The Benefits of Dailies

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When deciding which types of contact lenses are right for you, it's important to weigh all of the options. In the old days, there was really only one kind of hard contact lens, and you were stuck with that or glasses. Those were your options. Now there are so many different kinds of contact lenses, made up of so many different types of materials, it's easy to choose which ones are right for you when you weigh the options.

Daily contact lenses are the newest on the market and have become increasingly popular over the last few years. As a matter of fact, Fort Collins Family Eye Care is one of the biggest prescribers of daily contact lenses because their patients love them so much. 78% of their patients prefer daily lenses over monthly. One of the biggest draws to daily contacts is that they are extremely clean. There is a very limited chance of build-up because you start with a fresh new pair of contacts each day. You don't need to stock up on bottles and bottles of solutions or cleaners, because you simply throw away your contacts at the end of each wearing session. 

Daily contact lenses are great for occasional wearers or younger contact lens patients who are learning proper hygienic care of contact lenses. They are extremely easy to travel with and very convenient. You can even throw a pair in your purse or workout bag and have contacts ready to go when you need to go eyewear-free. No need to buy contact lens solution, cases, or spend time cleaning the lenses - a total savings of almost $200 per year.

At the end of the day, your contact lens choice should be the one where comfort and convenience meet your lifestyle. Make sure to talk with Dr. Munson about your options and what your ideal wearing schedule is like. She and her team of certified Paraoptometric staff will suggest the best option for you.

Sun Exposure and Altitude

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People who live at high altitudes are at a greater risk for sun exposure to both their skin and their eyes. As a matter of fact, Colorado has some of the highest incidences of skin cancer in the country. While we know how important it is to wear proper sunscreen because we can feel the effects of too much sun on our skin, we don't always wear proper eye protection.

"19% of men and 15% of women in the U.S. say they don't protect their eyes from UV exposure because they don't believe they are at risk of UV damage." Source: 2013 VisionWatch Sunglasses Survey — The Vision Council

The sun emits both UV (ultra-violet) and HEV (blue) light. Too much HEV exposure can damage the retina in the back of the eye. The retina is the small area of tissues at the back of the eye that make sense of the light that is coming in through the pupil and transmits that information then to the optic nerve and then the brain. When the retina is damaged, you have impaired vision and this is damage that cannot be fixed or corrected. One of the most common causes of blindness is macular degeneration, an age-related condition that affects your retina. 

UV exposure can also cause cataracts, the clouding of the lens of the eye that also happens as we age as well as issues such as retinopathy and photokeratitis.

UV damage to your eyes is cumulative and we receive much of this damage by the time we are 18. Blue/green-eyed people also seem to be at a bigger risk for damage than those with brown eyes. 

It is very important to wear sunglasses that block 100% of the sun's rays every time you go outside in all seasons, particularly for those of us who live in higher altitudes. Keep in mind that it winter, we have additional rays reflecting off of the snow, so it's very important to wear wrap-around or large sunglasses to shield our eyes as much as possible. 

Talk to your optical expert at Fort Collins Family Eye Care to make sure that your sunglasses block 100% of the sun's harmful rays. We also typically recommend sunglasses with polarization as you get less glare and more true vision, a must when you're experiencing the great outdoors in Northern Colorado. 

Don't forget about the skin around your eyes. Because the skin tends to be very thin around your eyes, that area can be prone to sunspots and damage. Dr. Munson is always looking for suspicious lesions or signs of melanoma. A great sunscreen is a must and we have some fantastic eye-friendly products available at the Eye Spa.

Whether you're a ski fanatic, enjoy hiking, or just getting out for some fresh air, it's important to make sure that you're protected when enjoying the sunny Colorado days. If you have any questions at all about your current sun protection or would like to know more, ask one of our opticians or Dr. Munson about the best ways to protect your eyes.

Ocular Surface Disease

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Winter is coming! If you have been experiencing an increase in watery, irritated eyes, you may be suffering from a condition known as ocular surface disease. This is Dr. Munson's favorite time of the year to prepare her patients and keep them as comfy as possible for the winter months in Colorado ahead.

Symptoms of ocular surface disease include the feeling of soreness, grittiness, redness, and irritation. In certain cases, the damage can actually affect your vision and create injury to the front surface of your eyes as your lids can rub on your cornea and compromise your vision.

