How Regular Eye Exams Prevent Unnecessary Vision Loss From Eye Disease

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Eye exams and vision loss in Wyomissing

Diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration are eye diseases that can damage your internal eye structures before you experience any symptoms. Unfortunately, these conditions often cause permanent vision loss before they are diagnosed. Regular eye exams are crucial to maintaining good ocular health and avoiding vision loss. At Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, our eye doctors can often detect early signs of eye disease at these appointments to prevent vision loss with timely diagnosis and treatment. 

Comprehensive eye exams include various tests, including your visual acuity, to diagnose refractive errors. Our eye doctors examine your visual field by moving a finger from side to side and use a series of color images to test for color blindness. Computer testing maps your cornea to diagnose astigmatism, and dilated eye drops allow our eye doctors to visualize and examine the internal structures, such as your retina, lens, optic nerve, and blood vessels. A slit lamp magnifies your eye structures, and a tonometry test measures internal eye pressure. These measures ensure long-term eye health with early diagnosis of eye diseases and other concerns. 

Early Detection of Eye Disease Can Prevent Vision Loss 

Vision impairment affects every area of your life, but vision loss is often avoidable with early detection of eye diseases during routine eye exams. Like all health concerns, it’s best to diagnose eye problems early, when they’re most treatable, and before they impact your quality of life. Some changes in the eye can signal a larger health concern, such as undiagnosed diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. These eye exams ensure you maintain your eyesight for longer and may help improve your overall health. 

If you experience vision changes, schedule an eye exam immediately to avoid further vision loss. It’s easy to take good vision for granted, and some eye diseases are unforgiving. Don’t neglect your eye health; schedule eye exams as often as recommended to maintain clear, crisp vision. 

How Often Should You Have an Eye Exam? 

People with refractive errors should have annual eye exams to update their vision prescription for glasses or contact lenses. However, even people who don’t require corrective eyewear should have regular eye exams to evaluate their eye health, especially if they have risk factors for eye disease. A high-risk person may need an annual eye exam or more frequent visits, while low-risk people should schedule an appointment every two years.

Risk factors for eye diseases include: 

  • Family history of eye diseases
  • Persons over 60
  • People of African or Latino descent 
  • Previous eye injury or surgery
  • Chronic health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, obesity, etc.) 

Schedule Your Eye Exam Today 

Don’t put off your next eye exam. These appointments are crucial to maintaining a healthy eye and good vision. Schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Request an appointment online or call (610) 372-0712.

What Is It Like To Live With Vision Loss From Glaucoma?

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Glaucoma in Wyomissing

Human beings can adapt to many challenges in life, but losing their eyesight can cause feelings of grief and anxiety. People living with vision loss from glaucoma or other eye disease must make accommodations in their everyday life to move around safely, work, and enjoy time with friends and family. Our eye doctors at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons can help you live a full and happy life with a treatment plan and tips for adjusting to low vision caused by glaucoma

Glaucoma Often Causes Slow Vision Loss

Vision impairment caused by glaucoma is often described as “tunnel vision,” but your entire visual field may be affected by increasing blur, lower contrast, and glare around lights. People with early glaucoma may require more light in low-lit conditions, such as restaurants, and have blurry vision on one or both sides. They may have lower image quality that appears foggy. 

As the disease progresses, glaucoma significantly decreases contrast sensitivity and blind spots, or areas that are darker or missing in the visual field. Ultimately, glaucoma may cause blindness, but modern treatments prevent blindness in most cases. Glaucoma treatments can’t restore lost vision but are effective ways to stop or stall its advancement. 

Increase the Lighting in Your Home 

Increase the wattage of your light bulbs and add more lamps in darker areas of your home and office. Direct lighting behind you can reduce glare and help you see the task in front of you more clearly. Dark yellow or amber-colored glasses can also reduce glare. If you’re spending time outdoors, bring a strong flashlight with you.

