Eye Center, Inc.
Main Office • 2003 Cortez Road West • Bradenton, FL Three convenient locations to serve you! 941.756.2020

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Cheers to Beertopia 2021!

Cheers to Beertopia 2021!

We are excited to welcome BACK Beertopia in 2021! Saturday, February 20th, join us to sample a variety of craft and imported beers and a wine bar. Your drinks will be accompanied by dishes of your favorite local restaurants, live music by Kettle Fish, raffle tickets and a silent auction!

We’re so excited to be holding the event at the Manatee County Fairgrounds Arena this year, giving us more room to host the event safely and socially-distanced. 

This event and its proceeds will benefit the Vision Foundation. In 2013, Eye Center Inc. established the Vision Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to providing eye care and glasses to underprivileged children. Its purpose is exclusively charitable. Through the Vision Foundation, and with the direction and guidance of the Manatee County school nurses, we will provide MORE free eye exams and MORE free pairs of glasses to the Manatee County students in need.

Additionally, this event will benefit The Hernando De Soto Historical Society, Inc.- of which  Dr. Michael Mackie is a longtime member. Since 1939, this nonprofit organization of 225 “Conquistadors” celebrate the historical significance of Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto’s landing near Manatee’s mouth in May 1539.

Beertopia is presented by Funky Buddha. Get ready to enjoy:

  • Anna Maria Oyster Bar
  • Urban Taco
  • Demetrios
  • Dockside
  • Riverhouse
  • Innovative Dining
  • Signature Events & Catering
  • Sea Hut
  • Bourbon and Bones
  • Woody’s River Roo
  • Cottonmouth 
  • Mellow Mushroom

This is an event you won’t want to miss. Click here to get your tickets!

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Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Diabetic Retinopathy, the most common form of Diabetic Eye Disease, is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in working-age adults. Often happening without warning, diabetic eye disease can feel like it comes out of nowhere, and we, at Eye Center, Inc., want to ensure our patients are well educated on the topic.

Diabetes affects the blood vessels in our body and can damage the small blood vessels in the back of our eyes. Fortunately, the blood vessels in our eyes are visible with a routine dilated eye exam. If you have Diabetes, you should be getting a dilated eye examination every year.

Below is an example of how your eye doctor can detect diabetic retinopathy in your eyes: 

There are usually no symptoms in the early stages of Diabetic Retinopathy, but symptoms can include:

  • Blurred vision or a sudden change in vision
  • Double vision
  • If left untreated, severe vision loss can occur

You can reduce your risk of Diabetic Retinopathy by:

  • Keeping your blood sugar under control.
  • Monitoring your blood pressure.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet.
  • Exercising regularly.
  • Getting an eye exam at least once a year.

At Eye Center, Inc, we care about you and your vision, so please schedule your Diabetic Eye Exam today. If you have a family member with Diabetes, consider asking them when their last Comprehensive Eye Exam was, and encourage them to schedule one soon.

Sources: 

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The Do’s and Don’ts of Spooky Season

The Do’s and Don’ts of Spooky Season

As the month of October rolls around and the first days of Fall pass us by, our focus seems to shift less on safety and more on the upcoming holiday season. It can become so easy to be swept away in the changes of season and reuniting with friends and family- but protecting ourselves and loved ones is just as important! As you prepare your Halloween costume, here are a few tips to keep in mind to prevent any harm to yourself (especially your eyes) from your friends at Eye Center, Inc.

Halloween Safety Tips:

  • Costume Safety: We know you want to look and feel the part as much as possible, but here are a few things to keep in mind:
    • Add reflective patches to custom to draw attention to yourself and night time 
    • Invest in inflammable materials to avoid any risks
  • Halloween Makeup: This holiday allows you to express yourself and your artistic ability and why not through makeup? However, remember to always… 
    • Remove makeup before heading to bed to prevent further irritants to your eyes and skin, 
    • Try your best to not put glitter close or into your eyes, as that could cause harm, and
    • Consider testing the product on a small area first before applying to make sure it is non-toxic
  • Accessories: Now to add the final pieces of your look and now you are ready to go!
    • Halloween gear, such as non-prescription contacts could lead to further issues. 
    • The use of cosmetic lenses can lead to issues, such as pink eye, corneal scratches, corneal ulceration, and even permanent loss of sight.

Overall, the spirit of Halloween can be quite enchanting but we must remember what’s important: the safety of you and others. Please keep in mind these tips and ‘tricks’ if you decide to venture off and Trick or Treat! As always, your friends at Eye Center, Inc. are happy to help with any eye assistance you need.

Source: https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/autumn/halloween

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Tips for Healthy Eye Aging

Tips for Healthy Eye Aging

September is Healthy Aging Month, and our focus this month is to promote and remind ourselves about the importance of eye care. As the years’ pass, our personal health becomes more of a concern, and your eyes should not be overlooked. Similar to visits with your primary care physician, it is recommended to have your eyes checked regularly by your eye care professionals at Eye Center, Inc.

