Keep Your Eye on the Ball No Matter What Age

We all know it is important to keep children’s eyes safe when playing sports and doing physical activity, but what about adults and seniors? Well, it is just as important! Adults and seniors need the same eye protection that is provided to children. In fact, eye trauma can result in pain, vision loss or disease. That’s why it is important that active senior citizens utilize proper eyewear and protection when playing sports. It allows you to keep enjoying your athletics while maintaining proper eye health. Here are some tips to keep you playing (and seeing) in a healthy way.   

Proper Eye Protection 

Whether you wear corrective lenses or not, it is important to protect your eyes from a multitude of factors. For example, playing a ball-focused sport, like tennis or pickleball, you want to make sure that your eyes are protected from the high speed nature of the sport. Being hit in the eye with a ball flying at a high speed can cause damage or even lead to serious eye diseases, such as retinal detachment, resulting in vision loss¹.  Optometrists in Colorado suggest that you wear protective eyewear such as racquet sports glasses when playing your sport of choice. The safety glasses you wear should be made of polycarbonate with UV filters. Safety glasses can be made with your prescription and worn in place of your day-to-day glasses. Even if you wear contact lenses, wearing non-prescription safety glasses in conjunction with them is highly suggested because they will help to protect you from potential eye trauma.  

If you do experience eye trauma, be sure to contact your optometrist right away as they can help you quickly and efficiently without a visit to the ER 

UV Protection 

Protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays is always important (especially here in Colorado)! Wearing sunglasses during the summer, and all year, can help protect you from damaging light from the sun and even indoor sources.  

To provide adequate protection for your eyes, sunglasses should²: 

  • Block out 99 to 100% of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. 
  • Screen out 75 to 90% of visible light. 
  • Have lenses that are perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection. 
  • Have lenses that are gray or brown depending on your preference.  

For sports participation, sunglass lenses should be made from polycarbonate or Trivex® material, just like the safety glasses/goggles mentioned before. These lenses are very durable and resist impact. Wearing wraparound frames should be considered as they offer even more protection for your eyes.

There are even certain contact lens brands that offer UV protection and are a great option for everyday use. Be sure to check with your optometrist during your annual comprehensive exam to see which option is the best fit for you and your sun protection needs. 

Vision Exam

To keep you at peak athleticism, be sure to schedule your annual comprehensive eye exam. Not only will your optometrist check your vision and offer you corrective lenses if necessary, but they will also screen for over 270 different diseases! Being confident in your vision and overall eye health will surely up your game, whether it is pickleball, tennis or everyday life. If you are in need of an optometrist near you, click here to find one! 



Glaucoma: the eye disease that can steal sight without early symptoms

You may have heard the term “glaucoma” before, but what is it really, and how do you know if you have it? Glaucoma is an eye disease in which the optic nerve is damaged over time due to elevated pressure in the eye, resulting in vision loss. There are not many noticeable symptoms, so regular eye exams are the only way to identify if you have elevated eye pressure and to prevent blindness from glaucoma. Early detection is key, so getting a yearly comprehensive eye exam is your best bet in preventing vision loss!  

Causes and Risk Factors:

The main risk factor for glaucoma is elevated pressure within the eye. This is an imbalance between the rate at which the aqueous humor, the clear fluid filling the space in the front of the eyeball between the lens and the cornea, is produced and the rate it leaves the eye. Increased intraocular pressure over time causes damage to the optic nerve which connects the eye and the brain, causing irreversible vision loss.

There are several components and  risk factors that doctors look into. 

  • Age: Can begin as early as 40 years old
  • Race: African-Americans have a higher risk and are more likely to suffer permanent vision loss.
  • Family History: If someone in your family has a history of glaucoma it increases your risk.
  • Medical conditions: Diabetes and High Blood Pressure may increase your risk of developing glaucoma.


You might be wondering how to know if you are suffering from glaucoma. At your annual comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will check your eye pressure in a couple of different ways:

  • Tonometer. After special numbing drops are put in your eye, your doctor gently holds this pencil-shaped device against the outside of your eyeball. The reading tells how well your cornea pushes back.
  • “Puff of air.” Your doctor could also use an instrument that blows a small puff of air at your eye while you look into a light.
    • Most people are familiar with the famous eye puff test. While it can still be used today as a screening method for checking eye pressure, it is slowly going by the wayside. Not only do patients dread the air puff, it is not as accurate as some of the newer methods of testing eye pressure or the gold standard tonometer.
  • Icare. No drops required. Single-use tips are used for measurement, which gently touches your eye quicker than a blink.

All of these methods are painless and only take a few seconds to complete. Your results will be available right away and your doctor will explain what they mean and the next steps if treatment is necessary. 


Luckily there are many treatments available to patients who are experiencing glaucoma. They range from drops to surgery depending on the need of the patient. 

