If you suffer from eye fatigue, headaches, eye strain, motion sickness, neck pain or other uncomfortable symptoms, Neurolens can truly make a world of difference! Thanks to the “contoured prism” technology that Neurolenses incorporate, you can find relief from the irritating symptoms of eye misalignment and eliminate the need for pain relievers. In fact, 93% of patients reported symptom relief after wearing Neurolenses for several weeks. As exciting as it sounds, you may be wondering if you’re a good candidate, what to expect when you go to your Neurolens appointment and how you’ll feel when you start wearing Neurolens eyeglasses. We’ll break it down for you here.

How it Works

It all starts by taking the simple Neurolens Test online. You’ll answer a series of questions and find out if you’re a candidate within minutes. It’s that easy! If you are, it’s time to schedule an appointment with us at Fort Collins Family Eye Care. At your appointment, your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and use the Neurolens Measurement Device to measure your eye alignment. If your doctor determines that you have a misalignment in your visual system, you’ll be prescribed a customizable pair of Neurolenses. If you already have a prescription, no worries! Your lenses can be customized to contain your current corrective prescription along with the correction necessary to treat misalignment. Even people with no prescription lenses or contacts at all are eligible for Neurolens treatment.

Adjusting to Your New Neurolens Eyeglasses

Neurolens glasses are worn just like any other eyeglasses. They can fit into almost any frame, and they come with anti-reflective coatings. They’re also customized for each individual patient’s specific needs. We suggest wearing your Neurolenses all day for the best results, but you should especially wear them while using digital devices such as laptops, phones and tablets. Adjusting to your Neurolens prescription can take a little time and you may experience mild disorientation, dizziness and/or a slight pulling sensation for a few days to a few weeks. The good news is that once you’ve adjusted, the disorientation will subside and so will the painful, uncomfortable symptoms you’ve been living with! Also, there are no known negative long-term side effects associated with Neurolens. So what are you waiting for? Relief may be just around the corner!

If you’re ready to get back to doing the things you love like reading, gaming, working on digital devices and more, consider Neurolenses. You can feel like a whole new person in a matter of days or weeks! You deserve to live free of the symptoms of eye misalignment, and we’re here for you every step of the way. Are you ready to schedule an appointment at Fort Collins Family Eye Care? Our team is here to help you find some relief so you can get back to living the life you love.

Click here to schedule your appointment online or give us a call at (970) 223-7150. We look forward to seeing you soon!

“Our digital world puts unprecedented demands on our visual systems, and these demands are not without consequence, some unprecedented.”

Have you ever heard about computer vision syndrome or digital vision syndrome? As our work lives and recreation increasingly turn towards digital devices, the strain and demands that our digital world puts upon your eyes continues to increase. In fact, uses of these devices can seem inescapable—you’re on one now—as more of our world transitions to digital platforms.

The blue light emitted by smartphones, tablets, computer screens, and televisions can place strain on our eyes, especially during prolonged use, causing discomfort and irritation. The term computer vision syndrome has been coined to describe a wide range of vision issues associated with prolonged digital screen use. If you are experiencing discomfort or strain during or after use of digital screens, Fort Collins Family Eye Care is here to help you gain relief and increase productivity!

What Are the Symptoms of Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome is a catchall term used to describe a wide range of uncomfortable issues associated with prolonged exposure to digital screens. These symptoms can range from simply annoying to being severe enough to impact your quality of life. You may be dealing with computer vision syndrome if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms during digital screen use:

For some, these symptoms may seem like they’re just part of the deal when it comes to using digital devices, a tradeoff for the convenience of using these devices. The good news is there are options and techniques to help reduce the discomfort and strain of computer vision syndrome. 

Do I Have Computer Vision Syndrome?

It’s possible! In fact, it’s probable. There are a few screening questions you can ask yourself to help determine whether or not you should schedule an evaluation. 

  1. Are you more productive in the morning? 
  2. Do you experience any dry eye symptoms or light sensitivity? 
  3. Do you have frequent headaches or migraines, especially on workdays? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, take our quiz to find out if you have digital vision syndrome. You don’t have to spend your time experiencing the physical discomfort of our digital world.

Who is At Risk for Computer Vision Syndrome?

Computer vision syndrome does not discriminate. According to WebMD, up to 90% of individuals who use digital devices will, at some point, experience one or more symptom of computer vision syndrome! Individuals with pre-existing vision issues, such as dry eye disease, uncorrected vision issues, or other pre-existing health conditions are more likely to experience symptoms related to computer vision syndrome than their peers.  

Issues related to use of digital screens are not only reserved for adults in the workforce. Children and teens who are more likely to spend recreational and free time on computers and smartphones are increasingly experiencing the consequences of prolonged screen use. The COVID-19 pandemic and the transition to remote learning has only increased the demands on the eyes of young children and teens, causing an increase in digital eye strain and ocular surface disease for these age groups—even in children as young as two! 

What Causes Computer Vision Syndrome?

The root cause of computer vision syndrome for most individuals is the strain placed upon your eyes by repetitive movements and constant refocusing. Essentially, our digital world puts unprecedented demands on our visual systems, and these demands are not without consequence, some unprecedented. Some other factors that increase strain on the eyes and head or neck muscles and contribute to the symptoms of computer vision syndrome include:

Often the symptoms of computer vision syndrome are temporary and will often be reduced in intensity or even cease with adequate time away from digital devices. However, it is possible that vision difficulties such as blurry vision or sore and aching muscles from the strain of screen use may continue well after you have stopped viewing a screen because of the inflammation and irritation to your trigeminal nerve. It is important that you take steps to reduce the demands on your eyes and ease the symptoms of digital eye strain. 

