macular degeneration wilmington nc

How We Diagnose and Treat Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration in Wilmington NC is a potentially serious eye disease that affects people as they age. Although macular degeneration typically doesn’t cause complete vision loss, you may lose some or all of your central vision. While there is no cure for this age-related eye condition, you can receive effective treatments for it.

Wet Macular Degeneration

With this type, the blood vessels in your macula and retina leak fluid and blood, and your eyes take on a bulging appearance. Wet macular degeneration affects only 10 percent of people diagnosed with the disease. However, this type is the more severe of the two because it can cause complete loss of central vision when left untreated. We urge you to schedule an exam at Paul Vision Institute right away if you notice dark spots in the center of your visual field.

Dry Macular Degeneration

The dry type of macular degeneration causes a buildup of yellow protein deposits in your macula called drusen. The drusen causes your eyes to feel very dry while thinning your macula at the same time. Loss of central vision occurs slowly over time. Some people with the dry type of macular degeneration develop the wet type after several years.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Macular Degeneration

We start the eye exam by dilating your eyes to check for signs of the disease. Your optometrist may also use one or more advanced tests to confirm or rule out the diagnosis. Once we know which type you have, the next step is to start using prescription medication. Nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes are also useful, as is photocoagulation if you have leaking blood vessels. We may also recommend specific low vision tools to increase your quality of life.

Your vision is too important to ignore. Please contact us to screen for macular degeneration in Wilmington NC if you have any concerns.

4 Qualities to Look For In An Eye Doctor

Your eye doctor is your partner in maintaining good eye health, so it’s important to choose an eye doctor in Wilmington, NC, that you can trust. Below are four qualities you should look for when you’re looking for an eye doctor in the Wilmington area.

1. Experience

As you’re calling around to different eye doctors, find out how many years of experience they have. Experience and skill often go hand in hand. The more experience an eye doctor has, the more chances they’ve had to develop their expertise in their field. Experienced eye doctors also have more experience managing a caseload of patients and tending to their needs.

2. Services

It’s best to see an eye doctor that offers a wide range of services. While you may have limited eye care needs right now, someday, you may need more services. Find an eye doctor that offers treatment for conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, and if possible, emergency eye care. You never know when you may want these services, and if you ever do, you’ll want to get them from an eye doctor you have a rapport with.

3. Accepts Your Insurance

If you have eye insurance, then of course, it’s important to find an eye doctor that accepts that insurance. Before making an appointment for an eye exam in Wilmington, NC, check to be sure that your type of eye insurance is accepted there.

4. Convenient Scheduling

Find an eye doctor that offers appointments when you’re available, and has a convenient scheduling process. It should be easy to see the eye doctor on a timeline that works for you.

Are you seeking an eye doctor in Wilmington? Paul Vision Institute can help. To make an appointment or learn more about our practice, call today.

Winter Care Tips to Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Winter is here! At this time of year, changes in the environment can lead to changes in the way your eyes feel as well as their overall health. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to take care of your eyes. By seeing the eye doctor in Wilmington, NC and by taking steps to promote good eye health, you can avoid some of the problems that some people experience with their eyes in winter.

Eat Right

Some healthy foods promote eye health more than other foods. Eating foods that promote good eye health and eyesight is important for avoiding eye diseases and conditions that can reduce your vision.

  • Tuna. Some studies show that fish oil can reverse dry eye.
  • Seeds, nuts and legumes. These foods contain Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, which can protect the eyes from age-related conditions.
  • Carrots. Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which helps promote healthy retinas and proper light absorption.

Wear Sunglasses Outside

Sunglasses aren’t just for summer! Prescription sunglasses help protect your eyes from UV rays. Wear sunglasses in winter when outdoors, especially when spending extended time outside in bright, sunny snow.

Keep Your Eyes Moist

Use over the counter eye drops to keep your eyes moist. If you’re suffering from dry eye and the eye drops don’t seem to be helping, talk to your eye doctor. Your eye doctor can help determine the cause of your dry eye and suggest solutions.

Schedule Annual Appointment With Eye Doctor

Did you want to see the eye doctor but aren’t sure when to schedule your appointment? Paul Vision Institute offers same day eye exams in Wilmington, NC. Give us a call or stop in at our office to learn more!

