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What Role Does Family History Play In Eye Disease?

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Your Family Eye Doctor Cares About Your Health

Each of us inherits a wealth of traits from our parents, grandparents and previous generations. But sometimes, there are some less desirable characteristics in one’s genetic code and family history that we inherit along with the good.

Genetics play a vital role in eye health, so knowing what conditions and diseases are found in your family tree can clue in your eye doctor to your personal risk factors and overall health.

Genetics and Eye Disease

Most eye diseases have multiple causes, but more than 350 eye diseases and conditions have a clear genetic component. Below, we outline the most common eye conditions that can develop primarily, or in part, due to your genes.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness around the world and results from both genetic and environmental factors. Glaucoma causes permanent damage to your optic nerve, impacting the visual signals sent from the eye to the brain, resulting in ‘Tunnel Vision.’ Having a family member who’s been diagnosed with glaucoma increases your chances of developing the disease by 4 to 9 times. Family history is also valuable in predicting one’s chances of becoming blind from glaucoma and the rate of its progression.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is another sight-threatening eye disease that tends to run in families. AMD causes significant loss of vision due to damage to your central vision. In fact, about 1 in 5 patients with AMD will also have an affected sibling or parent. Having a close relative with AMD also makes a person about 4 times more likely to develop the late, more serious stage of the condition.

Genetics are also partially responsible for the development of cataracts, the clouding of your natural lens, inside the eye. Research published in IOVS (July 2001) found that up to 58% of age-related cataracts are due to genetics, while the rest of the cases are due to environmental factors and eye injuries.

Diabetic retinopathy, a condition that affects the retinal health of diabetics, is another example of an eye disease that one can inherit. A study published in Current Genomics estimates that a person’s genes account for 20-25% of their risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, as well as how quickly it progresses.

Less common eye conditions are also linked to genetics. About 4 out of 10 people with strabismus (crossed eyes) have a relative with the same condition. Amblyopia (lazy eye), myopia (nearsightedness), astigmatism and hyperopia (farsightedness) also tend to run in families.

Regular Eye Exams are Crucial For Eye Health

The good news is that even if you have a family history of eye disease, it doesn’t guarantee you’ll have the same diagnosis. As a matter of fact, lifestyle can play a massive role in maintaining your visual health.

Consuming an eye-healthy diet, exercising regularly, maintaining healthy body weight, refraining from smoking and getting enough sleep have all been shown to mitigate the risk of certain eye diseases. But the best thing you can do for your eyes is to schedule yearly eye exams with your optometrist to help catch eye disease early in its tracks before significant vision loss develops. This is especially relevant for those having family members with any sort of eye disease or condition.

At Belill Eye Care, PLC, we work together with our patients to preserve and protect their eyesight and eye health for a lifetime.

To schedule your comprehensive eye exam, call Belill Eye Care, PLC in Clio today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to have my eyes checked if I don’t have any visual problems or a family history of eye disease?

  • A: Yes. Many serious eye diseases like glaucoma and AMD typically begin without any warning signs or symptoms. The only way to detect the onset of such diseases is by having a thorough and comprehensive eye evaluation. Many eye conditions can start at any age, making yearly eye exams important for all.

Q: Which lifestyle factors contribute to the onset and progression of eye diseases and conditions?

  • A: Each disease has its own set of environmental risk factors, but there are a few common denominators. Smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and severe nutrient deficiencies can all harm eye health. Risk factors for nearsightedness include excessive near work (reading, looking at a digital screen) and not enough time spent outdoors. Speak with your optometrist about how your lifestyle may be impacting your eyes.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Belill Eye Care, PLC for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Are Your Eyes Sensitive To Light? Consider Scleral Lenses!

Are Your Eyes Sensitive To Light 640×350For some people, standard soft contact lenses are a great way to conveniently correct vision. For those with very dry eyes or corneal conditions like keratoconus, standard contacts simply aren’t an option.