Can I Prevent Computer Vision Syndrome?

Prevention is our best treatment. Taking preventative steps to reduce the demands you are placing on your eyes because of the digital world can help you reduce or even entirely avoid some issues related to digital eye strain. Adjusting your work area and habits to accommodate best practices for screen use can help alleviate symptoms associated with digital eyes strain. If you suffer from any of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome, you should try:

Taking the appropriate steps to reduce the strain on your eyes from digital devices can help to prevent the symptoms of computer vision syndrome. 

Want more preventative eye care tips? Check out our top eye care tips blog! 

How Do You Treat Computer Vision Syndrome?

If you’re ready to treat computer vision syndrome, the best place to start is with a comprehensive exam by Dr. Munson. Regular prescription eyeglasses simply aren’t sufficient to prevent the symptoms of computer or digital vision syndrome. At Fort Collins Family Eye Care, we offer the innovative neurolens® technology, a customized lens that compensates for eye misalignment and allows your eyes to align at any distance more easily, providing relief from eye strain, headaches, and dry eye symptoms.

Additionally, Dr. Munson may determine that your digital eye strain issues could be resolved through vision therapy with the Vision Performance Center in Fort Collins. Here, you will work with Dr. Munson on a prescribed vision training program to strengthen and improve your visual abilities. The Vision Performance Center helps to train your brain and the muscles that control your eyes to work together more effectively. Exercises can help with eye focusing, eye movement, getting your eyes to work together more effectively, and reinforcing the neural connection between your eyes and brain. Visit the Vision Performance Center website to learn more about vision therapy and vision performance training.  

If your eyewear prescription is up-to-date, you may still benefit from the neurolens® technology. By easing any eye misalignment, neurolens® can help relieve all of the symptoms of computer vision syndrome. 

Are screens ever-present in your life? Think there is a correlation between your symptoms and your screen use? Don’t settle for daily NSAIDs and discomfort. Schedule a comprehensive exam with Dr. Munson at Fort Collins Family Eye Care for your computer vision syndrome exam! 

Dry, itchy, watery eyes are really common. In fact, 86% of people experience the symptoms of dry eye disease. When you know what to look out for, you can promptly receive treatment. However, the signs of dry eye disease can indicate something more complicated than just dry, irritated eyes. Don’t settle for living with the signs of dry eyes and risk the clarity and comfort of your vision. 

What is Dry Eye Disease?

Dry eye disease, or ocular surface disease, is a condition caused by inadequate or low quality tear production. Your tears lubricate and nourish the eye surface and cornea. However, when your tears fail to provide your eye with adequate lubrication, you can experience irritation and damage of the ocular surface. Ocular surface diseases are chronic and progressive, meaning prevention and early intervention is a necessity to protect your vision!  

What is the Ocular Surface?

The ocular surface is the delicate structure that covers the eye and protects it from the environment. Your ocular surface is made up of: 

There are also other eye structures that are functionally responsible for supporting your ocular surface, namely, your meibomian glands. Your meibomian glands are essential in the proper function of your tear film since they are responsible for creating the oil that prevents the aqueous layer of your tear film from evaporating. 

Types of Ocular Surface Disease

Ocular surface diseases are chronic and progressive. The types of ocular surface disease are: 

Signs of Dry Eye Disease

Dry eye disease is a curious condition. Although it’s called dry eye disease, ocular surface disease can be characterized by excessively watery eyes. Knowing the symptoms of ocular surface disease

With appropriate diagnosis and treatment, Dr. Munson can work with you to stop and even reverse the damage caused by dry eye disease. Prevention is the best treatment, and early intervention is the second best. If you’re experiencing any dry eye symptoms, make a reservation at Fort Collins Family Eye Care before you experience permanent damage to the delicate eye structures. 

What Your Tears Do For You

Every time you blink, a layer of tears is spread over the surface of your eye. Your tear film is really important for protecting your ocular surface. 

Your tear film is made of 3 layers:

  1. Inner mucus Layer – Base layer, spreads tear, keeps eye moist and allows tears to stick to eye
  2. Middle aqueous layer – most by volume of tear, washes away contaminants 
  3. Outer oily layer – smooths tear and helps prevent evaporation 

The outer layer of your tear film, the lipid layer, is produced by your meibomian glands. Meibomian gland dysfunction is one of the leading causes of ocular surface disease. Healthy tear production and composition not only nourishes the surface of your eye, but also helps to wash away contaminants and protect your eye from harmful bacteria and infection. The accurate diagnoses of the cause of your dry eye symptoms has implications not only for treating your symptoms, but for protecting your overall eye health. 

What Causes Dry Eyes?

There isn’t a singular cause of dry eyes. Dr. Munson needs to complete a comprehensive evaluation of your eye health to understand what is disrupting your ocular surface and causing your dry eye symptoms. Some possible causes of ocular surface disease are:  

If you’re experiencing the signs of dry eye disease, Dr. Munson will perform a comprehensive ocular surface evaluation to properly diagnose the underlying cause of your symptoms and create an appropriate, personalized treatment plan. 

