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

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Fireworks Eye Safety & Cataracts Awareness Month

Fireworks Eye Safety & Cataracts Awareness Month

June marks Fireworks Eye Safety and Cataracts Awareness Month. Fireworks cause more than 9,000 injuries a year, and cataracts (a vision-clouding area in the lens of the eye) are one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

 

With 4th of July celebrations coming up, it’s extremely important to know and understand Firework Safety. If you are attending/hosting a firework show, you should always:

  • Remain at least 500 feet away
  • Do not allow any running or horseplay
  • Set off fireworks outdoors in a clear area- away from houses, trees, dry leaves, and other flammable materials
  • Keep a bucket of water nearby
  • Do not try to relight “dud” fireworks- soak them in water and throw them away
  • Never light fireworks in a container
  • Never have your body directly over a firework while lighting
  • Do not experiment with homemade fireworks
  • Do not touch exploded fireworks. Wait at least 20 minutes for them to cool and soak in water before disposing
  • Wear safety glasses while lighting fireworks

 

Sparklers are often thought of as the ideal safe firework for children. Sparklers burn at very high temperatures and one spark in the eye could harm a child’s vision permanently. They should never be used without adult supervision, and preferably never in the hand of a child.

 

The sun is just as dangerous to your vision as fireworks. Without proper eye protection, the sun can cause cataracts, which are the most common cause of vision loss for individuals over the age of 40. Here are some tips to help prevent the development of cataracts:

  • Eat Right: Introduce more antioxidant and glutathione-rich (a detoxifying antioxident)  foods into your diet such as broccoli, asparagus, spinach, brussels sprouts, avocados, grapefruit, and strawberries. Drink plenty of water also helps flush out harmful toxins.
  • Wear Protective Glasses: The suns UV rays are harmful to your eyes, and researches have confirmed that UV rays can cause cataracts by damaging proteins within the lens of your eyes. Whichever brand or style you choose, make sure they offer 99%-100% protection against UVA and UVB rays.
  • Avoid Smoking: Everyone knows that smoking is harmful to your heart and lungs, but smoking can also harm your eyes. Free radicals are created in your eyes when you inhale smoke. When you smoke, good chemicals in your body are consumed, encouraging the production of toxins that cause cataracts.

 

Of course, the answer to maintaining eye health for all the above is the receive regular eye exams. Partaking in regular eye exams can help doctors catch early eye diseases, inform you of preventative measures, and keep your overall eye health on track while aging. Call us today at (941) 756-2020 to schedule your comprehensive eye exam!

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Dr. Brad Laudicina Show Us How To Make Glasses...In Under 2 Minutes!

What really goes into the process of making glasses? The short answer is… a lot!

Dr. Brad Laudicina is one of few optometrists who know how to create a pair of glasses from start to finish. He is a native of Bradenton and began working for Eye Center, Inc. in Optical at just 15 years old, where he quickly found his passion for the field of optometry.  

Fast forward nearly 20 years, and today at  Eye Center, Inc., Dr. Laudicina practices the full scope of optometry. He specializes in the treatment of ocular diseases including glaucoma, macular degeneration, dry eyes, diabetic care, as well as the fitting of many different kinds of contact lenses and glasses.

Creating a pair of glasses is a very detailed process. Speaking of “fast forward,” we filmed the entire process and condensed it for you… in under two minutes!

Here are the critical steps to create a pair of glasses:

Step 1: Lens Tracer

The Lens Tracer will take the measurement and shape of the lens to cut the lens into the exact shape later in the process.

Step 2: Layout Machine

The Layout Machine helps orient the lens to the patients prescription.

Step 3: Lens Savor

The Lens Savor is used to protect the front surface throughout the manufacturing process to prevent scratches.

Step 4: Blocking Station

The Blocking Station uses a wax system to apply a block for the machines to hold on to the lens in a safe way.

Step 5: Generator

The Generator takes the lens blank which is typically 8-10mm thick. It removes the thickness and applies a back-curve, which is what gives you the prescription.