Scleral contact lenses, however, are a great alternative for these patients with hard-to-fit eyes. They provide several benefits, such as reducing sensitivity to light (photophobia).

What Does Light Sensitivity Feel Like?

Patients with keratoconus and other corneal conditions tend to experience discomfort or unclear vision in brightly lit environments, even after undergoing treatment for their conditions.

They may see halos around lights while driving or may not be able to drive at all due to the worsening or clouding of vision that comes with light sensitivity. Bright fluorescent lights, like in an office setting, can trigger eye pain and interfere with their productivity and creativity.

Moreover, a photophobic person may not be able to comfortably look at a computer screen or other digital device. Even with the brightness setting turned all the way down, the light that’s emitted from the screen may be too intense.

How Can I Reduce Light Sensitivity?

While implementing the following suggestions can ease your symptoms of light sensitivity, we recommend that you speak with your optometrist for a more personalized approach.

  • Try to stay out of the sun whenever possible, but when you do go outside, wear dark sunglasses to block out the light.
  • Consider installing filters on fluorescent light sources.
  • Take frequent breaks when using a digital device.
  • Reduce glare in your home by turning mirrors away from light sources and keeping windows clean and streak-free. You may want to consider removing reflective surfaces from your home altogether.
  • Speak with your optometrist about whether scleral contact lenses can help you.

What are Scleral Contact Lenses?

Scleral lenses are larger in diameter than standard lenses and rest on the white part of the eye (sclera). Their large surface area vaults over the entire cornea (the eye’s top layer), and thus avoid placing pressure on the sensitive corneal tissue.

The scleral lens holds a reservoir of nourishing fluid between the inside of the lens and the surface of the eye, providing visual clarity and optimal comfort. In fact, many patients report that they are able to wear scleral contacts for longer amounts of time as compared to standard contacts.

Scleral lenses are customized to fit each individual eye, and are suitable for patients with keratoconus, dry eye syndrome, irregular/excessive astigmatism, Sjorgen’s syndrome, other corneal abnormalities and for those having undergone LASIK surgery.

How Do Scleral Lenses Reduce Light Sensitivity?

Light sensitivity, or photophobia, is a common side effect of several eye conditions, such as dry eye syndrome and keratoconus. When the cornea is irregularly shaped, it doesn’t properly reflect light onto the retina, which can lead to light sensitivity.

Thanks to their unique and customized design, scleral lenses act as a new, accurately curved cornea that is able to reflect light in a healthy way. Because of their large diameter, scleral lenses are more stable and have a wider optic zone than other lenses. They offer a more accurate perception of peripheral vision and help minimize glare and sensitivity.

An irregularly shaped cornea is not the only reasons one experiences photophobia. In fact, there are several conditions that can cause it. Your optometrist will determine what’s causing your discomfort through a comprehensive eye exam and will determine whether scleral lenses are the optimal solution for you.

Belill Eye Care, PLC serves patients from Clio, Flint, Flushing, Mt. Morris, and throughout Michigan.

 

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Nicholas Belill

Q: How long does it take to adjust to scleral contact lenses?

  • A: Scleral lenses are usually very comfortable right off the bat, but some patients may find that it takes up to 10 days to get used to the lenses. Your optometrist will guide you on how to shorten the adjustment period.

Q: How long do scleral contact lenses last?

  • A: Under normal conditions, scleral lenses last between 1 and 3 years — far longer than standard lenses. Your tear film composition and your lens care habits will influence your lenses’ lifespan.
Request A Scleral Lens Appointment Today
Can Scleral Lenses Help You? Find Out! 810-775-5100

4 Risks of Wearing Decorative Contact Lenses This Halloween

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Wish your eyes were a different color or that you could change their ‘look’? That’s exactly why some people find decorative contact lenses appealing. Cosmetic, theatrical, circular, decorative, costume, colored and Halloween contact lenses are some of the names used to describe the lenses that give you eyes a new appearance.