Preventing the Symptoms of Dry Eye

At Fort Collins Family Eye Care, prevention is our best treatment. If you’re already experiencing symptoms, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s too late. Good preventative and eye hygiene practices can go a long way when it comes to stopping the progression of ocular surface disease. 

Here are some basic tips to prevent the symptoms of dry eye disease:

These tips can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes; however, they do not address the root cause. Schedule an examination with Dr. Munson to get a diagnosis and treatment for the underlying cause of your dry eyes. Want more tips on how to protect your vision? Check out our Top Eye Care Tips blog!

Can I Treat Dry Eye Disease At Home?

Although the market has ample products that provide options for self-treatment, you really shouldn’t take on treatment alone. You can certainly find drops to relieve some of the discomfort of dry eyes, but not receiving an appropriate diagnosis and treatment of the cause of your ocular surface disease can delay essential healing time and allow the disease to progress. 

Want to know more about how we treat your ocular surface disease? Visit our dry eye disease page or our EyeSpa site! Ready to finally get treatment for your dry eye symptoms? Call Fort Collins Family Eye Care today to schedule your exam! 

Why You Need To Care About The Signs of Dry Eye Disease

It can be tempting to buy some eye drops and call it a day. But the reality of OSD is that there are very real and sometimes permanent consequences of not actually treating your dry eyes. Setting aside the discomfort alone, which you shouldn't do, not treating your OSD can cause irreversible damage to your meibomian glands. Once these glands are gone, they’re gone, and you can’t grow them back. 

Delaying treatment for ocular surface disease can result in: 

Intervening early or preventing damage in the first place is the best way to ensure clear, comfortable vision for life. If you want to know more about ocular surface disease, check out our dry eye disease page! 

If you’re experiencing any dry eye symptoms, don’t wait to seek treatment! You can protect the clarity and comfort of your vision! Call Fort Collins Family Eye Care today to schedule your ocular surface evaluation at (970) 223-7150.

Your Child is Limitless

Did you know light moves at a speed of 186,000 miles per hour? That means vision is the fastest thing on the planet. We are asking children to harness the fastest thing on Earth. Let's make sure their vision is clear and comfortable so they are limitless in their development and potential. They should never be held back by their eyes.

You only want the best for your child. We totally get it. We’re a family practice committed to our whole family, including your child. The visual system is a complex system that takes time to develop, and as your child develops and hits developmental milestones, there are also visual milestones that you should be aware of. Vision is paramount to your child’s success, and dealing with any vision problems as soon as they appear is the best way to ensure your child’s long-term vision health.

When should I take my child to the eye doctor?

This is a great question! Your child should have their first eye exam at or around six months old! 

How frequently does my child need an eye exam?

Children should have a comprehensive eye exam every year. Period. At Fort Collins Family Eye Care, we make vision exams for children fun! They love our fun lights, eye-brain games, and fitness tests. We even get to see their brain working as we look at their eye health. Eye exams help support your child’s unlimited potential, no matter their age, and they have a blast during them! 

When should I be concerned about my child's vision?

As your child’s vision develops, there are certain things that you should watch out for to help detect the earliest signs of vision problems. Schedule a comprehensive vision exam if you notice your child struggling with: 

Your child probably doesn’t know they’re suffering from lackluster vision. Why? They don’t know any differently, and they’re already coping with and adapting to it. If this is the case for your child, they are suffering with it, even if they’re not yet consciously aware of it. The most important thing you can do for your child’s vision is to think preventatively for them. Watching for the leading signs of struggle and frustration with their visual skills will help get your child off to the right foot. Catching vision problems before they start is the best way to treat them! 

If your child is telling you they are having trouble seeing clearly, having trouble with hand-eye coordination, having trouble reading, or anything else relating to vision, schedule a comprehensive examination. Our suite of advanced technology and Vision Performance Center will give your child the visual skills and treatments that they need to truly succeed. 

Vision Milestones & Development

Newborn & Infant Eye Development

When your baby is born, the visual system still has a lot of growing up to do. Your baby can only see between eight and ten inches from their face, roughly the distance between the breast and mom’s face. However, you don’t need to wait to make sure your child’s vision is on the right track. There are some very early signs of vision problems to look out for in babies. If you notice any of the following, call Dr. Munson to schedule a comprehensive exam: 

Infant Vision Development Milestones

Newborn babies should be checked for “Red Reflex” as well as blink and pupil response. A more comprehensive eye exam may be necessary if your baby is born prematurely or you have a family history of childhood eye disease. Some possible issues include infant cataract, glaucoma, or tumors. However, it’s important to know that vision problems in infants are rare. You shouldn’t worry too much unless you notice things like: 

If you’re concerned about your baby’s vision, call Dr. Munson right away to schedule a comprehensive pediatric vision exam. 

How to Support Your Baby's Developing Vision

As a newborn, your baby isn’t seeing in color yet. But babies love high contrast! To support your baby’s developing visual system, you can provide lots of high contrast visuals for your baby to focus on! 

Another thing you can do is to give your baby lots of floor time! Be it on their back or belly, your child learns a lot on the floor, rolling around and exploring the world. Give your baby plenty of new things to look at, reach for, and explore. 

