What is Astigmatism?  

Astigmatism is common. The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 1 in 3 people have at least some degree of astigmatism.

This condition happens when the cornea and/or lens in your eye aren’t perfectly curved. Any abnormality in the curvature of these tissues can disrupt the way light normally enters the eye and prevent light from focusing clearly on the light-sensitive retina. This can lead to blurry vision at any viewing distance.

Many people are born with astigmatism, but it can also develop later in life as a result of things like eye surgery, trauma, or infection. You may also be more at risk for astigmatism if you have other refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia), which are a result of abnormalities in the shape of the cornea and/or eyeball itself.

Astigmatism Signs and Symptoms

Astigmatism symptoms can range from mild to very pronounced. People with astigmatism may notice:

  • Blurry vision
  • The need to squint in order to see
  • Eye strain or fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Impaired night vision

How Our Riverdale Optometrist Staff Treats Astigmatism

For some people, their astigmatism is so mild that they don’t need any special interventions other than routine eye exams. But when astigmatism becomes severe enough to affect vision, it’s important to work with an eye doctor who can monitor your condition and provide individualized treatments to help you see better in your day-to-day life.

At Riverdale Vision Care, our optometrist team provides comprehensive diagnostic services to help detect and assess astigmatism. We work with our patients to provide meaningful vision care solutions that help them see better. Some of our top astigmatism treatment options include:

  • Prescription eyeglasses and/or contact lenses
  • Hard-to-fit contact lenses (e.g., scleral lenses) for advanced forms of astigmatism
  • Orthokeratology, a specialized contact lens worn at night that temporarily reshapes the corneas and improves daytime vision

Some people choose to undergo surgical interventions like laser eye surgery (LASIK) in order to correct their astigmatism. In these cases, our Riverdale optometry team happily provides essential pre-and post-operative care to ensure your procedure goes smoothly and your outcomes are optimized!

If you live near Riverdale, NJ, and are concerned about astigmatism symptoms, contact Riverdale Vision Care today at 973-248-0060 to schedule a comprehensive eye exam.

Makeup and Eye Health: Safety Tips for Eye Makeup Use

From eyeshadow and eyeliner to mascara and faux lashes, the beauty industry serves up a plethora of ways to help you feel beautiful. If you are all about eye makeup and love to dabble and experiment with different looks, you can try a lot of different products in a single year. While eye makeup is generally safe to use, there are a few safety tips to keep in mind so you don’t inadvertently put your visual health at risk.

1. Opt for quality products.

Good makeup can be more expensive, but it is always better for your eyes to opt for quality makeup that is made with the best ingredients. Lower-quality products are commonly made using the most generic ingredients, such as coloring pigments and fragrance chemicals.

2. Watch out for sensitivities to certain products.

Any time you are trying a new eye makeup product, consider the experience a trial run. Apply the makeup as usual and watch out for any signs that you are sensitive to something in the product. A few signs that you may be sensitive to a makeup ingredient include:

  • Excessive tearing
  • Redness or itching around your eyes
  • Feeling like you have something in your eyes

If you do experience an issue with a new product, thoroughly wash your eyes and stop using the product. Disregarding sensitivities could lead to a host of eye health issues, such as dry eyes, eyelid inflammation, and more.

3. Take off your eye makeup before going to sleep.

Perhaps the golden rule of eye makeup use for your eye health is to always wash off your makeup. When you sleep, the makeup can break down due to more moisture, rubbing your eyes, and elevated body temperature. As the makeup breaks down, the small particles can get into your eyes. Even if you are just taking a nap mid-day, it is best to remove any eye makeup you may have on beforehand.

Keep Your Visual Health in Check with an Eye Doctor in Riverdale, NJ

We get it—makeup can be a big deal. It boosts your self-confidence and allows you to achieve certain looks. If you have eye health concerns due to makeup, reach out to us at Riverdale Vision Care to schedule an appointment.

Stye, Stye in My Eye – What You Really Need to Know About Eye Styes

Styes are one of those common visual health ailments that most people know all about because they’ve likely had one. In fact, the fun little rhyme about sending a stye to someone else’s eye cemented styes in most of our memories as children. But, what is a stye really, should you be concerned, and how can a stye be treated? Here are a few things you should know.

What exactly is a stye?

The medical term for a stye (which can also be spelled stye) is hordeolum. The condition is characterized by a painful, irritated bump that usually shows up close to the rim of the eyelid. The most typical place for a stye to show up is on the outside of your eyelid, but the irritating bump can also pop up on the inner rim. The small bump is most often caused by a blocked oil gland. The eyelids have a number of oil glands that can become blocked due to excess oils, eye makeup, and dirt from your hands after rubbing your eyes.