To prevent complications, infection and potential vision loss, all contact lenses should be purchased using a prescription from your eye doctor. Otherwise, your risk the following:

  1. Scratches to the eye – If your contacts aren’t fitted properly or are of inferior quality, they can harm your cornea. A corneal abrasion is a painful condition that can result in lasting damage and even vision loss.
  2. Inflammation of the cornea – According to studies, wearing non-prescription contacts raises the incidence of keratitis (inflammation of the cornea)16-fold. In the best of cases, early treatment with antibiotics or steroid drops may help to maintain vision, and in the worst of cases—surgery may be required.
  3. Pink eye – Many people think it’s not a problem to wear someone else’s cosmetic lenses. In reality, sharing contacts can transfer germs and lead to infections like pink eye. To treat pink eye, your eye doctor will need to understand the root of the issue, but usually antibiotic eye drops suffice.
  4. Vision loss – Wearing non-prescription contacts may cause vision loss—and in extreme cases even blindness—as a result of corneal damage or infection.

Checklist for Decorative Contact Lens Wearers

  • Make sure you get a comprehensive eye exam from an eye doctor, who will properly measure your eyes to fit your contacts.
  • Obtain a prescription from your eye doctor that contains all pertinent information, such as the
    specifications of the contacts, the expiration date, and the brand name.
  • Check that the contact lenses you ordered are identical to the prescription.
  • Decorative contact lenses should always be purchased from a reputable source. Note that only reliable retailers demand a prescription.
  • Follow your eye doctor hygiene guidelines for cleaning, inserting, removing, and storing contact lenses.
  • Make an appointment for a follow-up eye exam as recommended by your eye doctor.
  • Never let anyone else use your contact lenses.

Enjoy your Halloween without the stress or agony of an eye infection or a damaged cornea by following these contact lens safety instructions. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Belill Eye Care, PLC in Clio today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are decorative contact lenses safe?

  • A: Yes, if they are prescribed by an optometrist. Most people are able to wear tinted contact lenses safely if they are used as instructed. Following your optometrist’s instructions is essential for successful contact lens wear.

Q: Do I need a prescription? What if I don’t require vision correction?

  • A: Yes. Even if you don’t need vision correction, contact lenses are medical equipment that should be prescribed and fitted by an eye care professional.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Belill Eye Care, PLC for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


Eye Makeup Tips For Those With Dry Eyes

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Eye Care & Dry Eye Treatments

Most eye makeup is formulated specifically for the sensitive eye area and is considered safe to use. But does this apply to those prone to dry eye syndrome?

Do you experience discomfort while wearing eye makeup? Find out whether the problem might be dry eye syndrome and learn what you can do to prevent future irritation.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?

Dry eye syndrome (DES) is a chronic lack of hydration on the eye’s surface. It occurs when your tear quality or quantity are off-balance, and can lead to symptoms like eye dryness, redness, irritation, watery eyes, light sensitivity and blurred vision.

How Can Eye Makeup Lead to DES?

The surface of your eye is covered by a nourishing layer of tears composed of mucus, oil and water. The production and turnover of the tear film helps keep our eyes feel comfortable and see clearly.

When you wear eye makeup, especially powder or glitters, the loose particles can cause the tear film to break down and evaporate too quickly, leaving your eyes feeling dry and irritated. This usually occurs within 30 minutes of applying your makeup.

Eye makeup can exacerbate symptoms in people who already have DES, or can trigger it in people who don’t. That’s why it’s important to apply your eye makeup in a way that will lessen your symptoms and support a healthy tear film.

Eye Makeup Tips For Those With DES

  1. Apply lubricating eye drops to each eye about 30 minutes prior to doing your makeup.
  2. Disinfect your applicators before each use to avoid contamination.
  3. Apply makeup products to the outside of your eyelashes. Avoid lining the inner rim of your lashes, as this area is very close to the tear film.
  4. Use a minimal amount of mascara, or simply curl your lashes without mascara for a lifted effect.
  5. Mascara has the shortest shelf life of all makeup products and should be tossed out 2-3 months after opening to avoid eye infection or clogging the meibomian glands in your eyelids.
  6. When possible, choose cream-based products and avoid anything containing glitter, even glitter promoted as ‘eye-safe.’
  7. Never share your eye makeup with anyone.
  8. Be diligent about thoroughly removing your makeup at the end of the day.
  9. Never apply eye makeup when your eyes are irritated or red.