Step 6: Fining

Fining uses high-grit sandpaper to rough the surface of the lens while cold water runs. The sandpaper is removed and a felt polishing paper is applied.

Step 7: Polishing

The Polishing process uses a white compound to make the lens perfectly clear.

Step 8: Wax Removal

The wax and surface savor are both removed with gentle force.

Step 9: Inspection

The lenses are inspected for accurate thickness and prescription.

Step 10: Edging

A fitting is applied to the lens for the Edging Machine to hold the lens tightly in place. The lens is placed into the Edger and cut into the final shape to match the frame.

Step 11: Remove Fitting

The fitting used for edging is now removed.

Step 12: Smoothing

The lens is applied to two different smoothing techniques to ensure there are no sharp edges and to fit the frame.

Step 13: Frame Warmer

For plastic frames, a Frame Warmer is used to expand the plastic just enough to slip the lens in place. The frame cools and contracts over the lens.

Step 14: Final Inspection

The final inspection includes making sure the bifocals are in the right position, the lens power is correct, the center thickness is correct, and there are no scratches.

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Staff Feature: Jaime Klocke, Optometric Technician

Staff Feature: Jaime Klocke, Optometric Technician

Why did you choose to work in this industry?

Every day is different and you always learn something new!

What is your favorite aspect of your job?

My favorite is when patients are successful in learning how to put contacts in and taking them out. It’s a challenge I love to see become an easy thing!

Tell us about your approach to customer service.

Treat people how you wanted to be treated.

If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?

I would pick turquoise! It represents calmness and wholeness. And it’s my favorite color!

Is there something that excites you so much it keeps you awake the night before?

Christmas morning, of course!

What would your pet say about you if we asked for a reference?

She is kind, reliable, trustworthy, and caring.

Describe the most incredible view you’ve ever seen.

The beach sunset is always beautiful and relaxing!

What’s your pizza order?

Cheese, hamburger, and mushrooms…yum!

If you had just a toaster oven-sized box for all of your stuff, what would you put in it?

I would put photos, my purse, candles, and my phone.

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Healthy Eye Vision Month

Healthy Eye Vision Month

May marks Healthy Vision Month. Approximately 37 million adults in America have age-related macular degeneration, cataract, diabetic retinopathy, or glaucoma, all of which can cause visual impairment or blindness, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

This is the perfect month to learn how to take care of your vision! Here are a few precautionary steps to follow:

20-20-20 Rule

With today’s technology, you more than likely spend multiple hours a day looking at a computer screen or other technical devices. It’s very important to follow the 20-20-20 rule to prevent eye strain. Every 20 minutes focus on something that is 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. A simple task built into your everyday routine can make a huge difference!

Healthy Lifestyle

Your diet and exercise practices are key to having healthy vision. Carrots, dark leafy greens like spinach or kale and fish that are high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon, tuna, and halibut are great for your eyes! Consuming these foods can help protect your vision. Practicing regular exercise is also great for your eyes. Anything that gets your heart beating faster keeps your eyes healthy and can essentially protect you from eye disease. Certain vitamins are also essential when it comes to maintaining healthy vision. Here are 9 key vitamins that help maintain eye health:

  1. Vitamin A: This vitamin plays a major role by maintaining a clear cornea, which is the outside covering of your eye.
  2. Vitamin E: Some eye conditions are associated with oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance between antioxidants and free radicals in your body. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps protect your eye cells against damaging free radicals.
  3. Vitamin C: Taking Vitamin C allows your body to form collagen, which is a protein that provides structure to your eyes.
  4. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12: The combination of these B vitamins lowers your homocysteine levels and may help reduce your risk of developing Macular Degeneration.
  5. Riboflavin: This is another antioxidant B vitamin. Providing your body with Riboflavin may protect against damaging free radicals and developing cataracts in your eyes.
  6. Niacin: Studies show that Niacin can prevent the development of glaucoma, but this vitamin should be used with caution.
  7. Lutein and Zeaxanthin: These vitamins are part of the carotenoid family which is a group of beneficial compounds synthesized by plants. They may help prevent Macular Degeneration and cataracts.
  8. Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Having anti-inflammatory properties, Omega-3 Fatty Acids may help prevent diabetic retinopathy when worked into your diet. It can also help those suffering from dry eye.
  9. Thiamine: Diets that are high in Thiamine have been associated with a reduced risk of developing cataracts.