6 Foods That Will Help Strengthen Your Eyes Naturally

Any optometrist in Wilmington, NC will tell you that your eyes are one of the most important features of your body. However, when it comes to keeping our eyes healthy, many people don’t really give it much thought until something goes wrong. So why not be proactive and learn about what you can do to keep your eyes healthy to help prevent future issues? Let’s talk about what you can do to strengthen your eyes naturally.

Here are six foods you can eat to help strengthen your eyes naturally.

1. Apples

Yep! You guessed it—apples! It turns out that apples actually do help keep the doctor away. Apples contain antioxidants which will help protect your eyes from solar radiation and reduce blood vessel leakage.

2. Carrots

Yes, this is another food you’ve been told is good for your eyes. Turns out your parents were right when they told you to eat your carrots. Carrots contain beta carotene which helps keep your retina and other parts of your eyes healthy. Additionally, carrots are a great source of Vitamin A, which is also important for your eye health.

3. Spinach

Spinach is loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals that keep your eyes healthy. Spinach contains Vitamin C which helps prevent age-related eye degeneration and beta carotene which helps prevent night blindness.

4. Broccoli

Broccoli contains loads of essential vitamins and minerals as well. Broccoli contains Vitamins, C, A, folic acid, selenium, and lutein, all of which help build healthy cells in your eyes. This is in addition to helping your entire body in many other ways.

5. Mangoes

Mangoes have lots of Vitamin E and A. Just like other brightly colored fruits, mangoes are great for eye health.

6. Peanuts

Most people don’t think of peanuts as being good for your eyes. However, peanuts, albeit salty, are a great source of Zinc and Vitamin E, both of which help improve the vision of people with any type of eye degeneration.

You should visit your optometrist in Wilmington, NC regularly for routine eye exams so you can catch and be treated for vision problems as early as possible.

If you need an optometrist in Wilmington, NC, please Contact Paul Vision Institute today. We take the time to individually tailor your eye care to meet your needs in a warm, comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.


Can Eating Healthier Prevent Glaucoma?

Your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC sees many patients diagnosed with glaucoma who wonder if they could have done anything to prevent it. Glaucoma is a serious eye condition that can—and often does—lead to partial or complete blindness. It stands to reason that if you could do something to avoid the diagnosis, you would do it, right? Many people feel that getting adequate nutrients, in other words, eating healthier, could prevent glaucoma. But is this fact or wishful thinking?

What Causes Glaucoma?

To answer this question, you need to know what causes glaucoma in the first place. In that way, you can kind of step backward and find out if more nutrients might actually make a difference.

Glaucoma can be caused by one or more reasons, either acting individually or in tandem with one another. Factors and conditions that can lead to glaucoma include:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Overweight
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Extreme Myopia or Farsightedness
  • History of serious eye injury
  • Use of certain medications
  • And more…

Note that while the above-mentioned things are risk factors for glaucoma, the actual physical manifestation of glaucoma is very specific. Your eye doctor can diagnose glaucoma in Wilmington, NC by identifying these manifestations.

The Connection Between Nutrition and Glaucoma

Although there is no known direct correlation between nutrition and glaucoma, if you consider the risk factors of glaucoma, you will see that some of them are related to poor health. Specifically, untreated diabetes, high blood pressure and being overweight are all under a person’s control, give or take, depending upon circumstances. A healthy diet can help to bring a person back to the end of the spectrum defined as good health; sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals, and weighing within the range of what’s considered healthy in ratio of their height.

Basically, eating healthily can lower the number of risk factors that a person is exposed to. Someone who eats whole, nutrient-dense foods is simply less likely to have those risk factors that can sometimes be controlled.

The bottom line is that eating healthy can’t directly prevent glaucoma, because there are risk factors that don’t correspond to good nutrition However, since eating healthy can reduce the risk factors that you personally have, it’s worth it to commit to a wholesome diet that can partially help.

How Glaucoma Sneaks Up On You 

Did you know that glaucoma affects 3 million people in the United States and half of them are unaware of their condition? In the United States alone, glaucoma is the second largest cause of blindness. If you have a family history of glaucoma or are over 65, your chances of getting glaucoma are higher than the rest of the population. The dangerous thing about glaucoma that youreye doctor in Wilmington, NC wants you to know, is that glaucoma sneaks up on you.