With the right care, wearing eye makeup with dry eye syndrome is possible. If your eyes have been giving you any trouble, we can help.

Please don’t hesitate to contact Belill Eye Care, PLC in Clio for all your eye care needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What’s the best way to remove eye makeup?

  • A: Start off by removing the bulk of your eye makeup with a cotton pad or washcloth and oil-free eye makeup remover. Then, use your face cleanser to wash off the rest of your makeup. Once your face and eyes are basically clean, use an eyelid cleansing wipe to remove any leftover makeup particles from your upper and lower lids.

Q: Which lubricating eye drops work best for dry eyes?

  • A: From soothing to lubricating to anti-redness drops, the pharmacy is full of different types of eye drops. Your optometrist will help you determine which brand and type will work best for your condition and lifestyle.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Belill Eye Care, PLC for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Important Eye Care Tips For Kids

Your child’s ability to see the world relies on healthy eyes. By teaching them how to care for their eyes, you help protect them from injury and ensure their eyes and vision remain healthy in the long run. Here are our 5 top eye care tips for kids.

Good Eye Care Habits for Children

1. Maintain a Healthy Diet and Drink Plenty of Water

A nutritious diet and healthy eyes go hand in hand. Encourage your child to eat healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, and prioritize foods rich in vitamin A found in green leafy and yellow vegetables. Eggs are also rich in important nutrients, containing vitamin A, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc, all vital for eye health.

Another thing to look out for is hydration. Proper hydration plays a key role in maintaining healthy eyes and a healthy body, so make sure your child drinks plenty of water (the appropriate amount will vary according to your child’s age, level of physical activity and weather conditions).

2. Wear Eye Protection

Physical activity is enjoyable and healthy, but make sure your child is wearing the right protective eyewear, like safety goggles, anytime they participate in sports or activities that could cause an eye injury (i.e. playing ball, hockey, carpentry). Wearing a helmet for sports like riding a bicycle protects against concussions, which can result in lingering vision problems, and are usually preventable.

Furthermore, provide your child with good UV-blocking sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun’s UV radiation. Staring directly at the sun, or the light rays reflecting off water and snow, can potentially cause retinal burns, in addition to long term damage.

3. Give The Eyes a Rest

Staring at the school board and school books all day, followed by playing video games or watching TV in the evening can cause eye strain. Be sure your child gets sufficient sleep to allow their eyes to rest. Replace evening activities with those that don’t require intense eye focusing: going to the park, playing outdoors with friends, or simply lying down with their eyes closed while listening to music or an audiobook.

4. Reduce Time Spent on Digital Devices

Spending time on digital devices and staring at screens is an integral part of our lives. Playing video games, watching videos on their smartphones and playing computer games, all require the eyes to fixate for extended periods of time, which can lead to digital eye strain, headaches and even dry eyes.

Experts believe that the number of hours spent on screens is the driving force behind the myopia pandemic. Try to reduce the amount of time your child spends on the screen by getting your child to participate in other activities, such as sports. If you are worried about the hours your child is spending on a screen myopia management can mitigate their risk of developing future eye problems.

5. Get Their Eyes Checked Regularly

School-aged children’s vision can change often, and unexpectedly, until the late teenage years. Left uncorrected, poor eyesight can interfere with learning, and cause behavioral and attention issues.

Getting a routine eye exam is important as it can uncover vision problems, detect eye conditions early on, and significantly increase the odds of preserving long-term eye health. For those who wear glasses or contacts, it’s important to check for any changes and update the prescription as needed.

Ensure your child’s eyes are being cared for properly by scheduling an eye exam with Belill Eye Care, PLC in Clio today. Your child’s eye doctor can further educate them on eye safety and answer any questions you or your child may have.

