Light Sensitivity Demystified: Unveiling Myths and Facts About Photophobia

Maybe you constantly struggle when out in the sun. Perhaps you deal with everything from blurred vision to burning eyes when in bright light. This sounds like you may have issues with photosensitivity, also known as light sensitivity, and, in extreme cases, photophobia. While getting a comprehensive eye exam in Riverdale, NJ, is a good first step, here is a closer look at photophobia.

Dispelling Common Misconceptions About Light Sensitivity

Light sensitivity is a highly misunderstood optical health issue, but it is extremely common, affecting up to 20 percent of the general population. This excessive sensitivity to light is often misperceived as something to do with only another medical condition, which is not always the case. Light sensitivity can be related to:

  • Certain medications
  • Unique ways the eyes detect light
  • Dry eyes
  • Cataracts
  • Prior LASIK surgery
  • Lighter eye colors due to less pigment-derived protection from UV rays

Understanding the Science Behind Photophobia

Photophobia occurs when the eyes become overly sensitive to light stimuli. Within the eye, however, the issue is more complex than it sounds. Photophobia can result from various mechanisms, including an imbalance in neurotransmitters regulating light perception, increased pupil constriction in response to light exposure, or heightened retina sensitivity to light. When exposed to normal light levels, these factors can lead to discomfort and pain, making it challenging for individuals with photophobia to tolerate bright environments.

Expert Insights: Practical Advice for Living with Light Sensitivity

Living with light sensitivity can be challenging, but there are practical strategies to manage this condition effectively. Here are some expert insights to help you navigate life with light sensitivity:

  • Invest in quality sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Use tinted lenses or photochromic glasses to reduce glare.
  • Opt for soft, diffused lighting and control natural light levels.
  • Take regular breaks from electronic devices and use blue light filters.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing or meditation.
  • Consult with an eye care professional for personalized treatment options.

Discuss Light Sensitivity with an Experienced Riverdale Optometrist 

If you have light sensitivity, it is always a good idea to visit an optometrist in Riverdale, NJ, for a thorough evaluation. Contact the team at Riverdale Vision Care to schedule an appointment.

The Invisible Threat: Dust Mites and Eye Irritation

Many people are alarmed to hear that they have an overabundance of dust mites in their lashes or around their eyelids during a comprehensive eye exam in Riverdale, NJ. However, these harmless organisms are normal and usually do not cause issues—almost everyone has them! Nevertheless, getting more familiar with these microscopic organisms and how they can affect your visual health is a good idea.

Eyes Itching? Could Dust Mites Be the Culprit?

Dust mites (Demodex) are microscopic insects found in household dust, and they can inadvertently contribute to eye irritation. Normally, a few of the insects can be found on the lases and even in your eyebrows. However, when there is abundance or overpopulation, this can be to blame for issues with eye itching. Repetitive touching and scratching can sometimes lead to higher risks of infections.

Exploring the Link Between Dust Mites and Red, Watery Eyes

So, why do dust mites irritate your eyes? When airborne, their tiny fecal particles and shed skin fragments can come in contact with eyes, and this can cause an allergic reaction. But these small bugs can also live on the lashes, which can also cause your eyes to feel itchy and irritated.

Tips for Minimizing Dust Mite-Related Eye Discomfort

If you suspect that issues with Demodex are causing irritated eyes, be sure to talk to the eye doctor about solutions. Medicated wipes can be used to reduce the population and hopefully deter symptoms. You can also make some adjustments to your environment and routine to keep the population minimized, such as:

  • Changing bedding frequently
  • Laundering pillows regularly
  • Washing your eyes a few times a day
  • Discarding old makeup and makeup applicators that you use on your eyes
  • Vacuuming and using air filters to reduce dust in your household

Talk to a Riverdale Optometrist for Advice

As alarming as dust mites may sound, they are not an issue that should cause significant concern. However, if you have symptoms of excessive issues, be sure to talk to a Riverdale eye doctor for advice. Reach out to the team at Riverdale Vision Care to schedule an appointment.

Why Are My Eyes Itchy?

Itchy eyes are common, but it’s not always obvious why they’re so itchy. If you’re used to feeling the sting, and you can’t always connect the dots as to why, we’ll look at the main culprits and what you might be able to do to help.

