Author Archives: oceanopticaleyecare

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WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT COLOR BLINDNESS

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What to Know About Color Blindness

Contrary to its name, color blindness does not mean that you cannot see any colors. You may see some colors just fine, but may be unable to distinguish between other colors.

What Causes Color Blindness?

Color blindness is usually inherited, although some conditions and diseases can also affect the way you see colors. When you are color blind, cones, special photoreceptor cells in your retina, do not work as well as they should. The retina is a layer of light-sensitive cells that lines the back of your eye. It sends visual signals to your brain, where they are interpreted as images. Although you may not be able to see some colors if you are color blind, the condition usually will not affect your overall vision.

What are the Types of Color Blindness?

Red-green color blindness is the most common form. People who have this type have varying degrees of difficulty telling the difference between red and green. Eight percent of men and .5 percent of woman of Northern European Ancestry have this deficiency, according to the National Eye Institute.

The condition is passed on to you from your mother, who carries a mutated gene on one of her X chromosomes. Women have two X chromosomes, while men only have one, which increases the risk that males who receive the mutated gene will develop the problem. If you are female and you receive a copy of the gene on one X chromosome, your healthy X chromosome can cancel out the damaged one. Males who have red-green color blindness can pass the gene on to their daughters.

Blue-yellow color blindness, the inability to distinguish between yellow and blue, is less common and equally likely in males and females because the defect is not located on the X chromosome. A very small percentage of people experience the complete loss of color vision, although this is very rare.

Does Everyone Experience Color Blindness the Same Way?

Different people may have very different levels of color blindness. One person may notice that red and orange colors have a green tinge, while others may see only black when they look at a red object. If you have no color vision, you may only see black, white and gray, and might only realize that something is a different color because it is darker or lighter than other objects.

What Can Be Done to Help People with Color Blindness?

There is no treatment or cure for color blindness currently, although researchers are conducting studies that may one day lead to a treatment or cure. If you have red-green blindness, your optometrist may recommend special lenses for your glasses that will make it easier to tell the difference between colors. As you can imagine, living with color blindness can create some challenges. You may not be able to see red warning lights, tell when the strawberries in your refrigerator have gone bad or realize that your clothes do not match. Luckily, several apps have been created to help people with color blindness recognize colors.

Are you concerned that you or someone you care about may suffer from color blindness? We offer color blindness testing that can help put your mind at ease. Call us today to schedule an appointment.

color blindness
Increased Risk Factors for Color Blindness
Although most cases of color blindness are inherited, some people develop an acquired form of the disease. Risk factors for this type of color blindness include:

  • Diseases. If you have leukemia, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, liver disease, glaucoma or macular degeneration, you may have an increased risk of developing some degree of color blindness.
  • Trauma. Trauma to your brain or retina can cause color blindness. If you experienced shaken baby syndrome as an infant or received a blow to your head, you might develop an acquired case of color blindness. Retinal damage can occur for a variety of reasons, such as excessive exposure to ultraviolet light.
  • Alcoholism. Alcoholism ups your chance of developing trouble distinguishing between colors.
  • Cataracts. Cataracts can make colors look duller. Cataracts are usually related to aging and occur when the lens in your eye becomes cloudy. After cataract surgery, most people regain full color vision.
  • Medications. Some medications can cause color blindness, including hydroxychloroquine, a prescription drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

If you notice any change in your color vision, see your optometrist immediately, as these changes can be a sign of a serious vision problem.

 


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WHAT TO EXPECT DURING A ROUTINE EYE EXAM

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What to Expect During a Routine Eye Exam

eye exam
3 Signs Your Child Might Need to Visit the Eye Doctor 
You are probably very familiar with your eyesight, but your children rely on you to help them understand what’s normal and what isn’t. As they grow and learn, they will become better at expressing their vision needs, but, in the meantime, keep an eye out for the following telltale signs that it’s time to take your child to the eye doctor:

1. Age. The No. 1 sign your child should see an eye doctor is age. Most doctors recommend that you take your child for an exam at 6 months, 3 years old and before starting first grade.

2Squinting. If your child has difficulty reading, focusing or appears to be squinting when reading or watching television, it may be time for an eye exam.

3. Signs of External Irritation.Keep an eye out for signs of external irritation, such as rubbing and itching, redness and excessive eye mucous or discharge. These may be signs your child needs to see an eye doctor.

