Why Am I Seeing Halos?

While light is critical for vision, it can also lead to some difficulties. One prime example is halos, rings of light around light sources. At times, halos are simply distracting. In others, they’re a major hindrance. Plus, they can be a sign of certain eye-related medical conditions.  

If you’re wondering why you might be seeing halos and whether you should speak with your eye care provider, here’s what you need to know.  

What Causes Halos in Your Vision?  

In a general sense, halos in your vision occur when light doesn’t move through the eye the correct way. If the light is bent as it enters the eye, it can cause light rings around light sources; a phenomenon commonly referred to as a halo.  

Typically, halos are more noticeable at night. Along with more individual lights being on, the darker background of the night sky or a poorly lit spot makes the halos easier to see. However, they can technically occur at any time, suggesting there is a light source to create them.  

Reasons You Might Be Seeing Halos  

There are several reasons why a person may see halos, and not all of them are cause for concern. A halo is common due to the overall conditions if you see an incredibly bright light against a very dark backdrop.  

Certain refractive errors may also lead to halos. In some cases, nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism can all create conditions where light passes through the eye in a less than ideal fashion, which may result in halos.  

Similarly, glasses or contact lens wearers may experience halos relating to the lenses. Eyeglasses and contacts alter how light passes into the eye. Additionally, both glasses and contact lenses can get dirty, foggy, scratched, or otherwise damaged. Depending on the issue, that can make halos more likely because light can’t pass through the lenses without encountering an obstacle.  

Halos are known potential side effects of certain vision-related procedures, too. For instance, Lasik can lead to halos. While they usually only last a few weeks, ultimately disappearing when the eye heals, halos can also be a permanent issue in rare cases.  

However, halos can also be symptoms of certain health conditions. Halos are relatively common among those with cataracts. As the cataract clouds the lens of the eye, it alters how light moves through it. The blurriness or haziness that often accompanies cataracts can cause halos as a result.  

In some cases, halos are also a sign of glaucoma. While cataracts are common and generally easy to manage, glaucoma can cause severe, potentially irreversible damage to your vision, including potentially leading to blindness  

Is Seeing Halos Serious?  

Whether halos are serious ultimately depends on the underlying cause and the overall impact to your vision. If the halos make it hard to focus, then night driving or similar tasks could become dangerous, which is a significant hindrance. Additionally, halos can be a symptom of a medical condition, which may require immediate attention.  

Ultimately, any change to your vision should always be treated seriously. Similarly, if any issue is disruptive, it’s better to seek help.  

When to Speak with Your Eye Care Provider About Halos  

While halos aren’t inherently a troubling sign, it’s always best to speak with your eye care provider if you have any vision concerns. This is particularly true of the halos that are new or accompanied by other vision changes.  

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patient’s eyes are our priority. If you are experiencing halos and are worried about the potential cause or simply haven’t seen your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.  

Things Your Ophthalmologist Wishes You Knew

Maintaining proper eye health throughout the course of your life is essential. By doing so, you can potentially preserve your vision and get the correct lenses at the right time, potentially allowing you to avoid issues like eye strain and headaches.  

While most people know that eye care is essential, many do go beyond that. With that in mind, here are a few things that your ophthalmologist wishes you knew.  

Having Regular Appointments Is Always Important  

When it comes to medical needs, many people overlook their eye health. They might assume that vision changes are only common in the young, causing them to stop checking if theirs is changing. Others may figure that they won’t develop certain conditions until they’re well into retirement, when the reality can be quite different.  

Unless they notice a significant change in their vision, some adults may simply assume that they’re fine, causing them to bypass routine appointments. However, forgoing eye care is dangerous. Regular appointments can identify certain health conditions – like cancer, diabetes, macular degeneration, and glaucoma – before they cause irreversible damage. As a result, you can preserve your vision longer.  

Regular appointments allow you to update your glasses or contacts prescription as needed. In some cases, subtle vision changes over time aren’t noticeable to the patient, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t negatively impacting their quality of life or leading to side effects like eye strain. You can ensure your vision is always at its best by routinely seeing your ophthalmologist.  

