern of floaters or light in your vision, don't delay: seek medical attention within 24 hours.
Persistent Redness or Irritation
While minor redness can simply result from allergies, exhaustion, or extended contact lens wear, there are some more serious causes of eye redness, especially if it persists or is accompanied by pain, swelling, discharge, vision disturbance, or severe itchiness. Along with conjunctivitis (or pink eye), a contagious eye infection, redness can indicate a corneal scratch, uveitis, or glaucoma.
Excessive Watery Eyes
Whether you have a foreign object in your eye or are experiencing dryness due to allergies or environmental factors, eye watering is a natural response to keep your eyes healthy, comfortable, and safe. However, this is no longer normal when it is constant and disruptive. Excessive eye watering could indicate a chronic condition such as dry eye syndrome, tear duct problems, or problems with the cornea, such as a scratch or an ulcer.
Foreign Body in the Eye
If you experience a foreign object in your eye, the first thing to do is try to flush it out. Never rub the eye, as it could cause even greater damage. If your efforts to flush the object out are not successful, it is time to see a doctor. Additionally, if you are experiencing vision disturbances, pain, or redness while the object is there or after you think you have removed it, see an eye doctor immediately.
Ptosis (Droopy Eyelid)
Ptosis or drooping eyelids is seen in one or both eyelids and can be caused by benign conditions such as allergies or merely part of the aging process. Nevertheless, it can also be a sign of a serious condition such as nerve damage, a stroke, a brain tumor, or myasthenia gravis. This neurological condition affects the eye muscles. It is also sometimes a result of eye surgery or injury. Often, ptosis will resolve gradually on its own. However, it should be checked out, especially if it occurs suddenly, to ensure there is no serious underlying cause.
Bleeding Eyes
A subconjunctival hemorrhage in the eye is when a blood vessel right under the surface of the eye breaks. You will see that the white part or sclera of the eye has turned red. Usually, this common occurrence is nothing to be concerned about as this can happen from something as simple as straining, a sneeze, or a cough. There is nothing to do in this case, and it will resolve on its own. If, however, the redness comes after an injury to your eye or head, it could indicate bleeding in the brain and should be examined immediately.
Moderate to Severe Eye Pain
There are several causes of eye pain, the most serious of which is acute angle closure glaucoma or uveitis. Other causes of pain can include corneal abrasions and ulcers, scleritis, orbital cellulitis, and sinusitis. When it comes to problems with the eye, it's always best to err on the side of caution and get them checked out. Doing otherwise could cost you your eyesight. Your eye doctors at Choice Vision Care can help.

Twitching Eyelids

We all experience the occasional eyelid twitch when the eyelid's muscle spasms involuntarily. Usually, it comes and goes without intervention. While sure it can be irritating, is a twitching eyelid ever something to be concerned about? An eyelid twitch, also known as a myokymia, can affect the upper or lower lid and usually lasts for at least a few seconds and then may continue off and on for a few minutes. Usually unpredictable, twitching episodes can last several days, and sometimes they may go away and then return weeks or months later.
Causes of Eyelid Twitching
Although they may be bothersome, most eyelid twitches are nothing to cause concern and usually resolve on their own. However, in some rare cases, they may be a sign of a more serious problem, especially if they are accompanied by other symptoms - we will discuss this further below. Some known causes of eyelid twitches include:
- Fatigue or lack of sleep
- Stress
- Eye irritation or dry eyes
- Medications
- Alcohol or caffeine
- Physical exertion
- Allergies
- Eye strain (such as with extended digital device use)
- Poor nutrition
Preventing and Treating Eyelid Twitching
Usually, eyelid twitching will resolve within a couple of days or weeks. If it persists, determine the cause to speed up the diagnostic process. Consider going to bed a little earlier, cutting out caffeine or alcohol, or finding ways to reduce or manage stress. You can also try lubricating eye drops to add moisture to your eyes. Notice when the spasms are happening and what else is happening in your life (time of day, food intake, stress level, exhaustion). You can make some changes to stop or prevent eye twitching. If you notice eye twitching in addition to vision disturbances or eye strain, contact your doctor for a vision assessment, as it could be a sign of a refractive change.
When is Eyelid Twitching a Concern?
If the eyelid spasms don't pass and become chronic, it may be a sign that you have a condition called benign essential blepharospasm. This condition is when the eye muscles blink uncontrollably, usually affecting both eyes. While the cause of blepharospasm is not known, it is more common in middle-aged women, and there are several conditions that can exacerbate symptoms, including:
- Eye inflammation (blepharitis) or infection (pink eye)
- Dry eyes
- Fatigue
- Stress
- Alcohol, caffeine, or tobacco
- Irritants or allergens in the environment

Blepharospasm is usually a progressive condition that can eventually lead to spasms in other facial muscles, blurred vision, and light sensitivity. The condition is sometimes treated with medication or Botox (botulinum toxin) to temporarily reduce the spasms. In severe cases, surgery may be performed to remove some of the affected muscles. On rare occasions, eye twitching can be a symptom of a more serious disorder affecting the brain or nervous system. However, usually it will be accompanied by other symptoms. Examples of such conditions include glaucoma, hemifacial spasms, Parkinson's disease, Bell's palsy, multiple sclerosis, dystonia, and Tourette's. A corneal scratch or abrasion can also cause the eyelid muscle spasm. If you experience any of the following symptoms along with your eye twitching, schedule an appointment at Choice Vision Care as soon as possible:
- Twitching that continues for more than a few weeks
- Twitching that spreads to other areas of the face
- A drooping upper eyelid
- Red, irritated, or swollen eyes
- Discharge coming from the eye
- Spasms that cause the eyelid to close completely or difficulty opening the eyelid.