Ocular surface disease typically affects women and becomes more pronounced and bothersome as we age. There are actually several types of ocular surface disease. These include dry eye, Meibomian gland dysfunction, Sjogren's syndrome, blepharitis, and several others. Certain medications can worsen the condition. Medical issues including diabetes, arthritis, and thyroid conditions can also make it worse. Long-term wear of contact lenses and exposure to altitude, wind, and smoke can also be a factor in experiencing symptoms.

Your tears are made up of three components: water, oil, and mucus. The balance between these components needs to be just right in order for the eye to function properly. When the balance is out of whack, you experience ocular surface disease.

There are several treatment options to relieve your symptoms. Dr. Munson can recommend the best option for you based on your specific condition and your lifestyle. Some forms can be treated with specially formulated eye drops or topical medications. Sometimes warm compresses are a good option as they soothe the eyes and encourage tear production. 

At Fort Collins Family Eye Care and the EyeSpa, we go even further by offering additional treatments for ocular surface disease. These procedures are state of the art. Our Pellevé technology allows us to stimulate the oil producing glands allowing the tears to be of better quality, offering improved comfort, clarity, and health for your eyes. Pellevé treatments feel similar to a warm stone massage, providing relief and release of the natural oils around the eyes. Some patients experience immediate relief, and the results will last longer because you are treating the source of the issue.

The best treatment of course for ocular surface disease is the one that works best for you. Schedule a dry eye evaluation with Dr. Munson and ask about customized options for you!  

Welcome!

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At Fort Collins Family Eye Care, we are excited for a new look and a new experience for our patients.

We have some exciting changes coming over the next few weeks, the first being a brand new logo and website. Our new website is designed to make it even easier to find the latest information on your eyes, your eye health, and to book appointments. 

We are also kicking off new social media pages. If you're not already one of our followers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we encourage you to follow us for the latest information on eye health, optical trends, employee news, and community happenings. We are looking forward to sharing some great information with you and hearing back from you on your experiences including what we can do to help improve our community and the city of Fort Collins.

As part of our re-launch, we are hosting a Launch Party on Thursday, October 5 from 4-7 p.m. Join us for free food and beverages and preview some of our unique and international frame lines. You'll be able to shop for a brand new style and save 30% that night on a complete pair of eyewear.* We'll have other fun surprises too.

We hope you stop by our event or visit us online. We look forward to doing what we can to make your optometry experience the best it can be.

*Discount cannot be combined with insurance or other offers. Certain restrictions apply.

Nutrition and Your Eyes

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Did you know that what you have for lunch can help you see better and improve the health of your eyes? Rabbits knew something about those carrots after all.

It's true. Your eyesight is linked to your overall health. A diet which includes fruits and vegetables is great for your heart and your immune system but can also help your vision and help prevent or delay any eye diseases like macular degeneration or cataracts.

When we take a closer look at your retina with our Diopsys technology, we are able to see how healthy your eyes are and if there is a risk for retinal disease. Making sure to have focused ocular nutrition will help keep your retina as healthy as possible.

Here are additional food items to include in your diet to ensure best eye health.

1. Green leafy veggies: spinach, kale, collard greens

Dark green leafy vegetables are really the super foods when it comes to your eye health. Among other fantastic health benefits, these vegetables contain lutein and zeaxanthin which can help absorb some of the light rays that can cause damage to the retina which can lead to diseases like macular degeneration, one of the leading causes of blindness in the US.

2. Omega-3: found in salmon, sardines, mackerel or albacore tuna (and also in spinach and kale.)

Omega-3 is well known for its brain-boosting power and benefits to your cardio-vascular health. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends getting at least two servings rich with Omega-3 fatty acids a week. Studies have shown that Omega-3s can help prevent macular degeneration and dry eye disease.

3. Antioxidants: oranges, blueberries, sweet potato (and also spinach and kale!)

Vitamin C is one of the best antioxidants out there, and recent studies have shown that antioxidants can help slow the progression of cataracts. Vitamin E can also do a great job of boosting antioxidants whose job it is to keep free radicals in check in the body. Free radicals damage your body's healthy cells and are found in pesticides, cigarette smoke, chemical food additives, and the air we breathe. Great sources for Vitamin C include oranges, blueberries, kale and broccoli. Sources for Vitamin E include spinach, almonds, sweet potato and avocado.

