March is save your vision month

Beyer Eye Associates is partnering with the American Optometric Association’s (AOA) new public awareness campaign, ‘Start With Eye’, to highlight the critical importance of eyecare in overall health. According to AOA’s newEye-Q survey, only half of Americans are actually going for annual eye exams.

“Good vision is essential to quality of life and a comprehensive eye exam is an important, preventive way to preserve vision andmaintain overall health,” says [affiliate / spokesperson name here]. “We are thrilled to join with the AOA to spread awareness and encourage the citizens of [state] to schedule their in-person #2020EyeExam with a local doctor of optometry today.”

A multi-phased campaign, ‘Start With Eye’ serves as a platform to ensure people understand why an annual comprehensive eye exam is necessary. The campaign aims to raise awareness of the benefits of eye exams even to those with 20/20 vision and to remove the barriers stopping patients from turning proper eyecare into an ongoing part of their healthcare routine.

Because eye health and vision problems may develop without any obvious signs or symptoms, in-person, annual comprehensive eye exams with doctors of optometry are important to detect early signs of visual system diseases such as glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. In addition, eye exams safeguard overall health by enabling the doctor of optometry to detect more than 270 serious health conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, autoimmune diseases and cancers.
For instance, according to the AOA data, 21 percent of participants said they have been diagnosed with a non-eye related health issue such as STIs, high cholesterol, and diabetes, by an eye health professional; while 52 percent said they had not received a comprehensive eye exam in the past two years.

“Doctors of optometry play a pivotal role in identifying various health care needs beyond eye health,” said AOA President Barbara L. Horn, O.D. “AOA’s new ‘Start With Eye’ 2020 campaign gives the public the facts tied to the benefits of an annual comprehensive eye examwhile also encouraging people to take the time to get their eyes checked.”
March’s Save Your Vision Month is the perfect time to ‘Start With Eye’ and schedule an in-person, comprehensive eye exam. NJ residents can find a local doctor at

Eye Health Resolutions for 2020

“20/20” is the standard for good vision, making this a great time to think about ways to take care of our eyes, both for now and as an investment in our future health and independence.

Four million seniors today are living with vision loss, and that number will climb as our population ages. Vision loss can be caused by genetic factors, age-related changes to the eyes, injuries, and certain health conditions.

Here are 10 resolutions that can help you prevent vision loss, or make the most of the vision you have:

1. Toast safely! Let’s start with a timely and appropriate reminder. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) warns us that during our New Year’s Eve festivities, we should take care to avoid eye injury from champagne corks. The AAO offers some helpful hints for popping the bubbly safely. And talk to your doctor about other ways to prevent eye injuries, such as wearing safety glasses during sports or other risky activities.

2. Get an eye exam. Many eye conditions develop slowly, and damage can be done before we notice there’s a problem. It’s recommended that we get a comprehensive, dilated eye exam at least once a year beginning at age 60, and earlier if we’re at higher risk or have symptoms of vision problems. An ophthalmologist can diagnose conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and dry eye syndrome — and at an early stage, when these conditions might be reversed or slowed with special eye supplements, other medications, or surgical treatment.

3. If you notice sudden vision changes, don’t wait. Report them promptly. Redness, sudden blurriness, eye pain, flashes of light, a spot of lost vision or trouble focusing mean it’s time to call the doctor right away. Some of these changes could be temporary and harmless. But others, such as acute glaucoma or a retinal tear, need to be treated immediately to minimize permanent damage to your vision.

4. Keep your glasses or contact lens prescription up to date. Some people purchase eyeglasses and wear them for years without an eye check. Bad idea! Over time, our vision can change without us noticing, and that outdated prescription can cause headaches, raise our risk of falling, and make it more likely we’ll have a car accident. Your eye care professional can not only prescribe the proper correction, but also advise you on the type of lenses that are best for you.

5. If your eyes feel dry, tell your doctor. This is the season when indoor heating removes moisture from the air — and from our eyes. Dry eye also can be caused by certain medications and health conditions, or even by prolonged computer use. The doctor might recommend eye drops and using a humidifier. In some cases, surgery is advised. Dry eye disease can damage vision, so don’t ignore it.

6. Protect your eyes from the sun. You can actually get sunburn of the eye, and exposure to the sun can cause permanent eye damage. Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat when you’re in the sun. And though it’s tempting to select a pair of sunglasses by style alone — who doesn’t want to look hip or glamorous? — check the label first to be sure the lenses block 100% of ultraviolet (UV) rays. Lens color doesn’t matter, but bigger is better to give you maximum coverage.