Q&A

My kid frequently rubs their eyes. Is that bad?

Kids often rub their eyes, especially if they have allergies, irritated eyes, or they feel like something is stuck in their peepers. Rubbing can scratch the cornea, and transfer bacteria from the child’s hands to their eyes, causing an eye infection.

Instead of rubbing, have them wash their eyes with cool water to flush out any foreign body or irritant, and ease inflammation. If the problem persists, contact your child’s optometrist.

Other than reducing screen time, is there anything else I can do to maintain eye health & safety?

When you’re at home, keep an eye on your children’s playtime and make sure that none of their toys — or the toys at their friends’ homes — are sharp. Sharp plastic swords and toys with jagged edges can cause serious eye injuries.

How to Deal with Contact Lens Discomfort

Do your eyes itch or burn when wearing contact lenses? There are several reasons why you may be experiencing contact lens discomfort. Discover the possible causes behind the problem and see what you can do to relieve your discomfort.

What Causes Contact Lens Discomfort?

Some of the top causes of uncomfortable contacts are:

Dry eyes

Dry eye syndrome is a common condition that arises when your tears can’t keep your eyes sufficiently lubricated due to an imbalance in the tear film. Certain diseases, medications and environmental factors, like high levels of dryness and wind, can cause or contribute to red, itchy or irritated eyes, especially when wearing contacts.

Allergies

Allergens are typically harmless substances that induce an allergic response in certain people. Pollen, mold, dust and pet dander are some of the most common airborne allergens that trigger eye allergies. Cosmetics and certain eye drops, such as artificial tears with preservatives, can also induce eye allergies, which can make contact lens wear uncomfortable.

Corneal irregularities

The cornea at the front of the eye may be irregularly shaped due to astigmatism, keratoconus, eye surgeries (i.e. LASIK or cataract surgery), eye injuries or burns, scarring, corneal ulcers and/or severe dry eye. Irregular corneas often prevent traditional contact lenses from fitting correctly and comfortably.

Symptoms of Contact Lens Discomfort

  • Burning, itchy, stinging eyes
  • Sensation of something being stuck is in the eye
  • Excessive watering or tearing of the eyes
  • Unusual eye secretions
  • Redness of the eyes
  • Reduced sharpness of vision
  • Blurred vision, rainbows, or halos around objects
  • Sensitivity to light

How to Relieve Contact Lens Discomfort

Try Different Contact Lenses

Nowadays, there are many types of contact lenses on the market, including specialty contacts for dry eyes and astigmatism. Meet with our optometrist for a personalized eye exam for contacts.

With the variety of contact lens brands available, switching to a different contact lens may be the simplest answer if you’re experiencing discomfort that isn’t connected to improper fitting or issues with tear production. If your existing lenses fit well but still irritate and dry out your eyes, speak to us about trying a different design or brand of contact lenses, or changing your lens-wearing schedule.

Artificial Tears or Eye Drops

Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye drops are a common way to temporarily relieve contact lens discomfort. However, it’s important to keep in mind that unless prescribed by an eye doctor, they may not be treating the root of the problem.

Moreover, certain eye drops are incompatible with contact lenses, and may damage your contacts or harm your eyes. We also recommend staying away from products that claim to remove redness from your eyes, which temporarily reduce the size of blood vessels to lessen redness, but do not address the underlying cause of the condition, and can actually worsen it over time.

Take Good Care of Your Lenses

Inadequate contact lens care leaves residue on your lenses, which can discomfort, harmful eye infections and inflammation. Below are a few important contact lens hygiene guidelines to follow:

  • Before handling your contact lenses, thoroughly wash and dry your hands.
  • Remove your lenses before showering, bathing or swimming to prevent infection.
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses (unless they are approved for sleeping).
  • Replace your contact lenses according to the manufacturer’s instructions (e.g., don’t reuse daily wear lenses).
  • Regularly clean your contact lens case and ask your eye doctor when to replace it.
  • Only use a contact lens solution that is appropriate for your lenses.
  • Never reuse or mix contact lens solutions.
  • Schedule regular appointments with your eye doctor.

