Thursday, May 11, 2017

How Lyme Disease Can Be Dangerous for Your Sight

May is known for many things: flowers, warmer weather, the end of school terms, but a lesser known May celebration is Lyme Disease Awareness Month. This tick-borne disease causes many complications throughout the body, including problems with the eyes. Lyme disease is a spiral-shaped bacteria, and depending on where they grow, different eye problems can occur. Luckily, eye complications don’t always occur with Lyme disease and treatment is possible for the disease and any problems it may cause your eyes. Here are the most common symptoms that Lyme Disease can have on your sight:

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  • Sensitivity to Light

A common effect of Lyme disease is sensitivity to light, even on cloudy days or at night.

  • Cloudy or Foggy Vision

Sometimes those with Lyme disease with find their vision to be cloudy, especially as the bacteria are being killed off and giving off endotoxins. This often occurs after a person wakes up.

  • Conjunctivitis

Commonly called pink eye, conjunctivitis causes eyes to be red and itchy, and to produce discharge. Unlike common pink eye, this is not contagious. This usually occurs in the early phase of Lyme disease.

  • Uveitis, or Inflammation of the Middle of the Eye

The uvea includes the iris (the colored part of the eye), the ciliary body (which makes the fluid that fills the eye), and the area beneath the retina. Inflammation of the uvea can cause floaters in a person’s vision, which appear as dots or lines that float around in someone’s vision. Uveitis can be treated by eye care pros like Infinite Eye Care.

  • Optic Neuritis, or Inflammation of the Optic Nerve

Optic Neuritis is the inflammation of the fibers covering the optic nerve. Since this is the channel of communication to the brain, this can be painful and cause vision loss, but is also treatable.

  • Keratitis, or Inflammation of the Cornea

The cornea is the transparent protective outer layer of the eye. Inflammation of the cornea leads to light sensitivity, eye pain, and blurry vision. Eyes with keratitis can even have the appearance of being cloudy.


If you have been diagnosed with Lyme disease or have questions about any of these symptoms, please contact us immediately at (320) 257-4990. We can help treat any eye problems, whether they’ve been caused by this disease or not. Visit Livestrong.com for more information on ocular signs of Lyme disease.

How to Prevent Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is spread by the bite of an infected tick. While not all ticks carry this disease, lyme disease prevention starts with preventing the bite, so follow these steps to keep the ticks away altogether:
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  • Cover your legs, ankles, feet, head, and arms if you plan on hiking, being in tall grasses, or in the woods
  • Always check your skin (and your children or pets) for ticks, which can be very small—poppy seed size—this early in the summer. Don’t forget in between the toes and in the hair! 
  • Wear insect repellant to keep ticks and other bugs away
  • If you have found a tick on you, remove it properly, and keep watch for fever or rash

Summer is just about here. Although it may attract some unwanted pests, you won’t want to miss a second of it! If you are having troubles with your vision - whatever the reason may be - make an appointment with Dr. Tom and the caring staff at Infinite Eye Care.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Prevent Springtime Allergies by Purifying the Air in Your House

Spring is a refreshing time of the year, but for allergy sufferers, it also causes a lot of discomfort. Even when you are indoors, it is hard to escape the itchy, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and other symptoms that come along with allergens such as dust mites, mold, and pet dander.

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to purify the air in your home and reduce allergens. Add these simple tasks to your spring cleaning list to purify your air for a more comfortable home.

Remove Clutter


The fewer items you have in a home, the fewer places there are for allergens to build up. Allergens tend to collect on the surfaces of items around your home, so limit the number of items you have to only what is necessary. This will also make the rest of your cleaning tasks easier to complete.

Dust Correctly

According to everydayhealth.com, the most common trigger of asthma and allergy symptoms in the home are dust mites. Dusting helps to remove dust mites, but only if done correctly. Traditional feather dusters often make allergy symptoms worse by dispersing dust particles into the air. Instead, try using a damp cloth or rag that will attract dust particles into the cleaning surface. You can also wear a dust mask while dusting if your allergy symptoms continue.