7. Follow a healthy lifestyle. Many health practices that support heart health, brain health and overall good health also lower the risk of eye disease. As you might guess, “quit smoking” is at the top of the list. In addition, get plenty of exercise, follow a healthy diet that includes lots of fruits and veggies, and maintain a healthy weight. Follow your doctor’s recommendations for managing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and other conditions that can lead to eye damage.

8. Get a shingles shot. When we think of shingles, most of us think of the painful rash caused by the disease. But one of the most serious side effects of shingles happens when the virus infects the nerves of the eye, which can damage the cornea and raise the risk of other eye conditions. A vaccine called Shingrix is recommended for everyone age 50 and older; if you had an older type of vaccine, ask your doctor if you also should get the new shot.

9. If you are already living with vision loss, ask your doctor about vision rehabilitation. Vision rehab professionals can help you make the best of your remaining vision by recommending optical and magnifying devices, teaching you new ways of doing things, and helping you adapt your home to better meet your needs. If cost is an issue, talk to your doctor; resources are available.

10. Keep up with your eye care regimen. If you’re living with a serious eye condition, it can seem that managing your eye health is a full-time job. For example, people with advanced age-related macular degeneration or diabetic eye disease might need an eye exam and an injection into the eye as often as once per month. If you can’t drive to these appointments (and your doctor may advise you not to, even if you still drive), find alternate transportation. If you’re using professional in-home care, the caregiver can accompany you to appointments. To keep things in perspective, consider that we are extremely fortunate to live in a time when many eye conditions can be treated!

Right at Home, Inc. is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for those we serve. We fulfill that mission through a dedicated network of locally owned providers of in home care services.

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Enter The #seebeyond2020 Contest!

Thanks for Your Interest in Entering the #seebeyond2020 Contest!

At Think About Your Eyes, we believe that vision health is so much more than 20/20 vision, and that life can be enhanced with an annual comprehensive eye exam. Annual eye exams can detect conditions and improve health outcomes. They are essential for seeing more clearly, learning more easily and preserving your health and wellness for life.

We want to hear your inspirational eye health story! Enter below for a chance to have your story featured and WIN one of 13 prizes. We’re selecting 12 people to win a $25 American Express gift card and one grand prize winner to win a $1,000 American Express gift card! The #seebeyond2020 contest is only open to U.S. residents age 18 or older. It ends on November 30, 2019.

About Think About Your Eyes

Think About Your Eyes is a national public awareness campaign, presented by The Vision Council and the American Optometric Association, designed to educate the public on the benefits of vision health and promote the importance of getting an annual comprehensive eye exam.

Why Pirates Use Eye Patches

If you grew up reading storybooks or watching movies about pirates, you know two things are true. First, they’re always searching for a treasure trove. Second, they wear eye patches. Since pirates are notorious for being combative — Shiver me timbers! — the assumption has always been that they wear patches to cover an injured or missing eye. But according to new theories, perhaps those parrot-friendly buccaneers were pioneers in tactical technology, not stealing treasure.

Some historians have an interesting perspective — that pirates wore eye patches to enhance their night vision.  If you think about it, obviously pirate ships were dark, but can you imagine just how dark they must have been at night?

Life at sea

The reality of life at sea meant pirates had to know how to navigate every inch of their vessels during the daytime and nighttime to survive. In the dead of darkness, pirates had to be able to not only maneuver through their vast ships with windowless corridors and minimal lighting, but also jump from ship to ship in the dark. Plus, they fought battles with adversaries under the cover of darkness too.

Veil of darkness

There’s a theory that pirates and other warriors throughout history were well versed in nighttime combat. After all, surprising unassuming opponents at night was a proven method of success. Over time, swashbucklers who often found themselves embroiled in combat had learned how to adapt. Of course, the only way to move stealthily through the dark of night was to utilize your eyes to the fullest. By wearing a patch over one eye, pirates could “trick” their vision into adjusting to darkness more quickly.

Nifty night vision

Your eyes, while capable of doing amazing things, have a built-in delay when trying to switch from light to darkness. It actually takes 20 minutes for your eyes to adjust to night vision. One flash of light restarts the clock. This occurs because of the rhodopsin that naturally exists in your rods. Rhodopsin is a biological pigment that is extremely sensitive to light.

Chemical reaction

When you are in a brightly lit room and shut off the light, the first thing that happens is your pupil gets bigger (dilates) to let in more light.  Even though your pupil lets in more light, it’s not enough to see in the dark. This is when the chemical rhodopsin in your rods splits into a few other chemicals and sends a message to the optic nerve, allowing your eyes to process even the faintest of light. Yet in total darkness, the chemical rhodopsin isn’t produced. It takes 10-30 minutes for your eye to recombine those chemicals again for proper vision.