Never underestimate the power of house tours! Carry your baby around the house and narrate where you are and what you’re doing. Count steps, show your baby how faucets and cabinets and light switches work. Your baby will be fascinated (and their little brain and visual system will be growing)!

If you haven’t yet, schedule an eye exam for your infant. The AAO recommends scheduling an eye exam for your infant at at least six months old. If you missed this milestone, it’s not too late! Dr. Munson and her whole team of Wellness Heroes at Fort Collins Family Eye Care are here to help you along your vision journey as your Fort Collins pediatric eye doctor.

Toddler Eye Care

Your toddler can certainly see better than an infant, especially as a newborn. However, their vision won’t be fully developed until their teen years. Thus, it’s really important to regularly have your child’s eyes examined by a kid’s eye doctor in Fort Collins. At the very least, your child should be screened regularly to detect signs of vision problems. This can be done at your child’s well visit with their pediatrician, but we recommend scheduling your child a comprehensive eye exam. 

You should make sure your child is checked for amblyopia, or lazy eye, because if its not treated early, it can cause more serious vision and potentially learning problems for your child.

Toddler Vision Development Milestones

Toddler Eye Care Safety

Toddlers toddle around. It’s their thing. As exciting as this is and as much as it opens up a whole world of opportunities for your child, it also opens up a world of potential accidents (we know you’re keenly aware of this fact). 

Babyproofing Is Your Friend

We know you’ve babyproofed. Harmful chemicals are a serious danger to your child’s health and vision. 

Don’t forget to protect sharp corners! Toddlers fall. And a fall into a sharp corner can cause serious trauma to your child’s eyes. 

Hand Sanitizer and Eye Exposure During COVID-19

COVID has come in and turned our world upside down, and the run on hand sanitizer has had a serious impact on children’s vision. Always monitor your child when using hand sanitizer. Alcohol based hand sanitizers have accounted for nearly 10% of chemical eye exposure emergencies, all hospitalizations occurred in children under 4. 

Of course, following proper guidelines will help you and your child stay protected from COVID, but you also need to avoid inadvertent injury from your protective measures. Being mindful of your practices and always supervising hand sanitizer use, you can avoid serious injury. 

Childhood Eye Care Development & Milestones

Between ages three and five, you should schedule a comprehensive vision exam for your child. After age five, your child should have an annual comprehensive vision exam. Early detection and treatment is vital for any vision problem your child may be facing. Paying close attention to your child’s vision can help detect any silent conditions. 

Between 3-5

From 5 Onward

Childhood Vision Development

Between 3-5 years of age, your child’s vision will continue develop and the eye-brain connection will 

Teen Eye Care

The demands on your teen’s eyes increase as academics become more rigorous and screen time becomes expected, especially for teens who play sports. Regular comprehensive exams are essential for your teen. Schedule a comprehensive exam with the Vision Performance Center if your teen is struggling with:

Teen Eye Care Safety

The biggest risk to your teen’s vision is injury. In fact, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), more than 90% of eye injuries can be prevented with appropriate protective eyewear. When working with projectiles or fireworks or while playing sports, make sure that your teen’s eyes are properly protected. Sports injuries represent a large majority of the eye injuries among teens, particularly in baseball, basketball, tennis, hockey, and paintball. The protective eyewear needs to be ASTM approved. If you have any questions about protective eyewear, prescription or not, talk to Dr. Munson, your Fort Collins eye doctor.  

Never underestimate the power of the sun. We’re much closer to the sun in Colorado, and wearing appropriate UV protection is an essential part of protective eye wear. Make sure your teen’s eyes are protected and regularly examined to make sure that you and your whole family are prioritizing prevention and setting your teen up for success in their adult life!

Your Child's Vision: The Bottom Line

The bottom line is this: your child is growing every day, and so is their visual system. There are things you can do to help prevent vision problems, see our tips here, and there are things that you should keep an eye out for. If you want to know more about specific behaviors to look out for, visit the Vision Performance Center website.  Above all, think preventatively. It’s no secret that vision is one of the main ways that we take in and understand our world. As this complex system develops, it needs to be nurtured and protected the same as every other system. Healthy choices beget healthy choices, and children with strong visual skills are empowered children. 

If your child needs a comprehensive exam or you suspect your child may be dealing with a vision-related problem, don’t wait to get answers! Schedule your pediatric eye exam in Fort Collins today

The value of being able to clearly see what we need to see when we need to see it cannot be underestimated. However, it’s often something we don’t really think about until it’s not working the way we need it to be working. Our visual system is complex, but by spending a little time every day to prevent silent disease, you can protect the clarity and comfort of your vision and, ultimately, your quality of life. We want to offer up some of our top eye care tips to keep you seeing comfortably and clearly. 

Prevention is hands down the best form of treatment. At Fort Collins Family Eye Care, we believe that following a few simple but critical eye care tips will make a big impact on the quality of your vision. Preventing silent disease is the best thing you can do for your eye health, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Stay On Top of Your Regular Eye Care

Regular eye exams are crucial to protecting your eyes. One of the simplest things you can do to care for your eyes is to make and keep your annual eye care appointment. Eye dilations and examinations are simple and painless, but they are remarkably valuable. Most eye diseases are silent, meaning that your Fort Collins eye doctor can check: 

  1. Interior eye pressure—is it too high or too low?
  2. Tracking and alignment—do your eyes track smoothly? How hard do your eyes have to work?
  3. The salinity of your tears—are they toxic?
  4. Tests visual acuity and depth field—how are your eyes handling depth perception and mobility? 
  5. Physical structures within your eyes—are they functioning properly? 