Vacuum and Clean Floors

Allergens don’t only collect on your furniture and decor, they also accumulate on your floors. Whether they are hardwood, carpeted, or tiled, your floors are likely collecting dust mites that can aggravate your allergy symptoms. Clean your floors often – especially by vacuuming carpets – to remove built-up dust mites hiding in the surface of your floors.

Wash Fabrics

Porous materials like cloth and fabrics can store dust more easily than other surfaces, so washing your clothes, bedding, and curtains can make a huge difference in your home’s air quality. Wash these items regularly to improve your allergy symptoms.

Humidity Control

According to National Allergy, 70-75% of a home dust mite’s weight is water, meaning that the humidity in your house has a direct impact on the dust in your home. Using a dehumidifier during the spring can limit the dust particles in your home. Be sure to clean and empty your home’s dehumidifier often to keep it running properly.

Air Filtration 

Finally, having the proper air filtration system in your home will be an easy solution to improving your home’s air quality. Be certain that your home’s air conditioning system is using HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to remove the most airborne allergens possible. This will be the simplest and one of the most effective ways of minimizing your allergy symptoms.


Removing the source of your allergies (a.k.a. Antigens) will often help. However, sometimes a little help is needed. When that time comes and the symptoms persist, call Infinite Eye Care for an allergy evaluation consult. You and your eyes will be glad you did.

Friday, March 10, 2017

The True Colors of Color Blindness

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With spring quickly approaching, many people are eagerly awaiting the chance to see the colors of outdoor life to return. Green grasses, red flowers, and blue skies are on the horizon, however, some people may see these sights quite differently.


What is Color Blindness?
Color Vision Deficiency (CVD), more commonly referred to as color blindness, is a condition that affects the ability for a person to perceive different colors (typically red, green, and blue light). According to Colourblindawareness.org, it affects about 8% of men and .5% of women across the world, meaning that in the US, approximately 25.5 million men and 1.5 million women experience some form of color blindness.


How Does One Become Color Blind?
Color blindness is typically a genetic condition. According to the National Eye Institute, the mutated genes that cause the most likely form of color blindness are contained on the X chromosome, which explains why men are much more likely to be colorblind. Men have only one X chromosome while women have two. For a woman to be colorblind, both of her X chromosomes must be affected. If at least one of them contain an unmutated gene, she will not be colorblind. However, that woman would still be a carrier of the mutated gene, which she can pass down to her offspring.

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Why Does Color Blindness Happen?
An article on Allaboutvision.com states that color blindness occurs in the retina of the eye, which is a layer located at the back of the eye that is sensitive to light and sends impulses of this information from the optic nerve to the brain, which forms the image that we see. In color blind people, the retina fails to respond to variations in wavelengths that allow people to distinguish colors.


At a smaller level, the retina’s cones are responsible for recording color vision. A healthy human retina contains 6 to 7 million cones. In genetic forms of color blindness, certain types of cones are deficient or absent completely, making the retina unable to perceive particular colors.


Color blindness can also occur for a number of other reasons, including a number of diseases and eye conditions, such as cataracts.


vector-1719458_640.pngHow Do Color Blind People See Colors?
For people who can see all colors accurately, it can be hard to understand how people who are affected by color blindness see the world around them. Fortunately, there are resources that allow people to better understand how color blindness affects people. Visit webexhibits.org for a color blindness simulation that covers all color blindness scenarios.

As we said, some color blind people were not born that way, it was a result of an issue with their eyesight - yet another reason to stay up-to-date with all your vision exams. So if you see the world in full color, Keep it that way with an annual trip to Infinite Eye Care.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Finding the Perfect Fit for Your Frames

At Infinite Eye Care, we want you to be completely comfortable with your glasses. We stay up-to-date with the latest trends in eyewear and lenses to keep you looking your best. The problem is, sometimes even the best-looking frames don’t fit the best.
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When your glasses are fitting properly, they will feel more comfortable, look more put-together, and ensure proper correction to your vision.


The fit of a pair of glasses is determined by four key elements:


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The Frame

The width and style of the material surrounding the lenses. The frame should be level with your eyes and extend a proper length across your face.

The Temples

The extension that runs from the frame and sits on your ears to position your glasses. These must be to a specific length so that the curve does not sit too far in front of or behind your ears.

