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See Under the Sea & in the Swimming Pool Too

Wear goggles for clear & healthy underwater vision

You don’t swim naked at a public beach or swimming pool, and you shouldn’t swim with naked eyes either! At the beach, it’s hard to know if ocean water is really clean and not polluted, and the sand and salt content can make your eyes sting. If you prefer swimming in a pool, remember that while pool water can be clean, that’s only because it’s packed with chlorine, which can seriously irritate your eyes, stripping away your lubricating film and causing redness, pain, and blurry vision.

Goggles are the ideal solution for protecting your delicate eyes against the harshness of water. Also, due to advanced materials and modern engineering of the lenses in swim goggles, they provide crisper underwater vision than ever before! Your knowledgeable Austin eye doctor explains about the benefits and features of goggles:

Prescription goggles

If you normally need eyeglasses or contacts to see above water, our Austin optometrist strongly recommends buying a pair of prescription goggles for underwater vision. For you to see, light rays reflect off an object, enter your eyes, and are focused on your retina clearly. However, light rays don’t function the same way when they are in water. That’s why the floor of a swimming pool appears higher up than it really is. In general, goggles correct this problem by creating an air-filled gap around your eyes. But this doesn’t give sharp sight to swimmers who need vision correction. If you have nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism, you’ll need prescription goggles to see.

Wearing contact lenses and standard goggles

A lot of people are in the habit of wearing standard goggles over their contact lenses, instead of purchasing a pair of prescription goggles. What’s the problem with this? Actually, water is the problem.

Water in all bodies – lakes, pools, oceans, and hot tubs – is a natural breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. While your body and your eyes have a built-in defense system to protect against these menacing microbes, contact lenses interfere with your eye’s protection. Consequently, swimming with contact lenses increases your risk of getting an eye infection.

Acanthamoeba keratitis is an extremely hazardous eye infection caused by amoeba being trapped between your contact lens and your cornea. Sometimes, amoeba start to live in your eye, leading to corneal ulcers and permanent vision loss. This type of infection only happens to people who wear contact lenses, which underscores our Austin eye doctor’s warning against swimming with contacts!

Now, we also realize that many people will insist on wearing contact lenses at the beach or pool – despite all of our warnings. If you’re one of those people, here are some tips to help you minimize the danger to your eye health:

  • Wear daily disposable contacts for swimming, since you throw them out after a single use. Remove them immediately after you come out of the water, rinse your eyes with artificial tears and replace your lenses with a new, clean pair.
  • Even if you’re didn’t fully dip into the water, if any drops fall into your eyes, remove your contacts immediately and throw them out, or disinfect them if you aren’t wearing disposables.
  • Never open your eyes underwater
  • Never go swimming and then doze off on the shore or poolside with your lenses still in your eyes

Top features for goggles – recommended by our Austin optometrist

  • Prescription lenses, if you generally need eyewear with vision correction
  • Shatterproof lenses
  • Anti-fog treatment
  • Leak-free lenses that seal comfortably around your eyes
  • Built-in UV protection
  • Surfers should wear polarized lenses to protect against reflected glare, which can be very intense on the water
  • Competitive swimmers and divers should choose frames with a low profile
  • Recreational lap swimmers do best with larger lenses (they give wider peripheral vision), and more padded frames

More questions about swimming and vision? Ask our Austin eye doctor!

Before you dive into the blue, sparkling waters at the beach or swimming pool, consult with an expert optometrist near you. We’ll help you find the safest way to have sharp underwater vision and a fabulous look! If you do experience irritated eyes, strange discharge, pain, sensitivity or redness after wearing your contact lenses while swimming, contact us immediately for an eye exam at McCormick Vision Source.

Help! My Child Doesn’t Want to Wear Glasses!

Do your kids need glasses in order to see clearly? Maybe they have a strong case of nearsightedness, perhaps they have astigmatism, or another type of refractive error. Whatever the cause, getting your kids to wear eyeglasses can be a parenting challenge.

Dr. Michael McCormick treats patients from all over Austin, Texas with their vision correction needs. The knowledgeable, caring staff at McCormick Vision Source can help you and your kids if they’re struggling with their glasses or don’t want to wear them.

Why Won’t My Child Wear His or Her Glasses?