Early detection allows for the most effective treatment. Staying on top of your regular care should also include regularly checking in with yourself and asking: 

If you’re answering yes to any of these questions, the best thing you can do is to schedule an appointment with your Fort Collins eye doctor. Dr. Munson has the experience and technology to give you the best preventative eye care. 

Wear Sunglasses and Safety Glasses

1:4 Coloradoans have skin cancer - around the eye and near the vulnerable skin tissues is where we find it most often. Are your eyes Sun Safe? Protect your eyes from UVA and UVB damage by wearing sunglasses! In Colorado, we’re closer to the sun, meaning that our need to protect our eyes and our skin from UV damage is greater and quite pressing. Irreversible damage from UV exposure can cause cataracts, dry eye, and damage to your retina.

Starting early is the key. According to the World Health Organization, studies indicates that up to 20% of cataract cases are avoidable because they are caused by UV exposure.

UV Safety Tips

Don’t forget about safety glasses! If you’re working in construction, playing sports, or doing anything else that has the potential to cause injury, make sure that you have adequate eye protection. If you’re not sure what you need to fully protect your eyes, just ask! 

Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

Screens are just a part of modern life. Odds are, you’ve got a few within your reach right now. The fact of the matter is that screens are hard on our eyes. So, what can you do about it? Follow the 20-20-20 rule! 

What is the 20-20-20 rule? It’s your excuse to peel your eyeballs away from your work every 20 minutes in the name of prevention! Every 20 minutes, take a break from your screen to focus on something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It really is that simple. Digital vision syndrome can cause real problems and real headaches, quite literally. The 20-20-20 rule will help you protect your vision so that you see clearly and comfortably. 

But wait! Not all screens are created equally. Studies show that emitted light from things like iPads, tv's, and cell phones are more harmful to our sleep cycles, tear film, and retina, than devices that reflect light like Kindles and paper books. Take stock of what you’re asking of your eyes and love them accordingly. Your vision will thank you!

Develop an Eye Care Routine

Just as you have an oral health and skincare routine, you can keep your eyes healthy with a daily eye care routine. Preventative steps like using a daily medicated cleansing wipe or being mindful of the skincare and makeup products you use can help prevent blepharitis and dry eye disease. Making sure the area around your eyes is clean will help prevent the buildup of plaque, especially for the contact lens wearer, and biofilm that can cause serious and irreversible damage to the delicate structures around your eyes. 

Dr. Munson Endorsed Products

Choosing beauty products that support and promote eye health doesn’t have to be complicated. Dr. Munson has already done the work for you! At Fort Collins Family Eye Care and EyeSpa, we endorse: 

These brands are committed to making clean beauty and skincare products that are safe! To learn more about other products that Dr. Munson endorses, visit our EyeSpa page.

Healthy Habits Make For Healthy Eyes

Your eyes and your health are linked. Your vision can give you headaches and neck aches, and your diet can impact your vision. However, by making healthy choices like being mindful of what you eat, committing to your physical health, and avoiding smoking, you can ensure the long-term health and quality of your vision. 

Nutrition

There are so many benefits to eating a balanced diet, and protecting your vision is one of them. A balanced diet, including eating lots of leafy greens and vegetables, provides nutrients that are essential to eye development and health. We know how to keep your neurology, vasculature, and gut from leaking! The eye is a direct partner in the gut, brain, vasculature triad, and the better it functions, the healthier your eyes will be. Additionally, Omega-3 has been linked to eye health and may even be able to slow macular degeneration.

Whole foods offer a wealth of nutritional benefit, but sometimes you need an added boost! When that’s the case, you should consider supplements! At Fort Collins Family Eye Care, we offer nutritional supplements like HydroEye®, MacuHealth®, and supplements offered by Standard Process to help ensure that you get the nutrition you need to have healthy vision for life.

Physical Activity

Staying physically active reduces potential complications from high cholesterol, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Consequently, being mindful of this will reduce your risk of visual complications from these conditions.

Lifestyle Habits

The lifestyle choices we make impact our whole-body wellness, and your eyes do not exist in isolation. The choices we make on a daily basis impact our eye health. It’s all connected. Smoking increases the chances not only for cataracts and macular degeneration, but it also exacerbates health issues and puts you at risk for certain cancers and health problems like heart disease. For more info on vision loss related to smoking and resources for quitting, visit the CDC’s website.

Rejuvenate

Experiencing rejuvenation is a great way to make sure your eyes stay healthy and your vision stays comfortable. Ocular skincare can help you improve the health and collagen production in the skin around the eyes, meaning you will both look and see better. 

Dry eye disease can cause itchy, gritty eyes, blurry vision, increased eye fatigue, redness, light sensitivity, and more. You don’t, however, have to simply put up with these symptoms. In fact, you shouldn’t. Therapeutic, rejuvenating treatments like cleansing, deep massage techniques, and warming technologies can not only treat the symptoms of dry eyes but treat dry eye disease itself.

When it comes to your eye care, a little rejuvenation can go a long way. Whether it’s in investing in new skincare products, cleansing wipes for lid and lash care, or scheduling an EyeSpa experience, rejuvenation can give your eyes a much-needed hydration boost and improve the health of the structures around your eyes. 