That Protective Eyewear Is Worth It  

Protective eyewear is often undervalued. Whether it’s sunglasses to block UV light, sports goggles that can limit your odds of an injury, or safety glasses for DIY projects or work, that protection matters.  

Physical eye injuries can be incredibly serious. They can lead to temporary or permanent vision damage. In some cases, a strike to the eye or the surrounding area or chemical exposure can even lead to blindness. UV light can increase your risk of developing certain eye conditions, including cataracts, macular degeneration, and skin cancer along the eyelids.  

Ultimately, protective eyewear literally helps shield your eyes from harm. As a result, it’s wise to use it whenever possible, even if it isn’t technically required.  

How Harmful Screen Time Is for Everyone  

Screen time isn’t great for your eyes, even in short durations, though prolonged exposure usually poses a greater risk. Spending hours a day working at a computer, using a smartphone, or watching television can lead to issues like eye strain. Plus, blue light from screens can disrupt sleep patterns.  

People also typically blink less when they’re using an electronic device. This can cause issues with eye dryness or may make dry eye harder to manage for those with the condition.   

Ophthalmologists in Buffalo, NY

At ECVA, the safety and health of our patient’s eyes are our priority. If you are experiencing vision changes or simply haven’t seen your eye care provider in the past year, the ECVA team is here to help. As one of the top eye care practices in Western New York, we have offices in Buffalo, Williamsville, Orchard Park, and Niagara Falls. Schedule an appointment at your closest ECVA clinic today.

Sunglasses After Cataract Surgery: A Guide

More than 10 million cataract surgeries are performed around the world each year. About four million of these are performed in the U.S. annually. Cataract surgery is a safe, effective tool to return people to health and improve their vision.

The incidence of cataract surgeries is on the rise as the baby boomer population increases. Why? Because as you age, your eyes age, too. As a person ages, the proteins in the eye break down, so that a cloudy, milky film forms over the normally clear eye lens. These films, known as cataracts, can be surgically removed and the lens itself replaced with a prosthetic. For a person suffering from a cataract, vision is gradually lost as the lens clouds. Yet cataract surgery offers vision-saving treatment.

Eye care specialists here in Buffalo offer cataract surgery. But did you know there is one simple vision tool after the cataract surgical procedure that is just as important as the surgery itself? We’re talking about sunglasses. No cataract surgery in Buffalo will be effective without these visual aids.

Why are sunglasses after cataract surgery so important? What should you look for in a good pair of post-surgical sunglasses after visiting a Buffalo eye care specialist for cataract removal? We have everything you should know about sunglasses after your cataract surgery.

Why are Sunglasses Important After Cataract Surgery?

Having the right kind of sunglasses after cataract surgery is critically important to protect your eyes while they’re healing. After cataract surgery, your eyes will be particularly vulnerable to UV light from the sun’s rays. Anytime you’re outside, you must wear sunglasses, even on cloudy days because the sun still gives off UV radiation.

If you’ve ever seen people walking around with those big wraparound black sunglasses, it’s probably because they’ve just had cataract surgery at an eye care specialist in Buffalo. The glasses protect the eyes as they heal both from the sun or any other bright light.

Think about cataract surgery for a moment. During the procedure, the doctor will use special drops to dilate and numb your eyes. This makes them very sensitive to light. Then, the doctor will make a minute incision in the eyeball from which the clouded lens is removed and a new prosthetic lens is inserted. This tiny flap (perhaps 1/10th of an inch in size) heals on its own with no stitches. But you want to protect the eye and treat it gently as it heals. Sunglasses put a barrier between the healing eye and the external environment, keeping out harsh lights, UV rays, and even dust and dirt.

How Long Should Cataract Sunglasses Be Worn Post Surgery?

Most doctors recommend wearing sunglasses after cataract surgery for at least a week—and many doctors recommend up to a year. The truth is wearing sunglasses is always a good idea whether you’ve had cataract surgery or not. Protecting your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays keeps them healthier longer. Sunglasses that have UV coatings protect your eyes and can even keep you from experiencing cataracts to begin with. It’s true—studies show prolonged exposure to sunlight is a risk factor for cataract development. That’s why today, the prosthetic lens your cataract surgeon implants will probably have a UV protective coating. That is great protection for your eyes. But even a UV lens in your eye isn’t enough; you need sunglasses to up the ante on protection from damaging sun rays.