Adjust Your Home and Workspace to Reduce Fall and Trip Hazards 

People with low vision are more likely to trip, slip, or fall. You may misjudge distances or fail to see the corner of a table or rug on the floor. Organize your home and workspace to leave more room between furniture and remove rugs or secure them to the floor. Paint or tape your handrails with a contrasting color and use marking treads on the stairs to lower your fall risk. 

Make sure you close cabinets right after opening them, and organize medications, keys, and money to make it easy to grab the right item when you need it.  

Enlarge Text 

Enlarge the text on your smart devices and computer and read books with large print. Use large, bold print to mark important areas or appliances in your kitchen, such as the stove, oven, microwave, and spices. 

Develop a Support System 

People with glaucoma may feel like they are alone in dealing with the struggles of vision loss, but glaucoma affects nearly 3 million people in the United States. Online support groups and non-profit organizations can validate your experience and help you find unique ways to lead a full life with glaucoma. These outlets are beneficial for family members in helping them understand what it’s like to live with glaucoma. 

If you’re experiencing vision changes or have been diagnosed with glaucoma, contact our eye doctors in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Schedule an eye exam at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons by calling (610) 372-0712 or request an appointment online.

3 Reasons People Delay Cataract Surgery & Why You Shouldn’t Wait

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Cataract surgery in Wyomissing

Cataracts are a leading cause of blindness, but they mature slowly. You may first experience minor interruptions in your vision, such as faded colors or glare around lights. As the cloudy lens grows denser, the maturing cataract causes double vision, blurry vision, and difficulty seeing at night. Many patients put off or delay cataract surgery, but early cataract surgery offers many benefits, such as an easier procedure, faster recovery, and better quality of life. Don’t wait until cataracts steal your vision. Contact Berks Eye Physicians and Surgeons. 

1.  Busy Schedules

One reason patients put off cataract surgery in the early stages of the eye disease is their busy work schedule or lifestyle. You may be concerned about taking too much time off or missing an upcoming event, but cataract surgery doesn’t require a lengthy recovery. While your eye may take up to six weeks to heal completely, most patients have clear vision about one to three days after cataract surgery. Patients are typically advised to take it easy for a few days before resuming their everyday activities, but they may only need to take one or two days away from work. 

Waiting too long to have cataract surgery can cause the cataract to become hypermature. A hypermature cataract causes significant vision impairment, and removing the dense lens is more challenging and increases some risks, such as damage to the corneal endothelium. 

2. Fear of Eye Surgery

Some patients may be apprehensive about having cataract surgery because they are afraid of having a procedure on their eyes. However, cataract surgery is one of the most successful procedures in modern medicine, with a high satisfaction rate. You will experience virtually no pain due to local anesthesia that numbs the eye, and our eye surgeons work to make you as comfortable as possible. The procedure takes just 10 to 20 minutes. 

Immature or early cataracts are easier to remove because the lens breaks apart more efficiently and is less likely to damage other eye structures or tissues. Cataract surgery in the early stages, where you experience mildly blurry vision or difficulty seeing in low lighting, lowers some risks and may lead to a faster procedure and recovery. 

3. Vision Impairment Is Still Minor

Early cataracts may be more of a nuisance than a concern, but as the cloudy lens grows increasingly dense, you will have unpleasant side effects that impact your ability to work and enjoy time with your loved ones or do hobbies. Mature cataracts increase your risk of getting into an auto accident or being injured in a fall. Patients who wait more than six months for cataract surgery experience more vision loss and a lower quality of life. 

Don’t put off cataract surgery any longer. Restore clear vision and enjoy better eyesight with Premium lens implants for refractive errors. Contact our eye surgeons in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, to schedule your eye exam. Call Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons at (610) 372-0712

Benefits Of Cornea Transplant In Wyomissing

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
cornea transplant treatment Wyomissing

The cornea is the transparent window located at the front of the eye. It is comprised of layers of cells that work in tandem to focus light into the eye so that you have clear vision. The cornea must remain strong, clear, smooth, and undamaged in order to function properly, but many factors can lead to corneal issues. If the cornea becomes damaged or compromised to such an extent that it cannot be repaired, a corneal transplant may be recommended. Considering a cornea transplant can be daunting, but the Berks Eye team of experts are committed to providing outstanding patient care and education so that you are aware of your vision-saving options. Read more about the many benefits of having a cornea transplant.