Following these few simple top eye care tips will improve the health of your eyes and the comfort of your vision. To learn more about what you can do to take care of your eyes, call or text (970) 223-7150 to make your reservation at Fort Collins Family Eye Care.

Greetings!

Fort Collins Family Eye Care offers several options to connect and enhance relationships with our family of patients! Whether you have a question about an upcoming reservations, a product or prescription request, or desire more information about the health and status of your eyes, Fort Collins Family Eye Care is here for you! Below are virtual options to communicate together and customize your experience!

Virtual Update With Wellness Heroes

Your wellness is the hero of our story! We refer to ourselves as Wellness Heroes because this team is passionate about delivering a relational patient experience; we just happen to be really knowledgeable about preventative eye care! We always look forward to seeing you in-person; in-addition, we enjoy connecting together using the virtual formats noted below. :

We are your preventative eye care advocates! Of course, we always look forward to welcoming you in person, but we understand that you may want options to touch base; all of these virtual forms of communications are secure, confidential, and designed to give you the concierge eye care experience that you can always expect at Fort Collins Family Eye Care.

Telemedicine Consultation With Dr. Munson

Fort Collins Family Eye Care launched the utilization of telemedicine consultations twelve months ago. Since then, our patients have enjoyed direct access and consultation, one-on-one, with Dr. Munson about eye health topics.

Welcome to Fort Collins Family Eye Care's Telemedicine Consultation platform. Consultations will be recorded for quality assurance. Please ensure the electronic reservation forms are completed 48 hours ahead of this meeting - login information is made available to you up to seven days prior to your appointment. Enjoy this flexible, convenient, and custom approach to your eye health wellness.

We look forward to caring for you and fostering a relationship for years to come!

Dry cough, congestion, drainage and limited sense of smell are all overlapping, common symptoms of seasonal allergies and COVID-19, yet less-common symptoms shared between the two include fatigue, body aches and pains, and shortness of breath (especially if asthmatic). Conjunctivitis may also fall into this category, but neither the CDC nor World Health Organization currently list it as a major symptom of COVID-19. That said, British Journal of Ophthalmology report recently detailed the ocular complications of SARS-CoV-2, including viral conjunctivitis.

"Allergy patients frequently experience an overlap of signs and symptoms," says Renee Reeder, O.D., department chair of clinical affairs at the University of Pikeville Kentucky College of Optometry. "Patients presenting with ocular allergy will often complain of [sneezing], itchy eyes, nose and throat. Some will experience Hay fever with a low-grade fever usually under 100.0 degrees. Patients may have a bluish hue to the lids, evidence of mild angioedema and often referred to as an 'allergic shiner.'"

But that's in contrast to COVID-19 patients: fevers of 100.4 or higher, dry cough, difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle aches and chills, loss of smell or taste, and gastrointestinal issues, Dr. Reeder notes. While itchy eyes may be associated with conjunctivitis, foreign body sensation is more common with viral forms of conjunctivitis, she says.

Doctors of optometry with additional training in ear, nose and throat evaluation may also look for a few additional signs. Whereas patients suffering from allergies will often have boggy, bluish nasal mucosa and fluid visible behind their ear drum-post-nasal drainage is a hallmark of allergy-viral patients will often have greater injection of the nasal mucosa and increased lymphadenopathy, Dr. Reeder says.

Nonetheless, doctors of optometry should take extra precautions in situations that present the potential for COVID-19 spread.

"Anecdotal evidence does suggest that a small number of patients who have COVID-19 conjunctivitis will have low levels of the virus in their tears; the virus has not been isolated from COVID patients without conjunctivitis," Dr. Reeder points out. "Additional articles suggest that conjunctivitis is more likely in those patients with more advanced disease."

Sections of this article have been reviewed by the AOA COVID-19 Evidence-based Optometry Response subcommittee.

Is the Emergency Room Right for You?

We’re doing our part to keep eye emergencies out of the hospitals. Fort Collins Family Eye Care has and always will be available to you and your family for eye emergencies 24/7, in person and virtually. Come to the eye specialists who have custom technologies, medications, and expertise to deliver thorough, prompt, and expert treatment straight from the source. Don’t wait in line for “general emergency care”. Whenever you need her, Dr. Munson is available to you for emergency eye care in Northern Colorado and the Fort Collins areas.

What Constitutes an Eye Emergency?

What Can I Do In the Event of an Eye Emergency?

If you are experiencing an eye emergency in Fort Collins, call Dr. Munson at (815) 735-1175 immediately. Trust your gut. If you are worried about the health of your most precious sense - your vision - rest assured in a customized, specialized, and secure atmosphere. We specialize in preventative eye care and eye emergencies. You’ve come to the right place for an emergency eye care doctor at Fort Collins Family Eye Care.

Dear Patients,

Fort Collins Family Eye Care and it’s team of providers is your resource for preventing, diagnosing, and managing viral eye infections. For many years, eye care providers have been faithful to promptly diagnose and order isolation for patients who experience a viral eye infection. Certain known contagions, such as Adenovirus, or layman’s ‘pink eye’, spreads rapidly in the tear film and specifically from the surface of the eye. You may have historically experienced a smaller scale, preventative “self - quarantine” in the academic, housing, or daycare setting.

