Stay tuned to upcoming Blog Posts from Dr Karen Allen!
Latest News on Your Doctor's Blog
Stay tuned to upcoming Blog Posts from Dr Karen Allen!
We are on our computer, phones and tablets more and more every day. What kind of effect does this have on our eyes and our eye health? Most computers and tablets, as well as phones and overhead lights use very high energy blue lights to make the display crisp and clean. The problem with these blue “cool” lights are that the blue light has a very high energy wavelength. The higher the frequency or energy of a wavelength, the more damage it can do. Think about radioactivity (the highest energy wavelengths) or UV light. Anyone who has had a sunburn knows how much damage UV light can do. What about blue light? It sits right next to UV light in the spectrum, so blue light is very high energy, and passes through the eye to the retina. This high energy blue light is absorbed by the cells in the macula (where we have our very best vision). What happens after years of constant blue light exposure from LEDs, Computers, tablets, and smart phones? This light can damage your eye health and can ultimately lead to macular degeneration and blindness. What can you do to help keep your vision clear and […]
The ability to order glasses online has been around as long as the internet. The increased advertising of places like Wharby Parker and Zenni Optical has increased patient’s knowledge of online glasses, and has led to the question: What’s the Difference? Here is how Premier Vision of Dallas differs from the online retailers: to put it bluntly, you get what you pay for. Premier Vision offers: Better Quality of Frames Accurate and Precise measurements and quality control for all our glasses Superior Optics of lenses Exceptional coatings that are easy to clean and don’t scratch Personalized Customer Service and an unmatched no questions asked warranty Frames The frames used by online retailers, while they may look stylish, are made in China of Italian acetate discards. The hinges and frames themselves are of inferior quality and will not last, especially with rough handling. It probably takes 50 cents to make the frames available online, and the quality reflects that. At Premier Vision of Dallas, we curate our collection from quality and designer frames made in Italy, France and the US. Most have spring hinges and offer a quality and comfort not available in cheap frames from China. It’s important to […]
Know about the specialty of your Eye Doctor If you are looking for a provider for your comprehensive eye care, it is important to know the difference between eye care specialists, & how they can work together. This information will come in handy when it is time to pick the right doctor. There are three types of providers & description of their specialties: Optometrists Ophthalmologists Opticians Optometrists We are first going to talk about Optometrists, since this is our specialty! Dr. Allen is an optometrist. To get a Doctor of Optometry degree, one has to finish a bachelor’s undergraduate degree, & then go to an Optometry School. The Optometry program is very similar to a dental program. First year is about the whole body, like the first year of medical school, then the next three years are mostly about the eyes. Optometrists also take 4 semesters of optics to truly understand the optical system of the eyes, and how to write the most correct prescription. After four years of Optometry school, we are required to pass board exam to receive O.D. degree. With an O.D. degree, optometrists are specialized to fit glasses and contacts, treat eye problems like infections, inflammation […]
Spinach & Carrots for your Eye Health Whenever I say to a patient “your eye health is great” they always come back with “Well, I eat a lot of carrots.” But are carrots really that important for eye health? Is there something else out there that will protect your eyes better? Carrots provide Beta Carotene (vitamin A) which is actually very important for eye health. If you do not have sufficient vitamin A you will go blind. Many poor people throughout the world, mostly in cultures that have a rice based diet, have vitamin A deficiency, which leads to blindness and death (as it affects the immune system as well). Vitamin A deficiency affects small children and pregnant women most frequently. Adding vitamin A to poor diets around the world could save a third of all deaths before age 5. That being said, here in the western world with our current diets, no one is deficient in Vitamin A, so all the carrots in the world don’t really affect our eye health. Spinach, on the other hand, can really help maintain healthy vision throughout our lives. Spinach has lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants. These two antioxidants form a layer […]
Premier Vision of Dallas Gives Back At Premier Vision of Dallas, we like to find ways to give back to our community. Last September, we got in touch with Kidd’s Kids, an organization founded by Kidd Kraddick, a long time Dallas area DJ. Every year, the Kidd’s Kids foundation sends terminally ill children and their entire family to Disney World for a vacation. Big Al, Kelly Raspberry and Caroline, Kidd Kraddick’s daughter, all get to go too. We thought it would be fun to provide cute sunglasses for everyone’s Florida vacation, so we ended up donating 208 pairs of sunglasses for the trip. All the children, their siblings and parents got to pick out some sun wear for their trip. As you can see, everyone had a great time. Dr. Allen and Chris were able to go to the Southwest Airlines corporate offices during the fundraising day to be on camera and the Kidd’s Kids TV program with Caroline Kraddick. Premier Vision of Dallas donated a pair of Prada sunglasses to the next person to call in with a donation. Unfortunately, Kidd Kraddick passed away suddenly in 2013. His radio program, and especially his foundation, continues to affect thousands of […]