If you are experiencing discomfort with your contact lenses, get in touch with Belill Eye Care, PLC in Clio today. We’ll get to the bottom of the problem and provide effective solutions for all-day comfort.

Q&A

What kinds of contacts are available?

Contact lenses are available in a wide range of materials and replacement schedules. Disposable contact lenses and extended wear contacts are the most convenient for many users.

I’ve already been fitted for contact lenses, so why did my optometrist ask me to come back?

If you’re asked to return a week later, it’s because your optometrist wants to rule out any issues, such as contact lens-related dry eye or irritation.

If it’s been around a year since your last eye checkup, you’ve likely been contacted to check whether your prescription has changed and to evaluate your eye health. The sooner problems are detected and treated, the better the outcome.

3 Reasons to Buy Eyeglasses from an Optical Store vs Online

Quality Eye Care in Clio

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, online shopping has grown in popularity. But when it comes to your eye health, nothing beats an in-person eye exam and fitting. While searching for specs online is a fantastic way to discover the current trends in eyewear, there are some key reasons you should buy your glasses from your local eye care shop.

Quality Eye Care in Clio

Accuracy

According to the American Optometric Association, 29% of glasses ordered online from the top 10 online retailers arrived with incorrect prescription lenses. Incorrect lenses make it impossible to see clearly and can induce headaches and eye strain. When you buy glasses at an optical store, you can be sure you’ll get the perfect prescription and fit, assuring clear vision and maximum comfort.

High Quality

Poor-quality frames may end up costing you more in the long run. While searching the web, frames may appear to be high-end but actually composed of low-grade materials. Frame materials that aren’t up to grade can limit their durability and irritate your skin. Furthermore, after a few months of use, the sun’s intense rays may even bleach the frames.

Personal Service and Continuity

Why do so many individuals return year after year to their neighborhood optical store? Because they receive excellent service from someone they can rely on. Doing so ensures continuity of treatment and the certainty that your doctor will examine your eyes to assess both your visual acuity and eye health.

Finally, by shopping locally, you are contributing to the strength of your community.

When considering where to buy your next pair of glasses, keep all of these criteria in mind. While the initial price difference between an online and in-person purchase may be enticing, it comes at a cost. Looking for a new pair of glasses? Contact Belill Eye Care, PLC in to receive the highest level of care and quality.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How can I make sure my glasses are adjusted to fit properly?

  • A: Most online stores will adjust them based on a standard fit, while brick-and-mortar eyewear retailers will adjust your glasses to fit your personal needs.

Q: How frequently should I replace my glasses?

  • A: If your prescription has changed, you should get a new pair. See your optometrist every year or two to maintain clear vision.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Belill Eye Care, PLC for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Ways That Vision Problems Can Affect Your Overall Health

Eye Doctor in Clio

Eye Doctor in Clio

Healthy vision can often be taken for granted. But eyesight problems, like uncorrected refractive errors and vision loss, can affect your overall health in ways that may seem unexpected.

Here are 5 ways that vision problems can impact your life, above and beyond how well you see.

1. Increased Risk of Depression

Vision loss can be isolating and has been linked to depression. A survey of more than 10,000 adults with vision loss published in JAMA Ophthalmology found a significant association between functional vision loss and depression.

2. Increased Risk of Anxiety

When you don’t see well, your brain has much less sensory intake, which may make you feel less sure about your surroundings and capabilities. Researchers put this theory to the test and examined the anxiety levels of older adults with low vision.

The results, which were published in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, found a significant correlation between vision loss and anxiety.

3. More Likely To Fall

Falls are a leading cause of injury and death in older adults. Vision loss not only increases your risk of falling, but can also heighten your fear of falling, research suggests.