Yes, we know you’re busy… but the frequency of eye examinations is vital as we age and we want you to understand the importance of them. Your eyes should be checked regularly to ensure that you are able to see as well as possible, and for some eye diseases that have minimal or do not have symptoms at all, such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. During your regular eye exam, we look for initial signs of these diseases.

Early detection for eye disease and treatment is essential to stopping or slowing down the progression of diseases.  By following these simple tips, you can prevent eye diseases and eye injuries. Call us at (941) 756-2020 to make an appointment today!

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Say Goodbye to Dry Eyes with HydroEye Vitamins

Say Goodbye to Dry Eyes with HydroEye Vitamins

Life is too short and too beautiful to suffer from dry eyes. HydroEye Vitamins are one of the most recommended oral supplements for treating dry eyes. These vitamins are a patented nutritional formulation that works from the inside out to provide continuous comfort for dry eyes. HydroEye is made with a proprietary blend of omega fatty acids and antioxidants as well as other key nutrients that work together to soothe dry eyes.

HydroEye Vitamins combine the components of GLA (gamma linolenic acid), a unique omega fatty acid and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) from fish oils. Clinical studies have found that when GLA and fish omega-3s are present in balanced amounts, they make the perfect anti-inflammatory team. HydroEye uses the first and only fish oil ingredient to achieve US Pharmacopoeia (USP) verification. USP is the official standards-setting body for US medicines and supplements.

Almost anyone with dry eyes can use HydroEye Vitamins, including users with contacts, age-related dry eye, computer users, and more. Results are usually experienced within 30 days or sooner, and last as long as they’re taken on a regular basis. HydroEye Vitamins have a 2-year shelf life.

HydroEye Vitamins differ from artificial tears and drops because they target the root causes of your dry eye symptoms, rather than just lathering the outside. We recommend taking 2-4 soft gels daily with a meal. No re-applications, no hassle!

If you suffer from dry eye, contact us today!

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National Sports Eye Safety Month

National Sports Eye Safety Month

April marks National Sports Eye Safety Month. Each year, an estimated 100,000 people are hurt by sports-related eye injuries and about 13,500 of those injuries result in permanent vision loss, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

 

The good news is the AAO also states that 90% of serious eye injuries are preventable through the use of appropriate protective eyewear. But of course, this also depends on the exact sports activity you are participating in.

 

Basketball is the leading cause of injuries in males, followed by baseball/softball, and air or paintball guns. For females, baseball/softball is the primary reason for eye injuries, followed by cycling and soccer. The type and severity of sports-related injuries vary. Corneal abrasions and bruises on the lids are less significant, while retinal detachment and internal bleeding can be vision-threatening. Any sort of blunt force trauma also puts someone at higher risk for developing glaucoma in the future. Annual eye exams are a simple way to monitor this closely. And as with any injury, the sooner you seek medical attention, the better.

 

You should always follow these three tips to avoid sports-related eye injuries:

  1. Wear proper safety goggles. It is important that any sports protective eyewear are labeled at ASTM F803 approved. This eyewear is performance tested to give you the highest levels of protection.
  2. Use batting helmets with polycarbonate face shields for baseball/softball and use helmets and face shields approved by the U.S. Amateur Hockey Association when playing hockey.
  3. Throw out old gear. When your eye protection is damaged or yellowing with age, it’s time to throw them out. Wear and tear may cause them to become weak and less effective.