Specialty Contact Lenses: What you need to know? Contact lens technology has changed rapidly over the past 40 years. There are so many different kinds of lenses and ways to wear contacts that each patient can choose a unique contact lens solution for their vision problems. There are three main types of contact lenses, and each subset has many different variables: Soft Contact Lenses: by far the most popular. They are comfortable, easy to use, come in a variety of materials and give good vision. Daily wear (one day throw away) Multifocal Color enhancing Extended wear (up to 30 days!) Lenses for astigmatism Rigid Gas permeable lenses: Excellent vision, lots of variables, harder to get used to, custom made Gas permeable sphere Scleral Lenses (for dry eye or irregular Corneas) Keratoconus lenses Ortho K lenses (to change your Rx overnight) Lenses for astigmatism or irregular corneas Multifocal lenses Hybrid lenses: comfort like a soft lens with the clarity of vision from a rigid lens Spherical Multifocal For irregular corneas: keratoconus, post refractive surgery, pellucid marginal degeneration, etc. When a patient is dissatisfied with their soft lenses, I believe in giving them other options. My “go to” option is usually a […]
Springtime in Texas! Time to consult your Optometrist Spring has sprung here in North Texas, and that means bluebonnets, tulips and lots of POLLEN. North Texas is notorious for our terrible air conditions that lead to allergies. It seems there is always something in bloom, something in pollen, or mold in the air, that causes allergic reactions in many of us. Symptoms of allergies include: Itchy, red and watery eyes Sinus pressure Sneezing Runny nose How to cope with Springtime Allergies in North Texas The great news is that there are many very effective drugs, both over the counter and prescription, that can make your allergies more comfortable and less likely to cause serious side effects, until you have time to see your eye doctor. The important news about these drugs, whether OTC or Rx, is: they work better when used consistently EVERY DAY. If you know you are prone to allergies, the best thing to do is to start taking a daily oral or inhaled antihistamine BEFORE your allergies come. That way, you won’t have the allergic reaction in the first place, and your lack of reaction will be easy to extend. Once you have the reaction, then drugs and […]
Many patients are curious about LASIK: Good questions ask the Eye Doctor. What makes a good candidate? Are THEY a good candidate? What are the risks? Have I had it? What are my opinions? What are their surgical options? The LASIK question, in Dr Allen’s mind, comes down to 3 things: How old is the patient? What is their prescription? What do I think is going to happen with their vision immediately and in the future? A good LASIK candidate is between the ages of 25 and 58, a GREAT candidate is between 25-37 or 45-55. Earlier than 25, your prescription might change. Between 38 and 45 your near vision will undergo a dramatic change. It is better to wait until after the change to determine how to proceed to get the best vision with the least reliance on eye glasses. After 55, your chance of developing cataracts increases, and your prescription starts to shift due to changes in the lens of your eye. There are better procedures for those undergoing lens changes. It is legal to do LASIK on anyone 18 and up, but the best age ranges vary. Prescription also determines whether you are a good candidate. LASIK […]
In April, Beatriz (our wonderful optician) and my mom joined me in New York for Vision Expo East: a GIGANTIC eyewear, continuing education and instrument convention in New York City. I have been to many conventions: we are required to do continuing education hours every year, and usually the quality of the education is the best at national conventions. Vision Expo East was by far the best convention I have ever been to. The quality of the education for doctors and staff was outstanding, and the classes were different than offered anywhere else. This is an excellent continuing education opportunity for me, Dr Allen and my staff at Premier Vision of Dallas. The vendors at Vision Expo are also different: the instrument and pharmaceutical reps and the variety and quality of the eyeglasses offered was international and amazing! At Premier Vision of Dallas, we are changing some of our eyeglasses offered: we want to go with quality made, curated collections that offer something different to our patients. The purpose of New York trip was to visit with new and interesting frame vendors and find 2 new lines to offer right now, and to scope out fresh new frames for the […]
Summertime and the Living is Easy! Summertime is just around the corner. Hopefully everyone will be able to escape our Dallas heat for a cooler climate or fresh ocean breezes. Beach vacations and more time outdoors mean more exposure for your eyes to UV light from the sun. It also means rougher use of your contact lenses (salt water, dryness on airplanes), and lugging contact lens solution through airport security. Many patients worry about cost for dailies, but a 15 day supply to take on vacation can be as low as $35. Conveniences provided by daily wear lenses: Extra lenses in case one pair fails. No one wants to spend their vacation looking for an open eye doctor who might have a trial available. No worries about salt water or contamination of lenses from one day to the next: a fresh new lens every day means you can use each pair as you like. No solution to take through security at the airport Many are available as bifocals or for astigmatism, so more patients can use these lenses than ever before. If you are interested in having 1 day contacts for vacation, call the our Premier Vision of Dallas office. […]
Viva Espana! We are so excited to expose our patients to an exciting new line of frames manufactured in Spain. Etnia Barcelona is a colorful and fun line of frames that is great for patients looking for something new. The line is very wearable, comfortable and unique but not crazy. The designers of the line have added color and beautiful details to shapes made to highlight your face. David Pellicer’s brand focuses on the idea of being free, being human, being multi-ethnic and cultured. It boasts bold designs for all types of people, never before seen colorways that emphasize the personality within individual faces. We brought in two lines from Etnia: their “Originals” line, and their mainstream optical line. The originals are vintage frames shapes and styles from Etnia’s 25 year past updated with new colors and Italian acetates, made modern by special details incorporated into each frame. Etnia’s play on color is fascinating, putting together styles and designs not seen anywhere else. Each frame comes in a variety of colors, from bold to muted, depending on the preference of the wearer. Come in today to check out our new Etnia Barcelona line of frames.