To help your children get the best vision possible, you first need to understand why they’re fighting with you over their glasses. It usually stems from something physical, emotional, or social, such as:

  • Wrong fit
  • Wrong prescription
  • Personal style
  • Reactions from friends

How do you know which it is? Pay close attention to the signs, from what your kids say, to how they behave, to how they interact with others.

Physical

Improper fit is a big reason why glasses could feel uncomfortable. If they slip down, itch behind the ears, or put pressure on the bridge of the nose, it can explain why a child wouldn’t like to wear them.

If there’s been a big change to their prescription, they may need time to get used to it. If they were given the wrong prescription, they may be straining their eyes, getting headaches, or having eye fatigue. An incorrect prescription can make wearing glasses painful or awkward. It doesn’t correct their vision, either, so they’ll still see blurry images. When this happens, your eye doctor can check the prescription and make an adjustment.

Emotional

Your kids at home aren’t the same as your kids in school, on the sports field, or with their friends. They may be afraid of being made fun of in school, or they may not want the sudden attention on their appearance. These feelings can be even stronger among the tween and teen set.

Social

Even young kids can feel different when they put on a pair of glasses, especially if it’s for the first time. Feeling different or weird, in their eyes, translates to a negative experience. When wearing glasses makes them feel like the odd man out, they may not want to wear them. The last thing your child wants is to feel like a social outcast. After all, everyone wants to belong.

How We Can Help

First, bring your child in to the eye doctor for an eye exam. Our optometrist, Dr. Michael McCormick, will check to make sure that your child has the right prescription and that any vision problems are being corrected. Next, we’ll take a look at the glasses and place them on your child’s face to determine if they’ve got the proper fit. Our optician will take care of any adjustments that need to be made.

The Vision They Need, The Style They Want

Fashion isn’t only for adults. Your budding fashionista or trendy young stud wants to look awesome, so don’t forget about style. When your kids look great, they’ll feel great! Give them the top-quality eyewear they need without compromising on style. Your kids are a lot more likely to wear glasses when they like the way they look.

What You Can Do to Help

Encourage, stay positive, and don’t give up. Avoid telling them what you want them to wear. Let them choose for themselves. In the end, they’re the ones wearing the glasses. Making decisions is an important life skill, something they’ll need as they grow up and become more independent.

For younger children, use positive words to encourage them. Talk about how glasses are like magic, letting them see beautiful things around them. Show them how a pretty flower or a bright red truck looks with the glasses on, and how different it looks with the glasses off. For older kids, throw in a little pop culture. Tell them how trendy they’ll look by showing them pictures of celebrities who also wear glasses. You’ll also rack up some cool parent points.

At McCormick Vision Source, we have the experience and unique approach to children’s eyewear that will make your kids want to wear their glasses. Schedule an eye exam today – you can book an appointment online right here. If you have any questions or concerns, give us a call and we’ll be glad to help.

Parkinson’s Awareness Month and Your Vision

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April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month in the USA and Canada, a time when those living with the disorder, their family members, friends, and community come together to raise awareness and share helpful information. People with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and their loved ones are encouraged to share their stories, struggles, and successes in order to educate and support others.

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The Parkinson’s Foundation has announced this year’s theme: #KeyToPD and Parkinson Canada advocates the same involvement. What is the key to living a high quality of life while living with Parkinson’s? Patients, doctors, caregivers, and families are encouraged to use this hashtag on social media to give of their knowledge and experience.

In order to successfully manage the disorder, it’s essential to understand the disease, symptoms, and treatments. After all, knowledge is power.

What is Parkinson’s Disease?

Parkinson’s Disease is a neurological disorder that affects the brain’s ability to control physical movement. It typically affects middle aged people and the elderly. Parkinson’s causes a decrease in the brain’s natural levels of dopamine, which normally aids nerve cells in passing messages within the brain. According to The Parkinson’s Foundation and Statistics Canada, the disorder affects an estimated 1 million people in the United States, 55 000 Canadians, and 10 million globally.

McCormick Vision Source Eye Clinic and parkinsons and vision problems in Austin, Texas

Many eye diseases can be quickly and easily diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. If you were diagnosed with an eye disease, such as Cataracts, 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? Our Austin eye doctor has prepared the following answers to your questions about eye disease.

How Does Parkinson’s Affect Vision?

Parkinson’s can have a significant impact on vision and ocular health. Patients with PD often find themselves unable to control blinking. Blinking is good for the eyes as it moisturizes the surface and clears it from foreign substances. Less blinking can cause Dry Eye Syndrome, resulting in itchy, red, or gritty-feeling eyes. Other people blink too much or can’;t keep their eyes open.