In most cases, eye twitching is not something to worry about. Still, when you experience a spasm, it is worthwhile to take note of the circumstances so you know when your body is trying to tell you that something is out of balance.

Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that blurs central vision. It can happen in aging adults and is caused when the macula is damaged. The Macula is the part of the eye that controls sharp, forward vision. And is a part of the retina (the light-sensitive tissue situated in the back of the eye). It is a common condition and a leading cause of vision loss for older adults. AMD doesn't cause complete blindness. It affects your central vision. This makes it difficult to see peoples faces, read, drive, or participate in cooking or general task around the home. AMD usually happens very slow in some people and faster in others. You may not notice vision loss for a long time if you have early AMD. That's why getting regular eye exams is vital to determine if you have AMD.
There are two types of Age-related Macular Degeneration: Dry and Wet.
Most people end up with dry AMD (atrophic AMD). This happens when the macula becomes thinner. There are early, Intermediate, and Late stage Dry AMD. There is no treatment for late stage dry AMD, but you can find ways to maximize your remaining vision. If late stage dry AMD has only affected one eye, there are things that can be done to protect your other eye.
Wet Macular Degeneration (advanced neovascular AMD) is a less common in aging adults but causes faster vision loss. It is worth noting that dry AMD in any stage can turn into wet AMD, but wet AMD is always late stage. When blood vessels that are abnormal grow in behind the eye damaging the macula. However, there are treatment options for wet Macular Degeneration.
Symptoms of Age-related Macular degeneration:
The symptoms of Dry Macular Degeneration depend on the stage, and there are three stages. Early, Intermediate, and Late. AMD is a progressive disease — symptoms usually worsen over time.
Early dry AMD doesn't cause any symptoms.
In intermediate dry AMD - some people still have no symptoms. Others may notice mild symptoms like blurry central vision or trouble seeing in low lighting.
Late AMD (wet or dry type)
many people with late AMD have trouble distinguishing straight lines as they look crooked, or wavy. They also notice that their cenbter vision appears blurry, and over time, this blurry area get bigger, or you the person begins to see blank spots. Colors can also appear less vivid than before, and seeing in low light becomes challenging. Straight lines looking crooked or wavy is a definite warning sign you don't want to ignore as you most likely have late AMD. See your eye doctor immediately.
Risk Factors:
Your risk for AMD increases as you get older. People age 55 and older are more likely to develop AMD. The risk for AMD is also higher for people who:

- Have a family history of AMD
- Are Caucasian, especially caucasians with light irises
- Smoke
- Overweight
- Maintain an unhealthy diet
- Have heart disease, High blood pressure and high cholesterol
- Early exposure to UV light

If you're at risk for AMD because of your age, family history, or other factors, it's essential to get regular eye exams. Early AMD has no symptoms, so don't wait for your vision to change!
Lower the risk for AMD
Research has shown that you may be able to lower the risk of developing AMD, or at least slow the loss of vision by:

- Quit smoking — or don't start
- Get regular physical activity
- Maintain the proper blood pressure & cholesterol levels, eat healthy foods, including greens & vegetables, and fish.
How do eye doctors check for AMD?
A comprehensive dilated eye exam is simple and painless. You would be given eye drops to dilate your pupil allowing your doctor to check your eyes for AMD and other eye problems. Your doctor may also recommend doing an optical coherence tomography (OCT) test. In an OCT test, a special device is used to take pictures of the inside of your eye.
Treatment for AMD
Treatment for AMD depends on the stage and type. There are no treatments for early AMD, other than tracking progression via periodic eye exams. Maintaining a good diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking will also help. If you have intermediate Macular Degeneration in one or both eyes, various vitamins and minerals can be utilized that may help stop the progrssion of late AMD. If you have late AMD in only one eye, the suppliments you take may slow down AMD in your other eye. If you have wet AMD, there are other treatments that may help circumvent further vision loss:
- Medicines such as anti-VEGF drugs can be injected in the eye that may slow the progression of vision loss
- Photodynamic therapy (PDT), a combination of injections and laser treatments are also a viable option

There's no treatments for late dry macular degeneration, but researchers are therapies that do present viable options. And Choice Vision Care can be your support line to help you live with vision loss from AMD.
Latest research on AMD
Causes of, and treament for AMD are aggressively being explored by scientist. There are research teams that have found a way to treat dry macular degeneration in animals using stem cells. Research is now being done to see if stem cell treatment is safe for people. This research can lead to a promising treatment for dry AMD in the future. Your doctors at Choice Vision Care can guide you if you are interested in participating in clinical trials using the latest stem cell research.

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