The Bridge

The portion of the frame that rests on your nose to position the placement of the lenses. The basics of determining if your bridge fits is to see how it is resting on your nose. If the bridge span is too small, your glasses will be placed too high which disrupts your pupil position. If the bridge span is too large, your glasses will continually fall down throughout the day or be positioned too low. It is crucial that despite the style of the glasses, your bridge is fitting properly so that it is nearly level with the center of your eyes.

Pupil Position

Where the pupil of your eye is in relation to your lenses. Your pupil should be near the center of your lenses to ensure that your glasses are properly correcting your vision. If your glasses are not positioned correctly, they may not actually be doing their job!



Assessing these four elements will enhance the look and feel of your glasses while improving the quality of your vision.

If you’re looking for the perfect pair of glasses or sunglasses, come into Infinite Eye Care in downtown Sauk Rapids.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Clearing Up the Facts About Pink Eye

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Winter. For some people, it’s the season that embodies staying indoors working on crafts or catching up with a few good books. For parents, it’s the season in which their children can come home with a new, exciting illness transferred from their friends at school. According to Washington's Top News, Winter is peak season for pink eye. More accurately, winter is peak season for bacterial or viral pinkeye.


The proper name for pink eye is conjunctivitis, and there are four different causes:


Viral Conjunctivitis - Symptoms can mimic that of a cold or the flu. The disease usually begins in one eye and spreads to the other within a few days. Any discharge from the eye is watery.


Bacterial Conjunctivitis - Bacterial pink eye can accompany an ear infection and will produce a yellow/green colored discharge.


Allergic Conjunctivitis - This type of conjunctivitis will usually affect both eyes. Like many allergy symptoms, the eyes will be watery, itchy, and may cause swelling. It will also accompany other allergy symptoms, such as sneezing or a scratchy throat.


Conjunctivitis Caused by Irritants - Conjunctivitis, put simply, is an irritation of the conjunctiva - the thin tissue covering the white parts of your eye and inside of your eyelid. Sometimes pinkeye can be caused by external irritants, like contact lenses, makeup, or chlorine.  


Viral and bacterial are the only types of pink eye that create discharge in your eyes. They are also the most contagious. As long as you or your child has discharge present, it is important not to come in direct contact with others. It is also important to know that is may go away after a few day, but in bacterial infection, treatment is recommended as it may cause permanent vision loss if scars are present in certain areas of the eyes.  If you get pink eye related to contact lenses, new lenses, lens cases, or eye makeup, replace these items with new ones.

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Prevention
  • The easiest way to prevent pink eye (especially in the winter) is to keep clean. Wash your hands, bedding, and clothing often, especially if you or someone you know comes in contact with a pink eye patient.
  • Avoid touching your eyes.
  • If you wear glasses, clean them regularly.
  • If you wear contacts, clean, store, and replace them properly.
  • Don’t share anything that comes in contact with your eyes, such as glasses, sunglasses, makeup, bedding, or towels.   

The most important thing you can do if you or someone you know develops pink eye is to seek treatment. At Infinite Eye Care, we offer urgent care & pink eye services. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you will heal.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Eye Health: It’s Important in the Winter, Too!

Though you may not realize it, the Minnesota cold can damage your eyes. If you are brave enough to head out in the cold this winter, make sure you know the effects it can have on your health. Here are some common health issues and ways you can handle these eye problems.
The Cold’s Effect on Eyes
Winter weather can leave your eyes red, swollen and in pain. To put is scientifically, the extreme cold can constrict the blood vessels in the eye or even freeze your corneas. These conditions can lead to blurred vision, double vision, or even a loss of vision. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your optometrist immediately; you may need medical care to fix your vision.

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Sunburn
Yup, sunburn; it’s not just a problem for the summer. You might not think about it in the winter, but it shouldn’t be ignored. Protecting your eyes is necessary. Your eyes can suffer from something called Photokeratitis (aka snow blindness) and may actually be more dangerous in the winter, as the snow can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s light. To prevent UV light from injuring your eyes, be sure to wear UV-blocking sunglasses or goggles.
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Discomfort From the Cold
The frigid, cold winter wind can also cause dry eyes, which will lead to some major discomfort. This discomfort could get worse when you are out and about enjoying the snow by skiing, snowboarding, or sledding. Be sure to protect your eyes when you are out enjoying the winter weather. If your eyes are consistently dry, make sure to carry lubricating eye drops with you. For more info, check out our blog about Dry Winter Eyes from 2013.