If you child has any of the signs above or if your child is overdue for their routine eye exam, contact us to schedule an appointment.

What to Expect During a Routine Eye Exam  

Routine eye exams are straightforward, quick and painless. Most doctors recommend screening your vision on an annual basis to ensure your vision prescription is up to date (or to determine you need one) and to make sure your eyes are healthy. Regular eye exams are the first line of defense against eye disorders, such as chronic dry eye, inflammation, glaucoma, age-related issues and cataracts.

During a regular visit, you can expect your optometrist to perform the following tests to determine your eye health:

Pre-Exam Tests. A technician will often perform a few basic tests before you see the doctor, including a color sensitivity test, peripheral vision test, a glaucoma (or “air puff” test) and a cover test to determine how well your eyes work together. He or she may also use an autorefractor, which automatically measures your vision prescription, to gain a ballpark understanding of your vision needs.

Pupillary Reactions. Using a light, the doctor checks your pupils’ responsiveness. Your pupils’ response to light is a natural function of the eye and is critical to your vision. While using the light, the doctor will also look at the surface of your eye for signs of dry eye, corneal scratches and bacterial debris.

Slit Lamp Test. During a slit light test (also called a biomicroscope), the doctor will shine a vertical bar of light into your eye to magnify your eye’s surface and inspect for abnormalities on the cornea, iris and lens. This test usually takes a few minutes, and you may be asked to blink or stare at your doctor’s ear so he can look closely at your eye’s surface.

Visual Acuity and Refraction. The most well-known part of the eye exam is the visual acuity test. Your doctor will ask you to read an eye chart filled with numbers and letters with one or both eyes. Your ability to clearly read and identify the numbers and letters helps the doctor further determine your vision prescription needs. To hone in on your exact prescription, your doctor will place a large lens refractor in front of you and ask you a series of questions about which lenses make your vision better or worse.

Pupil Dilation. At the end of your exam, the doctor may ask you if you would like to have your eyes dilated. By dilating your eyes, the doctor can examine your retina and optic nerve more fully. To perform this part of the exam, the doctor will put a few drops in your eyes that cause your pupils to enlarge, letting more light in and giving him or her a better view into your eye. Your eyes may be sensitive to light for up to an hour after the test, so it’s best to avoid being outside in direct sunlight afterward.


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WHAT IS RETINAL DETACHMENT?

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What is Retinal Detachment?

A detached retina is an serious medical emergency that can lead to permanent vision loss if it is not treated promptly. Thanks to innovative treatment options, many people who suffer from retinal detachment can maintain useful vision. Learning about retinal detachment symptoms can help you react quickly if you or a friend or family member ever experience this vision problem.

What Happens During a Retinal Detachment?

The retina is a thin layer of light-sensing cells that lines the back part of the inside of your eye. The retina turns light into signals that are transmitted via the optic nerve to the brain, where they are converted into images. A retinal detachment occurs if all or part of the retina begins to pull away from the back of eye. When this happens, the retinal cells no longer receive oxygen from the blood vessels in the eye and may eventually die if you do not receive emergency treatment.

What Are the Symptoms of Retinal Detachment?

Retinal detachment does not cause any pain, but can cause one or more of these symptoms:

  • Floaters. These tiny, string-like fibers seems to float through your field of vision. Although it’s not unusual to see one or two float by occasionally, if you suddenly notice many floaters, you may have a retinal detachment.
  • Light Flashes. Flashing lights can occur when the retina separates from the back of the eye.
  • Dark Curtain. During a retinal detachment, you may notice that a dark curtain impairs all or part of your vision. The dark area can grow larger if the detachment gets worse.

How Are Detachments Treated?

A retinal detachment is always a medical emergency. If you experience any of the above symptoms, call your eye doctor or go to the emergency room immediately. Doctors typically perform two types of surgery to repair the retinal detachment. Laser surgery is used to create tiny burn areas around the detached area to help fuse it back into place, while cryopexy is a technique that uses freezing cold temperatures to seal the edges of the retina.