4. Greater Incidence of Car Accidents

People with glaucoma often have limited peripheral vision, which makes it difficult to safely navigate busy roads. In fact, a study conducted by the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that senior citizens with glaucoma were 65% more likely to be involved in a car collision than those without the eye disease.

5. Vision Loss Is Associated With Increased Mortality

A recent study published in The Lancet found that vision loss is associated with a higher overall risk of death, compared to people with normal vision. Results indicated that the higher the level of vision impairment or loss, the higher the risks of mortality.

How to Preserve Vision And Overall Eye Health

Here’s the good news: approximately 4 out of 5 cases of vision impairment can be prevented or corrected.

Annual eye exams and ongoing consultations with your optometrist will significantly increase your chances of avoiding vision loss and eye disease, and living the healthy life you desire.

Speak with your eye doctor about your medical history, genetic and lifestyle risk factors, and Dr. Nicholas Belill will provide guidance to help preserve your vision for an optimal quality of life.

To schedule your eye exam, call Belill Eye Care, PLC in Clio today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often should I have an eye exam?

  • A: The American Optometric Association recommends that healthy, low-risk adults between the ages of 18-64 should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every 2 years, or as directed by their eye doctor. High-risk individuals and adults aged 65 years and older should visit their optometrist annually for a comprehensive eye exam.

Q: What are the leading causes of blindness and vision impairment?

  • A: Globally, the leading causes of vision loss include: age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, uncorrected refractive errors, eye infections and traumatic eye injuries.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Belill Eye Care, PLC for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


5 Tips To Encourage Your Child To Keep Their Glasses On

Eye Doctor in Clio

Eye Doctor in Clio

If your child wears glasses, then you may be familiar with the struggle of trying to keep their glasses on. Whether their specs are constantly falling off, or they refuse to wear them in the first place, here are a few tips to help ensure that your child’s glasses remain where they belong: on their face!

1. Highlight Other Family Members Who Wear Glasses

Kids are sometimes apprehensive to try new things, especially things that seem foreign to them. That’s why it may be helpful to show them how common glasses are by pointing out other family members and friends who wear glasses. Once they view glasses as commonplace, they may be more accepting of wearing them.

2. Involve Them In Choosing Their Frames

Inviting your child to pick out their new frames will give them a sense of control and ownership. This will, in turn, lead them to want to wear their glasses. So next time you buy them glasses, select a few options and have them choose the pair they like most.

3. Compliment Their New Look

If your child chooses a frame style that isn’t your first choice, avoid showing any disappointment. A parent’s positive and encouraging attitude is crucial for kids who are resistant to wearing glasses.

Aside from discussing how glasses help people see, play up the style aspect of glasses to help your child love their new look.

4. Fix The Fit

If your child’s glasses are frequently sliding down their face, consider this:

A child’s nose bridge isn’t as developed as an adult’s, which means that glasses have a harder time staying in place on their small faces. Many types of children’s frames take this into account and have adjustable nose pads.

If you find that the fit still isn’t secure and comfortable, bring your child to Belill Eye Care, PLC, where we’ll be happy to adjust the glasses to perfectly fit their face.

5. Consider Using a Band or Other Anti-Slip Product

Slipping glasses is all too common with children, which is why companies have created products to secure children’s glasses. Ask your local optician about bands that attach to the temples, or anti-slip nose grips.

Adjusting to new glasses can take time, and that’s okay. With a positive attitude and a healthy dose of patience, parents can use these tips to help ease their child’s transition to wearing glasses.

If your child is having trouble with their glasses or experiencing any other vision-related issue, we can help. To schedule an appointment and learn about what we offer, contact Belill Eye Care, PLC in Clio today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How often do children need to have their eyes examined?

  • A: Typically, a child’s first eye exam should be around 6 months of age. The next comprehensive eye exam should be between ages 3-5, and before first grade, and then annually thereafter. A child’s vision can change quickly, so don’t skip your child’s next eye exam!

Q: How can I tell if my child needs new glasses?