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Indoor Issues
Sadly enough, the indoors may not be completely safe for your eyes either. During the winter, there are lower humidity levels indoors (and outdoors), which may cause dry eyes. If you notice this in your home, look into purchasing a humidifier. It’s also helpful to stay well hydrated.
The winter can be hard on your eyes, but thankfully, winter eye issues are easily managed. If you experience pain in your eyes after being in an extremely cold setting, immediately get into a warm spot and seek medical attention. If you experience consistent discomfort from cold winds blowing in your eyes, cover them or bring eye drops with you. And even though you won’t be spending your weekends on the lake (unless it’s in a fish house), sunglasses aren’t a bad idea.

No matter the conditions, always remember to protect your eyes. From your friends at Infinite Eye Care, have a happy and healthy new year!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

New Happenings at Infinite Eye Care

At infinite Eye Care, we are always changing.  We are constantly trying to find ways to offer better services to our patients. Recently, we have added many new stylish frame options, updated our facility, and added new technology. At Infinite Eye Care we believe in constant progression, here is how we have improved recently:
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Our New Frames
Frame styles are ever changing and we are dedicated to offering our customers the best options and the newest styles.  We have added six new brands of frames to our selection. No matter your style, we have the frames for you.
Ray Ban
Ray Ban debuted with their Aviator model glasses in 1937, since then Ray Ban has been a leader in both the sun and prescription eyewear. Ray Ban has been loyal to their core values of timeless style, authenticity, and freedom of expression. Come to Infinite Eye Care and try on the iconic symbol that is shared by celebrities and public figures all around the world.
Crocs Eyewear
Are you looking for a relaxed and fun style? Try the new Crocs eyewear line that offers a unique style and creative designs.  
Stepper- Imagewear
Stepper offers a durable and stylish frame that could be perfect for you. Stepper focuses on using all the technology and material available in order to offer a diverse collection.  Come in and see these distinct new frames.
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Realtree
Are glasses not the first thing you think of when you hear Realtree? Real tree offers much more than just camouflage. Check out the variety of colors, sizes, and styles that come with the badge of outdoor honor that Realtree is known for.
Sperry L’amy
Looking to make a statement? Signature Sperry details are integrated into their eyewear collection.  Come in and check out the wide range of designs from luxury to sport, to kids and specialty sizes.
The Alexander Collection
Reveal your inner grace and sophistication in eyewear with new frames from the Alexander Collection. These designs offer fine handcrafted details, such as Swarovski crystal accents, metal inlays and delicate laser etching in acetate, metal, semi-rimless and combination frame styles. Stop by and see if the Alexander Collection is the right fit for you.
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Updated Facility
Infinite Eye Care has a new look.]! We remolded our office to offer better customer service to our patients. We have expanded our front desk to allow for more eye exam stations. We have also added more frame racks to increase our customer’s selections.  Finally, we added a new glass display that is currently playing host to some exciting Ray Ban designed Frames. Come into our office and see the new look for yourself.

New Technologies
Here at Infinite Eye Care we are always keeping up with the latest technologies in ophthalmology. One of these new technologies is the Ivue OCT., which is like an MRI for the retina. In the past, we have only been able to look at the “surface” of the retina, but with this new technology, we are able to evaluate 10 layers deep behind the surface. This allows Dr. Tom to detect sight-threatening diseases such as glaucoma, macular degeneration, retinal detachments and tumors before physical symptoms start to appear.

Another new technology we offer is the iWellness exam. This precautionary exam identifies the first signs of serious eye diseases. Traditional eye exams, even with retinal photography, cannot provide this level of detail. We recommend all of our patients over 20 years of age receive this special test because catching a sight-threatening disease in its earliest stage is extremely important. Learn more about this new exam here.