Your doctor may also use a procedure known as pneumatic retinopexy to repair the tear. During this procedure, your doctor injects a small bubble of air or gas into your eye, which then seals the tear. If fluid from the vitreous, the clear gel that gives your eyeball its shape, accumulates under the torn area, your doctor may perform a vitrectomy. During the procedure, the fluid is drained, inject air or gas is injected to seal the tear, and the eye is refilled with liquid.

Some people who have retinal detachments benefit from scleral buckling. During this procedure, a small piece of silicone rubber or a sponge is sewn in place over the sclera, the white part of your eye. The scleral buckle pushes the white part of your eye inward, which helps the retina move back into its usual position against the back of your eye. Scleral buckling is usually combined with cryopexy or laser surgery.

Regular examinations are the key to maintaining good eye health. Call us today and schedule your next appointment.

retinal detachment
Who Is at Risk for Retinal Detachment
Certain people are at higher risk for retinal detachment than others. You may be at increased risk if you:

  • Had a recent eye injury
  • Are very nearsighted
  • Have diabetic retinopathy. If you have this condition, fluid from leaking blood vessels can accumulate under the retina.
  • Recently had cataract surgery
  • Are related to someone who has had a retinal detachment or have already had a retinal detachment in your other eye
  • Have another eye disease or disorder, including lattice degeneration, retinoschisis, uveitis or another inflammatory disorder. These diseases can cause fluid to build up under your retina even if you don’t have a tear.

 


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VISION CHARITIES TO HELP YOU GIVE BACK THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

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Vision Charities to Help You Give Back This Holiday Season

Imagine trying to succeed at work at school if you could not see clearly. Unfortunately, that’s the reality for far too many people in the world. Whether they cannot afford eye care, are blind or have a vision disability, poor eyesight makes life much more difficult. You can make a difference this holiday season by supporting one of the following vision care charities.

American Foundation for the Blind

The AFB helps blind and visually impaired people enjoy full lives. The national non-profit organization is committed to improving access to technology and helps people find the services and products they need.

Blinded Veterans Association

The Blinded Veterans Association, formed by blind World War II veterans, advocates for and assists blind veterans. The organization’s Field Service Program helps veterans navigate the Veteran’s Administration claims process while another program helps newly blind veterans adjust to life without sight.

Choroideremia Research Foundation

Choroideremia is an inherited disorder of the retina that causes gradual vision loss and, eventually, blindness. The Choroideremia Research Foundation raises money to support research that will hopefully lead to a treatment or cure.

Council of Citizens With Low Vision International

The Council of Citizens With Low Vision International is an advocacy organization that educates the public about the capabilities of the visually impaired and establishes outreach programs that ensure that everyone has access to services.

Delta Gamma Center for Children With Visual Impairments

Early identification of visual problems is the key to helping children make the most of their usable vision. The Dental Gamma Center for Children With Visual Impairments offers low-vision evaluations, early intervention services, orientation and mobility training as well as occupational, physical and speech therapies.

Foundation Fighting Blindness

The Foundation Fighting Blindness raises money to support research that’s devoted to the study of retinitis pigmentosa and other related retinal diseases. They also provide support and information to people affected by these diseases.

Glaucoma Research Foundation

The Glaucoma Research Foundation funds research in support of better treatments for glaucoma and provides education and support.

Leader Dogs for the Blind

Established in 1939, Leader Dogs for the Blind has a long history of helping visually impaired people become self-sufficient. Clients are matched with guide dogs that help them live more independent lives.

Macular Degeneration Association

Macular degeneration, the loss of central vision, predominantly affects senior citizens; although people of all ages can be affected. The Macular Degeneration Association supports research and offers information to people affected by the disease.

Optometry Cares – The American Optometric Association Foundation

Optometry Cares was established to ensure that all Americans have access to vision care. The charity offers the infantSEE program, a free program that provides eye care to infants and provides free basic vision services to low-income, uninsured people through the VISION USA program.

Restoring Vision

This non-profit organization provides sunglasses and new reading glasses to underprivileged people in the U.S. and developing nations. In the last decade, Restoring Vision distributed 3,000,000 new pairs of glasses and sunglasses.

Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity/International

Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (VOSH)/International supports eye clinics, optometry schools and optometric educations in underserved areas throughout the world. More than 100,000 people yearly receive eyeglasses, treatment or vision surgery every year thanks to VOSH/International.

vision charities
3 Reasons to Visit Your Optometrist by the End of the Year 
The end of the year is fast approaching, and there is no better time to visit your optometrist. Not convinced? These three reasons may change your mind.