How Glaucoma Sneaks Up on You

Glaucoma comes in a variety of forms, but all forms involve damage to the optical nerve in the back of the eye. Aqueous humor is the fluid that normally drains out of the eye through a mesh-like canal. Fluids build up and produce pressure if this duct becomes clogged. The excessive pressure might injure the visual nerve by “pushing” on it. The insidious thing about glaucoma is that you won’t even know it’s happening. Over time, peripheral vision is compromised first, followed by a loss in central vision, and blindness can result if not treated early. This condition progressively damages your eyesight to the point that you can go blind if it is left untreated.

Reducing Risk of Glaucoma

The risk of developing glaucoma may be lessened through certain lifestyle changes, including:

  • Reduce alcohol and caffeine consumption
  • Maintain a nutritious diet high in carotenoids, antioxidants, vitamins A and D, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids
  • Exercise for 30 to 40 minutes each day, per physician’s advice
  • Control diabetes
  • Give up smoking
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Be aware of medication side effects that may increase risk
  • Wear sunglasses or transition prescription eyeglasses outdoors.
  • Wear protective eyewear when participating in sports

Treatment For Glaucoma

Traditional therapies include eye drops, laser therapy, and surgery, which may be necessary if peripheral vision continues to deteriorate. If you are diagnosed with glaucoma, your Wilmington eye doctor will be able to provide certain treatment options, but reversal of glaucoma is not possible. That is why it’s so important to diagnose glaucoma as soon as it can be detected.

Because glaucoma strikes without warning and causes no discomfort, seeing an eye doctor to check forglaucoma in Wilmington, NC is imperative. Although glaucoma cannot be prevented, glaucoma-related blindness can be avoided with early identification and treatment.

Start 2022 With a Same-Day Eye Exam

Do you have a hard time scheduling your eye appointments? Do you always forget to make your eye appointments during the work week? Sounds like you need a same-day eye exam in Wilmington NC. If you’re one of those people who always forgets to make appointments, but you also know how important it is to see the eye doctor, then same-day eye exams can make your life easier. Start your new year right with a same day eye exam!

Benefits of Same Day Eye Exams

There are so many benefits of same day eye exams! If you’re wondering why these exams are so popular, here’s what you need to know:

No need to plan. No need to make an appointment well in advance. You can choose the day that works best for you, and avoid any scheduling conflicts that might prevent you from seeing the eye doctor.

Convenience. You can see the eye doctor on the same day that you’re running errands around town.

Simplicity. No more worrying about remembering to see the eye doctor. Just come when it makes the most sense for you!

Our same day eye exams are comprehensive. We’ll check your prescription, let you know if you need to new glasses or contacts, and we’ll check your eyes for diseases that could impact your vision.

Why You Should See the Eye Doctor

It’s important to see the eye doctor in Wilmington NC. There are some eye diseases that don’t show any symptoms until vision loss occurs. Eye doctors can detect these conditions before they cause devastating vision trouble. By coming in to see the eye doctor, you can protect your vision. And, because vision loss can be dangerous when you’re driving, you could also be protecting your loved ones.

Know the Signs of Vision Distress

Know when to see the eye doctor. Symptoms of vision distress include:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye pain
  • Double vision
  • Seeing rainbows or halos around lights
  • Seeing a “curtain” descending over your vision

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, come in for a same day eye exam! It could be important!

Have You Been Putting Off Your Eye Exam? 3 Reasons to Get a Same-Day Exam

As your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC, Paul Vision Eye Institute offers same day eye exams. This is a helpful service that can help you get the attention from the eye doctor you need, keep your prescription up to date, and identify eye conditions in their early stages. You don’t have to plan ahead to keep up with your eye health! Here’s why we recommend our same day eye exams to our patients.

1. Your Eye Doctor Will Detect Changes in Prescription

Your prescription can change over time. Some vision problems correct themselves over time, other vision problems get worse. Once your prescription changes, it’s important to get updated glasses to match your prescription. If you no longer need glasses because your prescription has improved, it’s important to find that out as well.

Stopping in for a same day eye exam can help ensure that you can see properly while driving, doing work, reading, going to school and more.

2. The Eye Doctor Will Check for Glaucoma

There are more reasons to see the eye doctor than just to find out if you need an updated prescription. Glaucoma is a condition that often has no noticeable symptoms in the early stages. The only way to find out if you have glaucoma while it’s in the early stages is to see the eye doctor.