That’s probably why some people even keep wearing those big sunglasses after cataract surgery because they’re very comfortable—and very protective. While these sunglasses aren’t necessarily fashionable, you can replace them with a nice pair of professional shades. But how can you select the right sunglasses that go beyond being fashionable and actually protect your eyes?

What Should You Look for When Shopping for Cataract Sunglasses?

Finding the right sunglasses after cataract surgery is important. Surprisingly, it’s not the tint or the darkness of the lens that matters so much. After your cataract surgery in Buffalo, you should look for sunglasses with these important qualities.

UV Protection

Ultraviolent light is a type of radiation emitted by the sun. UV light has been shown to cause cancer, which is why you should wear sunblock when you’re on the beach. Your eyes are sensitive to UV, too, so the best cataract surgeons in Buffalo typically recommend maximum protection with UV 400 sunglasses that block almost 100% of the sun’s rays.

Coverage: Large Frames

Tiny sunglasses won’t do it. Look for sunglasses that fully cover the eye area up to the brow and below your tear ducts on the bottom of the eye. Consider the same or similar wraparound style to mimic those big, unfashionable shades that you get after cataract surgery. Those tools are designed to protect even the delicate skin around the eyes from skin cancer. Look for sunglasses that can do the same.


Sunglasses with polarized lenses cut down on glare. They are particularly great for driving and can help you with clarifying your vision and keeping your eyes more relaxed yet focused.

It’s important to note again that there should be no time limit on how long you are required to wear sunglasses after cataract surgery. Sunglasses should be a standard part of your outdoor gear post-surgery and beyond. There is, however, a time limit on how long it should take to recover from cataract surgery.

How Long Does It Take to Recover from Cataract Surgery?

How long does the healing process take after having cataract surgery in Buffalo? Every person is different, of course, but generally, we see our patients fully healed by two or three months. The first few weeks of surgery require some medications and therapies to aid healing. Within a week you should be able to return to work, drive, and go back to many of your normal activities. Your vision will gradually improve so that, after eight weeks or so you should be amazed by your clear vision again. You may still need prescription eyeglasses, but you will no longer be seeing the world through a blurry haze.

Cataract Surgery in Buffalo, NY

Eye Care & Vision Associates offers cataract surgery in Buffalo. Our skilled, experienced cataract surgeons can help restore your vision. We offer our clients vision care from childhood to adulthood at all stages of their lives. If your vision isn’t as clear as you’d like, there is an alternative. Request an appointment online or call us at 1-716-631-EYES (3937).

Why Back-to-School Eye Exams are Important

Back-to-school brings a flurry of activity to most family households. There are many tasks to accomplish before school starts and parents and their children often rush to complete them. But do you realize you may be missing the most important preschool task of all?

Back-to-school eye exams are a critical part of preparing to return to a classroom. Children of all ages should see an ophthalmologist annually to ensure they don’t start school with a vision issue that could hold them back from reaching their full learning potential. Pediatric eye doctors in the Buffalo market work hard in the months leading up to the fall back-to-school season. Their goal is your goal—to ensure your child can properly see and comprehend in the learning environment they’re soon to return to. There is a strong correlation between visual acuity and academic performance. Having a regular schedule of screening for vision health is just as important as an annual physical check-up. Here’s what you need to know about back-to-school eye exams and why a pediatric eye doctor is so important to the academic achievement of your child.

At What Age Should Children Have an Eye Exam?

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends a comprehensive eye exam from a pediatric ophthalmologist before their first birthday. Yet fewer than 15% of children receive this type of care. While most schools conduct vision screenings, they miss up to 75% of children with vision issues.

Think about it; Approximately 80% of learning involves using your eyes. Vision problems can be a significant health barrier to learning. Fortunately, back-to-school eye exams can help pinpoint the source of vision anomalies and correct them to ensure your child isn’t held back from learning this year.