You Won’t Waste Your FSA Balance

Don’t lose the money remaining in your flexible spending account (FSA). Use it for an eye exam or new pair of glasses or contacts. Although some employers extend the FSA deadline to March, others are firm about the December 31stdeadline. If you don’t use your FSA funds by your employer’s due date, you will lose the remaining balance. Why not make an appointment now and avoid worries about missing the deadline, whenever it may be?

You Just Might Find a Great Deal on Eyewear

A new year means a new selection of frames, but it also often means there’s not enough room to display them in your optometrist’s office. Holiday shopping deals are not just limited to big-screen TVs; your optometrist may also offer deals you won’t want to pass up.

You’ll Start the New Year off Right

Cross off a few of your New Year’s resolutions a little early. Don’t put off making that visit to your optometrist a minute longer. Even slight changes in your prescription can affect your vision. After your visit, you will be able to face the New Year with crystal clear vision and a fashionable new pair of frames.

Ready to make your eye care appointment? Contact our office today!

 


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DIABETIC RETINOPATHY: WHAT IS IT?

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Diabetic Retinopathy: What Is It?

diabetic retinopathy
Reduce Your Risk 
Between 40 and 45 percent of all diabetic patients have some form of diabetic retinopathy, but there are some actions you can take to reduce your likelihood of developing the condition.

If you have diabetes, it is important to regularly check your blood sugar levels and take steps to keep those levels within the normal range. Individuals with diabetes should also receive regular eye exams. For many people, having an eye exam once a year is generally considered sufficient. However, some individuals, such as those with diabetes and consequent eye concerns, may need to visit their eye doctor and undergo eye exams more frequently.

Want to Know More?

If you have additional questions about diabetic retinopathy or think you are experiencing some of the symptoms, please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.

Diabetic retinopathy refers to several eye problems that are characterized by damage to the light-sensitive retina, caused by excessive blood sugar levels. Almost half of Americans with diabetes suffer from some level of diabetic retinopathy. When glucose levels in the blood are not properly controlled, it can result in the formation of glaucoma, cataracts or blood vessel damage in the retina — all of which can cause vision loss if not diagnosed and treated early.

Damage to the blood vessels in the retina can eventually lead to permanent vision loss. High blood sugar levels can lead to the blood vessels in the retina swelling and leaking. This leaked blood in the eye damages vision. In severe instances, the retina can thicken and crack, causing new blood vessels to grow under the retina and through those cracks, which severely affects visual acuity.

Symptoms

For many people, the earliest stages of diabetic retinopathy do not have any easily noticeable symptoms. By the time vision loss is prominent enough to be noticed, most individuals have progressed to advanced stages of diabetic retinopathy that are harder to treat and manage.

Thankfully, regular eye examinations can help monitor the eyes for many of the common initial warning signs of diabetic retinopathy, including the following:

  • Floaters or spots roaming around in your field of vision
  • Poor night vision
  • An empty or dark spot in the middle of your field of vision
  • Blurred vision

Treatment

Treatment of diabetic retinopathy depends on the stage and severity of the condition. Through regular eye examinations and pupil dilation, diabetic retinopathy can be monitored closely to ensure accurate treatment. Keeping blood sugar levels within recommended ranges can also help manage or slow the progression of diabetic retinopathy.

In more severe cases, treatment also includes:

  • Laser surgery to repair retinal detachment
  • Intravitreal injections of medications into the jelly-like vitreous, near the retina, to stop the proliferation of blood vessels and halt further retinal damage
  • Laser photocoagulation (to close leaking blood vessels in the retina

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NUTRITION AND YOUR EYES

Category : Newsletter

Nutrition and Your Eyes

Nutrition and eyesight
What Is Macular Degeneration? 
Macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States. It is caused by deterioration of a portion of the retina, the back of the eye that records the images we see and communicates them via the optic nerve to the brain. Macular degeneration affects the central portion of the eye, along with our ability to read, recognize faces or drive a car. Early stages of macular degeneration may not be entirely recognizable, as vision impairment at this stage may be mild. Therefore, regular eye examinations are highly recommended to help diagnose eye conditions, including macular degeneration. Risk for this diseases increases with age; although, there is not yet a fully determined cause of macular degeneration or a known cure. Diet is one of the most important factors in treating macular degeneration, along with exercise and protecting your eye health overall.