Common Causes for Itchy Eyes

If your eyes are feeling itchy, it may be because:

  • They’re too dry. When your eyes can’t make natural tears, they can start to feel itchy. Even if your eyes can produce tears, they need oil in order to really moisturize your eyes. If the gland is blocked for any reason, even tears might not be able to save the day. Dry eye in Riverdale, NJ, is a condition that isn’t always easily solved by over-the-counter eyedrops. You may need professional care if your eyes are too dry.
  • You’re feeling the full brunt of allergies. You probably aren’t shocked to feel itchy eyes during the pollen season. The less obvious connection is usually allergies to dust mites, which can be more prevalent than people realize — even if you tend to clean on a daily basis.
  • You have an infection: Infections like pink eye or blepharitis can irritate your eyes and cause them to itch.
  • You’ve outworn your contact lenses. Not everyone’s eyes can handle contact lenses for long periods of time. It’s important to give your eyes a break from time to time.

As you can see from the list, the range of reasons can be very different. For some people, the answer might be as simple as stepping away from a computer screen. For others, it might be a more involved investigation into which allergen is causing the problem.

Why Talk to an Eye Doctor in Riverdale About Your Itchy Eyes

An eye doctor in Riverdale, NJ will do more than just diagnose you, they can get you the treatments you need. In addition, they can typically make recommendations that can prevent the problem from happening again. For instance, if you have dry eyes, you may need to use gentle heat on your eyelids to unclog your glands. If you’re ready to talk to a professional about your itchy eyes, contact the staff at Riverdale Vision Care today!

What do Flashers Mean in Vision?

When your eye doctor in Riverdale, NJ, asks if you have ever experienced flashers, they are referring to a particular visual phenomenon. Flashers are so called because they often appear like flashes of light, much like the lights that come off of Independence Day sparklers. In fact, flashers are sometimes called sparkles. They may appear in the middle of the field of vision, but most commonly, they appear just off to the side, in peripheral vision.

Common Causes of Flashers

Flashers should always be reported to your eye doctor, as they can be a sign of a serious underlying disorder, though there are times when they may be harmless.


Diabetics are more prone to a disease known as diabetic retinopathy. One of the symptoms of this condition is experiencing flashes. If you see flashers, you should have a diabetic eye exam in Riverdale, NJ, so treatment can be done.

Retinal Detachment

If you notice a sudden increase in the number of flashes that you see, or you are seeing flashes of light that you didn’t before, it could be a sign of a retinal detachment. An immediate, emergency visit to the eye doctor is needed in such a situation. Otherwise, there is a risk of permanent vision loss.

Side Effect of Medication

Certain prescription medications can cause you to see flashers. Be sure to check with the medications list of side effects, and report the phenomenon to your physician so that an alternative medication can be prescribed, if necessary. The problem is that flashers can cause issues if they occur while driving or operation other machinery.

Light Sensitivity

As a person ages, they may become more sensitive to bright lights. Sometimes a change in lighting can cause flashers. In a case like this, the phenomenon can usually be attributed to the natural process of aging.


People who suffer from migraines may experience flashers during migraine episodes. The flashers usually disappear as the migraine subsides.

It’s important to let your eye doctor know any time you start to experience flashers or any other kind of unusual chance in your eyesight. Many serious conditions can be prevented or helped with early treatment. Contact us to book your appointment today.

What’s a Virtual Visual Field?

Eye diagnostics have changed over the years, thanks to everything from emerging research to new technology. A virtual visual field can be used for patients with special needs. For instance, those who have medical conditions that make them unsuitable for standard exams. We’ll look at what a virtual visual field is in Riverdale, NJ, and how it’s used to both determine and monitor diseases.

What Is a Virtual Visual Field?

The term refers to the visual capabilities of a patient in the virtual world. In the real world, the visual field is used to determine what a person can see if they don’t swivel their eyes back and forth. In the virtual world, an optometrist has a little more leeway. Using head-mounted displays, the staff can essentially replace a patient’s regular field of sight with a virtual environment.

How Virtual Visual Fields Are Used

How the virtual visual field is used will depend on the condition the patient has. In general, though, the optometrist will both prep the equipment and the patient for the procedure. The expectations for the patient are minimal, though, and merely require people to be sitting in front of the device. The head-mounted displays are easy to wear and won’t need to be on for very long.

The patient will be told what they need to do to help the doctor make an accurate diagnosis. There are different testing protocols for your visual fields, but these tests often start with identifying a central point and then responding to a variety of other stimuli in their visual field. From there, the doctor will map out the field, analyze the data, and interpret the results.

Finding an Eye Doctor in Riverdale

The right optometrist in Riverdale, NJ will invest in advanced diagnostic equipment. Not because they want to impress their patients with gadgets, but because they’ve seen just how much these devices can help patients maintain their eyesight over the years. At Riverdale Vision Care, you’ll meet a staff that has gone the extra mile for their patients and purchased the tools they need to provide more accurate treatments. Contact us today to learn more about how a virtual vision field could work for you.