  • Glaucoma medications are drops that can be used daily to decrease eye pressure by decreasing the amount of fluid made, increasing the outflow of fluid, or both.
  • SLT surgery is the use of Laser energy applied to the drainage tissue in the eye. This starts a chemical and biological change in the tissue that results in better drainage of fluid through the drain and out of the eye. This eventually results in lowering of the intraocular pressure or IOP. . It may take 1-3 months for the results to appear.
  • Minimally Invasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is a surgery using shunts that lower eye pressure.

These treatments may be combined for maximum pressure lowering.

What Should You Do?

No one should be afraid of glaucoma, but they should also not ignore it. Annual eye exams are the key to watch for this silent condition  

Early diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma is critical to ensure your vision remains healthy. The best thing to do to manage your eye health is to have an annual comprehensive eye exam. During your comprehensive eye exam you will be asked about your family history, medical conditions and have your eye pressure tested. If you are in need of an optometrist, click here to find a doctor near you! 

Ask An Optometrist to Improve Your Eye-Q

If you have had a question about vision or eyesight but keep forgetting to ask while at your annual comprehensive eye exam, we may have a few answers for you! Below we have answered a few common questions or even misconceptions that we hear. 

Q: Will reading in the dark damage my eyes? 

A: Reading in the dark will not physically cause harm to the eyes. It might be harder to see clearly, and you may experience more fatigue reading in the dark, but it’s not causing any long-term damage. Because it can impact your comfort, turning on a light might be a good solution!  

Q: Can you tell if I have diabetes just by looking at my eyes? 

A: While we can’t formally diagnose diabetes just from what is seen during an eye exam (bloodwork is required for that), your optometrist can see signs of the disease when diabetes is present. In these cases, we may see specific types of bleeding, changes to the blood vessels or fluid in the retina. During your comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist can see signs of many different systemic conditions in the eyes including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and anemia. 

Q: Will eating carrots improve my vision? 

A: Unfortunately, no matter how many carrots you eat, they will not improve your eyesight or change your prescription. Carrots are a great source of vitamins which are very important to keeping the different structures of your eye healthy long term. They contain beta-carotene which our body converts into Vitamin A. A few other veggies that contain vitamins important for our eye health are spinach, kale, collards, turnip greens, corn, peas, and broccoli. In addition to nutrition, don’t forget to wear sunglasses with both polarization and UV protection as well. 

Q: Am I a LASIK candidate? 

A: Many criterion are considered before undergoing LASIK surgery to correct vision. These include age, stability of prescription, amount of prescription, and any eye conditions that could put you at risk of a poor outcome. These factors are best discussed with your optometrist. Many LASIK surgery centers offer free consultations to answer these question but will also need information from your most recent comprehensive eye exam. There are additional measurements that are taken at these consultations to verify that your cornea can safely undergo the procedure. Speak with your optometrist to learn more about your next step in determining if you are a good candidate.  

Q: If I wear my glasses, will my eyes become weaker? 

A: No! The research shows that full correction does not cause a worsening of your prescription. Sometimes what people notice is that the poor vision they have just been dealing with looks particularly bad when compared directly with how clear it can be through their new glasses. The brain doesn’t like blur but will tolerate it if it hasn’t seen any better. Actually, wearing the appropriate correction can help alleviate underlying eye strain, headache and fatigue induced by trying to compensate for an underperforming visual system. 

Q: Do cataracts run in the family? 

A: Typically, cataracts are a normal age-related change. Every person on the planet will have cataract changes eventually, usually becoming visually significant in our 60s or 70s – although this may happen earlier or later in life as well. Very early cataract formation can run in the family due to underlying genetic conditions. That is why early eye exams at ages 1, 3 and 5, are so important. Some medications and systemic diseases can also induce early cataract formation. It is also why your eye doctor always takes a thorough systemic history and wants to know all the medications and supplements you are taking.

Q: Do blue light glasses work? 

A: Blue light filters on glasses block blue wavelengths of light which are emitted from devices. The reality is that the amount of blue light you are exposed to from device screens will not physically harm your retina. However, blue light does impact your circadian rhythm and an excess during the day can disrupt your ability to get restful sleep, which can make you feel more fatigued than normal. Rather than simply buying a pair of blue light glasses over the counter, if you are experiencing eye strain or fatigue from computer work, please visit your optometrist! You are likely experiencing symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome (CVS) and there are many things in addition to blue light filters that can be done to help your eyes stay healthy and comfortable. 

Q: Does smoking marijuana really treat glaucoma? 

A: There is a very small intraocular pressure lowering effect from smoking marijuana. It is not sufficient to treat glaucoma! We use eye drops and/or surgeries when appropriate to lower the intraocular pressure safely and in a consistent, reliable way. 

When in doubt, schedule an appointment with your optometrist to discuss any concerns about your vision or eye health. We love to answer your questions! Comprehensive eye exams are also important to detect any eye health and vision concerns before they become a problem. If you don’t have an optometrist, find one here!

Scroll to Top