If you are experiencing vision loss, or have any questions about macular degeneration or nutrition for your eyesight, please contact us for more information.

Nutrition and Your Eyes 

As you’ve probably heard, carrots are good for your eyes. Technically, they can’t give you superhero-quality eyesight like you may have been told when you were young, but they do contain ingredients that are instrumental in protecting your vision and overall health. Carrots are rich in beta-carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A) and antioxidants known to reduce the risk of some cancers, such as leukemia and lung cancer, and cardiovascular disease. The vitamins and nutrients in carrots also help protect the delicate surface of your eyes.

Nonetheless, carrots are not the only foods known to be beneficial for your eyes. In fact, brightly colored fruits and vegetables in general — including pumpkin, red peppers, watermelon and broccoli — have been found to help protect your vision health.

Here are some of our favorites:

  • Spinach. A super food, spinach is one of the best leafy green options you can eat to protect your eyesight. Spinach is rich in both lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that filter out light from the eye that can cause damage. Moreover, consuming an adequate amount of lutein has been shown to be an important line of defense against macular degeneration, a disease that leads to vision loss. Given its abilities to help protect eye health, improve blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure and lower the risk of certain cancers, spinach is an excellent ingredient for salads.
  • Fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are another incredible nutrient that your eyes need to thrive. Fatty fish like salmon, tuna and herring are some of your best options when it comes to getting omega-3 fatty acids. However, if you aren’t a fan of fish, try eating flaxseeds, walnuts and peanut butter, which are also packed full of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Sweet Potatoes. There’s something about the color orange in natural foods. … Similarly to carrots, sweet potatoes (and yams) contain beta-carotene, which, again, helps protect the surface of the eye as well as mucous membranes and the skin around your eyes. As an added benefit, sweet potatoes also contain high levels of potassium and fiber.
  • Eggs. When it comes to your eyesight, the egg yolks are the most beneficial part of the whole egg. Eating eggs is an easy way to ingest lutein, which helps fight macular degeneration. Although it’s best to eat many of the foods listed here in their raw form to help your body get the maximum health benefits, eating slightly cooked egg yolks can still provide eye health benefits.
  • Beans. Beans are good for your eyesight in a variety of ways. Specifically, they contain zinc, which helps transport vitamin A through the body to your retinas, which benefit from the vitamin. Moreover, zinc helps convert vitamin A into rhodopsin, which allows you to see at night. Other foods that contain high levels of zinc include oysters, beef, seafood, poultry and pumpkin seeds.

It’s best to eat a balanced diet instead of focusing on one single nutrient, because, as with zinc and vitamin A, many of these nutrients work together for your vision health. Moreover, your overall health will thank you too.


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HOW DOES AGING AFFECT YOUR EYES?

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How Does Aging Affect Your Eyes?

eyes aging
3 Tips to Preserve Your Eyesight
Maintaining good vision is important as you age. Protect your eyesight by following these tips:

See Your Eye Doctor Every Year

Your optometrist will examine your eyes and look for any conditions that could affect your eyesight. During a comprehensive eye exam, your eye doctor will dilate your eyes, in addition to updating your eyeglass or contact lens prescription. Dilation allows him or her to look for changes in your retina, macula and optic nerve.

Visit Your Family Doctor Also

Several health conditions, including diabetes and high blood pressure, can damage the eyes if untreated. These conditions are often detected during a visit to your doctor. If you are diagnosed with high blood pressure or diabetes, prompt treatment can help you avoid damage to your eyes.

Wear Sunglasses

Sunglasses do more than shield your eyes from glare. They also protect you from the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. UV light exposure can contribute to the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration. Make sure your sunglasses block 100 percent of UV-A and UV-B rays.

Aging causes changes in every part of your body, including your eyes. Although adjusting to some of these changes is no more difficult than tweaking your eyeglass prescription, others can affect your eye health. These age-related eye problems are particularly common.

Presbyopia

Reading glasses become a necessity for most people at some point during their 40s. The problem occurs due to a condition called presbyopia. As you age, the lens inside your eye begins to harden, which makes it more difficult for your eyes to focus.