Myopia Control: Can we help our kids be less nearsighted? The US is getting more nearsighted as a population: 40% of people in America are nearsighted, compared to only 25% in 1970. The reason we are progressing in our nearsightedness? Kids spend too much time indoors and don’t spend enough time in the sun. Research shows that it is the interaction of the sun with the peripheral retina that either stimulates or inhibits the increase in the axial length of the human eye. Increased axial length = increased myopia. Besides sending our kids out to play, what else can we do? What if your child is already nearsighted? How can we prevent progression? Four ways have been studied when it comes to changing myopia (nearsighted) progression: Atropine (and eye drop) Multifocal contact lenses Orhto-keratology lenses Multifocal Eyeglasses Some of these methods work better than others: Atropine A 0.01% drop of atropine will slightly dilate your child’s eye, and decrease the amount of focusing he can do. This relaxation of the eye leads to a decrease in progression 81% of the time. While this sounds fantastic, it only happens in the first year. And after the first year, kids tend […]
I am a lifelong reader and have whiled away many hours with my nose stuck in a book. I read all kinds, fiction, non-fiction, fantasy, mystery, historical, some sci-fi and (gasp) a few romances along the way. I have talked about book with many patients over the years and am always looking for a new one to get hooked on. And I’m always willing to share my favorite books or authors. I usually read on a Kindle, which is fantastic as I can carry more than one book at a time. The only thing I don’t love about my kindle is that I can’t pass books around to friends and neighbors. My Kindle Paperwhite: Favorite Technology Device Ever!!! Book are usually about lawyers, doctors, politicians, teachers, warriors, dragons, ad execs, et cetera, but never about Optometrists. Maybe we’re too boring for protagonists? Imagine my surprise when I picked up Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I’ve been trying to read some classics recently and that one was offered as a special by Amazon. Billy Pilgrim, the protagonist, is an optometrist. Of course, the book is really not about him being an optometrist, more about war and what it does to people, […]
Many patient wonder why they have to come in every year for optometrists to evaluate their contacts. “Doc, I wear the same brand every year: why can’t you just extend my prescription for another year or two?” Really, they are asking what BENEFIT they are deriving from an annual exam. During a contact lens evaluation, I make sure to look at several things: Has your Rx changed? Do we need to change your power to ensure the very best and most efficient vision possible? How do your corneas look? Have the contact lenses affected them in an adverse way? Can you continue to use the same lenses without harming your eye health? How does the contact lens fit? Could it be a more comfortable fit? Many lenses come in 2 different sizes: are you in the right one? What new technology could make your contact lens wear more enjoyable or healthy? Many people can use a contact all day but can’t wait to take them out. Are there other options more comfortable? Are you using your contacts in a way that is unhealthy? Is there another lens that might make your habits, like sleeping in your lenses less likely to […]
I did an interview for Vision Monday regarding Baby Boomers and blue wavelength light. Check it out here: http://www.visionmonday.com/eyecare/eye-health/article/getting-boomers-on-the-right-wavelength/
I am the founder of Die Empty Dallas and our mission is to encourage people to live a FULL LIFE. Living a full life means to contribute to society in a positive and intentional manner so that we take nothing to the grave when we leave. We create awareness of issues here in Dallas and encourage business owners to give back on a REGULAR basis. We also petition the public to collectively come together and aid our struggling neighborhoods. At this time, we are an all privately funded community non-profit entity and rely heavily on supporters like you. Our most recent project was a South Dallas Community Outreach event. We were able to feed over 250 people, host a car wash to help fund the next event and teach our children the importance of taking time out to invest in the well-fare of another human-being. Being able to give back to neglected neighborhoods and the people that live there means a lot to me. In the words of a man who lives on the streets “Seeing people like Die Empty Dallas coming down here gives me hope for our city again, that we matter and that people have not forgotten […]