Should you seek an eye doctor if you have a stye in your eye?

Normally, a stye will go away on its own without eye doctor treatment. You can try:

  • Using a warm compress on the stye several times a day
  • Cleaning your eyelids thoroughly with warm soap and water
  • Taking ibuprofen to relieve the pain and lessen any inflammation

When should you be worried about a stye?

If the stye does not go away on its own within a few days, is causing you a great deal of pain, or is causing problems with your vision, it is best to see an eye doctor for advice. In some cases, a severe stye will have to be treated with a topical antibiotic ointment so it will go away. In even rarer cases, an eye doctor may need to lance the stye so the collected oil or infection can drain out.

Talk to a Wilmington Eye Doctor About Styes in Your Eyes

While you may not get rid of a stye by speaking it into someone else’s eye, these mild eye health issues are usually no big deal. If you have problems with a stye or have recurring styes, reach out to us at Riverdale Vision Care to schedule an appointment.



Can Eyes Heal From Sun Damage?

Sun damage usually occurs to the skin. However, many people don’t realize that sun damage can also happen to eyes. Sometimes eye damage from UV light is called sunburn, but officially, this is called photokeratitis.

What is Photokeratitis?

Photokeratitis, sometimes called ultraviolet keratitis, presents as inflammation in the cornea. The cornea is the transparent covering over the exterior of the eye.

What Are The Symptoms of Photokeratitis?

The symptoms of photokeratitis are very obvious and uncomfortable. They include:

  • Feeling like you have sand on the insides of your eyelids
  • Inability to see at all
  • Blurry vision
  • Headache
  • Swollen eyelids and/or undereye swelling
  • Feeling of pain or pressure within the eyeball
  • Ultra-sensitivity to light
  • Heavy tearing
  • Seeing halos around objects

If you have any of these symptoms, contact your Riverdale eye doctor immediately.

Causes of Photokeratitis

Your eyes are extremely sensitive to the environment. This is why if you even have a small eyelash in your eye, it can feel like a tree branch is stuck in there. The symptoms of photokeratitis are much more painful than an eyelash, as you can see from the list above. But what causes photokeratitis to begin with?

Essentially, Photokeratitis is caused by overexposure to UV light. The most common source of UV light is, of course, the sun. But there are other sources to be aware of. Your eyes can be exposed to UV light from UV light bulbs, full-spectrum bulbs, tanning beds, and more.

Furthermore, certain conditions can exacerbate the dangers of sun damage to the eyes. This can happen when you are on a boat, at the pool, or near any reflective body of water. It can happen while skiing, since the snow reflects sunlight. It can even happen on lightly colored sidewalks and roadways in towns and cities.

How to Avoid Sun Damage to the Eyes

The best way to avoid sun damage to the eyes is to wear UV-rated sunglasses while outside on sunny days. Also, avoid using tanning beds, or at a minimum, close eyes and wear protective goggles during sessions. If you use full-spectrum bulbs while doing hobbies like painting or sewing, wear UV-rated eyewear.

Your eye doctor in Riverdale can help you with tips to avoid sun damage. Contact us today for more information.


How To Protect Your Vision From UV Rays

Ultraviolet light consists of a harmful spectrum of light that can do damage to your eyes. UV light is emitted from the sun, but can also be emitted from certain man-made devices like welder’s torches, too. One of the most important ways to protect your eyes from ultraviolet light is sunglasses.

If your eyes are particularly susceptible to ultraviolet light, then wearing one hundred percent ultraviolet blocking sunglasses will protect your vision fully during the day. Normal sunglasses may provide some protection from glare, but under most circumstances won’t fully protect your vision. You can also purchase reading glasses with special lenses that will also block ultraviolet light.

Avoid Being In The Sun For Long Periods Of Time

Although the sun is needed both for your health and well-being, being out in the sun for too long could make you susceptible to eye damage or melanomas due to exposure to UV rays. Avoid being out at times when the sun is highest, and if possible wear a wide-brimmed hat to shade your eyes. Choose periods of the day when the sun is at its weakest, such as sunrise and sunset, to enjoy a walk outdoors.

Protect Yourself From Devices That Emit Ultraviolet Light

There are some devices on the consumer market that deceptively advertise as ultraviolet free but are not. Devices such as germicidal lamps or welder’s torches emit light spectrums that cause eye damage. If possible, wear protective glasses and clothing to avoid most if not all of the UV exposure while operating these devices.