Dry Eyes

Changes related to aging can also cause your eyes to become drier, particularly if you are a woman who has gone through menopause. Dry eyes burn and itch. You may notice that you develop eyestrain when you use the computer or read because of your dry eyes. Lubricating eye drops can help relieve your symptoms.

Floaters

Have you ever noticed tiny pieces of string floating across your field of vision? These tiny specks are called “floaters” and occur when the vitreous, the gel-like substance inside your eye, starts to shrink slightly. When this happens, the vitreous sheds small strands, which then float back and forth across your visual field. Floaters are generally harmless; however, if you suddenly see a large number of floaters or notice that floaters are accompanied by flashing lights, see your optometrist as soon as possible. These symptoms can occur if you experience a vitreous or retinal detachment.

Cataracts

Cataracts occur when the lens at the center of your eye becomes cloudy. If your cataract becomes large enough and interferes with your vision, your optometrist will probably recommend surgery to remove it. During cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is replaced with an artificial lens.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration causes changes to the macula, the area of your retina that controls central vision. If you have this condition, you may notice that your central vision is blurry, or there are blank spots in your central vision. When you have age-related macular degeneration, it can be hard to read, drive or recognize faces. There are two forms of macular degeneration: dry and wet. Anti-oxidant supplements may be recommended if you have the dry form. Preventing blood vessels in the macula from leaking is the goal of treatment for the wet form. Laser treatments to seal vessels and injections that prevent new blood vessels from forming can help.

Diabetic Retinopathy

If you have diabetes, it’s important to be aware of the signs of diabetic retinopathy, which include blurred vision, trouble with night vision and dark spots in your center vision. The condition occurs when small vessels in your retina leak blood or fluids, clouding your vision.

Glaucoma

Glaucoma occurs when the pressure in your eye is too high and can lead to permanent vision loss. In many cases, people do not have any symptoms initially. Glaucoma can be detected with a simple test at your optometrist’s office. If you are diagnosed with the condition, prescription medications, eye drops or surgery can help preserve your vision.

Changes to Peripheral Vision

As you age, your peripheral, or side, vision decreases by as much as 20 to 30 degrees by your 70s or 80s. Loss of peripheral vision can make it more difficult to do many things, including driving. Although there is nothing you can do about peripheral vision loss, it’s important to be aware of your new limitations.

Are you concerned about vision changes related to aging? Call us and schedule an appointment for a comprehensive vision exam, including glaucoma testing.


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5 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PROTECT YOUR EYE HEALTH

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5 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Eye Health

protect your eyes
Exercise Your Eyes
Use these simple exercises to relieve tension throughout your eye area.

  1. An Exercise in Focus

Hold a pen at arm’s length, focus your eyes on it and slowly bring the pen closer to your face until it is about 6 inches from you. Slowly move the pen back to an arm’s length away while maintaining your focus on it, and repeat this action 10 times.

  1. Massage Your Temples

Relieve some of the pressure behind your eyes by using your thumbs to massage your temples. Massage this area, using small circles, and then repeat the same action below the eyes, on both sides of your nose, and in between your eyebrows, at the forehead.

  1. Roll Your Eyes

Start by looking up and then slowly circle your eyes in one direction. Repeat this 10 times and then reverse the action, moving your eyes 10 times in the opposite direction.

Note: Although these eye exercises are great for relieving tension, they are not an alternative to proper vision treatment. If you are suffering from chronic eye strain or another vision problem, contact us today to schedule an appointment, so we can examine your eye health and suggest appropriate treatment options.

Protecting your eyesight is an important part of maintaining your quality of life. Here are five simple things you can do to help preserve your vision.

1. Stop Smoking

It is no secret that smoking is strongly linked to many health problems; however, did you know that it can also damage your eyes and vision health? Smoking increases your risk of developing cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. In addition, smoking increases your risk for diabetes and its many complications, including new blood vessel growth, diabetic retinopathy and permanent vision loss. Cigarette smoke can also irritate your eyes and cause dry eyes. This can cause general discomfort and make wearing contacts uncomfortable.

2. Eat Well

In order to function optimally, our eyes require a wide assortment of nutrients. Certain vitamins, including vitamins A, C and E, are instrumental in protecting your eyesight and can be found in brightly colored vegetables, such as carrots, sweet potatoes and pumpkins. Your eyes also need antioxidants, such as beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, to protect against sun damage. Dark leafy greens, egg yolks and yellow peppers are dense with these antioxidants.