Treat Several Cornea-Related Conditions

If you suffer from any of the following eye conditions, your Berks Eye doctor may recommend a cornea transplant to treat your condition:

Fuchs Dystrophy: Fuch’s dystrophy affects the endothelium cells of the cornea — which is the innermost layer. The cells within this layer begin to slowly die, causing a decline in the function of the endothelium. This results in corneal swelling which can lead to loss of vision, and even pain and irritated eyes. It often affects both eyes and the disease usually become noticeable after age 50.

Keratoconus: When the structure of the cornea is too weak to hold its normally round shape, it can begin to bulge outward, giving off a cone-like appearance. This is called keratoconus and can be detected in young children, teenagers, and adults in their 20s.

Save Your Vision

Most patients that receive a cornea transplant are able to enjoy clear, restored vision. The surgery is a safe and effective way to improve the health of your eyes by eliminating damage to the cornea.

Reduce Pain in Some Cases

For some patients, a corneal transplant is performed to improve serious vision-threatening and painful conditions, such as ulcers on the cornea. Corneal ulcers are considered a medical emergency. They are open sores on the surface of the cornea, often caused by infection. Symptoms include:

  • Eye redness
  • Tearing
  • Severe eye pain or eye ache
  • Pus
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swollen, uncomfortable eyelids

 This condition can jeopardize your vision if not treated. Though some ulcers are too small to see, they may present as a milky white or grey spot in the cornea. A cornea transplant can effectively treat this condition, leaving you with clear vision and improved eye health.

Corneal Health in Wyomissing

If you have a damaged cornea, you have options for clear vision. Your Berks Eye doctor will discuss your options with you and create a plan to restore your eye health and vision. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Ocular Hypertension: 4 Facts You Need To Know

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Ocular hypertension treatment Wyomissing

Ocular hypertension occurs when pressure inside the eye reaches a level above that which is considered normal, but no optic nerve damage has occurred. The term distinguishes those with high eye pressure from those with glaucoma, which is a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve and lead to vision loss.

Often, ocular hypertension is hard for patients to identify, which is why regular eye exams are necessary to maintain the health of your eyes and detect and treat issues early.

Below the team of doctors at Berks Eye shares four facts you should know about ocular hypertension.

Ocular Hypertension is Not the Same as Glaucoma

Ocular hypertension is not the same condition as glaucoma; however, it can cause glaucoma.

Glaucoma occurs when the pressure in the eye becomes elevated to such as extent that the optic nerve gets damaged. It has no symptoms in the early stages, but damage can still occur, resulting in blindness if the condition is left untreated.

With ocular hypertension, the optic nerve still appears and functions as normal; no discernible damage exists; and vision remains unchanged.

Several Risk Factors are Associated with Ocular Hypertension

Many of the risk factors for ocular hypertension stem from other conditions, while others are inherent. If the following sounds familiar, you may be at increased risk for ocular hypertension:

  • High blood pressure
  • Low blood pressure
  • A thin central cornea
  • Optic nerve bleeding
  • Diabetes
  • Pigment dispersion syndrome
  • Age 40 or over
  • Glaucoma runs in your family
  • Trauma or injury to the eye

The Condition Does Not Typically Have Symptoms

Unlike some other eye conditions, ocular hypertension does not typically come with symptoms, which makes it difficult for patients to recognize the condition and seek help before it develops into something more serious.

Ocular Hypertension Is Caused By Issues with the Eye’s Drainage System

When the eye makes too much fluid which cannot be drained at the same rate it is created, the pressure in the eye can become elevated, leading to ocular hypertension. Additionally, if there is a blockage near the eyes’ drainage system, such as one caused by pigment dispersion syndrome, this can also lead to high eye pressure. Buildup can also be caused by:

  • Closed drainage angle
  • Eye cancer
  • Eye damage

Treat High Eye Pressure in Wyomissing

Ocular hypertension leads to glaucoma, which can permanently damage your eyes and vision. It is best to treat this condition as soon as possible. The first step is scheduling an eye appointment with one of our experts who is dedicated to your eye health. Contact us today by calling our Wyomissing location.