How to Recover from UV Eye Damage

Overexposure to UV rays cause inflammation in the eye and surrounding tissues. After damaging exposure to ultraviolet light, seek a dark environment with little light to maximize healing. Eat a diet rich in Vitamin A and Omega 3’s and consider a nap to give your body time to heal from the inflammation. Ultraviolet light will only be permanently damaging after overexposure over a period of months to years, so don’t fret if you have only been exposed once or twice.

To recap, always wear sunglasses when outdoors for long periods of time, and if possible seek shade. Looking down when in direct sunlight and even squinting can help minimize UV exposure. And avoid looking into the sun and wear a wide-brimmed hat if possible.


Riverdale Vision Care: 5 Myths About Pink Eye

Pink eye (also called conjunctivitis) happens when the thin mucous membrane called the conjunctiva on the outside of your eye and inside of your eyelid becomes inflamed. Our team at Riverdale Vision Care believes it’s helpful to know how to spot fact from fiction when it comes to this common eye condition so you’ll be better prepared to help your loved ones avoid or manage it.

5 Common Myths About Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)


1. Pink eye is always contagious.

While certain types of pink eye are very contagious—such as the kinds caused by viruses or bacteria—other types, like allergic or chemical conjunctivitis, are not contagious and can’t be passed from person to person.

2 Only school-aged children get pink eye.

Pink eye is very common in young children, but people of all ages can get it—even newborns.

3. If your eyes are red and itchy, it means you have conjunctivitis.

Red, itchy, watery eyes are the main signs and symptoms of conjunctivitis. But other conditions can cause these symptoms, too. The only way to know for sure what’s causing your symptoms is to see an eye doctor.

4. It’s not a big deal to rub your eyes if you have pink eye.

While rubbing your eyes may provide temporary relief from pink eye symptoms like itchiness, doing so may cause eye damage or worsening infection. If your case of pink eye is contagious, touching your eyes also increases the risk of spreading the condition to your other eye or other people.

Long story short: do NOT rub your eyes! Our Riverdale optometrist team recommends treatments such as eye drops or warm compresses to soothe eye irritation.

5. Pink eye heals up on its own, so you don’t need to go to an eye doctor.

Most cases of pink eye do heal up on their own in about two weeks, but some cases can lead to complications if left untreated. An eye doctor can provide appropriate treatment to help you heal properly and stay more comfortable.

You should also see an eye doctor if your pink eye symptoms don’t go away after two weeks or if you have eye pain, blurry vision, a weakened immune system, or a preexisting eye condition.


Do you live near Riverdale NJ and have concerns about your loved ones’ eye health? Contact Riverdale Vision Care at (973) 248-0060 to schedule an eye exam for the whole family and learn more about the comprehensive eye care services we offer.

Screen Time and Your Eyes | Protecting Your Vision

The average person in the modern-day world spends at least 11 hours staring at a screen, which means they are using their phone, computer, or tablet or watching television. All this time spent staring at a screen can have an effect on your vision, but this is something that most people rarely consider. Take a look at a few things you should be doing to protect your eyes.

Take Frequent Breaks to Give Your Eyes a Rest

One of the simplest things you can do to protect your eyes from the damages that too much screen time can cause is to take breaks. You don’t have to get up, put down your device, or close your laptop, but it is best to pull your eyes away from the screen, look around, and even close your eyes to take a break. It is easy to hold your eyes focused in one spot when you are really interested in something, and just like the muscles in the rest of your body, your eyes need to be stretched.

Practice Conscious Blinking

One of the biggest dangers of too much screen time is that you don’t blink as often when you are focused on something. Therefore, your eyes can get dry and irritated, which can lead to a host of other problems. While you are watching TV or working on your laptop, make sure you consciously blink every little bit. The average person should be blinking 15 to 20 times per minute, and there really is no such thing as blinking too often.

Keep Your Prescription Glasses Up to Date

If it has been a while since you have had your prescription glasses or contact lenses updated and you spend a lot of time watching screens, it is important that you go ahead and schedule an appointment. Keeping your prescription up to date will ensure you are not straining your eyes too much while you spend time looking at a screen.

Contact Us for Vision Help in Riverdale, NJ

Your vision is one of the most important senses you have. It should be rightly protected. If you have vision concerns due to a lot of screen time, contact us at the Riverdale Vision Care office to schedule an appointment.


How to Treat Swollen, Puffy Eyes

You know that awful moment when you wake up in the morning and you look in the mirror and your eyes are swollen and puffy? There’s nothing worse than having to show up at work or school looking like you were the loser in a boxing match. Swollen, puffy eyes don’t look good on anyone. Here’s how to treat this condition so you can appear at your best.

Consider the Cause

To treat swollen, puffy eyes effectively, it’s important to consider the cause. There are many things that can lead to swollen, puffy eyes, and depending on what’s causing yours, you’ll want to take a different action.