New information and studies are being released regarding the behavior and susceptibility for transmission of COVID-19 from the eye. At this time, your risk is low to contract or transfer this virus via the tear film, contact lenses, or other eye structures.

Steadfast in Prevention,

Dr. Jaclyn Munson

Viral Eye Infections - Do I Have COVID-19?

A red eye is a dangerous, and oftentimes frightening, condition to experience. Oftentimes, red eyes are painful and cause vision changes, whether permanent or temporary. The blanket term “pink eye” warrants complete analysis and root cause solution investigation. It is critical to distinguish early and often a viral condition vs. other serious eye diseases. Here are the most common possibilities to rule out with your eye care team:

For current event conversations, the question is: are your eyes at risk of carrying or being exposed to COVID-19? If you are infected with this novel virus, how might your eyes give a signal? How do I know what eye allergies are versus COVID-19?

Does it spread through aqueous tears?

SARS-CoV-2 has been known to be spread through droplets, but a new study coming out of Singapore suggests that viral shedding through tears is unlikely. Seventeen COVID-19 patients were monitored from initial symptoms to recovery at various intervals via nasopharyngeal and tear swabs. None of them exhibited ocular symptoms except for one who developed conjunctival injection and chemosis during their hospital stay. The virus was not detected in any of the tear samples.

Another study was conducted in China, with thirty participants with SARS-CoV-2 with pneumonia (among which 9 were severe). The study only had one participant with conjunctivitis whose swab was positive (collected in the early stage). All other patients showed negative results. The patient with conjunctivitis was categorized as viral with conjunctival congestion and aqueous secretion. This patient did not have other symptoms (severe fever, respiratory issues) when the sample was collected. This study emphasized that routine disinfection of instruments can help prevent spread of the disease, but recommends that optometrists/ophthalmologists wear goggles as a necessary protective measure.

Both studies have limitations with sample size and participants with conjunctivitis.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) has deemed contact lens wear as safe during this pandemic, with proper hand washing, drying, and lens care. Let’s continue to take necessary precautions with disinfection of lanes and equipment, along with making sure we wear protective gear to prevent the spread of this virus.

Do the eyes give a hint?

The AOA Health Policy Institute (HPI) notes in its statement, "Doctors of Optometry and COVID-19," that though viral conjunctival infection is usually caused by adenovirus, COVID-19 may cause ocular signs and symptoms, including photophobia, irritation, conjunctival injection and watery discharge. These are predominately self-limited but may require supportive care, the statement adds.

Additionally, JAMA Ophthalmology report from Hubei Province, China—once epicenter of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic—provides a snapshot of the ocular manifestations in patients with COVID-19. Although small-scale, the study reported one-third of patients had ocular manifestations consistent with conjunctivitis, including conjunctival hyperemia, chemosis, epiphora or increased secretions. The study also suggested a low prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 in these patients' tears.

While there is conflicting literature as to the virus' expression in tears, the AOA advises doctors of optometry that in addition to respiratory transmission, SARS-CoV-2 may be found in the tears and conjunctiva of COVID-19 positive patients.

Although the Times piece suggests eye pain searches may be unrelated to seasonal allergies, Hay fever symptoms, including conjunctivitis, do share many of the same signs as COVID-19 or influenza—enough similarities that media reports nationwide delineate the conditions. As pollinators ramp up in the warmer weather, so too will the usual allergic conjunctivitis cases and, conceivably, worries over COVID-19 infection.

Sections of this article have been reviewed by the AOA COVID-19 Evidence-based Optometry Response subcommittee.

Dear Family of Patients,

We are thrilled to bring you the most comfortable, clear, and convenient ways to enjoy your vision. Contact lenses often a wonderful additive to your quality of life. The bad news is, nationwide, 65% of new contact lens wearers drop out within the first twelve months of using the medical device.

Fort Collins Family Eye Care takes a preventative approach; protecting your outcomes as a contact lens wearer. As members of our family, you know that the ocular surface and the levels of moisture on the front of your eyes are the leading determinants as to whether you have an optimized, long-term successful visual experience with contact lenses or not. Whether it’s your first time learning about contact lens options, or you are seasoned user, your team of eye care providers at Fort Collins Family Eye Care is working behind the scenes to prepare you and minimize the eye health risks.

Visit our Ocular Surface Disease and Contact Lens Rejuvenation pages to learn more about whether or not your ocular surface is supporting a successful contact lens experience.

What risks do contact lenses pose with the COVID-19 virus?

Currently there is no evidence to suggest contact lens wearers are more at risk for acquiring COVID-19 than eyeglass wearers.

The CDC issued guidance from the Contact Lens Institute regarding contact lens wear and care that echoed the sentiments from Walsh and her co-authors.

The facts are:

Specifically, the agency stated that contact lens use is safe for healthy individuals, that there is no evidence to suggest an increased risk for COVID-19 compared with wearing glasses, and that contact lens wearers should maintain standard lens wear and care hygiene habits.

“In the weeks since COVID-19 emerged, many have wondered if it’s okay to wear contact lenses,” Rick Weisbarth, OD, FAAO, board chairman of the Contact Lens Institute, said in a press release. “In a time when there is considerable misinformation and rumor, the CDC has now provided clear, straightforward guidance as to how contact lens wearers can continue to wear their lenses safely, including following proper lens hygiene habits.”