So what does this have to do with pirates, you ask?

A tactile advantage

Well, the theory is that pirates discovered the best of both worlds. By wearing an eye patches at night, their eyes could adjust more quickly in the dark. Plus, rhodopsin was still being produced. Then, once they focused on their target or found themselves in a well-lit area, they could flip the eye patch up for optimal vision.

Avast me hearties!

You can test this theory for yourself to see if you agree. The next time you wake up in the middle of the night, cover one eye before you turn on the light. Find a target and then turn the light off and open both eyes. Perhaps you’ll notice that your eyes adjust to your target more quickly despite switching between darkness and light.

Myopia or Near-sightedness

With just about a month into school, many parents have gotten teacher feedback or comments from their children about difficulty seeing the board in front of the classroom or their reading skills have diminished. Don’t panic Myopia or Near-sightedness and Short-sightedness typically begins as early as age 6 and can come at any age through adulthood.

This would be a great time to schedule your child’s appointment with us to have their vision and overall eye health checked. You do not want them to fall behind in school for this simply corrected issue. There are some other symptoms to be alert to other than problems seeing:

  • Blurred vision when viewing distant objects
  • Frequent squinting and blinking
  • Headaches
  • Eye Strain
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Needing to sit closer to the television or computer
  • Holding books and tablets uncomfortably close while reading

Myopia is not something that will go away or cure itself, it is a progressive visual disorder that results in poor distance vision. Interestingly, in the year 2,000, it is estimated that approximately 25% of the world’s population was nearsighted. By the year 2050, it’s anticipated that nearly half the people on the planet will be Myopic.

Severe myopia severe may impair near vision as well. In addition to deteriorating vision, it also changes the physical form of the eye which may increase the chance of eye disease in the future. It can steepen the front surface of the eye (cornea) and/or stretch the retina (axial elongation). It is one of the leading causes of blindness around the world and has a direct association with retinal detachments and glaucoma.

Nearsightedness can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery. Eyeglasses are no longer the dreaded items they were when the baby boomers were kids.  They are a wonderful fashion accessory to add to your child’s already blooming personal taste.

A new treatment you may want to consider is CRT, or Corneal Refractive Therapy.  This is a non-surgical option that helps correct nearsightedness without the daytime use of contacts or glasses. CRT lenses are worn at night and correct the curvature of the cornea while sleeping so you can see clearly during the day.

Another option is Ortho-K (short for Orthokeratology) is a non-surgical solution for patients with myopia (nearsightedness) that uses specially designed contact lenses (like Paragon CRT lenses) to improve vision.

When worn overnight, Paragon CRT contact lenses gently correct the curvature of the cornea, resulting in a corneal shape that focuses light correctly onto the retina. When removed in the morning, distant objects will come back into focus and patients can see clearly without the use of glasses or daytime contacts.

Call any of our 3 convenient locations and visit to speak to our staff to determine which option is best for you or your child.

395 Highway 33
Mercerville NJ 08619

498 Monmouth Rd
Millstone NJ 08510

11 Friends Lane, Ste 101
Newtown PA 18940

July Is UV Safety Awareness Month

It is summer,  time to enjoy the great outdoors.  You are all set to enjoy your day…. healthy refreshing drink to stay hydrated, sunscreen with the correct SPF, picnic blanket, beach chair….

But what have you done to protect your eyes? You have those trendy fashion sunglasses that make you look cool but are they eye-healthy?

Ultraviolet (UV) is a type of electromagnetic radiation which constitutes about 10% of the total light output of the Sun. Most of it is filtered out by the Earth’s atmosphere, although enough of it comes through to have implications. There are three types of UV radiation, UV-C is absorbed by the ozone layer and does not present any threat. UV-A and UV-B radiation, on the other hand, can have long and short-term negative effects.

The UV spectrum has both beneficial and harmful effects to human health. On the positive side, Ultraviolet is responsible for the formation of bone-strengthening vitamin D in humans, your suntan and cute freckling. These and a sunburn are familiar effects of over-exposure, along with higher risk of skin cancer.

Just as we have learned to protect our skin from the harmful rays, we must also protect our eyes. If your eyes are exposed to excessive amounts of UV radiation over a short period of time, you may experience Photokeratitis. This is equivalent to a ”sunburn of the eye,” and can be painful.  Symptoms include red eyes, a foreign body feeling or gritty feeling in the eyes, extreme sensitivity to light and excessive tearing. The symptoms are usually temporary and rarely cause permanent damage to the eyes.