  • A: Signs that your child needs new specs may include: blurred vision, eye fatigue, headaches or squinting. It’s also advisable to get your child a second pair of glasses as a backup. The best way to know whether your child needs new glasses is through a comprehensive eye exam.

Quality Frames For Prescription Eyeglasses & Computer Glasses. Visit Belill Eye Care, PLC for an eye exam and eyeglasses that match your style.


What’s a Chalazion?

What is a Chalazion 640Finding a lump on your eyelid can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Luckily, a chalazion isn’t a serious condition and is rather simple to resolve.

In most cases, a chalazion can easily be treated and will completely disappear following treatment. However, if non-invasive treatments don’t work, your eye doctor may need to remove it through an in-office surgical procedure.

At Belill Eye Care, PLC we can diagnose and help treat your chalazion so that you can see comfortably.

What is a Chalazion?

A chalazion, also known as a meibomian cyst, is a small fluid-filled cyst.

Eyelids contain meibomian glands, which produce oil to lubricate the surface of the eye. When one of these glands becomes blocked, it may cause swelling and lead to a small painless lump called a chalazion.

What Causes a Chalazion?

A chalazion occurs when the gland in the eyelid is clogged. Exactly why the gland becomes clogged isn’t known, but some individuals appear to be more susceptible to developing a chalazion than others.

A chalazion may be associated with dry eye syndrome, which is often caused by meibomian gland dysfunction.

People exhibiting certain risk factors are more likely to develop a chalazion. This includes people who have:

  • Blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelids
  • Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye
  • Thicker oil or meibum than normal consistency
  • Ocular rosacea, a skin condition adjacent to the eyes
  • Seborrhea, or dandruff, of the eyelashes
  • Styes or a history of styes

What Are the Symptoms of a Chalazion?

Common symptoms of a chalazion include:

  • A bump on the eyelid that sometimes becomes swollen and red
  • An entirely swollen eyelid, although very rare
  • Vision issues (such as blurred vision) if the chalazion becomes large enough to press on the eyeball

While a chalazion is not an infection, it may become infected. In the rare event that this occurs, it may become red, more severely swollen, and painful.

Chalazia are often mistaken for styes since they have a similar appearance.

What’s the Difference Between a Chalazion and a Stye?

It can be difficult to differentiate a chalazion from a stye.

Styes develop along the edge of your eyelid and can at times be seen at the base of an eyelash. In contrast, chalazia usually occur closer to the middle of the eyelid. A stye is more likely to be painful and tends to have a yellowish spot at the center that may burst after a few days.

Basically, the most noticeable difference between a chalazion and a stye is that a chalazion tends to be painless while a stye is usually painful and may cause the eye to feel sore, itchy or scratchy.

How to Treat a Chalazion

Most chalazia require minimal medical treatment and some may even clear up on their own in a few weeks to a month. When a chalazion first appears, you can try doing the following for 1-2 days:

  • Apply a warm compress to the eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes, 4 to 6 times a day. The warm compress helps soften the hardened oil that blocks the ducts, allowing drainage and healing.
  • Gently massage the external eyelids for several minutes each day to help promote drainage.

If the chalazion does not drain and heal within a few days, contact your eye doctor. Don’t attempt to squeeze or pop the chalazion, as it may inadvertently cause more damage.

To learn more about chalazion treatment and the other eye care services we offer, call Belill Eye Care, PLC to schedule an appointment.

Belill Eye Care, PLC serves patients from Clio, Flint, Flushing, and Mt. Morris, Michigan and surrounding communities.

Frequently Asked Questions with Dr. Nicholas Belill

Q: Can a chalazion spread from one person to another?

  • A: Since a chalazion is not an infection, it cannot spread from one person to another or even to the other eye of the affected person.

Q: Can a chalazion affect my eyesight?

  • A: A chalazion doesn’t affect vision. In rare cases, if the lump is large enough to distort the ocular surface it can cause temporary astigmatism, blurring vision. However, vision will return to normal once a medical professional removes the chalazion or once it diminishes in size.


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