Can I Get Blue Light Protection In My Prescription Eyeglasses?

Extended exposure to screens, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, exposes your eyes to blue light, a high-energy visible (HEV) light. This prolonged exposure can lead to eyestrain, headaches, and disturbed sleep patterns. Consequently, many individuals wonder if they can incorporate blue light protection into their prescription eyeglasses instead of having to get a completely different pair of blue light glasses.

Integrating Blue Light Protection into Prescription Eyewear

Fortunately, it is possible to incorporate blue light protection into prescription eyeglasses. Numerous eyeglass manufacturers now offer lenses specifically designed to block blue light. These lenses feature a unique coating that filters out blue light while permitting other types of light to pass through. Mention this request during your eye exam in Riverdale, NJ.

Choosing Between Clear and Yellow-Tinted Lenses

There are two primary types of blue light-blocking lenses: clear and yellow-tinted. Clear lenses provide an excellent option for those who wish to block blue light without altering their vision’s color. However, some individuals find yellow-tinted lenses to be more effective in reducing eyestrain and enhancing visual comfort.

Consulting with Your Optometrist or Optician

To explore blue light protection options for your prescription eyeglasses, consult with your optometrist or optician in Riverdale, NJ. They can help you select the appropriate type of blue light-blocking lenses based on your unique needs and preferences. They may also recommend other methods to minimize blue light exposure, such as adjusting your electronic devices’ settings or utilizing a blue light filter on your computer screen.

Additional Benefits of Blue Light-Blocking Lenses

Apart from reducing eyestrain and enhancing visual comfort, blue light-blocking lenses may offer other advantages. Some research indicates that they can improve sleep quality by decreasing blue light exposure at night. This is particularly important for individuals who use electronic devices before bedtime, as blue light can disrupt the body’s natural sleep-wake cycle.

If you’re concerned about blue light’s harmful effects on your eyes, rest assured that you can obtain blue light protection in your prescription eyeglasses. Blue light-blocking lenses are an excellent choice for individuals who spend considerable time in front of screens, as they can help alleviate eyestrain, enhance visual comfort, and potentially improve sleep quality. Contact us today to schedule your next eye exam.

3 Things Your Optometrist Can Tell You About Your Health During an Eye Exam  

The main goal of an eye exam is always to reveal the inner workings of your eye. Whether you need corrective eyewear or not, regular exams help catch eye problems when they’re most treatable. However, there are other reasons why you should visit an eye doctor in Riverdale, NJ, and they have nothing to do with your contact lenses.

1. Blood Pressure Health

Bleeding eyes may sound exceptionally scary, but most eye bleeds are actually harmless. There are cases, though, where high blood pressure can cause the arteries within the retina to stiffen, which can end up pressing against a blood vessel until it bursts. During an eye exam in Riverdale, NJ, your doctor can clarify the type of bleed you have and whether it requires additional attention.

2. Heart Health

As with high blood pressure, clogged arteries can present in a number of ways. If the plaque in the carotid artery breaks off, it will travel to the eye and form a deposit there. (The carotid artery doesn’t supply all of the blood to the brain, but it supplies most of it.) Plaque can travel within the body, and not always with notable consequences. If it reaches the brain, though, it can cause a stroke.

3. Insulin Health

Underlying diabetes refers to people who have diabetes but haven’t had it officially diagnosed yet. Retinal imaging devices help doctors find what other doctors may have missed. This disorder, which is often associated with the risks of going blind, is best managed when it’s caught at the beginning. The earlier your eye doctor can see the retinal damage, the better your odds are of remaining healthy over the longer course of treatment.

Eye Exams in Riverdale, NJ

At Riverdale Vision Care, our staff is here to treat the whole person, not just their eyes. Whether you’re concerned about double vision or you’re just due for a regular checkup, we want to be a part of how you care for this vital organ. If you want to learn more about eye exams as a way to catch larger health problems before they have the chance to spiral out of control, schedule us today.


The Effects of Normal Aging on Your Vision   

As we age, we may find our vision becoming less clear than it once was, or it may seem we need more lighting to perform close-up tasks such as sewing or reading. This is completely normal, with around 75% of people experiencing these same types of symptoms. Your vision care specialist in Riverdale, NJ, can help you find solutions to age-related vision problems such as these.

How Normal Aging Changes Vision

Many vision changes happen as a result of aging. You may find yourself having difficulty recognizing the difference between similar colors, such as where one starts and the other ends. You may also have a hard time reading or doing other close-up activities in dim lighting. Trouble focusing the eyes is extremely common as well.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, there’s a good chance they’re caused, at least in part, by getting older. If you’re over the age of 40, you are at risk of vision-related changes. Accordingly, you should schedule regular appointments with your local vision specialist to ensure the most is being done about your vision. If you’re 60 or older, at least once a year is ideal.