How Smoking Can Jeopardize Your Vision

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
smoking eye health Wyomissing

The negative health effects associated with smoking are widely known. Cigarettes alone contain many toxic ingredients that can cause serious harm to the organs. Smoking also poses a unique risk to the health of the eyes. People who smoke are at an increased risk of developing vision-threatening eye diseases, including cataracts. The experts at Berks Eye recommend regular eye exams if you are a smoker or were one previously. Continue reading for more information about how smoking can jeopardize your vision.

Age-related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a serious condition that can significantly affect central vision. If you smoke, the retinal blood vessels may constrict, which increases your blood pressure and puts you at a greater risk of experiencing permanent vision loss from AMD.


Cataracts are a leading cause of vision loss. A cataract occurs when the eye’s natural lens, which is usually clear, becomes clouded. This leads to obscured vision, sensitivity to light, and trouble seeing at night or in low-light environments. Smoking and the toxins associated with it can ultimately increase the amount of free radicals your eye is exposed to, which can negatively impact proteins in the eye and lead to deposits on the lens of the eye. Antioxidants are helpful at reducing the effects of free radicals, but if you smoke, even consuming an antioxidant-rich diet may be ineffective in removing the threat.

Retinal Detachment

When delicate blood vessels in the eye become swollen, they can sometimes rupture and leak fluid into the retina, causing detachment. Smoking significantly increases bodily inflammation, making swollen vessels more likely.

Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye is an eye condition that affects the tears that nourish and protect the cornea. Burning, itchiness, redness, and foreign object sensation are all symptoms of this condition. The harsh chemicals within smoke can irritate the eyes, leading to these bothersome symptoms. Smoking, as well as exposure to smoke secondhand, increases the risk of experiencing dry eye syndrome.

Optic Nerve Issues

The optic nerve links the eyes to the brain. When this connection is damaged, permanent vision loss can follow. Smokers are put at a greater risk for optic nerve issues.

Healthy Vision in Wyomissing

Healthy lifestyle choices can lead to healthy eyes. Smoking can cause a number of eye-related diseases. Even being exposed to secondhand smoke can lead to eye issues. Smokers who quit are taking the first step to the health of their vision, but the damage that smoking causes can endure until it is treated. Berks Eye provides ophthalmic, optometric, and optical services designed to help you maintain or improve your eye health and vision. Contact our office today to schedule an eye exam.

Are Artificial Tears Safe?

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.

By: Dr. Benjamin Nicholas, Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons

Over the past few months, you may have heard some concerning stories about devastating side effects from artificial tears. These eyedrops are meant to supplement a deficient tear film and clear mucus away from the ocular surface to alleviate the symptoms of a dry eye. Dry eye itself is extremely common with an estimated prevalence of greater than 16 million patients back in 2017 (1), and these over-the-counter eye drops are almost universally recommended by eye doctors on account of their good safety profile and effectiveness. “You can never OD on an artificial tear,” said one of my mentors. So, what’s all the fuss?

Continue reading “Are artificial tears safe?”

Eye Protection Working Around The House

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Eye protection at home Wyomissing

Every day, people perform routine chores around the house without giving a second thought to the risk of eye injury. Unfortunately, cooking, cleaning, home improvement tasks, and yardwork can result in injuries to the eyes, which can lead to vision loss in some instances. Considering a significant portion of eye injuries occur in the home, it is only right to think about protecting your eyes in this environment. Ahead, we detail some eye protective measures you can adopt at home.