In more serious cases, Parkinson’s affects the nerves that help us see. Someone with PD may experience blurry vision, double vision, difficulty seeing color and contrast, problems with focus, and other visual symptoms.

In addition to the inherent impact of the disease, some of the medications used to treat Parkinson’s symptoms have known side effects including dry eyes, blurred eyesight and even hallucinations in advanced PD.

What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?

Although much research has been done on the subject, the exact cause of the disease isn’t really known. What doctors and scientists do know is that certain nerve cells located in the brain somehow break down. This damage interferes with both motor and non-motor functions.

Local parkinsons and vision problems in Austin, Texas

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Common Non-Visual Symptoms of Parkinson’s

PD affects other areas of the body that may or may not – depending on each patient – be related to their eye health and visual needs.

Some of the most common non-visual symptoms are:

  • Depression
  • Excessive saliva
  • Loss of smell
  • Moodiness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Slow movement (bradykinesia)
  • Stiff limbs
  • Tremors

Coping With Vision Problems From Parkinson’s

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

Treatment for Parkinson’s Disease

There is currently no cure for the disease itself, but there are options to treat the symptoms of PD. A combination of medications, physical and/or occupational therapy, support groups, and of course, top-quality vision care can give a PD patient relief for some of their symptoms and tools to help cope with the condition.

Research and clinical trials are continuing as doctors and others in the medical community work towards the goal of finding a cure for PD.

No two patients are alike, and each can experience PD differently from the other, so finding what works for you or your loved one is key. During this Parkinson’s Awareness Month, share your #KeyToPD and give your loved ones hope for a healthy and high quality of life.

A Caring Optometrist Near You

We’re here for you, and we want to help. Contact your eye doctor for any specific questions or concerns about your vision.

Call McCormick Vision Source on 512-258-2020 to schedule an eye exam with our Austin optometrist. Alternatively book an appointment online here CLICK FOR AN APPOINTMENT

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Just in case you missed them, here are some of our previous blog posts :

How Can I Protect My Eyes From Diabetes?

Women’s Eye Health – 7 Tips for Optimal Vision for Life

7 Facts You Should Know About Glaucoma

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COMPREHENSIVE EYE EXAMS

As your eyes gradually change, so can your vision and prescription needs. That’s why regular eye exams with an eye doctor are so important.

SCHEDULE AN EYE EXAM

Your eyes change over time.
This happens as a result of the natural aging process and things like climate, hormones, pregnancy, medications, and the daily activities you enjoy doing. Visiting your family doctor for an annual physical is critical to managing your health. Doing the same for your eyes is just as–if not more–important for maintaining excellent vision and quality of life. If you’re thinking, “How can I schedule an eye exam near me?”, then contact our office today. We’ll set an appointment at a time that’s convenient for you.

What Is a Comprehensive Eye Exam?

Unlike a basic vision screening, a comprehensive eye exam involves a thorough, detailed examination of your eyes and visual abilities. During the exam, your doctor will ask you about your medical history, family history of any disease or health issues, medications you may be currently taking, hospital visits, and your personal lifestyle. All of these are elements that can affect your vision.

Eye exams are an essential component of overall wellness. During a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist will assess much more than your vision prescription. Your doctor will test for common eye diseases and conditions, including glaucoma, macular degeneration, and cataract development. The doctor will also assess how your eyes work together and evaluate the health of your retina, optic nerve, and retinal blood vessels. Comprehensive eye exams actually offer an accurate indication of your overall health because optometrists are often the first healthcare professionals to detect chronic conditions such as hypertension and diabetes.

An essential part of any comprehensive eye exam is the refraction test, or as it is more commonly called a vision test. This gives the doctor an idea of what kind of prescription you may need. Your doctor will recommend the best method for giving you the clearest, sharpest vision.

Based on your specific case, the doctor may perform any of the following tests:

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 Visual Field Test

Your visual field is the area that you see while looking at a specific object. For example, when you look at a car, your eyes are focused on it, but you may also see things that surround the car, such as flowers on the ground or rain falling on the windshield. A visual field test examines your ability to see what is in this direct area. Certain eye conditions or neurological disorders can negatively impact your visual field, which is why this test is an essential part of a comprehensive eye exam.