Symptoms that should be evaluated by your eye doctor: 

  • Blurry vision or sudden changes in vision
  • Light or glare sensitivity 
  • Flashes of light or new floaters in your vision
  • Eye pain
  • Redness or swelling 

If you have not experienced problems with your eye health or eyesight, you should still report annually for a comprehensive eye exam. Common ocular conditions such as Glaucoma,  Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, and Dry Eye Syndrome may not present with symptoms right away, but it is important to detect them in their early stages and treat or monitor as necessary.

Daily Health Tips: 

There are also a few lifestyle modifications you can make in order to become proactive about your eye health, like taking a multivitamin, eating more fruits and vegetables, protecting your eyes from sunlight (wear sunglasses or a large hat), and taking frequent breaks when using the phone or computer. It is also recommended not to smoke, as smoking is associated with conditions that negatively affect our eye health. 

Click here to read more information about common eye problems and symptoms. 

 

Source: http://morelandeyecare.com/10-tips-healthy-aging-eyes/ 

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Vision In The Digital Age

Vision In The Digital Age

FEATURED IN NEXTGEN FAMILY MAGAZINE

“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” If you’re not familiar, the local newspaper press or paperboy may have shouted this phrase in the early 1900s announcing breaking news, while trying to sell the crowd a newspaper. These days, however, most of us have live news updates and an infinite amount of information available at our fingertips the second we turn on our television, log into our computer, or start browsing the web on our cell phone.

There is no doubt that the average American spends an increasing amount of time looking at digital devices. Workplaces are more productive with the use of computers. Some school systems are offering virtual learning and online classes, and children and adults alike are enjoying expanding their social networks via digital social media and cell phone use. Recent studies show that American screen time averages between 7.5 and 10.5 hours per day.

At Eye Center, Inc., many of my patients wonder about the impact prolonged digital viewing has on their eyes and their vision, and how they can promote healthy screen use in the future.

First and foremost, proper eye care and eye health begin with an annual comprehensive eye exam. Your doctor can assess your vision and prescribe the appropriate eyeglasses or contact lenses. Nonetheless, prolonged screen time can be strenuous, and is associated with a group of symptoms that the American Optometric Association now defines as Computer Vision Syndrome, affecting more than half of computer users.

The symptoms include eyestrain, fatigue, redness, burning, blurred vision, and/or double vision, and can also include neck and shoulder pain and headaches. Symptoms are associated with several factors, including overworking our eye’s focusing system, dry eyes from reduced blind rates, distracting glare from surrounding lights, and improper placement of the computer screen.

Fortunately, there are some strategies we can implement to make digital screen use as comfortable and healthy as possible.

First, when doing any digital work or near task, apply the “20/20/20” rule, which suggests that for every 20 minutes of work, take a break for at least 20 seconds and look at an object that is at least 20 feet away. This gives your focusing system a chance to relax. This short break also gives your eyes a chance to refresh their tears, and I’d recommend using this time to use an over the counter artificial tear drop if needed.

Next, evaluate and modify your work environment if possible. Ideally, sit approximately 25-35 inches from your computer and have your computer about six inches below eye level, screen tilted slightly down. Keep your screen not much brighter than the surrounding light, limiting or adjusting sources of glare such as windows and overhead lighting.

In addition to the symptoms experienced during Computer Vision Syndrome, extensive amounts of daily screen time can also inhibit normal melatonin release and disrupt our sleep patterns. One study showed that each hour of digital screen use was associated with 3-8 fewer minutes of nightly sleep. Several studies agree that digital use, especially before bed, is associated with shortened sleep duration and poorer quality sleep in general.

For better nightly sleep, try to encourage daily “screen-free” time, avoid screens at least one hour before bedtime, and discourage the use of digital devices (including television) in the bedroom. Your mind needs this time to “unplug” and relax and reset for another day.

Written by: Dr. Paige Laudicina

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COVID-19 and Contact Lenses- Are They Safe?

COVID-19 and Contact Lenses- Are They Safe?

The Centers of Disease Control (CDC) recommends avoiding touching your face to prevent COVID-19… but what about those who wear contacts? Is it safe? We’ve got all of the answers to your worries.

SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, can enter the body through the mouth, nose, and eyes, leaving contact wearers wondering if it’s safe to continue wearing contacts. “I don’t think the issue is so much the contact lenses as it is hand hygiene before inserting or taking out the contact lenses. You certainly want to wash, and you don’t want to use an alcohol-based hand rub because you’ll feel it in your eye. But wash your hands well before inserting and taking them out,” says Dr. Poland in an article by Mayo Clinic.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) reinforces that contact lenses are a safe and effective form of vision correction. They recommend the following to ensure proper wear and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  • Contact lens wearers should always practice good hygiene practices and frequent washing of the hands
  • One should wash hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before the insertion and removal of contacts 
  • Do NOT touch your eyes, or face, without washing your hands first
  • Use proper disinfecting contact solutions such as OPTI-FREE Puremoist and Biotrue.

Overall, contact wearers should not worry about wearing lenses during this time. However, they should remain vigilant and careful when inserting, removing, or adjusting contact lenses throughout the day. Rubbing or touching your eyes without washing your hands puts you at a higher risk of infection. ALWAYS wash your hands first!

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