The longer your eyes are exposed to solar radiation, the greater the risk of developing cataracts or macular degeneration later in life. As a precaution, whenever you spend time outdoors, wear

quality sunglasses that offer UV protection and a wide brim hat.

Not all sunglasses protect you equally. The color and degree of darkness sunglasses provide have nothing to do with their ability to block UV rays. You can also opt for wraparound sunglasses or close-fitting sunglasses with wide lenses that protect your eyes from every angle. Some contact lenses also offer UV protection, but should be worn in combination with sunglasses to maximize protection.

In purchasing sunglasses, keep in mind:

  • The larger the lenses, the more of your eye and soft tissue around it get protection.
  • They should block out 99 to 100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation
  • They should screen out 75 to 90 percent of visible light
  • Lenses should be perfectly matched in color and free of distortion and imperfection
  • Lenses should be gray for proper color recognition

Did you know that both your sunglasses and regular glasses should have UV protection? Chronic exposure to shorter-wavelength visible light (blue and violet light) may also be harmful to the retina. Many digital devices emit this shorter-wavelength visible light. Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum. The sun emits blue light, as do artificial light sources, such as LEDs, computers, and even smartphones.

Blue-violet light can be harmful to the eyes, specifically the retina. It is a risk factor for the onset of age-related macular degeneration, a deterioration of the part of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. A recent study found that Americans spend 444 minutes every day looking at screens, or 7.4 hours. That breaks down to 147 minutes spent watching TV, 103 minutes in front of a computer, 151 minutes on a smartphones and 43 minutes with a tablet. In addition, most offices and stores use fluorescent light bulbs, and LED lights are becoming increasingly popular. There are lenses and coating for non-sunglasses to protect from this.

The first step in getting help is a visit to A quick visit to Dr. Beyer (William, Eric, or Mark) in any of their 3 convenient locations will give them a clear insight to your vision problem.

Drs. Beyer will discuss your eye health and vision. They invite you to visit their offices for an exam to discuss your eye care health and the same for your family. They take most medical insurances and have a wonderful selection of frames should you need glasses. A visit to them may be your first line of ocular defense!


Have questions?  Call us for answers!

Clearing Up Cataract Questions

If you have hit your 50’s, you cannot escape one topic of conversation…. CATARACTS.  Either it is someone being diagnosed, or their parents.

What exactly is this and why all of a sudden?  The all of a sudden part is an easy answer, it is age related.

They form as you age.  Cataracts affect more than 22 million Americans. As our population ages, more than 30 million Americans are expected to have cataracts by the year 2020.

Typically for those over 40, but on occasion earlier, vision becomes gradually blurry or cloudy.  This is a common symptom by 60, as it is caused by a protein buildup in the lens of your eye, which lies behind the iris and the pupil.

In addition to cloudy vision, you may slowly become nearsighted, colors may look different, night driving becomes difficult, you may experience glare or double vision, see halos around lights, and your normal glasses and lenses may not be working as well. If you experience any of these symptoms, a visit to Beyer Eye should be scheduled asap as cataracts is the principal cause of blindness in the world.

There are different types of cataracts. They include:

  • Age-related.
  • Congenital can form in childhood or caused by infection, injury, or poor development in utero.
  • Secondary is a result of other medical conditions, such as diabetes, taking medicines such as corticosteroids or diuretics, being around toxic substances, ultraviolet light, or radiation.
  • Traumatic caused by injury.

They are classified into 3 groups:

subcapsular cataract occurs at the back of the lens, effecting people with diabetes or those taking high doses of steroid medications.

nuclear cataract forms deep in the central zone of the lens and are associated with aging.

cortical cataracts are characterized by white, wedge-like opacities that begin in the edge of the lens and work their way to the center.

To reduce your risk of getting cataracts, avoid smoking, heavy drinking, ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and other sources, and obesity. Diabetes, hypertension, prolonged use of corticosteroids and statins, hormone replacement therapy and injury or previous eye surgery also increases your risk as well as a family history.

The good news is, cataracts are easy to diagnose, and the fix is also pretty easy. A quick visit to Dr. Beyer (William, Eric, or Mark) in any of their 3 convenient locations will give them a clear insight to your vision problem.

Cataracts are diagnosed during a comprehensive eye examination.  Many factors are considered when making the decision to perform cataract surgery. These factors include Medical History, specifically any medications you are currently taking, and whether you have any allergies, prior eye disease, and previous surgeries.