 

Eye Center, Inc. offers prescription and nonprescription sports goggles for adults and children with polycarbonate lenses. Also available are safety glasses with an ASTM approved frame and protective side shields for adults and children with polycarbonate lenses. Visit Eye Center, Inc. today or call us at (941) 756-2020 to learn more about protective eyewear for sports.

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Allergy Season is Back - How to Treat Your Eye Allergy Symptoms

Allergy Season is Back - How to Treat Your Eye Allergy Symptoms

Well, Floridians, it’s officially allergy season. Sunny weather and beautiful plants are both parts of daily life in Florida. According to Fox 13 News, this year’s allergy season will be ‘catastrophically bad.’ Allergies can cause your eyes to become red, irritated, itchy, runny, swollen, sore, sensitive and more. Most expert ophthalmologists and optometrists agree that surfactant components of existing eyelid cleansers are necessary to remove excess oil, debris and desquamated skin from the eyelids. During allergy season, our team of optometrists at the Eye Center, Inc. recommend using OCuSOFT products.

OCuSOFT is a privately-held eye and skin care company with an established reputation for innovation in eyelid hygiene. They are the market leader and #1 brand recommended by eye doctors. Since 1986, OCuSOFT has been committed to healthcare professionals and their patients. They are dedicated to addressing clinical needs with innovative solutions.

OCuSOFT wipes dissolve and remove oil, debris and desquamated skin. Their mild, non-irritating formulation is16x milder than baby shampoo. OCuSOFT also carries a foaming lid scrub. This product generates a pre-lathered foam immediately upon depressing the control tip pump.

The Department of Ophthalmology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, conducted a study titled: A Comparative Study of Eyelid Cleaning Regimens in Chronic Blepharitis. They compared Neutrogena to OCuSOFT with 26 patients over a 4 month period. 25 completed the study OCuSOFT resulted in greater symptom resolution and patient satisfaction.

If you are suffering from eye allergies, contact us today, to discuss all of your available treatment options!

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Workplace Eye Wellness Awareness Month

Workplace Eye Wellness Awareness Month

March is Workplace Eye Wellness Awareness Month. Each day, more than 2,000 American workers suffer an eye injury, and nearly one million Americans have partially lost sight due to an eye injury, according to Prevent Blindness America. Workplace eye injuries have resulted in more than $300 million in worker’s compensation, lost time, and medical expenses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The type of workplace injuries we most commonly see at Eye Center, Inc are: blunt force trauma, corneal abrasions, ocular foreign bodies, and chemical burns. If you think you have experienced one of these injuries, it is best to be seen by one of our doctors right away.

Eye infections are another workplace eye “injury” you should be aware of. People who work in health care, laboratory, janitorial, or animal handling environments are especially prone to eye infection. It’s important to consistently wash your hands throughout your work day and see your optometrist if you are experiencing signs or symptoms of an infection.

 

What can be done to minimize risk?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends creating a checklist for Eye Safety in the workplace.

  1. Create a safe work environment
    • You can accomplish this by minimizing hazards from unstable debris; making sure tools are working properly and workers and volunteers know how to use those tools; and keeping bystanders out of the way.
  2. Evaluate your safety hazards
    • Identify your primary hazards and posed hazards.
  3. Wear proper eye protection
    • Make sure the eye protection is in good condition and fits properly.
  4. Use good work practices
    • Before removing your eye protection, dust off hardhats, hair, and forehead; don’t rub eyes with dirty hands/clothing; clean eyewear regularly.
  5. Prepare for eye injuries and first aid needs
    • Be sure your workplace is equipped with an eye wash kit or sterile saline for rinsing. Artificial tears are also a good thing to have on hand in your first aid kit.

 

No matter what setting you work in, your vision and ocular health is extremely important and must be a priority in your day-to-day lifestyle. No matter what time of day, we’re here for you! If you suffer an eye injury, contact our 24-hour service line at (941) 756-2020.

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