Risks Around the House

Cleaning: While cleaning your home may be standard practice, you should still be aware of the cleaning chemicals you utilize. If you are not careful, the fumes from certain chemicals can irritate your eyes, causing redness and burning. Should these caustic chemicals be exposed to your eye directly, such as if a drop lands on or near the eye, you may experience severe burning and vision loss. Minimizing your exposure to these chemicals is a great first step to protecting your eyes. It is also a good idea to wear protective eyewear when you know you will be handling cleaning chemicals.

Yardwork: When using a lawnmower, objects like sticks, rocks, and pebbles can fly up and towards the face, potentially injuring your eyes in the process. If you are planning on doing any sort of yardwork, protective glasses can shield your eyes from dust and debris. This sort of eyewear can also protect against droplets from chemicals typically used when maintaining a lawn, such as weed killers.

Cooking: In some instances, cooking can pose a risk to your eyes. Cooking over a high fire can cause certain foods and oils to splash up and near your eyes, leading to serious eye damage. Bubbling sauces and dishes may pose the same risk. Additionally, fumes and steam can irritate sensitive eyes. Spicy foods can leave a residue on fingers that could end up in your eye if you are not careful. Remember to protect your eyes and be mindful of potential risks when cooking.

Protecting Your Eyes

If you are planning on working around the house, it is recommended that you have protective eyewear available to wear while performing activities that pose a risk to the health of your eyes. Protective eyewear includes durable goggles and glasses that are specifically designed to keep your eyes safe.

Eye Protection at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons

Safeguarding your eyes while working in and around your home is important for your overall eye health. Do not leave your eyes vulnerable to injury and potential hazards. To further ensure optimal health of your eyes, schedule an eye exam at Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons by calling us at (610) 372-0712 or scheduling online at Adults ages 18 to 60 should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years. Older adults (ages 65 and older) should have annual eye exams.

Workplace Eye Wellness

Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons, Ltd.
Eye Wellness at work Wyomissing

In recent years, working remotely has become the new normal, with many workers having to adjust to using their homes as their primary workplace. Unfortunately, this meant that spending hours in front of a computer screen, too, has become standard practice. As a consequence, reports of eye strain and other symptoms have become more prevalent. The good news is that for those who use computers as a core part of their job, there are a few things that can be done at work to improve eye wellness.

Take Breaks for Optimal Eye Health

Looking at a computer screen over long periods can lead to symptoms such as dry and tired eyes. Taking frequent breaks allows your eyes to rest. Keep in mind that your eye break should extend to all screens; it is not helpful to take a break from your work computer, only to pull out your smartphone during that time. Instead, consider gazing out of an open window or even shutting your eyes for a few seconds. A total eye break is essential to helping your eyes feel their best.

Keep an Appropriate Distance

Avoid sitting too close to your computer screen. You should position yourself about an arm’s length away from your computer screen. Make sure to adjust the screen brightness so that your vision is comfortable while looking at the screen and not strained.

Use Eye Drops

If you suffer from dry eyes, consider using eye drops to help with eye comfort. Eye drops, also known as artificial tears, can provide nourishment to the eyes and stave off the effects of dry eyes. Apply your drops as recommended for the full effect. The doctors at Berks Eye can recommend brands of over-the-counter eye drops that may work best for you.


If you work in a low-moisture environment, including at home, investing in a humidifier could do wonders for your eye wellness. These devices increase the level of moisture in the air, which can help improve the way your eyes feel while working. There are even desktop humidifiers that are compact and fit conveniently into your workspace.

Protect Your Eyes

Eye wellness does not exclusively apply to those in an office setting. Individuals that work in high-risk environments, such as construction sites or manufacturing facilities, should be wearing protective eyewear on the job to prevent severe eye injuries.

Prioritize Your Eye Wellness with Berks Eye Physicians & Surgeons

Do not take your eye health for granted. To maintain a lifetime of healthy vision, adults ages 18 to 60 should have a comprehensive eye exam at least once every two years. Older adults (ages 65 and older) should have annual eye exams. Schedule an eye exam with one of our experienced ophthalmologists or optometrists today by contacting us at our office at (610) 372-0712 or scheduling online at

1802 Paper Mill Road Wyomissing, PA 19610
(610) 376-6968
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