Drs. Beyer will discuss that cataract surgery is very successful in restoring vision. In fact, it is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States. More than 3 million Americans undergo cataract surgery each year, with 9 out of 10 people regaining very good vision, somewhere between 20/20 and 20/40. During this same day surgery, your surgeon will remove your clouded lens, and in most cases replace it with a clear, intraocular lens (IOL). They will go over your choices in IOLs. Choosing a cataract lens depends on many personal factors, including the activities do you do during the day and which ones would you like to do without glasses if possible.

Have questions?  Call us for answers!


Mercerville NJ

395 Highway 33
Mercerville NJ 08619


Millstone NJ

498 Monmouth Rd
Millstone NJ 08510


Newtown PA

11 Friends Lane, Suite 101
Newtown PA 18940


Macular Degeneration Awareness Month

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe, irreversible vision loss in people over age 60, and it is growing at an alarming rate all over the world. Join us in raising awareness of the importance of frequent vision screenings and retinal health checks.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology has recognized February as Age-Related Macular Degeneration Awareness Month. Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss for people ages 60 and older in the United States. The most recent statistics show that over 10 million Americans have AMD.

According to a study funded by the U.S. Center of Disease Control and Prevention, in 2010 there were as many as 9.1 million people living with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) in the U.S., and it is estimated that 17.8 million people will have AMD by the year 2050. That’s a 95% increase—8.7 million more people who may be at risk of losing their vision, and they have no idea it’s even happening.

AMD is characterized by a loss of central vision due to damage to the retina. Although there is currently no cure available for this disease, recent advancements in treatment options for AMD are allowing for more and more patients to save their vision. Early detection is crucial when it comes to diagnosing, treating and managing Macular Degeneration. Our doctors at Beyer Eye Associates want to urge you to be aware of the risk factors associated with AMD and remind you to get your eyes checked on a regular basis.

The greatest risk factors for developing AMD include:

  • Age (people over the age of 50)
  • Family history of AMD
  • History of smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Lack of vitamins found in a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables
  • Obesity

In order to reduce your risk of developing AMD, our doctors recommend the following:

Be sure schedule your annual eye exam. Early detection is key!

Eat a healthy diet, rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids (lots of fruits & veggies!!)

Exercise regularly

Control your blood pressure and cholesterol

Quit smoking and avoid second-hand smoke

Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays

Here at Beyer Eye Associates, our doctors are able to diagnose, treat and manage AMD. We use the latest technology and have all the resources available to help you preserve your vision. Contact our office today to learn more about AMD and to schedule an exam with one of our doctors.

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The eyes are the most expressive feature of the face, and the upper and lower eyelids have a large effect on the appearance of the eyes. Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is an effective procedure that has the potential to dramatically affect our facial appearance and make us look more youthful and rested.

Drooping eyelids, puffy eye bags, and dark circles under your eyes are common issues. They are often hereditary and part of the aging process. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is designed to turn back the clock.

The procedure tightens or removes sagging skin around the eyes, resulting in a younger, well-rested look.

What is eyelid surgery?

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids.

Surgery can be performed on the upper lids, lower lids or both.

Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.

Eyelid Surgery Candidates

If the eyelids are stretched, wrinkled, or baggy, the eyes can appear tired and older. Patients sometimes desire improvement in the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Similarly, upper and lower blepharoplasty can be performed separately or together. These surgeries are designed to remove excess skin (wrinkling) and fat (puffiness) and lead to wider, brighter eyes, which convey youth and alertness and more accurately reflects one’s vigor and energy level. You may be a candidate for eyelid surgery if:

What eyelid surgery can treat

  • Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
  • Fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
  • Bags under the eyes
  • Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid

You have excess skin or fat in the upper or lower eyelids

You have vision problems secondary to excessive skin on the upper eyelids

You have laxity of the lower eyelids and desire a tightening procedure

Eyelid surgery recovery

During your eyelid surgery recovery, lubricating ointment and cold compresses may be applied, and in some cases your eyes may be loosely covered with gauze, after your procedure is completed.

You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your eyes, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your overall health and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.

Initial healing may include some swelling, bruising, irritation, dry eyes and discomfort that can be controlled with medication, cold compresses and ointment. Irritation at the incision sites is also possible.

Be sure to ask your surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

Eyelid surgery results

The results of eyelid surgery will be long lasting. While there usually is little pain involved in this surgery, there can be swelling or bruising. Most patients are presentable to the public in 10-14 days. However, it may take a few months before final healing is completed.

While eyelid surgery can be expected to correct certain conditions permanently, you will continue to age naturally. Ongoing sun protection will help to maintain your results.