While some of the best sources for these nutritious helpers can be found in food, there are also many supplements that are available to make sure that you're getting the proper balance. At Fort Collins Family Eye Care, we recommend MacuHealth supplements. These supplements are made from natural ingredients harvested on an organic marigold farm and are rich in lutein, zeaxanthin and Omega-3s. 

Your vision is precious. Talk to Dr. Munson about your diet and what might be some good options for you. 


Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/healthy-aging/nutrition-world-3/foods-eye-health

More on antioxidants:
https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/caring-for-your-vision/nutrition/antioxidants

More on free radicals:
https://www.livescience.com/54901-free-radicals.html

Fort Collins Family Eye Care Launch Party

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You are invited to join us for a special evening celebrating the launch of our new look and some of the exciting changes at Fort Collins Family Eye Care.

Preview our new international frame lines: FACE à FACE, OWP, and Feb31st. You're sure to find a look you love!

Exclusive Launch Party Savings: Save 30% when you purchase a new pair of eyewear!* 

We'll have appetizers & drinks plus chances to win gift cards and free packages from the Eye Spa. You can also see the new technology our Vision Performance Center uses to improve your vision function. 

We can't wait to see you there!

*Discount cannot be combined with insurance or other offers.

Investment & Insurance

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1. What types of insurance does Fort Collins Family Eye Care take?

Nothing is more important than the safety of your vision. We want you to feel protected and advocated for regarding the health of your eyes.  

Our patients tell us that health savings accounts, faith based MediShare plans, and flex spending accounts are their favorite!  We also elect to be members of the following medical insurance panels - Blue Cross Blue Shield, United Health Care, Cigna, Medicare, Colorado Access, Medicaid, and UMR.  Please note that some individual policies may have restrictions and do not fall under the umbrella of our networks.  

We have elected to participate in a vision coupon option for patients - Vision Service Plan (VSP).  Vision coupons are rebates for basic vision screenings, contact lenses, and limited eyewear designs that may be redeemed every 12 or sometimes 24 months.  Most procedures performed by Dr. Munson are not contributed to by vision coupons.  Schedule a courtesy call with our billing and insurance team for more in depth information.

2. Will you handle the filing for me?

As a courtesy to our family of patients, we file in-and out-of-network benefits on your behalf. If you're enrolling in new insurance or if you have questions about existing coverage, schedule a courtesy consultation with our Billing and Insurance Team. They are well voiced and happy to explain your benefits!

3. How will I know if I need to use medical or vision insurance for an exam?

There are two types of health plans that may contribute to your eye care services and products - medical insurance and vision coupons . You may have both and this practice accepts both. Not all services at Fort Collins Family Eye Care, Vision Performance and the Eye Spa are contributed to by insurance. Some vision plans only contribute to vision screenings, so at times a mix of both vision and medical insurance may be needed to cover your treatments. Dr. Munson and her billing and insurance team will help determine which insurance will apply in your instance based on your individual exam and your health history. While we will work with your insurance company as much as we can, we advise checking with their policies when making decisions for treatment. 

Back-to-School Exams

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It's almost time for classes to start again so it's the perfect time to get that exam in before the bell rings. At Fort Collin Family Eye Care, we make sure to test more than just visual acuity in our eye exams. We are also making sure that the eyes and the brain are functioning well together. That reading comprehension is where it should be and the eyes are tracking comfortable. Visual skills are essential to school performance and our comprehensive exams will help your child get on the right path for success.

Frame Trends

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Here are some of the newest trends in eyewear that have everyone talking.

CAT-EYE

The Cat-eye is back! A great way to show off cheekbones and a sense of individuality, this retro style is great for women who aren't afraid to express themselves.

CLEAR FRAMES

One of the great things about clear frames is their versatility. They work from day to night and look striking on men and women.

Clubmaster Browline

This classic men's style is the male version of the cat-eye. It's a nod to the 50s and 60s with a literary sensibility and a polished profile.

Tortoiseshell

While tortoiseshell patterns have been popular for years, the new trend is to really exaggerate the pattern on the frames and not hold back. Today's tortoiseshell frames can also bring in other colors including blue and aqua to really garner attention and showcase your eyes.