3. Exercise

Physical exercise is an essential part of maintaining your overall physical health. Regular exercise can help lower blood pressure, release tension and reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease. It can also be highly beneficial for your eyes. Research has shown that regular exercise lowers your likelihood of developing some serious eye conditions, including reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration by nearly 70 percent. In addition, physical exercise can reduce pressure and improve blood flow to the retina and optic nerve. This may help slow general vision loss from diseases such as glaucoma.

4. Go to Sleep

Getting quality sleep is important for your eyesight. It helps prevent your eyes from drying out and being overly strained. Sleep allows your body to recover and heal from the previous day. This is especially important if you spend the majority of your day sitting at a computer or looking at electronic screens. Aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night to counteract some of the strain you put on your eyes throughout the day.

5. Turn off the Computer

In today’s online world, most people spend many hours staring at a computer screen or alternative electronic device. However, technology can cause permanent damage to your eyes. Spending too much time staring at electronic screens can cause discomfort, including dry eyes and eye strain. For many people, it can even cause persistent tension headaches. Although in this day and age, it is difficult to turn away from screens entirely, you can protect your eyes from excessive strain by looking away from your screen for a few minutes every hour to give your eye muscles a break.


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TIPS TO ALLEVIATE DRY EYES

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Category : Newsletter

Tips to Alleviate Dry Eyes

dry eye relief
How to Wash Your Eyelids 
An important part of controlling your blepharitis begins with treatment at home.

One of the most common forms of dry eye syndrome self-care is washing your eyelids with baby shampoo and warm water. Washing your eyelids can help clear them of oil buildup around the lashes or debris and can decrease bacteria around the eyelids. Help keep your eyelids clean and functioning properly with the following steps:

1.       Wash your hands.

2.       Dilute a small amount of non-irritating baby shampoo with warm water; use a commercially prepared lid scrub solution recommended by your optometrist.

3.       Using a clean wash cloth, run the solution across the eyelashes and the edge of your closed eyelid. Again, make sure to use a clean cloth for each eye to prevent further irritation.

4.       Rinse your eyes with clear water.

5.       Repeat process with the other eye.

Studies show that dry eyes are one of the most common eye problems throughout the United States. Dry eyes are caused by a lack of quality tear production, and are most common in both men and women over the age of 50. Tear production can be limited by a variety of causes; one of the most common is a specific eye inflammation known as blepharitis. Here, we discuss ways to alleviate dry eye caused by blepharitis.

What Is Blepharitis?

Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid that is often associated with an infection.

Dry eye is one of the most common symptoms of blepharitis. However, other symptoms may include red or swollen eyelids, sensitivity to light, blurry vision and crusting of the eyelashes.

Blepharitis is classified in two different types:

  • Anterior blepharitis. The two most common causes of anterior blepharitis are bacteria and a skin disorder that causes itchy, flaky skin called seborrheic dermatitis. Anterior blepharitis usually occurs near the eyelashes and affects the front of the eyelids.
  • Posterior blepharitis. This condition is usually caused by problems with the oil glands in the lid margin, and is often associated with acne rosacea and dandruff on the scalp. It affects the inner surface and the edge of the eyelid that comes into contact with the eye.

How Is It Treated?

Treatment for blepharitis varies depending on the specific type. Keeping your eyelids clean and free of crusts is typically the key to treating blepharitis. In addition, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following.

  • Wash your eyelids with a mixture of diluted baby shampoo and warm water.
  • In some cases, artificial tear solutions may be prescribed.
  • The eyelids may need to be massaged to wash out oil accumulated in the eyelid glands if the glands in the eyelids are blocked.
  • Using an anti-dandruff shampoo on the scalp can also help.
  • Using eye makeup will make lid hygiene more difficult, and limiting or stopping its use is recommended.
  • In some cases, artificial tear solutions may be prescribed.

If you wear contact lenses, you may have to temporarily discontinue wearing them during treatment.

Want to Know More?

If you suffer from red or irritated eyes, discuss the problem with your eye doctor right away. He or she can provide self-care tips as well as share additional ways to prevent future eye infections and protect your eyes.


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