How to Treat or Prevent Common Causes of Swollen, Puffy Eyes

Some of the most common causes of swollen puffy eyes include:

Allergic Reaction

If the condition comes on suddenly, you may be having an allergic reaction to something you encountered, or something you ate or drank. Think back. Were you exposed to poison ivy or poison oak? Did you ingest anything unusual? To treat, consider an over the counter antihistamine. If your reaction is severe, you may need a steroid injection, which you can get from an emergency room.

Fluid Buildup While Sleeping

Do you always wake up with swollen, puffy eyes? If you, it’s likely they are a result of fluid build-up while you sleep. To prevent, elevate your head slightly using a fluffier pillow or an extra pillow. To treat, get up a little earlier than usual so the fluid has a chance to leave the upper area. After about 20 minutes, the swelling will naturally reduce.

Bad Reaction to Makeup

Your eye makeup may be to blame for your swollen, puffy eyes. If you can’t see any other reason, look at your skincare and makeup routine. Consider switching to all-natural products with no or very few chemical ingredients. To treat, try going without eye makeup for a few days. For immediate relief, lie down with your head elevated. Place a very cool cloth over your closed eyes. The swelling should reduce.

If your swelling doesn’t go down easily with the solutions mentioned above, you may have an eye infection. Make an appointment with your eye doctor for a thorough examination.

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

The eyes have often been called the window to the soul, but they are also a window to your internal health. A routine eye exam could very well yield you new insight into what is taking place inside your body because many common conditions have an effect on the eyes. Take a look at some of the things your optometrist can tell you about your overall health during an eye exam.

High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is often referred to as the “silent killer” because so many people have no idea they have blood pressure issues. It is not at all uncommon for people to first learn that they have high blood pressure when they visit the eye doctor for a routine exam. High blood pressure can generate changes in the vessels that lead to the retina, and bleeding from the new blood vessels in the retina can also be present. Those with high blood pressure are prone to having issues with blurred vision due to these issues.


There are tiny and somewhat fragile vessels in the retina of the eye. When someone has diabetes, these vessels can seep fluids that are a yellow color and blood as well, and these symptoms can be spotted during a routine eye exam. Diabetic retinopathy, one of the number one causes of blindness in this country, is a condition relative to this kind of ocular reaction to unstable blood sugar levels. Even though diabetic retinopathy is not curable, treatments are available to help slow the progression of the disease.

Tumors or Aneurysm

Something like an eyelid that is droopy or pupils that have an irregular shape are strong signs of something serious taking place inside the body. According to the Digital Journal, these symptoms can be indicative of a tumor in the neck or even an aneurysm, both of which are serious medical conditions that should be examined right away. If your optometrist suspects something is wrong, they will likely refer you to a physician for further treatment.

If you neglect to have your eyes examined regularly, you could easily miss out on some insightful information about your overall health. Contact us at Riverdale Vision Care in New Jersey for advice about your eye health or to schedule an appointment.

Eye Health for College Students

College bound students often have so much on their minds that they don’t put a great deal of thought into taking the best possible care of their eyes. However, good vision is one of the best learning tools college students can have. Following are just four of the many things that those headed for college in the near future can do to ensure optimal eye health and good vision.

Wear Eye Protection for Sporting Activities

Eye injuries are a leading cause of vision problems for college students, particularly if they’re active in sports or outdoor activities. Whether you’re riding your bike across campus, hiking on nearby trails, playing casual sporting games with friends, or playing sports on an official college team, always wear eye protection that’s appropriate for the activity.

Don’t Share Makeup With Friends or Roommates

College students tend to live in pretty close quarters, and this makes it tempting to borrow a roommate or friend’s makeup items in a pinch. However, this often results in eye infections, so only use your own cosmetics. As an added protection, keep your personal eye makeup stored where it isn’t easily accessible to others.

College student with glasses studying

Keep Contact Lenses Clean

Busy schedules and late nights studying and socializing sometimes leads to students neglecting contact lens care, but this is another good way to ensure an eye infection. No matter how tired you are, always take them and put them in their cleaning solution. Always wash your hands before handling them, and never sleep in your contacts.

Beware of the Digital Danger

Eyestrain has always plagued college students, but the screens of the digital age may be harder on the eyes than the study materials of the past. Those using digital media blink far less than those using its traditional counterparts, and the glare on screens can cause considerable eye strain. Taking frequent breaks and alternating digital media with printed material, if possible, helps circumvent this.

Scheduling eye exams on a regular basis is also an essential part of maintaining optimal ocular health no matter what stage of life you’re in. Please contact us to schedule an appointment or if you have questions about keeping your eyes as healthy as possible during your college years.