The Optical Boutique Blog

News and information about eye care products, eye care services and eyewear from The Optical Boutique.

"As Eye See It" - It's All Fun and Games Until ...

Written by Dr. Brandon Nelms on .

"It's all fun and games until someone gets their eye poke out."  Parents have been saying words similar to these for generations.  However, as we approach Christmas, how many of us think about eye health as we choose toys for our children?

Toys can be visually stimulating and help develop skills such as eye hand coordination, but some toys can be hazardous to eyes.  According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Comission, 250,000 children each year are seen in hospital emergency departments due to toy related injuries.  About half of those injuries are to the head and neck, many to the eyes.

All About Vision has published an article discussing what types of toys should be avoided (  In addition, World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) annually list specific toys that are deemed dangerous.  Generally any toy that shoots a projectile, such as BB guns, aerosoft guns and slingshots, should be avoided.  Furthermore, toy swords, wands and sabers are often the cause of toy related eye injuries.  Also, gifts like silly string and party foam contain chemicals that may be ocular irritants.

As we approach Christmas, let's remember eye safety.  Let's ask Santa to bring one of many safe toys.  Maybe if we've been really good, he'll even leave a pair of safety glasses in our stocking.

"As Eye See It" --- National Diabetes Month

Written by Dr. Brandon Nelms on .

November is American Diabetes Month.  According to, approximately 26 million Americans are living with diabetes.  Furthermore, it is estimated that one in three American adults will have diabetes by the year 2050.  Diabetes can be a devestating disease leading to kidney failure, stroke, limb amputation and a host of other health problems.

In addition, diabetes can have a profound effect on the eyes.  In fact, diabetes is the leading cause of new blindness cases in the United States.  It can cause an instable glasses prescription, early cataract formation and poor corneal wound healing.  It can also cause changes to blood vessels inside the eye.  These changes are called diabetic retinopathy and include leaking blood vessels, formation of new weaker blood vessels (neovascularization) and retinal swelling.  In advanced diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachment and blindness can occur.

As bleak as this sounds, there is hope.  Ocular complications are much less likely to happen if blood sugar levels are properly controlled.  Diet, excercise and compliance with medications are crucial in preventing diabetic eye disease.  In addition, early detection and treatment of diabetic retinopathy often prevent more severe forms of retinopathy.  Our doctors recommend annual eye health evaluations including retinal examination.  More frequent monitoring may be necessary for patients exhibiting retinopathy.

At the Optical Boutique, we are committed to the ocular well-being of our patients with diabetes.  We look forward to working with you and your care team to maintain the health of your eyes.  So, let's celebrate American Diabetes Month by scheduling your comprehensive eye health evaluation.