What to Do About Vision Changes Caused By Normal Aging

Your eye doctor can examine your eyes to determine the best solutions to any problems you’re experiencing with your vision. Products such as eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK eye surgery may ‌help. It’s important to take care of your vision as you get older, because you’ll need it to perform daily tasks, such as driving, reading, and writing. Also, some vision problems may have painful symptoms, such as headache or red, itchy eyes, that impact your quality of life. You’ll want to have any painful or uncomfortable symptoms resolved right away.

And if your recent vision problems are only symptoms of something more serious, seeing your eye doctor is the first step in getting an early diagnosis and receiving intervention.

Book an Eye Appointment in Riverdale, NJ

You shouldn’t have to live with the inability to see clearly, regardless of age. Eyesight is extremely important, and maintaining it should always be a priority. At Riverdale Vision Care your vision is important to us. If you are experiencing age-related vision changes in Riverdale, NJ, call our experienced and friendly representative to schedule an eye exam, or visit our website for more information.


Working Remotely? Protect Your Vision at Home

Spending more time at home working remotely? If so, you are definitely part of a growing population. As of 2022, there were roughly 4.7 million people who were working remotely at least part of the time in the U.S. As great as it can be to hang out at home and fulfill your workplace duties, the added screen time can be a challenge for your vision. In fact, a lot of remote workers seek dry eye treatment in Riverdale, NJ because of too much screen time. Take a look at some ways you can protect your vision while working from home.

1. Follow the 20-20-20 Rule

After working for 20 minutes using a screen, focus your eyes on something at least 20 feet away for around 20 seconds. The 20-20-20 rule gives your eyes a break. When spending a lot of time focused on a task, it is easy to stay glued to a screen right in front of you for so long that it becomes hard on your eyes.

2. Keep Your Lighting Right

The best lighting when you are working at a computer is natural lighting. So be sure to open up your curtains and allow some sunlight to stream into the room. Avoid working for long hours at a screen in the dark.

3. Adjust the Font Size on Your Screen

Pay attention to how your eyes feel as you work. If you recognize that you are squinting or your eyes feel more tired than usual, adjust the font size on your screen. This helps you focus on something larger instead of tiny font, which can be easier on tired eyes.

4. Negate Blue Light Exposure When You Can

A lot of modern computers, laptops, and even phones have a blue screen filter you can use to adjust the lighting being emitted from the screen. Blue light exposure may lead to permanent vision changes, so reduce exposure as much as possible.

Visit a Riverdale, NJ Eye Doctor for an Exam

If your eyes are feeling the strain after working from home, it may be time to visit a Riverdale, NJ eye doctor for an exam. Reach out to us at Riverdale Vision Care to schedule an appointment.

3 Reasons to Remove Your Contacts Before Showering or Bathing

When you want to break free from everyday eyeglasses, contact lenses in Riverdale, NJ make sense for a lot of patients. However, when you opt for contact lenses, you also have to be mindful of proper use. Removing your contacts before showering or bathing is one rule to always follow. Take a look at some of the most important reasons to remove your contacts before showering or bathing.

1. Showering with contacts heightens risks of infection

Even though the contact lenses are in your eye, it is still possible for water to splash into your eye and get trapped behind the lens. Unfortunately, bathing water can be laden with bacteria and microbes. This can leave bacteria in close contact with your eyes for long periods, which can leave you at risk of developing an infection.

2. Showering with contacts may cause contacts to warp

Exposure to high levels of heat is always something to watch out for when you are a contact lens wearer. The material the contacts are made from can warp with excessive heat exposure, even when you have the contacts in your eyes. This not only damages the lenses, but it can also make the lenses harder to remove or lead to an injury.

3. Showering with contacts could cause lenses to stick to your eye

One of the more problematic situations that can arise due to bathing or showering with contacts is the lens getting stuck to your eye. This can occur for a few reasons, such as warpage or getting bathing products in your eyes. If a contact lens gets stuck, you may be at risk of scratching your cornea while trying to remove the trapped lens.

Talk to a Riverdale Eye Doctor About Contact Care

After a brief adjustment and following advice from a Riverdale, NJ eye doctor, contact lenses can truly be a beneficial change. Be sure to follow the guidance of your optometrist when you initially get your new lenses. If you would like to know more about contact lenses or contact lens care, reach out to us at Riverdale Vision Care to schedule an appointment.