Fort Collins Family Eye Care will keep you updated as we advocate and review new data for you and your family. Contact us, pun intended, if you would like to improve, safeguard, and even add this opportunity for improved quality of life to your world.

Steadfast in Prevention,

Dr. Jaclyn Munson

Reference: Jones L, et al. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye. 2020; doi:10.1016/j.clae.2020.03.012.

Dear Family of Patients,

As we move closer to the end of the stay-at home order in Colorado, I want to reassure you that our clinical team and protocols will continue the methods of social distancing, strategically spaced reservations, and cleaning precautions. We are smiling behind our face masks! Fort Collins Family Eye Care, EyeSpa, and Vision Performance Center are prepared, God forbid, for seasonal outbreaks and have showcased agility in our protocols, availability, and accessibility to assist and serve you. This is a safe environment to think preventatively about your eye health needs.

We are #focostrong and proud of our community members for supporting one another, now and in the future. Are you ready for a comeback? Confirm your reservation with us for Summer 2020 - let’s do this!

Steadfast in Prevention,

Dr. Jaclyn Munson

To My Family of Patients,

If I may, I would like to invite you to share in a story about a special moment that recently happened to me. Traditionally, I keep the focus of these posts tailored to patient care information and empowering you with knowledge about preventative eye health, nutrition, and vision performance data topics. Patient education is what seals the culture and mission statement of Fort Collins Family Eye Care. My heart was inspired to share this moment with you, and I hope you’ll let it rest in yours and upon the hearts of those whom you care for. This story will explain the title of the post and why I am so excited to reunite with my patients.

A Sight For Sore Eyes

One of my dearest friends scheduled a “proper social distancing drive by” to my house two weeks ago to deliver a birthday gift. In the midst of all the change in the world, my friend did not have to assume the risk of leaving her home, arming herself with bottles of hand sanitizer, face masks, gloves, and social distancing monologues to her three children under the age of 5 who stayed, for the most part, in the minivan. The desire to be in good company is real no matter what age we are. Despite my objection and the classic “you don’t need to do that!!” I knew she would come. I have always admired her talent at gift giving as showcased in her consistent presence in my life. She always finds these unique special do-dads that are memorable and cherished. I expected a petite gift bag with some sort of special, meaningful, celebratory token, as was the case. But this time was different. This time, something else happened. I was given a different kind of gift. It was unexpected, unsolicited and she may not even know what she’s done for me. Something evoked from her kindness and her gentle, generous spirit that made me stop in my tracks.

Keep in mind, I’m was 10 days in on a self imposed quarantine. Of note, the number of birthdays I’ve celebrated shall remain in isolation, as well.

Through the cracked car window I was handed a gift bagged item. I cannot recall the color of the gift wrap or tissue paper. I almost forgot to even open it up. What immediately struck me was seeing the literal spark of life in her eyes. To see her face, to see that unique twinkle of personality shining back at me from her eyes attesting to that special spirit that makes her….her. When I saw the face of a friend after about 2 weeks of isolation, I literally felt how sore my eyes had been. I tangibly felt my own eyes light up and all but tear up to see this smiling face. As clear as the 20/15 letters on the eye chart I thought, “what a sight for sore eyes.” What a beautiful soul. What an honor to see my friend. I am so thankful for this moment; to have been the restored patient. Best birthday gift ever.

The Meaning of A Sight For Sore Eyes

Sore eyes sound painful, but when this phrase is used it typically means something different. The word “sore” usually refers to feelings of fear, worry, tension, or sorrow. The person or thing being viewed brings relief or is a welcome sight to the beholder.

As I walked away from that encounter with my friend, I thought to myself, “Doc, you remember you are the one who helps people get rid of sore eyes, right?” “You realize your life’s work is to ensure that your family of patients feels the same relief. That they will always have clear, comfortable, and efficient and protected eye and brain health for their entire life, right?” I have joyfully inspected and advocated for the health and performance of a lot of eye balls in my everyday vocation for the past 10+ years. I know these things; I’ve just never been away from my patients this long to diagnose myself with a case of the eyeball aches. I was the patient that day. I so look forward to seeing you.

The History of A Sight For Sore Eyes

The phrase has been around a lot longer than most people realize. The first recorded use was penned by Jonathan Swift for the book A Complete Collection of Genteel and Ingenious Conversation (also known simply as Polite Conversation) in 1738. There are hints that it was in use prior to publication of Polite Conversation. At the time, the wording was a little different. It read: “The Sight of you is good for sore Eyes.”

The simplified modern version was first used by William Hazlitt in New Monthly Magazine in 1826. He wrote: Garrick’s name as proposed on condition he should act in tragedy and comedy… What a sight for sore eyes that would be!”

You Are The Perpetual Spark

It is an honor that you would allow me to see the spark, that special spirit that makes you….you. I am excited to see you, care for you, and hope to be a light in your life. It is my hope that this family of patients, that I claim as my own, will walk through life together with me and this organized team of providers and colleagues from local and national perspectives. That we may always align together to advocate for preventative health and to promise one another to catch diseases and conditions on your behalf, as early as possible.

As we come back from this time of social distancing know that you, our family of patients, are our sight for sore eyes. You are our medicine. You give us relief and affirmation that our life’s work is worth doing. I’m honored to share in those intimate moments together. Thank you for allowing Fort Collins Family Eye Care the opportunity to see your spark.

Steadfast in Prevention,

Jaclyn

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