It’s very common for undetected eye issues to be misinterpreted as learning disabilities. The American Optometric Association says, “As children progress throughout their education, they face increasing demands on their visual abilities. The size of print in textbooks becomes smaller and the amount of time spent reading and studying increases significantly.” This important observation doesn’t even take into account the increasing amount of digital screen time our children experience. Phones, tablets, laptops, video games, and more, all combine to create problems in your child’s eyes such as:

· Eye strain and fatigue, which can cause dimmed vision and headaches.

· Dry and irritated eyes, in part due to the fact that we have a tendancy to blink less when we stare at the computer.

· Difficulties focusing on distance vision when shifting from a close-up screen.

· Nearsightedness can develop when children spend too much time indoors. In fact, the rate of nearsightedness in children is on the rise, in part thanks to more time indoors in front of computer screens.

· Children can also have their sleep patterns interrupted by the blue light emitted from their screens. The brain interprets the light from the computer screen as daytime, making it harder for you to fall asleep.

How Often Should Children Have Their Eyes Checked?

Eye health is health. Yet many parents miss back-to-school eye exams as they face the hectic time before school starts each year. The AOA recommends:

· A full exam by a pediatric eye doctor between the ages of six and 12-months.

· At least one comprehensive exam of the eyes between the ages of three and five.

· Annual eye exams from a qualified pediatric ophthalmologist each year beginning before the first grade.

Following these guidelines are critical for children. The eyes go through big changes as children grow. Catching eye problems early is not only important for the child’s long-term health; poor vision affects the child’s ability to learn and interact inside the classroom—and out.

The Correlation Between Poor Vision and Learning

The AOA says, “Vision issues aren’t isolated problems but instead affect almost every aspect of a child’s development, ranging from academics and athletics to social interactions and self-esteem.” That makes the back-to-school eye exam critical not only for the health of your child’s vision but their social and educational performance. Having a child misdiagnosed as ADHA or dyslexic create labels that may follow them for years, when the underlying issue may be vision-related and solved by a pediatric ophthalmologist.

What are some of the signs your child may have problems with their vision?

Difficulty Following Along

Does your child have problems seeing clearly in the distance? They may not be able to focus on a long-distance chalkboard but do just fine reading a book or working on their computer. Poor distance visual acuity is easily corrected, but without a comprehensive exam it could instead be interpreted as the inability or unwillingness to pay attention to a teacher’s lecture.

Recognition/Visual Perception Issues

Problems with visual perception can include issues with focusing the eye as the distance from objects changes. Does your child have blurred vision when they look up from the computer? Is it difficult for them to go from a screen to a book and then a chalkboard at the front of the room. Examining the eye’s ability to focus during a comprehensive vision exam can pick up on subtle issues that may be bothering your child.

There are some common signs that your child may be experiencing a vision problem. Let’s talk about what you, as a parent, should be alert to in your child.

Signs of Eye and Vision Problems in Children

An annual pediatric eye exam as part of your back-to-school routine will give you peace of mind about your child’s eye health. If your child is exhibiting the following symptoms, a pediatric ophthalmologist offers a non-invasive, gentle approach to helping diagnose and correct any vision issues they may be having.

Frequent Headaches

Headaches caused by eye strain are very common when vision correction is needed.

Excessive Eye Rubbing

Does your child complain of a burning in their eyes. This could be a sign of dry eyes caused by excessive computer screen time. Or it could stem from eye strain caused from near- or farsightedness.


If you notice your child squinting or even turning the head to the side or rearing back the neck to see, their visual acuity is probably somehow impaired.

Your child’s eye health matters. That’s why back-to-school eye exams are as critical as a regular visit to your pediatrician. Did you know there is an experienced, caring pediatric eye doctor right here in Buffalo standing by to help both you and your child?

ECVA Offers Comprehensive Eye Exams for Children in Buffalo, NY

Eye Care & Vision Associates (ECVA) is Buffalo’s leading pediatric eye doctor. We offer full-service pediatric ophthalmologic appointments designed to get your child back-to-school and ready to learn. Contact us here or call us today at 1-716-631-EYES.