Surrounded by mile-high mountains and rich with culture, Asheville is one of the fastest growing areas in North Carolina. Asheville’s population has increased nearly 25% since 2000, while Buncombe County has added 50,000 people since 2000. As new residents discover how great our city is, we want to help make sure you find the right eye care professional. We are offering a free e-book guide to help new residents find great healthcare professionals and optometrists.
How to Find a New Doctor, Dentist or Optometrist
In addition to incredible beauty, cultural amenities, and excellent educational systems, western North Carolina benefits from nearby medical universities and the presence of Mission Health System. Nevertheless, finding new physicians, dentists, and eye care professionals is always difficult when moving to a new city.
Whether you are moving to or from Asheville, or anywhere else, you may be dreading the process of finding new physicians, optometrists, dentists, and other healthcare professionals. In this short e-book, we discuss six key tips for finding a new eye care professional.
To download the guide, follow this link and fill out the short contact form.
The path of totality for the Great American Eclipse crossed just west of Asheville, NC. Our area saw millions upon millions of tourists passing through our area toward Franklin, Sylva, Murphy, and Andrews. Even for those not in the path of totality, protecting your eyes while viewing the eclipse was something to be taken seriously.
After viewing the eclipse with potentially unapproved glasses she borrowed, one woman in Staten Island reported seeing a weird dark spot in her vision that has sense taken the shape of a crescent.
We were among several experts urging eclipse watchers and chasers across the country to make sure they protect their eyes with approved, viewing glasses. Now that a few months have passed, unfortunately there have been cases of people expressing concern regarding their eye sight and the eclipse.
In this article, we will discuss signs you may have damaged your vision during the eclipse, and what you can do about it.
Did I Damage My Eyes Viewing the Eclipse?
The sun's light was magnified by the passing moon such that it could have damaged your eyesight, even if you did not look directly at the eclipse itself. As the moon passed over the sun, even if you were not in the path of totality, you likely experienced darkness and cooler temperatures. If you were in the path of totality, you may have seen the corona, the especially bright shimmer immediately before the moon totally deflected the sun’s light.
From moments to months after the event, people who viewed it reported noticing various symptoms of damaged vision due looking at the eclipse without proper glasses, or glasses perhaps falling off of their faces. Signs and symptoms of eclipse-damaged vision include:
- Frequent Headaches: Frequent headaches may themselves be a symptom, or squinting from reduced vision may lead to the headaches.
- Blurred Vision: If you suddenly or slowly blurred since the eclipse, you should schedule an appointment with an optometrist.
- Color Confusion: If you have developed difficulty discerning colors, it could be a result of the eclipse.
- Sensitivity to Light: You are squinting more than before you viewed the eclipse.
- Seeing Shapes, Spots, Holes: If your vision is now obstructed by dark spots or shapes, it could be a result of eclipse related damage.
- Loss of Central Vision: If you are having trouble focusing on your vision, it could be a result of seeing more of the eclipse than you meant to.
- Wavy or Distorted Vision: Your vision seems as if you are seeing humidity waves, even when they are not present.
- Pain: If you have eye pain emanating from the day of the eclipse, consult an optometrist immediately.
These signs or others could indeed be indicative of vision damage due to viewing the eclipse.
I Have the Signs, What Should I Do About My Vision?
Whether you experience those or other symptoms after the eclipse, or just in general, it is important to consult your eye doctor. Your optometrist will be able to help determine whether it is eclipse related, and exactly what course of treatment will be necessary. Do not panic, but do take seriously any new developments with your vision. If you are in the Asheville area, Asheville Vision Associates would be happy to help you take care of your eyes.
Asheville, NC is in the midst of experiencing some of the coldest temperatures in several decades. With lows in the single digits and below zero commonplace throughout Buncombe and Henderson counties, and accompanying low dew points and exceptionally dry air, Asheville residents must include "winter eye care" in their New Year's resolutions.
Even though there are indications of a potential warm up toward the middle and end of January, February and March may bring more cold and dry air to the mountains. In this article, we are discussing several steps for protecting your eyes during the winter months.
How the Weather Affects Your Eyes
Though we are in the southeast, extreme cold in our area is often accompanied by exceptionally dry air. The temperature and lack of moisture can cause or exacerbate issues with your eyes, such as:
- Dry Eyes
- Excessive Tearing
- Red/Swollen Eyes
- Burning Eyes
- Sensitivity to Light
It is common to experience some measure of these symptoms. For the most part, they are treatable with simple changes you can do at home.
1) Make an Appointment with an Optometrist
If you have any concern that you are experiencing pain or discomfort beyond what you would expect or have experienced in the past in similar weather, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your optometrist. If you are new to the area, or you are looking for an eye care doctor, contact Asheville Vision Associates.
Your eye care professionals can help determine whether your discomfort is a greater concern, as well as provide additional tips and resources for protecting your eyes during winter cold snaps.
2) Use a Humidifier in Your Home
Throughout the year, your Heating and Air conditioning systems heats, cools, and dehumidifies your home’s air, to make it more comfortable for you and your family. However, with dew point in the single digits and below zero at times this winter, your HVAC system may be making the air in your home too dry for your eyes.
If your eyes are red, itchy, and/or scratchy, consider using a humidifier inside your home to add moisture back into the air.
3) Beware of Indoor Allergies
Asheville allergy sufferers often look to winter for relief from runny noses, scratchy throats, and itchy eyes; however, dust, dander, and mold may be initiating symptoms and irritating your eyes. If you suspect indoor allergies are the source of your eye discomfort, consider inspecting, or having your home inspected for mold.
4) Increase Your Omega-3 Intake
If your eyes are dry and itchy, consider eating more fish. As strange as it may sound, fish oil can help increase your tear production, helping ease the pain of dry eyes.
5) Stay Hydrated
In the cold of winter, we might all increase our coffee and hot chocolate intake, often to the neglect of water. In order to help protect your eyes from the dryness of winter, make sure you are staying hydrated.
6) Wear Glasses or Goggles
Especially on windy days, or when performing activities such as running, cycling, etc., wear glasses or goggles while outside. By taking steps to protect your eyes, you can potentially avoid regular discomfort and future damage. Nothing will replace regular visits to your optometrist. If you need to schedule an appointment with an eye care professional in Asheville, NC, contact us.