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 Binocular Vision Assessment

Similar to how binoculars allow you to use both eyes simultaneously when looking at something far away, binocular vision is the ability of your left and right eye to focus on an image or object so that your brain “translates” the image into understanding what you’re seeing. At its basic level, binocular vision means how the eyes work together as a team.

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 Color Evaluation

A color evaluation tests the ability to differentiate between colors. It is usually done with Ishihara color plates, a series of round circles with colored dots inside that form a number. The patient studies the image, either on paper or on a computer screen, and determines if they can clearly see the number.  This is an important test because difficulty distinguishing between red and green often is a sign of color blindness.

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 Corneal Mapping

Corneal Mapping is a process involving the measurement of the cornea. Our Eye Doctors use a computerized system and/or a keratometer to collect exact details about the size and shape of your cornea. This is done to ensure that the curvature and size are correct, which allows light to enter your eye so that you can focus on images and see clearly.

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 OPTOS Retinal Exam

OPTOS retinal imaging is developed by Optos, a UK-based retinal imaging company. The OPTOS Retinal Exam is now available at McCormick Vision Source and is unique in providing a wide range image of the retina. This wide imaging has significantly more detail than traditional eye scans, which can allow the doctor to identify and diagnose retinal problems which may be affecting your vision.

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 iCare Tonometry

At McCormick Vision Source, we use the Icare® ic100, a device that uses patented rebound technology to measure intraocular pressure. This device is based on a rebound measuring principle that requires no drops or air puff. Icare's proprietary algorithm, combined with state-of-the-art software brings IOP measuring to a higher level.

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 OCT Scan

Similar to a traditional CT scan, an OCT Scan (Optical Coherence Tomography) checks for eye diseases by examining the layers of your retina and optic nerve. This test involves the use of a laser with light to provide the doctor with detailed, colored images of the retina. There is no radiation and the test is painless and non-invasive.

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 Visual Acuity Test

Visual Acuity is the ability to see clear, sharp images from various distances. To test this skill, the doctor will instruct you to look at an eye chart in various types of bright lighting. The smallest letters or numbers that you can clearly see determines your level of visual acuity.

arrow-circle-right-3 arrow-circle-right-3 Refraction Exam

A refraction exam is considered a basic part of an eye and vision evaluation. Refraction is how you see things around you. When there is an imperfection in the refraction of your eye, it causes blurry vision. The 2 main vision problems from refractive issues are nearsightedness and farsightedness. The doctor may conduct this simple test by shining a light into your eyes to check how the light bends through it, or a computerized test may also be used.

How Long Does a Comprehensive Eye Exam Take?

Due to the meticulous detail taken for your eye care, a comprehensive eye exam can take up to one hour. It’s a complete workup of your visual health, so that our optometrists can make sure your vision is at its best, helping you enjoy life to the fullest.

No two patients are alike. Should the doctor discover any eye conditions that need treatment, we will create a customized treatment plan for your particular needs.

eye doctor, children eye exam in Austin, TX

Children's Eye Exams in Austin

Because our young patients grow so quickly, their vision is vastly different than adults. Toddlers, school-age children, and adolescents each have their own needs at these various stages of life, so it’s crucial to have their eyes thoroughly examined on a regular basis. Education experts say that 80% of learning is visual. In fact, many issues related to learning and extracurricular activities can be eye-related.

Difficulty concentrating or acting fidgety can often be misdiagnosed as ADHD when in reality, the child has developed vision problems. Symptoms can include headaches, tiredness from schoolwork or playing sports, or excessive squinting at the board. Children develop rapidly, especially in the early childhood years. This is why doctors recommend regular exams to check how their vision is advancing and to detect any potential problems. The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends regular eye exams at age 6 months, 3 years, when a child begins school, and every 2 years after that.

Glasses & Frames

New clients and all our current patients from Austin, TX are welcome to visit us with their current prescription – no appointment necessary.

Glasses & Eyewear

Making a decision about your eyewear goes beyond good vision and makes a statement about who you are. Your decision affects how you see and also how you want to be seen by others. But with so many different styles to choose from, getting the right look for your face and your lifestyle can be overwhelming.

The staff at McCormick Vision Source will help you find the best fit for your specific needs and explain how different lenses and frames will impact your vision. They will help you narrow down your choices so you can find the look, fit and functionality you want from your eyewear.