Same-day eye exams in Wilmington NC can check for glaucoma, so you’ll know if this is a condition that affects you. If your eye doctor detects glaucoma, they can start treatments that will help slow down the progression of the condition, to keep your eyes as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

3. Proper Vision Is Safe

One more reason to see the eye doctor? Because good vision is a matter of safety. If your eyesight is blurry, unfocused or compromised in some way, you might not be able to drive safely, or engage in everyday activities like navigating city streets. Seeing the eye doctor can help you stay safe!

To make an appointment with your eye doctor, call Paul Vision Institute to learn more about our same day eye exams today.

What Is Diabetic Retinopathy?

Diabetic retinopathy is a side effect of diabetes. It may cause blurred vision, vision that seems to fluctuate, dark strings or spots that seem to float across your vision, and eventually vision loss. The more uncontrolled your diabetes, the greater risk you stand of developing retinopathy. However, if you take care to get your condition under control and maintain your blood sugar at safe levels, you may avoid this complication. Your eye doctor in Wilmington, NC, can diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy.

What Causes Diabetic Retinopathy?

When you have excessive amounts of sugar in your blood, this can interfere with blood flow in the tiny vessels that nourish the retina. As a result, the blood supply is cut off, and your eye attempts to grow new vessels in this area. If the new vessels don’t develop properly, they may leak blood. This can obscure your vision and may also lead to an excess of fluid buildup in your eye. Scar tissue may also develop where new blood vessels attempt to grow. They can cause your retina to detach from the back of the eye.

Do I Have Symptoms of Diabetic Retinopathy?

If you’re experiencing changes in your vision, it’s time to make an appointment for a comprehensive eye exam. This is especially important if you have a condition such as diabetes or hypertension. Early symptoms of diabetic retinopathy include trouble reading, trouble seeing far away, and trouble seeing at night. Advanced symptoms include seeing unexplained flashes of light as well as the other symptoms listed above. Surprisingly, you may have no symptoms at all if the condition is in its earliest stages.

Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Treated?

The first step in treating diabetic retinopathy is to bring diabetes under control. Through a healthy diet, daily exercise, and medication, you may be better able to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Treatment for this disorder focuses on stopping its progression to prevent total vision loss. A vision specialist is the best choice when it comes to diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders in Wilmington, NC.

Paul Vision Institute Can Help

In Wilmington, NC, Paul Vision Institute can diagnose and treat diabetic retinopathy. Call today to schedule an eye exam and consultation. The sooner this condition is detected and treatment begins, the more successful the outcome.

Why We Offer Same-Day Eye Exams (Even for Routine Checkups)

We all know why same-day eye exams are sometimes necessary. After all, trauma and emergency conditions can pop up at any time — day or night. Yet not everyone realizes that last-minute eye exams can be done for more than just emergencies. We’ll look at why our staff will do everything they can to squeeze you in no matter when you call.

Working with Your Schedule

For some people, scheduling their doctor’s appointments is routine work. They know exactly when they can fit in a visit and they make the arrangements accordingly. If they need to request time off from work, it isn’t a problem with their boss.

However, not everyone has the same work- or home-life demands, and any eye doctor that assumes they do is doing them a disservice. If your days are hectic enough as it is, you need someone who understands how to work with you.

That’s why same-day eye exams in Wilmington, NC can be such a valuable service to those who want to take care of their eye health when they can find a little spare time. At the Paul Vision Institute, we’re here to help however we can by being as flexible as we can.

Why You Should Have a Same-Day Eye Exam

Eye exams are there to catch problems before they turn into life-changing conditions. It’s always going to be easiest to treat a disorder in the beginning stages. The work you do now can save anything from your vision to your very life. We know that it’s not always easy to find the time for an eye exam in Wilmington, NC, but the truth is that it’s not a luxury. This is a necessary service that can help you protect one of your most valuable organs.

Finding an Optometrist in Wilmington, NC

The right optometrist in Wilmington, NC will tell you more about how your eye health is progressing and what you can do to take care of yourself. If you find yourself putting off exams because of your busy schedule, there are options out there. The staff at Paul Vision Institute may not be able to respond to every request, but we’ll do everything we can to accommodate you.